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Archive for the ‘Raiding’ Category

Alas, no maintenance on Tuesday this week, so I wasn’t able to change my Gorgrond outpost and recruit Penny and Kaz. Maybe next week…

As Kamalia’s followers have begun to purple out, she’s accumulated four pairs who have the same combination of abilities. I’ve deactivated one follower from each of those pairs and reactivated some less-experienced followers, with the goal of eventually getting all of Kamalia’s followers up to purple and seeing how many different combinations I can get. There are 36 different combinations of two of the nine abilities (counting A,B and B,A as the same combination), but I’m not sure that all of them are “allowed” — is it even possible for the same follower to have both the “tank-like” Wild Aggression and the “healer-like” Group Damage?

Kamalia upgraded her Inn to level 3 yesterday. She has enough of a resources reserve that after my current batch of work orders at the Lumber Mill completes, I can tear down the Lumber Mill and re-build the Barn, at last. I’ll miss rambling across the landscape for timber, though. On my other characters, I find herbing and mining to be rather relaxing, and logging fills the same psychological niche.

I currently have five Garrisons — one at level 3, one at level 2, and three at level 1 — and another character halfway through Tanaan. My level 2 garrison has only the mine open (I haven’t yet quested enough with that alt to unlock the herb garden) and my level 3 garrison has the mine & herb garden at only level 1 (Kam’s professions are not primarily dependent upon those materials, and I don’t feel like upgrading them just for the achievement points). Even so, tending my five garrisons feels like it takes as much time as the nine farms I’m still running in Pandaria! When I get enough alts in Draenor, by the time I finish tending the last alt’s garrison, it’ll be time to start all over again by collecting the spoils from the short missions in the first character’s garrison!

At this point, it’s looking like my standard garrison layout, at least as far as the small plots are concerned, will be level 2 Crafting Profession Hut, level 3 Salvage Yard, and level 1 Storehouse. Most of my garrisons will probably have the Inn as one of their medium plots and keep the Barracks as one of their large plots because followers.

I used to think that I played for the story/lore, but if I play for the story, then why haven’t I finished playing through Stonetalon Mountains (among other 1-60 zones) to see the “new” (Cataclysm) story there? If I play for the story, then why is my Draenei not level 100 yet? If I play for the story, then why is my Dwarf Shaman not level 100 yet? I enjoy the stories, but they’re obviously not what drives my play.

I suppose one reason I haven’t gotten my Draenei to level 100 yet is that now that I have both my Draenei and Human Mages set up at Lunarfall, I can’t decide which one I’d rather play. Do I play the Draenei because it somehow feels more “right” to experience all this new Draenei lore first as a Draenei*? Or do I play the Human because I’d really rather be playing Alliance as a High Elf?

I knew that Khadgar — dear darling obnoxious interfering power-hungry Khadgar — was bound to send me into LFR for the legendary questline eventually… and now that I’ve gotten to that point, I’m not feeling very motivated to do it. More precisely, I’m not feeling very motivated to a) do the research on what talents, glyphs, gems, enchants, consumables, etc I ought to be using to be properly prepared for raiding and then b) go out and get all those things.

I still haven’t done the Molten Core LFR, either. Though I don’t care the slightest for the mount and pet, I would like to have the hat. I kept telling myself that I’d do it as a treat to myself after classes were over, and classes are over… but I’ve been on campus all week anyway prepping for next semester.

* Feeling like I ought to be a character of a given race to play through storylines that prominently feature that race is not a problem I have Horde-side because I’m so used to being Kam/Tauren when I’m Horde.

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Along with leveling a character of each class to the current level cap, one of my long-time WoW goals has been to raid-heal with each of the healing classes. Mists LFR has been an absolutely Golden Age for me in that regard. I have a healer of each class who has completed at least Terrace of Endless Spring from T14, all of Throne of Thunder, and Siege of Orgrimmar through the Sha of Pride.

As proof that I have indeed completed my Mists expansion goal of healing in LFR with each of the healing classes — and before Patch 6.0 wreaks havoc on my action bars and addons, too! — I now present a couture collection featuring that most charming of Siege of Orgrimmar healer loot drops, the Purehearted Cricket Cage.

Waterfall Cricket

Greenweave Mantle, Waterfall Robe, Councillor’s Sash, Replica Virtuous Gloves, Rejuvenating Scepter, Purehearted Cricket Cage
This Kun-Lai Summit quest reward robe matches the tailored Windwool set, which has a tunic chestpiece instead of a robe.

Hoodoo Cricket

Self-Reflecting Mask, Runetotem’s Mantle of Conquest, Jinxed Hoodoo Skin & Kilt, Hurricane Belt, Cenarion Gloves, Miniature Winter Veil Tree, Purehearted Cricket Cage
This outfit is based on Zazzy’s grand-prize-winning final round entry for JD Kenada’s Amazing Transmog Survivor competition. Kerisa already had the shoulders, chestpiece, and kilt of Zazzy’s kit — though as a Druid, she of course could not use the same belt.

Fire-Charm Cricket

Fire-Charm Mantle, Jinxed Hoodoo Skin & Kilt, Serene Yellow Belt, Grips of Slicing Electricity, Ethereum Phase Blade, Purehearted Cricket Cage, Veridian Cloak
A variation on Zazzy’s grand-prize-winning final round entry for JD Kenada’s Amazing Transmog Survivor competition. As a Monk, Koralyra could get the chestpiece, belt, and kilt easily — but she’d have had to farm for the lookalike T9 Druid shoulders, as Zazzy had. Fortunately, the glow of the T15-LFR Monk shoulders matches the Jinxed Hoodoo items just as nicely as the crystals on the T9-Horde Druid shoulders do!

Suncrown Cricket

Bog Pauldrons, Suncrown Hauberk, Myrmidon’s Girdle, Cenarion Reservist’s Legguards*/Green Iron Leggings, Green Iron Gauntlets, Tsunami Boots, Light’s Justice, Purehearted Cricket Cage, Xing-Ho, Breath of Yu’lon
So, yeah, I decided to get the Legendary Cloak for Kamalia’s DPS spec. Hopefully, it’ll make at least the first few levels of 90 to 100 a little easier, considering that I don’t (and won’t) have a Garrosh Heirloom weapon.

Jade Cricket

Jade set with Acid-Etched Pauldrons, Qon’s Flaming Scimitar, and Purehearted Cricket Cage
I put up with the Jade set being platekini because I love its unique coloration so much. I’d be much happier if it looked on my female character the way it looks on male characters, though!

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leadership experience

Today, my Organic Chemistry class was visited by a couple of representatives from the pharmacy school at one of the big research universities elsewhere in the state. Toward the end of their presentation, when they were reviewing the application requirements for the program, they said, speaking of the leadership experience requirement, that just about anything would do — school, church, scouts, clubs, anything where you might have been in a position of responsibility/authority for other people. So I asked, because I was pretty sure my students wouldn’t, if guild or raid leadership in an MMO counted.

“What’s an MMO?”

A multiplayer online game, I said, like World of Warcraft, Rift, Lord of the Rings Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Wildstar

Blank looks. They didn’t know what they’d do about it, because no-one has yet put that type of leadership experience on an application for their program. But maybe I gave them something to think about…

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Looks like we have An Agenda for the next several months:

Malygos and Deathwing (and I guess Ony and Sarth, too, though they’re pretty easy to solo these days) with side-trips to Firelands to beat up Fandral Smellyfeet to see if he’s ready to give Momo her staff yet.

Personally, I’m still missing the Azure, Onyxian, and Blazing Drakes. Thankfully, the Sandstone Drake has been replaced with the Purple Netherwing Drake, so I don’t have to grind Archaeology with one of my Alchemists, after all — phew!

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Well, with the servers down for maintenance, I might as well blow off this head of steam I’ve been building by writing a rant.

I was reading through the Dev Watercooler blogs about the development of raiding and the raid design philosophy for Warlords and everything was looking good to me until I came to this bit (emphasis added):

Accordingly, while loot will be awarded more frequently, Raid Finder in Warlords will have different loot tables than the Normal, Heroic, or Mythic versions of the raids, along with different item art.

Wait, what?! No Tier from LFR? Not even “nuclear snot green” Tier?

So perhaps the LFR colorations of tier items in Mists have been the cheap department store knock-offs of the designer boutique normal/heroic mode versions. If the LFR items are going to have different item art altogether, if Tier will only be obtainable by normal+ mode raiding, then Blizzard just formalized that, in Warlords, LFR raiders will really and truly be second-class citizens.

I have really enjoyed being able to raid “on my own terms” during Mists via LFR, and I resent this notion of being required to do regular raiding again if I want to have the tier look. I burned out on regular raiding during Cataclysm, and I have no desire to start doing it again — not even for tier. In Mists, being able to get the same models as tier/raid items, even if I’ve sometimes had to settle for less-attractive color schemes, has been my primary motivation for running LFR not only with one character, once or twice, as a Tourist, to see the story, but also with many characters, many times. Being able to get current content tier with any character who wants it has been truly wonderful for me! I certainly couldn’t do that with a regular raid group! If I won’t even be able to get the tier models by running LFR, the alternate item art would be a poor substitute no matter how stylish and attractive it might be — as a current example, which looks do people prefer more? The justice points/timeless isle lookalike gear that drops in Mogu’shan Vaults, or the real thing T14 gear that drops in Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring? — and, oh look, there are previews of Warlords armor up on Wowhead and bleargh!, except for cloth, I like what I’m seeing for the crafted and dungeon sets better than the LFR sets! It seems that I will have significantly decreased motivation to do any kind of raiding in Warlords.

When I’m designing a new outfit in MogIt, I’ve learned to ignore PvP items because PvP is a part of the game that I don’t want to play. I’ve learned to ignore the normal/heroic mode color schemes of raid items, too, because normal/heroic mode raiding is not how I want to spend my playtime. Now, I guess I’ll have to re-learn to ignore tier entirely, just like I did in BC when SSC/TK was a little beyond my guild’s reach and BT/Hyjal/Sunwell was way, way beyond my guild’s reach. And that makes this Transmogrification fanatic very sad indeed.

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So there I was, derping it up in Mogu’shan Vaults with the Priest on Wednesday night — the Paladin having won the last item she wanted from Siege of Orgrimmar on Tuesday night — when I noticed in my Grid a little orange box displaying the truncated name “Amer”. Hmm, I thought to myself, could that be? During an out-of-combat moment, I moused over the box to display the character’s full name, and, sure enough, it was Amerdruid! I found her character and gave her a quick hug. After the raid was over, we had a lovely chat. It’s always so nice to run into a friend in LFR!

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I’ll admit, I’m not that great of a healer, and really, I probably never was. Kamalia scraped through Proving Grounds Silver by the skin of her teeth and still hasn’t gone back for Gold (let alone Endless/Proven!).

I made the Paladin get her own Proving Grounds Silver — it took several attempts — before I started taking her to LFR. I plan to do the same with the Priest, the Druid, and the Monk before I take them to LFR. This is not a new objective, sparked by the news that a Proving Grounds Silver will be required to random-queue for Heroic Dungeons in Warlords; rather, it is something I have planned to do with my healers ever since the Proving Grounds first came out and Ghostcrawler commented that in the future (i.e., next expansion) a Proving Grounds Silver might be required to queue for LFR.

Because Shaman have so few instant-cast heals — only Riptide and Nature’s Swiftness + [heal] when I first began raiding — I learned to be a turret. I never properly learned how to use Spiritwalker’s Grace; I’m always forgetting about it and realizing only later, “oh, that bit of the fight would have been a good time to use SWG”. I don’t always remember, the next time I do the fight, to use SWG at that particular point, either.

With my Paladin, running LFR, I forget to use Avenging Wrath, Guardian of Ancient Kings, and especially “Raidwall”, because I never can remember what the real name of that spell is. But I have learned to use my instant-cast heals on the move, tossing out Holy Shocks, Eternal Flames, and Lights of Dawn as I run out of the fire. When Patch 6.0 comes, I will have to unlearn that behavior.

Blizz is backtracking on the “smart heals”; I seem to remember that when they were first introduced they bounced randomly, and only later were changed to prefer the most-damaged player within range. The notion that ground effect and other AOE type heals should be most mana-effective when two or more players are within them, well, isn’t that how it should have been working all along? Even if I was not very good at actually choosing my targeting/placement? So, whatever. Maybe I’ll actually learn to be a better healer again in Warlords after the decay I’ve suffered since quitting regular guild-based raiding and becoming an LFR Tourist-and-Transmog raider.

To me, it seems like the most difficult part of the healing changes will be getting the DPS mindset to accept that it’s OKAY to be at less than 100% health some or even most of the time and not be continually whining for heals and blaming the healers for every wipe.

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