Wednesday, July 28, 2010

To boldly go... Oh, who am I kidding?

This morning, I managed something I've never done before, and not in a good way.

I queued up for my morning run, and I got the Old Kingdom as my destination.  I was surprised --and pleased-- to find nobody immediately dropped group when we finished porting in.  Surely this was a good omen.

The tank even put up raid markers on who he wanted us to kill first in those Ahn'akar pulls before Nadox.  He took his time, and we didn't wipe on that trash.  As one of my guildies likes to put it, there's something wrong about an instance where the trash hits harder than some ICC bosses do.

As runs go, it was pretty average.  Two of us wiped on aggroed Twilight trash (courtesy of the Warlock), but otherwise nothing special.

Until we got to the Herald.

We settle in, the Warrior tank runs up and starts the fight, and I pop Avenging Wrath and close.  One swing and...

I pulled aggro.

With one swing.

On a boss that a tank had a good four or five seconds to get a lock on aggro.

If it wasn't for the fact that everybody else in the house was sleeping, I would have been shouting at the top of my lungs.  As it was, I kept a good stream of invective going.  "WTF is that?  How the hell did that happen?  It was just a Judgment!  I was behind him, dammit!  I wasn't even the first DPS to close!  I didn't even do anything like Divine Storm or Consecration!"  And then... "Oh crap, HoS is still on CD!"

I stopped hitting and bubbled, allowing the tank to draw aggro back, but I've never had that happen before in a boss fight.  Even with tanks geared as new 80s.  After that, I had to essentially reduce myself down to auto attack to keep from pulling aggro the rest of the fight.

Talk about embarrassing.

Anyway, last night I got Tomakan out of the garage to run him through the LFD tool.  He's about at that stage where most of the LFD instances are ones where I've been in several times, with one lone exception.

And naturally, what pops up into view?


If you check Quint's list of achievements, you'll find Gnomer in there.  However, that comes with two caveats:  I was L80 at the time, and I cheated and bubble/dropped down to the bottom level.  Therefore, I had almost no clue about how Gnomer was for a properly leveled toon.

We ported in, and immediately the tank says "I don't know anything about this place."

"Me either," said the Warlock.

"Don't look at me," I said.

The tank wasn't thrilled.  "Does anybody know their way around here?"

"I do," the DPS warrior said.  "It's been a couple of years, but I've been in here before."

Well, something was better than nothing, so off we went.

Gnomer would make MacGyver think he'd died and gone to heaven.  Bots, wires, gizmos, airplanes, and all sorts of stuff littered the place.  Infected and/or irradiated Gnomes everywhere, with Dark Iron Dwarves at the bottom of the city --with land mines!-- ready to help out ol' Thermaplugg.

Given that we didn't really know where we were going for almost all of the run, I got plenty of chances to drink while the guide poked around in different directions.  Still, I was eternally grateful that the Lock didn't rely upon Spirit Tap to replenish his mana.  I even whispered him my thanks, to which I got a "lol np" in return.  Dude, you have no idea how nice it is that I can concentrate on the tank and not worry about getting my mana depleted after every trash pull.

There was only one brief moment of uncertainty when a wandering group of trash aggroed on us while we had our hands full with another bunch, but in general the run was pretty smooth from a fighting standpoint.  After Tomakan's last fail pug, having one go smoothly was a pleasant surprise.  Hey, and I even got a few items I could use (as in, I remembered to Need the items I wanted).

In a bizarre way, I'm looking forward to the Scarlet Monastery.  I know those instances, and every time I think I'm done with that place some random quest sends me back there for another item.

Friday, July 23, 2010

So you're minding your own...

...and you suddenly get smacked in the face. 

Do you:

A) Dust yourself off, apologize for being hit, and ask for another

B) Act like nothing happened, as this occurs a lot

C) Try to maintain some civility while letting the person know their behavior is not acceptable

Well this happened to me more or less. But before I get too deeply into the post, I want to explain a few things. 

First off, I have three level 80 tanks, and have experienced current (at the time- my pally only did Nax and EOE) "end game" content with each one.  I have a fairly damn good idea of how to tank.  Secondly, I hate hate hate hate the Halls of Reflection.  Some sort of swear word literally escapes my lips IRL when that dungeon pops.  Most of the time I will leave group immediately instead of waiting around to see if it's a fail (as you will see why in this post) and it's not becuase I doubt my ability to actually tank it. I don't care to rack up a repair bill for a dungeon where the only thing I need is two frost badges and my level of faith in the average LFD random guy is not that great. 

Also, I use tidy plates addon with the threat plates theme.  This turns name plates into a threat meter, and I can see if I have aggro on a target (name plate is small and green) or if I need to get a taunt in on something (large red name plate).  This gives me a very very good idea of what's going on and if I need to get some hits in on something at range.  And lastly, there's a guild member who just joined recently and could really use some loot out of there in the group with me.

So here we are... in the LFD que quickly followed up by the HOR loading screen.  #($*&#)(@#.
Group makeup: Warrior tank (me), Warlock (guild mate), Hunter, DK, Druid healer.

The events start and the group immediately heads for the corner.  I tell them I'm not going to be doing the corner, and to come back to the door.

Everything is going OK on the first few waves of trash.  I had to blow shield wall and last stand at one point because I was getting no heals.  On the first boss, everybody dies, but the boss manages to drop as well.  So the group runs back in, gets loot nobody needs and starts up for round two.  Two waves towards the second boss I just drop from lack of heals.

Chat legend:
Green = guild member
Black = Me
Grey = Pug
Demonikal = Fuckin retard DK
Silfactor = mouthy druid
(I'm not going to black their names out, because if they want to be internet tough guys they can deal with having their names posted)

So everybody runs back in and the group chat looks like this:
It's a fact.  I can't tank when I'm dead.  Yep.  So the group continues past the second boss.  I try to pull the giant out of the hallway to avoid getting the extra adds, not that they're a big deal, it just takes longer.  Halfway down the hall the DK charges in and pulls aggro.  /shrug  Ok... whatever.  The DK then says "lol fail tank" 

And at that point I had had enough - it was a combination of a bad day at work, not wanting to even be in HOR, and retarded dps that can't even assist a tank.
So I'm tired of the whole childish "lol fail tank" crap when t he healer is the one having troubles and I get called names?  I'm so glad I'm stuck in the dungeon with you guys.  (Also I find it very funny the guy was playing a female character in a fantasy game and was so quick to toss out that derogatory comment.)

Five minutes later:
Haha!  Asshat DK got kicked.  Feeling a tad guilty for making the rest of the group I said I was sorry, and immediately regretted it.  In fact, I wasn't sorry.  I wasted 5 minutes of your time.  Deal with it.  So I get called an "inconsiderate fuck" for actually choosing option C above.  What the hell?  What does it matter?  It matters because I don't have to put up with bullshit, and I chose to take a stand.  Grow a pair and stick up for yourself, man!

I'd rather have time to charge mobs and have a lot of space to work with as opposed to having mobs come around the corner when my thunderclap and shockwave are on cooldown and instagibbing a party member.  And most importantly, I'm the tank.  You follow me.  That's just how it works.

So we're on the last icewall before the dungeon is over, and the red pug actually says something intelligent!  The funnies thing, however, is the DK who was kicked from the group was bothered enough by the kick that he actually made a character on my server just to talk some more smack.  And he had the cleverness to name it (MyCharacterName)isgay. 
Rest assured, Demonikal, I never doubted your ability to display what a gem of a person you truly are!  Just slap a sticker on your helmet that proudly proclaims how special you are, and keep jumping in the LFD.  I'm sure you'll find more people willing to tolerate your bullshit.

And I'm still boggled by Silfactor's attitude.  Just because it's a random person you probably won't spend time with ever again does not mean you have to tolerate behavior like that.  I can't believe you're willing to just more or less whore yourself out to the LFD.  It doesn't matter how it treats you, it will be over soon and then you can go about your business, right?

After that dungeon run, I was in a rather foul mood.  It's a good thing my arena teammate was on and looking to do some matches.  It was a nice stress relief.  Who knew arenas could be less stressful than dungeons? lol.

Between matches, I received a whisper that made my night though.  I guess we stomped his team at some point.

So you want to know why tanks freak out now and again?  Here's your answer: retarded DKs and mouthy druids.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Strange things afoot

So Blizzard has been talking about how the new dungeons will require more single target focusing instead of just a large AOE kill everything gogogo fest.  Which, if implemented, I was looking forward to.

However, it seems as if the Paladins are getting some additional AOEs, the blood boil of the Death Knight is being reworked and now this for warriors:  Thunderstruck - Your Thunder Clap leaves a crackling zone of energy on the ground for 5 sec, dealing damage every sec to enemies that cross it.

This is also in addition to this: Blood and Thunder - When you Thunder Clap a target affected by your Rend, you have a 100% chance to affect every target with Rend.

Which means pretty much the tank tool kit just got some nice new toys in holding AOE threat.

Well color me confused.  We're getting a bunch of AOE abilities for a new non-AOE style of tanking?  What's up Bliz? 

Don't get me wrong here, adding an additional two AOE effects will make tanking on the warrior easier; that's for sure.

I'm not so sure that's a good thing.  I'm enjoying the warrior play style with having to pay pretty close attention to make sure you don't get a runner.  Additionally, having a warrior tank made the dps focus a bit more too.  It is a little easier to pull threat off of them when they're tanking groups of mobs, so if they went crazy with the AOEs they should expect to get smacked in the face a bit (by the warrior as they lie dead after the pull has ended). 

I'm a bit worried this will continue to usher in the faceroll dpsers that never really learn character control, and everything must be the fault of someone else.  I've noticed this moreso on the PVE servers than PVP (more on that to come).

Maybe that's the point of the new aoe tools though.  It gives the tank enough threat to hold the group while the rest of the party members kill of the group slowly one by one.  That would certainly explain the monstrous amount of HP tanks will have.

We'll just have to wait and find out.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Another Day, Another Paladin

Today was the 24 hour downtime for the Area 52 and Ysera servers, which meant no access to my current stable of toons.  Okay, I do have a Hunter on Stormscale, but I wasn't that interested in sitting down and figuring out which talent track to take.

So what's your friendly neighborhood Paladin to do?

Find another server and roll up a new Paladin, naturally.

(What?  I like Paladins.  Souldat likes tanks.  Your point?)

I'd tried three of the four Paladin races --Blood Elf, Draenei, and Human-- so that meant I was rolling up a Dwarf.  Besides, given the heat of mid-summer, looking at a nice frozen starting zone has its appeal.

Within five minutes of starting up and bapping wolves, somone got on Gen Chat and said, "Hey there.  My server's down."

"Imagine that," I replied.  "Same here."

I wasn't quite sure how I was going to handle having a liberal dosage of Gnomes running around, but the toons that I saw had dark hair --not pink-- and that actually makes them look halfway decent.  Still can't stand the voices, though.

One thing that I found interesting about the Dwarf/Gnome starting zone is the presence of Trolls.  Just how those Trolls ended up being detoured into the frozen mountains is beyond me --someone went a little too heavy on the mojo, mon-- but by my count that makes Trolls one of the most popular low level baddies out there, right up with Murlocs and Goblins.  I can only imagine what it would be like for a Dwarf arriving in Northrend, having fought the voodoo gang all the way since the beginning, reaching the Grizzly Hills and exclaiming "Not these idiots again!"

Anyway, there's not that much to report, since I'd have to putter around this Pally a bit before I decide what to do with him.  He'll probably end up something along the lines of my fourth string Paladin, but who knows?  Maybe I'll actually try tanking with him.

Curse Acquires MMO Champion

This is an interesting development.  Given what happened in the Alpha, I'd read speculation online that MMO Champion was handled with kid gloves by Blizz because of their affiliation with Major League Gaming.  And now, this announcement:

Curse Acquires MMO-Champion

Friday, July 16, 2010

Paladin Talent Trees - The Beta Version

I was perusing the Paladin talent trees courtesy of MMO Champion, and here are a few quick thoughts from the Ret and Holy Trees:

  • The boost to INT and STR are gone.  I wonder how that's going to work out.
  • Eye for an Eye indicates a chance at an automatic Judgement if someone attacks you.  I wonder if that is independent of your current CD or not.  Additionally, that means that if you have aggro and all you want is auto attack (like, say, for the Zombiefest achievement) there's a good chance that you're going to be hitting a lot harder than you intend.
  • Judgements of the Wise seems to have been boosted to 1-3% of base mana.  Nice increase.
  • Repentance will take longer to gain access (20 points in Ret talents = 40 levels, up from 30 points = 30 levels currently).
  • Righteous Vengeance is now way early in the Ret talent tree.
  • Aura Mastery is now waaaay down in the Holy Spec (20 points = 40 levels, up from 10 points = 10 levels).
  • Judgements of the Pure is far up in the Holy Spec, essentially swapping places with Aura Mastery.
  • Beacon of Light is also way up in the Holy Spec (only 10 points = 20 levels!), so you can fling that bacon around a lot earlier, and only taking a 6% bite out of your mana pool (as opposed to 35%).  Having it earlier in the game means that the Pally had better concentrate on INT even more heavily than before.
  • There's a new healing talent, Inspired Judgement, which extends the healing of Beacon of Light from a Judgement you bring to bear to the Beacon's target. (!)  I wonder if that includes Judgements from an Eye for an Eye as well.
  • Enlightened Judgements are now farther away (30 points = 60 levels as opposed to 45 points = 45 levels currently).  For those tanks who love to push the boundaries of where a Holy Spec Pally can heal, take note that the Healadin might be within range of those blasted silence spells.
  • Improved Concentration Aura is now way down in the tree, reflecting when most people pick the darn thing up, I suppose.

All in all, interesting stuff.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Miscellaneous Musings

As I close in on Loremaster, I've come to the conclusion that I hate Kalimdor.

Eastern Kingdoms was a cakewalk compared to this.

True, you can use more aggressive quest assist add-ons than QuestHelper, but if the add-on is doing everything except moving your toon, then why bother?  That said, I've been tempted by the lure of easy questing.  Oh, I've been tempted.

Consider where I've been the past week or two for Kalimdor quests only:  Silithus, Moonglade, Feralas/Dire Maul, Tanaris, Dustwallow Marsh, Desolace, Felwood, Winterspring, Mulgore, Durotar/Orgrimmar, Thousand Needles, Eastern Plaguelands, Alterac, Stranglethorn, Swamp of Sorrows, and Hinterlands.  And that's for just two or three quest chains.  I know I've got The Barrens, the Blackrock instances, and various and sundry places in my future as well.

My frequent windrider miles are sure stacking up.


Maybe it's the state of the game right now, but I don't see that many people out questing when I'm putzing around, doing my thing.  Yes, I'm aware that a lot of people don't get up at 5 AM to get their WoW fix in, but I have been getting online in the late afternoon as well and there have been very few people out and about.  I'm starting to wonder if the LFD tool is finally pulling enough people into leveling that way rather than being out and seeing Azeroth.  I know from the standpoint of an ex-PvP server user, it's infinitely safer than being ganked in Tarren Mill.

Who knows what's going on?  Maybe the lure of that Worgen or Goblin character has some questers on the fence right now until Cataclysm drops.


There are times when I wish I could clone Quint and send him off to another realm and/or faction.  Yeah, I know, you miss out on the playing, yadda yadda yadda.  Seriously, though, it would be nice to be able to clone a character or be able to get people to join up for a party across servers.  With RealID, Blizz has taken the chat feature and made it non-realm specific (for better or worse), so why not do that for the LFD tool or party creation?  Of course, that makes the cash cow of switching servers go away, but still....


I was in an Old Kingdom run today when I was presented with a dilemma.  The tank had pulled a trash mob, but the situation was such that he couldn't pull the mob that far back without causing another group behind us to aggro.  (The position of the mobs in some of those weird angular openings in the Old Kingdom do that.)  However, if Quintalan took up his usual position opposite the tank there was a good chance that I might get a separate trash mob to aggro on me instead.  That would mean I'd have to take up position to one side of the tank, all but guaranteeing that I'd pull aggro unless I reduced myself to auto attack.  The Frostbringers and Eyes of Taladram were bringing it hard, and our caster DPS wasn't that great.

Which was the lesser evil:  take up my normal position and run the risk of having another trash mob aggro on us; stay to the side and auto-attack, hoping that the healer could handle the drawn out fight; or stay to the side and amp up the attacks, risking aggro but figuring that better I get aggro from the mob we have rather than an extra one?

(For the record, I chose the last option, and yes, I did pull aggro, but Hand of Salvation was off cooldown so I was ready.)
One last thought:  with Arthas now dead in Cataclysm's timeline, how is Blizz going to reconcile the Northrend questlines with the new reality?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Well hello there Arthas

Big news to share...

My guild has asked me to become an Officer, which is exciting to me for a few reasons.  I am looking forward to the challenges of raid leading and helping to deal with guild decisions.  It's nice to know your opinions will be heard and respected.  Plus, it's also great that I can now tell people to quiet down on vent with some authority (aside from the inherent cranky tank authority).

Also, we had an absolutely amazing raid night last night.  We downed the 10 man versions of Blood Princes after 3 attempts and got the Blood Queen after only two (both of which are new encounters for us).  Which means...  Lich King time!!!!

Zomg excitement.  I cannot tell you how excited I was to be experiencing the final fight in ICC.  I was beginning to fear I wouldn't see it before Cataclysm hits.  We've gotten him to about 64% ish after our fourth attempt and had to stop there for the night.

As a side note, my curiosity got the better of me, and was wondering out loud if you could just waltz up to the LK before the event started and say hello much closer.  So in charges one of our Shaman healers.  Turns out, yep.  You sure can!  It made for an awesome guild screen shot.

Boy Arthas, are you just happy to see us, or are there a pair of Death Knights in your lap?
(I was told I looked like a piece of the LK's armor so I stripped nekkid in the next shot.  Luckily for you all I did not grab a pic - Oh and BTW, apparently my DK needs to get more sunlight.)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

...and the theory crafters go bonkers

I'm having a grand time giggling over the fact the the theory crafters have to be going a little crazy over the news about the talent trees.

For those of you who missed it

Talent trees will have around 20 unique talents instead of today's (roughly) 30 talents, and aesthetically will look a bit more like the original World of Warcraft talent trees. The 31-point talents will generally be the same as the 51-point talents we already had planned for Cataclysm. A lot of the boring or extremely specialized talents have been removed, but we don't want to remove anything that's going to affect spell/ability rotations. We want to keep overall damage, healing, and survivability roughly the same while providing a lot of the passive bonuses for free based on your specialization choice. While leveling, you will get 1 talent point about every 2 levels (41 points total at level 85). Our goal is to alternate between gaining a new class spell or ability and gaining a talent point with each level. As another significant change, you will not be able to put points into a different talent tree until you have dedicated 31 talent points to your primary specialization. While leveling, this will be possible at 70. Picking a talent specialization should feel important. To that end, we want to make sure new players understand the significance of reaching the bottom of their specialization tree before gaining the option of spending points in the other trees. We intend to make sure dual-specialization and re-talenting function exactly as they do today so players do not feel locked into their specialization choice.

Haha, take that you number crunching basement virgins!

Of course, this just means we'll have a full analysis and a new min/max spec to take to make your character the "best" it can be.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Molten Giants

Ok, I haven't posted in a while, but I've been active in game gearing up my warrior to tank our guild's ICC 10 alt runs - which I successfully did last week. (yay! - 5% on Professor Putricide is not too shabby for our first real alt run)

So, now that I've got 3 of the 4 tanking classes at level 80 and have experience Wrath end game content on each one, I feel I have a real good handle of how each of the 3 classes work. Up until recently I had been working my warrior as a DPS, and swapped back to tank because few things irritate me more than not being in control of how the group moves and how quickly the pace goes (Sounds a bit control freakish I realize... but my sanity cannot take it when a tank will pull two mobs at a time).

As such, I would like to give the general populace a few tips:

1) If your tank is a Paladin, ignore the rest of these tips. Paladins are so facerollingly easy to tank with most people will have no trouble holding aggro, even the bad players will excell.

2) If your tank is a DeathKnight, be cautious of the first few pulls, if the DK is any good, you will see things like NOT using death and decay on every pull, you will see pestilence spread diseases, you will even see him / her use cooldowns on trash pulls. If the above statements are true, you can usually cruise through an instance with little to no excitement.

3) If your tank is a Warrior, be very cautious of the first few pulls. Warrior tanking takes a lot more finesse than the other two I have mentioned. Good warriors will be constantly swapping targets to maintain threat levels on the mobs, and try to adjust his / her positioning to hit most (if not all) of the mobs with a thunderclap and maybe a shockwave. DO NOT GO CRAZY WITH DPS until you feel the tank has a decent threshold on aggro.

4) If you are a DPS with some sort of threat transferring ability, USE IT, ya tard!  Look, I'm more than happy to keep mister bad guy focused on me, but keep it up and I WILL let you die.  And then laugh.

Why are these tips necessary?

Setting: VOA 10
Tanks: Warrior & DK
Trash pulls - I charge in and in the middle of the charge get a heroic throw off and maybe an auto attack which is quickly followed up by the mob turning around and beating the snot out of a hunter. So I got a good chuckle out of it, but the hunter more or less acused me in raid chat of losing aggro. Well.. Guilty as charged buddy. Hope you learned your lesson.

Gee, you mean to tell me a 5800 GS hunter can't just unload against a mob while a 5000 GS tank is trying to establish aggro? Who'd a thunk it.

That was not the only excitement on the run however. The off tank (who was lesser geared than I) had the joy of dropping dead while it was his turn to tank the boss (when he remembered to taunt - I knew I was in trouble when before we get started I receive a whisper from him saying "Remin me how many taunt.") The amazing thing, however, is that ALL of his cooldowns remained unused. DKs are great in this fight. Ice bound fortiude can reduce your incoming damage and Anti magic shell is great to pop right when you see some of those frost swirly things (What.. I'm a tank, it's a frost swirly thing to me; I got bigger problems to deal with).

He receives a battle rez and miraculously got back in the fight to taunt off and relieve some of the pressure cause by the 8 debuffs now stacked on me. DK gets his 3 debuffs and a quick taunt swaps Toravon back to me and I sit there tanking watching my debuff stack up... 7....8....9 "Hey, you feel like taunting any time soon?" 10...*splat* "Guess not") which the boss died seconds after.

I still remember the days when our guild was first venturing into Molten Core and the very first pull featured two molten giants whith a very very touchy aggro table right at the start. The guild was commanded DO NOT ATTACK UNTIL YOU SEE THREE SUNDERS ON THE TARGET.

In fact, I remember a 40 person guild run wiping because a hunter pet wolf growled (which it just does automatically by entering combat) before the tank had even hit Vael in BWL.   Which, by the way, was quite amusing.  Fight starts *growl* dragon immediately turns and does a fire breath followed by the quick deaths of 14 raid members.  Heh...

Raiding required discipline... It's not like that currently.

Here's hoping Cataclysm brings at least a little of that back.  I would love to see an adaptation of the Dire Maul Tribute run.

Failpugs and You - How You Can Cope

I was a bad boy last night.

I'd logged in to take care of some odds and ends, and queued up for the daily random 5-man.  The destination?  Azjol-Nerub.

The tank started on it as soon as we ported in.  "All noobs leave now!" he said, heading down the path.

You have got to be kidding me, I thought.  This is freaking A-N, for pete's sake, and he was going to be an ass over this?

Nobody responded to his comment, but naturally he'd already run ahead before the rest of us could buff him.  He'd already engaged the first bit of trash, but he oriented himself in such a way that it was hard to get behind him so I wouldn't pull aggro.  It didn't matter anyway, since he had difficulty holding aggro with the casters nearby.  Trash disposed of, he turned to me.  "Surprised you haven't left yet," he said.

An evil thought entered my head as I stared at the screen.  Oh, he wants to play, does he?  Then let's play.

"Gee," I replied as he pulled the first Watcher to him, "and I was just about to ask if you wanted to do Watch Him Die."

"Yeah yeah!" said the healer.  "Let's do the achieve!  gogogogo!"

I looked at the health bar of the first Watcher.  "Too late," I said, dangling the lure over the edge.  If I played this right, "No-Noob" would take the bait and do something stupid rather than actually think through the suggestion.

My prayers were rewarded by the WoW gods.  The tank whirled and headed for the first boss.  "No it isn't!" he declared.

I began to follow but got caught in a web, requiring the mage to zap me free.  Two fewer DPS in the fight was even better than I hoped for.  By the time I arrived and took my position on the last boss, the tank and one of the DPS had already wiped.

Almost immediately, the tank dropped.

Scratch one obnoxious, overbearing tank before he caused even more trouble.  I hope he liked the debuff, too.

The reason why I related that story is because the level of asshatery in random 5-mans seems to be rising lately.  I don't even need to bring it up in guild chat; others have noticed it too.  One guildee has gotten so disgusted with it that he refuses to run pugs at all, and several others will only go with fellow guildees; no random characters, period.  Speculation has wandered from the end of the school year to the Cataclysm blues to the BP oil spill (okay, I made that last one up).  Whatever the source of the recent spate of pugfail, I've begun picking and choosing some passive-aggressive resistance.  If I can get away with it --and it won't harm the rest of the group too much-- I wait for an opening and use a bit of reverse psychology on the offending party. 

Sometimes it works, sometimes it goes completely over their heads.  I'd rather not say something like "Hey Jerk, why don't you leave before we kick you out?" but instead manipulate the person into bad decisions.  It's much more fun that way.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Just like Home Alone, but with Zombies!

The suggestion was innocent enough.

“Anyone up for Glory of the Hero?” one of my guild members asked. 

I had a few parts of that achievement to fill, so I said “Sure.” Others chimed in, and we quickly assembled a group.  Paladin as the tank, Shaman, Druid, and Quint as DPS, and Shaman as healer.

“A-N is out,” I said, “I just did that for my Daily.”

“How about CoT?” the tank suggested.

“Zombiefest? I’m game for that.”

We queued up while the healer read up on how to do the achievement. She relayed all of the information to us while we were handling the first few trash mobs. The goal is simple: kill 100 zombies in one minute. To execute the achievement, you have to first kite Salaam the Fleshcrafter (the caster boss) all the way into the Stratholme Town Hall, then you take your old sweet time beating him down. Once that’s done, you clear out the Town Hall portion of the instance. Then, send a player back through the front entrance to collect all of the respawned Risen Zombies and pull them back through the Town Hall and out the secret exit. Once that’s done, kill all of those kited zombies and the ones out front.

“This is going to make Zombieland look like a Disney movie!” she said.

Salaam was in rare form, constantly talking about needing samples, while the tank kited him into the Town Hall. “Just use Auto Attack,” he said.

I felt like a bot, watching Quint swing every couple of seconds. All for the cause, I suppose.

We dispatched Salaam, had dragonkin burgers for a light snack, and our DPS Druid went back through the front door to go get a few zombies.

Did I say a few?

When he came back, there was a huge stream of them following behind, like a John Carpenter version of The Pied Piper.

“Time to kick some zombie butt!”

Salaam wanted a sample? How about these samples!  That zombie splat sound was awfully sweet when you multiply it by, oh, say, a hundred or so.

Achievement gotten, we rushed on to take care of the last Infinite Dragonflight boss. We had just reached the gate when someone asked, “Hey, did we get Arthas?”

“Oh crap, we forgot him!” the tank cried.

“Well,” I said, “Arthas is eminently forgettable.”

Our Shaman DPS peeled off to go trigger our not-quite-worthy charge while the rest of us took out the boss with only seconds to spare. (I still think that we should let Arthas die, but that’s just me.)

“Crap!” the Shaman said. “They all respawned!”

“Hang on!” the tank replied. “We’ll get there.”

Too late. The Shaman and Arthas bit it before we could get through the gate.

“This has got to be the stupidest CoT run I’ve ever been in,” the DPS Druid said. “We get the achievement but forget Arthas.”

“This is just like Home Alone,” I said, “but with zombies.”

Because Arthas died, we had to go back through all the respawned trash, rez our Shaman, retrigger Arthas, and then fight the exact same trash again.

Samples, anyone?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Getting that Cataclysmic Itchy Feeling?

I spoke briefly with Souldat today while I was waiting in line to go smash Ahune*, and he mentioned that when Cataclysm is released he is definitely going with a Warrior tank.

While I didn't really have the time to follow up on that statement, I was curious about what people think about their class for Cataclysm.  A lot of Alpha stuff hit the WoW blogosphere like an overripe tomato, and there's plenty of goop all over the different classes.

The Ret Spec Paladin seems to have weathered the storm a little bit, with Crusader Strike becoming part of the starting rotation (Holy Shock too).  Although the loss of Purify will hurt a bit, I find I don't mind the Ret Pally's arsenal overall.

I'm not going to comment about the Holy Spec Pally, because I'm only recently returning to that spec, and Cat will drop long before Tomakan reaches 80.

That said, what do you think?  Did your class get nerfed?

*My son was asking who Ahune was, and I described him as the WoW version of Jack Frost who wanted to blanket the land in winter, and since this is the Summer festival we had to beat back Ahune to preserve Summer.  I didn't think my wife was paying attention until she started humming something.  "Why on earth am I humming The Christmas Song?" she asked out loud.