I knew this day would come.
Last night I received my usual invite to Blackwing Lair, helped summon people by being a clicker, made and distributed food and water, and organized the Mage Int buffs.*
Then I turned my attention to the reserve listing, and discovered there was nothing Cardwyn needed. Sure, there were a couple of T2 pieces I'd like to get to finish out the set, but as far as gear I could use right now? Not a thing.
One of the pug Mages last night even whispered me, asking what I'd reserved, and I told him that I was good. "I got the Claw last week, and that was the last piece I needed," I replied.
"Oh cool, congrats."
"Thanks. But yeah, I'm just here to help out."
I still could use enchanting recipes out of Molten Core and AQ20, and there's always the need for idols in Zul'Gurub, but Blackwing Lair is the first raid that Card has semi-officially "outgrown". And when I started progression raiding and my gear needs were so great, this moment seemed so far off that I felt Card was never going to get enough DKP to finally finish the task. But in a weird quirk, the opening of Naxxramas helped me out because the official Friday night BWL raid shut down in favor of an extra day of Naxx raiding. Its replacement, the Saturday night BWL run, used a soft reserve system, which meant I could pick and choose the specific pieces of gear to roll on based on who wanted what. And after the people ahead of me in the progression raid finally got the Tear of Neltharion they'd been waiting over half a year for, my turn came with nobody else to roll against. By then, I'd accumulated the other popular BWL Mage pieces, so all I had left were the Tear and the Claw of Chromaggus. And, in two successive weeks, I got both pieces without any other competition in the reserves.**
So here I was, after six months of running BWL, and I finally "finished" it on Card.
It felt... weird, but also freeing. I grew to enjoy running BWL, the goblin packs notwithstanding. There's an ebb and flow to the raid that is comforting in the same way that a well geared MC run simply works. You can make small talk, laugh, joke, make quips about the various methods of dying to goblin packs (my favorite: blinking away from one bomb right into another), and in general just relax. When you have as many regulars as we have, you know the raid is going to be okay. It's only in the details where we have a few anxious moments, like getting a bear tank for said goblin packs, but we somehow manage to work things out.***
And I'm not planning on giving up my spot in BWL for quite a while. I love it too much.
In case you haven't noticed, the MMO blogosphere has simply exploded with talk about Valheim, the latest hotness game. Which, I might add, is still in Early Access on Steam.
Yes, a game from a small publisher --that isn't finished-- is getting a ton of exposure in a way that I haven't seen since, oh, No Man's Sky.
The major difference between Valheim and No Man's Sky is that Valheim is complete enough for people to play via Early Access, so you'll know pretty quickly if it's a dud or not.
And by all accounts, Valheim is good enough, and far enough in development, that there's plenty of blog posts discussing it in such a way that the major AAA publishers wished people would talk about their upcoming releases.
That's nice and all, but PC is one place you're not going to see any Valheim posts for quite a while.
The reason? It's in Early Access.
I haven't bought a game in Early Access, and I'm not planning on starting now. I waited until My Time at Portia was officially released before purchasing it. Same with Pathfinder: Kingmaker, and in that case I waited until the final release was on stable ground before purchasing the game. Since that's my policy, I'm going to do the same with Valheim. That's for one really really good reason: I've got a ton of games already purchased that I can play without needing one that isn't finished. And really, I think it more likely that I'll get a PC of my own before I get a chance to play Valheim.
So I salute all of those who took the plunge and are enjoying the game, but I've been George R.R. Martin-ed enough times for me to not jump in.****
As long as I live, I will never understand how multiple meters can come up with such disparate results.
I'm not often one to toot my own horn, but on last Friday's Naxx run I got top DPS.
Now, to be fair, the top Mage on the raid team lost her buffs on the first pull when an abomination got loose and wandered into the main raid, killing about 8 of the ranged DPS. And if you've ever played a Fire Mage, just whose name ends up on an ignite is a pretty random thing, so the fact that Card showed up there was just luck.
But hey, I'm not gonna look a gift horse in the mouth. Especially when I had TinyThreat on the threat meters and wasn't paying attention to the DPS meters until I started getting congrats from the other Mages. When I saw the results, however, I felt that I'd finally gotten something right in the Naxx raid. Until I looked at the Warcraft logs.
When I pulled them up, it claimed that while I was the top Mage, I was more back into the middle of the pack.
Which got me to thinking just how is it possible for the two to be so far off.
The only thing I could figure is that I was out of range for some of the DPS, but that didn't make sense since I didn't really have to move to get into position to cast (Patch came to us instead of the other way around). Now it is possible that the melee DPS started earlier than the ranged, but not that much earlier to make that much of a difference in the TinyThreat DPS meters. For a fight as long as Patchwerk's is, we'd have had to have held off for 20 seconds or more to make that much of an impact.
So all I can do is shake my head, shrug, and do my best.
With all the talk about BC, I thought about revisiting my past and reviving a toon long since retired:
|Time to pay the bar tab and get moving.|
Yes, Neve will ride again in BC Classic!
*I'm the only Mage designated "Raid Regular" who attends all of the pug raids put on by Valhalla, so I've simply absorbed the job of organizing which Mage buffs which group. (If a guild member attends, I defer to them, but most of the time they're simply happy to let someone else handle this gig.) Once in a while I'm the sole Mage in a raid, such as Zul'Gurub, and when that happens I like to have fun with my posts in raid chat. Such as the time I posted "Mage Int buffs: Cardwyn Group 1, Jaina Group 2, Khadgar Group 3, Rhonin Group 4."
**A soft reserve system means that you can reserve an item (or two, depending on implementation), but other people can reserve that item too. So, if that item drops, the only people who can roll for that item are those who reserved it. Instead of 20+ people rolling, there are far fewer people to roll against, increasing your odds of winning. But for a new L60, a soft reserve system is a godsend: if you DON'T reserve anything, all the gear that drops that doesn't have a reserve on it means that you have first dibs on that gear. There's also no limit on the number of non-reserved items you can win. We've seen in ZG and BWL runs people who are fresh L60s make out like a bandit and take home 6-7 pieces of gear in one setting. And one more thing of beauty about the system is that even reserved people do have a shot at non-reserved gear: all it takes is the non-reserved people to not roll on that first, non-reserved roll, and then a second open roll takes place where anybody who could use the item is invited to roll. It may sound complicated at first, but once you get the hang of it the soft reserve system is fantastic for people needing to gear up. We've accumulated a LOT of regulars to our soft reserve raids because they work so well, even among the most highly rated guilds on the server. I'm also pretty sure that the progression raid as well as Valhalla as a guild has gained people due to Jes' handling of the soft reserve raids.
***Or rather Jes does. She's a natural leader, and yet she works hard to pull off a smooth raid. She's also pretty well known around the server as one of the go-to people for enchants, so that helps with name recognition, even when she's on one of her alts.
****Can you believe that Patrick Rothfuss' Wise Man's Fear was published 10 years ago? I didn't even realize that until a month ago.