Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Lazy Wednesday

Yep, it's Wednesday and the day before Thanksgiving. I stayed up a bit later than I meant to last night, competing with half the damn server for turkeys so I could level cooking on my priesty, who went from 0-320 in about half an hour. Maybe someday she'll be able to help contribute fish feasts at raids!
Anyway, in the spirit of "I am somewhat tired and not feeling at all creative," here are some random screen shots for your viewing pleasure.

When I die, which I am grateful to say is less often these days, I tend to take pictures of whoever is nearby, which is often the healers. I love me some splash AoE healing. What's sad about this picture is it's from when the exploit still existed for Mr. Unclean and I still died anyway.

I am easily amused, which is why I snapped this shot of Thorim drumming his fingertips in midair. You're not on your chair anymore, silly! Oh, and just so you know, we will kill you soon, you big jerk.

I love cool GMs! And yes, my husband really did catch his turtle mount on his first cast. I sort of hate him. A little. Maybe more than that. Look, I'm still working through it, okay?

I have no idea what's going on here, but it looked pretty cool.

This is me being a dork, a not uncommon event. I may have started singing "I can shoooow you the wooorld! Shiiining, shimmmmering, splendid!" My husband may or may not have rolled his eyes at me and started praying furiously that I wouldn't launch into the "Gaston" song from Beauty and the Beast. He really hates that song.

In other news, blogger + pics stinketh greatly and I don't really feel that this ended up being lazy in terms of fiddling with layout efforts. Still totally lazy in the coming up with words department though.

Monday, November 23, 2009

How to mage

I am one of a very few people in my guild who have a mage as their main. In fact, I have noticed a disturbing trend among my guild mates where the mage class is abused as a bank/ah alt. There might be 50 mages in our guild; most of them are about level 2. My campaign for SHaME (Stop Hating Mages Everyone) will have to wait for another day, though. I am still waiting on 9 other people signing the charter and anyone who has ever been through that particular brand of hell knows exactly how long that could take.

In the meantime, I thought it would be nice to give a few helpful hints on how to properly mage.

  • Be surly. Everyone seems to think that mages are all about rainbows and unicorns and smiles. Disabuse everyone you can of this notion. We are not around for everyone to lean on for food and drinks, no sir. We are around to kick some ass and take some names.

  • Stand waaaaaay in the back. This is not because we are afraid of getting hit by the mobs. We just don't want all those idiotic huntards who are supposed to be helping us out instead sticking us with arrows and then doing a /lol /friendlyfire /lol routine. 

  • Make several macros. Unless you're short on space if you have a crappy bar mod. Then simply putting together a one-shot response to all the inane questions you get should go something like this: "/r No, I will not give you food/water/a portal/Focus Magic. I might, however, let you pay me 10g for it." If you have the space, I recommend getting a bit more specific. Make replies such as: "If you're going to ask for a portal it would really be super helpful to tell me both where the hell you are and how much you're willing to pay." Or: "I am not a goddamn vending machine." Note that this will also help you be more surly. 

  • Avoid ever speccing frost. Your dps will blow, people will make fun of you and, honestly, the warlocks and hunters should be taking care of mana replenishment in raids. You have better stuff to do, like own the damage meters. 

  • Assure people that you'll give them levitate slow fall (holy crap, I'm a nub!) before taking a falling shortcut off a cliff or building. Fail to do so and then blame it on the fact that you don't have any light feathers. If they ask you about the minor glyph that takes away the need to use a reagent tell them you have better things to do with your minor glyphs. You don't, of course. But they won't know that because their mage is probably a level 2 bank toon.

  • If you're raiding and your tank and healers are holding up the show, give things a gentle nudge in the right direction. I like to do this by going invisible, walking into a pack of trash and doing a frost nova/blink combo back towards the raid party. If no one reacts quickly enough to pull the mobs off you, you always have ice block! Everyone you play with, especially other clothies, will be amused at your antics.

  • Other players will sometimes get a little cranky about their health and mana bars, especially in scenarios like the one I described above. A good thing to keep ready to come back with is reminding them that you have provided them with all the health and mana refills they could possibly need. After all, it's not your fault they run out every other fight.

  • Get good at sheeping. Get even better at chain sheeping. A fun way to practice is to duel a warrior. You might also want to make a macro for when you sheep since 9 out of every 10 players are too stupid to pay attention to the fact that one of the mobs just got all white and woolly. I suggest threats be used for this macro. I have found "Break my sheep and I'll break your face," to be fairly effective. You might also threaten to withhold buffs, food and portals. Have fun! Be creative!  
Those are just some helpful tips to get you started. I'll be back later with some thoughts on the best builds for leveling and some delightful recipes for roasted lamb. 

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The way I whore

I am one the hugest dorks I know in real life or otherwise. One of the (many, many) ways in which this dorkdom expresses itself in game is by my racking up achievement points. They are so shiny and worthless, but I love them dearly and will go out of my way to earn them.

Fortunately, I have been able to confine this insanity to my main. The very thought of trying to do it all on all my toons - or even just my 80's - makes me all twitchy. But the insanity has driven me to do lots of things I normally would not do. Like PvP. And Mauradon. And farming those goddamn seasonal bosses for their drops. And fishing. And cooking. And coughing up roughly a bajillion pieces of cloth (even though I have three tailors) to someday finishing cranking out 500 heavy bandaids.

Let's not even get started in on why I have three tailors.

Anyhow, I do have a lot of achievement points. I am closing in on 6000 as of this writing (I like to round up, yo). And there's this tiny little part of me - the part that really stinking loves titles - that wants to get the Insane achievement done. So far, I am resisting mightily, helped in part by my OCD and the fact that I have an even 20 titles right now and a hard enough time trying to pick which one to display.

Which title is your favorite? And wouldn't it be ridiculous if I could display all of mine?

Ambassador, Brewmaster, Chef, Elder, Flame Warden, Loremaster, Matron, Merrymaker Alas, Champion of the Frozen Wastes, Champion of the Naaru, Guardian of Cenarius, Jenkins, the Explorer, the Hallowed, the Love Fool, the Noble, the Seeker, of the Exodar, of Stormwind.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sarth +1

Last night's 'quickie' turned into more of a 'longie.' (longy? long-y? Look, I know it's not a damn word but still...) We headed out to EoE right away, after some initial shuffling wherein I left my poor mage at the stone and brought in my priest for heals because one of our other priesty heals had real life familial sickness come up and had to care for them. He did send me a note about it, which of course he should have because hi! He's an officer! But damn all if I'm not seriously happy that he is one of the few responsible ones. I think I owe him a cookie.

Um, anyway, dropped my mage, grabbed my priest and picked up a dps. It was a quasi-pug, because the guy I picked up is a former guildy. Indeed, his wife is still in the guild, although not an active raider, and he has come and gone so many times it makes me crazy. Still, he has nice gear and decent dps and totems, so we brought him. 

And proceeded to wipe a few times on Maly. Again. This time, errors included several people trying to go give Maly a big old hug instead of strafing to the right.


I have no idea how that even happens, but a few people managed to do it.

Our other significant problem was on phase one. Our only Death Knight had serious lag issues and  most of the other dps seemed to think he was the only person who should be concerned about getting the sparks to drop in the right place. At least, that's how it seemed from the little I could make out in between frantically spamming heals and yelling at the tank to "OMG Noxy! Point his face away from the raid! Away! Everyone else move!" I am sure all would have been much uglier had we not had our helpful druid rooting those damn sparks to the ground. 

After a few tries, my impatience and the aforementioned DK saying he was going to step out so we could get someone without lag issues and my overall unwillingness to subject some random person to a fail pug of repairs, led me to suggest we go try Sarth with a drake up.

Everyone agreed and we went (after swapping out the other mage for a warrior tank) and had some truly epic trash pulls (one tank, all the trash from the front of the room, lolwut) which we weathered beautifully. Pew pew! went the lasers on the first drake. Pew pew! went the lasers on the second drake plus the big guys who pat that far and seriously, I thought everyone knew that, wheee! But no one died and we won and it was very awesome.

We left Tenebron up, of course, because she's supposed to be the easiest one to handle. Our first attempt was somewhat sloppy and we lost half the raid by the time Tenebron was down and still struggled with add roundup and destruction, to the point where my husband and I were alternately calling out: "Healer has adds - get em off!" I was fading every chance I got and bubbling in between and chanting at the tanks: "Don't die, don't die, stop dying!" 

It was delightful. 

We got him to 4% and he enraged and we all died.

The second attempt was beautiful. I was the only person to go down (adds!) and within a few minutes there was a battle rez available. While I was kissing the floor I made sure to call out such helpful advice as "Um, flame wall. Move - uhh, crack!" and "Watch your feet!"

The loot was a damn joke. No one wanted anything except the bag and badges. I suppose there was also a tanking something or other that got picked up. But really, the overall experience was that it wasn't that bad and I don't see a need to ever do Sarth +0. On the flip side, it was enough of a circus that I can't even contemplate the notion of Sarth +2, let alone +3. At least, not on 10-man.  

And through all of that I kept futzing with a new addon since we are going to try the Suicide Kings loot system and see how it goes. As a side note on that, least intuitive opening control panel ever. I must have spent the better part of an hour switching between WoW and the documentation for the addon at the site. And perhaps I missed it in the general frustration and trying to keep up with multiple conversations in game, and goddamn lua errors spamming the hell out of my UI, and everything else that was going on, but no where did I see anything that told me to click the icon in the top left  that totally looks like it's just there for decoration to flip through menus. 

On the plus side, I was the GM for about 45 minutes. Or, as we like to call it in WWAB, the Co-Queso Grande. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


So Tuesday and Thursday are 'quickie' nights in my guild. This is mostly because I manage the calendar and I am lame and sometimes think I am funny. The reason for these 'quickie' nights is the fact that our raider base is spread all the way the hell across America and up into Canada a bit. Most of us are Central time people, but there are a fair few of us on either coast as well. As a guild of mostly (really, all) adults, with jobs and kids and other Responsible Things To Do in the Morning, we have to work pretty hard at finding times that we can all overlap enough to have at least 10 people on and able to raid. 

Hence, quickies. The balance is found somewhere among two West Coasters, two Midwesterners and one East Coaster. And there's about an hour in all that overlap that we can head into one of the fast raids, maybe two if we do well.

Last night started off great. We headed out and murdered Ony in one shot, no deaths, no stupid, and a shiny new achievement because for once no one got hit with the deep breath flamey thing. Loot went quickly as always and I looked at the time and then my map. It appeared that we were in possession of Wintergrasp so I proposed that we all hustle our asses out to Vault. Only thing is that when we stepped through my portal to Dalaran there was no "Yay, you have Wintergrasp" buff in my buff bar. Looking again at the map, the dirty rotten horde had control. And we had two options.

"It's EoE or Sarth with a drake up," said I. "And if it's EoE, we're gonna have to lose a tank."

So we voted and shuffled and one of our tanks grabbed her mage and we asked another mage to grab her shaman and headed out to EoE.

Now, in case the two paragraphs above did not make it really clear, we're sort of a casual group with a lot of alts and we still struggle with stupid fights, like EoE and Sarth with a drake up. I think this is mostly because we haven't really tried to master these fights until just recently, and were giving most of our raiding attention to the long raids, like Naxx and Ulduar. But I know if we practice we can usually get something down and on farm status swiftly. Or swiftly for a casual guild. I mean, we went from many wipes a night on Ony to about three to walking in and one-shotting within about a month. 

Anyway, I was riding the high and thought that surely we would be able to make some progress on Malygos. We did okay on the first try. DPS was a little slow on the first phase and we failed to get all our melee up on the discs before ranged/healers started hopping on in the second phase. The third phase was an unmitigated disaster.

There must be something hard to comprehend about stay together, omg, I mean right fucking on top of each other and why the hell is someone way off on their own? If you can't see dozens of other flapping wings overlapping you, you're doing it wrong. Also, "Move!" meaning "strafe to the right for a few seconds!" seems to require some additional processing time. About 30 seconds before the enrage, I was alone in the sky. And then I was blasted out of it.

Before we tried again, I made everyone stack on top of me and pretend to be on their dragons in the air. I started babbling the way I do so well when I am tipsy and then interrupted myself by barking out: "Move!" I strafed to the right. There was a pause. And then about half the raid started off and were followed a second later by those who hadn't gotten there yet. 

"I think," said I, "that I know why we're dying up there."

We practiced a little longer on the ground and I still wasn't happy with reaction time but it was getting a bit better and we were running out of time. We went into it again and managed a fairly quick burn on the first phase. Second phase was really sloppy and we ended up with a few people dead on the floor because the tank suffered a massive lag spike and couldn't pick up aggro or, indeed, even tell what the hell was going on for a few seconds. As a result, the burn was slow and we had maybe 1.5 minutes before the enrage by the time we hit phase three. It was obviously a wipe but I knew the practice would be good so we hung in there. Not too much later, I was alone in the sky again, facing one pissed off magical dragon aspect. Needless to say, I was quickly dispatched and, God save me, we better have Wintergrasp on Thursday because I don't know if I can grin my way through a whole night's worth of wiping on EoE, no matter how drunk I am.  

What tips and tricks does anyone else have for keeping the raid together and reacting well on phase three?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Open letter to anyone with a PhD

Dear person with a PhD:

The fact that you went to school for a long time and wrote some sort of thesis on something that almost no one else in the world cares about does not impress me. You are not glorified in my eyes. Have and use some common sense. Act like a human being. Pay attention to the details of life and appreciate those who end up stuck trying to help you and then we'll talk. Until then, the god-complex only irritates me and makes me want to stab you with a pencil; not help you find the best deal on the most perfect piece of technology to go in your office/lab/whatever. 



Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My time in the court

Reasons why I should not be allowed to play racquetball:

  • I have terrible eye-hand coordination
  • I tend to get in the way of the other player(s)
  • My head might still be bruised from that one time I took a racket to the head about three years ago
  • I may or may not have pulled a muscle whilst flailing wildly at the ball
  • I definitely managed to hit my own arm and skin my wrist
  • I fell down for no discernible reason
  • It's only a matter of time before I face-plant into the wall and/or floor
  • I'd much rather sing in those large, echo-y rooms (despite my inability to carry a tune)
  • I am terribly competitive with a need to win and I can't do that when I fail so badly at nearly all aspects of the game, thus:
  • It makes me cranky

Reasons why I should play racquetball:

  • All that flailing and running and getting back up after falling down will probably help me find my waistline. 

Monday, November 2, 2009

My dream

Sometimes I think that I should strike out on my own as a guild leader.

Don't get me wrong, being co-GM is nice. Nicer still is that I share the title with my husband and he freely admits he is a figurehead so I am pretty much free to do what I want. My biggest problem is actually that I have been an officer, a raid leader, a simple raider with no responsibilities, thank you very much and good day, Sir, and then an officer again. This was all within a period of about six months, which makes it worse.

But the truth is, despite the last half year of dramatic ups and downs with regard to what role I wanted to fill in the guild, I pretty much want the same thing I have always wanted. And that is for people to understand that I am always right and they should just shut up and do what I say.

I don't want to be mired down in this committee activity of rewriting our raiding rules yet again and finding myself having to defend my points to the officers and the figurehead GM. I would much prefer to be able to say, "These are the rules and if you don't like them you can leave."

I feel this way despite knowing that the feedback I am getting is important as it helps me to shape my ideas and explain exactly why I think what I think. And for every victory I get in carrying through my points I also get immense satisfaction.

But my impatience often gets the best of me and I don't want to wait for the refined and finished product. I want to go in like the mage I am, silencing my opponents by turning them into barnyard animals and then roasting the hell out of them.

Is that so wrong?