Tuesday, December 20, 2011

SWTOR Advanced Classes and You

I created this quick explanation for my guild and posted it on our forum and I decided that I might as well make it a blog post since I'm sure at least one or two of you people out in the interwebs may benefit from this post. So enjoy this quick explanation of what Advanced Classes in SWTOR are and what you should know before picking yours.


First off, there are 4 basic classes: Jedi Knight/Sith Warrior, Jedi Consular/Sith Inquisitor, Smuggler/Imperial agent, Trooper/Bounty Hunter. Three of the four can tank(Warrior/Inquisitor/BH) and three of the four can heal(Inquisitor/BH/Agent), provided you select the right advanced class. Two of the four can use lightsabers(Knight/Warrior and Consular/Inquisitor) and the other two use blasters rifles/pistols.(Smuggler/Agent and Trooper/BH)

You start the game as one of these four basic classes and at level 10 you decide which advanced class you want to be. Now picking your advanced classes is not the same as picking your spec tree. What you are picking is whether you want to specialize in and once you do that, you can pick your talent spec. It sound confusing but it breaks down like this: lets say you roll a Sith Warrior and you want to be a tank for endgame.

Well when you finish your class quest on the starter world(usually around 9-10) you take a shuttle to the imperial fleet and get a quest to talk to a guy about advanced classes. The info the guy gives you about the two AC choices you have is kind of vague and not that helpful. But you are given two choices Sith Juggernaut or Sith Marauder.

The Sith Juggernaut can do one of two things: DPS or Tank. The Sith Marauder can do one thing: DPS. The choice for Marauders is how you dps with dots or with fast acrobatic dps.(think feral cat or a rogue) Once you pick your advanced class you put your talent point into the tree that corresponds to what you want to do; for our example of a tanking Warrior, you'd put your points into the Immortal talent tree. Now once you pick your advanced class and are feeling all bad ass about it, you should check your inventory because your trainer will give you a bag with items related to your AC. Juggernauts attack with a 1h lightsaber so you get two generators for your offhand, you can only use one at a time in your offhand but you get two because one is for dps and one is for tanking.

The tank one will have Shield %/Absorbtion % on it and the DPS one will only have the necessary dps stats. Kind of obvious which you should be using for your desired spec. I mention this because most people dont realize that they now have this bag in their inventory so they miss out on things like the generators for the Jugger and a second lightsaber for the Marauder to Dual Wield.

Now a very important thing to remember is that ONCE YOU PICK YOUR ADVANCED CLASS YOU CAN'T CHANGE IT! You can choose to respec your talents in your Advanced Class but you can't change the Advanced Class itself. So if you decide that you don't want to be a tank, you can respec your points and go into the dps tree. You can't just go to a trainer and choose to be a Marauder instead. You are stuck with the Advanced Class you chose, so choose wisely!

There is a good breakdown over at Reddit of the AC/Specs that also tells you what WoW class each will feel like. It's a good summary so you should totally check it out if you are not sure what AC you want to go with.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Ground Floor

It has begun. Yesterday started the beginning of the Early Access time for people who pre-ordered and already all anyone will talk about is TOR. Not being one to shy away from joining the crowd...I was able to log into the game in the morning before work and make my sexy Sith Inquisitor before being forced to go to work. Because I was part of the pre-launch guild program, my guild has been officially created and assigned to the Juyo PVE-US East server.

We are Sith and we are proud!

Now since the game has technically not been released to everyone, it is the perfect time to decide that you want to play the game while it's still on the ground floor. You can be a trend setter with claims to having been playing TOR before it was the cool MMO to play. (Star Wars has always been cool so these claims may not work well)

Anyway... (my super awesome guild) is open for recruitment! We are a +18yr group of players who have been playing WoW together for 6 years and several of us are going to be playing SWTOR together. We are looking for like-minded mature SWTOR players who want to join a guild to have a good time ingame with adults who are fun and very sexy. (Sexyness not guaranteed)

If anyone is interested in joining such an awesome and amazing guild, please feel free to visit our website: www.AvengersofAzeroth.com and fill out an application in our recruitment forum. Don't hesitate to ask any questions you may have, either here in the comments, on our forums, on twitter, or by email. I will try to post a little more this month since I have the last week and a half off from work due to the holiday but I won't promise anything as it is a well-deserved (in my mind) break from work for me.

So in conclusion Star Wars is cool, WoW is cool, and anyone who says otherwise will get punched in the face! Now enjoy this fun classic video!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Things to do to prepare for raiding

I was doing some thinking lately about raiding, more specifically raiding in the new 4.3 raid. With a new raid and new heroics to get gear from, 4.3 is looking to be full of cool things. It is also the perfect time for someone who is leveling at the moment and is interested in raiding to prepare themselves to do so. Between crafted gear, VP/JP gear, BoE epics, and the new heroic gear, someone can go from a freshly dinged 85 wearing greens and quest blues to a nicely geared ready to raid 85.

But getting the gear is only the first step to get yourself ready to raid like a pro. In fact getting gear is usually one of the easier things you can do. My warlock hit 85 on a saturday and couldn't even run regular heroics. So I got to work and between JP gear, BoE epics, and crafting gear, he was only a few points of shy of running trollroics which would up his item level/stats enough so that if I choose to take him into a raid, I can pull my own weight. After some luck with heroic drops he was ready for trollroics!

I know several people are in this boat, finally 85 and wanting to raid in 4.3 so I decided to come up with a few things to do to prepare themselves to raid.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Walking on the Dark Side

November is upon us and with it comes the endless torture that is Christmas music. /shudder. Also with November comes the realization that Star Wars: The Old Republic comes out in next month, seven weeks from now to be more precise and slightly less time before the deluxe pre-order people get their early access. Now what does this mean for you? Well nothing if you have no plans for playing SWTOR, now if you are planning on playing it...you should be super excited as it is almost here.

Why am I mentioning a competing MMO when I play WoW? Well because...I'm a Star Wars nerd. I can hide it from you all no longer. As such I will be playing TOR when it comes out. Will I be leaving WoW for TOR? NO I will in fact not stop playing WoW. I plan on playing both games until one or the other stops being fun or I run out of money to pay for both. Or I die from Nerdgasm overload.

Now I know to some people out there, it's blasphemy to play anything other than WoW and to said people, I am betraying everything I claim to love because of my plan. Honestly those people are crazy.  I love WoW and have been a fan of the Warcraft Universe since Warcraft 1 was released. Warcaft 1 was actually the first game that I had ever downloaded off the interwebs (that's what we called the internet back in the day) and I loved it so much I went out and bought the legal version. I still have the game and its instruction manuals somewhere in a box in the garage, that's how much I loved reading through the manuals to learn the story of the game. If Blizzard released Warcraft 1/2 for the iPhone/iPad/iWhatever I'd buy them in a heart beat. I remember playing through the Warcraft 3 campaign and geeking out at how awesome a storyline Blizzard had crafted. WC3 was yet again another game that I pirated and went out and bought a full copy after playing it a little.

Now that I have established what a Warcraft fanboy I am, let me tell you about my Star Wars fanboy cred. I grew up watching the movies, riding the Star Tours ride at the Disney MGM theme park, wishing that I could get a lightsaber for Christmas(still wish for this one), reading the expanded universe books, dressing up as Darth Vader for Halloween, and playing many of the Star Wars games that were produced. For the longest time I equated Christmas with Star Wars because certain channels would show all three movies on Christmas day and I of course would sit and watch as much as I could before I was dragged away from the tv to do other stuff. Even though I was vehemently against the idea of having to pay monthly for an MMO, I popped my MMO cherry with Star Wars Galaxies. I couldn't resist the idea of being able to play a character in the Star Wars universe. So many good memories there. /reminisce

Anyway back on topic, WoW holds a spot in my heart but my heart is big enough for some TOR loving. When the game comes out 10 of my guildees and I are planning on playing it and we've already created a Sith guild through the pre-launch guild system that BioWare has created which I find pretty cool. Not having to start on new server on launch day and hoping that your can get all your guildees online to sign a guild charter is definitely a bonus in my book. As I said we are going Sith so if any of you readers have an interest in playing with a super awesome guild when TOR launches, feel free to app at the link above.We could always use a few more fun loving peoples in our war against the forces of dumb lightsider(run by Stop and Asros) nublets.(run by Fimlys)

Will I be tuning this blog towards both WoW and TOR? Now that one I am not sure what the answer is yet. I am still undecided if I want to talk about TOR here or at all. As the launch date gets closer I will make a decision. Maybe if I see that my readers want to hear about TOR I would do it. I still have plenty to talk about in WoW, I just sadly haven't had the time to write quality posts due to work, saddening I know.

So to recap: I will be playing both WoW AND SWTOR, I may blog about TOR, I will definitely continue trying to blog about WoW, and most important Tacos are the most versatile fruit. =D

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Twanking with a Tink

Or what to do after going from level 1 to max level in 3 days, only it's not a paid account, it's a trial account, and there are many restrictions and so, many considerations.


While I'm on my honeymoon, you my lovely readers get to enjoy the following guest post with the ridiculously long post title by my blogging buddy Revoemag. - Jed

Ok, first thing’s first.  My name is Revoemag, or as most call me, Rev.  While Jed is away, he was kind enough to ask me to write a guest post in his corner. (on his corner?) Anyway, I’ve been an off and on WoW player for a few years. Right now, I’m really an off WoW player.  My main account has been down for nearly a year now. A month or two ago, I was craving to play again and happened to read that trial accounts were free to play up to level 20 indefinitely, or until blizz changes that.  I thought, why not, and created a rogue, a class I was familiar with.  I had known Jed for a while, hanging out in the Blog Azeroth chatroom, and decided I would roll my lowbie on the Ursin server, where Jed and his Avengers were located.  I had also never really played on Alliance side and so I made a frightening little gnome named Plazlo. (as a side note, I’m not really convinced gnomes can be non-frightening despite what Jed might claim) Plaz was a fun little experiment and if you’d like more information on him, you can find it here on my regular/irregular blog.
Now then, this post is not about my scary pedo-looking gnome who Stop and Jed think is better-suited to driving a white van and offering candy to children.  No, this post is about the second and third trial toons that I rolled, Revwyn and Revys.  Rev and.... well.... Rev are both Pallies, one Horde and one Alliance, Revys the prior, Revwyn the latter.  After rogue-ing for a while on my last toon, I was really wanting to learn to tank, and the trial account was a good opportunity to do this.  I also thought it might be fun to play each Rev and compare each faction, so here we are. Anyway, part way through the process Revwyn has become the main toon that I’ve been playing, possibly because she progressed quite a bit faster than Revys.

Plazlo and his big white van, er...ram
Revwyn made it to level 20 probably in about 3 days of playing her.  Really, if one so desired, a new toon could be taken to level 20 in probably 1 day.  She started running dungeons at level 15 and getting into some battlegrounds, some meaning Arathi Basin or Warsong Gulch, the two that are available at by level 20.  After she was maxed out level-wise, I thought I would gear her up, and twink her out as I had done with Plaz.  I really didn’t know what to make of twinks at that point.  I had heard of people paying gold to turn off xp-gain and maxing out their toon at a lower level, or making a twink.  Many people choose to do this at level 19 which puts them at the top of the 15-19, formerly 10-19, battleground bracket.  19 is very common, though there are other common twink levels.  For a trial account, you can turn your xp off any time, just like a regular account, though it does cost 10 gold I believe. You could roll a 19 twink; however, if you are going to do Battlegrounds, you will be placed in the xp off bracket with paid account 19 twinks, which have a huge advantage that I will speak of later.  What most trial twinks seem to do though, is go ahead and let their level cap out at 20.  This puts them in the 20-24 Battleground xp off bracket.  In theory, people could roll a 24 paid account twink and roflstomp level 20 trial account twinks.  In my limited time in Battlegrounds at this point, I’ve seen very few 24s.  By and large, I saw mainly level 20s, and I’m guessing by what I saw and what would make sense, that they were all trial accounts.  Anyway, I thought I would make a sort of trial twink at level 20 out of Revwyn and as I searched around the web, there is a whole community of people doing this.  I found guides and forums dedicated to trial twinking, so apparently I was far from alone.

People twink characters for various reasons, some for battleground competition, some for battleground pwnage (booooo), some for running dungeons, and other reasons.  I suppose I did this for various reasons.  I wanted to spend some time getting familiar with tanking and it worked very well for this.  At level 20, you can queue up for 6 dungeons, RFC, VC, SFK, WC, BFD, and Stocks.  WC and SFK are the fairly level appropriate options at level 20 and once you are geared pretty well, as a tank BFD and Stocks work just fine.  Bosses in the latter two are 5 levels higher than you, but as a tank if you have at least a mediocre amount of hit, have a good health pool, and generate decent threat, they are fine.  If you queue for a random, really you’re going to get put into WC or SFK.  It’s never put me in any of the others once I hit level 20.  I can’t tell you how many time I’ve run those two, but it’s been too many.  You might ask why would you run these over and over, and the main answer to this is rep.  Once I discovered that the Ambassador title/achievement (gaining exalted reputation with the 6 home cities of your faction) was possible, it’s been Donkey Kong on running dungeons.  

Really I think the most efficient way of gaining rep is probably doing the starting zone quests until you reach Honored with each city (city A will gain spillover reputation while you are gaining rep for City B until city A reaches Honored) and then throwing on a particular city’s tabard to gain rep for that city while killing things in dungeons.  Doing the quests in Dun Morogh is particularly rewarding as you get 250 rep for Gnomerregan and Ironforge each for each standard quest and then spillover rep for the other cities.  Once at Honored with the cities, then running 5s is a pretty speedy way of gaining rep.  SFK rewards a little under 3000 rep per run and takes a little less than a half an hour with a decent group.  WC yields a little over 3000 rep per run and takes a little more than a half an hour with a decent group.  Really good groups move a bit quicker. This works well so you don’t feel like getting put in one dungeon gimps your gain by a significant amount.  At least I didn’t feel that way, plus I think I’d go nuts only running WC or SFK.  The variety helps.  The longest stretch of running these dungeons is of course between Revered and Exalted.  It takes about 8 runs to get from one to the other.  As it stands now, Revwyn is exalted with 5 of the 6 cities, with Gilneas being the last city, currently at Honored for her. The downside is that she now hates SFK and WC.

Revwyn
Another bonus of gaining rep as a trial twink is for the bags.  Once you hit Revered rep with a city, you can then buy that city’s 16 slot bag from their quartermaster.  This is a very good idea, as bag space for your character and the bank become necessary.  Why is bag space necessary as a trial twink? The answer is simple, professions and only 3 bag slots in the bank.  Technically, you have the ability for the normal amount of bag slots in the bank, but your gold is capped at 10, so once you need to pay 25g for your fourth bank bag slot, you’re done.  Now, back to professions.  In twinking your little butt-kicker, you are going to eventually (most-likely) want to have some nice buffs for your toon.  These buffs include things like Tasty Lion Steak, Heavy Crocolisk Stew, Course Weightstones, various pots, maybe little stone statues, etc.  Keep in mind, with trial accounts, you cannot trade with other players, use the AH, or receive mail, so anything you want that comes from a profession, you have to make.  

You will change your career path often, so having plenty of room to store various mats, enchants, and buffs is a good idea. Along with this, in choosing a profession, it is good to plan ahead.  Take that statement as far as you can go.  For maximum efficiency, think of what professions you will want to end with.  Mining, Skinning, and Herbalism have very nice benefits in Toughness, Master of Anatomy, and Lifeblood.  This all depends again on what you want to do.  Are you a tank wanting to pull multiple bosses at once in WC, (say for instance someone, somehow “accidentally” pulls Kresh the non-aggressive turtle mini-boss in WC and brings her up to your Lady Anacondra fight. Don’t ask, it hurts too much.)(or say in BFD you want to survive if someone lights all four candles to open the door to Aku’mai)(or when someone pulls Gelihast before clearing any of his room in BFD), are you wanting to pump out big numbers as dps, (OH! or someone pulls Baron Silverlaine and his entire room in SFK), are you wanting to carry the flag in Warsong Gulch? (Did I mention someone, somehow pulled Kresh from the stream in the middle of the instance up to Lady Anacondra?) All of these things factor in to where you want to end up with professions.  On a trial account, all profs are capped at 100, though as it stands, you can take secondary profs above 100 even though it says you have reached the cap.  

Another thing to consider, is racial bonuses to profs.  For instance, blood elves get a 10 skill point bonus to enchanting.  This allows you to get at least a couple more enchants.  For a tank, it would give you an extra stamina enchant to your shield, which Revys is currently flexing.  In Revwyn’s case, she gets a 10 skill point bonus to jewelcrafting, which is good because she likes shiny things and little stone men. *shrugs*  It would allow her some additional shinies and Heavy Stone Statues, which would come in handy for self heals.

Revwyn learning about shinies
There are some key things that most trial twinks, and full account twinks shoot for.  The Lucky Fishing Hat, the Arena Grand Master trinket, and PVP BoA gear.   Most are comfortable enough to state that the LFH is hands down the best headslot item for any twink at low levels.  It’s a little trickier for Alliance though.  The hat has +15 stamina and 84 armor, which in regards to health, makes it the best head slot item over anything.  The nearest Alliance piece is the Rifle Commander’s Eyepatch which has +11 stamina, +8 hit, +8 agility and 110 armor. Most would take the LFH over the RCE, but as with most gearing decisions of twinks, it’s situational. The RCE is a really great piece for a set of +hit gear for times when you’re taking on higher level mobs. Anyway, to get the LFH, one needs to fish up Keefer’s Angelfish, a rare fish, during the Sunday fishing derby.  Revys has tried this once and failed and I’ve yet to have Revwyn try it since she has the eyepatch.  She’ll get there though.  

Now the Arena Grand master trinket is considered by most to be the all around best trinket to get as a lowbie twinkleton.  It has +12 stamina and upon use gives you a bubble which absorbs 1000 damage over 20 seconds. First of all, 1000 damage is huge at level 20 for any purpose.  It’s a fantastic emergency button for any role and either PVP or PVE.  The health bonus alone is also very hefty.  Now for the crappy part.  To get one of these, you need to turn in 12 Arena Master trinkets to Short John Mithril in the Gurubashi Arena.  The Arena Master trinkets are looted from the chest that Short John leaves in the center of the Gurubashi Arena every 3 hours at 12:00, 3:00, 6:00, and 9:00 server time.  Looting the chest takes 8 seconds (I think) and the arena is a free-for-all PVP area.  This can and does suck depending on your server.  Sometimes multiple level 85s show up as getting the AGM is an achievement.  Sometimes other twinks show up.  Sometimes nobody shows up (\o/).  Ursin was very kind to Revwyn as she was able to get 2 Arena Grand Master trinkets in less than 2 weeks.  I would check most mornings before work, most evening slots, and day slots when possible.  She also hit up a couple of the 2:00AM slots. (my actual time is 2 hours ahead of server time)  Most of the time on Ursin, nobody would show up.  So, for any of you thinking of starting a twink either paid or free to play, Ursin is a great place to get going and you could always server transfer later.  PVP BoA gear is really something that I’m not all that familiar with yet, but if you’re on a server where competition for the Arena Grand Master trinket is fierce, then you might want to shoot for getting these first for the stat help, including resilience.


Currently, Revwyn is at a good point of relaxation.  She’s got pretty good pieces in every slot, at least for most situations.  Since her activities are varied, she’s got a few different gear sets she’ll go between.  It depends if she’s carrying a flag, tanking big pulls, taking on high level mobs, it just depends.  That’s one I wish I would have been better at, gear selection.  There were many times where quest rewards wouldn’t really give me a decent mail item with appropriate stats for say tanking.  In retrospect though, there were several times I just randomly picked a quest reward when nothing notable was there and later learned I could’ve picked up say a leather piece with huge stamina.  Now ideally, Revwyn wouldn’t ever wear something like that, but being a twink isn’t always ideal for what gear is available and so wardrobe issues are common.  There might be situations where I would forsake the armor and strength loss and really need to push stamina.  

So, if I started a new twinker, I’d try to be better at thinking about situational circumstances.  Another thing I might try to do is to plan my race better.  The racial abilities that certain races have can really make a difference with your gameplay and gearing.  The big one that comes to mind is the human racial Every Man for Himself. With that, humans can forsake the Insignia of the Alliance and pretty much equip 2 Arena Grand Master trinkets all the time.  With Revwyn, she has a nice HoT racial, but for PvP, she has to equip the Insignia.  Though, once she uses her Insignia, she can then quickly equip her second AGM and have the extra 120 health.  For dungeons at her level though, she just runs with 2 AGMs all the time.  She can still get locked up, but as a pally, she’s got enough ranged abilities that I’ve never had it be a problem.

Well, that’s the long of it.  Is playing on a trial account as fun as a normal paying account? No. Is it fun? Sure.  It really works well for filling in the gaps when you really don’t feel like you’re going to play enough to pay for an account.  Also, it’s free and for free, it’s pretty fun.  The nice thing is, if I feel like not playing for a few weeks, I don’t even have to think about the money side.  It will be there waiting when I do feel like playing.  It wouldn’t be for everybody though, I understand.  Also, when comparing trial twinks to normal twinks at the same level range, normal paying account twinks statwise kick the crap out of trial twinks every time.  With BoA gear and much heftier enchants, paid twinks hit harder and are much healthier.  

Anyway, for the immediate future Revwyn will be running 5s with her Gilneas tabard, fishing for Keefer’s Angelfish on Sundays, queue-ing up for some BGs (not Bee Gees, though Jive Talkin is pretty sweet), enjoying holidays, and finishing up some gear.  Not looking forward to farming for the Diamond Hammer as a world drop or the Foreman’s Leggings from Foreman Thistlenettle.  BTW, Revwyn’s killed that bastard a terrible amount of times, and he will not drop his pants.  One nice thing about horde, they have pretty good pants. (in the form of Kalecgos Pants from a quest chain) The next long term project for her could be getting enough honor points to buy some PvP BoA gear, but I haven’t decided if I wanna take the time.  This was not intended to be a guide, but I know it got a little preachy.  Anyhow, It’s what I’ve been doin.  For more information on twinking and trial twinking, just snoop around on the web.  I particularly like Cynwise’s Green Tinted Goggles, Psynister’s Notebook, and Twinkinfo.com.  Any thoughts or suggestions, just send ‘em my way.  Oh, and if anyone has a lowbie they’re leveling or otherwise and need a twank to run them through some of these instances, feel free to give me a shout.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Guest Post: Life on the Other Side

While I am off getting married and enjoying my honeymoon, I have decided to treat you my loving readers to a few guest posts written by some very nice people that I totally suckered were nice enough to write a post for me.

Today's post was written by Stop of several blogs across the interwebs. So without further ado...




Life on the Other Side

First off, I blame Jed for everything.

Ever since quitting World of Warcraft back in March, I’ve never really gone MMO-less for any period of time. I went from WoW to Rift, then rode the Rift wave until I died of endgame boredom and/or got into the SWTOR beta, then played that gleefully until it went down for a week or so to do a new release and I decided to cut back on my beta-ing - enough to get a good test experience and data for Bioware, but not enough to burn myself out on the game before the game even comes out. So that left an MMO-shaped hole in my life.

Around this time, 4.3 news started leaking out. I can safely say that I feel that for 4.1 and 4.2, Blizzard pretty much phoned it in, but 4.3? 4.3 looks, well, at least better. The new instances aren’t rehashes (although Murozond, really?). The new tier gear looks like some work was actually put into it rather than “take armor, add fire, lather, rinse, repeat.” But the one feature that started to rekindle my interest in the game was Transmogrification, especially time spent in Blog Azeroth Chat with Ratshag trading costuming ideas and coming up with the most horrifying plate costume ever for a Death Knight, to commemorate BC-era clown suits, and that’s when the urge hit to resubscribe, which I accidentally mentioned to Jed.

I’m not sure if it comes across to his usual readers, but Jed is a very persistent person. Once I had mentioned even briefly considering resubscribing, neither rain, nor sleet, not worries about playing on a PvP server would stop him from getting me into his guild, and so, one server transfer later, I found my death knight leveling on Ursin, a member of the Avengers of Azeroth, and me getting used to two big changes:

  1. Playing on a PvP server, and
  2. Playing an Alliance character.


It’s actually been less of an adjustment than I expected but there are a few big adjustments for a mostly-lifelong Horde PvE-server player.

  • I still don’t like Stormwind. I’m not sure I ever will. Say what you will about Orgrimmar’s aesthetic (Neo-Brutalist architecture), but they at least had the sense to put every facility in every part of the city outside of the goblin slums. Stormwind, to the best of my knowledge, has two auction houses, neither of which is terribly easy to find from the air. On the other hand, at least Stormwind color-coded their roofs to make it easier to get around. But seriously - give me Ironforge anyday. I think I might be a dwarf at heart.
  • The Alliance NPCs are starting to get more likable. I came up in an era when Thrall was everything the Horde should someday aspire to be - wise, brave, and willing to talk instead of throw down - and our opposition was Varian “The Chin” Wrynn, his weepy sidekick Jaina, and a bunch of pissed-off dwarves who’d stop a father from retrieving his own son’s corpse. Nowadays, with Garrosh leading the Horde to its own inevitable self-destruction via infighting, the complete disappearance of one faction leader, and Sylvanas making deals with devils of all sorts, suddenly The Chin doesn’t seem like such a bad guy, and I definitely have grown to like Anduin and Moira (especially after reading The Shattering - this is my first time interacting with them after reading the book).
  • Having to take the credo “if it’s red, it’s dead” seriously. Now, I’m not exactly flying around ganking lowbies or anything. But I have had to get used to the fact that if I see a Horde character in a contested zone, they’re considered hostile to me and I’m considered hostile to them. This is new to me - I kept my flag off at all times on all my old servers, and on Rift I even toggled on the option that disallowed me to accidentally flag myself. But the net change? I’m just a little more wary of that troll druid across the way - I don’t ignore him like I used to, but I don’t go out of my way to smash him into the ground.


There are other changes, of course - accidentally flying into the wrong tent or part of the city when in Northrend areas, for instance - but I’m slowly discovering the side of the game that I never really got around to before.

Well, discovering it until December 20th, anyway.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

When I was young

I came up with this post idea and decided on a title and since then I have not been able to stop thinking of this clip from The Lion King. You've watch it, you can't unwatch it! Anyway...moving on. Since summer started I have been working long hours, dealing with the frustration from recruitment, threatening guildees to get them to log on for raids, putting the finishing touches on my wedding plans to my Lady Love, and sacrificing gnomes to the Bioware Gods to let me into the Star Wars: The Old Republic Beta. After a while, all of these things tend to leave me drained and feeling a little burned out.

Sad I know. *Cue Sad Keanu picture*

Now normally this would be the part where I go on and on about how the game has changed and no longer fun for me and I am debating quitting for TOR. BUT thankfully for you faithful readers, that is not what is going to happen!

There have been a couple of things that have happened to me that have helped me cope with all of the above reasons to quit and I got to tell you, I actually am feeling recharged and ready for more WoW.

First off I decided that I would level a horde alt to see how different their horde quest lines were while leveling up. Since I'm sadly maxed out on character slots on my main account I decided to level on a different server (with no heirlooms/guild perks) and I looked around for a good place to call home. I ended up on Drenden, which is the home of Rades, Miri, Liala, and Narci, all of whom I enjoy talking to on twitter. After a little while I decided to transfer an 80 horde DK over to this server since he had been sitting around collecting dust for years. I'm not joking when I saw that his gear was appalling. He was leveled around the time when TOC was released and he had a lot of 5 man heroic/non-heroic gear from there. Looking at his gear was kind of like opening a time capsule and looking through it to see all the stuff that was cool at the time.

I server transferred him over and set about leveling him. Even with horrid gear, he was able to kill stuff rather quickly and I only had to spend a few gold on the AH to get him upgrades. While questing and running instances I was able to enjoy being in a guild without having to be the leader. I was just a regular member and it was a welcome change of pace. After 6 years of being the guy everyone in guild looks to for answers, comments, or anything and everything they need help with, it was nice to log in and not have to deal with that stress/pressure. Not that leading my guild is a huge source of stress, I just stress myself out and over think things. I am my own worst enemy. : /

Just wanted to make a note, I love my guild and wouldn't trade it for anything but like in real life sometimes you have to take a vacation to get away from things so you can appreciate them more when you return.

Well back to the story. It has definitely been a nice change of pace to just be one of the crowd and that has helped me relax a little. Mind you I don't just log on and head to that server right away, I play my mains first and if we aren't doing anything too exciting I switch to the horde server. It is a nice way to unwind.

Another thing that has helped rejuvenate me is all this talk of transmogrification. I know for some people out there, the game has taken a turn towards World of Dresscraft and honestly, I couldn't care what other people say. I've been playing for 6+ years now and some of the gear that I had previously worked so hard for can now be shown again without suffering dps loss. My mage will be proudly sporting his old MC raiding gear because that set was in my mind so awesome. My first raid experience was in MC and like they say: You never forget your first. I will be sporting the ever so sexy 6/8 Arcanist set, 1/8 Netherwind set (Helm), and 1/6 Field Marshal Regalia(gloves). For his weapons, I haven't quite decided what I will be wearing but since 4.3 isn't going live any time soon I have some time to figure it out.

Some of the chatter about the whole mogging experience is about how instead of giving us new content we are getting something so silly and useless. I for one welcome our new Mogging overlords. Why? Because this has been something that many vanilla veterans have been asking for since forever. We worked hard for our gear and to replace it with greens and have it sit around collecting dust or being vendored just seems wrong. I really wish I had raided Naxx because they had some of the coolest gear around and the level 80 Naxx just doesn't compare. I know some people will say that it is just a reason to show off E-peen or to brag about how great you are at the game but that isn't why I am looking forward to it. I will be the first person to say that I am not the greatest WoW player out there. But as I mentioned, I have been around for a long time and have had many memorable moments that I treasure and look back on fondly. Being the DPS who got the killing blow the first time we downed Ragnaros, being the person who could kite General Drakkisath to the Beasts room because we didn't have a hunter who could do it (and living through it), these are just two of those memories. If I can wear a mogged set that looks like the gear I wore then, it will remind me of why I play the game: to have fun and do crazy stupid stuff to enjoy the game.

Thats all Mogging is: a different way to have fun. The people shouting out against mogging seem to have forgotten that they play a game with millions of other people and not everyone has the same idea of what fun is. I can't wait.

It seems that talking about the olden days always make me ramble on a little too much and I think I strayed from my original topic. Well than, back to making me enjoy the game again!

The biggest reason why I am really enjoying myself again is a person. No it isn't my fiancee, my Lady Love who is awesome and all, but it is actually a new member of the guild. This person is a cousin of a guildee and this is his first MMO. Having him in vent and listening to him talk about the game, you can hear the enthusiasm and pleasure he gets from the game. This enthusiasm for the game is really contagious and after listening to him, you can't help but feel happy with the game. It reminds me of when I first started playing the game and how I felt like the world was so amazing and new and I could do whatever I wanted. An example of him being giddy and happy with something so simple: My Lady Love was running him through a lowbie instance on her mage and at the end she made a portal to Stormwind for him. He was in vent with us and he had no clue what the portal was and when he took it, he literally was speechless for a few seconds. He was awed by a portal. This was something so routine to most players that we don't even give it a second look. My fiancee and I laughed for a few minutes about that and we both felt a little special that we were able to make his day with something as simple as a run through of an instance and a portal afterward.

My Lady Love and I grouped with him several times along the way on our level appropriate characters and we ran instances together. Every time he ran an instance he was in vent with us and he could not believe the game was as cool as it was. We giggled and talked about when we felt the same way and for both of us, it had been a while.

When the world of Azeroth was new, everything was awe inspiring. From the sheer size of Ironforge to the fun escort quests where we felt like we saved an NPC's life and made a difference. Somewhere along the way we lose that sense of awe and we start becoming jaded about the game. We no longer look at the game as a game but as a job. Sometimes it takes a change of faction to appreciate the game, sometimes it requires playing dress up, and sometimes it requires a new person to remind you that the game we choose to play is pretty damn awesome. I have always liked WoW but there were times when I felt drained and just didn't want to deal with the trolls both in instances and in trade. But after all this, I feel like I am ready for more and I can handle anything thrown my way. It is a game after all, a truly awesome, fun, and magical game and I'm glad I was reminded of this.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I chose wisely

Stupid work has kept me so busy that I haven't been able to post anything lately and I am sorry for that. I have several drafts that I have started but I just haven't been able to find the time to finish and post them. I know apologies mean nothing and people want posts!

So for everyone who wants a post...here is a picture. It isn't just any plain old picture mind you. It is proof that I chose wisely when I proposed to my lady love. Here is the cake topper for my grooms cake:






That's right, she is that awesome. =D

I'll try to get a post up soon so that you my lovely readers will find another reason to ask yourselves why you continue to put up with my crap writing. If you are an aspiring blogger and feel that you want to take pity on me and toss me a guest post, please feel free to contact me. I'd love to get a guest post.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Looking for Trouble

Recruitment. The word most Guild Masters/Officers dread hearing. Why? Well because of the sheer amount of work that comes with having to deal with recruitment as well as the frustration that arises because of it. Whenever a guild loses a person, it is usually a blow to the guild, unless no one liked the person who left in which case a party may be necessary to celebrate their departure. More often than not it isn't a party. For many guilds, when one person leaves the guild, the rest of the guild will have to work extra hard to make up for that person.

The majority of guilds are a house of cards. Each member being a card holding up another card holding up another card and so on, ultimately forming up a complete house. If you take one card away from anywhere in the house of cards, the other cards have to bear an uneven weight and the whole house may come crashing down. GM/Officers are tasked with maintaining the house and keeping it in order and stable. When one person leaves, they have to scramble to cover for that person, whether it's a raider, an RP'er, or PVP'er. The problem is that recruiting is a difficult and sometimes long process unless you get incredibly lucky and find a person right away. It seems that this expansion, recruitment has become more difficult. What am I basing this statement on? Well other than personal experience, there are other bloggers who have blogged about what a tough time they have been having with trying to find people for their guilds. Buckle up kids, because this is going to be a long block of rant that is hopefully tied together by a central topic. Of course knowing me...it'll just come off as random ramblings but if you're reading this than you clearly are ok with random randomness.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Gnomeapalooza

On Sunday July 24, my awesomest, coolest, and sexiest guild will turn 6. Now I know that in some circles 6 years isn't that big of a deal but when it comes to the World of Warcraft, 6 months together is a big deal and going a year is great, 6 years is a lifetime. 6 years of raiding together, of joking together, of getting achievements together, and of rocking out like the superstars that we are. So to celebrate we will be having a race of death!

Who: You, me, my guild. Gnomes.

What: A race of death! Gnomish death race Outlands style which is even better then our normal race. You roll a level 1 gnome, take the friendly portal we create to Shattrath, and race to Honor Hold!

When/Where: Sunday July 24, at 2pm Pacific Standard Time on the Ursin-PVP server, Alliance side.

Why: Its fun, its a celebration, AND the winner gets a free vanity pet of their choice from the Blizzard Store!

Wait...what? Thats right! A free vanity pet from the Blizzard Store for the winner! The race Winner chooses which ever pet they want to have and I give it to them!

Now with the introduction of the limited trial account, everyone can make a level 1 gnome...for FREE! Regardless of whether you normally play on a US server, a EU server, or even if you aren't  playing but want to participate, you now can! If you would like to participate or know more info, please leave a comment, send an email, or DM me on twitter and I'll be more then glad to talk about the event. =D

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Full Circle

I believe the old saying goes "Some claim that life here began out there." With the 4.2 Firelands patch we've received a new raid instance, new daily quests, new arena gear, new valor/tier gear, and several new achievements. The biggest feature of the patch is the Firelands Raid instance where the last boss is Ragnaros. Yes...the very same Ragnaros that we fought oh so many years ago in Molten Core(but this time he is clearly stronger and more on fire. I guess beating him up and killing his numerous sons kind of pissed him off.


Last week my guild and I took a step into the Firelands to try our luck against the new raid bosses and to see if we could kill a boss or two. What we found was that there is TONS of trash along the way to any boss. There are also some nice BoE epic pieces that drop and a lot of rep to be gathered just by killing trash. In other words, this raid felt like Molten Core part 2. For those of you who have never had the pleasure of raiding Molten Core when it was relevant, let me tell you that it was a long and tedious raid at first. Most people entered MC wearing blues if you were lucky and greens if you had horrible luck with drops. Back in those days, green gear wasn't anywhere close to being as good as the greens of this expansion(Go go "of the eagle gear" for my mage!) Because the developers knew this, they made most of the trash you ran across in MC pretty simple to kill. Granted each type of mob had a special ability that made killing it unique. Lava surgers required you to either spread out or stack in melee(depending on your how your guild did it), Firelords spawned little fire adds that had to be killed quickly or they would spawn more adds, Corehounds had to be turned away from the raid so you wouldn't die from its fire breath or even worse they would fear you into other mobs and Molten Giants required the tanks having their back against a wall or they would get launched when the giant did its stomp.

Well that turned into a wall of text for explanations sake. Why did I go through all that typing to explain how mobs acted in a vanilla raid? Well as we were clearing trash in the Firelands I kept looking around and reminding myself that we were indeed NOT in MC. The zone had an MC feel to it and some of the trash was even the same trash from MC! First mob we pulled was a giant that had a stomp just like in MC, Corehounds still did the same thing, and Surgers are still a pain in the ass for healers. At first I didn't realize the clear connection between the two raids because I was so busy trying to hold agro since I was tanking on my pally but when we cleared our way to Lord Rhyolith there was a gauntlet event at the end of which we had to fight a some large fire elementals. After we wiped due to pulling the entire gauntlet to the fire elementals I realized that my chat was being spammed with  a lava spawn splitting into another lava spawn. I watched that fill up my chat for a few more seconds before I realized that I wanted to yell out "Spawn Spawn!" This being what we used to yell out in MC when a Firelord spawned adds. I was so giddy with excitement that I ran into the living room and told my fiancee who laughed because she remembered what an annoyance the spawns were. I started looking at the add packs we skipped and realizing that they were bigger, stronger versions of trash mobs from MC.

It wasn't until these mobs that I realized that the Firelands felt like an updated Molten Core. Even though we didn't down anything that night, I had such a great time that raid. I know that eventually I will get tired of the Firelands but at least for now I will enjoy the raid because it reminds me of even better times raiding. I give the Firelands my seal of approval due to its fun and interesting fight mechanics, its awesome atmosphere, and its connection to MC. I can't wait until we get to Ragnaros and when I do...you can bet I'll let out a fanboy squee. This has happened before and this will all happen again. What was once old is now new and shiny.

So how is the 4.2 patch treating you all?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

One Twisted Guy

This Satuday June 25th I will be a guest on the super awesome podcast, The Twisted Nether Blogcast. Clearly they are desperate for guests otherwise they wouldn't be having me on. Since they record live, all of my faithful readers should come to their site and join the chat room and heckle me or ask questions or just listen to me ramble on about how alcohol and no pants leads to successful raiding.


Recording starts at 8 PST! So plan to be there to listen to me bore the hosts Hydra and Fim with my long and boring stories about raiding in the 80s, 90s, and today. Or something along those lines. See everyone there on Saturday!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Need if you need

Often in heroic randoms, you will see someone ask if it is ok with the group if they need on a piece of gear. That piece could be an upgrade for their main spec or even their offspec. If it's an offspec role, than if they are lucky, no one else needs the piece. But every now and then you will run across someone who doesn't bother to ask if they can need on a piece for their offspec, even after someone else says they need it for their main spec. This is a huge problem for healers and tanks. I have had so many upgrades stolen from my healers and tanks by people who are queued as a dps or a tank or healer.

The old saying "Need if you need" has lead people to assume that just because they CAN need on an item, that they are entitled to roll on it, even if it is not for the spec that they are queued as and it's an upgrade for someone's main spec. People see that they can need on it and figure that their own need outweighs someone else's need. It is both sad and infuriating when I see this happening in instances, the trollroics being the latest cause of this type of behavior. All you can do when someone needs on your upgrade is hope that the WoW loot Gods are on your side and that you out roll the other person. Of course you may have this happen to you several times in an instance and all I can say is Good Luck.

I had this happen to in Zul'Aman when I was healing it on my Gnome Priest. The Paladin tank was obviously not geared for pulling as much as he was and so people were dying because they kept pulling agro on mobs that he was obviously not actively generating threat on. One of the DPS was from the same guild as the tank and he started berating me for letting him die. I explain that "Mr. Pull more then he can handle" can't hold agro on everything and that we should use some CC. Of course I phrased it a little more diplomatically and didn't lay the blame on anyone specifically. I am assuming that the two of them were off in their own vent server talking trash about my healing. We managed to make our way to the Hex Lord Malacross when a healing ring dropped. It was an upgrade for me since I was still sporting two 346 ilevel rings so I naturally needed...and so did the Paladin tank. Maybe he thought that stacking spell power was still the way to go for Paladin threat. Thankfully I won the ring and he apologized for needing on it and I let it go since I had the ring.

We wipe a few times on Daakara because we had the Lynx and the tank didn't understand that he needed to taunt the boss back onto him when it switched to a different target. Finally we kill him and I see what I was hoping for the entire run: the Amani Scepter of Rites. Now this mace hadn't dropped any of the times that I had been there on my priest and I was naturally excited to finally see it. And that's when the bomb dropped; the tank needed the mace...and won. I asked him if I could have it because I was the healer and it was clearly a healing weapon AND a huge upgrade for me. Well that's when the Pally revealed that loot was based on turns or in his words "You won the last piece and now it's my turn to win a piece." He then drops group as I am standing there speechless and right before I drop group his guildee calls me a scrub healer and laughs at me.

If I could punch people through the internet, there would have been two little kids with black eyes somewhere out there. The sad thing is that because of the randomness of the looking for dungeon tool, unless I roll on their servers and chew them out in trade or through whispers, there are no repercussions for them. They can keep needing on gear that isn't for their main spec and if they win it, they'll have stolen another piece of gear from someone who actually needs it. All I can do is ignore both of them so that they don't end up in my random group again, and queue for another random trollroic where I can hope to get ZA so my mace can possibly drop. I was seriously tempted to roll an alt on their server though, that's how mad I was.

I beg you, my readers, please don't ninja need items for your offspec when someone needs the item for their mainspec. With the Midsummer Fire Festival starting today, the Frost Lord Ahune will be available through the LFD tool and I know that people will be tempted to ninja need cloaks for their offspec. Please take a minute and think if needing on a cloak for your secondary spec is worth the aggravation and frustration that you are inflicting on someone who is queueing as their main spec and could use the upgrade. I know my words will probably fall on deaf ears for some people but I accept that. Maybe just one person will read this and change their mind about ninja needing.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Goodbye old friend

Amongst the many changes that are happening in Patch 4.2, we will be bidding adieu to a dear friend. Is it Tyrande or Chromie or Sylvanas or even the basic campfire? No...I'm talking about a closer friend. One that many people take for granted nowadays. This dear friend has been with us since Vanilla and I still remember what life was like before it. I am of course talking about the keyring. Yes...the bag that automatically holds all your keys. Yes, I am indeed for serious. According to the patch notes for 4.2 the keyring will be removed and existing keys will either be converted to gold, removed entirely, or moved to players' inventories. This means that the keyring along with most keys in game will be going away.

Why should anyone care about a keyring or instance keys being removed you may be asking yourself. Well let me fill in a little history for those of you who have always had a keyring in game. Way back in the dark ages of Vanilla Wow, you would sometimes come across keys for random things such as the key to Searing Gorge, the key to the City, the Crescent Key, or even the Scarlet Key. Now at the time, all of these keys were actual items that would go into your inventory since there was no keyring. Big deal you may say, its just a bag space being used. Well at the time 16 slot bags were the highest bag you could have unless you raided Onyxia's lair and were lucky enough to snag yourself one of her bags and even that bag was only an 18 slotter. Bag space was at a premium and if you planned to run an instance such as BRD, Scholo, Strat, or even DM, you had to carry the key with you in your bags. You had to work hard to get some of these keys and that usually meant a lot of time and effort but once you had a key...you were like a God amongst men! Well, you weren't really but you could be all super awesome and brag about being able to open doors. Sometimes you could even make some money just opening an instance door.

If you made the mistake of selling or trashing the key, more often then not...you could NOT get another one. If you were 60 in Vanilla WoW, you would often find yourself running Scholo/Strat/DM for gear/gold/fun and if you didn't have the key for the instance you were stuck outside waiting until some nice soul came by and opened the door for you. Now I don't know about the rest of you but I had some bad luck with groups being formed and no one having the key for the instance. IT SUCKED! A lot. Especially when no one realized that they didn't have the key with them only after everyone was waiting at the instance door. Unless you had a warlock with you, the group would often fall apart then and there because having to sit around waiting for the one person with the key to hearth, run to the bank and grab the key, and then take a gryphon/boat to the instance meant that you were sitting around for 20-30 minutes on average.

Why did I mention a warlock? Well at the time, instance stones weren't the summoning stones that they are now. Clicking on one would put you into a weird looking for group channel just for that instance which most people either didn't know existed or just ignored. Without the easy warlock summon, it was usually a long run. Warlocks also had the awesome ability to lifetap themselves to near death, agro a mob onto themselves, and die at the door. When they ran back to their body, they could rez on the other side of the door and use the lever, which all doors had nearby, to open the door for the group.

The day that the keyring was added to the game was the day that those of us who spent the time and effort getting instance key quests done, finally had available bag space! No longer would we have to run back to the bank and grab a key or hope that we would have bag space when the key dropped in Strat. The keys would all just automatically jump into our keyring. It was glorious. And soon the keyring will end its WoW Career and join the many outdated features of WoW past such as long attunement quest chains for raids, crafting resist gear for raids, having to wait until level 40 to get a land mount, being able to spec into all three trees almost equally, and being dismounted when you hit water.

Goodbye old friend, I will miss you. Whenever I run across a key of any sort, I will think fondly of our time together.

RIP Keyring (2005-2011)
RIP Most Keys (2004-2011)

Friday, May 6, 2011

With a quickness

Doing a short but quick blog post today because there are a few things I wanted to talk about but none of them is enough of a topic to dedicate a whole post to it. When combined though, there is enough to fill a blog post which is always a good thing. So stick around see you can learn a thing or two from your good old blogger friend Jed. First up is the two new heroics: Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman.

When ZA and ZG were announced as being two raids that were being reworked for level 85, there was a lot of uproar. Some people were on the side that it was a good thing because those two raids were great and they had good memories and some people were on the side that it was a horrible waste of time to do that instead of making new instances for us.

Which side am I on you may wonder? Well...I can see both sides of the argument but I do tend to lean towards the pro-ZA/ZG side. I raided both when they were each relevant and I had a lot of great experiences in each raid instance. I LOVED the look of some of the ZG weaponry/armor and I am really glad that I can see it once again. The fights while updated and slightly changed, manage to retain the feel of the original raid fights.

Are ZG/ZA cop outs and merely recycled content to keep us busy until we get a real content patch? I don't think so. Each instance isnt just the old raid instance with every mobs health/abilities increased to 85. There are a lot of changes to each fight to make it new while still feeling like the old fight. They have also added a quest chain that leads you to find out how ZG and it's many bosses were brought back. So in conclusion...I bring da voodoo and roll hax mon.

Next up:
If you are a caster class that doesn't use spirit as a primary stat and you find yourself in Zul'Gurub/Zul'Aman and caster gear with spirit on it drops AND the healer says that it is an upgrade for them...FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY DON'T NEED ON THE PIECE! Especially if it is a boe and you are not going to wear it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111ONE!! I ran Zul'Gurub the other day with two guildees and the epic boe spirit cloak dropped for us. I was happy because it was an upgrade for me so I needed on it...as did the warlock in the group...and he won it. I was shocked and quickly explained that spirit is useless to warlocks now and that it was an upgrade for me and I asked if I could have it. His response? He was going to sell it and buy a cloak for himself and that it was boe so sorry for me.

Now being the nice and kind soul that I am, I informed him that I hoped he could heal himself because I sure as hell wasn't going to heal a ninja. After he died he whispered the tank(my GUILDEE) and tried snitching on me by telling him that I wasn't healing him. Obviously he didn't notice that 3 members of the group were from the same guild. We booted him, invited in another guildee and continued clearing the instance. Close to the last boss the Loot Gods were very kind to me and the cloak dropped again and this time all my guildees needed on it just in case the pug warrior decided he didn't like heals too. The tank won it and traded it to me and I gladly equipped it and enchanted it. Wherever that fail warlock is, I hope a rhino mistakes him for a campfire.

Last topic: Raid Progression!
This week my guild downed the Ascendant Council in Bastion of Twilight! Woots! This now makes our guild 7/12 in regular content and I couldn't be happier with how well we are doing. While we didn't one shot the council we only had a few wipes in the second phase before every got the fight better and then we moved into phase three easier and finally downed it. We are still recruiting by the way so if you are interested in raiding 10 mans with a fun loving guild that enjoys goofing around together and downing bosses, feel free to apply to join! We are always looking for good people who are level 85 and looking to have fun. Gear is nice to have but it isn't a requirement to join the guild. We do have stat minimums you have to meet before you can raid but you can meet and exceed those just by running a few heroics. Have questions about the guild and or joining? Leave a comment here, post on our forum, or even hit me up on twitter.

*Edit*
Forgot to mention that I have some of the best blog readers ever! In my last post I mentioned that no one had ever come to my blog by searching for the term "Jed is a sexy beast" and that had made me sad. Since that post at least one person has come to my blog by using that search term lol. So to whoever you are out there that was nice enough to do this for me...a big /hug goes out to you!
*End of Edit*
And that's it for now, I think I may try to do more frequent quick blogs like this instead of waiting for a big topic to come along. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

On Patch Day

With 4.1 being released today, the community is eagerly counting down the time until servers finally go back up and all the new shiny and sexy things that Blizzard has patched in can be devoured by the masses. I am sadly stuck at work and can't play until several hours after servers are supposed to come back up. Stupid real life responsibilities like bills and stuff. The only redeeming thing about being at work on major patch days is that inevitably server maintenance gets extended several hours and by the time that servers finally go up, I will either just be getting off work or I'll be home already.

So for those of you who are stuck at work patiently counting down until that magic time when you can slide down a dinosaur into your car and head home, I will try to entertain you! Emphasis on try. I was looking through keywords people used to find my site and some of them are interesting, some have a million variations of the same keyword, and some are just random. So away we go!

First search term to catch my eye:

How to ask guild for a raid
This one is funny because my first response was "Just ask in guild if anyone wants to run a raid!" I guess whoever came to my blog with that search term may be shy and looking for advice on how to participate in his or her guild raids. Best thing to do to get involved in guild raids is to become involved in the guild! Yes being shy sucks but sometimes you have to speak up in guild chat and hope for the best. IF you for some reason can't work up the nerve to talk in guild chat, you can wait for someone to ask for more in guild chat and whisper that person that you are interested in raiding.


Can u raid before running heroics in cataclysm?
Uhm...yes and no. Honestly if your guild is a super heroic mode farming kind of guild, they can definitely take your freshly dinged 85 into a normal raid and gear you out. For most people this will not happen. The majority of WoW players who just dinged 85 will need to farm heroics, craft gear, and buy rep pieces to prepare for raiding. If you expect to start raiding as soon as you hit level cap, you may be in for disappointment.

Can you queue for heroics just as you hit 85?
Yes you can but only IF you have been smart with your questing along the way to 85. There are several factions that have nice item level 333 gear that you only need revered reputation to purchase which are very nice. There are also several quests that reward very nice pieces of gear in the Twilight Highlands and Uldum that will also boost your average item level. You can purchase crafted gear that requires 85 and then use that as soon as you ding. Lastly, you can farm the hell out of Lost City, Grim Batol, and Halls of Origination for gear as soon as you are able to queue for them. So it is very doable but does take a little more effort to accomplish.


Cancel WoW subscription, is remaining time kept?
Not sure how this person ended up on my blog with this search term but the answer to that question is yes. When you cancel your subscription, whatever time you had left is already prepaid for so you don't lose that time. Now if you cancel your subscription the day it is supposed to be renewed than you won't have any left over time. I know several people who paid for their subscription several months in advance who then decided to cancel their subscription. They played until their time ran out and they either decided to renew or to go through with their plan and take a break from wow.

Do you have to discover the entrance to run 85 heroics?
As of a few patches ago, you no longer have to discover ANY instance entrance to be able to run it. Before this change, you would indeed have had to locate the entrance to Cataclysm instances to run them in normal or regular.

Friend wants to join my WoW guild?
Well good for your friend. Before you invite your friend to your guild, you may want to consider a few things. First off, what kind of guild are you in and will your friend fit in with that guild? Secondly if your friend doesn't fit in and leaves the guild, will it reflect badly on you? Thirdly, if your friend leaves the guild in a less then professional way will they expect you to leave the guild too? There are more questions that you should ask yourself but these are the first three that popped into my head when I read this question/search term.

Jeb pay for my Cataclysm and a month of game time.
First off...who is Jeb and why should he pay for you to play? Is he a millionaire with a soft spot for WoW players? If so can he pay for me to play too?

No one wants to join my guild.
Well...maybe it's a sign that there is something wrong with your guild. Is it named Fluffy Kitten Sex? When trying to get people to join your guild are you just randomly whispering people to join it? Are you spamming trade with an obnoxious and horribly misspelled message that throws grammar by the wayside? Do you try to actively recruit bad and annoying people into your guild? If you have answered yes to any of these questions, you need to wonder no longer why no one wants to join your guild.

Now if you answered no to the above questions and are still struggling to recruit people then you may have to try changing your recruitment tactics. Maybe emphasis your guild level if its relatively high, or your progression, or even how full of nice people your guild is. Right now is a tough time for many guilds recruitment wise because there are some people are already bored of the current content and have taken breaks from the game until the next tier of raids is released. This causes more guilds to increase their recruitment drives to fill their raids which causes the number of people who are looking for guilds to slowly go down. Just keep at it and you will hopefully get people to join your guild .

WoW Jed Town
Yes I do indeed deserve a town of my own in WoW! Also I am not making this search term up, someone actually came to my site because they thought I was so awesome that I needed to be recognized with my own town. I am honestly not sure what this person was looking for but I hope they found it.

Jed is a Sexy Beast!
Ok this one I did make up. Sadly no one has come to my site with this search term...yet.

I think that's enough to entertain you all while servers are down being patched. Well I hope it entertained you anyway. If it didn't...well I apologize for nothing! At the very least I distracted you from looking at the remaining time left for maintenance for a few minutes.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Random Instances with Strangers

Lately I have been working on my getting my Gnome priest geared and ready to raid which means one thing...a lot of random instances. Sometimes I run with guildees who make the run much funner then it normally would but more often than not they are either pvping, in their own instances, or they secretly hate my priest because he is such a sexy gnome and they can't stand to be reminded that they are ugly and not Gnomes. That is my theory and I am sticking to it. Well when no one wants to run with me I do what I have been doing since Vanilla WoW...I pug an instance run. Some of you reading this are probably cringing at the thought of the looking for dungeon tool and there are times I can't blame you.

During my healing adventures I have run quick and painless instances and I have run horrible, disgusting, tear inducing instances. Now I have never healed on a priest in all the time that I have had a priest except for when I was spriesting it up and the real healer died forcing me to pop out of shadow and toss heals like my life depended on it...which more often than not it did. But that was on my human priest who has been shadow since day 1 of his existence. My Gnome priest was created to be a healer specifically. Why did I make another priest instead of just dual speccing my current priest? Well...I think Gnomes are awesome and if I can't have a Gnome Paladin, I might as well have a Gnome priest. 


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Fun with Raiding

Ah Raiding, the past time of champions. The creator and breaker of guilds everywhere. Like the One Ring, it will bring people together and bind them. Wait...scratch that. It's not quite as evil as the One Ring. In fact with the right guild, it's actually fun. Even wiping can be a less frustrating experience if you are surrounded by good people. Personally raiding for my guild is going pretty well as we are 5/12 which is not zomg uber world first but it's good enough for us at the moment.

How do we keep going as a raiding guild you may wonder? If you didn't wonder that well I am going to pretend that you did wonder it for the purposes of this post. Well we have been raiding as a guild since vanilla when epics were really epic and required a lot of time and effort to get just one epic. While some people have come and gone, we have kept the same officer core together which adds institutional memory to guild raids and activities. When explaining fights we'll reference past boss encounters which have similar mechanics and this helps people visualize the fight better.

The most important thing that we do as a guild that has kept us together is that we have fun. How do we have fun you are probably wondering. (And I am just going to say that you are wondering that so I can continue with my post.) Well...we have fun! Raiding is an activity that often leads to burnout if done in excess so you have to find things to ease the mood and make people relax and enjoy themselves.

We do get serious when we need to but we still manage to have a great time because we all remember that it's only a game. If we don't down the current internet dragon today, we'll get it the next raid. I don't think I have ever singled someone out and tore them a new one because we wiped on a boss due to something they did. I have raided with several other guilds over the years and while I have never had that happen to me, I have seen it happen to other people in the raid. To me that is just dumb and accomplishes nothing except making that one person feel like crap and reducing the raids morale. Happy raiders will stay in the raid until the boss dies, unhappy raiders want to leave after a wipe or two.

How do you keep your raiders happy? That is the million dollar question. Each raider is different, some will be happy only when bosses are downed, some are happy just being social in raids, some are happy just listening to everyone else talking. As a raid and even a guild leader, you have to figure out what makes your people tick. If all else fails...give away gold. Who doesn't like to receive free gold after all?


What do we do to keep the raid light and fun? We laugh throughout our raid, play /roll casino while buffing, tease whoever dies on trash, make jokes about having a designated person to die first in most encounters. The last one is a very serious thing we do as we have a person who just can't seem to stay alive on trash or on some bosses. Not because they are a complete fail but because they seem to be the person who gets targeted by mobs for bad debuffs, fire gets spawned under them, when tanks get cc'ed the adds turn as one and target that person. It's almost like Blizzard is trying to tell that person that he is not liked. We start our raids with guesses on how many deaths he will have by the end of the raid and the winner gets some gold. Why do we encourage sacrificing one person for the good of the raid? Because it's a joke and it helps lighten the mood. People go into boss fights in good spirits and ready to put forth their best.

Am I enjoying raiding? Yes. Do I enjoy the people I raid with? Yes. Is my guild recruiting? Yes. Was that a shameless plug? Yes. And so I end this ramble with the following piece of advice: Be excellent to each other.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Possible future Instances

This expansion has been out for 2 months now and most people have farmed heroics, downed raid bosses, ground out reputation with numerous factions, punched Nazi's goblins, used trunks to hide from explosions, ridden in submarines, worn octopus hats, ridden in tornadoes, stood in the fire, and many other activities. The question has to be asked...what's left to do? We know patch 4.1 will bring 2 new raids, one of which will be the Firelands. But what else should it bring? I think we need more 5 man instances. Burning Crusade brought 13 5 man instances at  launch and added one towards the tail end of it. Wrath launched with 12 5 mans and then patched in 4 along the way. This expansion launched with 7 NEW 5 man instances. Yes I know that most of the old vanilla instances were updated for newness and such but they are still OLD instances. We need more 5 man instances to keep us occupied.

Why do we need more 5 mans? Because half of this expansion is for characters under level 60. Yes you can go back to all the updated zones and redo the quests at 85 but to me theres a payoff missing for doing it. If you're leveling you get money, rep, xp for experiencing the newness. At 85 the money is usually not even enough to buy a stack of reagents, the xp gain does nothing at max level, and rep while nice if you're not exalted with a faction...may not be enough for some people. Blizzard has added so many things to help us level fast that we tend to skip complete zones while leveling and miss some of the new and interesting story lines.

With Heirlooms, dungeon quests and Guild XP gains, you barely get halfway through a zone before you are too high to really enjoy it. Yes you can always not wear heirlooms or run dungeons but that still doesn't address the fact that once you hit 60 you are no longer enjoying leveling because you're stuck in Outland with it's lame quests until you hit 68. And then you get to experience Northrend all over again except this time you can't abandon it at 78 for the new zones. You're stuck dinging 80 the old way. It's like the developers want to remind you that they have gotten much better at the game but they do this by making you go through old content.

Once you hit 85, most people are probably not going to go back through zones to quest and see the story lines. They will probably be too busy farming heroics for gear and rep which will lead them to over heroic themselves and burn out. There isnt a whole lot to do at 85 other then heroics and if you are really grinding them out to get geared you get bored of them real fast. We need new heroic instances to keep us entertained.



Update: So while I was busy with work and unable to post this yesterday, Blizzard decided to read my mind and release information about the new heroic 5 mans that they are adding. And by releasing information I mean it was all data mined by people who do things of that nature. So this can only lead me to believe that Blizzard is a fan of my work and has planted spy software on my computer to read what I write so they can make me happy. =D

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Fun

Today those of us with loved ones celebrate the day with chocolate, roses, gold, money, and many other odd and unusual things. For those of you with out a significant other, today is referred to as "single awareness day" and you may or may not hate today. For those of you who don't care to celebrate the day...today is the 14th.

I decided to give my lovely lady something unusual and a little more creative then just jewelry. I enlisted the aid of the very talented artist, the awesome Vidyala from Manalicious, to help me with this task. She created a postcard sized watercolor of my fiance's warlock and I gotta tell you...it turned out even more awesome then I thought. I gave it to my fiance early because I wanted to surprise her with it and I didn't want to wait for the 14th to come around. Here is what it looks like:




Happy Valentine's Day to those of you who are in the mood for it and for everyone else...Happy Monday!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Sky Is Falling

Today, Ranting Jed is Ranting. It seems to me that whenever a patch is pushed into the game we see a resurgence of people whining about how suddenly their previously Over Powered will now no longer be able to one man a raid boss or take on a whole bg by themselves or some other dumb thing that they think should merit their class not being balanced with other classes. I think that I dread these whiners showing up more than I do watching my class be nerfed. These whiners will make grandiose statements such as "If this nerf goes through I will never play my class again!" or "This nerf will ensure that no one will roll this class and spec because it is no longer fun to play" or my favorite "This change has caused me to cancel my account because blizzard is being so unreasonable."

My response to statements like those above? Good bye, good riddance, and don't let the door hit you on the way out. Honestly if these whiners can't understand that the game needs to be balanced so that no one class is more powerful than any other class, they should go play something else. What makes WoW so fun is that it is constantly being fixed and tweaked so that the world is always changing and moving forward. The WoW developers are always watching to make sure that balance is kept. If they didn't do that...warriors would still be running around wielding arcanite reapers oneshotting mobs or ret paladins would gather reckoning stacks and unleash reckoning bombs on raid bosses, effectively soloing them. Ah the good old days. /nostalgia

Anyway back on topic, nerfs happen, tweaks happen, deal with it. Change like Spice, is life. If you feel your class is being nerfed into the ground today than look forward to tomorrow when it will be buffed to the heavens. Paladins are a great example of a class that is constantly being changed and tweaked. Back in vanilla, most raiding paladins were healers, ret pallies were rare and protadins were even more rare. BC made paladin healing more fun, prot more viable, and ret...well it was not as uncommon to see raiding retadins. Wrath made all three classes fun and viable to play in pvp and pve, but tankadins were made OP. Cataclysm so far has to make all three fun, although ret was nerfed a little because its mastery was a bum deal but that will be addressed in 4.0.6 which drops today and will make it more fun to play. Ask any vanilla paladin about their class and they can tell you all about nerfs and buffs and nerfs. It's an ever changing world we play in.

If you want to complain to anyone...don't bother talking to me as I have been a frost mage for almost 6 years now and my class has gone from everyone being frost in vanilla, to everyone being fire in BC, to everyone being arcane in wrath. The only people who were frost were people like me who rocked it, people leveling, and pvpers. When I joined a pug raid on my mage I had to constantly prove that I could rock the dps meters, which I of course did. It was only in very late wrath that frost was buffed and even than most people didn't consider it a viable spec unless you were skilled. Cataclysm has finally made it accepted in raids and for that I am happy and even though I am getting a few slight nerfs with this patch, I won't be complaining that the sky is falling. I know its necessary to balance the game.

If you can't one shot level 85 elites anymore after the patch...well maybe you should rethink about whether your class should be the only one who could do that and if that was fair to everyone else. Or better yet...remember that it's just a game after all.