Monday, August 18, 2008

A Close Shave

Spy Emergency saved my ass, and probably my guild's ass too, today. I went to launch it on my laptop since my main machine was occupied with another LAN game and I got a Trojan warning called "Game Stealer" attached to WoW.exe I HATE playing on this windows machine.

Now I have to completely reinstall WOW, redo all the patches, scan, and reinstall all the addons. But at least I didn't get haxored. That would be bad for both me and the guild bank. Also, I'm glad I did it now because I'm leaving for a trip in about 4 hours and I woulda been uber pissed if I couldn't play WoW because the game was haxored and the discs were at home.

I'll be changing my password now too. I need to get one of those authenticator dongles.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

For every good day...

I suck at this game. I've put so much time and effort into it, but you know what? It doesn't really matter. Arenas? Yeah right. Zully can wear as many purples as she wants, I'm just not cutting it. I know it takes two to tango, but it's really discouraging to not even have a 50% win rate on over 70 games. Instances? I'm the easily distracted one that backs into the mobs. BGs? I hide with the rest of the crowd.

Sure, I have my good days where I feel like I rule the world, but then I get a slap in the face day like today that makes me want to quit.

The phrase in Arena talk is "carry me". I feel like that's me all the time, unless I'm helping the lowbies. I want to be in the pros, but I'm still on the pickup team. Sigh.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Can today get any better?

I had a great WoW day today. I got promoted to officer, got 4 badges out of Botanca, got the Bangle of Endless Blessings, got the Boots of Ethereal Manipulation, and a Steamvault run worth of rep. Dang. That's a lot for one day.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Breakfast Topic: Buggy memories

Today's WoW Insider breakfast topic is about bugs or weird happenings that make great WoW memories. I have a few that I can think of, and I have screenshots too :-)

My favorite had to be one of the times I went to Zul'Farrak with Body Count. Mangler and Darkdestiny helped me run through ZF about a billion times, and Mangler in teaching me the arms warrior ropes pointed me at what became my first Epic, Sul'Thraze the Lasher, the two halves of which drop in ZF. Not to mention all the times I ran it with Zully for one reason or another.

I actually have a lot of good memories of ZF. In my opinion, it is one of the most epic mid level old world dungeons. There were so many little different things like the scarabs that all pull if you hit one, the event where all the zombies run up they pyramid at you, and of course, the quest you have to do to get the Carrot on a Stick. First, you have to do this stupidly annoying prerequisite chain in the Hinterlands to get the Hammer of Zul'Farrak where you end up killing like 100 trolls, then bring it with you and bang on a gong to summon Gaz'rilla giant hydra. Post-BC, they have added giant hydras to at least two dungeons that I run regularly, but good old Gaz will always be my favorite.

So here we all are ready to kill the big guy. I'm standing there with my giant sword and Mangler says somthing along the lines of "What are you waiting for? Go do it." I look up at this giant thing and think "OK..." and charge. Well things are going fine, Darkdestiny's healing me with one hand tied behind her back. We're almost done and I get hit with this knockback.

I landed perfectly on top of the wall looking down on the battlefield.

I have a great picture of me before it happened, and me on top of the wall looking down at this giant dying hydra. And I got my Carrot on a Stick :-)

Another good one is my recent trip to the top of the world. It's not really a glitch, it's a pretty well known easter egg type area, but Tran showed me the entrance and took me on a little tour past all the airplanes and the flight master, around and up the hills to the very top. It was so cool. Of course I got a little disoriented and almost killed myself on the guards outside of Ironforge when we jumped back onto the map, but what's a good trip without some excitement right?

Thursday, August 7, 2008


I probably earned myself at least a few hours in purgatory for this:

Guildwatch: Giving Out Epic Gems to Scrubs

I couldn't help myself. Shame on me.

Thank You Sir, May I Have Another?... Discipline Specs

I didn't log Zully on at all yesterday, that whole home ownership thing got in the way what with the repairman and assembly of prefab closet units. I did get a chance to talk to Tran a little bit while I was slowly dragging my squishy little level 18 Warlock Phoenix through quests and he's been thinking about specs for his Rogue. Not having ever played a successful Rogue I didn't really have anything more intelligent to say than 'Oooh, shiny'. So I didn't really ask for specifics.

That did get me thinking about Zully's spec. She's been Holy from level 1. She had a very brief (as in less than 3 days) stint in Shadow around level 62 because when BC first came out Hellfire was as hard as hell for a healer without a group, which for me was pretty much always. Shadow spec did not go well. I had NO CLUE how to play Shadow, and my gear was all wrong, so back to Holy I went. If I ever want to try Shadow, I will roll a Shadow Priest, thank you. Zully's just not cut out for the dark side.

My guildies are very nice about spec. They never pressure people to respec, even if we do have more DPS Warriors than you can shake a stick at. I'm guilty of being one of the DPS warriors, but if I made Morning a tank, it would just land me in another issue: you can't play two characters at once. Almost all of our Tanks and Healers share an account. So if we're having a raid and need a tank and a healer, you gotta pick one, can't run both at the same time. I suppose if every tank player had a healer and vice versa we'd eventually have enough for consistent raids. There's another problem with making Morning a tank:

I'm a lousy tank.

I don't like marking and I'm not confident enough to lead. I like hanging out in the back and calling out when the patrol gets too close because everyone else's view is full of Tauren butt or ogre nads. I'm so used to shedding and avoiding aggro that the idea of pulling and holding aggro makes me nervous. I'm sure I'd get better at tanking with practice, but as it stands now you don't want me up front waving the shield, trust me. There's a reason Zully is my main despite the fact that Morning was my only max level character pre-BC.

Getting back around to Zully's spec, my arena partner is pressuring me to go Discipline. Here's my list of reasons I don't want to respec:
  1. Zully's always been a heavy healer, and I like it. I know Discipline priests are just a different variety of healer, but I love me my 6k+ heal crits.
  2. A Discipline Priest in full Primal Mooncloth/Whitemend is kind of silly, and I have put every heal related buff I can find on that set. It's a very common gear combo, but I don't care, I'm proud of what I've done with it.
  3. Discipline Priests are built for instanced PvP. See my previous post about not liking instanced PvP. I want to be able to PUG Heroic Shattered Halls and amaze the group (like I did on Monday), and I don't think Discipline Priests are in that category.
  4. I'm bad at the "Push this button to increase your healing/damage/defense" playstyle, and I get the impression that Discipline is heavy into this sort of talent. The only push button talent I've learned to use well is inner focus, and that's because I think the 5 second rule is the coolest mana strategy ever.
  5. Despite the fact I've already admitted I'm a conformist, I really don't want to use the same cookie cutter spec as every other priest on the server. I'm already a Troll Priest among the Undead, and I'd like to stay a survival Holy Priest among heavy Discipine specs.
  6. I really don't think my spec is that bad. I have some awesome auto-popping 'Don't Crit Me' talents that I'll lose if I go Discipline.
I had something very Zen to say about all this, but I think this post has gone on long enough. I'll talk to Mal this weekend about the arena team, but I'd really like to stay how I am until he really proves to me that the spec I have isn't going to be good enough to get the rating we want.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

2v2 Arena Team

I'll say this up front: arena night has been making me very grumpy for the last week or so, to the point where it's been making me not fun for the guildies to hang around on a Monday night, and has become this gigantic thorn in my side I keep ranting about despite the fact that in all honestly...

I don't really care about instanced PvP. I only care about Arenas because it is a Big Deal to my guild mates, and thus it became a Big Deal to me.

I'm a conformist, and I know it. It's not all bad, but it causes some interesting arguments with myself, especially when my schedule gets out of whack. I'm sorry, but I'm tired of logging on for 5v5 at my bedtime then waiting around for 30 minutes or more to do a 45 minute set. It's too late, and I have enough motivation issues at work without being sleep deprived too.

So last night I finally got a break from the Arena issues I've been having. My good buddy Mal and I formed a Rogue/Priest 2v2 team. It was hella late last night, especially after the damn allies killed me while I was trying to turn in the charter. What's up with that, don't you have better things to do than make my life miserable? And what's up with Blizzard putting a time-intensive activity like choosing a team banner in a place where you can get killed? I understand this is PvP, but come on, that's just not cool. Fortunately, I have awesome guildies who rode over and distracted the allies while I turned in the charter. Props to Nativ, Krom, and Farty for the help.

We got our minimum 10 games in and went 5-5. not too shabby considering Mal hasn't had a gear upgrade in ages and I haven't bitten the bullet and gone over to Arena Discipline yet. The idea of speccing out of Holy makes me want to cry, scream, and hide under a rock. But I'll probably try it for him, especially since he's paying for it. That and I'm a pushover and not good at arguing for what I want.

A little Ketchup... Catsup... Catch Up

Before I jump into the heavy duty stuff let me tell you a little bit about my WoW history. I have been playing WoW since about patch 1.4. I played very briefly on an Alliance PvE server with a Dwarf Warrior. About the time I reached Theramore I was bored. It didn't seem challenging. And I had this friend at work who had a Horde character on a PvP server who would regale those who would listen with stories of raids on enemy towns, guilds that "owned Ashenvale", and the death of giant monsters in the depths of volcanoes. That, combined with the humongous Tauren that single handedly laid waste to the tower in Westfall convinced me it was time to give up my tiny warrior and go over to the Horde side.

My first Horde server was Gurubashi. I had an Undead Priest there that made it to about level 45 (She has since been deleted. I will never delete a character over level 20 again). My other long time character Morning the Tauren Warrior was rolled on Bloodscalp, the same server as my friend from work. I had fun then, but I was playing WoW like a single player game and did most of the multiplayer content as pickup groups, which was less than thrilling. I enjoyed my warrior, but the priest class grew on me, despite the PvP problems being a Healer can bring.

Things went kind of south with the first friend who got me onto his server, and I stopped playing Morning and rolled Zully on my current when it was new, since I didn't really want to pay a transfer fee for a sub-40 priest. I figured I had learned the class well enough I could run up a new one in no time at all. I got a couple other friends from work, Gantris and Tar, to join me. We formed our own little guild, Defective By Design, and had a lot of fun leveling, doing quests, and generally kicking alliance butt. I transferred Morning at some point and she was my main for a while, being my first max level character, owning my first epic (Sul'Thraze the Lasher) and having the full Dungeon Set 1 (and part of the epic upgrade set) before the new expansion came out. Eventually, we all left for different jobs, and we're all still friends but the WoW guild went bye bye. Gantris plays on another server now, and Tar is with me in my current guild.

I ended up taking a break from WoW for about half a year about a month after the Burning Crusade came out. I went through several guilds with varying levels of drama and finally ended up on my own, bored and frustrated . I'm not going to get into that now, since I'm sure it will be thoroughly covered in the future. A few weeks before I took my WoW break I joined the guild I'm in today.

My guild graciously didn't kick me for being idle for 6 months plus, and once I got over the "Where did you come from? Who invited you?" period on my return, I made some really great friends. Being a healer sure helped, and I was 'adopted' by one of the long time guild members to be geared up for heavy duty healing. I think their efforts (and, of course, mine) have paid off. I am very well geared for the entry level Karazhan raid, and am doing a decent job at getting my gear for Arena style healing as well. Now I just need to work on my skills, which I have recently learned are better than most, but not up to snuff for raids quite yet.

Despite what my other half would tell you, in terms of the WoW community I'm a casual player. I usually spend around 1-2 hours on days I'm working and pretty much all my unscheduled time on the weekend, which varies from 6 to 18 hours a day. There are many people that have much more time than that to dedicate to it, and it shows. I also tend to get distracted with trivial stuff like fishing and doing quests "just to get them out of my log", but the free-form nature of the game is what keeps it fun for me. So yes, having max fishing is probably a waste of time, but I like it, so tough. But in terms of being Uber, I will probably never fit the common WoW definition of being the best. But for me, setting personal goals and reaching them is enough for me.

That's me, my background, and my play style. Now we can get on with the good stuff.

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