Thursday, December 30, 2010

What's Expected of You?

We're comfortably a few weeks into Cataclysm and I'm feeling pretty good about it. I've gotten comfortable with healing. Money is flowing in nicely, though starting to wane a little. The guild has reached level 6 (may be 7 by the time I'm writing this). My alch, inscription, herb and mining professions are all maxed out. I'm 2 points away from max tailoring. So yeah, I'm feeling pretty good with where things are going in the new expansion.

What am I not feeling good about? PUGs, of course. I still refuse to PUG a heroic dungeon. I don't doubt my ability to heal but I do doubt my ability to keep up with people that still think they can face roll though the instances.

As I've said in the past..."If you pull like this is Wrath, you're going to die. If you take damage that could be avoided, you will die".

One of my guildies made a comment the other day that is totally going to become my new signature tag line. "Healer mana pools are the new enrage timer".

Honestly guys, this is true. Healers have a very limited mana pool and Blizzard intends to keep it this way. We can't spam heals like we could in Wrath. Casting takes longer, spells cost more mana and we can't regen it fast enough. Remember a dead tank means a dead group. The days of being able to dps tank are gone.

So what can you do to help?
1. Don't stand in the bad stuff. You already know not to do it, so don't. STOP casting and MOVE immediately, don't wait.

2. Avoid all avoidable damage. Move away from stuff falling from the sky, decurse, dispel, cleanse, whatever you have. This doesn't go just for yourself but for the entire party. If you can remove whatever is ticking on the party, do it, you'll save your healer's mana enough to keep the group alive just a few seconds longer. Often times, that few seconds makes all the difference.

3. Crowd control. If you have it, use it. Speak up. Let your tank know if you can sheep, trap, slow, shackle or root that mob and don't forget to keep the CC up until the tank picks up your mob. That mob is your baby and you are responsible for keeping it under control until the tank has control of it. If a mob breaks away from the tank and you can CC it in some way, do it! If you don't that mob will wipe the group if left uncontrolled.

4. Don't pull aggro. Yes, it was no big deal in Wrath. The healer would toss you a couple of heals and you would single target or AoE your mob down before it killed you. You can't do this anymore. For two really good reasons. First, the healer doesn't have the mana to spare on trying to keep you alive. Secondly, those mobs hit a lot harder and it will take a lot less for them to kill you and then move on to the next target...your healer.

5. Buffs...if you have them give them freely. Keep them renewed on the party and reuse them when someone dies. That little bit of int or health or mp5 does wonders for your healer. I am ecstatic when I have a party with both a mage and a paladin. I get int and mp5 and I breath a sigh of relief. Those little buffs will do wonders for my mana pool and mana regen. So remember them. And for you mages out there...your healer will love you for providing them with cupcakes. Have you seen the cost of water these days. Almost 2 gold for a stack of 5 and we have to drink nearly a full 20 stack or more to make it through a heroic. We love you for your lovely cupcakes!

6. Interrupt, interrupt, interrupt! If that boss is casting something and you can stop it, please do. Help the tank mitigate their damage. The less damage they take the more mana the healer will have to toss heals around to the rest of the team when their is AoE damage going around.

7. Range. Keep in mind where your healer is at all times. If you are out of range we have to run to find you and if we don't make it in time, you're going to go splat. Every dps is important in every fight. We need you all! Please don't run away! And if you're in melee range and you're taking damage, move out. Give me a second to get you heals then run back in. It may just save you a repair bill and the group a wipe.

8. Lastly, don't slack. We need the dps, we need the heals, we need the tank. Every member in a 5 man raid counts. We don't have the dps to spare in most fights. The healer doesn't have the mana to spare and the tank can't run around trying to get aggro back from a trigger happy mage. Tanks use your ready check, healers speak up when you need to stop for mana, dps be ready when the tank pulls.

So that's it. That's my advice to all of us. I'm not ready to PUG heroics yet. I'll stick to healing my guild's tanks. I know them, they know me. We work well together and we trust each other. Hopefully in time the PUG members will get the understanding of these concepts and a PUG won't be so painful.

Until, Happy New Year and Happy Hunting. See you on the other side!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Practice Makes Perfect

As we've lovingly been deemed by the other raid leader, "Team Ty" has been on a heroic run spree for the past week or so.

We've got a groove, myself healing, Kyn as DPS, our guilds MT and his boomkin girlfriend and a 5th random guild member, normally our favorite mage/Int provider/cupcake maker. The 5 of us together just seem to make a great team. I've learned the tanks quirks, he's learned mine. We know when to pop what cool downs to make sure he stays alive or that I have time to heal the party. We have awesome CC with druid roots and mage sheeps. It just seems to work, you know.

So over the last week, we've successfully ran H-HoO, H-Vortex, H-Deadmines and H-SFK several times with little to no problem. Surprisingly, out of all of those, SFK has to be my favorite instance so far. Not that it really has loot specific to me but because the fights are just plain fun.

Let me pass on what I've learned to any other holy priests out there that may not have attempted to heal this one yet.

Really the first boss is the most difficult. We were able to 2 shot him without much difficulty. Once we understood the concept of the fights, our melee dps had the interrupts down to an art. That's the most important part of this fight. There are a couple abilities that MUST be interrupted no matter what.

First off he puts a debuff on random people called "Pain and Suffering". This needs to be stopped, interrupt or dispell. It inflicts increased shadow damage on the target every 1/2 second for 8 seconds. It should more appropriately be entitled "Pain and Suffering to Your Healer".

Secondly he will cast Asphyxiate on the entire party. This will drop everyone's health to 1. Immediately following this he will start to cast "Stay of Execution" to heal himself and the party back to full. While it's nice of him to heal our health back up, we don't want him to also heal himself. So when he starts to cast this you want to have someone interrupt after 2 ticks of the spell. Why not immediately you may ask? Because those two ticks, as well as the healers AoE heals are enough to heal the party back high enough to withstand the next phase of damage without draining their mana pool. Be sure you let him get off 2 ticks of this cast before you have your melee interrupt him.

Last thing to really worry about comes at about 20% health. He will use Calamity. This inflicts massive amounts of damage on the entire party every 1 second until he is dead. The fight now becomes a DPS race against the healers mana pool and cast times. Pop your cooldowns, cast speed boosts, whatever you've got and burn him down ASAP!

Now, my advise to healers is simple. If you're a holy priest have your Chakra ready to use Holy Word: Sanctuary when he drops everyone's health to 1. This combined with a cast of Circle of Healing or Prayer of Healing will bring your entire party up above 30K health. It's not necessary or recommended to try to heal everyone back to full. It does not matter how much health they have, the next time he casts Asphyxiate, it will drop to 1. You only want to make sure your party has enough health to withstand any party damage/tank damage they take before then.

It is important however to watch the health of the boss. You want to have everyone as close to full as possible before he hits 20%. Use whatever cool downs you have and try to keep your highest dps and the tank alive long enough to kill him. Accepting that you will probably loose a person or two during the last 20% will take a load of stress off of you. I personally sacrificed myself, since I had Spirit of Redemption and knew that the unlimited mana use I had for 15 seconds would be enough to let me spam heals on all the dps and the tank while they killed him.

With all of that being said, the rest of the instance so extremely easy on a priest. There are lots of undead mobs so you are useful to shackle as well as heal. Compared to most of the other instances, this was unbelievably easy.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday and Happy Hunting!

Monday, December 20, 2010



Yep, that's what I have to say on that topic.

Kyn got the last couple of points needed to be able to do heroics this past weekend. So we settle in Sunday afternoon, the first chance we really got to play, for some quality WoW and movie time.

We had planned to pop in the old Indiana Jones movies and finish up the quests in Uldum. For some odd reason, doing the Harrison Jones quests made us want to watch the old movies.

Well about 45 minutes into Temple of Doom we get asked to come along for some heroic runs with a couple of guildies. Yeah, that sounds like fun. We like this couple and the other guy that's going along. It's an all guild run, I know the tank, shouldn't be too hard, right?

WRONG! We queue up random and get heroic Grim Bartol. Really...first heroic and that's what we get? That's like Halls of Reflection on crack. Even on normal that instance isn't the easiest place to heal.

In we go. Happily running along, killing trash, casually chatting up on vent. It's already very obvious that the tank is getting hit a hell of a lot harder than when we ran this place on normal. We even have 2 druids along so two sets of roots for CC. About 3 pulls into the run, just after the dragon fly over, I'm in panic mode. The tank and the party are happily chatting away in vent about old ICC memories while I'm watching the tank's heal dropping, very quickly. Then we loose a dps. It's at this point that I begin to think I may be in over my head.

We somehow manage to make it to the first boss which promptly leads to a wipe.

"Apparently we need to run away from the blitz and somebody get those damn troggs away from the boss!"

"Oh wait, not on me...fade, fade, run to the tank...we're dead."

Lets try again. Wipe number two.

Third time's a charm right? Wipe number 3.

Last time..."shew, we made it. Not so bad, we got this under control! We're awesome!"

Kill the trash, off to boss number two.

No big deal, stay out of the falling rocks, avoid the crap on the ground....oh shit! FIRE shield! DEAD. Wipe one, wipe two, wipe three....what the hell is wrong with this Forgemaster?!?! The boomkin offers to go resto and help heal and he finally goes down.


Next..and I cringe. This boss doesn't seem so impossible. He's going to blow fire at the tank and the incoming fire elemental have to be killed. We should be able to do this.

Wipe, one, two, three, four, five. What do you mean we've been in the same heroic for 2 1/2 hours? 5 man raiding? No kidding, this is crazy. Massive Wrath type damage being thrown around to all the party, there is no way my mana can keep up with this. No Greater Heal, of course not, Blizzard made the spell cost 5 times the mana it use to. Heal, Heal, Heal...chakra, renew, prayer of mending, holy word sanctuary. The party is taking way too much freaking damage. I'm done. We're beating our head against the wall.

Give me a break! What the hell do you want Blizzard. Triage, isn't that the term you used? Well let me give a little insight. The party can't survive without the tank, the tank can't survive without the healer and the boss will enrage and the healer will run out of mana without the DPS to kill him. That's how this damn boss works. So who do you want me to keep alive? The tank? Myself? Let the DPS die? I can't do that, we can't down the boss with only myself and the tank alive. Not this time.

I know that this is a higher end heroic. I know that we have 3 of the 5 people in average 330ish item level gear. BUT...heroics are suppose to be possible at that level. Just this once, I'm going to QQ and say Blizzard, Drahga Shadowburner may need to be nerfed...just a freaking little.

I'm not the type to complain about things being a little difficult. I don't yell and throw a fit when Blizzard changes things. I was a child of BC. I understand the need for CC and mana conservation. I understand, accept and embrace heroics taking more than 20 minutes to clear and needing more than AoE to kill stuff. I get all this and I agree. But this guy...I really think, they went a little overboard on.

We didn't finish that heroic. We ended up taking a 20 minute break and coming back to complete Halls of Origination. There were some tight spots. I lost a dps or two to bad timing. I think we wiped three....maybe four times. But we completed it.

Grim Bartol has become my new H:MgT. I will avoid it like the plague.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Heroic Ready

Well, Blizzard says I'm heroic ready. My average item level hit 329 last night simply by picking up my tier helm and switching out my neck for the one offered from Earthen Ring at revered.

Not sure I think I am ready. After some of the nightmares I have heard from our guildies (specifically the tanks and healers) I am not sure I'll ever be ready for PUG healing in Cata.

I remember when the LFG tool was introduced back in Wrath how excited I was about being able to randomly queue for heroics and not having to wait for people I knew to be on line. However, I also remember how stressed I got when I realized just how bad they could really be.

The good news...I do have guildies that I will be able to run with.

Now to get Kyn those last 5 points...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

With New Joy Comes New Heartache

We're a little over a week into Cataclysm and now that the leveling fun is over my excitement is slowly being replaced by anxiety.

Let me start by saying that I really do love my guild and I enjoy the people in it. I've had a great time running instances and hanging out in vent with them over the last few nights. It's a sense of belonging, of fitting in. To most that will sound silly, especially since it's just a game right? But simply remember I am a girl after all and we do stress over things that don't matter to most of you guys.

With that being said my guild is also bringing on a sense of stress.

When Cata released I had no outlined plan of how I was going to spend my time. I wanted to make sure I kept up with the guild and their leveling progression as much as I could. I had enjoyed being there for most of the progression through ICC and don't want to loose my place with them in the new content.

Now, I'm starting to feel the panic.

Our raid leaders have placed a "Heroic Roll Call" on the raid forums. As of this morning there are 7 names on that list. One of which is not mine. The guild message of the day when I logged in last night announced the plan to start heroic gear runs during raid times beginning next week. My priest is still not heroic ready. Thus produces panic attack one and two.

With the new expansion thus comes new players. Over the last couple of nights we have welcomed several new members into our ranks. This is wonderful for the guild. New people breath new life into the guild. But it also brings about panic number 3. New people also bring new bodies wanting to raid.

Again, most of you probably aren't seeing my panic in this yet. Let me give you a little background info.

When I first joined my current guild they had a pretty strong, pretty tight raiding team. Though Kyn and I were able to attend a few raids with them, there wasn't much room in the group at the time. The current raiders had been progressing and working together long before we came around. As people started to take extended breaks from the game, Kyn and I were still going strong. This opened up a few spots for us to slide into. We started raiding with the people that were still around, making friends and enjoying being part of the group.

Now I start to worry. You see, we have a very open raid sign up policy. 24 hours before the scheduled raid the queue opens up on our website and you sign up. First 10 people to sign up are the first 10 people invited to go. Based on need of course.

With the release of new content and new members, I have a feeling that queue is going to fill up very quickly. Even towards the end of Wrath, we were seeing the queue go from empty to full in less than a couple of minutes. Everyone wanted to be there for Lich King. There are only so many spots in a 10 man raid group and we're looking at more than 10 people wanting those spots already.

Thus is the cause of stress in my game. Be it a valid concern or not, it's still a concern for me none the less.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pre-Raid Gearing for a Holy Priest

Kalyanna dinged 85 last night after a couple of enjoyable instance runs with my guildies. Yay! Have I mentioned that I love my guild? I've been having a blast with them since the expansion released. Running instances, hanging out on's all been great! But that's not the point of this post.

Now it's time to start thinking about her gear and stats and gems and enchants, oh my! Everyone that knows me, knows that I'm not really the kind of person that goes into a panic over my gear. But since she is going to be healing raids for our guild, and we don't have a lot of healers to rely on, I think it's time I at least get an idea of what gear and stuff she needs from where.

First off, let's talk about my personal stat priority. Keep in mind this is my preference based on what I know so far. For me, the stats go something like this: Int -> Spirit -> Haste -> Mastery

I need Int for spell power and a larger mana pool. I need spirit to regen that mana and Haste in order to decrease my cast time. So all that makes sense to me. Then there is the gear to get those stats.

Everyone already knows you need to be at 329 to get into the heroics. And that it's pretty much just some lucky drops from instances and some rep items. I won't spend time going into that. Kaly's already at 326, so it's just a matter of getting those last 3 points.

Instead, let's take a look at what gear she can get and where it comes from. This is a list based on the stats that I prefer. Some of this gear has Crit on it and for those items I'd reforge for either Haste or Mastery.

HEROIC Instances:
Neck: Amulet of Tender Breath - Vortex Pinnacle
Shoulder: Mantle of Loss - SFK
Back: Solar Wind Cloak - Halls of Origination
Robe: Anraphet's Regalia - Halls of Origination
Wrist: Baron Ashbury's Cuffs - SFK
Hands: Dolomite Adorned Gloves - Stonecore
Boots: Hekatic Slippers - Halls of Origination
Ring: Veneficial Band - Lost City of the Tol'vir
Ring: Kibble - Blackrock Caverns
Trinket: Tear of Blood - Stonecore
Trinket: Witching Hourglass - Blackrock Caverns
Weapon: Scepter of Power - Halls of Origination
Off-Hand: Prophet's Scepter - Stonecore
Wand: Wand of Untainted Power - Grim Batol

If you prefer a staff or can't get the weapon and off hand to drop:
Staff: Soul Releaser - Halls of Origination

Head: Mask of New Snow - 2200
Waist: Belt of the Falling Rain - 1650
Legs: Leggings of Charity - 2200

Cord of Raven Queen - Hyjal Exalted
Shimmering Morningstar - Tol Barad Revered
Mandala of Stirring Patterns - Tol Barad Exalted

The last thing I'll talk about is the enchants and the gems. Most of this is common knowledge and everyone will enchant and gem differently based on their preference. I also have the advantage of being a scribe but for this purpose I'll leave those benefits out.

Head: Arcanum of Hyjal - Guardians of Hyjal Revered
Shoulder: Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone - Therazane Exalted
Weapon: Enchant Weapon - Power Torrent
Boots: Enchant Boots - Haste
Legs: Powerful Ghostly Spellthread
Bracer: Enchant Bracer - Exceptional Spirit
Chest: Enchant Chest - Peerless Stats
Cloak: Enchant Cloak - Greater Intellect
Gloves: Enchant Gloves - Haste
Off hand: Enchant Off-Hand - Superior Intellect

META: Ember Shadowspirit Diamond
RED: Brilliant Inferno Ruby
BLUE: Sparkling Ocean Sapphire
YELLOW: Quick Amberjewel
PURPLE: Purified Demonseye
ORANGE: Reckless Ember Topaz
GREEN: Zen Dream Emerald

So, that's it! Looks like I've got my work cut out for me. Hope you find a little bit of useful information somewhere in here as well.

Until next time!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Whole New World

Because I know you all were singing it....

What I know today...

healing in Cata isn't so hard.

So I spent last night and the night before in normal level 84 - 85 instances (as an 84 Holy priest) learning to heal again.

I was beginning to doubt my ability to change and my ability to be an effective healer in the new expansion. In the early instances of the expansion I was finding that I was running out of mana before the end of almost every fight. Yes, even some trash pulls. But I couldn't keep enough mana to make it through an entire boss encounter. I was popping my trinkets every time they were off cool down, using Shadowfiend whenever I could and even channeling the stupid priest mana regen spell, Hymn of Hope. I just couldn't figure it out.

Yes I knew from reading that they wanted me to rely more on the my Heal spell and not spam Flash Heal or Greater Heal, but the amount of health I was healing with Heal, compared to my normal comfort spells was nothing against the 70,0000 - 80,000 health pool of the tanks.

Well that was until I figured out a little, unknown to me, secret.

I had pretty much stopped using Chakra after they took away the improved renew state before the actual release of Cata. I quickly learned, over the last two nights, that I had totally underestimated the use of Holy Word: Serenity.

Alone the small amount of instant heal to your target isn't a huge boost or reason to start using your Heal spell more but added to the extra 25% crit for 6 seconds it makes a lot of sense and I've found a pretty effective way to use it.

I've learned through Cata that healing is a lot more about learning to anticipate the damage your tank is going to take and react to it accordingly. It's about knowing your tank and understanding their abilities and actions. For this reason alone, I much prefer to run with my guild's tanks because I've found that with them I can memorize the pattern and be better prepared. On the other hand, I also know that it's not always possible to run with your guild mates. If you're flexible and patient, I think you can carry these rules through to PUGs as well.

So, how do you apply the "learn and anticipate" method I've come up with? It's not exactly simple but with practice it seems to work for me. Not everything I do is totally different than the "old" days, it's just been tweaked a little.

Under normal circumstances this is how my healing will go. Before the tank pulls I will do the normal Prayer of Mending, immediately followed by Chakra. Your Chakra state lasts for 30 seconds and in all the instances I've been in during Cata, I can be almost 100% assured someone is going to take damage within that 30 seconds. The first person that takes damage gets a normal Heal. This Heal spell will activate my Holy Word: Serenity (HwS) spell. The tank then gets a Renew spell tossed on them, while I heal most of the party members with Heal. Each time I use Heal it renews the state of my HwS spell. I use the instant effects of the HwS spell on my tank.

Normally, with a good tank at least, I can keep his health at a comfortable level with only HwS, Heal and Renew. If I see that his health is dropping dangerously low (or too low for my comfort) I will pull a Greater Heal spell, if cast time permits, or a couple Flash Heals if I need to quickly get his health up.

Another shocker that I've found is that even Holy Priests can effectively use Power Word: Shield in emergency situations now. It use to be, in Wrath and even in BC, that our shields weren't really strong enough to withstand more than a single hit or maybe two on the tank. Now that the talent tree is allowing us to get a little further into the Disc side of things, I've been able to put a couple points into Improved Power Word: Shield making my shield withstand a couple more hits in emergency situations.

By no means is this going to be the perfect rotation. By no means am I saying this will work for everyone. I am simply passing along what one frustrated and worried Holy Priest has learned for more than one failed attempt at Cataclysm healing. Granted I have gotten much better gear through the successful instances I've healed. I'm also playing on a 65K mana pool now. But I can still drain that mana pool way too quickly if I'm not careful.

So, if I've helped even one mana starved Holy Priest make it through a single instance without wanting to quit and reroll as dps, than I count this thread as useful.

Happy Cata hunting and enjoy your week in Wow!

Monday, December 13, 2010

What I have learned...

in Cataclysm so far...

1 - Harrison Jones is AWESOME!
2 - Mount Hyjal has the most interesting story line so far (my favorite zone)
3 - Healing is hard
4 - Pugs suck...again
5 - People don't remember how to use crowd control
6 - My guild is awesome
7 - Blizzard loves pop culture in their game..."Jaws", "Indiana Jones", "Pirates of the Caribbean", "Star Wars"...

That is what I about you?

Monday, December 6, 2010

It's Time!!!!!

That is all.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Counting Down

That's probably what everyone is doing these days I would assume.

I've finished my Kingslayer goal, several times over. Got the mounts and pets that I wanted and watched the shattering.

Deathwing still seems to be terrified of me and won't enter any zone I tend to be in, on any toon. Guess he heard what I did to Arthas and doesn't want to push his luck. Which is a little annoying when I want that dumb achievement...oh well.

I am very excited that I got the Starcaller title on my priest. I couldn't be more proud of my guild. Or love them anymore than I do now, since they all got together and took an hour out of their normal raid schedule just to do the title run for me. And even better than that, it was our second attempt on him.

So now we wait...just a few more days!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

All I can say is WOW!

So the world shattered last night. The fansites were right. I didn't get my raptor from ZG or my Starcaller title. Spent my last night in Azeroth doing a last minute LK title run for guildies that hadn't made it to the prior raids. *sigh* Oh well...

Regardless, the servers were up earlier than I expected last night and regardless of the fact that I was feeling like crap, I logged in anyway. And to my surprise, all I could say was WOW! Totally impressed Blizzard...nice job!

Honestly, the game was gorgeous! Stormwind was totally amazing. I spent almost an hour there running around just looking at all the revamps they did to the textures in the game. It all made me totally grateful that Kyn (Matt) got me a new computer for my birthday that could totally handle max graphic levels!

The streets and building textures..amazing! Did anyone notice how detailed the trees are now? They actually look three dimensional. The graveyard in Stormwind is totally amazing. The wedding gazeboo thing in the Cathedral district, beautiful. I'm sure there will be a lot of crazy RP going on there. (If you're into that kind of thing)

I had logged my lock out at the doors of ZG so I did get to see parts of Norther Stranglethron. It didn't feel totally different, but the changes were just enough to make it seem like something new. I was glad to see that ZG remains the same, it's just not a raid any longer. There were no mobs inside the gates so I assume that will be added later. The layout is the same but the changes to the detail made it amazing.

Ran from Stranglethron to Westfall and play around in the tornados for awhile. Did you know they will throw you up into the air if you run in to them? But be careful, you do take fall damage. Then explored Moonbrooke. Was actually amazed to see that it is now a quest hub.

Oh, did anyone else notice they added a million flight paths? There were 3 in Westfall alone. I assume that was for the benefit of the lowbies that won't have flying yet. Was a nice addition I think.

We logged to a different server for the benifit of rolling gnomes to see their new starting area. The quests were amusing. Matt and I giggled at some of quest lines and had a good time with the new changes. Made me more than a little excited to roll that goblin!

So, with that I say a huge THANK YOU Blizzard! Can't wait for the rest of Cata.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Saying Good-Bye

So several of the more well known fan sites are predicting the release of version 4.0.3a for next week.

We all know that with that comes the events that will forever change Azeroth. I'm slowly coming to the reality that I'm not going to see that ZG raptor before that happens. It has successfully evaded me for well over 2 years of trying. So, if they are correct and the shattering happens next week, I'll make my last 2 trecks into ZG this week and I'll have to say good-bye.

With only 18 days left until release, it also means that 'Fallen' has 2 raid locks left to get our Starcaller title before people quickly loose interest and move on to leveling fun. That's probably not unrealistic for us since last week was our first attempt and we had him down to 15% when he de-spawned on us. So I think, if we try again, we'll easily have that one too.

Just a quick note from my side of the world. I hope everyone is enjoying their remaining time in the world we currently know and that all pre-Cata plans are going smoothly. I've been playing a lot less these past few weeks. Logging on for raids and the elemental attacks, nothing more. But I fully expect that to change in a couple weeks!

Have a wonderful week and a happy, healthy, safe and joyous Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

T Minus 27 and counting...

Where has the days gone? We're down to 27 days and a little over 9 hours before the release of Cataclysm and 27 days and 12 hours before we make our first steps into a world that is changed forever.

Well, that's not exactly true, now is it? They are planning to release the world changing event patch before Cataclysm actually hits the shelves.

So the big question becomes...when do we think that will happen?

Well, my (un)educated guess...and it's just that...nothing more than a guess is going to be November 30th. I know, I know, that's only 3 weeks away. But think about this:
  1. It's the last Tuesday patch day before the release of Cataclysm.
  2. The elemental invasion is currently on phase 2 of 4
  3. If the invasion release follows the path it's on, phase 4 will hit on the November 22nd

That leaves one week to finish the pre-Cata events and then they drop the change on us. Don't throw things or scream at me if I am wrong. I have totally been known to be wrong on occasion. But that's just my prediction.

Regardless...we're playing Cata in less than 28 days!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Heartfelt Memories

**Warning - This one may get a little mushy...I am a girl after all, remember!**

I look back, as Cataclysm draws near, and realize that Wrath has held a lot of happy memories for me. Granted there have been ups and downs...but overall, it's been a very enjoyable ride.

I remember the night I stood in line at midnight to pick up my copy of Wrath. It was my first midnight release and though I kind of felt out of place, the excitement was contagious. The people in their costumes, the excited chatter going on around all played it's part in building up the anticipation. After standing in the cold for 30 minutes, I finally got my hands on my copy and was racing home to install it. Being on the East coast, I was one of the first people on the boat heading to Northrend and one of the first guildies to step foot in the new frozen tundra. It was the beginning of a wonderful journey.

New adventures called for new toons. BC brought about the burnout for me. Constant raiding healing took it's toll and I found it the prefect time to switch mains. Thus was born Kalyina. Matt would tell you it was a very BAD time for me to decide I was ready to switch toons. We had 3 days to level a toon from 12 - 58. It meant many long nights for both of us. Countless run throughs of every dungeon I was able to enter until we were both exhausted. It wasn't until a week AFTER the release of Wrath, that we were actually able to officially experience the frozen tundra of Northrend.

It was the beginning of a new stage in the game but sadly was also the beginning of the end of Last Call. This was the bittersweet part of Wrath for me. Last Call brought Matt and I together. It was a haven of friends and fun. But it was also the stress and pains of being responsible for 100+ people. That stress was the wind that brought about the change. It was what ultimately brought about my break down and the end of my days as the GM to LC.

Wrath was a good time gap filler for Matt and I. It was 8 months after the release of Wrath that we made the move. Or should I say that Matt made the move. We were pretty certain that once we were together full time in real life that our time in WoW would slowly decrease. Oddly enough...this didn't happen. Yes we cut back on our play time since we no longer had to use it as a means to spend time together. However, we still found ourselves deeply involved in the game.

We spent time jumping from one place to another. We never seemed satisfied. This was ultimately the lead up that began my love affair with a Death Knight and the Horde. It was short lived but well played and one of my fondest memories of Wrath.

I had never spent much time Horde side. I hadn't cared much for the races or their zones. But what I was interested in was the story they had to tell. I wasn't disappointed. It was much like finding a new game. New quest chains, new stories and new characters to meet. Sadly, we weren't content to just let things be.

After jumping around from here to there we decided to try our hand at running another guild. Faded Delusions was built from this decision. Now looking back I understand that what I was looking for, what we were looking for, couldn't' be found in simply building a guild. It was the people of LC that we missed, not the guild itself. No matter how hard we tried, we couldn't make Faded Delusion be what LC once was.

It took us awhile to realize our mistakes. During this phases I decided it was time for a break. A 3 month break to be exact.

Now I find myself back in the game and amazed with the changes that are occurring around me. We've seen the end of the expansion. I've watched the Lich King fall. And on the wake of that victory I'm watching as our world changes yet again.

I still hold it over Matt's head that I beat him to Northrend. This time around, we'll make the journey together. We'll both be standing in the same line and installing at the same time. We'll be there together when the loading screen plays and our toons start our on a totally new and exciting adventure.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The End of an Era

It sounds kind of odd to say "we beat the game" since I know it's an MMO and can't really be "beaten". But that's what it feels like.

Matt and I both walked away from ICC last night as Kingslayers. After a lot of ups and downs, we were finally able to watch Arthas fall. The total fight took 12 minutes and 18 seconds. But a lot of practice went into that battle.

Even with the OP boost and class changes, it still wasn't what I would consider a "faceroll". It seemed like we couldn't get the defiles placed right, the valks kept coming almost right on top the defiles, people were DC'ing and locking up. We had arguments and there were fingers pointed when we wiped. We suffered through the stupid bugs left behind with patch 4.0.1; people falling to their death from their flying ghost mounts when trying to accept a rez, zoning into an empty instance, disconnecting for no apparent reason, getting stuck because teleports would randomly stop working. It took more than a couple of wipes to get it right. But we were able to do it and with a 100% guild raid.

I can't begin to express the pride and accomplishment I felt when I watched him fall and heard the vent channel go silent as they all watched the video. Most of the guild had held off on watching it, avoided it in Dalaran, in the hope that they would see it for the first time when we were able to actually kill him.

As I walked away from ICC last night, it hit me that this truly was a bitter sweet ending. It means the end of an expansion for me and the (semi) retirement of a toon.

The List:
1. King Slayer - Kalyina - DONE
2. Exalted Zandlar Tribe - Kalyina
3. ZG Mounts - TIGER DONE
4. 20,000 gold stock pile - DONE
5. Explorer Title - Kalyina - DONE
6. Reins of the Winterspring Forstsaber - Kalyina - DONE

The last thing left for her to do is finish her Zandlar Tribe rep. She's almost there actually. Just a couple thousand points away from exalted. Then that's really it. Will I get that raptor to drop. I see that goal slipping further and further away as each day passes.

But ultimately, I did what I sat out to do. I didn't want to watch another expansion pass by without seeing the end of the content.

I started playing a little ways into the BC era. Most people were already hitting up the end game raids when I got my first toon to 70. I barely knew what a raid was, let alone dreamed of getting into one. Actually, I was pretty scared of raiding. I remember telling the people I met in the game that I didn't want to raid. It sounded too hard. But towards the end of BC when we were running Kara and ZA, I was sad to see Wrath coming because there was so much content I never got to see.

So it is with mixed emotions that Kalyina boasts her Kingslayer title. At least I know when she and Zili are sitting around, relaxing by a fire in the bars of Dalaran with all the other left behind or forgotten toons, she'll have big stories to tell about her amazing adventures.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I am so OP!

Or at least that is what everyone thinks now that the patch has hit. I guess it's Blizzards way of making people feel like they are awesome at least till Cata hits.


When did a leisure game, that you supposedly play for fun, become such a big competition? Really. It's all about gear scores and dps meters. It's about who you outgear and who you out dps. It's about being better than everyone else.

Even in my own house, of two players. It becomes dangerous if one of us out ranks the other on the WoW Hero's site. Then it becomes a long discussion about how that happened or "is it showing my latest upgrades!". After that discussion, it's a constant grind to get back on top. That apparently somehow makes you a better player than the other person.

What people forget is that it's like comparing apples to oranges. You are your own player. Are you having fun? Do you dedicate as much time as the player you are comparing yourself to? Are you the same class and spec? Most of the time, the answers to these questions is "no".

So you're raiding 10 man content and you're coming up as 4th or 5th on the dps meter. Does it really matter? Does the boss end up dead on the floor at the end of the raid? Is your group complaining at you that they can't kill the boss because of your dps? Probably not? Then I ask again, does it really matter if you're more OP than me?

Well, the next question to ask is are you having more fun being at the top of the dps chart? Does that make you feel better about yourself? Do you have a point to prove because your dps is 400 points higher than the people below you? Yes, you may spend more time working on your gear, reading Tankspot and studying everything you can find to gain those few extra points of DPS. But are you really having more fun that the person who you are comparing yourself to? Most likely not.

Why do I say that? Well because that person you're outranking probably isn't nearly as worried about it as you are. Unless you're making a point to push it in their face and trying to make them feel bad about themselves, they probably see nothing wrong with their DPS or their gear score. They are just there to have fun.

Every player in this game has their own unique play style. There is over 12 million of them now I hear. That's 12 million play styles. Granted a lot of people are similar but everyone should be playing in order to have fun. If comparing and stressing is part of that, count me out.

I'm one of those players that's there to have fun. I play a demonology warlock. That's pretty rare in a raiding environment. I like to raid. But I want to do it my way. As long as that doesn't hold back the progression of my Guild, I'm ok with being me.

Other than being in pain from an accident last night. I enjoyed toying with the new changes. So what if I changed the spirit on my gear to Haste instead of Mastery. That's my choice and I'm ok with it.

I think if more of the players in wow took a step back and agreed to let people be themselves, they would realize they were happier players as well.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

So little much WoW

It's been a few days since my last post and a few days since Blizzard announced the release date of Cataclysm.

In that amount of time, I've managed to complete my Winter sabre rep grind, pick up 2 Brewfest mounts and almost complete my Diplomat title.

I've also been thinking a lot about my little hunter. I've been reading some of the changes to hunters in Cata and think I may want to put the needed time in to level her to 80 before the release. She's currently at 72 so that's not a huge grind but it still takes time away from the other things I've wanted to do on my bucket list.

So lets take a look at where I stand now:
1. King Slayer - Kalyina Trying for it again tonight!
2. Exalted Zandlar Tribe - Kalyina
3. ZG Raptor/Tiger - Kalyina Tiger complete
4. Pre-BC Dungeon Master - Kalyina
5. 20,000 gold stock pile (I'm odd I know) Close enough
6. Explorer Title - Kalyina
7. Winter saber Grind - Kalyina Complete
8. Diplomat Title - Kalyina
9. Hunter to 80

I'm beginning to wonder if I'll ever get this stuff done, if I keep adding to it. *sigh*

On other news, I may have mentioned that Matt and I have put two of our alts into a separate guild from our mains. Kalyista (my shaman) and Minikyn (Matt's warrior tank) are now members of a Solo Act on Shadow Council.

I've never really been one to take my responsibilities in a guild lightly. To me, being a member of any type of group means I have responsibilities and obligations to those people. It's nothing different in WoW.

Solo Act is a small-ish guild trying to work their way through ICC before the end of Wrath rolls around. We went into this guild before we knew the actual release date for the expansion.

Our first weekend in we were pulled into their ICC group. I think I've posted the results of my adventure into Shaman healing in ICC. Now my thoughts for this post aren't actually on the raid itself but more on my thoughts of the type of people this guild houses.

Last night we ran the weekly raid with them. Nothing major, it was a simple Noth run in Naxx. Pretty easy right. Well, yeah it was. But the attitude of the players during this run just kind of blew my mind.

The main tank for the guild (will call her KJ) is a DK. She's not a "bad" tank by any means but her ego is a little over the top for my tastes. So even though we had two tanks in the party KJ asked Mini to go dps. Ok, no big deal. About two pulls into the wing I realize I'm also solo healing the raid. Again, no big deal. But why? If we have the classes in the raid and the instance is well below all of us in gear level, why are we worried about needing that much dps? Is there a point we are trying to prove here?

KJ had the same type of attitude with ICC last weekend as well. She is God and no one else can touch her. I kept my opinons to myself and didn't mention that she was pretty dang squishy for a DK tank at that level of progression. Just rubbed me the wrong know?

Then there is the Shadow Priest who zones in to Naxx with the question "wow, am I the highest gear score here?" Ok, lets stroke our own egos for awhile. Then he commences to posting the damn dps meter after every piece of trash. Dude, seriously? Like we really care what the dps meter says on a raid that we are way over geared for. I won't go into the fact that he was the highest gear score but still fell 5th on the dps meter.

It just really amazes me that people consider themselves awesome based on their guild score. Gear score does not judge talent. This is simply proven with the Shadow Priests that thought he was the almighty but failed to notice that even though his gear score was higher he couldn't back it up with the talent needed to produce the numbers of some of the other dps.

Needless to say, I'm not sure how long we'll last in this guild. Maybe it's just that being a member of a good guild has spoiled us and sheltered us from these types of idiots.

Now don't get me wrong, the GM for Solo Act is a pretty nice (though young if I had to guess) guy. And there are a couple of nice enough people in that guild. But after being an active part of Whispers and now and officer in our main guild. I've come to realize how important it is to enjoy and respect the people you play with.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Let the Count Down Begin!

December 7th...we are 63 Days, 8 Hours and 10 minutes away from the release of Cataclysm!

Now I know Blizzard reserves the right to change this day...but they did make the announcement so it officially starts the count down.

Still can verify here:
and here:

I, for one, am so excited I can't stand it! I've been waiting since Blizzcon last year for this date! Come on December!

Oh, but maybe not...still have a few things to wrap up before the date hits.

We're currently 11/12 into ICC. I hope this doesn't kill our push to finish off Lich King with my lock's guild.

My shaman (yes you heard me right) was able to successfully heal ICC up to Blood Council. I'll be curious to see if her guild keeps chipping away at ICC too.

I know, I hated that shaman. I even remember telling you guys that. But that was before I gave resto a try. I slowly feel in love with that Holy Cow. Has anyone else ever noticed when Tauren do their jesus beam and they get a proc, your toon throws her hands up in the air like she's praising the God? Well, once I figured this out, it became a habit for me to yell "Holy Cow" every time it happened. Now that she's back to being Alliance, I miss that "Holy Cow".

It always seems that expansion time is like starting over for players. We get a chance to relearn the game, to switch toons, try out new things, new guilds, etc.

It took me awhile to decide what I was doing in Cata. But after thinking about it long and hard, I've decided I'm going back where I belong. I'm going back to my first love...healing. Kalyanna is going to be my main again. As much as I love my lock...I've just really missed healing in this expansion.

Anyway, what are you plans for the Cataclysm? Changing mains, rerolling? I'd be curious to see what people are planning to do.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

ICC Updates and Newly Post News

Raiding News:

ICC last night went better than I expected, especially since 2 of our raid members had to drop as soon as we walked in the door. After bringing a couple of back ups we decided to give Putricide a try and if we couldn't down him, we'd just reset.

Well we downed him, on our first try this week. Granted most of the raid had tried him a few times before but we always decided to skip him since he was such a pain. But anyway, that was a guild first.

So, we're now locked to the raid for this week, may as well give Dreamwalker a try. Guess what? We one shot that fight too...another guild first! Oh yeah, we're on a roll! Let's move on.

The gauntlet went smoothly and we're in the courtyard for Syndragosa. First try 8/10 people get phase 1 and 2 down with no problems. We have her health down below 50% when we decide to wipe it, rez our 1 dead healer and 1 dps. The RL discusses phase 3 and we give it a go again, second time doesn't' go so well, we loose 3 or 4 people in her first yank because they got them selves turned around and didn't away from her fast enough. So, wipe it up and try a 3rd time. This time we make into phase 3 and she is at about 28% health when the entire raid gets encased in a tomb of ice. *sigh*

I think we could have made it past her on the next try but one of our healers (a last minute add because of the 2 lost raid members in the beginning) had to go to work.

We've extended the raid lock out again and I feel confident we'll get Syndragosa down next week. Then it's off to visit the Lich King!!


Looks like patch 4.4.0 is up on the back ground down loader. That means we'll all be seeing pre-Cataclysm changes in the next couple of weeks. From my experience, things usually go up on the down loader 2 - 3 weeks before they are released. Then the pre-expansion events are usually up 5 - 6 weeks before the release of the expansion. That all plays very well into MMO-Champs predictions of a November release.

I expect we'll be hearing something from Blizzard in the way of an announcement soon. Or at least I am keeping my fingers crossed. I could totally be wrong, I have been known to be a time or two in the past, so don't quote me on anything. It all my wishful thinking.


My bucket list doesn't seem so large anymore but it does have somethings on it that seem impossible.

1. King Slayer - Kalyina
2. Exalted Zandlar Tribe - Kalyina
3. ZG Raptor/Tiger - Kalyina
4. Pre-BC Dungeon Master - Kalyina
5. 20,000 gold stock pile (I'm odd I know)
6. Explorer Title - Kalyina
7. Reins of the Winterspring Frostsaber - Kalyina has been gathering her mounts, would love to add this one to her collection.

That's about it for me today. Hopefully, I'll be back tomorrow to talk about more interesting things.

Happy Hunting,

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Could it really be?

I know, I know...I've been gone for AGES!

Well not really gone. As it turned out I have been playing wow. I've been dabbling around in various things here and there and ultimately I've ended up back on the Alliance side of the fence (more or less) for the last few months.

Turns out, I just wasn't happy Horde side and that was probably a huge reason I lost interest in the game. So you may (or may not) be wondering, where I am at now.

My time lately has been divided between my beloved lock, priest and my now RESTO! shammy. Yes, you heard me right that shammy that I so hated, is now resto and I love, love, love her.

The break down:
Kalyina - She's still demo. I can't bring myself to change this. And believe it or not, with our Alliance side guild, she's only 3 bosses away from her King Slayer title.

The entire guild took a raid break for about 6 weeks and we made our first run since then, last week. We decided to extend our raid lock out and tonight we have Dreamwalker, Sendragosa and the Lich King to pick up on. It's one of the only things I wanted before the release of Cata. I wanted my little gnome to have the King Slayer title. So we'll see how that goes.

Kalyanna and Kalyista - Both of them have transferred back to the Alliance side and have been happily gathering emblems here and there for their gear. I have yet to raid past ToC with either of them since I'm mainly focused on ICC with my lock. I would love to get some ICC love for my priest but with the pending release of Cata I doubt that will happen.

Now for the big topic of discussion. I'm assuming everyone has read the MMO-Champs prediction for the release of Cataclysm. For those of you that have not..they are guessing the first week of November!!

Now I'm not one to spread rumors and Blizzard hasn't announced this themselves but if anyone has been following them for long, you'd know they were spot on with the BC release. Not only BC but they have also been right about the patch release dates as well.

What does all this mean? Well, we could all be playing Cataclysm in a little less then 2 months! Even if they are off a little, well that's still pretty damn close!

So it's got me thinking about all the changes. I find these exciting and actually, a little bit sad.

Exciting for the new content and renewed excitement in the game. Excited to see all the new stuff that will come along with the changes they are making.

Sad, well for many reasons really. For the obvious, because of the things that will be going away. ZG for one. I have always loved that raid. As a matter of fact, my DK got exalted with the Zandlar Tribe last night. We've been running ZG on every reset and will continue to, in order to get our fill of a place that will soon be long gone and a chance at giving my tiny gnome a giant raptor mount as well.

Other reasons I'm sad? Well, for out of game reasons. Since my break from WoW I have been doing more of the crafty type things I love to do. I know this will decline for awhile. And then there is all the other things I want to do. Mainly, the Sims 3. I've had the game for awhile and it's sitting on my shelf calling my name.

The world doesn't give me enough to time to do all the things I want/love to do. I know I need to learn to balance it all. I also know that as the excitement of the expansion wears off that will become easier to do. However, it still makes me a little sad.

That bucket list I created awhile back...well we'll talk about that in my next post. I have lots of thought I need to put into that one. Lots of consideration for what's important in the next 6 weeks and what's just not.

Hope everyone is as excited as I am for the upcoming expansion and I hope you all have a wonderful Hump Day!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

*sneeks in quietly*

Soooo, looks like I renewed my WoW account last weekend. :-)

Not sure where the urge came from but I was driving home from work on afternoon and something triggered it. The urge to play again. I held off, didn't renew till the weekend rolled around.

I played some. Nothing major really. Cleaned up inventory, created a real Horde side bank toon since I was using my goblin name holder toon as a bank toon. Moved inventory around, figured out the emblem situation for the BoA gear, did the Noblegarden egg hunt, etc, etc, etc.

It was kind of nice. No pressure, just casually playing around in the game. Had a mailbox full of items that had been pulled out of our guild bank after one of our members account had been hacked. But other then that, really nothing guild wise to do.

Obviously we had lost a member or two in our absence. We expected that. Actually, expected the majority of them to be gone. But it was only a couple.

We did a lot of thinking...about this guild business while we were on sabbatical. I think we have both come to the realization that we can't build full time guild leaders anymore.

We finally sat down and asked ourselves..."why were we trying to build up Faded Delusions?" The sad answer...we were looking for another Last Call. The grim reality of it is, it wasn't the guild we were missing, it wasn't being GMs that we missed, it was the people, the friends, the relationships, the good times we had in the past. All of which was related to Last Call.

That's not something we can get back no matter how hard we try. Those people are long gone, no longer playing or on other servers now. We can't recreate a guild that has long been dead.

Don't get me wrong, the people we met and played with in Faded were a blast. They are all wonderful people. But it will never be the same and we have to accept that.

So, long and painful reality, in a nutshell...we're not going to push for the guild build again. We're not going to throw people out of Faded, we're not even going to quit ourselves. But the guild itself, is what it is. We have to accept that.

Most of the original Faded members are back on their home servers now, playing back on their mains and that's ok with us. Honestly, I spent most of my playing time this past weekend...Alliance side. I played on my lock and some on Tiki (if you remember from previous posts, the baby gnome mage I rolled with Matt's S-Priest on the Oceanic Server about a year ago). So my time was limited Horde side. It will probably continue to be that way.

Matt still prefers Horde. He played a lot on his Horde toons. But as for me...the only reason I'm Horde side at all is for the future Goblin. I've all but lost interest in my DK. I hate the news that was posted a couple days ago about the changes to DK tanking in Cataclysm. Not being able to tank as frost...has turned me totally off to her.

The upside, I have successfully been able to balance WoW with other things for this past week. I don't find the constant draw to play all the time there, not the way it use to be. I can play when I want and turn it off when I don't. I like this.

So for the time being...I'm back! And...happy about it. So looks like I'll be back to blogging some too.

Hopefully, I'll that post up soon about my feelings on the DK and Warlock changing coming during the Cataclysm!

Happy hunting!

Friday, March 12, 2010


It appears, that possibly my burn out isn't just around WoW but around MMO's in particular.

I haven't played WoW for so long I can't remember exactly when I logged in last. I haven't played Allods either. So what have I been doing?

Well, long, long, long time ago, I had an addiction to city building/tycoon types games. Zoo Tycoon, Zeus, Pharaoh, Emperor, Caesar...all of them. I played them non-stop. Any and every tycoon game I could find, I bought it. Some where good...some where just plain bad.

But the general concept was the same. Build over and over again, to make the city functional and pretty. Disaster struck, do it all again. Then I found WoW.

Well I found that I had gotten board with WoW. Three years of playing the same game and nothing more. So I tried Allods. It's a nice game, pretty graphics, fun content...but it's still an MMO. So I stop playing it too. Reload Caesar IV on my computer and start playing it again.

Then one day, I come across a game on line that looks pretty interesting.

Settlers: Rise of an Empire.

Turns out, it's REALLY good. Not your standard Tycoon/City Builder game. There is a lot more to it then that. But the graphics are unbelievable for a city building type game.

You basically are sent on various missions, helping settlers, capturing land, building armies, etc, etc, etc. It has a storyline, that is somewhat compiling. But it's very addicting.

Build up the basics for you city, promote your knight to gain rank to allow you to build more, develop your armies and then it's time to capture objectives.

It's not heavy on the battle side nor heavy on the city building side. It's a comfortable mix of the two. Yes it's a little glitchy at times. Somethings are hard to figure out and it would be great if it had better tutorials. All of this is easily overcome and after a mission map or two, you've gotten the hang of it.

Best of all, it's easy to pick up and easy to put down. So I'm able to do other things as well. Spend time with my family, play some Dokapon Kingdom with Matt and Zack, hang out with friends and just relax. There is no schedule to keep, no raids to remember, etc. Just some relaxing fun times.

Who knows, looks like I'm getting back into scrapbooking again too!

I know the big question now is..."are you ever planning on coming back to WoW?". As of now, my answer is still a resounding YES! I have preperations to make for Cataclysm, toons to prepare. But it will be awhile. I'm enjoying my break. I'm enjoying other games.

Everyone has to break for life every now and then!

Happy Friday!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Second Chance

So, decided this weekend to give Allods a second chance. Not that the game was bad the first time I played it but it was so crowded you couldn't really get a feel for the true game. It was so bad you couldn't get a feel of what the combat was really like because there were no mobs to kill. Just waltz in, pick up your quest items off the ground and walk back out again. The mobs were already dead from the mass of people that came in before you.

This weekend was a little better. Nothing like I would want it be. We were still standing around at times waiting for named mobs to spawn so we could kill them. We didn't have to kill many trash mobs to get to the quest items. But we did actually make it out of the starting zone.

I decided to reroll a healer class. Since it seems I'm never content with a straight DPS class. I opted for the humanish type race since they get a racial ability similar to a WoW priests bubble. It's not as easy to use but it's still helpful. It has a 3 minute cool down and will block ALL damage for 12 seconds. Looks and works more like an OS button.

So far the healer class isn't impressing me. My heals are very very puny. But I keep telling myself to be patient. I'm sure Kalyanna didn't have great heal ability at level 7 either. But the really cool thing? I can wear leather at level 10 and then plate at level 30! Oh yeah!

Interestingly enough, you get thrown out into the real world pretty quickly in this game. Shortly after we dinged level 6, we had finished up all the starting quests and were literally, thrown in pretty little bubbles, out of the zone.

Novogrand was our final destination. It's the major faction city for the League. It reminds me a lot of Stormwind as far as the layout goes. But that's where the similarity stops.

It's broken into districts, one for each race and a trade district. There is one central "Castle" where the king is located. (Note* As a healer, this is also where I picked up my class quest to learn to bubble)

If you ask Eto I'm sure he'd tell you I was just like a kid at Christmas. The sheer size of the city alone was enough to have me running and squealing with chants of "oh, I want to go in there", "LOOK AT THIS" and "Soooo pretty"! I'm sure it was similar to seeing Stormwind or Darnasus for the first time.

First look at professions....they are pretty basic. Alchemist, Blacksmith, Tailor, Leatherworker, Miner, Herbalism and Disassembler. Disassemblers take high quality items (green or better) and break it down into parts that can then be used by Leatherworkers and Tailors.

I haven't picked my professions yet, but it appears you can only pick one. There is a series of quest lines that send you around to visit all the profession trainers and at the end of each you visit the "Grandmaster" of the gathering profession and the creation profession. The last thing they both say to you is something like "Should you choose your path on a gathering/creation profession, come back and see me, I will have many tasks for you to complete." I'll test this tonight and update for sure.

Up to this point, here are my standings on the game:

Zones/Graphics/Locations - The game is beautiful and the more I explore the move I'm captivated.
Music - The music is pretty constant in the game, so if you don't like that, turn it off. But the music is very calming in nature.
Combat System - It's standard MMO as I know it, so easy to follow

Controls - Only because they are a little "sticky" at this point. I'm sure after I get use to them and realize what buttons are causing my camera angle and movement controls to jump around, they will be second nature to me.
Raid/Group Frames - It's hard, as a healer to tell who's got aggro and who's health is dropping based on the party frames in group. I hope that eventually I'll be able to easily distinguish who needs healing...or better yet, maybe someone will create a "Healbot" type mod!
Character Creation - Seriously, I would love for a game to give me the ability to really customize how my toon looks so that not everyone I pass looks just like me!
Over population! - More servers soon? I hope!

As always, when I learn more, I'll update more! Happy Monday everyone!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


*looks around guiltily* Shhhh, don't tell...I was just "trying" it out. You know, testing the waters, seeing what else was out there. It's nothing major, I would never pick another over my first love...

So, yeah lets talk a little about "Allods" .

My first impression of the MMO, wasn't anything outstanding. I'm not really "looking" for another game to play. I wasn't out actively seeking it but it happen to fall into my lap.

So we downloaded and installed it and after a few hiccups, I was able to create a character. Seems that any time they do maintenance or patches, which is pretty often since it's still in the open beta phase, they have issues with the files getting corrupted in the launcher.

Now, this was pretty easily fixed. The forums on the official website listed a step by step guide on how to force the game to download a new launcher without uninstalling it.

It's a very short process to create your account and then you're off to the character creation screen. There are 2 "factions" you can choose from. The League and the Empire. The League being the "light" side, similar to the Alliance in WoW and the Empire appearing to be more of the "dark" side, equivalent to the Horde.

Both factions have the ability to create a human type character. The League also has Elves and an adorable little class called "Giberlings". Now the Elves are whimsical creatures with wings. They look very similar to the Blood Elf race in WoW with the exception that the males doesn't look nearly as girly.

The Giberlings, on the other hand, are just plain adorable. Kudos to gPotato for developing a pretty unique looking race. When you choose to play a Giberling, you aren't exactly playing one toon as they come in groups of three. You get to control the "lead" toon while two other Giberlings follow you around and assist. They are independent of your main toon. You can customize how they look but you can not control their movements.

Sadly, the Empire wasn't blessed with a unique race of their own. They have a human type race as well as Orcs and the Arisen. Orcs look nearly identical to the model we are all use to seeing in WoW. The Arisen look like a cross between blood elves and undead. If you can imagine this. They have a very pale, slinder almost ghostly appearance to them.

Once you've chosen which faction and your race, it's time to pick your class. The interesting part here is that that the title of your class changes based on the faction and race you selected. For example, if you are a League Human mage type you are called a Magician but if you are a Empire Arisen mage type you would be called a Sorcerer. But all in all, the classes are the same that we are all accustom to. Warrior, Paladin, Scout, Healer, Warden, Mage, Summoner, Psionicist.

I don't know a lot about each class yet, since I haven't played them all but I'll give you the best understanding I have. Of course warrior, paladin and mage speak for themselves.
Scout = Hunter without a pet
Healer = Priest type
Summoner = Warlock
Psionicist = The best way I can describe this class is Shadow Priest that mind controls? Stay tuned for more info.
Warden = No clue! But based on class you could be called a Druid, Shaman or Animist if that helps any. I'll let you know more as I find it out.

I stayed simple for my first toon, she's an Archmage or League/Elf/Mage. Yeah, yeah...girl remember! I like pretty things.

She's pushing level 6 after a couple of hours of playing. And here's my good, bad and ugly on the actual game play:

1. Very familiar controls
2. Entertaining and amusing quests
3. Lots of "help" in general chat
4. The game is beautiful!!
5. Easy quests
6. Very little lag or server issues, especially for a game in beta phase.

Bad and UGLY:
1. WAY TOO MANY PEOPLE! - Open Beta for this game started a little over a week ago. I started playing 3 days after the open beta started. The were so many people that everyone was waiting in lines to kill the quest mobs. There was no wondering where to go next, just follow the masses. Sadly, ALL the races start in the same zone for the same faction. This means that every player that rolled a League toon, was in the same starting area as me.
2. Only TWO servers!!
3. Very little customization available on the UI and controls
4. Grindy - The first 5 levels felt very grindy but I hear this gets better when you are out of the starting area.
5. Lots of arguing in general chat - People are constantly arguing between two main groups...the "ZOMG, WOW ripoff!" group and the "Sheesh, give it a chance people, it's NOT WOW" group.

Now we all know, there is only one WOW. So if you're looking for an identical replica of Azeroth, don't bother. You're better off staying where you are. But if you are interesting in a game that has some of the same things to offer and some totally new things. Give this one a shot. It's not going to replace WoW by any means but I think it will appeal to a lot of the same types of players.

Remember, it's a "Free to Play" MMORPG that will eventually have the functioning "buy with real money" store. And if you can get past the Beta stage then you may just like it. And if you do give it a shot, my toon name never changes so Kalyanna's waiting to say HI!

Happy MMOing!

Monday, February 22, 2010

The time has come...

I've logged in twice over the course of the last week.

Once to mill some weeds for Eto and turn them into Darkmoon cards. The second time, to do a JC daily and check on the guild. Both times, I was logged on for less then 30 minutes.

So what does this tell me? It's time for me to take a break.

In the 3 years that I've been playing, I've never hit this point where I don't want to play or when I do log in, I can't find anything to do. I've finally gotten to that point.

I think this is bothering me a little. Simply because I did love this game for so long and now I can't find anything that interests me.

I'm not saying this is goodbye for me. No way! I've been looking forward to the Cataclysm. So I know I'll be back again. Its just that I think the time has come for me to take a little break. I may or may not let the account lapse. I haven't decided on that yet. I'll still blog occasionally when the urge hits me or there is new updates to blog about.

Even as I write this, I'm torn. Part of me wants to hit the delete key. Seems that saying it out loud somehow makes things so permanent.

But it's not permanent. I'm not giving up, just taking a break and knowing me, it won't last that long anyway!

So, I'll see you all on the flip side...assuming we all survive the Cataclysm!

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The State of Things

It's really been over a week since my last post?

Guess that's a reflection on my current gaming least as far as WoW is concerned.

So, I'm starting to experience the oh, so familiar pains of "burn out" that seems so common these days in the blogging community. Finding myself logging in less and less. Honestly, there has been more days that I don't log in at all. The days that I do log in, it's to check on the guild or transmute or mill or disenchant things for someone.

What's causing this burn out? That's totally opinionated I'm sure. It's different for everyone but for me I believe it's the lull before the storm. It's a combination of things. It's the anticipated down time between now and the release of Cataclysm. It's the guild, it's the grind, it's the boredom...

I had such a wonderful "Bucket List" of things that I thought would help tide me over or at least help me get prepared for Cataclysm. hmmmm

So what's going on?!?!

I know how the Lich King dies, I know how the story ends...what's left to do? Push to see him die myself? Why? I've already seen it on Youtube. I've successfully tanked all of ToC over this past weekend. Found it more stressful then fun, that was another warning sign for me that I'm getting close to "burn out".

I've got a well geared tank and a well geared healer. I've got a shaman that I can't make myself gear because..well, apparently shaman just aren't my thing. Can't find any fun in her. Couldn't find it in BC, can't find it now.

I've got a lovely little gnome warlock that is slowly, ever so slowly, working on her gear and maybe a Loremaster title. If she gets it, that's great, if not I don't think I'll be too disappointed.

The guild...well this all comes down to a question asked by a reader.
"Do you think the LFG tool is killing guilds, or do your think the lack of useful guilds created the LFG tool?"

Morph posted this in the comment section of my last post a couple weeks ago and got me thinking. The result? Well, the more I think about it the more if I wonder if this isn't part of the reason for my potential "burn out"?

So which one is it, you may ask. The new LFG system or the guild?

Well, I think the answer to this question on my part is simple. I think the LFG system is the start of the end of the smaller guilds. I don't think it will totally kills guilds in general but I do strongly believe we will start to see and have already, the smaller guilds disappear.

Why? Well because you don't need a guild anymore. Think about it. It use to be that you "needed" a good guild, or any guild really, to be able to easily run instances and heroics. You needed that guild if you wanted to see the end game content.

The guild that played together stayed together. It was that simple. You kept your members by making sure they got to see what they signed up for. They were more willing to work with the guilds raiding schedule because that's the only way they could see the content. If they couldn't work with your schedule they found a guild who's schedule worked with theirs.

Back in BC and the early days of Wrath, hell even in vanilla wow, guilds used their calendars, scheduled events, talked in guild chat, made plans with members when they wanted to raid or grind out some emblems. Guild chat, at least for Last Call, was always full of chitter chatter from the members looking to put together heroic groups or world events or unscheduled raids. It was never a silent game for sure.

This "chitter chatter" that started as looking for people to form the group led to other interesting conversations. It led to people getting to know each other. People forming more then just a group...they formed friendships.

That group might have to pug a spot or two, yes. But if they needed to pug that spot, it was often the opportunity to recruit someone. That person they pugged often wasn't in a guild..thus looking for a home and on more then one occasion, we ended up gaining a member.

Yes, you had those rare people that joined for the community or for the guild chat or other benifits but mainly, guilds were needed for raiding and end game content.

Fast forward to the current day. Getting into a heroic is as easy as clicking a button and waiting a few minutes. It's even easier then that if you're a tank or a healer. Just click the button and your in. Deal with a little bit of stupidity, walk away with your loot and call it a day.

There is no reason to "chat" unless you're the social type of person that wants people to talk to while you quest or instance. Even if you are that person, you have general chat or your pug group to chitter chatter with if you like.

What about the end game content? Well, obviously you don't need a guild for that anymore either thanks to Blizzards super simple gear up policy. Push the random LFG button a few times and *poof* you're fully geared to get into Toc and ICC.
"Oh, but I need a guild for that, right?"

Nope...not anymore. Tune into the "LookingForGroup" channel on any well established server and what do you see ever 30 - 45 seconds?
"LFM, ICC 10, pst your role and gear score"

Thus the cycle is never ending. Push the button, get the loot, pick up the pug and see the end...

So tell me again, why do we need the guild when I can grind it all out in PUGs????

Exactly...and now I know why I'm looking forward to the release of Cataclysm. Give me something to do beside push the button, damn it, this isn't LOST!

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