- The first character I ever rolled was a druid
- It took me five or six tries to finally stick with a warrior
- I once thought my warlock would be my main
- I’ve deleted a level 50 priest
- And a level 30-something rogue
- I have tried gender-bending many times but there’s always something about the movement of a man toon that irritates me to where I can’t keep it
- I think that people who won’t play a certain class or race because “it’s too evil” are stupidlame
- I also think that no one is going to get addicted to something in real life just because they played a belf who was addicted to magic
- Speaking of addiction, the idea that WoW is harmfully addictive is a crock. It’s fun and some people just have no self control
- My baby huntard is still BM because I sort of like lol ez mode
- I also deleted a 20-something mage back before they super accelerated 1-70 xp gain
- I find the death knight class to be boring as hell but I’ll get one leveled anyway
- People who act like their time is more important than that of anyone else they are in party/raid with make me stabby
- PvP is unhealthy for my desk/keyboard/mouse and At’s ears, so I try not to deal with that aspect of the game
- If someone leaves my guild on bad terms I will carry a pretty unreasonable actual hatred of them to the point where I have cheered to hear that someone’s real life fell apart
- And yeah, I know it’s just a game
- But that doesn’t mean that people can’t be real douches in a fake environment
- I once had a GM tell me that my opinion as an officer wasn’t worth his listening to it
- That may have been the reason I cheered when I heard his real life fell apart. Maybe
- I find that there are some struggles to being female and in a leadership position
- But I will never ever use that as an excuse when I make a bad decision or am otherwise stupid
- I don’t think being female gets me any perks in WoW
- Unless you count being told that being a bossy raid leader is hott
- I have gotten a couple pervs before – that was interesting
- Even though we sometimes struggle with content for a while I do think Blizz is making the game as a whole too easy
- At scoffs at me whenever I start in on how no one should get ponies at 20 or flying at 60
- I used to think I would never level fishing or cooking on any character
- My main is max exalted with all WotLK factions except Ashen Verdict
- Lately I change Alas’ hair every few weeks because I would do it in real life if I could
- I think Renaissance faires are an awesome excuse for dressing up
- Alas was not supposed to be my main because of her name
- I have a different name I use everywhere else online but that name ended up attached to a nelf huntard
- That huntard got deleted at 44 to make way for my DK with the same name
- I’ve met several of my guildies irl even if it did mean driving to the deep South (imo) to do so
- Alastriona is the Gaelic form of my middle name
- And I cringe every time someone pronounces it “Alas-tree-OH-nuh”
- The first time I healed a raid it was in Kara and I didn’t have any helpful addons, such as grid or healbot
- Of course, that was the PUG raid that wiped on chess, trufax
- I call At “At” in real life but I almost never call him by his real name
- I’m ridiculously addicted to FarmVille, even though I see how brainless it is
- Of course, I also deal with faculty and buying random crap for a living (me, every other day: “How the hell do I buy printer memory? Printers have memory?”) so I try to avoid that as much as possible
- Unless I plan on writing either the fanfic or the novel, then I’m all worky worky worky
- I lol at people with naming conventions
- I am super cheap, to the point where even though I have over 30k across my toons, I still won’t buy anything off the AH unless I absolutely have to
- The cheapness also means that many of my characters don’t have epic flying
- I will not play undead, trolls or orcs because they’re ugly
- I will not play gnomes or dwarves because they’re short
- I would totally do any draenai – male or female
- I have some moderate OCD tendencies
- I needed this list to have a random number and an alliterative title
Once again, it seems like a good thing that I don’t have anyone reading this post aside from fellow-guildies and the very occasional person who is bored enough to subject themselves to this rambling. Because there I went and randomly fell off the bloggy world for a while.
It wasn’t that I had nothing to write about. Quite the opposite. I had too much going on and for a lot of it, the things that seemed the most pressing, I knew I needed to take those items up with the officers before I wrote about it here.
Which I did last night and I’m really glad it took so long to get most of us on at the same time because I was able to just say what I wanted to say without (I think) being all crazysauce again, like that one time I let game stress build up and then shot at all the leadership with both barrels and a whole lot of profanity. And yelling. And abuse of caps lock.
And in the aftermath of having divested myself of specific nights of having to be on, be the raid leader, answer all the stupid questions and blah blah BLAH, I really have to laugh at myself and shake my head and acknowledge that I bring this all on myself.
What I like to do, is be in charge. Of everything! All the time! Because clearly, I am the person who cares the most and knows how to do things best! But then it gets to be too much for me to handle. And the game becomes a chore and I find myself making rude remarks about everyone no matter how much I like them or how little I actually know them. And then I go apeshit on the officers like it’s their fault that I feel the need to be in control.
(Well, I only did that once but it was BAD and I was a jerk and I’m still sorry!)
So last night I said, “Guys, I am feeling really overwhelmed again with handling this all the time. It’s making the game not fun for me and that’s a bad thing.”
One officer said, “Haven’t we had this conversation before?”
Well, yes. Yes we had. But the problem was that I just said “I need help!” and the officers said, “We can help! Let us know what to do!” And I said here are some things. Then… eventually… because we never said this is always your responsibility all the time, I allowed them to help in general but no one ever really took anything on and I eventually was doing it all, all over again.
Last night, two officers took on half the raiding schedule between them. I have the other half still. I really think it will take some of the pressure off.
But, I have control issues.
So on the inside, I’m wondering if I can trust these other officers to do it “right.” I wonder if they will have the follow-through. I wonder why I wanted to give up any precious, precious control.
I am a sick woman.
But I’m also the official “has all teh admin power” GM for at least the rest of this last semester of At’s. So I guess that makes me a sick woman with power.
It’ll be a lot of work to let go of my psycho enough to let others do their jobs. I hope it goes well.
And I really do think my fellow officers are awesome, so please ignore the crazy woman huddled in the corner biting her nails and tearing out her hair.
I may have mentioned before that I am lame? Here’s an example. Every damn time we go to Pit of Saron, I always, always think Tyrannus is talking to me. Every time. Despite the fact that my name is not simply “Alas.” I have become too accustomed to being called that by my guild mates and even myself. So, if ever someone in game says, “Alas,” and means “unfortunately,” I still think it’s all about me.
Does this mean I am unfortunate? Could be, could be.
In other news, we finally headed back to Ulduar after spending several weeks away from it working on ToC (with great success) and ICC (with less success). And, hey, what do you know? We plowed right through Thorim and Freya. I missed a shot of Freya, but here’s me flexing in Thorim’s crotchal region:
Wow, dude’s got this sort of like, aura around him, you know?
At (as his shaman) made me laugh because he is also lame:
And lastly, I thought that I saw a famous bloggery type person hanging out in Shattrath. On second thought, it might just be a fan as I am quite certain no one would roll a DK on another server for any reason whatsoever.
<–Very likely not Amber of Bubble Liking fame.
Has anyone else noticed that it’s relatively easy to tell within about 5 seconds of getting in party whether or not your PUG group is going to fail hardcore? And that you could do so without the help of any add-on or knowledge of GS?
It’s true, I tell you. True!
1. Peruse the names of the people you are grouped with.
2. That’s it. You’re done!
If the tank is named something like “Greattank” or “Iamawesome” – congrats, that guy won’t hold aggro worth a damn.
If the healer is named something like “Retpally” or “Azzah” – congrats, they’ll have no idea what the hell they’re doing.
If two out of three dps are DK’s, you don’t even need to read for names like “Darkarthas” or “Vaderknight” to know that they’ll just be facerolling the keyboard.
If you end up with my failtank (a pally named Alleluia), run towards the nearest exit as fast as your legs will carry you. I’ll understand if your cat is on fire and you have to go. It happens a lot, apparently.
wow, that was pointless.
Because that’s also how I roll.
There was some discussion in the officer’s channel last night about people asking about raiding, saying they wanted to. Which, you know, great. But also, I feel as though we’re looking down the barrel of a gun that’s about to go off.
Between various websites and discussions, I’ve counted up several raiders potentially coming back soon. Several of them are excellent and I look forward to getting a chance to raid with them again. The others, meh, they’ve been at the center of some drama (of the mild, loot/raid spot variety) more than once. Or they’ve been really lazy about small requirements, like signing up at the guild forums and reading and agreeing to the raid rules. Also, they’re mostly dps. DPS. We don’t need more dps.
At the same time, Azzah is coming back. Which, yes, I told him to because I wanted some totems to make sweet, sweet love to, and he’s an excellent healer. But along with him comes another dps. A warlock. It used to be that I would murder for ranged dps since we had about 3 billion DKs all wanting to raid like thisismynewmainlol! Now I have one rogue. And 3 billion ranged with more wanting to come back. And people running heroics to gear up and thinking gear = all I need and since they just pug the hell out of things I have never once run with them and I don’t know that they have actual skill which is pretty damned important to me.
All of which is to say, yeah, woo, we have like 5-7 people back or threatening to start raiding or come back to the game and they’re all going to want to get in on ICC raids and I can’t blame them for that. But I don’t see giving up my spot or asking anyone else to do the same when we have been the ones working at this for months and months and there every week learning the fight and gearing up before it was all badge purchasable.
I guess I wish Blizz would stop making gear so easy to get because gear doesn’t say anything any more about skill. And no, I don’t think I’m some elite awesome player. But I know my class and I pull down decent numbers and I have been consistent.
And I don’t want to, in the coming weeks, have this perfect, delicate balance that we’ve finally achieved overthrown by a bunch of fair-weather raiders coming along, buying the gear and expecting to be able to go at the expense of someone who deserves it more. We are not, in all likelihood, going to end up with enough people to man even two full 10-man raiding teams, let alone one 25-man. So there is the very real possibility that within a month, I’m going to be sitting 5-6 people out every night and all I can tell them is:
Team balance first, the appropriate number of tanks, heals and dps and past that it’s first come, first serve.
Hopefully I’m worried about nothing, but I don’t like the way this is looming on the horizon.
Not from this quarter anyway. Working on Emergent. Two versions of the first part of chapter one over there.
Last week, I saw a cry for help in Twitter for good mage resources. Since I love mages, my immediate thought was: Ooh, I could help! But as it turns out, the only things I’ve really written about mages were either senseless lists encouraging other people to be jerks or angst at Blizz for consistently giving us crappy changes in the patches and trivializing us to the point of being good for int, focus magic and food.
Anyhow, Miss Bubbles found something else and mentioned it and I Googled it to see what she had discovered. As I started reading through the guide, my instant response was no no no nonononononononono!
Wherefore doth every mage advice giver say “Level frost!”? That advice is shit, so I figured it was up to me to provide an alternate viewpoint in the sea of frost-loving tards to say, bravely and with great conviction, don’t go frost. Go fire. Or arcane. But don’t go frost.
And here’s why – frost is lame. The only thing it is good for is survivability in PvP or PvP-esque encounters (looking at you faction champs!). Aside from that, it is painful and lame and I will mock you should I ever PUG an instance with you. Hard core and behind your back. Because that’s how I roll.
So here, from 10-80, is the way I would spend those precious talent points and why.
Ha! You don’t get talents! You do get the basics of your toolbox though.
Spells to watch for: You get all the bare basics here. Food, water, int, fireballs and frostbolts. You’ll also get your first armor, Frost Armor, and sorry, you’re stuck with it for a while. Polymorph also comes into play and both can be life savers so make sure they’re very available.
This is going to sound a little ‘backards,’ but I strongly advise putting the first 11 points into the frost tree. This is because Blizz is making an obvious attempt to steer people into the frost tree and gives mostly frost-based spells for the first several levels. Like many other classes, mages aren’t actually any fun until about level 20 or so. Thank God they’ve tweaked the mana regen issues too, because the water they let you make is crap. Anyhow, you can’t go wrong with Precision and Icy Veins is an absolute must. So the first three points should go into Ice Floes to reduce that CD for when you get Icy Veins. As soon as you do, abandon the frost tree with all haste. Unless you want to go frostfire at end game, there’s never any good reason to put another point in there. Also as soon as you get Icy Veins, macro that sucker to whatever spell it is you choose to spam.
Spells to watch for: You get a few AoE abilities through here – Flamestrike and Arcane Explosion. Slow Fall is nice, especially when you glyph for it. Blink is your friend in sticky situations, use it with Frost Nova for a quick escape before following up with a Blizzard AoE. Evocation can cut down on drink time so use it whenever you can between pulls.
I switched between arcane and fire while leveling Alas, and loved each one fairly equally. In this guide, I will focus on fire only since I do tend to recommend to guild-mates that they go fire just because it’s so damn much fun. There’s a lot of nice stuff to be had, even at the bottom of the tree (or top depending on how you like to look at it. I call it the bottom because it’s the first stuff you get…). In fact, there is so much nice stuff that I often have problems advising people on what to pick up first. I try to lean more towards what I feel would be useful for leveling, rather than what you’ll absolutely want to have for the raiding scene. Since the lower levels are pretty spammy with with the same spell over and over, I am recommending Improved Fireball, followed by Ignite for the DoT effect.
Spells to watch for: You get Scorch, Counterspell and Ice Block here. Use Scorch with wild abandon in your rotation and counterspell is great for bringing casters into melee range when running with a tank. Ice Block is another life saver if you overpull and there’s someone around to help you out. If you’re alone, you’re just postponing squishy, squishy death. Mana gems also start here and they are delightful to use during pulls so you don’t have to stop mid-fight for Evocation.
This is about the level range you get to start picking up some more interesting stuff. Although I have filled out a few more things in the second tier, you’ll want to go ahead and pick up Pyroblast first. This is a terrific (long cast) spell to start a fight with, especially when it crits. World of Flames will improve that crit chance and then Flame Throwing will increase the distance the mob has to run to reach you. Improved Scorch is handy for having a nice quick spell to toss on a mob that will add an extra DoT. About this point, you should be able to effectively kill most single targets before they reach you.
Spells to watch for: You get Mage Armor! Yay! Start using it immediately. That’s it, unless you think portals are an exciting spell to watch for.
If you’re having any sort of mana problems, you’ll want to drop your next few points immediately into Master of Elements to finish filling that out. Otherwise, I would start with Critical Mass and Blast Wave before going back and filling MoE in. You then have several options, all of them good, for where to drop the last four. I would pick up Improved Fire Blast from the bottom of the tree and then grab a few points in Incineration.
Spells to watch for: You get jack diddly through here. No really. More upranks of stuff you have but nothing new to speak of.
As soon as you hit level 51, grab Combustion and then add that sucker to your macro with Icy Veins. Then fill out Pyromaniac before darting back up to fill out Incineration and then grab all 5 points in Fire Power. In many ways, this is where the points get harder to place because there is so much lovely stuff and so few points to actually spend.
Spells to watch for: You get jack diddly through here. Except that Arcane Brilliance is nice for having to mass buff parties/raids.
There are lots of leveling goodies to pick up here. Start with filling up Hot Streak because there is nothing more wonderful than an instant cast Pyroblast after a pair of crits. Dragons Breath, Firestarter and Empowered Fire are all well worth the points, particularly if you are running a lot of dungeons with mass AoE pulls. Dragon’s Breath is a point I have a love/hate relationship with, because I strongly feel that mobs shouldn’t be close enough to have to use that. However, I have been known to pretend to be a melee mage so I could combine that with Firestarter and instant Flamestrike goodness. If you are doing a lot of AoE/close-to-the-mobs-damage, it is probably worth it to glyph to get rid of the knockback on on Blast Wave to keep everything in your flamestrikes. You’ll also want to backtrack again to pick up a point in Molten Shields. Molten Armor becomes available at very long last at level 62 and you will want to rock that like there’s no tomorrow as soon as you get it.
Spells to watch for: Molten Armor! Invisibility! Tables of food! Spellsteal can also be tons of fun – you’ll soon learn which mobs have nice things to take for your own.
There are two paths to take at this point. One is to keep the fun leveling talents that you’ll kiss goodbye come raiding because again, all of this has been a leveling spec and won’t net you much but anger from tanks come raid time (I myself nearly got killed back in TK: The Eye for using Blast Wave with the knockback because an irate tank thought he needed to have mobs close to hit them and get aggro). Anyhow, round out the rest of the tree by getting Burnout, Living Bomb (more AoE fun and happiness) and that last point in Molten Shields. After that, you have three points left. I’ve seen many mages put them into Arcane Focus for the +hit. But you might also consider dropping them in Playing with Fire.
Spells to watch for: You get to ditch making food and water separately through here, as well as pick up frostfire bolt at long last (that would be the time to switch to the raid spec, btw). At 80 you get Larry, Curly and Moe, your very own three stooges, who are pretty stupid but are a nice way to drop threat when some big ugly comes after you.
If you’re looking to raid, you’ll want to respec right around 75, although it could certainly be held off longer. However, you will likely want to give yourself a few levels to adjust to the different play style, because it is different. If you want the cookie-cutter spec, go hit up talentchic.com or something. If you want the Alas frostfire raiding spec, click the link above. Mine is basically the cookie cutter version with a tweak that I personally refuse to live without; namely, ditching Molten Fury in order to keep the two points in Molten Shields. I think I understand the mindset behind putting points into something that boosts damage against targets with less than 35% health given the many, many bosses that enrage or get really difficult towards the end of their life spans. However, increasing overall crit all the time makes more sense to me for a build that relies so heavily upon crit.
This is all turning out to be much longer than I anticipated, so I’ll add something else later about glyphs, stats and rotations in another post. In the meantime, enjoy and stay away from frost.
We had someone quit the guild the other day, taking his main to go heal for a family’s members guild. “No hard feelings,” he said.
And I don’t have hard feelings, per se. But I do find myself rather frustrated with him because this is something like the third or fourth time he’s quit. And I find myself frustrated with us as guild leadership because we’re the ones who kept allowing him to come back. Granted, the first few times he cycled out the door, it was during times of high stress and drama. I often want to quit the guild during those times too, so I can understand it to a point. Still, he’s burned his last bridge with us and here’s why:
I hate giving loot to people who prove to me over and over again that all they’re going to do is walk away later.
At this point, I wouldn’t invite him to a raid if we were a dps short and it was a choice between his skills and a new 80 who thinks that it’s a great idea to be a fire specced mage and only cast frost spells (saw that in a pug, trufax).
But rather than focusing on our own stupid for allowing him to use us over and over again, I present a short list of easy ways to ensure a guild will never want you back, not ever, but still have to say, “It’s not that he was a douche, really, but…”
1. Never shut up. Ever
The trick to this one, of course, is to make sure that you keep everything light and friendly and clean. That way no one can actually complain that you’re rude or crass, but your constant stream of chatter will make people want to put you on ignore at the very least. To carry this beyond a simple stream of chatter, consider carrying your chat over to vent, particularly when people are trying to raid or make it visually unappealing if you’re working only with text, like so:
so i waz wondrin
hav u evr liek
thot about bein liek
relly ur caracter
End result: When you move on, people will say “It’s not that he was a douche, really, but he wouldn’t ever shut up.”
2. Be just a little dim-witted
I don’t know about anyone else, but I personally despise that one person who asks the same questions over and over. Not because they’re not getting a response or a real answer, but because they can’t remember from one week to another what exactly they have to look out for on a certain encounter or just how to get from IF to SW without bugging a mage about it (yeah, that tram is so difficult to remember and even harder to find since you have push through a magic barrier to find Platform 9 and 3/4).
End result: When you move on, people will say “It’s not that he was a douche, really, but he was just so stupid.”
3. Offer unsolicited critiques on your guild-mates’ builds, rotations, glyphs and enchants
After all, your mage is a level one bank toon, surely you know more about to play that class then the level 80 who has been playing it for years, because you’re fairly certain that they’re not really literate and couldn’t possibly be smart enough to look at sites like Elitist Jerks on their own initiative. Even if they say they have, chances are they were overwhelmed by the math and big words and still don’t really know what’s going on. You’ve heard them button mashing often enough over vent to have a pretty good notion that all they do is slam their face against the keyboard. Give everyone your ideas on how they might improve and then talk loftily about fictitious alts of yours (on other servers and they’re maxed out on everything so you’re bored with them, lol ) and how much better DPS you’re able to pull using your ideas.
Caution: You have to make sure your tone comes across as friendly and helpful. Any hint of condescension will result in people thinking you’re a douche.
End result: When you move on, people will say “It’s not that he was a douche, really, but he was such a know-it-all.”
End result: When you move on, people will say “It’s not that he was a douche, really, but he thought he knew everything and was such a noob he couldn’t stay alive in raids for more than a minute.”
5. Give off the faint impression that you believe the rest of the guild is there to serve you
This one is perhaps the most tricky of all to master. As with the rest of these, the key is tone, but equally important is frequency. If you’re constantly spamming for help, hints, run-throughs or invitations to parties, your guild will clue in pretty quickly. There are a few ways to handle this. One is to just never say anything much, but whenever you do type in guild chat make it a request. Don’t be rude but don’t be too gracious either. You can get away with more frequent requests if you make sure to watch who is online and who is off and try to catch different segments of guild at different times.
The other way to finesse this is to offer help about once for every five to ten times you get a run through. Honestly, not many people will keep a running tally or anything, so just as long as you appear to be helpful they won’t notice that you’re really just sponging off the guild and have been for months. Times to offer help are right around when you know people are going to be logging off for the night or just before most of the guild is heading into a raid. Sure you might occasionally get burned by employing this method and end up having to actually give someone’s alt a run through SM, but you can also manufacture emergencies if this happens and get out of it early.
End result: When you move on, people will say “It’s not that he was a douche, really, but he was just so needy.”
I love me some weekly raid, generally speaking. So far, everything that has come up has been excessively easy to get to and to pwn.
Then yesterday, the thing I had dreaded more than anything else happened.
The weekly raid was Malygos. Eee. Oh. Eee. Our nemesis.
I’ve mentioned before that it should be an easy fight but that people tend to want to give Malygos hugs while they’re on their dragon mounts or not give the tank time to grab aggro on the mobs at the start of phase two or assume that it’s everyone else’s responsibility to kill those nasty sparks o’ doom.
So when I heard from Noxy that the weekly raid was Maly, I started mentally drinking then and there. Had I been not at work, I might have started actually drinking.
Raid time rolled around and I sent out invites and we got everyone summoned out to Colderra. Then I kicked everyone out of the raid, yelled “psyche!” over vent and gquit.
Okay, not really. I did tell everyone to split into two teams though, and that we were going to practice our dragon skills while doing the daily quest Aces High! The healers practiced their healing and the dps practiced their button mashing and every now and again I would bark out “move!” and people would practice strafing to the right. It was delightful, sort of like being in Kindergarten and practicing drawing circles when you know you and all the people with you should be at least at a college equivalent level.
Once both teams had completed the daily we reformed into a raid group and headed in.
The first phase went well enough. Although we didn’t manage to actually stack any sparks and in fact killed one before it even reached the platform so that it fell uselessly into the abyss, at least we managed to kill them rather than let them reach Maly. The second phase also went well enough. The two hunter’s pets decided to kill the mob that the tank wasn’t working on but that was sorted out and no actual raiders were harmed in the process. We also saw our melee dps get up on the discs first, rather than some random healer.
We hit the third phase with just under 4 minutes before enrage and…
…everything worked like a dream. The healers healed and absolutely no one crashed and burned. When I told people to group back up, they did. When I told them to move, there was not a 5 second delay before they did. We one shot Maly with time to spare. Some people even managed to obtain the heart thinger they needed for the quest from the key from when they got that a year or so ago killing Saph. Other people finally obtained their “Champion of the Frozen Wastes” title.
Then we went and kicked Ony’s ass and it was very good.
It gives me hope that we’ll maybe someday manage to find the time to go finish out the back half of Ulduar. I know we’re all capable raiders. The trick is getting everyone to pay attention and understand what exactly they should be doing and when.