Archive for the ‘Guild actions’ category

A Last Unexpected Step

June 5, 2014

Exactly 3 weeks after I wrote my last post, this happened:

garroshkill

It was the guild’s 3rd kill. I didn’t participate in the 200ish learning wipes. It was a 10s raid…

I didn’t expect much of an impact at the end, but, because the game (or is it life?) never ceases to surprise me, I was hit in the face by a huge wave of feels when those achievements made my screen shiny.

As I happily watched the achievements fade, my guildies asked if I was going to write a blog post about it.

I said yes.

So here is a blog post.

Pandaria and the Road to Heroic Garrosh

Looking back, the way to Heroic Garrosh felt like…like a journey. (I think I may have journeys on the brain these days.) The first tier of the expansion was annoying. My first guild, Occasional Excellence, fell apart (or was blown up by it’s leaders – however you want to look at it) and I ran back to my on-again-off-again love, Conquest. I didn’t click with the healing lead they had at the time (understatement of the century) so I was both elated and terrified when I got a chance to trial for Cadenza.

I was lucky that holy pallies looked pretty good on logs at the time. I died a lot. I mean, a lot. Heart of Fear was full of those twitchy movement fights that make me panic and run into no-nos. But, to my greatest relief, they let me stay. So I played with Cadenza for the rest of the expansion – almost a year and a half.

A year and a half! I’ve spent more time in Cadenza now then I have in any guild, save for Red Tear (my very, very first raiding guild). Where did the time go?

You Want Stories?

My time in Cadenza was relatively uneventful too, when you compare it to my past experiences. But…

If you want funny stories, I had a little bit of drama with a resto druid who went out of her way to top meters. And I mean out of her way. From chasing me around to murder me on Ji-Kun and, to a lesser extend, Twin Consorts (to this day, I get this icky sick feeling in my stomach when I get close to Ji-Kun), to flirting with the guild leader to get loot/LFR runs/other privileges (I didn’t pay enough attention to see how well that worked out for her), to making us wait while she hearthed out to gem/reforge EVERY piece of gear she won, to life gripping melee who bothered her away from bosses. After the Ji-Kun thing, I got my revenge by dispelling her on Primordius when she’d steal puddles from the DPS. I got in trouble for it (because she was deranged enough to complain even though she was breaking the rules) and was super embarrassed at how I’d sunk to such childish levels. In retrospect, and now that I’m more comfortable in the guild, I find the whole thing pretty amusing and love telling the story.

If you want sappy stories, my copally and I started talking about pally stuff one night. Which led to conversations about Final Fantasy, Dragon Age, Mass Effect and other games. Which led to us to attempting challenge modes together with some other guildies. Which led to him inviting me to group on one of his PvE-server alts to phase me whenever I logged in (Tichondrius is a horrible, horrible place when you can’t defend yourself). Which eventually led to us thinking “where have you been all my life?” We’ve been officially together for almost a year now and still going strong. He’s even coming with me for the South East Asia portion of the Epic Journey. Past experiences had made me think that I couldn’t handle long distance relationships, but it’s been surprisingly easy. I guess what they say is true- it’s all about meeting the right person.

If you want meeting-guildies IRL stories – I did meet quite a few of my Cadenza guildies. I’d already met Logan, of course, from our Conquest days. But at Blizzcon, I got to hang out with him, Kith, Theck, Arg, Finwe, Kerrine (and ALL of them AT THE SAME TIME). Given how quiet and not friendly I am in guild, I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun I had with them. They all felt like people I’d be friends with if I were around them IRL, even if we didn’t all play the same video game. In April, the boy (we can call him Ed now) and I made another trip to California to meet Loriey and Twilightfang, then Cup and Chuggy, two other guild couples. Just like us, both couples had one American partner and one international partner so it was fun to share meeting stories and getting stuck at customs stories (poor Cup). (For a guild that rarely has girls – I was the only raiding girl in the guild for a big portion of my time there – we sure have a lot of couples.) We also got to hang out with Arg, Finwe and Corv throughout the week and, again, I felt like we’d been offline friends all our lives. When Ed and I went back to New Jersey, we hung out with Kith and Sang (though not both of them at the same), and again, super good times that ended way too soon. (Sang, however, probably had little idea who I was, having quit the game a few weeks after I joined but I’d heard so much about him that I begged Ed to introduce me.)

Back to Heroic Garrosh

When a lot of our team gave up and we resized to 10s, I figured my time was over. (My raid leader would probably scold me for having “no faith”.) But eventually, the main team killed it and I was offered a chance at my title.

I hadn’t played my pally in weeks. My keybinding were so far in my mind that during our re-clear, I once Bopped our tank instead of Saccing him (you know, old skool Rykga style). That whole re-clear was painful and scary. We spend hours trying to kill Spoils. I felt like it was all my fault since they did fine in past weeks when I wasn’t there. Some wipes were obviously my fault, like when I didn’t notice Seal of Insight wasn’t up, or when my power went out mid-fight, or when I made a wrong turn and ran right into bombs. I attributed the other wipes to my bad luck aura.

Eventually, late into our second night, we reached Heroic Garrosh. I think the last time I was that nervous before a fight was early in my Cadenza trial. My raid leader had gone over the strat (we use a 1 healer, 1 tank strat) and my cooldown timing with me earlier. I chose a Selfless Healer style (which, by the way, worked out really good for most of the fight), which I’m less comfortable with (WTF is judgement?) but that I eased into as the night went on.

Then it was classic Cadenza “push until your brain shuts down and then just keep going until your hands know the fight”. (It’s embarrassing to explain sometimes – at one point around 1 am, my raid leader called for a Devo Aura in a couple of seconds. As soon as I heard “Rykga” and “Devo Aura”, my finger just landed on the button. When I got scolded afterward, I was thinking “how do I explain the accident happened due to a post-brainshutdown response?)

I’d had a pretty long day (a pretty long week, actually), didn’t have a chance to eat between work and raid, and, unlike the rest of the guild, I didn’t have 200+ wipes under my belt. So I made mistakes. Most of the mistakes were execution (the actual healing and cooldown use was easier than you’d expect) although not having Selfless Healer quite mastered caused a few not-so-fun moments. The raid seemed to play good-cop-bad-cop with me – I’d get scolded by the raid leader and the rest of the raid would whisper me encouragements (this is how awesome my guildies are – my eyes get all prickly when think about it). And because I’m always a big nervewreck, and my level of nervewreckness skyrockets when I’m tired and hungry, my self talk was along the lines of “all these people are here to help you get this kill and you’re letting them down. If we don’t kill Garrosh, it’s ALL YOUR FAULT AND THEY WILL ALL HATE YOU FOREVER

When I finally crawled into bed after raid, I bawled like a baby for hours.

The Final Go

We were back again the next day. I pulled our healing lead aside for some pointers and pep talk before raid (he’d healed all the previous kills, so he knows.)

This time I was slightly better rested and slightly less hungry (I never seem to have time to eat and sleep these days. My clothes are getting baggy – there’s nothing like the “being worked to death” diet for one’s figure.) All the brainless wipes had also reinforced muscle memory. (Actually, one thing I discovered while raiding with Cadenza is that if you keep going when you’re exhausted and can’t handle it anymore, you might not perform well, but you learn. You learn very, very well.)

I was ready.

It still took awhile to get the kill, but most of the wipes had little, if anything, to do with me. I was determined and confident.

We started off the night wiping in the first phase. Then we wiped in Jade Temple. Then we wiped during the Whirl phase. Then we wiped during Empowered phase. Then, FINALLY, we made it to the last phase.

And then Heroic Garrosh died and I had one of those moments.

I spent the rest of the night celebrating with the guild in Vent. It was one the best evenings I’d spend with them. Usually raid ends late and I have to work the next day so I can’t stay and socialize. With the exception of those who I’ve met IRL, I barely knew my guildies at all. It was such a good time – they seemed genuinely happy for me and I was riding the high from the kill.

It felt more like a beginning than an end. Which is heartbreaking since the Epic Journey starts in August. I’m also not sure how much raiding I’ll get to do with them in July (we ARE started 25s again on June 27. I’m not sure if there are spots open but anyone who’s still reading and are thinking they might be interested in joining Cadenza, check with Agwyne, our guild and raid leader, on Tichondrius) since I work during a portion of raid time. But, for an ending, it’s certainly a happy one and I’ll think back on the past year and a half (and the last, what, 8? years of raiding) whenever I need some positive thoughts.

My mom and my non-gaming friends always ask me if I think I’d ever regret all the hours I spent on WoW.

The answer is “never“.

Rykga, Hellscream's Downfall says hi

Rykga, Hellscream’s Downfall says hi

So where did Rykga end up?

January 22, 2013

It’s been awhile since I’ve written about my guild situation.

Last we spoke, I had caught up with my old guild Conquest and joined socially until the nightmare at work got sorted out.

Since then, I went guild searching at all the usual places. Let me tell you, the market is not the same as it was at the end of Cata! My work schedule does force me to look for something very specific, but still, not a single pitch was made to me. Not one.

Then I went to WoW progress and looked at EVERY. SINGLE. GUILD. in my progression range. Ok, I lie, I looked at every single US server Alliance 25m guild in my progression range.

I found 3 guilds with compatible schedules.

Guess how many of those guilds were recruiting?

That’s right: ZERO.

One even had a notice on their website that they were too full up to be accepting applications at all.

25m raiders becoming extinct, my two asscheeks.

A Decision had to be made

I really wasn’t ready to give up on raiding yet and figured I had decent chances with the two guilds that were accepting “exceptional players”. After a month hiatus, I was anything but exceptional, but a few farm runs could fix that easily.

Still, another idea was growing on me. I talked to some people, sent some emails, did a Mumble interview, took a shot in the dark and re-applied to Conquest as a raider.

Ta-da! Sporting the Tabard of Brohood once again!

Ta-da! Sporting the Tabard of Brohood once again!

I know, WoW blogger gossip fans are loving it. LOVING IT.

You went back to your ex!” (Simply a reference to how I often talk about my guild relationships in romantic terms. Rein in that gossip a little bit, I’ve never dated a Conquest bro.)

Don’t you remember what happened last time?

Believe me, I remember. I remember very well. I can even still work myself into a rage when I think about it enough.

But, you know what? After 2 years it’s time to let go a little bit and get over stuff. I’ve matured, the people involved have either left or matured, and each time I’ve gotten together with the Conquest crew in real life (that’s right, I’ve still being going to their meetups), I’ve had a blast. And seriously folks, there are worse things in life then having your feelings hurt by your WoW guild leadership.

So, how’s it going?

When asked how it’s going by non-guildies, I’ve answered with an “I don’t know“.

Then I wait a little bit as the other person squeals with excitement and grabs some popcorn. That’s when I let the hungry gossipers down with “On a personal level, it’s been awesome.”

Honestly, I’m blown away by how much the guild has grown up. I can still recognize my old stomping ground: the bro feeling is strong (girls can be bros too so it’s good), most of my favorite people are still there (but not all. Kaldora and Evan… I miss youuuuuuu) and many of the indescribable dynamics that make Conquest what it is haven’t changed.

But the things that used to bother me? Most of them, GONE! All the annoying people had left to make their own guild (which apparently crashed and burned just recently, much to everyone’s amusement), guild chat and the forums are very entertaining places, the officers, from what I can tell, are actually doing their job and I haven’t heard childish language, like, at all. (While I don’t get offended easily, I find childish behaviour tiring. If I wanted to be surrounded by 12 year olds, I’d be a schoolteacher.) There are also a few farming projects going on where everyone can voluntarily pitch in, which seems to be really beneficial socially.

It makes me want to log in and get involved and help out.

Raid-wise, though, it’s tough to adapt to a new style, especially when I liked OE’s raids so much. Since joining, I’ve been a diva, I’ve raged, I’ve pestered my healing lead, I’ve waved around the Giant Spoon… (I swear my healing lead must regret the day he promoted me to raider. Even I didn’t realize I was such a handful.) Conquest’s healing team’s only crime, though, is not being OE’s healing team. I’m just not over my romance with OE’s healing team.

I have conflicting feelings too in that I’m new, but I’m not new. I’m new in that I don’t know most of the team and they don’t know me. Some of the raid customs have changed and, as the new person, I would normally shut up and observe for a little while. But I don’t feel new. I know all the long-timers. I know the back-story to almost all the guild jokes (heck, I am the back-story to some of those jokes!). I have way more confidence than I usually do when joining a guild, which might get me into trouble. (Or it might be a good thing, I don’t know. The fight strat threads were so quiet and lonely, ever since I went all Bossy Pally on our Heroic Blade Lord thread, they’ve come alive.)

Of Progression and Efficiency

I can’t say I was taking a step back in progression because, well, after over a month of hiatus at the beginning of an expansion, a person falls far, far behind. However, I was worried about taking a step back in, I guess, progressiveness.

I’m not the healer who puts out the most hps, I’m not the fastest to assimilate mechanics (I’m not bad, but my age is showing and I’ve become slightly slower than the average progression player) and I have limits as to how far I’ll go to be better (no arena 4 piece for me). But I work best under pressure, I raid to kill bosses, I know my class, I have no life commitments holding me back (other than my work schedule) and, in the right environment, I have military-like discipline.

At the beginning of November, the last time I raided with OE, Conquest was quite a bit behind OE in terms of progression. That made me nervous. I don’t care about number of kills too much, but I crave high pressure environments, and those environments tends to go hand in hand with boss kills.

It’s working out though. Right after I joined, Conquest went from 1/16H to 6/16H, and I’m hoping for 8/16H by the end of this lockout. (Last night a guildie said “have you noticed that since Rykga joined the guild, we’re finally killing hard modes?“. While I had absolutely nothing to do with 2 kills and very little to do with the others, the joke still totally made my night. It’s this new Holy Pally passive, Heroic Aura. Makes your guildies kill hard modes.)

Anyway, the environment is more relaxed, but the level of discipline is totally acceptable.

I’ve also finally started, you know, playing the game. I did my first pet battle, I wrapped up the various Pandarian questlines, I did some rep grinding with useless factions. I even did a couple of quests on my mage. I have more time for me but also, I find I want to play more and just enjoy reading the banter in /g.

There’s been talk in the guild of making 300 food and valor capping mandatory. (Matt even brought it to his blog.) Me, I don’t mind being forced to valor cap and eat 300 food. I eat 300 food anyway: if I could produce enough 2 weeks after MoP came out, there’s no reason I can’t now. I try to valor cap, but when something comes up on Sat/Sun/Mon, I don’t feel guilty about not reaching the bar.

If I suddenly needed to, I would, however I would expect proper payoff. If I’m putting the energy into the game that I would for a top guild then I expect my guild to progress like a top guild.

Going to Ride the Waves

I think that, so far, I’m happy.

I know and accept that the tides might change and I may decide the raids aren’t for me. Or 2 years ago might replay itself as I suddenly become all OCD and start grasping at threads. But you know what? Getting hurt and failures are part of life. Nothing lasts forever and I’m ok with falls as long as the ride’s worth it.

About my Policy Fiddling Hobby, Part 1

December 5, 2010

I’ve been swamped with Cataclysm and finals preparations…despite what Kurn may say, for me, Cataclysm preparation has very little to do with in-game stuff and a lot to do with pre-studying for finals so I can actually play the expansion without ruining my GPA. However, like Kurn, I’m a team player and I did contribute to my guild’s Cataclysm preparation by pitching in with policy updates.

That’s right, guild policy update. This post is going to be about guild policy updates.

I know the term policy has a tendency to trigger an irresistible urge to sleep, especially if guild politics aren’t your thing. Just grab some coffee and I promise I won’t be too dry.

As a matter of fact, I think this is such an exciting and fascinating topic that I’ve split it into two parts! The first part (this one!) is about my experience and my attempts to convince you that guild policies aren’t horrible, scary things. The second part will go into specifics with some examples of how I handled the wording. (I freely admit part II exists for the sole purpose of showing off quotes I’m proud of.)

I like knowing what’s expected of me, don’t you?

I volunteered to update our guild policies. I’m not an officer, heck, with my crazy lifestyle, I struggle to keep my raider status. But I’ve disliked my guild’s website since day 1. Rules, details about guild functioning and culture, loot system explanations, etc., were scattered throughout individual threads in several forums, mixed in with regular chitchat threads. Some information about the guild wasn’t available at all.

Had I not heard and read about the workings of Conquest from Matticus (our GM) and Sydera, had this been a random guild website, I wouldn’t have applied. (And I would have missed out.)
(more…)

A Short Post About My Darling 10 Man Team

May 21, 2010

Some of you with good memories (or who actually click on links on my sidebar) may remember a post about the adventures of my 10 man team.

Ah, we have our strengths and our weaknesses. There are things we can do and things we have more trouble with. For example,

Thing my 10 man team can do:

Kill Lich King.

Thing my 10 man team needs to work on:

Standing together for screenshots.

Joking aside, all of our hard work finally paid off earlier this week when Arthas finally went down. It was a strange feeling, though. While I did excitedly type in healer chat “I think I’m going to cry now” (I’m one of those very confused people who cry when they’re too giddy), my actually feeling was more along the lines of “well duuuuuuuh”. I knew all along we had it in us, it was just a question of getting it out of us, as a manner of speaking.

It helped a lot to have a few people in our group who’d downed the Lich King before, but mostly, you could tell it was all about practice. In the few attempts before the kill, we were moving almost automatically through the Valk/Defile phase, as if our fingers had the fight memorized.

So for those of you who haven’t killed Arthas yet, hang in there. With the buff active, it’s about learning the fight, getting used to the Valk and Defile timers.

I Don’t Want to Write Something Useful, so I’m Going to Talk About 10 Man Raid Leading

March 23, 2010

GM: How’s your 10 man looking this week?
Me: It’s looking good. But it’s not really my 10 man.
GM: It’s your 10 man.
Me: It’s not mine!
GM: You took it over, therefore it’s your 10 man, no ifs, ands or buts.

So I ended up with a 10 man raid. Apparently it’s “mine”. I’m too new age-ish for that. It’s mine and 9 other people’s. It’s ours.

Actually, raid leading is one of those things where I can’t decide if I really like it or really hate it. I enjoy the planning, the list making, all the logistics that go into getting a 10 man together. And when it all works out, it’s extremely rewarding. However, as shocking as it may sound (yeah, I know it’s hard to believe, ha!), I have a terribly anxious personality. I need everything planned and sorted ahead of time and any last minute changes are the end of the world. Not to mention that I’m one of those slow, deep thinkers that take forever to make up their minds. Which is great in certain circumstances. For example, I never make impulsive purchases. In a raid context, however, my lack of spontaneity can be problematic.

*DPS dies*
Druid: Should I battle rez?
Me: Um…

Me: Um…

Me: Um…Yes. Err, no, wait, the boss is already dead.

I had two 10 man teams going in my old guild, although I usually only actually led one of the two (I can’t two box). The experience was bittersweet. We did get some cool guild firsts under my lead. But I also have memories of getting in fights with the backseat raid leader who kept arguing with me (I’ve actually said “Who’s leading this raid, you or me?” before). And the very last raid I led with them ended with wipe after wipe after wipe on Faction Champs, normal mode. In my discouragement, I was crying so hard I couldn’t even speak enough to call the raid. (Apparently, no one noticed which is good!)

So about a few months ago, this happened:

Guild leadership:
We don’t have enough time for progression so we’re taking 10 mans out of our regular raid nights, you’ll have to do them on offnights.
Regular raid leader: I’m starting something on Wednesdays.
Someone else: I’m starting something on Sundays.
Me: I’m free whenever.
Guild: You’re going Sunday.

Then, after a week, the guy who ran Sunday’s group left the guild. In a rare moment of impulsiveness (I guess there’s hope for me yet), I started a new thread, got everyone from the original group to check in and built a new team. Before I knew it, it somehow became known as “my” raid, even though I swear I didn’t do it on purpose.

I was pretty nervous. I’m not an aggressive leader at all. Even in my old guild where everyone was older and laid back, I had no authority whatsoever. I’m the kind of person who says please before telling you to move out of the fire. With a shaky voice.

Luckily, things have been working out so far, the group is fairly disciplined so I don’t really need to be authoritative. I raised my voice once. Immediately, I got 4 whispers:

Four people: Lol, you got mad!

The harshness in my voice was really just me trying to control my giggles. I’m not very good at getting mad.

Oh and I’m obsessed with having my group confirmed as early as possible in the week, as well as with starting the raid on time. The raid is scheduled for 6, we must pull at 6, regardless if only the mage and I are inside the instance. Attendance and punctuality are pretty much the only things I’m inflexible on. And by inflexible on, I mean overly anxious about:

Me: You’re coming on Sunday right.
Raider: Yep.
Me: You’re sure?
Raider: Of course.
Me: Really sure?
Raider: Yeah.
Me: Are yo-
Raider: OMG YES.
*night of the raid*
Raider: Um, I had something come up.
Me: *nervous breakdown*.

And of course there’s always some smartass overhearing me sob on vent.

Smartass: You don’t handle stress very well, do you?
Me:

We’ve had our hurdles. To name them: Superbowl, Valentine’s Day, Spring Break, Gold Medal Olympic Hockey Game, Sindragosa. I don’t think we’ve ever had two consecutive weeks with the same 10 people. There’s always one person who has to work unexpectedly, who has computer issues or needs a night off. Then there’s the stress every week of “3 people want badges, 3 people won’t go if we have to clear downstairs, 2 people don’t know what they want, 1 person doesn’t understand the in-game calender system and 1 person hasn’t discovered we have guild forums yet.”

But amazingly enough, week after week things work out. Except Sindragosa, 1% wipes omfg. Unless there’s been a planned delay, we’ve started our raids on times. In about two months, we’ve only had two signed-up-but-didn’t-shows, and one of those was actually a /gquit I hadn’t been aware of.

We’ve become used to playing together. And by that, I mean that our druid doesn’t even have to pay attention to vent or look at her raidframes to know who needs a battlerez and when. We got to know each other and our teammates’ IRL eating/flasking/buffing habits pretty well. During downtime and trash, we joke around on vent and share TMI (unlike the other 10 man team…I sat in their channel once and it put me to SLEEP). They even sorta forgive me for stuff like bopping the tank. My teammates are also great about communicating what they want so the rare times where we can’t resort to a vote, decisions are easy to make.

I get tons of help from the guild leadership, which is a first for me. In the past, I had always been met with “your raids, your problem, we want no part in this”. But now I get a regular supply of answers to my questions and pats on the back when requested. When the other 10 man moved their raid on top of ours, the little conflicts and frustrations that inevitably came up were short lived, despite that we still give each other crap over them.

In the end, even my fears of being a crappy “leader” were resolved when I discovered that one our priests (I’M GOING TO LET YOU ALL GUESS WHO) was probably a sport commenter in a past life. Not only does he seem to know when I’m wishy-washy about a certain fight and need someone else to jump in, but also narrates entire fights in a very entertaining and engaging manner. I can just sit back and hit buttons. (Unless I’m tanking…I haven’t learned my new keybindings yet, so when I tank, I sit back and pound my fist on the keyboard in hopes that my character does something.)

So now I don’t have to say that I lead a 10 man raid, I can say I coordinate a 10 man raid, which sounds much nicer to my ears.

Oh and I’ve become quite attached to the task of getting the group together every week.

Me: OMG we’re going to fail, no ones going to show up, we’re not even going to get Saurfang down. Why the hell did I volunteer for this?
Fellow Raider: I can take over if you want.
Me: NO. MY RAID PAWS OFF. MINE MINE MINE.

What happens when I talk on vent

March 9, 2010

I coordinate the Sunday 10 man ICC runs. Last Sunday, we had a bit of a shakey start, but once we were off, we were off. Despite only having half of our normal group (and one of those who were helping us out claimed that he’d never been in ICC before), we were rocking the place.

Things were going great, but we noticed some strange things… At one point, Stinky dropped aggro on the tank and charged our mage.

Raid: Watch your aggro!
Mage: I was nowhere on the aggro list!
Tank: He wasn’t near me at all on the aggro list, this doesn’t make sense.
Me: Mages just have a secret taunt button.
Raid: You know, a real mage would have iceblocked.

We shrugged it off as a freak event, and moved on. Then Rotface did something similar, gobbling down our enhancement shammy and our poor mage in the process.

Rotface Tank: I somehow lost aggro, I don’t get it. It doesn’t make any sense.

Great, we thought, a bugged instance. We ended up calling a wipe and trying again.

Sure enough, it happened again. Our mage had learned his lesson by then and iceblocked, so only on the shaman was sacrificed.

It was then that our Rotface tank figured out the problem. “It’s like I’m bopped, she said, I can’t attack or anything!

In our guild language, “bop” is the word for Hand of Protection. Quickly, I look for a pally to blame.

No other pallies in the raid.

I check my bop.

Sure enough, on cooldown, the timing coinciding exactly with the aggro reset. I was shocked. I must have hit the wrong button. But it didn’t make sense. I’ve had the same key binding for years and I’ve never hit it by accident.

Then it dawned on me: my key binding for bop is ctrl + right mouse button.

Ctrl = vent press-to-talk
Right mouse button = Holy Light

Speaking on vent and trying to heal causes me to bop the tank.

It had never been in a problem in the past because I don’t usually speak on vent. That night was different because I was leading and, due to some earlier events that evening, was feeling more outspoken than usual. Plus, I usually tank while I’m leading, so I don’t typically find myself casting Holy Light.

In my past guild, the first time I spoke on vent, we wiped. It was just coincidence, but I gained a reputation for wiping the raid when I speak. I guess it’s sort of a curse. Years later, I am still wiping the raid when I speak.

Anyway, for our final (and successful) Rotface attempt, I put bop on cooldown before the pull, then halfway through the fight, just to be safe. I did cast it by accident on a tank later on that night, but thankfully there was no wipe involved.

But I guess it’s time I start revamping my spell bindings.

Love is in the Guild

February 14, 2010

F Yo Couch!

If you’re on Nerzhul, standing in the Dalaran bank and you see that twist of the Chapelle show line pop up in your chat, chances are someone from Conquest is nearby. I’m told that our legendary S13 was the first of our guild to make use of that line. Now it’s become more or less our rally cry.

I was wondering which topic I would choose for a February 14th post and none seemed more fitting than some guild love. Whenever I see players complain or make hopeless remarks about their guild, it makes me sad.

Whether you’re a raider or a strictly social player or somewhere in between, as soon as you play a few hours a week, you spend a significant amount of time reading green text from these people, or hear them talk. You may have never met them, but you know their sense of humor (or in some cases, their lack thereof). You know their temperament. Sometimes you know things about them you wish you didn’t. Other times you find out things about them you wish you’d known earlier.

How it all started…

I remember filling out my application. I was a little shaky, I’d never filled out a guild application before. It was around 6 server on a Sunday night. My old guild was raiding and I was on raid hiatus. I needed to think. I needed a change but didn’t know I was ready to leave my old gaming friends. I felt a little sick to my stomach, but here was an opportunity I wasn’t going to pass up.

I may only be able to raid 9 hours a week, but I still wanted to do hard modes. Here was my chance to make the most out of my limited gaming time.

Still, I don’t like having to get used to new people, in real life or in game. Many players float from one guild to another, but not me. When I join a guild, I show up with my cat, all my clothes, my furniture and the kitchen sink. It took me about 20 minutes to fill out the application. Took another hour to edit my application and cut out the unnecessary words. It makes me chuckle when guild officers complain about applicants not writing enough. I bet Conquest’s officers fell asleep scrolling down my walls of text. What can I say? I really, really like writing about myself.

The Early Days

I was nervous when I first joined. I got a teased because I wouldn’t talk on vent. I wrote a blog post about it. My new GM answered in a blog post of his own. Look familiar? I just about died on the spot yet he was absolutely right, once I stopped panicking, I felt a lot more comfortable in the guild.

Over the past few months, I got to know my guildies a little better. I discovered one was a Russian spy disguising his identity with a French accent. I discovered that another guildie was quite the Casanova as he and I patiently offered unsolicited dating advice to a third, clueless and flustered, guildie. I discovered that one of our bear tanks raids with, on her shoulders, the skin of a bear she killed with her bare hands. I discovered that rogues talk way too much (but I love them anyway. One of them even gave me a fancy shmancy new headset!). I discovered that we had a team of brothers who will take everything you say out of context and hold it against you. I discovered many other crazy, and by crazy I mean awesome, personalities among those people I raid with a few nights a week.

The good times don’t stop

Speaking of awesome, I’ve experienced quite a few awesome moments. Starting right at my very first 25 man raid with them. As we made our way to Ony, we noticed a Horde guild hanging around the stone. We started to kill them. What the heck, I thought, and joined in. We won. We celebrated. I found out afterward that the guild we killed was, at the time, a top 20 US guild.

We also have some moments of awesome on our guild forums. My personal favorite was the thread where everyone commissioned the daughter of one of our guildies (who’s also doing some artwork for my blog BTW!) to do drawings of their character killing our brave and fearless raid leader’s paladin. Our brave and fearless raid leader would probably disagree about the awesomeness of that thread.

You know you’re really at home when you find yourself trying to explain your guild’s personal dialect to outsiders. No matter how I tried to put it, I just couldn’t get my girlfriends to understand how much win is in the word “poopsock”. I don’t care what you think, I find it hilarious.

Just us, chillin' with Festergut

Here’s the Good Part!

Now, you’re probably reading this and thinking “man, I wish I could have that much awesomeness in my WoW“.

Good news! You can have that much awesomeness in your WoW! We need new people!

A lot of our members have stuff going on in their lives that’s getting in the way of their raiding, so there are quite a few openings, notably for DPS and backup healers.

We do have a lot of priests (I guess thats what happens when your main recruiter writes a popular priest blog), but the lack of Shamans, Druids and Holy Paladins needs to be remedied. Hot guys with sexy accents are especially appreciated (by me).

We raid Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursday from 6 to 9 pacific time, with optional 10 man runs on Wenesdays and Sundays.

So if you want to hang out with a bunch of nutcases, and by nutcases I mean wonderful players, like yours truly, and Ryan, and Skip Cocoa, and Matticus, and Hempia (who many of you Twitterfolk probably know) and all those I described earlier, come apply on our websiiiiiiiite!!!!!

Thats http://www.nerzhulconquest.com for those of you who never click on links.

Icecrown Citadel: W00T!

December 9, 2009

Is it...could it be... trash?

Yay for middle of the night blog updates!

I really wish this wasn’t the middle of finals and I could enjoy my patch 3.3 without feeling horribly guilty. I took a much needed evening away from the books (which may or may not have been a good idea) and played around in the new instances, then had some fun in ICC.

I had a little over an hour to do the new 5 mans. It wasn’t enough and I was called away to raid halfway through the second one. I don’t know if it was me or what, but I found there was a lot of caster trash. A lot of caster trash standing close enough together to be pulled at once, but far enough apart that I would have to run from one to the other to keep them interested in me. As I did that, the dps would invariably target the mob currently standing the furthest away from me, steal aggro and die. Line of sight pull you say, but no corners or stairs to use. Ah, to be a DK tank in this place…

You know, I kind of find tanking 5 mans harder than tanking raid bosses.

As much as I complain, it was really nice to explore new instances and I wish I hadn’t been so pressed for time.

Icecrown Citadel…. Well, I found it insanely fun. I have a feeling that it’ll be old again in a few weeks, but for a first night, it was a lot, a lot, a lot of fun. It’s on the short side, there’s mentionable trash before Marrowgar, then between Marrowgar and Deathwhisper, but that’s pretty much it. In our 3 hour raid slot, we made it to Saurfang. We did pull him for fun after a few of our raiders hearthed out and got him a bit below 50%, but that was all the time we had.

The difficulty level seems just right for a first wing, despite whining I’m seeing on Twitter about how easy it is. It’s easy if you’re sporting cutting edge gear, have a group used to playing together and have a well disciplined raid composed of people who’ve either played the PTR or watched the videos. Like a lot Wrath, it does seems less like gear checks and more like “stand out of crap and do your job” checks. Again, it’s the only first wing of the Citadel. I appreciate that it’s accessible to most raiders and you don’t have to be farming ToGC 25 to enjoy it.

I found there was a lot of movement. On all 3 fights we did seriously, my execution could be summed up to: cast, move, cast, move, cast, move. Seriously, beacon your tank, heal the other tanks, heal the raid and don’t stand in stuff. But oddly enough, it was ok to heal as a paladin. Maybe it’s because the damage is designed to be less spikey, maybe it’s just because our heal team is that awesome, but I could move constantly without being panicked about losing the tanks. The movement was good, it kept me busy.

The spikes on Marrowgar also amused me to no end. They’re huge, I mean, HUGE! I couldn’t stop giggling at them. What? *shrugs* I thought it was a nice touch.

The Gunship Battle is a cool concept. You’re not exactly in a vehicle, except for those DPS who get to shoot things from a canon (/erm), you’re on a boat and you get a wear a jet pack and hop around. Unfortunately for me, by the time we reached that fight, it was 1 am my time and I was getting pretty drowsy. I think I would have appreciated the fight much more had I been awake enough to know what was going on. Still, the Gunship tips side to side (which would have made me dizzy if my screen were bigger) giving you the impression that you’re flying and, if you’re lucky, you get to use your jet pack to propulse yourself through the air, onto the enemy ship. Again, this will probably be old in a few weeks, but for now I’m loving it.

Of things to look out for, there are a lot of stairs at the beginning of the raid. Who says stairs says line of sight issues. Be prepared to give your character his/her daily exercise by running up and down, up and down, up and down.

If you, um, wipe on the Gunship battle, make sure it’s completely reset before zoning back in. There’s a bug that lets you zone in during the reset, then kills you. I wasn’t very impressed. Also, if you’re on the enemy ship when it goes down, well, sucks to be you. And don’t let anyone touch the Gunship chest while people are running back. Unless you want to have to put in a ticket to get your badges.

Now, as I go back to bed, please enjoy this screenshot of someone opening the Gunship chest before our sacrificed heroes (including our loot master) got back.

It’s All About Sticking With It

December 8, 2009

After quite a few tries…

Someone from our 10 man team: We killed Anub!
Gchat: Yeah, with 5 people dead.
Me: Actually, it was 7 people dead.

Many argue that a fight isn’t well done if half the raid is dead when the boss goes down. I agree to a certain extend, especially for a fight that’s usually on farm. Stupid mistakes? Uggg.

But sometimes… Not everyone is comfortable with a fight yet. We wipe. We try again. We get a little further. We wipe. We try again. A little further. We notice that we’re doing better and better. Then we have that 2% wipe. Then we’re facing that 2% wipe again as the raid drops like flies. Heavy sighs are heard. But at the last second, someone yells out on vent. The boss is DOWN. We win.

I love that feeling of satisfaction. The silliness of having only 3 people alive with no rezzers only adds to the pleasure.

I’m sort of fortunate that I haven’t seen Anub on hard mode very often. My first time, I was healing an experienced group and we 2-shotted him. The second time, I kept pulling healing aggro and we ran out of time. The third, I was tanking and learning the fight from a new angle. The fourth time was tonight and I was tanking again. So, to me, the fight is shiny and new and I’m making my little hamster run as I play out my actions in my head. I feel a bit bad for those in our team who’ve learned the fight ages ago and are patiently waiting for us new kids to perfect our execution. Only a little bit bad, though, because I’m selfish and I’m having too much fun.

I love watching the learning process of a fight. How we fumble around and land on our faces. How every attempt becomes a little smoother. How eventually we wonder why we were even having trouble in the first place. I love the magic that happens as we put the puzzle together, piece by piece, one wipe at a time. I’m not the most social of players, I usually keep to myself or pick 1 or 2 people to follow around, but when I’m learning a fight, I’m suddenly in love with my team. I warm up, I start sharing my thoughts. Sometimes I get so excited that I have to fight the urge to whisper a fellow raider about how much fun I’m having. (I fight this urge because I’ve discovered the hard way that not everyone appreciates the subtle beauty of learning a fight and may take our their unfounded frustration on the happy-go-lucky person sending them tells.)

If most of the raid dies before the boss goes down, then no, we haven’t mastered the fight yet. But we’ve come along way. And if the many times I’ve 2 manned Heigan for a half an hour have taught me anything, it’s to respect those who keep their cool and stick with it when we need it the most.

TAKE THAT YOU BUG!

Puggable

September 22, 2009

puggable_screenshot

It’s always exciting to come across the project of a guildie being advertised on WoW.com. I say “always” as if it happens all the time…It doesn’t. In fact, just having something come out of Moonrunner is a cause for celebration.

But yes,
http://www.wow.com/2009/09/17/easy-voice-chat-for-pugs-with-puggable/

I remember when Puggable was an idea posted by an innovative warrior on our guild forums… I had pretty much forgotten about it until seeing the article at wow.com.

Basically, Puggable is a site with information on the characters you PUG with and, more excitedly, voice chat service. The advantages Puggable has over Ventrilo and other voice chat services is that its free and you don’t have to share your private server information.

I haven’t participated in the beta yet so I can’t speak from experience, but Vivox, the company behind Puggable, has an excellent track record for providing voice chat in MMOs. If any of you random passerbys reading this blog would like to know more, signups for the beta are still open on the Puggable site. I strongly encourage you to check it out.

Grats Vetali! And I hope your experience of 3-manning an HoL PuG with a level 70 rogue, a healing warrior and a tanking priest was exceptional. ;D


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