Squido told me about Flex Raiding before I had read about it myself. He seemed excited about it.
I wasn’t so sure. My first thought was this:
Oh great. Now I’ll have three raids to run every week on just one character… to spread my bonus rolls around to, to make decisions on, etc. Awesome. (Sarcasm implied) (Yes, Mushan is a hunter and he thinks to himself in green-colored font: stayin’ class-y).
Additionally, the whole “flex raiding is great when you don’t have enough people to fill a 25″ thing doesn’t do much for me. Usually, the problem our guild has is that, too often, not enough people show up to even fill a 10-person team. Last night, for instance, we 9-manned the first four bosses in ToT because the replacement healer that was apparently confirmed ahead of time didn’t log in at all, and there were no other options to even pick up a body. So from that nit-picky standpoint, this solves no problems for me.
The other side of the issue, the ‘three raids per week’ concept, was another irritant for me. More busywork*. More shit to do if I want to take all of the opportunities within my grasp / within my community to be as geared and ready as possible when it comes time to raid with my team.
*I’m considering anything that isn’t either new lore, fun adventuring, or progression raiding to be busywork today – such is my current mood.
Thus were my initial thoughts.
Since then, I’ve read more about flex raids; additionally, more information, some of it speculative or tentative, has come out. And I listened to last weekend’s CTR interview with Preach - a fascinating interview, by the way – in which they discussed flex, LFR, and where they think Blizzard needs to take these concepts in the future.
And here’s an interesting quote from Ghostcrawler:
5.4 ilevels aren't finalized but we're thinking something like 528 LFR, 536 Flex, 553 Normal, 566 Heroic.—
Greg Street (@Ghostcrawler) June 12, 2013
One item that hasn’t been mentioned, at least to my knowledge, is whether ilvl upgrades will be going away again in 5.4. I have sort of been assuming that they will be, and will play my VP-managing game according to that premise. However, if by some chance the upgrade NPCs remain plying their trade in 5.4, the game changes a little bit.
In that case – depending, of course, on itemization and socketing for the new gear – flex gear, able to be upgraded under current rules, would be highly sought after. 544 is no joke to a normal-mode raider, after all, at this point in the game.
At any rate, it looks like Blizzard is not working terribly hard to bring LFR any closer to its original premise of “it’s for non-raiders to see the raid content” and any further from what it is now: raiders use it to fill holes in their gear sets or to initially gear up, or to get legendary quest items, and LFR is still too hard for non-raiders and too easy and irritating for raiders.
I could start a rant here. I’m trying not to; I’m trying to stay on track.
There needs to be a bigger separation.
I like the idea of flex raiding, I guess. It forces people to put teams together to run a raid built explicitly for that raid team’s size. Its gear is almost 20 ilvls lower than normal mode. Got it.
But I’d like to see LFR become largely irrelevant for normal mode raiders. And to accomplish in-game goals such as mine, that’s not the way it is right now.
Case in point: I finally finished collecting Secrets of the Empire a few weeks ago. I’m now collecting Titan Runestones. Where can I get those? Well, they have the chance to drop off the bosses in parts 3 and 4 of ToT. Bosses that, for various reasons, my team is not killing yet. Thus, my personal progression – my personal goal, of questing through the Legendary quest line for better gear – has left me no options other than to a) run ToT LFR for those quest items, week after week, or b) choose not to do so, stalling my progress and possibly choosing to thereby not finish the questline at all, since the likelihood that I will be killing those bosses with much regularity is marginal at best in normal mode.
It’s a harsh choice. After all, I’ve never had a legendary. And I’d love to finish legendary progress at least one time before my time in this game is over. So this is an in-game goal, combined with a result that will probably help me contribute better to my team. And how do I accomplish this? The same way I’ve accomplished major portions of it up to this point: I slug out a few LFRs every week. Content I grossly over-gear at this point. Content that is frustrating because it’s for ‘everyone,’ and therefore much time is wasted in the process of succeeding in picking off those bosses for possible pieces of the puzzle.
With 5.4 and flex raiding, the importance of LFR may diminish for me with the hunter. Judging by how long it will take for it to come to live servers, I will likely be entirely covered in gear that is higher level than the gear from SoO LFR, thanks to Thunderforged normal gear and VP ilvl upgrades. In fact, I will be very close to the flex level. So at least I may be able to skip SoO LFR, unless… Tier gear. Oh yeah, and weapons with crazy, OP weapon procs. Yeah. Yeah…
(deep breath, go get a drink, Mushan.)
I really, REALLY liked what Preach (and the CTR guys) had to say about how the concept of LFR gets it wrong. I’m going to mix my feelings with their points, because they are melded together in my head now and because I don’t feel like writing up a transcript of the podcast in order to quote them correctly. Definitely listen to the show if you haven’t already – here’s the link again.
If the point of it is for everyone in the game to be able to see the content, why is it able to be completed by the fifth week after the new raid opens? Why is it built to be such a challenge that groups will fail if they don’t have raiders in the group? What happened to the idea that you finally kill the final boss after a long, hard struggle, which gives it an epic feeling of total awesome?
From my experience – and I talked about this before Throne of Thunder had even dropped, in my post Discovery, together: the number 1 reason “the new Ulduar” will differ from the old Ulduar – the answer to the last question is that, unless you’re at the front of the pack, it’s likely gone.
Preach talked about how the Lei Shen heroic fight is one of the greatest boss encounters Blizzard has ever made. I’ve only seen it once it on normal, but I’ve seen it several times in LFR.
The soul of raiding is absent, by and large, from LFR. It’s you and 24 other tools (and I use that word to mean ‘things you use to get a job done,’ not derogatorily) smashing and bumbling your way to VP/gear/quest items.
And for those of us who find ourselves there week after week, doing boringly-insane DPS and dealing with tanks who queue for the first time ever for Pinnacle of Storms with an ilvl of 484 in full PvP gear with 426k health unbuffed, gemmed for PvP power/resilience (when there are gems), missing most enchants and all glyphs, who say “first time here…” (for example), it can be numbing if you let it get to you / if you do it often enough.
It’s badly designed. There needs to be virtually no incentive for raiders to do LFR – baked right into the game. It needs to be a true faceroll, with no trollable mechanics (like the healer today who yelled repeatedly at people to stack on the Gastropods and then lol’d at all the people who died. Asshole.). It needs to not have any gear we normal-mode raiders could possibly want. And I really like the suggestion from the podcast, that the introduction of LFR be delayed much longer than it is now, possibly even until the following patch (like 5.3 or 5.5).
This suggestion, the delay of 8-12 weeks or so, seems to me to be the best solution. It takes LFR off the table for Day One raiders. It takes care of the “I have to do this three times every week” mentality. It gives LFR-only raiders something to look forward to, while still giving them a chance to gear up. And it narrows the focus of raiders a bit, particularly with flex raiding coming.
I know that this probably reads as something of a haphazard, tangent-filled rant, as well as the fact that it is certainly not a well-thought-out, step-by-step solution/proposal. Apologies for that.
One more thought, before I wrap this up and try to move on to some other topic for some other post…
There may be other guilds like mine, where the only days you see many people online are on raid nights. In my guild, that’s Saturday and Sunday.
We tried to do LFR nights for a while during the week, but after a few weeks (each tier),
attendance participation petered out. What I’m curious about is whether flex raiding is something my guild (and others like it) will be able to do as a team, without sacrificing raid time. My guess is that it will not be.
As such, I’m likely going to try to latch onto and pug with a guild that does regular flex raid runs earlier in the week. Because I’ll probably need gear from SoOflex, and it will give me something productive to do during the week. If this is possible, I may be able to avoid LFR in its entirety in 5.4 with Mushan, which would be a very, very good thing.
We’ll see what happens… :)
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The last couple of weeks have been busy.
Toward the end of the first of those weeks – during which I VP-capped three toons – our guild downed both Megaera and Ji-Kun for the first time. Then last week, I capped 2 toons (and got a third to 750 VP), and we re-killed the first six bosses in ToT this past weekend.
Then, on Monday night, Squido and I jumped into a raid with our friends in a much more progressed guild to help them clear the last several bosses (they spent all week working on early heroic modes). They hadn’t killed Ji-Kun yet, so I had to off-tank that with the warrior, and Squido brought his shaman. It was fun to bring the warrior into something current.
Once that was over, Squido and I switched to our mains for the rest of the instance. We only had one wipe, on Iron Qon, prior to stalling out late in the evening on Lei Shen. It wasn’t a bad run for a group with four people who hadn’t really seen the fights aside from LFR, and was a lot of fun.
And this is nice to see…
It’s not necessarily impressive, but it still feels good! :)
I didn’t get any significant loot – I rolled with all my might on Durumu for the crossbow, but no dice (all puns aside, or something…) – but that’s ok. It was just a lot of fun to a) successfully defeat those five bosses, and b) be an important part of it (meaning that I held my own on the charts and generally performed well, all things considered).
At any rate, the net result was that two busy weeks culminated with three normal-length / normal-intensity raid nights in a row, and I’m tired. As in, both my body and my mind could do without another week like that right now. So with that in mind, I’ve decided that this will be a “one-toon-capped” week.
While I’m glad that I had a geared warrior to plug into a necessary spot, I generally don’t need to work very hard to gear the warrior and the druid. They’re toons of secondary importance in the raiding sense, and it still does take a lot of time to cap them when I’m also capping the hunter.
Therefore, this week I will only cap the hunter, and I will do so at a relaxed, leisurely pace. And I may do some cooking dailies and so forth on other toons, but I will purposefully be avoiding playing them with any urgency. In the end, I think my arms – and my brain – will be grateful.
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Last week, I managed to get all three of my favorite toons Valor-capped. Not only that, but they were all capped by early Sunday.
I want to say that I don’t know how that happened, but I do. Basically, I raced to the cap on Mushan: weekly Barrens quest, heroic scenario (A Brewing Storm can bite it, by the way), some dailies, a heroic dungeon, and a section of LFR, and I had 605 points by Tuesday night. Tuesday night! Soon after that, he was capped, and my druid and warrior were also on their respective ways to the cap.
Saturday night and Sunday night, we raided. But on Monday, I was completely bored; as such, in addition to writing the bulk of three blog posts – two of which were posted on Monday and Tuesday, and the other one is slated for sometime in the not-so-near future – I took Mushan out to the Barrens again and quickly farmed up all the items needed to turn in the weekly Barrens quest for this week. Yes, I was that bored.
Then on Tuesday, I had a weird day at work that caused me to have a massive headache all night. So once again, I didn’t want to do too much. I farmed my Barrens stuff on the warrior, did Sha and Galleon on the druid with a couple of guildies, and called it an early night.
Wednesday, I woke up without a headache, thankfully. But I found myself still not interested in doing Isle of Thunder on the hunter, or waiting in long queues for LFR. I need exactly zero pieces in LFR. The only things I need from there are the Titan Runestones that drop from the final six ToT bosses (supposedly – apparently they are hard to come by, and I saw zero last week).
It’s a very different feeling from last week. For some reason, I just don’t have the energy. So I decided to take a different tack, one that I didn’t ever think I would want to take: cap on the druid first this time.
So, as of this writing, I’ve done just that. On Wednesday, a guildie and I ran three wings of ToT. I turned in my Barrens weekly that night. Thursday night, I did some quests after work, but when Squido asked me to run some LFR with his shaman, I just had to take the hunter in there, because it was likely to be the only chance I had to get relatively quick queues as a DPS. The rest of the evening was dedicated to running the final three wings of ToT with him, and that was about all that I had in me, so the druid got no more attention.
Friday, I finally capped. Some dailies in the morning, and four wings of T14 LFR at night, brought me to 1,000 VP on Anacrusa. Meanwhile, Mushan is at 597 going into the weekend.
He’ll cap – there’s no question there. No problem.
“Now, why would you do that,” you might ask?
The reason I decided to try this different tack is because we raid on weekends. With the reset on Tuesday, capping on Mushan before we raid means that I get exactly zero VP from our normal kills. This normally doesn’t bother me; I just wanted to see if I liked doing it better this way.
Additionally, since all that I need from ToT is the chance at Titan Runestones on Mushan, it seemed like a novel idea to try to be more fervent about getting gear for toons that can actually use it. It makes sense, in theory… in general…
However, now that I’m here, I don’t know if this is something I will repeat any time soon.
Granted, because of the flexible nature of my work schedule, no two weeks are exactly alike. And this week has been somewhat busy, between work and real life responsibilities. So it’s not a truly equal contrast or comparison between situations, but nevertheless, I think I actually like my usual way of going about this better than this experimental week.
There are several reasons…
1) Everything goes better with the hunter. While the queue times can be longer if I don’t go with a healer or tank, the play just flows. And questing is a breeze. I can be farming the Barrens or doing dailies while sitting in queues for heroics and LFR, and make a seamless transition whenever the queue pops.
2) In comparison, the druid, which I quest with as a guardian, is slower. There are advantages to going this route with her: as a tank, I can round up several mobs, build up a lot of vengeance, and survive while I complete quest objectives. However, given the approximately 50-ilevel difference between the hunter and the druid quest-spec gear that I have, there’s still no contest: the hunter blows stuff away with all deliberate speed; the druid plows through it slowly and methodically, like an ox.
3) Healing. Healing is great, and I have a lot of fun with it. However, it comes with its own set of stresses. I’ve already got that ‘I can’t let him die, even if he’s doing something really really stupid’ mentality that healers have, which can lead one to a point where it feels like it’s time to take a break. So while chain-queuing as a healer sounds like a great idea, it doesn’t always turn out to be the most enjoyable option.
4) Bottom line: compared to last week, I’m behind. My warrior has… zero VP. The hunter will be fine, but the warrior is not going to have the kind of Valor I want for him by the time Monday night rolls around. He’s usually the hardest for me to cap anyway, because the way I play him (prot) can get a bit slow and intense. But a week with almost nothing to show for it on that toon isn’t all that fun for me, even though it looks like this could be one of those weeks with him. We’ll have to see.
Maybe “wasting” raid VP isn’t a bad thing when I think about it this way: if I’m going to grind, I’d rather do the lion’s share of it on the hunter – raid VP be damned. Doing it my normal way makes the other toons feel 30% less grindy, which helps me enjoy them more.
As I said, this week and last week aren’t ‘apples to apples,’ but I won’t be surprised if I go back to my normal Valor Point Acquisition Strategy when next week rolls around. However, that doesn’t mean I won’t use take this road again, some other time. I’m just not going to make it my main path.
She isn’t my hunter, after all.
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For some things, the time was right.
For others, the time had come and gone and was long past.
Whatever the timing, this week seemed like a good time to freshen up the look here at Mushan, Etc.
Since the blog started 14 months ago, it has basically looked the same: plain white background, header showing Mushan in his old (future transmog) gear, wearing his polearm like a boss, standing in Silithus with his ravager; Gravatar a black and white version of the same screenshot.
It had been getting old for a long time, for serious. Check it out…
This week, I was inspired to change it up a bit, to add some color. I started with the header, taking some screenshots in a few different places before finding a situation that I really liked. I’m sure you can figure out where I was standing… anyway, the screenshot turned out so great that I decided to use it for my avatar as well! Once I had the header in place, I decided that it looked like too much of a bright contrast when combined with the plain white background, so I changed that too, finding a color that fit with the theme of the header shot. It turned out way, way better than I had expected. I actually like to look at my site for fun again!
(Yes, yes, I am so vain…)
I also took a long-needed sweep through my blog rolls, cutting several links to blogs that haven’t been posted to in six months or more. My blog rolls aren’t necessarily something that people need, but readers do seem to click them from time to time, so I’d like to have rather current links on them. Hopefully everything that I left (or added!) is moderately current; I don’t want to be the guy that sends people to out-of-date info…
Additionally, I added a new section for podcasts. It’s not extensive by any stretch of the imagination, but then again I don’t listen to many podcasts. Convert to Raid is, without exception, my favorite podcast right now, and I also enjoy Legendary, the HPP, and Twisted Nether. I also added a couple of non-WoW ones, because I like them and because… I don’t listen to that many podcasts. However, I plan on working to change that. I have a short list to check out in the near future, like Hearthcast, The Instance, Realm Maintenance, All Things Azeroth, and Ready Check. We’ll see how that goes – if I latch on to something, I’ll add it to the list. For now, the ones there are the ones I listen to and enjoy on a regular basis.
Other than that, I generally just tried to trim a modicum of clutter from my blog. Like I said, these were minor changes, but hopefully this makes my site more aesthetically pleasing and seemingly alive, or something. I’ve got to say again, though: I’m very excited about how the new colors and header turned out. Hope you all enjoy it!
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Today I want to feature links to a few of the posts I’ve read over the course of the past week or so. They may or may not interest you, but I like to share things I find interesting. There’s some variety here, definitely not all hunter-related stuff. At any rate, let’s get started.
1. Cynwise’s Warcraft Manual - Class Distribution Data for Patch 5.3
Cynwise has been doing this for several patches now, and it’s fascinating stuff. He digs into sources such as RealmPop and puts together several tables showing how class population has changed from patch to patch, with samples of heroic raiding, PvP, general populations, level 90 toons, 86-90 toons, and so on. It’s interesting to see how the populations fluctuate with class balance changes, new raid encounters, and other design changes, and to contrast PvP to raiders to the general subscriber base, etc.
2. Warcraft Hunters Union - Volunteers for WoW Hunters Hall
Frostheim has been very busy lately. For those who don’t know, he’s changing jobs and moving east this week, and this has understandably taken up a great deal of his time. Arth has been doing great over at WHU in his stead, but with the news that Tabana is leaving WoW/WHH as of this week, Frost is looking for volunteers to take over the maintenance of that site’s content, in order to keep the WoW hunters’ web portal alive. If you’re interested, let him know! His email link is in the post if you’re interested, although he may not get back to you until he gets situated and has real internets and stuffs.
3. Restokin – Becoming a WoW blogger and growing the community
Every once in a while, someone like Lissanna writes an important post such as this one, and it’s always needed.
It can seem to many readers, once you’ve been reading blogs for a while, that the number of blogs that start to stagnate in your feed can grow pretty quickly. This is fine, because people move on, but it can seem that more blogs are dying than are being born. While that’s not necessarily true, it can feel that way.
However, this is why you are needed! Have you ever thought about starting a blog? Have you ever thought to yourself, “I’d love to write about this-or-that experience” or “I’d love to share my knowledge” or “There’s nobody writing a guide for [fill-in-the-blank]” before?
As Lissana says at the start of her guide, the WoW out-of-game community is a remarkable phenomenon, and part of that is how it continues to grow and rejuvenate itself with new contributors. I was once one of those myself, with a small blog, and then I stopped, and then I made a new and better one. The bottom line is that there are people out there who love to read about the game, whether it be about guides and theorycrafting, lore, roleplaying, questing, fashion, exploration/screenshots, PvP, the in-game music, creative writing, fan art, funny things that happen in guild chat, and so many other topics. If you were ever thinking about getting into blogging, now is not too soon! There is a very good chance that there are people out there who want to read what you have to say. The community always needs more bloggers, and Lissana has some great advice for those who were thinking of testing the waters. I highly encourage you to check out her post!
And last, but certainly not least!…
4. The Grumpy Elf – Why are the Casual Guilds Hurting?
The Grumpy Elf does such a good job discussing the plight of casual guilds in the current iteration of WoW that I haven’t felt the inclination to add much of anything to the discussion. This post from last week breaks down many of the issues that current ‘casual raiding guilds’ face in a time of LFR, tougher normal mode content, bad luck with loot, and simply ‘being casual.’ He and I are both in situations where we’re struggling to deal with the halting progression that guilds like ours can make, and I think it’s a topic/issue that is very present and real in the game, even for many who haven’t thought that much about it or who don’t read blogs like TGE’s, but are also slogging through raid content at Tortos’ pace…
I hope you found these links useful and/or interesting! :)
This is not likely to be a “regular feature” at Mushan, Etc. I don’t know that I have any of regular features, actually. However, it’s been a long time (and at least a whole blog ago, for me) since I’ve done one of these, so I may post one here and there as the spirit moves me.
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This may have been our best raid weekend of Tier 15.
After an inauspicious start to the evening on Saturday, caused in part by the log-in issues plaguing the game recently (along with an inconvenient phone call to a healer during our first couple of attempts on the first boss), we did what I had thought we could do, which was to smash through the first four bosses of ToT in short order. Despite the early hiccups, we were on a roll, and it didn’t take many attempts before Megaera fell.
On Sunday night, we were missing a friend, but were joined at the last minute by a substitute, and slogged through the trash to Ji-Kun. I didn’t log the attempts – I stopped logging in April because I’m not that happy with the client at the moment – so I don’t have a record of the number of attempts we made, but it was only about a half-dozen.
As Squido told me afterward, it took us 86 minutes to learn the fight, make our attempts and the ensuing adjustments, and at 12:01 am, Ji-Kun was dead and we were 6/12.
It was pretty awesome. The fight came together, nobody died, mistakes were kept to a minimum, the nest team did a phenomenal job, and we had our second ‘first kill’ in as many nights. It was exciting: this is the first time we’ve had two new (meaningful/current content) first kills in one week since we downed Elegon and Will of the Emperor at the end of December, and is only the third time it’s happened since MoP released.
Progression has been slow, continuing a theme many raid teams have found true this expansion: this is not a “Dragon Soul raid difficulty” expansion. However, given that we are almost exactly 12 weeks into Tier 15, and we have six bosses down, our progress feels pretty good. Things have slowed down recently, in part because of holidays: we didn’t even attempt Megaera last week because of the number of people who were out for various family obligations, so there have been some “attendance boss” hurdles keeping us from seeing more of the normal mode fights. That said, we are not in a race**; this is for our own enjoyment and collective sense of accomplishment. As such, it feels good.
**Yes, even I have come to some understanding/acceptance of this concept!
It’s nice to think that we’re getting to see the majority of normal fights with our fairly consistent progress this tier, all things being relative. We’re likely to hit a bit of a wall again on Durumu, but we’ll tackle it like we’ve done the others… we’ll practice, and we’ll learn. In the meantime, we had a great weekend, and that’s a lot of fun!
*From the image at the top of the post: seriously, I am one dim bulb… I really did just get that today.
/chuckles at Blizz
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Last night, I read Tabana’s post at WoW Hunters Hall, where she announced that she is taking a break from World of Warcraft. Understandably, she is also taking a break from the WHH.
Now, Tabana isn’t just the most active curator at WHH. She isn’t “just” anything. In the case of WoW Hunters Hall, she was one of several who initially took Frostheim’s vision of a true hunter information hub and ran with it, but she was the only one who kept running the race, long after others fell away. In the absence of Tabana (or someone in her place), WHH would be a shell of itself.
Since not too long after its inception, she has been the majority content curator, yes… but she has also been a major content contributor to the site. Whether it be prep guides (gear, leveling, spec, etc.) for the new expansion, transmog guides, or even pages culling guides and info from other sources for things like heroic raiding, PvP, extreme soloing, and so on, her handiwork is all over the place.
Back in August, almost exactly a month before MoP arrived, I wrote a post about how WoW Hunters Hall is a Mandatory Feed. And in September, two days before launch, I wrote again to encourage people to go there, because her guides for leveling and gear were so good. That second post is one of my most popular posts, and it’s a post telling people to leave my site! (Ha-HA!!)
Seriously, though, I’m going to miss Tabana on multiple levels.
From the standpoint of a hunter, she has been invaluable, siphoning information about hunters down to the huntering masses reliably and regularly for two years. I would not know nearly as much about my class as I do today if it weren’t for her continuous work in featuring the writings of other hunters for my reading consumption.
As a hunter blogger (and a relatively new one at that), her impact on my blog has been tremendous. Her kindness in featuring several of my posts has resulted in 26% of my total hits coming directly from WHH, which is amazing. What’s even better, though, is that this has introduced the site to other folks who now follow Mushan, Etc. in some form or another.
Bottom line, her work has been of great benefit to uncountable hunters and many dozens of hunter bloggers over the past couple of years. I have only begun to summarize her work here; check the WHH to see what I mean.
In closing, I just want to take the time to say publicly:
Thank you, Tabana, for helping out a blogger, and for doing such an AWESOME!!! job at WHH for so long. And I hope that your break from WoW brings you rest and energy and new adventures, wherever they may be!
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Wednesday night, I stepped into Nightmare of Shek’zeer (aka HoF LFR part 2) for a little druid-healin’ action (and possible loots, but no luck there). The trash before the empress gave us a 476 spirit-cloak BoE drop. The need roll was won by a mage with a 483 cloak equipped, of course – that’s how things go in random, groups, right?
Now, I did not need this cloak. I greeded on it for kicks, but I have a much better spirit-cloak already, so whether I won or not was neither here nor there.
So anyway, the mage won, and I made a jokey comment about people who actually “needed the cloak, not /need-ed it :P.” Of course, this being LFR, things were already escalating quickly, with a very vociferous warlock named Dot(somethingblahblah) (of course) calling for a kick.
“Let’s vote-kick him so he doesn’t get valor.”
Enough kick-initiates came in, and it was time to vote.
All this time, I was arguing in chat that there was no reason to kick the guy, because during all this the mage explained that he’d thought he could use it for his priest.
Now obviously, the guy didn’t know that needing on a BoE binds it to you. He thought it wouldn’t matter if he won it for his alt, given today’s gear levels. He made a mistake.
I said the following in raid chat: “FYI, _________, needing on a BoE in a raid or dungeon binds it to you now.”
Then, I followed it with “see, you just have to make it a teachable moment. :)”
Of course, the lock was arguing that the mage wasn’t bringing much damage to the raid, blah blah. Meanwhile, others are chiming in with “one more to kick” or “just pull, don’t kick.”
Anyway, I argued my case, the vote was initiated, and the vote failed.
And I was glad.
Then we killed the boss. In fact, we one-shot each of the three bosses.
Some people love to be super petty in random groups and pugs. “He needed on a lock box? Vote-kick his dumb ass!!” And so on. I never vote to kick people like that. Almost every time, the person is initially surprised that they did anything wrong, and then things can go two ways: the guy either keeps his counsel, or he gets indignant, while half the raid spews venom against him and the other half says…
“It. just. doesn’t. matter.”
In my head, I’m actually thinking “who gives a flying f—?” I don’t say that though, because using bad language can weaken your argument through bad form in cases like this.
It always warms my heart to see people make situations like these into teachable moments. Whether it’s ignorance about fight mechanics / class mechanics, or ignorance about how loot works, there are a butt-ton of people out there who don’t know as much as you and I know, and if you run something that groups random people together, you will run into them. Turning those situations into opportunities to share knowledge or expertise is positive for both you and the person who’s learning whatever it is, and is a positive example for others.
This isn’t to say that I won’t say negative stuff to myself. Fighting Ji-kun on my hunter the same night, the damage was really bad. We wiped once, and then made some adjustments and tried it again, and downed the boss. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t look at Skada during the fight and say to myself, “man, the damage in here sucks balls.”
But it’s important to remember where you are. Who you’re playing with. That lock didn’t need the cloak any more than the mage did… but I don’t know: maybe the lock has the exact opposite personal policy that I have, which is to say that he thinks anyone who does something that stupid in LFR must. be. kicked. And vilified, for good measure.
I can’t play that way.
We vilify too much in this society, and there’s enough of that in this game without being so petty. So it’s my personal policy not to kick unless someone is demonstrably a) afk or b) a complete asshole or is trolling the raid’s progress.
The mage thanked me as the fight started, and I made a level 1 toon on his server afterward to thank him for his tell. I told him that I hoped he wasn’t discouraged, and he said it was fine, but that it was remarkable how quickly it escalated. We had a nice conversation, and then I logged. He seemed to appreciate that I took the time to talk.
I looked him up on the armory, and his gear was entry-level HoF LFR level, on average. So yes, Mr. Dots in 510 gear was going to be a lot better. No surprise there.
I can totally understand frustration with the play of others in LFR, because I’ve been there. But there’s a way to make something good of it, and many ways to make it a negative experience. Being extremely petty is one of those negative ways, and while I will kick people, I don’t like kicking (or vilifying) people who make insignificant mistakes. It just rubs me the wrong way. There’s always a better course of action in situations like that – certainly better than revenge.
I’m glad the guy got the chance to get his Valor.
Thanks for reading this post by Mushan at Mushan, Etc. Comments are welcome!
I had a somewhat busier work week last week, so my posting took a hit. I wrote about the one thing I really enjoyed doing, which was a diversion from the norm in some ways, but there wasn’t that much else going on, so I didn’t really have much to write about.
This week, Patch 5.3 “Escalation” goes live, so I’ll now have stuff to do on my hunter – that is, non-raiding, non-Halfhill stuff – if only because I’ll have a place to spend Valor Points again. I was thinking about writing a post about that, but I didn’t feel like writing at any time yesterday.
This morning, while maintenance is percolating, I still didn’t quite know what I wanted to write about until I read the following tweet by Big Bear Butt:
Today is patch day. Not to piss on anyone’s enthusiasm, but I feel no desire to start another grind, the patch does nothing to interest me.
And then, I knew what I wanted to talk about.
Everyone is in his or her different place in this game. Doing his or her own thing. As such, excitement levels may vary.
For me, there are two key things in 5.3 that I am immediately interested in with respect to my hunter:
1. Aspect of the (Iron) Hawk will buff Attack Power by 25% instead of 15%. I’ll take an 8.69% base increase in my total Attack Power any day. Am I excited about that? HECK YEAH I’m excited about it!
2. Item level upgrades are back. 500 VP for 8 ilvls per piece. I am capped and so ready to do this now. Doing anything that rewards Valor Points has that much more meaning for my main toon again.
There are other changes. A couple of changes – Blink Strike(s) / Intimidation, more room in the stable, some pet special attack cooldown changes, etc. – mean virtually nothing to me, because they won’t affect my raiding play or my DPS. Binding Shot being gone is sort of crappy, but once again, I rarely use it. So, as far as class changes, I’m really looking forward to raiding as Survival with Mushan in 5.3.
There is a new weekly quest area in the Barrens. That’s fine. It will be nice for alts, since it means 489 gear. However, I don’t imagine it will be much of a grind for raiding mains. Unless I’m mistaken, it’s not quite another Isle of Thunder or Molten Front, grind-wise. I could be wrong though.
There’s also a new part of the legendary quest line. I’ve been ‘behind’ on that thing since the beginning, and am still collecting Secrets of the Empire. From my perspective back here in Behind Land, it’s nice to see that there is more stuff to do down the line. I’m not immediately excited about it, because I’m not there yet, but I am salivating over those ilvl 600 cloaks: the stats on those babies are just mind-boggling!
There are new pets, and pet battle changes. Nice, but don’t really care. New arena and battleground: don’t really care. Mounts, shirts, heirloom changes: don’t care. New/Heroic Scenarios? I’ll probably do them at some point, but I’m not sure, and it doesn’t really affect me either way.
I find the PvP stat changes interesting, but I don’t know how I feel about them. I’ve only done a few dozen BGs this xpac, so it’s not a large part of my game. I do, however, like the Battleground Roles feature. It’s been “time” for that to happen since, well, forever.
One thing I’m feeling… well, not excited about… but I guess “relieved” is a better word for it: the nerf to Pandaria leveling XP requirements. When I finally bring my herbalist pally through the last 30-some bars to 90 and get her her flight license, my journey will be so much easier.
On the other hand, the new Loot Specialization tab for choosing which spec you want loot for in raids and LFR is going to be great to use on my druid and warrior. I’m definitely excited about that for those toons.
I love the game, but I really live for raid success on my hunter. As such, the Aspect of the Hawk change and the return of Valor upgrades have me excited about raiding with the new-and-improved Mushan. Since this is a non-raid patch, there is understandably not as much for me to be excited about as there was in 5.2 with Throne of Thunder and all of the potential new gear.
Patches like these bring, among other things, quality of life changes, story progression, class changes, more stuff, and so on. As such, they’re less exciting in general than big raid patches like 5.2. Maintenance is still happening as I write this, but I don’t foresee ’new grind’ being a big feature of this patch. Legendary grinds were a given; stories with some grinds are a given. To me, it’s part of the package.
My girlfriend is excited about the new pets she can farm in old raids. She loves pets, pet battles, mounts, killing rares, and so on – they provide a nice ‘other side of the game’ when she’s not kicking major ass with her raid team. So for her, the patch is a bigger deal than it is for me.
What I mainly care about is that the hunter class is getting some love in the form of the Attack Power boost, and that I have a means to improve my toon in the absence of better raid drops. Because of this, I am excited about the patch.
But that’s just me. Your mileage may vary! :)
MMO-Champion has a nice roundup of Patch 5.3 info – check it out to see all the new features!
Hunters: Tabana has posted a concise summary of the 5.3 hunter changes over at WoW Hunters Hall. Check it out! And thanks, Tabana!
Thanks for reading these musings by Mushan at Mushan, Etc. Comments are welcome!
This past Monday, Bashiok let us all know, via a Twitter response, that 5.3 would not be dropping this (current) week.
On the surface, this was bad news for some people. People like me, who have been Valor capped on their mains and/or basically done with Isle of Thunder for a little while now, without much meaningful to do without getting into some avenue of the game that they enjoy less (like PvP, pet battles, etc., etc.).
On the other hand, there are people who feel that things are moving too fast, that there is not enough time to do everything they want, who play lots of alts and want more time for them, who want an extra week or two to hit the VP cap before Item Upgrading becomes available, etc. For these folks, it was great news.
I’m among those in the first group, with Mushan. I’ve been max-VP capped since the 3rd or 4th of May, have nothing to spend VP on, have been done with the Isle of Thunder story for a while, and so on. For me, the wait has been frustrating. I went from trying to let go of the grind to having almost nothing in the game that has real progressive meaning without killing new raid bosses. So I was disappointed when 5.3 didn’t happen this week.
For me, the answer is yes. And, this past weekend, I had a certain alt in mind…
Yes folks! I shook a boatload of dust off my druid last Saturday.
This is the same druid that has largely remained parked at the Stormwind Auction House selling leg enchants, or at Halfhill farming motes to make those leg enchants with.
Now why, you might ask, would I want to do such a thing?
Well, you can’t discount aesthetics, for one thing. I mean, just look at that killer transmog she has going on. It’s one of my favorites! (And it took some serious farming to put those pieces together back in the day, too!) Plus, she’s a female night elf, and they look pretty badass anyway, especially with the particular tattooing/facial structure combo that I chose for her at the character creation screen.
Plus, fire trees.
So anyway, that’s settled… it’s been a joy to get to see that gear in action this week.
Aside from aesthetic appeal, playing Anacrusa represented some very new territory for me in MoP. Thus far, I’d leveled two tanks (including this toon), two hunters, and a mage to level 90. Now, this is not necessarily one-dimensional play – I know several people who have four or five max-level DPS toons and nothing else, and that is certainly not me. With those toons, I have three of the four bases covered (yes, I finally put together a Fury spec for the warrior… and it’s NOT pretty, folks): tank, ranged DPS, melee DPS. Additionally, I have my Prot pally and Blood DK in the wings… so in some ways, that’s more of the same. It’s probably also part of the reason the DK is still waiting for me in Grizzly Hills…
Lately, though, I’ve been wanting to do something different. And I may have known that subconsciously, but it took me a while to conjure up an active realization – along with some balls* – that I wanted to do something related to healing.
*I have a rough time jumping feet-first into certain things that require some responsibility that I might fail to live up to, and it’s always been that way. Takes me some internal argument to take a new toon into PvP, for instance. To heal. To tank important stuff. It’s just my nature – I am a timid one at heart, I suppose.
For a while, I thought about my options. I could finish leveling my pally, but I don’t really feel like doing that right now (and haven’t for some time). I could level a priest or shaman, but I really don’t feel like doing that either. Same with a monk. So that left the druid.
Finally, last weekend, I dug her out of the mothballs. I put together something of a really bad PvP set, thinking to myself that I could do some BGs and get some gear. But I never made it into a BG, or at least I have yet to do so. She had over 2000 Valor stored up from doing cooking dailies over the last several months, and was well on the way to some nice reputation with certain factions, so I started working on that a little bit, with the idea that I could build up a set and step into LFR to try things out. Along the way, I made her the 496 crafted pieces, along with the 502 Reborn mace, and I bought her the 476 off-hand, the Darkmoon trinket, and the 522 Valor necklace. I made some more “Crafted Gladiator’s” pieces, and soon stepped into Mogu’shan Vaults.
Over the past seven days, I’ve gotten her ilevel up from sub-450 to 481! All but three pieces are epics as of this writing. Other than a couple of bad experiences (along with the bosses in ToES being very stingy), the T14 Raid Finder raids were fun and rewarding. I grew leaps and bounds as a healer throughout the week – which is good, because I was starting at about as close to the bottom as someone can be without not having actually healed before**.
**I’ve healed before. Not much, though, and not for quite a long time. And never in raids.
The goal, once I got into it, was to be eligible to run some ToT LFR by this weekend. As of this morning, mission accomplished. I ‘stayed Klaxxi’ consistently enough this week to get the Exalted (Shadows of the Empire) ring today, and I also hit Revered with the Kirin Tor Offensive, which enabled me to grab the cloak from their vendor. And getting a couple of Keys to the Palace of Lei Shen enabled me to stay well-stocked in coins, so I was able to roll on every relevant T14 boss and get a few nice pieces that way.
So Anacrusa is now a Resto druid, for the time being. Awesome!
I quested as Guardian, which may seem odd, except for the fact that I already had a full set of guardian gear from when I was leveling, etc. that was good enough to be daily quest-worthy. I found that I was able to pull multiple mobs at once on Isle of Thunder with little problem. It was also much more enjoyable than doing it as a boomkin would have been.
Overall, I’ve had fun with her this week. It was a very fun diversion from the norm and the tedium, and brought new life into my enjoyment of the game. Plus, it was great to get back on my old main and have fun playing her for the first time in many, many months.
Tomorrow, it’s back to the hunter, as we attempt to make some progress in ToT for reals this weekend. I do hope to get Anacrusa through a couple of wings of ToT LFR before the reset, though, because there are a couple of Shado-Pan Assault items that I’d like to purchase for her, but I need to be Friendly with them to do so. We’ll see how that goes. Meanwhile, I need to make sure that I can still remember how to play Mushan!
Thanks for reading this post by Mushan at Mushan, Etc. Comments are welcome!