With the previous weekend’s shit behind us, our guild has killed two new bosses in the past eight days. As I mentioned last week, Horridon fell on the 7th, and last night, Council of Elders bit the big one after about an hour and a half of progressively better attempts.
It was fun to be a part of, from the perspective that it was akin to experiences I’ve had playing the guitar. When I’m learning a particularly interesting song/riff, I can see it begin to come together with some patience and practice, as muscle memory builds and the passage begins to sound musical. This was what it was like in last night’s raid.
We worked hard to kill Sul before he had a chance to be empowered. We fought through Kazra’jin and his dickish reflective damage. We got a feel for what it took to keep the Loa Spirits from healing bosses. And we made it farther in, and then we finally killed them all. It was very rewarding, and the team is feeling more confident now.
A couple of boss kills will do that!
The experience was bittersweet for me, though. I spent the last couple of minutes lifeless on the ground on our kill attempt. I made one deadly mistake – I let myself get too close to the priest when she was empowered, and I got gibbed by a Shadowed Loa Spirit before I could even think to move. It was one of those ‘lapse of attention’ things, but since I wasn’t expecting it, I wasn’t thinking of reacting with a quick Disengage. And when I did finally hit the Disengage button… nothing happened, because the game was already telling me that I had died and could release if I wanted to, except that that button didn’t work yet either, blah blah…
Aside from that, things couldn’t have been better. The hunter helm dropped, so I broke my T14 two-piece and shed some excess Hit Rating (finally!). The boss(es) dropped, and we can now presumably work on Tortos. All good things, for certain.
But, I’ll be honest and say for the record that when Squido said, as someone was rezzing me, “that’s a nice hunter hat,” I didn’t want it.
I spent the last two minutes of the fight angry that I had made that mistake. Because the second worst thing* that can happen in that situation is being the one who didn’t do his job. And for the third ‘first kill’ of this tier – out of three total – I was eating dirt while the rest of the team finished the encounter.
*The worst thing would be failing to do one’s job, being the reason the final attempt for the week failed, and hearing the raid leader say, “ok, great job tonight, we’ll try this one again next week.”
So I was angry. I took the helm, of course, because there’s no better use for it than to give it to someone who can use it, but I personally felt that I didn’t deserve it.
I write a lot about gear on this blog. It’s very self-centered writing – not much help to others, no guides – but I like gear. I like acquiring gear, earning gear, crafting gear; figuring out which pieces are better upgrades, even doing math and analysis on occasion in order to come to the raid prepared in that respect, leaving no stone un-turned. Obviously, I’m into gear.
But it’s not about the gear. As much as I enjoy that aspect of the game, it’s about having fun and killing bosses. It’s about making progress, and ten people coming together like ten fingers on two hands, working in concert to make a beautiful piece of music come to life.
And being the person who’s laying dead on the ground on kills like this because I make mistakes really gnaws at me. Because it could just as easily have been the ‘worst case scenario’ that I described above, and I don’t want to be the person who makes that difference (negatively). But the facts are:
1) I was dead when we killed Jin’rokh for the first time (got stunned by the final Thundering Throw while being too near a Lightning Fissure, in my attempt to get the water buff as soon as possible. My bad,)
2) I was dead when we killed Horridon for the first time (misdirected War-god Jalak without actually using my Misdirect ability. Bam. My bad.)
3) I was dead when we killed Council for the first time (see above) (aand my bad).
Appendix: I also died on our first kills of Zor’lok and Blade Lord, for that matter, although I can’t claim fault on those. They were situations where healers were overwhelmed/dead (Blade Lord wind-gauntlet) or mind controlled/dead (Zor’lok), and I died. Those things just tend to happen, so those didn’t irritate me quite like this does.
For as many pulls as we did on each of these bosses before getting each first kill, I made the big mistake on the one where the boss died. Each time. I’m 3-for-3 in that department.
I’m not sure whether to think it’s just coincidence, or… what to think. I’m trying not to think too negatively about my own performance. Council is something of a complex fight until Sul dies, so there’s that… and I felt that I played well on however many attempts we did previous to our successful one, for the most part. I guess I can’t reasonably carry any stigma of ”well, Mushan, you sucked on every attempt/sucked in general.”
I’m just feeling deeply chagrined; feeling some self-loathing about my play. I’m still shaking my head about it today, some 18 hours after the kill. I am very proud of my friends, but for the second week in a row, I had to watch them do the heavy work. It vexes me, and I hope to find a way to stop it from happening at some point soon. I think we’re going to kill more bosses, and I want to be alive so that I can jump up and down in celebration when we get the kills. The scenario I described from last night was just weird.
Self-deprecatingly, I thought of myself: “You died, but you’re a lucky motherf—-r, so here’s a nice hat you can wear while you’re dead on the next fight.” Know what I mean?
I’ve got to let this go. I think this is leading me to another post – a more hunter-ish post; a less want-to-hit-myself-in-the-eye-with-a-hammer-ish post.
After all, dying on a successful guild first is a heck of a lot better than being the last one alive on a wipe. It’s all about the team, and it’s all about killing
internet dragons trolls. :)
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At the end of a week in which I had the opportunity to work a bit more than I had originally expected, I was pretty tired, but also looking forward to finally putting the screws to Horridon on Sat./Sun. Little did I know how the weekend would actually unfold.
This is a story about raid team drama resolving itself in a bad way. Not the worst possible way, mind you. The worst possible way (team-wise) would be if the team completely imploded, its members scattered. That hasn’t happened, and doesn’t look to be doing so, which is good.
At 9:30 Saturday, our scheduled raid time, we had 10 people, out of 11 who were invited, online and ready to roll. We made a quick detour to Krasarang to kill Warlord Bloodhilt for the three of us who needed to complete A Change of Command (woot, got my extra socket!) and then hit up Throne of Thunder.
Other than killing Jin’rokh the past two weekends, we hadn’t attempted Horridon since March 17th due to people going away for Easter week and so on. So we killed Jin’rokh and worked on Horridon until sometime after midnight, making some progress, and vowing to get it done the next night.
Since I was looking forward to having Sunday off, I took the liberty to stay up late, kill some rares, and complete a few quests in order to cap Valor, since that would make anything I did on the warrior the next day worth 50% more in terms of Valor gained.
I should have just gone to bed.
At around 1:30am, I was on my way to answer a “Mumta up” call-out when this happened:
Now, for a little background on the situation: the person whose name is blacked out is a friend who has run with us on occasion for a long time to help us fill out raids. His main is the tank on a team that, coming into this weekend, had out-progressed our team in T15 by ten bosses. He’s a great player, brings very valuable perspectives on the boss fights – since he’s done them several times already – and is a positive presence on the team in pretty much any way you can imagine.
The person whose name is blocked out in red is a guild-mate, and she and I have been good friends for a while now. She was the eleventh invitee, who wasn’t online when we had ten people and had started the night’s activities.
Over the past few weeks, one of them has usually had to sit out for the other on our Jin’rokh kills. This is where the drama kicks in. Of course.
Friend-of-Guild is completely fine with sitting out, understanding that he’s playing an alt. Guild-mate is apparently not fine with it. Which is odd, because Guild-mate is someone who, when we were transitioning from Cata to MoP, was telling me that she wasn’t sure she even wanted to raid, or even play the game. Who always hates the changes to the class she plays. Who whispers me “I suck” in between boss attempts, along with “I should just quit” and the like. Who types things like “we’ll never kill this boss” in raid chat when we’re working on progression. Who regularly sits at the bottom of the damage meter due to things like turning to run away from bad rather than strafing, and having low uptime.
In spite of this, she has remained a member of the team, which is all well and good. We’re friends, after all. Which is why, for a while when she would say those things, I would respond with “nah, you’ll be fine” or offer some advice… which eventually gave way to me just not responding at all, because saying “I suck” and other such comments, without seeking high and low for possible adjustments and improvements to make, is completely unproductive, as well as being highly annoying and deflating for the person(s) having to read them
The above screenshot started a short conversation that did not go well. She was apparently unhappy with sitting out for Jin’rokh. When she was invited in for our attempts on Horridon, she declined, from what we were told. So that was the end of the story… until she whispered me in the manner you can see above.
This shocked me. I personally did not ask her to sit out on Jin’rokh. In fact, I don’t know that anyone did, but the reality is that we had 10 and had started our raiding activities when she logged in, so it wasn’t an issue. But I’m a teammate and friend – not even the guild master or raid leader. And yet, she waited until the guild master and raid leader had both logged for the night before lashing out at me.
I was shocked and appalled.
And then I got very angry. I was tired, and that didn’t help. And so I responded with a short litany of my objections to her attitude, letting out my frustrations with her that have been building up, unsaid, since our time in Dragon Soul, at the very least.
And in the course of the conversation, I also strongly objected to the disrespectful way that she addressed me. It was, given our friendship, something that I never, ever expected to happen.
But that didn’t matter. It was like something had snapped, and she decided to take it out on me. And I didn’t respond in a way that was “whoa, hey, calm down,” so my reaction didn’t necessarily help things. But I had had enough, and I didn’t like being treated that way. (Pardon me, but) I’m not just some asshole who likes to fuck people over. I’m an adult, and so is she. So to be treated that way by her was extremely unpleasant.
It began to feel like I was talking to a baby. Talking to a completely different person than the one I had known. She told me things like:
And at that point, I had had enough. It was getting a little too 9th grade for me. Things were pretty clear: for some reason, I was at fault, and had stopped being her friend because I had played with Friend-of-Guild – just like I do every single week – so I shot off that last line and left it at that.
Now, my original plan was to kill a couple of rares, etc. and then hit the hay at a moderately reasonable hour. But at this point, I was wide awake, pissed off, and my heart was pounding. So I didn’t get to sleep until a few hours later, didn’t sleep much, and wasn’t feeling that great when we downed Horridon for the first time on Sunday night. In fact, I was distracted all day by what had happened, and I couldn’t shake it, and as such I played like crap, including dying for a really dumb reason on our kill – I shot War-god Jalak without Misdirecting him. But I was super proud of the team – it was a lot of fun to see that huge dino finally hit the ground.
She left the guild on Sunday night as we began to pull the trash before Horridon. By that point, everyone on the team had heard what had happened, and nobody was really happy about it.
As it stands, it appears that I have lost a friend. I would’ve liked to have had a reasonable conversation with her, but I kind of killed that by not being the better person and refraining from throwing my own frustrations back at her. Sunday evening before she left, she was being super fun-time chatty in /gchat about things that she normally didn’t seem to give a crap about, lighting up everyone’s screen with a green wall of text about rares and skeletons on the ground and the virmen on her farm and PvP… even said something to the effect that she loved being positive. It was hard to watch it unfold, in addition to feeling like she was mocking me.
Why I was the target of all of this, I’m not sure. But now, I have to get over it and move on.
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(Writing this on Wednesday evening.)
This past week-plus has been spent not doing quite as much as I normally do over the course of a day or week in WoW, following my previously detailed realization that I am suffering burnout due to over-exposure to the Valor grind(s).
While I continue to cap my hunter, I’ve been purposely slacking on every other toon. I spent a good deal less time doing just about everything that I normally do last week, except for raiding, than I have in a long time, and that was good.
We skipped last week’s Friday night alt raid due to some absences, which was totally fine by me. The main group finally stepped back into Terrace and cleared that for the first time, which was nice. We downed Garalon. We’re planning on finishing up HoF this Friday if we can get enough people (Easter this weekend means, for good reason, that our weekend raid is cancelled). We can clear Jin’rokh every week, basically, so that’s good, because many of us need the gear he drops. But Horridon will wait until April, which is fine.
Isle of Thunder and The Thunder Forge
This raid lockout – while still “young” – has been kind of fun, since Stage 4 of the assault on the Isle of the Thunder Throne is now open. While doing my dailies on my hunter on Tues., I finally got to see The Thunder Forge, get my quest to learn how to make Lightning Steel Ingots, and start working on building up a store of such ingots to put toward creating some cool “reborn” weapons.
For some reason, I got all excited about this – perhaps it’s because I’ve been learning recipes for gear from making Magnificence of Leather and Imperial Silk since 5.2 Day One, so it’s nice that my two Blacksmiths (hunter and warrior) can finally start doing the same. Not sure why Blizzard made Blacksmithing this way, since the weapons that can be made after 29 days look like they will cap out at 489, which is hardly current raid levels. I imagine that this might be their reasoning – which I think is flawed, since there’s really no grounds for the penalty – but even if it’s not, I don’t have the interest or energy to hunt for an official answer. At any rate, I’m happy to be able to do those “transmutes” now, since I have a couple of toons that can use weapons of that level – appreciating that, at this point, my interest in gearing up alts via Raid Finder is at something of an absolute all-time low.
Shado-pan Assault rep and 5.2 Valor gear
Last week’s announcement that Patch 5.3 will see the Item Upgrade NPCs returning from their respective vacations was one that, at the time, merely sparked my interest. The reduced costs (500 VP for an 8-ilvl increase per item) mean that upgrades will be more flexible and user-friendly – more like putting a gem in a piece of gear (although not exactly like it) and less like buying an entire new item. Easier to commit to.
That kind of thing, I find interesting, whether it’s the old model or the new one.
However, things were thrown into a different light this evening as I neared the “Honored” threshold (of my ongoing quest to gain rep with the Shado-pan Assault) on Mushan.
When the Valor gear was initially revealed, I glanced at it. Wow, nice trinket. Lot of Hit, but nice proc. Other pieces… most of them upgrades. Nice. No helm or boots… but those can be crafted at a later date. That’s good. Etc.
I bought the neck immediately, and shortly thereafter I purchased the trinket, then the ring and the bracers. Everything was good there – my Hit Rating was a little high for a short while, but it’s under control at the moment.
In the meantime, however, I’ve had some decent luck with a couple of other slots. I got the Thunderforged legs (528) on our very first Jin’rokh kill. Our third kill resulted in the shoulders (522) on a bonus roll. I’ve gotten several pieces in Raid Finder, but the only piece I’m able to use right now is the cloak (502) from Ji-Kun. Nevertheless, I’ve got some decent gear going for me right now, which is helping me stay competitive and contributing to our team.
However, the combination of gear that I’ve acquired from Valor and drops means that I’ve suddenly run into a weird wall. Because of the fact that I still have the T14 2p bonus going on (helm and gloves), and the legs I got are so good, and there’s so much hit (or blue sockets) on the gear that is available to me, I’ve reached a point where my need for Valor Points is rapidly diminishing. Having just reached SPA-honored, I’m seeing a small upgrade with the cloak, which I’ll buy on Thursday. However, the legs are a direct downgrade from my 528s, while the gloves would break my set bonus. So for the next month or so, I really do not need much in the way of VP.
This looks to continue to be the case once I hit revered. At that point, the belt is totally sweet – and will be a must-buy – but the chest is loaded with Hit, Expertise, and two blue sockets with a +120 Agility socket bonus. For real, Blizzard? Beg pardon, but… are you shitting me?? So that’s a big kick in the sack – although it’s still a minor upgrade as things stand with my gear right now, believe it or not, because of the Agility bump. I’ll have to reevaluate when I get there, but I can see myself going “no thanks” when the time comes. And at exalted, the shoulders (with a 700g cost?) are a slight downgrade from Jin’rokh’s, so I’ll probably pass on those too.
All of that to say that my need for VP is likely to diminish rapidly, and is likely to stay that way until 5.3 arrives and upgrades return. I’ll be hitting those babies hard when the opportunity to use them finally arrives.
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A side-note about all of this – and, incidentally, the title-theme of this post – is that this could possibly go a long way toward momentarily easing my demand for VP on my hunter. With no demand for Valor – and I’m talking almost no demand for several weeks – I could possibly just forego questing on that toon for a while. This would open up more time to play other toons for fun, or to simply not play them much at all. Which wouldn’t be a bad thing at this point. I’ve got a strong desire to dig into that copy of Kingdoms of Amalur that’s been staring at me for a while from the shelf.
All I have to do is make sure that I have enough VP to buy the cloak, buy the belt, and be capped for upgrading purposes when 5.3 arrives, and I will be all set. Depending on when that happens, I could conceivably have that taken care of just from raiding, which would be nice. That’s my favorite end-game thing to do on my hunter anyway.
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There is currently no new hunter class information, which is fine with me, and I won’t review all of the other pertinent changes right now – you can see them in the link above. What I’m interested in at the moment is the return of Valor Point upgrades.
To me – and by now, regular readers know that I eat up all the “choice-making” stuff as far as gear goes – this is a good thing, particularly since the costs will be reduced to 4 item levels at 250 VP, 8 (max) at 500 VP, per item. This means that players can increase their overall power with much less fear of making the “wrong” decision and wasting VP in the process. It also means that if you’re hunting for a certain drop, it’s not going to cost 1.5 weeks of VP to upgrade the item you hope to replace soon if that’s your best option in the interim.
As far as I’m concerned, this is a good thing.
I know that there are other viewpoints out there, including the guy posting, in the comments of Blizzard’s Valor Point upgrade blog post, that he refuses to upgrade, ever, and will probably not get raid invites because of that stance. This position baffles me, because, in my mind, if there’s an upgrade, you take it. And if you’re killing raid bosses, you’re earning VP, so you have the currency. So the upgrade is there. So you take it, if it’s the best option after taking into account cost per VP (and other factors). But everyone has a different perspective, I suppose.
I like the changes – although I must admit that I had reached the point where, when the mechanic was removed in 5.2, I didn’t mind at all. It’s nice to be in a situation where the decisions on what to buy with VP are a little more straightforward at the moment. But the mechanic works well with Blizzard’s current M.O., where the even numbered patches have almost all of the new gear, and the odd patches seem to have the upgrade mechanic, giving people something to spend their excess VP on. It works as a slight incremental nerf to content due to an added progressive buff to player power, and makes stat management a little more interesting for people like me who eat that kind of thing up.
I’ll be honest – I hadn’t really thought about Item Upgrades – or Patch 5.3 – at all, since Patch 5.2 dropped, until today. I will say, however, that it’s fun to see how Blizzard really is keeping its patch schedule a bit tighter than in times past, and to see what may be on the horizon. I’ll be watching for any hunter updates, as will many others.
Basically, I’m one of those guys who loves new news about what’s happening in WoW. I’m not alone, am I right? :)
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There’s something empowering about World of Warcraft. There’s something empowering about being on a 5/8 H Dragon Soul team.
There’s also something empowering about being a small part of the hunter blogging community; and indeed, about playing a hunter. It basically just rocks, which feels great, which makes the game fun for me.
However, I think that being a part of that 5/8 H DS team, and being there as a hunter, fostered false impressions that I have of myself as a player and as a hunter.
Playing a hunter is a unique experience. As a hunter, I can do anything, and handle anything, if I know what I’m doing and approach it with a plan, or at least with proper preparation. But this post isn’t about the hunter class and its greatness.
This post is about me and the illusion of greatness that I have about myself, and about how I’m not really all that great. Nobody else thinks I’m great – I’m sure my guild sees me as a good player, moderately skilled and mostly effective. But not awesome.
And my ideas of awesomeness are severely tempered by massive doses of self-doubt, which are in turn fueled and exacerbated by failure.
However, part of what makes many great games so good is that they make you feel awesome.
I remember when I first played a death knight. They were overpowered when Wrath came out, and I was absolutely crushing stuff when I went to Outland on that toon. Whereas my paladin, my other plate-wearing toon at the time, felt squishy but viable, the DK was AWESOME. “Death Grip, demolish, repeat!” is what I felt like when I played that long-since deleted toon. DKs were soon brought back down to earth, power-wise, and when I went back to try him later on, the overpowered nature had been diminished, and, having tasted that awesomeness, I found myself no longer interested in him. I recently made a new DK, and, being a much better WoW player now than I was two expansions ago, I’m having a lot of fun with him. He doesn’t need to be super OP for me now. But I’ll never forget the awesomeness that was…
At any rate, OP or not, each class is designed to be great. We’re considered heroes to the NPC-folks in game, and over the years we’ve taken care of problems ranging from repelling bandits to finding lost pets, to the destructions of the Lich King and Deathwing. We’re heroes, and we can do things in WoW that are pure fantasy in scope.
The short history of Mushan
When I started Mushan in summer 2010, it had been months since the Lich King fell to the combined might of Tirion Fordring and our old guild team. At the start of Cataclysm, I was a hunter that wanted to raid, but had nowhere to go. I had one or two raiding options that I knew of, guild-wise, but neither option was a pleasant one. So I missed Tier 11, other than a couple of experiences as a pug, in its entirety. I was late coming to Firelands, but managed to join up with Nos Consensio (and several old friends!) in time to get guild first kills on (at least) Alysrazor, Domo, and Ragnaros. That was a lot of fun, and Ragnaros was a particularly enjoyable fight for me as a hunter. However, real-life issues soon trumped WoW life for me, and I took what amounted to about a five month break from raiding, missing out on normal-mode Dragon Soul.
I started raiding again when Nos was 1/8 H DS, and we proceeded to progress through four more bosses over the next couple of months before giving up for the summer, which I believe I’ve documented here at Mushan, Etc. It was the first time that I’d ever really demonstrated that I could play at a heroic mode level while content was current.
But then again, as countless people have commented dismissively elsewhere on the interweb, Dragon Soul was a faceroll, right?
In this, the most “dumbed-down” (right, naysayers?) version of WoW, I am struggling the most; or at least, more than I have since Naxx, which is where I went through my intro to raiding and the ensuing growing pains.
There are several factors that go into those struggles, including team personnel changes and the fact that there haven’t been nerfs on current content, like there were in ICC and Firelands and DS.
And, in truth, I don’t know that our current team is necessarily struggling any more than our old team did in ToC, where I don’t remember killing Juraxxus by the end of the second week. Maybe I’m wrong… maybe I’m not. So it’s not like I’ve never struggled like this in raids before. And Horridon is still not an easy boss for players/teams at my skill level.
But here’s the thing: after the success that was our team in heroic Dragon Soul – even knowing at the time that it was an easy tier relative to most of the previous ones – the success was real enough. I owned it. And I came to expect it, I think; like I had reached the next level of raiding and had nowhere to go but up.
This… despite the warning signs: easy tier would not be repeated, some pretty good people left the team, we are a casual guild, teammates didn’t all race to a raid-ready state at the same pace, etc.
Now, in the second raid tier of MoP, I still have those expectations ingrained in me. I still expect that I’m going to play well, that the team is still going to make significant, palpable progress most weeks. And it’s not happening. Certainly, we’ve had our good weeks, and we’ve had our bad. We finished the last tier 9/16, which is something. It’s not was much as I wanted, but we definitely progressed.
What has disappointed me the most, however, is that I feel that I am not playing at the level I need to play in order to really help the team. This, in spite of the fact that I might possibly be playing at a higher level personally than I ever have.
A few months ago, “too many buttons” was a hot issue in the hunter community. At the time, I chipped in my two cents, which was that I didn’t mind the massive amount of buttons because I liked the “active” playstyle that the hunter required. I felt the same way about my warrior tank, although I began to feel that prot warriors suffered from “button-itis” even more than hunters. However, as time has passed, I’ve begun to see the wisdom of arguments by Grumpy Elf and Frostheim and others a little more clearly: how having too many buttons dilutes the value of our most valuable shots.
I feel less powerful as a hunter right now. As SV, it seems particularly bad, because, while I feel like I’m prioritizing my abilities correctly, I’m not executing them perfectly, and I don’t know if I ever will, and I don’t know if, at my level, it even matters. With the priority system, certain shots don’t line up correctly a lot of the time. I try to optimize Black Arrow so that it’s applied on CD, keep Serpent Sting up, use Glaive Toss and Explosive Shot on CD, utilize my long CDs to give me the largest advantage, and so on.
But fights like Horridon expose some of the weaknesses of the spec that are hidden by the more obvious strengths (traps/kiting, movement, Serpent Spread/AoE, overall “damage-meter-ness,” etc.). In particular, burst-on-demand (along with interrupting) is somewhat difficult, in my opinion. In a fight where the priority is to burn down several different types of adds, with different size health pools and different types of abilities that can harm the raid team, I feel that I am struggling to contribute like I want to.
I know that this is not a problem that hunters alone have, but in some ways it feels like the “take your time to slow-cook a bunch of DPS ingredients into a delicious, high-damage chili” SV recipe isn’t very optimal when your goals switch around rapidly from “burn/interrupt the baselisk” to “burn the wastewalker” to “burn the second wastewalker” to “burn/interrupt the dinomancer” to “burn the rest of the adds, including the remaining 1.5 wastewalkers and two-three baselisks and the other dudes.” If LnL procs, well that’s nice. But a LnL won’t burn down any of those adds, and it’s not always a reliable proc anyway, because the OT is moving the adds away from Sand Traps, so Explosive Trap might be a wasted BA CD, but Black Arrow on the wrong add could be half of a wasted CD if it dies quickly, so I could put it on Horridon, but it would be nice to have BA on your focus target because that’s more damage on that target…
Thrill of the Hunt helps, because if it’s up and LnL procs you can do some decent damage to a target with Explosive Shots and Arcanes (or the occasional Multi-Shot). But if they don’t proc in a particular situation, it’s like a small burst followed by relatively weak DoTs, a Cobra Shot or two, and so on. Even with Ice Trap down and CDs like Rapid Fire and Lynx Rush in use, I feel frustrated by those adds, given the limited time available between spawns.
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So anyway, that’s just an example of one of the frustrating things about playing that I’ve been dealing with. I’m wracking my brain and scouring the internet for ways to improve my contribution on this fight. Kheldul (at Hunter-DPS) has a great post with strategies for hunters on Horridon, and I ate that up late last week (thanks a ton, man!!). Watched a lot of videos for possible raid strategy tweaks. I’ve been pretty aggressive about gearing, given my limited options, in order to give myself the best chance of putting out some heavy damage on this fight.
And we did well as a team last night, improving enough to get to the third door once or twice (whereas last week we almost always died on the first). Definite progress on a tough fight, and I’m proud of my team.
But I am definitely feeling the “Mushan, dude, you are not awesome” feelings. I’m feeling somewhat limited by both my class and my level of skill. I certainly don’t feel like a hero.
Maybe I’m being too closed-minded, and every other class is struggling with my struggles as well, and finding ways to overcome them. If that’s true, then that’s even more evidence that I’m not doing my job correctly.
- – -
Being a small part of the hunter blogging community, as I mentioned before, contributes to this. While empowering on some levels, it also adds a bit to my disappointment because I came to the blogosphere’s (and by that, I mean you, the reader’s) knowledge as a hunter working on heroic content.
Well, I am not at that level, folks. And that makes me feel sheepish, and I hope that none of my readers thinks that I am some awesome hunter, because I’m not. I want to be, but I’m not. And while it was never my intention, if someone thinks I used to be awesome, the truth is that I’ve generally always been a passably good hunter (since I started Mushan), and I continue to improve – and I’m way better than I was in 2011! – but my level of play is not what you may have thought it was.
- – -
To close, I don’t feel awesome about my play right now, and I’m not sure what to do about it except to keep doing the things I do (practice and research) to improve my contribution to the guild’s efforts. This doesn’t by any stretch mean that I am thinking of changing toons – although watching the damage our Frost mage can do to the adds is fun – because there is no class I could play as well as this one. And even if I could, there is no toon that I have that is anywhere close to as geared as Mushan. But that doesn’t matter: I’m a hunter, so class is a non-issue.
It just means that I am struggling with feelings of frustration with my own personal limitations. The illusion of awesomeness within me needs to fade soon, because I’m tired of feeling like I am under-performing and being disappointed with it. The reality is, I am where I am, both self and situation, and, while that doesn’t mean that I can’t/won’t strive to improve, I need to curb my expectations. Yes, we succeeded at easier content. It was easier, pure and simple. This is the real, no-nerf, no-cakewalk WoW world we are dealing with, and I can’t expect to make the same progress that I did at that time.
Hopefully some parts of this post made sense to someone.
- – -
Thanks for reading this really long post by Mushan at Mushan, Etc. Comments are welcome!
Disclaimer: this post is anecdotal only; there is no 5.2 gear info here, just me talking about me, which is what I do a lot on this blog. :)
I’ve been sick with the flu this week. I felt it coming on at work last Sunday, and it’s gotten progressively worse all week. One thing that something like the flu does is make me feel weak and achy – and I don’t feel like doing anything – and so I have not written one word in service to a post for this blog in that entire time. I haven’t done much in-game since Tuesday, either. I’ve played, but I just haven’t had the energy to chain-run dungeons or LFR, or to do a ton of quests, and so on.
I did have a good night last Sunday, in spite of a splitting headache. We had almost no issues at all in clearing Mogu’shan Vaults, collectively, in a timely manner. We worked a bit on Blade Lord, and I’m hoping we can get him down the weekend after next, which is likely to be the next time we try that one out (if I’m prognosticating correctly).
At any rate, I’ve taken it slow in-game this week. I’ve gotten some heroics in on my warrior Droignon, and am 93% to VP cap on Mushan going into the weekend, which is good. And… not much else.
However, I did take time out on Tuesday and Wednesday nights to work on getting a feel for some of the upgrades available in 5.2. I parked myself at wowdb.com – which I was liking more than Wowhead’s database at that moment, because some of the gear had a corresponding boss listed right in the tooltip – and made a pretty extensive list for the hunter. It was a long list, with possible upgrades from appropriate sources (excluding heroic modes, for instance). And when the list was done, I was already tired of it, and I set it down for the time being. I plan to do some serious math*, so I can begin to set goals and plan a path for spending VP and bonus rolls.
*Frostheim wrote a Scattered Shots article, posted to WoW Insider on Thursday, discussing the top pieces of 5.2 hunter gear for each slot except for trinkets, which he apparently plans to tackle next week, since various proc rates, ICDs, etc. were released this week as well. His gear articles are always something I check out, but they are less exhaustive than I would like to see. Appropriate for WI, but I like to dig a little deeper. And I also like to see more info on in-between gear – like LFR gear – rather than “Here are the best two or three, and this one is the best of those.” Nevertheless, check out his article if you’re interested!
Wednesday night, I was feeling very achy from the flu, and, hence, didn’t feel like playing much. So I dragged out my notebook again and made a similar list for my warrior.
This list is both less extensive (I likely won’t be tanking regular Throne of Thunder, so I didn’t include that gear) and more so. We’re hoping to start a second raid team to run on Friday nights, and unless there is some personnel miracle between now and then, I will likely have to tank. So Droignon is looking like my main alt in 5.2, supplanting my mage, whose fortunes are uncertain due to the less-than-pleasant changes mages are undergoing in 5.2 on the PTR.
Since we’re looking to start raiding in a few weeks, what’s old is new again, as far as gear. I included gear from MV and HoF normal modes on the warrior gear list, since he’s never set foot into either place.
While Droignon’s been a distant third on the priority list thus far in MoP, he’s moving up. I’m trying to tank stuff for people in my guild several times a week, in order to get a little bit more accustomed to using my defensive cooldowns. And he’s almost geared enough that he should be able to enter ToT LFR soon after it opens up. I think the gear games for each toon will be pretty interesting, and I’m looking forward to both journeys.
- – -
Also this past week, Blizzard announced that Valor Points would convert to JP when the patch went live, so I began making plans to get some use out of mine before the conversion. Then, they reversed course and said that we could carry them over, which feels like a good move.
One thing that’s interesting is how that change, along with the new gear becoming available, shapes my thinking on the Item Upgrade system, which is going away. Since the new raid/VP gear is so much higher level than the current fare, maximizing the number of upgraded pieces has become a lower priority. Other than weapons, which aren’t necessarily something that we can count on replacing right away, there don’t seem to be cut-and-dry “must-haves” in that department. It looks like, rather than upgrading any more pieces, I’ll just try to take an amount very close to the cap into 5.2 on each of my toons, and go from there.
- – -
I have to say, I’m both ready for 5.2 and not quite ready. There’s been discussion about the fact that 5.2 is coming too soon for people who want to finish off heroic modes, or regular modes, or whatever they’re working on. With 16 raid bosses, challenge modes, and everything else that there has been to do since the launch of Mists, it does indeed seem like the extreme opposite of the 8-boss finale to Cataclysm and the ensuing months of horrible boredom…
So it sucks to feel rushed when you’re enjoying chasing your goals. Personally, I’m in a different place. My guild has finished Mogu’shan Vaults-10. We’re knocking on the door to getting Blade Lord down. We likely wouldn’t get the tier completed if the patch dropped during the third week of April, in all honesty.
Part of me wants to wash my hands of this tier – I’m chomping at the bit to see ToT, and to start downing some bosses in this awesome new place – but part of me doesn’t like leaving the job unfinished before moving on. So the result is that I’m somewhat ambivalent on the subject of “too soon?” I think Jasyla is totally right in the article that I linked above, and if I were in her position, I would feel exactly the same way she does. However, since I’m not, I’m kind of ready for a fresh start, a clean slate.
I’m looking forward to looking more closely at the gear in the coming weeks, and otherwise prepping for 5.2.
- – -
Thanks for reading this post by Mushan at Mushan, Etc. Comments are welcome!
When I created Mushan, Etc., I did so because I felt a personal desire to have a place to express myself on WoW-related subjects.
While friends, both in-game and out, are an avenue for that, there are small elements of creativity that I can indulge in here that I cannot do elsewhere – at least, not in the format I enjoy. Not least of these elements is that I’m free to be long-winded without worrying that I’m boring someone to death – someone who isn’t interested in some long bullcrap story of mine doesn’t have to finish reading it here, whereas in person it’s not the same.
So I conceived of the blog, decided on the title (which is hardly clever or remarkable, but suffices), and proceeded to write.
To an extent, I’ve been very happy with how it has turned out. I enjoy writing the posts about transmogrification, soloing old content, funny stuff I encounter, talking a little bit about the class (although I don’t, and likely never will, write guides), alts, lore and quests, and so on. And for such a modest little blog that doesn’t have a strict focus or a consistent posting schedule, it’s been very well-read, which has blessed me more than I can express.
However, there is one area that has turned sour for me here. It corresponds with an area that has been a source of much frustration for me in-game, which is raiding and the lack of progression we’ve been able to make, post-Dragon Soul.
In private conversations with friends, I’ve confided that I don’t like the situation we’re in mostly because it makes me feel bitter about people that I consider friends. We stopped raiding Dragon Soul last June at 5/8 Heroic, and after 12 weeks of raiding in T14, we can’t keep a consistent roster from week to week, and we’re 7/16 in Normal modes. I have to be honest: I wasn’t expecting it to be like this, and as such my general reaction has been bitter disappointment. It’s very likely that my expectations were too high. That’s my fault if that’s true.
Anyway, raiding has made me consistently feel like an asshole beyond even my normal cantankerous nature. It’s a terrible feeling, and a frustrating one, because I don’t know how to solve it. I can’t quit or change guilds/teams, and I don’t want to, because I’m playing with some of my favorite people in the world right now, and we enjoy playing together, and that’s what it’s all about, right?
Well, not only does the subject rub me the wrong way, but writing about it has been a fairly negative experience for me (and readers) here at the blog since a few weeks after MoP launched. From the beginning, raiding has been mostly frustration, and it seems like that frustration has been splattered all over the place here.
However, whether or not people find such posts interesting or entertaining, I’ve come to the conclusion that bitching about stuff doesn’t make good copy – at least, it doesn’t make copy that I want to read. I realized this recently while reading several negative posts on various blogs, reading all the bitching and whining and bullshit that the devs and community team at Blizzard have to sift through and answer on Twitter/forums, and seeing a lot of general bitching on Twitter. I don’t like reading it, and I don’t like when I do it myself. And I do it way more than I am comfortable with.
There is more to Mushan (the author behind these posts) than being a whiny bitch. It may not seem that way here lately, and for that I apologize.
Therefore, I’m changing the way I think about what I want to write about. I’ve decided to be more creative when I blog, and to focus on other areas of the game in order to do so if necessary. I’ve decided that I’m going to take a hiatus from blogging about raid progression. This doesn’t mean there won’t be posts with the “Raiding” tag, but the ones that do will be more micro-focused on me, or on some mechanic, or will celebrate something, but won’t dwell on my disappointments. The “progression” tag, which has generally been about my team’s progress, will be on the back burner for the most part.
This change won’t solve any in-game raiding problems, but it will help me to enjoy my own blog – and the experience of writing posts – more than I do now. It also doesn’t mean more or less frequent posting. I’ll just be blogging more about the other topics.
Hopefully, this change in attitude toward my blogging habits will allow others to enjoy my writing more than they do now. I think it’s a change for the good; a much-needed self-correction.
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Thanks for reading this post by Mushan at Mushan, Etc. Comments are welcome!
Last week, I had the opportunity to fill in for my girlfriend’s guild’s weekly Sha of Fear kill.
Squido, our raid leader and main tank, has been filling in with them over the past few weeks on his hunter, due to some personnel issues. And when they had another opening for that particular kill, he asked me if I wanted to “beat up on Sha” for a bit.
I thought he meant Sha of Anger. I flew up to Kun-Lai Summit and looked around for a minute before he corrected me about which Sha we would be “beating up on.”
Eventually, I got to the right place, and we fought the Sha of Fear. And we wiped.
I hadn’t asked any questions. I was feeling weird that night, and for some reasons I didn’t feel comfortable raising my hand and saying, “anything different about this fight from LFR?”
A big reason for my discomfort is that I like to research fights like this before I participate in them, particularly when I’m playing with strangers or “with the big boys.” And I had never really researched Sha of Fear, because – for reals – the chances our guild team sees that fight on normal before 5.2 drops are only slightly better than those of an elephant attempting to fit through the eye of a needle, as they say. I’ve been resigned to that assumption for a while now.
Anyway, after a clarification on how we would try to focus down adds, we attempted it again. It was intense – I remember it as sort of a whirlwind for me. I remember being yelled at by my girlfriend during an Ominous Cackle phase because I wasn’t collecting Sha Globes. Hell, I had never even noticed them before. Never heard of them, never saw them, never read about them. So I started picking those up, which was good. And I spewed out my shots to the best of my ability, and did my part focusing down adds, and avoided what damage I could avoid, and…
The Sha of Fear died.
I am now “the Tranquil Master.”
I was happy to have gotten the opportunity to see the fight, happy to hold my own with their other DPSers, happy that they seemed to appreciate that I helped them out. Always happy to run with Squido, obviously. And I was extra happy that, on the bonus roll, I won the helm token. Awesomeness.
But it took me a week to enable the title, “the Tranquil Master.”
They were going to work on Heart of Fear next, and didn’t need me for that, so I was done. In, kill Sha, out. It was a good time and was great experience for me. But something felt hollow about “the Tranquil Master.”
Most people wearing that title have killed everything, or almost everything. The achievement says, to paraphrase, “kill all the Shas.” Which I’ve technically done. But most people with that title have cleared Heart of Fear and Terrace up to, and including, the Sha of Fear.
I’ve killed Imperial Vizier Zor’lok. Twice. Barely. And that’s it. I didn’t really earn the opportunity to even fight the Sha of Fear, technically. It felt like a carry – and not because I didn’t contribute, as I said, but because I didn’t do the work to get there like they had.
So I decided not to wear the title. And for the past week I’ve dropped “Destroyer’s End,” too, because everyone and their cats have that title now, and I went with “Elder,” because I got that all by myself, and I like that title, and it’s not a title that brags that I killed something that everyone else has also killed.
- – -
Today, I changed my mind, as a result of time passing, conversations with Squido about the state of our raid team, and the experiences of our most recent raid activities.
Last weekend, we brought a mage that we’ve run with in the past, who is an alt of Daggan, the tank from my girlfriend’s guild, who tanked for us a couple of weeks ago. He recently hit 90, so his ilvl is very low, but he performed as well as any of us could have expected, given his gear situation.
(This guy essentially replaces our monk, who has disappeared, which nobody cares about because he is unreliable and was generally a complete pain in the ass to play with and to listen to in vent. So it’s a change for the much, much better.)
We killed the first four bosses in Mogu’shan and worked on Elegon (8 wipes) on Saturday night.
On Sunday, we attempted Elegon nine times, killing him on the final attempt. Then we wiped a couple times on Emperor and called it once again.
By the end of the night, I was mentally and physically exhausted, and wired. And frustrated.
Here is the damage meter, from WoL, for our Elegon kill:
*As a side note, we used a strategy where melee killed the Celestial Protectors and ranged stayed on the boss during Phase 1. Our two warriors play their hearts out, and they did great. We’re actually going to try it the opposite way this week, in order to keep the melee on the boss longer, the theory being that increasing their uptime on the boss will shorten the fight for us.
Without saying much about it, I will say that I left body and blood on the floor on these attempts; not because I want to be leet, but because I want to kill the boss. I want. to kill. the boss. And our damage should have been better. It should not have taken us 9:18 to kill Elegon, based on the collective gear level of all but one of our DPSers.
The DPS situation on our raid team is one I’ve shared previously, and has plagued us throughout this tier. I’ve never seen anything like it. I’m looking forward to when Daggan gets his mage geared, so that we have four consistently competitive DPS. It gives me a smidgen of hope, now that he’s around.
But anyway, I’ve said in previous posts that this disparity in damage distribution has caused me to feel a burden to do more. I feel pressure, mostly from myself, to take it to the next level so that we can get to the next boss, so to speak. Not that I carry our raid team – we’re a team, after all, and DPS isn’t the only part of the game – but there are elements like enrage times that require a certain level of overall damage in a certain amount of time, along with things like adds that need to be killed quickly, and so on. And so what am I going to do – not try to do more damage to make that happen if it seems like we might not have the overall firepower? That’s anti- what progressing seems to be about, at least from my perspective.
- – -
So, to come back to “the Tranquil Master” and my feelings on earning it… I decided (pardon me), “Fuck it, I’m wearing it, proudly.” Because I want to be there. And I know that if I played regularly with the folks who asked me to help them kill it last week, I would be a successful part of that team. Instead of considering it a “carry,” I’m now considering it an achievement, as well as a validation that I’m doing what I need to do to perform at the level I want to play.
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Thanks for reading this post by Mushan at Mushan, Etc. Comments are welcome!
Last night, missing two spots on our raid team, we put together a group of 30 (…) to down Sha of Anger. It was fun, getting people out of mind-control without all of the extra DPS, but we didn’t have too much trouble.
The bright spot of the night was that I was able to acquire the Tier 14 legs via bonus roll, which was awesome! I immediately upgraded them and reforged everything (the pants actually cleaned up my reforge, which I had been at odds with Mr. Robot about previously), and they’re good to go. It was a big upgrade, so that made me happy.
I’ve been thinking about possible upgrades quite a bit lately. The combination of my personal gear progression and our raid team’s slow raid progression has thinned out the list of possible upgrades I can reach for before 5.2 drops, so I decided to sit down and re-analyze what’s available and how likely it is that I can acquire better gear.
This post/list is completely self-serving, is not a guide or a BiS list, and is not a “complete” gear list. It’s just… something that I enjoy doing.
Current items are listed with ilvl and where I got them in parentheses; possible upgrades for each slot are below, with (ilvl), +relative upgrade value according to Mr. Robot, and comments on the value and the likelihood of my acquisition of them.
Current: Hawkmaster’s Headguard (489; VP)
Crown of the Doomed Empress (496) – +499, good upgrade, better than Tier without another T14 piece, likely won’t kill Shek’zeer.
Yaungol Slayer’s Headguard (496, T14) – +344, slight upgrade without another tier piece, won’t kill Sha of Fear.
Realistic goal: none.
Current: Amulet of the Hidden Kings (489; Spirit Kings)
Pheromone Coated Choker (496) – +59, minimal upgrade, higher likelihood of dropping (Zor’lok).
Choker of Unleashed Storm (496) – +38, minuscule upgrade, drops from Blade Lord.
Realistic goal: either/both, although neither would be very impactful.
Current: Windwalker Spaulders (489; VP)
Wingslasher Pauldrons (496) – +327, Wind-Lord, unlikely to kill.
Yaungol Slayer’s Spaulders (496, T14) – +340, (more with another T14 piece), won’t kill Lei’Shi.
Waterborne Shoulderguards (496) – +505, Protectors, unlikely to kill.
Realistic goal: none.
Current: Arrow Breaking Windcloak (489; Feng)
Legbreaker Greatcloak (496) – +77, Garalon, we may or may not kill it.
Realistic goal: none, really. Even if we kill Garalon, we won’t kill him very many times.
Current: Raiment of Blood and Bone (496; LW)
Yaungol Slayer’s Tunic (496, T14) – -544, likely won’t kill Shek’zeer. However, would be an upgrade with another T14 piece.
Realistic goal: none.
Current: Stonemaw Armguards (489, Stone Guard)
Realistic goal: none, unless we kill Heroic Stone Guard several times.
Current: Yaungol Slayer’s Gloves (496, courtesy of Sha of Anger)
Realistic goal: none.
Current: Fetters of Death (489, Gara’jal)
Shadowgrip Girdle (483) – +12, Sha of Fear LFR, not worth the bonus roll.
Chain of Flaming Arrows (496) – +296, VP/Revered with Shieldwall, small upgrade.
Ranger’s Chain of Unending Summer (496) – +393, won’t kill Lei Shi.
Shadowgrip Girdle (496) – +670, won’t kill Sha of Fear.
Realistic goal: Chain of Flaming Arrows, if I get to the point where I have enough VP and it’s my best upgrade, before something better becomes available in 5.2.
Current: Yaungol Slayer’s Legguards (496+8, courtesy of Sha of Anger)
Realistic goal: none.
Current:Treads of Ardent Antagonism (476, Claw of Anger quest reward)
Wildfire Worldwalkers (476) – +112, Feng LFR, not worth the bonus roll.
Wildfire Worldwalkers (489) – +751, Feng, I bonus roll these every week!
Odlaw’s Everwalkers (496) – +265, VP/Revered with Shieldwall, small upgrade.
Monstrous Stompers (483) – +543, Amber-Shaper LFR, good upgrade.
Monstrous Stompers (496) – +1166, unlikely to kill Amber-Shaper.
Realistic goal: Feng, you will give me boots! Absent that, I’d take the LFR 483s. I need boots.
Current: Seal of the Windreaver (489, quest reward from Klaxxi exalted); Anji’s Keepsake (489, VP).
Painful Thorned Ring (496) – +75-104, minimal upgrade, unlikely to kill Wind-Lord.
Regail’s Band of the Endless (496) – +323, unlikely to kill Protectors.
Signet of the Shieldwall (496) – +140, VP/Revered with Shieldwall, small upgrade.
Realistic goal: the Shieldwall ring, a long time from now, if I still need it.
Current: Taoren, the Soul Burner (483+8, Sha-Touched with gem, Lei Shi LFR)
Fang Kung, Spark of Titans (489+8) – -52 with +8 upgrade, unlikely to kill Emperors many times but it’s not an upgrade.
Taoren, the Soul Burner (496+8, Sha-Touched with gem) – +1477 (+3201 with +8 upgrade), won’t kill Lei Shi.
Realistic goal: none.
Current: Relic of Xuen (476+8, Darkmoon reward, BiS); Bottle of Infinite Stars (476, Elegon LFR)
Arrowflight Medallion (496) – +293, VP/Revered with Shieldwall, minimal upgrade for a trinket/for the VP cost.
Bottle of Infinite Stars (489+8) – +700 (or +1155 with +8 upgrade), unlikely to kill Elegon many times.
Terror in the Mists (496+8) – +749 (or 1266 with +8 upgrade), won’t kill Lei Shi.
Realistic goal: Bottle of Infinite Stars, if we can start getting Elegon to drop on a weekly basis.
- – -
If you read all of that – and you’re forgiven if you didn’t! – you can see that, based on how progression is going (very, very slowly), there isn’t much further for me to go, gear-wise, in Tier 14. I’ve needed boots for months now, and so I will faithfully use bonus rolls on Feng until he complies. The other major upgrade that might be attainable is Elegon’s trinket; we’ll have to see about that.
I’m still enjoying the slice of raiding that we get to do for now, but we’re going to be entering a period of urgency in 5.2. There is a strong collective desire to experience this new and historic raid content to its fullest, combined with the fact that one of our core members is facing a major life/career change that will end his time with WoW in about six months. With those things in mind, we may have some new personnel with us in 5.2 in order to make that happen.
In the meantime, I’ll be optimizing and gearing and playing as well as I can, in order to be ready when it’s time to assault the Throne of Thunder!
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Thanks for reading this post by Mushan at Mushan, Etc. Comments are welcome!
The weekend before Christmas was pretty terrible for our raid team.
We killed a grand total of three bosses in almost six hours of raiding on the nights of December 22 and 23. I am trying to decide if I even want to talk about it in detail. It was frustrating, having to substitute some less-than-optimal players for those who either were AWOL or, in the case of one of our friends, had a really sick dog. The substitution game resulted in some pretty unspectacular results when combined with the fact that we really only have the first four bosses in Mogu’shan on farm at this point.
All in all, it was a mostly forgettable experience. And that, my friends, is all I’ll say about the first weekend. On to the second (better) part of my tale.
So this past weekend (December 29 and 30) was a different story, for the most part. While we made no real progress in Heart of Fear (1/6), we had a breakthrough in Mogu’shan Vaults. A breakthrough, a success – but there’s a catch. More on that later.
On Saturday, we were missing a damage dealer (our monk, who may have quit the game for all we know). With no real options for DPS substitutes that night, we invited Daggan, a friend of ours who tanks for / leads my girlfriend’s main raid team, which is one of the better teams on the server (but wasn’t running that week due to the holidays). We had two tanks already, so we had our DK tank switch to Frost, and proceeded to have little trouble killing our Mogu’shan farm bosses, clearing to Elegon, and having a few goes at him.
Since their guild is already well into heroic modes, Daggan was able to explain the Elegon encounter in a way that helped some of our raiders who probably weren’t as comfortable with certain mechanics, including killing sparks and pillars, clearing stacks, and so on. After a few tries, during which Daggan was encouraging and instructive, we ironed out some things before calling it a night.
Sunday night, one of our warriors was a scheduled absence, and his scheduled replacement never logged in (the story of our lives, at this point), so we scrambled for a bit before picking up a warlock named Des, also from my girlfriend’s raid team. This excited me to no end, because these guys are very good, and have great gear. I got some comments about having someone to compete with on the charts, but – and I don’t know if some people think I am happy to be doing 10%-50% more damage than everyone else on our team, but I’m not – I was very interested in seeing how we could do with a powerhouse DPS in the raid.
We started with Elegon, and, on our third attempt…
—we got him!
It was awesome. With Des there providing experience and firepower, and by working together as a team, we executed the strategy almost to the letter on the kill. We did have a couple of casualties toward the end, but it was a very satisfying kill, all things considered.
We then proceeded to one-shot Will of the Emperor. Not much to say about that – Mogu’shan Vaults 6/6.
We spent the rest of the evening in a series of epic battles against Imperial Vizier Zor’lok, ending the night with a kill where he died, and then the last living raiders died. Yes, it was one of those… but it was nice to at least end with a kill rather than getting so heartbreakingly close and failing, as we seem to be doing so often on that fight.
A personal achievement
Something happened on Saturday night which I never imagined would happen.
A little back story: we started logging our raid nights at World of Logs several weeks ago after Squido asked me to do so, in order to have a better idea of where we go wrong in certain areas of our individual and collective play. At the time, Squido told me that his biggest problem with WoL was forgetting to start recording the combat log, and that has come to be the biggest problem for me as well. As such, if you were to check out our guild at WoL, you’d see that some nights are not logged, and others are missing the first boss, or the first two bosses. /sigh. But overall, it has been interesting to be able to look at my own performances and use the information to tweak and improve my play.
As I said a few sentences up, I never imagined that I would ever rank on a fight. I didn’t rank “high” – but apparently I did well enough to show up on the Survival hunter list. Whatever it means to whomever, it was exciting for me. I don’t try to “rank” when I play, but I do my best to execute both strategy and damage to serve the needs of the team from fight to fight, and so this was a nice result to have within that context.
All in all, it was a good weekend. It was nice to break the wall down and finally finish up Mogu’shan for reals.
However, the catch is that we have to replace one of our regular DPS with another, and we won’t have Daggan or Des with us again, since they were back to business as usual with their own team last night. Even going back to our normal roster would mean that we’d have a great deal less damage and a much less experienced tank, so I wonder if we’ll be able to replicate the feats of last weekend any time soon. We shall see.
It was really nice to run with someone who could smash the charts on Sunday. I was happy to be able to relax, play my game, and know that there was someone killing it DPS-wise – and I think I played better because of that.
As I’ve said before, doing a bulk of the damage on boss fights has become something of a heavy burden for me. Of course, that’s easier to swallow when we succeed. But progression has been slow this tier, and while the ups make me feel somewhat heroic, the downs make me feel like I’m not doing enough. It’s not necessarily logical to feel that way, but in the absence of change, “it is what it is” means that I need to keep pushing myself.
Hopefully we’ll continue to have some success before this tier of raiding becomes irrelevant. Patch 5.2 is probably close enough that we won’t clear T14 by the time Throne of Thunder opens up. And I’m all kinds of excited about Throne of Thunder – which is purportedly “the new Ulduar” – but that excitement is tempered by the heavy doses of reality we suffer from week to week.
I’ll say it right here: I want to defeat every boss in Throne of Thunder. Normal mode, not Raid Finder. We’ll see what happens in the near future.
** My UI looks a mess in that screenshot, I know. But a third of that stuff is hidden in combat, so it’s not really as bad as it looks. ^-^
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