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!
Then, Tuesday, Big Bear Butt wrote a post about how he listened to that podcast on Monday, and their discussion on Grumpy Elf’s post caught his ear, and, in short, he started thinking about how he wishes that all caster DPS specs had an auto attack. His post on the subject, which is also great, goes on to describe how having no auto attack can be problematic for his non-hunter casters – his moonkin in particular.
I definitely recommend checking out both posts, as well as the podcast.
Meanwhile, I’m writing this post, this reaction to the reaction. This is how it goes sometimes. :)
One great thing about these two posts is that they bring up a topic that has been bothering me for a long, long time, and even more lately.
I have issues with Auto Shot.
Both the concept and end results of Auto Shot bother me, and, unlike Bear, I would like to see Blizzard do away with it, or at least marginalize its impact on our overall damage.
What Auto Shot looks like today, Survival Edition
I spent 10 minutes on the dummy today, and the results looked fairly similar – proportionally – to what I would see on a typical single target boss fight (see screenshot at the top of this post).
This is with no buffs (other than my hyena) or food, and no tier gear at all – because I’m currently not using any tier gear – so there’s no 5% extra damage to Explosive Shot, or extra chance to proc LnL. This is just regular non-tier gear with normal stats.
The nice thing to see is that Explosive Shot looks like it’s doing a nice chunk of my damage. There is usually some percent deviation in all of these results, due to various elements of RNG and the fact that there is no boss fight that I simply stand in one spot for (and I’m far from perfect in raids), but usually ES will be on top. The next top four attacks are usually in the top four on bosses, also. In fact, usually I see SrS and Auto in either of the 2-3 positions (you can see they were in a dead heat here), but sometimes my pet attacks sneak in there, or Arcane Shot will sneak in there, particularly if I forget to switch my talent from TotH to Dire Beast.
Now, this is obviously not a complete sample (and it’s only one, but it’s fairly representative). There are times where Serpent Sting needs to be applied to an add or other boss, via SrS or Serpent Spread. There’s Kill Shot, of course. Sometimes there’s Explosive Trap, Multi Shot, and Improved SrS. It depends on the encounter, of course, and those things can change what a damage breakdown looks like. However, one thing seems to be constant from boss to boss, and that’s the presence of Auto Shot in my top 2-4 damaging abilities.
Now, how do I feel when I look at a table like this? Well, I can tell you right off the bat that I am usually frowning in silent frustration when I look and see that Auto Shot – something I had almost nothing to do with, other than to have something targeted and be using other abilities against it – is about 10% of my total damage, and that it’s one of my top abilities.
Think about that for a minute. It’s one of my top damaging abilities.
Is that fun? And, does that take much skill at all?
In fact, it takes an undefined amount of extra skill to even shoot an Arcane Shot, because it requires pushing a button. Auto Shot is, by definition, automatic. It requires no skill; only that you have a working computer that has internet access, WoW downloaded and patched and subscribed to, a non-broken ranged weapon equipped, and the ability to engage monsters.
Why is Blizzard conceding 10% (or more) of our damage to us just for engaging the target?
I used to play a cat, back in Lich King times. As a melee DPS, staying up on the boss’s ass was critical to maximizing damage.
I started moving away from that toon when they changed the Savage Roar damage buff to only apply to white swings in 4.0. With a subsequent nerf to bleed damage, it became clear that Blizzard wanted more cat damage to come from positioning and uptime. For a while, it became arguably better to stack Haste than Mastery or Crit, because Haste + uptime + that sweet buff to white swings equaled Nice. SR has changed since then, but the damage was done; I leveled a hunter, and that part of my life is long gone now.
Nonetheless, I’m not a big fan of the whole concept of white swings for player characters. One of the things I like about my mage is that everything I do is caused by myself or my pet. I’m not also smacking the boss. Everything is a result of pushing a button.
Anyway, back to hunters.
This is actually something of a misnomer, in this case. It’s actually “ability bloat.” As Frostheim has described the problem of button bloat on the Hunting Party Podcast, the WHU, and in comments elsewhere: the more abilities there are, the smaller the piece of the damage pie each ability can take up.
There’s only 100% of the pie. And there is only one pie. Here’s how I look at it (the pie is “your total damage” and the people are “your damage abilities” in this analogy):
If there are six people over for dinner, there can only be six pieces of pie if everyone has one piece and they collectively eat the whole pie.
If there are eight people over for dinner, then there can only be eight pieces of pie if everyone has one piece and they collectively eat the whole pie.
The pieces can be different sizes, of course, but the pie is gone when everyone has left for the night, and it’s likely that, if more people came to dinner than expected, some of them may not have gotten enough dessert.
What I don’t like about this is that, not only is ten percent of my damage coming from Auto Shot, but it’s also one of my stronger “abilities.” Yes, Black Arrow procs LnL, so there’s a direct damage correlation there. Yes, Dire Beast increases my focus regeneration, so I can shoot more Arcanes and less Cobras. That’s nice and all, but Auto Shot is scoring too highly for my comfort.
And there’s not really anything I can do about this. I can’t minimize the damage Auto Shot does: it’s automatic after all, and it scales with Attack Power and crit chance. Higher Haste means faster attack speed, which means more Auto Shots. One of my Auto Shots on this dummy session hit for 55k! So, while perhaps it’s true that gear levels that are insanely higher than mine could theoretically pull Arcane Shot a marginal distance ahead of Auto Shot due to higher levels of Mastery, the difference wouldn’t be enough to mean that Auto Shot has become much less significant.
Removing or drastically reducing Auto Shot
If Auto Shot takes up roughly 10% of the damage pie, and it were removed** (in, say, Patch 6.0), and classes were re-balanced to be reasonably close in damage output, then it would be like saying, “Well, Bernice doesn’t want any pie, so does anyone want to have a little more?” (Of course someone does – it’s pie, after all.) The pie is eaten, 100% of it is gone.
**or significantly marginalized…
Removing Auto Shot would mean that Blizzard would have the damage that Auto Shot currently does available to redistribute to other abilities. Perhaps a stronger average Black Arrow tick, or increased crit chance on Explosive Shot, or something to that effect. I don’t know where the best place to put it is, but I do know one thing:
It would have the potential to make some or all of the abilities do a higher percentage of the overall damage, because there would be one less ability crowding the others out in that “100% of total damage pie.” It could mean higher burst damage in situations where it’s needed. It could mean that executing the priority system better than someone else would mean more overall damage, as well as a larger gap between those who do so and those who don’t.
It could mean that Grumpy Elf doesn’t finish 10th on the damage meter on a pull in LFR just from auto-attacking and doing 38k DPS, causing him to wonder what the heck people are doing that make them perform even worse than that while he’s tabbed out… (read his post!)
I am possibly the only person who feels this way, and I could be totally wrong.
But it seems that, if there are a lot of abilities now, and if there is yet another ability added in the next expansion, something should go, and Auto Shot seems to me to be the best candidate.
Additionally, then ranged DPS would be slightly more equal, mechanically. Not perfectly equal, of course, but that one distinction / disparity would be gone (or close to gone).
Thanks for reading this post by Mushan at Mushan, Etc. Comments are welcome!
As a diversion from end-game burnout, I decided last week to explore an area of the game that has long fascinated me from a distance: the Forsaken starting zone story in Tirisfal Glades, Silverpine Forest, and Hillsbrad Foothills.
I’ve only ever played an Undead character once before. Back in early 2007, when my better half and I were just starting to play WoW, we made several little toons in different areas. We made humans and night elves, and then we branched out and made little Draenei. Eventually we tried out the Undead area – I made a warrior, can’t recall what she made – and played it for a few levels, but we didn’t really enjoy it much, so those toons were soon deleted. We were basically Alliance, and have remained so all this time.
However, with Cataclysm, almost all of the zones were revamped, and the results were sometimes extremely compelling. The Undead zones were particularly so, as they represented an intersection between the Aftermath of the Lich King, conflict with the ‘new race’ Gilneans/Worgen, and their own territorial expansion into Hillsbrad Foothills and so on. And Sylvanas. Etc.
My connection to the Forsaken has been by way of disgust and revulsion, for the most part. During Cataclysm, I spent a not-insignificant amount of time in modern Hillsbrad while engaged in both Archaeology and farming herbs. Beginning in 4.2 with the announcement that transmogrification was coming in 4.3, I also found myself in the Old Hillsbrad Foothills instance via the Caverns of Time, chasing a couple of elusive pieces to complete sets that I would eventually wear. It’s a place I still like to revisit from time to time, because it’s like a Sanctuary from what eventually happened… but it’s also not, really.
One of the things that I liked about Archaeology was that it brought me to places that I didn’t normally visit – or, in this case, a place that I didn’t have reason to visit any more. And while I’m not someone who has been with the game since the original beta, I’ve been around for six years. As such, I spent a fair amount of time in Hillsbrad before the Shattering, and really, REALLY enjoyed that entire zone, as well as Alterac Mountains.
There are places that the Shattering destroyed that are sad, like the destructions of Auberdine or the dam in Loch Modan. But nothing approaches anything close to the emotions that I’ve felt while exploring every nook and cranny of the new, forsaken-controlled Hillsbrad Foothills.
I’ve mentioned these feelings before, in the following post: Of Southshore and Oakvale: the complete and utter destruction of something good.
Well, this time, I’m playing the other side of the story, doing all the quests; reading all the quests. Not because I am shallow and forgetful of my feelings on the genocide at Southshore etc., but because I want to see it for myself. I’ve finished the quests in Tirisfal, and I’ve just started Silverpine at this point. The plan is to play through the culmination of the Gilnean story and into Hillsbrad, get that under my belt, and then possibly abandon the character for the most part.
It has taken me years, obviously, to get to the point where I am interested enough to explore the morbid reality that is present-day Hillsbrad and have time to do so, and now seems to be that time.
It feels weird to be playing something just for the lore, and to explore my fascination with the Undead situation. It’s a unique one, in my opinion, because – and maybe this is just me – this will be a time, and possibly the only time, where I don’t feel any connection at all with my character. This has nothing to do with Alliance or Horde. I love Tauren, for instance… except in PvP, of course. I’m not much of a fan of most Orcs, Trolls, or Goblins, but I’d still put them a few ticks above the Undead on the “I might actually care about you and your cause” list. But, while I’ll acknowledge feeling a smidgen of ‘sorry for (my toon) the guy’s situation,’ that’s all. In this case far more than any other, he’s simply and solely a means to an end; that end being discovery and experience, and that’s it. This isn’t to say that I’m not enjoying my time. But that connection isn’t there, and that’s fine.
The Forsaken experience is different from others I’ve experienced. There’s a grimness to every aspect of it, from the “we just resurrected/birthed these new Undead, but some of them aren’t with us and need to die – make that happen” situation, to the blinders-on focus that they have for building their armies and developing their plague, to the icy coldness that the decrepit old undead lady is feeling when you gather pelts to make a covering for her. It’s definitely a different feel from the zones of other races. I do like that.
It’s early to definitively say this, but I’m nonetheless certain that playing this set of zones isn’t going to change either my general apathy toward the Undead or make me feel any better about any justifications for their actions in Hillsbrad – the logic for them can be damned, as far as I concerned.
And when it’s all over, I’m still going to mourn the Hillsbrad Foothills of years past. Nothing can rip that from me.
Thanks for reading this post by Mushan at Mushan, Etc. Comments are welcome!
Three weeks after downing the Council of Elders encounter in Throne of Thunder, we entered the raid weekend looking to make some progress. And, after a wild and crazy weekend (described below)…
…we got him!
In fact, we one-shotted him!!
And I lived! For the first time this tier, I lived on the first kill of a boss. Woot!
(It’s important to celebrate the little things… sometimes they make all the difference.)
To jump back a bit in the story, it was a quiet week in Nos Consensio. People have busy lives away from the game, and other things to do, and the weather is nice, and people like me are burned out. So I watched a lot of The West Wing on Netflix, made a new hunter (a subject for a different post) to play around with in peace, went to work at the appropriate times, etc. I didn’t push any of my toons for the most part, other than running a couple of LFRs here and there and doing some quests. I failed to VP cap on any toon, which is completely fine. Things are slow.
Saturday: Nos Screw-up-sio
On Saturday night, we got together a little late, killed Nalak, killed Warlord Bloodhilt again (two more peeps got that quest taken care of!), and stepped into ToT…
…where we proceeded to wipe about a half-dozen times on Jin’rokh before downing him.
Of course, when we downed him, he was dead in record time. That was cool. There were just mistakes being made, mostly with kiting of, and/or otherwise related to, the Focused Lightning. Mistakes, reflecting some general lack of focus. So anyway, we collected the loot (by the way, Jin’rokh, stop dropping Renataki’s Soul Charm – four weeks in a row is twice as often as we will ever need, you bastard!) and…
…proceeded to wipe several times on the Horridon trash.
Seriously, it took us forever to get to Horridon. It was not pretty.
Then, on our first or second Horridon attempt (I forget which), which was very messy, one of our healers experienced a major internet outage in his city, and he was gone for the night.
After a break, we made several more attempts 9-manning it, including one where we had Jalak under 50%, but wiped when the off-tank got himself caught in a Double Swipe. Several attempts, several wipes, and we finally called it – and I’m sure we all felt like crap when that was over. I know that I did, not that I could do anything about it.
Sunday: Nos One-shot-sio
Sunday was a new day, and when we gathered at 9:30 pm in an attempt to salvage the weekend, it almost couldn’t have gone better – or more differently than the previous night.
After a false start on the Horridon trash, we cleaned that up quickly. Then we one-shot Horridon. Then, after a false start on Council – my fault; when I switched to BM, my UI was set up for PvP, and I’ll take the blame for that – we had a very clean kill on the second attempt. Things were going very well, and we’d had some nice gear drop, so we took a break so that people could equip/adjust their gear, etc.
It felt great to come back on all cylinders after the mess of the previous evening.
Next up was Tortos, which has had me frustrated, as I’ve mentioned before. We wiped twice on the trash, and things were starting to look like they were going back to normal (read: bad). However, prepping for the fight, the tanks discussed tank switches, the healers and the warriors worked out cooldown rotations, and Moebius and I discussed the Whirl Turtle situation. And then we started the encounter.
Our raid makeup has two warriors and a rogue, myself and a mage, three healers, and two tanks. The melee… well, they went to town on Tortos and the bats. Moebius and I were smacking turtles and booting goals like we’d been doing it for years. The tank switches went cleanly, the healing was great, and, as I said at the beginning, Tortos bit the big one.
It was a fight that, from an outside perspective, wasn’t a pretty one as far as hunter damage was concerned. Moebius and I were focusing turtles virtually the whole time, because the fight depended on it and we were the only ones who could really handle them, and so we weren’t crapping out AoE damage like we normally can. Bats weren’t a concern for us, particularly because we’ve got the guys up front handling them just fine.
So the damage meter wasn’t pretty. But man… I couldn’t have cared less, because a) I already know that I can execute SV DPS with my eyes closed, so I didn’t need to prove that in this situation, and b) that was a really fun fight – so much fun to do when we were able to execute a successful kill.
And frankly, I was more proud that he and I successfully interrupted every Furious Stone Breath than just about anything else. Considering the positional/directional kick mechanic and the fact that other turtles were constantly harassing us when we’d attempt a kick, it was gratifying to have that part of the fight come together like that.
Hopefully we can repeat it next time. Megaera, we’re coming for you!
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My desire to play WoW is down even more than usual lately.
I’ve written about being burned out occasionally over the past couple of months, and that doesn’t seem to be getting any better. Since almost nothing has happened recently, there hasn’t been anything substantial to write about; nothing, at least, that has inspired me to write.
There’s one thing that I’m not feeling burned out about, and that’s playing Mushan. I still look forward to the weekends, when we raid, and I still feel at home when I’m playing him.
But I don’t feel like doing dailies or otherwise earning Valor*. I don’t feel like stepping into LFR**. While I don’t mind doing heroic dungeons, I’m not particularly motivated to do them. Killing rares has gotten very old, very fast. PvP? not feeling it at all right now. Soloing old stuff? same. Archaeology? Pet battles? RP? Scenarios? Achievements? Aggressive Auction House jockeying? Yeah… no thanks.
*I did pick up my Valor belt after reaching Revered with the SPA this week, so I’m done using Valor Points for anything until 5.3 arrives – I figure that if I’m capped by the end of next week, I’ll be fine to start item-upgrading whenever that becomes available.
**That being said, I have done three wings of ToT LFR this week. Primordius has some very nice gloves that I’d like to get my hands on… er, into. Although he hasn’t been generous about it so far.
And that’s on the hunter – the familiar toon; the well-oiled machine; the toon I love. The other toons? forget it. I have no desire to tank anything right now on the warrior. No desire to play the mage. No desire to get the final 27 bars on my paladin. To play my lil’ project hunter. To level my DK, who’s in Grizzly Hills at the moment.
Additionally, I feel somewhat disconnected from the community right now, which is sort of weird, because I have more people consistently reading my blog now than I’ve ever had before. I’m generally disappointed with Twitter as well – without getting into specifics – so I’ve been avoiding it for the past couple of weeks, aside from a couple of random posts here and there.
I’m just in a different place right now, I suppose.
On the whole, though, there’s almost nothing going on that I’m really enjoying unless I’m raiding.
Raiding went well last weekend, considering we were down a healer. We had a friend bring his mage, and we patiently worked our way through the first three bosses of ToT again, with two healers/six DPS instead of three and five.
We spent a long time on Sunday working on Tortos, which is a fight that I’m worried about because I’m one of only two ranged DPS, so downing the Whirl Turtles is proving to be somewhat challenging. Everything I read about hunters on that fight seems to say – and I paraphrase – “Go SV, you’ll do shit-tons of AoE damage on the bats on that fight…” And that totally doesn’t seem appropriate for our raid composition. Because of the makeup of our guild/team, we’re faced with the challenge of getting bosses down with what we have. We don’t have a bench, swap out players based on role, and so on. For the most part, it’s a 10-person, 10-toon team, and we adjust based on the limited versatility of those players’ classes – and that’s it.
While topping the charts is fun – and I can certainly top the charts on Tortos in LFR, which is inherently more forgiving and doesn’t mind if you just pick what you want to do and then do it – I will not be doing so as we make progress on our Tortos attempts. I will not be ‘spreading serpent’ all over those god-forsaken bats like it’s my m—– f—— birthday. I have an assignment, and it’s Whirl Turtles, and it’s a responsibility and challenge that I will rise to with determined grimness.
Of course, there’s no hunter spec that’s great for that role. Other than being able to cast on the move, my ability to consistently burst stuff down is still kind of anemic (see upcoming hunter buffs in 5.3). And with a somewhat melee-heavy 10-man group, there is little room for error or weakness in that situation. I’ve made my gear set – my greatest asset – about as strong as it can be, given the circumstances. So I’ll bring that, along with some grim focus, and we’ll see what happens.
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One bright spot for me, personally, was that I successfully switched to Beast Mastery on Sunday for the Council of Elders encounter. BM is a spec that I have never used in a raid before, and I don’t enjoy it. But I practiced the crap out of it during the week, and ultimately I did enjoy not killing myself when Kazra’jin was empowered. My overall “DPS” went down a tick or two, with the reduced AoE damage. However, I was satisfied with the situationally focused damage I was able to do, particularly as we burned down Sul during the first portion of the fight.
Unless it becomes totally stupid for me not to, I will continue to use SV on single target progression fights (like Jin’rokh, although he’s certainly not progression), because it fits me like a glove; and, because I am not a great player, I have that problem where I play better with the spec I enjoy the most (rather than playing the “best spec for the DPS”). I can move better as SV, because I have many hundreds of hours of doing so under my belt, and that can be very important at times. BM feels like I am slapping the buttons, while SV is smooth, allowing me to have better raid awareness. But in the case of Kazra’jin, BM works for me, giving me the freedom to go all-out on something that would otherwise kill me if I did so as SV.
At any rate, it’s a game, and if I can do some sick damage and play well as SV, and it allows me to enjoy the only part of the game I’m having any fun with right now, then I’m going to do so whenever I can.
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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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LFR can be a complete jerk sometimes.
We’ve all been there – where the one piece you need just will not drop. For some, it’s the weapon – an important piece of gear for pretty much everyone. For others, it’s the boots, or the trinket. For me, in 5.0/5.1, it was ultimately the shoulder token. Lei Shi was very generous with her trinkets (I won four or five of those), but not so much with the shoulder token.
Well, you have your good days and your bad. Some people are “lucky” and others have terrible luck for long stretches. Such is the nature of chance as it’s built into the current version of the game. I did let myself get frustrated as all get-out about the shoulder token, but as March approached, I let it go. It just wasn’t worth it, and there were greener fields to graze on the horizon.
In Throne of Thunder, I haven’t really felt the need to complain too much about my luck. ToT has been fairly kind to me, all things considered. I’ve certainly snickered about it from time to time, though – I’ve won three necklaces since I bought the Valor necklace on March 5th, after all! :) That’s how it goes, I suppose.
Last night was one of those nights where things went in my favor.
I was finally able to snag a weapon upgrade, trading in old Taoren (491) for a shiny new (and ugly as sin) Durumu’s Baleful Gaze on a bonus roll.
Despite the disgusting model(?) (seriously, the ranged weapon models in MoP are just some of the worst, in my humble opinion) of this “crossbow,” it was a not-insignificant upgrade for me. Later in the same raid, Dark Animus was gracious enough to leave behind a Gore-Soaked Gear with my name on it, replacing the Sign of the Bloodied God that I’d picked up ten days ago. This was also a direct upgrade, if only a small one, because of the socket and the Crit/Haste stat budget.
Overall, I’ve been pretty happy with the way my hunter’s gear has progressed this tier. Going into tonight’s raid, the remainders from T14 are few: tier helm and gloves (504), crafted chest (500), and the belt from Gara’jal (489). ToT RF gear: weapon, ring 2 (502). Valor: neck, cloak, bracers, ring 1, trinket 1 (522); crafted boots (522); and, from ToT itself, Thunderforged legs (528 – Jin’rokh), as well as shoulders, and trinket 2 (522 – Jin’rokh).
The gearing process is likely to slow down until we have more bosses on farm. As I mentioned before, the Valor gear that remains unpurchased (at honored with SPA) is less than inspiring, but I should be able to pick up the belt in less than two weeks, which will be a seriously good upgrade.
Tonight, we’re optimistic that we’ll be able to down both Jin’rokh and Horridon without too much trouble, so that we can spend some real time on Council. Since I won’t have my head elsewhere tonight, I’m looking to be a key contributor this time!
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This past Sunday afternoon, looking to do something challenging yet fun, I decided to give Heroic Halion a shot.
I had never defeated Halion before. I only ever attempted him once toward the end of Wrath with a raid group, and it was one of those things where we’d get to Phase 3 and then start dropping like flies. And I never tried soloing him during Cataclysm, because I assumed that the whole twilight realm portal thing would reset the boss. Maybe I was right, maybe not… but at any rate, it is soloable now, as was brought to my attention by this video from Cinnamohn (props to Cinnamohn for the idea and the strategy!). Check it out for the details!
I soloed him as SV in my questing spec setup (Spirit Bond, Blink Strike, Glyphs of Mending and Misdirection). It took me five attempts to get my head in gear and not stand in the crossfire forever (facepalm!), not get hit by the Twilight Cutter, not out-threat my pet, and so on, and to get him down. Because he heals himself for a sizable chunk every five seconds in Phase 3 (from 50% health till death), the majority of the fight is spent in that phase, doing more damage to him than he can heal through. Like many soloing fights, the trick is basically to execute the mechanics of the encounter while still doing enough damage and keeping the pet alive – while also keeping threat on your pet so that you don’t have to Feign Death, which will reset the boss – and Halion certainly tests that combination of skills and awareness on Heroic mode for modest soloists like myself.
It was pretty cool to attempt and defeat a boss that I’ve never seen before on Heroic, and had never defeated before. Sometime, I’d like to attempt the 25-player version, but I don’t know if I could handle that. Perhaps on normal mode…
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