This will be a short answer. PvE all the way. I’m all about raiding and embracing the epic feeling of walking into an instance with 9 or 24 other players and facing off against the latest and greatest “bad guys.” I’ll never tire of that initial feeling when I’m taking on a boss for the first time.
It’s been a long time since I’ve even looked at this blog, but I figured since I’m getting back into the game some, I’d revisit this place. I’ve been trying to think of topics to write about, and I’d like to keep it somewhat cohesive. Looking back, it’s been all about raiding and this WoW day challenge thing. I’m going to finish off the day challenge since I don’t like starting things and not finishing them. Another topic I’d like to approach is achievements. I’ve always enjoyed working on various achievements, and with account-wide achievements going into effect, I’d really like to have a place to get my thoughts down and track them.
Without further ado, here is the answer to Day seven’s question: my favorite piece of lore…
Orcs are one of the first races I encountered when I started this game since the troll starting zone was also the orc starting zone. Orcs are integral to the Warcraft story. Everything goes back to the orcs and their journey from Draenor, through the Dark Portal and into Azeroth. One of the things that really resonated with me when I first started playing was the bleak landscape of Durotar. Red and dusty as far as the eye can see. This image really stuck with me, and as I delved into the quests and learned about the orcs, the land sort of became a symbol for their people.
It wasn’t until I read Lord of the Clans that I really became enamored with the story of the orcs as well as their Azerothian leader, Thrall. Thrall is such a complex character, unlike so many of the other orcs. He is able to rise above the cursed blood of his people and offer them some semblance of life on this alien planet that they have been abandoned on. Thrall is where everything starts, and while some of the story may be a bit trite, it definitely leaves me feeling inspired and powerful. For the Horde!
Ragnaros has been brought down… FINALLY. It felt like forever to me, especially since I server transferred and had to wait an additional month or so to get to him because I’m a nice person and always help out the underdogs. Don’t get me wrong, I’m really glad I did choose to help out and raid lead in my new guild. Sometimes though, it’s easy to wonder what if… What if I had joined a heroic guild and was currently working on downing heroic Rag? What if I had some sweet, sweet 391s? But, at the same time, would I truly be enjoying myself?
I guess I don’t really have answers to those questions, but I can say I am proud to have downed Rag. It may not have been in a timely fashion, but it’s still a huge success because people who had lower than 359 ilvl a month ago are now 7/7 Firelands under my direction and by all of us working together.
So now I turn my focus to things more mundane: rep and mounts. Currently, I’m working on grinding out the Netherwing and Sha’tari Skyguard rep for the mounts. I’m only 20 shy of the 100 mount achievement, which I really want. Though I’m sure it’ll take a couple months to get there since I need to work on my Argent Crusade rep, as well.
A lot has happened since I posted last. So here’s a brief catch up:
- Couldn’t get anything done on my small server.
- Server transferred to Korgath with the intent of finding at least a 7/7 guild.
- Realized I don’t enjoy raiding if I’m not raid leading.
- Joined up with a 6/7 guild looking for a raid leader for a third raid group.
- Started a group that went 6/7 pretty quickly. Alys and Majordomo came after the nerfs though. QQ
- Currently stuck on Rag.
Raid leading can lead to a lot of frustration; I’ve known this since day one. Right now, I feel as if I’m stuck in a rut as a raider and as a raid leader. Finding a good, experience raider right now is near impossible. All of the good progression raiders have their 4/7 heroic mode or higher guilds. The only people looking for raiding guild right now are people who simply aren’t good enough and have been bouncing around from guild to guild or people who just want to be carried. I’m not interested in having either of these types of players in my raid group.
However, I seem to be stuck at an impasse with my group. We’re going on to our sixth or seventh night on Rag, and it’s starting to get more than frustrating. It’s almost comical at how ridiculous it is. Despite nearly a 30% nerf, we can’t down the bastard. After talking with my co-raid leader, we decided that it’s likely a problem of individuals not having the same progression goals as we do. So we held a meeting, which 6 of my raiders came to. This didn’t impress me, but I don’t know what else to do. I guess I can just start kicking people out, but I try to be fair. Plus, I am a really nice person when it comes down to it, and it just pains me to have to actually remove someone from the group.
This week, I locked us to Rag, much to the chagrin of a few of my raiders, which also kind of bothered me. As the raid leader, I feel as if it ultimately comes down to my decisions. I think I possibly shot myself in the foot when I first took over the group since I asked people’s opinions and let the group vote on things. Like I said before, I try to be fair. But, maybe in this case, we just need an authoritative figure to say, “This is how we’re doing it.”
I’m hoping the lock will force us to down him tonight; it shows the raiders how crucial this is to our progression. My ultimate worry is that I have some players that won’t cut it come 4.3. We’ve been three-healing Rag, and I informed my healers they will be two-healing it from now on. I think it will force them to get better and conserve more mana. Also, an additional dps should help us get through the phases faster and take less overall raid damage. Dps is kind of low for our gear level, which is also an issue. I’m afraid that’s because I did have to take some people who couldn’t cut it in faster progressing guilds. I guess at this point, I need to try to work with what I have and if it comes to making cuts, the new recruits I bring in will need to be exceptional.
Hopefully, tomorrow I can update that we’ve downed Rag…
One of my core healers, Jupitergrace, came into the picture four or five months ago. <Brash>’s raid groups were in a bit of turmoil as we were trying to make two 10 mans work on a small server already a month or so into an expansion. As an officer, I felt it was my duty to give everyone the chance to raid so I vacated my comfy spot as the off-tank for the core group and set about building up a second group. I believe it was the GM who recruited Jupiter, but he ended up in my raid group. I can’t recall much from the first few raids or meetings, but I do remember his slow, Southern drawl and quick sense of humor.
One night - it was pretty late - Jupiter and I got to talking. I don’t know why or how, but he conversation was serious and enlightening. The only thing I can say about that conversation is that it left me with the utmost respect for that man. After that, I’d say Jupiter and I became friends. We joked around a lot and sent frequent whispers back and forth. Eventually, some more shit went down with the raid groups, and without warning I lost Jupiter in my raid group and then the guild. It didn’t take much to get him back though, and I have to admit, despite being wary of bringing him back after his untimely leaving, I am so glad I gave him the benefit of the doubt.
At the end of June, Jupiter kept saying something about getting some old friends to come back to WoW. I thought nothing of it. Our raid group was finally falling into place; we pretty much had a core group and only needed to work a couple kinks out. Just after the fourth of July, Jupiter got me to run some heroics with him and his friends. “Get in vent,” he whispered me. So I did. And I never looked back.
That day in vent, I met The Mayor and Wraven. I didn’t talk much that day; I let them do the talking (there was a lot of it and obviously a lot of it went wayyyy over my head). Somehow though, a connection was made and I kind of hopped into their trio. It was definitely weird at first (and actually still is) because I haven’t known them all as long as they’ve known each other. It almost feels like I’m an interloper (see what I did there?!) into their world. Yet, if Jupiter hadn’t asked me to tank that run and get in vent, I would have never met Matt.
I don’t really even know how our conversation started. Like I said, at first, it was just them making jokes and suggestive comments back and forth (gay much?) in vent. Wraven knew we had a melee dps spot open in our core group, but he is a balance druid. Together, he and Jupiter pestered me to give him the spot. “He has a feral set; he just needs a couple more pieces,” Cal (Jupiter) insisted. At this time, I was recruiting from trade and promising some people trials, so I offered Wraven a trial, too.
The story behind the invitation is kind of unique. I have a lot of my raiders’ cell phone numbers so they can shoot me a text if they can’t make it or I can see if they’re planning to come if they’re missing at raid time. Cal and I occasionally would text back and forth and we were joking about what Wraven needed to do in order to obtain the spot. Cal must have given him my number, because next thing I know I have a text from Wraven, “/2 Boomkin LF raid spot. Tape measure at the ready.” Well, that made me laugh and shake my head. Yeah, that’s definitely something they would say. So I responded with, “You are cordially invited to dps at tonight’s raid…” and I guess you can say the rest is history.
I don’t know why, but I gave him the spot. He showed up to the raid, pulled good dps but dpsed in boomkin form the entire time, which pissed me off. I told him to come as feral and that he’d be trying out for a melee spot, but he completely ignored that and did what he wanted. Despite this, I could tell he was a smart player so I offered him the spot. Needless to say, he took it.
By this point, we were talking a bit in game and shooting texts back and forth every now and again. Eventually, one night we were doing Hyjal dailies together and we were talking in party chat. It was pretty apparent that we had a lot in common and there was definitely a spark between us. From there, is just progressed (as did our raid group… 4 of 7, what? Fourth Horde guild on the server!).
So I guess, thanks Cal and thanks WoW. Because without either of those, I would have never met the amazing person I now share a big part of my life with. Here’s to many more years of feeling this way.
From Azeroth, with Love.
Despite the fact that my blog title is obviously an allusion to the James Bond movie From Russia with Love, there is something much more literal about it that I never would have considered before.
Azeroth is a big place and with 200-some US servers, there are a lot of people who play this game. So, of course, it’s viable to say that there are all sorts of people traipsing around Azeroth on their virtual characters. On an average day in WoW, how many of those people do we actually interact with? Maybe you know a lot of people on your server - the trolls, the really good players who you always go first to for pugging, the annoying guy who insists he has downed Rag on his other server despite only being 2/7 on your server… I could go on, right? I know that on an average day in WoW, I interact with mainly my guildies. I know many of them by name, have heard their voices over vent or Skype and can claim Facebook friendship with many of them. However, outside of my guild, I don’t interact with many other people. Now, my server is tiny. One of the smallest servers out there, with a major population issue. So I know the best players on the server, who the trolls are, etc. Yet, it is isn’t too often that I strike up a meaningful conversation of interaction with any of these people.
What I’m getting at is I know there are all kinds of people out there who play this game. I just never thought that I’d be so lucky as to stumble upon the one person who really makes sense to me. Who is that missing puzzle piece. He gets me. I get him. We finish each other’s sentences and sometimes say the same thing at the same time.
I know it’s kind of weird, meeting a significant other through an online game. However, considering the amount of people who seek out relationships though online dating sites, it shouldn’t be that odd. It’s not difficult to establish a connection or a friendship online, but it is hell trying to maintain and further a romantic relationship when the miles stretch between you. Michigan to Virginia, you ask? At least it’s the same time zone. By plane, it’s a few hours. And, of course, it could be so much worse. But being 23, in grad school with little to no money means this relationship has to remain online until time and money allows for something more.
I miss about WoW:
1. Running dungeons with Garrett and Collin and being insanely ridiculous. (Never have I ever eaten a steak.)
2. Being absolutely amazed by the scenery and immersion of the game while leveling.
3. The jittery excitement that accompanied every LFD group that I tanked while leveling.
4. Leveling two prot paladins at the same exact time, just on different servers.
5. Not knowing the difference between feral, balance and resto.
6. Spending ALL night talking to people on Skype. [Keith (epic sadface), Dan (come back!), Ryan]
7. Walking into a raid, a nervous flutter in my stomach and timidness of not wanting to speak in vent.
These are only a handful of the things that made me the newbie I was in WoW. I’m a much different player and person today. Not that the experience is worse, but it’s definitely bittersweet. Maybe I’ll come up with some more things I miss later…
The one where you get to save the ittle-wittle cute, baby raptor in Stranglethorn. And then, in Zul’Gurub, he gives you a quest and you get him as a pet! I was so excited. I squeed irl when I got him as a pet. Seriously.
I just have a soft spot for pets. In game and out.
Raiding this week went pretty well overall. We are now 3/7 so I can’t complain about that. I would have like to have gotten 4/7 but we wiped on Shannox three times…
Shannox and Beth were our farm bosses before this week, and after wiping time and time again last week on Rhyolith because of the stupid RNG, we decided this week we would move onto Baleroc. That was a superb choice because that fight is quite easy. We didn’t down it out first raid night, but like I said, we spent nearly two hours on trash, Shannox and Beth. However, last night, we walked in and got him down after a few tries. We headed over to Rhyo again after that, but it didn’t seem like things were changing too much. (On a positive note, we do seem to be consistently getting his armor lower and lower, but we have yet to hit phase two.) If we could just get to phase two, he would be simple for us. Our dps is quite high and our healers are incredible. It’s just the damn driving mechanic that screws us every time.
We gave Rhyo a few tries last night and then decided to switch it up to Alys. We really had no idea what to expect so the most we got her down was about 8%, but like one of the raiders said, there’s a lot going on, a lot of movement and individual roles that need to be fulfilled. So I’m sure with some time and practice we’ll have her down before long, as well.
I’m very satisfied that we have three bosses on solid farm. I’m confident that we should be able to walk in from now on and get Shannox, Beth and Baleroc down within the first couple hours of Thursday night raids. Then the remainder of Thursday and all of Friday can be dedicated to Rhyo and Alys. I am super excite to move on to Majordomo and Ragnaros!
Well I’m a “Wrath baby”, so I’m not even sure what is classified as Classic. (Haha, that’s a lot of “class” words. I may or may not be slightly intoxicated. I wonder if my writing will be better or worse?)
Does Zul’Farrak count as Classic? Because, regardless, that’s my favorite. I really like trolls and everything troll related. I think it’s one of the most developed classes, with some of the coolest architecture and interesting characters. The one part of that instance where you get to open the graves is super cool. I remember going in there with a few friends and opening all the graves and watching healers freak out. Soooooo good.
Also you can mount inside ZF now. I don’t know if that was always possible, but it is now. So getting around faster after a wipe is always sweet, too.