Archive for December, 2010

Season’s Greetings

This isn’t a full post – I just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas, and if you don’t celebrate Christmas yourself, then happy whichever-if-any holiday you follow! =D

Happy Winter Veil as well, and I’ll see you on the servers!

/failcheck Expectations of PUGers

This isn’t an “experiment” /failcheck – this is me calling out a clear “fail” that needs to be addressed. Here’s the short version of this post: have realistic expectations of a PUG and address issues when they arise instead of saying nothing.

Here’s the long version: I was talking to a friend of mine in my guild, and she mentioned that one of our fellow officers was constantly posting messages in officer chat along the lines of “these guys are total fails,” I wish they would do their job right,” or “can I cry now because this is so horrible.” (I’m not exaggerating about the “can I cry” part either – he says that a lot). Now, I haven’t been on when this occurred; otherwise, I’d tell him to do something about it or stop talking about it. Annoyed guildmates is the only result you’ll get from moaning and groaning in guild/officer chat about something you can fix.

We are only 8 days into the new expansion, so most of the PUGs you’ll get via heroic queueing (and even regular queueing) are players who haven’t done that dungeon/version of that dungeon yet. Newness of the expansion aside, I was still running into players new to a particular PUG during the final month of WotLK. You will always have the chance of that happening when queuing for a PUG, so get used to it or stop queuing. If nothing else, remember that at some point during your WoW lifespan, you were likely in a similar situation. Would you have appreciated other players being mad at you for not knowing a fight on your first visit to a dungeon?

Of course, there are ways you can prepare for dungeons, and I do agree that some are pseudo-prerequisites to joining a PUG (in my opinion), whereas others are beneficial but aren’t wholly necessary. To generalize my opinions, I feel a game should be fun and shouldn’t require outside sources to be fun, but knowing the ins and outs of a game itself is important. For example:

  • There are millions of resources on the internet that can prepare you as much as possible for a fight before doing it, but WoW is first and foremost a game. I feel I can safely say that Blizzard has never and will never release a game designed to force you to research encounters before doing them. There will inevitably be trial-and-error wipes, but that’s how games have been for a long time (“how do we kill Bowser on this level? Well, let’s try this…”).
  • Gear is a prerequisite in my eyes. If it wasn’t, then Blizzard wouldn’t have set a minimum iLevel for players to meet before having access to the heroic dungeon queue. There are some WoW players who don’t put much/any effort into gearing up for heroics, and it tends to ruin the fun for your fellow PUGers when you’re one of these people. After all, it’s one thing to wipe because you don’t quite know and encounter yet. It’s another thing entirely to wipe because your gear is so insufficient that it’s impossible for you to best an encounter (e.g., a  tank wearing WotLK blues/purples is likely going to be unable to successfully tank a Cata heroic). This is what the minimum iLevel is supposed to prevent, but some players are finding ways to cheat the system. One example that I’ve seen is a warrior equipping an intellect/spirit blue ring they got form a quest, simply because it puts them above the iLevel bar.
  • Knowing your class is highly important, and a key feature of the game. Although there’s been some homogenization of class abilities lately, all classes have there own, unique abilities that makes them different than other classes (otherwise, why have classes at all?). You should know what these are, when/how to use them, and why it’s important to do so!

Finally, if you’re in a PUG where someone is failing at something important, then do something constructive about it. As I said before, complaining to your guildmates about a problem you can solve is of no benefit to yourself. Tell your party why what’s happening is wrong and how to correct it. If you can at least do that, and they refuse to listen, then I’m willing to hear your monologue about how you’re in the worst PUG ever. If they try to do the correct method and aren’t quite getting the hang of it, then I’m just going to say “luck of the draw” and tune you out. I stand firmly beside my belief that games should be fun. If other people are ruining your fun intentionally by being stubborn headed about doing things the wrong way, then I sympathize with you. However, if they’re giving their best effort, and you still complain to me about it, then you’re ruining my fun. And that’s no fun (bah dum tsssh?)!

Heroic Lament

Heroic Stonecore, how I hate thee. I’ve successfully completed two heroic Cata dungeons as a tank, and yet I can’t get past Corborus on heroic mode SC. Yesterday evening, my guild’s raid leader invited me to tank for a heroic group he was forming, and I accepted, hoping to have some challenging, but fun attempts at downing a heroic dungeon. After everyone joined the party, I suggested that we do a random heroic, since I hadn’t done my daily random. The group agreed, we queued up, and into heroic SC we went. … And not much further than that.

We cleared Millhouse and his buddies without any real issues, and upon reaching the bottom of the first passage, we were ready to kill some gyreworm. After pulling, we quickly realized that something was amiss, and instead of gyreworm being on the menu, we were on its menu. While reseting, we reviewed the strat, covering the new heroic abilities, and confident that we had the right idea, we charged in a second time. 24+ attempts later, I finally had to tell the group I needed to leave; I had to go to work, and we had yet to get the bloody worm below 600k HP.

After returning from work, I logged on because I still wanted to get in a successful random heroic. One insta-tank queue later, I found myself in… Oh, bloody hell – heroic SC. I expressed my frustration to the party, who reassured me with comments that generally amounted to “we’ve got this – it’s easy when you know the fight.” Now, call me crazy, but when someone makes a comment along those lines, it says to me that they’ve completed the fight before. So, reassured that I was likely with a better group, I reviewed how I was tanking the fight with them, and besides one small adjustment they suggested, I found I was ready to go. We breezed through Millhouse’s folks, and quickly found myself face-to-face with the dreaded worm, once more.

To skip some unnecessary story, I soon found myself recovering from our fourth wipe. Now, to be fair, I normally stick with groups for longer than that, but considering this was nearly my 30th wipe of the day on this horrible fiend, I gave the group my apologies and left the party. I went on to queue again, and thankfully, I found myself being loaded into heroic Throne of the Tides. The trash in here is, without a doubt, extremely difficult – even with CC – but after a couple of painful attempts and wipes, we made our way to Neptulon’s throne to take down Lady Vaz’jar. After some more painful attempts and wipes, working out exactly who needed to CC what and reminding everyone to dodge the tornadoes o’ doom, we got her down. Yes! First heroic boss of the day down! And to make the victory sweeter, the tanking ring Entwined Nereis, dropped! /roll… And here’s my… Huh? The kitty dps won?

Immediately, our healer scolded the bad kitty (heh; had to say it) and told them to give me the ring, saying, “If you want  tank gear, then queue as a tank!” The druid made a half-formed comment along the lines of “I need it too,” then left. Yes, remember the title of this blog post? A lament generally contains few happy moments – lol. After requeueing, we acquired a warrior and went on to down the rest of the dungeon. Several folks got some spiffy gear, and I got my heroic done, but I was left feeling slightly empty inside. That PUG reminded me of why I typically run with guildies… I can trust them (for the most part) to not pull shenanigans like that. Ah well – live and learn, I s’pose.

Have any stories about the new cata dungeons? Feel free to share them below!

/insert “Oooh… Aaah… Cata” title here

As you almost certainly know, Cataclysm has hit the live servers. If you don’t… then do you really love WoW enough to be reading a WoW blog? I’m proud (and sad) to announce that Nehmen has already hit level 82. I’m proud for obvious reasons, but sad because the leveling feels… To easy, I dare say.  Avoiding spoilers, I’ve hit level 82 after doing essentially a 1 1/3 of a zone’s worth of quests, plus two dungeons (To be fair, there was a string of quests involved within BRC, but I had no quests for Throne, so I think it levels out). There are several more zones and numerous dungeons left, yet I’m already well on my way to 83?  That’s too fast for my taste, considering the expansion dropped yesterday!

Besides leveling, I’ve also done more important thing since Cata dropped… I changed my warrior’s race. Leading into Cata, I’d been dreaming of having a Worgen warrior, but after several months of waiting, I heard that Blizz was going to allow race changes to the new races immediately, and I… ahem… let my patience get the best of me and began leveling my warr. Now, after hitting 80 only this past weekend, my previous human warrior is a proud worgen prot warrior, and I’m looking forward to her being my second “main” alt.

On a side note, I like to imagine little tidbits of backstory behind each of my important toons, and for Dämonin (my worgen warr), I imagined it as thus — A freshly 80, hotblooded human warrior… Eager to prove her worth, Tokiko (my warr’s name prior to race change) does some recon on the Forsaken, seeking to carve out a place for herself in the mighty folds of Alliance Heroes. One day, she overhears word of their plan to attack Gilneas, and she sets out to aid the Gilneans in their time of plight. Unfortunately, she could not have anticipated the worgen… While traversing the dark city of Gilneas, she too fell prey to the infectious bite of the cursed invaders. Trapped in a form she loathes, she has taken on the name of Dämonin (she-demon), until she can rid herself of the curse. Author’s note: Yeah, I’m a geek ^_^

Enjoy Cata, in whatever way you can!