Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What I've been up to

I've slowed down on my Argent Tournament grind. If I don't feel like doing it, I don't do it. I've gotten one pet so far and haven't really tried hard to get another.

I'm still raiding Ulduar 25. I haven't been disappointed with our progress yet. Yet I can tell we are heading to a bit of a quagmire. Our progress is relatively slow in the scheme of things. We still have several encounters we've yet to face. People hear of other guilds clearing it, so you start to hear "When are we going to fight X?" Our raid leaders have been mentioning skipping bosses to get to them. However as usual, killing bosses gives gear that helps kill the bosses further down the line. But since we only raid a few nights a week, we don't have the luxury of killing the bosses we can AND spending time on the bosses we can't.

Like I said, I'm happy with our progress. And if everyone is like me we'll be fine. But if we have a few eager beavers some dissent may arise. Let's hope not - I don't want to have to find another guild.

I'm actually leveling another character v e r y s l o w l y. It was an attempt to make extra money, but I imagine if I just spent the same time doing dailies I'd accomplish my goal quicker.

The new guild I'm in is relatively quiet outside of raid time. I've typed a few things only to get no response. It isn't my ideal guild situation, but I'm starting to wonder if this is my fate.

I don't want to play much. I try not to play much. I tend to migrate to those who don't play much either. As a result I'm in a guild where people simply aren't around much.

We don't raid several times a week and many people seem to only log on to specifically raid.

I actually could join another guild and continue raiding with this one. We communicate via a user created channel vs. guild chat. That might give me the social aspect outside of raiding that perhaps I'm craving. But if i'm questing solo or some other activity I'm not really able to chat that much anyway.

If you're trying to quit smoking, hanging outside while your smoking buddies take some puffs probably isn't the greatest idea. So maybe this lonesome feeling I get sometimes is good. It urges me to log rather than stay online.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Feel our pain

Today's post comes a little out of left field considering I mostly discuss raiding. But as I often do, I let what I've read on another blog prompt me to write here.

I was checking out WoW Insider and they had a post about The Pink Pigtail Inn who had a post about Critical QQ. I love how that happens. :)

Anyway, Critical QQ made a comment about how during Children's Week horde starting loses Alterac Valley, a bg they usually win.

Here's the quote that got me writing "It’s frustrating for those of us who actually want to be there, too. We have the gear. We have the spec. We have the skills.

And it’s goddamn frustrating when you lose, over and over again, because your teammates don’t give a crap.

The worst part is that they know they don’t give a crap."

A long time ago in a world...of warcraft far away, everyone who cared about pvp rolled horde. They had the best pvp racials. Those who cared less about PvP and more about the arguably better look of their characters played alliance. The weird thing about this division is the better players all went to one side. What if basketball let one team draft all the best players, every time? How do you think that would work out?

And that's what PvP was like for Alliance for a long time. I remember having discussion with Horde players who would say "You guys just need to L2P". But when you a few know how to play but the rest don't care, you end up with exactly what Critical QQ described.

Four years is a long time to wait to say I told you so. It was already happening when Blood Elves appeared on the scene and exacerbated with level 55 Blood elves could be created. Children's Week finally spotlighted the issue.

Feel our pain Horde.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Resto4Life » The World Tree

Resto4Life » The World Tree

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Wasting other people's time

One thing I have to work on is to stop worrying about things that are out of my control.

So far raiding with a new guild has gone well. Considering the guild I left decided to keep raiding places like Naxxramas and Malygos, this new guild is quite more to my liking.

But this guild has the same type of players my old guild did. Players who don't necessarily spec the best for raiding, use old flasks at half the potency of new flasks and sign up but then don't show up. I have to assume all "casual" guilds have these players and I need to quit letting it bug me because it comes with the territory.

Yet I can't help but wonder do these player realize they are wasting others' time? When dps is low on an Ulduar boss and someone is using a flask made for BWL boss? When someone keeps dying early and you find out they should be raiding Naxxramas instead of Ulduar.

But these are the types of players we have to put up with, because usually players like myself would move on to more serious raiding. But I don't want to raid every night so I need to learn to get used to it or stay annoyed by it.

Number of posts

This past April I posted 21 times. Its the first time since I started this blog that I've posted over 20 times. When I first started I was posting almost 30 times a month. It seems to stabilize to around 15 or so.

I'm probably reading more into it, but I think the amount I blog coincides with milestones in my WoW.

I blogged alot when I first started because I was breaking away from raiding (that worked well haha). And I blogged alot recently because of the guild drama. I know one other point I would have blogged more than usual if I'm right about this pattern but I'll have to check first...

Okay I just checked, the pattern didn't follow exactly but it was close. My third biggest post time was around the time I pretty much retired a main and started playing this druid.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Casual Raiding

I did a search of the term "Casual Raiding". I was suprised to find WoW Wiki had an entry on it with a note "Casual Raiding is relatively new to the MMORPG game genre."

The entry was short giving the obvious pros and cons of casual raiding while describing it as "a raiding organization that places focus on exploring raid content without a driving focus on raid progression".

I'm not sure how old this entry on WoW Wiki is, but from my own experience another description could be added. First off the usual disclaimer: casual and hardcore and what they mean to each individual can be as varied as each individual. With that said, I've been in guilds that raided "casually" and I didn't like it much at all.

Note: In making the following descriptions even I had trouble with how to name the various levels of raiding. It ended up being silly.

The Casual Lite Raiding of my past consisted of the following:
*A very laid back attitude (exasperating to me)
*Alts were welcomed no matter how badly geared
*Several raiders with bad specs or specs not raid friendly
*Extremely slow progression

The Hardcore Casual Raiding of my past consisted of the following:
*Serious attitude, but not necessarily backed up with skill
*Alts not welcomed
*Usually no bad specs, but not always necessarily raid friendly
*Decent progression, but looking back, not for the amount of time raiding

Hardcore Raiding (I have no personal experience with this but this is what I imagine it to be:
*Serious attitude with the skill to back it up
*Alts not welcome on progression night whatsoever
*Raid specs always
*Fast progression matching the time spent raiding

Recently I've been a part of what here I'll call Casual Raiding. It doesn't match the Wiki description.
It consists of:
*Serious attitude with some with the skill to back it up
*Alts are not welcomed but as last resort you try to accept the better geared alts
*Raid friendly specs highly encouraged
*Decent progression for the amount of time spent raiding

This is where I like to be. The difference is there *is* a focus on raid progression. I don't want to spend much time raiding but when I do I want to progress as much as possible.

10-man vs 25-man yawn

One bad thing about doing 10 AND 25 man is how quickly boring the raid instance can become.

Except for Sartharion 3 Drakes 10 man, nothing so far in all of the 10-mans seems harder than 25s. The fights are essentially the same. As a result raiding both places is really raiding the same stuff twice.

I haven't done a 10man Ulduar since the first week and to be honest I enjoy my 25-man raids more because of it.

Now I'll admit I liked having a leg up on the fights that I had already done in 10-man before 25. However as a healer our excitement is pretty darn limited.

Here are the challenges healers face that make raiding fun imo:
1) Learning the basics of the fight
2) Being undergeared causes you to have to improvise how you play
3) Everyone else learning the basics of the fight and being undergeared as well

1) you're learning to not stand here, not cast there, move here, not move there. All of that is fun.

2) You're having to be more careful with how you heal. You may not have enough mana because of gear. This is actually fun to because you have to think a little more.

3) Everyone else is also learning and undergeared, but as a result we, as healers, have to do extra. This is where we shine. How many healers do you take on progression? How many healers do you take on farmed content?

Those 3 things only happen at the beginning of new raid instances. Soon enough everyone knows where to stand. You don't have to heal 5 noobs standing in the fire. You only have to heal 1 (or just let him die and be better off).

You eventually have great gear and you can spam one spell if you want, it heals enough and you have a big mana pool.ZzzzzzzZZzzzzZz

And finally everyone else is better and, sadly for healers, no longer need you as much. "You want me to respec laser chicken?"

So if my glory days as a healer in the terms of a raid cycle are fleeting, why would I want to rush them? Why do I want to run 10-mans and get geared up faster and basically do my PTRing on 10-mans so the 25s are just tweaking a bit and mimicking what I did before?

I know this isn't going to happen but to be honest it is what should happen - They should make a 10-man instances totally different than 25. Of course that goes back to 10-man fans complaining they don't get to see the same content as what is in 25. But to be honest those who prefer 25s could make the same complaint.

They risk burning out everybody even faster with the 2 instances being exactly the same.

What would you have prefered? Zul'Aman or Black Temple Lite?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Golden Age

As a nice segue from my "Eras, chapters and phases" post, Part Time druid made a post about The Golden Age of WoW Blogging Ending.

I mentioned before about losing BRK and Resto4Life, and there have been others. To note, neither have quit blogging, they just quit blogging about WoW.

Part Time Druid chalks this up to some soul-searching, realizing maybe playing WoW and blogging about it too is extreme. He also mentioned that WoW simply isn't much to blog about any more. Why discuss how to go about getting the best gear, spec this way or that when it is all so easy now?

I've never had the following any of these bloggers have. I know some of you out there are reading and I appreciate it. I never blogged to educate or illuminate. As I uncomfortably realized I blog to vent mostly. Who would want to read that all the time? So when I get suggestions or agreement from some of you, it is satisfying.

But if a single person didn't read my blog, I'd keep doing it until I quit playing WoW. There is always something to wonder about, to irritate me, to observe. And I'll blog because of it.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Eras, chapters and phases

Tobold mentioned recently he's canceled his WoW subscription again. He plays the part he finds fun then takes a break.

I lean more to trying to find fun when there often isn't fun to be found. Riding out the lulls in the game until fun comes back around. I don't advise this to anyone.

If I were to describe my WoW life in eras, I plan on doing this in more detail someday (maybe when I finally quit for good) I'd say

The Leveling Era - the first time I leveled to 60 in WoW. I hadn't played a game like it before. It was so fun at the time. Many of us look for that experience again in new games only to be quickly disappointed.

The Raiding Era - the time I raided four to five times a week. I can't believe I actually did this. I really thought I was having fun and during first kills I truly did. If I had my choice I wouldn't do this again. I tried not raiding at all but I missed the social aspect that comes with it, now I'm trying to raid but just on a more limited basis.

Can eras overlap?

The RL vs WoW Era - I've been trying to do this back when I started getting tired of raiding so much. It was the same time I started my blog with the thoughts I'd quit playing WoW but still here I am. This era continues.

The Achievement Era - If I hadn't had the raiding era, I may have went a whole year before realizing I'm heading down the same road as I did with raiding. Overkill. I like getting virtual ribbons for doing what I like to do in game. However the past few months I stepped over the line, chasing achievements that weren't fun. I'm fighting the obssessive demon sitting on my shoulder. For instance, this week is Children's week and one of the achievements is to accomplish things in battlegrounds. To do so you have to compete with your fellow faction to get it done. I was irritated to no end trying to get these done over the weekend and I should have given up, but in the end I succeeded. I was more relieved than happy.

I have a feeling I have one more Era left in my Life in Azeroth, have no idea what it will be.

Change is good

When you make a change there is always a risk that you'll end up in a worse place than where you started. But if your current situation isn't all that great you either stay unhappy or pretend things aren't all that bad.

I accessed my current situation and went ahead and made a change. I'm playing with another guild now and while its too soon to say for sure, it seems as if it'll work out okay.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Keeping things light

No I'm not talking about cleaning out my bag space, although that is something I struggle with on a daily basis.

When I mention keeping things light, I mean I am making a concerted effort to leave drama, disappointment and difficulty out of my WoW.

In any other game genre this would be easy. People play together to have fun and go their separate ways afterwards.

But in MMORPGs, the land of guilds, clans, supergroups and kinships, you have to work at keeping the social problems minor obstacles to your success.

If Player X doesn't like playing with Player Y? In essence he doesn't have to. However if Player X and Player Y are in a raid guild, they many times put aside differences because they are working toward a common goal.

However the differences are still there, suppressed, and sometimes it doesn't take much for them to rear their ugly heads.

My drama, well not actually my drama, but drama in close proximity of me, is too fresh to go into detail about. But I'll just say I'm making a change to get away from it.

I'm keeping things light. If a move is what is required, I'm moving. If stepping away from raiding is what is required, I'll quit raiding for a while. I want to keep playing and *shock* have fun while I'm doing it.

This is my hobby, not a virtual soap opera.

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"I don't *need* to play. I can quit anytime I want!"

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