Friday, September 29, 2006

Blaming the Healers

There is a certain rogue in our guild who has the tendency to whine. We all have our own quirks - I tend to be very emo myself...

Unfortunately, he is vocal about the lack of healing he gets more than any other person during our raids. To be fair, he whines about everything, so I should't take it personal - I really should just put him on mute.

Recently, someone posted one of those performance meters (I'll rant about that some other day.) After checking out my own performance and others, eventually I came across his stats. To my surprise, out of all the rogues he healed himself the least. Actually I guess that shouldn't have been surprising at all should it?

I know I am there as support, but if you aren't willing to look after yourself some period of the time, you are asking for deaths that could have been prevented by your own hands.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Reserved slotting

My guild has decided to offer positions for a few choice guildies that will allow you to always be slotted for raids.

I like to raid, so I signed up. But I can't raid much and I let them know that. So I'm not sure if I'll get the position or not.

The position is supposed to be based on 3 things - skill, attitude and commitment.

I have the skill, considering it doesn't take much skill to heal in a 40 man raid.

I have a good attitude, especially now that I've decided not to raid every day!

I have commitment as far as if you expect me to show up ready and willing - I am.

The biggest issue will be if they expect me to raid back on my old schedule. I just can't do that. And that's where I lack on the commitment scale.

I'm willing to raid about 3-4 nights a week. That allows me to do 1-2 AQ40s and 1-2 Naxxs (since they take more than 1 night) and 1 BWL if they throw that into the mix.

It will be interesting if they choose me for one of the positions.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The "healer" problem

Came across this discussion about healing. The most interesting comment and one that I've heard mentioned when I was playing City of Heroes, is moving the "healer" from MMORPGs altogether.

The roleplaying reason in City of Heroes is that, according to comic book readers, there is no hero that gets healed by other heroes.

Of course, I have mixed feelings about removing this cleric archetype. As much as I complain about healing, it really is something I'm drawn to. I hate when someone yells at me to heal. I love to heal someone when I see they are taking damage. I hate that people expect me to do nothing BUT heal. I love being part of the success of an encounter because of my healing. I hate that I can't do anything if I'm purely specced for healing. I love that I am a welcome addition to many parties when I am.

I'd rather they find some "innovative sh*t" as someone mentioned, so that they wouldn't have to throw the baby out with the bath water.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Another weekend of raiding

After not raiding during the week, I was eager to raid again this weekend. I signed up Fri, Sat and Sun and fortunately got slotted for all 3: AQ40, Naxx and MC.

We did AQ40 up to the trash before the twin emps. We seem to have gotten pretty decent at Skeram, Sartura, bumpy on the Trio, Fankriss and Huhuran. It was a stress-free run.

I won some awesome dmg shoulders - and class specific ones at that - so no shifty eyes from the mages and warlocks!

Our agenda in Naxx was to finish our Echoes of War quest that allows us access to T3 pieces. We did that and downed Instructor Raz. Another stress-free run, surprisingly considering it was Naxx!!!

I've wanted to finish (well basically start) getting my prophecy set. I only have 4 pieces. 3, count em, 3 pieces dropped that I needed and I lost every roll. Thus ushering in the age of FFA MC.

I lost one piece to a paladin's alt. I lost another piece to a guest (who initially said she was only there for the Eye of Divinity). I forgot who I lost the other piece to, I hope it was at least someone who plays a priest as their main.

But finally the randomness fell in my favor and although I didn't win any of the priest pieces I was there for, I did come away with a very nice damage piece.

When I wasn't raiding, I played my hunter alt - I farmed enough leather materials to get her leatherworking up to 250 which was a mini-goal. I've decided to take up tribal leatherworking so that I can hunt devilsaurs and make devilsaur gear!

All in all a nice weekend for me. But I think playing my alt AND raiding was a bit much.

Taking breaks from raiding during the week has become a good idea methinks. :)

Friday, September 22, 2006

Priests and alts

It should be no surprise that the classes that tend to reroll are healing classes.

A while back I took stock of the state of our priests in my guild. To be honest there only seems to be 1 priest who has raided extensively and still enjoys it. 2 other priest seem to still be dazzled by the sparklies (epics). And that does seem to go along way in making raiding enjoyable. But I'd like to see how they are in a few months.

If you've read my blog you know my opinion is that getting epics eventually loses its luster and not getting them just makes you bitter - if you raid alot.

So we have about 3 priests raid consistently and seem to enjoy the schedule, the rest of us come less frequently. Out of the "rest" 2 of us raid on our priests exclusively.

The others, which is the point of this post, have mains they'd much rather raid on.

While we are very fortunate to have them fill in as priests when we need them - this usually occurs more than they are willing to admit is comfortable.

Some eventually comment on it. But most people who play healing priests either on as a main or an alt don't want to cause trouble, and genuinely want to help - so they eventually stop signing up their priests in hopes their dps character will be chosen instead. With emphasis on the fact their dps character is there "main".

Soon, since these players don't want to bring their own priests you hear "I have a priest friend who would love to come raid!" Problem is, these priests are usually newbs (and I'm not saying that negatively) with green gear. So you're not getting a replacement for their priest we've helped gear up who has experience in the instances - not exactly an equal trade. Either way, these players don't care - they just want to get to play their dps class by any means necessary. (Why they pull their friends into a situation they themselves are trying to get out of? I don't know.)

Once again, they will usually come often, enamored with the numerous drops, until eventually it gets boring and out pops a level 60 mage they've transferred from another server - or a suddenly they've leveled a lock to 60.

These are just my observations and numerous opinions. :)

Oh by the way, the 1 player I said seems to thoroughly enjoy his priest? He recently started bringing his mage to our instances that are on farm.

Another short night

I logged early again last night. My friend gave my hunter several enchants . I leveled up my leatherworking a tiny bit and I did a few ABs and WSGs.

Although I did raid last Sunday night, I logged early and I didn't raid any more this week. It feels good to have stuck to my guns.

As a reward, Naxxramas is tonight, I'm looking forward to it.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

A few hours

A few hours is all I spent on the game yesterday. I think it was supposed to be the day I didn't play at all. Now I think that it is possible.

I got on different characters trying to think of something I wanted to do and there wasn't anything. I managed to get a little xp on my hunter and mage - but it was very little.

Someone mentioned the game Oblivion on our guild forums. I'm thinking of checking it out.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Mains vs. alts

I guess the terms "main" and "alt" came from raiding. Your main character is the one you play with most - the one you raid with the most. It does not necessarily mean the one you leveled to 60 first.

When you start to raid you don't normally say - I'm going to raid with two characters. There usually isn't room. Guilds barely want to recruit another rogue - let alone someone with a rogue AND a hunter.

Also guilds that raid to progress, progress more slowly, if it is spent gearing up two characters instead of one - since it can't be done at the same time obviously.

Some people join guilds with their priest (because healing is in short supply) so that they can get their foot in the door. Then if allowed, they swap over to a dps class (because arguably this is more fun to play).

Now on the positive side, if you have 2 classes you can play then you can fill in here or there as the need arises. But to counter that I say, why not just recruit the needed class?

The problem comes when you have alts still wanting to go to tired-out (my opinion) instances that people with mains are sick to death (also my opinion) of going to.

People that do this say they don't have alts: "all my characters are my mains!" is the way they put it.

So you go to Molten Core AGAIN, because they want to get their 2nd or 3rd class geared up.

All the while, the guild could be beating the door down on new content.

If I had decided to keep raiding "hardcore" I probably would have had to leave my current guild, because it is very "alt-friendly". Honestly I'd much rather spend my time moving forward with the new instances, than running in place at the old ones like we choose to do.

Out of habit

I've played this game so much that I know log in out of habit.

Take yesterday for instance. I didn't really have anything I wanted to do in the game but I logged in anyway.

I worked on getting my leatherworking skill up a bit, got a little xp (and I mean little!) on my mage. And that was about it.

There was a ZG run, but I didn't want to do that, so I ended up logging early. That's what I've been wanting to do, but it felt weird. I guess because I haven't made it a habit yet!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

When WoW is Fun

My previous entry was kind of a downer (directly related to me not feeling well). But I wanted to share my Sunday - which I think explains why I continue to play WoW.

I decided to twink a rogue a while back, I'm not pursuing it with much fervor. It is just something that seems fun to do. The actually twinking seems more fun than playing with the twink. But I've yet to prove it for sure.

Well there is twink belt you can make with leatherworking. And I have been leveling up my LW on my hunter.

Being able to quest on your own is a HUGE draw in WoW. By now many people have done most of the quests in the game - either Alliance side or Horde side. But this quest is in a "horde" instance, and as a result I'd never done it. I have a 40ish hunter and this instance is only 20ish. So I was able to find it (in the Barrens) and do it by myself. I used thottbot - it could have been even more fun - or more annoying - if I hadn't. After reading thott, I imagine it would have been more annoying than anything to figure out. I won't spoil it here - but it turned out to be fun to do.

The materials I needed dropped in the instance, the reward was the pattern. I tried to stay a while and gather more mats, but they have a low drop rate. I bought the rest on AH, made the belt and mailed it off to my rogue.

I can't describe why it was so much fun, but it just was. It was an instance I hadn't been to before - although I had traveled around that area dozens of times. I had fun trying to figure out what needed to be done - even with thottbot - you still had to figure out a bit. And the result was something I could actually make AND use. The entire time was "productive", as productive as a game can be.

Later, my friend gave me a recipe I had wanted for a while.

And he helped get me into a raid too! The raid was fun - in no small part due to the fact I don't raid as much. I got to be a part of the second kill of a boss in Naxxramas. I also left early just like I wanted.

Stuff like that makes WoW fun. It didn't feel like a job. I honestly wish I could explain better - you'll just have to take my word on it.

Just hanging out

I decided to pvp with a group last night. We spent more time waiting for the group to fill up, then to get a match than actually pvping.

So while I was waiting I tried to find things to do in game. Mess around with enchanting? Chat? Clean out mailbox?

I couldn't really get into doing anything because I knew at a moment's notice I would be pulled into a match.

It felt like having a ball and chain attached to my ankle. Not much fun.

I tried to see if there was room in the raid. It is really weird - if they need you you'll get responses. If they don't need you - no one says anything. I've never understood why it is so hard to say "We're full".

So I ended up logging early, which is always a good thing. I wasn't feeling well anyway. And I had a lot of trouble sleeping (non-game related). So I'm tired this morning and still not feeling well. Ugh.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Leaving a guild

Two guildmates left the guild over the weekend. I could be up at arms about it but as this entire blog states - I'm trying to remember this is just a game. I want to have fun and not take things so seriously.

Still it was sad, and very suprising to see them go. The first left due to a recent recruitment to their class (which could potentially mean they'd get less slotting to raids) and the second left partly due to the first.

Actually a third left, but he had only raided with us for less than a month. Nonetheless, he seemed like a good guy and he didn't leave on unpleasant terms.

When I left my very first guild I was only in my teens on my character. I was only there for a day or two, didn't feel exactly comfortable with their type of roleplaying and they were in the middle of a meltdown. Once I had joined, I soon heard the founding members had just quit. I didn't want to be a part of any drama, let alone rebuilding, so I quietly quit.

My second guild was my home for a long time - all the way up to 60. I befriended someone playing a dwarf and most of my time was spent with him. The guild didn't really party much together and even with the large guild roster, only about 5-10 were on at any time. Still it was a nice home for me, and I was happy there. Yet when I hit my 50s I started hearing about the level 60 guildmates talking about raiding. They were part of raid alliances, there were no raids held in guild, they just raided with others. They said I could apply when I got to 60, so I spent alot of time preparing. Preparing meant getting the appropriate gear and attunements.

I heard it would take a while to find a raid spot, but I didn't want to sit around twiddling my thumbs, so I started seeking out opportunities.

At first it seemed a bit daunting. One raid alliance told me I would need to get my skills up to 300. And we're talking skills like daggers (I'm a priest for chrissakes!) and the like. For the record, I've raided non-stop for 6 months now and still don't have all my skills to 300 - so it was definitely a non-issue or at the least a stupid issue.

Another raid alliance actually had members threaten to quit if they let me come along - due to my level. If they were that hung up to the point of revolt I decided that would not be the place for me.

The third was a raid pug - I had no idea how awful it was until I came across my fourth and current raid.

Juxtaposed against my first visit into Molten Core with a raid pug was my second visit with an organized guild. Night and day!!! They seemed to need priests, I applied and got accepted.

But all the while I was letting my current guild no my interests. They knew I wanted to raid, but didn't have any luck getting me in the raid alliance with them. Later I heard they (as I eventually found was very common for many guilds) they were hard up for priests. But by then, I wasn't going to leave a place that actually accepted me - sans dagger skills and all!

That leads to me leaving my guild for the "raiding" guild. It was hard for me! I even tried to see if I could stay in my old guild and raid with the new one - but they weren't a raiding alliance. So with a heavy heart I had to tell them the news. I had made friends, I had a sense of loyalty and saying goodbye if you really cared about something - is tough. I actually left an old character in the guild, but got to the point I didn't play her anymore and when I said goodbye the second time it was easier, but still sad.

Because I feel this way, I can't imagine leaving a guild abruptly how they did this weekend.

4 raids in 1 weekend

I held my raiding to the weekend, but I did raid 4 times!

AQ40 up to the Twin Emps, all of AQ20, all of MC and the Instructor in Naxx.

Even with all of that it paled in comparison to the raiding I've done in the past.

I have offered myself up to raid during the week if really needed - but we have a bevy of priests, so I doubt it will be necessary.

And not raiding so much seems to have made the few times I do raid, a bit more fun!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

2 nights done

Well I decided to go ahead and sign up for an AQ20 in between my 2 scheduled raids - it went very well.

I was a bit tired at the MC raid tonight. But I figure it is really my only time to raid and get some dkp.

Suprisingly, the officers decided to make MC FFA after the night was over.

With that decision, they really made MC less appealing.

It is a instance we've been doing every week since February (for me, longer for others). So its a bit mind-numbing. The saving grace was that I spent time dpsing during most of the raid - even then I got a bored.

After learning it, the main draw was loot to look forward too, that actual fun ceased for me back in May, when we started doing BWL heavily.

Then there was dkp. If you earn dkp in MC you can use it elsewhere. Since I decided to only raid on weekends, and MC falls on the weekend - that was only one of two nights I was able to earn any.

And lastly it was to raid with the guild. Which still is fun to do.

Unfortunately, while the one reason is a good one, 1 out of 4 reasons isn't enough to keep me raiding MC.

I hope they decide to raid some nights of BWL, AQ40 and Naxxramas on the weekends instead.

Once again, I'll hope - but if they don't, I'm working on it not being a big deal anyway. :D

Friday, September 15, 2006

Raiding night

It is back to raiding again. My first night after being off for a week. Taking off definitely allowed me to not be as bored. I got tired near the end, but I stayed alert for the most part.

The downside of not raiding much is you don't acquire much dkp to bid on anything. I bid on two things and lost , as well as randomed on one thing and lost.

Raiding will have to become fun on its on merit. And not because of the loot. While it is fun to have something to look forward to, the chances of me being able to get anything are slim now.

My whole point was not to get hung up on loot. If I'm not, it won't matter if I ever win a single piece again.

By the way, I've decided to 2 nights of raiding. 4 nights of non-raiding and 1 night off. Eventually I'll move to 2 nights off and so on.

I think this is going to work. I'm hopeful. :)

Drudgery and Compulsion

I've added a link "Fun that is Bad" a blog article that discusses why we continue doing something we don't really have fun doing. (i.e. raiding for me)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Stumbling blocks

I still stay logged on longer than I should and want to.

I still get a bit riled up during loot discussions.

Snow White and the 9 Priests

Not suprisingly, 9 priests are signed up for one of the popular instances on a popular night.

For the first time in months, I wonder will I get slotted.

This is yet another test whether I am really ridding myself of "raiding addiction".

I should go ahead and figure out what I can do if I don't get slotted.


Lessons Learned

Here is something I posted in the guild's forum. Just wanted to save it here:

And because of this I am trying very hard to remember my "Lessons Learned".

1) Don't fixate on loot that require luck to get
2) Don't get hung up on loot (period)

Before I joined the guild, I raided with them the first night they decided to go out on their own (again?). I didn't know anything about dkp. I had never raided before in this game or any other. But of course, I soon learned about it. I checked the listing and I was waaaaay behind a bunch of raiders. These were the people who raided in the alliance. Rightly so, their dkp transferred over.

But as time went by, I raided, and I raided, and I raided. I raided by choice, I raided by request. Today, my total earned dkp while not at the top, rivals some of the original raiders in the alliance.

And there is the rub for me, somewhere along the line, I felt the time I had put in would be rewarded. Because somewhere along the line, raiding had become more about loot than fun.

I only really saved up dkp once in my "raiding career" and that was for a trinket. (I'll never forget that a guildie passed on bidding on it so that I could win it.) After that I tried to bid more often on things. But then I would see something I wanted would cost me say 50 dkp, while someone else could (and usually did) get it for less. I would have to compete against people's mains, and then would have to compete as they brought their alts in. I can't and don't fault anyone in particular, because this is how our system is.

But why was it such an issue for me? Well now I was "working" for loot (being a healer is tiring also, but that is for another thread and another time), it started being worth more than virtual loot should. I would get irritated to see someone show up out of the blue and win something, while I had been "working" so long, and because of dkp, because of randomness, because of luck, I'd lose. To see people join the guild, get a bunch of stuff, then leave was a slap in the face too.

That's why I mentioned loot costing the same amount for the people bidding on it. At least if someone shows up and wins something, it would cost him the same as it would me. And I posted that idea, but since I wasn't sure how to implement it - I couldn't explain exactly how it should work - and people like to debate alot which I quickly tire of, I let it slide.

But I have made a conscious decision to step back and realize it is just virtual stuff. I admire (and am a bit envious of) one of my guildmates because he shows up and has fun. If he gets slotted he's happy, if he doesn't - no skin off his nose. (At least it appears that way!)

Because what it boils down to is, after all this discussion, things still might not change to my liking (I'm not saying it should). And if it doesn't, at this point I still want to raid. I just don't want to be irritated when I do so.

For the first time in months, I've missed a bunch of raids and getting more sleep as a result (yay!). One of my good friends in the guild shares with me what dropped and I'm working on not cringing that I wasn't there to roll on it. When I get to raid again, I want to raid for fun - not loot. If I get a great item, hooray for me! If I don't, bring on the next boss!!!

Raiding Withdrawals

I shared this with a friend of mine, how I'm actually going through withdrawals. I want to raid! I miss it!

I almost want to quit the guild I'm in (since it is a raiding guild) and find an guild that focuses on something else, roleplaying, 5-, 10- mans, pvping. That would be the cold-turkey way.

Because I hear my friend tell me how the raids are going and the fun they are having and the loot, and I get that itch.

But another guildie posted something that really summed up all my feelings "a little too much loot vision and raiding is just starting to feel like work".

I know it seems like I'm contradicting myself, it feels like work yet I want to do it. Maybe it feels like work because I feel compelled to do it. Why I feel compelled is the issue I'm trying to work out.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Grinding bear asses

There is a saying that mmorpgs boil down to finding a bunch of bear asses. Well I don't know the exact saying, but anything with bear ass in it is funny.

While I was hunting wolves for xp and leather, for a split second I thought to myself - why am I doing this? "To skill up your leatherworking like you said you wanted to do!" was my reply. Nevermind the fact I'm carrying on this conversation with myself is a cause for concern. But I still hadn't answered the real question. "Why am I doing this?"

Everything you do in WoW is just to get you to the point to do something else. That is the draw of MMORPGS I guess, you can accomplish something - get that sense of satisfaction, and then find something new to accomplish. I actually see other people accomplishing things in the game and that pushes me to do more - but once again I ask, "Why am I doing this?" Maybe I never asked myself that question before, but for the brief second I did this time, and I didn't have an answer. And not being able to answer made me uncomfortable...

One day at a time

If this sounds like an addiction, it is! While it may not be as destructive as alcohol, it is definitely something that skews life a bit.

Another night and I haven't raided, but I do have a friend that tells me how the raid is going. So its almost like I'm there, although I'm off soloing somewhere the entire time.

The great thing is something dropped that I could have used, but I honestly didn't care that much. And I have to tell you it really felt good!

I know my life hasn't suddenly turned around, but to hear my friend talk about getting drops has started to sound a bit foreign and puzzling to me.

Almost every piece of loot seems to be the thing you just HAVE to get. But then you get it, and it is not to long (usually the next raid, or even the next fight!) before there is something else you just HAVE to get.

Things like this translated into real life are what send people to the poor house (does anyone go to a poor house nowadays? was there really a poor house when this phrase was in vogue? was it ever in vogue? I'm sure the phrase in vogue is no longer in vogue...) ack! see what happens when you raid too much?

Okay that's not raidings fault. But it helps to have a demon to fight. Ack! Raiding has leaked into my metaphors!

Nice sig

I saw a sig that hit home for me.

"The more raids you miss, the more epics you get in RL."

Amen, Tauren.


I'm slowly weaning myself off of raiding. The first day was imposed on me, and the last 2 days have been by my own choice. So far I've missed a raid that would have won me some loot I've been waiting months for, the other I missed a first hasn't been easy and a bit disappointing.

But the bright side is I feel good about the decision overall. That amount of raiding was starting to make me feel I'm missing out. I guess I just want to add a bit more to my life, than just this particular game.

It is interesting to hear some of my guildmates mention that being away from raiding has refreshed them, energized them. Yet they have plans to return. I wonder will they come back to the same grinding schedule?

I have been logging off when I say I will, and I've been getting to sleep ALOT earlier than in the past. While I haven't felt a huge improvement, I think the extra rest will allow me to have a bit more energy during the day and I hope that will enable me to become more active - at that point I'm sure I'll start feeling a huge difference.

So yeah, I'm still playing, just not raiding.

Like I said I'm weaning myself. :)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Gaming and Sleeping

As you can tell by the blog's existence. Playing this game is something I enjoy very much. It is a hobby much like many others have.

But I have spent a lot of time gaming, and I definitely want to cut back.

I've actually played this game late into the night and lost much needed sleep.

This blog was created right at the time I decided to cut back.

It will be a nice form of accountability. *wicked grin*

Profession Notes

250 Leather Cured rugged hide skinner
shadow skin gloves

Deeprock Salt
Golems Badlands, Searing Gorge

250 Mooncloth Tailor - Robe of the Archmage

Miner Arcane Crystals

Enchanter - Enchanted Leather

My characters

Dwarf warrior - pvp
"my first"
miner/skinner (make engineer?)

Night elf druid - roleplaying/mule - should i delete her

Night elf priest - raider, access to new content
"my main"

Night elf rogue - pvp, eventual money maker
"the ganker, the fun one"

Undead mage - horde experience
"what is it like horde side?"

Night elf hunter - pvp, pve, money maker
"money maker"

Human mage - pve, pvp, money maker

1/16 update I deleted the undead mage and human mage at some point to make way for a Draenei or Blood Elf mage in the Burning Crusade. I actually leveled up the rogue a bit, she's easy enough to play so no need to delete her and I find fun sneaking around!

Why am I posting here?

Well, to get some feelings out. Also a place to make notes of things I want to do in the game.

I have spent quite a bit of time playing and as a result I feel it would be nice to have a record of what I did. After all, it is all virtual and will fade a way - but the time I spent there and continue to do so is real.


I'm surprised I hadn't done this before now.

I find life in an mmorpg very interesting. People can fake things in real life - well they can do it even more so hidden behind a computer screen. While I find it fascinating it can also be scary. Still yet I find myself drawn to the anonymity. Biases and inequities based on race, sex, etc are lost when you find yourself faced with a dwarf!

About this blog

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

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