Monday, December 6, 2010

It's Been A Hell Of A Ride!!

The end is finally here! I hope you are all ready for it. I just wanted to take a moment and thank each and every one of you out there for making this a great expansion. From the bloggers, the machinimaters, the players, the readers, and even the trolls of forums and blogs! You guys made it great!


Monday, November 29, 2010

Apologies

I offer my apologies for posting my piece a couple days back about the current state of healing as a Holy Paladin. Since the last patch, some things were tweaked and it has changed the way that a few of our spells will work and thus has made that post completely irrelevant in my opinion. While the changing and tweaking is nothing new, I do feel bad for putting out something that became outdated so quickly. I will try to make sure and watch out for these sorts of things in the future. I may revisit the subject of healing in the near future, but I want to let the expansion hit and then get some leveling in and see how everything seems to be pulling together before I post something else on that particular topic.

I do have some other stuff to discuss today though about being a Holy Paladin! I am sure by now that you have read about Holy Paladins who dream of becoming powerhouse caster DPS. (If you haven't go read the Paladin class forum on the official website and look under anything that has to do with Exorcism, Shockadin, or any play on those words.) To save some time for those who may not be aware of this new movement, Holy Paladins can basically switch some talents around within their tree and do some moderate DPS revolving around Holy Shock and Exorcism. This of course to many is an abomination that should quickly be squashed by Blizzard's development team and their massive nerf bats, or should it?

So how does one turn a healing tree into a DPS tree? A long, long, long, long time ago in a game that hardly even resembles WoW there was a limited use build that was referred to as the Shockadin. Many people throughout the course of WoW have attempted to make this build a viable build, but ultimately with the release of Cataclysm Blizzard seemingly squashed this build and banished it to the pages of history with many other aspects of the game. However, in their recent game build they added back in a few key talents that has allowed a small minority of the Paladin community to once again build a caster DPS spec!

The real issue is not can you build a talent spec that allows moderate DPS, but can you build a talent spec that allows moderate DPS that would be viable? In reviewing many of the posts from the official forums you would have to think not. There has been nothing but open ridicule and flaming of those who have tried to post possible builds and discuss ideas on how to better the DPS output. Regardless of what build they pick, it all revolves around the use of Holy Shock and Exorcism. This is what we are going to examine today!

I feel at this point I should definitely affirm that I in fact do have a Holy DPS build on Ruhtra. I created it quite some time ago and had been waiting to test the build within the random dungeon system where a group of peers could decide if the damage output justified being allowed to remain in a group or if it was too low to justify being permitted to stay within a group and ultimately would result in a vote to kick. The problem was that so many people do not understand the finer points of the game and even fewer are willing to take on permitting such in-game tests to be ran that I needed to bring along two friends to prevent an immediate vote to kick prior to actually running the instance. Last night I received my first chance at such a run when one of my good friends wanted to practice being a Discipline Priest. I had him queue as heals with the reassurance that if the shit hit the fan, I would be there to provide support. Along with him, my wife brought her Hunter in order to work on leveling up some of her newest pets. 

********************* Start Fresh**************************


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving (U.S.A.)

Wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving day here in the US! well, except maybe the Native Americans.....sorry for the whole taking your land thing......awkward......

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Shattered Experience

This is not a tale of QQ, but one of feeling lost in WoW. I have been playing this game for a very long time and yesterday I logged in excited to see what was changed like many others. As I flew around and looked over the changed things like sharper graphics for old zones and completely redesigned old zones I couldn't help but feel lost. All of my talents were reset as they had said. All of my quests were gone from the old world. Hell, I have a 1500 quest achievement but only have around 1200 quests completed now. As I flew around, I felt more disconnected from the game than I ever have before. During this time of excitement that everyone else seems to be having, am I the only person who just doesn't care one way or another?

I honestly feel like just putting down my level capped characters and starting all over again. I do not feel like revisiting old zones and hammering out new quests. I rode through the ZG zone and couldn't help but feel as though the game keeps losing more than it is giving back. Old raids like AQ, Naxx, Ony, and ZG being changed or removed makes sense, but at the same time it feels like they are ripping out my memories of what was and replacing them with an excuse to release less content. That may have come out wrong. I just feel like that in the Burning Crusade we got something new. There was no reusable content pushed upon us. In Wrath, we saw the beginning of reworking some aspects of content (Naxx and Ony). In Cataclysm, we get a whole lot of reusable content. Which is not bad. This is a good thing. It saves us from having to buy World of Warcraft II, but something just feels missing or wrong to me.

I honestly do not know how to really describe what I am feeling other than I played Minecraft most of the day yesterday. I logged into the game a couple hours after servers were up and managed to stay online for maybe an hour or so before logging off and going to bed. I am going to give it another try later today with a fresh character I made last night. What about the rest of you out there? Is anyone else feeling the same as me or am I just the odd man out on this one?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Balance

The word balance has so many different meanings depending on who is using it and in what reference it is being used in. Today, I use the word as a way to describe what the changes to Wintergrasp was supposed to accomplish. I cannot argue that it has in fact managed to make a balance PVP environment, but I have to wonder if the goal was to have Wintergrasp matches that are 2v2, 4v4, and 5v5. At this point, I have not seen a lot of encouraging reports from Wintergrasp. What we are seeing is the raging of angered individuals that they no longer can get into Wintergrasp, the angered raging of those who felt that the environment was never a fair battleground in the first place, and many a troll who is using this as an opportunity to make themselves seem so much more knowledgeable and intelligent than what they truly are. In all of these "discussions" no one is really questioning the long term viability of such a fault ridden system.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

It's About Time

***** I want to say that this post is now outdated due to recent changes within the game. Feel free to review it and see if there were any ideas presented which you may find useful. Again, the spells have been changed slightly on some of the core abilities and has resulted in this information being outdated. *****

Here lately I have had a lot of questions via e-mail and in-game from people want to know how I am healing or what type of rotation/priority am I currently using. A lot of these individuals are people who have Holy as an off-spec build or maybe have not touched the class in a very long time. I think the main concern most people have is they went from two to three healing spells to having a whole bar full of healing options and they have no clue what to make of all these choices. Even worse than the choices is when they go into a run and attempt to heal it and struggle through because Flash of Light drains their mana or Holy Light doesn't heal the way it use to. It is very confusing and you are not alone. The good news is that we are not too far different from what we have always been in terms of healing. We just have a few extra options is all. Stick with me and let's try to make some sense out of all of this ok?

So let's talk about the healing spells and what is really different and what may not be so different! I was a Flash of Light kind of guy and so I will start with this one first. It is definitely not what it once was that is for sure. It takes a large chunk of our mana in order to cast, but it also provides a large heal back in return. In my opinion at current Wrath end game, this is probably our best large heal spell due to the time it takes to cast, but it is not something we are going to want to be spamming a ton because it will drain you way too quickly. Holy Light has lost a lot of its bite and I cannot argue that, but it is meant to be a filler heal now, much the same as Flash of Light use to be. It is inexpensive in terms of mana and provides a weaker heal when compared to its counterparts of Flash of Light and Divine Light. Divine Light is a spell that is meant to be our king of the mountain heal, but currently just takes too long and cost too much to make it a go to heal. Notice I said currently. At level 85, I fully expect this heal to be the king of the hill heal and so do not ignore it, just do not rely on it at this time. Now we come to our instant heals, Holy Shock and Word of Glory! I love instant heal spells! In the case of Holy Shock, it is now our prime heal. Everything we do is going to be based around it and its cool down. Word of Glory is still up for debate on when to use it and who to use it on. For me I personally relish using it on a non-tank who is about to bite it or a tank who takes one of those crazy hits six times in a row. In my opinion, regardless of who you heal, it is the "oh shit" heal option that I use to reserve Holy Shock for. Now that doesn't mean never cast it, but if you know your fights then you know which bosses will put you in those "oh shit" moments and therefore you can save it for those occasions. Finally, we have Light of Dawn in all of its blinding glory. All you need to know on this one is that it is situational at best, but play around with it and have some fun as well. It packs a decent heal but a long cool down so you just want to make sure and not blow it too soon.

Alright, so now we got through the quick hit version of what these spells are and now let's talk about how I choose to use them. This is important to note right here that I do not use a mathematical spread sheet or a formula that illustrates a perfect situation with a perfect raid group because I run in non-perfect situations with far from perfect raid compositions and occasionally have to bring a PuG in which usually never turns out to be a good player. Consider yourself warned! So to answer all those questions about my priority/rotation for healing here is how I usually go in PVE situations:

1. Holy Shock
2. Holy Light (Wrath end game)/ Divine Light (Cataclysm end game) - It is important to note that you should have Infusion of Light 2/2 for the speed bonus which makes casting both Holy Light and Divine Light directly after Holy Shock a must.
3. Flash of Light - Quick and powerful and due to the speed up of Holy Light a great filler in this slot right now during the remainder of Wrath.
4. Rinse and repeat!

A few things to point out:

1. This is a foundation to build on. Do not consider this to be the Bible of Paladin healing because things will be tweaked and new abilities will provide different options.

2. Light of Dawn is not listed, make sure and use it. It is a great ability for healing while moving. If two or more party/raid members are lined up then hit this ability.

3. Do not be afraid of Flash of Light. Yes it cost a lot of mana and therefore you have to think while casting. In PVP situations, Flash of Light is going to be your bread and butter so if you are an arena or battleground junkie, then you better not remove this spell from your hot bar/keys/mouse!

4. Beacon of Light is not what it once was. It does not allow us to heal multiple tanks at once. We are only capable to heal one and a half tanks now, which even with our avoidance of math here at Holy Shock tells me that one and a half is not two.

5. Word of Glory is my "oh shit" heal. I hold on to it like nothing else. I splash it around to save a high DPS when needed, but attempt to reserve its use to always have it ready to save someone's butt. I would not recommend using it every cool down simply because of its value to saving someone in a rare moment. If memory serves me correct, this spell is not on our global cool down table and therefore literally can save someone when no one else is available.

There is so much more I really want to talk about, but I think this covers the main question I have been getting. Remember that Cataclysm is just a couple weeks away and now is a good time to start developing good habits for healing. I encourage everyone to try out different ways of healing. In my own experience, this simple four heal rotation has proven to work in both dungeons and raids. It is steady, eats up spike damage and does not drain our mana down to nothing. What more could we ask for right?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Never Cluck, If You Can't Strut

So last night I was feeling wide awake and wanted to do something different. Lately, I had spent so much time focused on raiding or running with guild members through randoms that I just needed a little fun. The problem is that for me fun involves things that are somewhat more difficult in the game to do whether it is grinding reputations or going for specific achievements in raids. Since I was not feeling in a raiding mood, I settled on the thought of working on one of those grinding achievements! The problem was which one did I want to focus on? This one sort of came out of left field, but the Twenty Five Tabard achievement is what came to mind. I had thought about this one in the past, but I had always gotten distracted by looking at other shinies as it were. So I decided to go and pull up a list of tabards over at WoW Head and see which ones were easily obtainable. In truth, most of the easy ones I already have and I refuse to sell one that I worked hard to get, just so I can go and buy an alternate version of it (think Midsummer Fire Tabards).

I was sitting at fourteen tabards and had long neglected picking up a couple easy ones. This literally shows how lazy I am when it comes to things in the game but I had yet to go and pick up my Warsong Tabard and also one of the ones you can get in Orgrimmar for honor (A lot of honor since patch). I had purchased the Scouts Tabard a long, long, long time ago so it is the other one which is escaping my mind at this moment. So two easy tabards and I am at 16. This then left me sitting thinking about the other nine that are needed. I know I never did a lot of quests in Outland due to my hatred of questing and so I can do the questline out in Shadowmoon for the Illidari Tabard (which I have on Emprius from helping a guild member back in the Burning Crusade days). So that moves me down to eight tabards. Things are looking good but where exactly do I focus in on?

Well, looking at my reputation I see the Cenarian Expedition and Lower City factions from the Burning Crusade are at Revered status. It just means spending some time running some old heroics to grind out that last bit of reputation. Two more factions at revered from the Burning Crusade is the Keepers of Time and Thrallmar! So that puts me down to four more that I need to try to focus in on. The easy answer would be to pick up some tabards from the Argent Tournament! I did do all that jousting and grinding for a reason right? Well, that is not my style! (Although I may do it for the sake of getting the achievement completed.)

See, I like to do things that I can take pride in and also I like to tie in achievements that are easier to complete with achievements that are somewhat more complicated or just simply takes a large amount of time to complete. For instance, when I started working on my Explore Achievement I chose to begin it during one of the Hollow's End events from previous years. This allowed me to do something that was boring (running all over Azeroth and Outland) and tie it into something that I really wanted which was the Hallowed title. So my goal is to do the same with the tabard achievement. I have not made it a secret that I really want to get the forty exalted reputations and this is a perfect little achievement to wrap into that one! You see, there are a lot of factions that have tabards that I am at honored and revered. So grinding for reputation serves two purposes, but I can make it fit into three by adding in a grind to max out my exalted reputation with the Defilers! Oh and if you have not seen the tabard you get upon completing the quest that you are given upon maxing out the exalted reputation, then go look at it right now. It was one of the best looking tabards from back in Vanilla WoW and in my humble opinion is still one of the best looking tabards and it is one of those things that you get in game that tells everyone that there was no easy way of getting that.

So by now, I am guessing that all this achievement talk has you wondering what in the hell the name of this post has to do with what I have been talking about. Well, glad you either stuck around to find out or skipped down to this part. You see to kick off working on the reputation for the Defilers I hopped in a few AB matches last night (got three victories and only one loss) and encountered this Alliance rogue named Fiola from Dunemaul. I was at the Blacksmith flag (which I typically try to go to) defending and this poor Rogue tried everything that (s)he could think of to kill me. It didn't work. I stood there healing like a Paladin possessed. What I found funny was that the entire time I am eating her assault, she is spamming /chicken at me. I was laughing so hard I was afraid I might wake my family up. It just amused me that this Rogue was probably use to one shotting players in lower brackets and had created this macro to annoy, piss off, or insult whomever they were attacking; however, when you cannot kill the target you are spamming, and even worse the target gets the killing blow on you........... it may be time to consider letting go of that macro. Just saying! It was amusing because in that match I had only one killing blow and it was on this poor Rogue with the bad macro. So two thumbs up Fiola for making me laugh and two jeers for having a horrible macro!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Is Respect Too Much?

This has been a really, really good week for me personally. The highlight of my week was the return of a good friend who has not played WoW in over two years. Out of the blue last week I received this message from him telling me he was thinking of coming back and wanted to know if the old group is still playing. I was happy and immediately let him know that we are still playing and then did my best to keep the secret of his return. This guy is a fun person to be around and the older members of the guild were electrified to see him back and it created such a great atmosphere this past week. It also meant a lot of work to help him learn about the significant changes to the Hunter class. Back in the day when we were playing, he was my very first arena partner and also was with us for the initial push into raiding back in the Burning Crusade so I knew his gear would be good enough for a few levels.

He worked his butt off this week and hit 80 (with some help from the rest of us) and so we got him some beginner gear and hit the heroic scene up. First let me say, I have not ran heroics in any serious way in probably three to four months. I expected to have some rough groups simply because it is post patch and tanks have a God complex now days, but damn I was surprised at how bad it has actually become. Now maybe it is just my bad luck or a combination of my bad luck with his bad luck but we got the creme of the crop in bad attitude, bad skill, and well just bad players in general. 

I watched as people insulted my friends gear, talent build, class, and anything else they could get a keep jab in right up until I had my fill of it. We were in a heroic Nexus run with all guild except this moronic Death Knight tank. This guy had some serious issues with holding agro and I was very nice and never complained about anything at all with him because I realize that with Death Knights some things are still off because Runic Strike is still set to trigger only with an avoidance rather than by mere runic power alone. However, this Dick Knight started in on my buddy as we headed into the chamber for the second boss. I was healing on Popebutch (as Discipline) and having got a mountain of achievements, gear, and a very solid spec I informed the dick that there was nothing wrong with my friend except for one retarded Dick Knight who couldn't hold agro. I also reminded the asshole that heroics for getting gear and working on your game (something he surely needed to do). I made a few other points and then stopped myself from crossing that line of lowering myself to that level.

The tank got insulted that someone would not stand there and take his crap and so he made an attempt to wipe us by pulling two platforms worth of mobs and then dropping group. I am proud to say that the members of MAS pulled together and our DPS Warrior picked up agro as best he could while I spammed shields and heals to all party members and assisted with some DPS as well. We burned the mobs, had no wipes, and got rid of a retarded tank that was replaced by a great tank with an even better attitude. All in all we had a good run and no wipes.

My issue as of late is with the attitude of so many players now day. I recently leveled my Death Knight (Methusaleh) to level 80 and started working on a few random dungeons and have encountered nothing but poor attitudes. It seems so much worse now than it did months back when I was finishing up working on Whoopy. With my Death Knight I have a Blood tanking build and an Unholy DPS build. I use my tanking build for guild runs in regular dungeons and my Unholy DPS build in heroic dungeons. In the regular dungeons I will admit I have not encountered a lot of the poor attitudes, but heroics are filled full of want-to-be players with horrible attitudes. I really am surprised that at this point in the expansion that people are acting this way. They bark orders out like everyone has a learning disability and treat you slightly better than dirt. I feel sorry for newer players or those returning like my friend. I have to wonder is it really too much to ask that people be respectful of others and remember that it is just a game? 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Two Years

So yesterday marked the end of my second full year of blogging. I have to admit that things have come a long, long way from the very first post here at Holy Shock and my life is the better for it. So, instead of talking about accomplishments and the like I am instead going to take some time and thank some of the people that have inspired me as a person and as a blogger.

The first person I have to thank is Fish over at Gnome Warrior Is An Oxymoron! If he had not talked to me about blogging I probably never would have taken that first step. Along with that, he is a great guy and good friend. When I went through some of the worst times of my life he was always there with an encouraging word or a shoulder to lean on. Thanks buddy!

The second person I would like to think is Larisa from The Pink Pigtail Inn. She was the very first person to post a comment on my blog and she is an inspiration to me in the way that she goes about writing. I admire her dedication to writing and only hope that I could one day reach that level.

The next person is a group of persons. They are the members of my guild. Some of them have blogs like my wife Eus with The Suicidal Healer, Edyion from Code Red, and Matt from Abbadonn's Wrath. I really do consider myself lucky to be able to play this game with such a great group of people in MAS!

One of my all time favorite blogs is WTFspaghetti. I am always happy to see something new posted over there. The thing that I like about the blog is that thedoctor writes things in a way that are entertaining yet informative and dare I say at times thought provoking? Let's not forget that kick ass choir!

I couldn't make a list of thanks without thanking each and every one of you bloggers who write about Paladins. You guys rock and are a great group of people. To the Holy Paladins out there, keep your chins up and don't sweat the changes. Change is a good thing and a necessary thing in life. Work with what you have been given and in time you will be right back where you were and probably doing some things that you may never thought you would be able to do. Keep representing our class with pride!

In closing I just want to share some advice with all of the bloggers and potential bloggers out there. Over these last couple years I have learned so much about the game, myself, and writing a blog. One of the biggest things I learned was to quit comparing myself against those who have been established for some time. You need to remember why you started blogging and then focus on writing the best post that you can write. The blogsphere doesn't need a hundred Ruhtras writing blogs (although that would be sweet!), it needs each and every one of you as individuals with your own thoughts and views. Too many times when I first started to write something I would stop and think about someone else who had written something similar and think to myself that their article was much better and what could I possibly add to the topic. When in reality, we are unique and approach the game from different areas of life. Some of us our older with children and established careers. Some of us our young and may have just gotten out of college. Hell, some of us may even still be in college or even high school. It really doesn't matter because my point is that we are all coming from different walks of life and if it is something that you feel is important, then you write your post and have your voice heard as well.

Once again thank you to everyone who writes a blog, reads a blog, and even trolls a blog. Without you all these last two years would not have been nearly as much fun. Take care!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Closing In On The End Of An Era



So it has been a few days since since I posted and that is really because I have been severely ill. Missed several weeks worth of work and been through several rounds of antibiotics and even steroids. The good news is I am feeling much better and happy for that.

In WoW related news, my guild is making our final push on ICC. We downed Sindregosa in about a month's worth of attempts (Around 12-16 nights roughly) We were hindered originally by members switching in and out and a lack of attendance by many who are our core raiding group. Last night was a huge lack of attendance but one that we were not going to call a raid for. We recruited some quality PuGs and knocked out Dreamwalker rather quickly and then after several training attempts and a few adjustments to strategy we burned that ice queen to cinders. We are finally near the end of our stated goal for this expansion and I for one am completely happy about that.

We went up and snapped some photos with the Lich King and started the event so that the PuG members could see this and get a feel for the strategy and then called it for the evening to let the raiders go and relax. At the end of the evening we had one PuG member who requested to join MAS and another PuG who said he knew several of our members in real life and was seriously considering making a switch to MAS as well. I think it speaks volumes that our guild continues to grow without spamming for recruits or posting on forums and other locations. It is a special group of people.

As for other news, Ruhtra finished off his Glory of the Hero achievement on Thursday with some help from the guild and that put one more achievement down that I personally was looking for. One of the things that has been waying heavily on mind over the last few weeks has been deciding what to do in the long term. The guild is fairly deep in Paladins and at this point in time we are in dire need of some other roles to be filled in consistency. After thinking about this for a long time I have decided that Ruhtra is going to continue on in Rated PVP where his heart is and in lieu of that, Popebutch is going to now be the main character that I spend my time working on. With that decision having been made that led me to another interesting decision about the future of my blogging. I originally started this blog as a blog for Holy Paladins and then slowly evolved to talk about a lot of different topics, but attempted to keep the focus on being a Holy Paladin. It seems kind of weird to feature a Shadow Priest as the main focus of a blog called Holy Shock does it not? So with that answer being obvious, it is the end of an era here at Holy Shock. When the Lich King falls, so too will end Holy Shock.

Thank you all who have been reading the blog and commenting. It has been a hell of an expansion and I am sure the future holds a lot of great opportunities for us all. May the Light shine brightly on you in the dark days ahead.


Friday, October 22, 2010

A Change Of Pace

So as Cataclysm is creeping ever closer and closer, I have been spending less time in WoW, but still spending much time online playing a different game and today I want to share that game with those of you who may still read my blog. First, I know this is a blog dedicated to WoW, but it is okay to deviate from WoW once in a while right? I am guessing that many of you have heard of it either directly or indirectly. I am speaking about Minecraft!

This game is so addictive and requires just a little bit of time or you can get lost in it for hours. I personally resisted getting the game until one of my friends in MAS (Scrawny) posted about it in our guild forums. I figured why not and purchased the game along

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The New Is The Old Which Is The New When You Think About It

Perhaps I have been watching a little too much of Pirates of the Caribbean to come up with a title like that, or it is the drugs talking. Either way, it is what it is much the same way that the Holy Paladin's style of healing is what it is and that is what we are going to talk about after all isn't it? Yes, it is! I first want to say that all the crying and wailing that has been done, oh and the lamenting for days gone by, is simply ridiculous! So if you are a blogger or Paladin that is moping around and upset over the "c" word (change) then just stop it right now and straighten up and look like the lean mean tank healing machine that you were intended to be.

First Impressions

It feels exactly the same as it always has. What I mean is that if you are so stuck in the rut as a spamming healer then you are in luck because you can still spam heal. If you were one of the Paladins who found healing to be boring then you are in luck because we have a whole bunch of new stuff that can really be leveraged to provide you with a great time while standing there healing the tank. Are you catching what I am throwing down here? To borrow a phrase (and hopefully not get sued), we are the best there was, the best there is, and the best there ever will be at healing the tanks and by the Light it is time we started acting like it.

I am not a number cruncher as I have stated numerous times. Hell, I don't even care what number crunchers are saying right now. I am a results driven man and in my world the variables of who I heal with changes too much to have a perfect world attitude that some jerks may have. [;)] (That is a wink, but hard to do you know.) So I decided that there was no better way to test out the numbers than to raid ICC fresh with those of my guild who were able to be on. Raid leader had a corrupted file which meant reinstall, off-tank was slowly downloading the patch, and several DPS were either lost in the real world or in trying to make heads and tails out of their specs. So myself and five guild members dared the pool of PuGs and trudged into ICC to start fresh and check out rotations, specs, and our intestinal fortitude.

We started with a two healer set, myself filling the role of sir spams-a-lot (the stuck in the rut healer) and my counterpart Druid. I specifically built and play tested a spec for staying true to a spamming style because I wanted to see what effects it had overall on my healing style. When spamming Holy Light, I was able to spam for what seemed an eternity with minimal loss of mana. It felt somewhat comfortable but a little bulky/slow when compared to my favorite spam spec from Flash of Light and even when compared against the Holy Light spam-fest spec. The effective healing done was somewhere between the Flash and Holy Light styles that I used up till this patch. The overall results were me having a ton of overhealing and finishing with almost the same amount of healing done as my Druid counterpart. I have to admit I was surprised that it was that close because it really felt off to me (which it should have). That was through the first wing of ICC.

For the second wing, we had a PuG Shaman switch to their off-spec for healing and proceeded to mow down that wing. The thing I noticed in a three healer set for a ten man raid was that one of the healers was always much lower than the other two healers. It basically seemed like if you were the third healer to react then there just wasn't enough damage to heal for you. In retrospect I would be interested to see how it would have went in the two healer set versus three. Had it been full guild, I would have felt much more comfortable causing a wipe due to my curiosity but we did have guests and so we owed them the courtesy of not wasting their time. We called it on night one with the first and second wings cleared completely.

On our second night we picked back up with more guild members and the blood wing. We again went with a three healer set. This time we had myself on Ruhtra, my wife on her Paladin (Eus), and our guild Druid once again. I switched my style this time to focus on healing around Holy Shock and Word of Glory. My wife right away noticed the same thing I did and remarked about how slow the healing seemed now compared to pre-patch. We knocked out the Blood wing fairly quickly with some issues coming from the off-tank having some agro issues and a gung-ho Warlock pulling the orbs off the tank who was handling the ranged member of the council. We do that fight a little unorthodox with a Warrior tanking the ranged orb member in case you were wondering. All in all, it was pretty much the same results as I felt from the previous night.

We went and healed up our green friend and that was the same old same old there. Holy Paladins in and Druid and guild Shaman outside healing. Once again we had issues with some agro and had to make a couple attempts instead of one shotting as usual. We decided that it would be best to call it prior to doing Sindi simply because our PuG members (not saying they were bad) seemed to be playing a little loose and some careless mistakes had been made that I just didn't want to deal with trying to heal through. We did do one attempt to allow the PuGs to see the fight and explain what they should be doing. In reality only one PuG survived the air phase (phase 2?) and justified my decision for having the raid called.

After Thoughts

So now that it is all settled and done with and I have one ICC 10 run under my belt how well do I like or dislike the new abilities? I have to say I like what I saw during this past week. It is nice having some additional spells for those moments where movement is going to be required. I definitely felt the difference on Rotface while running after the slime tank and also on Profesor Putricide as well.

I think where we will need to be careful is in not using Holy Shock enough. I really struggled on the second night in the Blood Wing and Frost Wing with making sure to cast it every time it was available. I have always used Holy Shock and considered myself well prepared for the change of focus for healing spells, but found myself wanting to find a comfy spot and just spam Holy Light. Another thing I feel I could have really improved on was using Divine Light in a more balanced way. Part of it was because I wanted to test the spamming of it, but the other part was that I still mentally fight thinking of it as the Flash of Light/Holy Light spell combo and that just cannot be the case any longer.

As it stands now I am going to focus on making Holy Shock the center of my healing universe. This is going to provide me with the mobility I craved for so long and coupled with the ability to feed Holy Power into Word of Glory it just makes sense and feels right. In the downtime between cooldowns of these two spells I will fill with a combination of Flash of Light, Holy Light, and Divine Light with Holy Light being the most used for mana conservation and Divine Light being second. Flash of Light is going to be relegated for those moments where you just cannot afford the longer cast time of Holy Light in a similar sense that Divine Light is for the moments where you will need a monstrous heal to bring back your tank. Remember to throw out a Light of Dawn when everything is aligned in a good spot and keep Beacon of Light up on the tank or special assigned raid member and things will go pretty smooth. That definitely is not the old style of healing but yet it retains the base idea of one spell is going to be cast much more often than others simply because it is available.

I realize there is a lot more depth to healing now and I plan to take a little closer look at it in detail, as well as specs, gemming choices, the age old argument of haste or crit, and a multitude of other things. As for now, what do you like or don't like about our new talents? What questions do you have burning inside that you just have not seen anyone talking about?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Be Very, Very Quiet....

Hey all, been a while since my last post and I apologize but I got hit with what the doctor referred to as a sever sinus infection. I am still not feeling 100% from the nasty little bugger and I hope none of you out there get it. That being said, since the new patch has gone live I am sure that you all have been exploring the new talent trees and quite possibly even trying out a second spec with the price reduction down to 100 gold. I plan to talk a little bit about the changes for Paladins and my thoughts specifically about the holy changes, but that is for a little later. Today I want to talk about hunting rare pets.

If you are a Hunter, then you know what I am talking about. Sure, you could go and get the ordinary pets but what fun is there in that? This topic actually came to mind because my lovely wife has been trying to track down Skoll and I have been helping her out when I can. While I was reading up on the spawn points and other useful comments it got me thinking back to the very first rare mob I ever tamed and so I am going to share the story of my taming of Krethis Shadowspinner.

I feel it important to say that since the game has changed, this may not seem as impressive and some of you may not know that the rare mobs used to be considered elite mobs and were as hard, if not harder to kill than some of the bosses in the instances back a few years ago. This also means taming one could be a nightmare. I remember exactly what I was doing the day I came across Krethis. I was doing the quest in Silverpine to collect the items from the spiders and bears in the zone. I found the cavern that was loaded with the green spiders and figured it would be easy enough to kill them and so I ventured inside. At the time I had one of the spiders from Ghostlands as a pet. We were about half way down the shaft when we ran face first into Krethis. It did not end well for us; however, I desired that spider!

I was level 16 at the time and Krethis was only 15 and that should be easy right? I abandoned my current spider because we did not have the luxury that we are afforded now days and I proceeded to start the taming. Yeah it didn't go so well the first thirteen times. Finally, on my fourteenth attempt (and after fourteen deaths) I was smart enough to drop my trap far enough away to allow maximum time for my tame beast spell to pull him into the trap and the trap afforded me the remainder of the time needed. My friends made fun of me for having a caster pet, but it did not matter to me because this here little spider was a beast to get and I still have my precious Widowmaker with me today. Although it would be much cooler if she could spit flame shocks and cast her shield.

So as I sit here now having left my wife to go to Grizzly Hills and look for Arcturis, I am reminded of the fun, and pride, that can be had by taming these rare beasts. How about you all, what rare mob or pet are you most proud of?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Achievement Chasing

I have a dark confession to make. I spent this week forcing Ruhtra to drink until he went and vomitted on a Dark Iron Dwarf that apparantly set off a giant brewl, er brawl. At this rate, poor Ru may end up being a hobo down by the bences at the tram station. The good news is that he did manage to sober up enough to complete the Brewfest holiday achievements and pick up the pint sized pink pacaderm! Now if we can just get him to put the brews down. Last time I looked he had conviced Whoopy to join him on his foray into Brewfest and they were both chasing pink elephants. So while they are off chasing elephants let's talk about achievements!


When achievements first came out I was somewhat negative towards them. I viewed them as a shiny object that distracted players from the lack of content. I am a big enough man to admit that I was wrong and that they have added a different level to the game that was not present in the past. I only discovered the complexity of some of these achievements recently. Even the ones that seem simple take quite a bit of effort to achieve. For instance, have you looked for the books of higher learning? It seems easy but it is a pain in the ass hunting for those damn books. Go out and try to love all the little animals or kill all the annoying vermin! I have found a lot of fun and depth in things that I viewed first as little more than a distraction to the lack of content.

35

Rather is back again for another round this week and I want to talk about a thread I read on the US WoW forums. Basically we have this poster, who is crying about the required 35 points in a talent tree. This guy claims that he doesn't have any "hybrid" specs but feels that it is somehow infringing on his right to build his character how he sees fit. I can understand his desire to fight against the machine, but to be honest with the way it sounds that the trees are turning out there won't be a need to dip into other trees for those first few levels.

I tried to approach it from the other side, but very few of the hybrid builds (think PVP prot/heal Pali build) ever proves to be successful in the long run. The only thing that they tend to do is cause Blizzard's team to grab the nerf bats and start the whacking process. If anything, I am grateful that maybe, just maybe, we will be able to play the classes and their redesigned trees for more than a couple weeks before they start making changes. I understand an argument could be made for some of the hybrid builds that have proven useful (think the Fel Guard/destruction Lock build) for leveling and other things, but most of these builds have you go a little farther than 35 points and so they will not be effected by this.

I think what we see here is Blizzard making people learn to play a chosen class and that is not all bad. If they decided to restrict you to say spending 50 points in a tree before being able to dip into other trees then I may be more willing to fight, but I just see this as an overall win for everyone. Hopefully this means players who understand the class a little better, less nerfs done as a knee jerk reaction to a mechanic that was not intended to be used in a certain way, and more time spent by the staff on developing other aspects of the game.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Strange Ideas

The other day I was talking with my wife (because communication is good right?) and I do not remember how or why but we ended up discussing the Brewfest holiday and different items that drop. Good thing we both play or that could have been an awkward conversation huh? It got me thinking about the overall status of the holiday events and their (un)respected bosses. Since Wrath came out, Blizz has put a lot (debateable) of effort into giving useful (trinks and weapons) or vanity (mounts and pets) items to these bosses. Alright, well maybe saying effort was too much, but they did add in some trinkets and update the previous loot tables to equal current entry level epic (used lossely) item levels for level 80 characters, which I know we are all aware of and I am sure where this is going right? Well stay with me because we are not yet done wandering around. Another thing that Blizzard added in the Wrath expansion was heirloom gear. The gear we love to hate to love (or hate to love to hate). I am equally sure that you are all aware of the benefits (are they realy?) of these items. I am equally sure that many of you probably have wasted the emblems (another sore subject for some) on these items.

Monopoly

No, I am not going to talk about the economy of WoW or the board game Monopoly (exactly). I am going to pose a question today. Has WoW become the Monopoly of MMO games? In other words, Monopoly (the board game) has been out for what seems an eternity and in order to sell it, the company every so many years will release "new" versions of it. I personally own several different versions of it myself. Allow me to take it one step farther and say that Monopoly has evolved to a point where you can no longer add new content to the game and so in order to keep it relevant you must change the appearance of the game in order to attract either niche markets or popular markets. Is not this similar to what we are seeing Blizzard doing with WoW?


My opinion is somewhere between yes and no. At this point, there is plenty of new content to be developed and released into WoW

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Day To Be Remembered!!

I do not know if you are aware of this fact or not, but today (September 28) in Taiwan is the day that they celebrate Confucius' birthday. As such I thought I would list a couple of my favorite quotes from him:

"It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop."

This is probably my favorite saying because it applies to every area of my life. We have to remember to stop looking at how far we have to go, but instead look at how far we have come and remember that even if we are crawling to the finish line, we are still going to finish.

"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."

It goes well with the first saying to be honest. Stop worrying about how many times you fall down, but get right back up and take another swing at whatever it is you are working on!

And now I leave all of you who complain about the changes (good or bad) coming in Cataclysm with these wise words:

"Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change."

Monday, September 27, 2010

My Experience

It is hard to believe that October is almost here. Where has the year gone? The good news is that this is not a self reflection post about my lost time but rather a post that looks back at the moments during this expansion that stand out in my mind! A celebration of Wrath of the Lich King if you will! So here are my top ten moments from this expansion:

10. Rocket Mount

Who does not want a love rocket? Nothing like taking the little lady out for a ride on space mountain! Wooooooooooo! (Rick Flair) In all seriousness, I love the rocket mount. I was disappointed that I was unable to get one during the holiday event and so I could not resist getting a third account with the sole purpose to get me that rocket! Oh and an added bonus, when people hop in your mount and you didn't invite them you just fly up really high and dismount. Bubbles FTW and the passenger eats ground below! (Want a ride Edy?)

9. Iron Forge Gate Crashers

This actually started from me reading so many blogs about how people only ganked out where it was safe and the numbers favored them. I personally love the thrill of PVP and do not care where it happens, but I can understand and somewhat respect the feeling that you get from being ganked where you feel it is an unfair advantage. So in order to fill my bloodlust urge, I got a group of around six to eight fellow PVPers and we ran straight into the areas of Iron Forge and Stormwind that were most crowded (aka the auctions houses and banks) and proceeded to engage in a little PVP. To be honest it was a lot of fun even when we were outnumbered with odds of six to one. Every now and then in guild someone says let's go to Iron Forge even now.

8. Blue Proto Drake

I had ran H UP over 100 times on my characters looking for this mount. I had seen it drop over 12 times and lost each roll pathetically. One night, in an all guild run I believe, it dropped again. I hit my /roll and lost it one more time, but this time it was to my wife. She knew how I had specifically been running H UP each day looking for this mount and she gave it to me and Pope is the proud owner of the drake now. (Thank you baby!) I still would like to get it for Ruhtra, but just having him on one of my characters is good enough for me.

7. Hearthstone

The single funniest moment I have ever been a part of occurred in Naxx. We were running one of our first guild raids and we stopped to group up before the final boss. One of our Hunters (who reportedly loves to smoke a special weed) went to feed his pet and ended up hearthing out of the raid. We were all sitting there just staring at him and wondering what he was doing. A few minutes later he realized he was no longer in Naxx and asked us how he got where he was. The vent erupted in laughter and even though it was an extremely long break it literally had to be the single funniest moment in our raid history (debatable). On his way back in after being summoned, he actually managed to get lost which naturally led to more laughter in vent and the guild taking "Because I Got High" as our unofficial theme song that we will still play when someone does something funny.

6. Undead Hobo

I do not know why, but one of my friends in the guild likes to take his undead Warrior and strip him of all his clothes save for a red Santa hat. Someone remarked about him looking like a hobo and from that day forward all I do is laugh when I see him standing there on the flight pad of Dalaran portraying the role of a hobo.

5. Oh My God!! You Killed Kenny! You Bastard!

We have a Rogue in our guild who has spent this expansion dieing in some of the most amazing ways. He has died so much that we have nicknamed him Kenny in honor of his horrific deaths. If there were a gold medal for deaths in WoW, then our Kenny would be the guy you are shooting to beat. We do not feel like it is a raid unless he dies within the first five seconds of the run. Often times as soon as he dies the mood will lighten and someone will remark that it is now an official MAS raid.

4. Drama

I bet you did not expect to see someone put drama in a top ten list for Wrath of the Lich King, but let's face the facts that this expansion was filled full of drama from my very own guild to the top ranked guild out there. Within my own guild, it really helped me to get a desire to focus on raiding and get behind our raid leader(s) and start pushing for success within the guild. Anyone remember the guild member who had received the GM item that would literally one shot Ulduar bosses? That created quite the stir when an unknown guild came out of the blue and was destroying Ulduar. How about the engineering bombs used on the Lich King? I think it is safe to say that we have definitely seen an expansion filled full of drama that is going to be memorable.

3. Phoenix and Tigers!

I am not one to pursue mounts exclusively but I am extremely happy that after what seems to be an eternity that Edyion was able to get her Zul'Gurub Tiger mount. I remember when she first started running to get it and she needed to take a healer with her and the tank. I remember many a day going in there and just spamming Flash of Light while her and the tank got in sync. I also am happy that she got her Phoenix vanity pet when I helped her with MGT. It has nothing to do with anything that I did, but instead the fact that I am generally excited and happy for any member of MAS when they have worked hard to acquire something that is as rare as the Tiger. So congratulations on all the mounts and pets and here is to many more members who get to acquire those things that they want.

2. Squeal(s)

I know kind of odd to list this, but I did because I love when I hear a loud eruption of squeals from the other side of our computer room. It typically means that something good has happened for my wife. For instance this week she got the Great Brewfest Kodo on one of her characters and she almost made me fall off my chair when she squealed in excitement from receiving it (I was completely focused on something in-game and was not running with her). It is like I said earlier, I genuinely get excited for my guild members when they get something special or earn a tough achievement so you know I am twice as excited when it is my wife.

1. _____________

This is reserved for killing the Lich King as a guild. We set out with one goal at the beginning of this expansion and I am fully expecting us to accomplish this goal. I will be even more excited because we are doing it without twenty five man content gear and on an extremely limited raiding schedule. At this time we are firmly able to go 10/12 and have had success to pushing Sindregosa below 20% health. The only thing that can stop us is ourselves.

So what about the rest of you out there? What is the highlights for you over the course of this expansion? Was there something you did that may seem insignificant to others but was a major milestone for you? Was there something you did not do that you are afraid you will not be able to do now?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Played Out

Have you ever hit that point in your life where you just sit and wonder if this is all there really is? When I graduated from high school, the girl who was our class validictorian started her speach with, "We live, we die" and it proceeded to go down hill from there. That is somewhere close to where I was at in regards to my feelings for WoW. I was forcing myself to log in and run a couple raids per week and maybe make a cameo appearance in a random heroic. I just was not feeling the love for WoW like I had back when I first started to play. I know my poor wife would ask me to play with her and I would try but I just was feeling like I had done the same thing a hundred times before and there was no pleasure in actually playing the game. In truth I was beginning to consider just cancelling my subscription(s) for a while and then seeing if I wanted to come back to the game after an extended period of time away. Basically I was beyond burned out to the point of feeling that WoW was played out (for me at least).


I considered my options and decided I needed to find that love of the game that seemed so distant at this point in time. The question was what was it that made me love the game so? I started thinking back to the first few months of WoW and what made me want to play it. Was it the countless hours of grinding quests that use to make-up huge chunks of the game? Was it the fear of getting corpse camped from some lurking Alliance player? Was it the thrill of not knowing what lay beyond the next zone? Was it waiting to get a new ability? Perhaps it was the desire to get my first mount at level 40?

A New Course Is Set!!!

It has been quite a while since I wrote anything around here and I do truly feel bad for this, but I do not regret it one bit. I needed to get away and just relax and enjoy the game for what it is, a game. That being said, even though I have not been blogging I have definitely been busy around Azeroth, as have my toons!

Pope decided he had enough of the evil Alliance (his words, not mine) and so he signed up in the war and charged straight into battle, head rattling and all! It was a hard fought campaign on both sides and there was no punches pulled. There probably would have been a lot more casualties if not for the brave Forsaken Priest!



Pope approached Ruhtra (so I am told) and asked if he would join him in his campaign, but Ruhtra would have none of it. He stated that he has waged enough wars for others in his lifetime and was going to go and reflect on the recent events. Ruhtra appears somewhat distraught having spent his entire lifetime fighting for what he believed to be just causes and seeing no results from all the sacrifices. So he headed off into the middle of nowhere and played some Simon Says!



We are really not sure what happened out there but he seems to have come back renewed with a purpose, but we are not really sure if his purpose is going to be for the better or worse of those involved. You see the first thing he did was go and speak to a large group of Ogres! Did I meantion that we are concerned about him?



Apparantly he wowed them with his shiny two seated rocket and won over their loyalty and is now being proclaimed as their "Shiny White Haired Pale Faced Little King". I think I should really stress that we are worried for Ruhtra's sanity!



I must admit he did seem to be much more relaxed with his new found allies when he introduced them to the joys of Brewfest!



After he completed guaranteeing the service of the Ogres he then set about seeking out some additional reinforcements of questionable character.



If you see this Paladin out and about we recommend extreme caution and please do not attempt to confront him. We would appreciate you to contact a representative here at Holy Shock or Mass Affluent Slayers for assistance as they have been trained in the proper ways to deal with Ruhtra and the Chaps of Power!

PS: I am doing great and thanks for everyone who has inquired about me and the blog. I just took a little bit of time to enjoy the game as a game and not a job.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Looking For Two More ______________ Raiding Achievement! Need Two Tanks!

I was sitting in trade channel last night and was utterly amazed at the number of people who were spamming looking for either healers or tanks for specific raiding achievements. Do not get me wrong, I am all for you working on earning your raid achievements, but when it is for content like Ulduar do you really expect to put a PuG together that will complete this task?

I am not trying to belittle you or the raid itself, but the reality is that the achievements and hard modes in Ulduar can be some of the most difficult achievements to earn with a complete group of strangers. It is compounded when you are looking for two tanks or two healers who know the fights and are willing to spend the time trying to help you achieve this. I started thinking a little bit about this and I had to ask myself why the hell do you spam trade?

I understand that a lot of guilds are in stasis at this point of the expansion and so you may need a roster spot filled, but when you are doing trivial content and seeking experienced individuals I just do not see how you will get them. Then the thought hit me, why don't these spammers form a guild focused on doing these tasks? I mean they seem to think they have the know how to do the achievement. Most of them flaunt that they are gear checking and looking at achievements anyway. So why not just form a guild focused on this older content?

I think it is because these people are wanting to be carried. I do not mean to sound harsh, but no other reason makes sense to me. Why else would you ask people who have the achievement to come heal or tank for you? There is nothing for them to gain at that point unless they are seeking something specific such as fragments for a legendary item. So I ask you all out there, are any of you these trade channel spammers who are wanting someone who has nothing to gain to come out of the way and help you earn something why? Why do you want someone who has it and not take someone who is geared and qualified but lacking the achievement?

PS: I am not talking about ICC, but earlier content such as Ulduar.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Back To Basics

It feels nice in life to return to your roots. It doesn't matter if it is going home to the house you were raised in or returning from a long trip to be greeted by your friends. In WoW, I have been slowly returning to my roots lately and I am finding it much more enjoyable than anything else I have recently been doing. When I first started playing I found three things that I truly loved to do in WoW. Two of the three things were directly linked and the third was a by-product of not doing the others. Everything else in the game was pretty much just filler for these three things:





1. Playing With Friends





To me WoW is a social game in that I started playing because of friends I worked with and in return I got my own family and friends playing as well. It was originally just about spending a few hours a week running around in a fantasy world with friends that I was not afforded the luxary of being able to run around with all the time in my every day life. In other words, I started playing my very first online game when we first learned that my wife was pregnant. I decided that it would be much cheaper to stay at home versus running around with my buddies. At the cost of going out to sports bars, movies, and the like it made much more economic sense to find something I could do at home and for fifteen dollars a month it seemed like a deal. By being able to play with my friends it was as if I were still able to run around with them getting into trouble.





2. Actively Seeking Out PVP





When I first started to play WoW, my friends from work already had maxed level characters for the then current content. One of my other buddies started playing and together we worked on leveling our characters between getting corpse camped. It was during this time that I learned to love PVP as did my friend. As a whole, most of my friends would prefer to camp an Alli instead of go run an instance or raid. This worked well and provided hours of amusement on a PVP server. Once I finally hit level cap I formed arena teams with countless friends and sometimes we won and other times we lost, but we always had fun with the game.





3. Auction House





If you ask of my friends in WoW they can attest to my love of the auction house. I made my gold by selling what no one else wanted to. I worked the auction house primarily between PVP matches or running the occasional instance. My friends use to have to drag me away from the auction house and often laughed at me for spending hours of time standing there. My auctioneer was known across the server and hated by almost every other auctioneer in the game. I would receive countless whispers and in-game mail regarding my practices for listing. I had such a rush back in those days just toying with people. At one point, people had told me they had started a petition to the GMs for my listing style. I never received anything from the GMs or Blizzard so I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the statement, but it amused me that people knew who I was and what I did. I could often tease members of the guild who worked certain sections of the auction house about changing prices and they would laugh and ask me to leave them alone. To me, it was never about annoying other auctioneers or hitting gold cap. I just found it fun to see how much could I list each day and did I have a huge profit or loss when I was done?





I have been thinking a lot recently about why I play WoW. The fun had been slowly slipping away for me personally. I have taken pride in seeing the guild grow and become a respected PVE guild. I have taken personal pride in overcoming all the obstacles that we faced over this past year. I have enjoyed providing the guild with as much stability as I have been able to. I loved to log on and see people laughing and teasing in the guild chat because they deserved it, but something was missing for me. I know I have hinted at how the game slowly switched from being something I did for fun and slowly became like a second job. That was beginging to wear me down personally. Instead of logging in and looking forward to joking and teasing, I would try to avoid logging on when other members may be on. I no longer felt a desire to help the guild succeed. I found myself instead dreading the thought of logging in.





At first I assumed it was just the "burn out" that others have talked about. I reasoned in my mind that if I just do not log on as often and maybe even find another game to play that it would lesson the aggrevations I felt when I did log onto WoW. It worked to a lesser degree. I would log in less frequently and was not as annoyed, but it still was not proving to be that same feeling that I was looking for. I actually had debated on perhaps cancelling my subscription. I reasoned that maybe the game had lost the fun and it was just an obligation I felt that kept me playing. A tiny part of me disagreed. Instead, I decided to take some time away from a lot of things with the game (including blogging) and focus on just having fun when I logged on.




It started with me working on leveling alts and messing around doing silly little thing. (Dancing naked with a rocket helm on?) I spent some time working on professions that I had neglected. I started working on some achievements, like Loremaster, that would require a little bit more from me than I had previously been able to afford. I slowly started to enjoy at least logging in, but I still was not feeling that rush of excitement that I longed for. One night I logged into my Shaman, Walani, who I had not played in a few months. I decided I would run some battlegrounds with him just to mess around and level in a different way. Something sparked inside me while running those Alterac Valley and Warsong Gulch battlegrounds. I felt that rush that I had been looking for so long for. I decided to switch from my Shaman to Ruhtra and take him into the battlegrounds and see if I still felt the same. I decided to focus on Warsong Gulch because I have a long, long, long way to go on their reputation.




As I was running Warsong Gulch after Warsong Gulch I found myself having a lot of fun. Yeah, I would get aggrevated by the losses or people not really playing the battleground in a smart manner, but overall it was more fun than I have had in a long time. If it was a bad group I could just find a nice spot and heal like a crazed man.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Alterac Failure

I have been sitting here for a while trying to find a way to convey my thoughts on what has become of my favorite battleground and the only words that can best describe are that it fucking sucks! I suppose now I should come up with some sort of justification to make a statement of this nature huh? Well, all I have to say is go run one and then report back your findings. I will admit that it has been a while since I worked on running battlegrounds, but with a desire to level a new character Alterac Valley has provided a wonderful resource or at least I thought it had. So out of four Alterac Valley runs last night, I managed to win one and lose three. I do not mind losing honestly. What I mind are the little twits who do not understand the goal of the battleground or I should say do not understand the proper way to accomplish the goal of said battleground. I realize that Alterac Valley is not the only one to be suffering from this problem, but it is the one that I love the most and therefore that makes it blog worthy to me.

The number one issue I have with running Alterac Valley now is the fact that no one will listen to the strategies that are proven to win in the battleground. I am sure that you all have heard the guy who comes into the battlegroup and starts shouting orders out. I am the first to admit that I hate this guy, but I am also smart enough to know that these strategies will generally work if they are followed with a few modifications. You need at least two tanks for the first bunker so that one tank can deal with the boss there and the second can wrangle in the spawned elemental. In additiona to this, you need yourself a couple of healers who can keep the tanks up. Typically you hope that they are slightly higher leveled or well geared lower leveled. Throw in some DPS and she goes down easy enough. Of the three losses I suffered, only one of the groups were able to take down the middle boss. That is quite sad I agree, but then you have to understand that they had one tank and an elemental Shaman healing. That is not going to get very far because as soon as the elemental spawned that Shaman was toast. This led to the crucifiction of the group that was trying to down her and ultimately to many of that group going else where because of said scrutiny. When will people learn that the belittling and name calling accomplishes nothing except making you look like a pric?

The second irritating thing is the player (and there is always one) who knows everything and belittles every one for their lack of skills. You also know this guy pretty well I am sure. He is typically not the guy at the top of the damage done, honorable kills, killing blows, or healing done list. No this guy usually is in the middle down towads the lower side. They are the ones who disagree with every strategy except for zerging Van and likes to drop his huge vocabulary through words like "lawls", "lulz", "nub", "noobs", and other such words. They rarely ever have an original idea and while they may have an achievement I am willing to bet that it is one they earned when they accidentally ended up in a pre-made group.

The third group of players who irritate me are the ones who just follow orders without thinking out the results. It is a great idea to follow the guy who gives instructions at the beginning of the battleground, but if you are in a group that is all low level and your objective requires you to take a target without aid, then you may want to speak up and request some help from a high level character. Trust me, at 71 a character is not going to be able to take down one of the 79 or 80 NPCs found scattered throughout the battleground. It is better to make this issue known upfront, than to give someone cause to start the bitching over a group not accomplishing their goals.

The fourth and final group of people who piss me off in Alterac Valley are the leaches! Those people who come in and do actually assist with an initial target and then proceed to do nothing from that point on. Sometimes they are just the smart AFKers and sometimes they are the loud obnoxious guy who is just trying to annoy everyone. No matter which one they are, they annoy me greatly because they could at least be used as canoon fauder for a higher level character.

You know I feel much better having let that out versus holding it in till it becomes a curse filled rant. So what about the rest of you PVPers out there? What battleground shananigans get under your skin? Even better, if you are one of the four types I mentioned, what makes you tick?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Back In Black!!

Wow things look a little dead around here! Well, don't you fine people worry too much about all that shit! Ol' Rather is back from his long, long, long trip and I am ready to start writing again! First I want to say that I really missed everyone. Yes, even those of you who hate my fucking guts! I also want to say that there is no way in hell I would touch some of the subjects that have been going around lately. I am sure you know of the ones I speak. It has been good reading though, so thank you for that as well!

I am sorry I do not have much to talk about right now, but I am trying to get my thoughts in order and catch up on everything that is actually worth my time. The Cataclysm news front seems a little boring so I will leave that up to the boring bloggers to talk about. I have been working on leveling an alt through some battlegrounds lately and boy have battlegrounds become nothing more than a sorry place. We may spend some time talking PVP since I have been doing a little more of it in lieu of anything else, especially with limitted time.

I think for now I am going to focus on just writing on Fridays again. Most people are busy during the summer, but my life picks up and goes nuts come the fall and winter months. Rather out!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Short-term Break

I just wanted to come on here and wish everyone in the States a happy labor day! God knows that it is the common people like you and me who make this great country tick and you deserve your day! I also wanted to say that I appreciate the few folks who have inquired as to what is going on here with Holy Shock. The truth is that we are really good around here, just extremely busy. In the Ru household, we have learned that kindergarten is no laughing matter. They actually sent homework home to the parents! What the hell is up with that? Along with that, we are letting little Ru take after school activities and anyone who deals with children knows that it as much work for the parents as the kids. It is work that I am happy to do though. If you were wondering about Rather, he is doing well from his last communication to me. He has been busy with work and some other things and unfortunately just hasn't been devoting as much time to WoW as he use to. He reassurred me that he was still raging and pissed though and said not to worry. (Which of course makes me worry.)

I have not decided if/when I will be back to writing full time here at Holy Shock. I do not like to write things that are not well thought out and well written and right now I just do not have the time to commit to everything. Even my WoW time has been cut down as I have decided to not spend as much time in the game to combat the feeling of burn out. I refuse to write about the information regarding the beta unless it is confirmed by a blue post or I have tested it myself (which I have not). So if I am not playing and I am not goign to speculate, then the only thing for me to talk about is other facets of my life which I will not do from here. So in my leave, I am leaving the door open and the lights on. Feel free to look around and browse the older posts, there may be something there to make you chuckle and I will see you later.

Take care!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Life Is Funny

It seems like every time I decide to start doing more with the blog that life jumps up and says "nuh-uh"! The last few weeks have been no different and while I make no apologies for my life being greater than a blog about gaming I do miss writing posts for the blog. That being said, as things start to settle down some I am hoping to start writing more and sharing what has been going on with my own adventures in Azeroth. Until then, allow me to give you a quick highlight of what I have been up to!

Raiding:

On the raiding front, we are making great progress. We one shot everything this week up until Dreamwalker and Blood Prince Council. Dreamwalker was a result of the tanks deciding they should only use one. I was against it, but allowed a few wipes and then made a recommendation to switch back to the normal way of two tanks and four healers and it worked as always. Blood Prince Council is just a nightmare for some of our raiders. The constant movement and activity seems to confuse some and then we also have to contend with raiders coming back who took the summer off. We called on the Blood Queen, as it was getting late and a few of the members needed to work the next morning. I am actually really pleased with the overall performance we have been getting and once the new and returning raiders get adjusted I am sure we will power on through and end this expansion with the final goal we had as a guild.

Characters:

I have managed to gear all of my eighties to be useful in ICC and in fact have cleared (I believe) the first wing with each of them. I often tease that I am the switch hitter of the guild. Missing raid heals? Let me get Popebutch! Missing tank heals? Here comes Ruhtra! What, we need some melee DPS? You can have Whoopy or Ruhtra! One of our ranged didn't make it? Who you need, Emprius, Lrem, or Popebutch? About the only role I cannot fill is tanking and that is simply because I have not made a whole lot of attempts at tanking until the last couple months! I had been working with my Death Knight and enjoying him, but there are just so many Death Knights out there! So I decided to give my Warrior a try! I picked up some tanking gear and a sent some heirlooms to him and hit the game running. I actually have been doing my quests in the protection spec just to learn more about my abilities and I have to say I love it! I have tanked a few dungeons like Mauradon and they have been smooth and ran at what I consider to be a good pace. I cannot guarantee I will stick with tanking forever, but it has been a nice change of pace from dealing damaging and healing.

Achievements:

Well, I am almost done with the Loremaster for the Eastern Kingdoms with Ruhtra. I do not know if I will get the full Loremaster title before Cataclysm hits, but my goal is to complete the original content first. I also picked up the multi passenger mount from the Sons of Hodir faction and I am loving it. I really debated on spending eight thousand gold on something like that, but I wanted it for a couple reasons and at this point in the game what else was I going to spend it on? I am also debating on whether I want to go for the Insane achivement. I am thinking of putting this one on hold as I doubt I can devote time to grinding the reputations as well as completing the Loremaster achievement.

I am sure there is a lot of other things that I am not remembering, but hopefully we will get back on track around here sooner rather than later.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Holeycow Talks Shop

I do not know if anyone ever read my old blog dedicated to Holeycow and his ways of making gold and to be honest I am not too horribly worried about. I pretty much ended that blog and just remained focused here on Holy Shock. I did not quit making gold though and today I want to talk a little bit about one of the easiest ways to make gold and perhaps a few thoughts on ways you can prepare to make gold once Cataclysm starts.

If you ask anyone who knows me, they can vouch that I do not level my professions very quickly (if at all). As a matter of fact, poor Ruhtra has been just about every profession in this game and never managed to make it past the vanilla level of the professions. As a way to fight back my burnt out feeling, I have decided to level the professions that I feel will be most useful to Ruhtra as a healer (which is completely not backed by anything other than my own personal opinion). Once again I picked enchanting for a couple reasons, one of which was that Ruhtra is the character I play the most and so the ability to d/e items is great and allows me to get a large amount of mats for enchanting. The second profession I settled on is jewelcrafting. Those dragon eye cuts are just too much for me to resist! I have also begun working on finishing out cooking, first aid, and fishing! That is a lot of work, is it not? Especially for a guy who has not done anything at all with the professions on this character!

I have a clear advantage this time though for leveling in the fact that I have characters who are already maxed out in both of these professions and I have learned a lot along the way with those two. The second advantage is that now you can level using Armor and Weapon Vellums and I am just so fortunate to have a character and a wife who can supply me with all the vellums that my little paladin heart can desire. To my surprise, the low level enchants from Vanilla have sold quite well for me. I am not talking about the weapon enchants from the end game of Vanilla either. No, I am talking about the things like +3 stamina! It got me thinking and so I focused only on making these types of enchants and in just a week of leveling my enchanting I have made over 1,600 gold on cheap enchants. It cost me nothing in mats as I had a vast resource of mats saved and plenty of items to d/e. Looking forward, I am relatively sure that this is an area that if you do not price gouge, then you will able to make a good amount of quick gold with minimal effort as a lot of players are leveling new characters and come Cataclysm there will be plenty of Goblins and Worgens in need of these handy little enchants. Enchants that if adequately priced will earn you a nice little paycheck as the current players of WoW tend to have much more gold and are even much lazier about doing this stuff for theirselves. What are you focusing on right now to make a little extra gold or that you plan to leverage come Cataclysm?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Play That Funkeh Music!

So last night after working a ten hour shift and having been away from home for twelve hours, I came home and ate some late night dinner and chatted with my wife. I decided I would log on and check some auctions that I had posted with Ruhtra and then grab a quick random by healing. My wife hopped on as she was working late today and we ran something, I do not even remember what it was. Whatever it was, it was over and done and made no big mark on my brain. So I was going to go grind some reputation with Sporegar and my wife commented that she wouldn't mind running for a few more emblems on her hunter, Lovkinja. So I thought why not? It was the effin middle of the night, what could wrong?

Enter Trial of the Champion! I hate the damn instance with a passion! I always get retarded groups and players with the skill of a rock. I was not let down. Along with my wife and I, there was a fury warrior, death knight, and paladin tank. It took foreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeever to get the jousting done! I can deal with players who are trying to gear, but I have a hard time dealing with people who just don't give a damn about how they play. Had it not been for my wife, I would have bailed on the group. So we drew the rogue, shaman, mage combo as our opponents. A tough group with players who know what is going on and are at least adequately geared and a nightmare for players who have no clue what is going on. So we start out alright, paladin does his thing and draws them in and the DPS do their thing. Mage decides to target me and blast me with loving drops of fire, which is really not that big of a deal as I can heal through it. As I am healing for a good five minutes I keep watching as our poor warrior and death knight have to keep running away from the boss. Then the paladin tank decides to start berating the DPS to do more. I would have cursed him out if it wasn't for it was taking everything I had to keep them all alive. After what seemed ten minutes of endless healing, the paladin drops group! The death knight tried to pick up the slack but was not geared to deal with it and down goes the group one by one.

I can honestly handle wiping and groups struggling. I am not an elitest snob and I am always willing to help groups out. One look at my gear and you can really see there is nothing left for me to need emblems for unless I want to complete a prot gear set (which I would never use). What I cannot deal with are effin little dumb asses who do not know their head from their own ass. This paladin was nerd raging at the DPS to do more for a good five minutes; however, had the dumb ass bothered to understand that tanking is more than standing in one spot and holding agro, then he might of realized that he needed to move his sorry ass out of the green pull of poison that was taxing the overgeared healer. Apparantly, he has taken tanking to a whole new level of tard. This dumb ass apparantly felt that the two melee DPS should be able to stand in the pull of poison and burn the bosses down. I was completey enraged at the ignorance of this guy, but to up and leave a group in the middle of a boss fight is really just completely wrong! So if you play on the US server of Bronzebeard and are Horde, please let Funkeh know what a terrible tank he truly is and also feel free to berate and belittle this asshole as you see fit. If you are in our battlegroup, I feel sorry for you if you get him. As for me, he is on my ignore list and hopefully that should keep me from ever having to heal his sorry ass again.

As for the rest of the run? We got a solid Druid who knew how to tank and while it was a little rough with low DPS from the death knight and the warrior, we did complete the run with no more wipes and only one death. I was happy as they both got some upgrades and my wife managed to get some emblems, but damn do I hate that horrible, horrible instance!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Fighting It

The last few weeks I have been fighting against the "burned out" feeling that often besets players in WoW. I am realizing that I am becoming more aggrevated and brooding than is usual for me. This past Friday I had to force myself to log into WoW to raid. That struck me as odd since I was looking forward to it so much right up until it was time to actually raid. I struggled through raiding this past week and found myself irritated over every little thing that came up. It didn't matter if it was people who decided to AFK or not knowing a fight, I was just completely in a foul mood. I worked hard in an attempt to mask my aggrevation and I feel I did an alright job of it. I was definitely not as talkitive as I am at other times, but all and all I think I managed to not insult anyone.

After the raid, I spent some time thinking about what was bothering me and I think it is just that I have played the game for so long that it is starting to feel like a job. For example, on raid nights I try my best to log on about fifteen minutes early and begin inquiring if anyone needs flasks and to check on the fish feast status. In addition to just making sure we have ample items to cover those who may not come prepare, the last few weeks our raid leader has not been able to be on and that always adds a little bit more to what myself and others then have to concern ourselves with. Usually this sort of thing doesn't bother me, but it has just been a culmination of things and having realized it I have decided to get back to just enjoying the game.

So yesterday I packed up my ret gear and headed off to Felwood in search of the evil Furbogs. I spent roughly two days fighting them and in the end they became my twenty-fifth reputation at exalted and I received my trinket of Furbog love! My plan to counter this feeling is to focus on the small and sometimes even silly achievements. For instance, the last PVP night when we were running all over Iron Forge, I led our band of adventurers to where I could fish. I got my Diplomatic Fisherman achievement and cracked up everyone around by stopping in the middle of a raging battle to fish. I have decided that sometimes in WoW, you need to take a break from the job and just enjoy the game side of it. How about the rest of you? How and what do you do to combat the dog days of summer?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Lucky Number Seven

If you read my wife's blog, then you know that we just celebrated our seventh year of marriage. (GO US!!!) So you will have to excuse me if I do not have anything posted up today, but sometimes (as I always say) real life is far more important that WoW! I hope you had a happy anniversary baby!

The Raid Report

Welcome to the all new ongoing series titled The Raid Report! There is so much on my mind when it comes to raiding, I worry that one post per week may not be enough but we shall try our hardest to make it work! So I wanted to talk a little bit today about what you can expect out of this weekly series and also what I am hoping to cover. The first part is really simple, you can expect once a week to receive a post about raiding. What we are hoping to cover in these posts are a brief highlight of what MAS has been up to during the course of the week. When we discuss our own raids, we will be as open and honest as possible and attempt to share what has worked and what did not work during the course of the week. Also, because we like a little bit of humor in our post, we will also present the worst PuG of the raid award for each week! We will try to not make this out to be too negative, as we hope that our PuGs will actually be good and make for an uninteresting discussion. The sad truth is that we still end up seeing players who just quite do not understand what is going on and so they will be open for "discussion".

Another aspect of this series that I want to highlight will be the way that we handle certain situations around our raid composition. As a smaller strict ten man guild, certain situations prove somewhat more challenging for us than others because we lack some classes and their buffs. On the opposite side of the coin, because we are a smaller guild, we tend to know how we will react in certain situations. In other words, when the shit hits the fan, we know what to do and how to react. We are far from perfect and we definitely find interesting ways to struggle and that is part of the intrique of this sort of a series. None of us our professional gamers. Most of us are well past our teens and sadly approaching thirty or passed it. The one thing we all have in common is that we feel that raiding should be a fun experience. We also feel that raiding should be taken serious and that there is a certain level of dedication that is required in order to succeed. We have been ranked in the top ten for our server in strict ten man guilds and at this point would probably be in the top five had six of us not ran and defeated Lord Marrowgar in a twenty five man PuG. We are extemely proud of where we are and are relatively confident that it is just a short amount of time before we finally finish off ICC.

The last and final thing that I want to convey is that raiding can be a lot of fun. It doesn't have to seem like a second job. Yes, it does require some forethought and a slight amount of preparation, but this does not mean that it has to be serious. I have been in too many runs with other guilds where they really do treat each other like a piece of shit and you can sense it in their raids when it begins to start. There are some guilds that I love their people but one bad apple makes me avoid them like a plague. We truly strive to make the raids as enjoyable as possible, while still keeping a focus on the prize. I hope this comes through loud and clear because at the end of the day it is about having fun with a game. Yes, there are moments where you have to get the job done and there may be some uncomfortable talk about what areas you can improve in, but it should never ever be used to make someone feel like lesser of a person because they may not be the best and with that I am going to close this out.