Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Personal Message

I want to preface this and say that this post is straight from my heart and I apologize upfront as it will probably be inappropriate for the younger readers and not so interesting to the readers who do not know myself, Eus, and the rest of MAS on a more personal basis. Having said all of that if you are still here, then read on at your own expense.

Almost two years ago Wrath of the Lich King dropped and MAS was excited to pursue this new expansion with a new goal. I have always made it known that our roots were in PVP. We have members who were here from Vanilla's beta testing. We, more than a lot of other guilds, are steeped in the tradition of what WoW was originally. We have a post up where I got a couple of our older members to talk about what WoW use to be like. I did this to show the newer players how difficult this game use to be and also to show that when some of the members speak, they may just have a little bit more knowledge than what you would think. We grew up on a server that had world PVP in mass through the Burning Crusade expansion and we were active in this. This has been a blessing and a cursing in that we often times would get sidetracked by killing Alliance instead of pursuing the raiding game. The positive side of this is that PVP'ers who turn to raiding often times have much better reaction times and can change strats on the fly in the middle of the encounter without instructions from the raid leader. Now when you get an entire guild like this, you have a fantastic group of talented players who can overcome any situation given enough time.

Our biggest problem was that some of our members wanted to raid at all cost. They cared more about their individual achievements than that of MAS. They left and they damn near tore down MAS in the process. Early on we lost half of our core raiders and were left gutted and unsure of what to do. I remember the anger and betrayel that I felt as I viewed most of these people as friends. I was enraged and I made no attempt to hide my feelings on the subject from anyone. I was actually told by one member that we should consider just remaining focused on PVP. That was the straw that broke the camel's back so to say. I spoke with several remaining members and officers and asked them all point blank what their intentions were. The resounding answer was that MAS was their home and they were going to stay so long as there was a MAS. Their dedication to the guild filled me with a sense of purpose. I decided that I would get them to their goals. I started working on making sure that we had guild runs scheduled, even if no one showed up. I put in time building up our bank resources. I put my blood, sweat, and tears into MAS.

We slowly over time started to see slow progress. After a few changes in the officers and getting a new raid leader, we decided the time was right to push into ICC. As I sit here now at 6:20 AM EST on Saturday morning I am proud to say that we knocked the shit out of every boss in ICC that we have encountered. We now sit on the brink of taking out Sindragoso and the Lich King. We went in last night with a group, that on paper was not our strongest group possible and exceeded all expectations. This was also the first week that we had set two nights for ICC 10. I cannot say how proud I am at what these people have managed to accomplish. We decided a long time ago that we would remain a strict 10 man guild and have not tried to clear parts of ICC 25 to upgrade our gear in order to overpower this content. Instead we rely on each other and our own ability to adapt and overcome every situation. I have always been very hesitant to make this next statement, but by God we have earned it. We are the best strict 10 man guild on our server, bar none!

Now for the personal part. I want to take a moment and talk to all the people who left MAS to be able to raid "current" content. To all of you who are sitting in trade channel begging for an ICC run, to all of the people who told us to stick with PVP, to all of you who marked us as being a failure, to you I say fuck you. Had you been able to put down your own egos and worked with the rest of the guild, then you too could be enjoying the success of the guild and where we are. Instead, you continue to sit out there and spam the trade channels looking for a group that will try to carry your lazy ass. I want to take it one step farther though and thank each and every one of you for making us stronger. You see the old saying that talks about only being as strong as your weakest link is so true and it was apparant who the weak links were in MAS and we owe you much for removing yourselves and saving us the trouble of struggling to carry you. The sad part is that you each will assume I talking about someone other than you. In closing, thank you for putting the fire in me to see this thing through. This is a chapter in MAS that I am closing and will never look to speak about ever again, but I want you to know that when you thought we would not make it, we took that as a reason to make it in spite of you.

Now to the members of MAS, I want to personally thank each and every one of you. Over the years, you all have meant a lot to me. During the last two and a half years, you have been with me through changing jobs, the death of my Father, moving, going from a family of 2 to a family of 5, and countless other things that you may never know. In all honesty, I took a test regarding despression and the results said that you would be clinically depressed if you scored 16 or higher. I managed to score 32 because of all of these major life events occurring in a matter of a few months. Through all of it, you guys were there and you may never know how much you helped me by just being there to talk to. It has been a pleasure going on this journy with you and I couldn't be more proud of each and every one of you. I know we do not take the time often to say these sorts of things, but I want you all to know that I could not have found a better group of people to spend my free time with. It is for you that I continue to work to improve this guild and make it what you guys want. We will finish together what we started so many months ago and you know that if you ever need anything and I am able to help, all you need to do is ask.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Who Is Your Main?

A week or so back, one of our officers posted a question in our guild forums asking what is the class that we are planning to level in Cataclysm. That is an excellent question. I took the question to not necessarily mean who is my main character, but which of my characters do I intend to level for raiding purposes. That is an even better question for some of us. We have several members of our guild who have multiple level eighties. I personally have five, my wife has four, and a few others have three or more as well. I naturally responded and stated that Ruhtra would be my first to level to cap and along with him I would also look to level Popebutch (my Priest).

My initial thought is that Ruhtra is who I am most comfortable with and Pope is probably who would be most beneficial to the guild for raiding considerations. My thoughts are also somewhat jaded as I struggled to get Ru into PuGs and guild runs because there is such a flood of Paladins out there. I have litterally been every spec in this expansion and have three very nice gear sets because of it. I leveled Pope in order to see if Priest healing was as enjoyable as Paladin healing. I learned a couple things along the way while testing the priestly waters. The first thing is that I miss my plate armor! Yeah, with Ru I often take hits from mobs and some bosses without fear. Not so much with Pope. On a side note, I definitely see why people complain about their sissy robes. The second thing I learned is that Priest healing is a lot of fun. There are so many different dynamics to it and so much utlity that it could be overwhelming. In fact, it is overwhelming to some people and those are typically the folks who queue as healers and then try to switch to shadow. That being said, a Priest definitely brings a lot to the table in terms of buffs, heals, and utility.

The downside is that there is so much going on and so much utility that I am afraid it may take an entire expansion before I felt truly comfortable with playing the class. You see with Ru, I have been healing almost since day one. I do not even need to think about what is going on. With Pope, I not only have to think what is going on, but I have to try to remember where my hot keys are and not look for Holy Shock in my "oh shit" moments. A couple other things I learned about myself along the way. I truly love the Paladin way of healing and not the "spam _____ spell" method that is often associated with us. I have realized that when played well, a Paladin can bring quite a bit more than just one really huge healing spell. I think it took me playing another healing class in depth to really appreciate what Ru brings to the table.

At the end of this little question, my answer is that Ruhtra is going to be my main healer. So what about the rest of you out there who have multiple level capped characters? Is there one that is your main no matter what or are you planning a change come the expansion?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Impending changes heading this way! That could describe a lot of things, but it is meant to describe what you can expect from us here at Holy Shock. I have been accused of being quite picky at times during my life and in truth I am. I believe if you plan to do something, then plan to do it well. At the beginning of this year, I switched the way in which I posted here to the blog. I had begun to think that constant posts would equal quality post and upon reviewing those posts decided that constant posts were simply consistant and that did not necessarily make them a quality post. I decided that if I did not have anything to talk about then I would not post anything. I think the quality of the posts have greatly improved, but I was not happy with the gaps between posts. That led me to bringing Rather on board, who was shortly followed by my wife Eus. The two of them have definitely brought some different perspectives to the site here and I love reading what they have to talk about. I think that together, we have definitely been meeting the goal of putting out some quality posts and in an effort to continue this I am planning to bring back a couple of the weekly series that I was writing prior to this year.

The one that is on my mind is the Raid Project. In its most original form, it followed my guild as we attempted to break into raiding. The original idea came to me when members of the guild left and suggested that we look at just sticking with PVP. It was my therapy to show them, and everyone else, that we could raid. A lot of time has passed and I think that we have proven that we are one of the top strict ten man guilds on our server. I would make the claim that we could be considered the best, but I realize I am biased in that opinion. What this new Raid Project will focus on is what makes us who we are. It will focus on what we did that proved to be successful and what we did that became our demise. The ultimate goal is to showcase the talent that the guild has and to show how we used our resources to accomplish our goals. Another asepct of this ongoing series will be that you get to know the members of our raid team. I have said in the past that I feel like one of my weakest areas is in the fact that I do not give enough praise to my guild. I am going to take major steps to correct this and some of that may just blead over into other posts.

Needless to say there are a lot of minor changes heading this way and I hope that over the coming months that you all stay with us here at Holy Shock and continue to enjoy the ramblings of thoughts that we put together. Also, if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, we are never opposed to hearing from you and we love the chance to interact with you all.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cookie Cutter Life

I was going to spend this post ranting about how aggrevated I am with all the talk about new specs and what is the must have talents, but I felt that the above pic would suffice. If everyone could tone down the must have talent talk until we at least have a confirmed ship date for Cataclysm, please? Thanks! Rather out!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I Have Seen The Light!

There has been a whole lot of talk lately about Paladins and their incoming changes yet for some reason it has been completely calm here at Holy Shock regarding the subject? Every now and then you may see a reference or find a comment from one of us about the subject but as a whole we have tried to avoid the topic as there is still much time between now and when the changes will go live. That being said, we are starting to get a more complete overall picture of what direction the design team at Blizzard is wanting to lead us in and that is what I am wanting to look at talking a little bit about today.

So, in recent comments I have made it very clear that I am worried about my class. I am worried that the changes will either overpower us or underpower us. I will not lie, I like where the holy tree is at right now in the game. It provides the large powerful heals that you want for tanks and a lot of resource abilities in hands, blessings, and other abilities. I like it so much that I at one point during the expansion was sporting to PVE holy builds at the same time. I like it so much that I have two sets of gear, one for healing with flash and one for the blinding light. You can visit the Paladin forums and see how much debate there is over what build to use and which one is better. You can find multiple posts on forums and on blogs about what stats are best overall. In short, for the talented holy Paladins out there, the class is in a good position in my opinion and we are a clear cut tank healer.

That being said, Blizzard wants to change all healers to be able to step in and fill a role. There can be no debate on this with all healers being changed to have a small, medium, and large heal. All healers will have some sort of an area effect heal as well. The differentiating factor will be in the class specific abilities, which for Paladins will be Beacon of Light (changing), Sacred Shield, and other such spells. I think it is painfully clear that while Blizzard is making it possible for every healing class to perform a sepcific healing function adequately, there will still be classes that lend theirselves to doing specific roles such as tank healing versus raid healing. The designers have even suggested this in different posts, but the message is clear that they want the concept of bring the player not the clas to be more than a fancy slogan.

So what role do I see Paladins performing in Cataclysm then? I think the majority of the Paladin player base, as well as the overall player base, will see the class as still being a tank healing class. I think that how we decide to heal will signifigantly change in the area of how and where we wish to position ourselves. As I begin looking over the newer spells and seeing words like "AoE" and "Frontal Cone" used to describe our newer healing spells, I get the distinct feeling that positioning myself within melee range is idealy where the designers are wanting us to be. This could also lend credit to the thought of using our abilities to heal more than just a tank. Perhaps we are progressing to a style of play that will describe your healers more as melee ranged healers versus caster ranged healers. I say this because I do not believe that Blizzard will give us a lot of range on our AoE heal and the front cone style of healing would be best used to assist with the healing of those in melee range. One thing is certain, and that is nothing is certain until the changes are patched in right before Cataclysm. Until then, I plan to view everything cautiously and I shall attempt to not get all bent out of shape over concepts and ideas which may or may not make it into the final cut.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Trolls Are Trolls

So the other night I ran some randoms picking up a few triumph emblems in hopes of finishing off my Holy gear set for Pope. My wife was running with me and that always makes me feel good to know that I will at least have gotten one player who has a solid understanding of how runs are supposed to go and also what their rotation and spec should resemble. So we pop into queue and in five seconds we get H Occ! I personally love this instance and my wife loathes the place. So she gets her few gripes out of the way while I buff (I keep wanting to say bless) the party. We set out on our merry way and one particular player catches my eye, a retribution Paladin sporting heirloom gear. I love fresh level capped characters, especially when I know that they have already leveled at least one character and ran enough random heroics to have the BoA Heirloom gear. I honestly do not remember the rest of the party, but nothing overly special since I cannot even think of the composition.

So we start out and the Paladin goes charging ahead of the tank and the group and pulls the first group. The tank (who I just remembered is a DK) pulled agro back and proceeded to maintain the agro. I chuckled to myself as I watched the Paladin through this run. He wasn't doing anything horribly wrong that I could not Renew him through, but I am sure the tank was getting tired of him by the end of the run. The poor guy would just charge ahead and expect the tank to pull agro off of him or for the healer (aka me) to keep him alive. I laughed and told my wife I really wanted to let him die, but in truth it takes way too long to wait for someone to run back into Occ, especially if you are towards the half way mark. We made it through the run and I did give the Paladin marks for killing the adds of the final boss who decided they wanted a piece of my green drake's hide. We said our thanks, good groups, and see you laters and I departed group back to Dalaran chuckling to myself about this Paladin.

So why did he crack me up so? To be honest, he knew his DPS rotation very well but was lacking on his overall knowledge of the utility abilities such as his hand spell that reduces threat or his ability to provide blessings to the party. I use to become really angered by these types of players because I felt it showed an attitude of who cares, but now they either amuse me or I just feel sorry for them. You know the kind! Anyone ran with the Rogue who goes nuts burning all the cool downs on multiple mobs only to pull agro and die? Had they realized they had ToT (Tricks of the Trade) they could of tricked the tank and then went all gung ho on the baddies and had improved the over all experience for the entire group. Instead they have found theirselves to be content with being just average and you know what? I am completely fine with that. I have come to accept that not everyone wishes to play the game the same way.

I know in the past I have been pretty hard on those players who choose to show up in a random with unchanted gear, sockets missing gem, and in some cases the completely wrong type of gear; however, it really just does not bother me anymore. If I get a group that looks like it will struggle, then I simply apologize and excuse myself from the run. I honestly do not care about a half hour "penalty" if the group will spend an hour trying to down the very first boss. I still believe whole heartedly in helping people and doing what I can to guarantee a smooth run, but it has been tempered by those same individuals who show up and either have no clue what they are doing or simply do not care if they are lessening the fun had by others. I will usually drop a suggestion and if I see it being utilized then I am willing to stick with the group. If it is met with a rude comment from the person it was intended to help or another party member, then I will simply bow out of the run rather than subject myself to the incompetance that will follow.

I know it is a different post for me to write but I have seen some of the worst behavior out of people in random heroics the last few weeks that at the first sign of this behavior I would rather just leave than stick around for them to get whatever attention they feel that they need. To me the people who play the game without taking the time to learn what they are doing are the very same as the trade chat trolls, you simply get tricked into feeding them in a different manner. My advice to everyone is do not feed the trolls. Do not acknowledge their bad behavior. Do not get into a war of words. Especially, do not give them what they truly crave.....attention.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Rose Colored Classes

I want to let you all know that you do not need to worry about Ol' Rather, I am doing well but I have just been really, really, really, really busy lately! Yeah, that damn busy. I have been keeping my hand on the pulse of recent events and happenings though so don't you worry none bout me! Now, let's jump into what I want to talk about today which is in direct relation to a post made over at Honor's Code. You see Honor's is getting a little upset that the designers over at Blizzard seem to not be able to get a grip on what they want for Paladins after six years and you know what? I agree with him. I mean I fucking hate the fact that Paladins are a faceroll class and any caveman can sit down and play one.

Sorry guys, but it is true! That being said, I don't agree with a lot of the decisions they are making with changes to certain play styles and mechanics. Alright, so let me formulate a valid argument rather than a curse filled rant. Let's examine the changes they announced a while back for healers. They want all healers to have a small, fast heal that is high in mana cost. They also want a solid medium heal that will be the go to heal, and then the big bomb heal that is used for those moments when we know large amounts of damage are incoming. In addition they are trying to make sure that every class has a nice little AoE type of heal. Oh and they want some sort of gimic type spell that is a signature spell of the class. It sounds good in theory, but in practice I hate being a raid healer. When I heal I typically take a class and spec that specializes in tank healing. Why? Because I like healing tanks. I do not want all these other spells cluttering up my tool box. Instead, why not build on holy Paladins and discipline Priests as being the specialist for tank healing? Let the restoration Druids, Shaman, and holy Priests focus on raid healing and buff their abilities for this. I know that they want to push the whole concept of bring the player and not the class, but for fucks sake we picked the classes that we want to play and if they would just quit fucking with the damn specs we would be much happier than getting a damn new shiny spell.

Another thing that bugs me is their constant attempts at "balancing" between PVP and PVE. I understand all the different things that must go into play, but they have a couple stats that are not used effectively or efficiently. Those stats are Resilience, Armor Penetration, and Spell Penetration. If I were to suggest one thing, utilize these stats to build the PVP talents around. In other words, use them for what they were originally intended for. Resilience is pretty simple, increase how much damage Resilience will absorb. Yes, it may increase a match by a minute or so, but it is the simple solution to counter overpowered raiders coming in stomping a hole in those who choose to only run in PVP. Armor Pentration and Spell Penetration would be the counters to Resilience. Then all you need to do is build specific talents which will increase these specific stats which would make them completely useless in PVE and highly valuable in PVP. Yes, I know it is not as easy as I present. I know there must be computations and calculations. I realize that there would need to be statistical data and a ton of play testing to make sure that there would be no loop holes, but would it not be better to recalibrate specific talents for a purely PVP situation than to rebuild entire classes in an attempt to balance out the game?

I do not want to give the impression that I hate everything that they are doing. In fact there are two pure win moves that they are planning to implement in the change to Hunters and Death Knights. I think the Hunter change is long overdue since the use of mana really never made much sense. As for the Death Knights, I think by putting the bulk of the tanking talents into one tree will only help the class over all. Right now most Death Knights have no clue what to spec for or how to even begin to compile a rotation. Yes there is plenty of information out there at sites like Tankspot and Elitest Jerks, but I dare say that the average "anal" joke telling Death Knight is going to have the mental capacity to understand what they are reading. Don't hate me guys, I am just trying to be honest and keep it real. It is a pure win for your class and now lets every Death Knight know that if they want to be considered a serious tank, then you best have the right spec.

I know I cannot be alone in thinking these things, am I? Rather out!

Saturday, July 17, 2010


So last night I stayed up way too late and made the picture above. I really had no reason to other than I found it fun and challenging to create. I started thinking back, while I was looking at this picture, about the reason I play MMORPGs. It really goes back to the fact that I was raised in a home that valued creativity. When I was little, we would go to church on Sundays and my Mother and Grandmother would take little pads of paper and give to me and my brother to sketch on during the church service. I do not know if this is the right thing to do or not, but it kept us occupied while the preacher would talk about what was on his mind. I can remember during the service I would draw these scenes of houses and people conducting every day activity and as soon as the service was over I would run around the church and hand them out to the people that were friends of the family. The years have certainly passed and many of those people have also passed, but one thing that they would always talk about was how they loved those pictures and looked forward to them. These individuals also fostered that sense of creativity by encouraging us and thanking us for the work that we put into drawing these little pictures.

As I grew older I definitely gave up the drawing, even though my Mother would always try to get me to keep drawing. You see my Mother is a very good crafter in her own right. She can crochet like no one I have ever known. I am not saying this because she is my Mother, but because people from all over call her to make baby blankets, baby sets, and all those other little crafty things that people like to give expecting couples. I remember when I was a little kid, she and my Grandmother would go down to the church they were attending and they had this crafting social club where the crafters of the church would get together and talk about events and exchange ideas. I would go and find something to do with some spare wood or take my own toys (GI Joe anyone?) and spend the afternoon just imagining these huge battles and far away places. All the while developing my creative side unaware. My Mother got her creativity from her parents. My Grandmother (who is 95 and still crafting) and my Grandfather (who I did not get the pleasure of knowing) were both very creative individuals. They fostered that in my Mother who passed that on to me and my brother.

My Father on the hand was extremely bright and talented, but did not have the supportive environment that my Mother was fortunate to have. I am not going to say anything either way since he has passed and he and his parents came to terms and seemed to move on with their lives together. My Father though struggled all his life with feeling like he was special and talented. He grew up being told he was a failure and that he couldn't do anything. When I hear his parents talk about raising their kids, they tend to make it sound like they were hard on them to make them better off and maybe that was the case. It however gave him a complex and so he never saw how special he was or creative he could be. My Father was big into gaming. He ran with a crowd that changed the gaming industry forever and while he never got involved he definitely helped define the gaming genre for generations to come. That is not what truly set him apart as being creative. To me it was all of his lead figures that he would use for gaming. He had the hands of a surgeon to be able to paint expressions on the faces of those little figures. I remember being little and he would take us into his room where he worked on and stored these figures and there were probably thousands of them that he had spent hours and hours working on making look perfect. I consider myself fortunate that he taught us how to paint and I am envious that I was never anywhere near as good as he was at painting. My point is that he invested a lot of time in us to make sure that we never felt like he did and to make sure and teach us to appreciate the creativity of others.

I remember the very first table top/role playing game that I truly fell in love with was called Battletech. We use to plan these huge campaigns with my brother's friends, my Father, and occasionally some of my friends. We didn't play with just the maps you could buy from a store, no sir! We created entire towns and country side out of railroad models to play. We would use rulers and play by the rules for conversion of movement points and what not. Sometimes it would just be a grand melee and other times one of us would create a campaign to be played over several settings. I poured myself into this game. I created entire units and wrote background stories for key members of the unit. I painted my Battlemechs to colors that were specific to the unit. We would race to the local gaming shop and buy the newest source books and figures as soon as they were available because we loved to immerse ourselves in the world that we had helped to create. Some of the best memories I have of my Father were had during these times. I can remember how he would raise his bushy eye brow over his dark tinted glasses while he thought about a particular move as if the very victory or defeat would hinge on this move (quite often this would be the opening move). Those were probably some of the best times I ever had. I wish we would have had more time to make those memories.

While in my college years, my brother had moved on to playing more role playing based games and occasionally I would go and play with him and his friends when they invited me. I often times found these games to be fun and would throw some crazy decisions at the folks who would be running the games. I didn't play with them regular enough to really remember the games, but I remember one game where I led half of this elite combat team to a 70s style disco in an attempt to locate this demonic legion that we were suppose to be after. In truth, when the guy who was running the game described the town he had briefly mentioned this place and I thought it would be funny. It did turn out to be a lot of fun, but I was told I had way too much of an overactive imagination. Looking back, they were right but every time I saw those guys after that they always would laugh about the fight against hell in the disco! Hell, if any of them were to read this post, they would know it were me in a heart beat because of how funny I made that evening. A lot of good times I have had in these alternative realities.

So why the walk through the past? I honestly do not know the whole reason, only part of the reason. You see while I was creating this picture, I was trying to capture the arrogance of Emprius. My wife and I often joke about the personalities of my characters and in truth most of them have a background story and full biography all in my head. A lot of times my wife will sit around and try to pick it all out of my head. I don't know if she thinks the backgrounds are funny or if she thinks I am funny, but never the less she enjoys it. So while attempting to capture the essence of Emprius in this picture, it made me realize why I love World of Warcraft. To me it is an avenue to carry on the creative side of myself. I don't just roll a character and play it for eighty levels. I created something that was as unique as my unit in Battletech, as fun as role playing a battle against demons in a disco, and for a moment makes me feel like that little kid sitting in my Father's room staring at the little lead figures. My wife has often teased me that I should write the backgrounds of all of my characters and some day I may very well do that. As for today, I am going to just sit back and enjoy the little lead figures and hopefully pass on the creative jean that flows through my heritage to my son. How about the rest of you, why have you stuck around for so long?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Healer Pimpslap

So, here is another interesting tale, brought to you by one of my other 9,584 alts. Sacerdotessa is my priest that I've been leveling and have made it to level 60. Her main spec is Shadow, which I love. Several days ago I decided to dual spec her to Discipline. I actually enjoy the healing disc aspect. It reminds me of my dear ol' Eusymae.

Anyways, Wednesday night I decided to hop on and play so I logged onto Sac. I que'd up for a random and got Ramps. I had a great group of people with the exception of the tank. Many /facepalms went all around at this poor soul. Once again, bear with me folks because as I've stated before, I give credit where it is due but I also have to flame where it is needed. I'm not all Negative Nancy ya know..

We had a DK tank, a ret pally in Skrills-Darkspear, a hunter in Riskar-Bloodscalp, another fellow D-spiner Shaman in Shamayonaise, and myself healing on Sac. As many other healers complain as I do, my complaint is letting the healer get mana. Even after I openly told him in party, followed by whisper to the tank, we kept banging our heads against the wall with this fellow. He just kept pulling, with no response to my pleas. It was to the point that I had four tanks. Every one of them has aggro and it became a real feat of strength for poor Sac to keep everyone up. We all tried to tell him to switch from his blood presence to frost presence. The tank still never responded.

Finally when we get to the first boss I just finally had enough. We all died, me being the last to stand. Sham resurrected himself then me. We get everyone else up except for the tank. Between myself, Sham and Skrills, we refused to rez the tank. And we were very open about it. In fact, we never resurrected him. Then the tank decided to stay in ghost form and not come back to the instance. At this point Sac let loose on Mr. TardTank and I let him know that he was now griefing and that it was a reportable offense and it did not matter to me how he wanted to play this out. And that futhermore I would not be healing him if he continued to act in sucha manner. On top of that, I offered to leave with Sac and bring in Eus to tank, knowing that he wanted to be a complete ass about it and that Sham and I were on the same server, so easy invite could commence.

Skrills at this point earned her shiny gold star because she stepped in to tank, and did a superb job. Ris and Sham also stepped up and did a great job on their dps. We four manned the entire instance and finished it without any trouble. Mr. TardTank finally realized I was not messing around when he finally ran in twice during our runs and myself, nor anybody else healed him. At the second boss he made a parting comment, something about us being asses and left the party. With much rejoicing and laughter, we completed Ramps with no problems. At the end of the run Skrills made her wish known that she would like to dual spec prot someday, and I hope she does. She stepped up to the plate and offered to tank, in ret spec with no righteous fury turned on. She rocked it and I want everyone to know that these three players should be commended for playing a game and not acting like an ass.

As for the tank, I hope you learned your lesson. First, learn a little bit about your class before coming in at level 60 and thinking you are a pimp. Because you are not. Sorry. No way. Nuh uh. Nada. Nope. Fugedaaboudit. Until Cata comes out, use Frost Presence. It saves many headaches, bitchings, and facepalms later on down the road. And again, no member of the party was mean to this fellow. We were trying to help him and give suggestions and advice. If it falls on deaf ears, so be it. You made your decision, and I made mine. And apparently, so did everyone else.

So, for future and also up and coming tanks, please read or ask for advice on how to tank DK, Bear, Pally, Warrior, or "insert here any kind of" style before jumping in. There are forums, blogs and I'm sure other friends/guild members to ask or find out information. Also, I'm sure rational people can tell the difference when people are being mean to you and when people are trying to help you. If you can tell the difference, then you should either A)leave the party, B)shut up and deal with it, it'll be over before you know it, or C) don't act like a complete ass and do your job!

Is that too much to ask? Apparently so. I still have hope though, silly me. And Healers, remember, REMEMBER to keep the Healer Pimpslap strong!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Time Flies

It seems like this year is just flying by doesn't it? Maybe it is just me, but I still feel like it should be cold out and I should have nice warm covers to hide under instead of the ninety (F) and higher temperatures we are having around here. I am not complaining, but it would be nice if things slowed down some for me. That being said, I added another little side project to my list of things to do and I am happy to say that it is finally ready to be unvieled and discussed! So, for anyone in my guild, my apologies that I did not inform you that the old guild website was no longer available but allow me to introduce to you (and anyone else who is reading this) the new Mass Affluent Slayers website that is being hosted right here on Blogger!

Feel free to poke around the site. There are a couple reasons that we decided to make the switch from the old host and bring it over here to Blogger. The number one reason for me is simply accessibility. I know I can access Blogger from anywhere. Blogger is a trusted site at every job I have ever had the privilage of working and you want a guild site to be accessible right? The second thing that stood out to me is the availability to add help to managing the site. Over at our forums, I am able to provide different levels of administration access which is why things stay up to date and tidy. The third, and maybe most important reason, is that of getting more attention. I am a huge numbers person. I crunch them all day at work. I crunch them when I am looking over what to do with my characters. Hell, I would crunch them for raids if it wouldn't cause the raiders to want to kill me. The bottom line is that Blogger does a better job of putting your site out there and getting hits on it. You cannot argue with statistical data unfortunately. It would be different I suppose if it were a business and we were paying for advertisement, then we could use whatever service we wanted to. In the end I think we would still end up right since Blogger has just made it too easy to not be here.

I hope you all go check out the site. There is a lot that I have planned for the site in the future and it will constantly be being updated, but for now I just simply plan to enjoy the site and I hope all of you do as well!

Edit: If you click on Mass Affluent Slayers in the post it will take you to the site. Also if you click on forums in the post it will take you to the forums.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Random Healing

So the other day I logged on and wanted to get my daily random over and done with so I chose healing and party leader and queued on up for whatever was to come. It took all of five seconds for me to get a group. I zone in and I have Gun'Drak with a group of players who were relatively freshly turned 80s. While attempting to bless the group, the tank charges in and pulls the first mob and before I could even get a Flash off he was dead and the group wiped. A part of me thought about leaving the party immediately and just running on some of my other toons while waiting for the timer to come off. I decided against this and zoned back in. The group was inquiring about how the wipe occurred. I politely stated that the tank pulled while the group was not quite ready. The tank apologized and waited patiently while the group made their way back and buffed up and replenished their mana.

While we were waiting for a few who did not know how to make it back to the correct side of the instance to arrive, I did a quick inspect on the tank. He was a Death Knight tank and was wearing mostly DPS gear. This explained the reason I could not pull him back from death's door. I whispered him and inquired if he was defense capped. He waited a long while and then replied back that he was not. I thanked him for his honesty and changed my game plan for healing him. To be honest he only had three pieces of gear with defense on and this was going to actually make for a challenging run to keep him alive and the DPS as well. We chatted for a few moments and he explained he switched to tanking to help groups get in quicker but was in need of tanking gear. He had some trinkets which provided him adequate health for tanking heroics and I always love a good challenge. I said nothing to the other party members and never criticized any of them who may have pulled off of him on accident. I instead deployed my beacon to him and just rained down Flash of Light on the party.

At the end of the run he had collected three pieces of tank gear, had successfully held most of the agro, and no one had wiped past that initial one. He whispered me and thanked me for being nice to him. I responded and said that it was no problem and recommended in future runs that he notify the other healers if still below the defense cap. He thanked me again and I left the group. I share this today, in hopes that the other healers who are geared out there will have some patience with these new tanks. It would have been one thing if he had tried to play beyond his skill, but this guy held agro better than a lot of tanks I have seen in full ICC gear. He was careful to monitor my mana as he realized I was using a lot more abiltiies to compensate for his gear. He was quick to react to pulling agro back off of the DPS. He allowed the casters time to regenerate their mana even. It made for a much more enjoyable run. The group was one of the most talkitive groups tht I have ran with for a while, even though they were not the most geared group.

So why would I choose to share this story with everyone today? The honest truth is that I want to bring awareness on the fact that not all PuGs are bad. Not all tanks are overgeared assholes. Not all DPS deliberately stand in fire. Not all healers will refuse to heal through stupid. I try to share as many of these experiences as possible to encourage the readers here at Holy Shock to stick with your groups. If you get a group that is rough around the edges, do not insult the players but look for ways to offer some advice in a more constructive way. Sure I could of openly ridiculed the tank in this run due to his lack of defense gear. I am sure based on his reaction at the end, that not all healers have been as nice as I was and that is ashame since he was completely capable of running the content with a little bit of assistance. So next time you get that "bad" player, look for a way to help them. They may be greatful for it or they may not, but you will never know until you give them a chance.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Time To Celebrate!

Oh yeah, one more goal in a list that is getting slightly smaller every day it seems. This guy right here has been the one thing that has taunted me beyond any thing else. Which Proto Drake is it you ask? Why it is the Blue Proto Drake from H UP but of course! This guy right here has dropped for me ten times! Ten times I have seen him and ten times I have lost him! That was until a few of us ran a random heroic and yet one more time my dear sweet little taunting Blue Proto Drake decided to show up. This time, I had a fearless Hunter with me who took careful aim and nabbed that mean old Proto Drake! They then graciously traded him to me for nothing other than the fact they know how much I wanted this little fellow! So to my wife and to her Hunter, Lovkinja, a great big thanks from me to you! See guys, one more reason that playing with your signifigant other is a good thing!

I also want to wish everyone a very happy fourth of July here in the states! I sat around the house on Saturday and watched some old John Wayne movies that he had made about World War II and that got me to thinking about a Great Uncle of mine who recently passed away. He was a young sailor during World War II and his aircraft carrier went down in the Pacific. He watched as other young men were burned alive, drowned under huge chunks of ship, and even attacked by sharks. He was fortunate, he made it home and spent the rest of his life working hard, supporting his family, and giving freely of his time to go to schools to share the events that took place during his time in the Navy. I guess to some, this time of year is all about the fireworks and celebrations but let's not forget the veterans who helped keep this freedom for us. Like my wife said on her blog, freedom isn't free. I also will probably go and sit down and watch the Patriot because it seems fitting for this time of year and also because it is a pretty damn good movie. Enjoy the celebrations and stay safe out there!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Are We Allowed?

A few days ago I asked a question about whether or not the readers of a blog have the right to be disappointed in the writers of the blog. The responses were exactly what I had expected to see and some of them were very close to my own thoughts on the question. You see, I write a blog as a way for me to share my viewpoints on things that concern the World of Warcraft and occassionaly some other subjects as well. It is something that is done of my own free time with no merit or reward being offered. I will honestly say that at times, it can almost seem like a second job when you decide to write something that is more in depth and requires research. I do though because I enjoy doing it, as I am sure many of you out there do as well.

I try to write from a neutral perspective as much as one possibly can. I would like to think that I do a fairly good job at it. I avoid the big topics like politics and religion. I have learned that these topics are emotional topics and best left for their own proper realms. I try to keep the blog as focused as I can on things that affect the game that we all love to play and read about. I know I have never laid down any type of "rules" around here, as I view everyone as being adult and understanding that nothing can come from screaming matches (even screaming matches over a blog). Along with not providing "rules" which govern the blog, I also have not provided any sort of promise about content or posting schedules save the fact that I will try to have something up on here at least once a week. I think we are doing a pretty good job of this.

Then out of nowhere I received an email that could irritate me if I were to allow it. The person claims to be "disappointed" in Holy Shock and the change in content being offered. This person went on to say that they found it sad how we traded our style of writing from one that was viewable by everyone, to one that should have a "content advisory" notice on it. This person went on to belittle the blog and the recent articles that have been posted. They also felt the need to question why I would allow Rather to be writing here when they felt the majority of the problems started with his addition. They went on to do some more berating and belittling before one more time stressing how disappointed they were with the blog now.

I really debated how best to handle this particular email. I have not shared the information with anyone, not my wife nor Rather. I instead thought it would be a good topic to discuss here on the blog. After all, it is a blog for opinions (especially mine) so what better way to clear the air regarding this email? The very first thing I would like to say is that I refuse to edit or censor anyone who writes a post here at Holy Shock. It is not my job to guarantee that something will not offend you. I realize that there are young kids who may read this blog and I try to balance out the posts, but it is not my job to make sure that any of your children are not seeing content which may be inapropriate for them. In reality, it is the adult's responsibility to ensure that their children are reading/looking at material which is appropriate for them. I do not rely on the radio station or television station to make sure that my son is not hearing or seeing things that I would deem inapropriate for him.

The second thing I would like to point to is the fact that when Rather decided to accept the invitation to write here at Holy Shock, he made a point to note that he does write in a way that may be offensive and advised those who do not wish to view his "rants" to not read the posts that he writes on Fridays. I would take it one step farther and say that if you do not wish to chance upon a post that he writes, then perhaps this blog is not the right blog for you to be reading. It would be a different thing if I believed that anyone who wrote here at Holy Shock was writing with an intention to offend someone, but the fact is that we do not. We all have our different styles of writing and different ways to express ourselves and that is what makes the blog good in my opinion. I have no intent to change anything about the way that anyone writes here and the only way that anyone is going to quit having an opportunity to post their writings here is if they choose to quit blogging or that they decide that Holy Shock is not the proper place for their writing.

In closing, I would like to thank the person who emailed me with their concerns. I appreciate the fact that you have held the blog in high regard, but if you look over the past of this blog there have been plenty of rants by myself that could have rivaled that of Rather. I appreciate that you took the time to make me aware of your feelings, but at the end of the day this is a blog that is meant for people to express theirselves. Thank you and now I return you to your regularly scheduled blogging.

- Ruhtra