Saturday, September 26, 2009


Hunter Dun. However...

It was an Epic fight. Even a Druid with THAT Legendary weapon could not save the first wipe. Second time in we were fighting whelps at 15%. It was one of those victories you felt you deserved. Lock and Rogue hats dropped, the Lock was celebrating... as the RL looted everything else, and promptly logged out.

STUNNED Silence, and then a lone voice.

'Did... did he just ninja everything?'

Yes, he did. He's been reported by nine people and as I logged out he was the main topic of discussion in Trade. I can but hope with nine tickets open the GM's will do something.

Ah well.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Hang On, What if...?

 Lesson #15: A little knowledge can be dangerous.
I'm beginning to wonder whether it's me now, you know...

Day 3 in the Onyxia PuG Drama, and I've been through one abortive attempt already. In my heightening annoyance, I have composed the following message to insert into LFG:

Shaman Healer LFG Ony 10: it would help if you weren't going to ninja the loot, that you knew what to do and you weren't going to spend half the raid bickering about who wiped us first. I may be over-optimistic, who knows?

This gets me what looks like my most hopeful try of the week thus far, and we make it to P2 before fiery Whelp Death eats us. I avoid all the Deep Breaths, and I'm the last healer standing. We do it again, and again. By the time we get to Wipe #4 we've been through six personnel changes. It's at that point that the Hunter (who has the Ghost Wolf pet back from Vanilla) pipes up:

'Hey M, how come you've not done one single Naxx run?'

Now, I know she's looking at PuG Checker. What immediately piques my interest is WHY suddenly, after all these wipes, it's being mentioned in Raid. Ah yes, I know, it's because I can't keep the raid alive that we're dying, isn't it? Got NOTHING to do with the stupid tanks or the rogues being swept into the Whelp pits or the mage who patently refuses to wait for the tanks to get aggro before arcane exploding and grabbing ALL the aggro... it's me. Me who, because I've never done a Naxx, must know diddly squat about the encounter.

My gear is clearly awful too coz it's not L219 at minimum and therefore I can't be expected to contribute in a ToC Encounter... ok so that's a fair point, but I've been here for an hour, two FAR better healers than me have buggered off, and I doubt their gear had anything to do with it.

To make the point she starts linking the healing stats into Raid... and suddenly I have an incredible feeling of Deja Vu. I find myself thinking 'no, this is stupid, if I tell anyone this they're gonna think I'm making this up for attention-seeking purposes, this is NOT happening again'. The Hunter stops typing to me for a good minute and when she refuses to respond to a RW from the OT I think I know what she's doing, she's whispering the RL. She has a replacement with better gear, and because of that they will succeed. *sigh*

So, it's a choice: do I stay or shall I just go this time and so I go, because frankly my life is too short and my son's now home from School, and I'd far rather spend time with him than a bunch of average no-hopers. As I leave I do /who Guild of Losers and there's three of them online. There's a Druid, already in the Wyrmbog. By the time I've ported to Dalaran he's inside Onyxia's Lair.


So, I now have to ask myself, am I REALLY going to have to have gone and run Naxx 10, then 25, then Ulduar before ANYONE is prepared to take me seriously as a healer? What is so bad about being bottom of the meters, somebody has to be there. More importantly however... is this the way people play their game, where the PuG Checker is the Bible and nobody gives a flying *** about your word or your ability?

It is, isn't it?

I am SO Doomed .... :(

Not Long Now, Lad...

Blizzard reveal Race Changes are 'not far off'

I've been giving this some thought over the last few days, and I think I'm going to do this with at least one alt to begin with. It will depend of course on what options are available, but I'm feeling rather tempted to make my L72 Gnome Mage a Dwarf, or even possibly switch her to a Human. The list I found that currently exists in the game files is as follows:
  • Human Hunter
  • Orc Mage
  • Night Elf Mage
  • Blood Elf Warrior
  • Dwarf Shaman
  • Dwarf Mage
  • Undead Hunter
  • Tauren Paladin
  • Tauren Priest
  • Gnome Priest
  • Troll Druid
I am certainly considering making my Draenai Priest a Gnome as well, but the deciding factor will of course be the price.

I wonder how long we will have to wait, considering the swift introduction of the Faction Change?


Yogg Saron, we can see you!

Vezax died last night, and I have Piller of Fortitude from the trash to show for it. It was a fairly significant upgrade for me as well, and the extra int on it was VERY useful. I'd still like a main hand and offhand though, maybe I can get into the Crusader 5 Man Heroic at some point. Needless to say, as we were able to grasp and down Vezax in one 2.5 hour raid window, I'd expect to see Yoggy buying it VERY soon. Ulduar 10 completion beckons!

After the Raid last night I do as I normally do, cycle the alts, faff about with bags and clearing items. I logged the Hunter just before bedtime... to find a message in my inbox from Joker ^^

Well then.

I have to say I was momentarily stunned. Even if he was made to write it, and even if he didn't mean it, this does go to prove that if you take the time to make people aware, stuff will get done. I have to applaud the Officers of the Guild in question for enforcing this 'punishment', and I have to say that even if Joker learns nothing from the experience, his Guild have maintained a very decent level of honor as a result.

So, next time someone is mean to you, don't just pretend it didn't happen...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The EPIC Post!

Yes, this image has been Photoshopped, but only to take out the names of the Buyers on the AH. This pet frankly has been the stuff of legends for a VERY long time, and it seems only appropriate that it has become Epic. I really wish I'd bought one before, they've sold on the AH for pennies before. Not any more mind!

I noticed this because I was looking at pet prices this morning. Why was I doing that? Well, because my e-mail from Blizzard arrived with the reward code for me buying Blizzcon on DirectTV... :D

A Lock and her Murloc Marine are Seldom Separated...
The best thing about this by a LONG way is the fact that EVERY alt, across both of my accounts, gets one in the mail, thanks to the wonders of a merged account. \o/ Blizzard :D

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Failure, Massively.

Lesson #9: Your way is not always everyone else's way.

A couple of things should be said before I start: Yes, I know this is a game, but I have a great deal of respect for principles, wherever they may be applied. Yes, I also know that this happens all the time, every day, and people just ignore it and move on. In this case, I think this story bears repetition.

I decide after I log today, with a couple of hours free before I have to pick the kids up from school, that I will go take a look at the New and Improved Ony on the Hunter. I respond to a LFG in trade and go get my gear inspected, which I pass and I'm in a group with another Hunter, who we will call Joker. Some predictable 20-summat male-type banter ensues in Raid on the trip to Theramore which I ignore, and we get into the Instance. That's when the whispers start.

'Why the **** are you Marks, your spec sucks.'

And so it continues, through the trash (which is HARD but yields 10-15 Rugged Leather per skin), both in Raid and privately. You suck, your dps sucks, your talents suck, your pet sucks (I bought my bear for tanking, as inevitably I assumed in a PuG I'd end up with whelps) Part of me quietly assumes I'm being deliberately baited in the hope that I'll leave, making sure he's the only Hunter, thus ensuring all drops to him. After a while I find myself thinking that actually, this guy has no idea, he's just generally objectional.

Oh and I use the word suck coz my son reads this Blog. Feel free to insert abusive language of your choice.

The PuG is, predictably, a farce but we do at one point make it to P2 (LOTS of whelps, hitting for 1500-2k each, yum): however by that point the Hunter has given up baiting me in whisper (as I tell him pointedly I play for myself, not for anyone else) and has started berating the Raid Leader... this hunter only does 2k, I strongly sugegst you replace him (^^) I have a Recount with me third on the meters doing well over 4k (changes to Volley, we salute you) but by then the die is cast, because I'm already quietly betting the Hunter's whispered a mate and is pushing the RL to have me canned.

Sure enough, I am ejected from the group.

A quick dialog with the RL ends up with me putting him on ignore. I find myself staggered that, after three years, I can be bullied out of a Group by one person's arrogance. I know it's happened before, I know I've ignored it before, but this is different. Joker was horribly offensive, rude and dismissive, and something inside me snaps. I tell my children that they should stand up to things like this, that being different is not wrong, it's a right and they should be proud. So this time I decide I'm going to do something about it.

Fortunately Joker belongs to one of the older Raiding Guilds on the server, a Guild in which one of my fave ex-Guildies resides, so I throw him a whisper and ask him what he thinks of Joker. His reaction makes me believe this is probably normal behaviour for this guy and most people just ignore him, so I feel confident to proceed with some complaint when I hear officers seem to be fair and open to discussion. So, I speak to an Officer at length. I don't care if Joker does more dps than me, I don't care if I was thrown out of the raid, what bothers me is that this guy thinks it's ok to be like this because there will never be any comeback. People get scared, the same way they won't challenge people in real life because... well, you just don't know what might happen.

The first step to stopping any kind of bad behaviour is to have the guts to stand up and challenge it. The reason WHY it matters, whatever environment it happens in, virtual or otherwise is if you don't things NEVER get better. Things never change unless you have the will to make them. Eventually, all these small acts of defense do add up to something, they really do. You just have to hold the belief that saying something matters, and that people will listen. It matters for something.

So, I reported him, and I've also prepared a GM report with screenies. Frankly, people like this need to be made to understand that abuse is not just buying gold or botting, it covers all sorts of areas of bad and unacceptable behaviour. I have the right to play the way I want, and I don't think it's up to anyone else to be as abusive as Joker was in telling me otherwise.

More news as I have it :D

All Change!

New Layout, new Logo. Plus there will be some other changes as time goes on.

I wanted something that more accurately mirrored what I'm about, and how I play the game, and frankly most of the time it's with a [Uber Cover of Cynicism] on... so here we go. New look that hopefully looks better on a range of platforms as well. Boo to you if you're using IE anyway, get Firefox :p

Side bars and stuffs will follow, plus new pictures.


Money Shots

For the first time since it's introduction, we extended a Raid ID yesterday. Mostly it's because of this guy. Vezax is now all that stands between us and Yogg Saron on 10 man.

I completely understand why the Hardcore Guilds don't consider 10 man as 'proper' raiding. In ALL respects getting 25 people in one place and getting them to work as a team is more complex, more time consuming and ultimately should give better rewards. The fact remains however if you don't have 25 people around, 10 man gives you what you'd expect, and probably demand from this kind of experience. There is a lot to consider: there's the question of making sure you are operating at maximum capacity, of functioning well in a unit, whilst ensuring you're doing what you're bought to the raid to do. Currently the loot is pretty much an aside (as we have TotC virtually on farm, PvP bosses depending) and it's all about completing the instance. Without 10 man modes our Guild would probably still be in Naxx, or at least as part of an Alliance... which is nearly not as good as doing it for yourself.

I don't doubt for one second, with the people we have currently running the instance, that we won't finish Ulduar very soon. Actually, I'd say we'll be ready for Icecrown as soon as it appears (which I'll predict will be around the Christmas holidays) with decent gears and people hungry to face off against Arthas. In that respect the game is keeping pace with us for the first time, I suspect with a lot of the more casual guilds overall. I think it's a testament to the changes Blizzard has made that we have a game that now remains current for longer and offers greater overall challenges to it's participants. Props to Blizzard as a result.

Of course, as soon as the servers stabilise all thoughts of Ulduar and the Crusade are out of the window. All roads will inevitably lead to the Wyrmbog... :D

QQ No Moar!

The biggest complaint while I was levelling in AV ALWAYS came from the L80's. It seems that Blizzard were already listening...
With the launch of patch 3.2.2 today there have been some changes to the Alterac Valley battleground and we wanted to clarify what exactly has been done.

Level 80 characters now have their own bracket and there is a separate bracket for characters that are levels 70 to 79. This change was originally planned for patch 3.3 but it was accidently applied to the current patch 3.2.2. As we had already intended to make this change so that players who are leveling play together and players who are at the level cap play together, we will be keeping the bracket setup this way, but the level of the bosses in the brackets below level 80 will be reduced to compensate.
I have to say this change could not have come soon enough. It will put to an end the deliberately-engineered premades with 10-15 L80's who surge forward to cap and then leave sub-80's in their wake to defend. Yes, I'm only annoyed at this coz no-one on my server has the time or the foresight to do this, but still... It's a welcome change, as is the confirmation in the patch notes that heirloom items will grant you XP in BG's as well.

All the machines here are patched. The Guild did one last Ony run last night. All I can do now is wait...

Monday, September 21, 2009


...was the sound my graphics card made Friday night. It's been poorly sick for a while, if truth be told. Now I have a lovely 1GB Behemoth, and a DV lead for the first time, and frankly Azeroth looks GORGEOUS.

It makes Brewfest Rams look particuarly good. \o/

Normal Service will be resumed when I've sorted out the Alt/Brewfest daily cyle...