Light & Leafy

Archive for the ‘wtfpwnt’ Category

Last week, I decided a break from WoW (and especially raiding) was in order. The lag had gotten so bad that even playing around on my hunter (who has now made it out to Hellfire Peninsula with Osy’s adorable gnome) was impossible. Thankfully, those issues have been resolved on Terenas, but I still felt a bit worn out raiding most nights. So I found this website (it’s safe, I promise), and after downloading and tinkering with DosBox (well, after Osy tinkered with DosBox – it’s pretty user friendly –like you-drag-the-game-onto-the-program-and-you-play friendly -unless you have an LCD monitor like I do. Then,  I hope you know more about DosBox than I do or can, you know, read a wiki and follow instructions), I played some really, really old games. Like SimCity old.

I think my main grievances are lack of commitment and the feeling like my 25 man team has hit a wall. It wouldn’t be so bad if that wall was not Festergut. But what it boils down to is that we simply don’t have enough DPS to meet the enrage timer (according to some math I did, we’d have to average about 7k dps per dps player, and we’re not close to that yet).

I get frustrated when I can’t fix something for my team. I really don’t know much about dps, having really only played healers, and consequently, I don’t know how to get my team to crank out bigger numbers when they’re all seemingly following their ideal rotations. Maybe the ranged isn’t spread out enough? Maybe we were range-heavy the last time we tried?

10 mans are going well though, and usually cheer me up enough to go back into 25 man with an optimistic outlook. My druid’s team is getting progressively more cohesive (which I’m continually impressed with because before 2 weeks ago we were essentially just a group of strangers), and my priest’s team finally got Valithria down (I’m going to get around to posting suggestions for that fight, even though I kind of feel like we cheated because we brought a 4th healer in and single-tanked the waves of trash).  The priest’s team always feels like a challenge though. It seems like we can’t always get the same 10 people, though we always are playing with close friends and usually 8/10 are consistent.  We’re super close, and we play exceedingly well together, but actually finding a time to meet is like pulling teeth. From a lion. Who may or may not be cranky. And who definitely hasn’t been given any nitrous oxide.

I wonder if I’m the only one who’s not excited for Cataclysm yet. I mean, I’ll be plenty excited when I get to create a Worgen rogue and level through all the new content. And I’ll be plenty excited to revisit my healers and re-figure out how everything pieces together. But I’m not excited YET.  I know it’s a ways away, but I secretly fear I’m never going to see the end of this expansion. That for some reason or another I’ll never get the closure I’m longing for in Arthas’ storyline. Lore is part of the reason this game is so fulfilling for me; to be so involved, and so close to true end-game progression (and lore progression) , it would be really disappointing for me to have to find video of the conclusion of Wrath of the Lich King rather than experience it first hand.

I don’t want to jump ahead to Deathwing and speculating about the new world order before I finish what I’ve started.

I can’t get too pessimistic though. I know deep down that my teams will conquer the Lich King (even if it’s not zomg-rite-nao!). And our 25 man’s have just been getting stronger and stronger. We’ll be able to smush Festergut someday, even if we need to conquer other encounters first.  We’ve had these roadblocks before (Razorscale wipes for 3 weeks? Why, yes I remember that!)

Oh, and the trash after Valithria? That made me happier than a peanut-butter and banana and nutella sandwich.  And that’s a pretty happy sammich.  I would know. I made them for lunch during our Saturday alt raid.

*Addendum: OHMAIGAWD I WANT AN OOZLING FROM THE HOLIDAY BOSSES NAO!!!!! That is all.*

PS. Both my 10 mans got the weekly quest to kill Festergut and Rotface. Both my 10 mans one shotted Rotface (who we attempted first because we figured we’d be more likely to wipe on him) and wiped on Festergut.  The first group had vomit on the melee group because we only had 3 ranged situated around the room and one died because he didn’t get all the spore debuffs he needed (I had offered to stand out so we’d have a backup range, but people said that was unnecessary and dangerous….) . The second group, and this was shitty, wiped around 25% because the second tank’s taunt wasn’t working and Osy blew up the entire raid. I felt horrible for the second tank because it was pretty clear that he was beating himself up over it.  All in all though, I had to laugh, because we never wipe on Festergut.  Talk about performance anxiety.

PSS. I do this sometimes on my guild forums, but I might MIGHT start publishing recipes for foods you find in game. I was motivated by this because my office friend and I have decided the 18th of every month is National Cupcake Day (we found like 5 different sites all claiming a different month, but interestingly the same numerical day, as National cupcake day). So the first recipe will probably be for Tasty Cupcakes. If what I make for Thursday is tasty. Which it might not be. Who knows?

/hugs for listening to my rants

*Clears Throat*

Why did you build me up,

Saurfang, baby, just to kill me more

Face on the floor.

And then worst of all,

You always spam nova

After a blood beast

Can’t get you beat.

I’m confused!

Marking everyone, honey!

You didn’t do tha-at before!

So, help me up, Saurfang,

Don’t wipe me no more!

That was to the tune of “Build Me Up Buttercup” by the Foundations. If you don’t know it (WHAAT?), go here. Nao. I canz wait.

Something interesting came up last night. We’ve killed Saurfang twice in our 25 man group and loads more in our ten mans. And yet, last night, he seemed substantially harder than he has in the past.

At first, I really thought it was only because we pugged a few spaces. Maybe they were just getting hit by the blood beasts as we were killing them. Most of the marks we were receiving were handed out during add phases anyways. It made sense.

And Blizzard fixed the exploit on the gunship allowing marked players to hop into a cannon so they wouldn’t take any damage and risk dying, giving Saurfang 5% of his health. We all knew that was coming, sooner or later. So, we had to step up the healing game to get the marked players through the fight. That really wasn’t so bad. I focused on the marks while allowing the 2 other discipline priests handle bubbling the rest of the raid.

Well, it wasn’t bad until the 6th mark or so. I believe that’s where we started loosing people, even though our pally had one marked baconed, and everyone but him was spamming heals on marked players.  But, with nearly another mark out and Saurfang only sitting at 25% of his health, it was game over.

We wiped a few times over, attributing it to the lack of coordination we were feeling all night. A little after our normal break time, we decided to call the raid and hope that we’d have better luck on Thursday. A quick Patchy kill to end the night on a positive note, then off to our own desires(I wish we had Wintergrasp to try out the new boss, but there’s always tonight).

My 10 man decided that we’d go in, since we still had an hour or so before end time, and clear the front of the house so that when we went back this weekend we’d be able to focus more on the content we haven’t cleared or seen.  Breezing right along (and winning a sexay new belt off of Marrowgar), we got to Saurfang, happy knowing that we could kill him in revenge for all the wipes and headaches he caused earlier.

Now, my favorite dwarven discipline priest waited while I switched into my ohmaigawdbubbles!spec, and we divided up the bubbling assignments.  Our holy pally went ret to smush face, and we were in business.

Or so we thought. We got about to 80% of his health, and realized that his blood power was already at 50%. The last 4 or 5 times Dyrum and I have healed this fight together,  we were able to get through the entire encounter without a single mark. Suddenly, I was wishing our holy pally was still helping out healing.   One mark went out on our top dps.  Then a second.  Then a third.

My fingers eagerly twitched for my guardian spirit button to help keep the marked players alive, only to cast power infusion on a kitty.

This wasn’t the clean, predictable kill I had expected.  It had this messy, scrambling feeling.

What happened to Saurfang? What happened to ez-mode lewtz?

Well, as far as I know, there were only 2 theories:

  1. (Provided by a lock guildie in the 25 man version) Saurfang had bugged after the patch. He was stuck on heroic mode, gaining blood power at a much higher rate and doing more overall damage to the raid. I haven’t found any sources pointing to this as of yet, but I was eager to believe that over believing our group was just incapable of fighting the fight as intended.
  2. Saurfang had been fixed to work the way he was always intended to. This was the theory that Osyras and I were tossing back and forth.  Maybe discipline priests were never meant to be completely win for that fight. Instead of preventing Saurfang from receiving blood power on a target whose damage is absorbed by a bubble or divine aegis, maybe bubbles were only ever meant to absorb the damage while allowing Saurfang to continue to build blood power.  It made sense the more we considered it. It would make the achievement to kill him without Marks of the Fallen Champion more difficult to get. And it wouldn’t put one healing class so above and beyond any of the others. The only question I have is, if this was the way the fight was intended to work, why didn’t Blizzard fix it sooner, rather then lulling guilds (like mine) into a sense of accomplishment and farm status?

I’m not really sure I know what happened last night, though I’m sure I’ll find out in the coming weeks.  I do wish that Blizzard would mention something, either by saying that yes, they fixed Saurfang to be the fight they always intended him to be, or by confirming that he was glitching out on heroic mode after the patch yesterday.  Stealth patching is…stealthy.  I like knowing what I’m up against. I don’t really care if the encounter had to be tweaked,  I just want to know if I need to fix my healing strategies or not.

Saurfang will either return to being the easy peasy lemon squeezy fight that he was, or we’ll have to adapt and succeed. Maybe that’ll make the rewards ever so sweeter.

Did any of you have problems with your ICC attempts this week?

Also….

Having a cold is teh sux. Having a cold, and having to go to work, is worse. Having a cold, having to go to work, and having to deal with snow is the worst.

I can haz hot cocoa?

Rush

Posted on: January 25, 2010

Who’s ready for a science lesson?!?

*pauses*

I said, who’s ready for a science lesson?!

*crickets*

Well, since it’s my blog, you’re going to get one anyways! HA! See how I tricked you there?

When humans are under stressful, threatening, or incredibly exciting conditions, we tend to respond with a basic “fight or flight” instinct. We either run away from our situation and regroup ourselves accordingly, or we take the bull by the horns (metaphorically, I don’t actually suggest trying this at home) and face our situation head on. No matter what we choose, our bodies are already beginning to prepare themselves in case of an emergency. The adrenal and pituitary gland are secreting epinephrine and endorphins into our blood stream, while our brain is sending signals by way of norepinephrine.

Wait. Back up. This is a WoW blog. Why are we using big words pertaining to our REAL bodies when normally we’d be healing the animated bodies around us. Well, it’s all connected.

Epinephrine (also known as adrenaline), norepinephrine, and endorphins are all different types of hormones released in our bodies  during times of stress (stress, in this case, meaning any thing physically or mentally dangerous or exciting; this can include pain, being scared, the sensation of falling, high tension situations, etc.).  Epinephrine is released through our adrenal glands right above our kidneys, and is responsible for increasing oxygen supply to our brains and muscles. Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter, or a messenger, for our brains, and in addition to telling our hearts to beat faster, it is believed to increase attention/focus and our ability to make decisions quickly. Endorphins are controlled by our pituitary glands, and are released during times of stress and physical pain; they promote a sense of well being in the body and control the amount of pain our brain picks up.

So, now that we know a little bit about them…

The three hormones we’ve briefly touched upon usually combine to form what’s commonly known as an adrenaline rush.You know the feeling. The sense of euphoria you get when you’re screaming your lungs out on that new 90mph roller coaster. Or the jittery insomnia you experience the night before a major exam.  Maybe the exhilaration of an encounter you just can’t seem to beat…

That’s right. You don’t need to (thankfully) pull someone out of a burning building to feel the rush.  You can experience it in a controlled environment with nothing but a few hours of your time at stake.

I think that makes certain boss fights enjoyable:  the thrill of not knowing whether or not you’re going to succeed. If you were to go into Naxx and wipe repeatedly on Anub’Rekhan, well maybe you’d just get angry or put it aside. And once you finally DID succeed to kill him, chances are you’d be excited, but not euphoric.

Now picture yourself in Ice Crown Citadel, facing Professor Putricide with only 3 more attempts before Tirion comes in and tells you its time to throw in the towel. You can’t spend hours more wiping, you can’t even come back the next night to finish.  The pressure is tangible. And that’s when the rush starts setting in.

Now maybe some raiders come to the table with the cool, collected attitude that I’ve never had. But I’m pretty damn sure every single one of us last night was hopped up on the experience. I don’t rightly remember the last time we all raided in nearly complete silence, so intensely focused on our jobs. I don’t remember the last time me and my tree friend couldn’t find the words to describe the intensity of healing the last phase of the encounter.  The B.F. and I were up until ungodly hours of the night going over and over the fight, gleefully picking through every detail, too excited to even contemplate going to sleep. Just thinking about it, nearly 15 hours later, I can feel my heart start to race and the energy start to well up inside me.

And I can’t help but think that it’s a great mechanic of the game. Theoretically, we should perform a bit better while under the effects of the rush: all our attention is focused on the game. I know I did. I poured every bit of mana I could into the green bars on my screen. I pre-hotted, pre-casted. I stopped being overly concerned about my mana pool, relying on Sneaky the shadowfiend, and innervates, and *gasp* even mana pots! I felt completely in tune with Edainne at that moment, even though after years of healing on her I know her like the back of my hand.

And, in a way, it’s cathartic. We get to experience and release the emotions we don’t normally deal with in our day-to-day lives.

So, my dear readers, when was the last time WoW gave you such a rush? I’d love to hear others’ stories, maybe commiserate over fights that got my blood going, so to speak.

Me: I can haz tank 4 new instances? /cuddle
Bf: Sure, when do you want to run them?
Me: Nao! I luv lore!
Bf.: Ok, let’s grab some dps from the guild and head into heroics.
Me: Okies. I gotz phat lewtz. I can heal anything lolerskatez *smitesmitesmite*

Wednesday evening. The boyfriend and I decide to have a go at the 3 new instances, and because we’re obviously over-powered, we decide that we really don’t need to read up on them and we also don’t need to go into the normal versions.  Because, where’s the sense of adventure in that?  We grab a mage, a enhancement shaman, and a boomkin and away we go!

First things first! Forge of Souls! I get all the way out there, summon everyone and realize….I have one devout candle left. So I schlep back to Dalaran to buy reagents. In the mean time, everyone else has turned in the first quest and is ready to go. I fly back, salivate over all the juicy lore I’m reading, and finally finish so that Mr. Tank can go and pull the first group of mobs. Hey, those kinda resemble the nasties out in the various battle fields! We make it out into the open forge, and I’m breathless. It reminded me of the first time I saw Utgarde Keep; everything is so beautifully illustrated, and look at that down below! It’s a giant….

WHAT THE HELL?! Why is everyone’s health at or below 50%?! Oh-shit-oh-shit-oh-shit. Heal the tank. Heal the mage. Crap, the shaman’s almost dead. What in the name of the Light is going on here? Dammit, E., mark the stupid targets so that everyone isn’t dpsing something different and tanking their own mobs! You.Will.Not.Die. *Casts Divine Hymn*

We almost wiped in the 2nd pull of the instance. All because I was admiring the architecture of the guy I’m going to be comissioned to kill. We kept plugging right on through, each pull requiring me to, you know, actually heal. I don’t remember the last time (before I went into the Frozen halls) when I wasn’t bouncing around casting holy nova or dealing with guild workings as I instanced. By the time we got to the first boss, I had enough sense to start proactively casting renew, and using wow-lotta flash heals to keep my serendipity stacks up so I’d have a quick greater heal or prayer of healing when I really needed it. Trying to heal efficiently and effectively in a heroic?! I call poppycock.

After what felt like a lot of trash (damn you, ToC for making me think no trash was the new norm), we made it up to the  first boss. Since none of us really knew what the hell was going to happen, we all charged straight into the middle of the room. Didn’t really get everything that was going on, but we did figure out pretty quickly that those little elemental-looking soul fragments were bad news bears. “Kill the pink thingy while I try to kite him” became a common refrain. Then all of a sudden this purple swirly thing started flying around the outside of the room, and a DBM warning yelled at us to converge on the boss. Which, since it was a raid warning, seemed like the smart thing to do. At around 3% of his health, he feared me into the purple swirly stuff and I realized why my DBM yelled at me in the first place. I was feared to the edge of his room and before I was even able to reclaim control of my priest, I was in angel form, looking over my party members and screaming, “WTF” at my monitor.

A quick rez and rebuffing later, we were heading down the ramp towards the final corridor. “Hey, I don’t think we need to pull that wraith in the corner, so I’m just going to L.o.S. the one inside the hallway….”

Now, normally I think my boyfriend is one HELL of a tank. That particular time made me want to roll up a news paper and bop him on the nose: BAD TANK! BAD! Don’t you EVER make me have to heal through two of those wraiths again…

The Devourer of Souls actually wasn’t so so bad; we lost the shaman when he was the first recipient of Mirrored Souls and our Boomkin and Mage destroyed him, but really we were able to get through it relatively unscathed. Silly shaman…

Of course, now Ms. Jaina wants us to get our hands dirty in the Pit of Saron. Again, I was astonished about just how awesome everything looked. Between the Frost Wyrm mount, and just legions of slaves everywhere, it did feel pretty epic. Oh, and having my boyfriend rescue a female dwarf only for her to ask him to have her babies was gosh darn priceless (what kind of babies do you get when you mix an undead draenei and a dwarf….)

Not knowing our way around, we killed a LOT more trash than we need to. Like, the entire left side of the instance, where there are no bosses. Everything seemed to go swimingly, probably because both the tank and healer were prepared for things to, well, hurt. We got to Garfrost, and all of sudden, there appears to be a saronite node flying in the air! In my direction. What the…

OWOWOWOWOWOWOWWW.  Note to self: when a boss hurls METAL at you, its generally in your best interest to get the hell away. After he chucked a few large chunks of saronite at random team members, DBM was screaming for us to “Hide Behind the Rock.” Wha? What rock? The only thing in here is the saronite…oooohhh. That rock. I gotcha. The rest of the fight was pretty much running away from the airborn crafting material and then running behind it so he couldn’t destroy us with his AoE frost damage. And we won, and there were all the happy slave freed from their captors! Yay!

Now it’s time to make our way to Ick. Again, really didn’t take the easiest route to get to him, but meh. We made it! And, surprisingly, Ick and Krick weren’t very difficult to beat. Run away from the purple orbs, check. Don’t stand in the green goo, double check. Flail around when the nasty flesh beast is chasing you, yep I got it.

I’m a huge lore dork. I gobble the crap up. I literally will email myself the Know Your Lore columns from WoW Insider, or lore articles from WoWWiki to read while I’m at work. My boyfriend knows this. He teases me relentlessly about it. So, while Jaina is interrogating a gnome death knight giving essential plot points, where do you think I’ll be? Standing at the bottom of a gauntlet, rip-roaring and ready to go? Or sitting with my face thisclose to the screen, clapping my hands giddily and possibly squeaking in excitement?

I manage to tear my eyes away from the lore for a second, only to see that EVERYONE ELSE’S HEALTH BAR IS RED. Bloody, giant-warning-signal red. My darling, brilliant, oh-so loveable tank decided to charge up the gauntlet. Knowing full well that the president could be standing in our living room, and I would be telling him to shhhhhhush so I can hear what Jaina is saying. At this point, it’s really quite useless for me to charge up there myself, so I wait at the entrance to rez everyone. I will say though, I love the fight to Scourgelord Tyrannus. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone else, but it feels so epic and keeps you on your toes the entire time; it gives the game a sense of urgency I had been hoping for desperately since we were having a Ren Faire in the Lich King’s back yard.

Scourgelord’s fight was really not challenging at all, though I kind of wish I knew about his mechanics before I went in. I would have switched to my discipline spec to absorb the damage, rather than heal people (and Tyrannus in the process).

Around this time I realized I should really make dinner. And, of course, dinner comes with down time and some catching up on our T.V. shows. Thing is, our couch is magical. And by magical I mean ridiculously comfortable. I really, truly tried to stay awake, but once he was asleep on the couch, I knew I was a goner. I think we woke up around midnight to brush our teeth and stumble into our bed.

Thursday night, we decide that we REALLY want to go back and finish the questline on Osyras (his DK) and Edainne. We grab a few friends, thinking it won’t take but a minute. People have already done the fight (though, maybe not on this particular character), so we know that there will be 2 bosses with 5 waves of fast spawning trash before each of them.  AND everyone has to sit through the lore so impatient tank can’t be impatient! No problem, right?

I wanted to cry. For the first time, ever, I felt like I was a completely atrocious healer. I mean, I’ve made plenty of mistakes before, but this time I just couldn’t heal through anything. And if anyone died, we were kind of screwed since the trash spawns just quick enough to prevent any resurrection. We wiped so much I literally had to port back to Dalaran and repair (Also, wtf, Blizz? Why are there no repair posts close to the instances? Why are they all inside the freaking raid?!). I was frozen by archers, shadowstepped/slowed by freaking footmen, and devoured by mages. AND we were in one of the alcoves to the side. Seriously, the bosses were freaking jokes compared to the trash waves. I was using guardian spirit on CD and the shadow priest and I were blowing divine hymns and shackling anything that wasn’t getting hit by AoE. Eventually we made it through, but damn. I felt so utterly useless.

Trying not to spoil anything, I lurved the gauntlet as much as I lurve the cave in Pit of Saron. Being chased like that? AWESOME! Recognizing that at this moment we’re not strong enough yet to face the might of the scourge? Sa-weet!

Speaking of the gauntlet, wanna know something funny? You can get ahead of the walls. True fax. You’ll kill your party members in the process when they can’t tank the adds and everything ends up killing Jaina, but you can TOTALLY get ahead of the group, isn’t that right darling? *cough*

All in all, it was a helluva fun night. I ran the three instances again, and once I knew what I was doing and what the heck was going on, it wasn’t nearly as lawlfail as these attempts were.

Tl;dr: Eda’s a nub healer who’s lore-crazy, and the new instances are pretty and epic and feel like you actually are where you’re needed to be.