Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Oh. My. God.

Blogger just deleted my huge long massive post about Huntards, Heroic Murmur and ... I'm going to cry now. I spent over 2 hours typing this thing, all righteously indignatious at the huntard and dissecting his argument that 'DPS is the best form of CC' and and and...


Monday, April 28, 2008

Overconfidence.. how I loathe thee.

As I mentioned earlier in my blog, KoU ran Karazhan in around 3.5 hours the other week. This was a guild first for KoU and got all of our hopes high that we would be moving on from the sludge that our Karazhan runs had previously been.

We had a few changeups in our roster for this week's run, but everyone who was in was well geared, experienced and good if not great at their job.

We made it to Curator in 3 hours.

What was the difference? Overconfidence, IMNSHO.

Last week we kicked ass, we took names, we asked no questions and accepted no lies.

This week, a few people tried to go at it like we were decked out in Black Temple gear (or new badge gear! OMG! WELFARE EPIX! I kid, I for one am glad of the new badge gear.). As a result, we wiped on TRASH. On 'did we just die... in that pull?' trash.

There's a fine line between moving fast enough and moving so fast that we're pulling multiple groups at once. Like I said... BT gear, okay to do. Our gear, not so okay to do.

Our lineup: Annuubis (war) and Kiltic (pally) as tanks (Kiltic is a former KoU member who came back to tank for us that night), Kiljara (priest: me) and Shougeki (shammy: Owaru) as healers (mana conservation? who needs that! mp5 is yummy), Dhark (rogue: Boon), Absitively (warlock: himself), Neshura (BM hunter), Ravensfire (rogue), Kennywpbaker (hunter, old KoU member), BigPoppi (fire mage).

We had a minor switchup right before Curator, BigPoppi's computer went out on him and so we substituted Zsasha (ice mage: Orzag) for the Curator fight.

On a plus side, there were a few hairy pulls that we lived through, which tells me that with a little more coordination, we probably CAN start to do the true chain-pulling (one tank has a group, second tank goes to get a group, etc).

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I'm not bad, I'm just specced that way...

(Obviously, I stole the line from Jessica Rabbit...)

Pre-BC, hybrid classes could do just about any of their roles without having to be specially designed. A shadow priest, with appropriate gear, could heal. A retadin could, with a sword and board, tank. And yes, they obviously won't be as good as people who are designed to do those roles, but they can get the job done decently and adequately. Even well, if they're a good player and have appropriate gear. (ie: don't try to bear tank in cloth healing gear)

Once you hit the Burning Crusade and Outlands, it becomes a slightly different story. You start getting to where you're expected to be the spec that you are impersonating. Can you still switch-hit? Yes, sure. And probably still do a good job. But you start to get to where you need to have the special abilities and spells that deep in particular trees may give you.

Hybrid Class roles that overlap:

There are a few hybrid class roles that can overlap (with the caveat that the secondary role is not as good as someone whose primary role it is) and they can overlap well with good players.

Boon, the healadin, can become a tankadin. His paladin is specced such that with a simple change of gear, and being the awesome player that he is, he can main tank the 70 instances (regular). He's even OT'd in Karazhan leading up to Curator when we had one of our tanks step out to allow more DPS in on the Curator fight. He can hold aggro well, provided that the DPS classes understand that he is not a tankadin and thus does not have Avenger's Shield and some of the nifty abilities that help them generate threat. He has to build threat slightly different, but he does it well.

However, he doesn't delude himself into thinking he can main tank a heroic, or main tank Karazhan, or even OT Karazhan for more than a single pull here or there. And when people say 'Hey, we need a tank, Boon, come tank for us!'... if it's a heroic, he says "Are you nuts?"

Feral Druids can be either melee DPS or tanks. This involves mainly a gear change, and maybe 3 points swapped about, but with little other need for changing their talents around, they can do both respectably.

I'm sure there are others -- Chickens masquerading as Deleafed Trees, Lightning Casting space goats pretending to be Healing Wave surfers. The question is... can they pull it off? Not merely the spec that they don't have, but the gear, the ability, the understanding?

I think they can, if they have the ability to understand what they lack and how to make up for what they lack. No Earth Shield? How do you get around that? No Swiftmend? How do you get around that?

And most importantly, if you're playing 'offspec', let the other members in the group know it. Don't surprise them one pull from the final boss, after an instance rife with 'damn, I died again.' moments, say 'I'm specced elemental.' (which I suppose is at least better than 'I'm specced enhancement.')

Monday, April 21, 2008

Saturday Raiding

After a hellacious day at work (yes, I work Saturdays, /cry) I got home to a fun day of raiding!

As you all know, Kikidas is not in Knights of Utopia. Her guild was doing a Gruul's/Mag run... on the same day that KoU was going to do their first (disclaimer: the first Kara run under new management!) Karazhan run. Thankfully, the times were different enough that I could make both runs!

Ya'll know me. I'd live in an instance/raid if I could. It isn't about the gear (mostly). It's about the teamwork, the knowledge that I need to do everything right if we're going to succeed, pushing myself to my limits.. the works. For a while, before Boon got into raiding himself, we'd argue a bit about my wanting to raid. He thought that I was in it for the mad epix. I'd try to tell him that it wasn't so.

Finally, delving into the past, I compared it to Final Fantasy XI. (Yes, I just said it, WoW compared to FFXI! Don't have a heart attack, please.)

In Final Fantasy XI, the groups were hard to come by, you had to work your ass off just to kill a regular monster. And then there were skillchains. Skillchains were the key to beating a mob. I don't know how many of you guys remember or ever played FFXI, but a well put together group that was doing skillchains was a beautiful thing, it took SKILL. That's what raiding is for me. It's a measure of skill. It's a test of my skill more so than anything else.

He finally got it the one time he was in a really good raid with me. He said, "Wow. I think I finally understand what you mean.".

So, the Gruuls/Mag run went really well. We wiped once on Magtheridon because one of our cube clickers died and wasn't clear on what cube was now 'free'. We wiped once on HKM because of a shoddy initial pull. Since Resolve doesn't have enough members on its own for Gruul's/Mags, they were recruiting friends and some of their sister-guild members. I got Boon as his paladin and Absitively as his warlock into the group, Orzag a priest made it to Mags, Shougeki a resto shaman made it to Gruuls. Absitively got the cloak from HKM. Boon got the T4 shoulders. Shougeki got the T4 shoulders AND the T4 leggings.

Then we hit Karazhan! The makeup: Annuubis the prot warrior, Owaru the tankadin, Boon the healadin, Orzag the holy priest, Kikidas the warlock, Absitively the warlock, Bigpoppi the fire mage, Kaggomi the elemental shaman, Anolifer the dps warrior and Neshura the beast master hunter.

In four hours, we cleared everything except Netherspite and Nightbane. I know that for a 'badge-run', it would be considered slow. But for a Knights of Utopia run... that's three or four nights of raiding rolled into 4 hours.

We wiped only twice, both on Opera. Romulo and Julianne. The first time, our Romulo tank died because his healer got charmed. The second time, our interrupts accidentally thought the call for 'dps to switch to romulo' meant them, too.

Now, we did stack the deck by taking our best of the best characters. But there were some significant changes from the old way.

1: we kept pulling, one of the old management's problems was taking forever to pull. They'd get to Attumen with only 5 minutes left on the respawn timer. Consequentially, everything took longer to do. They'd wait on trash pulls for everyone to have completely full mana bars.

2: we took people who met a minimum requirement of not only stats, but playability.

3: only two healers, not three. The old KoU would only go in if they had 3 healers. What this meant was that the healer that was on group healing and in some cases, offtank healing, were bored out of their mind. One less DPS also made fights longer.

4: no explaining. People knew their marks. They knew the strats. We clarified briefly. ie: horseshoe vs. clumped on Curator, kill order on Moroes, killing or ignoring Kilrek, etc. This made for a faster run overall as we didn't waste time explaining what 9/10 of the people in the raid knew first-hand. Our one newb to the run was Neshura, and she read up on everything in advance and knew what to do.

When we start to bring our alts in there, Posolutely the warrior, Kathe the druid tank, Dhark the rogue, Shougeki the resto shaman... I'm sure it'll be slower. But hopefully never painful. Slow is okay. Painful is not.

We did switch out Owaru for Shougeki on Prince for extra healing, and Shougeki got the T4 helm, too. (What a lucky shaman, stealing from his paladin friend!)

All in all, in terms of raiding, it was absolutely frikken wonderful. Smooth. Clean. Quick. Skilled.

K want more!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Under New Management

Knights of Utopia is now under new management.

The other day, we had our big guild hemorrhage and lost scads of our raiders. The previous guild leader, who is an awesome guy, admitted that it was a choice to him to either quit WoW or stay guild leader (which doesn't sound like it makes sense, but I'm sure you know what I mean). Everyone encouraged him to do what he needed to do to have fun, because after all, this is a GAME.

So guild leadership was handed over to none other than me.

Well, it was handed over to Owaru the paladin's alt, Byouki the warlock, but we all know where the real power lies.

And Owaru has taken off like a race-horse given its head. And he's doing awesome with what he's doing. And if he isn't careful, he's going to burn himself out and wind up saying 'it's either quit or stay guild leader'. *waggles admonitory finger at Owaru* Delegate, my friend. You have a good group of support staff in your high council. We are here to use and abuse, and in some cases, abuse is what we want *cough Absitively cough*. If he denies that he wants abuse, he's lying.

So, if you're on Alleria and you see a Knights of Utopia member, don't judge us by what has been done in the past, hopefully that isn't too harsh anyway. We're under new management.

The only reason we didn't disband and rejoin under a different name is ... damn, we have 3 or 4 bank tabs.

We are getting a new tabard *squee* and having a contest to see what tabard design wins. Too bad we can't also change our guild name without disbanding (if someone sees this and says 'yes, you can', please tell me how.).

Monday, April 14, 2008

Casual Raiding: Guild Breakers

There are posts aplenty out there about raiding guilds, raiding, casual raiding and all that it entails. Some guilds can make it work for them. They have the players, the gear and the ability to partition time appropriately.

Knights of Utopia, a casual-guild on Alleria, has been my home now for a while. Since I've joined, it's gone through a lot of changes.

When I joined, way back when Kava the rogue was my main character, they were just starting Karazhan (again). Story is, that they used to run Karazhan and then the guild split into the 'hard core raiders' and the 'casual raiders'. Knights of Utopia were the remnants of the casual raider part of it.

So, I join the group and they need a warlock. Kikidas becomes my main. And we're doing Karazhan. They have a karma system that is additive. Meaning that I never won anything because I wasn't in there as often as the other casters in the guild, so they'd roll with 170 added to their roll and I'd roll with 20 added to mine. Not very satisfactory! Since I wasn't getting gear out of Karazhan, I became a heroic hog and went after badges and heroic gear like a madwoman. I became the raid leader and we eked our way up to the Curator, with all the associated problems that a small guild trying a 10-man raid entailed. Unfortunately, being new to raid leading, I did the 'warm body' policy. Can you get into Kara? Then let's go!

How naive I was.

I eventually left KoU with my warlock because I was tired of wiping on Attumen and being unable to motivate some members to do more.

We (KoU) went through two more raid leaders before our 'current' set of raid leaders. And we went from barely hitting Curator to hitting Prince and Netherspite. I shouldn't say 'we'. THEY. They did awesome! They had a core group of people. They knew the strats. They had the gear. Most of them had the playability. (some did not)

Then we lost two of those core people to bigger-better guilds. They were tired of doing Kara and they wanted into SSC and TK. Which is FINE. Let me say that again: that's FINE. They stuck around in Kara, training the new people who filtered in and out of the last few spots of tank and healer and DPS that always seem to be changing, and doing it over and over again. They wanted to see bigger and better things. It's their 15 bucks a month. I hope they do well in their new guild and I hope they see SSC and TK and all the other things that they want to see. They have more time to raid than I did, so I'm sure they'll go further than I ever did with Kikidas.

With one of KoU's main DPS and healers out of the game, suddenly we backslid in Karazhan. And then it happened. Whether it's cherry-picking by other guilds (it has happened before, our more geared players get stolen by the glory of epix) or the 'grass is greener on the other side' syndrome or the 'Hey guys, I'm having a BLAST in SSC and TK! Wish you could be here!' or some other thing... but last night we lost 8 people. The partings were, for the most part, sincere and regretful on both sides. 'We want to move on. We're tired of doing Kara'.

See previous response about Kara that I just made. Good luck to you guys.

Now, onto my title.

Casual raiding causes guild breakups. Because in your 'casual' group, you're going to have a range of people from the truly casual "What's a macro?" to the casual-hardcore "Let's DO THIS THING! RAWR!"

The resulting gradient is where the problem comes in. The casual-hardcore people get tired of the truly casual. The truly casual hold back the ones who can do the casual raiding well. The hardcore people can't get the casual ones to actually do things in a hardcore way. And then the hardcore people move on because they want to progress. The casual people still can't figure out where Karazhan is.

Which, considering it's a casual guild, is somewhat understandable.

Last night, KoU officers (before the mass exodus) held a meeting and decided to re-vamp our 'casual raiding' style. We're still a casual guild, but if you want to raid with us, you have to meet some stricter criteria to be on the list of our raiders. We were going to get down and dirty and streamline our Karazhan so that we can down it in a night or two. We talked about re-opening and strengthening our ties with Angel's Wrath, an allied guild, so we can do joint Gruuls and Mags. We discussed heroics and stopping the 'warm body' policy. Instead of filling in our spots with anyone who is on, if we don't have enough 'Kara ready' people -- and by that we mean pots, flasks, food, strat, gear on and ready to go 15-30 minutes before START TIME (by start time we mean the time the first mob gets pulled) -- then we'd split up the people who were there and do heroics and instances and group quests, as a guild. Strengthen ties, learn each other styles, get better badge gear, etc.

We've been casual for a long time and I don't want to see that change. We have people with babies in the guild who can't do hardcore raiding and wouldn't last in a true raiding guild because of their schedule and unplanned 'Oops, baby woke up!' moments. We have people who have variable work schedules and sometimes can't show up as planned. We have people who are there to play the game and have fun and that shouldn't change.

But if we're going to be a casual raiding guild, some things do need to change about our raiding style. We've unfortunately enabled people to get into Kara and get the gear and the things that they 'don't deserve'. What I mean by that is that they don't learn the stats or their class or any of the things they need to know for us to progress, because we've been so gung-ho about 'getting through' that we don't make sure people know the whys and hows. We're enablers and that's the reason we have people leaving. We can't continue 'warm body' policy anymore. It's killing us.

We're so scared of hurting someone's feelings that we keep with the 'warm body' strategy and take people we'd really rather not raid with... and we fail. We keep throwing ourselves at the doors of Karazhan without being ready for it (by having 10 people ready to go). Now, I understand that some people will be learning as they go and getting gear as they go and I can't expect everyone to show up at the doors of Karazhan and go through it like they're geared out like Kikidas, Boon, Absitively and Owaru. And some of our inability to get through Karazhan in one or two nights is how slow we've historically pulled trash and how long it took to discuss the strategy. Part of our new streamlined policy is that we are no longer going to do that. You know your strats. You know your marks. No more 'this is how we're going to do this'. We get in and we pull the way it should be pulled. We hold people accountable for their mistakes. If you always kill us in Shade because you're always the one moving during flame wreath? Guess what? Get better. If you don't know the strategy for Attumen, why not? You should read up on what you're going to do before you go and do it. If you're playing the game, you have access to the internet.

But I digress, as I always do.

Casual raiding breaks guilds because you have people like me in the guild. I'm a hardcore casual raider. Absitively is a hardcore casual raider. Look at our gear. Look at what we can do. Look at what we want to do. We're always bettering our gear towards a goal. We don't just go 'ooh, purple, drool' and expect that it'll open the door to us. We don't just go 'ooh, black temple, let's PuG it!' because it has no more attunement. We work our tails off and we want to see more, do more, be more. We push our envelope because that's our nature. We exist in a casual guild because we also enjoy things that aren't raiding, because our envelopes are more than Kara, ZA, TK, BT, SSC...

But I worry how many more people in our guild will leave shortly because they're also casual hardcore raiders. What they don't understand is that KoU will never progress because we have this slow bleed. We lose our best players just when KoU is ready to make the transition to ZA or start looking at our allies for a joint Gruuls or Mag. The reason they leave is because the warm body/casual attitude we've historically taken. There's no way that as we were... we'd survive in ZA or Gruuls or Mags, even if we were grouped with our allies. It's probably why our allies don't party with us, either. We have people who just don't do their homework, who just aren't doing what they should be doing, and either don't care or don't bother to learn more. Some of it may be that they just aren't told -- after all, we don't want to make them feel bad. Some of it is the enabling that we've done in the past. Why should they... when we do it for them?

I do think that KoU still has what we need to hit Karazhan even though we lost 8 people. Our problem is making sure that we're not counting our alts!

Healers: Terrex, Boon, Shougeki, Orzag, Kiljara
Tanks: Ferenal, Annuubis, Kathe, Keyami, Owaru
DPS: Dhark, Kiya, Absitively, Kikidas, Ravensfire, Werenal, Tasogare
-- these people are Kara ready definately. I didn't list some that I am not sure are still in the guild or not as they're associated with people who recently went onto those bigger better pastures and others who aren't on regularly enough to be listed as definates.

Alts: Boon/Dhark; Kikidas/Kiya/Keyami/Kathe/Kiljara; Werenal/Ferenal; Owaru/Shougeki/Tasogare

KoU has floundered in the past. It's lost it's leaders before. It's still around. I hope it will stay around. We may have a membership turnover and people may leave... but we'll still be friends. And we will still play together. We may not raid together... but who cares about that?

(On an aside, I apologize for the way my posts have been lately. I'm having an issue with words and putting words together in a sentence that makes sense to people other than me. I go off on tangents and digress here and there and I start out typing one thing and wind up somewhere completely different. I hope this post made sense to people who are reading my blog. I realize that my blog has digressed a lot from where it started, as well. I was hoping to not have my blog turn into 'this is what I ate today' type of blog and I worry that's where it's heading.)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Rediscovering... 180!

Kikidas the Warlock is a death dealing shadowy dealer of death! She puts out lots of damage and is known for aggro stealing and hating tanks (and healers alike! LIFE TAP!). She's all dark and darkly glowy purple and black. She looks scary! (T4 helm and chest, T5 shoulders for those who can imagine that)

Are there scarier warlocks out there? Yes. But she's still scary.

Yesterday I decided that I needed to work on rep with my priest. Namely because I'm started to get a leeetle tired of tanking.

(on an aside, I went into Old Hillsbrad with Kathe in DPS gear. The epic rogue (aka my husband) was upset that in my poor blues and greens, Kathe had over 2000 attack power. He still out damaged me, but I could lord over my kitty-attack-power-bonus.)

So last night was heroic Slave Pens on our server as the daily. It's something that Absitively the warlock really wants a trinket out of. So we assemble! Tasogare the mage (aka Owaru), Dhark the rogue (aka Boon), Absitively the warlock (aka Absitively the warlock) and Kiljara the priest (aka Kikidas the death dealing shadowy dealer of death!).

And I'm smashing! I'm all glowy yellow and white. I bring people back from the brink of death and only in two instances from death itself. I match, too! Most of the hallowed set, the crown from Chess, the serpentcrest lifestaff (all glowy with the 81 healing enchant) and the primal mooncloth shoulders and belt. I look dignified and stately! Little sparkles of light follow me around as I heal people and shield people!

The best was when we were on Quag. I say to the group, you know... I don't have anything to remove poison.

And sure enough, everyone gets poisoned. But guess what a priest has? GROUP HEALS! Suckas. Er, I mean... gentle souls.

So I did a 180 last night. From death dealing shadowly dealer of death to little miss sunshine and light. It was fun. :)

On another aside, if you're past Rockmar and you need to run out of the instance (because, say.. you're being chased by 4 mobs?), use the water exit by Rockmar. They have to run around the instance. So as long as you keep bookin' it to the exit, they won't catch up to you. Then they teleport back to their original spot, which causes the stealthed rogue and invisible mage no end of concern as they wait for them to run back past them. This, incidentally, is fun to listen to.

"Go look if they've returned yet."
"No, you go look, I don't want to die."

Monday, April 7, 2008

Leveling Goddess! and Other Things

In a grand total of 4 hours, I went from level 56 to level 58 on my RETRIBUTION (add CRACK-POW sound effect) paladin.

Then, since I'm going to stick with Teppou, Fyzzgig and Zeshura, I stopped leveling experience wise and instead went to get my mining skill up from 239 to 300, ready for Outlands! Otherwise I'd be 70 by the time they got to 58! (I jest! ... slightly, but it is a jest! I'd only be 68... not 70.)

So, I needed to get from 239 to 250 for Thorium. Right. Mithril it is. Badlands I went. Not too shabby if you ride back and forth across the southern zone wall. I hit the 250 mark and I said, finally, now I can go get Thorium. I went to a mining map website and looked at where they recommend. They recommended the Burning Steppes and lo and behold, the Burning Steppes isn't all that far from the Badlands. So that's where I went.

Big Mistake.

I spent 4 hours (long enough I could probably have been almost 60, if not truly 60, if I was actually leveling) getting to 300 mining skill out in the Burning Steppes. There were simply no nodes to be found. I had no competition (except one donkey's butt hunter that stole a node out from under me. No, really, he did. I was fighting something RIGHT ON TOP OF THE NODE, and it was almost dead. He rides up and starts to mine and stays in 'loot box' mode on the Rich Thorium that I was wanting to mine. I said, 'Uh, do you mind?' but apparently he didn't. I only saw him the once, otherwise, I was the only person in the zone it seemed.)

Afterwards, Teppou says the better place for thorium is EPL and Winterspring. Of course, he said that after I was 300.

Now I'm looking at leveling up my jewelcrafting on my paladin to 300.

I will admit, I am HEAVILY biased AGAINST leveling guides for experience and going up levels. Not that they aren't useful for people who may not know where to go and what quests to do. But I don't like them. As I mentioned above, I don't have a problem with leveling fast. (This probably has a little to do with having leveled 6 characters to 70 without a guide. I kinda know where to go now. I POSSIBLY would have used a leveling guide if it was my first or second character.)

(But then again, possibly not. I'm stubborn and hate 'following the crowd', as my asinine brain insists on calling it.)

(This probably explains my non-conformist warlock spec.)

(Are you getting tired of parenthesis yet?)

(I'm not.)

However, I am an absolute idiot when it comes to leveling crafting skills. My jewelcrafting is (was) 206. And I sit there and look at what I need and say, "Ooh, let me go get that." and I run out and I grab what I need and I make 4 items to get to 210. Then I look what I need and say, "Oooh, let me go get that." and I spend HOURS getting the materials to make 3 things. (I didn't do that second part yet. I got to 210 and then I said, 'Crap. I'm in Ironforge. I don't think there's a JC trainer in IF.'

I is dumb.

So I caved... I'm going to use a crafting guide to get my jewelcrafting to 300. I can hear Owaru now "It's not worth it!" he shouts. But you know me (or if you don't...), and I have to have a jewelcrafter. I have one of everything else (granted, my engineering is craptacular, but I do have an engineer!), so it's only natural that I have a jewelcrafter, too. I've been hoarding outland gems for a while so hopefully I can turn a little profit from them when I can start cutting gems... that and no more running to the AH everytime I upgrade a PoC piece and need 2 or 3 gems.

On a warlock aside...

I took Fyzzgig through Sunken Temple and my only wish is that SoC could have an instant proc the way Shadowbolt can with Nightfall. Owaru's words to that were, "The last thing you need is an instant SoC *shudder*.".

But truly, when you're mass clearing a low level instance, even though they aren't doing a lot of damage to you, you still get knockback on your casting bar. Which makes it really frustrating because the best way to clear something is to have a bunch of SoC on things so that when the first goes off, it sets the others off too. And then you have a bunch of dead mobs with 4 casts.

I managed it once, to get 4 off before I started to get hit. It was beautiful... bunches of purple lights and explody sounds, then the agonized groans of multiple dragonkin dying and hitting the ground. And clearing Jammal the Prophet's room was fun too, I'd SoC two things, then run over to a third group. Then I did the 'back up and DoT' thing, to avoid the ghosties. 'Twas much fun.

The best quote of the evening... well, there were many, but the funniest-warlock-related one was...

Owaru: "You think I go Ogrila?" (talking about the most heart-rending death saying.)
Kvasira: "No, you're going to HELL! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"
Kvasira: "Oh wait, sorry. I was channeling Kikidas."

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Crusader Strike! BAM!

In keeping with my previous post, I was being all paladiny yesterday. I took my shiny new spec and I went out to Winterspring to do some quests.

Now, in the past, I could handle something maybe orange level but I had to be full up on mana and health to do so. I could handle two yellow level things, but I had to be full up on mana and health to do so.

Yesterday, I was chaining orange and yellow mobs, starting out 1/4 down on mana. I could feel my jaw hanging open the first time I wasn't paying attention and wound up chaining four mobs on me at once. I said to myself, 'Crap, I'm going to die. But I'll take as many of them with me as possible!'...'I haven't died yet, okay... next mob.'...'Holy hell, how did I live?'

My husband, the renowned healadin Boon, said that he tried ret when it became 'viable', bought the reputation gear that's available, and couldn't kill a thing. Now, I'm not saying he's a bad paladin -- with his spec, he can main heal and main tank (5-mans), gear dependent -- but maybe he doesn't have the mindset to be a retribution paladin? Who knows!

All I know is that after I read RetLoL, respecced and did some of the things they recommended doing, I was killing things better and faster than ever before. It makes me want to rescind my statement yesterday that my previous spec worked! The change was dramatic, like the difference between a Cinnaspin girlscout cookie and a Cinnabon cinnamon roll.

(Mmmmm... cinnabon.)

Now, I'm at a crossroads. My paladin is 56. My shaman is 51. The triumverate is a quatrille, as Neshura the hunter is Zeshura the priest. Boon is a gnome warrior named Fyzzgig. Owaru is a hunter named Teppou. So the question becomes, do I stay enhancement shaman with that group or do I bring my retribution paladin to that group? Either way, I'm competing with someone for gear -- either the hunter with mail drops or the warrior with plate drops.

I have a feeling it would be easier to solo a shaman through instances than it would be to solo a ret.pally through instances. :P Silly preconcieved notions!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Ret Pally Reading

In the interest of being the best that I can be (I have to uphold Owaru's overwhelming and undeserving opinion of me!), I delved into the world of retribution paladin. Well, I delved into one particular article, I should say.

I had thought that my spec was decent. I thought I had it figured, a little bit. I was only somewhat correct.

My spec was decent for how I played and I certainly had no problems leveling. But according to RetLoL I should have deleted my character... and how embarassing is that for me to admit! The Great and Powerful K... wrong. Mark it on your calenders, because this day will probably never come around again. And see, I didn't post it on April 1st, so it also isn't an April Fool's joke, though it is a hilarious thought. Me, wrong? HAHAHAHA.

So this afternoon I respecced. My paladin is 55, so I was able to get all the way to Crusader Strike, which I had ignored earlier (silly K). Then I went to test it out. I like it thus far. I shall have to see how it goes as I continue to level. I have to get some of my timing down and obviously, since I'm in old world gear, my stats and gear aren't maximized for DPS -- apparently strength, melee hit rating and melee crit rating are my friends!

Now, obviously I won't have problems getting a group, not merely because it's me! but also because of the Triumverate[(c) Owaru] and various friends who I can browbeat into running with me no matter what I do. (I love you guys!) ... that and because have you seen some of the "armor" that plate wearing females get to wear? How the hell is that armor? And what guy won't run with a chick wearing a plate bikini?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Fastest Shadow Labs Run EVER! (if only we finished!)

If you put a feral tank (Kathe) and add a healadin (Boon), toss in a hunter (Neshura), add a little mage (Tasogare) and toss in an enhancement shaman (Ookamioni)... go ahead and put them into Slabs and say to the tank, "Let's try to do this quickly". The resultis a 45 minute run to Murmur. (I know it was that long because right before the first pull, I used gift of the wild. It had 15 minutes left on it.)

Of course, then the server crashed and the instance reset.

Crowd control, though it is fun and at times warranted, is something that can be completely done without if you have a good tank that can hold aggro, a good healer that can keep people alive, and DPS that know how to do their job.

We had TWO instances where we had a massive pull, the mage accidentally shot something else (silly mage!) and in the room before Murmur, a chainer-mob spawned just as we pulled a group. That pull was fun. We didn't have much in the way of silencing multiple summoners, and we had three of them. So we had 8 mobs plus 3 summoned creatures. Thank God Boon is overgeared! :)

It was amazingly fun. I didn't stop pulling for anything. Everyone had to catch mana as they could, the only mana bar I watched was Boon's. It was absolutely wonderful. No wipes.

On a side note, I discovered a good way of getting aggro back on Blackheart. Since you're meleeing things anyway as your bear, and Blackheart runs even the ranged classes into something approximating melee range... just stay put when Time for Fun is over. Blackheart will run to you, or someone near you. Don't waste your feral charge unless you really want to -- it doesn't stun him and half the time he runs past you before you can get your taunt off, or he's behind you by the time you get there.

I haven't been updating recently. I'll try to do better!