Quick Update!

Oh man…what a week.  Between long hours at the lab and helping the kid I mentor with epic poetry essays (seriously, is there really any value in “Paradise Lost” anymore?), I haven’t had as much play time as I would really like to have had.

I didn’t even log in at all from Saturday until Wednesday?  Well I shouldn’t say that, I logged in to say “hello” on Tuesday as they were forming the LFR group.  Apparently it was a really good showing again.  The introduction of the LFR function into the game has been a very welcomed addition for our Guild.  While we have some very excellent players, I do think that many of us are content with doing what we can and would rather spend time fishing up Mr. Pinchy than reading min/max strategies and opinions.  People in Crits enjoy the game for what it is, and with LFR now was can participate in raids that may have otherwise been outside our reach.  

I do still want to give credit to our 10-man group which has completed DS as well.  As I said, we have some excellent players as well.

The campaign to get the guild “Classy” achievements has been going very well!  We only had 4 left when I posted that I’d pay 5k to each toon that completed one of the requirements.  We currently now have only the Worgen warlock left.  There is one at level 85 but it isn’t honored with the guild yet.  My guess is that a few days of dailies would finish that up.  Though I’m not sure if that’s happening…

The news of MoP is very promising and exciting.  I’m happy to hear there will be an 11th slot added, but I was really hoping for a bigger jump.  I currently have 2 accounts because 1) the kid I mentor sometimes plays on it and 2) I ran our of character slots.  There is at least one character I would consider transferring from the 2nd account to my main account if there were more slots, but it sounds like I’ll just be suspending that account for now…

Monks are interesting, but I’m not sure that I’ll be super into them.  To me, they sound too much like paladins and it’s taken me a long time to get where I am with my current paladin so a new one doesn’t excite me.  When I say “too much like paladins” I mean spec wise…tank, melee DPS, heals.  

All in all though, looks like awesome things to come!

Blizz Loves Paladins

As usual, I’m up to any shenanigans that are basically not end game content.  Things like leveling more alts, trying to get pretty gear to transmogrify and collecting patterns or materials to make weird useless gear.  I love it.

What I don’t love is paladins, as if Blizzard already didn’t make them crazy machines of healing and whatever, and making gear exclusively for one of their specs–it’s just madness.  But no, as if we all weren’t feeling bad enough about paladins, then when we go to SSC to get some T5 stuff with a couple of priests, a warlock, warrior, and druid, we down Vashj and she drops 3, yes 3 paladin head tokens (well paladin, shaman, rogue–but still!!).  The other bosses dropped 2 for paladins, it was like we couldn’t get a damned piece to drop for the classes we had with us!  Then we went to Gruuls and it was more of the same, paladin crap.  It’s like Blizz loves them more than anyone else!! 

I do take into account that it could have been because Elgar was there for some of it.  Is this just more of the same “sorry, no Mr. Pinchy or Sea Pony for you” bullshit?  A slap in the face to Elgar, subtly letting him know he should have been a paladin instead of a priest?  No, I won’t believe it.  Because no paladin set looks as hot as priest T5.  NO SET. 

So Blizzard, if it’s just Elgar you hate, fine.  Just please, enough with the paladins already.  I don’t know how much more I can take. 

/cry

I Like Healing (Again!)

Okay, so it’s no secret to those that play with me or have to endure my horribly complaining about healing since Cataclysm, but I really didn’t like healing in Cataclysm.  I all but abandoned my beloved Elgar and his first healing experiences were horrifying. 

This has changed though.  And after finding a healer play style that fit me very well (Shaman), I grew more confident and the priest started to get some play time too.  I did quite a bit of healing over this weekend and now feel confident to heal heroics on both of them.  Tanks with some better gear since we’re at a new tier have only helped boost my confidence. 

I might not be healing the “correct way” or whatever, but I figure for what I’m trying to accomplish, it’s good enough.  I probably don’t have total gem optimization or even enchant maximized, but I’m no min/max person.  If I have enchants that make sense and gems that are the right stats, I figure that’s probably going to be pretty good.  Agility helps healers dodge right?  (I’m kidding!!)

Sousa doesn’t seem to have any real troubles right now, sometimes his AOE feels a little weak, but the trick there is to get everyone to stand in the healing rain–I love that spell, that is AOE awesometimes.  But there are times when I want to scream at the two ranged DPS standing “just” outside the ring and tell them to get into it–I swear they stand just far enough apart so it can’t hit them both–you guys, HOLD HANDS!!  But otherwise the shaman healing style is really suiting me.

The disc priest (Elgar) took a little more warm-up time for me to feel good about it.  I switched out of a smite spec so it’s more straight up healing like I remember before.  Here mana management is a little more key.  But again, lots of AOE and I feel I don’t have a good way to recover quickly, so I just have decided to tell myself it’s okay, they just need to be up again by the time the next AOE comes, it doesn’t have to be instant.  That I can handle.  Also, just like healing rain, trying to get people to run into the bubble can be frustrating!  Seriously, it’s large and golden, why would you run from something like that? 

Oh, speaking of running from things, here’s a good story, with a twist ending.  I was under siege by some of the adds on the first boss of Grim Batol during a PuG.  I’m on my shaman and don’t have a really good way to get them off of me.  I start to run toward my tank so they can grab them, and all the sudden there’s all this graphics everywhere, and I’m like oh crap, so basically I feel like I’m weaving my way over there, I drop earth elemental, but he dies quick (sad).  Through spam healing myself and the tank and (thank god) the DPS didn’t take damage, we live.  Afterwards the mage says, “Why were you running from all my AOE? I was trying to get them off of you!”

I thought I was trying to be killed.  I laughed and said that I didn’t realize who was doing it and was just trying to stay alive that I didn’t have time to see that the AOE was from you and not the fight.  We had a good laugh.  Then later, I fell off one of the bridges and died.  It was…fun.

The long story made short, is that it feels good to be capable of healing again and watch out for the cracks in the Grim Batol bridges, they are really slick.  Seriously.

Ouch!

So as I recently have written about, I have started healing again on my disc priest Elgar.  Just normal dungeons to make sure I’m getting the hang of disc healing in Cataclysm.  I would pick up healing stuff even when running as Shadow and have a pretty decent set of normals.  I have been trying out a few things and have kinda been figuring out how to heal.

Here are a few things I’ve noticed:  I actually cast greater heal more than any other healing spell and it accounts for usually most of my healing done, followed by Penance.  Most absorption comes from PW:Shield, and most my overheals from Atonement, because if people are at good health and not taking much damage, I Smite.  I’ve been using Inner Focus a lot as well.  Basically with the greater heals I’m using to fill in between penance, I can get it down to about a 20 second cooldown, which is pretty awesome. 

So that’s kinda what I’m doing, I’m sure I will still need to adjust, but it seems to be working pretty well, especially with tanks that mark and CC things.

One frustration I am having is dispelling.  We were in Grim Batol last night and there were so many things popping up on my decursive to dispel.  The trouble is, when I’m healing frantically and seeing these things pop up, I don’t know if things like Water Blast are worth dispelling or not because I don’t have the time to read the tool-tip on what it actually is.  I let poor Grom die by not cleansing him of a DoT that I should have.  I didn’t realize it was a DoT until too late.  So that is a frustrating thing because I’m not sure if I should waste time cleansing or not.  And in Grim Batol there are a LOT of magics to dispel.

I was a little sad too at the lack of CC.  I’m not sure how much health a tank should have at 85 to be running normals, but it started out okay, but somewhere in the middle things just seemed much more difficult for me.  I marked mobs on one group and it went much better than the previous ones.  I felt bad when the tank died on trash…though I knew it wasn’t my fault.

He did say one thing that really stung though…I didn’t respond to it.

Tank:  No offense, but I’m guessing that healing is your off-spec.

Ouch.  I almost dropped group, had I not had the support of 3 other guildies there with me, I might have.  I knew I could do it, I’ve done Grim Batol before!  So I just held in there, thanked him for the group at the end and then having had enough for the night, logged off to play Minecraft, which repeatedly crashed on me, so I played Civ V. 

This weekend, I’ll be up at my brothers.  I am expecting to get lots of WoW in while watching his dog.  He’s got a really sweet system that can handle all the graphics on Ultra compared to mine which handles them on Low. 

I’m trying not to let that healing situation bug me, but again, it all goes back to feeling like this is what I do and having someone say “healing is your off-spec” really stings.  Elgar has never had healing as an off-spec.  His history was healing, healing, healing.  I got a Shadow Spec late in LK so that I could do dailies faster, but I was horrible at it.  I really didn’t “play” shadow until after the other bad healing experience in Cataclysm. 

So I want to ask Blizzard, why why why did you have to mess with my healing?  You wanted to make it more fun?  You have failed.  It was fun before.

Classic Raid: SSC

As part of the <Crits and Giggles> goal, we’ve been working our way slowly through all the old level 60, 70, and 80 raids.  We have finished up all the level 60 raids, and are now onto the level 70 ones.  Before last night we just have SSC and Sunwell left, now just Sunwell (/shudder).

SSC is rather quick and painless.  Unlike some other raids where you have to defeat many wings or bosses before you can get to the final boss, SSC allows you to basically clear some trash and head right for Lady Vashj.  Which is exactly what we did.  From the time we entered to the time we looted her corpse, it was 20:32 minutes.  Not too shabby!  The only different thing about Lady Vashj is she’s a raid boss with a weird mechanic.  For those that don’t know, at 70% she gets in an invulnerable bubble that is provided by 4…let’s call them obelisks.  Then the adds come, from all over.  There are enchanted elementals which basically just walk towards her and should they reach her, give her 5% bonus to her damage.  The idea is to not have any of these reach her.  There are also Striders which constantly fear people, so ranged need to take these out as the appear, and Naga’s which hit hard and should be tanked.  Then lastly, there are the tainted elementals.  These attack and need to be killed and looted.  They contain a Tainted Core which immobilized whomever has it.  So that’s where you need to play catch with your raid members.  Toss it to someone who then will toss it to someone else near one of the obelisks to deactivate it.  Once all four are down, you can burn her to finish it up. 

So phase 2 can be just a little chaotic.  We did pretty well considering that Reversion “accidentally” pulled her while the rest of us were still out killing trash on the entry platforms.  Nice.  So I was explaining the fight on the fly and almost forgot to turn on free-for-all looting so that the Tainted Cores could be looted.  Everyone did a great job adjusting to the last-minute instructions and chaos.  We got it done though she did get 22 elemental buff so was hitting for 220% more.  Not a big deal when we’re mostly level 85.  Oh, Reversion did die during the fight, so it was justice for his “accidental” pull.  Ha!  😉 

A thank you to Sanbec who tossed on a shield and pretended to tank for us since we didn’t have any other tanky volunteers.

We then went on to the only other boss we typically do in there:  The Lurker.  We do this because people generally are looking for the achievement.  Now those that want it can go in and get the achievement solo.  You just have to be in a raid group to get in.  You can bypass all the trash and with levitate or a water walking potion you can run to his location and fish him up.  Now, he’ll probably kill you before you can escape, but you get the achievement for fishing him up…not defeating him.  So we finished him up and then the raid broke up for the night.  We’ve been having some close calls this week with reaching max daily guild XP and even missed it pretty depressingly on one night earlier this week, so many of us split off to get guild XP by doing group dungeons or questing.  When I logged in at 5:30pm we were at about 38% daily guild XP.  By 9pm we had reached 100%!!  I was really happy and proud of everyone because the night before we did not hit it until after midnight.  Tonight should go fast because the raid group will be downing bosses hopefully adding lots of guild XP.

Classic Raid was another success, we only had 8 though as we usually have lower turnout for SSC anyways because there is not reputation associated with the dungeon.  Black Temple and Mt. Hyjal always get more as people are looking for reputation from those.  Even Karazhan gets a full group most times.  But now we just have Sunwell, which has some really annoying gimmicky fights, then we’ll be on to Northrend…oh Naxxramas, how I’ve missed you.

One last quick funny story…I have mentioned how the kid I mentor is playing on my second account.  He’s way into mostly playing the auction house, he hasn’t gone up any levels on his mage at all though has made it 21 levels on the new priest he has made…but that even took him 2 weeks.  He’d much rather play the AH than do quests.  Anyways, he’s all about the quick cash, so I told him I’d send him some Fortune Cards to maybe get lucky.  I was in Stormwind and asked if he was, but nope, he was in Ironforge.  With G-Mail though it wasn’t an issue.  Here’s our Ventrilo conversation:

Me:  Are you by a mailbox?  I am sending them now.
Him:  Yeah.  Hey, do you know Bunnybun?
Me:  Who?
Him:  Bunnybun.  Do you know them?  I always see her.
Me:  Um…no, who is it? 
Him:  She’s this level 3 here in Ironforge, she’s always by the mailbox.  She’s wearing a Santa Outfit.
Me:  <laughing>
Him:  What?
Me:  Bunnybun, I love it. 
Him:  She’s kinda annoying and she never levels up.

Now I know Bunnybun is clearly someone’s bank alt.  But it’s hilarious to me that he was criticizing her for not leveling and always being in Ironforge.  Because that’s totally what he does!  Also, the Santa costume caught me off guard.

So here’s a shout-out to Bunnybun, Mistress of Ironforge:  Thanks for the laugh!

Have a great weekend!

Elgar’s Top Ten

Elgar has had some awesome times.  This weekend one thing topped the list.  But first here are Elgar’s awesome times:

10.  Battling crocolisks naked in Sholazar.

9.  Green Proto-drake on his 3rd Oracle egg.

8.  Falling off the Loch Modan dam, the long way, while trying to get a better look.

7.  Being told I wasn’t good enough on heals for Mag’s Lair then being the only healer left with mana.

6.  Running a flag back in WSG.

5.  Surviving the first boss in Heroic Steamvaults with just me and the tank–it took forever.

4.  SW:Death to kill the last boss on Heroic Halls of Stone while being the last one alive. 

3.  Awesome moustache. 

2.  Winning the headless horseman mount after three-maning him at level 70!

1.  WINNING THE KALU’AK FISHING DERBY!!

I know, you all thought it was going to be catching Mr. Pinchy, don’t worry, that will be number 1 eventually.  But this weekend, much to my surprise, Elgar won the fishing tournament!  I have never even caught the blacktip shark and this time I did and then won!  It was nuts!  I was shaking the whole time while hearthing.  I was certain some annoying I-caught-these-fish-in-flightform-LOL-druid was going to swoop in and be the winner before me, but alas, this was not true!  I HAVE DEFEATED THE DRUIDS!!!  So now I have my trusty new BoA ring which will help my leveling toons! 

It was the best day of Elgar’s life. 

Just three more things until the Salty title…Dalaran Coins, The One That Got Away, and that little f’er, Mr. Pinchy.

Money Grows on Trees

They call it Goldthorn because it’s made of gold!

Okay, it’s not really a secret…you can make lots of money selling herbs.  Stacks of Twilight Jasmine go for about 250 gold on our server–and let’s be honest, it doesn’t take that long to get a stack.  I relayed this information to the kid I mentor who has a level 66 mage, Monona, who does tailoring and herbalism.  And up until this past weekend was at about 95 herbalism and 150 tailoring.  Both pretty tragic scenes because he was more focuses on leveling at he time and not professions…that and I think she might have been a recruit-a-friend power level for part of her life. 

Anyways, the kid is majorly motivated by money, so I told him a good way to make money would be to level his herbalism and sell the herbs he finds.  So he’s going along, sells some stacks of mageroyal for 10 gold and eventually gets to goldthorn.  Goldthorn has always been valuable as far back as I can remember.  It’s limited availability helps keep ti valuable.  So he gets a stack.  Goes to the AH and sees they are only 4 listings of 2 herb stacks.  Three of them are selling for 3 gold each and one for 9.5 gold each.  He has a stack of 20.  I inform him this would be a good idea to buy up the 3 gold each stacks and post his goldthorn for say 8 gold to see if it will sell.  He does so, buys up, leaving just the 9.5 gold each stack of 2 herbs and posts his for 7 gold each.  It sells before we leave Stormwind.  140 gold coming his way.  He is jazzed about this!  It is quite possibly more gold than Monona has ever had without borrowing from the Bank of Elgar (FDIC).  He immediately is excited about herbalism seeing its potential and for the next 3 hours diligently farms up herbs of all types and posting them all in the auction house.  He seemed to be pretty good at figuring out a decent price to post things at…well, except for when he tried to post his red cluster rockets for 500 gold each.  He thinks someone might accidentally buy them…  /sigh.

He got Monona’s herbalism up over 300 and is busy picking outland herbs wich should also fetch a hefty price.  The kid is totally motivated by money, so look out Winterhoof, you have a crazed herbalist on the loose–but don’t worry, he doesn’t have epic flying yet.

I hate Druids.

Not all druids, just the druids that do herbalism…and also might be tauren.  With your picking things while in flight form and zipping off while I mount up my drake again.  Grr.  Sometimes priests need herbs too you know!!  But seriously, it’s getting a little old when you ninja me, laugh while I smite the aggro’d croc and fly off.

I loathe your herbalistic ways.  And they said Blizz favors warlocks.  Ha!  Tell me druids, can you mine in bird form too?  Don’t tell me actually, or soon I will hate you as much as I hate paladins crit healing for 11 million with a spell that cost 30 mana.