LFR Night

Tuesdays are always a big night for the guild.  It’s the night we do our scheduled LFR.  LFR has been awesome for Crits and I see that continuing through MoP.  Apparently last week when I was doing epic poetry analysis, there were about 15-19 people from the guild in LFR.  Last night we had similar numbers.  Close to 15 for the first half and over that for the second.  We actually provided both of the tanks and between 4 and 5 of the 6 healers as well and the rest were DPS.  

As usual it all went very smooth with no wipes.  We had a few people die here and there, but LFR has like 1 million battle rez so we got everyone back up and running.  I went in on Sousa to heal it, though I mostly stood around making comments in raid channel or else tossing pathetic lightning at the boss.  I figured with 5 other healers I would only need to heal during the really AOE heavy parts…you know, the parts where your FPS go to 4?  

We had a blast, it’s always more fun when you’re there with a bunch of people who will life grip you around or /cuddle you or do crafting professions during boss fights and trash.  We won some things and lost some things, but everyone has a good time, at least as far as I know. 

And I died on the Deathwing fight, apparently from standing where a tentacle spawns?  All I know is that I was probably making some rain and then I fell over dead and got an achievement.  I love LFR night. 


The 2011 Character Review

I’m probably a few days late on this post, but I thought I’d do a summary of how my characters performed and how their journey was in 2011.  As Cataclysm was released just before 2011, it was interesting to see how they adapted to the changes and how they did.  So without further ado…

Rossini hit level 85 a week or two into 2011.  As a member of a successful raiding group in late LK, Rossini was a priority so that I could hit raiding in Cataclysm.  However, it was evident that it wasn’t going to happen.  I was severely lagging behind everyone else and hadn’t done any heroics.  It was clear Rossini was not going to be an early Cataclysm raider.  Also, pushing hard to level is not my style, and soon after 85, Rossini was burned out.  He maxed out professions pretty quickly, but heroics and dungeons burned him out and unfortunately I would soon avoid logging in on him.  Warlock isn’t my ideal class anyways.  He did however sub in for raiding and got Nefarian, Cho’gall, and Al’akir killed.  This was about where his play time ended.  Other than holidays and disenchanting things, Rossini’s highlights ended around the time Firelands was released.

With the addition of archaeology and a desire to avoid leveling zones shortly after expansions, Elgar leveled to 85 using archaeology XP.  This was bad as he didn’t have any gear, but through questing he got to the point where he was “up to speed”.  Keeping disc as a primary spec, he eventually tried his hand at healing.  The first dungeon was a disaster and depressed and scared Elgar then relied on shadow for nearly all activities after that.  I dislike shadow, but wasn’t left with much choice.  Elgar leveled his professions, but then too, was shelved due to general dislike of the condition of priests.  With Firelands, gear was a little easier to obtain, and Elgar went to a non-smite spec.  This changed everything, healing was feasible for him again and soon heroics were no challenge.  As a result, Elgar ended 2011 as a confident healer and with the highest gear score of any of my toons!  Elgar also is rocking his transmogrified priest T5.  He’s again a favorite toon.  I will always have a place for the priest class.

Troutwort and Schubert
These two had about the same story, leveling up, geared enough to do heroics, struggled with crafting professions (Trout is still not max level) and didn’t see much play time.  They still have a long way to go, but nothing bad about either one.  Trout is better for DPS than Schubert because I keep Schubert as frost…and though I love that little gnome, I know my refusal to make him “spec of the patch” will keep me limited.  Nothing special for either one in 2011.

Sousa had the biggest changes, though Elgar was spooked away from healing, Sousa thought to give it a shot.  Leveling as enhancement, his “primary” spec, I collected healing gear as it became available from quests and from extras in dungeons.  After collecting enough gear, I started to heal normals to get a feel for it.  I still remember having a heal crit for 52k in my crappy gear and just about falling over dead.  Elgar couldn’t pull off numbers like that!  Then 76k heals from Sousa and I had found my healer.  Sousa quickly became the toon I felt most confident on.  Sousa had a good run, heroics, keeping up with both resto and enhance gear, I grew to really love the shaman.  I did 6/7 in Firelands with Sousa thanks to the great guild group, and had some good luck on mounts with him.  Only once Elgar got more confidence did Sousa lose his place as the favorite/most geared toon.

The druid is a similar story to Troutwort and Schubert, though his professions struggled even more, as I had a max level enchanter, making it to max for enchanting hasn’t been a priority.  Boomkin spec was okay, but for DPS casting, I like the mage better, and though he regained a healing spec, I still don’t care for the HoT-style healing of the druid.  It’s not my style.  Though he hit level 85, Sibelius cannot do heroics and is least accomplished of the level 85s.

The little gnome DK was a project to push to 85 once I realized all we were missing for the Classy Gnome achievement is a gnome DK.  However, after hitting level 80, Grom hit level 85 on his gnome DK and so she stopped being a project.  She did get her blacksmithing up to 450 which puts her ready to tackle Cataclysm.

The dwarf rogue made a push with Cataclysm.  As a way to see lower level zones, Haydn spent much time pushing through zones.  Hitting 2011 around level 35 or so, he ended 2011 at level 70.  He’s a fun diversion from the normal and I found that I did enjoy the rogue more than I thought I would.  New quests probably really helped.  Now that they have nerfed XP required for levels 70 to 80 he might get a little play time, I don’t care for Northrend much anymore, so it’s harder for me to level there than in Outlands…I know, I’m the only one that feels this way.

2011 was a HUGE year for the worgen warrior Mouret, mostly because he didn’t exist in 2010.  Ha!  Another class that I always struggled to get into, the new leveling experience and having a hunter friend to level with made the warrior far more tolerable and he wins for most levels earned in 2011, going from level 1 to level 53.  Only slowed by waiting to play with my friend, he’s been a huge success and a good experience to see other things.  In 2012, he’ll try some tanking.

Last and least: the dwarf paladin.  The last play time in 2011, less than low level alts on another account I have.  Kalinnikov gained 0 levels in 2011.  Still stuck at level 80, he hasn’t seen any of the new zones.  I should run some of the quests and then get him into some dungeons and learn to tank again, but it hasn’t happened.  I have my toons organized by what level they are…I fear that poor Kalinnikov will one day, be last on the list.  I’m sorry Repgrind, I do not have the enthusiasm to level paladins like you do.

So that’s the summary!  It was a busy year and yet, I feel like 2011 in WoW didn’t accomplish much.  Since patch 4.3 my play time has increased and again I feel interested in WoW.  I’m looking forward to MoP and feel that for me, now, it’s just a matter of getting everyone ready for that point.  The guild changed a bit in 2011 too and though we hit Level 25 pretty close to as soon as we could, we lost some good people, that I will miss, to groups that raided more.  However, the spirit of Crits and Giggles has not changed, we picked up some awesome new players and I look forward to experiencing more and more of the game with them.

Firelands: A Noob Remembers

This past weekend I went with the guild group to Firelands, because there were some people missing and needed some warm bodies.  Sousa is my most geared toon though he is still toting around a few heroic level items.  I took him along to help heal and switch to DPS as needed.  

Having only done some trash on Rossini before, I had no idea what any of the boss fights were like.  I’ve read lots of blogs so I had some idea of a few things.  Like, I knew there were feathers on Alys and that there’s some cat/scorpion phase thing…and lots of spiders. 

Anyways, here’s my recap of what happened, according to Sousa.

Shannox – Heals!  OMG why do you guys keep running out of range!  So much fire on the ground.  Ouch.

Beth – Heals!  Spiders everywhere.  Stack on butt.  “I made some rain you guys!  I hope you like it!”

Rock dude? – There’s right leg and a left leg, tank them apart and he’ll fall down?  I don’t know, don’t get in fire?  “Heal everyone.”  Neat?

Alys – DPS!  Interrupt the druids!  Yay!  Tornadoes are fun!  

Fire demon guy? – DPS!  Don’t go by some crystals!  DON’T STAND BY THE DOOR!!

Domo – Heals!  Stack up!  Make rain!  Run out?  Too slow.  Try again, more rain!!  Pounced!  Hold hands!  Don’t hold hands!  She loves me, she loves me not!  So much rain making.

Ragnaros – DPS!  Okay, hammer smash, not by me…lava wave?  WTF?  Try again.  This time not lava wave death.  Don’t touch the hammer!  Good!  Stack up and AOE…wtf is AOE on an enhancement shaman?  Totems LOL?  Attack!  Death.  Game over for us.

So we ended up 6/7.  Not so bad for my second time ever in Firelands.  I’m pretty amazing with my rain making.  Just saying. 

But seriously, thanks to the guild for being patient with my noobness and my potentially crappy heals.  Having never healed a raid before on my shaman I wasn’t quite up to speed on what I should be focusing on and what I shouldn’t be.  In 5-mans for example, I almost never use chain heal because everyone is not holding hands and it hits like one person.  But in raids, everyone is holding hands!  I make way more rain than I should in a 5-man, so that was easy to do in the raid too.  It was a lot of fun healing with Kerick, because I knew she’d save us if I was busy floor tanking with Bocat and/or Grom.  I’m teasing!!  😉

Thanks again, good times and pretty dresses.

A Raven Good Time!

As I previously had mentioned, I have been sorta bored and not sure what to do with my time in game lately.  One thing that I did note is that due to me being unexplainably busy outside the game, I had stopped planning Classic Raid Nights.  These have been and usually are a success especially with the coming of patch 4.3 and transmogrification!  

So last night we were planning a Naxx-10.  Sign-ups were low, but I blame that on me not putting it up until late.  But even so we only had a few people online.  ICC-10 for next week has more people planning on coming.  So Bocat and I started to think of other things we could do.  We joked about an arena team, as something totally new.  Kelli offered to join us and had the most resilience of any of us…182.  Nice.  We thought maybe that wasn’t the best idea.  So I browsed through guild achievements to see if there was anything we could do.

After glancing about, we decided to run either low dungeons or heroic Outland dungeons.  We went with heroic Outland dungeons because it wouldn’t be so much travel from instance to instance.  So there three of us went off and started to take out Hellfire instances, then Coilfang, and then Auch.  It was a great time.  It was almost a joke when it would say “Your kill took 2 seconds, a new record!”  We were breezing through things, collecting reputation and netherweave by the buckets!  I even got honored with a few of the factions as a result.  Good times. 

Of course, I was on Sousa, so all the leather gear that I wanted for the transmogrification set for Sibelius was dropping all over.  Nice.  But my anger soon faded.  Grom joined us for the Auch dungeons and we did Mana Tomb and Sethekk Halls first because those both have exits near the end.  On the Raven Lord, we joked that if the mount drops, roll need.  And holy crap, it dropped!  Bocat already has one, so she passed and the three of us rolled.  Sousa won it!!  I couldn’t believe it, didn’t even see the roll number, I just heard the sound of something dropping into the bag and knew!!  Of course it was awesome.  We quickly finished (Sousa earning the Sethekk Halls and Heroic Sethekk Halls achievements) and moved on to the other two instances there…I rode my new mount between them.  Good times. 

All in all, we did 10 dungeons earning many achievements for ourselves as well as earning 6 achievements for the guild.  Just a few left for the guild, so I might set up another night to see if anyone is interested.  Though Naxx was a bust, it was a very fun night!

Why I Go Alone

There are people out there that probably haven’t run in a PUG…well, heck, maybe ever.  They would rather not run a dungeon than chance the inadequacies of the random player.  Not to defend the PUG, but I PUG nearly everything and find that 90%+ of my groups are successful with little or no real player error.  And if there is it’s usually not a totally big deal. 

I suppose that being the healer and having a little more control over the group helps as well.  I’m now to a point again where I am comfortable healing and even able to pull off some pretty awesome group saves. 

But there is one other reason that I PUG a lot on my healers.  And that reason is Call to Arms: Healer.  I won’t try to convince you any other way, than with pictures.


New Mace

The Labor Day holiday weekend was very busy for me.  Between shopping the sales for new furniture, visiting family for a great aunts 90th birthday, and an afternoon of board games and grilling out, I just didn’t have time to play WoW that much.  But I did manage to get a few runs in early mornings.  Sousa has been queuing for CtA healer when it’s available and that has been pretty good.

I got one pretty terrible group though.  It was BRC, Paladin Tank, DK, Mage, Hunter, and me as Shaman healer.  It’s okay, but things seem weird…I can’t place my finger on it.  Oh, until we get to Corla.  The DPS can’t seem to figure it out, NO one is interrupting, and all chaos is breaking loose, literally.  We try again…and again…and after 4 wipes, the interrupt totals are Sousa: 10, Paladin: 3, DK: 2.  So, awesome.  I’m pretty sure I wasn’t going to be the fastest since I have to switch target, stopcasting, and interrupt.  And I don’t use macros, but was still able to do so before she would get the spell off.  Seriously?!?!  Eventually, I left the group.  I managed to get the healing mace off the first boss though, to replace my like 312 Green Trash Mace of Wavecrest or whatever the turd it was.  I’m just glad I have something new!

I also spent some points to get a new ring and bracers.  It was awesome.  Sousa is looking great now.  He still solo’s MgT most every time I’m on, nor Orb yet and no Mount.  One of these days…

Nothing much else exciting in-game though.  Oh!  I did get a random group on Friday night I think it was…there was a tank, a human paladin, named Kerick.  At first I was like, OMG, but then I was like, wait…that’s not our guild name.  Kerick the tank did not do justice to the name.  But like any replica, nothing beats the original.

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.