Thursday, 31 July 2008

Am I completely mad, insane, over-confident, stupid or bored....

Well, I read an interesting article the other day, which got me thinking....

I wonder if Seph can solo-heal Karazhan? OK, so I'll take some folks who CAN heal at a push, but it sounds like fun. A Paladin friend fancies being pretty much the only tank as well, so I think it's going to be a 1 tank, 1 healer and 8 MAJOR pew pew kind of a do.

As a guild we did a speed Kara run with 2 healers, 2 tanks and 6 full epic dps and we cleared it all in 2 hours 50 minutes (including bio and afk kids breaks). It was a great run - Curator died before the end of his first evocation, Aran died before he sheeped us, Prince summoned 2 infernals, that sort of thing. This gives me confidence. If we get the right people on the bus I think we can do quite a bit of it. Sure, there will be fights where we need to be creative, but my guild is GOOD at creative.

So - I've scheduled a raid and asked for help from the guild. I've got 4 days to alternate between confidence, arrogance and sheer panic. I've read lots and will read more and get excited, feel sick, buy chocolate... but it will be fun whatever!

All thoughts, ideas, ridicule welcome...

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Karazhan - the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Well, having experienced two sides of Karazhan this week I thought I'd reminisce a bit about it.

My guild first entered back in March 2007. We've never had the people to pull of a "standard" raid and anyway my guild does not do things by the book. We've never been conventional and followed strict "must have class x" guidelines. Back in those early days, we dared to do Black Morass WITHOUT a mage. That sort of thing.

Anyway... Karazhan. We had some fun on our first night ever. I can't remember if we downed Attumen - I think we did, but my memory has faded somewhat. After that anyway it took us over 2 months to down Moroes. The lovely Sephrenia was Exalted with the Violet Eye before we managed it! When we did finally get there we had an unconventional group - we had 2 bear tanks. I think this kind of upset the warriors a bit, but to be honest, I've always found it easier to heal bears. Maybe because my husband plays one and we levelled together, but I don't know.

It took us another while to get Maiden. We used to skip her and go to Opera unless we were feeling brave. Curator was moderately easy I think by comparison. I hate the Maiden fight. I hate being useless for however many seconds her repentance thing lasts - watching the tank health go down and down. On a side note - if you're playing a melee, but CAN heal please do here. You're not asleep - you can heal you tank and avoid a wipe. Hell, even a well used bandage might save the day. Missing a few bits of dps won't matter if we last through the next sleepy time. I found this old screenie of a dead Maiden. It's probably best NOT to ask what the Holydorf was up to - I don't think it's very virtuous though.

Our next major stumbling block was Aran and he's the main reason for my post. This week I've visited Aran in 2 different groups and as 2 different roles. Lorienne saw him 2 nights running and had a wipefest each time. Sephrenia saw him last night and one shotted him. There were, admittedly, differences between the groups - Lori's group was a bunch of alts and new 70s. Sephs was a group of experienced, well geared players with only 2 healers and 10 dps. The key failing for me was that in Lori's group some people could not follow instructions. It drives me mad. It makes me sad. He's such an easy boss, but we wiped and wiped.

Happily, Sephrenia got 15 badges. Sadly Lori didn't - and she didn't get any loot either. But if I've learned anything from my experiences in Kara, it's that patience and persistence pays, so I'm taking Lori again tonight. Please cross your fingers for SOME leather drops.

This post was going to be a bit longer, but my daughter is begging me to play WOW with her - what a chip off the old block she is! At 7 years old, she has a level 33 rogue - we do quests together - I play my baby druid (lvl 34) so I can heal her a bit. She does fantastically well - she's even made a bank alt to sell her stuff (that's her Dad's influence). She's a lot braver than me though - she does pvp.

Monday, 28 July 2008

The challenge of the blog

I started this blog as somewhere to express my thoughts, ideas, knowledge, frustrations. I have, thus far, loved writing it.

Yesterday, I didn't post. I had a lot of family stuff going on and kids and all sorts. Today, I have my daughter back home from a week with my parents. She's "bored" - we're going to play WOW at some point, but I've got washing, finances, school uniform orders and all kinds of things to sort out.

I'm too hot. It's 30C or something, which I know isn't hot to some people, but for me, it's almost unbearable. I don't do well in heat. I can't move, breathe, think. I suffer from a disease which gets worse when I'm hot. I hate being too hot - you just can't cool down. If I get cold, I can wear more clothes, put a fire on, have a cup of tea, etc to warm up, but I can't find things to cool down (and we can't afford to buy air con for the 2 weeks a year it is actually this hot in this country).

Whine, whine.

Also, now that people know about my blog, they expect me to write. I guess it's my own fault. Since I started I've written once, even twice a day. Folks are EXPECTING me to write something. That stresses me. When it was just me, for me, it was great. It feels good when I see that people are reading my site, but now they are expecting it all feels a bit strange. I want to write when I'm ready to write. In this heat I can't think what the hell to write. It's a catch-22 situation! I think I'll have a read about other blogs and see if others feel the same sometimes.

Also - we've had 2 days of Aran wipefests. I HATE wiping on Aran. He's so easy when people know what to do and follow instructions, but recently everything has gone wrong. When a rogue who has been level 70 for a week tops the dps meters, something is wrong! It's not about the money, flasks, bandages, etc - it's about the teamwork, the listening and learning. I dunno - maybe everyone is struggling in the heat as well.

/rant off, /cool shower on, /eats chocolate

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Have you found your Class?

I was mulling over different people's play styles and how things are developing as we move towards WotLK. Some folks I know are trying to get one of each class to level 70 before deciding which to take to 80 first, others aren't.

If you asked me a month ago about Lorienne, I would have said that she was stuck at 65 for ever - I had no interest in playing her because I love my priest too much. Then I started doing bits and pieces with her again and suddenly she's 70.

There is no question in my mind which I'm taking to 80 first - it will be Sephrenia. When TBC came out, she was a new level 60 - all greens and blues, whereas Lorienne was a full epic ex-hardcore raider (and YES, I've still got all her gear in the bank). I started with Lori first in Hellfire Peninsula, but found myself wanting to play Seph more, so switched to Seph full time. I gave Lori to my son for a bit because he really, really wanted a rogue, but he got bored of her, so she came back to me.

I do enjoy playing my rogue again now, but I don't get the same "buzz" I get from playing my priest. The moves don't flow naturally, I have to work hard to play her fully, but with Seph it almost feels instinctive - I naturally "know" what buttons to hit, what spells to use, how to react in most situations. It can't be because I've played her more, because I still feel like I've done more "serious" playing with Lori. I just seem to be more in-tune with the priest.

Maybe she's more like the "real" me - I love to look after people, I'm happy in the background, keeping things moving, supporting those in the limelight.

I have numerous alts and, for example, would love to have a level 70 Druid to play and maybe a Shaman, but I just can't face levelling them. I would spec them healing anyway.

My son is similar - he has loads of characters, but always seems to return to his Orc Warrior - he can't keep away. Barkie, my husband is the same - he has a level 70 druid that he absolutely loves and a 70 warlock that he plays every so often. He seems to quite enjoy his level 40 Shadow priest, but would prefer 3 druids - a tree, a chicken and his cat/bear.

I have friends who have at least 6 level 70 characters and they enjoy playing them all. Maybe the deathknight will fill the "gap" in their characters, I'm guessing that it won't. To me it seems you have a class that is "yours" or you are a nomad, playing all classes and not finding one that perfectly suits you.

So - have you found your ideal partner, your one true love, or are you still looking for Mr (or Mrs) Right?

Friday, 25 July 2008

Too Hot to Blog

Well, it is unbearably hot. I thought of something to talk about, but all I want to do is go shut myself in the freezer.

So - some old screenshots to look at while I melt.....

First up, some new definitions courtesy of my wise husband.

The last one is hard to read - it says "Fullick: Feeling of being overly full, as in feeling full and a bit sick. E.g. after eating a large curry & clearing the plate, rather than leaving a bit for the faeries"

Still, it's nice to have a bear to protect your bank character in Stormwind ...

or a couple, to ponder life in Darnassus ...

or to share tea parties with ...

They don't make very good flying mounts though - this one was hard to get off the ground ...

But they can make you a nice moose horns hat when their computer bugs ...

Finally - I leave you with a word of caution about sharing your account. This guy was ALWAYS on about [Zin'rokh, Destroyer of Worlds]. He was quite a pain in general and the guild had been "encouraging" him to leave for a while as he seemed erratic and multi-personal, forgetful and well, frankly a bit odd. We had a guild run to ZG, which he joined. The next day in Guild Chat ...

I don't think he could stand the pain of having lost his pride and joy courtesy of a friend who couldn't win rolls for him and finally he left the guild!

Thursday, 24 July 2008

This is SO me - my guildies recognised it and posted it

A little extra post today - I'm hot, bothered, bored....

This video was linked on our guild forum. This could be me. Even if it's a mickey take or whatever, this is SO me. I laughed and laughed. How can these computer pixels I play with get to know me so well?

Girlfriend plays Team Fortress 2

"Are you hurt", "Which side am I on", "Don't kill me".

That's me when I try to PVP. Actually it's almost me when I'm raiding. "Ow, ow, get them off me", "Don't die, don't die", "Argh, the tank is below 50% health - panic".

Fun in the Caverns of Time

Well, Lori went playing in the Caverns of Time last night. She had a blast. The first run was a Black Morass run with a paladin tank, 2 rogues, a hunter and a chicken, who was healing. Was a pretty smooth run. The only roguely loot was the [Hourglass of the Unraveller], which the hunter won (which was more than fair because he'd lost rolls on it 4 times before). Son was a bit upset about it, but I knew Lori would go again, so it didn't bother me.

I gathered a LOT of leather, so was happy anyway - just need the time to actually level up my leather working.

The paladin and hunter had other stuff to do, so left the party, but some more guildies came on who actually needed to do BM for various quests and stuff. Some hadn't done the Durnholde pre-quest so we went and rescued Thrall again. The group this time was 2 rogues, priest, shaman (dps/healing spec) and our chicken. Since the druid armour is the same in Moonkin form as Bear form we decided we'd give it a try with the chicken tanking (personally I think he's lost his bear form button, or has an aversion to playing while looking at a furry bottom).

It worked. Having 2 saps helped a fair bit. Lori won a new LW pattern [Pattern: Stylin' Adventure Hat] - as if I needed more encouragement to level my skills! Anyway, we did it all fairly smoothly.

Discussion about BM followed. Being the sort of guild we are - we have a reputation for doing things in a more unorthodox fashion - we decided to try. Lesson of the day - you can't do BM with a chicken tanking. Dragons eat chickens for dinner. At this point it was getting a little late - the other rogue had an early start so left to go to bed, but fortunately we found a "proper" tank to replace him.

We summoned the warrior and proceeded to completely annihilate the place. This run was Loriennes run. I think she topped the dps (I finally got my new dagger spec sussed) and won 3 - yes THREE new toys. She won the [trinket], new [gloves] to go with her set (3 bits now) and finally a lovely sword for her off-hand [Latro's Shifting Sword].

To be honest I'm not sure how long I'll keep the sword - it looks very silly - the damn thing drags on the ground and for me just doesn't fit with the idea of a rogue sneaking about. How on earth can you sneak with that enormous thing hanging from your belt?

Oh and just to get on the band-wagon, because I have a baby druid (level 34 or something) and this posting is talking about one of my very good druid friends - I just have to say Foshizzle! If you've not seen this yet, you don't blog read enough! Get a cuppa, find some time, do a search and check out BigRedKitty, then BigBearButt (and all the links he gives) and you will understand (hopefully).

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Lorienne - history repeating itself

Well, history has a funny way of repeating itself.

Lorienne, as I have mentioned, dinged 60 and found herself in a raiding guild, so skipped all the level 60 5-person instances and went straight for ZG.

She dinged 70 on Saturday night and on Sunday found herself in a Guild alt/gearing Kara run, along with a new level 70 hunter. Never mind all the lovely level 70 5-man instances - let's go straight for the 10-man stuff! It was a good run - we did Attumen, Moroes, Maiden, Opera (Romulo and Julianne) and Curator. We did have a little pop at Nightbane, but he wasn't very kind to us.

There was NO leather or mail loot at all for me and the hunter, but the stupid [priestly trinket] dropped - the one Seph fancies, just to have it, and has passed on twice in favour of other guildies, never to see it in goodness knows how many runs since!

We continued the run last night and had another great time - got Illhoof, Aran, Chess and Prince all done. Still no hunter or Rogue drops - right until the end where the hunter (on her first ever Karazhan run) won the T4 head (luckily she had her husband by her telling her she needed to roll for it).

Then I noticed that while off commanding his legions, Prince had dropped his [dagger]. Nobody else seemed keen, so Lorienne picked it up.

Son is delighted and disappointed all at the same time. I think it means a re-spec. Lorienne has always been a dagger rogue and even though I know it's not the best spec for dps, I think she might go back. Daggers just seem to fit the rogue best to me.

Oh - and Aran dropped his other interesting [trinket] that Seph has never seen either. Blooming typical!

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Mounts and small pets will take no bag space in WotLK

OMG - this news is too good to hold on to and make a post tomorrow....

Mounts and small pets will take no bag space in Wrath

Read it and /dance with JOY! Suddenly I'm going to have 60-80 spare bag and bank slots. This is soooo much better even than the idea of having a "kennels" or something.

FINALLY Blizzard have "got it".

For those who cba reading the link a brief summary....

Come WotLK, mounts and vanity pets will be learned as spells. The items that currently summon pets/mounts, like Sprite Darter Egg or Ashes of Al'ar, will serve to teach us the spells, at which point the item will disappear from your inventory and the spells will be found in your spellbook for all time (bindable to hotkeys like any other spell if you want).

Top 10 Friends in WOW

OK, so this post is kind of stolen from a shared topic idea on Blog Azeroth and then changed a bit to suit me. It's also not a "score" or "Top 10" per-se (in fact, there's probably not even 10 mentioned), but more of some memories I have of friends I've made and people I've played with in my 2 and a half or so years of WOW. As people are looking forward to WotLK and all that, I'm stepping out and looking back.

Also... bear with me... it doesn't really cover my current guild because that wouldn't be fair - I love ALL of my guild and can't go naming people for reasons and all that sort of stuff.

So, who do I remember and why?

Way back when, I first started a Horde Mage (called Jezzebella ) on the realm that my son played on. I did OK, for a newb. Then, son, husband and I decided to roll new characters together, so we each picked what we thought we would LOVE to have at level 60 and found a realm.

Son wanted a PVP realm (his first one was a PVE), so we picked one I thought had a nice name - Magtheridon. Yes, THE Magtheridon. The one with all those famous horde players. The one where playing an Alliance was a continual fight - now maybe you see a bit of why I hate PVP, why a rogue was a GREAT first choice of character and why I'm always hiding, running from, or flirting with Horde.

Lorienne was my character, the gorgeous rogue. Husband and son both rolled druids (Barkingmad and Destar). One of the first characters we met was an imba mage (well, he seemed imba at the time - we were level 20 something and he was about 45 or so). I think I've mentioned him in another post somewhere - the one and only Mushymage. (OK, OK, so he's currently in my guild, but history doesn't count). He ran us all through Deadmines SO many times, was patient, kind and a complete show-off.

As we progressed we met another rogue, called Tuneman, and his married couple friends, Dondo and Ada (both priests). Dondo was already level 60 and in a raiding guild, but stopped by to help us out now and then. Meanwhile Tuneman became Lori's first (and still the best) flirting partner. I still laugh then I hear the "two tents" joke.

A guy walked up to me and said 'I'm a tepee, I'm a wigwam, I'm a tepee, I'm a wigwam!' and I said 'Relax man, you're too tense (two tents)!'

We did almost everything together. It was wonderful. I still pop back to Magtheridon to say hello now and then.

One of my best memories comes from when we did Sunken Temple - Dondo and a friend came along in their Tier 2 gear and completely blew the place away for us. It was fantastic seeing just how good a character could get. Sadly Dondo has turned away from the light and embraced the dark side.

Not long after Lori dinged 60, we joined a raiding guild called Silvermourne (about 2 days afer she hit 60 if I remember right). We went to ZG shortly after and so began our "hardcore" raiding. This also explains why Lori never really saw mich of the level 60 5-man instances - she went straight for the 20 and 40 man stuff!

There were some lovely people in that guild, along with a fair share of not nice people. One that I got on well with was a Paladin called Whoopzi - he was almost the only one in the guild who would ever heal me on my rogue (but don't tell the old healing leader - she'd have a fit). Whoopzi moved realm when Barki and I did and he too is in our guild now, playing a multitude of non-healer classes.

Rehnkal - much love - taught me how to use CTRAID. We went practicing in Deadmines. He showed me the power of Holy Nova and pulled the whole bottom deck on the way to the ship. Sadly he also pulled Mr Smite, got stomped, had a lot of angry mobs on him and died. I don't think I laughed as much as I did then for a LONG time. But he taught me about flexibility, humour, how to have fun as a priest - I think he kind of influenced me towards trying a priest alt.

Memories also of the Warriors - Ethar, Kvissla, Radaghast, Slimline and the rogues - Espaah, Bruden, Roukkari, Insta. Me on far left - after killing Onyxia and getting 2 [Bloodfang Hood].

As time went on it became clear to me that hardcore raiding was not for me. I was neglecting my family, getting stressed, having to play too much and so I quit the guild. I got accused of a lot of horrible things by a group of people I thought were my friends and hated every minute of that decision.

I did some research on the WOW forums and found a guild that seemed a perfect fit - OK, so they were nowhere near as progressed as SM were, but they were adults, who raided later and realised that real life IS greater than WOW. Barkie and I moved realms (this was when Barkingmad became Barkie). A few weeks later I moved my priest as well (and Aphrael became Sephrenia).

It was the BEST thing I've ever done in WOW, beyond a doubt. OK so I do miss progress and seeing content now and then, but realising that I'd found a bunch of people who actually cared about each other was so much more important to me. However, that doesn't stop me from remembering those I'd loved before.... A Mum never forgets. Well, I'm sure I've forgotten some - I used to chat to a LOT of people on Magtheridon - the list would be far too long to name them all - I ran out of space on my friends log!

Monday, 21 July 2008

New Priestly things in WotLK

Well, I was going to give you a list of all the new things I found out about priestly changes for WotLK, but to be honest I can't be bothered. I'm sure these things will change in the next few months and I think I want to find out new stuff as I go along once I start on my way to level 80.

If you want to know, from a proper priest, including HER comments and stuff, go read Dwarf Priest's write up - it's far better than I could ever do. She's even done another post since I started this post.

I'll spec as I see interesting things as I make my way through the new content and respecs don't cost that much anyway, so if I goof up I'll just change it.

To be perfectly honest, I'm sick of all the speculation and stuff already! I'd much prefer to set out, all fresh and new than know right down to the last detail what sort of a haircut I'm going to have and how I'm going to record the achievement of having one!

Bah Humbug and all that, but I mean - we don't know when it's going to be out or anything, so I can't get excited yet. Until I've placed a "proper" order that tells me when EXACTLY I'm going to get my copy of WotLK I'm not about to do the full "what-if" thing.

Yes, I'll read about it, I'll post interesting links if I find them, but they are more likely to be about new pets or dresses you can get than in-depth analyses of talents, spells, gear and all that sort of stuff.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Wonderful girl! Either I'm gonna kill her or I'm beginning to like her.

Name that movie again time.

Actually it's about Lorienne. Not too long ago I just couldn't bear playing her at all. Then I was bored one night and took her to an instance with another 60-something guildie. Then I got a bit more serious because she dinged and seemed more interesting. Then last underbog.....

My little, gorgeous, sexy rogue has taken approximately 2 years to go from level 60 to level 70.

I put on my level 70 rogue set pieces (damn I need a better looking chest piece) then headed straight over to Wildhammer Stronghold - well, I had to ride on my tiger there because she's not been to Shadowmoon Valley yet. I tried to buy my flappy, but the riding teacher wanted another 600g for me to train to 150 riding skill AGAIN. I submitted a ticket to a GM, but they must have all gone out to the pub because nobody spoke to me, so all sad, I went to bed.

This morning my ticket said that the issue had been escalated - how exciting. I headed over to Wildhammer to get some screenies for my blog and found that NOW I could actually train, so someone has sorted something. I bought a black birdie, but it's too slow so I think I'm going to have to spend all the cash I have on an epic flappy. I just need to work out what colour to get that won't clash with my hair.

I think I preferred it when I was rich and only had one character....

Friday, 18 July 2008

New outfit - got to LOVE my guild friends

Hochopecha, my darling in game Gnome mage boyfriend, has made me some [Haliscan Pantaloons], a [Haliscan Jacket] and some [Dress Shoes] to go with my lovely new [Don Carlos' Famous Hat].

Don't I look LOVELY!

Band Night

Well, I went to see the new band in Shattrah - The Tauren Chieftains were playing. There was quite a crowd - it was fun - people were dancing and the music wasn't bad, for horde anyway. (Damn that Orc in the front there - he has a scorchling - no fair).

You can read about the band here. The site also lists all their songs and gives the lyrics. Having been playing Lori a bit I kind of like the Rogue one.

Afterwards, as we didn't have quite enough for a 25 man raid I took Lorienne to Mana-Tombs and managed to ding 69. I've got half a level of rested XP still and a log full of easy Terokkar quests, so shouldn't be too much of a challenge to get to 70 soon-ish.

Sadly, I've decided not to play WOW on Friday and Saturday nights and to spend time with my family instead, so it looks like it will be some time next week before Lori is finally all grown up.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

The Three Amigos

Another fun night last night. The guild had an alt/gearing Kara raid going on, which was good and several others were out and about questing, pvp-ing and instancing. At one point when I looked we had 31 people online - this is GREAT given recent lacks.

In between my usual "Seph chats" I took Lorienne to Old Hillsbrad. I managed to talk the lovely Verenus into tanking for the group with his super Paladin tank, so this made life a little easier.

A few things really brightened my run. One - we killed the young Don Carlos and stole his hat. Two - Thrall looks absolutely ridiculous riding on a horse. No wonder the poor beast goes so slow. Three - riding down the road, he notices some guys and proceeds to attack them (we walked past them earlier with no response)... When they die he says "I did not ask for this!" Lol - just LOL!

Anyway - we completed it and Lori won [Mantle of Perenolde] and picked up a quest reward of [Southshore Sneakers]. They look AWFUL - I mean - bright blue - what were you thinking Blizzard - how can a rogue sneak in bright blue boots? Oh a plus side, they do match my hair. Ah well - son likes them - apparently she looks "imba" now.

After this I logged in to Seph in a quest for another new pet. It was time to go back to Old Hillsbrad and beat up poor Don Carlos again. This time it was on Heroic, but to be honest we didn't notice much difference. We did it in a group with 3 healers - one was tanking, one went dps and I stuck to my roots and healed. We brought a warlock and a shaman for some fun too.

We managed to kill him 3 times - basically if you kill him, loot the [Don Carlos' Famous Hat], exit instance, switch to normal mode, switch back to Heroic - reset - YAY he respawns! (Not sure quite how long Blizz will let that happen, but it worked last night). Here's the screenie with me chatting to my new doggie and welcoming him to the family.

And I leave you with a shot of the 3 amigos who got their silly hats and cute doggies. A guildie has the patterns for the rest of the gear - just need to farm some stupid mageweave to get them. More bag space required... I still think the shaman should have had a go for the hat too - being a ghost wolf with a doggie running with you would be so cool. Shame my shaman is only level 23 or I'd be after that with her.

Oh, after all that Lori went and nuked Sethekk Halls again to help some guildies and she's well on the way to level 69. Son is playing her again - he's keen to do some pvp with her and is working on the final bits of Terokkar and Zangarmarsh for me. Ah - some parts of school holidays are good!

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Happy Girl - got to love patch days

OK, so patch days are a pain. The UK is a day behind the US - they get to play with all the fun stuff first. I mean, I had to wait a WHOLE DAY to get my new pet. First off there's the add-on troubles - remind me again why I have so many... Second our realm has extended extended maintenance for some reason so we have to wait until 13:00 to get online. Finally I get online.

Number one - fishing quest - hurrah it's crocs. I wander to Stormwind and check out the new construction site while I'm fishing. Grab a baby croc and take him back for Old Man Barlo. He must hate patch days too and be in a bit of a grumpy mood because there's no pet reward again for me. Argh! How on earth am I supposed to get 4 of these damn crocodile pets. Grrr.

So - on to Skettis to meet the Sha'tari Skyguard Quartermaster and pick up my new pet - the tiny and very very cute [Nether Ray Fry]. I took him back to Shattrah and looked at him and my [Tiny Spore Bat] and tried to work out which was cutest.

Finally it's time to take the new baby out for a "float", or whatever it is that Nether Rays do. I'm not quite sure. In fact I rarely ride my [Purple Riding Nether Ray] because I end up feeling slightly queasy when I do for some reason.

We fly around Shattrah together and let him stretch his wings, gills or whatever they are. I have to remind him not to stray to far from Mummy, but I think he's happy with his new owner.

Woo Hoo - raiding again

Well, last night we managed to get 25 guild members all together and went back to SSC. It's been a while since we last went, we've taken on some new members and people seem to have had enough of the summer.

It was a bit of a wipe fest, but all in I think we did well. We didn't manage to kill a boss, but we had some fun and found out how to work as a team again. Surprisingly we had LOTS of tanks and enough healers (thanks Electra for re-speccing again). We had an annoying try where we got Hydross to 11% or something, but sadly he lives to fight another day.

I had fun. My mana regen gear seems to be performing well and I think I only used one potion, so I was happy.

It felt good to have the guild together again, working on getting the teamwork going, managing aggro and I really hope we can get some more raids going again soon.

Sorry to those who wanted to come, but we were full - it was a nice position to be in having a full raid, instead of having Council members begging people and their friends to join in.

Even though I quite fancied playing my rogue again since she is soooo close to 70 now (well it feels like it after all this time) it felt GREAT to have all those healing choices at my fingertips again.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

They are all laughing at me

Well, last night Lorienne reached the dizzy heights of level 68 by questing with some friends in Terokkar Forest. My guild were laughing at me since I still have a quest log full of green quests in Zangarmarsh and Terokkar. I can't help it if I prefer levelling with friends in instances.... I mean, Seph and her husband Barkie were level 64 before they left Hellfire Peninsula because they spent so long in Ramparts and Blood Furnace.

At least this way I can stay in Outlands and get on to level 80 - I might just finish Netherstorm by then!

Oh - son took her out to Sethekk Halls and managed to win the [Shoulderpads of Assassination] for me, so I now have 2 bits ready for when I get to 70.

Seph is off to SSC this evening - wish us some luck - I would so love to see Lurker go down - we've tried before, but can't seem to get the adds sorted as well as avoiding the spout. Shame it takes so damn long to clear the trash to get rid of all the fishies. That's one of the biggest challenges my guild has - we only raid for 2 hours or so which makes it a bit tricky to get places.

That's it for today - bit busy playing with my daughter. Also very tired from questing too late with Lori. And the stupid weather is all hot and humid. Bleurgh.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Is the end in sight for Lorienne?

Well, I am having great fun playing my rogue again. I honestly thought I would never be able to play her again having "found" the healing-ness of my priest, but have done pretty much non stop in the evenings of the last week. I have a theory that the second half of levels in a bunch of 10 are easier than the first - so lvl 26-30 is easier than 21-25 etc and I'm now half way through level 67.

Ok so I'm "cheating" a bit and only doing low level quests, but they sure are going down quickly. I'm also doing my favoured thing and instancing. Lorienne has completed Hellfire Peninsula (apart from a couple of group quests I came across the other day) and is probably half way through Zangarmarsh quests. At the rate I'm going I'll be able to level to 80 without leaving Outlands!

Last night I helped a group finish off in Underbog - I've still not completed the chain to get the quest to kill the last boss - it was a PUG argh I hate PUGs (sorry Dippen - not your fault), but it's all XP I guess. Dippen and I, having had enough of tanks who can't tank and healers who can't heal, decided to ask the guild if anyone fancied going somewhere else. Having chatted to my son (he knows where ALL the best gear drops for ALL the classes - must be great to be your very own encyclopedia), I steered the group towards Sethekk Halls where he had told me to go for [Shoulderpads of Assassination] - I've already got the [Leggings of Assassination] from sneaking along with a group through Shadow Labs.

We had some fun - true we got 3 level 70 guild members to help us, but 2 of them have only just dinged 70. We had our favourite Boomkin aggro-puller (lvl 63) with us - he did a fair bit of lying around dead. I'm sure the druid tank was marking the hardest things for me to sap - he's got a rogue main, so probably was testing me. I'm also convinced all of the mobs in instances are male because they always turn and look if you [distract] them with a cry of "Oh look - Boobies!" before going in for the sap. It even works on guild members in vent too ;-)

As per usual, the trash killed us more often than the bosses but we completed it (yay another quest done). Lorienne picked up a new toy [Terokk's Nightmace] but she's not altogether happy - she's ALWAYS been dagger spec and everywhere I read says I should be swords or maces. It just doesn't feel right being a rogue and not sneaking up behind things and driving a dagger in between their shoulder-blades.

On the plus side, aforementioned son has seen how lovely my rogue is and is keen to play with my killing machine again, so he's off solo-ing the elite quests I've got for me. Damn him, he plays soooo much better than me - I'm going to have to learn how to move properly. How he can fight mobs, listen to music, talk on MSN and eat his toastie I'll never know. Nerf 13 year old sons who put their mothers to shame playing their Mum's characters. "Oh, by the way Mum, I accidentally killed a Paladin and a Mage while I was out!" It will be just my luck to end up on someones KOS list - thank goodness for stealth and vanish on a rogue.

PlusHeal - a fantastic new forum, resource, guide thingy

Several healing bloggers have banded together to create and moderate PlusHeal: a forum community explicitly for healers. While the goal is not to detract their own blogs, there are some healing-related topics they are not interested in writing about on their blogs. If is anything you want to know about healing, this is the place to go...

The team behind the community currently includes:

Matt and Wyn from World of Matticus
Siha from Banana Shoulders
Auzara from Chick GM
Anna from Too Many Annas
Neutralise from Spirit is Your Friend
Phaelia from Resto4Life
And Lume from Lume the Mad.

Many of these blogs were the very ones I first started reading and got my inspiration for starting my own little blog going. They are a continual source of information so this will be a great place to tap into their knowledge and experience and amazing "shareableness" (what a great word to make up for a Monday morning - I really do think I need to sleep some more).

Each healing class has its own forum in addition to forums dedicated to general theorycraft discussions, UI addons, macros, and instances of all flavors (5, 10, and 25-man).

From their official announcement:

This community is intended to serve as a place where healers can come together to exchange tips, mods, macros, math, questions and ideas. They hope to create an environment where healers with multiple levels of experience can benefit from their shared knowledge and experience.

Why not stop by, sign up and join in one or more of the discussions?

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Lorienne's Spanking Outfit

A little bit of History. I used to be in a hardcore raiding guild. These were the days before Sephrenia moved into the area and became "the girl next door". Lorienne was my main (and pretty much my first) character. She started raiding Zul'Gurub two days after she dinged 60 (some time in June/July 2006).

The guild was a good one, full of great players. It was allegedly run by a Council, but was perceived as being run (with an iron fist) by a guy and his wife. I was promoted to an Officer (in charge of Communication), mostly because I stuck my nose all over the place and talked to people. Lorienne, the flirt that she is, talked to everyone and anyone. She was often found sitting in Stormwind just chatting...

Anyway, as time went on it became a threat (or promise) that if you misbehaved in raids you would be spanked by Lori.

We progressed in MC and started in BWL on 17th September 2006 (my birthday - that's how I remember). It was a Sunday and my parents had come to visit, so I let them look after the kids while Barkie and I went to BWL. It was here that Lori's spanking outfit got it's first showing. Thirty odd boys eyes nearly popped out of their heads (the others were girls, who I don't think were quite so impressed). Just for the record - we managed to kill Razorgore and he dropped me a birthday present of [Bloodfang Bracers], which the other lovely rogues passed on for me. Lorienne is still wearing them today.

I think most people these days have seen this kind of outfit, but back then it was fairly uncommon. I think the horned hat is the best bit. The shape of her bum cheeks I find particularly pleasing. The size of her feet is disturbing though. I honestly think that whoever designed the feet of all the females in WOW had a serious problem. They are too big. If any of you come across an item that would serve as a whip I'd be delighted to know about it.

Oh - last little point before I go see what today's fishing quest is - Lori reached level 67 last night and I'm quite enjoying doing some serious killing for a change. I'm still clicking Grid desperately trying to heal myself, but I guess that will wear off in time.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

The long-lost Rogue returns: Introducing Lorienne

Lorienne has returned! She has been on extended vacation, or something and last night she showed up, out of the blue, for a SP and BF run with some guildies who are about levels 62-23.

I think she's been off with some guy she fell madly in love with, but she's not saying. There are hints of her former self coming through - the odd wicked grin, a bit of a flirt, a kiss.... Hopefully she will dust of some of her wardrobe again too - her spanking outfit is a wondrous sight. (In my old guild people who didn't behave, or was it who did behave?, were spanked - by Lori. Did you know it's hard to find a weapon in the game that resembles a whip - I always wanted one like the Succubi have, but the closest thing I got was a fishing rod).

Her skills are slowly returning too - although she's a bit concerned that someone has given her a mace and a sword instead of daggers (I let my son borrow her for a while - argh!). She never was the best skilled rogue, but against level 62/63 moonkins she topped the damage meters (huzzah).

Somehow along the way I think her troubles came through and she lost control of her mind for a while and accidentally killed the priest and 2 druids. She didn't quite manage to kill the level 70 tank we had, but she added to his scars a bit I think. Bet they were a little sad she remembered to put on poisons (note to self - find poison applying add-on).

More adventures of Lori coming soon I'd imagine. She's such a tart, I'm not sure she will be able to hold herself back.

Friday, 11 July 2008

World First! ... and a new friend

Well, last night - what can I say. I didn't particularly want to raid. I'm kind of fed up of Gruul. There's nothing I want from him, I ALWAYS die (lots) and he's a boring fight. But, people were keen, we were short on healers ... all the usual stuff, so I went. We started off with 22 or 23 people and wiped on HKM. We found a few friends, children of members, strays off the street - that sort of thing and managed to fill the raid.

Someone was going to announce the pull... 5, 4.... he pulled! Turns out his microphone or vent link or whatever has a delay! Another wipe. This is where I hate being a healer - was so much easier on a wipe when I was a rogue.

Try again - somehow this time we managed to end up with 3 tanks, 4 (maybe 5) healers and 3 or 4 dps with HKM and an add left. Slowly the add died and we moved on to HKM. It was a LONG fight - the dps all got charged and died in an instant. Fear-ward tanks, heal, regen, heal, regen .... slowly, slowly we got him down 9%... cheers from the dead onlookers, laughs about it being the longest fight ever, ... 8% - still going, managing well (Yay for my Spirit gear), ... 7% - BAM!

Did you know that HKM had an enrage timer after which his damage increases by 500% or something? No? Nor did we - nor does Wowwiki or any of the other guides I've read. So - in true Common Sense spirit we decided that we have achieved a WORLD FIRST! We are the World's first guild to discover that High King Maulgar has an enrage timer.

Fresh from this "success" we continue, try again and actually kill him. Some days I can't believe that we've actually done both of them in 40 minutes. Gruul takes a few tries, but eventually he geos down too. It's taken us over 2 hours to get the raid together, get buffed, food, flasks, wipe and kill, but at least we're raiding again.

At this point I'm a bit tired and log off to go to bed. So - I'm lying in bed wondering what to write my blog about and then I remember I have a [Mr. Pinchy] who has his third cooldown ready. Oh well, I'll do him tomorrow... Darling husband starts snoring... Mind going overtime planning blog... tummy starts rumbling...

So - 1.45am - I get up. I put some toast in, boil the kettle and turn on the computer. Oh my - some guildies are STILL online - we sure are a late-night guild. Nom, nom toast, slurp, slurp tea - click on Mr Pinchy. Flash effect! Panic and look for Furious Mr. Pinchy - nope, not there. Check in bag for Mr. Pinchy's Gift - nothing. Finally look at my log to see what is going on - has Mr.Pinchy bugged on me?

And there it is .... "You receive [Magical Crawdad Box]". OMG! I GOT HIM! I GOT A NEW PET! So - 2am is a good time to open your Mr Pinchy folks - you heard it here! My crawdad is a very cute pet and an ideal fishing companion.

So this leaves me with a "Pet shopping list" of all 4 Crocodiles, the 2 seasonal summoned bosses pets (grrr), a lifelike mechanical toad, Willy (children's week - only been here 2 times, so he's the third one) and the new patch 2.4.3 pets (one of which I'm buying as soon as it comes, the other my darling guildies will be charmed into farming with me). I even have a volunteer already ...

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Best of the best of the best, sir! With honors.

Movie quote time again... virtual chocolate for the winner!

So, yesterdays post got me all worked up again. I'd reached a point where I was happy with my gear. I knew I wasn't really going to get much more until probably WotLK - unless we get to down lurker and I get THE priestly trinket [Earring of Soulful Meditation]. (Note to self - no other priests allowed in raid if we're gonna get Lurker). Then I win the stupid new mace from Magtheridon. My son, sitting in the background watching the kill, is telling me over my shoulder - it's THE best mace in the game until, oh I don't know where. Honestly some times he's like the little devil that sits on one shoulder while I am my own little angel on the other.

So now I'm supposed to go back to school and work out what of my gear to use. Trouble is - it's the summer holidays and I'm all out of brains. I've read (well, skimmed) World of Matticus and, well, basically, my head hurts. I want someone to tell me what to do. Tell me what is "best". And preferably don't all disagree with each other.

So - here goes with some numbers...

The latest gear I decided to use has [Shadowvine Cloak of Infusion] and I have my [Rod of the Blazing Light], which has the Spirit enchant on it and I use [Vial of the Sunwell]. With these on I have (completely unbuffed) 1886 healing, 275 MP5 casting (785 not casting), 10.9K mana and 6511 health. I use the fancy alchemist stone too.

If I put on my purely healing gear, which I used to wear and not worry about mana regen - damn all this reading I started to do - made me change everything - I was happy working pretty much completely on gathering +heal stuff and annoying a fellow Paladin by having more than him (hugs Logic).

OK - so now I'm wearing [Stainless Cloak of the Pure Hearted], along with [Light's Justice] (with healing enchant) and [Voodoo Shaker]. I have my [Essence of the Martyr] on too. Now I got 2156 healing, 239 MP5 casting (705 not casting), 10.9K mana and 6711 health.

My new staff is [Crystalheart Pulse-Staff]. I was only just playing with my "regen spirity" outfit and haven't really tried it a lot in raids, but what I've seen of it, I really like. My potion use has gone right down. In my numerous fights with Ahune it seemes that if I stood still for a bit my mana came back really well and when I used my fiend or got an innervate I was in mana heaven! My gut feeling is that about 1800-2100 plus healing is ok - somewhere in that range. I think I need to learn to down-rank my heals a bit, but I've not got that many fingers to be able to use shift and click, "G" for a shield, keys for moving (yes, I STILL can't use my mouse to move properly), etc.

My current leaning is towards putting the healing enchant on it (more Bog Lords must die), although in part this is because the guy I know who did my spirit enchant has stopped playing for now and I don't trust general trade people.

Life was easy before - I found tools to help me, but there doesn't seem to be much out there that compares Mace + Offhand with a Staff and nobody has said - "this is the best way to go". I want to be the best healer I can be and the most useful to the raid. I know pretty much any choice will do really - I mean we're not talking first kill in SWP or anything here. But I'm conditioned to want to be good - maybe it stems back to my childhood, when I can remember getting 90% for my Maths exam and my Dad asking me "what happened to the other 10%?"

Oh, by the way - have you seen Priest Healing? It tells you the mana efficiency and stuff for all your heals if you put in your talents, stats, etc.

Gosh - that was a lot of heavy stuff, but it's been weighing on my mind. Maybe I'll hold off on my questioning about the use of my [Bangle of Endless Blessings] and [Darkmoon Card: Blue Dragon] for another time.....

Knurd, Softi and Amaryllis ... and anyone else who reads this stuff that flows from my keyboard .... over to you.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

We are the Champions, my friend

Well, we finally got to raid again last night. We picked up a few friends from other guilds and went and saw the demise of Magtheridon. It was a bit scrappy, but hey - that's my guild!

I finally, finally got my new title. I've done all the heroics before, but took a long time to do the SMV quests to get through the chain (I hate SMV, it's a horrible place). We've killed Magtheridon before, but I wasn't quite done with the chain. I managed to get the last heroic done again just as Summer hit us and we stopped doing many raids. This week, I decided to schedule a run and crossed my fingers that enough people would be bored and want to go! They were (although like I said we did have to ask for a few friends to join us).

Notice something else on the picture - yep a shiny new [Crystalheart Pulse-Staff]. Nobody else wanted it and I had a free bag slot (since I didn't get my scorchling), so I rolled for it and won.

Now I'm trying to work out what enchant to put on it and when to use it. I'd just worked out all my new gear and gone for maximising my spirit and I land this baby which has no spirit. Hmmmm. Decisions, decisions. Will have to do some reading and thinking. The raid last night was great - I didn't need a potion, innervate or anything - I had something around 350 MP5 while casting all buffed up - it was insane - I loved it. But this new baby has sooo much additional stamina. Help please fellow priests? Any comments?

Good Things about being a Guild Mum

OK, after yesterday's whine things are a bit better today. We went to Karazhan last night and killed some stuff. The sun is shining. I've had a lie in. I've been remembering some of the lovely things guild members have done to cheer up their Mum in the past.

Some time ago I had another rant (hmmm - maybe I have too many of these episodes - nah - was 2 months ago - that's aaages). Most of the Council were away or busy, almost all the raid leading fell to me and something happened where I was accused of abusing my position on the Council. It's all been cleared up and sorted now, but at the time I was mad, sad, at quite an all-time low in my WOW playing. It was about this time that I decided to have some "me" time and really upped my pet collecting.

I noticed a friend in STV a lot over the next week. He's a LOVELY guy, but often a loner. He's into levelling alts so when I asked what he was up to he said "collecting mageweave" and I thought nothing of it - presumed he was levelling tailoring on one of his characters. A few days later I had a note in the post which explained that he was very sad that I had been feeling so low and he wanted to do something to cheer me up. The letter made me cry. I have a copy of it, but it's probably not fair to link it here. Anyway - attached was one of the rarest pets in the game. The beautiful [Parrot Cage (Hyacinth Macaw)]. This lovely, lovely person had farmed and farmed and farmed. I forget how many stacks of cloth he got from the farming, but I was incredibly touched.

I posted this on our guild forums - ever helpful thinking of the men in the guild...

The Hormone Hostage knows that there are days in the month when all a man has to do is open his mouth and he takes his life in his own hands! This is a handy guide that should be as common as a driver's license in the wallet of every husband, boyfriend, or significant other!

DANGEROUS: What's for dinner?
SAFER: Can I help you with dinner?
SAFEST: Where would you like to go for dinner?
ULTRA SAFE: Have some chocolate

DANGEROUS: Are you wearing that?
SAFER: Gee, you look good in brown.
SAFEST: WOW! Look at you!
ULTRA SAFE: Have some chocolate

DANGEROUS: What are you so worked up about?
SAFER: Could we be overreacting?
SAFEST: Here's fifty quid.
ULTRA SAFE: Have some chocolate

DANGEROUS: Should you be eating that?
SAFER: You know, there are a lot of apples left.
SAFEST: Can I get you a glass of wine with that?
ULTRA SAFE: Have some chocolate

DANGEROUS: What did you do all day?
SAFER: I hope you didn't over-do it today.
SAFEST: I've always loved you in your dressing gown!
ULTRA SAFE: Have some more chocolate.

A few Saturdays later I was having a lie-in, but it wasn't going so well, I'd been woken a few times and was starting to get a bit agitated about all these interruptions to my sleep. The doorbell went. My husband came up to the bedroom with an ENORMOUS box, post-marked Germany. Germany? I don't know anybody in Germany. I don't recognise the name of the sender. What the hell is it? I open it up and inside are 5 colour coded packets - each one containing about 5 bars of chocolate. A guild friend, on the post I'd made, had decided to send me some chocolate. He got my address from my Dad and had sent me about 3kg of chocolate. The packets were for the trouble he had caused in the past, that he would cause in the future, for experimental times, for sweet times and for hot boss fights (this one had Chili chocolate in - eeek).

At this point I think my husband finally realised the effect I have on the game and the people in it, how it affects me and how much more it is to me than "just a game". These people in my guild are not meaningless pixels to me, they are real people, with real feelings - I love them all, I treat them the same way as I would any of my "real life" friends. I show them respect, kindness, patience (most of the time) and these are the sorts of things I get in return. Oh, now I'm getting all emotional again thinking about it.... time for a cup of tea.

Monday, 7 July 2008

Stuck in the Doldrums

Meaning: In low spirits; feeling dull and drowsy.

Origin: The Doldrums is the region of calm winds, centered slightly north of the equator and between the two belts of trade winds, which meet there and neutralize each other. It is widely assumed that the phrase 'in the doldrums' is derived from the name of this region. Actually, it's the other way about. In the 19th century, 'doldrum' was a word meaning 'dullard; a dull or sluggish fellow' and this probably derived from 'dol', meaning 'dull' with its form taken from 'tantrum'. That is, as a tantrum was a fit of petulance and passion, a doldrum was a fit of sloth and dullness, or one who indulged in such.

This is the state of my guild. Nobody is signing up to anything. People come online, whine about nothing happening and log off again. I'm sure some WANT to do stuff, but the motivation isn't there. I'm not sure why. I want to continue in SSC, TK and maybe even try a first few bosses in MH or BT. But we can't get enough people. We can't even seem to get enough to finish off ZA. We have good geared people, but they all seem to want to be messing with their alts and getting gear for them. Why don't we want to get gear for our mains?

I'm confused. If the reason for not raiding is that WotLK will negate all gear, fair enough, but why then want a Kara raid to gear an alt? Is it because it's easy, familiar, or what? Have you not decided what characted to take through to 80 and want them all geared just in case?

We got 24 people to go to MC for a fun run, but can't get more than 7 or 8 signing for SSC - why?

We're losing people from the guild. OK, so maybe they didn't have quite the same fit as some of us, but they were good players, who raided late with the rest of us and wanted to be a part of the laid-back guild. Now we're so laid back we're practically bloody horizontal.

WotLK could be MONTHS off yet - my guess is that it will be out in time for Christmas, possibly November, but certainly not before. (Amazon UK says 30th September, US says 3rd November). So are we all going to mooch about picking flowers and fishing until then? I'm not sure I'm going to last that long. My feet are getting itchy. I want some action. I want something to DO, and not just running countless alts through all the instances I've done 100 times already.

Am I unusual in that I only play one character? I just can't seem to get any of my alts past level 40. I'm not enjoying any of them as much as I do my priest. I only want to heal and it's kind of hard to level a druid as resto - she's got to lvl 34. My hidden Shaman (not in the guild - OMG I have a character NOT in the guild) is level 24 and I just can't play a Paladin.

Oh dear - I've gone completely off track and ranted again. But hey - that's what I made this blog for, so I could rant. It keeps me away from the guild recruitment forums. I really don't want to have to move from my guild - I've been here 18 months - these people are more to me than just pixels - but I want more. I want my cake AND eat it.

Actually - all I want is to raid a bit. Not every night, but just a bit. Sometimes. Please?