A wee bit of Tanking

We ran through MV last night and due to some silly guild happenings we were a few folks short. We were able to grab a darn excellent Shadow Priest via pugging, to fill the roster. As an aside it was well beyond my expectations to find somebody who has experience on 2-3 characters in MV and is also polite and intelligent. From a pug no less. Its like it 2009 all over again.

Missing a few players might be bad news sometimes, but last night I chucked on my Blood set and mashed the DeathStrike button through the Mogu’shun in a manner to make the designers cringe. I’m sure that I didn’t walk-taunt-move-stay-still enough in some parts, and the mechanics are still gibberish to me in the later bosses. Our regular Blood DK gave me all the help I needed by prompting for each taunt, and while I can normally see a debuff or action from which he is reacting to, last night it was tough to spot.

A few hours of killing, only a few wipes, at an even pace we had all but the last boss dead and unfortunately I hit the “in-home” enrage timer just after 11pm, and had to end the run. Frustrating to not down the Emperors after all that, but then we did start a little later than expected and they’ll be standing there till we come back.

I’m also pissed off that Elegon did not drop anything useful for me that I could bid on. There was plenty of Plate gear that dropped, but nothing for upgrades either way. Selfishly, I’d have liked a two-hander to replace the crappy Blue I’m still using. Or it would be nice to see an end to the fun mini-game of waiting for the Plate Wrist dps to drop too. Love randomness, its so fun.

Three fat Mogu staring at a dinner plate?

Al’akir defeat completes normal mode content

Sunday night the guild went back into the windy Throne, and decided to continue the fight against Al’akir. The team not only defeated Al’akir, but also did it on first shot for the evening. A one-shot is a darn good way to start a raid night, and the guys must have been really on their game.

This means that Insidious (my guild on Nagrand-US) have now defeated all the current normal mode raid content; scraping through before the patch 4.2 is released in the near future. I’m very pleased that the team were able to do it, and that the regular folks now have those sexy mounts. Congrats folks, well earned. We’re now jumping to hard modes for the early bosses.

The guild will now do what we did at the end of Lich King, and have two runs going – a progression raid where the guild proves that these kills were not just luck and determination, and a second set of raids which are to gear-up the folks coming through. This makes the “can I bring my alt” question a lot more prevalent, but the officers and raid lead have a really solid understanding of balance and when to switch folks, so we have the opportunity to get the kills and complete the achievement for some of the players who might have missed it. When in doubt, the mains have priority, and the main runs are always the most important. That said, some of the raiders have toons that are equally as competitive as their mains, so we have flexibility – which is a great way to start patch 4.2 Firelands content.

Personally I’ve seen some of the really tough fights, but missed some of the easier ones; like I have the Nef kill, but never completed the Omnitron system, and wiped on Al’akir but never seen the fight before it. My plan is to get these together before 4.1 hits, so I too can nab the mount and say I was one of the cool kids who did it when it was hard.

Happy gaming, may the great raids roll.

Cata Rep and Normal Gearlist

A guild forum discussion started about where to get gear while prep’ing for heroics. This will probably form the basis of my activity after hitting 85.

Here is a few WoWHead item searches listing all the Cata items obtained by Rep, ordered by slot. Use the class / spec select in the filter to change the priority of the items.

www.wowhead.com/items?filter=qu=3:4;sl=1…5:25:23:21:20:8;gb=1

Then the same search, with the items that drop from Normal dungeons added, so a list of gear to aim for.

www.wowhead.com/items?filter=qu=3:4;sl=1…5:25:23:21:20:8;gb=1

And now any items that also are crafted or quest drops, added into the mix.

wowhead

Happy hunting

What is the value of normal players? (rant)

I’d love to put some “uber-hardcore-1337″ gamers into an exam and give them an essay topic:

Players that are not hardcore still add value to Warcraft. Discuss.

Most would not even get into the room, and those that did might suffer under the tyranny of pen and paper. :) There is no way you’d give them a computer, as they’d just start logging in, or trolling the forums about it. But in all seriousness, the opinion and total subjectivity of what is normal performance, and who should get access to what content keeps coming up. The 3.2 token drop change only fueled the fire.

We’ve (the work wow’ers) chatted about this a while back at lunch, and they noted I’ve made some pretty extreme statements around performance expected from fellow guild-mates and other players, and I’ve sworn out loud many times when confronted by somebody that does not meet my standards. Shamefully. And then I probably don’t meet the standards of hardcore either. Probably the hardcore players would find my Priest a joke, and be hard on Mortigen’s progression. I’d be a token screen breather, and relegated to farming silver in the backwaters of Arathi Highlands.

From now onward (or until the next ass-hat drooler pug wipes us on simple trash in VH) I’ll try to ponder and absorb some thoughts on Normal players. And lets call them normal players, as calling them casual might be implying that they don’t really care or commit to gaming seriously.

So a few mantras and thought that I’ll keep foremost in my mind about normal players:

  • a normal player is an ok thing (repeat this while doing circular breathing)
  • they are more tolerant of the mistakes of others (in other words cool and relaxed)
  • they might make a few mistakes themselves (still learning or juggling RL too)
  • they are not elitist jerks, and might still have an interest in improving their game play
  • they are willing to sacrifice being on the cutting edge of content in favour of other life choices

Lastly why do I like them so much? Because I am one.

My real life takes precedence over WoW regularly. I kind of like the fact that I can geek it up and still have social skills, a full time job, and a solid relationship. But damn me, I really love WoW too. Death Knights are 100% solid fun (please don’t roll one, we’re full), and the small percentage of things that Warcraft does not do right is totally blown away by what it does right. Especially so for normal players.

So beyond proping up the financial side of WoW, and providing an ongoing whipping boy for hardcores, what do they provide to you?