Wednesday, 30 June 2010

A little late to the party...

I've been hitting my head against the Lich King shaped wall for around 7 hours now. It's a fantastically frantic fight which you cannot truely understand while watching a TankSpot video - for one, they make it all look so bloody simple.

We're currently getting some work in on Phase 2 and it's paying off, with our best attempt last night ending at 48%.

Now, Arthas in all his evil wickedness has decided that during Phase two, he's gonna let his little winged minions come in, pick up a raid member and really, really slowly carry them off the edge of the platform. Classic bond villan style. He could order it to fly really fast up and away from us but no, it's gotta move towards the edge in a "hahahahahahahahahaahha-ohshitstunned" kinda way and it's the juggling of Valkyr hitting, Defile dodging, Infest healing that's got us a little bit stuck. But only a little bit.

Highlights of the night for me was jumping off the platform while trying to save my melee partner-in-crime. I was there, dpsing my little heart out, it was all very - "Kirky! Nooooo!" and I completely ignored the edge of the platform. I was all "One more enveno-Oh shit, fell off! ARRRRRRGH!" and a very sheepish "Sorry guys" over Mumble. Having a Shambling Horror jump off after us when we'd decided to wipe it but instead of falling to its doom, decided to pull a very dramatic death mid air and "technically" killing Arthas when he jumped off after our Tank. I demand loot and badges! (Although it was funny watching him falling trying to melee poor Raggy.)

I'm truely enjoying these attempts, I mean, wiping isn't fun but when you get a little bit better after a few wipes and you're either shaving an extra 10% off a boss or doing the first phase and transition flawlessly it really does make you feel like you're getting somewhere. I just hope it doesn't take too long for us to get him to the golden 10%.

Friday, 25 June 2010

The Battle for Warsong Gulch, part 2

Been a while since my last one of these, wasn't really motivated due to the end of exams but I woke up this morning and, mainly through extreme bordem decided to get the next part done. Enjoy! Oh and The font is being really annoying on Blogger at the moment, so I apologise if it looks a little weird

Nalria grunted and braced herself as two walls of shields collided. She could feel Jakkru’s thin fingers holding onto a peice of cloth that the Lieutenant had ordered them to strap round their waists. “HOOOOLD!” the Lieutent bellowed, “Come on, you motherless dogs!” With this, the Horde line surged forward. The solider infront of Nalria backed slightly and she thrust her shield out more, knocking him backward, he clattered into the woman next to him and his shield dropped. In a flash of leather, she saw the slight figure of Jakkru plunge a dagger in the gap between his breastplate and arm. He was behind her once again as they surged forward. Two more humans fell over the man, who was writhing in agony and their frontal attack was broken. “SLAY THEM ALL!” the Lieutenant screamed, as he chopped away at the Humans infront of him.

Juljin was quickly running out of arrows but the flank was holding well. The hunters had dwindled the incomings numbers and the piling bodies and bloody slope made it difficult for them to move. He looked to his right to see the middle of the line locked in combat with humans, night elves and dwarves. He turned back and saw the enemy had stopped trying to get up the slope but instead, had moved to attack the middle of the Hordes thin but resistant line. “Hunters! Support those warriors!” cried the Orc he’d met briefly back at the camp. Juljin ran swiftly, loosing an arrow on the move, it wasn’t as accurate but did hit flesh. A night elf in leather fell to the ground, clutching at the shaft of the arrow, agony engraved all over his face. He let out a slight grin as he steadied himself, the Alliance were playing into the Hordes trap. To his left he could see warriors still fighting but the Hordes numbers were greater than the Alliances on the left hand flank.

“BACK YOU FOOLS! BACK!” Kranan cried. Watching four Warriors breaking from the line, axes in hand. A nearby shaman had wipped them into a Bloodlust and they had dropped their shields, grabbed anything that looked pointed and heavy and ran straight towards the alliance. For a second, the attackers had stopped, in surprise at the two trolls and two orcs which were charging them down. The damage they did was massive, men screamed and bodies flew around but it was over in less than twenty seconds, when, exhausted the Alliance hacked them down and turned to the flank. More warriors had run out to aid the first four and were met by a wave of Alliance Soliders. “GET BACK!” Kranan cried in vain, the Lieutenants plan was falling apart on the right flank. He grabbed a small wooden object from his belt and muttered to himself, he glanced up to see the Alliance advancing quickly. “Earthern spirits, I call on you, I call on you, I CALL ON YOU!” he yelled, ramming the wooden object into the floor with great force. The alliance continued to advance and Kranan felt weakened, his mace felt heavy and the battle cries seemed distant. He was brought back to his senses by the ground shaking.

Nalria and Jakkru worked together, she would create an opening and he would exploit it, they’d drove the attackers down the slope slightly until those from the left flank had joined. Since then, they’d stopped, warriors who were in the second and third ranks had gone to meet the incoming, bloodied alliance and the Lieutenant had ordered them to hold. Jakkru glanced to his right but saw nothing but the other Shadowstalkers and a huge troll who was screaming, his eyes wild with a thirst for blood. The arrows started to pour over them, into the alliance ranks. Screams were heard from the back of the alliance attack. The hunters had been ordered to focus on mages, warlocks and the few hunters the alliance had brought with them. As predicted by the Lieutenant, the Alliance would have relied on their numbers and sent men into the melee, keeping their ranged at the back. His counter to this was to lure the ranged into distance of his hunters bows and cut them down with arrows, it seemed to be working. The arrows stopped and a battle cry was heard, this was the Hordes signal, Nalria shunted her shield into the night elf infront of her repeatably, one of the spikes in her shield must have caught the attacker because he howled and wretched to his side, she hamstringed him and he fell, she thrust her sword into the female solider behind him and she let out a cry of pain, all along the line the other warriors were doing the same and the alliance started to move backward, towards the flatter ground.

The shaking ground had halted the alliance as both sides attempted to steady themselves. With a huge scraping sound, two boulders appeared from the earth. The alliance watched and laughed but stopped immediately as a sound like gravel grinding together pieced the air. The head of a huge Earth elemental had appeared from the ground and the two boulders were its hands, which it was currently pulling itself up with. Two mages behind Kranan had used the distraction as an oppotunitiy to attack and dwarf clad in plate armour had flown backwards and was screaming in agony, his plate glowing molten red, his screams almost drowned out the sound of the elemental as he was burnt alive inside his armour. They continued to cast as the elemental brought itself to a great high and drove it’s fists down, one night elf who had stood still was crushed under one of them, a fleeing human had been caught on the legs and was screaming. The elemental slowly picked his stone fists up and charged, much faster than you would think something made of stone and earth would. The alliance turned tail and ran, with cheers and insults from the remaining Horde soliders on the right flank.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

A list! *Yoink*

I do believe I'm a little like Nick Hornby. No, I'm not a widely known author, I like lists. So, when I saw this little list over as Sorry Caps (which is a wicked name for a wicked blog I've started looking at) I couldn't resist!

1. Raider, farmer, PvPer, or altoholic?

I'd class myself as a raiding altoholic. Seeing as I try to raid as much as possible on all my level 80 characters.

2. Favorite raid or dungeon?

Oooooh, hard one...A toss up between Karazhan, Zul'Aman and Zul'Farrak.

3. Number one choice for a new playable race?

Ogres! If only for their wicked dance moves.

4. Class you suck the most at?

It's got to be a druid, mainly because I truely dont have to patience to level one to 20.

5. Original UI or modded UI?

Modded, all the way. I spend many hours tweaking my UI to make sure everything is in place and that I have to fullest view of what's happening.

6. Profession you've never levelled past 200?

Blacksmithing and Inscription, currently working on both.

7. Favorite flying mount?

Flying carpet, without a doubt.

8. Nozdormu -- friend or foe, you figure?

I have no idea :p

9. Useless item you have in your bank that you'll never get rid of?

The rod from the quest in Mara. It used to teleport you but now it's a staff. I have it on my warrior and it'll be there forever. Was the first instance I did with an all guild group in which I tanked. It took us bloody hours, had many wipes but I've got a lot of memories.

10. Most expensive thing you've ever bought?

Epic flying on my Rogue. I saved for months for that back in TBC, was so happy when I got it.

11. Favorite starting area?

The Deathknight one. I really do love the whole changing environment through what you're doing and the battle at the end was epic the first time you saw it. Espeically with 20 other people trying to level DK's pitching in.

12. Inane goal you worked hardest to achieve?

Mhmmm, this is kinda hard. I'd guess To all the Squirrels I've loved before achievement (/love to different critters around Azeroth etc).

13. Darion Mograine VS Tirion Fordring, gloves off -- winner is?

Mograine. Fordring would spend the entire time talking while Mograine walks up and twats him in the face.

14. Game music or your own playlist?

Own playlist. I have certain bands I'll play while raiding/pvping or levelling.

15. Particular option or setting that you always toggle on a new alt/server?

Mhmm... I always set my XPerl frames to that of my rogue, that's about it really.

16. Highest amount of levels gained in one play session?

8. 50-58 in a day on my shaman alt.

17. Thing you'd most like to experience or see in-game?

I'd like to get the Lich King down before the expansion is over. It's been my goal for this expansion and I'd love to get it done.

18. Worst PuG moment?

Constant abuse from a trigger happy mage while I was trying to tank my first ever instance on my warrior, I'd been playing about a week...

19. Best dungeon/raid moment?

Having one of the best geared dps on the server, in one of the best guilds on the server /w me telling me my dps was nice. I'd put getting to the Lich King in a pug up there too but it was more a group of friends than a pug.

20. Worst quest ever that you totally hate doing?

The one in Tanaris where you've got to get that Dew Gland. Jesus, I hate that quest.

21. First thing you do when you hit 80?

/g THANK FUCK FOR THAT. Log off, have a break.

22. Character (of yours) you would RP as if you had to?


23. Keyboard, mouse, or both for using abilities?

Both. Mainly my keyboard but when bashing buttons with my left hand, I like to be able to click stuff that's out of reach of a priority keybind with my mouse.

24. Thottbot or WoWhead?

WoWhead all the way.

25. Acronym you've seen in chat but don't understand?

I didn't know what "idd" meant for about 3 years until a week a go. I also saw some people advertising for Deadmines but calling it VC which confused me.

26. Plot point you'd like to see resolved someday?

Just why the fuck is Sartharion there?

27. Biggest thing you're looking forward to in Cataclysm?

Seeing the world that I've gotten so used to change in the blink of an eye. It's gonna be so awesome.

28. Guild event you'd like to see?

I'd quite like another game of Marco, Polo in Absolution in all honesty :D

29. Level range you hate being in?

50-58 :(

30. Favorite map to quest in?

Nagrand, it's so pretty!

Thursday, 17 June 2010

An obviously lying Warlock and a not-skilled-enough to play Arms warrior

It's amazing how a long disconnection and someone being asked to not get saved to a raid so they could help their guild out later in the day can seriously make a kick-ass group into a completely average one.

This morning, myself and a few guildies thought we'd do ICC10 so we started a group. With the strength of the healing team (myself, a paladin healer and a shaman healer) and the dps we had, I started to advertise as being able to take 9-10 bosses, which was definintly do-able if we got the tanks and other dps as experienced as we were.

It took around 45 minutes to fill the group, which consisted of a 25 man kingslayer, an very well geared alt of a friend and some other people who had the achievement up to Sindragosa. Things looked awesome.

However, one of the tanks disconnected and wasn't back for almost 10 minutes - in an attempt to keep things ticking over I decided to replace them. A DPS then had to drop out, admittable after we'd found the other tank due to their guild wanting to keep them unsaved for a run later in the week. Which is perfectly acceptable to me. I replaced them. A mage then left, for undisclosed reasons, I didn't look too much into it and replaced them.

We got through Marrowgar and Deathwhisper with relative ease and I felt pretty confident of the groups ability. That was until Gunship - I unfortunatley disconnected and had to restart my laptop, meanwhile in game, someone decided to start the event, without even checking that both tanks where there and equipped with rocket packs.

From there, it went downhill. Saurfang was terribly messy. One of the replacement ranged decided they were better than DPS'ing the blood beasts and stood in melee, leaving a hunter and shadowpriest to deal with the adds. This lead to healers getting beaten on and the person with the mark dying which prolonged the fight. That's not happened in a group I've been in since the progression runs.

After that, I had to go afk for what turned into 20 minutes, which could have definintly unfocused the group. However, I really dont care as I'd have happily left the raid due to the afk being a family related matter.

During my afk, the same person that ninja-started gunship had apparently wiped the group. Most of the people in the raid had used a bit of common sense and gone and made lunch, had a smoke, used the toilet or cracked one out (I really hope that person was joking) during my AFK. However, this one person got impatient and pulled Stinky. This really did signal the decline of the group.

We did Rotface first as I wanted to see the co-ordination of my band of minor-misfits. People didn't do too bad, I was quite glad my AFK hadn't affected peoples focus. We then went onto Fester, who was once again, ninja-pulled. I'd stated after the Gunship fiasco that pulls would only be made when I said so. However, said warlock and warrior had decided that they should pull when they wanted to and a round of "gogogogo" was heard like a retarded war cry before the boss is pulled, all hell breaks loose, a hunters locked out and we wipe in a matter of seconds due to people not knowing where to move.

After checking the dps on Festergut and actually finding it pretty...bad on some people who's gear was extremely good, I decided to try Blood Quarter instead of Putri. For some reason, the warlock and warrior (what the fuck is it with classes that start with "W" attracting retards?) thought it'd be a walk in the park because; Warrior - "our guild does alt runs to putri and we're in PvP gear" and Warlock - "im in hc frming gild on other srver. fester is ez lol." It's around that time 3 of the members who were first invited tell me (after about 2 hours, mind you) that they had a raid in about an hour.

With this information in mind and knowing that finding a dps willing to come after the first 6 bosses are dead is like rocking horse shit, I gave it a few goes on Princes but apparently, our "hc frming gild" warlock didn't have a fucking clue. With around 30 minutes left, I thought it best to get everyone 3 badges and a chance on some loot. Not that bad? I mean, if the raid was going to fall apart I'd rather end it on a high than bashing my forehead repeatable into a Putricide shaped wall.

This didn't sit well with our warrior. Who first of all, started out arguing a valid point. 9-10 bosses was our aim. However, our aim was changing, with people having to go and our excellently balanced group at the beginning crumbling and being repaired with liberal amounts of duck tape and a fucking prayer. The warrior then started insulting my raid leading. I didn't care, you get one of these pricks in every few pugs that couldn't lead a raid to save their sorry lives but at the same time, will piss and moan about how they think you should be doing better. Then they insulted the guild, with (and I quote): "Looks like Absolution done like it when the loot isn't dropping."

I didn't even need to say anything. It was a huge mistake saying that, especially with half the raid being from the guild they just insulted. We had a druid being so sarcastic it was untrue. A deathknight being about as subtle in his insults as a SPAS-12 blast to the face and a paladin who just wanted to tell the warrior that she was shit. I told them to shut up but the warrior truely would not drop it. Eventually, it got to the stage where I called it, thanking the warrior for letting everyone in the group miss out on 2 badges from Valithria.

I'd have felt bad if I didn't get a whisper from one of the tanks, the priest and the other DK about how they were glad for the invite and it was a shame more couldn't have been done.

I was quite disappointed, not in the abrupt ending, or the insults from not-skilled-enough-to-play-arms-warrior but from how the first group, that I spent around 45 minutes having to tell people they couldn't come, check people out on the armoury and finally getting it all together to crumble. Oh well, that's pugging it's why people love it and it's why (more commonly) people hate it.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Azerothian Diamonds aren't forever...

My little warlock, Darju might be my Jewelcrafter. I say might because I'm currently getting stupidly annoyed with the profession as I'm stuck at 260/300 and level 64. Meaning I have to go back to Azeroth instead of pwning red faced orcs in their stupid red faces while mining Fel Ore to prospect and find gems.

I've got 1 of every gather maxed out and even though mining was a little bit annoying (running laps of Plaguelands to find out a week later that Blizzard have now changed the spawning on Thorium in Un'goro) on Kranan. Skinning was stupidly easy on Jakkru and Herbing was only annoying because I couldn't track Humanoids on Jath!

I also have a fair few maxed crafting professions. Leatherworking was also pretty easy, Alchemy was a breeze and engineering isn't hard, I just dont have it maxxed because I'm a lazy bastard, I'm only about 200 points into Blacksmithing on my paladin and Tailoring/Enchanting on the mage is making me a decent profit. However, Jewelcrafting has actually been a right ball ache from the start. I keep being told it'll be worth it in the long run and I'm not arguing that it wont but I am truely lazy and therefore, losing patience with trying to find Vanilla gems.

I've been wanting to make the final push into Northrend on the old Warlock so that his loving demon, Jeff, can get some scourge blood on his over-sized cleaving machine but with me wanting my Jewelcrafting at the level you can talk to the trainers in Warsong and that Undead place in Howling Fjord whose name escapes me is holding me back.

When I'm 80 and maxed out with Jewelcrafting, I'll be really glad I stuck with it, even if I want to go "fuck it, Jeff, let's go pwn" to which he'll just reply "Why dont you fight your own battles?" or something sarcastic in that deep, demon-ie voice of is.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Thinking "out-loud" is the way to go.

I used to have a theory about pugging. I imagined it a little like those examples you got given in High School about probability, with the bag of different colour things but instead of the bag, it's a server and instead of colour things, there's the people you can find in a pug.

I thought that the bigger the server, the more chance of finding a terrible pugs were. As there was more people to "pick" but after moving to Darkmoon Faire this isn't true. It's the same probability in both servers. I never was any good at maths.

However, this little, admittible pretty shit theory, doesn't really fit Argent Dawn. For some reason, I haven't had a bad pug on there for months. I'm not even kidding, killing 7+ bosses everytime I'm going in on 10 man and up to 5-6 bosses on 25 man. This is both Horde and Alliance side.

Darkmoon Faire however, hasn't yielded a good pug since the one I led which did 8/12 in ICC and that was back when the buff was only at 15%. This is quite sad actually because the motivation required for me to put a group together, empty that metaphorical bag onto the metaphorical table and seperate the noobs from the not-so-noobs is a lot and quite frankly, with my alliegence firmly in Argent Dawn, Darkmoon Faire has completely taken a back seat and I'm truely not enjoying my characters on there anymore. Jath gets logged in to do his daily transmute, Nads gets log in to queue for a random, get bored about 10 minutes before logging back to Argent Dawn.

I keep thinking, what keeps drawing me back? I mean, I have a tonne of characters on there so that's definitly a plus, right? But then again, I have two lvl 80 toons on Darkmoon Faire, one which needs gearing. I then started thinking along the lines of guilds? Nope, both are fantastic. The general level of guild chat is good, many jokes flying around, little stories, sometimes some srs biznizz but always fun, even if Absolution is much more active during the day.

I have to say, it's the pugs that are actually swinging it. I really have started to like it, especially as I keep 2 characters unsaved for guild runs (Horde, working on Lich King and Alliance, starting heroics and getting me Kingslayer) but the rest I pug. More than often with guildies which usually involves myself and a few good friends getting on Mumble (srsly, better than Vent by a country mile), having a cracking laugh and it's a little bit like a surrogate raid. Plus, there's always people willing to log on and chat while I'm playing pug-roulette, which is always a plus.

Quite funny really, I'm sure if I took a gander through my previous posts, I'd find many of them bitching about how annoying a PuG was. Oh well, times change. It's either that, or I'm getting stupidly lucky and that luck is about to run out. Let's not hope for that, eh?

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Gear score is about as useful as Anne Franks' drumkit...

(If I offended anyone by the title of this post. Harden the fuck up)

I do believe it is my turn to rant about gear score having in the past two days had two annoying experiences with it on Argent Dawn and Darkmoon Faire (which seems impossible to find a good pug on, much to my annoyance...)

Case 1 - ICC25 PuG.

The person putting it together instructed everyone to come to the centre of Dalaran, near the pretty fountain so that he could check the people who didn't have a GS addon. The raid filled up nicely and there was about 8-9 members from Absolution there.

We steam-roll through Trash and pull Marrowgar. I was healing and I'm not even kidding, it felt like an age before he was dead. So bad was the majority of the dps (the people from Absolution, even though we had 2 members who'd never been to ICC25 and out of that 2, 1 had never set foot in ICC where all pulling 6k +) that our tank healer died from being bone spiked. I had to take over tank healing, something I dont like doing because if a tank drops to 10% health I tend to scream like a girl and nearly have a heart attack (I know, I'm a freakin' AWESOME healer...)

Marrowgar eventually dies and the wonderful Axe drops! One of our guildies is squeeee'ing with joy. It's a fantastic axe. However, someone I'm going to refer to as Cleopatra's Love Child rolls a 98 and wins it. Said Cleo's LC was pulling, wait for it, 3.2k dps on the fight. His rotation was terrible, checking his gear, he was gemming for AP and Stamina. I don't claim to be a master of the Deathknight class but I could even tell he was actually a complete retard. The reason he got in the raid? 5.8k gearscore due to wearing tank gear with an ilvl264. Cleo's Love Child also won a token from Saurfang. Sometimes, people dont deserve loot. Thanks a fucking lot, gear score.

Case 2 - Attempting to find an ICC10 pug.

I love playing my hunter but recently, I've been raiding more and more on Argent Dawn. It's been great fun but it's come at the cost of limited time raiding on Jath, because he's on a different server. This wouldn't be a problem, I could pug happily but Darkmoon Faire seems to have the population of Chenobyl, it's kinda getting me down really as Jath is really, really fun to play. The same could be said about my Deathknight too, who I've neglected gearing because of the fun being had on Argent Dawn. Anyways, I finally find someone trying to put a group together and get invited.

"GS?" the leader asks.
"I dont have the addon, I could come for a gear check." I reply.
"Sorry, no GS addon means noob" he says, then kicks me.

Well done, you lost yourself an 8k hunter. You absolute prick. Thanks a fucking lot gear score.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

In which Jakk likes Pugging...

The past few months at Uni have really made me appreciate a good pug.

I can rarely raid when my guilds do, which sucks. The main thing I miss when pugging is, for want of a better word, banter. I can sit on Mumble (which is a fantastic alternative to Ventrilo, equiped with Microsoft Sally all for about £7 less...) and moan about the puggers. The Toms, Dicks and Harrys to anyone on it but it's not the same.

However, I've really started to enjoy pugging. I tend to have a good nose for them - or they have for me if you want to think about it that way. I'm nicely geared on all my 80's apart from my DK who I still think could hold her own in the first wing of ICC10. I can stick my music on really loud and get into the boss fights.

I've been extremely luck to have found a few "all guild" pugs and been called back to help if they were short of another dps/healer. This has happened about 3 times and I've been asked if I wanted to help another 5 times. It's been great fun as I get to see how other guilds handle boss fights and stuff.

On the other hand, you can get some really shit pugs. We all know this and that's the reason people truely dont like them. Personality classes, carrying people so far into a raid that you actually get back-ache IRL. You know the drill. I've had pugs where the person with the highest gear score thought he was amazing but only did 3.2k dps on Festergut. My idea with gear score is that it's bascially hand cream for e-peen stroking and this guy was applying it generously due to the fact to boost his magical GS he'd been using 3 peices of tank look with iLvl 264 instead of dps gear. What a prick.

These bad experiences have actually encouraged me to form my own groups, which is actually very enjoyable. I dont really like bossing people around, I'm mainly there to steer them in the right direction and re-cap tactics. I explain how it's going to be done and it just does, I like to think of myself as a decent raid leader and not one of those "OMFG NOT DOING 9K /KICK"

I just hope that I keep getting decent pugs. Going to ICC and not doing Festergut and Rotface (especially with the introduction of the 20% buff) now-a-days leaves me feel a little cheated.