Jacemora: August 2008

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

I <3 Raiding - A Jacemora status update

So Aetherial Circle stopped raiding.

It is summer, every guild is having it's woes. Some work through it others decide to take a break.

I like Raiding. It takes a certain focus and playstyle that is enjoyable to me and helps me relax and shelf some of the daily events that might weigh on my mind.

So I departed from AC looking for a guild currently raiding Hyjal and Black Temple, the content I was currently on.

So, a quick look at the guild progression at Arctic Wrath and we can see where I need to apply. Now I need to go to a social raiding guild. A hardcore guild would work for me if I was still in my 20's, had no kids or wife, and wanted to finish current content to start playing another game until WotLK... but I am married, have 2 kids, and I need to be with people that understand RL > WOW at any given moment. If my daughter wakes up puking in the middle of a raid I need people that would understand that I need to go (has happened). So lets take a look...

  1. The Mourning - I know people there that I like (Lefaye and Bela) but they are hardcore and expect attendance 4 nights a week. The warden gives me 2, I can sometimes sneak in 3, promising 4 is a no go.
  2. Identified as Trouble - I don't know anyone there, don't know much about them, another hardcore group so it doesn't matter anyway.
  3. Insurrection - Same as above
  4. Dsylxeic - A bunch of previous AC'ers went here and I probably know more people here than any other guild outside of AC even a player I was officers with in our first guild ever... but WAY too Hardcore.
  5. Arctic Wrath - Some more people from AC migrated here as well, Social raiding guild, awesome website, from what I hear great people, lots of fun, my favorite raid start time in the game (9pm). No Feral Druid openings.
  6. Age of Redemption - I know someone that went here from AC, nice guy. Another Hardcore guild so no go.
  7. Homeless - Great people from past experience, don't know anyone there however.
  8. Aetherial Circle - :( Not raiding anymore. People did not seem interested in trying to rebuild after our MT decided to take a break, people on Vacation, people leaving, ETC. I still play with most of these people however when on my Horde hunter in the guild Teh Moo and I hope to get her to 70 soon for some horde guild Kara runs.
  9. No Vacancy - 2 people that were also officers in my first guild that I leveled to 70 with are here but I didn't get any feedback from my application and they seemed to drag their feet talking to me in game or through Unlcecrush. I get to play with Uncle and Syn with my Lock in their guild Simplicity so it was fine.
  10. Fallen - Don't know anyone there or anything about them.
  11. Knight Watch - Hathorn is in this guild and was the person to recruit me to AC. I mentioned the handful of guilds I was looking at and he felt I would fit in with the people at Knight Watch. Our Prot pally Mili had already gone to them with his Resto Shammy and a couple other AC'ers are there as well. I filled out an application and was able to start raiding with them.

So that's it. I am currently a raider with Knight Watch. I went to SSC Sunday night. This was actually a good thing to do to warm up after 3-4 weeks of not raiding. I had UI issues to fix after changing things for arena. I had to get back into a rhythm of DPS and tanking rotations. I had to fix my itemrack after a crash a couple days after raiding ended at AC. After my raiding break it really took me 2 nights of raiding to get back into feeling comfotable.

SSC was fine but night 2 was BT and I am trying to make sure I don't do anything stupid to look bad as a new recruit wanting to be part of the raiding team. I focused on staying alive and had to adjust to Knight Watch positioning, kill order, and strategy. This gimped my DPS which was a bummer but at least I didn't wipe the raid or screw anything up. They also had me Healing the MT in an off healing role on Naj, 1 of 4 tanks on Supremus, and my DPS on Shade of Akama looked kinda crappy but I had never done that fight and was following the melee class leader as to what to attack next. Night 3 was much improved, my DPS rotation was getting cleaner and I sorted out some of my UI issues although they move so fast I still need to move some bars and what not from blocking my combo counter. I was hitting about 1550DPS on Teron which made me feel a lot better. I got to kill some constructs as a ghost which was not as hard as I thought it would be. I spam 4 in cat form right before I die which does nothing since I have no target until I die where it promptly chains all the constructs from moving so I can back up a little facing them and start mashing my macro for Spirit Lance. I believe I killed 3 before 1 got into the raid where I ran in after it and used the volley to finish it off and hurt a couple others that had gotten through. We didn't down him last night but the experience for all these new players will pay off without a doubt.

During the run I was promoted from Recruit to Raider. WOOT! DING!

I am really liking my new home away from home. I definately appreciate all the things I learned from AC and I am glad I am still playing with these people on the horde side but for now it looks like KW is the place for me. Everyone is really nice, they take their raiding seriously, it goes smoothly with very few interruptions, and it sounds like they have their RL > WOW priorities straight as any social guild should. As long as they bring me along for a Hyjal or BT raid every now and again I will be a happy camper.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Retort of Sorts

So since I have not posted in a while I decided to post this in response to the latest Muckbeast blog Raiding Provides a False, Deceptive Sense of Real Accomplishment.

What is not real about the accomplishment of getting along with 24 other people to beat a game that takes skill, practice, time, and hard work? Sure it's just pixels, and poker cards are just paper, and racing cars just metal, and surfboards are foam and plexiglass floating on water. Why should accomplishing a physical task on a PC involving pixels be any different then standing the bottle straight up on the plywood at the carnival?

Raiding for me is something competitive I can still do. I get joy from doing a variety of things like surfing, working on my car, restoring old video games, mixing music, taking the kids to Disney, fixing a problem at work... but there is nothing competitive about it. WOW works as a way to still have some lively competition both between players and between groups of players through raiding, PvP, and I suppose now accomplishments in the expansion.

I find WOW to be a nice diversion and hobby (theorycrafting, blogging) that involves a social aspect unlike other video games. WOW exercises not only the fingers but in some cases the mind and maybe for some social skills.

I know a lot of parents that play the game to increase their circle of friends and to have other adults to talk to and do things with when they can’t get out of the house because of kids or other responsibilities.

Bottom line, WOW is not this psychological RL killer you make it out to be no more so than anything else you could take or do to an extreme. In the right doses it is as harmless as a Bridge game with the neighbors but just like anything else it can become an addiction and other things are sacrificed for the sake of playing it. I remember in college before the internet existed playing spades with friends to all hours of the night did this to me… thank god the internet as we know it didn’t exist back then… I would have been too immature to handle it I think.

Raiding is what it is, a test of will, skill, and social understanding. So is PvP. And yes, just like any video game before it, winning the game is a huge accomplishment like saving Penny from Evil Commander Borf, flipping the score on Pac-Man, beating a friend at Tetris… if you like playing video games you get a sense of accomplishment from beating the game or a friend… from improving your skill... I liked beating my Dad at pong, it was a nice change from the tennis thrashing he would give me.

Sure, if raiding is all anyone cares about in life there could be an issue, but the people that blog about WOW specifically are only going to write about that accomplishment. I blog about WOW and I do it to flex my poor writing skills, my creative and analytical thinking, and to help others that want to get better at the game. I post other places about the wave I rode last week, the Karate Champ I restored to mint condition, the mix I made that played at the club last night, or the Forced Induction I finally got tuned correctly on my car. Are WOW bloggers going to gush… maybe. Is it a huge deal to get beat Archimonde, Vash, Kael, ETC… sure it is, endgame raiding is hard… it’s challenging… much harder than learning patterns for Pac Man and involves 25 good players not 1. Heck, you can even win some pretty large sums of money playing Arena now if you are good enough.

I don’t disagree with your thoughts Muckbeast, I just disagree with how many people have WOW as their only method of self actualization, I am pretty sure it is fewer than you think. Especially if you link it to endgame raiding which I hear is done by less than 10% of the WOW population.

Currently the only tracked game success is Arena rankings and Guild progression. I suck at Arena, I am good at Raiding. If you don’t endgame raid it doesn’t mean you "suck", it just means you have not mastered (beat) part of the game.

I used to "suck" in Jr. High cause I couldn’t play basketball. Now kids come to school and maybe they "suck" cause they have not finished Kara. Same shit different day. Now what is more likely, for the kid that thinks you "suck" to give you some WOW tips and maybe invite you to a raid or that same friend to genetically enhance you, run you, etc so you can keep up on the basketball court? You can’t change someone with 5 thumbs… but they might get better at raiding… LOL

People find their niche, for some it might be raiding. Maybe WOW is doing more good in this world than harm?

P.S. Don't let my wife read this, WOW is evil. LOL

JK ;)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

WOTLK and guilds

So WotLK is coming soon and as I mentioned before a lot of guilds have stopped raiding or slowed down considerably.

It made me start thinking about the guild I was in when I was leveling to 70. First Eutonic Knights then Forsaken Templars. I was an officer in both and we bucked the trend of joining one of the larger guilds that had like 300 members or something crazy like that to stay small in our little family running naked to places we didn't belong and what not... lots of fun. I had a great time leveling with these folks but when endgame came our small guild was not sufficent to raid. Honestly we were never even that good at instancing, but we did laugh our ass off and have lots of fun doing it.

So now I am guessing folks need to start thinking about where they want to be. No longer is a large guild necessary in WotLK to experience endgame raiding since all will have a 10 man setting. Will the gear be that much better in a 25 man? I guess that is one of the big questions. Is it any less respectable to be in a 10 man raiding guild than a 25? Would it be cooler to be in a 10 man raiding guild that is further along in progression than a 25 man that is further behind? Take a fight like Archimonde, wouldn't you prefer only a 1 in 10 chance of a teammate wiping the party... LOL

Will 25 man raiding guilds run these new raids as both 10 man and 25 mans?

Lots of questions, very few answers. I do most of my leveling solo and during the day with instancing at night and I have quite a few friends in other various guilds that I know I will be running with. I guess the question is once we all get to 80 how will all the current guilds fair? I am guessing there is going to be a lot of new guilds forming that are going to focus on 10 man endgame raiding reducing the 25 man guilds numbers and quite possibly forcing them into the same 10 man raiding situation due to lack of guildies... at least at first. I bet 25 man raiding guilds are going to be more unique than even now. That and guilds are going to have a better chance at starting out in 10 man raids because you know you are not going to get 30+ people all to 80 at the same time.

Just some Tuesday morning rambling... just ignore me.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The state of summer raiding and a realization of sorts

So I am bummed, AC has suspended raiding. People going out of town, summer raiding burnout, wanting to still down TK and SSC, not wanting to step foot in TK and SSC, sick of Hyjal trash, and just an overall malaise about BC and waiting for WotLK.

I am really torn in how I feel about this. The vacation from raiding 2-4 nights a week is nice, especially since I am still running my lock 1-2 nights a week in Kara with Simplicity. But part of me misses the challenge of the new. We had just downed Najentus and Azgalor before we called a break... what a downer coming off some nice progression.

I miss raiding with my WOW buddies and continuing to show that a social guild without perfect raid makeups can still get it done and progress with the hard core guys.

I think what I miss about this most is the RL conversions that crop up with other people that play. Before I was raiding BT and Hyjal, something not many players, even some hard core can say. Oddly enough I find the ability to talk about WOW in RL social situations quite pleasing. I bet if the people I am out with know nothing about cars, computers, poker, surfing, college football, or vintage arcade game restoration there is a chance they have played WOW and we have some common ground on which to base a conversation. I have found in these situations that raiding 25 man content makes me much more interesting like that of owning a Mclaren Super car instead of a Saturn. Sometimes I meet people that are all about PvP and I find that interesting since it is something I suck at and I live on a PVE server. I really can't wait to get a shirt from BBB to wear out as a possible conversation starter. If nothing else I can't wait to see the range of personalities this might attract... "I tank with my face"... yes I do.

So now I am focused on getting better at PvP, arena most specifically. I am doing a 2v2 with a Discipline Priest now and a 3v3 with the same Priest and a Warrior. As we find ways to beat our foes I will see about posting a strategy that is more involved than pounce, mangle, shred, rip, and pray.

Monday, August 4, 2008

OMG, I am so totally not a morning person

Just got back from lunch. Turns out I had my keys and my Blizzard Authenticator in my pocket all along...


A new Feral Druid blue post

It looks like my thoughts on the subject were correct. As a feral druid you will be able to spec in order to be a viable Main Tank, viable raid DPS, or spec for both and continue to be the best OT in the game. In between all that we can spec for PvP and start to own face there. This does mean however we are back to collecting a ton of different gear for our different possible roles, that has been left unchanged. At least with the new pets storage we will have more space for all our gear.

Q u o t e:
The design is for bears to be viable, end-game main tanks. The design is for cats to be viable, end-game melee dps. In both cases you are going to need the right talents, good gear, skill and companions who can back you up -- I don't mean to imply raiding will be easy.

If you want to do a little tanking and dps, you probably won't be as optimal at either, though you'll probably always be better at switching between the two than other classes. In order to be as good at tanking as the other classes, you might have to give up a few talents that maximize your dps, and vice versa. This is a good thing -- it lets you choose to actually be a main tank.

OMG... It has finally happened

The dreaded day has come.

I knew this would happen eventually.

I know someday it might happen to you too.

In my haste to get out the door this morning I forgot something very important. Something critical for my online daily survival. Something without, my day at work will be... well, work.

Yes folks, I forgot my Blizzard Authenticator Key sitting on my desk in my den at home.

The dreaded day is upon me and it is going to be a long one. So, what will my online life be today without WOW... let me run it down for you.

It starts with this little post, then a look at the Drenden forums at the WOW website with a quick visit to read all the QQers in the Druid forums.

At some point I will read over all the new blogs from the likes of BRK and BBB.

Take a visit and read over some new theory crafting on WotLK attack rotations on the Emmerald forums. Toskk has been working on some new models using our new talents and the changes that are happening in the expansion... fun stuff.

Then I will take a visit to Gatorsports.com and check post for content and what not... I am a site admin there and while in the football and basketball off season there is very little interesting to discuss I still need to make sure posts are following the guidelines of the site.

I will check out my Dashboard at Entercard and do some advertising for my blog site.

Hop on Facebook and see if any new friends have turned up or left me any interesting messages. Then check out my Brothers site at MySpace for any new music his Rap group Nothin Less has turned out (NSFW)... I recommend listening to the song "I'm Sorry", most of the others are good too if you are into Rap.

Next I might visit the WotLK site for Wowhead to see if any new gear has turned up that looks interesting. One thing I notice right away when looking at new gear coming out is all the new gems and the mix of stats they provide. I think gear gemming endgame at level 80 is going to be a bigger deal than it was in BC as a way to fix stats on more shared gear across classes.... that is just my guess though. With the nerf to agility as it relates to kitty DPS this ring looks like a decent DPS upgrade.

I will stop and visit my guild forums however it has been quiet lately since we are on a break from raiding, perhaps until WotLK... and a stop by the website for No Vacancy, a guild I have a couple of friends at that I might be raiding with in the near future to see if I fit in. Unfortunately it looks like AC is done raiding until WotLK and I still want to see more of BT and maybe some of Sunwell. Right now I have been raiding on my 70 lock and leveling my Horde hunter. Playing a hunter is probably the most opposite from playing a druid. As a hunter I can basically level while eating a 3 course meal just by sending in my pet, hunter marking the target, hitting it with a poison shot, auto shot, loot, skin, and repeat.... easy stuff hunters.

Lastly, I am going to work on putting Linux on an old laptop of mine. If WOW ran well on Linux I probably would not have a windows machine any longer. Sure I know there are ways to make this work but not only will it not perform as well but I would hate to have Blizzard see it as a hack and shut my account.

If I missed anything else it is answering IT calls, the innevitable "I can't access this folder", "is e-mail down", and the "I think my account is locked" calls... big fun.