No Rush…but Rush?

Woo!  I’m a level 100 Druid!  I had plans to screen shot it, like darn near everyone out there I’m sure, but in all the “GO GO GO GO Don’t fall asleep before you do this!” I was kind of taken by surprise when I dinged on the repeatable quest in Nagrand.  Yup.  Gave the guy some soup bones and BOOM!  Lights and noise and a level 100 Silent popped up.

After the “Way to go”‘s from the guild, there was an immediate “Now go to bed, Silent!”  No one likes a sleepy, cranky druid.  A marvelous idea, except there’s those garrison quests, all these archeology items that I was too low to accept and now still can’t turn in until I have a level 3 garrison, and the proving grounds again…

Yeah.  I didn’t log off for another hour afterwards.  This is the expansion of ADD.  There is just so much stuff going on that you are constantly going “Oh look at this!”  “Oh wait, there’s this!”  “What’s this?”  “Squirrel!”

We’ve got a majority of our main raiders up to 100 and everyone wants to be running heroics.  Even though Qale swears there’s no rush, I’m looking at the ilevel requirements and I’m still woefully low on them.  And now with Molten Core back with the same requirements (for good reason I’m sure) I’m sitting here going “Where do I go to get this done yesterday?”  There are folks already sitting at 675 gear.  I’m feeling extremely behind and it’s been a little over a week.  Is it really that easy to get the gear?  Have I missed something somewhere?

I’ve noticed my garrison missions are giving some pretty decent upgrades for me, but I’m torn between doing the missions for the gear or not doing them just so I can save the resources and upgrade the garrison.

Again.  So many shiny decisions to make!

Anyways, happy 10th Anniversary to World of Warcraft and those of us still playing.  Love the Molten Corgi pet!  I’m so glad we got a pet again instead of the leveling buff/tabard that disappears at the end of the week.  Molten Core has started up and forums are full of the folks upset about it and those that are upset about those that are upset about it.  It’s kind of funny.  Soon as I’m up in the level, you can bet I’ll be in there giving you a good look at it.

Until then, cheers!

Dear Tanks…and some DPS

Hi.  Your mostly friendly Druid healer here.

First, thanks for letting me switch to heals before you…oh.  You started pulling.  I kind of hoped you’d figured out during Mists of Pandaria that leveling while in Resto spec just doesn’t work for most of us.  After all, two spells to kill anything takes forever.  True, it’s a good bet that I would never die, but I would probably still be stuck outside the portal killing orcs instead of getting ready to heal you.

Oh, don’t worry about your health being so low there, buddy.  One lifebloom, rejuvenation and swift mend later, you’re cool.  Just give me a second to get my mana since I don’t have innervate any…oh.  You ran off to the next room without me.

No no, it’s okay.  I’ll finish eating, hit cat form and dash over to you.  Have some buffs, some heals, forget that small fact that we are about five minutes into the dungeon, let’s get it started!

Everything is good.  It’s good.  Oh dear.  You’ve pulled the entire room before a boss.  You do realize that I, your healer, have more health that you?  Really, you have 90k health.  I’m sitting at 113k.  Do you really think you can hold everyone and survive it?  I’m a healer, but I’m not God here.

Yup.  You went down.  Two mobs were killed.  Not bad.  Let’s pull less this…you pulled the rest of the room again.

Dude. This is the second time you’ve wiped all of us.  Tank, hon.  Let’s be serious.  You cannot hold more than one pack of adds right now.  They’re hitting pretty hard.  Really hard.  Have you seen your repair bill yet?  You’re taking all of my healing.  All of it.  Every lifebloom, every regrowth, every rejuv swift mend top up,  every insta cast of healing touch that I get from my Heroic Four piece set bonus (best set bonus ever Blizz, thank you!), not to mention every tick from my healing mushroom that ring of goodness will provide you if you’d stay in that wonderful green circle of mine, and even with that, I can’t heal you through these multiple hits.

Your vocabulary is awesome there, tank buddy.  Those are some creative word choices there.  Thanks.  I’ll keep that in mind.  Moving on…

Oh look!  It’s a boss!  Do we know…oh you’re pulling again.  Okay.

Oh dear.  Hey, hunter, please don’t stand in…oh you’re dead.  Thank you improved Rebirth so I can continue healing the tank…who is also refusing to move out of things.  And now he’s dead.  And now we’re all dead.

Thanks Death Knight for pointing out the mechanics of the fight and trying to give me a bit of a break.  You sir, madam, (how do you tell with dwarves again?), just made my day.  Cheers!

Take two.  Okay, a little dicy.  Loads of damage going out.  Hunter, you’re still standing in stuff…and the tank is down again.  Rebirth the tank, who is cussing me out again.  Oh hey!  The DK is flipping him off.  Trying to ignore the tank now while giving the DK the thumbs up.

Boss is down.  Oh hey cut scene.  Haven’t been here before so I’m just going to watch it because, I’m a bit of a geek with that stuff.

Come back, and everyone is gone.  Oh a new room opened. Okay, but how do I get there.  And when i get there, I have to click the spirit table?  Sure!  But wait.  While I’m zooming across the dungeon being spirited to the new place, everyone dies.  More cursing begins.

Okay buddy.  Getting a little sick of your lip there tank.  Who’s bright idea was it to pull without a healer?  I swear I will pull this dungeon over and sit on you in bear form if you don’t knock it off.  She hasn’t had a bath since Cataclysm and no one likes bear fur in the mouth.  No one.

A quick pause to regroup. I’m starting to notice the hunter is hanging back and not engaging until I do now.  That’s…different.  Smart maybe?

Final boss.  Tank goes in, can barely hold aggro.  Death Knight pretty much tanks the guy.  Ranged stands in fire.  Amazingly no one dies.  Tank gets dangerously close, which is just how I like it now.  Finally run out of mana.  Tank whines.  Death knight gripes him out.  Loot.  Go home.

Upon returning to the Garrison and find 8 new messages from the Postmaster returning all the loot I never had a chance to pick up.

Congratulations Postmaster. You might be the last one looking out for folks here.

In short, be mindful, folks.  We are not as awesome as we were in MOP and things do not work the same as MOP.  Please stop expecting them too.

-Silentsong, the slightly frazzled Druid Lady

Journeys tinged in Red

“They have to be pushed back,” she heard bear state, as she silently stared at the orcs flowing through the portal.  There seemed to be no stopping the endless tide swarming into Azeroth.

Below, Orcs, Taurens, Night elves, Humans…members of both the Alliance and Horde were doing what they could to keep the onslaught from spilling over into the rest of Azeroth.  Had they always been so united against forces that threatened their world while her people hid behind their wall in Gilneas?

Silent shook her head.  That was neither here nor now.  She only remembered bits at pieces of life before the Cataclysm.  What should it matter anyways, she thought?  What mattered was that the balance of things could swing either way at a moments notice.  The tipping point could be decided in actions and outcome of the battle below.

They had spent many nights discussing these strange events in the guild hall.  The Worgen had listened to the tales of the druid before her speak of a time the portal had flashed green and they had ventured through to take on the burning legion and stop the demons from pouring through.  They had found a land broken.  Shattered even.  Gateways to timelines in the Caverns of Time had shown them how very different their own lands had been or even what they could become.

But as for what awaited beyond the red portal, no one knew, but they sure as hell intended to find out.  Everyone was in agreement.  They would not let any threat take down their home without a fight.

“When the time comes,” Shait had told her when the others had left the meeting.  They had spoken at length through the years about her constant struggle with the others in her head and how she fit in to everything.  Cat and Bear’s sudden interest in what had been going on at the portal had her more than a little on edge. “You do what feels right.  All of us have faith in you.”

And so, they would each take a group through the portal.  Everyone was to stay in constant communication with each other in case they were separated.  All that was left to do, was to wait for the order.

The order came from the Archmage Khadgar.  “You are about to embark on a dangerous mission and you may not be able to return immediately.  Are you Sure?”

“For Azeroth!” they called in response, as they surged forth, throwing their might against the onslaught of orcs.  The bear threw them aside, sending them flying with a massive paw.  Cat, who had always been quick on her, darted to and fro, swiftly knocking the orcs from theirs before she would lash out at them with her claws.  Silent took care to wrap energy from the earth itself around those in her group, rejuvenating them as they pressed forward.

The energy from the portal flared then swallowed them whole.  Where it spit them out was not the Hellfire Peninsula that they had seen before.  A jungle rose up in the distance as these orcs of the Iron Horde continued to rush towards them.

The druid wildly looked for a sign of the other groups her friends were with, but spied no trace of them.  Fear threatened to take hold as she realized that despite the presence of the bear and the cat, she was alone here.

“You there, Druid!  You’re the one they call Silentsong, yes?” a man said to her.  “We were hoping you’d show.  We need help.”

Help.  Yes.  That was a word that she could latch on to.  The bear shoved her forward and back to her senses.  She could help.  That is what she could do.

They had entered the orcs territory now and they showed no signs of stopping their attack.  The smell of smoke and blood filled the air around her and the vicious side of the druid flared to life.  Bear and cat watched silent as she walked to the steps to survey the fighting below.  Shait and Mordrius had been trying to help her get a handle on the different ways to channel the energy of nature.  Healing came with ease to her. Using it to go on the offensive was another story.

She knew enough to buy them some time.  Stars rained down, ripping through and exploding at the feet of the orcs.  Screams of confusion filled the air as orcs dropped to the stone, leaving them broken and falling back to regroup.

The Iron Horde were keeping prisoners close by.  They belonged to a group that called themselves the Shadow Council.  According to the missive they found, the portal could not function without the prisoner’s fel magic  It was signed by Grommash Hellscream.  Silent didn’t like where this was going.

The Cat took over, dashing to the sides of the portal, seeking out the ones being held in the towers.  Teron’gor and Chogall who shared the secret to the portal was actually being held open by an Orc Warlock named Gul’dan.  If they wanted to stop the orcs from flowing through, they would have to shut it down.

Cat snuck them into the chamber where the orc was being held.  It looked like Gul’dan was being suspended in air by the energies of three stones.  “Sever my bonds and the portal falls,” he rasped at her.  The connection began to weaken and shatter as Bear broke the stones apart with her paws.

The Orc fell to the floor as Silent released the energy of the final rune holding him in place.  She tried to keep her distance as he caught his breath.

“Do not delay, mortal,” he grunted.  “I can feel the life-essence of your armies fading.  There will be time for regret later.”  He pulled himself up and made his way to towards a portal he conjured.  “We will meet again, Silentsong.”  The darkness of the portal swallowed the orc and he disappeared, leaving the worgen chilled.

“He knows my name,” she thought.  “How?”

Shaking it from her thoughts, Silent made a dash to return back to the Archmage.  The remaining forces were wildly looking around them, fear in their eyes as they gripped their weapons tightly.  The portal behind them was gone.  Nothing but jungle and orcs remained.

“They called this operation a suicide mission, but I don’t plan on throwing away any lives meaninglessly,” the Archmage stated.  The orcs were amassing again, ready to assault them now that their only means of retreat had vanished.  “Everybody, with me!”

Khadgar turned on his heels and ran.  The druid bolted after, praying that she could keep pace enough to get through this.

The Minority

That’s what I’m in.  The Minority.

Granted, I’ve been around a long time on Cenarion Circle so I am one of the few that remembers the queue line to log in to the original World of Warcraft.  I’m actually shocked that we’ve dropped enough in population that we not only were finally merged with Sisters of Elune, but the queues seem to be much smaller than what I’m seeing on some of the Facebook groups.  Their screen shots are showing 1800+.  My one queue that I’ve had in two days put me just under 700.  I was surprised and pleased that it wasn’t higher.

I don’t remember too much craziness from Burning Crusade.  I played for maybe three hours before work out in the Blood Elf zone?  There were elves everywhere which made questing a little difficult, but it wasn’t too bad.

Wrath?  I didn’t really have my own copy until a week after release.  I did play through the Death Knight stuff on a friend’s computer and it was like the Blood Elf Stuff from BC.  DK’s everywhere!  I do remember that last quest of theirs bugging out.  The Battle for Light’s Hope or something?  Yeah, that didn’t ever want to work right.

Mists of Pandaria, I purposely stayed off for a few days.  Waited until my copy arrived in the mail.  Rejoiced when no one stole it from the porch and waited.  I didn’t want to compete with everyone.

Moonwillow Peak_11-15-14Warlords?  I still don’t want to compete with everyone, but it’s happening.  I played for a bit the first day, knowing that there would be crashing.  Things wouldn’t be quite right. I didn’t even get to start playing until the evening.

Disconnects, Queues, crashes, glitches, bugs…Am I mad?  Not even.  Annoyed?  Sure, but it’s not a deal breaker to me.  After all, I knew what I was getting in to.  And comparing it to things in the past, it’s not as bad as it could have been.  (I do think that merging realms and CRZ has played a part in the explosion and overload since so many people do come back to try out the newest expansion, but I’m not a game designer, so I’m just speculating.)

As with any expansion, it’s a lot to add to the game and things aren’t always going to be 100%.  Things rarely are.  It’s a lot to take in but it’s pretty darn neat.  And pretty.  So very pretty.  (See the above photo from Moonwillow Peak!)

Eventually, I am going to have to learn that I shouldn’t pop Starfall and pull close to the entire area I’m in.  I’m still out gearing Shadowmoon by a ridiculous amount, but that does not mean I am the biggest bird in the sandbox by any means.

In the meantime, I’m happy stuck in Shadowmoon trying to figure out these Garrison thingies, squeeing over having Fiona as a follower (even if she is a tad worthless right now), puzzling over why I have so many priest like people for followers, running to every Archeology dig site and cursing that the things materialize in clumps of grass I cannot see, marveling over the fact that I’ve already maxed out Archeology when I’ve never maxed it before MOP, punting Podlings across the zone (they are the new punt-able creatures, even though I will punt a gnome first, and hoping for more Talbuk things.  I think I logged out tonight at 93.  Too much to play with and so many neat lore related quests that I’m trying to follow.  (Akama!  Nerh’zul’s wife!  Socrethar!  Ermagehd! /geeks)

But really, thanks Blizzard.  You’re still doing a good job.  Sure, get the kinks worked out please, but so far, I’m not disappointed.

Facing the Invasion

Facing the Invasion

The sun warmed the grass of the Secret Aerie and had both Cat and Bear snoozing as Silent relaxed on the roof of one of the huts.  Cat had finally chewed one too many of Dereus’ boots and the druid was sick of paying his blacksmith to fix them.  A trip away from the barracks was needed and there was no better place for her to collect her thoughts that in the mountains in the Veiled Stair that housed the Aerie.

The hawk masters mostly kept to themselves as long as she didn’t get in their way.  She had started visiting there with the Storm Crow.  The Pandaren had been wary and curious of her and the crow, but eventually, their presence had been accepted.  The place had an unusual calming effect on Bear and Cat which thankfully kept them from disrupting the everyday habits of the Hawk Masters.

It had been a few days since she had left the barracks to come to the Aerie, but she still checked in over the Hearthstone in the evenings.  It was just past midday and she had a few hours before she had to contact Shait to let her know all was well and when she would be by to help with the reports, so she was nearly started off the roof when the Hearthstone sprung to life.

“…Nethergarde Keep is in ruins.  Repeat, the Dark Portal has been lost.”

Silent recovered her balance and grasped the gray stone with her claws.

“Silent reporting,” she said the voice on the other end.  “Qale, could you repeat the report?  What’s happened?”

“Reports are still coming in, Silent,” the Pandaren on the other end replied hurriedly.  “New orders from King Varian Wrynn have requested all able bodies to report to Vindicator Maraad at the Shattered Beachhead in Blasted Lands.  Accounts are saying The Iron Horde have taken over the Dark Portal.  I was just about to make my way to the Blasted Lands to lend my assistance.  Synata is preparing to watch the barracks until Shait returns this evening.  What do you recommend?”

Cat and bear had awoken from their snooze and were looking to the druid for guidance.  If there was a new threat in Azeroth, Shait would want to know what exactly it was they were dealing with in order to know how exactly it would effect their small group of refugees and to plan how best to face it.

“Shait will want to know what we’re dealing with,” she replied.  “Meet me at the Mage Tower in Stormwind and we shall see just what this Iron Horde is together.”

Qale was waiting for her in the Mage Tower as she had asked.  He quickly uncrossed his legs and rose from the stone floor to meet her when she appeared through the portal she had taken from the Shrine in Padaria.  The usually boisterous pandaren was surprisingly restrained, but his eyes were keen, giving her the impression he was assessing and calculating every movement.  One of his many qualities that she admired when they were in the field together.  There wasn’t much that Qale missed.

The mages conjured a portal to the Blasted Lands for them and hurriedly ushered them through.  It seemed everyone was on high alert.

As they should be, the druid thought as the smell of smoke and ash filled her snout as they materialized.  The bear within her bristled as cat instinctively wanted to lash out.  What little control she had was almost lost, but the ox like presence of Qale beside her brought her back to herself.

Vindicator Maraad was a large Draenei.  Silent almost wasn’t able to look him in the eye.  He was pouring over maps and orders, but looked up when Qale and her arrived.

He explained how they had received reports that the Dark Portal turned red right before the attack.  “They call themselves the Iron Horde,” he said, “yet they seem to have no affiliation with the Horde we know.  Their army is extremely well equipped, and their numbers appear to be endless.”

He explained that they had already taken Nethergarde Keep and that they needed help on the front lines, something the monk and druid were prepared to do.  Silent noted that cat seemed to be taking a keen interest in the events unfolding, but she pushed it aside as she rushed to help Qale try to stem the attacks.

The Iron Horde was indeed, never ending.  The attacks against the shattered beach head rarely slowed as they rolled in machines that reminded her of Garrosh’s Iron Stars.  There was little time to mourn the loss of life, from those that were stationed in Nethergarde to the scouts who were sent to ferret out what information they could that never returned.  From what the two were able to piece together, this Iron Horde had taken Blasted Lands with the help of the ogres.  Their work, if only to break lines of communication while the cause of the threat was assessed, seemed to slow them down, but everyone seemed to be in agreement, that it was far from over.

Bear felt another war was coming.  The Druid couldn’t help but agree.  It was hard to tell what Cat was thinking.  Silent felt her watching the blood red dark portal with interest.  War it may be, but something was different.  Change was everywhere, swirling up through the smoke and the air.  Someone was going to have to take a stand on the already shaky ground.  The only questions that remained were who and how.

Thoughts about BlizzCon 2014, Even though I’m not there

I’ve never really been to a convention.  I live vicariously through my friend’s trips to Comic Cons and BlizzCon. I’m currently relishing their updates on Facebook and watching the opening ceremonies online.

On a serious note, I’m not sure I can express how moved I am, even though I am not there.  The fact that BlizzCon and other cons provide such camaraderie and a place for people of like interests to come together.  To see so many people that enjoy similar things, it’s awesome.

Gaming wasn’t really something that made sense to many people I knew growing up.  It was fun, yes.  But to be something you continued to be passionate about growing up?  Forget it.

Even as an adult, I’ve struggled with the fact that I shouldn’t enjoy games so much and the idea that it’s “silly.”

But the truth is, it’s not.  Not for me at least and not for the ridiculous amount of people attending BlizzCon.  It’s fun.  It’s enjoyable.  And you should never be shamed out of enjoying things you’re passionate about.  You will find people out there that have the same passions as yourself.  This is part of why I love the guild I’m in so much.  These are people I’ve gamed with for upwards of 8 years now.  We all seem to come back to each other because we really do enjoy the same things.

“It’s so much more than a game in a box.”  -Chris Metzen talking about BlizzCon and the Blizzard Community.

Tuning in to watch some of the Con and through my friend’s post, Metzen’s statement rings very true.  The community and the people you’re around, make the game, and just about anything, even better.

Also of note, Mike Morhaime’s brief words about the GamerGate stuff.  A few really do ruin it for all, so be good to your fellow players.  Remember there is a very real person on the other side of the screen.  And never forget to have fun.  These are things that run through my mind as we move into the next expansion, as our guild begins to recruit again, and as I start to work on Scruffy Druid more.

I promise more fun things in the future.

Cheers friends!

Prepping for WoD: Achievement Hunting

Hey Blizzard…Why did you take away the last awesome thing that Alchemists had?  I love alchemy on my toons.  Back in Burning Crusade, it was one of the fastest ways to make money, because everyone needed potions!  I was the envy of the guild with my epic flying mount that I purchased for supplying all those raid guilds with their pots.

Then you made it so we could only use one potion per fight with that cool down that doesn’t start until you’re out of combat.

Okay.  No big deal.  We still get some awesome trinkets…oh wait.  Not in Mists of Pandaria.  Yeah.  That one got outranked by the first heroic, but that was okay because I still had the one thing that regardless of what you were specced into for hopeful procs that I could rely on and get me through raids…

But now, you’ve taken it away and I am a sad, sad worgen.  No more 2 hour potion buff.  /sigh  May it RIP for it will be sorely missed.  Not to mention the guild bank will empty much faster because I will have to raid it more.

Guess I should warn the guild leader…or actually try to make more flasks…since I am the one that’s specced for that.

As we move into the final days leading up to Warloads of Draenor, our rag tag group of achievement loving people finally got our Garrosh kill.  He was still giving us fits due to the changes in interrupts, but he went down on the second go last week about 15 minutes into our raid.  We were all pretty stunned and sat there going “Well, we’ve got 2 hours left, what now?”

We ended up going to the start of the expansion and doing some achievements in Mogu’shan Vaults and Heart of Fear.  We actually already had the first 5 from back when we started.  Well, those of us that have been raiding together from the beginning of Mists of Pandaria.  Show me your Moves is proving to be a challenge with people’s latency fluctuating so much, myself included.

I will say that slapping Garalon in the face without taking out his legs made me the happiest worgen in the group.  It was sweet, sweet revenge for all the times he tried to sit on me when I was learning how to druid heal this expansion.  😀

Dungot (one of our hunters) and I joined up to knock out some Cata raid achievements since I missed raiding with them.  I’m happy to say I got the Glory of the Firelands Raider and Glory of the Cataclysm Raider achievements done.  Just one more jaunt into Dragon Soul for the last platform assault and that will be done too.

The Darkmoon faire dropped in this weekend and the big have to have it item is the Blazing Wings, which I am convinced I won’t be able to get done until I have a new system.  I actually can’t see the fiery rings until I’m right on them, so choosing a direction to go without the use of an add-on is a tad difficult.  It does make me geek out a bit thought because it reminds me a lot of the flying quests you got to do in the Playstation game Spyro the Dragon.

In shocking news, I’ve been informed that some of my old Horde friends are in the process of building a computer for me so I will have a dedicated gaming system.  I’ve been in shock a bit since they told me last night.  Ztraya is getting all the parts and specs and then shipping them to Rayearth who will put it together.  It should be up and running just in time for Christmas.  Being able to take my little MacBook Pro and use it for nothing but writing and audio editing will really take a load off of it.

And I’ll be able to PvP and Raid without start and stop hiccups!  My raid group and arena partner can rejoice!  Or groan.  Maybe both.

Aside from when Vanilla was out and I played a bit on a friend’s computer before I got my own copy or WoW, I’ve never been able to actually play WoW with all the settings up.  I started on a MacMini, raided Molten Core and Onyxia on Dial up internet (/shudder), played for awhile on a Sony Vaio laptop that was a bit better through BC, and my MacBook was great up until MoP.  The last two weeks have been absolute murder on it and it has just gotten worse the closer we get to WoD, especially since it doesn’t come close to the specs for the expansion.

The downside is I’ll have to relearn Windows, but it seems everyone I know is a tech guy and they all seem very happy to troubleshoot anything that comes up so I can keep doing silly things in game.  I might even have to bring back some Machinima work since it looks like what they’re building is going to handle it.

Regardless of what happens in game, WoD is shaping up to be something truly fun on this end.  I’ll see you there!