With our Forces Combined….

…we shall take on the shop boss!

Yesterday, I took a day out.  Call it a day of pampering if you want (I was about 6 months overdue for a decent hair cut) but it was definitely a day to get out.  It quickly turned into a day of geeky fun and adventure with some girlfriends.  Since both of them are also guild mates of mine in Phoenix from the Ashes, we were promptly asked if we burned anything to the ground during our little outing.  Honestly, with the three of us, there was the possibility of that occurring.

There is a store in my hometown that comes highly recommended by many friends and gamers, but not so much by me.

I would love to recommend it.  I love the idea of it and I love what it offers.

I don’t like the attitude in there.

This is a store that offers all sorts of wonderful geeky merchandise.  If you like Doctor Who, Star Trek, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Firefly, board games, card games…this is a store for you.

Unless you might be a girl.  Or so it seems.

My personal experience when I went in resulted in me being followed around by the cashier no more than a foot away from me checking to make sure I wasn’t going to steal anything.  No amount of “I really just want to see what you have” would get this person to leave me alone.  I get that the Wookies, Yodas, Wands, and Sonic Screwdrivers are very tempting to try to make off with…if you’re a bit of a delinquent or just a punk kid…but personally, I don’t really find breaking the law that appealing.

The invasion of the personal bubble could be overlooked.  Even the being followed around.  But then there’s the exchange that happens when I do find something that speaks to my geek.

Me: “Oh!  Do you happen to know if this is a sticker or a magnet?”  /holds up an “Engineered by Firefly” sticker/decal thing

Cashier: “That is from Firefly.”

Me:  “Yes.  I know.  Is it a magnet or a sticker?”

Cashier:  “You can clearly see it in the cockpit in Episode blah blah blah when Wash, that’s the pilot, is doing…”

Me:  “Uh huh.  I just want to know if it’s a magnet or a sticker, I can’t really see the backing and the packaging…”

Cashier:  “The FIREFLY is a space ship.”

Me:  “Which is why I think it would be great on my car, if it’s a magnet.”

Five minutes later.

Cashier:  “It’s a sticker.  Not a magnet.”

The looking over my shoulder and the tone of it all made me feel like I shouldn’t be in there.  Like I wasn’t welcome.  The guy acted like I wouldn’t know a thing about what I was looking at, even though when there was something I was interested in and did know about, it was just pushed to the side.

The guys that continue to tell me about how awesome it is are always a bit shocked when I tell them that story.  They’ve never had that problem.  They’re always left to their own devices and generally have a great experience.

One of my guild mates had a very similar experience when she went in to check out the hype and ended up walking out in disgust.

Since there isn’t any other place like it in the area, it is honestly the ideal place to pick up anything for our gamer and geek friends for the holidays.  We talked about it over dinner with another guild mate who had never been in and decided to give them another shot tonight, with the thought that if we were made to feel like we didn’t belong there, with each other as our back up, we could at least have the courage to say something about it before we left this time.

Three women, a mage, a priest and a druid if you’re curious about our classes, all in their late 20’s early 30’s, squeeing over Doctor Who shirts, dice, Funk Pop figurines (Someone get me Zero and Smaug, stat!), TARDIS USB hubs, board games, and more.  The personal bubble was invaded a few times and the college guy’s that were in there getting who knows what turned their heads to stare curiously at us, but the three of us left without that feeling of not being geeky enough for the store.

It’s a small victory and I’ll take it.  Along with the awesome gift I found for one of my girlfriend’s back in New York.

If you can’t tell, my friends and I have been talking a lot about being comfortable with yourself and things you like.  Letting your Geek Flag Fly I like to say.  I find it awesome when I see women in their 60’s say they’re happy grandma’s and love to play World of Warcraft!  I hope I’m still an avid gamer at that age!  There are plenty of days I kick myself for not checking something out when it’s current, but just because I might be late to the party about some things (Doctor Who is certainly one, Firefly was another) it doesn’t mean I don’t like it any less.  Just because someone can’t name every episode of a series, or who each actor is it doesn’t mean they don’t fully enjoy something.

Moral of today’s story, Love of your fandom should never be akin to Penis Envy.  When you start comparing your geek to someone else’s and excluding others because you don’t feel they are as “big” about it as you are, you have only succeeded in alienating people from something that you find cool and fun.

That’s not the best way to make friends.

And while it’s natural to feel put off by those people that alienate us, don’t let it stop you from enjoying the things you love.  Give it another chance.  You’ll find people that you can geek out with together.

If not, you can call my guild mates and I.  We’ll bring the geek in force.

Do all the Things!

I’ll be honest.  This weekend, I didn’t really want to do anything.  Forget the fact that every time I’m on I look at Silent and have a check list of things that I should be doing.  At the top, get gear.

I don’t know what it is about the RNG, but I have no luck at all with it.  I never have.  I still had timeless pieces by the time we finished Garrosh/Jerkface.  (Nagrand left me with a sense of satisfaction, thank you!)  Heroics aren’t being that kind to me.  Nothing drops on Group Loot and only one drop when it comes to Personal Loot.

Although, I did replace my legendary cloak the other day.  It might be just me, but I’m kind of sad to see my random wings go away.

My gear in all it’s glory is rocking a 584 tree branch in the offhand that makes me cry a bit every time I see it along with a belt or something that is equally sad.

There’s other things to be doing, like trying to figure out why I’m not special enough to be invaded at my Garrison.

Level the fishing so I can level Cooking and First Aid.

Finish the last couple quests I have.  Yup.  Just a few left it seems.  I missed a couple in Taladar that I finished up.  Then that leaves the last few in Spires to clean up and I think that’s all.

And that made me a little sad.  It’s just about a month into the new expansion and I’m going to have nothing but blue questions marks and garrison quests left.

I’m not sure that has ever happened to me before.  /awkward

I ended up not wanting to do anything this weekend.  That might have been a mistake since I came back to my mailbox flooded with Saberfish broth from that crazy monk that decided HE needed to level his fishing over the weekend.  (Thanks Qale.  I won’t run out of mana for awhile.  🙂

That boost on my log in screen has been staring at me for a bit.  While I had been thinking about using it for a Horde Druid to see the other side of the line (I really want to see the Frostwolf stuff) I think I might use it for a hunter.

I know.  I know.  We have way too many hunters as it is, but I have some logic to it and not to mention some RNG action to give it some more viability.

My guild mates really are the best.  We’ve always been the type to help each other out and gear each other up when we can.  The changes to professions have made it a little more difficult to be able to do that as quick as we have all been used to.  The two people I’ve gotten leather gear from in the past, one isn’t playing that toon at the moment and the other is using everything to gear himself up at the moment (which is understandable.)  My only leatherworker is locked at 80 for a Herald of the Titans run so who knows when she’d be leveled up, let alone be able to craft anything useful.

I’ve never really been that keen on hunters.  I started out by wanting one, but I never really got one past 30.

Blizzard apparently thinks I should have one.  My heirloom from Garrosh was a bow.  It’s brilliant really.  Give the one person in the guild that doesn’t have a character that can use one a bow.

While my friends are getting all their 90 toons up to the point where they can have garrisons I found myself thinking, how would that help me?  I don’t want to be swapping back and forth just to run missions, because I really just want to focus on Silent.

Then I thought about it.  The paladin is a scribe, so in theory, I could work on getting a trinket for her.  Maybe an offhand if nothing continues to drop.  If nothing else, make fortune cards for some money along with the glyphs we’re missing, even though I got a bit burned out trying to make those in the past.  (Inscription is boring!  LOL!)

While we have jewel crafting covered, I suppose I could take my priest up a bit and get that going…

Engineering on my monk…most of our engineers are really upset that engineering is pretty useless right now.

But leather working.  That could really help me out if RNG continues to be stupid and nonexistent for me.  And I do have that bow…already sitting there and waiting for a hunter to pick it up.

And we’re missing a human hunter for Classy Humans in our guild.  So…

I rolled a hunter last night.  /sigh  I rolled an alt.  Again.  Even though I have four other 90’s I could level.  Even though I could technically drop alchemy on my Shaman and level leather working on her, which I actually didn’t think about until now…Oh lord.  I do wonder about my sanity sometimes.

Once Upon a Time in Molten Core

Once Upon a time in World of Wacraft, I used to be a Horde Warlock, I played on a Mac Mini on Dial-Up, and there was an instance called Molten Core.  Most every Saturday, I would take my little computer and screen over to a friend’s house while our group spent 8 hours in a raid.  Eight hours of “Do you have your fire resist gear?”  “Mages, did you conjure food?”  “Crap, so and so lost their target, we have to redo everything.”  “Tranq shot Maggie!”  and of course “Loot the Doggies!”

Back when buffs didn’t last very long and they have to be constantly refreshed.

Back when Bloodlust “Heroism” was only for the Horde and Fear Ward was only for Dwarven Priests.

Back when only the Alliance had Paladins and only the Horde had Shamans.

Back when half of your raid was setting up targets and asking people to “Take my target.”

Back when you had 5-6 of each class and each class had their own little raid channel to coordinate in.

Back when you needed 40 people to do anything and no, 39 wouldn’t cut it.

While I don’t always really enjoy LFR these days, I find myself looking back at doing Molten Core both as that Warlock and as an Alliance rogue and while I don’t necessarily miss it, it’s crazy how it was even possible.

Then again, the majority of people that raided on our server belonged to major guilds.  I ended up joining a Horde guild that focused on PvP and Raiding.  We were huge.  (We were hated by the Alliance and Roleplayers there, especially by my Alliance guild at the time.)  There were more than enough people to fill a raid group and we did, through Molten Core and Black Wing Lair, and even into Ahn-Qiraj.

Alliance side, we had equally huge guilds.  The group I went with was one of the few that put together a team from 3 or 4 guilds to tackle MC, BWL, and AQ 20 and 40.

Taking people back to those old instances, while yes, we can blow them up now, if they didn’t play in Vanilla, they’re shocked when they learn that some mobs were immune to certain damage.  (Irayna became the Ice Princess in Vanilla, because you couldn’t be a Fire Mage there.  You wouldn’t do anything.)  Some mobs took more damage from certain classes.  (The Drakanoids in BWL.)  Mobs in AQ needed to be mana burned  or drained of mana or they would explode.

Oh to use abilities we don’t think about anymore!  Some classes don’t even have them now unless they spec in to them.  Heck, I had completely forgot about Soothe and have been using it on mobs lately.

Last Sunday, we got a guild group together to run the new MC since 1) we were all on, and 2) had the right iLevel…finally.  Two monks, two druids, one shadow priest, and one mage and off we queued.

A few good things came out of the run.  We all got sparkly new helmets that boosted our gear a bit more.  We all got our Core Hound Mounts and spent a good 20 minutes checking out how we all looked on them in various toys and forms (Astral, Shadow, Smite.)  We set up a night to take the rest of the raid group that wasn’t on when we started and got a tad upset that we went without them.  We had a good laugh when I killed myself checking out the new cut scene at Golemag’s window to Ragnoros.  And the ignore feature still works.  🙂

Some of MC at 100, you can just blast through and use the tanks (they have four for it) to hold mobs.  Like on Garr.  Those little ones we used to have to banish as Warlocks and they exploded when they died.  Others, you obviously can’t.  Three to four packs of mobs, especially the core hound packs that all have to die together until they despawn, yeah.  Those still should go one at a time.  Maybe two at a time.  Especially when people are so shocked that they can ignite each other and pop back to life.  (They’re also bugged.  At least, in our group.  One would still be standing once it was dead and give us a heart attack that they would all be coming back.)

Nobody understood the fact that Baron Geddon pulses with fire and so the melee were obliterated on the first pulse.  A few living bombs blew up the rest of the group.  I kept healing Shait, because that’s what I do. /chuckle

Same thing happened with Shazzrah with the Arcane explosions.

We didn’t notice much of the spell and melee reflect on Domo.

And some how, Rag was punting us backwards so we would completely miss the wall we were backed up against.  I ended up turning around and letting him punt me towards him so I wouldn’t get stuck anymore.

Holy cow, being a healer back in the day must have been nuts!  I could barely see my screen through the 40 player frames!  (I also get frustrated by that in Alterac Valley.  20 is enough for me.  LOL)

All in all, it was frustrating with all the F*bombs and people refusing to listen to any type of mechanic, which is sadly the course for LFR, but our group on mumble had a good time.  We’re hoping someone will get a pet when we go in tonight with the rest of the group and that we can at least wrestle the leadership button.

While I don’t always enjoy what raiding has become, I’m more and more grateful for 10 man raids, small guild groups, and the ease of being able to take some of our friends from other guilds and servers with the flex ability.  Fewer cats to herd. 🙂

Come Heal, They Said

What a sad, sad weekend I had.  The family has been passing around this sinus/flu like crud that I finally had the misfortune to pick up mid last week.  Usually being sick would mean lots of Netflix and WoW.  Sadly, this was the stuff that you couldn’t even keep yourself upright for any period of time.  Made for a very dull weekend.

I ended up napping most of Saturday until some guild mates sent a little plea for help.

“Silent should come heal us so I don’t have to… >.>” /signed Mordlet  (Original Vanilla Boomkin turned Elemental Shaman but now turned Shadow Priest because WTH is Blizzard doing?!)

Also…Mord healing is kind of scary.  Even though I relearned how to Druid heal from him.  >.>  <.<  There’s usually a lot of screaming.  And freaking out.  Not just from me.  But from everyone.  At least with him as DPS, it’s usually just the tank and I freaking out while he goes and pulls everything.  (Which I did on Sunday night.  Starfall.  Seriously.  What was Blizz thinking?!)

Any who, they got me out of bed and after the initial “Holy Crap, is that really you Silent?!” on mumble, we got going.  After a normal run for the Inn daily, I finally had the iLevel to try out a heroic.  Last time we ran dungeons, we had Dereus with us.  Dereus has always been a little OP.  The majority of the guild has taken to blaming him or saying he needs a nerf bat because he’s the tank that can tank it.  (Probably one of the nicest and most humble guys you’ll ever meet as well.)  He is the one exception to the tanks in this expansion that can go round up a ton of adds in a normal and go for it.  Paladins + Consecration + sacred shield + lots of stamina + healing ring of green goodness + Ironbark = Dereus does what he wants and can Lay on Hands if he gets scared.

Our Guild leader Shait is back to her original tank Druid and brushing up her tanking.  Bears are still amazing in my opinion.  She’s not as tough as Dereus, but she doesn’t have near that gear that he has or had, but she’s going to get there quick.

Trying out my first Heroic of this expansion wasn’t too bad really.  We set it for Skyreach to knock out the daily and the only real issue we ran in to was having to have a heart to heart that mana regen is still really nonexistent for me so we have to stop every few pulls and let me use the conjured goodies from Irayna.  (Mages have a reason to use refreshment tables again!)

The second one made us cry.  The Everbloom.  I’ve been in raids shorter than the time it took us to clear The Everbloom.

Stormwind Portal

Remember this? This portal that gave me such hope about things to come? This portal makes me cry now. Tears of “Please don’t let that dungeon be The Ever…oh crap.”

The dungeon really isn’t too bad.  I actually enjoy the mechanics of it.  Okay, we had some trouble with the crazy mage lady.  That took a few attempts because the Arcane Explosion is a bear to heal through, the second time my connection dropped me so I wiped everyone, and the third time, she died but so did the majority of us there at the end.

No, the problem is the end.  The loading screen boss.

This fight frustrates us because it’s already in progress and everyone’s connection is different so you never know when you’re coming out of the loading screen to start the fight.  I’m currently very concerned to random queue and get this dungeon with a bunch of strangers. It’s bad enough with 5 people on mumble trying to coordinate it and be able to tell each other when they’re finally off the loading screen and back in the game.  If anyone is going to bash my healing, it’s going to be in this dungeon because they ran off without me and got themselves stomped while I’m stuck on that screen.

Thankfully, most of us are pretty patient.  We dropped a few F bombs and screamed a bit as we stomped the flowers and ran around like ninnies, but we finished the place.  We dropped more F bombs as more hunter gear dropped.  /sigh

Looking at the instances we’ve all been in so far, one thing is pretty clear.  Crowd control is your best friend.  I strongly suggest using any and all forms of CC.  We had a lot of entangling roots, paralysis, and cyclones going out through all the instances.  If you got it, use it.  As a healer, if you have it, don’t be afraid to help out and use it.  It may take a moment or two to set up after you find those spells again, but it’ll take a lot less time than killing one or two, wiping then running back to try again.

Your healers will also thank you in the long run.  I’m noticing a lot of people on forums upset at healers, or healers getting a lot of grief from groups this expansion.  Heck, one of our guild mates had to quit a run because he was being cussed out for these very things.  He had a tank that would grab everything and he had to burn all his cool downs each and every time on trash to try to keep him up and then couldn’t understand why he needed to get mana back or or he didn’t have it during another pull.

Please, please realize that with all these new changes in the game and especially while people are gearing up to be able to run heroics and raiding soon, sometimes, all us healers can really do is dump the majority, if not all of our healing on the tank.  These dungeons have a lot of damage going out.  These stat changes are still something the majority of players are trying to get used to.  (Versatility, Multistrike, what are these things?! on top of the haste and crit.  We’re still trying to figure out what works best for us.)

Tanks and DPS, you need to realize that our mana regen/spirit stat that most healers have relied upon since Vanilla has vanished off of everything except our rings and trinkets.  I didn’t see it on any gear until I got the legendary ring.  I didn’t see it on a trinket until I got in to one of the higher level dungeons.  The point is, we don’t have much of it, if any at all.  Mana doesn’t come back very fast in fights, which is why most of our healing is being spent on the tanks and not as much on everyone else.  As a druid, I’ve got it a bit easier than my monk guild mate since melee can stand in the mushroom circle with the tank and a few rejuvs can usually cut it, but just like we have to play smarter with what heals we toss out so we can use our mana and heals wisely, you have to play smarter too.  Play in a way that you won’t be demanding as much healing as a tank.  (That’s a nice way of saying don’t stand in stuff you shouldn’t stand it.)  In the end, it’ll be more enjoyable for everyone involved.

Once people have better gear all around, I’m curious to see if The Everbloom will become like Shadow Labs…the dungeon everyone hated to get, but then really enjoyed it once people had the gear to back up the stomping of the content.  Time will tell.