Game Night at the Table

There’s nothing like getting to spend an evening with an old friend.  One of my best and oldest friends, Orpsel, is the guy that introduced me to World of Warcraft.  When I got in to raiding, I used to take my rig over to his place and we’d crack open a couple beers and complain about how awful Molten Core was going.

We met through work, bonded over video games first through Gamecube and Xbox then through WoW, movies, and have been through several jobs and significant others together.  He even helped put me on the path to learning how to cook, because I used to be terrible at that.  (I’ve melted chicken before.)

Over the years, we’ve had some falling outs, lived a few states and then nearly half the US apart, and while we no longer play the same faction and he plays more Diablo than WoW these days, we still find ourselves giggling and laughing about things from the game that brought us so close together.

10957358_10152823286809690_2142008681444557905_nHe really got me in to the Lore behind the game as well.  He’s part of the reason why the majority of our guild thinks I’m the Lore Nerd.  Orpsel and I figured we’d give the Trivial Pursuit game a shot after dinner since I haven’t had a chance to try it out yet.  Saffie has been a bit hesitant to try the Warcraft Trivial Pursuit since she feels she’s not that well versed on the Lore of the WoW Universe.

Since it came out in 2013, we worried that it would be a bit outdated, but we were pleasantly surprised how many questions that referred to Mists of Pandaria were in the game.  It was a nice mix of the old school Vanilla bits as well which got us talking about things we missed and wanted to see again.  I still kick myself for not finishing the Benediction/Anathama staff when I had all the pieces on Syiah.  (They are still sitting in her bank, actually.)  Seeing the king held on Alcaz island is another one.  I was never high enough or had enough for a group to go scout the island, kill the hydras and naga, and see the imprisoned king that had been kidnapped before AQ opened and the King was moved.  The Missing Diplomat was one of my favorite quest lines through Vanilla.

While the end of the game looks like it was a shut out, some of it was really easy, there were quite a few (especially in the Lore category) that we didn’t know.  Many things we just got confused on.  (Like the question about The Undercity.  It asked a question about where the wording was about the original city, which would have been Lordaeron, but the answer wanted was Undercity.  It was a bit confusing for both of us.)  It certainly makes me want to read more of the books.  From never having finished the original games (Curse you Power PC not being compatible with Mac anymore /shakes fist), I didn’t get much of the story about the War of the Ancients and the lead up to what World of Warcraft started out as.  My Warcraft Archive book just popped up during unpacking.  It might be time for another read.

I think next time we pop it out for a play, we’ll make a house rule that even if you get one right, it’s the next person’s turn.  Going 15 times in a row just made me feel horribly unfair.  I think we’ll also need a few more people, just for fun.  🙂

Swipe the Jaw Off

It sounded like a tribal drum inside the worgen’s mind.  With each beat, the voices of those around her rose and fell in volume.  She couldn’t have been more than a few feet away from the group, but the pounding in Silentsong’s head muffled the low noise around her.

“You don’t look so good, scruffy lady,” Qale said softly beside her.  She could only growl in acknowledgment as the others continued to bicker about the best strategy to enter the room ahead of them.  There was some debate about what they could find waiting for them and how best to get past it.

The cat and bear were worried.  The Druid Lady was rarely unfocused on their expedition trips.  She was usually in the thick of things, living and fighting through the unexpected, calling upon the energy of nature around them to envelope them.

Tonight, everything was hazy.  Her paws barely felt the stone floor beneath them.  When she felt too dizzy, her claws clutched her mace just a little tighter, as if the reassurance that she still held on to something would keep her upright.

Cat and bear weren’t the only ones that were worried.  The panderan monk kept watchful eyes on her from underneath his hood as she steadily grew worse throughout the evening.

When they surged forward, making their move against an ogre mage, she snapped back for a moment.  Her eyes followed a large Druid bear that was giving a savage roar that echoed off the walls as she charged forward, with the Paladin Dereus chasing after her.  Instinctively, Silent sent a rejuvenating swirl of green energy around the bear as the fight began.  A mushroom sprang up at the feet of the angered ogre, pulsing healing energy to those nearby.  It was an intricate dance around the room.  She weaved between her comrades in arms, trying not to pay too close attention to the clashing of steel against magic and shouts.

When arcane apparitions started to materialize and rush them, her head couldn’t keep the things she needed to hear filtered anymore.

“IT’S GONNA EAT ME!” a Draenei yelled as she tried to run away, three apparitions following closely behind her.

Silent snapped.  “RUN THEM TO THE BEAR!”

Shait was trying to give chase but they ended up following the girl down the hall and out of the room.  The order was given to abandon their attack, fall back, and regroup.

“Silent…” Qale tried, but the druid had had enough.

“What do you think you’re doing?” she blurted out, throwing her mace to the ground.  The bewildered Draenei shaman stared at her.  “Apparitions of that sort don’t eat.  Absorb maybe.  Drain energy, sure.  Maybe even rip a person apart or maim them.  But eat? Not exactly and certainly not flesh and blood.  Not everything is going to eat you.  But if it is, running away from the people that can kill it, is not the option you should be taking.”

Things became very quiet in the group.  Silentsong picked up her mace and pointed it at Shait who, while still in her bear form, stared in shock at her friend.  “In the future, take it to Shait.  If you haven’t noticed, she’s a bear.  She’s massive and quite possibly the most dangerous thing in here.  Why?  Because bears maul things.  Get whatever you think is going to eat you close enough so she can swipe its damn jaw off.  I guarantee you, if it’s still alive, it won’t be interested in you anymore.”

Silent turned on her heel to have another go at the room they just came from, but the room started to tilt at an alarming angle.  Qale made a grab for her when her knees buckled as she retched against the wall.

“I think that’s it for tonight,” Shait said, disbanding the group and ushering them through Irayna’s portal she conjured to get them out of there.  “You got her?” she asked Qale as she shifted back into her night elf form.  He nodded as he and Dereus supported the wobbling worgen and half carried, half dragged her through the portal.

A couple of days later, Silent was hunkered on her bunk under a set of thick blankets.  A steady stream of snot was flowing from her snout between sniffles.  She was tired and sick, but at least the room had stopped spinning enough.

“About the other night,” Shait said quietly, as she sat on the end of the bed.

Without looking at her friend, she replied, “It might have been a little mean, but I wasn’t wrong.”  She took a spoonful of the broth Shait had brought her.  It seemed to be the only thing she could keep down at the moment.  “One swipe of your paw could dislocate a jaw, if not take it clean off.”

Shait chuckled.  “True, and yes, I most likely could.”  She paused thoughtfully.  “You know, shamans are known to put hexes on people.”

The elf gave her a knowing look as Silent sneezed.

“I regret nothing.”

Dear Holy Paladins…help!

Paladins. My shiny plate clad, hybrid brothers and sisters. While I spend my days oiling my leather armor, planting mushrooms of healing boom shroom goodness, and communing with nature by shifting forms and hugging my tree form self, I humbly ask you for your help in understanding a matter of utmost importance. Not in how to polish plate, smash faces with a mace, axe or sword, or even throw a shield. (I can ask our own paladins for the best methods of pissing off everything in Azeroth and Draenor.)

No, I need to know how you heal?

Seriously. How do you do it? Are you finding it difficult this expansion? Are all of you feeling extremely low on the healing totem pole? Or are your own experiences doing well and finding you putting out steady decent numbers in your own raids?

As a lead heal in our group, I am growing a bit alarmed with some of the numbers I have been seeing but I don’t know enough about Paladin healers to be able to offer help. Druid, priest, shaman healing, I’ve done. I keep saying I am going to work on the paladin healing, but I like tanking and smashing things on mine too much to try it. (And I don’t want yet another healer sitting in the wings.)

And in our groups? I don’t recall ever having one. In five mans in Burning Crusade and Wrath, sure. Shait assures me we had one in Cataclysm while I was off server, but not in Mists of Pandaria.

We still don’t have one in our guild, but as we’ve mashed two groups together for Highmaul (our main group from Cenarion Circle and our friend’s group from Whisperwind/Dentarg), we have found ourselves with a Paladin in our healing group.

What I have been noticing over the past couple weeks in our group is a huge gap between our healers, which has finally started to close, except with our paladin. If I didn’t know any better, he is steadily getting further away from the rest of the healing group. Right now, our healing chart is going the druids, shaman/priest (they shift positions), paladin tank, paladin healer. He’s also consistently 15-20% lower than myself and the other druid.

I know the kid is a pretty exceptional player. I’ve raided and PVPed with him on several of his alts and he’s always done really well. He’s actually a top notch PVPer which I know doesn’t always translate to PVE and raiding, but since I have seen him in action in raids before, I’m stumped.

His situational awareness has been kind of in the crapper the last couple weeks, which we’re hoping that has just been because of school for him. He does better after I’ve barked at the healers to step it up, but I don’t want to have to do that each and every pull. I have plenty of other things to gripe about. 🙂

That leaves me with a few possibilities. Either Paladins are getting the short end of the stick this expac and everyone is putting out really low numbers, or he needs help with his rotation. It’s possible he’s getting the RNG luck I’ve had most raids and nothing is dropping for him, or maybe Paladin healing is just something he can’t get a handle on.

If anyone has any thoughts, suggestions, anything…this druid is all ears. Our group is very big on letting people play what they want to play and while we have four strong healers, we can’t afford to carry the slack and hope to progress further. I really need all my healers able to carry the weight for the days that someone has to swap specs when we don’t have enough DPS.

And no one likes to hear a cranky druid rip apart DPS when they are complaining about heals they aren’t getting because we’re stretched thin.

Adventures in Moving

While it’s not exactly on the same level as the transmission blowing in our truck and having our rental car backed over, it has certainly been an adventure so far.

We spent the weekend moving all our stuff in and now it’s just boxes everywhere as we try to unpack everything.  Sadly, I haven’t been that productive with the unpacking bit and here it is, almost the end of the week.

We did get three of five rooms painted the week before we moved in.  We decided we would do the other two bedrooms/offices this spring.  Our landlords don’t really think we have to, but it’s nice to have the house match.  And the hall bathroom is an awful shade of salmon pink that kind of gives us nightmares.

Our adventures so far have included:

-The Alternator went out on our truck the day of the move.  (Yeah for the husband fixing that!)

-Mice (We’ve been mice free for about a week now, so I think we’ve got all of them.)

-All the book cases and my husband’s desk falling apart in storage.

-Finding a replacement desk for my husband for $9 bucks at the thrift store. (WIN!)

-My desk pitching off the side of the truck and smashing 20 feet from the house.

-A leaking water heater.

That’s the nice condensed version.  There really is just stuff everywhere right now.  I’m honestly not sure where all of it is going to go.  The kitchen has me perplexed with trying to get everything to fit in there and be easily accessible.  Then looking at our camping gear, I have no clue where it’s going to go.

Good news though, I got the internet set up and running on Sunday and while loading screens still take some time, I haven’t been randomly dropped!  Highmaul has been much better!  (Hate Twins.  That’s all that needs to be said right now.)

I say it's coming together because I can actually get in to it now.

I say it’s coming together because I can actually get in to it now.

My office is coming along, sort of.  I at least have a path cleared to the office now and my husband replaced my desk for me and built it on Monday.  I even have a path cleared to that.  Okay, a little more than that, but our husky is taking up that space.

When we first started moving in, everything went into the offices so that we could get the furniture into the living room and master bedroom.  Trying to get in to those rooms to start unpacking the other rooms was a bit of a nightmare.  The husband’s office was a lot worse than mine, but now he has his almost completely unpacked and I’m still obviously working on mine.  Grr.Desk shelf

Aside from the mess down on the desk part while I figure out where I will have shelves and put some books, I’m pretty happy to be able to put out some of my fun little things.  (Thanks again to Dantemoon for the little figures from Blizzcon and Saffie for the homemade Tardis!)

I do think the smartest thing that’s been done since we started this move has been putting a coffee/tea nook outside my office.  Not like the kitchen is that much farther, but it’s right there!  Open to everyone that comes over.  And when I get too frazzled, a shot of caffeine is right there during raid time.  Mmm….coffee.

Coffee NookAnyways, just a small update of where I am and what I’m up to.  I need to test the net on some PVP and see if I’m still having issues.  I’ll probably get to that tomorrow or this weekend since all I want to do is eat and sleep right now, when I should be unpacking.

Sorry I’m late, but it’s been a week!

First, let me say I’m sorry I didn’t post on Wednesday like I usually do.  Usually I’m raring to go and have something, but this week has been all over the place, good and bad, which I’ll get to in a moment.

Second, good things are coming!

So this week.  We jumped back in to Highmaul on Monday.  While we seem to have little to no problem with Kargath and Butcher is going down in one go, even if it is a tad messy, I did have a bit of a rage fit about it over on Twitter.

Beginning of the expansion, we have tanks and healers out the ears.  We have two solid tanks.  We have several solid healers.  We have a couple folks that willing step in to Off tank if a regular tank is out (like our pally breaking his arm which is awful, but I’m so glad he’s back!)  We still have our three permanent healers that we ran with all last expansion.  And we have healers that want to heal, but never stick with raiding through the entire expansion.  Out of all of them, I seem to be the only one that runs an off spec.  (Our priest does too, but she’s not as confident with it.)  I’m also one of our strongest healers, but since the other folks refuse to use an off spec, even though they could potential do more damage than myself because shamans and monks still do pretty awesome damage, I get to boomkin.

After Monday, I wanted to shoot my feathery self.  I still love it for obliterating old content, but I have consistently felt underwhelmed with that spec at content level.  I didn’t feel like I was contributing half as much as I could when I ran it in Siege of Ogrimmar and I certainly feel like I would be a better doorstop than a DPS Moonkin in Highmaul.

Maybe it’s the gear, but it’s more than the sad numbers I was pulling.  I just don’t find it fun.  I find myself stressing more about when to set of certain spells than I do as a healer, where you are supposed to be extremely cognizant of what you are casting when.  Since I stress about what to cast when, I’m convinced I’m not casting as much as I should, which also leads to crap DPS, etc etc.  So I’m open to suggestions for add ons that might help this.  I hate to scrap the boomkin spec since I do love it for plowing through old content like ICC 25 man (I will have your horse, Arthas) but I am getting closer and closer to saying screw it, I’m going Cat, and throwing us back into a severely melee heavy raid, which isn’t nice either.

In short, I would rather play God and heal everyone’s butts instead of try to pew pew, but I will always continue to do what the raid needs when it needs it.

Wednesday, I did end up healing and in hindsight, I should have probably swapped to DPS to push us over on the Brackenspore fight, but I didn’t want us to lose the healing either, since I was sitting on top.  Not sure I could justify losing that chunk of healing for the raid in return for some extra subpar DPS on the adds and one more interrupt on a really long cooldown.  We’ve got another shot on Monday, so we’ll see what happens then.

Also, yeah for gear!  I finally got some drops and was gifted with some BOE gloves.  Three pretty substantial upgrades for me.  That means it’s also time to start enchanting.  >.>

I guess in theory, that could boost my Boomkin boom boom pew pew and maybe make it suck less…but I think I will still hate the play style.

But forget that.  In other fun news, I was able to get my Tarren Mill Terror title, even though I technically could not see any Horde any time I went in to the Battle of Southshore and Tarren Mill.  The connection here isn’t fast enough to load any of that in for me.

But that’s only going to be a problem (hopefully) for another week and a half.

The big reason I missed updating on Wednesday is that we signed paperwork on our new place.  We’ll be moving next weekend and I’ll be back to paying for internet that can handle gaming.  Probably faster if I can talk my husband in to it.

I’m looking forward to being able to log in and not being afk once I get off the loading screen!  And to be able to really PVP again!  I think that once I am able to that again, I’ll be playing a bit more again, since at the moment, it is a chore to log in when you never know how long it is going to take.

Our timeline looks like painting the new place this weekend, moving the next, and hopefully stable internet the week after.  Really hope I find our router first thing when we move.  And that it still works.

Fingers crossed, friends!