Archive for Discussion

Elsen’s WoW Hall of Fame

This is a post inspired by my thoughts on last weeks Blog Azeroth shared topic.

As you all know, my thought process is rambling, confusing and to be frankly a bit shoddy. After reading a lot of the negative (and the positive) posts about both the state of WoW and the uproar surrounding ICC’s gating system, I got thinking about how I saw/see WoW, what I take from the game and what I give to it.

I realised that the game is great fun. The raids are fun, the achievements are fun, the heroics are fun, the levelling is fun. But what makes this computer game special for me is the company. Some of it is exceptional, and I’ve met some very special people in my 2 years playing.

This is going to be a chronological Hall of Fame…

Most of the people here are just ordinary players, not bloggers or anything, so it’s just going to be an armoury link unless I specify otherwise so feel free not to click.
I just quite like having links…

Balthuris and Tyrest (one a member of a raiding guild, one who no longer plays) were my two friends from level 15 to level 40. They levelled up as feral whereas I bounced along as balance, throwing them some heals. We tore up Darkshore and Ashenvale together, even hitting Stonetalon Mountains and STV as a thressome.
We weren’t guilded together at the time but we played together almost all of the time. I loved their company and I loved playing with them, I felt like I was really part of a team. They were my first introduction into the social side of WoW, and as all three of us really were TOTAL noobs, with only Balth having playing any MMORPG before, we had a brilliant time.
When I joined the now disbanded Knights of the Crusade in the mid level 40s, I joined Ty and Balth in their guild. I carried on slowly slowly levelling up, and when, after a three month summer break I hit 70, I was at a bit of a loss.
That’s where I came into contact with a few other people who had been 70 for longer, in my guild.
Rosiah was this mad little Mancunian dude who first introduced me to a heroic instance (it was Shadow Labs, and I was still a moonkin), with another guildie of ours, Baruch. They introduced me to end-game, slowly slowly, taking me through heroics and showing me the ropes, and we became a bit of a team when I respecced to being a healer. We drafted in a lovely lady called Soph, who became one of my closest friends and our pocket tank.
We were a real posse of people, ready made for any obstacle!
Ros taught me how to play, Soph became my first in-game girly friend, and Bar essentially became my psychiatrist. We used to joke that what he charges average people £90 an hour for, I used to get free.
I miss them all dreadfully, especially as their playtimes have greatly reduced.

Fast forward to just before the released of Lich King. KotC combusted, and Rosiah moved to a guild called Justice League. I followed him there, and Baruch and Soph both followed me. In JL I met Lilleth and Sizu, who became real life friends of mine.
I raided Naxxramas for the first time, under the fantastic leadership of my then GM, Psidium. One of the players I truly have the most respect and the most time for.

Around this time I started to research further into WoW, read up on my class, do some research and work, discovered Resto4Life and other fab druid blogs such as Leafshine, 4healz and HoTs Tree.

Just before Justice League imploded I left for Flames of the Phoenix, my permanent WoW home. I was welcomed into the fold by some fantastic players, including the fab GM, Meylenne.

I raided with them for a little while, but moved back into what was Justice League’s “new” guild, led by Psidium. Respice Finem. Social loyalties pushed me into moving there, and it was a bad decision to make, but one that I rectified a few months later. Whilst in Respice, I met two absolutely unbelievable people. Zalduun, also known as Lewis or more affectionately “squish”, found me by commenting on my blog (the personal one). I bond of mutual abuse and adoration developed, and he is luckily guilded with me now. I love playing with him. I love the support I get from him, the friendship, the companionship, everything. I don’t know what I’d do if he stopped playing really. Even if he does play a bloody space goat.
During my time in Respice, I also met Hannah, known as Jaedia to me or Fae to others, fantastic blogger and author of The Lazy Sniper. Someone else I feel close to and whose friendship I wouldn’t want to be without.
I moved back to Flames and was once again welcomed back to the guild by the guild.
Since I’ve come back to Flames I’ve made a couple of really really good friends, in particular my raid leader Nyo, who sits and keeps me company day in day out at work, makes me smile and listens to me ramble on for hours on end, answering all my questions with incredible patience. I also enjoy spending my WoW time with Mike, gossiping with Tag and nattering with the many others who make my WoW time the fun it is.

I think the point of this post shows that the relationships within Azeroth that I’ve developed have lasted with me and some of them (and hopefully some more will in the future) persisted into the non-internet world that sometimes get’s called Real Life.

I don’t know what I’d do without my friends in game, and I’ll just say to all of those who sometimes get down with the game, depressed about it’s direction, think about the people you’ve met, friendships and even relationships you too have formed, and whether those make the fact you can’t kill Arthas on 3.3 release day really is that bad.

For now,
Elsen

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Best Change in the Game…

Ok, I know I’m a week behind but bear with me peoples I have a lot on right now!

The site redesign is stalled until I can find a way of converting my lovely new header and whatnot into wordpress friendly formats and until my lovely web-boy gets back from his week long drinking binge and can help me out!

Anyway. I have been lacking somewhat and am actually a week behind but as I love the topic so much I am still going to post on last weeks Blog Azeroth shared topic.

It was suggested by HoTs and DoTs, a website I’ve spotlighted and mentioned a few times.

If you want to scroll past my random splurge of brain matter about the ICC debate, and the “level” of WoW in the world now, please click here.

I’ve not been playing WoW anywhere near as long as a lot of people, but I feel like while I have been playing I have been through a variety of different stereotypes. I have been the total noob (don’t get me started on what happened to my level 16 human mage, my very “first” WoW character…), my sporadic smattering of talent points, and my “oo! that has the most armour that’s the bit I want to wear!” attitude towards gear up until the mid 40s.

I have been the casual level 70 – dailies, the odd heroic, barely logging on.

I have been the slow, slow leveller from 71-80, watching an entire guild pass me by.

From Christmas 08 to April 09, I was what I would define as a hardcore raider (in comparison to my own standards – something for another post at another time, I feel).

And now, I am a…raider. I am a lover of achievements, of alts, of “completion”, of raids, of heroics, of meeting people, of making friends, of the relationships I’ve forged outside of the game, or the friendships I wouldn’t want to be without, of everything and anything WoW related.

I am a massive fan of Blizzard. I realise that yes, sometimes they get things wrong. But my god, look at what they’ve got right. For me, they provide a hobby, a source of fun, a source of competition, a source of enjoyment, a source of friends, a source of laughter.

I understand that things may not be fit for purpose for a lot of people, but I feel incredibly lucky that they are fit for purpose for me. And you know what, sometimes they may not be.

I felt more than a little disgruntled when I was in full Best-in-Slot gear during the times when Naxxramas was the only raid. About a week before 3.1 hit, I looked the business, in WoW terms. And then everything I’d worked for became irrelevant. In my own, personal blog, I documented the day I got the first Torch of Holy Fire for our guild. A couple of weeks later, Ulduar dropped and I was no longer a raider. I saw everyones gear shoot straight past my own, people were talking about triumph badges suddenly, when I only had a couple of conquest.

But equalisation will always happen in WoW. And in some ways I am grateful. For me to go from a total noob to a raider in a year, and to be able to succeed – if they hadn’t made WoW the game it is today, through it;s many, many evolutions, I probably wouldn’t be able to be.

A lot of debate has raged over this particular topic recently, accidentally possibly sparked off by the lovely Leafshine, whose blog I always enjoy reading. I think I probably fall closest to him in my opinion but my playstyle probably falls closest to his too.

I’m rambling, and going totally off topic, but I feel it fits well. Changes made by the game designers and developers cause masses of debate on a day to day basis by the bloggers in the WoW community – just take a look at the tons of posts there are about the new gating system for Icecrown. That’s a change that’s caused masses amount of upheaval and dispute and general debate by bloggers worldwide.

Changes are totally subjective. The way Naxx unlocked was totally different to the way ICC will unlock. Some people prefer it one way, some people prefer it the other. To me…when it comes to dungeons and raids, it simply doesn’t really matter. I realise it’s intensely important. I know, fmor my guild forums, it’s important to some of my friends and colleagues in Flames. But the changes that matter to me are most definitely different to the changes that matter to other people. Really, Cass and Lathere did it best with their post here.

So, here are my best changes in game.

  1. Reputation from killing creatures does not decrease when they are “greyed out”. As a lover of reputations and achievements, I like the fact that rep grinds are much easier than they used to be. I realise that this makes it a lot easier for me than it has been for other people, but it is certainly good for me!
  2. Add-ons. I played without a single add-on from level 1 to 70. Mainly because I had accidentally divided my hard drive and had WoW saved to two places. Don’t ask how I did it, because I don’t know. I also don’t know what add-ons were around in the past/present, what have you. But for me, using add-ons is fabulous. I have progressed from healbot to using pitbull and clique, which I love, and I love being able to fiddle around with and play around with my UI. It’s lots of fun and there are now some I wouldn’t want to live without – atlasloot, or even atlas. AutoProfit and AuroRepair are two tiny things that make a world of difference to my playing experience. Multishot is my favourite add-on of all time though, by far.
  3. The achievement system. This is both a bad thing and a good. It caters to my obsessive personality, gives me things to track, things to work on, things to work towards, and I get a massive sense of satisfaction when I complete something awesome, even if all I get as a reward are essentially ten useless points. It’s a bad thing because it just makes me spend more time on WoW!, but overall it’s great for me because it’s opened up a whole other aspect and angle for me to enjoy WoW with.

I think for me, for now, that’s it.

WoW is full of countless things that have made my life better – mostly illustrated by HoTs and DoTs – vanity pets and mounts being in a tab, for example. Mana biscuits (exploding strudels, as we call them) – om nom nom.

I’m just very grateful to Blizzard for making the game at all.

When I think about the experiences, the gaming, the learning, the friends, the people…especially the people – I wouldn’t have come into contact with without this game.

I think I am incredibly lucky to play. This neatly intertwines with the shared topic I didn’t feel up to commenting on, about relationships within Azeroth.

If I look back on the past two years of my WoW gaming, I realise that there are a few things I wouldn’t ever want to have not experienced.

Thinking about this has put me into a bit of a spiral of thoughts, and I’ve decided to document what I’m going to call my WoW Hall of Fame.
Check it out here.

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Miss Medicina’s Healing Questionnaire!

Here are my responses to Miss Medicina’s healing questionnaire…

 

  • What is the name, class, and spec of your primary healer?

Elsen, Druid, Restoration.

  • What is your primary group healing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)

Mainly ten mans, that’s where I feel most comfortable. I do heal some heroics, I should do more. I need the badges! I occasionally heal in 25 mans too.

  • What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why?

Hmm. I love Wild Growth. I have it glyphed, and I love how I can depend on its ticks for a little bit of healing on lots of people. It works really well with rejuvenation.

  • What healing spell do you use least for your class and why?

I barely ever use healing touch, only in a “oh shit he’s going to die!” moment, and then only with Nature’s Swiftness. I find the cast time too long and if I do ever cast it without N.S. I find myself itching to move, get it done, progress.

  • What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why?

I think my HoTs. My ability to have a little bit of healing on every single person to soak up that damage, especially in ten mans where I can have everyone in the raid topped up at all times. The fact I can also top someone up with a nourish or a regrowth is also useful.

  • What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why?

Hmm. I think it’s actually a tendency to be pigeon holed into being something. Pigeon holed into being a rejuvenation spam bot, for example.

  • In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you?

I actually always end up settling into raid healing and feel most comfortable doing that, although sometimes I do like the buzz of tank healing.

  • What healing class do you enjoy healing with most and why?

I love healing with another resto druid. Mainly because I don’t raid with one at all and it’s really nice to see what others do. On the otherhand, I also like healing with a disc priest.  I find their shield thingies fascinating.

  • What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why?

Paladins. They’re just so BIG and so POWERFUL I almost feel utterly pointless because every single thing I cast is overwritten by some massive heal, making me effectively useless.

  • What is your worst habit as a healer?

I use Wild Growth all the time in heroics, which is pointless as it drains mana and rejuv would do the job for longer and probably better. It’s just because I’m lazy really.

  • What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while healing?

“I’m gonna die!” – I know. I’m trying my best. I’m not sat on my arse WATCHING your health bar go down. “omg why didnt you heal me?” from PuG DPS who run in and pull a group before the tanks even ready. Doesn’t happen as much now but it’s still irritating. And a full group wipe, waiting for the healers to rez you, you lazy dps lay on the floor. Get up.

  • Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing?

Sometimes. I feel self conscious about my seemingly unstoppable overheal, and I feel self conscious about being overwritten by paladins at all times. But that’s more me personally as a person, not my class.

  • What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer?

When I raided with a more “hardcore” guild I used to use WWS reports and occasionally WoWCardio Raid. I wish I had a better understanding of recount really. And I do agree that if nobody’s dead, surely that’s a start.

  • What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class?

“Has to be a raid healer.”

  • What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn?

Getting your haste right. I still haven’t. Coming to terms with the fact that you’ll never look nice, you’ll always be a tree. No, seriously though. Getting used to spotting when HoTs are good, not overwriting your own rejuvenations before necessary as well.

  • If someone were to try to evaluate your performance as a healer via recount, what sort of patterns would they see (i.e. lots of overhealing, low healing output, etc)?

Lots of overhealing as my ticks are insane. In comparison to pallys. very low healing output. But incomparison to priests and shamans, slightly higher.

  • Haste or Crit and why?

In comparison to other druids, I personally crave more haste. I’m gemmed completely for haste. I need enough to be able to get as close to my 1 second GCD as possible, to make a rolling rotation of 5 rejuvs and a wild growth.

  • What healing class do you feel you understand least?

Disc Priests. And also, priests that have that light well thingy. I don’t even know what that does.

  • What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in healing?

I have Decursive, Pitbull for my frames and Clique, mainly. I am tempted to integrate my decursing into Pitbull as I noticed while healing Yogg I was haviogn to move my mouse a fair amount, which slowed me down.

  • Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?

I usually try and keep my spellpower high, and grab gear with haste on it. Unfortunately recent drops have been crit heavy so I am attempting to rectify that with badge gear and hopefully will rectify it further when Citadel comes out with Patch 3.3.

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Guild Recruitment and Rules

This is a topic I’ve read a lot about recently and also one I certainly have my fair share of opinions on.

I’ve been in guilds with two very different recruitment policies, and I’ve observed different recruitment policies as well.

There seems to be a variety of methods used.
1. Spam in trade.
2. Accidental/friends of friends
3. Forum based
4. Reputation
5. Poaching.

1. Spam in trade. How successful is this? And do you want the sort of people this sort of guild recruitment attracts in your guild? When I was in JL, before it changed over to it’s current form, a bit of attempted recruitment was done via trade. It never seemed to work though, or drum up any particular support. I, as someone who doesn’t ever plan on leaving FotP unless I am thrown out, at which point I would probably still be kicking and screaming, holding on to the doorway with my nails, view trade adverts for guilds I see with scepticism. I am overly critical of ANY mistakes I see grammatically or with spelling and some of the guild names make me laugh. I wouldn’t ever want to walk round (or should I say lag round?) Dalaran with “NoObZ R US” under my name, for example.

2. Accidental/friends of friends.
This is, in my opinion, one of the best ways to recruit. You PuG with someone a few times. You realise they know their class, they know how to play and you think, “they’d make a good addition!”. You become friends with them, they see you also know your class, and seem happy in your guild. This sort of thing mainly works with the unguilded or the “ambitious” – ie those in a levelling guild or a social guild who may perhaps want to progress further. However. I use quotation marks to bracket “ambitious” here because it can be both a bad quality and a good. Ambitious people who use their guild to get what they want are not a good addition. Those that use their guild to progress or to get into “better” guilds are awful people, imho. Not the sort of person you’d want to be playing with.
However, accidental recruitment can work, I’ve met a very good friend and exceptional player via her pugging with some of my old guildmates when she played on our server. She joined our guild, performed exceptionally and became a good friend.

3. Forum based. I play on Terenas, in the EU region, and rather than using the realm forums, a special website that’s had many different forms is used for posting bad conduct, good conduct, events, trades and recruitment. It’s called Terenas Tavern.
I think that people have to be actively hunting out a raiding or progression guild to work their way on to forums. They might be looking for the guild that does the server firsts, or looking for a server transfer and scouting out the environment. Forums are therefore a very good recruitment tool if you want to recruit the keen. However your advert needs to be good.
No spelling mistakes. No grammatical errors. No cheesy lines or badly designed images. I love the idea of a recruitment poster, but maybe my own opinions and likes/dislikes of art and what I define as “classy” makes me opinionated on what looks good and bad on a poster.
This links back to your own guild website. What does it look like? Is it nice, classical, simple, easy to read and use? Or cluttered, hard to understand, “child-like” or unimaginative? Have you just copied a template or have you USED your imagination and gone with something interesting?
There are several examples out there of good and bad guild websites, some are dire and some are sparkling. Everyone’s opinion of what looks good and bad is different, but maybe again my own attraction towards writing and understanding code makes my ideas of a “nice” website different to that of others.

4. Reputation. The top guilds on the servers are always going to attract applicants. Good applicants, of course, (the word ambitious springs to mind once more), but also bad applicants. They are going to attract people who want to raid high end and push their abilities to the limit, play hardcore, but they are also going to attract applicants who think, “oo, Ensidia, i heardz about dem on the webby, I’m a-gonna APPLY”. It must be painful combing through applications at times.
However, those with the best reputation will attract some very good applicants. In my opinion, however, reputation isn’t always based on how progressed you are. Being acknowledged as friendly, helpful, fun and open-minded are attractive qualities as well, or at least I think they are.

5. Poaching. This is something I’m quite (probably OVERLY) moralistic about. People should not poach members from other guilds in order to have the “best” players. I will be quite honest about this. I poached Dan from KotC into JL. I poached Squish from RF into my current guild. But not because I wanted the BEST PLAYERS EVER in the guild I was in, because I wanted to play with my friends. I see people using guilds as “steps” up to other guilds, and it really annoys me. I see people in guilds trying to “poach” players they think they may find useful by using flattery, raid invites and blatantly walking over other guilds in order to get what they see as “good” players.
I can see every appeal of wanting to play with your friends. That’s fine – make it known to your friends you want to play with them. My guild leader in Respice knew when I left that my closest friends would probably follow. But going right under somebody else’s authority to get what you want? When it’s for – imho – the wrong reasons? This is bad.
Suggest your guild, talk to them about it, but do it OPENLY. I find this underhand yet total bulldozer attitude I see very disheartening.

I realise this is a somewhat confusing post but it’s something I am seeing more and more of and something that bothers me slightly. I think because I see myself to be particularly honest and open I find either a bulldozer approach of “it doesn’t matter what other people think or feel, I will do what I want” and also the underhand methods of “oo, come to my guild, you’re a brilliant player, your strengths will be played to so much” also very…uncomfortable.

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