Friday, December 24, 2010

Heroics...Raids...Reputation... and a Partridge in a Pear Tree!

First, Merry Christmas (Eve) to everyone! I hope your holidays are happy, healthy and filled with family (or, if family isn't your cup of tea, may you only see they for a day and not two weeks in a row).
I'm finally home for Christmas this year after being away for two years!

Let's get to it.

It's two and a half weeks since Cataclysm was released and where am I? In a pretty good position! I cracked exalted on my first target faction for a new belt (thank you Hyjal) and I'm six thousand rep out from my epic shoulder enchants. I'm burning through heroics and participated in my first Cataclysm raid (10man version), and Apotheosis has now killed Argaloth (in Tol Barad) and Magmaw!

My first heroic was Stonecore on December 14th. Holy crap, was I afraid. Luckily I'd gone in there with my boyfriend who acted as my support system when I was screaming at/swearing at the computer.  (Maybe not so lucky for him...). We entered the dungeon through the random queue and discovered that we were right at the first boss. Great, no trash to deal with.

What I didn't know was that the tank had just spent time explaining the fight to the last healer and ranged dps who apparently failed spectacularly. So I drink my elixirs, get my food buff and ask for a few tips (run out of pink spikes, avoid burrow, live through adds, heal) and we get started.

WOW. I was not expecting so much group damage, and eventually I got smacked in the face by the burrow ability because I was too busy gawking at my EMPTY mana bar and wondering how to heal 5 people from 20%. I apologized and got the old "dot dot dot" from the tank. The boomkin in the group stood up for me, saying I was probably watching the health bars and freaking out (excellent observation Mr.Kin).
The tank tells me, and I quote, healing is hard now. Really? No shit, I replied. Yes shit, my main is a resto druid. Good for you. Why aren't you healing this run then? Oh right. You're tanking. Shut the hell up and do your job while I do mine.
I get another "dot dot dot" from him so I pulled up my socks and told him I was ready when he asked.

The second time was much better!  We killed Corobus and made our way to the second boss and at some point the asshole tank left and we got a great Prot Paladin who didn't rush through pulls like a maniac.

There are some rock guys on the way to Slabhide that have this "Quake" ability. This ability hurts. And apparently there is a way to avoid it; you jump! I'm not kidding either. The melee dps told us that if you jump while he casts Quake you avoid the damage altogether.

We killed Slabhide on the first try thanks to the moonkin's great explanation. Really cool mechanics on that fight, very enjoyable!

We blew through trash on the way to Ozruk, and I remembered someone in guild saying something about how it would be a painful fight until the dps/healers realized they needed to DoT themselves to remove the paralyze debuff. So another explanation of the fight, and we killed him in two shots! More cool mechanics, I loved it.

The last boss in Stonecore is High Priestess Azil. She drops void zones, summons adds, lifts and drops your tank (interuptable!), and drops boulders on your head if you don't watch. Excellent. The adds hit hard on a cloth wearer, and it took us a few tries to get it right, but you can run the adds through the void zones to help kill the adds and shrink the bad shit on the ground. Eventually Azil died and I completed my first heroic of Cataclysm! With 3/5 being PuGs no less. I felt pretty good.

Since then I've completed every heroic dungeon save Blackrock Caverns, Grim Batol and Vortex Pinnacle.

I participated in my first Cataclysm raid on the 21st. This was designed to be an exploratory raid to check out various dungeons and get some experience with the bosses. Ten of us suited up and went to Tol Barad to kill Argaloth (who is a lot like Brutallus, but less of a badass). We ended up one-shotting him for a Guild Run achievement and we moved on to Blackwing Descent to kill Magmaw.

Well, it didn't go as smoothly as Argaloth. The ranged groups have to avoid this pillar of flame thing on the ground that will spawn parasites and infect anyone caught by it and cause them to spawn more parasites. I personally got hit a few times, but after seeing it I managed not to get hit after that. There were others who got hit more than I did. We had to worry about the chains to hold the boss down, and there's a pretty nasty debuff that goes on the tanks.
So I used my cooldowns; I dropped Barrier a LOT, I used Pain Suppression on the tank with Mangle, I used Power Infusion on myself, I managed my mana, used fiend if I needed and hymned.

After various attempts, I was asked to sit out to give another healer a chance to get some experience. And they ended up killing Magmaw. I was pretty upset, but I said my congratulations and listened in while they goofed off with the Omnitron boss-council thing.

I don't get replaced. I'm not used to it. I'm not the healer that gets dropped. Especially when I know I'm not having issues with fight mechanics. I got reassurance from my guild leader later on (after which I felt like a child needing to be pat on the back, derp) that it wasn't me being a shitty healer, it was just part of getting another healer more experience with a fight that we'll all see on 25man. Also, if I was sitting you're damn right I would want in, so I appreciate that she paid attention to those who were benched for the time being.

In the end, this is just part of playing with a big group of people. There are other people who are consistent, dependable, good players and we have a pretty full healing core in Apotheosis. I'm just going to have to get used to swapping out, and get used to not taking it personally because I know I'm doing a good job.

I'm really excited about hitting up some 25man raids soon and even more excited because that means more healer spots to fill rather than taking 3 healers with one person having the guaranteed spot. I'm also really excited to be healing with this group of healers. For the most part we're very good, and I can't wait to see how we mesh as a team in the future!

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Common Courtesy - Running Back

I was healing a dungeon for a guild member today, when she remarked that a dps wasn't running back after a boss wipe. "Lazy", she said. I agreed with her in guild chat, and another guild member said that he only runs back for the first two wipes and then, if it wasn't his fault that the group wiped, he waits for a rez.

This is not OK to me.

First, he was being incredibly rude about it, as if it would be my JOB to rez him if he didn't fuck up the run/boss attempt. No. It's my job to heal the group and keep up the tank. My job is not rezzing you if we, as a group die. We run dungeons together, and not singularly. As a TEAM. Even if you personally didn't cause the wipe, you're still part of the group. I don't care if you're the best (or worst!) dps, you are one of five people, just like me.

It's akin to expecting a summon after being given ample time to arrive. Everyone else got there, why didn't you? What makes you more important than the 4/9/24 other people who arrived on time?

Second, it's polite and respectful to run back after the entire group has died. Nothing makes you more special than the other two dps who were in the party. In fact, not running back and being a dick about it can (and will) result in a group kick from me. Say hello to your 40minute queue again. Running back (in my mind) shows your commitment to the group, and if you're not running back "just because" then you're not part of the team.

A second guild member piped up and said that she SS's the healers if she wants a rez. That's fine by me. If you're the cause of me not running back, I'll return the favour.

If you're busy with a kid, or you need to afk for a minute or something after a wipe, a whisper to me asking for a rez is alright. The fact that you assume I will rez you is a no-no in my books. I do not appreciate you abusing my ability to rez. What if *I* had to run afk? Who would rez me? No one. I'd be expected to run back before or after I had to step away. (Unless there's a pally/shaman/druid/another priest - and I ASKED them).

To conclude; I don't care if you don't want to run back after a death. I'm not rezzing your lazy ass.

 /end rant

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Cataclysm is nigh!

It's December 5th.
I have a paper due tomorrow and a final on Friday, but all I can think about is logging on at 3:00am est and being one of the first people to play in the new world. My Dad pre-ordered the expansion for himself, me and my boyfriend (for Christmas! I love you Dadders!) so we are all set to go.

A guildie of mine posted what he's doing to prepare for the leveling grind:
1. Grabbed some flasks and Elixirs just to make things a bit easier.
2. Fill the quest log with Icecrown Dailies to turn in once the level cap is increased (its easy to have 25 ready to turn in).
3. Clearing bank space for new mats, food, fish, quest goodies.
4. Vendoring old gear that he won't realistically use (bye bye Frost Resist crap!)
5. Bought a Mining Bag to save ore.
6. Leveled Mining to 450.
7. Set Hearthstone to Stormwind so he can head to Vash'jir quickly
8. Started doing the new Cooking Dailies in SW for Cata tokens.
9. Maxed out Justice Points and Honor Points.
He's also really, really, into leveling. He was the first in my previous guild to 80, he was so close to being server first death knight too. Crazy man.

I can't afford to be a crazy fast leveler and it always seems to be some plot of Blizzard's to screw over every university student by releasing expansions during FINALS TIME, RAAAAAGGGHHHH. Ahem. Anyway, I'm planning on taking some time soon during a paper-writing break to look at some starter gear/reputation items but I'm unsure when I'll do that... hnnng research papers... .

I've got time to play Cataclysm after the 16th though! But... knowing me and my study habits, I'll be playing before then.

Curse you, Blizzard!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A New Home and First Impressions

You're forewarned, this is a longer post and it's pretty rambly.

Kaleri has a new home.

After some thinking/soulsearching, I finally applied to Apotheosis. The application itself went well, I'm good at articulating my thoughts on paper and giving thorough answers. There were a million questions on it from another priest in the guild and I can't say I was expecting that, but I feel I answered the questions well too.

After the application was an interview on Mumble. This went well too! New voices, mostly women (unheard of!), asked me some more questions and I felt really at ease, but still nervous.
Near the end of the interview, my friend and now new GM asked me to transfer over ASAP!

I sent a PM on Premonition's forums to a few people I cared about (not many, considering the cut-throat atmosphere there), and put some money on my credit card, settled my Windrunner affairs and moved Kaleri for a second time.

Poor Premonition. The reason I left was because the guild master and raid leader (who are a couple) are quitting the game. They've found some wonderful real life opportunities and simply don't have time anymore. So, I decided to pack up my bags because I didn't think the guild would last very long once they made an announcement. I was sort of right. A guild member who had transferred 4 of his characters and faction changed them wasn't very happy. He stirred the pot on the forums and there was a meltdown. As far as I know, Premonition will be a 10man guild, or they will die. It's unfortunate, but what can you do?

Yesterday was my first official raid with Apotheosis. Oof. They saved a lockout from a week before with only the Lich King left. We got it, but man, did it hurt getting there.

The thing to realize about Apoth is that they haven't been together long for WotLK. This group raided some in Pre-BC and raided together throughout BC, killing Illidan. WotLK saw them splinter apart until just recently. Kurn (or as I know her best, Madrana) took up the task of reuniting this group of people to raid in Cataclysm.
A lot of this group hasn't been playing steadily through Wrath. Some are coming back from long breaks. Some are or were casual players. Some people have Kingslayer. Three people (that I know of) have the ICC Meta Drakes. Extreme variation in experience.

So when we brought the fight to the King himself, I think my expectations were too high. I knew of the differences in experience and I knew that they hadn't killed Arthas as a guild yet. I've been working on Heroic Lich King attempts for a long time, so I wasn't expecting a particularly rough night.

The DPS seemed low. There were (as I learned later) many inactive Meta Gems. Only a few people broke 10k dps.
The raid healing seemed lax in the beginning with lots of deaths to infest at first. I always feel infest deaths are my fault, but it's not a one person job. After a little bit of tinkering and discussion, the heals were much better, it was good!
Tanking was good, they had great communication and weren't too squishy ;).

Part of me being frustrated is the Rapture nerf. Discipline priests used to be able to blanket the raid with shields to clear infest AND maintain 100% mana if done properly. Now, multiple bubbles don't proc the mana return all at once. So here I was, bubbling the raid when I noticed that coming out of the p1 transition I had about 5k mana. What is this, I don't even... . Once I got the hang of it though, it wasn't so bad. I would pop Divine Hymn with a resto shaman's Tide totem. I popped my Shadowfiend every cooldown. I used the mana potions. It made a particularly boring fight (for me, as a disc priest) into something engaging and fun!

In the end, we killed Arthas, and got about 10-15 people their Kingslayer titles. Yay!
Afterward, 10 of us went to Ulduar to knock out the weekly and try our hand at Starcaller. I don't think that going in there with a bunch of inexperienced players was the best idea, so in the end, we called it because no one expected to be there long and it was late.

It hasn't all been difficult encounters and death by Arthas! This guild is much more social than Premo, so there's always someone to chat with. With the arrival of Deathwing coming along to kill people, I spent a lovely 8 hours in Wetlands with a few of the guild members and had a good time doing nothing with them.

I can already tell there will be some people I am going to butt heads with, there always are in any guild. I'm not sure how most of the guild regards me as a player yet, but there's plenty of time for that. New servers are scary places, especially when coming to a group like this where most people have known each other for a lonnnnng time.

Hooray rambly post! If you read this far, thanks for  wading though my babbling ;).

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Back into the fray... of Ulduar

Last night, I skipped out on three hours worth of school assignment-time to come to a guildie's "Champion of Ulduar" run.

And you know, I wasn't expecting the run to be entirely clean but I did expect some level of competence when we got to the fights that people needed for their Champion title.

As it was, we had an early pull on Auriaya while trash was being pulled. A shadowpriest stood too close to the stairs that she walks up to and proximity pulled. Next, we had an overzealous fury warrior pull off the tank during frozen blows and then a holy priest who thought it would be a good idea to stand still. Mmmhmm.

So, I didn't get my title along with a few others who went. But it wasn't all a crapshoot!

We went to Algalon! I've never seen this guy and I wish I took a screenshot of how AWESOME it is during that fight. I honestly had no clue what was going on, I healed the raid, the tanks, jumped into black holes, generally ran around like a crazy person... and at the end, when we killed him, announced that I had no clue what just happened.
I got a few laughs ;)

Starcaller Kaler!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

New computer and a new post!

Suppose I better get started on this blogthing.

I meant to get started much sooner, but my gaming computer got eaten by a virus... I found out that my boyfriend was planning on getting me a tower and then he'd give me his old monitor/videocard/powersupply.
So here I am, gaming computer and all.

Yes, those are Bose speakers+ subwoofer.
Of course, I'll still keep my macbook for school stuff, but this PC is my new toy. I don't really know anything about it other than it makes WoW look goooooood.
I don't really do technical things. I let the man handle that stuff.

Ahhh, beautiful!
What this meant then, was that I needed to redo my UI. Hnnnnnnng  /dead.
But! After many hours of what should have been school assignment time, I have my UI configuerd to what I  feel mostly comfortable with. Ta-Da!
I'll put a list of addons and the like up in my UI tab if anyone is interested. There's a few addons "missing" here, but I plan on taking a 'raid' screenshot sometime this week (ie; Friday).

Side note: I'm in the Beta but I haven't had much time to play on it. Once I have a minute, I'll post some thoughts and pictures. Maybe. We'll see.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fancy hat... er... blog time!

Currently I'm in the process of making this look nice and starting to post things.

Won't be long!