Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Heroic Beth'Tilac: On top of the web

I love Beth'Tilac. Not just because she's this awesome-looking giant spider, but because I am challenged beyond the usual scope of what I can do on this fight. My typical assignments throughout the night look like this; Shannox, Kal - tank #1, Rhyolith, Kal - tank #2, Alysrazor, Kal - tank #1, Majordomo, Kal - tank. But when we get to Beth'Tilac, oh boy, do I get a full plate - and I walk away feeling satisfactorily full.

As you can see, I am primarily a tank healer but on this fight it is my job to go up on Beth'Tilac's web and heal the group there. My responsibilities still include the tank, but in this case I have to worry about myself and (usually) five melee dps. How does a discipline priest manage this, you may ask?

First, we make sure that the melee are in one group together to facilitate Prayer of Healing while up top. Then we organize who takes what thread first; the tank, then myself and then the rest of the melee. After that, it's just rinse and repeat for the web group.

I'll be honest, I have almost zero idea what happens on the ground in this fight. Apart from something about hitting spiderlings before they hit the raid, and killing the drones and stuff, I don't really pay attention to that part since I don't need to, and never had to. Check out the links at the bottom for a video with a good ground perspective.

Like I said, this fight makes me really excited to be a priest and I'm never quite so proud of what I can do except on this fight (and occasionally Baleroc when I can beat our Death Knight tank /shakes fist). I've wanted to write down what I do on this fight for some time, and now that I have some free time I'm finally able to.

What I'll do is take you through how I heal this fight as a discipline priest, keeping in mind that I only ever go up top* on the web.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


The ladies

This post is coming a little later than I wanted it to, but since Cynwise posted “On Revelations” before a field trip, I ended up forgetting about it until just recently. I originally wanted to reply to Cyn's post in the comments but it ended up morphing into something much larger.

Reading Cynwise and Vidyala’s stories (here and here) about what they enjoy playing, and figuring out what they want to play was very interesting to me. I play a priest, and have played her for a long time; first as shadow back when we only did 1400 dps but returned mana for the mages and warlocks, and now as a healer. I also play a druid tank, who has been around as long as the priest. I've had many internal battles over which character I wanted to play, but there's just something about those two roles that I can't quite get anywhere else.

Monday, October 3, 2011


I am a reality TV junkie. I watch Survivor, The Bachelor/Bachelorette/Bachelor Pad, The Amazing Race, Big Brother... you name it, I've probably watched it. There was an event on the Bachelor Pad where a couple received a private date, and they took a helicopter to get there. The were really excited and they were going on and on about this "once in a lifetime opportunity". I was watching this with my mother when I said, "I don't see why a helicopter is so special to these people. I mean, it's just a helicopter." To which she replied, "They've probably never seen one, let alone flown in it. You've been around a helicopter and flown in it before. A helicopter is probably pretty cool to them even though it's not that special for you."

My dad worked as a forest-fire fighter in Northern Ontario for quite a few years while he was getting his Bachelor of Education. We lived in Thunder Bay, Ontario at the time and the best way to get people out to the forest fires was by plane or helicopter. Dad used to take my brother and I to see the helicopters and the planes that dump water (I forget the name) and we used to be able to climb around in them and ask questions about them. I remember putting on the headset they use, and sitting in the pilot's seat. I remember the colour of the helicopter (bright yellow). It was a very cool experience.

This thought about helicopters and how other people see them has been floating around in my head for some time. I found myself comparing different life events, like going to Mexico, or flying across the country. I've never been to Mexico, and it would be awesome for me but probably not as exciting for someone who goes every year. I've flown across the country and it's not the most exciting experience anymore but for someone who has never flown in a 747, it's a big deal.

But this is a Warcraft blog, how does the idea of helicopters relate to that?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Week of Raiding, Post-Nerf: Some Thoughts

I wanted to chime in on the nerfs in Firelands but I chose to wait until I had two different perspectives in both the 10 and 25man version of the raid. I raid on my priest in the 25man version of FL and on my feral (sometimes resto) druid in the 10man version. The 25man group was 1/7 heroic modes before the nerf, and our (alt) 10man group was 3/7 regular.

Quick additions:
Jasyla (my druid buddy) over at Cannot Be Tamed just posted a similar topic, go check it out!
My GM Kurnmogh at Kurn's Corner also posted her thoughts a few days ago.

The big announcement:

When the nerfs were announced, I wasn't surprised that they were happening but I was surprised at how soon they seemed to be. I went through a myriad of emotions starting with anger. I was angry that I was being denied the chance to kill the heroic bosses as they were designed. I was angry that our guild was behind progression where I thought we should be. I used the blogosphere's opinions to buoy my own, and I was glad that there were so many people who felt the way I did.

On the other hand I was excited for our alt-run. We'd been having attrition problems, and composition problems which lead to us only being able to go 3/7 before the nerfs. The incoming nerfs to regular FL was going to mean we would be able to go maybe 5/7 over the next few weeks. Maybe it would mean we didn't need the perfect composition; we wouldn't need to specifically have two or three melee for Alysrazor, we wouldn't need to have the perfect combination of healers and maybe we could do better than we have been.

To catch you up on where my guild was before the nerfs, we killed heroic Shannox as our first heroic mode on September 6th. Apotheosis had been working on Heroic Rhyolith as our second heroic mode since September 8th. While we had been seeing some progression, phase two was where we would get wrecked. Our last attempts before the nerf were on September 18th.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

But You Don't Look Sick!

(A couple of recent posts by Beru over at Falling Leaves and Wings have got me thinking. She's been kind enough (and strong enough) to share her journey through multiple doctors and tests to figure out what is going on with her hands. I've felt a special connection to those posts because of my experiences with my own tests and doctors and they inspired this idea.)

My Windrider keeping busy in the hospital.

I've seen a few forum posts about playing World of Warcraft with a disability - whether that be a learning disability or a physical one - and how you may not know who is in your random group. I read a post on the official WoW forum in which the poster described how he was being teased in a random five man for "letting the group die" and how he wished people playing WoW would stop for a second and think about the person on the other side of the keyboard. You have no idea if the person on the other side of that keyboard is a war vet, or someone who can't type properly back to you, or if the person has a phobia and just can't interact.

These posts, along with Beru's continued look at her challenges, made me think about myself and finally write this post that's been in my head for a long, long time.

It's All About Me

I have what is known as Crohn's Disease. It's an inflammatory bowel disease (it is NOT Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and if you were to look at me, you'd never know I had it. On my off days, any problems I have usually occur in the mornings, and I can go about my day like normal. However, the usual problems – the problems people around you notice the most - with Crohn's are increased visits to the washroom. It's hard to gauge how your day is going to be and sometimes no matter how good you feel, you end up doing the washroom shuffle between various activities because your guts just won’t cooperate with your mind. Or you're stuck in the bathroom for an hour or more because if you get up, you're just right back where you started anyway. 

I may be one of the few students who knows where every bathroom is on campus. I can make a mad dash from one class, to a washroom, and to my next class like a champion. I also know a few places I can stop on the way to and from the university while I'm driving.

Crohn's Disease can make you extremely tired. I used to get three-hour infusions every month, and I'd come home and sleep until the next morning. Since I don't absorb nutrients properly, I get tired faster in between meals, so I have to eat multiple smaller meals rather than three big ones. My energy levels tend to spike directly in relation to when I've eaten and how much sleep I've had. I nap at school in between classes because in the past I've fallen asleep during lectures.

Stress triggers my disease, and therefore it's very hard for me to work and go to school. I can't take a full course load, either. Five final exams and projects and all that work makes my heart beat faster just thinking about it. I used to get very, very sick around final exam time and I've missed exams and even had to medically excuse myself from two semesters so far - though I did get credit for four courses in one of those terms.

And of course, there can be a lot of pain. Right now I'm in a stage of recovery from surgery so I'm not experiencing much pain at all. Before the surgery, there was a spot in my stomach where I later found out was a near blockage of the small intestine. That particular spot was very painful, especially after meals, so much so that I'd have to sit, or lie down and do nothing for a few hours. With the pain came a lot of vomiting, since it was a blockage, and when you feel sick you don't want to eat, and when you don't eat you get tired. Lovely cycle there.

A chronic illness is an interesting thing. One day you can be fine, the next you're not - but your appearance (usually) doesn't change. It's not like Chicken Pox, or a broken arm, where you can see the effects of the illness or problem. Chronic illnesses tend to be 'invisible', and the person with it has to deal with it for months, years or even the rest of their lives - there's no cure for many of these (like Crohn's). 

So how does all that fit into World of Warcraft anyway?

While I was writing this, I came across a really wonderful post by Wugan over at Resto Shaman Flow called "WoW as a Refuge". In it he talks about CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) and how he had to cut back on work because of it. Any physical activity is draining, and he had to slow down doing what he usually did everyday (like mowing the lawn, or even going out with friends). Then he describes how WoW has fit into his life with CFS. 

WoW, according to Wugan, is a way to:

...keep my mind active, to experience a sense of accomplishment, to work together with other people to complete difficult tasks, and to relax and take my mind off my symptoms.  Although my body is tired and my mind can’t concentrate like it used to, I still need to feel challenged and engaged in something, and WoW provides that.

Another blogger I've followed who is very open about her health is Ophelie, author of The Bossy Pally. She occasionally talks about how she has Multiple Sclerosis and how WoW has fit into her life with it. She mentioned once that, "It’s no secret that escapism, and MMOs in particular, is used by many to cope with the limitations life has thrown at them." She even talked candidly about how one of the therapists at her school sent her home "with a prescription of emergency WoW time." Her post Finding that Balance is a great read just like Wugan's post, linked above.

But Back to ME

I found Wugan and Ophelie’s stories to be incredible likenesses to what I experience when I play this game. I related to Ophelie's quote on escapism because when my disease is in a flare, and I can't physically do anything or I just don't have the energy, I stay home. To keep myself from going crazy or feeling too sorry for myself, I'll log on to WoW and farm herbs, or run a few dungeons or level an alt.

This summer I had a long wait between the "You Need Surgery" appointment and the "Here's Your Surgery Date" appointment. Since I didn't want to pick up a job only to tell them that I'd need a month or so off for surgery and recovery, I stayed home and putzed around my house and my neighbourhood. There was a lot of time to kill this summer, and World of Warcraft was where I spent a lot of time. My in-game friends were right there, and I didn't have to go to the trouble of telling them that I couldn't make it because I was too tired to drive out, or that I was feeling really down and didn't want to go anywhere.

Crohn's can be pretty frustrating at times. Earlier I talked about how sometimes you do the washroom shuffle, and WoW is no exception to that concept. It's extremely annoying when I queue as a tank and there's that "Oh shit!" moment (no pun intended) where I have to cancel my insanely fast queue and run away from the computer. I feel a lot of pressure on my tank character to NEVER GO AFK during a heroic. Especially the troll heroics. People are really, really set on having very fast runs - I can't blame them, I hate the troll heroics - and the tank going afk is a no-no. Luckily, I've not been kicked on that character yet or had to go afk during those runs much.

However, going afk between pulls does happen. Once, I even ran afk during a tank n' spank in HoO (it was near the end, so I felt okay about leaving) and continued the run once I got back. I feel really safe when I play a DPS character and have to go afk, since my presence isn't required to move the run forward. I'll also go afk during a DPS queue. Sometimes I miss the queue pop, sometimes I catch it right on time, but it generally gives me plenty of time if I need to go afk - one of the unsung benefits of the ridiculously long DPS queues.

AFK'ing between pulls even happens in raids - usually only trash pulls - but sometimes between boss pulls and this is where it can get tricky. I'm fortunate that I raid with my boyfriend about two feet away from me, so he can run my ghost back to the instance and eat the feast and buff the raid for me. Sometimes he's not around because of work travel, and I'll run myself back really fast, click the feast and book it like a bat out of hell up my stairs to the washroom and back. (Sometimes I'm even ready before other people!)

Hell, I had surgery this summer and had to break from the game for a week or so, but when I got back I used sitting up in a chair as a way to help heal. Walking was a challenge, stairs were really tough, but sitting in a computer chair (while still very tiring) was a great way to speed up recovery.

But You (still) Don't Look Sick

The general statement that I hear a lot, "But you don't look sick!" really applies to the World of Warcraft.  People who play WoW can't see you, and typing doesn't convey the emotion or tone that voice communication could. Unless you were part of my family, and saw me everyday you wouldn't know how stressed I get, you wouldn't know that I lose hair, weight, sleep and occasionally my mind.

If I'm having an off-day where I'm not feeling so great, I'd like to think that my guildmates can't really tell, but I know a few of the people I talk to on a regular basis have started picking up when I don't feel well. Crohn's generally doesn't affect my raiding performance (or, at least I don't think it does) but it does affect my attitude at times: I get frustrated easier, I'm tired during the raid and I'm much less chatty compared to my usual self.

I consider myself lucky that I have WoW as an option for a "getaway" or refuge. WoW lets me escape for a little while from my symptoms, my worries and my stress.

I love my circle of friends outside of WoW. But sometimes they don’t quite understand why I’m not as active with them as I once was. The Spoon Theory is an excellent way to explain to people how hard it can be just to go about your usual activities.

So when I can’t get out into the world, I look forward to chatting on Mumble with my guildmates, many of whom I consider good friends. I love the fact that they're so accessible, and if I just don't feel like going out with my friends to a bar, or a restaurant or a party, I always have the people in WoW to keep me company.

(Special thanks to Jasyla at Cannot Be Tamed, and Sara for proof-reading this for me!)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Dear SundayRaidKaleri

We need to talk.

This is your TuesdayRaid self writing to you, and I want to talk to you about Ragnaros.

I know Sundays are the last raid day of the week. Does that mean you should put forth less effort than your raids on Tuesday and Thursday? No! I'm sure you thought you were playing to the best of your abilities, but it certainly seemed like you were less aware of the bad shit on the ground than usual.

For instance, attempt 3 on Ragnaros this is how you died:

Not good. Why on earth were you anywhere NEAR Engulfing Flames? Did you just not see the edge underneath other graphics? Was there too much going on? Food for thought. Watch out next time.

Attempt 6:
What is this I don't even. Watch your feet, seriously. (And stay away from the crap on the ground AFTER the hammer drops.)

Attempt 8:

This is where we group up right on the lip on the platform. You weren't close enough to the edge, and so you got smoked. Don't do this ok?

Attempt 12:

I remember this one. See that absorb? You tried to bubble yourself and RUN ACROSS THE SHIT. Don't do that again.

And for good measure, attempt 15:
More being hit by the hammer. Solution? Just move forward a little more!

Over all 18 attempts, you ate 4 lava waves. In the middle of the pack in the raid, but still - not good.

Was it all bad? No, not all of it.
We were without our usual healing roster, so we five-healed with relatively little difficulty. I know you missed the druid HoTs on your tanks but it wasn't so bad.

A mid-raid respec and changing of trinkets was a good idea, keep looking for new ways to try things.

You pre-potted on 15 attempts out of 18!
You cast Barrier at the appropriate time, in the right location!
Great use of Power Infusion (on dps and yourself!); could use a little more Pain Suppression though.

Some tips for you from Walks:

Final thoughts to you from your Tuesday self; just because it's the end of a raid week doesn't mean you should give any less of a damn than you do at the start of a raid week. You're trying to progress on Ragnaros! Get excited and get into the game - like those Majordomo attempts (and subsequent kills).

Keep watching your Power Auras, your timers and your surroundings and you'll do great!

(Oh, and watch your damn feet!)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Healing Webring 2.0!

I wasn't around for the first incarnation of this, but I was tagged by Kurnmogh over at Kurn's Corner for this round of questions!

Here we go!

1. What is the name, class and spec of your primary healer?
Kaleri, discipline priest.

2. What is your primary group healing environment (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)
25-man raids, Rated Battlegrounds, and recently Arenas.

3. What is your favourite healing spell for your class, and why?
This is a tough one... I'd say Penance, just because to me, that's the spell that most represents a disc priest. You see penance go off, and you know that person is discipline.

My second thought was Leap of Faith, though technically it's not a healing spell. It's incredible for things like Atramedes - pulling your gong ringer just a little further or pulling someone so that you can have extra seconds between gongs; I've used it to pull tanks further from Riplimb's spear point to help increase time for the bleed to drop. It's uses are many!

4. What healing spell do you use least for your class, and why?
Heal. I used to use it a lot, but now in raids it just doesn't cut it.

5. What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class, and why?
Versatility. Any priest can (and should be able to) heal the raid or heal tanks or support heal and do both. Priests are incredible in that they have two viable healing specs. There's even specs within specs for discipline where you take Archangel/Atonement and some that you don't.

We also have a TON of cooldowns to use. Discipline specifically has Power Infusion, Pain Suppression and Power Word: Barrier and Holy has Guardian Spirit and Lightwell. Both specs have Divine Hymn, Hymn of Hope and Leap of Faith. Just look at all that utility!

6. What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class, and why?
Hmm...  As discipline specifically I'd say I feel weakest when I have to move and heal. Particularly because I tank heal, and Greater Heal is my mainstay spell. I use Shield, PoM, the occasional renew if the tank and I need to move, but in general if the tank is moving my train of thought goes something like this; "Greater he- oh shit move, greater- oh moving again, Shield, PoM, great- fuck, moving."

7. In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you?
Tank healing, without a doubt. It's something that I love doing, and I feel like I'm pretty damn good at it.

8. What healing class do you enjoy healing with most, and why?
Druids. When we were healing Heroic Chimaeron and I was paired with a resto druid to heal the tanks, I felt extremely comfortable knowing that the MT had Lifebloom and other HoTs, so I could focus on the Double Attack tank with my bomb heals.

In general, a good resto druid makes me feel like my tank will be safe if I miss a beat!

9. What healing class do you enjoy healing with least, and why?
Another disc priest. I hate it. Shields can be sniped off my tank (which effs my Rapture tracking), Barriers can "collide" and CDs like PS and PI can overlap if not co-ordinated properly.

10. What is your worst habit as a healer?
Not paying enough attention to my own assignment. I have a tendency to "help" when I think the group is in trouble and sometimes it costs me because my tank will die.

11. What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while healing?
Another priests shields on my tank (holy or disc), people calling out for heals (duh, I can SEE you're taking damage), watching people die to stupid, avoidable shit.

12. Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing?
Yes. Discipline is in a great place right now! With the change to crit in 4.2, we really lucked out. Disc can keep up with raid healers or we can smash the healing done with being assigned to one tank. Partly because DA is totally hax now, and partly because of the crit change to heals in 4.2.

13. What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer?
I use WoL (World of Logs). I use it to check my own cooldown usage for Power Infusion, Pain Suppression, and Power Word: Barrier. I also use it to check for potions, shadowfiends and mana return from Rapture.

14. What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class?
That disc priests can't raid heal and holy priests can't tank heal. Sure, Holy has great burst AoE healing to top a group back up via CoH and a Serendipity'd PoH and sure, Disc has mitigation and bomb heals for single target healing, but that doesn't mean one spec can't do what the other one can.

15. What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn?
How and when to use all the cooldowns we have available to us. A lot of people are afraid to use cooldowns because they might need them later, but how silly would you feel if your cooldown never got used and someone died?

16. If someone were to evaluate your performace as a healer via Recount, what sort of patterns would they see? (i.e. lots of over healing, low healing output, etc)?
Lots of Greater Heal, probably a decent chunk of overheal with Gheal as well. Lots of cooldown usage of PI on myself, PS on the tank and Barrier too!

17. Haste or Crit, and why?
When 4.2 dropped, I was all about Crit. I recently swapped to a little more haste, and I feel much more comfortable with my GHeal casts. I'd have to say between the two stats there isn't one that I value WAY more than the other.

18. What healing class do you feel you understand least?
Shaman. I have one at 85, and she's geared enough for heroic dungeons but I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing on her anymore. (How the fuck to shaman regen mana for instance? JFC)

19. What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in healing?
Grid+Clique, my "must have" for healing. I have Macros set up for Power Infusion and Pain Suppression so I don't tag the wrong people. I also have a few keykinds for things like Barrier and Mass Dispel.

20. Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others? Balance. For the main stats, I use Intellect as my main gearing stat.

For the three secondary stats, I find that the stats for Discipline are very synergistic.
Mastery increases the size or our shields, Crit increases the chance you'll get DA on your tank and Haste means you can pump out more heals which gives you more chances to crit!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Adventures "on the other side"!

I have a paladin. Not JUST any paladin. A level 85 blood elf with pigtails, red hair and a metric ton of sass.

My paladin trials started a long time ago. I would create a human paladin (I've done this at least 5 or 6 times) and get to the point where I would get the resurrection spell questline and then my interest would die and the pally would sit on my character screen until I took pity enough to delete the poor thing.

I decided later to create a draenei, since I liked the starting zone. I leveled her to 23, put her in a Lovely Black Dress and Ruby Shades and forgot about her. Then I transferred to Windrunner, got bored and decided I wanted my pally there too. My interest stuck until about level 45 when I got bored again. 

Level 43!

Then I transferred to Eldre'Thalas. Then Cataclysm hit. Then we started raiding. Then I leveled my Kalbear, shaman, and hunter. Then I got bored again. My boyfriend, Chronis, decided he'd pay for his warrior to be transferred along with my pally -  if we went Horde. *shudder* I wasn't entirely okay with this, but he was paying and we could level together with me healing and him tanking.

Well, for some reason that I can't recall now, Chronis got way ahead of me level-wise and I was left to fend for myself in the low level Dungeon Finder as I quested along. I leveled ret/holy, and had an absolute blast ripping apart mobs in my BoA gear. During my leveling, Chronis and I discovered an old friend from Bronzebeard had made her way to E'T and we got an invite to her guild (hooray perks!!).

Level 57 - ALONE in the LFD :(
It didn't take too long to get Kalaura (formerly Auragasm) to 85, and it took even less time through guild perks to get enough Justice Points to be geared up enough for heroics! Pally healing is a BLAST. Kalaura is now Holy/Holy (one spec for PvE, one for PvP) and aside from how much fun I've been having lately with Beast Mastery huntering, it's one of the things I most enjoy right now in the game.

When I hit 85 on Kalaura the first thing I ran to do was train my ANGRY MAAAAN! What is the Angry Man? Technically, he's the Guardian of Ancient Kings, but that's too formal. I can't help but yell out "Summonin' mah ANGRY MAAAN" whenever I summon him, too. It really bugs Chronis, but it makes it more fun.

Ms.Sass with her Angry Man

I mentioned PvP too. PvPing Hordeside has been strange; I get turned around in AV, I try to cap Stables and hang around that area in AB, and I generally futz around until I get my bearings on the map. Blood elf holy paladins are particularly deadly in PvP I've noticed. Here's what we have; Arcane Torrent, Rebuke, HoJ. If you're prot you can have the Silence Frisbee as well. How scary(AWESOME) is that? I'm like, a pro CC'er/Silencer on Kalaura now, mwahaha!

Kalaura's nearly decked out in Bloodthirsty and occasionally comes across Kaleri's guild members in Tol Barad. Sometimes she runs like a little girl, other times she stays and dies spectacularly to people like Merkavah, Void, Merlee/Srsbusiness, and Gneiss/Fog. Most of the time my inner dialogue goes like this:
MERK! Cool! I can PvP with Merk! Oh shit. It's Merk. shit shit shit shit *bubble* *Void's Shattering Throw* shit shit shit /try to flee  shiiiiii-dead
It's amazing and hilarious. and at the same time very frightening. The other day Ludde put a bounty on my pally's head (sadface) and I think Void ended up getting 500g for killing me.


Kalaura's also the proud owner of a Scorpion mount, by virtue of Apotheosis (Alliance) being a Level 25 guild and the mount being Battle.net Account bound. (Which I think is kind of cheating, but LOOK at how awesome that frigging scorpion is!)

Since the introduction of the Troll Heroics, Kalaura's received enough gear to be able to do some alt runs with the horde-side guild as well! It's been a lot of fun to see another healing class' perspective on certain fights, and let me tell you, there are times I miss having things like Aura Mastery and my bubble on my priest.

All in all, I've been rather pleased to have an alt on the Horde. I enjoy seeing things from a different perspective and the questlines have been wonderful. I still try to go places where I shouldn't, and occasionally Kaleri suffers because I'm used to going to a different flight path, or zone, but it's all in good fun!

There was a rather touching questline during Children's Week that I'm angry I didn't take a few screenshots for, but your Orc Orphan asks you to take him to Cairne's resting place. Once you arrive, Baine gives a small speech and you see the ancestors of the Tauren and Thunder Bluff welcoming Cairne. I really liked it, and after years of Alliance Children's Week quests it was a relief to do something completely different.

Maybe I'll level another Horde character...

For the Horde!

 I mean...


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

An Update!

Hello, hello!

I feel awful about letting the blog slide, I meant to keep it updated - I really did - , but since my time in the hospital life's been pretty busy! Some real life updates; I finished up my school term - passed with flying colours, might I add -, went to my friend's wedding and loafed around eating everything in sight. Seriously, Prednisone makes you turn into this monster eater and you're like "WHERE ARE THE CRUNCHY/SALTY/SWEET FOODZ?!" and your family and boyfriend are afraid that they're next!

So I'm stuck at home, with a PICC line, (that's not being used, since I'm an eating machine) waiting on a date for surgery ("urgent" is anything from 4-8weeks). Which means I get plenty of WoW time, since I'm bored out of my tree.

To WoW;
I've been raiding with Apotheosis and we've done pretty well for ourselves. We're 2/13 Heroic Modes (Halfus/Chimaeron) and we're 9% from getting Maloriak!

I leveled a paladin (post to come about that)!

Kalbeari's been tanking some alt runs (likely a post inc about that), and I have to say, if I didn't love Kaleri so much I would gladly swap mains in a heartbeat.

Finally got my 100 mount achievement, reorganized my UI, did some housekeeping across all my toons... You know, sundry stuff.

At any rate, I *do* plan on writing a few posts soon, and actually have time for it now so there's no excuses!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

AFK, Hospital!

It's the end of March, and I'm certainly not where I thought I would be a couple months ago.

I saw March as the crazy time before exams, but still a time to play WoW, drink beer, get ready for being done my second last year of school but things never go as planned.

Here I am, in the hospital. I have Chron's Disease and I'd been feeling pretty shitty since October, losing weight since December and getting physically sick since the end of January. The tipping point was last weekend. We called my GI team and told them I was coming in to the ER. Mom and I packed up some things and we ended up getting a bed that day, and an MRI within the next two days.

Things aren't ideal, we have the results of the MRI back and it's looking like 2-4 weeks on IV nutritional therapy to prep for surgery. Four years ago I had emergency surgery for a similar trend of bad happenings, and the subsequent scarring from that surgery is where the active disease is which means, drugs can't fix that. So surgery it is.

April is a busy month for me. Exams. A wedding. Luckily, the surgeon is on my side for waiting because I'm pretty undernourished and he wants me to have the best recovery possible by prepping with IV nutrition for a while. That means I can do exams AND go to this wedding that I am so psyched for and do NOT want to miss.

Needless to say, I'm not actively raiding. If I'm able to have the IV therapy at home, I can raid! And the docs don't want me to have to be here for a month, so it's in my favour for having a sweet portable IV backpack machine! Mwahaha!

That's what's been going on. Hooray life? I'm bored out of my tree!

In other news, HIMYM is an amazing show that is excellent for watching back to back to back to back.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Pixellated acts of kindness.

After posting my last blog entry, I logged into the game later on. I had mail from "unknown", so at first I thought it was a bot for a gold site. Imagine my surprise when I see that it's from a guildmate of mine and contained 6 flasks and a chunk of gold.

However, this person went to the trouble of making a level one alt, and then deleting it so that I didn't know who sent the care package.
If my boyfriend wasn't around while I was looking at it, I would have been crying. It's a small thing, to give someone something from within a game, but to me it was a big deal.

Today, a similar thing happened where I had mail from a guild member (name included this time). This person sent me a wrapped gift, and when I opened it the Darkmoon Card: Tsunami was in it. As if one gift wasn't enough to set me off, this one was definitely worth a couple of tears.

I feel lucky to be in a guild where the people care this much. To those two guildmates who sent me the mail, thank you. You don't know how much it means to me, even though it's all pixels.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

An Update! I'm still alive!

It's been kind of quiet around here for a while, so I figured I'd fill people in on what's been going on.

Real life has kicked me in the butt, health-wise. As some of you know (or don't know), I have Chron's Disease and while I was in a sort of "remission" - the disease isn't curable, and never fully goes away - for a time, I am now officially in a flare up of massive proportions. The last time it was this bad, I had emergency surgery after a perforated bowel. But we caught it quickly this time, so tests are in the works (MRI, both 'oscopys' and more blood tests) to find out if a) the current drug I am on is not working and I'm building an immunity OR that it is working then it's b) a stricture or blockage that may need surgical attention.

While all this is happening, I'm trying my best to get to school to attend classes and stay on time with assignments and tests that are beginning to crop up. Unfortunately, I haven't had as much time to play in Azeroth as I normally would have. I've been logging on sporadically during non-raid times and haven't missed a raid so far due to feeling shitty.
My Dad made the comment the other day that he's glad I have WoW to get my mind off things for a while!

On the WoW front, not too much has changed for Kaleri. We downed some new bosses and are now 5/6 Blackwing Descent, 2/4 Bastion and on a ten man raid, 1/2 Throne of the Four Winds. Since I can't be in the game very often, Kaleri is losing money. Fast. Flasks are expensive on ET (250g a pop, easily) so multiply that by 3 hours and then again for 3 days a week and it adds up. I recently moved my herber/alchemist to ET so help with that, but again, I'm not online as much as I was in the past. I need to find me a WoW sugar daddy.

I'm aiming to update this blog a little more, now that I have an action plan for my health! I plan on writing about my guild (the good and the bad), PuGs, my characters and more. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Maintenance Day Musings... What to Wear?

** Before I begin, I want to note that ZERO of this is based on my own math. I don't do math and I like to go by experience, and what works for me. What is good for me, might not work for others!**

I've been thinking for a while that I would make myself a BiS gear list. I just didn't know where to start. After doing some reading at Elitist Jerks, PlusHeal, Tales of a Priest and the WoW Priest forums I figured I'd set down some gear I'm looking for for MY role in raids. This'll give me a direction in where I want to go in terms of gear and stats, and it will also ensure I know which bosses I can swap out for and which ones I'd like to stay in for, if possible.

My role in raids so far this expansion is tank healing. I'm comfortable doing it and it's a nice challenge. It's a new thing for me, I used to raid heal via bubble spam but those days are (thankfully) long gone. I don't want to be limited in the roles I can perform in raids, either. If I'm needed to raid heal, then I want to be able to do it too. My gear needs to be versatile, and this is why I'll be trying to find a good balance between Haste, Mastery and Crit.

Critical heals will proc Divine Aegis, and those absorb damage. Our Mastery is Shield Discipline and more absorbs on your targets is always good. What's left? Haste. Right now, everything feels too slow, so haste is a priority for me. Our three main "secondary stats" are extremely synergistic with each one boosting the effect of the other. More crit means more absorbs, more mastery means more absorbed and more haste is more casts to get more absorbs!

I am not talking about gems, and I am not going into enchants (in this post!).  

Ok, so what to remember?
Intellect: Always important.
Spirit: Not a usual stat for me, but it's definitely important now. Each piece of gear listed below will have spirit on it OR a good reason why it doesn't.

Haste: Faster Smites for Atonement. Faster casts in general helps with tank and raid healing.
Crit: More procs of Divine Aegis is lovely. Yes, please!
Mastery: Extra absorbs on Power Word: Shield, and Divine Aegis. Want.
Haste edges out Crit and Mastery, but not by a huge amount given that I use Borrowed Time. These stats are about even in importance.

Tier Eleven:

Our 2set bonus is this: Increases the critical strike chance of your Heal spell by 5%.

I checked my last WoL and I don't use Heal very often. Smite has almost overtaken my use of this spell. Unless this bonus gets changed to include Smite, it's not a priority for my needs.

The 4set bonus is: Each time your Penance spell heals a target with Weakened Soul you gain 540 Spirit for 10 sec, and being in a Chakra state grants you 540 Spirit for the duration of the Chakra.

A Discipline priest would have to watch their Penance cooldown AND make sure that the target has Weakened Soul to keep this up. Whereas a Holy priest enters a Chakra and they get a constant spirit buff. That's pretty incredible.

The way I see the 4set bonus working is this. Shield your target, Penance. Smite until Penance is off CD (works best if you have Train of Thought) and Penance again. Re-shield. Repeat. I'm not ecstatic about this. I can see it working, but eh.
I'm not actively searching for Tier pieces, but if the stats are what I need then I'm not opposed to picking them up. Tier is not BAD to snag, but it's not a glaring priority for me.

With that said, let's get to it!

The Gear:

- Our T11 gloves and legs can drop from Pit Lord Argaloth in Baradin Hold OR can be purchased via Valor Points (2200 for legs, 1650 for gloves)
- Our T11 chest can be purchased via Valor Points (2200) (Kurn's Corner, 2011)
*Stamina and Intellect are the same values on comparable pieces unless otherwise stated*Choices are from most preferred to least*I left out loot from Throne of the Four Winds*

Well, we have three very different helms. Since Nef is a ways away for my guild, I'll be picking up the first bullet here if I can.

There's no spirit on the second option, but it's still a solid option for pre-raiding and if you can't get the amulet right away - don't forget about reforging!. I'll be nabbing that as soon as my rep's there.

I see these causing me some grief. No, no, lots of grief. There's been some talk about priests choosing gear that doesn't have spirit on it and it seems to be frowned upon by the other cloth casters in the guild. In terms of gear accessibility, none of these are available yet but Roaring Flames would be the first one. In terms of practicality I want the Mercurial Mantle. Just means I'd have to wait a little longer or wait for my chance to nab the Roaring Flames. We'll see what happens!

Same general stats, but a difference in haste and mastery. I don't see myself spending 1250 points on a mastery cloak when I can reforge for mastery on some other things. I'll be gunning for the Drape!

Right now I'm wearing the first option, but eventually there'll be an influx of valor points and I might pick up the tier chest.

  • Cord of Raven Queen (Guardians of Hyjal) 169 spirit, a blue socket with +10 intellect bonus and 149 mastery.
  •  X-Tron Duct Tape (Omnotron Council) 169 spirit, a yellow socket with +10 intellect bonus and 149 crit.

Since I'm wearing Cord of the Raven Queen, I'll be set for some time.

I need two more pieces of Dreamcloth and I'll have the Breeches, yus!

  • Brackish Gloves (Chimaeron) Red socket, +10 haste bonus with 149 spirit and 169 haste.
  • Mercurial Handwraps (Valor Points, 1650) Blue socket, +10 intellect bonus with 169 spirit and 149 mastery.
  • Flamebloom Gloves (Earthen Ring, Exalted) No spirit, blue socket with +10 intellect bonus with 149 haste and 169 mastery.
For the time being, I think I'll pick up the third option so I can save some priority for bigger and better things.

Not really any other options.

Band of Secret Names has no spirit, but it has 127 crit and 127 haste compared to the Twined Band's 127 spirit and 127 mastery.

The only option.

As much as I'd like to think I'm an archaeology buff, I don't think I'm good with farming for very obscure items. Even though they are really good... First choice here would be Chelley's staff, even over a main hand/off hand combination.

Main Hand:
In terms of practicality and not ruffling feathers... I'd use the first option. In terms of what I would like to have... Twilight's Hammer all the way! But then, Cho'gall isn't too close yet so... Incineratus!

Off Hand:
Nearly the same stats, but the scepter might be a little easier to get my mitts on, if I need it. With the upcoming nerf to the 100 intellect enchant (changing to 40 intellect) this'll even out the difference between staves and a main hand/off hand combination.

Makes my head hurt thinking about these.
The easiest options for me to obtain are in order from easiest to hardest.
The Tsunami card would be my ideal trinket to pick up, but unfortunately I'm not a scribe, nor do I have one (on my current server) so this would be a LOT of gold to spend.
This next one is great too, but again, it's time spent that I don't really have during the school term. If I happen to chance across the doll then great! But if not, it's all good.

Whew! Was that a long one or what? I meant for this to be done on maintenance day, but classes caught me up and then I got tired of looking at gear.
To reiterate, this is gear that I think will work for me and what my role is in raids. It's not hard to hit up some websites and check out what the community is saying about pieces of gear, and it helps to hear a bunch of different points of view too!

Friday, January 7, 2011

In which twenty-five men and women raid an instance... and succeed!

There you have it! Magmaw, Omnomnomotron Council and Half-ass Wyrmbreaker dead!

Apotheosis went into our first official 25 man on Tuesday. We hit Magmaw first, since most of the people in the raid had seen him on the 10 man version earlier. A couple tries let the unfamiliar people see Pillar of Flame and that it is bad to stand in. We finally had a good system for chains, and the priests set up a miraculous Hymn of Hope rotation to save our sanity. It didn't take too long to get it right, and eventually the worm bit the dust!

We moved on to the Trons and got a good amount of attempts in (37%!) before we had to call it for the night.

Thursday evening had us heading back to the Trons, and it went pretty smoothly, aside from the fact that we had 5-6 people alive at the end. But we got it!

We went over to Bastion of Twilight and hoooooo boy, was that interesting. The trash in there is an experience in itself! It took us about 45 minutes to get through that first section of trash before Halfus. I'm pretty sure most of the people had not seen that fight in real time yet, either. A few had seen it on 10man and some on the Beta but not like the Magmaw attempts.

After some attempts trying to get the three drakes straight we took a small break (at 11:30pm wtf?!), and were back at it to get him down before raid's end (midnight). We were SO close once. He enraged at 6 minutes, with 30% health left. Oh lawd. But! Combined with the stun that happens to the boss, and healer/pally cooldowns (I totally LifeGripped a tank away from the boss), he was down to 4% before we all bit the bust.

We can do it! It's just after midnight, and everyone is pressing for one more attempt! So we charge back in to kill him! Much smoother than the last attempt, we get him down to 15% before the enrage hits. Everyone is dpsing. I'm smiting, DoTing, my Shadowfiend comes back up and we're all givin' er! Finally! Finallllly! The boss drops after several tense minutes of "omgomgomgomg die die die alreadddddyyyyy!!!".

Very satisfying!

Monday, January 3, 2011

You have been removed from the group. ..."What?"

Happy New Year!

I cannot believe how fast my time off from school has gone. Classes start tomorrow! Ah!
Since my last post I've driven my boyfriend to the airport, had Christmas, Boxing Day, picked him back up from the airport, had a birthday, and celebrated the new year. Ooof. Not to mention still having a good time in Azeroth doing heroics and getting that damn Magmaw kill (with an achievement, woo!).

My first story is this: Heroic Grim Batol.
I decided that before I went to bed one night that I would like to get my random heroic in for the day. "Couldn't be that bad", I thought. So I clicked my random queue and the dungeon pops In Progress. "No problem, can't be that bad", I thought. I zone in to Grim Batol (which I have not healed completely on regular OR heroic). Grand. The other four people here are in the same guild, and tell me that the last healer didn't have any gems or enchants. Alright, valid kick reason.

I'm staring Forgemaster Throngus in the face, and I turn to my boyfriend (who didn't want to do a random so I blame him for this run!) and asked what the hell this boss did. So he explained, and after a few attempts, we get him down. Gradually making our way to Dragha Shadowburner, I noticed the group used lots of CC, but that the tank liked to break it. No problem, I can power my way through a few shitty pulls. So I think I'm doing pretty damn good, being new to this place and all.

Enter boss-orc. Boyfriend again explains the boss fight to me, making note of the elementals (and that you should run from them, or die) and the fire cone from the dragon that eats almost the whole area BUT you can avoid it if you simply stand behind the boss when the fire announcement appears. Perfect! Two avoidable mechanics, we should be golden.

First pull, it's going well until a fire breath noms all three ranged dps. Okay... .
Next pull, it's going well until an elemental catches me during a fire breath because I'm too busy healing the stupid ranged who are still standing in the fire.
"Elemental got u", says the mage. Yes, I say, after the fire breath destroyed the three ranged. "Yeah". What do you MEAN yeah?! Do you mean "Yeah I know" or is that a whatever 'yeah'? UGH.

At this point, two of them linked some vent information. But didn't say anything about it. Just linked the server, port and password. Mkay. I'm not getting on some vent with four people who are probably all dudes and will just flip out when they hear a GIRL on vent.

Third pull, going well and then after a fire breath that clips the ranged to 20% health EACH some shadow bolts kill two of them while I'm healing the tank.
So now I'm getting angry. This is perfectly avoidable damage and not my fault. So I say (very politely, given my mood), "Could you guys move closer to the dragon? This way you can run behind her faster when she flame breaths. It'll save a lot of mana and make the groups health more stable." I resurrect the mage and warlock (since he ss'd me, it was polite, I thought) and eat my food buff while the others run back.

I notice something. Silence. Not that they were a talkative bunch, but when I ask a question or make a suggestion I don't like when it goes unanswered. Especially when I know I'm right, damnit. I'm about to type it out again when the party lead changes. Uh oh.

I knew what was coming. "They're going to kick me?!" Bam. You have been removed from the group.

No explanation, no "Sorry Kal, we don't think you can do this" or even "We have a guild healer who wants to come in". Nothing. I mean, I've kicked people before but I ALWAYS give them a reason why. Example; "Sorry <tank>, but you don't have the gear yet for Heroic SFK. Try running a few more of some other place and try again in the future." Something like that.
Unless they're a total douchenozzle, then whatevz, see you later.

I get the votekick option. It's a decent failsafe for shitty PuGs. But I am not a shitty PuG. I buff, have my own buff food, carry elixirs, heal dumbshit dps, heal undergeared tanks and I don't gripe. Much. I ask for CC if we need it. I ask for dps to not stand in the bad. But I have never, ever been kicked from a group for making the suggestion that they not stand in the bad shit.

I've had better starts to a new year.

In other news, 25 man raiding starts this week (TOMORROW) for Apotheosis. I cannot stress how excited and relieved I am to be starting to raid again.

Also, I have a camel. So cute!