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Stop the Hate

Stop the Hate

I haven’t updated my website in a while, mainly because of real life matters that nearly brought me to my knees. And to those who took “brought me to my knees” literally, please take your mind out of the gutter. I merely meant that my recent experiences were harrowing.

Thankfully, my prayers were answered this week and I can breathe a sigh of relief. I can finally move on and plan my life, but that’s for another post, where I will have to mention that I will have to start scaling back on my gaming to make room for another important and exciting chapter in my life. This post is about a recent experience in LFR that has prompted me to appeal to my fellow players to be kinder to our Latin American brothers.

Ever since Blizzard opened up the LA/Brazil servers and mixed their players – a number of them unable to understand or speak a lick of English – with the North American server denizens in random heroics and LFR, it’s been a crazy and, at times, an offensive ride. Here are some instances that bring out the worst in the NA server players:

– When the LA/Brazil players start conversing in Portuguese. No doubt there will be at least two NA players demanding that they speak English because the rest “don’t understand Mexican”.

– Back when one could roll need on lockboxes and the LA/Brazil people always rolled need, resulting in them being called ninjas. Personally, I think it’s a matter of them not knowing the unspoken rules of need versus greed among players who have played WoW much longer than they have.

– When both tanks are from the LA/Brazil servers. The vocally bitchy players will either stay to bitch some more or leave. If they opt for the former, it’s hoping the tanks would fail and justify a vote kick.

I’ve read one too many forum posts written by NA players begging Blizzard to give the LA/Brazil people their own heroic/LFR queue due to language barriers. The more ignorant and offensive ones think that the Latin Americans’ inability to speak English makes them undeserving to play WoW.

Case in point:

Offensive LFR Chat

Seriously, folks, don’t you think that the Latin American players are just as frustrated as we are? I’m sure it pains them to be grouped with us, knowing they will be criticized, made fun of and demeaned for not knowing English and for not being as experienced or skilled as their NA counterparts. When will you realize that it’s not their fault that Blizzard chose to include them in our queues? And to the morons who keep referring to them as Mexicans, please note that Mexico is in North America and Mexicans speak Spanish, not Mexican. And do realize that when you say that the LA/Brazil players are only fit to do farming dailies in WoW, you are presenting yourself as both a racist and an idiot. How you can utter such insensitive remarks is beyond me.

Until Blizzard decides to totally segregate queues by region (and I very much doubt they will), you and I will continue to encounter them in randoms. You and I will have to exercise patience, tolerance and forgiveness when they mess up, for they are just as flawed as we are. But if you find that you can’t be patient, tolerant or forgiving towards them, then just please have the decency to keep your hurtful comments out of Instance chat. Please stop the hate. Remember that there is a human being behind every toon.

Throne of Thunderf*ck and How I Got My Karmic Comeuppance

Throne of Thunderf*ck and How I Got My Karmic Comeuppance

I remember the early days of LFR-Dragon Soul. Those were clueless and chaotic times when even trash pulls spelled instant death, and people cussed each other in ways that would make a sailor blush. Blizzard must have felt our trauma back then because in MoP, they gave us a kinder, gentler LFR in Tier 14 where most mechanics could be ignored by 25 people and you could earn Valor Points without blowing a gasket, literally or figuratively.

But with the release of LFR-Throne of Thunder, I’m thinking that Blizzard decided that the last tier was too much facepull and raised the difficulty factor this round to make things a little more exciting.

That is, if you agree with them that exciting means dying at the beginning of the instance to trash that hits like a truck.

MY DK was fortunate to do Last Stand of the Zandalari with mostly her guildies, so the experience was somewhat painless. My hunter was not so lucky, and found herself in a new layer of LFR hell with 24 strangers.

1-ToT

2-ToT

That was last week’s run, which I thought was the worst thing that could happen to me in this tier. I was wrong. This week, the release of The Forgotten Depths upped the ante for me, exacerbated by the fact that both tanks came in not knowing what to do and people thought that Tortos was more cute than terrifying.

(Click to see actual size)



3-ToT

4-ToT

So after a little heated pre-pull tutorial…

5-ToT

6-ToT

7-ToT

8-ToT

…we charged to our deaths.

Only because no one was punting turtles correctly. Guess expert turtle-punters Mario and Luigi were AFK and busy with their own agenda.

Mario-Luigi Funny

(Image: Funnyjunk.com)

Well, after a few hundred gold’s worth of repairs, we managed to down Tortos without slitting each other’s throats and traversed the depths to meet our Maker a few more times (seriously, the trash in that place hit harder than Manny Pacquiao). Then we came face to face with…

Megaera

…some heads.

9-ToT

Did we die in the first attempt? Hell yeah!

But you know what was even worse than that?

Okay, here’s where the karmic comeuppance in my blog post title comes into play, and bear with me, because this is one of those TLDR narratives.

I grew up in a big house with a big garden. In the late seventies, my mom’s garden had these mossy stones that were as large as Kim Kardashian’s ass and just as moist and nasty, especially during monsoon season. When the rains stopped, my brother and I would head to the garden to play (no video games for us back then).

Our mom raised us to love and care for all of God’s creatures, and we did. But there were exceptions, and those exceptions met their deaths in the hands of two bored children who thought nothing of pouring rock salt on snails, slugs and leeches as they emerged one by one from between those mossy stones.

Snails - Salt

(Image: drawn.ca)

One day, our mom caught us wasting half a bag of salt on those little critters and banned us from the pantry. Hell, she even gave the maids the authority to smack me and my brother if we so much as tried to open the cupboards. Suddenly salt-less, we turned to the next best thing to continue our slug-killing spree:

A bottle of Isopropyl alcohol, some scrap paper and a box of matches. That’s right. We burned the little bastards. My brother – a World War 2 historian and scale model builder who has built over 2,000 little planes and tanks out of Tamiya kits over the years – would inject a little drama by reciting random lines from Tora! Tora! Tora! as the critters burned, because he liked to pretend he was a Japanese pilot bombing Pearl Harbor. Hey, whatever floats his boat, right?



Lest you think our actions were early warning signs of two future homicidal maniacs, I’d like you to assure all and sundry that my brother and I turned out just fine.

Did I ever regret salting and burning those little animals? Hell no! They were nasty, yucky things that deserved to die!

That is, until we reached the passages leading to Ji-Kun, and that’s when the tables were turned.

Um, so yeah, if you’ve done the Forgotten Depths already, then you’re familiar with the trash in there that includes…

Gastropod - Wowhead

(Image from Wowhead.com)

Gastropods. Nasty, moist, yucky creatures that one-hit you like it’s no one business. A victim of my childhood delights, now my tormentor and the bane of every LFR group’s existence. Only this time, it’s not hurling salt or a flaming piece of paper at me, but is simply devouring me whole.

Like it’s no one’s business.

More than two hours in that instance. Expensive repairs. A lot of wipes. And a good number of deaths were courtesy of those snails.

Wow, karma sure took its time to bite me in the ass, and when it finally did, it was the equivalent of a three-mile high flaming middle finger.

Burning Middle Finger

(Image: TheBurningPlatform.com)

I’ll never torture a snail again in real life. But I’ll be back for them next week in Throne of Thunder, and PAYBACK. WILL. BE. HELL.

LFR: Last Stand of the Zandalari

LFR: Last Stand of the Zandalari

It’s been a rough few days in real life, so I was really looking forward to the new LFR to help me unwind and get my mojo back.

Past LFRs always saw me apprehensive on their release days, since you could never be sure about the sort of players you’d end up getting grouped with. But not this time. At least 20 of us from the guild grouped up to do Last Stand of the Zandalari in Throne of Thunder, and since our GM and his team got to do the normal version last week, we were fortunate to have the best of the best guide us through the new raid.

Last Stand of the Zandalari

I didn’t bother with screenshots inside the instance; we were running too fast for me to pause and take pretty screen captures.

I must say that the trash was harder than the bosses. LOL. Or maybe it was because we were kinda half-assing things in between bosses. But overall, it was a cool new instance and my favorite boss is Horridon. Fun fight and it kept me on my toes!

I’m glad that Blizzard is releasing the bosses in weekly increments (hooray, something to look forward to next Tuesday!) and unlike some people, I’m not pissed that the trolls are back.

Oh, I also got lucky in my first run: I got new bracers – Frozen Warlord’s Bracers – and a new cloak – Horn-Rimmed Doomcloak. That bumps up my ilevel to 495.

Alright, time to do my dailies. Enjoy the new LFR, folks!

Patch 5.1: Landfall

Patch 5.1: Landfall

Patch 5.1: Landfall hit virtual land yesterday!

One of the things I’m glad about this patch is that the charms were converted into currency, freeing up some bag space for everybody:

Lesser Charms of Good Fortune Mail

The second is that I logged in to 20 points of cheevos plus a new kite mount!

New Achievements - WoW

(Click to see actual size)



Then it was off to do the new quests that took me to Krasarang Wilds. I was so excited to see what great things were in store for me and my fellow WoW players!

Meet the Scout

It must be that time of the month for Garrosh. Guy seriously needs a Midol and industrial-strength pads for he’s at it again. Sigh.

Cloudrunner and Garrosh

Nice to hang out with Vol’jin in the new scenario Dagger in the Dark. I heart you, Vol!

Dagger in the Dark

And what else did Blizzard gift us WoW players at the end of the initial pleasantries?

Domination Point

Wow, just what I’ve always wanted. More dailies!

/scream

Homer Scream

(Image: Matt Groening/Twentieth Century Fox)

I fled Krasarang Wilds as fast as I could and before I let fly at something at the thought of doing more dailies. Then I figured that, for a change of pace, I could try my luck again in that wonderful thing called LFR. Three weeks away from the game and yet I see that LFR still retains its wonderful charm and interesting mishmash of players:

LFR Mop-1

LFR MoP-2

There were wipes galore plus one very disastrous mass rez where the players were brought to life near the boss. Good thing I had teleported out the dungeon to repair when it happened.

LFR MoP-3

LFR MoP-4

And of course, you always have your politically insensitive yet morbidly fascinating personalities in LFR:

LFR MoP-5

LFR MoP-6

I’ll never look at a line in KFC the same way again.

Anyway, all the suffering I endured in Terrace of Endless Spring and Heart of Fear was well worth it as I walked away with – TADA! – six new pieces of gear, namely:

Bracers of Defiled Earth

Dread Shadow Ring (actually won a second identical ring which I disenchanted)

Darkmist Vortex

Kilrak, Jaws of Terror

Breastplate of the Lost Catacomb

and my favorite, Shin’ka, Execution of Dominion:

Shin'ka, Execution of Dominion

Fine, they are just LFR gear but I’d rather have them than the blues I’ve been stuck with for several weeks now. They will do until I get back into normal raiding and slowly acquire better gear.

So yeah, not a bad first patch day for me. Now it’s time for, yup, dailies.

See ya later if I’m still sane by then.

Mogu’shan Vaults – LFR: Less Agony, More Ecstasy

Mogu’shan Vaults – LFR: Less Agony, More Ecstasy

The first half of Mogu’shan Vaults on Raid Finder went live today. For the last few days, I was fretting over not meeting the minimum iLevel of 460 to queue for LFR. I was still seven points shy of the mark, tanks kept rolling on and winning my DPS gear in random heroics, and Justice Points gear were basically useless.

But a last-minute invite to do Sha of Anger in Kun-Lai summit sealed the deal for me. The Sha dropped the Claw of Anger, a quest starter that rewarded me with Angerforged Stompers, and Greaves of the Lost Catacomb, which I won. So that’s two major upgrades in one night that raised my iLevel to 463.

(Click to see actual size)



So off to LFR I went and I braced myself for what could be a repeat of the disaster that was LFR in Cataclysm.





But you know what? It actually went very well! We one-shotted the first two bosses. The fights were ridiculously easy and people didn’t stand in crap. The only dim bulb moment we had was on Gara’jal the Spiritbinder because no one entered the spirit realm.



We wiped but nobody flipped a wig, to my amazement. For the second attempt, people went into the spirit realm and we successfully downed the boss.

LFR - Mogushan Vaults - 3

I left that raid a happy panda, erm, blood elf as my first LFR experience in MoP netted me two new pieces of gear – Nullification Greathelm and Jasper Clawfeet. Talk about awesome luck!

Okay, enough crowing over my new purples. I got dailies – lots of f*cking dailies – to do.

Later, folks.

Blizzard Needs to Fix Raid Finder Loot System

Blizzard Needs to Fix Raid Finder Loot System

I did Dragon Soul – Raid Finder recently on another Death Knight (yes, I really love that class!) and won two helm tokens. Before I could offer the second token for a round of rolling, I got called every name in the book (“douchebag” being the most popular one). Now how does winning two helm tokens due to a flaw in Raid Finder’s loot system make me a douchebag?

HOWEVER, I do understand why the other players were upset. The ability to win the same token twice is open to abuse. I’ve seen people experience the same dumb luck I have – they win two similar tokens and they either leave party wordlessly or cling on to the second one hoping to trade it for a weapon or trinket.

Now I would have given up the second token graciously had I not been needlessly subjected to name-calling, so instead I exchanged the second helm token with a mage who earlier had won two chest tokens. Since the others had already branded me a douchebag, I might as well not disabuse them of the notion. LOL.

I shared my experience with a friend who told me I should have given the extra helm token to the second highest roller just to keep the peace. But that poses a new dilemma: do I give it to the second highest roller of the first token or second token?

How about Blizzard does something about this loot problem once and for all so players stop freaking out and we reduce the chances of people dropping party?