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Top-Ranked Realm Doesn’t Always Mean Top-Quality Players?

Top-Ranked Realm Doesn’t Always Mean Top-Quality Players?

I said my goodbyes in that post I wrote on January 7th. I handed over my WoW account to my husband, who has the privilege to use my characters for farming purposes. My sub expires next week. It’s up to him if he wants to extend it.

Since hanging up my plate gloves, I’ve been busy with classes and homework, fixing up my home, writing my novel and visiting relatives. Every now and then I would lurk on my level 90s spread across different servers to check out a few guilty pleasures (read: trolls like Icebat on Whisperwind, who is still on a roll on how awesome a president Obama is, thus earning him the ire of half the country and a number of international terrorists). On some days when I’m on break, I would hop on my DK to run my husband’s alts in old school raids for the mounts he doesn’t have yet or farm his mats while he’s at work.

I’ve been meaning to write this particular post for ages but somehow never got around to doing it. But after last night’s event, I decided that it was high time to write it (and dang it, I paid good money for my domain and hosting service, so might as well keep this little blog active).

You see, I got my first normal Garrosh kill last night.

(Click to see actual size)



(Yeah, what a way to spend the last week of my sub, right?)

I had logged on my account to farm Frostweave Cloth in the heroic 5-man dungeons in Northrend. I was in Dalaran when I saw some dude spamming Trade for DPS for a Garrosh kill, and because I don’t have the impulse control that Amy Chua talks about in her book The Triple Package, plus it was a slow night for me, I whispered the guy and asked to join.

I ended up with a bunch of French dudes talking rapid-fire, um, French and could barely keep up with my weak grasp of the language. But to my relief, a few could speak good English.

It wasn’t a guild run. It was a pug group of random people put together. The French guys were as cool as a cucumber even on what was probably our sixth low-percentage wipe. Even more amazing was that no one quit. In my experience, people would leave group after the third wipe.

Next attempt was a success. I got my title, mount and Xal’atoh, Desecrated Image of Gorehowl from a bonus roll. I thanked the raid leader profusely and left.

Now on to the meat of this post.

My DK’s last four servers, including this one, are consistently ranked among the top 20 realms in WoWProgress.com. I chose those realms because I was naive enough to think that if a realm was in the top 20, it meant that the majority of its playerbase was top caliber and the chances of ending up with baddies were low.

Yeah Right

(Image source: imfromohio.com)

Now the description “top caliber” in my personal lexicon doesn’t just mean skilled. It also means disciplined, dependable, reliable. It means you know when to jump out of shit, topping-the-damage-meters be damned. It means learning from your mistakes. It means being a team player and acknowledging that there is no “I” in team.

I-Team

Well, after being in four highly-ranked servers, I learned that it doesn’t necessarily follow that you got excellent pickings left and right. In my experience, I ended up playing with plenty of people who were guilty of any or all of the following:

1) Got carried to their title by the truly skilled.

2) Just want to get carried by all and sundry.

3) Wasted my time by not showing up.

4) Wasted everybody’s time by committing the same stupid mistakes on a boss that should already be on farm.

5) More worried about topping the meters than staying out of the bad stuff.

6) Tunneling. You stubborn sons of bitches.

I don’t know if it’s just really bad luck on my part, but I always seemed to end up with a team who couldn’t get their shit together. Now I’m not saying that each and every person I’ve played with was a baddie, but there were always these certain individuals who proved to be very detrimental to our group. Even if it was just two or three people, the selfish and stubborn actions of a few could still impact the team’s progression in a big way. And sad to say, my time on Zul’jin has seen me springboard to a happy high only to crash to a depressing low until Real Life came calling. I lament all that time wasted.

And now, it took a random pug group I joined on a whim, on a random night when I was supposed to be just farming Frostweave cloth, for me to get my normal Garrosh kill – a kill my own raid team can’t even achieve because of certain people who shall not be named.

So what’s the takeaway from all of this? That regardless of what server you’re on, it’s all about getting lucky with the people you group up with? That one can only hope and pray you find people who share your strong work and raiding ethic? Kind of like the mindset players possessed back in Vanilla and BC, when shit was really hard (so I was told) and people brought their game faces to raids. Just how many players in this entitled, spoon-fed LFR generation have that kind of work ethic?

Regardless of where your server is on WoWProgress’ list, it all boils down to the community’s attitude to help make it a great raiding realm. People need to stop being selfish and stubborn and learn to play their class, pay attention to mechanics, and patiently work with each other. That no matter what the illustration above shows you, and no matter how hard you smartasses insist, THERE. IS. NO. I. IN. THE. WORD. “TEAM”.

Back to My Horde Roots…and Having Fabulous Hair Again

Back to My Horde Roots…and Having Fabulous Hair Again

Once upon a time, I tweeted: “Had a weird dream that I server-transferred my DK again. Enough! No more throwing cash at #Blizzard. They already have more money than God.”

Well, folks, I just handed them more money and made them richer than God and Satan combined.

Patty-Death Knight

You: ZOMG WTF YOU TRANSFERRED AND YOU’RE HORDE AGAIN WHO CARES BUT WHY???

Why? Below are the reasons in random order.

– My husband is a die-hard Horde. Since I switched to Alliance, he and I have never ran anything together in the game. We were always saying how much we missed our bonding moments in Azeroth – questing and farming and skinny-dipping in Nagrand – plus his chaos bolts really hurt. Ya know the old saying, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

– I am a Horde at heart. I started out as Horde and plan on exiting this game as a Horde. I never felt any faction pride as an Alliance. Not once did I cry, “FOR THE ALLIANCE!”  in battlegrounds. Come to think of it, I did only a couple of BGs during my stint as a Human. I just couldn’t bring myself to kill Horde. I. just. couldn’t.

– I needed a change. I wasn’t happy anymore as I was being held back again, progression-wise. I was getting angrier and angrier and losing more and more patience. I was afraid that if I didn’t leave, I would spew very hurtful words that could kill a lot of friendships, and I didn’t want to take that risk. I was in danger of mentally and emotionally snapping in the manner of Walter White:

Walter-Before and After

– I missed having fabulous hair.

– I missed the thug life in Orgrimmar.

– I missed being a member of the one true cool faction. (Cute as they are, gnomes will never be cool.)

– Vol’jin was calling my name. I couldn’t say no. And you know how I love the guy.  #sicklove

– And did I say I missed playing with my husband?

Moving to a new realm where I don’t know anyone besides my other half is always a terrifying experience for me. You know that feeling you get on the first day of school as the new kid who doesn’t know where to sit in the cafeteria? That’s exactly how I felt. I checked Trade for guild recruitment, I checked out other players and their gear. I felt so naked…until I chanced upon a small guild that was willing to let me try out for a spot. I’m on wait-and-see status as of this writing.

So what did I name my Death Knight this time?

I named her Patty after Homer Simpson’s cranky spinster sister-in-law Patty Bouvier…

Patty Bouvier

(Credits: Matt Groening and Fox Broadcasting Company)

…because that’s who I was turning into raid night after raid night. I was becoming mean, impatient and cantankerous. All I needed was a smoking habit and a job at the DMV and I was all set into becoming a human version of her.

You could also say I was in danger of pulling a Patty Hearst if I had stayed.

Patty Hearst

Well, good luck to me in my home. This is it, folks. This is my last and final move, I swear on a stack of Bibles.

Colbert-Stack of Bibles

10-Man Norushen: Idiots Need Not Apply

10-Man Norushen: Idiots Need Not Apply

Norushen is both a DPS and idiot check fight.

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Normally, I’d rejoice over killing a new boss. But two weeks into the new patch, a great number of guilds on my server are already more than halfway into Siege of Orgrimmar, while we got stuck on Norushen until tonight.

‘Cause people were failing on the idiot check that was the purple orb, which was only one of many idiots checks in that fight.

Third boss. 3/14. Whoop-dee-doo!  /sarcasm

We lost our best heals to another server. We lost a mage who was our top DPS to another guild on this server. Since leaving us, that mage is now 8/14 in SoO. Guess he made the right decision, after all.

And one person – who is neither Raid Leader or a tank – won’t shut the hell up during boss fights and kept a running commentary on everything, practically talking over everybody that I had to put the irritating prick on mute for the rest of the evening.

Two hours on Norushen only. That’s how my evening went. FML.

Thank God for “Breaking Bad” on Netflix and a supply of frozen margaritas to help me forget my woes in Azeroth.

Throne of Thunder: 12/12 At Last

Throne of Thunder: 12/12 At Last

God, what a night! Downed Iron Quon, Twin Consorts and da man hisself, Lei Shen, within a 2 and a half hour period. Not bad for peeps who have never done the last three bosses on normal before.

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Well done, Team Madness. After all the frustrations, the break-ups, the guild politics and the painful rebuilding, we can now relax and give ourselves a pat on the back.

Looking forward to Patch 5.4!

First Durumu Kill

First Durumu Kill

So….after a frustrating period of cancellations and other real life shit, we finally got our group together for our first Durumu kill tonight:

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*tears of joy

And….yet another Mogu Rune of Fate wasted on token gold. Whoopee.

Eye Roll Tina

But hey, at least I got tanking boots — Treads of the Blind Eye. Peeps are insistent I build a tank set and try tanking so the other Death Knight in the group can take a break from being a meat shield in the next tier.

Me, tank? I said. Sure, that can happen!

Blazing Saddles Laughing

At the Mercy of No-Shows

At the Mercy of No-Shows

Shit always happen when Mercury is in retrograde. You can’t get everything on your list done because this is the period when many things go awry: gadgets break, things move slower, and people become dumber. If you want specifics, here’s a list from the Llewellyn Journal on the subject:

WHAT TO EXPECT

 – Angrier people
 – Crazy drivers
 – More accidents
 – Miscommunication
 – Quarrels
 – Computer problems and breakdowns
 – Delays
 – More mistakes
 – Slow mail
 – Games of phone tag
 – Wrong directions
 – Missed appointments
 – Dead cell phone batteries

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In a nutshell, this is the time to lower your expectations, avoid making important decisions or milestones (negotiate and sign contracts, start a new job, launch a new product, and the like) and not be surprised when people don’t show up for your team’s goddamn raid night — which is exactly what happened last night when a tank and DPS were no-shows.

I swear, I wanted to let fly at something.

Badass Nun

It’s been really infuriating how my team and I have been in our new home for a month and we can’t move on to Durumu because someone is always a no-show week after week. It makes me cringe to know how much my Raid Leaders have invested to get this many toons in our original team to Stormrage, not to mention crafting 522 boots gratis to help boost stats. And what do those people do in exchange? They either go on a THREE WEEK LEAVE or just not show up on continuation night. And ever since Mercury went retro, attendance just became so much worse no thanks to those cockblocking no-shows.

I told my RL that it’s time we stop tolerating all that bullshit and find truly reliable people to fill spots PERMANENTLY and to just extend the raid lockout since many of us already have the good gear from the first half of ToT. I added that I was sick and tired of being at the mercy of inconsistent people and with Patch 5.4 in the works, we can’t afford to waste any more time.

Screw tolerance, just get people who can show up and get the job done!

/end rant

Not a Bad First Week on My New Server

Not a Bad First Week on My New Server

I hope I’m not jinxing myself when I say that I have no regrets transferring to this realm and that I’ve accomplished more in my new home than I have in the few months I was on Whisperwind.

For starters, the six of us who left Whisperwind plus four people from our Stormrage guild downed Horridon and Council of Elders with ease, something that eluded us in the recent past no thanks to some individuals who couldn’t push more than 65K DPS even with an ilevel of 500 (among other stumbling blocks).

And we finally got our Tortos and Megaera kills.

Tortos Guild Run

One Up Cheevo

Megaera Guild Run

Not our best damage done but I guess not too shabby for our first kill.

Anyway, I’m really happy with what we’ve done so far and even happier that the guildies who I transferred with are among the nicest, most supportive people I’ve met in this game. I’m looking forward to accomplishing more as the weeks go by.

Have a good night, y’all, and here’s to a brand new WoW week!

Hello Stormrage

Hello Stormrage

And goodbye Whisperwind!

To my friends reading this post (especially Hordor), I just know you’re taken aback that I transferred again. Well, lemme explain why, and I’ll try to give you the Cliffs Notes version, but knowing myself and how I tend to ramble, this might turn into a TLDR dissertation.

The guild on Whisperwind (out of respect for both my former and current GMs, I will not mention the guild name in this post) was one of the best guilds on that server. Everyone and his grandmother wanted to be in that guild because the GM/RL was so well respected and he cared about everyone’s progression.

My Alliance hunter joined that guild in September 2011 and while she’s never been a core member of any raid team (since I’ve always focused my energies on my then-Horde Death Knight), the length of time she’s been there allowed me more than a glimpse of the guild’s awesomeness. Well, wanting to raid with only the best, I moved my DK to that server in February this year and joined the guild in the hopes of becoming part of said awesomeness.

Unfortunately, by the time I joined, there were these vicious little cliques that formed in the guild…

Grease-Clique

…who cared more about their individual teams than what was best for the guild.

Now, here comes the retarded part: an entire clique broke away and formed their own guild, poached more members, and as a result, each team lost a few key players. So what happened next was that each raid team had to pug for those missing spots.

Fast forward to the event that was the final nail on the coffin: when our then-GM proposed that we pool all the best people and form one 25-man raiding team, many people threw a bitch fit.

Frickin Pissed

Fast forward again: GM resigned peacefully, more people quit and the guild’s progression as a whole died so tragically that Congress decided to give it a state funeral.

Oops Wrong Pic

My raid team (or what’s left of it) moved from Whisperwind to Stormrage, and my RL offered to pay for my transfer as a wedding present. Ain’t she sweet? I just wanna hug her to bits!

Daffy and Snowman

So here I am in my new home, and with a new name since “Lizzie” was taken. I chose the French/Swedish name “Josine” because it was sorta-kinda close to my real name, and it was the best “normal” name I could come up with. The random name generator sucks monkey balls so I didn’t bother using it, and I ignored a certain someone’s insistence that I name my toon “Dingleberry” for shits and giggles. Not gonna happen, punk.

Dingleberry

Hope things are indeed better here. It’s no fun being a nomad.

Now excuse me while I read Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace cover to cover while waiting in queue:

Stormrage Queue

Decisions, Decisions

Decisions, Decisions

When your raiding team moves to another server and your Raid Leader offers to pay for your server transfer so you could resume progression with them, what would you do?

Hiker

(Image from: Cybex Fitness Blog)

Eh, I’ve made my decision.

To be continued.

Pre-Patch 5.2 Musings

Pre-Patch 5.2 Musings

Realms are still down as of this writing, so I’ll take this time to write a quick post and look back at the last few months of Patch 5.1.

My progression for this tier has been lackluster. Partly to blame was my nearly-one month absence from the game starting in late October due to personal issues, and when I came back I saw that the best raiders we had in Cataclysm had left for other servers or simply quit the game. My old guild did all it could to recruit the best possible players and we were doing well in Mogu’shan Vaults until the main tank and his healer girlfriend left without a word. Then it was back to square one…and it seemed that I continued to stay in square one until I couldn’t hack it anymore and transferred for the third time in my WoW life.

While I’m happy in my current server/guild, as the new face I have yet to find myself in a regular raid group and am still trying to prove myself in a sea of more well-established personalities. It didn’t help that I transferred at the tail end of this patch when everybody is winding down and the GM is in the middle of reorganizing schedules including the weekly casual raids in preparation for Patch 5.2. But that’s okay. Things are more promising on this server. I’ll eventually get back on my feet and get my progression mojo back. The key word in this situation is patience, and good thing I have lots of it!

/visits http://us.battle.net/wow/en/status

/presses F5

/sees realms are still down

/musters more patience

Ah well, give it another hour or two.

A One-Way Ticket to New Opportunities

A One-Way Ticket to New Opportunities

I’ve made my decision: I’ll be moving to another realm — my hunter’s server, to be exact. I was promised by my significant other that he’ll take care of it soon; I just don’t know exactly when. All I know is that Blizzard/Activision is going to be $55 richer ($25 for the realm transfer, $30 for the faction change).

Yes, I’m going Alliance. And it’s breaking my heart. I’ve been mainly Horde since Day One of playing World of Warcraft, and I love my Blood Elf Death Knight so much, but recent frustrations have constrained me to take this option.

Patch 5.2: The Thunder King is likely to go live in as little as two weeks. While I normally welcome news of a new patch, new raids, new this and that, the (un)official announcement of 5.2 leaves me feeling a bit crestfallen. There are 16 bosses in this tier, and I have downed only five with my raid group, and here come more bosses for me to worry about. Yeah, a sorry five bosses on normal. And how long has this current patch been out?

I’m not a hard core raider, but I love to raid AND  I like downing bosses with efficient people who share my raiding ethic. But after MoP went live, I saw my original raid group — the ones with whom I downed Heroic: Madness of Deathwing at the tail end of Cataclysm– fall apart and since then I would find myself in a raid group comprised of people who were either very talented or very inept. And if there’s one factor that can kill my enthusiasm for raiding, it’s inconsistency.

Someone asked me, “why invest in another realm/faction transfer? Why don’t you just join another Horde guild on your current server?”

I did consider that option, but you see, I am tired. I am tired of moving to another guild where I would be navigating uncharted waters, only to find myself in another dead-end situation or worse, stuck with a bunch of assholes. This time, I want to play it safe and go for the tried-and-tested. My Alliance hunter is in a very well-established, very highly-regarded raiding guild in her realm (an Alliance-dominated one), her GM runs his guild like a pro without being an elitist jerk, they have a good number of raid teams and they get things done (like, ya know, they’ve downed 16/16 and are now working on heroics). That said, I have to shake my head at the irony I’ve been in the last year or so — my neglected alt ensconced in one of the top guilds in one of the top 40 US servers, and there was my beloved main bouncing from one dying guild/realm to another and being held back by the inconsistencies of others. But that’s MY fault — I chose to stick it out and give it one more shot….and another…and another, until my S.O. himself flipped a wig and asked me when the hell I would wake up and smell the poo-stained one-ply toilet paper, short of asking me, “doesn’t your ass hurt from all that wiping?”

And yes, yes it does, hun. Why do you think I’m switching “brands”?

Wish me luck on this move, as this is going to be the last major one I’ll be making. It’s make-or-break for my progression, my sanity and my wallet.

What Would It Take…

What Would It Take…

…to make me stay?

Not much.

For our group to down more than two bosses a night.

For our group to end the raid night with a less painful repair bill. (There was one night where the wipes were so stupid bad, we went above the allotted guild allowance of 200g each raider, and I had to fork over more than 150g extra for subsequent repairs.)

For people to learn from their mistakes and not commit the same shit over and over every week.

For people to have the initiative to watch out for DBM timers and not totally depend on someone to call out stuff for them.

For people to consistently show up.

For people to consistently give it all.

Last night I got invited to do Will of the Emperor in 10-man normal Mogu’shan Vaults. It was a mix of guildies and puggies, and we one-shotted the boss. And I asked myself, rather sadly, why couldn’t my own raid group have this seamless a run too?

It’s been a frustrating ride. Tomorrow is another raid week.

I’m on wait-and-see mode.