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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.

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(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”.

Siege of Orgrimmar: 12/14

Siege of Orgrimmar: 12/14

I take back what I said in my previous post and no longer despise the conveyor belt in the Siegecrafter Blackfuse fight. Last night, I finally got the hang of it without dying to those blasted curtains of fire or derping on my jumps. We downed the S.O.B.!

Siegecrafter Blackfuse Killshot

And what’s even better was that RNG was so kind to me on my coin rolls, yielding me Xifeng, Longblade of the Titanic Guardian and Siegecrafter’s Forge Hammer!

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Look at dem puppies. I’m talking about my new weapons.

Now all I need are bracers, a second ring and boots and I’ll be totally rid of last tier’s gear.

Siege of Orgrimmar: 11/14

Siege of Orgrimmar: 11/14

Here’s a quick update on my progression within the last week:

We finally got Spoils of Pandaria and Thok the Bloodthirsty down.

Spoils of Pandaria-Completion

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Such an awkward kill shot with Thok’s head missing. Oh well.

I got my 2-piece set and my second Warforged item, Evil Eye of Galakras.

I have the advantage of being the only strength melee in the team, so there’s no real competition for plate DPS gear. However, I lament the fact that due to the very melee-unfriendly mechanics of each boss fight, I spend more time running away from bad stuff instead of fully utilizing the power of my new gear. My ilevel is now at par with the best damage dealers in the team but I find myself with more downtime no thanks to the mechanics. Oh, don’t get me started on how many times I was targeted by Thok in one attempt. The bastard just loves me!

If all goes well attendance-wise, we’ll be doing another attempt on Siegecrafter Blackfuse on Monday. As a parting salvo, I just want to say that there is a special place in hell for the person who designed the conveyor belt for that fight. I hate you with all my might, good sir.

Siege of Orgrimmar: Malkorok Down 9/14

Siege of Orgrimmar: Malkorok Down 9/14

Last night’s raid was a pretty good one for the following reasons: successfully killed General Nazgrim again, got our first Malkorok kill…

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…I automatically won Malkorok’s Tainted Dog Tags that dropped off said boss, being the only strength melee DPS in the group, AND I got promoted to Core Raider. 🙂

Tears of Joy: Six Bosses Down and Two New Pieces of Gear

Tears of Joy: Six Bosses Down and Two New Pieces of Gear

To be honest, after Monday night’s trial raid, I didn’t expect to get invited to my guild’s normal 10-man run tonight. I didn’t hear from any of the officers so I assumed I made it to bench status.

But this afternoon I was pleasantly surprised to see an invite on the calendar to join them in a fresh Siege of Orgrimmar run.

Note that before I transferred to my new server, I was only 3/14 in SoO. I joined tonight’s raid nervous as heck as I was the least experienced of the bunch, not to mention my ilevel – which at 546 I thought was already decent – was craptastic in the face of their own ilevels, which averaged 553. Needless to say, I wasn’t the star of the damage meters, and that’s putting it mildly.

But I guess what they were really after was someone who knew to avoid bad stuff on the ground and follow instructions. In that department, I know I’m good (plus I know to keep my mouth shut during boss fights). And this time, I just didn’t care anymore about topping meters. I just wanted to learn from the best, down bosses and get some better gear.

And tonight, I attained all three. Six bosses killed. Two new pieces of gear for me: Krugruk’s Rigid Shoulderplates and Fusion-Fire Core. AND one cheesy cheevo for another 10 points.

The Immortal Vanguard

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We called it a night after Iron Juggernaut, as some peeps had to get up very early in the morning to go to work. I am ending tonight on a very ecstatic note. I am now 7/14 in normal 10-man SoO (though I skipped Shamans), and that, folks, is a HUGE jump in my progression, considering I moved to this server only two days ago.

/long contented sigh

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.

Another Pre-Patch 5.4 Post: What Would Make Me Stay for the Next Expansion

Another Pre-Patch 5.4 Post: What Would Make Me Stay for the Next Expansion

You’d think watching this video would make every WoW player super excited for tomorrow.



Am I excited? Yes I am. But not super excited, and here’s why:

I’m getting tired. Tired of what you might ask. Is it the ‘meh’ lore? The dailies? The soul-sucking community? All of them plus some?

Let’s get one thing out of the way: I’m not so hung up on lore or its bastardization by Blizzard. I frankly don’t care if the Blizz team tweaks the storyline in a way that deviates from the original, like if it favors one faction, an important character doesn’t get top billing, strange races pop up. I just don’t care. You can make Gamon the next warchief and I wouldn’t flip a wig at all.

Dailies? They’re a necessary evil for people like me who want gold, rep and charms. You don’t have to do them, but if you don’t you’ll fall behind. And I’m one player who doesn’t like falling behind the weekly quota. So I just suck it up and grin and bear it.

The soul-sucking community? I can tune them out. ‘Ignore’ is a handy feature, but would be so much handier if Blizz made it an account-wide ignore. Some trolls amuse me, though, that’s why I don’t put them on ‘iggy’. Hi Randall, love your Bible quotes!

So what exactly is wearing me out?

It’s always finding myself in a team where someone is either too stupid or too unavailable to raid.

Too stupid meaning always face-pulling where we die to trash, not watching the videos when their role is to RAID LEAD AND TANK FFS! and just being a complete time-waster to other members like me who come prepared each night.

Too unavailable meaning that while they are committed in the beginning, a few weeks later they start showing up sporadically. Yes, I know family, school, work are important. But you know what? If you suddenly find yourself unable to commit, please let us know right away. Don’t make us save your raid spot indefinitely while you ostensibly try to fix your real life schedule and see where you can accommodate us. It’s not fair to the dedicated ones who want to make the most of their $15 each month.

I am tired of always being at the mercy of others who suck the fun out of raiding. If I could clone myself into nine more individuals and teach them to tank, DPS and heal, I could really have fun raiding again.

What’s that? There’s more to WoW than just raiding? Well no shit. I’m aware of that, Captain Obvious. But you see, your goals might just be different from mine. My ultimate goal is to raid, while yours is probably to PvP, collect mounts, do pet battles or kill rare elites. I love raiding. Nothing hardcore, though. Think hardcore casual. WTF is hardcore casual? In my lexicon, it means downing bosses without trying for realm firsts. It means progressing and finally downing the last boss of a current tier. That’s why the last patch before Mists of Pandaria was released will always be my favorite — I got my Heroic: Madness kill before the pandas came to town. I remember working with such incredibly skilled and dedicated players — people who made Cataclysm awesome and memorable for me.

So in a nutshell, folks, it’s all about the people I work with. It’s getting harder and harder for me to appreciate the beauty, grandeur and insane raids that WoW has to offer because I keep hitting one brick wall after another.Like for this tier, you’d think we’d have Lei Shen on farm already but nooooo. After those two Lei Shen kills, things went from shot to shit, all because of one or two people making raid nights miserable for the majority. (STOP OVERCHARGING THE F*CKING PILLARS, YOU F*CKING IMBECILE!!!)

The real money, time and effort I spent on server and faction transfers in the name of progression is so ridiculous, my accountant is ready to stab me with a Number 2 pencil. The number of times I’ve changed my Death Knight’s home and identity is also ridiculous, I’m starting to feel like I’m in the witness protection program:

Witness Protection Shirt

So many resources spent and for what? A new set of faces to raid with only for them to hold me back? If it’s going to be the same shit in the next expansion, then I want out! Only a miracle — like finding equally dedicated members who won’t dick around and stymie the team — can make me stay.

My husband told me, “Nah, if you quit, you’ll be back. Besides, I can offer you something more exciting than raiding.”

“What’s that?” I said.

“Do arenas with me. Level your Horde pally and let’s do 2’s.”

Me? Arena again?

Button Mashing

Let me think about it as I level said pally and weigh the pros and cons of suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome again.

Upcoming Shinies: Siege of Orgrimmar and Season 14 Weapons

Upcoming Shinies: Siege of Orgrimmar and Season 14 Weapons

Hey folks, check out the new weapon models for Patch 5.4. Visit the Wowhead page here.

Here are a few of my favorite designs:

Haromm's Frozen Crescent

Haromm’s Frozen Crescent. Very nice weapon for tanks. Too bad my prot pally is only level 85.

Xal'atoh, Desecrated Image of Gorehowl

Xal’atoh, Desecrated Image of Gorehowl. Gotta love dem blinking eyes. So cheesy and ‘Evil Dead’-ish.

Kil'ruk's Furious Blade

Kil’ruk’s Furious Blade. Because Barney purple is power!

(Images from Wowhead)

Hmm, no two-handed swords? Personally, I prefer 2h-swords to axes and maces.

Looking at the PvP models, on the other hand, makes me think the design team ran out of great ideas after pouring heart and soul into the PvE ones. But that’s just my humble opinion.

Only 11 days to go, kiddies!