Tag Archives: raiding

Good Game

1 Oct

I had always imagined that the first time that I cried around my boyfriend would be because of a particularly sad scene in a movie that we were watching or maybe because of a truly heartwarming gift that he would buy me for my birthday or for Christmas.I never dreamt that the first time that I cried around my boyfriend would be because of World of Warcraft.It happened last night, after I called to rant about how much I was frustrated with the leveling process, how I felt like my guild had backpedaled on their initial expectations on when they wanted us to be raid ready, how I hated the prospect of having to do a seemingly overwhelming amount of dailies to get ahead, how I felt like leveling had turned into a competition to see who could hit level 90 in the most unhealthy way possible, and how I felt like Blizzard was being hypocritical by saying that they wanted to make raiding more accessible to people, while still creating even more hoops for people to jump through in order to prove just that.Once I got all of that out of my system, I grew quiet and stared up at the ceiling.  He waited patiently on the other end of the phone, thinking that I still had more to say.  My eyes began to dart around the room, making sure that I didnt focus on one spot for too long, because I knew what would happen if I did.  I could feel my chin quivering and the emotional dam inside my head starting to break.  Dont cry.

Times Up

22 Aug

I had originally intended to make what Im about to say in this post a topic for conversation on the next episode of my new podcast, but I felt like it might feel better to get these words and thoughts out of my head and on to paper – or the closest thing to paper that I have, which is my blog.  I feel like getting things off your chest feels differently, depending on the method in which you choose to do it. Lately I have been feeling very overwhelmed.  It started right around the time that the release date for Mists of Pandaria was confirmed.  The officers of my guild had decided that they would like us, the raiders to be 90 ideally within a week, but for sure within two weeks of release.  This coincides with the pre-release weekend for Return to Ravnica, a highly anticipated expansion of Magic the Gathering that I and many others are very excited about.  Since I have come back to the game, I have made it to the last two pre-release weekends without fail.  I had every intention of making this one, too, but with the race to hit level 90, I realized I may not be able to make it.  This really bothered me.Then my boyfriend and I decided to reconcile and start down the path of giving our relationship another shot.  He lives in Chicago.  One of the issues that came up during our initial break up was the fact that we werent spending enough time together.  Back then we were seeing each other every other weekend, sometimes every third weekend, mostly due to his work schedule.  When we agreed to give things another try, it came up in conversation that we may have to try stepping things up to every weekend or three weekends out of the month.  This was something I was fine with at the time, but when combined with everything else that I have going on started to make me feel like I was suffocating. So, lets see.  Three days a week raiding, plus Fridays for Friday Night Magic, plus my blog, plus my podcast, plus being a guest host on other peoples podcasts, plus finding time to socialize with my friends and to see my family, plus work 40+ hours a week, and have weekends to spend traveling for the occasional Magic tournament or other type of event, and manage to maintain a healthy relationship with my boyfriend.  How am I supposed to juggle all of this?Even the first two weeks of Mists seem incredibly daunting to me.  The expansion comes out on September 25th, which is a Tuesday.  Im not going to burn a vacation day on launch day, for various reasons.  I decided to take the one vacation day that I had available and use it on that Friday, instead.  So starting on Tuesday, I will be coming home from work around 4:30, eating dinner, leveling from about 6pm to 11pm, going to bed, and then doing the same thing on Wednesday and Thursday.  Friday through Sunday would be spent primarily leveling, most likely missing the Return to Ravnica pre-release, and then doing the same 6pm to 11pm grind every day the week after until Im level 90.  Then comes the grind for gear and rep, so that I can be raid ready.  Im exhausted just typing this.Lets say that I eliminate World of Warcraft from the equation.  Admittedly, this clears up a lot of my week.  Lets say that I play only Magic and podcast, while blogging occasionally.  Im already only playing Magic one day a week right now and thats on Fridays.  Every weekend that I spend with the boyfriend rules Friday Night Magic completely out.  Typically I take the Amtrak to Chicago on Friday afternoons after work and I get down there around 7:30pm.  Most Friday Night Magic events start well before then.  I could start playing Magic Online and play during the week, but Im leery about having to build an online card collection, in addition to an actual one.  I also worry that playing Magic Online will simply become a substitute for World of Warcraft and Ill find myself tethered to the computer again during the week.  It would be like substituting one addiction or vice for another. Then there is the issue of traveling.  One of the things that excited me the most about getting back into Magic again was the opportunity to play in more large scale events across the country.  I had originally intended to stick to states that were nearby, like Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, etc.  But I have been very fortunate to meet people in states that are a bit farther away from me that I could go visit and even crash with, too.  I could visit Seattle if I wanted to, or Los Angeles, or even New York.  The possibilities are endless.  I cant do those things if I have a boyfriend, or a boyfriend that my weekends are pretty much devoted to.  Most of the Magic events Im interested in take place on the weekends.  How would I manage that?Im pretty sure this would be an issue, even if my boyfriend didnt live an hour or so away from me.  Even if I met a guy locally, what guy is going to be okay with a girlfriend who is essentially booked a minimum of three days out of the week (for a computer game, no less) and possibly an additional day or even a weekend (for a card game), and who spends most of her free time working on a blog and a podcast about said games, even when she isnt playing them?  Having all of this going on doesnt necessarily make me serious girlfriend material.  It all leads back to the inevitable feeling that I have that something has to go.I talked about this a little bit with the boyfriend last night and he didnt have too much to say about it.  He is someone who was a hardcore gamer for a long time and made the switch to being extremely casual, to the point where he now only plays a handful of X-Box games and board games with friends from time to time.  That was something he was glad to do.  He was happy to give up the schedules and the responsibilities and to make other things in his life a priority.  Im not so sure that Im at that point yet.  I like my life the way that it is.  I also like being able to do things to the level of satisfaction that I want to do them.  I dont want to do eight different things, just to say that Im doing them.  I want to do them and feel like Im doing them well.  I dont feel like I can do that right now.  Something is going to suffer.  Something would have to suffer.I really dont know what to do.  I dont know how I can pull all of this off.  I like where Im at and I feel like I worked hard to get here.  It would be one thing if I werent enjoying something anymore and I chose to walk away from it because I hated it.  It would be one thing if something was being taken from me against my will, like Blizzard was no longer making expansions or Wizards stopped making Magic cards.  I have so many things that I love to do and so many people that I love spending time with and seemingly not enough time to spend on everything.  That doesnt sit right with me.  It feels like a cop out to say thats why I would be giving up something.Its just like Moroes says, Time… Never enough time.

Thursday Thoughts

7 Jun

Over the last few weeks I have really struggled with coming up with cohesive, relevant blogs that I can publish.  For the first time ever I have more than one draft sitting in my Drafts folder and I regularly add more, only to delete them a short time later.  I haven’t encountered a feeling of writer’s block this strong in quite a while and it only makes me feel worse when I see how other bloggers are constantly posting and how they seem to have no such shortage of things to write about.To be honest, it makes me feel jaded.  Washed up.  I see myself losing Followers because I’m not talking about things that people initially followed me to hear me talk about.  I see myself not being able to relate to conversations that other people are having, because I either don’t agree with them and can’t find a way to word it eloquently enough or because I do agree with them and they have already worded things better than I ever could.  I just feel like I’m watching people, like I’m watching the community pass me by.  I’m suddenly overcome with ennui and I don’t know what to do about it.Instead of talking about what I haven’t been able to do or haven’t been doing lately, let’s talk about what I have been up to.World of WarcraftI haven’t raided in two weeks.  Last week I posted out because I had just broken up with my boyfriend and I was really in no mood to raid or do anything that felt competitive or like I would have to really push myself to do.  This week I had the chance to go out and do something to take my mind off said breakup and so I took the opportunity to do that and volunteered to sit on the bench for the night.I don’t miss it.  Let me be more specific – I don’t miss Dragon Soul.  I’m excited about raid testing being made available in the Beta.  I’m excited at the thought of grinding the 5 man dungeons to gear up for new raid content in Mists of Pandaria and then doing said content.The Beta, as it stands right now, doesn’t have much appeal to me, either.  I have no desire to level a toon from 85-90 and then have to do it all over again when the expansion hits.  I would much rather wait until the premade characters are made available and then go from there.  That’s really where things in the Beta will start getting interesting to me.Diablo 3I have an Annual Pass, so I didn’t actually have to “pay” for or go seriously out of my way to get my hands on a copy of Diablo 3.  It’s fun.  I haven’t played it as much as most people have.  My witch doctor hasn’t even cracked level 20 yet and I’m not in much of a hurry to change that.I enjoy the slow pace.  I enjoy exploring every nook and cranny of the map and breaking every barrel, urn, and spider egg that I see.  I don’t feel like there is a clock ticking that tells me I have to be this level or I have to be this geared in order to do this instance within this timeframe.  It’s nice to just say to myself “I want to kill shit,” and then I log on and do it.  It’s very simple and very mindless, which I really appreciate at this point in time.Magic the GatheringI have been playing quite a bit of Magic the Gathering lately and it has brought me the most enjoyment these past few weeks.  I find Magic to be very refreshing and so different from World of Warcraft in many ways.  Here are just some of those reasons:The community.  Since I started playing Magic again, I have been trying to get a feel for what websites are the best resources for me to go to and which forums seem to have the most decent people posting on them.  I have started to Follow certain writers that I enjoy reading the most on Twitter, striking up conversations with them when I can.  I’m slowly trying to get involved in a community that is unlike what I’m used to and it’s intimidating and yet strangely exciting, at the same time.One thing that really stands out to me about the Magic community is the sense of meritocracy or the feeling that people who are seen as authorities or who are the most respected have genuinely done something to deserve that.  Something that has really frustrated me about the WoW community lately has been the recent surge in people who have obtained this bizarre form of celebrity for seemingly doing nothing at all.They don’t play the game.  They don’t raid.  But yet they’re in a position where people look to them to tell them what to do or for advice.  They exist solely for entertainment value and while I can see the immediate benefits of such a thing, it still feels sort of wrong to me.  I don’t think it’s too much to ask that someone actually plays the game that they write or podcast about.  I don’t think it’s wrong to ask someone to share their level of experience with you when they try to give you advice on how to do something.This doesn’t seem to be the case in the Magic community.  The people who are writing for these websites and that you see out and about can genuinely prove that they have been there, that they are successful, and that they have a reason to be doing what they are doing.  They are there to entertain you, but that comes second to the fact that they have some amount of credibility going for them and I really respect that and I miss that.The social interactions.  I knew that I was starting to experience some burnout once we had downed Heroic Madness for the first time.  I knew that I wanted to take a break from WoW before Mists of Pandaria came out, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do with all that free time.  The possibilities were endless.  I could go back to Rift.  I could try out Star Wars or TERA.  I could throw myself into Diablo 3.But then I realized that I really missed social interaction with people and I mean face to face conversations.  I started to feel like everything I was doing involved hiding behind a computer screen and like I was becoming very isolated and possibly even socially awkward because of it.  It seemed really obvious to me, maybe even too obvious to choose another computer game to keep me occupied until the next expansion comes out.  That’s when I decided to start playing Magic more and to relish those moments when I’m not tied to a headset or to a keyboard and mouse.To my surprise, I had become really awkward around groups of people.  I found that I had a hard time remembering the names of the people I had started to play with regularly at my local Friday Night Magic events.  I noticed that I had a hard time looking people in the eye when I was talking to them.  I had to remind myself that I don’t have a push to talk key in real life and that I have to keep some things to myself if I don’t want someone across the table from me to hear them.I’m getting better at communicating and I’m still not perfect.  I do still rage when people stand over my shoulder and make comments about the game I’m playing or someone plays a card over and over again that I don’t like.  I have to get better at being a good sport, for both when I win and for win I lose.  I need to be able to say that I did a good job, even when I don’t feel like I did or when I feel like I could have done better.  Coming back to Magic has helped me identify all of these things (and more) about myself that I don’t think I would have done if I had just moved on to yet another computer game to pass the time.  I’m really grateful for that.The freedom.  I don’t feel like I’m bound to a set schedule with Magic, the way that I am with WoW.  It’s not the end of the world if I don’t make it to Friday Night Magic, or if I have to leave early.  I can go to a tournament at this store on Tuesday, or that store on Thursday, or do both tournaments and even a third on Sunday.I find being able to say what I want to do and what I don’t want to do, without any negative repercussions very exciting.  I don’t feel like I’m letting anyone down if I don’t make it to an event or like I am lagging behind, like I would if I missed a raid.  I don’t feel like I’m doing the same thing over and over again, like when you farm the
same instance for several months at a time.  It all feels fresh and new and dare I say it – like a game *should* feel.  It kind of makes me wonder why I have been settling for something else this whole time.ReadingI got used to bringing a book with me when I used to ride the Amtrak to go visit my boyfriend (now ex-boyfriend).  One of the books that I had picked up was the first book in the “Pretty Little Liars” series.  Needless to say I was hooked.  I’m currently on the third book and I just started watching the television show that goes along with it.  It’s been much easier to avoid spoilers of the books than it has been the television show, but it seems like the show is radically different from the books, so it’s not really hurting anything.Like I said, I’m hooked.  I squeal like a teenage girl when the cute boy takes his shirt off or he says something close to romantic.  I gasp when something sort of scary happens.  I panic when one episode ends and I have to get up to turn the next one on from my computer.   Completely hooked.I know this post kind of went all over the place, but I’m okay with that.  Life is good – even if it’s not giving me a lot of things to write about.  I still felt like I should say *something,* so hopefully I’ve accomplished that today.Thanks for stopping by!

Short and Sweet

6 May

On Tuesday, my guild successfully downed the Heroic Madness of Deathwing encounter on 25m and thus wrapped up our time raiding in this expansion.  We spent Thursday night in Heroic Firelands and cleared up to Heroic Ragnaros, but decided that we didnt want to spend all of tonight wiping on that (which we probably would end up doing because that encounter is still really tough), so we decided to take tonight off.  Next week will be spent getting people their achievements for the Glory of the Dragon Soul Raider achievement and then we are officially done until Mists of Pandaria comes out.This is the first time that I have ever killed every boss in the current expansion before the next one comes out.

Planning Stages

15 Mar

I have been doing quite a bit of planning lately for two different endeavors that I would really like to see get off the ground.  Unfortunately, I cant make them happen all by myself, so this is where you all come in.First, I would like to try setting up a 10m run that is interested in going back to the Tier 11 and possibly even Tier 12 hard modes to down Sinestra and then Ragnaros.  Sinestra is firmly at the top of my Bucket List of things to do before Mists of Pandaria comes out and I know there are other people who feel the same as I do about that. I tried setting up a run on the Twitterland Raiding site and didnt get many responses – not because of lack of interest or anything, but mostly because of scheduling.  So if anyone is interested, and has a character on the Horde side that would like to participate, please leave me a comment, or reach out to me in some other way to let me know what toon you would like to bring and what days or times work best for you.I would strongly prefer to take mains, as some of these hard modes are still nothing to sneeze at, but I would settle for a suitably geared alt that someone can play well, too. Second, I have decided that I want to attend GenCon in Indianapolis, in lieu of BlizzCon being cancelled this year.  Unfortunately, going alone would dramatically increase my expenses, so Im looking for someone else (or mulitple someones) who may be interested in going and sharing a hotel room with me for the trip.  Or if someone happens to live in the area and wants to put me up for the duration of the convention, that could be a possibility, too. Even though the convention isnt until August, I would like to get things fleshed out as soon as possible, as the cost of buying a badge for the convention goes up after June, and I would like to get a hotel room while they are still available.If you think you can help with either of these things, please let me know.  Otherwise, have a great Thursday and thanks for stopping by!

The 4 Most Common Holy Priest Mistakes

15 Feb

Whenever I write a post about being a healing priest, or more specifically a holy priest, I try really hard not to tell people what to do.  I try not to make it seem as if there is only one right way to do things.  Most of the advice that I give is meant to be taken as a suggestion or as something that I know has worked for me and that could possibly work for you.

Oestrus Comprehensive Holy Priest Guide – Version 4.3

27 Jan

Welcome to my comprehensive holy priest guide for patch 4.3.  All of the information contained within this post is current, as of the most recent tier of content, which includes the recently released Dragon Soul instance.Please keep in mind that anything I talk about here or that I suggest are things that have worked for me or other priests that I communicate with and that they may not necessarily work for you.  What matters more than anything else is being able to admit that something is not working for you.  If you are doing something that is a bit outside the box and you are genuinely seeing results with it – meaning that your mana bar is not always running on empty, you are keeping up the people you are assigned to heal, etc.

Understanding Heart Of Unliving

25 Dec

As mentioned in my updated loot listing for patch 4.3, Heart of Unliving is widely believed to be one of the best in slot trinkets for healing priests.  However, it wasnt always that way.  Lets take a look at how far Heart of Unliving has come, since it was first made available on the PTR, and just what exactly you can and should do with it.What is Heart of Unliving?Heart of Unliving is an epic quality trinket, which comes from the Spine of Deathwing encounter, in Dragon Soul.

UPDATED: 4.3 Loot Priorities For Healing Priests

11 Dec

Due to a number of changes that took place after patch 4.3 came out and several pieces of loot that managed to slip under my radar, I have decided to re-vamp my loot listing, add some things that I didnt before and take out some things that I feel made the original post seem cluttered or made it more difficult to understand.  Hopefully this revised edition is more streamlined and gives you a better idea of what pieces really are the best for you, during your time spent in Dragon Soul and beyond.Thank you for your patience and understanding.  Please enjoy the rest of the post.Sincerely,- O.A couple of things to note, before we begin:-  As you may or may not have noticed, the items mentioned within this post are no longer just exclusive to holy priests.

Proud

27 Nov

Im not proud of the time that I have spent in Cataclysm.Im not proud of the fact that I went through three different guilds, to get to the one that Im currently in and that I dont know how long I will remain with this one, either.  Im not proud of the fact that theres a huge three month gap in my activity, due to burnout, which led me to try other games and to pursue other avenues.