Tag Archives: ranting


27 Jul

The defintion of selling out, according to Wikipedia: The compromising of (or the perception of compromising) integrity, morality, or principles in exchange for money or success (however defined).  It is commonly associated with attempts to tailor material to a mainstream audience.  Any artist who expands their creative path to encompass a wider audience, as opposed to continuing in the genre and venues of their initial success may be disdainfully labeled by disapproving fans as a sellout.I pride myself on being the rebel.  The underdog.  The odd one out.  Secretly, I crave acceptance and being able to fit in, but I wouldnt know what to do with myself if I were to start experiencing either of those things.I made a vow to myself when Firelands came out that I wouldnt go discipline unless I absolutely had to, unless I could really show that discipline was leaps and bounds better than holy.  I felt like I owed it to myself and I owed it to my readers to do this.  My most viewed posts for weeks on end have been the ones relating strictly to holy priests. People want to see a holy priest doing well.  They want to see a holy priest telling them that things are OK and that they dont have to go discipline to get by in Firelands.  My loot listings, my theorycrafting posts, my trinket discussion; those are what people are coming to my page to see.  They dont want to read about yet another holy priest throwing up their hands and caving into the pressure of having to go discipline to make it through this tier.So far, I have only had to go discipline for one encounter and that was for Baleroc.  I simply could not keep my targets alive as a holy priest in Chakra: Serenity.  I wasnt building enough stacks of Vile Spark to make a difference, mostly because the spells in my arsenal couldnt build stacks as well as those that a discipline priest has at their disposal.  I was losing my healing assignments, people were dying.  To me, that was a no-brainer.  I went discipline for that fight and we started to down it much more smoothly and regularly.Cut to last week and were working on Alysrazor.  Im really struggling with the tornadoes and dying before P2 even starts.  Thats where I should be making my money as a healer.  I should be dropping HW: Sanctuary, dropping a Lightwell and blowing up the raid with heals.  But Im not, because Im dead and Im not grasping the tornado mechanic.  As Im running back after a wipe my healing lead asks me if I wouldnt mind going discipline for this fight.  I tell him that I would mind because I havent made it to P2 enough to determine that we need another Barrier and that holy is that inefficient for this encounter. Once I started getting the hang of the tornadoes and making it into P2 and P3 (which is basically just a repeat of P1) consistently, I felt like I was doing quite well.  In fact, our best attempt (getting her down to 3.2%) was done when I was holy and so were the next best attempts.  My being holy had nothing to do with why we failed to get her down.  We were losing DPS in the final round of tornadoes, which a discipline priest couldnt have prevented.  The two had nothing to do with each other.The next day, I received a private message on our boards again asking me if I would go discipline for that fight.  I replied that I am open to going discipline, if the fight truly warrants it and based on what I was seeing and experiencing this one doesnt require me to do that.  The person who messaged me was polite, but did mention that there could be consequences for not doing whats best for the overall group and I should be aware of that before I make my decision.  Unlike most guilds or raids Ive been in, I know that when this group says there are going to be consequences there will be consequences.I really like running with these people.  Im proud to be associated with them.  I have a lot of fun when Im with them.  I dont want to let these people down.  But at the same time, I dont want this to become a habit and Im afraid that it will be.  I havent seen Majordomo or Ragnaros yet.  I havent done anything in Firelands on Heroic mode, but I know what Im hearing from various sources and its not good.  Ive managed to shrug off the chants of Go disc or go home.  Ive managed to avoid various forums and discussions that have made me lose faith in the very community that I belong to, because of how quickly everyone else seems to have thrown in the towel and given up on a spec that they love to play.  I dont know how much longer I can keep doing those things.I received a Tweet yesterday that literally warmed my heart and made me smile:I love the fact Paragon uses holy priest 5/7 FL.

New Double O Podcast – Episode Six!

25 Jul

Fresh out of the oven, its the latest episode of the Double O Podcast!http://thedoubleopodcast.wordpress.com/2011/07/24/episode-6-o-chat-with-a-side-of-vs/Ophelie and I return and with not just one, but two special guests!  We welcome Vidyala and Vosskah, from Manalicious and Sword And Board to discuss all things related to guild leadership and raid leading.We packed a lot into this episode and covered a number of topics like recruitment struggles, social networking guidelines as a guild master and as a guild member,  guild expectations, and whether or not its a good time to be a new GM. Vidyala and Vosskah were a pleasure to have on the show and they were both extremely smart and easy to get along with.  This was our first time having two guests with us and Ophelie and I were very pleased with how it all turned out.  Please let us know what you think about this episode or previous ones, too!As always, the Double O Podcast is available on iTunes for free.  You can subscribe to us, leave a review, and download all of our episodes anytime, day or night.   If youre looking for other posts to help you get through your Monday, I would suggest the following:Cynwise addresses the scandal behind Chase Christians recent post on WoWInsider and whether or not it was really worth getting upset about.Beruthiel questions if shes ready to give up blogging just yet.    Zelmaru tackles a hidden boss in Blackwing Descent and talks about the outcome.Enjoy!

Waste Not, Want Not

12 Jul

I know I said I was going to put this to bed last night, but I still feel like I have a few things to say about it and so Im going to do just that.Lets begin.It all started with Kurns post on how she felt that it was wrong that we as raiders were being asked to farm Heroics and specifically, Zandalari Heroics to get enough Valor Points to purchase new pieces of gear.  For the record, I agree with her.  It does suck that this has become the new normal for us and that this is what we have to do, in order to be competitive.  I agree with her, in that I am a raider and I play this game solely to raid.  If there ever came a time where I couldnt raid, I would probably cancel my subscription immediately.I dont have a back-up plan.  Its raiding or nothing.  Im not good at PVP.  Im not an altoholic.  I have no idea how to play the Auction House.  This is all I have going for me.  Because this is my passion, because this is my reason for playing WoW, I am more inclined to do whatever I need to do to keep that going.  Including making sure Im capped on Valor Points each week.I made a comment on Twitter where I said that if youre a raider and you dont end the week capped that youre doing it wrong and I truly believe that.  This led to a post from Windsoar, where she admits that isnt capped each week and defends her position on why she chooses not to do that.  Its a wonderful post and she was kind enough to send me a few messages on Twitter, telling me she was using my Tweet as inspiration and asking if she could do that.  Of course, I said yes.  Ive followed Windsoar for quite some time and even wrote her a guest post once, so I was thrilled to be included in whatever she had to say. However, it was this amazing post that got me thinking and stirred enough things within me to inspire this post.  Here is what I took away from Windsoars response.9 hours a week hasn’t always been much to me, but it’s also been bloody impossible and a commitment I couldn’t keep even when I sincerely made every effort to be there.I feel like this is something that could only be said in Cataclysm, in this era of more accessible raiding for all.  I have been raiding since Vanilla and anyone who raided then or even in Burning Crusade will tell you that back then you couldnt get anything done with just 9 hours a week.  It took nearly 9 hours just to get buffs situated!  If all you had was 9 hours a week to spare, you were not raiding.  Its as simple as that.  Raiding was a full time job and it was one that many of us were glad to partake in and remember fondly.  If you were there for that, it doesnt seem so foreign to put in a little more time each week to get capped on Valor Points.  By now, it should be old hat.When I’m killing time waiting for my raid, or just finished a nice, tight 3-hour session, the last thing I want to do is put up with shit from stangers.

Fact Or Crap – Priest Edition

7 Jul

Hello everybody and welcome to this very special edition of Fact Or Crap!  Im Oestrus and I will be your host this evening.  Tonight, we are going to play a game to determine if some of the things you have been hearing about priests lately is either Fact or Crap.Heres how it works.  Im going to read off a statement or an opinion that has been making the rounds, regarding priests in 4.2 and you tell me if you think what Im saying is a Fact or if it is Crap.  The person who correctly identifies the most statements will receive a prize, to be determined at a later point in time.Are you ready?  Lets play!4.2 Will Ruin Holy PriestsCorrect Answer:  CrapMake no mistake, discipline is doing incredibly well for itself.  This is mostly due to the changes that were made regarding how critical strike rating interacts with healing spells.  Discipline priests have always had more use for critical strike than holy priests and now they are really starting to reap the benefits of doing so.  Talents such as Renewed Hope, Inner Focus, Divine Aegis and Grace all benefit from critical strike rating and give discipline priests an incentive to have more of it.Holy priests dont really have anything in particular that stands to be improved because of the critical strike changes.  We make sure to take Inspiration, but usually have enough innate critical strike rating to get the desired effect from that without really trying.  Lightwell doesnt benefit from it and neither does our mastery.  The only thing I could see being affected by this change is Chakra: Serenity and by extension, Holy Word: Serenity.Being in Chakra: Serenity increases the chance of your direct healing spells to crit by 10%.  If you cast Holy Word: Sanctuary on someone, you will give them a temporary buff that increases the critical effect chance of all healing spells on that target by an additional 25%.  Its not bad, but discipline priests can certainly do a lot more with critical strike rating than that and they dont need to be stuck in a certain stance in order to do that.  Chakra: Serenity is typically a single target healing stance and tends to not see as much use in raids as Chakra: Sanctuary might.Here are some logs from the first night of attempts in Firelands that I participated in:This graph shows the total amount of healing that was done over 11 Shannox attempts, including our Shannox kill and 2 Bethtilac attempts (which we stopped trying for, because we were facing disconnect issues which prevented us from going any further).  You will see that the discipline priest and I have less than a 1% gap between us, regarding our overall output.  On the other hand, she did nearly the same amount of healing that I did with a 67% uptime as I did with an 82% uptime.  One could argue that this is a throughput issue and that her spells were doing inherently better than mine were.  She may have spent less time actually healing or casting, but was still putting out more healing than I was.These are the logs from our Shannox kill.  Again, you can see that the discipline priest and I have a narrow margin of healing between us.  You will also see that her uptime was slightly less than mine, but she still put out more healing than I did.  Is it enough for me to say that my spec performed poorly or that things would have turned out differently if I were discipline, too?  I dont believe it is.  At this point in our progression, we are performing at comparable levels.  If I were to start seeing huge gaps in our healing output, I would first try and determine if other factors may be involved.  Maybe theres a gear disparity or one of us died earlier than we should have.  I would try to eliminate all other possibilities before I come to the conclusion that I performed worse because I was holy.  Right now I dont have enough evidence to say that is the case and only by spending more time in Firelands will I be able to know for sure.Priests Will Have Less Spirit Than Everyone ElseCorrect Answer:  FactThis one is definitely true, but I think it goes a bit deeper than that.  If you compare the off-set pieces that we have available to us in Firelands versus those of other classes, you will see that healers who dont wear cloth will end up with more spirit than we will.  Even off-set pieces that come from other sources, like Valor Points or Avengers of Hyjal dailies will give us less spirit than druids, shaman, or paladins.  This is due to the fact that there are two other classes competing for cloth spell power gear (mages and warlocks) besides priests versus the other healers who have no competition for spell power gear of their desired type.  On the bright side, the full set of T12 armor for priests has more spirit on it than the complete sets that belong to other classes.Just because other healers stand to have more spirit than we do doesnt necessarily mean that they want or need it.  Take shamans, for example.  According to Lodur, shaman tend to fall into one of two camps.  They either stack spirit to help the raid and to buff their Mana Tide Totem or they dont stack it and focus on their personal throughput instead.  Shamans also have a talent called Resurgence, which allows them to regain mana when their direct heals crit and while they have Water Shield active.  Crit also helps them benefit from talents like Ancestral Awakening and Ancestral Healing.Paladins have become more interested in spirit lately, due to recent changes that increased the mana cost of some of their spells.  However, they also have other means of regaining mana, like Seal of Insight and Divine Plea.  Another way that paladins can save mana is by casting spells that only consume Holy Power, like Word of Glory and Light of Dawn more frequently or whenever they are off cooldown.Druids have always been as interested in spirit as priests have, but they also have some other things going for them that may make spirit less attractive as they gear up.  While not directly tied to mana regen, druids do get their choice of two top tier talents in both the feral and the resto trees that can increase their maximum mana and/or their intellect.  Furor increases a druids maximum mana by 5/10/15% while Heart of the Wild can increase a druids intellect by 2/4/6%.  They also have a talent called Revitalize, which gives them a 20% chance to instantly regain 1/2% of their total mana when they periodically heal with their Lifebloom or Rejuvenation spells.  Plus, druids can bring Replenishment to up to 10 party or raid members when they cast or refresh Lifebloom.  Lets not forget that druids can also put points into Malfurions Gift, which gives them a 2/4% chance to gain Omen of Clarity each time they heal with Lifebloom (this includes periodic healing).By itself, the fact that priests wont have as much spirit as everyone else or as much as theyre used to wouldnt be as much of a deal if they had other things they could rely on.  Again, discipline priests stand to fare a bit better at this than holy priests will.  For one thing, a discipline priest can choose to run with an Atonement build that relies on using Evangelism to build stacks and then consume them with Archangel.  Each stack of Evangelism that the priest gains lowers the cost of the core spells in that build by 3/6% per stack and this can stack up to five times.  When the priest consumes their stacks with Archangel, they receive 1% of their total mana back and a temporary spell power buff.  On a 30 second cooldown, Archangel can be used quite often and can do wonders for a discipline priests regen abilities.  Discipline priests also have Inner Focus, which gives them a free Flash Heal, Binding Heal, Greater Heal, or Prayer of Healing every 45 seconds; Power Infusion, which they can use on themselves to reduce the cost of all spells by 20%; and Rapture, which many priests track meticulously and is considered to be a core regen talent.In contrast, holy priests have Surge of Light, which only seems to trigger from spells that they dont use very often and that comes with an abysmal chance to proc; Lightwell, which is often
considered the most mana efficient heal in the entire game, but only if your raid decides to use it; Spirit of Redemption, which you have to be dead to enjoy; Serendipity, which again thrives off spells that we dont use that frequently; and Chakra, which only increases our healing output and does nothing to reduce the cost of our spells or to help us get mana back.  This leaves us with the basic cooldowns that every priest has to rely on, which are Hymn of Hope and Shadowfiend.  As you probably already know, those two seem to work best when used together and each comes with a lengthy cooldown.And lastly:The T12 Set Bonuses For Priests Are CrapCorrect Answer:  CrapI find it interesting that most of the people who have an issue with the quality of our T12 bonuses are the same ones who are concerned about the lack of spirit on their gear.  Lets break it down!The off-set helm, shoulders, chest, gloves and legs that come from Firelands have no spirit on them.  There are alternatives that you can find outside of a raid instance, but theyre not guaranteed to have spirit on them, either.  If youre someone who insists on having that much spirit on your gear, youre going to have to purchase your tier pieces in order to make that happen.  Youre probably not going to achieve that goal, otherwise.  Based on stats alone, the T12 pieces are comparable to anything else out there.Then you have the bonuses.  Priests are the only healing class whose two piece bonus does not boil down to chance.  Druids, shaman, and paladins have a 40% chance to make ___ happen.  Priests simply cast one of three spells and regain 2% of their base mana every five seconds for fifteen seconds.  I would imagine there is some sort of an internal cooldown, but I would also think that the uptime on that has got to be better than the other effects that simply have a chance to happen.Our four piece bonus could also save you some mana.  Having four pieces of T12 gives you a chance to summon a Cauterizing Flame when you cast a helpful spell, which will heal injured party members standing nearby for a set amount over five seconds.  Free healing is free healing and I certainly wont turn that down.  You shouldnt, either.At the end of the day, its really easy to buy into everything that you see or hear.  Its easy to fall victim to peer pressure or the mob mentality that can be found on message boards, Twitter, blogs, etc.  What I implore you to do is tune all of that out and find out what works for you.  Dont stop doing what youre doing because someone else tells you that it wont work or that it cant work.  Dont get mad about something thats affecting your class just because someone tells you that you should be angry or upset about it, too.  Do your best to sympathize with those around you, even if feel like you cant empathize with what they are going through.Until next time, Azeroth!

New Double O Podcast – Episode Five!

29 Jun

Need something to listen to while waiting for the patch to download on your painfully slow Internet connection?  Something to help you pass the time while you farm Firelands trash for rep?  Well, have no fear because Episode 5 of the Double O Podcast is here!http://thedoubleopodcast.wordpress.com/2011/06/27/episode-5-what-a-long-strange-trip-its-been/In this episode, Ophelie and I take a step back from the normal routine of having a guest host and sticking to a theme.  Its just the two of us and we spend most of the episode relaxing and having a chat about her tour through Canada and the U.S.

I Am Legend(ary)

23 Jun

The other day, some friends of mine from a previous guild had reached out to me to express their feelings on who was chosen to receive the first caster legendary staff.  There were some points they brought up that I agreed with and some that I didnt. I can only imagine what its like to be an officer or a GM and being put in that position of not only having to choose a system that would determine who is the best choice for a legendary, but then having to be the one to decide who gets it and standing behind those choices. I also know what its like to be on the other side of the coin, to be the one who gets chosen for a legendary and having your abilities and motives suddenly put under a microscope.Let me tell you a story about when I became legendary or should I say when I became the recipient of one.At the time, I was still a raiding resto druid and Ulduar was just about to be released.  Some information on Valanyr was starting to trickle down and resto druids werent immediately seen as the best choice to receive it, mostly due to how our heal over time spells worked in conjuction with the shielding effect from the weapon.My guild had decided to create a thread on our forums, in which people could discuss who they felt the best candidates for the mace should be.  Most people kept their suggestions pretty general and focused more on the class of healer that should receive it and not necessarily the person that should receive it.  Most people, with the exception of one troubled, wayward healing priest named Akarai.Akarai voiced the loudest opposition to a resto druid being awarded Valanyr and Im fairly sure that she was only so outspoken about it because I would be one of the two resto druids in the running for it.  We had started off as friends and she sort of took me under her wing when I first joined the guild, but had since sort of turned on me for no reason.  I still believe Valanyr was mostly the reason, but well get into that later. Anyway, the thread went on for a couple of pages and the officers still hadnt decided who the first recipient of the legendary weapon was going to be.  They were even still talking about it as we took our first steps into Ulduar and began the initial journey towards Flame Leviathan.  There was still a healthy amount of debate and discussion going on in Vent as the night went on, up until Flame Leviathan dropped and his loot was revealed.There it was.  Our first Fragment of Valanyr and our officer core still had not decided on who would be the first to receive it. I could see the Fragment starting back at me from the loot pane in the middle of my screen - the Fragment on the far left, the dice on the right with the gold coin beneath it.  The timer ticked down ominously as the officers spat out last minute suggestions of how to decide on the fly who would get it.  Finally one of them blurted out Just roll!  Healers, roll for it!Oestrus rolls 98 (1-100) I couldnt believe it.  I knew that I had rolled high enough where nobody would beat me.  I won!  I was going to be the first healer in the guild to receive a Valanyr.  I was in shock.  My mind went blank and I spaced out for a few seconds at the news.  A couple people congratulated me on Vent and as I watched the Fragment fly into my bags, I knew that things were never going to be the same.  Little did I know just how much they were never going to be the same.The second that Fragment entered my bag at least two healers stopped talking to me.  Akarai of course was furious and promptly cut off all communication with me.  Within weeks I had become a social pariah.  I went from being a great healer, who had the logs and the gear to show that my performance had meant something and that I had been rewarded appropriately for doing good work to suddenly being seen as carried or seriously overrated.  I had people openly starting fights with me in guild chat and drawing comics about me on the forums.  It was insane!To some extent, I think my guild felt that because I had so many fragments already (I was up to twelve, at that point) that I wouldnt be going anywhere and that I would have no choice but to take whatever people felt like dishing out.  They obviously didnt know me very well. I still didnt understand why this was all happening.  I honestly thought people would just be happy for me and I couldnt make sense of why they werent.  I was supporting the guild.  I was representing the healers, the druids.   I thought that someday people would see me in Dalaran with Valanyr and they would see my guild tag and say Wow, thats an awesome guild right there.  They have a Valanyr!  and I would be the one to signify that.At that point, I would have given every Fragment back, if I could have.  It wasnt worth it.  It wasnt worth it to have people I thought I could trust and respect turn against me over a bunch of pixels.  It wasnt worth it, even after I left the guild and tried to apply to other guilds and having to explain why Im sitting around with an unfinished Valanyr in my bags.  It wasnt worth it to have that feeling of embarassment or shame, knowing that I would have to PuG Ulduar to get the rest of my fragments, because the guilds I was in already had their own designated Valanyr recipients that they had to build maces for and they came first (rightfully so).Eventually, I did complete my Valanyr, with the help of an amazing guild and I was one of two resto druids with it.  It felt incredible.  Some joked about how long it took me and that by then it was a bygone relic that nobody had any use for.  Fortunately, the ICC buff favored absorption spells and effects and Im proud to say that I used that thing up until the day Cataclysm was released.  I even used it when leveling Oestrus and I would even use it in Heroics to show off or when I felt that I had a really strong tank in the group that didnt need as much healing.Even though I changed mains, I still sometimes ride around a major city on my Amani bear mount and my Valanyr and remember the good old days.  I have never been more proud than I was when I received either of those things and I wouldnt change it for the world.  I went through a lot to get my Valanyr and it made me who I am today.  Im stronger because of it.  I dont care what people think because of it.  I dont doubt my abilities because of it.  I got it because I earned it and I worked hard for it and no faulty system of deciding that or no amount of forum trolling could take that away from me. If youre a DPS and youre reading this, good luck with getting your legendary staff!  If youre an officer of a guild or a GM and youre reading this, good luck with finding the right system for you and yours and may this be as rewarding of an experience and as stress free of an experience as possible.  If you arent able to receive the staff, because of your role or your class or you just dont get chosen to receive it, be happy for whoever does.  Try to find some good in what that person does for you and realize that when they receive the staff your whole guild receives the staff.  Youre building it together.  Dont immediately look for ways to tear them down, but find reasons why they were given this opportunity and support them in that.  I would like to think that person would probably do the same thing for you.Good luck, everyone!

New Double O Podcast – Episode Four!

15 Jun

Lock your doors and hide the chidren, because Episode 4 of the Double O Podcast is out and ready for your enjoyment!http://thedoubleopodcast.wordpress.com/2011/06/08/episode-4-cyn-lose-or-draw/After a brief hiatus, Ophelie and I return with Cynwise, from Cynwises Battlefield Manual in tow.  The three of us discuss everything and anything PVP, including how Cynwise got started in PVP and how you can, too.  We talk about whether or not PVP is really all that different from PVE and how one can make you better at the other.  Lastly, Ophelie and I come clean about why we think our friends dont ask us to PVP with them anymore.At one hour and forty-five minutes, we packed a lot into this episode and we were delighted to have Cynwise with us.  He was just as gracious and intelligent as we had hoped and we would love to have him back on the show again some time.  Dont forget that you can find the Double O Podcast on iTunes, where you can subscribe to us, leave a review and download episodes for free.If youre looking for a few posts to keep you entertained or that may even get you thinking, I encourage you to check out Beruthiels recent post about the hidden cost of progression,  Shintars post about what the game would be like if Wrath never happened, and Alas hilarious Lightwell haiku. Be safe!


13 Jun

This is a story about balls. Those who have them, those who dont have any and those who have too much of them.Our story begins at Heroic Nefarian, of course.  My guild was just coming off an amazing Tuesday night, where we had cleared all of the Heroic modes in Blackwing Descent and regular ODS in one evening and squeezed in some great attempts on Heroic Nefarian.  We went in the next evening feeling refreshed, optimistic and ready to kick some ass.  Well, at least some of us did, anyway.Things werent going very well.  I was getting frustrated, because with the exception of one good attempt earlier in the evening, we werent doing as well as we usually do.  There was no progress being made.  I kept thinking that Firelands is less than two weeks away and we are probably not going to down this boss before it does.  That really depressed me. As I was pondering what this meant for me and mine, I noticed a message being spammed in my chat box. You receive loot: [Heavy Leather Ball]You receive loot: [Heavy Leather Ball]You receive loot: [Heavy Leather Ball]Now I know that people have accused me of not being very fun in the past.  People say Im too business or too serious and I need to lighten up a bit.  Dont get me wrong, I like to have a good time – when I feel we have earned it.  If were putzing around before Heroic Magmaw or Argaloth, I can let the hair down a bit.  We have earned the right to be a little more care free and thats a good time to be doing so.But when were on week four or even week five of wiping on the same encounter and mind you were not even wiping to Nefarian, at this point.  Were wiping to human error.  Were missing interrupts.  Were not reacting appropriately when we have Exploding Cinders.  We have DPS dying in p1 for reasons that nobody can seem to understand or pinpoint.  Thats whats killing us.  To me, thats not a reason to celebrate.  Thats not a reason to be silly and goofy.  I dont think thats funny.  In fact, I think its sad.So you can imagine how enthused I was to see that a person or people had begun throwing their balls into my bags before the pull.  One or two is cute.  Four and five stacks is obnoxious.  I asked repeatedly for whomever it was that was doing this to knock it off.  I typed it in raid chat and I asked on Vent.  I may not have asked politely, but I did ask for them to stop. Anyone who knows me knows that I do what I say and I say what I mean.  If I say stop, it means stop.  I meant it the first time and I will mean it every time that I say it afterwards.  I dont know if they didnt think I was serious or what, but I was.  All that energy that was spent throwing crap into my bags was certainly not being directed towards the raid, otherwise we wouldnt be facing closing out yet another week without downing Heroic Nefarian.  Of all the things that person could be doing, they were choosing to waste their energy filling up my bags with useless crap. And with that, I left the raid, disconnected from Vent and said in guild chat that whoever it was that was doing that could heal, because I sure wasnt going to do it anymore.  I found out a short time later that they managed to get Nefarian down to 16% (our best attempt to date) after I left, because they were down to six healers and having more DPS in the raid made a huge difference.  So at least something good did come out of the evening.I spent the next few days waiting for some kind of fallout to happen and nothing did.  There were a few passive-aggressive jabs at me on the forums, but I had yet to receive an actual direct response to what I did.  There were no angry direct messages from any of the officers.  No furious in game mails telling me where to shove my guild bank donations.  I logged on the next morning to find I was still in the guild and still had my raider status.  I couldnt possibly have gotten away with this.  Or could I?On Friday afternoon, I came home to find an e-mail from one of our officers, asking if he could talk to me off the record about some things.  I really didnt want to, but I figured I would keep an open mind and see what he had to say.  There was talk of me having to make a public apology to the raid for insulting them with my actions.  You know what I find insulting?  People who dont have their DBM or Big Wigs configured to alert them properly of when they have Exploding Cinders or people who dont even have DMB or Big Wigs or something like that functioning in their interface.  Thats insulting.I find people who show up week after week and make the same mistakes, without ever doing anything to improve upon them and learn from their mistakes insulting.  I find people who cant be bothered to run back to the instance in a timely manner and who make us have to buff the raid again and again insulting.  I find people who cant click the damn Lightwell or use Healthstones or Stoneform or any other defensive cooldowns that they have to keep themselves alive on a fight where survival is key to be insulting.Wheres my public apology?I spent the weekend hanging out with friends and received a message from one of our officers, with a few words from the GM attached.  He stated that he wanted to talk to me at some point and that we actually needed to talk.  I informed the GM that I had Ophelie staying with me this weekend and that I felt anything we needed to discuss could be done through e-mails or private messages on the forums.  I wasnt going to have Ophelie sitting in my living room and watching movies on her laptop, while my GM and I duke it out on Vent. There is one major thing a GM can say to me or insinuate to make me leave me them and my GM had said exactly that.  Anytime the words really want to be here come up in conversation, I start packing my bags and walking out the door.  I am the last person that anyone can ever ask that question to.  If you have to ask me whether or not I really want to be in your guild, then you obviously havent been paying attention.  I shouldnt have to convince someone that I want it bad enough for them to keep me or for me to stay.  I shouldnt have to have that hanging over my head, like If you really want to be here, you will do this. I logged on and left the guild shortly after that.  I logged out of my profile on the boards and havent looked back.  I spent the weekend leveling my Night Elf mage and having a great time being away from the computer.  I have had an offer or two to join other guilds, but for the most part the pickings are slim.  I really dont want to throw myself at the mercy of the Guild Recruitment boards and deal with the trolls that came around last time.  Most of the guilds Im seeing are looking for holy paladins or resto shaman.  Nobody out there is really looking for a holy priest. So Im looking, but not too aggressively.  I kind of like the idea of a break before Firelands and Lord knows I have posts I want to get churned out before the next patch hits.  Im a little mad at myself that Im back here again, guild hopping like I was in Wrath.  But I think its different this time.  Im not sure how, but it is.  I just have to do the right thing and I feel I did that.  I know I did that. And that my friends takes balls.


27 May

The other day, my guild was on its second night of wipes Heroic Nefarian attempts for the week and we werent doing so hot.  I think each officer eventually took a turn on the microphone to either give a pep talk or to try to whip us into shape, so we could shake off whatever it was that was preventing us from even getting some solid P2 attempts in.  One officer in particular started listing off things we could otherwise be doing.Do we need to go back and do Heroic Halfus, because that seems to be at about our level tonight?ORDo we need to just call it right here and say we had a good run of things and not raid anymore until Firelands?My inner monologue went a little something like this:Ugh.  I really dont want to do that fight again.ANDThats a ridiculous idea. Absolutely ludicrous. I dont know what the hell you were thinking.And then it hit me.  I would be perfectly fine calling it right here, at 6/13 in Heroic modes and taking a nice, well deserved break until Firelands comes out.  I would have no problem not logging in, except for the occasional Amani bear run or round of TB dailies.  I wouldnt be opposed to getting no less than seven hours of sleep a day for a change.  That sounds great right now.Dont get me wrong, I still love the game.  I still love raiding.  I have no problem or issue with my guild or anyone in it.  I dont disagree with anything the officers have done or how they have chosen to plot the guilds course through this first tier of content.  Im just tired. I have spent the last six months looking at these same bosses over and over again.  I could pretty much heal these fights in my sleep.  Theres no challenge.  Theres no thrill.  The fights that my guild was struggling on arent challenging to me because its not a healing issue.  There isnt anything I can do to make the interrupts go more smoothly on Nefarian.  I cant make people hold off on their DPS when they are supposed to during transitions on Maloriak.  I dont even want to think of the things I wont be able to convince people to do on Ascendant Council.Im doing my part and I cant say the same for other people.  I can look at myself and ask myself what I could have done differently on certain encounters and I dont have an answer.  Theres nothing more I can do.  I would like to think that the people who are having issues or who may be struggling with certain aspects of an encounter are just going through a phase like I am.  Theyre tired, too.  Theyre burnt out.  Maybe the break would do them some good, as well. Maybe we could come back in a month or two, whenever Firelands is released.  We could spend that time getting our shopping lists ready, so we know what upgrades we need and where to get them from.  We could be reading up on strategies or spending time on the PTR and learning the fights first hand.  We could still be doing things to better ourselves, without having to log in two days a week and get our morale ripped to shreds by encounters that people are bored of and that people dont have the motivation or the energy to do correctly anymore.  Its like when people decide to work from home, because they dont want to go into the office.  Theyre still technically working, just not in their usual setting.Does it make me a bad raider for saying this?  Am I a cop out, because I have no interest in completing an entire tier of content for the first time in my raiding career?  Does it bother me that other guilds may do better than me, guilds that I feel maybe should not be?  I think about all of those things and they dont bother me as much as I thought they would.  At the end of the day I have to love what I do and right now I just dont. Im over it.  Im really over it.

The People Vs. Heroic Nefarian

25 May

This will be the second or third week of attempts that my guild has spent working on Heroic Nefarian.  We have come a long way since we first started, but we still have a lot of work to do.  This mostly revolves around interrupt coordination and pushing out the most DPS possible, in order to get 2 Electrocutes in the first phase.  Healing is not the issue here. However, I do try to be aware of my performance and so Im usually one of the first people to pore over the logs once the raid is over, to see how I did and what I can possibly improve on.  At first glance, I could stand to improve quite a bit.Overall, I was #6 on the meters for the entire nights worth of attempts.  I was a bit perturbed by this, for obvious reasons.  I dont often show that low on the meters.  I know we tell ourselves that the numbers dont matter, but they do.  You may not be asked to sit or get benched, because youre showing lower than other people.  But it does matter and to a certain degree it should matter.  How much is the question. Lets take a look at my overall healing done.From looking at the previous chart, you can see that I was the healer with the highest Active Time and in that time I put out about 46.3 million in healing.  I was slightly below our holy paladin and above our discipline priest.  Our resto shaman and at least two of our resto druids completely blew me out of the water (or lava) on this one.  According to the chart above, I ended the night with about 34% overheal, which is not bad. Our strategy right now revolves around seven healers and in P1, I was assigned to heal the raid and help heal the add tank, along with our holy paladin.  Our paladin was able to keep up the add tank mostly by himself and I provided assistance with PoM, Renew and the occassional shield or two.  Most of my energy was spent on the raid and healing through Tail Swipes and people who took too much damage coming out of Dominion.  I was also in charge of handling raid damage from Electrocute.Our raid leader would call out when Nefarian was about to reach 90% and 80%, indicating an Electrocute was on the way.  I would pre-emptively drop Sanctuary and pop Stoneform (for the first one) and then begin casting PoH,  so that it would land on a group slightly after Electrocute hits.  I would then use CoH and heal each remaining party with PoH to help top them off again. The second Electrocute was much trickier, because people were going from being near Nefarian to racing across the room towards Onyxia to finish her off before she blew up the raid.  Most of my heals revolve around people being somewhat near each other and they just werent.  They were either out of range before I could get my PoH off, there werent nearly enough around to warrant using Sanctuary or CoH wouldnt manage to reach six people.  So that one became much more difficult to clean up after.Once P2 started and the lava began to rise, I would get on my pillar and immediately pop Divine Hymn.  While thats channeling, I would prepare another Sanctuary and cast that once the Hymn was finished.  I would drop a Lightwell in whatever corner of the pillar I could find and call it out on Vent.  This was followed up by PoM and CoH on cooldown and repeated use of PoH and sometimes Binding Heal.  Typically our P2 attempts would go south because of people not being aware they had Cinders and blowing up their pillar or interrupts were not being sorted out to cover those who had Cinders and couldnt otherwise do their jobs.  I think we only saw P3 once or twice last night and it felt outstanding to get that far and to know we were making progress.So what can I do to improve my performance or my throughput?  I have a few ideas.Swap my regen trinket for another throughput trinket.  I have been using Darkmoon Card: Tsunami and the Vibrant Alchemist Stone ever since I was able to craft and equip it and it served me well, for the most part.  Heroic Jar of Ancient Remedies dropped and I was quick to try that out and it helped me through a handful of encounters.  I feel like I had a lot of mana to spare last night and that I maybe didnt need as much or I could have used more raw healing instead.  The extra haste probably wouldnt hurt, either.Suggest we take 6 healers instead of 7.  I feel like the only time we really need a 7th healer is for P2 and possibly P3.  But if P3 is anything like P1, which I believe it is, then Im not sure we would need that many.  Maybe swapping that 7th healer for another DPS would be a vast improvement and provided we can clean up our interrupts and how people react to the Cinders and being in the lava, we would naturally require less healing to be done and it could be much better all around.Promote more Lightwell usage.  I know its tough to find a spot on the pillar thats already not occupied by someone or something and that people are able to see.  I realize that.  But I do feel like the lack of Lightwell usage also seriously cut into my overall healing done.  On a good night, Lightwell healing can be my top 3rd or 4th heal.  Last night it was my 10th highest.  As luck would have it, the Lightwell Geespot add-on that I couldnt get to work for the life of me the other day magically turned on last night.  Needless to say, I had to issue an apology or two for the add-on telling people they shouldnt have clicked on the Lightwell because they had too much health.   Im open to other suggestions, because I was really not pleased with my performance last night.  I know I did well, considering the circumstances.  But I do feel like I can do more and do better and maybe Im just suffering from tunnel vision and not seeing the big picture.  Lets see if I can make some improvements tonight (along with everyone else) and maybe post some happier Tweets that include the news that we have finally downed this fucker.