The End of the Expansion: Heroic Garrosh, The Realm Connection, & A Bit of Mischief

I’ve said it before, but when Mists of Pandaria was first announced, I balked. “Of course, I’m still going to play it,” I readily admitted, “but I don’t know if I’m going to like it.”

Turns out, I did, but it hasn’t been an easy road for my guild this time around. At the very beginning (and I do mean the very beginning–MSV), we lost 12 people in 2 weeks, two separate groups that broke off and went 10-man. This left us down half of a raid group and without four of our 6 healers. 

MSV Wipe

This expansion for our guild has been about discovering who we are and what we want to be as a guild now, or at least, that’s how it has been for me. I have very clear ideas about what I want to see in Warlords of Draenor, and my raiding goals are higher than they’ve ever been. Whatever happens next, I am certain that Mythic raiding is going to be an adventure.

Speaking of raiding goals, we reached one we had never actually set before as a guild: clearing the content before the next patch. It’s been an uphill climb from those troubling moments in Mogu’shan, and there were times this expansion that I honestly wondered if we were going to be raiding much at all.

But we pulled through. We got stuck on 25-man Thok for over 2 months and made the decision to go 10-man, on which we cleared Thok through Paragons, and then, this week, 188 wipes in, Garrosh died. 

Grats, CCT. Thank you for not giving up on the guild and thank you for not giving up on me. 

Heroic Garrosh

Durotan & Ysera 4 Lyfe

Durotan has been my home since the day I created Ambermist. From those fledgling days as a healer to learning to Moonkin to Siege of Orgrimmar, I’ve been here. In Vanilla and BC, Durotan lost a lot of guilds to free server transfers as they opened up the option for new servers. Wrath was a fun time for the server. Dalaran certainly promotes spending time with the people around you.

From Dollarsign to Casual’s Gem Cuts to Secular’s insistence on making it impossible to fish for coins to nude dance parties because, well, why not, Wrath was good times. 

Dalaran: City of Nudes

Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria saw a steady decline in our server population, especially for the Horde side, and a bottoming out of progression. We were never a highly ranked server anyway, but we went from a small handful of 25 and quite a few 10 man guilds progressing through content to an extremely small group of guilds that made it into Heroic Siege, and only two so far that have completed it, the first of which only moved to Durotan earlier this year.  

No one is surprised to see “Durotan is dead!” in Trade chat anymore, when there’s active Trade chat at all, and there has been a lot of “when are we going to be merged?” going around. The answer is today, when we merge with Ysera. 

The servers seem similar from what I’ve seen, with a much bigger group of Horde to breathe life into Durotan’s struggling Horde side, and even more Alliance with whom to share the stoop. (Or not, you know, we’re kind of territorial). 

The Stoop

Uh, Clump Check?

 

Welcome, Ysera, I look forward to meeting you!

The Summer Doldrums

Here we are at the end of the expansion in the middle of summer. People are restless, a little (or a lot) bored, and generally causing mischief wherever they go. Sometimes this ends up being some mild trolling, other times it’s Thunderfury vs Thunderfury in an epic melee caster battle. 

Then, sometimes, it’s a fight to see who’s going to be forced to leave the guild, which is what happened last night. I lost. 

After leaving the guild, I asked if anyone was recruiting, and I immediately got an offer from a guild that I couldn’t refuse. 

Check Please 4 Lyfe?

 

And then the other officer that could invite me back to CCT logged off. Then, so did the mage that I was going to promote to get an invite when there was no one else online.

THEY LEFT ME HERE, YOU GUYS. 

It’s okay, though, Check Please has macadamia nut cookies. I think this could work out.

So, that’s my story–how is the end of the expansion treating you, your guilds, and your servers? 

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Chi Cerca Trova & Siege of Orgrimmar Heroic: 10 vs 25

After 2 months of being unable to progress because we couldn’t recruit faster than we were losing people to burn-out and real life, the decision was made this week to go to 10-man Heroic. Our goal? Get through the content as quickly as possible and then get everyone subbed in to get the Heroic Garrosh kill they’ve earned.

As it turns out, though; there are some things about 10m that required some adjusting on our part. If you find yourself in a similar situation, dropping from 25 to 10, let me share with you the lessons we learned our first night in 10s!

ImageImmerseus: Ow, That Hurts

First lesson we learned is that the Swelling Corruption stacking DoT really matters on 10m (REALLY matters).

On 25m, with so many DPS splitting the stacks (and usually running with an extra healer), we basically ignored the DoT. No one usually got more than 2-3, maybe 4 stacks, and since we were all in the same small piece of real estate anyway, healing through it was no big deal.

In 10m, though, we had a few wipes because people were dying with ticks between 600k and 800k–ouch! So, we had to do what the Pandaren have been telling us to do all along: S l o w  D o w n. We had to watch our stacks and not go above 5. Once we did that, the fight was a lot easier, if still a little annoying.

Protectors: Just Go Ahead and Stack Everything

Protectors was actually way, way easier on 10 than 25. Ranged stacked up and got healed, we took a few steps out for Corrupted Brew and Sha Sear, but other than that we just executed the fight normally from our spots.

Much to everyone’s (okay, well, half the raid, at least) delight, we stacked the bosses very, very tightly, making for a quick, mostly clean kill. No melee were (significantly) harmed in the killing of this boss.

Norushen: Oh, Hey, Adds.

On 25m, we always had 2-3 DPS that never had their corruption cleared and focused on adds so that those who were at 0 corruption could focus entirely on the boss. In 10m, we sent all of our DPS in, and that meant that everyone needed to be more attentive on adds, something we almost failed at.

Thankfully, we cleared it up pretty quickly, and since we had all of the DPS in and out so quickly, once the little adds were dead, the fight was a cake walk. In fact, we beat our 25m time by almost a minute!

Sha of Pride: Heroic LFR

Compared to 25m, 10m Sha of Pride was much, much less chaotic. We stacked up like you do on LFR, focused on rifts closest to our stacked group, and executed everything else normally. Except for a couple of “whoops” deaths, Sha went down pretty easily.

Galakras, Iron Juggernaut, & Dark Shaman: Business as Usual

Except for some positioning adjustments on Juggernaut and me still learning to tank Shaman (and a few would-be Storm Chasers), these three bosses remained largely unchanged. We used identical strats to our 25m, just pared down to fit the group.

Nazgrim: On Your Toes

Biggest difference for Nazgrim (besides getting distracted and standing in Aftershock–oh, no, wait, that’s not that different) is that we have fewer people covering interrupts and stuns, so we had some deaths to Ironblades, especially combined with Bonecracker or War Song.

We stopped at Nazgrim for the night, but we’re going back in there Monday, and we can’t wait to kill Thok, at last.

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Going Mobile

Six years ago, a week after they were available for purchase, my husband and I ordered keychain authenticators. The day it came in the mail, I taped it to my desk, and I haven’t moved it since that day.

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To understand the importance of this, you first have to understand that I am about the most scatterbrained individual you can imagine. I lose my phone for at least 2 or 3 days about once every 2 months. My keys are a daily adventure. And then there are the extra special moments, like “Honey, why is your wallet in the freezer?”

My husband switched to the Mobile Authenticator not long after it became an option, but I declined. It’s safer there taped to my desk–sometimes you have to recognize your weaknesses and work with them.

Mobile Requirements

When the Armory app required an authenticator, I considered switching to mobile. I wanted to be able to log in and use the app to chat with guildies, but it wasn’t worth losing my authenticator to me, so I sucked it up and lived without it.

Yesterday, though, everything changed–Hearthstone came to the iPad. We have two iPads, one that the whole family chipped in to buy for the kids, and one from my husband’s work, and I have used them both extensively. It turns out I love tablets.

I knew the minute I opened the Hearthstone app, I would need my authenticator number. Drat.

The truth is, I like the incorporation of mobile options into our games. On Twitter the other day, I couldn’t help but wonder if Blizzard will take the desktop launcher chat-with-friends feature mobile. It seems like the next logical step from Guild Chat on the Armory app to Real ID Chat on a mobile app, and I honestly would think that’s pretty cool.

The Decision to Go Mobile

I can’t deny the importance of being able to have my authenticator on the move anymore. I want in on this mobile movement, and I’m going to have to go for it.

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Hey, you can’t deny that it’s mobile.

 

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I’m Still Okay with the Timeless Isle

I can’t even keep up with the rate my Twitter feed moves anymore, but every now and then when I’m scrolling through, something will catch my eye. A week or so ago, it was a link to Blog Azeroth’s shared topic idea, which boiled down to: “How much time do you spend on the Timeless Isle, and why?”

Edit to add: Okay, so after I posted this, I realized that I had used the headlining picture previously. Can’t have that, so now there’s a brand new bonus pic. :-P

Timeless Isle Redux

 

Rare Hunt

It stood out to me because I have spent a ton of time on the Isle, and truthfully, I don’t hate it yet. I don’t spend all my time chasing after rares or completing events like I did at first, but I’m still there at least a few times a week.

On my druid, I’m working on Shaohao exalted rep. Yes, really. At least 3 members of my guild think I have gone completely stupid. I’m not sure they’re wrong.

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Every Tuesday, I go out to the Isle, pick up the weeklies (cause Valor), and go kill Ordos Fire Dudes on Fire Dude Hill. So many fire dudes have died, guys; sometimes I feel the need to preserve their legacy.

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Of course, Timeless Isle is best for alts–I have at least one complete set of each type of Timeless armor tokens sitting on my bank alt just in case, I don’t know, I decide to level 4 more warlocks or something. It could happen.

Each of my alts has spent at least a tiny bit of time on the Isle, certainly some more than others.

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Both my hunter and shaman dinged 90 on the Isle thanks to the convenient worm packs and friends who didn’t mind killing large scores of mobs or dragging me through the crystal cave in search of a Crystal of Insanity (<3 Frenzie!).

And, of course, my druid and my shaman go out there every week to kill the Celestials and Ordos, because I sure love boxes of gold. Who needs loot when you’ve got BOXES. of GOLD.

I imagine that the Timeless Isle will continue to be at least a part of what I do every week until I throw my computer out the window in a rage fit one raid night or 6.0 drops, whichever comes first.

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What about you?

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Mists of Pandaria Compilation Album

It’s time again for the compilation album I make for my guild. While not all of it will make sense, I think there’s enough cross over in the boss mechanics from Siege that you guys can appreciate some of this!

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And a bonus album!

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You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby: My Mists of Pandaria Characters

Despite the expansion being possibly 6 months away, the feeling that we are coming to the close of Mists of Pandaria lingers. When MoP was announced, I was not quiet about how un-interesting I thought it sounded–until I played the beta. It swept me off my feet and hasn’t stopped. 

I wanted, then, to take a look at my characters as we round out the last few months of Pandaria and prepare for our next great adventure: 

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The last time I did a summary of my characters like this was way back in 2010–hard to believe how far they’ve come (and my, how they’ve grown!) in 4 years. 

My little team is poised and ready to jump into Warlords with both feet!

 

 

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Why I Don’t Like You, And Probably Never Will

UPDATE: There’s been a meeting of the minds, so to speak, and our guild and the guild that is the subject of this post (and the myriad comments below) has reached an agreement. Good grief, I sound like I’m writing some kind of political release.

Fahget about it. We’re starting over, clean slate. Nothing to see here, move along.

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For weeks, I’ve been telling my guildies not to feed the trolls, and (for the most part), they’ve been great. Here I go ruining it, because I have a big bag of troll food, and I’ve got to use it up before it goes stale.

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So this is an open letter to whom it may concern:

It’s one thing to win, and the truth is, I don’t fault you for being first. I’m not all that jealous of your progression or gear. See, our guild never set out to be first. We were (mostly) content to do the best we could do, which sometimes was great and sometimes wasn’t.

We got a new team at the helm with some new ideas about raiding, and we got a little better. A little more consistent, a little more focused, a little more driven. That, combined with the server we’ve called home for nearly 10 years now crumbling into pieces as guilds drifted away, transferred servers, or just collapsed completely, resulted in us being in the number one position. It was cool, but we didn’t stop being, well; us.

If you think my dislike comes from a place of jealousy, I’m afraid that’s your pride getting the better of you. If you had arrived on our server and taken the lead graciously, we’d probably get along extremely well. In fact, I’d probably look up to you and encourage our raiders to take notes from yours. We’d still be driven to try to keep up with you, no question, but I imagine I would think you were pretty cool.

Instead, I watched as you easily took over the 10-man progression slot and immediately started giving crap to the only 10-man group that was, at the time, actively pursuing heroics.

Why? What did putting them down do for you?

Then it was Challenge Modes, and again, you circled around those players with the previous bests like vultures, ripping on them whenever the opportunity arose. I knew as soon as I heard that we would be next.

See, I knew you guys would probably catch up and overtake us, and I knew the minute it happened that the silence would break. You wouldn’t sit around watching our players at the dummies anymore, you’d have to say something.

And, unfortunately, I wasn’t the least bit wrong about that. The day after you took the lead in progression, your members immediately started in, trolling and mocking ours as they waited outside the instance on raid night or stood in the Shrine. It made me angry, not because you had passed us in progression, but because you felt the need to turn around and try to make my friends feel like crap about it.

So I asked them to maintain the silence; to take the trolling in stride. There were some–interesting–ways my guildies took this request, but by and large, they did as I asked.

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And yet it continues. Maybe you think you’re just being funny, but that’s not the way it comes across. So no, I don’t like you, and I probably never will.

I’ve been on the internet long enough to know the responses to this post, so in an effort to save your time, I’m going to list them below and you just circle the ones that apply to your reply:

A. It’s just a game, get over it.

B. You’re being stupid.

C. If you don’t want to hear crap, then get better.

D. You’re just jealous.

E. It’s just fun, lighten up.

And maybe it’s true, maybe I do take it too seriously, too personally–but I only do because people like my husband and some of my friends do, too. I’m protective of them, and I don’t like to see them feeling frustrated because you decided it’s your job to remind them that you’re first and we’re not.

Well, congratulations, but there are different kinds of winners.

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