Why I Still Log On Every Day

If you haven’t seen it yet, there’s a buzz coming from Mr. and Mrs. WoW this week: a community project aimed at combating the negativity that tends to spawn at the end of an expansion by taking a look at the things that we still love about the game. We each pay $15 a month to log in–but what do we do once we’re there? For those of us who have stayed subscribed in pre-Warlords Warcraft, why do we log in?

Friends

Hands down, this is the number one reason I log on at any time other than raid time. I said it on Twitter jokingly but it’s not untrue: most of the time these days, WoW is an extremely interactive chat program. Real ID, guild chat, the best private channel in the entire game (sorry, I don’t mean to put down anyone else’s, but ours is the best, okay?), and sometimes Mumble–there’s almost always someone around to talk to.My Perch

There’s a reason my blog and Twitter have a billion screenshots of this spot. Most days, if you’re on Durotan or Ysera, you can find me on my perch or The Stoop, and if I’m not AFK, you can bet I’m sitting there talking to someone. I’m not going to get sappy, but I am going to say that I do care about the friends with whom I play WoW. They’re genuinely awesome people, and if I unsubbed and couldn’t chat anymore, I’d be bummed. 

Raids

I’ve said this a million times already in the past few years, and it hasn’t changed: I play to raid. Killing dragons with a bunch of people that I usually don’t hate is a good time. Most of the time. Except when I’ve got 5 fps for almost an entire raid night because I forgot to close background programs on my crap computer. 

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Okay, even then, I still enjoy raiding. If they took raids out of WoW, I’d stop playing. Maybe I’d go be bad at League of Legends some more. I hear Hello Kitty Island Adventure is a pretty good time…

The Carrot

Blizzard, as a company, is exceptionally good at carrots. I am not naive; I get that it’s intentional and it keeps us playing the game–and it totally works.

Right now, there are two carrots that I’m aiming for every week, though they look an awful lot like mounts:

Invinciblemountedknighthorseblack

For weeks, I solo-cleared ICC 25 & Heroic Lich King; I got tired of that and stuck a lockout on my rogue to use instead. There’s a moment when I loot his corpse (again) where there’s hope it’s going to be there–of course, all that’s on it are tokens and axes (again), but I’ll keep doing it until I get it.

Thankfully, flying to Karazhan is more time consuming than actually killing the Huntsman, but he disappoints me every week, too. Jerk. Keep your Warhorse, what do I care.

Those are my three main reasons for playing–what are yours?  Don’t forget to take a look at Mr. and Mrs. WoW’s series of posts and all of the bloggers who have contributed to the community project!

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Make New Friends, But Keep the Old

A Look Back 

I created Ambermist in 2006. I leveled her when I came to visit my then-boyfriend on weekends (if you’re wondering, yes, it took forever). Not quite a year later, I hit 70. Within 10 minutes, I was invited to Chi Cerca Trova. My guild note then? “UK’s girlfriend.”

The next 4 years, I raided with CCT, climbing our way through BC & WotLK raids. I moved away from being UK’s girlfriend and worked to become a raider in my own right.

CCT in Naxxramas

At the end of Wrath, having met the end of my rope in the drama of the time, I gquit and raided with a different guild before taking a break from the game. When I came back in summer of 2011, the guild I had raided with was a skeleton, and it didn’t take long for me to find my way back home to CCT.

In 2012, we started in Mists of Pandaria, and were almost immediately sacked with guild drama. When the dust cleared, we had lost 12 members within the first 4 weeks of the first tier. In the midst of this chaos and in need of new officers, I was promoted. The last year and a half have been a crazy ride. We rebuilt the guild, thanks in no small part to one of our officers reaching out to everyone he could, and pulling in several of the players I have grown closest to in the past year.

We progressed halfway through Heroic Siege of Orgrimmar before our 25-man went 10, and then we cleared Heroic Garrosh in our 10-man. I was proud to be a part of making that happen, even if there were moments that made me want to quit altogether.

Last 25m CCT Kill

In the past few months, though; I’ve been slowly coming to a realization, and things have been changing little by little during that time. I love CCT, I always will, but what I want from the game has changed.

…And a Look Forward

Last night, with a heavy heart but a big dose of optimism, I left Chi Cerca Trova. I hope that the friends that I have there will still be my friends today.

For Warlords of Draenor, though; I will be raiding with Check Please. Of all the things I expected to happen, this was definitely not it, but it’s the right decision for me right now. I have thoroughly enjoyed raiding with them over the past few weeks in our 25-man collab, and when we go back to Garrosh on Monday, it will be as one guild.

A New Guild Tag

 

Thank you, CCT, for letting me be an idiot sometimes, and for putting up with my sometimes frenetic leadership in the past 6 months. Thank you for memories and moments and funny pics and mumble conversations I will never forget.

And thank you, Check Please, for taking me in. I’ll see you all on The Stoop. <3

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A Story of Two Guilds, Heroic Garrosh 25-man, & The Warlords Announcement

A Story of Two Guilds: Heroic Garrosh 25

Some of you might recall this post, borne from the frustration of dealing with a new guild that had recently transferred to our server.

That post sparked a, uh–conversation, of sorts, which ultimately resulted in a peaceful state of being between our guilds.

I posted that in March, and in the 5 months since, our two guilds have actually formed some sort of bizarre and yet completely functional bond–one that resulted in combining our two end-of-expansion rosters into a single 25m Heroic Siege group.

After an easy clear up to Garrosh and 40 wipes on the ugly orc himself, our band of unlikely compatriots cleared the instance on Heroic 25–the first group to do that on our combined Durotan & Ysera server.

Heroic Garrosh StupidCongrats, Chi Cerca Trova & Check Please. Thanks for being awesome and making beautiful raid babies together.

The Warlords Announcement

Whoa, the Twitter feed today–half-impatience, half-angst, full-on, non-stop tweeting about the Warlords of Draenor cinematic & release date reveal.

WoD

My thoughts? Cinematic was cool–not-edge-of-my-seat cool, but definitely a good start to the story that we’re going to see unfold in the expansion. Preview trailer for WoD features was mostly me saying, “YES, I saw that!” and “I’ve quested there!” (Something a few more of you will be able to say after attending the event!).

The most exciting part for me was the release date. I was predicting sometime in November, but I knew I was one of the more optimistic ones–right before it started, I asked some of my in-game friends for their predictions, and the earliest was the first week in December.

What did you think of the cinematic? Of the features and zones? Of the Ashran explanation?

And how is your end of expansion to-do list coming along? We’re so close now, guys. I can hear the drums of war, and they sound awfully sweet. <3

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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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