Tag Archives: warcraft

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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Ol’ Girl’s Still Got Some Life in ‘Er

My server isn’t fairing so well. In the past 6 months, we’ve seen the raiding guilds we had either dying or moving off-server until there are only a handful left still progressing even when you combine Horde & Alliance.

People have been saying Durotan is dead for years (literally), but this is the closest we’ve come to that being a true statement.

However, last night proved that we’re down but not out.

The Trouble with Nalak

It all started in a Nalak group. My daughter has been busy playing “her” paladin, and she was playing at the same time as me yesterday evening before bed.

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Someone in the guild said there was a Nalak group forming, so I volunteered my priest.

Then I had a great idea–get my daughter in the group. Sure, she’d do barely any DPS and probably die, but I could more than make up her dps and man, would she have fun!

…Except there wasn’t a warlock in the group, and we couldn’t use the summoning stone because she was only level 88. When I broke that news to my daughter, she started to cry.

“I know it’s silly, but I was really looking forward to coming!” she said through her tears.

The Plea

So before we pulled Nalak, I asked the raid group for help. I explained the situation and several volunteered to go do Sha & Galleon for my daughter:

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When the smoke cleared over Nalak’s corpse, I dropped the raid and started inviting people. Many of the people from the original raid group joined, and then as I asked in Trade and Guild, I got more and more players.

Some came for themselves. Some came just to help the Lil Raider. I appreciate every single person that joined.

The Kills!

My daughter was a BUNDLE OF EXCITEMENT as we got ready to pull Sha. “What if I can’t remember the buttons? What do I do? One, two, three, four, right? Where do I stand? Is everyone here yet?”

When we pulled, she diligently ran up to the boss and started whacking on it. Her DPS? 7k. Her smile? It made Luke Skywalker’s Light Saber look like a flashlight.

When Sha was at 25%, she said, “You’re almost down, bad guy!”

When she found out we were going to Galleon, she was thrilled. “There’s another one?!”

By the end, she had seen her first 2 bosses ever, was terribly excited, and faith in (most) of my server was restored.

You did a good thing, Durotan. Thank you.

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November Challenge: Feeling Musical

October Wrap-Up: Incredible Costumes

You're all winners!From Hallow’s End transmogs to Mad King hijinks, there were some great costumes that came out of the October challenge. I’m just glad I finished the Mad King’s Clock Tower, everything else is meaningless now!

Take a look at these awesome costumes:

Sugar & Blood shows off a great Bewitched-inspired outfit–and some other pretty awesome ideas, too!

Bubbles of Mischief creates a spot-on movie-based Red Riding Hood. Picture perfect, to be sure.

Kamalia et alia presents a bunch of great Hallow’s End themed transmogs you might want to bookmark for next year.

ZazzyMogs creates a witchy transmog with a twist–and a comic to boot!

Harpy’s Nest introduces the smallest troll ever seen…

Image Heavy breaks out an impressive, hard-to-beat costume: gnome into giant bird is pretty impressive.

Shards of Imagination will be in the running for any costume contest with this awesome Charr doctor from Guild Wars 2.

I have to also show off a couple of little costume wearers who weren’t part of the challenge but who were representing  Azeroth on Halloween night:

Elunamakata designed a Chromie costume for her little girl that absolutely ROCKED:

Check out how she and Kurby did it here: The Making of Little Chromie.

My daughter begged to be a rogue…she wanted to be a goblin, but she settled for human this year:

Whoever–or whatever–you were for Halloween, I hope it was a safe and fun one!

November Challenge: Feeling Musical

The other day on Twitter, I complained–okay, I whined–that I was feeling grumpy. That’s when Marathal posted this Tweet…

GANK A GNOME!

…that led to this song:

If you’re grumpy and you know it, gank a gnome.
If you’re grumpy and you know it, gank a gnome.
If you’re grumpy and you know it,
and you’re really ’bout to blow it,
If you’re grumpy and you know it, gank a gnome.

If you’re wiping and you know it, blame the tank.
If you’re wiping and you know it, blame the tank.
If you’re wiping and you know it,
and you’re really ’bout to blow it,
If you’re wiping and you know it, blame the tank.

If you’re losing and you know it, go for kills.
If you’re losing and you know it, go for kills.
If you’re losing and you know it
and you’re really ’bout to blow it,
If you’re losing and you know it, go for kills.

The possibilities for additional verses are limitless. I’m sure I will have many opportunities to sing of epic stories to this tune.

This got me thinking–what other wandering minstrels (or at least semi-interested lyricists) do we have wandering around in our fantasy lands, not yet tapping into their talent?

Here is the challenge: Write the lyrics to a song (and/or the music if that’s your thing) about your game. It can be silly, fun, sweet, angry, a little naughty, a little nice–whatever you want to write about, write me a song about the game or games you play. 

I can’t wait to see what you guys write!

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World of Warcraft Isn’t Real, And My Name Isn’t Ambermist

Heads up, this one’s long, personal, and maybe sort of pointless, but it’s been swimming around in my head for a long time, and since I did just ask everyone to tell me about themselves, it seems relevant.

This post has been in my head for months–as a matter of fact, I started writing it there the day I came back to this blog, but I kept coming up with reasons not to flesh it out and post it.  When I came up with the July Challenge, it was on my mind, and then I read this post at Tree Heals Go Woosh (which is, by the way, the best blog name ever). It got me thinking about all of that stuff again since the end of Wrath/beginning of Cataclysm brought a lot of this to the forefront for me.

Over the course of Wrath, I learned so much about WoW. I’d been playing half-blind for a couple of years, I realized, and with the leap into blogging, I suddenly had a world of information and experiences at my fingertips. As an expansion, Wrath encouraged that exploration, and I honed a lot of my skills there.

See, I knew my stuff. >.>

I had a lot going on in my life during that expansion, too; a lot of change: my father-in-law passed away from cancer, my brother-in-law had a heart attack and a stroke, my daughter started kindergarten, and my son was diagnosed with autism. I was stressed out, at my highest weight ever, dealing with my own issues on top of everything else, and profoundly insecure.

I started using WoW and its many, many things to do as an escape, but more than that, I started to find my identity there. Continue reading

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The Expansion is Ending?

In Trade yesterday, someone mentioned that the expansion is ending. Someone replied, “what do you mean, ‘the expansion is ending?'”

Mists of Pandaria is around the virtual corner. Some guesses put it as soon as June, some as late as September, but regardless of when it comes, we’re wrapping up Cataclysm. We’re in the last tier of content, we’ve killed the Big Boss, and Blizzard has repeatedly confirmed there will not be a filler raid between now and MoP. Further, beta started this week. The door is closing.

I don’t do postmortem breakdowns. There are plenty of MUCH more qualified people doing that (specifically, Blizzard itself). I’d feel remiss, though; if I didn’t go back and ruminate a bit on what Cataclysm was for me and figure out how to wrap it up in proper style.

Story

I’m going to be honest, even if it’s a bit fangirl-ish: content-wise, I loved Cataclysm. My introduction to World of Warcraft lore took place in three parts, or more correctly, one story in the parts: War of the Ancients. Knowing that I would get to team up with and face off against the characters and dragons I’d read about put me on the edge of my seat for the expansion.

I enjoyed every raid. Really. Okay, I didn’t love Throne of the Four Winds, but I adored Blackwing Descent. It was everything I wanted the first raid to be. The fights were fun (okay, maybe being a moonkin on Atramedes when Lunar Shower still rocked made it a little more fun, but still) and everything felt fresh again. I needed fresh after months and months of Icecrown.

Although I took a several month break from the game and missed the introduction of Firelands, I’m glad I got the chance to see it. I never got to see Ragnaros in Molten Core, at least not when he was the Big Boss. I liked the environment and the fights, even if the instance and I had our disagreements. Plus:

I mean, even I can’t argue with that.

I grinned all the way through the 4.3 heroics, despite the fact that I don’t like the Tyrande’s voice acting (not because the acting was bad, but because I don’t feel like it fit the character). While seeing Deathwing meet his “end” was a little anticlimactic since I fought him in LFR before we ever got to him as a guild,  I still liked the encounters and the story.

My Raiding Experience

I started out on a great foot when the expansion began. I knew that I knew my class, and I proved it over and over again. Even when things got rocky and the guild I was in switched to 10-mans, I did pretty well in every role I was asked to fill (which often ended up being healing).

The only thing I wasn’t completely comfortable with was tanking, but this is where I have to give a shoutout to the awesome people of Ephemera who encouraged me to try and gave me  ample opportunity to practice. They were persistent and non-judgemental, and I love them for it.

After my several month break, I returned, ready to raid again. Things had been in a bit of an upheaval, and I ended up returning to my guild Chi Cerca Trova while I got my feet wet in Firelands. What a culture shock. I’d never taken a lengthy break from raiding like that, and it took me a while to get my bearings straight.

Even now, I don’t feel like I’m back to where I was. I struggle to see the numbers I want to see. I get irritated with myself for not performing the level I feel is acceptable. Right now I sit in a place of deep frustration, and if I can’t find a way out of it, Mists might see me taking on a new role or even a new class. Tastes Like Death…Knight? Tastes Like Holy Priest?

I intend to moonkin to the best of my ability until this expansion officially ends. Time (and beta) will determine where I go after that.

What to Do Now?

We’ve got 3-6 months before we’re standing in line at Gamestop to pick up our copies of Mists of Pandaria. It sounds like a long time, but in Warcraft time, it’s not really. What are you doing to pass the time until we’re rolling our monks?

These are the things I’m doing:

What are you doing to say goodbye to this expansion, and are you ready to step into Pandaria?

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5 Tips for Every Raider

“Five Things” returns with a post inspired by my GM (/RL/Overlord), Boomslang.

I’ve touched on similar topics before, like applying to and impressing your guild, but this is going to focus specifically on raiders. There are different classes, different roles, different buffs and rotations and responsibilities, but there are some things all raiders need to do.

Best. Edit. Ever. Thanks, Goph.

1. Learn the Strat. If you raid regularly with your guild, you know which bosses are progression. You know which bosses you’re comfortable with and which still give you trouble. It’s your responsibility to learn everything you can about these fights and your role in them. Chances are, someone in your guild has posted links to boss strategies and videos in your forums, but if not, there are lots of websites out there with guides and videos.

Not only can you learn the basic boss strat, there’s also usually information out there about how you can maximize your class’s or spec’s performance on the boss in question. Look for “<insert class here> POV” videos to see how other people playing your class are doing the fight.

If you don’t run with a guild, it’s still worth learning the basic strategies for PuGs or LFR; believe me, your group will appreciate it. This goes doubly for LFR tanks.

Strat sites: Tankspot, IcyVeins, Learn to Raid, Manaflask

Hey, could happen.

2. Show Up (or notify!). If you commit to raid, it’s like an appointment or a date. Hopefully you wouldn’t assure your boss or significant other that you will be there at a certain time and then not show up, so don’t do that to your fellow raiders.  Sometimes real life happens. If something gets in the way of you making it to your raid on time, let someone know if you can through an in-game message or a post on your guild forums.

If it’s a short-notice emergency, at least touch base with your raid leader afterwards. “Sorry I didn’t make it to the raid; we lost power for 4 hours because a giant ninja panda karate kicked down the power plant,” is fine (as long as it’s true…).

3. Know Your Class. Some guilds are going to require you to perform at your absolute A-Game best. Some aren’t. But pretty much every raid you go to you are going to be expected to play your class appropriately. You might not know everything yet or you might not have figured out how to execute everything perfectly (and that’s okay), but you need to have an understanding of your basic stats, rotations, gear choices, and utilities.

If you want to be an okay raider, you can stop there. As long as you’re fulfilling your role adequately, you’ll probably be fine, at least for a while. But if you want to be a good raider, keep learning. Don’t get too satisfied. Find out how to maximize your dps, how to use your cooldowns in each boss fight to maximize your survivability, or how to conserve mana while still keeping the raid or tanks alive.

I’m not where I need to be dps-wise. I’m not where I want to be, and you can be sure I’m going to keep finding ways to improve.

Basic class guides: ElitistJerks, Noxxic 

4. Know the Loot Rules. It seems so minor, but I’ve seen more outbursts over loot than probably anything else in the game. If you’re raiding with a guild, chances are they’ve posted the loot rules somewhere. If you can’t find them, ask someone! If you know how the loot’s going to work before you ever get started, there won’t be any surprises.

If you’re running with a PuG or have been picked up to supplement someone else’s guild, clarify the loot rules beforehand. Open rolls? Is anything reserved? Is it okay to hit “disenchant?” Save everyone some drama and find out.

5. Be a Team Player. It sounds trite, but trite doesn’t mean untrue. You are one of 10 or one of 25 raiders. If you could solo the bosses, you would, but you can’t. Be respectful of your fellow raiders. Don’t publicly insult them. Don’t act like you’re the best thing that ever happened to them. Do what you can to help them. Let them give you advice without being defensive. If you have a problem with something, go through the proper channels. Don’t stir up unnecessary drama.

TL;DR: Be the raider you want everyone else in your raid to be. 

Thanks @__ashima and @aerix88 for suggesting Noxxic and Manaflask (and the other sites you mentioned!). Our guild resource guide is coming along nicely. <3

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Like a Ninja: Two Years of Tastes Like Battle Chicken

My blog is totally a ninja. In the midst of yesterday’s insanity as we struggled to get settled into this new raiding arrangement in our guild, the second anniversary of my blog crept right past me. It seems impossible to say that I’ve been blogging for two years, but it seems just as impossible to say I’ve been playing WoW for almost 5.

To commemorate this occasion last year, I posted blog stats (I know you can hardly contain your excitement, but try for me). But as I’ve scrolled through this year’s posts, I realized something: I post a LOT of pictures. I knew this; it’s not unintentional. When I’m reading blogs, I like chunks of text broken up by images (it’s the toddler in me). But I don’t think I realized the extent of my addiction.

So here, to review the past two years, a collection of images that appeared on my blog:

Hello, My Name is Ambermist – February 23, 2009

Preview of Ignis in Ulduar – March 17, 2009

New Druid Form?!?!?!?! – March 31, 2009

Ambermist & Ultraking Forever – April 3, 2009

On Pins & Needles – April 13, 2009

Heroic Ulduar: Kologar – May 21, 2009

A Short Tale About An Old God – June 25, 2009

Blizzcon & One Hot Nelf – August 21, 2009

5 Ways to Get /Ignored – November 20, 2009

A Cord of Two Strands: Part 7 – December 20, 2009

The Plagueworks: Professor Putricide – February 4, 2010

When It’s Time to Change – April 1, 2010

Behind the Chicken – November 18, 2010

…And Keep Moving On – October 18, 2010

Azeroth: Before & After – November 25, 2010

Like a Ninja – February 24, 2010

Thanks for letting me make a home in my little corner of the blogosphere for the past 2 years. As a whole, the WoW blog community rocks, and I sure am glad to be a part of it!

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