Category Archives: Experiences

A Look Back at Legion Part 3 of 3: Why I Left My Guild & What Now?

Why I Left My Guild

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I don’t think anyone cares enough to have spent a lot of time wondering about why I left Crisp, though I’m sure when it happened, my guildies probably had a few theories. I didn’t give a lot of details then and I won’t go into specifics now, but since the guild as a whole played such a huge role in this expansion for me, I feel like not talking about it as a I look back on Legion would be to leave out a big part of my xpac experience.

26648751_10155945086797383_1901181610_n.jpgI don’t go into detail about my personal mental health a lot, though in the wake of the news of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, I did open up about my personal experiences on Twitter recently, and I will not hesitate to share my issues if I believe it will help someone else. And yet, as it was one of the primary reasons I left my guild, we’re going to talk about it now.

I have OCD coupled with depression and anxiety. My personal feeling is that it’s all one thing, but breaking it down into its pieces makes it easier to talk about. I’ve written about some of my experience with OCD before, and those who follow me closely on Twitter have witnessed my anxiety and depression firsthand during the times when I fell apart (and, thankfully, had many helping hands to pull me back together).

As we neared the end of progression, some of the relationships I had formed in the guild were unraveling, and that coupled with my OCD and the stress of the progression itself were pushing me into an anxiety-ridden, deeply depressed state that was making real-life living difficult and being in-game almost impossible.

image-1.jpegI went to a friend of mine to talk about it—everyone needs to have a friend like this, by the way—and he said something that stuck with me: “Amber. You deserve to be happy.” This shouldn’t be a mind-blowing revelation, right? But it was. So I started thinking about what I needed to do to be happy, and I realized that I needed to get away from my current situation. I needed to move on and make a new start. (As it turned out, I also needed medication, something I resisted for a long time but was and continues to be a huge quality-of-life improvement). And I needed time.

So I forced myself to stay on through Argus progression, both selfishly, because after wiping that many times on a boss, I wanted to kill it, and because after wiping that many times, I didn’t think leaving in the middle of progression would be a fair move for the guild, either. When Argus was over and I considered my options again, I knew leaving was the right thing. I needed to get myself back together.

My PostI moved to my old guild, my OLD OLD guild, the first raiding guild I ever joined. I was in the guild for 7 or 8 years; they are family, and as soon as I told them I needed somewhere to be at peace, they opened their arms and welcomed me back.

It’s been exactly what I needed. I loved Crisp; you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better group of people to hang out with (and I’m sure they’re recruiting, so if you’re looking for a mythic raiding guild for BfA, I recommend them!), and had things been different, I probably would’ve stayed there indefinitely. But I did what I had to do to be okay, and that has to take priority.

What Now?

The honest answer is: I have absolutely no idea. Within a week of leaving Crisp, I ended up in the hospital with a persistent infection that I’m unfortunately still fighting. It’s fatiguing, but I’m leaving it in the hands of my dedicated (if somewhat perplexed) surgeon.

turtle.gifUnfortunately, all of that combined–the anxiety, depression, and illness–have made being social extremely difficult. I’ve gone into absolute full turtle mode. Outside of Twitter, I barely speak to anyone. I’ve been appearing offline in WoW and Discord for a few months, and the last time I turned it on, I got a bunch of whispers and immediately turned it back off. If you’ve DM’d me or whispered me and I’ve ignored you, please don’t take it personally. It’s not that I don’t love you guys, I just don’t have the spoons right now.

As for BfA? I’m sure at some point I’ll want to be back into mythic progression and that will mean finding a new guild, something that kind of exhausts me to think about.

For now, I’m happy doing what I’m doing, which is mostly mythic+, chasing professions and achievements and mage tower appearances, and leveling in beta. And spending an unhealthy amount of time in Sims 4. No, really, what is it with that game?

Whatever comes next, I guess we’ll see.

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Part 1: 

Part 2: My Legion Raiding Experience

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A Look Back at Legion Part 2 of 3: My Legion Raiding Experience

The Emerald Nightmare

…was aptly named. Elemental shaman in the first tier were uh—well, not so good, honestly. I also was in the midst of a guild shakeup, which made raiding a lot more interesting (but not in a good way). I started in Syzygy on Sargeras at the beginning of the tier, but due to some differences of opinion, ended up in Crisp on Baelgun, with whom I killed Xavius and finished the expansion.

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Things I liked about EN: Ursoc. Who doesn’t love what amounts to a burn fight? Sometimes it’s fun to do minimal mechanics and DPS as hard as you can.

Things I didn’t like about EN: Most of the rest of it. But I don’t know how much of that can be attributed to the instance itself and how much of it can be attributed to my situation at the time.

Trial of Valor

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So uh. Yeah. I was on the bench for most of Odyn progression. Guarm was equally fun and annoying, depending on the day. Helya was an adventure and a test of our coordination and communication skills, which had varying states of success.

tumblr_n3cgbdJzbI1ttn104o6_r1_250.gifAnd then there’s The Chosen. Ahhhhh well. Our first Chosen recipient was a holy priest with the cloak who cleverly abused the cloak’s power to never technically die. Then there were a bunch of people that got it in one of our runs (including brand new guild members) who had never killed Helya before.

Me? I didn’t get it until halfway through the expansion because something always happened. One time we had a new balance druid who Starfalled Helya while we were setting up, then ran back to where the rest of the raid was, literally ran in a circle around us, and wiped us all. If you’ve heard the phrase “he ran around like a chicken with his head cut off,” he was exactly that. One time I got bombed on Guarm by someone’s debuff. Another time I was out of position and Gust-of-Winded into a tornado on Odyn.

It was so bad that by the time I got the title, the healers were focusing me and there was discussion about getting my druid and just staying in bear form to make sure I got it. Thankfully it didn’t come to that, but I’ve never been so happy to be done with a damn achievement in my life.

Nighthold

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Ah Nighthold. Honestly, there are some things about Nighthold I really, really enjoyed. After a tier of what-good-is-an-elemental-shaman-anyway, we had a few bosses where we were able to actually have fun. Earthquake with Sephuz on Skorp was a good time; saving Stormkeeper for the little adds on Anomaly was actually helpful. And then there was Spellblade. heart eyes emoji.png

Yeah, our Arcane mage made me cry (I’m looking at you, Pecans), but it was still a good time.

botanist experience

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And then there were the other bosses. High Botanist was our kryptonite, and Star Augur and I did not get along. At all. The fel spit phase was almost certain death, and I Trined us a few times until I realized that if you turn on Chat Bubbles you could see the Star Sign announcement above people’s heads and didn’t have to rely on the colors, which apparently in my advanced age of 33 matters (I maintain that the green symbol blends in with the floor like camouflage, I don’t care what anyone else says…).

As far as Gul’dan? I honestly don’t think he gave us nearly as much trouble as Botanist. He was an end boss who felt like an end boss and that was okay. Plus my fellow ele and I got to go ham on eyes at the beginning and that was fun.

Tomb of Sargeras

I honestly enjoyed ToS. I know a lot of people didn’t, but I liked most of the bosses, I liked the environment, and I ran the place a LOT.

Favorite bosses? Actually, I liked most of them. Mistress I could’ve done without, but I was spared most of the progression on it, so I can’t complain much. Harjatan and Host were fun for elemental. I liked the Sisters, Maiden, Avatar, and KJ fights. I thought orb-catching was fun, I liked the dance on Avatar and while I think that KJ had some glaring issues (c’mon, that stand-around-and-get-bounced phase was actually awful), I liked the idea of the mechanics. But I’m not hard to please, so there’s that. I also was the weirdo who loved Imperator in WoD.

I should mention that in order to get a Maiden kill and to be in for Avatar and KJ, I had to switch to hunter because the lower single target damage of ele combined with the desperate need for immunities made it a poor choice (which sucks, I might add. Getting benched because of the class you play blows, but like it or not, it’s been a part of the game for a long time). BUT hunter was fun to play, so it turned out all right.

Antorus, The Burning Throne

Man, screw Antorus. I liked ToS; I didn’t like Antorus. I don’t know if it was my state of mind at the time or the instance itself or a combination of both, but even now I try to do as little of it as possible.

There’s not a single boss in the instance that makes me go, “Yeah, I really liked that fight.” Varimathras was okay. Portal Keeper and High Command were fun for Chain Lightning. Everything else was decidedly meh. Argus took us over 700 pulls, and I wasn’t in a great place anyway so it was extra mind-crushing.

I have rarely been happy to see an instance come to an end, but when we killed Argus the relief was palpable.

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These days, I only do Argus on normal/heroic on my characters if I can help it. I’ll do the Garothi/Aggramar/Argus bit if I have to, but I haven’t done a full clear of Antorus since I quit raiding, and I don’t see myself doing it anytime soon. I’m having a fine time doing Mythic+ and trying to cap all of my professions, tyvm.

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Part 1:

Part 3: Why I Left My Guild & What Now?

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A Look Back at Legion Part 1 of 3: The Best, The Decent, and the ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Legion is over. Well, sort of. I’ve still got a couple of class mounts to pick up, some mage tower appearances to get, some achievements, some profession quests…okay, but really, it’s over. Argus is dead, the expac is done and dusted, so let’s take a look at it.

The Best: Mythic+

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Hands down, my favorite thing about this expansion has been Mythic+ dungeons. I knew I’d like them, because I always thought Challenge Modes were cool, but I didn’t know I’d like them as much as I have. While it could never replace raiding for me, outside of raiding they are absolutely some of the most fun I’ve had in this game.

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I like the fact that the affixes change to make each week a little bit different. I like that the challenge scales, that you can pick the difficulty based on where you are on your character or with your group. I like that using utility matters, that thinking about what your class/spec actually brings is important. I like that it’s extra rewarding to coordinate with friends but I also like that they can be pugged (with varying success, obviously).

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And also, as I’ve expressed before, I really enjoy opening caches. I don’t know, it’s a thing. Send me empty boxes and I’d probably enjoy opening them, too.

The Decent: Story-based, Scaled Questing, the Mage Tower, & Class Mounts

WoWScrnShot_052918_085640.jpgQuesting. I’m not going to pretend I did every zone on every character I leveled. I am not that committed. However, I did go through all of the zones on my main, completed all of the chapters, and as I did when they first kind of made the switch to the story-based model, I genuinely enjoy it.

I do love a good batch of quests to turn in (spoiler alert: what I’ve seen so far on beta is a really good balance of the two, at least in Kul Tiras. Story with a bunch of quests you can run around and do and turn in all at once for that super satisfying ahhhhh yeeeeah moment), but I love the progression of the story and having a clear path to follow. And also a clear ending—completing the zones in a dungeon was perfection to me and gave the instances an actual purpose as part of telling the story.

The scaling was well done, too; I liked that I could pick whichever zone I wanted to start in on a given character (Azuna was and still is my absolute favorite) and that no matter where I went in the Broken Isles, it would be appropriate to my level.

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Except Suramar. God, I hated Suramar as an elemental shaman at the beginning of the xpac. Ugh. Seriously, I think I casted Healing Surge and Astral Shift more than actual DPS abilities. Thank God for Dwayne, my trusty Earth Elemental and forever tank.
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The Mage Tower. I don’t even have a lot to say here. It’s challenging. It’s fun. It feels good to beat it. However, there are certain specs for which it’s annoying in that it could be extremely difficult to beat without a certain item level or legendary. A little bit finer tuning on the balance so that at the beginning it wasn’t a joke for one spec and hell for another would be nice. But they are fun.

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Class Mounts. The fact is, I’m a sucker for class-specific things. I like characters. I like things that single out my class, and the mounts are a great little piece of that. The only drawback is that in order to get to the class mount, you do have to do the entire Legionfall Campaign quest chain, and doing that across all my characters got a little lengthy.

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bird flying into window.gifAlso, my priest’s mount looks like it crashed headfirst into a window. You know I’m right. The wing-flappy sounds it makes when it’s flying are nice, though

The ¯\_()_/¯ : Legendaries, Artifacts, & Profession Quests

Legendaries. It’s not like we all don’t know what the problem with legendaries is/was, but let’s talk about it anyway: when a spec is reliant on a legendary to do well and the legendary system is RNG, it’s beyond problematic.

legendareeeee.jpgI’ve said it before, discussed it with guildies, run it into the ground, but it’s worth repeating: the whole thing could have been resolved by making legendaries 100% utility. Instead of “Oh man, I got Portal Pants” or “Damn it, I got the Feign Death helm” (my first legendary on my hunter, I might add), you’d get “Hell yeah, imma portal all over this bitch” or “I’ll live f o r e v e r.” As it was, if you were looking for that magical legendary (fire mages and their bracers, for instance) and kept coming up short, the difference in your ability to perform was noticeable and that sucks.

Granted, with the new Wakening Essences catch-u404 leggo.JPGp system, that’s somewhat improved by making it possible to “farm” legendaries, but it’s still a legendary chance, which means you could still end up on the sad end of the spec you want to play minus the legendaries you need to play it competitively.

Once you get the legendaries, however; they do make for some compelling gameplay and choices (depending on the spec, some specs are just “equip this legendary, do this rotation, check and check”). I enjoyed having them and using them, just the getting there part could’ve been better.

Artifacts. Again, this mostly applies to the beginning of the expansion. The whole “we didn’t think you’d actually farm Maw of Souls endlessly to get AP” and “just because we design the game to be played 80 hours a week doesn’t mean you should” system is an issue. The fact is, sometimes WoW players want to be competitive and if you say “you have to acquire this to be better,” we’re going to find the ways to make the acquiring happen.
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Grinding AP was not the most fun experience, let’s be honest. Now, of course, it’s a joke—we have the research that makes catching up characters easy peasy, but in the beginning, that AP farm was a rough haul. Hopefully we’ve learned from this? Team? I haven’t hit level cap in beta yet so I don’t know what that experience is like. I’m cautiously optimistic.

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Oh, and while we’re on artifacts, can we take two seconds to talk about the damn Crucible? Do you guys remember when they took reforging away from us specifically because “we don’t want you to get a piece of gear and have to take it to the reforger and run it through sims before you can use it?” Um. Hello? What do you think we end up doing with relics and the Crucible? I’m just saying.

professions quests.jpg Profession Quests. Okay, so, here’s the thing: I actually like the profession quest concept. I love that you can just jump right into the current level of professions and get moving on it by doing the quests. I even like that there are stories for each profession (if you can’t tell, I like stories).

But some of the requirements for those quest chains got tiresome, especially if you repeated professions on multiple characters. Just—I don’t know, ease up a bit? Shorter quest chains? Fewer instances?

And then there’s Field Medic achievement. I just really started working on this after seeing everyone talking about it on Twitter, and holy hell, I can already see why everyone’s talking about it. Hang in there, boys and girls, I believe.

Part 2: My Legion Raiding Experience

Part 3: Why I Left My Guild & What Now?

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My Little Army: Warlords of Draenor Characters

It’s here! Legion’s less than 12 hours away from launch. I’m sure there will be server queues and lag and downtime, but that has never stopped me from being awake at 3am to see it happen.

I’ve been almost exclusively doing invasions for levels and gear (I know I’m not alone, I see you all out there), and now I have a little army of level 100s ready to go. As I did at the end of Mists of Pandaria, here’s my collection of characters as we say goodbye to Warlords and a big hello to the Legion, starting with my new main ❤ :

AmberstormAmbermissedAneemiaSonoraSerenityhopeHeiressHotbladezNessiaBowskillzGourdapherDeevuh (1)GlambermistOstentacious

I could not be more ready. Let’s go.

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Legion Beta Picture Dump 2 – Val’Sharah & Stormheim

It took me longer than it should have to hit 110, but I’ve been taking my time. And, of course, screenshots. What’s a vacation without pictures?

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More after the break cause don’t wanna accidentally spoil for someone.

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Legion Beta Picture Dump Part 1: Azsuna & The Dreamgrove

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I can’t help it, I have to take screenshots. It’s a thing, okay. And there are lots of pretty pretty things to take screenshots of in the Legion beta so far. I’m going to put everything else after a break; I don’t plan on posting spoilers but some people I know are really particular about their exposure, and I don’t want to risk ruining anything.

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I Don’t Like Flakes

flakesRaiding for the purpose of progression at any difficulty is a time commitment–at least, if you intend to be even moderately successful at it.

Experience and consistency go a long way in re-clearing farm content and killing new bosses in a timely manner. It’s not everything, but it’s definitely something.

When you flake out of your raid group, you’re being a selfish prick. There, I said it, and I’m not taking it back.

Am I saying that you shouldn’t quit when you’re tired of playing? That you shouldn’t back out when something in real-life supersedes in-game shenanigans? Of course not. But there are ways to handle these situations and still be considerate to the rest of your raid group.

The worst way to handle it? Stop showing up. That’s it–if your goal is to try to set your raid team back and be labeled a flake, that’s all you have to do. Easy, right?

If you are part of a raid team and you have real-life get in the way, tell someone. That’s it. Two seconds. “Hey, man, deal with itI’m really sorry, but my cat just developed super powers and is being taken to a private testing facility for magical creatures and I have to go with him. I won’t be available for the next few weeks.”

Granted, whether or not I believe your cat is teleporting around your living room is questionable, but hey, at least you told me.

If you decide you’re tired of playing/burnt out/not having fun anymore, warn your team and give us some time to find a replacement. “I just can’t get excited about the game anymore. I hate logging in and I’d rather snort glass than kill these bosses again. I’ll stay for the next two weeks, but then I’m done.”

Granted, it’s not as easy as just flat not showing up, but it’s also a) less of a dick move, and b) leaving your bridges in tact. Which may, as it turns out, be handy to you if you decide to come back in the future.

I’m an old lady, guys. I gotta stick by at least a few of my old-lady principles, and this is one of them. I love corn flakes and frosted flakes and honey-bunches-of-oats flakes (no, that’s a lie, I like the clusters). I don’t like raid flakes.

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