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A Brand New Sky: The End of Warlords of Draenor

With the pre-patch event starting and two weeks left in Warlords of Draenor, I think it’s safe to go ahead and say our goodbyes. Hell of an expansion, this one.

Warlords…Meh

I didn’t hate Warlords of Draenor. There were a lot of little things I liked: Shadowmoon Valley is still one of the most beautiful places in WoW, some of the lore stuff was interesting, and I loved Highmaul as a raid (even though I still think it felt a little out of place). Mythic Imperator was and will always be one of my favorite boss fights.

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But there were a lot of things I didn’t love about it. Sometimes stories and raids felt incomplete or rushed, there wasn’t as much focus on the actual Warlords as I thought there would be, and I think we can all agree Hellfire Citadel lasted way too long. Oh, and then there was Garrisonville, which stopped feeling like fun and started feeling like an obligation pretty early on, especially if you had an army of alts.

It’s not my favorite expansion, let’s put it that way.

The Company You Keep

This expansion has been an interesting trip for me as a raider and guild member apart from the content.

I started the expansion having recently joined <Check Please> on Durotan, a guild with which I’d had a dubious history. I was an officer because I had been in officer in my previous guild and brought my raid team with me, but I immediately jumped into doing stuff because that’s just what I tend to do.

For a while, it was fun. It was new and exciting, there were new people who actually enjoyed playing (there at the end with my previous guild, there were a lot of people who just didn’t want to be there anymore), and it was a completely different environment.

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But, to be honest, I was outclassed as a player in my new guild, and I knew it. Any criticism anyone had, constructive or otherwise, I listened and tried to learn from it. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in my guild for whom that wasn’t good enough, and there was a fair group of people who spent a lot of time talking about how terrible I was behind my back or making jokes at my expense.

I offered to sit out of raids if I was holding us back. A few times I looked for and even applied to other guilds, but I always got talked into staying. It made for a lot of unfun raiding but it definitely turned me into a better player.

It wasn’t all bad. There were some good times, times I laughed until I had tears streaming down my face, and I made some friends that I adore and will never not be my friends. And we killed bosses!

We progressed through Highmaul, finishing Imperator at US93rd:

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we pushed a little harder in BRF and finished at US66th:

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and in HFC we were making solid progress with eyes on US50 or better until our tank disappeared and regressing on Mannoroth killed us.

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During our 8 month hiatus, I still wanted to raid, so I raided with a cross-realm mythic pug I found through the LFG tool. I thorougly enjoyed it. I loved the raid leader, who was direct but incredibly patient and kind, the people, who welcomed me and were genuinely glad to have me in the raid, and the fact that we were doing decently on bosses despite being a pug.

In March, I got the word that we were going to try to resurrect <Check Please> to clear the tier, so I stopped raiding with the pug, progressed on Mythic Archimonde with a friend’s guild a bit until we killed it, and focused on bringing the guild back to life.

3GTlVH2We succeeded at reforming, killed Mannoroth and Archimonde, dealt with random drama which was a lot less amusing the 14th time around, did some farming on and off, and…I wasn’t happy. I kept thinking about those nights in BRF when I didn’t want to raid because I knew I was just going to feel like I shouldn’t be there the whole time, and how once we got into Legion all of those people would come back.

And then I found out that the pug I had raided with was becoming a guild, currently <Syzygy> on Sargeras.

I told my GM and my guild that I was leaving. I knew it would cause a ripple; I didn’t realize that the effort I had put in to keeping the guild on its feet would mean that my absence would kill it.

In short, RIP <Check Please>.

But it was the right thing for me to do for myself, and I don’t regret it. I’ll go into Legion with a group of friends who like me and like having me in the raid, and except for a few people from <Check Please> that came to the guild with me, even respect me.😉 It’s a nice change.

LEGION

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I mean, I enjoyed the hell out of playing beta, so I’m looking forward to it being live. For the first time, I’m switching mains from druid (gasp!). I’ll be an elemental shaman for Legion unless something crazy happens.

Everyone’s at the point where we’re all chomping at the bit for new content anyway, and it’s about to get delivered. We’re like Pavlov’s dogs and the bell is ringing, friends.

Personal Note

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A week and a half ago, my husband suffered a massive heart attack. The doctor said it would have been fatal if we hadn’t acted so quickly getting him to the hospital. No prior symptoms, nothing to indicate that it was coming, just a sudden stabbing pain in his chest and a terrifying several hours followed by several days in the hospital.

It’s been an adjustment. There are a lot of things we’ve had to change, a lot of things we’ve had to think about and worry about and consider for the first time. He’s monitored 24/7 by a telemetry device that’s equipped with a built-in defibrillator if needed. Most of the time we’re okay, but every once in a while the whole thing unnerves us. It’s been a journey and it’s one we’ll be on for a long time.

ngoe8n8But I have to say once again HUGE kudos to my Twitter friends and several of my guildies who reached out with thoughts and prayers and encouragement and support and advice. When you’re sitting on the other side of the computer trying to find something to say to someone who’s hurting, words feel so inadequate, but I appreciated every message. You guys are the best.❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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!

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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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WoW’s 9th Anniversary: Memories

I’ve been playing Warcraft for 7 years. My husband (and many, many others) have been playing the full 9 years–and beta! We’re going to take a photographic walk down memory lane:

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This whole blog is basically a chronicle of my WoW time, so I’ll be brief–one quick Then-and-Now. 

This was then, Level 70, clueless (but able to avoid fire) resto druid Ambermist:

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I AM more demented than you (thank you, UK, for making sure to capture that moment on a screenshot. Now go fix that horrible UI). 

And this is today:

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Ultraking

My husband and mageboy wasn’t always a mage. In Vanilla, he was an officer in the guild More Myth on Durotan who went by the name McStabb:

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McStabb enjoyed, well–stabbing things. He also enjoyed his pickpocket macro that sent many a naive player into fits of rage and, apparently, killing yetis:

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In Burning Crusade through Cataclysm, and now again, he played his mage, Ultraking. You know that pic from your middle school years you really hate? Yeah, this is that one:

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But his fashion got a little better over the years, thankfully:

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And this is UK today:

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Chi Cerca Trova

Well, now here’s some history. My guild formed in 2004 for the purpose of raiding, and has continued to do so for the past 9 years. With the exception of a few weeks between xpacs and the holidays, CCT has been raiding non-stop since Molten Core and AQ. Here are some pictures fellow guildy and officer Fingolfin dug up from those days:

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In Burning Crusade, we killed every raid boss up to M’uru, falling just short of clearing Sunwell before Wrath launched. Here’s our Vashj & Illidan kills:

 

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In Wrath, we got through about half of Heroic ICC, here are Yogg & Lich King kills:

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Cataclysm saw a bit of upheaval (thanks, Deathwing), but we got through Heroic Dragon Soul! Here’s our Heroic Staghelm & Heroic Ultraxion kills:

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And finally, here we are, poised to make better progress in a raid instance than we’ve ever made. Our new goal is not the old 60% of the Heroic bosses in an instance–it’s 100%. I want to see Heroic Garrosh dragged off in chains. Here are Elegon and our most recent screenshot (because everyone ran off before I took a photo for Heroic Protectors…):

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We’ve come a long way, baby; but we aren’t done yet!

Happy Anniversary, World of Warcraft, and thank you for the memories!

 

 

 

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Chicken Comma Battle

It’s posted, yay! Check out my first-ever podcast experience over at the Twisted Nether Blogcast

Highlights:

  • Tastes Like Chicken, Battle
  • Amberfog
  • Princess Buttrumple!
  • The TNB Blizzcon event (if you’re going to Blizzcon and want to hang out with the TNB crew, check it out!)
  • Blog Azeroth

Thanks to Hydra and Fimlys again; TNB is a great time.😀

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This Week in WoW

I kept running into amusing things this week, and what good are amusing things unless you share them with someone else who can also be amused?!

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Amber-brew! I am always down to try something named after me…😛

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My husband says I’m not allowed to name things. I don’t understand why.

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I was quite impressed with how good this statue of a Ordos Berserker came out…no, really, I made it. Sort of.

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We were happier about taking over the Orgrimmar bank than nearly anything else in the instance…WE HAVE PRIORITIES!

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And 3 new bosses before our raid week is out is a pretty good week!

I hope 5.4 is treating you well!

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World of Warcraft is My Game

World of Warcraft is my game. I’ve played it regularly for 6 years. Here are some facts about my game:

  • I play to raid.
  • I have one main and many alts. 
  • I spend most of my time and energy on my main.
  • I don’t delete characters once they hit level 40.
  • I like battlegrounds sometimes.
  • I don’t do arenas.
  • I do daily quests, heroics, scenarios, and LFR to get the best gear on my main character.
  • I farm mats for flasks, potions, and food for raiding.
  • I pet battle very, very casually.
  • I like achievements, but I don’t spend a lot of focused energy getting them.

That’s World of Warcraft, that’s my game…

Except it’s also my husband’s game, my daughter’s game, my friend’s game, your game, his game, her game.

My friend doesn’t like to raid. He likes to PvP. He does battlegrounds and arenas. He thinks raiding is stupid and too easy.

My other friend spends hours just crafting. She has a max-level of every profession, but she never raids outside of LFR or does battlegrounds.

Heck, my daughter spends most of her time creating new goblin characters to level through the starting zone over and over.

And guess what?

THAT’S OKAY. 

I aim to do the very best I can in a raid. In my guild, we push our raiders to do the same.

At the end of the night (most of the time), I’ve had fun.

There’s a guild on the same server that is completely casual when it comes to raiding.

They go in with half-unenchanted gear. Sometimes they don’t know their class or switch to a different alt every week. More than half of the time, they don’t know the fight mechanics.

But at the end of night, they’ve had fun!

I would not join their guild. They would not enjoy mine. 

And THAT’S OKAY, too.

I know people who couldn’t care less about transmog, and I know some people who farm instances for months or drop thousands of gold to get gear. Same thing with pets. Same thing with mounts.

I wouldn’t spend thousands of gold on a transmog item. You’re lucky if I spend 100g! 

And that’s okay.

It’s not just my game. It’s not just your game. If the way someone plays their game doesn’t frequently affect the way you play your game, then why does it matter to you?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, a thousand times a thousand: 

Play and let play.

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Cellophane: My First Machinima Attempt

I’ve watched a TON of World of Warcraft machinima. The good ones are super entertaining, and even the okay ones are at least interesting. I have wanted to try it myself for a while, but I’ve been a…well, a chicken.

I decided to go ahead and try it anyway, no matter how badly it came out. The quality of it is fairly…rough. But I definitely think I’ll work on improving and try again another time!

So I present to you with only some hesitation: Cellophane: A Rogue Story.

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