Monday, June 30, 2008

Casual Raiding 25 Man Gruul Lair

Was looking forward to doing this and it would be considered progression for our "Casual Guild" and attempt at 25 man raiding. So the weekend Gruul's Lair was on the Calender. I'm going to be straight up and say it wasn't good and if I can use a much better word to describe it if I can, the attempt or various attempts I would say it overall suck raid wise! Needless to say I was both disappointed and frustrated to some degree being there.

The raid had been on the guild calender for about 2+ weeks, we use Group Calender for raid and Heroics etc. Yet their were members in guild that did not seem to know we use a Group Calender even though the message of the day MoTD indicated Gruul was on the Calender. Less than half the people had signed up for the raid. So when it came time for the raid it was a challenge find enough members signed up to fill out the raid quickly. Though we had 30-35 members on line that are all 70's not all were gear qualified to attend the raid but we had enough for a 25 man eventually all the same. Actually I've never seem that many people online in the guild at any one time, at most 17-20 maybe. Over half the members I 've never seen before myself or first time seeing them logged on in quite a while.

The raid was on the calender for 7pm server time or 9pm my time. I logged in 30 mins early and filled my bag, got all my consumables and everything I think I would need and then made way to Blade Edge Mountain (BEM). Their were members at the time still running instances, or starting runs for the MidSummer Boss. Hell I was even asked to come help a group do the holiday boss in SP. I declined on account I had to be ready for the 25 man raid. Made it to BEM and at the Instance entrance for Gruul. Their was one other person their a guild Warrior. Raid time came and went still only 2 members was there and ready to go. So I started forming up the raid in the mean time to see how many we would have. Eventually people started logging in, showing up or finished their previous instance and either showed up on site or wanted a summon. It seems a casual world at best.

Lots of time was spent forming the raid, asking people if they wanted to attend the raid or if the qualified to go which consumed quite a bit of time. Some didn't even know where Gruul was or that we even had a raid planned. Hell half the raid I didn't know myself or never seem them before the raid. I got all the guild members that had signed up for the raid first then eventually passed it to the guild GM to fill out the rest of the raid when he showed up. Its hard to tell in short time if members were geared for the raid as well, not seeing many of them before. After taking some time doing that and organizing the numerous raid groups which was a challenge as it was hard to tell exactly who were healers from dps. Eventually zoned in the instance.

We cleared the trash which was easy and made it to HKM. So obviously the fight had to be explained of course. Took forever to explain the fight! Our Guild at this time don't really have a "Raid Leader" per say to lead the raid and for strategy and speak with one voice with assignments. Many had no idea how the fight went. The funny thing was several days before the raid I myself had researched HKM & Gruul and posted a write up of the raid on the guild forums for others to read and get a idea of the fight, strats and how its to go for the raid. Not many seemed to have read it, even less members let alone raid members visit the guild forums. So we wasted quite a bit of time trying to explain the fight and getting various tanks their assigned boss add and groups assigned to the adds. It took so long to explain the fight that the trash re-spawned before the fight started and we had to reclear the trash. Eventually the Mage Tank pulled. The Hunter Misdirects did not go well or as planned and we wiped real badly.

Raid recovered and we restarted and wiped and wiped on what seems non sync initial pulls. Seems tanks were not getting their assigned Boss add or the wrong tank was getting the wrong Boss add. At one time I had 2 Boss adds since I was on OLM, at other time I got no Misdirects, either way we wiped silly. King Maulgar was all over the place as the tank on Maulgar could not get into initial position before the dps started on him and thus was all over the place. Some members were just not doing what they were assigned to do, some not paying attention either. Eventually I was assigned to tank Blindeye (Priest) in the far left corner opening up into the room, and we pulled and that seemed to have being the best raid attempt. Blindeye was easy to tank as he spent more time casting it seems. However right before Blindeye went down the MT went down on Maulgar. King Maulgar came over smacking everyone and the raid was wiping faster than a landslide.

I really don't remember how many times we tried maybe 4-6 at least. I'm sure but enough I had to repair my armor at around 20% or so. It was disappointing and frustrating to say the least. The guild has enough geared Tank for the fight, We have way more than enough DPS, We probably have enough healers which I'm less certain of because I don't see them all that often as dedicated healers logged on so less certain of that. However for the raid I think we had 8 healers or so, though I think we need at least 9 for the progression raid. At best I just had to laugh a bit to have some sense of sanity and call it 25 man raid practice and paying some price for a 25 man attempt. But thats allot of wasted time on everyones part as well as wasted consumables and repair bills.

However we have enough people I think that we can do HKM in one shot if everyone brings their A game to the raid, knowing what to do and need to be done, being prepared and ready to make a serious attempt. I'm always their ready to give my best effort, many other members are as well but I'm not sure of the entire guild raid in their commitment for serious 25 man progression. Which is the frustrating part.

On Saturday we had another scheduled 25 man raid for Gruul's Lair which was on the calender as the previous attempt. At the time of the scheduled Raid I don't think their was even 11 members logged on. Yeah its a Saturday and people probably have better things to do and it being summer as well. Either way people just didn't show up. Life in a Guild that's all about being Casual and wanting to seriously raid, some wanting the loot, some wanting to raid for fun and something different, few wanting to raid for serious progression seeing content and few willing to make a commitment for put forth the effort for serious raid progression. Yeah that's life in Casual city and at least the one I currently live in. But for how long!

In the end looking back at things it hasn't taken me long to figure thing. I can say I'm not very fond of 25 man raiding either, I much prefer 10 man raiding. Much easier to organize, lot more personal and fluid, easier knowing all your group members and easier to work with and for other reasons. But its raiding and it is what it is in the end 10 man or 25 man dealing with other members that show up or don't show up and put forth their best effort for the sake of the entire guild raid. I can understand the frustrations of many real Raiders who's efforts are hamstring by their own Casual Guild and Attitude. Will we ever see SSC for any real guild effort? I'm not every optimistic at this point!

Blizzard Authenticator

You've probably read about these by now, Blizzard Authenticator. If you haven't you probably been under a rock for the last few days to a week or so. So I'm not going to go into it explaining them. You can read them on other blogs listed below. However I've already ordered 2 already for each my Desktop and Laptop Macs for a added sense of security and to protect my gaming investment. We have never endorsed or ever supported Gold Sellers or Gold Selling Ads in any way possible (Site Ad Free) and an glad Blizzard had finally done something about it at this time. What the future hold we will know in time as it sucks when people get Hacked or loose their accounts. But what you eventually choose to do is all up to you. You no longer have a excuse to protect your account.

More Info Here:
Blessing of Kings

And while your at it if you order one, choose to OPT IN to Blizzard Beta testing so that you at least stand a chance of getting onto WotLK Beta whenever it happens. At least you get a chance to vs none at all.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Zul'Aman - Nalorakk Dead

1st time in ZA so sorry I missed the official screenshot, so the combat log will have to do. We were only there for the first boss but he died the first attempt. One of of Warrior tanking died I can't remember at what % but I ended up tanking both boss phases for at least 2 different phases or so in the end. I ended up dying a few seconds after I killed the boss due to both debuffs. But he was already dead. Was Fun!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Cruising Along.

Haven't put much up on the blog lately though I'm full aware of it. I'm in the Office just more less on the BattleField chipping away at leveling up my Hunter to 70 which would be my 2nd 70 for over 18 months of playing WoW as a Full Time Tankadin. I'm sure you probably a few 70's and know how that is. So if not much is up I'm just busy leveling a Alt. Anyway my Hunter Krovon & 2 pets (Razorclaw - Owl, Razortusk - Boar) is lvl 62 almost 63 at the moment and playing around in Terokkar Forest. At 63 I'll be off to Nargand as I love the zone there.

It can get a bit difficult playing a Tank and one that many knows well on a realm whenever you log on people /w you here and there wanting you to do a Instance or such or even if you are in a guild. You don't always seem to get a break at being left alone in someone not in some way asking if you want to Tank something. So at this point since I'm pretty much working on leveling my Hunter Alt to 70 and either my lvl 20 Shaman or Druid next. Tanking allot less so I can have some peace a bit in just focusing on leveling a Alt as time seems short before the next expansion.

This Friday our guild will be setting up to do a 25 man which will be HKM & Gruul. I've read the Strat and familiar with it so will see how it goes of Friday/Saturday.

Combat Weapon Swaping

I've got a bit of Badges of Justice saved up but at this point I'm just replacing Epic pieces really for different Tanking set pieces so recently picked up Libram of Divine Purpose. So Since I do use a 2H Weapon on and off when I feel like it, I placed the new Libram in my Macro for a quick switch like below. Easily allows me to in combat switch to a 1H/Shield and Tanking Libram, click and its back to my 2H and DPS Libram as I feel the need to quickly.

/equipslot 16 Continuum Blade
/equipslot 17 Sunward Crest
/equipslot 18 Libram of Repentance
/equipslot 16 Hammer of Righteous Might
/equipslot 18 Libram of Divine Purpose

You can always easily customize it to your own needs that works for you and whatever you use.

Statistical Progression

I saw a reference to this still fairly new site WoWProgress earlier reading over at Tobold's blog. Its another one of those sites that provides lots of WoW guild ranking, tracking, player statistical data of the various sorts from WoW Armory data.

You can also find armory information information on character gear pieces and when they got it or statistical data on guild raiding loot. However seems you can do some detective work as well on players recruited where you recruited them from and if they left where they went to in various degree. It also seems to be able to somehow track players that use the Blizz witness protection program and change their name as well or switch servers in the process which can get interesting if you do that line of work. Anyway just another tool if you need to find info you may be looking for.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Movies: Invisusira Kitten Rescue in SSC

Always like good tanking movies as well as Invisusira movies, she my Hero. Saw this newer one she has up. Best Quality viewing Here

I just wonder how you she gets healers that damn good for healing or get them trained that good to do all her crazy tanking. That is some crazy healing, but even crazy is the tanking as well.

Makes me think I'm missing something in SSC seems like FUN. Need a guild group that good as well.

An Invitation From Above!

Logged in last night and picked up the daily for Heroic Botanica, awesome I love running Heroic Botanica for 5 easy Badges and its one my favorite places and my most often run Heroic for Badge efficiency. But I really didn't feel like running a Heroic so I just logged into LFG/LFM as I usually do just to check traffic on whats going on and flew off to Nagrand and went lake fishing to replace my depleted food supplies for Instancing. Yeah went fishing. Did you know people that tank a lot consume an ungodly amount of food and somehow always seen to stay fit taking a royal pounding from mobs and trash. Oh Well. Went Fishing.

So pulled out my rod and had some piece and quiet circling the various lakes fishing for Ice Bluefish which you can fish in Nagrand streams and lakes only to make Poached Bluefish for my food stock for Instancing. I like to have a large stock of food handy. Since I was fishing also fished the Pure Water pools for Motes of Water and left with about enough to get 3 Primal Waters. Woot! Also left with quite a bit of Ice Bluefish, Mudfish which makes good Agility buffs and various other fish.

So while I was kicking back relaxing my guild was starting to run ZA for their pre-scheduled raid and I was there fishing. I'm a laid back guy I don't have a ego whatsoever and really didn't matter to me much whether I was in ZA or not or invited or not. I was happily fishing. I could of gone and run Heroic earlier but didn't feel like it so went fishing.

While there fishing my friend Oana a Warlock from a T5/T6 guild who I met a long time ago because I loved to PuG and ran her and a few of her guildies through quite a few Heroics for Badges and gear. Strange things happen when you love to PuG and people get to know who you are on your server. But anyway. Also know quite a few other players in Oana's guild as well. She makes the raid schedule for her guild and also has a Protec Paladin who she has recently geared up to 70 in her guild. I've helped out out with advice from time to time as well as referred her over to Maintankadin for a wealth of info to help her out.

However Oana wanted to know if I be up to coming and help out her guild Tanking stuff in Mt Hyjal since they are really short on Tanks as well as finding good Tanks. It was really unexpected and wasn't sure what to say. However I graciously declined the invitation and let her know I was sure she could find someone else much better than I am to fill in. She really wanted me to fill in than anyone else. I though about many things in that moment but its really good to know people remember you and seek you out because they know you from around your own server with your rep to ask you if you can help them out. I have never really done a 25 man raid, nor have I played at that level. Don't know if I'm that good to be in Mt Hyjal either. I read blogs of other tanks tanking in Mt Hyjal and all the fun they have but that don't mean I know the place either the slightest. Wouldn't want to look like a fool either. My guild is barely in ZA and just laid back happy where I am with no worries so their would never be a conflict there by far.

I've never asked to join a T5 raid nor have I ever seeked one out to join in any way whatsoever. However I graciously declined to Oana again..... but I did left open the option that I could help them out in the future if they needed. So Oana left me a open invitation if and when I ever felt like it.

All I ever have done is work hard doing what I do and love to do. I run PuG because its how I learned to tank, down in the trenches and to stay sharp. I meet people from all kinds of guilds on my server doing that and they notice you as well because your out there. Some day soon I may yet get to the Mountain Top! I hate to look like a fool if I ever get there as well never being in a 25 man raid. But hell who knows, its great to be asked.

Forks in the Road

I haven't had much time to update things lately, yet things have changed a bit since as well. After a month with my little guild being a GM I've come to the conclusion that at this point in time being a GM is not the ideal thing for me or to be doing. Its sapping my energy and killing all my time and more a headache than anything else dealing with some people. So I just decided after a while to make the guild a private guild and just turn it into a another Alt Bank for the foreseeable future. But was interesting experience and allowed me to see quite a few things that I quite haven't noticed before with players and new players. But at least I still have the guild if I ever need to reconsider being a GM and hopefully never.

The Folk
A few reasons was that growing a guild is just way too much work and way time consuming to say the least. I'm already strapped for time. I rather blog than run a guild I've found and I'm barely even having time to blog as it is it seems. I find lots of new people and new players too difficult to deal with always wanting you to do things for them, run them through some dungeon, help me help me doing quests that you can easily solo if your competent and if you don't help they quit or quit when your not around or just go guild hopping. I don't mind helping people on a quest but doing it constantly I'm not for welfare either and it can get very annoying especially when time is valuable. I can make a good GM, but I don't have time for it.

I find all that is too time consuming and a bit of a headache for me and don't allow me to get much done myself or keeping up with blogging or try to level my Alt in a peaceful mind having fun. I don't find it really it fun either. So after some thinking I just let everyone know that was there and decided to just make it a one man private guild for Alt Banking. After all I bought all the Bank Tabs for the guild myself and nothing much was there other than what I placed there in it.

I decided to rejoin my old guild "Alamat" a few days ago since I have a bit of friends there and being able to help them out as a guild to progress raiding. I really don't have a burning raiding goad at the moment so really didn't care much to join a T5+ guild in progression for all the various reasons including for phat loot. I like to choose my own destiny. However Alamat is a Casual Guild which is ok that's trying to make progress doing ZA and having another good geared paladin can only help. So talked to the GM and got a welcomed Invite and everyone was glad to see me back to say the least. I guess I was missed much.

The GM is a Warlock and a friend from way back gearing up days who also plays a Protection Paladin as well so two very good geared Protection Paladin in the Guild though he usually plays his uber Warlock most the time and who's the guild highest DPSer clocking over 1200 dps from my Recount logs. For now I really don't have much responsibility in the guild other than being a Vet and a Tank. Which allows me to just relax and do whatever and level my Alts and keep my goals in focus which has helped much getting my Hunter to 60 who also is in the guild as well.

Badges, Gear & Upgrades
I've filled in on Kara once for 2 Bosses, but other than that I'm somewhat back to running more Heroics when not leveling my Alt Hunter who is now lvl 60. I've replaced a few pieces of gear with badges since last update some time ago. Ive picked up the Ring of the Stalwart Protector to replace a blue which I still keep. Yesterday spend another 60 Badges and picked up the Sabatons of the Righteous Defender which replaces one of 3 Epic Boots that I tend to swap back and forth to in bag as needed depending on Kara or Heroics usually Boots of Elusion or Boot of the Righteous Path. So got enough shoes for now as well which makes 5 pairs of Boots for tanking including one pair I use for healing when needed which is Boots of Valiance from Kara. WTB more bag space a 30 slot bag to tote around all this gear when I have to carry it.

At one point as improved my gear with Badges I kept loosing lots of Defense. Since Exalted with SSO I have all the Alchemist recipes and did craft the Guardian Alchemist Stone which took a few days to craft. I had to make a Alchemist Stone first which I never bothered crafting before for no good reason though I always had the recipe. Then doing some transmutes for Primal Might and then taking some Primals from my alt bank I had sitting around to make the Guardian Trinket. Only thing I bought was 2 Primal Nethers for 600g from a member of one the T5+ guilds. Primal Air on AH which didn't have much a Bank supply of and just couldn't be bothered to go farm a few of those so bought a few from AH at 30g a pop. Primals are sky high on my server these days. Everything else had sitting in my bank for supplies.

So that brought my Defense rating back up quite a bit which sits around 494 but can always swap back in Blue Strength of the Untamed which gets it up to 503 Defense vs the SSO Epic neck piece Pendant of Resolve at a few health and expertise for more defense if I really had to for some reason. Have everything else SSO so that's both Shields as usual so no biggie there for Rep Vendor gear. That makes 4 Shields I have in Bag at all times to swap as needed. Need more bag space!

All my gear is fully enchanted and gemed as usual even if its swap in and out gear. That's just the way I roll, everything helps and makes a difference. So as far as my gear sets that leaves me with only 2 pieces of Blue gear. Both my forever tanking Continuum Blade and Crystalforged Sword which I need to really hit up MgT to try and replace with the Cudgel or Consecration and my forever T3 shoulders. All in all I now sit at 16.3K Armor, 345 Spell Damage, 15.2K Health depending and 338 Block Value depending on which combination of gear I'm wearing which I carry at all times. Usually that's swapping in my Belt of the Guardian for more Block Value for tanking which I had crafted some weeks ago for 1100g + mats.

Personal Banking & Investments
Spending all that money you thing I be broke right.... well far from it. And I'm a Tank that is, so I'm suppose to slow at killing stuff I guess. I now have 2 Alts who own 2 completely different Guild Banks and between both Alts I have 10 guild Banks slots for personal Banking at a cost of about 10k gold. Yes..... that's for just banking and Investment, lol. The sad thing is more than half the bank tabs are all full and I really don't have the time to sell things I need to sell on AH. It can also take quite a bit of time to manage all that bank stuff so I have 2 Alts as prime bank managers. So far they haven't been fired yet from their job in banking, investments and day trading. They make me a bit of money.

If I was to do a complete liquidation of my Banking assets I'm sure I could get another 6K gold or so. Yet I have more than that in on hand cash. Now I only have 1 lvl 70 that is a Tanking class. I could never wonder how some people say they are broke at 70. I just go out and kill stuff, farm stuff, use my profession whenever I feel like selling, do one daily and that's for fishing only and that's all I do. So I really don't have much sympathy when people say they can't earn money or just don't want to go out and do so which aren't hard to do. They all kind of ways to make money. Check out this guide if you want to learn some ways to be extremely profitable, which is really worth reading.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Crossing Over

I don't really ever ever talk or blog about any my Alts much or profile them in any way, for a while never had much Alts either. But I guess we all have them some people more than others that's another part of our player personality and for good times and fun. My alter ego little BM Hunter duo (Krovon & Razortusk) in training made it to lvl 58 after clearing out every quest in the Felwoods and Winterspring and skinning every piece of hide in sight. At 0245 he officially crossed over to Outland at the Dark Portal in the Blasted Lands. Was up late!

So yeah I guess I've been a little busy, but with good purpose. I've played my Paladin for over a year solid and its my only lvl 70. So I've been working on my goal that I set at beginning of year to get another class or Alt to 70. So goal has been Hunters Marked and within sight of the Goal.

I take pleasure in really giving my Alts meaningful names. I grew up reading comic books and had more Spiderman comics than I can count. Always liked Spiderman's nemesis Kraven the Hunter so in thinking of a name and not quite the same either I named him Krovon. I've had Krovon for almost a year when I first transfered from Rexxar server to Zangarmarsh I created him after. Created him as a Alt to play around with and relax for fun and good times away from the stress of tanking on Galo. However never played Krovon the Hunter much, a little here and there whenever I felt like doing something else different than playing Galo. I kept him around in hopes someday maybe I'll get the urge to level him. His first pet at lvl 11 was a Ravager those awesome looking evil pets from Azuremyst Isle. I still have that pet he's 35 and in stables. But will tame another Ravager at 60+ for a DPS pet. I find it easier to just level with his good tanking pet Razortusk.

So after clearing out most of all the Feralas quests and all of Felwoods and Winterspring zone quests hunting and skinning wild animals It was time to head to Outland. I was out of quests anyway. Always liked all those zones. Skinned so much wild animals I had a bank full of all kinds of Leather so Hunter boy made him plenty good money as well on the AH. He's pretty much self sufficient. Entering Outland he has Mining at 300, Skinning at 363, Cooking at 300, First Aid at 290 (Never seem to use much), Fishing at 201. He pretty much just about always only use a Bow just kinda likes Bows I guess, silent kills.

So far he's making a good Alt. Leveling a Hunter is a lot easier than leveling a Protection Paladin for sure and by far. However really don't have much plans on gearing him up at 70 when he gets there. I'm in a mode of preparing before WotLK to get things done so for now the goal is just to get him to 70 as marked. Next time I post about him he will be at 70. As for Galo, I still play him daily, just running 1 Heroic a day or most days if I feel like it for 5 badges. So currently at 53 Badges so soon should be able to pickup next in my set Sabatons of the Righteous Defender in a day or so.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The 100,000 Club

Have being a bit busy lately and haven't really had time to notice that this blog has hit the 100,000 site visitor milestone for over a year of blogging on "My Life and Times...". I haven't really being blogging much lately either. So I guess I can say I've hit a major milestone that several other very popular WoW bloggers have way surpassed.

I remember when I was the only person that read my blog. I remember wondering if anyone would ever read it, or let alone find it interesting or informative in any way. I remember wondering if I could even write anything interesting. I remember thinking and writing notes to get and idea of things I could maybe write about because well sometimes I didn't know just what to write. I remember when it was hard to find WoW blogs and they were few to read. I remember sometimes wondering if anyone ever reads here. I remember wondering if anyone would link to this blog. I remember allot of things in the beginning that so many new bloggers think about. I've been there.

Through it all this blog had been my companion in WoW. I started and just kept at it and over time I got better at doing it. I still makes notes of things at some point to write about but I not longer have to think about it like way back then. The readers have made it more enjoyable and fun to keep at it on days when i sometimes never feel like posting but still do. But I know your still there reading and wondering if I'll post.

Many thanks to all those who have linked here to this blog and to all those readers and lurkers who read here for whatever reason you still lurk here. Its because of you that this blog has hit 100,000 site visitors and without you it would not have been possible. It certainly would also be less fun as well.