A Redeeming DeathKnight Tank

Sometimes another player will impress me enough in a pug that I curse the fact they are on another server. Last night was one of those nights. Picture the scene if you will *wavy flashback scene commencing* Delith opts to do her daily random late in the evening (or wee hours of Sunday morning depending on how you view anytime  after 12am) The randomizer sends her to Trial of the Champion  and the group does a fine job swacking it down with ease. The DK dps asks if anyone is up for more and being the emblem greedy person I am I go for it but it is just the DK and myself furthering on.

This time we head into Pit of Saron with a DK tank, DK dps, Ret pally and Warlock. Again I am not stressing as the tank seems to holding things fine and I’ll be honest I rarely pay attention to dps numbers unless I am dps. My first warning this run isn’t going to be as smooth as the previous is when the tank (Ceicil – Dath’Remar, but he had funky special characters in his name *sigh*) sends me a tell before the first boss letting me know he isn’t sure how long the fight will take and expect it to be bumpy.

There should be a record kept for your slowest kill. This did not bode well for Delith. The ramp trash is always a pain and I wasn’t looking forward to it being slow and longer for me to heal through. Silly me. I need to learn to worry about the next fight not the fight I think will be hard. Krick and Ick, I’ve never on Delith had a harder time with this boss. Kudos really go to Ceicil on this fight because we ended up two manning it. Our DPS all died to Poison Nova. Yep no one but the tank ran out ( I was already out of range) Ok maybe they missed the announcement he was going to do it. We need DPS, Delith pops battle rez on the pally (and there is my mistake). Pally gets up, gets healed, immediately dies to Nova again. Yep. Ceicil proves DKs can do lovely damage as tanks and finishes off the boss while I heal my tooshy off.

As anticipated the healing up the ramps to the gauntlet was intense and kept my fingers moving. The Hub chose to come in and give me huggles after being out, to which he got the icy “Do you not see me healing like a mad woman here?” glare. You have to give it to him, he takes it in stride and just says “Group that good huh?”.  And overall he is right the group is enough to make me bang my head. But the tank is freaking awesome and I can’t just leave a good tank hanging. Especially after the DPS ignores his instructions in the gauntlet and almost dies. We are at the last boss, can’t give up yet!

In the end we downed it but it was really done on the strength of our tank. He knew the fights and was excellent at his job overall. It was heartening to see a DK tank not just drop group the moment anything got bumpy. The only downside? He isn’t on my server! *curses*

Published in: on May 3, 2010 at 5:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Developer and Player Disconnect

I usually don’t jump all over Ghostcrawler at the slightest provocation. (Though it does sound like fun) But for once I’m going to weigh in on what I feel is the obvious disconnect the developers seem to have. (I’m not judgmental…no not at all. Ghosty seems to indicate  Wild Growth needs its cooldown increased. I really want to talk about this because the problems with Wild Growth and Circle of Healing spamming have been here since BC. I remember being on Pookie and hearing healers complain vocally about priests CoH spamming and it being a sign of a poor healer. Since those days, those halcyon days in Karazan the spamming of these spells has been a badge of shame for any healer. To combat this kneejerk spamming Blizzard introduced a cooldown, currently at 6seconds. (more…)

Published in: on April 28, 2010 at 3:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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One Rule to Rule Them ALL

If you are unfamiliar with MC Frontalot, Mike Doughty, or Wil Wheaton then this post will hopefully change that.

I was introduced to Mike Doughty’s music via the Hub when we first started talking. And if I take nothing else away from the early days of our relationship it will be the vast amount of music I was “forced” to listen to. Mike’s Haughty Melodic started to receive regular rotation on my play lists and still is my favorite.

MC Frontalot is a nerdcore artist I had the pleasure of being introduced to via…PAX! (what? Going was the geek highlight of my year)

Together they made this song about…Wil Wheaton (who we know I adore since I have posted about his book previously)

Why am I making you read all this? Well I’m not twisting your arm to make you read for no reason. There is a WoW related story in here somewhere, if only I could find it…*wanders off on a tangent*

You see the Hub and I in our geekly marriage listen to pod cats and other geekly stuff together (usually while I run 5man groups sans sound) Last night we were listening to Radio Free Burrito and heard the song. In one of those magical moment I looked at the Hub shocked “OMG! Is that…Mike Doughty with MC Frontalot? And are they really singing what I think they are singing” The Hub looked over with one of those grins and he tabbed over to check on MC’s website for more info as we listened to Wil.

But really that song could be a theme song for PUGing. Today, I went to heal a heric random pug desperate to get my extra badges so I could buy yet another boomkin item for Delith…oh right so I decided to drop feral (I hate melee) and go resto/boom. While in said pug this song played in my head the WHOLE freaking time. We had a nooblete little DK (and I mean that in the best way) who wanted to need an offspec 1hander for his dual wield unholy build. We had a hunter who spend the entire freaking raid berating and belittling him for the idea and for his supposed lack of DK tanking knowledge. My friend Xandi was on his tank reminding me why I have a deep and abiding love both for pally tanks and for his tanking in general. I really from the get go wanted to just say HUNTER! Don’t be a Dick…actually stop being a Dick. But instead I decided to be nice (for the moment) and send this poor DK (who admitted he doesn’t know much about tanking and is just starting to get the gear together for it as he has focused exclusively on DPS previously) a tell expressing my sorrow that the hunter is being a dick and to ignore him the rest of us are cool with whatever etc. I mean if someone admits they are new to it but that the item is overall better than what they have…STFU! Geeezz don’t spend the rest of an instance being  jerk about it. Alas, the hunter couldn’t/wouldn’t let it go and even as we were doing loot kept it up.

Song in my mind, patience all but evaporated even in the cold Halls of Reflection I left the hunter with my parting words. “Remember, Wil Wheaton says, DON’T BE A DICK!” I am sure the sentiment was lost on him and did nothing but soothe my frayed nerves. Xandi at least agreed the hunter was a dick and deserved to have someone other than the object of his ire tell him so. So my little friends of the nets, go listen to the song and in your next pug remember, “Don’t be a dick!”

Published in: on February 27, 2010 at 2:54 pm  Comments (1)  
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Knowing Your Role: Death Knights

Often I read healer forums and have wondered why there is so much hate for the DK tank. Two of my fav tanks to heal during a raid are DKs and I’ve had good success doing 5mans with my friends who are DK tanks. Since the new LFG tool has been added however, I have come to understand my fellow healers’ disdain for the DK. Ultimately, I believe they suffer from the same problems as Hunters.

Ease of play. Why are there billions upon billions of hunters out there? Because leveling is easy when you have a pet to sick on things and can Feign Death when it gets hairy. It is not to say that all hunters are bad hunters. The nickname huntard however has joined our vocabulary simply because of the rarity of a good player (this was worse in Classic aka Vanilla WoW than I find it to be so now) Truthfully, hunters didn’t get replaced for having a bad rep until the Death Knight. Starting off at high level , coupled with the fast leveling meant that everyone and their brother was going to make one. If you were to go look in your own character screen I am sure most of us have a hunter and a death knight kicking around.

Ease of play leads to class proliferation, which means quality of play is watered down. It is harder to find the good DK in the sea of mediocre or bad players. I had thus far been so lucky has to avoid running into a DK so bad I would swear off the class all together. But thank you LFG random group I have now done so. (With the caveat that the DK tanks I already loved are except from this new anti-DK stance)

What would cause me to swear off an entire class in a single day of LFG?

  1. Not wearing tank gear. I don’t care how awesome your DPS gear is and that you can grab aggro with it. You make my life as a healer harder. When I die because I am burning my mana healing you and the mobs think, “Mmmm eat healer she make this harder on us,” and they tear through the tissue paper that is my armor faster than you can notice they have stopped looking at you. We have a problem! (this happened more than 3 times in a single night with a different dk tank each time)
  2. Aggro management. Speaking of me being made a snack for some mob…mmm high you are pulling a lot of guys could you learn to Death and Decay? I know, I know silly priest asking you to do something. But hmm yeah so when you pull a bunch of mobs and they beat on  you, I tend to heal so, you know, you don’t die on the pull. Such as when you pull two packs instead of one because you are high as you tell the group and not paying attention but it makes WoW so much funner…Yes, funner for you but not for me. Do something about generating instant aggro. I know it can be done. I’ve seen it done. I don’t die when it is done.
  3. Take the time to know other classes. When a druid casts a battle res there is a timer. If on the next pull you do #2 of the above and get yourself killed instead of me, don’t yell if battle res is down.  Especially, if you are the person that called for the first battle res. It has been 2 minutes since it was cast and is still down. Just saying.
  4. Manners please? I don’t know how many groups I have been in the last 2 weeks and have had a DK tank just drop group. One night 3 groups each time the DK tank left after the first boss. Didn’t say a damned thing just left. WTF?!?! They weren’t skin of your teeth kills either. Otherwise I’d get it. VH first boss, dead smooth as silk, DK poof the moment it died. Old Kingdown…AN….same thing. I dunno I want to think that when the DPS jives and the tank isn’t taking lots of damage and is getting healed things are going well.

Ultimately, there are good DKs out there, just they are harder to find. I’m betting a healer figures out they are good and won’t let go of them to his/herself. I know I would. If you are a DK tank establish and maintain aggro in tank gear. If you do nothing else those things will get you ahead in this PUG world.

Published in: on January 4, 2010 at 6:51 pm  Comments (1)  
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How do you deal with bad raiding environment.

Far too often for my own liking I am driving to rant out of game about the state of my raiding in the game. I raid as often as a I like, so the ability it certainly there. No, it really is the environment in which I raid. I came to my current group in BC as my hunter and still raid with them now as Zhavi. In that time we’ve seen some leadership change up and since Uld a major shift in the behavior of our raids. Looking back, certainly I am at fault in this as well. All too willing to bend until I break. Like Tuesday when having had enough I snapped in raid chat, healer chat, and then in my guild vent after the raid.

There is no excuse for letting a situation go this long. But ever there is a straw that breaks the camel’s back and Tuesday was it. Over the course of Uld and now ToC my raid group has gotten increasingly more hostile to eachother. It doesn’t matter if you are a tank, healer, or DPS we are going to yell at you. As I stated before we didn’t start out that way but really since Uld we have become that way. It isn’t always the leadership 9/10 it will be another member of the raid coming over vent to tell you how stupid you are for not doing X, Y, or Z.  No latitude for lag, disconnection, or anything else. No look at past performance to wonder why someone missed the charging yeti previously but caught this time. No, instead you will hear screaming over vent as at least 2 people, not the raid leads, rip into whoever did it.

Tuesday we raided VoA, ToC, and Ony. For VoA I ignored everything. I’ve been off almost 2 weeks from raiding because I knew this was grinding me down, I was tired of dealing with this crap. But a plea the night before that without healers the raid would be canceled saw myself signing up for a raid I knew I shouldn’t be in. Nothing confirmed this more when we wiped on Ony and my temper exploded. A tank invited me to a fight and I not only accepted, I backed up my argument and let it be known it was time to stop.

See our tank was given the wrong directions for Ony’s breath. As she flew over, not only was he out of range of us, he was in the middle of the fire. (The Shammy healer and I assigned to him not willing to stand in the fire to be close enough to heal him…go figure) A battle rez commences and the tank is back in the fray. However, the delicate tanking balance has changed. There are now 3 large dragonkin and the whelps. He has charged into the middle of them all to grab aggro. (See where this is going yet?) He has their aggro and only 2 healers, he hasn’t been fully buffed because on being rezzed he immediately charged back in. He died. Over vent I hear him telling the raid how he didn’t get any heals and that’s why he died and it is our fault. (that snapping sound you here is the last of my nerves after months of dealing with this coupled with the crappy way we have been treating each other)

I snap back that he was being healed and if he doesn’t know what happened not to say anything at all. All this is  said in raid chat as I don’t have my mic ( I ran it over and the hub spent time fixing it…don’t look at me like that I run over it all the time) Snapping in healer chat I tell the lead there and everyone else I’m done and tired of dealing with this BS. Because I really really am. I’m not the only healer to lose it in fact. Which tells me for sure I’m not the only healer tired of listening to this night after night. It isn’t that the tank talked out of his butt when I know I cast heals on him and saw two ticks of penance hit him before he died. No, I was tired of being in a raid environment where yelling at each other was accepted and condoned.

After the successful death of Ony and the raid was over my adrenaline and anger was amped up enough I walked over into my guild chat to talk to some other friends. Tank and the raid leader come in and I let it go. I really really am tired. Another healer in the chat stated “healers get blamed first every where whats the point?”

But do you? I know for a fact that until we started having problems with Hodir and Thorim the healers didn’t get yelled at this much. I know for a fact people didn’t come over vent and yell at each other. It wasn ‘t allowed it wasn’t accepted. So I put it to them Why are treating each other like crap now when we used to not? When I used to be glad to get on and raid with my friends instead of hate listening to the bickering and bitching all the time.

I say I am to blame because Tues never should’ve happened. I should have gone to my RL and explained what a sheer crappy experience raiding here has become and asked what is going on. I know he has a lot on his plate.

I put it to you in general. Is it acceptable to scream, yell, and treat people like crap? How do you handle it when your raids are ground down or demoralized?

Published in: on October 29, 2009 at 7:18 pm  Comments (6)  
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Zhavi’s Truisms and Random Thoughts of the Week

Sometimes I have random thoughts that materialize into nifty (to me anyways) posts. Sometime they are just the random cluttering within my mind. I would hate to deprive you of my random thoughts of the week please below. More often then not they are inspired by listening to healer chat. So sad.

Bad Raids and Bad Groups Happen.

Sometimes what is bad about a pug can be bad about a guild (charter) run.

Healers will always been the first to be blamed.

My humor and sarcasm are funnier to me than they are to everyone else.

I don’t care no one gets my humor in the middle of a raid when we keep wiping and people are yelling at healers.

Hating your raid group will wear you thin no matter how awesome they kill shit or how much you want the loots.

Hating the instance will wear you thin no matter how much you like your raid group or want the loots.

A bad raid environment or raiding culture is like paying someone to abuse you.

Not paying attention is the hallmark of a bad player.

Not caring is the hallmark of a burned out player.

Not paying attention because you don’t care is the hallmark of someone who needs to /log.

Knowing it is time to /log usually happens well after you are knee deep and sinking faster.

DPS will always whine when they grab agro and die.

Ignore DPS when they whine, they will always whine and ignoring them now will save you headaches later.

When a tank tells you I didn’t get heals for <X amount of time> he is…blaming the healer.

Remember not to attend all the fights dps and tanks invite you to.

When you do attend make sure you can back it up with something witty like, “That is funny I see that <insert actual spells cast> landed on you in that time.” Or if is DPS, “You are right I made the decision to heal the tank so we don’t wipe, my mistake.”

Make friends with a paladin. They will bubble you when it comes to wipe time.

Make sure to rez said paladin first if they do.

Everyone thinks they know how to play a healer.

Most of those everyones are mediocre at best.

Remember we play this because we want to not because we feel guilty other people can’t find healers.

Published in: on October 24, 2009 at 11:49 am  Leave a Comment  
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Demo Etiquette

If you are standing at a demo playing a game there are certain rules of etiquette you need to follow. It is a short list and relies heavily on a little golden rule and some common sense for spice. In fact, it is one rule with lots of explanation from me.

DO NOT HOG THE GD GAME! *lets out a long slow sigh* Do I need to explain this to you Mass Effect 2 hogger guy? The fact the guys behind you tapped you on the shoulder to ask you to let them play after the demo restarted again should’ve been clue enough for you. Obviously, I am wrong since you went back to playing again, at which point I walked away.

We all waited in line at PAX to play some game. We all understand the desire to keep playing it since you have waited so freaking long to get your hands on it. I really do get the impulse. I get the desire. But you just became the jerk holding everyone behind you up when you don’t stop when your demo is done. You’ve gone from having my sympathies to having my ire. I’m a short woman do you know what they say about short women and tempers? (luckily I don’t have red hair to just make the whole equation worse)

So remember DO NOT HOG THE GAME! play your demo and then move along. Earn brownie points with strangers because you aren’t a dick. Hog the game and earn ire points because you are the dick. A line system only works when everyone plays be the same rules (and honestly thank the Hub I wasn’t in your ear going ” GET OFF THE DEMO!”  because he distracted me with other booths to keep me from it. He knew I’d have done it.)

Published in: on September 11, 2009 at 6:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Waiting on WoW…and waiting and waiting

The pain of waiting. We wait a lot in our game. We wait for new content, better looking outfits, raiders to show up on time, or get back from afk. We wait for our cooldowns to pop be done. We wait a lot. For somethings its a mere 1.5 seconds others its months and months.

Thursday I was stuck waiting on the freaking server to let me connect to the game so I could go attend my raid and bang my head on Yogg and the Faction champions. After an hour the will of the Blizzard server was appeased and log in I did! But while waiting and listening to my guildies and fellow raiders chat I…crocheted. Yes that’s right you didn’t just go crazy  I said I crocheted. I made a niffty little lap blanket out of granny squares for a coworker’s birthday.

So I got to thinking about how we fill up our time waiting. And the frustration waiting gives us. Like how many people are dying waiting for Blizzard to get their heads around the idea we don’t want pvp in our pve content? *cough* Faction Champ fight *cough* What do you do during breaks? Are you checking your email? Watching you tube clips? Posting to Facebook?

Or are you like me doing something super domestic? I’m gonna make another blanket I think bigger this time for my place. It’s football season I could do it in Seahawks’ colors. Hmm then I’d be forced to make my mom one in Titan’s colors so when they play in Jan. we can call each other and talk smack while cuddled up in warm fuzzy blankets made by me. Which will almost make the smack talk going on seem odd.

Speaking of waiting. My fav Forgotten Realms writer has a new series announced. Of course it won’t be out until July of 2010. ALMOST A FREAKING YEAR! *pants* See I have an addiction to reading. I don’t read books I devour books. If ever you wonder hm what might Zhavi be reading or what is Zhavi so desperate to get her hands on? Take a gander over at Paul S Kemp’s books. It isn’t often a writer can continue to write for one character and keep the stories fresh and not make me want to beat them within an inch of their lives. (btw I would never do bodily harm to an author for a book) Paul does better than manage to avoid that pitfall, the characters are engaging and damn it, he made me like rogues. (something I managed to avoid for YEARS) I would go on but I think you get the idea that I might be…a fan girl. Yes I admit it I am. I love Erevis Cale books deeply.

Where was I? Oh yeah…so having devoured all the books you can imagine since I’m admitted fan girl that I would be ecstatic about the new trilogy announced? Oh and I am. Just…like any fan I want it now! Just like I want WoW to give me Cataclysm now. (Btw totally my bad on not believing they were going to add Worgen and Goblins as player races. I admit it I was wrong.) *sigh* Oh the pains of waiting. *twiddles her thumbs* What is a gamer to do?

Published in: on August 30, 2009 at 1:07 am  Comments (2)  
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Oh how I hate you gold sellers

I had this wonderful blog post ready to go about leveling an alt…and it has to be postponed. For another rant *sighs* This weekend the hub’s acct got hacked. Bliz is still looking into it. But given all his alts were stripped clean and his gold taken it doesn’t do much for the feeling of violation. (I do hope Bliz gets him his stuff back…soonish) Doesn’t help a deep scan of his comp came up with no problems and he got a clean bill of health. All our friends suspect a flash player hack.

The venom and hatred I feel for the people that did this is comparable only to the time my apt got broken into and ALL the gifts from the last 2 years the hub had given me went Poof. There is a paranoid feeling that even though it wasn’t my account that I need to be on and make sure no one else is. It is completely irrational, but there none the less.

As a result I have developed a hatred for…the people that buy gold. It almost makes me want Bliz to be more like City of Heroes where your character isn’t enhanced by gear you buy. No secondary market for gold there. Bliz can’t make a smooth transition away from gold however. Their (in game) economy is completely based on it. But I can dream can’t I?

I forsee authentecators in our future. For once I am going to urge you to go spend gold on something…get one. Just incase, because its a sick feeling having all your toons reduced to no gold and no gear.

Edit: So my brilliant plan to buy authenticators for my account and the hub’s has been thwarted by…them being sold out. I figured this long after release they would have a constant stock of them. Obviously I was wrong. Oddly this then makes me angry at Blizzard. I think I am just looking to stay mad. but…REALLY?!?!?!

Published in: on June 1, 2009 at 6:46 pm  Comments (2)  
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