Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Weekend Shenanigans

I ran Heroic Culling of Stratholme for the first time on Friday. Overall, it went well and we just had a couple of hiccups. The bosses were not anything to write home about, but the trash was really obnoxious. Oddly enough, it wasn't the elite trash that was the problem, but the non-elites that roam about and pick away at party members while they're trying to cast. Everything that dropped was cloth caster gear aside from some Pally shoulders. Willy, who is finally back, got some upgrades and the ring that dropped went to the Shaman we Pugged. It was well-deserved, as he did a great job and helped us melt the bosses down ridiculously fast.

I only did one dungeon while I was leveling to 80, so I'm seeing most of the WotLK dungeons for the first time on Heroic...something of a trial by fire. During the run on Friday, I was very pleased with my single-target threat generation. I did a little Recount analysis afterwards and decided I'm still not using Revenge enough. I'm getting much better with Heroic Strike spams, though, thanks to some reshuffling of my action bars. The Revenge issue should be easy to fix now that I'm aware of the problem.

Elsewhere, I finally became a Champion of Gnomeregan. I was going to take Darraxus's advice and avoid turning in the seals until I was exalted, but I was close enough and ran off to knock out some really low-level dwarf/gnome quests which got me exalted with Ironforge and within 2K of Gnomer. Nice break from the daily grind. Exodar's next.

Cheesi also played a lot this weekend and made it to 76. She's doing a good job knocking the rust off and getting back into the swing of the whole stabbity-stab Rogue thing. It's more fun for me when she's online, too. I'm looking forward to running some heroics/raids with her.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory

Today is Memorial Day here in the U.S., so I'd like to take a moment to remember those members of our armed services who paid the ultimate price for our country. You and your bravery will never be forgotten.

I'd also like to salute those real-life Warriors who fight for our freedom. All of you who have served or are currently serving, you are an inspiration to me and you're in my prayers.

God Bless you all, and God Bless America.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My Aggro Addiction

I named this blog Aggro Junkie after trying several names that were already taken. I don't regret my final decision, because it really sums up the way I feel about playing a Warrior, specifically a Prot Warrior.

I leveled Arms. In my low-60s my brother-in-law/GM recommended that I go Prot so that we could run the Outland instances with a real tank, rather than a Fury Warrior with a shield. Muttering under my breath, I respecced.

I haven't gone back.

There's just something about tanking that keeps me coming back for more. Even when I complain about "tank burnout" it's only temporary. If I walked into a raid to dps, I just don't think I'd enjoy it as much.

I am my team's shield. I'm the one thing standing between them and something big with bad intentions. When the boss has me targeted I feel like I'm in control. I'm begging him to hit me with everything he's got.

When a tank is, borrowing a musical term, "in the pocket" there's really nothing that compares to it. The rotation's solid - an ability for each cooldown with Heroic Strikes in between. I've been in fights where it's pure Zen. It's cruise control. No thinking required. Thinking would probably wreck it. Reaction isn't necessary because you're anticipating. You've got the boss and he's not going anywhere.

When the fight's over and the loot's getting passed around, there's a moment of quiet triumph. At no time did the boss consider running after the Warlock that's been pounding him with Shadow Bolts. He never thought about turning around and taking a swing at the Rogue who's been punching holes in his back. He ignored the Mage who's been lighting him on fire and coating him with ice. All he saw was the plate-wearing monster standing directly in front of him, matching him blow for blow and asking for more.

That's why I'm still a tank.

That's why I'm an aggro junkie.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Favorite Thing I Forgot

A few posts ago, I discussed some of my favorite abilities and glyphs with which Warrior tanks have been graced since 3.0/WotLK. One very important ability that I forgot is Heroic Throw.

Why does it rock so hard?
  1. It costs no rage.
  2. With Gag Order, it silences the mob, making it great for pulling casters.
  3. It has a maximum distance but not a minimum distance, meaning that if all of your other stuns/interrupts are on cooldown, you can use it right in the mob's face.
  4. It has innate threat, meaning that the overall threat generated by the ability is more than simply the damage the ability causes.
  5. It's instant, which means it's quicker than pulling with a gun and you can do it while moving.
  6. Less gun use equals less money spent on ammo.
  7. If you're running a Deep Wounds spec a Heroic Throw crit will trigger the DoT.
Heroic Throw, I apologize for neglecting you earlier.

Hug?

People I Miss

K's most recent post got me thinking about our guild a little over a year ago. While the post itself is somewhat unrelated, the comments made me think about the healers, and others, I used to raid with.

I really miss working with these guys, along with some of the other people from our guild who were great people who made those long raid nights full of constant wiping entirely worth it. Some have left the game, some have changed servers, and some just aren't on nearly enough.

I shall now use my public forum to guilt them into coming back and/or playing more. Just kidding.
  • Briele, our beautiful Priestess who saved my plate-covered backside on more than one occasion. Leveled Shadow, hit 70 and went Holy. Why? Because our guild needed her to. She'd stay up ridiculously late on tough raid nights even though it made going to school and/or working in the morning a nightmare. She's still around once in a while, but I'd love to see her around more.
  • Willy, not only one of my healers, but also my RL brother-in-law (he's Cheesi's brother). His main was a Hunter, and he was a good one. When we realized we were short on healers, he started power-leveling the guild bank toon all the way to 70 and paid for a name change. He got a crash course in Holy Priesting and picked it up quickly. I think he may be on his way back after some RL stuff kept him out for several months. I hope it sticks.
  • Vycodin, one of the bravest guys I know. Like Willy, his main was a Hunter. He initially brought a low-level Lock into the guild to test the waters, then brought his main, and finally became one of our most committed, loyal members. He took his Paladin (Vycodin) all the way to 70, like Willy, because of our healer shortage. Like Bri, he stayed up late with us more than once, much to his own detriment. He had to leave the game due to a RL issue that would break a lot of people. Even though I've never met him face to face, I consider him a friend and miss him terribly.
  • And finally, there's Nagant. On our first Kara run, which included CoFers as well as members of an allied guild (who were extremely well-geared), Nag topped the damage meters despite being in mostly blues and a couple of greens. Anyone who thinks all Hunters are "huntards" who don't know anything about their class never met this guy...or most of the hunters in our guild, for that matter. If I put a blue square over a target for him to trap, I could always rest assured he would keep that mob out of my hair for as long as I needed him to. Besides his talent in-game, he was hilarious. The witty banter between Nag, Vyc, and another one of my favorite people (who's still active) Eckhart was purely epic. RP's more Nag's thing, so he ran off to an RP server to scratch that itch. Gotta figure out a good way to bribe him to come back.
This was more a personal post than anything else, but I guess I can justify blogging about it by saying that this game, this silly little hobby that a lot of people scoff at, can and often does lead to friendships...real friendships. While all of the people listed here are great players, they're also great people.

The only one of the four I have consistent contact with out of the game is Willy, obviously, but even though I've never seen any of the others in real life, it doesn't change the fact that I consider them my friends. We've worked together, struggled together, and triumphed together. Just because that happened in a video game doesn't cheapen any of it.

Random, disjointed post over.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Number 2: Accomplished

I am now "Misneach of Stormwind." I had dramatic screenshots ready to go for this post, but Blogger's being a jerk. Text only will have to do for now.

I know some of you are scoffing at me, particular those of you with your "Realm First Night Elf Rogue to use a Heavy Frostweave Bandage while standing on the geographic center of Storm Peaks" titles, but this is a big deal to me and that's all that matters. So there.

My next step in the Tournament is to become exalted with and a Champion of Gnomeregan. Somehow my rep with them is lowest among the Alliance races. I fail to see how this is possible, considering my intimate knowledge of one of their kind. Seriously, that's gotta count for something.

Final semi-related point on the topic: I really wish my new Squire would carry some of my crap. Isn't that their job?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Numbers Are Cool

The Bard class doesn't pay the bills, so I'm forced to have a "real job" to do silly things like pay for a house, feed my kids, etc. So, as my primary profession I selected Accounting/Financial Analysis. Sexy, right?

Anyway, I just wanted to throw a shout-out to some fellow WoW bloggers who speak the same language as I do. The guys over at WoWenomics are crazy smart and break down the financial side of WoW using real-world terms and economic theory. They give solid advice and have the knowledge to back it up.

Go check them out. Tell them Misneach sent you and you'll get a free portfolio analysis.

Just kidding about the portfolio analysis. Seriously. Don't go bugging them about it while invoking my name. That would not be cool.

Baby Tank

I do my best to only post RL items as they pertain, directly or indirectly, to WoW. That being said, though, I wanted to introduce all of my readers to someone I've mentioned before...the Baby Tank.

This picture was taken this past Saturday on my cell phone (forgive the poor resolution). We were taking the Baby Tank to see Sesame Street Live, and this was her first opportunity to really show off her brand new epic ground mount to the outside world. It's sort of a modified Turbostrider.

She has spina bifida and hydrocephalus and has had more surgeries in her almost three years than most adults I know. I call her the Baby Tank, even though her Mom's a militantly proud Rogue, because of her ability to bounce back from any surgery, even the most invasive, quickly and with a big smile on her face.

Bottom line, the kid's incredibly smart, healthy, social, beautiful, and always happy. She's tough as nails, this one, and an inspiration to me and just about anyone she meets.

Once in a while, she'll sit on Daddy's lap and help him "beat up some bad guys" while he's logged in. When she sees Mis on the computer screen she yells, "There's Daddy!"

After her third birthday I'll start teaching her about threat mechanics and a proper tanking rotation.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Yes, I know this is my third post today. I'm just feeling a little chatty and none of my coworkers play WoW. Don't judge me.

Here's a small and certainly incomplete list of some of the new things that make me love tanking since WotLK dropped (in no particular order):
  • Warbringer - Charge in any stance and in combat? That makes me inappropriately excited.
  • Shockwave - We begged and pleaded for something better than Thunderclap and TPTB yielded. When used in conjunction with T-Clap (which now doesn't have a limit on the number of mobs affected) it's even sexier.
  • Sword and Board - Reset my Shield Slam cooldown and make it free? Seriously? I'll take it.
  • Glyph of Revenge - A free Heroic Strike every time I use Revenge? That + Sword and Board = Christmas.
  • Enraged Regeneration - A HoT that doesn't require me to re-roll Draenei? Sure it's not as potent as a real heal from a real healer, but it certainly doesn't suck in a pinch.
The list goes on, but, bottom line, it certainly is a great time to be a tank.

Quick Random Thought

My blog needs pictures. Must take more screenshots.

That is all.

So Close to Number 2

And no, it's not because I've upped the fiber in my diet.

If all goes according to plan, which in my world is a stretch, I should be an Exalted Champion of Stormwind tomorrow. This will take care of #2 on my list. I would have been in a position to nail it down today, but my plans for last night were shaken up by an extra-long school pageant that basically drained all my energy and I think even sullied a portion of my soul.

I'm also looking forward to hitting Champion so that I can start earning Champion's Seals. The Teldrassil Protector is a huge weapon upgrade for me at this point. As a human, I'd much rather have the Red Sword of Courage due to the expertise on the item itself as well as the racial bonus I get from swords, but this will get me over until then. Just the damage and stat bonuses I'll get make the Hammer of Quiet Mourning I've been lugging around look like an over-sized twig. Besides, I can make up some expertise elsewhere if I need to.

For my screw-around Fury spec, I can also snag the Claymore of the Prophet and maybe sweet talk a Blacksmith into making me a Titansteel Destroyer (with my already-farmed mats of course, because I'm still saving for #1 on the list).

Mostly, I'm excited about the prospect of getting upgrades without having to rely on drop rates. I haven't been in many heroics lately because our guild doesn't have many level 80 healers that are on regularly enough to hit H-UP on a daily basis to try and pick up the sword. PUGging is always an option, of course, but I really hate doing it on too regular of a basis. Working with PUGs can make you a better tank (and I've done my share) but if I can avoid it, I try to.

Step One, though, is to hit Champion. Hopefully the stars will align and that will actually happen tomorrow.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Baby Mis

Keredria over at Tree of Life tagged me to post some memories of being a young warrior, roaming about Elwynn Forest with high aspirations and far fewer scars than I have now. Here's what my simple, simple brain can recall.
  • When I first started playing, I didn't know you could jump. Seriously. I found out by accident.
  • I also didn't know you could swim underwater. Again, found out by accident.
  • I was told that since I was a warrior, I should be a tank. I ranted and raved about wanting to be a damage-dealer, not some meat shield. I spent decades of levels avoiding the Prot tree like the plague.
  • I got very excited about buying vendor whites to upgrade the greys I was wearing pre-level 15 or so.
  • I was anti-addon. Vehemently anti-addon. I had some kind of purist attitude that was quickly pacified when I discovered the power and glory of Auctioneer and Gatherer.
  • Didn't realize warriors could use ranged weapons, or that it would be a good idea to even have one equipped if only for stats.
Bottom line, I was a n00b in the finest, most magnificent sense of the word.

Now to tag some others. Keep in mind, as a new blogger my sphere of influence is quite limited. Forgive me if you've already been tagged elsewhere or if you're adamantly opposed to being tagged for stuff like this in the first place.

Khol at A Stab in the Dark
Ratshag at Need More Rage
Darraxus the Warrior
LarĂ­sa at the Pink Pigtail Inn

On Jousting

I worked at Medieval Times several years back (laugh and I'll Shield Slam you into next week). Because of this, I figured I'd have a jump on this whole Argent Tournament jousting thing.

I was wrong.

Nay, I was stupid wrong.

It takes a lot of getting used to. My first couple of attempts at other Alliance Valiants were embarrassing. I'd end up dismounted while they were still sitting at over 40K health.

Let me reiterate - this was embarrassing.

I ended up doing ok after several ridiculously lopsided beatings. I learned to pay attention to how many shields my target had up. I learned to make sure I had my own shields up. I figured out the way the NPCs fight, which helped me anticipate their actions and beat them to the punch.

I really like the mounted combat that WoW has mixed into the game. As far as I'm concerned, it spices up questing quite a bit when you can hop on a mount or a vehicle and do something other than pick a fight with a mob and go through your normal rotation, repeating until the mob is dead.

I'll get the hang of this jousting thing, I'm sure. I may never be the best at it, but I'll settle for not sucking.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

My To-Do List

AKA: Crap I'd Like to Accomplish

This is a list of things I would like to do or try during WotLK. Some of them have been aspirations of mine since TBC.
  1. Get Epic Flight Skill: This is my dirty little secret. I'm still slogging around on the slow flying mount. When I was raiding in TBC, I would log on and do my dailies, which would just about cover the consumables and repair bills for that night's raid. As a result, I usually just broke even. In WotLK, I've spent so much working on professions and alts that I still have quite a way to go. I'll get there eventually, I'm sure.
  2. Get a Title: I still haven't gotten a title, but I'm within reach of several if I put forth the effort. Ambassador and the Seeker are doable for me. I'm not big on holiday events, so I probably won't go that route. I wouldn't mind getting an Argent Tournament title. Misneach of Stormwind has a nice ring to it.
  3. Get Back into Raiding: This is a big one. I'd love to see as much WotLK content as possible. We started raiding in TBC relatively late, so I didn't get a chance to really see as much of the raid content as I would have liked. I'll probably never be as hardcore as I once was, but a couple of raid nights a week won't kill me. I could certainly use some gear upgrades, too.
  4. Start My Own Guild: I love the guild I'm in, but I've always wanted to try being a GM. I know there's a ridiculous amount of administration required, but I'd still like to give it a go. Just gotta think of a name...
And there you have it. I don't think I'm expecting much of myself with this list. Most of it's relatively attainable. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Monday, May 4, 2009

LF a Good Guild

Copra over at Blog Azeroth posed the question "What is a Good Guild?". Several bloggers have already replied, but, what the heck, I'll throw in my two copper for what it's worth (which I suppose, by definition, would be two copper).

We've all seen this exchange in general or trade chat. On Bloodhoof, it looks like this (comments in bold represent the poor soul looking for the good guild in question):
  • "LF a good guild"
  • snide comment
  • snide comment
  • "What kind of guild do you want to be in?"
  • "A good one"
  • snide comment
  • comment that starts off sounding sincere but ends up being another snide comment
  • ...
  • (2 minutes elapse)
  • "LF a good guild"
It's an impossible question to answer because I believe there's no such thing as a universally "good guild." There are simply guilds with different goals and approaches to the game.

Soon after WotLK dropped, our guild became immersed in quite the Charlie Foxtrot over our identity. Basically, those of us who had been with the guild for a while knew what we were about - a leveling guild who raids casually and mostly just screws off in /gchat and on vent and helps our members accomplish whatever goals we have. Some newer people, though, grew increasingly frustrated that we hadn't cleared all the raid content as quickly as the hardcore guilds on our server and started raising a stink in-game and on the forums. They eventually left and everyone involved in the series of heated debates had a bad taste in their mouths over the whole situation.

For me, our guild is a good guild. I don't have time to be a hardcore raider. I work full-time, play my RL Bard class part time, hang out with Cheesi, hang out with the Baby Tank and her sisters, and actually enjoy sleeping once in a while. I like running heroics and raids, but I don't have the mental or temporal bandwidth to commit myself to raiding until the wee hours of the morning several nights out of the week.

For those who left, our guild wasn't a good guild. They saw us as lazy and unorganized. They wanted to see all the content as quickly as possible and didn't like that most of our officers had other priorities to which we needed to attend.

I don't hold anything against those guys now, after having some time to think about it. They had the wrong impression of what our guild was about. That's not necessarily their fault.

If you're looking for a guild, first you need to figure out what type of player you are:
  • Do you prefer PvP?
  • Do you prefer PvE?
  • Are you a hardcore raider?
  • Are you a casual raider?
  • Do you just want to have some people around who can help you knock out some quests or simply chat with while you level?
  • Do you prefer a complicated DKP system designed by a statistician, mathematician, the COO of a biotech company, and a parakeet who can whistle the theme song to Small Wonder?
  • Do you prefer to simply greed on blues and roll on purples and shards?
  • etc, etc, etc

After you've figured out who you are, do your homework. Most guilds have websites that should give you a pretty good idea as to what kind of guild they are. If they don't have a site, chat a bit with one of their members or officers and try to get a feel of their guild culture.

Bottom line, know who you are and know what you're getting yourself into. If the guild you're in isn't a good fit for you, don't try to change their culture or rant and rave about not getting the fulfillment you want. Just leave and find another home. It'll be easier on everybody.

And please don't say "LF a good guild" in the trade channel. Trust me, it won't go well for you.