Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Raiding - Our first guild 25 man Garrosh

I was bummed that we didn't do our guild Garrosh the previous week, and hoped that we would be able to do it this week.  I logged on a little early and was a bit bummed to see that only 15 people were on, with only one heroic raider missing (Morz usually logs on right on the dot at raid time).  My plan was to do an hour of heroic Paragons and then switch to 25 man normal.

Aza told me that he would rather we just do 25 man because an hour of heroic Paragons wouldn't really get us anywhere, and with 25 man we may have issues with getting people settled into it.  I took opinions from all the heroic raiders online and Exray mirrored Aza (sometimes I think they are the same person...) and everyone else didn't mind what we did.  So it was decided - 25 mans were going to start in 15 mins.

Aimei told me that it would be a problem because people thought it was at 10pm.  I could see some of the raiders on Battletag so I asked them to come across.  Ultra got on his main which was still on Caelestrasz (which he will probably bring over in WoD) and we asked Soli (who was friends with Morz and Exray) to come as well.  But wouldn't you know it, people started filtering in and before long... we were full.  We killed Paragons with what we had, but then I had to make the decision to start moving people around.

Soli didn't mind having to jump out for Garrosh - she really is rather sweet - and I got Kahrax in.  Sars was going to log on right at 10pm, and Priestietute wanted to come as well.  Vexil and Souglyy came along (I did frown a little bit when Vexil told me that 10pm was too late to be doing Garrosh - how was he going to do raiding in WoD with us if 10pm is too late???) and I had encouraged Faithless to come, even though she told me her DPS was appalling (but she is a longterm active guildie).  So after a long think about what to do, Aimei and I sat out and I got all the others to come in.  I was a little disappointed but only because I really wanted to see how everyone interacted together as a group, and look at positioning, raid awareness, DPS/healing and how they behaved when it came to loot.

I had a lot of tells.  Unhappy people about this or that.  Nothing that particularly bothered me or gave me an adverse opinion of anyone, but I had anticipated this, and was using it as a baseline for if we did do 25 man raiding later, or even Mythic. Granted, not all of these people are mythic inclined, nor have the dedication to do it long term, but I need to know who I can count on.

It didn't go that well and we were having issues with DCs - Kahrax in particular, so I sat him out and I also sat Faith out so I could jump back in and see what was going on.  I made people get back on their mains and we went again.

Aimei, Snowcaller
Nathamanz, Jazzbangers, Luxygaga, Azadelta, Drauka, Lushen, Ravzz, Crooked, Sarstius, Dragonray, Mctacky, Yig, Haevela, Vexil, Souglyy, Ultra's shaman (with some longass name), Uq, 
Navimie, Morzierz, Daenerys, Glow, Priestietute

Kahrax and Faithless were switched out for Garrosh but went for Paragons.  I hope I can get Faith a Garrosh kill one day! Aimee and I came back in then and off we went again.

First go was messy but the second go was much better.  Poor mêlée dying early in the fight from Iron Star or getting Garrosh stomped made me /roll eyes a bit, but we got it down. Those damned priests made me look bad!  There was a warforged Black Blood which made me glad Jazz was on her priest (though she was not pleased because she had wanted to go on her DK) and I could give it to her and I charged her for it, and then the rest of the loot was upgrades for others - Shizuko took a tier token and a warforged helm, and Dragonray got an offhand.  Glow got more offspec gear and so did Ravzz. I think Aza scored an heirloom for his rogue and I think everyone was pleased by the end.  There were heaps of 25 man Garrosh achievements going around and I think I felt even more sad because Faith couldn't get it!  But I hope I can get her one soon!

I was really surprised at the turnout.  Some people were nervous - wondering what raiding would be like with this many people turning up.  I wasn't hugely worried - it looks like another round of taking turns sitting out was on the cards and as long as it was done fairly, I don't think people would mind.  I was more worried about how laggy it was on 25 man.  It was too much for Kahrax - does that mean that he won't be able to raid 25 mans later?  Everyone else seemed to be ok.

So, how did I get from struggling to fill my 10 man to having this huge amount of people? How many of them are going to be stayers?  I am excited and yet also nervous about the future of my guild's raiding - will it be as fun as it was in Mists?  Am I going to go back to the drama of WotLK/Early Cataclysm?

There is a difference between now and back then. I am the guild master now. I want to be charismatic like our first GM, Toutatis, but also calm and steady like our previous GM, Fueghan. I am not them, but I can try to take the best parts of them and forge my own place in the guild's history. I have tried to make everything a little more transparent, and a little more fair.  I make sure people know what to expect.  It's going to be hard but I want every member, from social to hard core, to feel valued, important, a part for something that they helped to build. I hope that it will work out how I planned, and with the help of all the awesome people in this guild, I can see that vision come to reality in the not so far future.

Monday, September 1, 2014

How awesome the WoW Community is... again!

I saw this on Twitter, and went to go have a read, and it was a sad yet heartwarming post.  It was by a husband who was thanking everyone in Blizzard for making the wonderful games that they do because his wife and him love the game, and she has been diagnosed with cancer.  However, they seem really positive about everything, and are looking forward to Blizzcon and as many expansions as they can.

There are a HUGE number of responses on that thread, and you can't help but want to help too.  So I made a toon on the server and sent a message to Sai (and a pet - it is WoW after all, gotta give something game related, right?) and later in the day I logged in again, waited to see if other Equilibrium people would be online.

And she was online, and it was a mixture of dread and apprehension when I typed and deleted a suitable greeting so as to give my well wishes to Cillie.  I hated to think I was jumping on a bandwagon, and why would a total stranger have anything to say about my feelings towards her diagnosis or her situation?  But when I thought about it, I know I would have been friendly so why do I worry that people wouldn't be?  It's silly of me!

I sent her a hesitant whisper to which she replied to with a warm hello!  I didn't think I'd get to meet her, but I wanted to give my regards, and she was lovely and polite - it was getting close to her event that they were organising and I am sure that she was super busy talking to zillions of people, and it was nice of her to take the time to talk to me!  I wished her well, asked her where I could make a donation (for those of you who want to donate, you can click here) and I headed off to do that and thought about whether I should join in the activities or not.  I felt a bit shy about it (and it was a bad time of day - smack bang in the middle of family time)

However if you look at the outpouring of support for her by her guildies and husband, then you could see that she was well liked, well loved and well respected.  They are a raiding guild who have similar progression to us.  And when you read her story - it was hard not to identify with her.  A young female guild leader, horde side, with a large guild who is raiding?  Well minus the young part, but thinking about it drew some parallels - change a few things and that could be me in her situation! And like most people, you tend to feel the most moved when the situations are similar to your own.

I also realised that if anyone offered their condolences or respects or best wishes to me, I would be flattered and honoured by their efforts.  So it was foolish of me to think she would be anything other than kind.  There are those who in the same situation would just want people to leave them alone while they grieved but that didn't seem to be what Cillie was like.  In fact she was grateful, friendly and encouraged me to take part in her games but large crowds of unknown people make me nervous.  But if my guildies read this they would probably know that I would start talking to some random stranger I was standing next to and next thing you know they would be invited to flex or something LOL.

Anyway, it sounds like they had a great time!  And they also raid a good amount of money :) And I even had a message from Sai thanking me for my mail to him.  How could I NOT like someone who loves WoW as much as me?  I have my fingers crossed for them, but as a doctor, and knowing her diagnosis and age... I can only hope for the best, yet expect the worst, and hope that they find joy in every little moment they have - because life really is too short for being miserable!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Pet Battles: Major Payne's Advanced Pet Battle Training with Lindsay in Redridge

Community Manager
Well, Payne has decided to send you on a training mission that's sure to warm your heart . . . just before your soul is crushed! You're off to Redridge Mountains to face Lindsay's vicious team of bunnies. To reiterate your instructions: you’ll need to assemble a team of two level-4 pets and one level-5 pet. The level-4 pets can be either Undead or Elemental, and your level-5 pet can be either Humanoid or Beast.

Keep them in this order, and see if you can best Lindsay. Come on back here to tell us how you did when you're done!

P.S. There is a hidden secret in the blog. Can you find it?

So this time Major Payne has sent us out to beat up the cute widdle bunny wabbits of a sweet little girl.  I had to level a couple of pets to get them to level 4, and this is what I chose:

Critters are strong against Undead, and Critters take less damage from Elemental abilities, so I tried to find some beast abilities in the pets that I chose, and Mr Bigglesworth and Tiny Shale Spider seemed to fit that just fine.  Of course, those poor guys died while I let the Spider take all the glory.

Oh and I found the secret!  It's HERE!

If you're too lazy to go to the blog and click the full stop after "losing", you can click here to see why Crithto said "Winning is going to feel like losing."  Gee I'm a big meanie :P  Made a little human girl cry.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Filling in the gaps in my knowledge with Christie Golden's War Crimes

Amateur Azerothian recommended that I read War Crimes, and I had been waiting for a cheaper price somewhere so I could read it.  In the end, I found it on google books, and I know it wasn't there when I was originally looking for it, so I'm pleased it made it there and it was much cheaper than buying it from the Book Depository.

If you're going to read this book then don't read what I'm going to write!


I was skeptical about reading about Garrosh and a trial.  Now I personally am against the death penalty, but I know that there are a lot of people out there who are for the death penalty.  Not sure if I really wanted to read about mobs crazy for Garrosh's blood.

However, the stand out moments were in High Cheftain Baine Bloodhoof.  He is after all, my racial leader. Chosen to defend Garrosh in the Pandaren court, I don't think anyone envied him - in fact they probably despised him for it, for it was an impressive burden, and he did it to the best of his ability.  And I think that is the crux of the matter! Even though inside he probably believed that Garrosh should die for his crimes, and he was loathe to do the task set before him, he did it to the best of his ability, because it was the HONOURABLE thing to do.  I found that no different to me treating the injuries of a mass murderer - even though I would be reluctant to be caring for or helping them, it is my duty to deliver an excellent standard of care, no matter what a person's background.  I am not the judge, nor jury, nor executioner, and though I may wish otherwise, I have to put my personal feelings aside and attend to the task at hand.

When I thought back on it, I realised that there were a LOT of females in the story!  Though I hadn't really noticed it, it was reallly good to see features on other characters who seemed to have disappeared from the storyline - Shokia, whom we quested with throughout Jade forest and into The Valley of the four Winds and Krasarang; and also Warlord Zaela, of the Dragonmaw who escaped after the fight with Galakras.

There was a lot of delving into the past to see the crimes that Garrosh committed, and it was good to read those things.  Golden does a great job with her writing and her interpretation of the characters leaves little the imagination.  Sylvanas is so bitter and cold and angry, and Jaina herself was also very angry, though understandably so.  Vereesa too was filled with rage and I felt sorry for her children as they seemed to be cast to the wayside as Vereesa burned with thoughts of revenge. Looking at Sylvanas in this light makes me feel like we will have to kill her off one day.  I wish we could kill some alliance for a change.  I still mourn Nazgrim!

Hope.  Chi-ji reminded us all that hope is a powerful entity.  With hope, there is the chance for great things to happen, for people to change, a chance for success.  Essentially Garrosh was not executed because a dead person cannot change, or be given the chance to change. For there is always the hope that someone may change and bring about something positive in the world. And we cannot hope if we give in to hate and rage and despair.

So, Garrosh is allowed to live, but of course, he spurns his choice for repentance, and disappears into the past with a member of the infinite dragonflight disguised as a bronze. I hope in 6.0 or in the quest line in WoD we find out why that time was chosen...and what does it mean when Garrosh from our time meets up with his infant self?  Would a universe-ending paradox would ensue?

Well it didn't went Ambassador Spock met Commander Spock.  So I don't think it will happen in this new timeline either....