Wednesday, 29 April 2009

The Nerf Stick: Friend or Foe?

Whilst I was writing my thoughts down on the 10 vs 25man argument I noted a post pop up in my reader from wow insider! Before I even read on I knew what they’re about to say!

That’s right, yet another nerf (hotfix) for Ulduar. Through reading some of the changes it appears on the face of things that Ulduar is getting easier and easier by the day. Of course until these changes actually go Live im just speculating on their impact, however I will be expecting a much easier ride in Ulduar once they have hit the servers.

Maybe im overreacting in my opposition to these “fixes” and maybe the encounters are currently “not as blizzard had intended” but I just wish they’d stop making everything easier. Instead of kills feeling like an achievement, they’re going to be meaningless urple farming once again!

On the bright side we will still have the “hard” mode to compete with, until of course they’re “fixed” aswell!

Ive made my feeling on Ulduar perfectly plain for all to see, but what do you think? Is Ulduar to hard, Is it a Guild breaker, or is it merely to much effort for people to put in?

10 vs 25: The Conundrum

Its fair to say that I have quite an open view on raiding, raid difficultly and whinny little bitches! And usually I would say that if you are struggling with content then its probably been pitched at just the right level (despite public opinion, raiding isn’t supposed to be a cake walk). However the more and more I look at the 25man content for Ulduar, the more and more I think there is a need to do some 10man content first.

From a healing perspective I am fairly confident in what I am doing and fairly confident that collectively we are not struggling to heal through the 25man content. However it is obvious to me that we are struggling to dps the things down! On every encounter thus far we have hit the enrage timer on multiple occasions. It is arguable that we are refining strategies and this will impact upon the time taken to kill something, but we are more often then not 20% away from killing stuff when It enrages!

As a guild we have decided that we are going to focus on the 25man content (for now), although 10man groups are going on each week, and to my knowledge are proving more successful. Given this, I would have thought it more sensible to focus on doing 2x10man raids on the allotted (official) raid nights! More to the point, how many raiding guilds did 10man Naxx first? I know we did! So why is Ulduar different, why do we think we can step straight into 25mans.

To argue this I have looked at the 10man content, and more importantly the rewards (gear) acquired, and I have to say, im not all that impressed! There were maybe one or two items I would currently consider to be upgrades, and I mean maybe! It’s debatable. If we applied that rule across the entire guild you would expect that we have a good level of healing/tanking/dps! So why is it that we struggle so much?

My guess is that we just not quite there yet…. And that a few weeks of further strategy refining is required (hopefully). With Thursday comes another fresh Instance for us to tackle, and hopefully some further progression will be achieved.

So, Ulduar was a (fairly) big jump from Naxx etc… How has you guild faired so far? Did you jump right in to the 25man content or have you been refining your strategies in the 10man (easy) mode?

Monday, 27 April 2009

The List

Practically anyone that knows me will tell you im lazy, flaky and crap at planning things out, and they’d all be wrong, I plan things plenty, I just don’t write anything down. Again, that’s probably not completely accurate, in fact every night with out fail I go home with at least two post-it-notes attached to my wallet. The information on these varies from "cook dinner" to titles of potential blog posts, but the one thing they all have in common is that they get lost. Before they hide from me though I usually get a chance to cross 1 or 2 of the jobs up, but needless to say, I completely forget the other 10,000 things I want/need/should be doing.

So, ive decided to come up with a list. A list of things that I still want to obtain or achieve in wow. This doesn’t including raiding as that’s just part of the working week, but instead smaller things that I can work on/through at my own pace.

Anyway, enough rambling, here we go!
  • White polar bear!
  • Complete all icecrown quests
  • Exalted with with argent crusade
  • Exalted with knights of ebon blade
  • Exalted with timbermaw
  • Investigate the argent tournament
  • Try out the new fishing dailies
  • Obtain 100 cooking tokens (you know what they’re for :P)
  • Level Tayend to 80 (warrior)
  • Level Masahashi to 80 (hunter)
  • Level my Mage and Warlock to 80 (this may take a while as they are 13 and 35 respectively)
  • Solo some BC instances
  • Exalted with netherwing
  • Exalted with skyguard
  • Obtain 100 mounts
  • Obtain 75 companions
  • Complete some fishing achievements

That’s quite a comprehensive list of things id like to do over the coming months, however obviously completing the Wrath goals is my first priority and the rest will follow as and when I have a spare 5 years!

Seeing as at the moment I have only been logging in an hour before raids, which is just enough time to do 2 or 3 dailies, this list could take some time to complete. I’ll keep you posted on my progress


Thursday, 23 April 2009

Well it was St.Georges Day

So yea it was St Georges day yesterday and what better way to celebrate the patron saint of England then to slay a dragon in his name, and you know what, that’s exactly what we did.

It was another long and hard night in Ulduar last nigh, although to be fair the time did seem to fly by. Flame Leviathan was fairly straight forward. For last nights attempt we still had some new-commers and so played it safe and took down all the towers, however next week I think we are going to leave one up!

Onwards to Razorscale we went. Having spent the best part of a raid night on him last week we were fairly confident with our strategy for this fight. Although we wiped 3 or 4 times it was far more promising than previous attempts, and we were consistently getting him down to 20%.

Finally we wiped ourselves down, got back up and had another go. This time we were successful, and in the process I actually managed to pocket [Shackles of the Odalisque]

There was more action to report from Ulduar last night, but I think I’ll leave it at that for now!


A week ago

So it’s a week after returning to wow, and how do I feel? Well suffice to say at the moment I think everything is going pretty well. I have managed to slot back into the raid calendar quite nicely and whilst im not logging in on a daily basis, im still managing to integrate into the social side of the guild.

I have quite a few goals still left to achieve in wow, but im not in any urgent rush to accomplish them. If I have half a day to play one weekend then I will, but im not devoting anywhere near as much time as I once was, and for the most part im not sat wishing I was playing wow, which in itself is quite refreshing.

I didn’t mention at the time, but Sunday’s raid itself wasn’t all that successful. In fact we just couldn’t take down Raz? No matter how hard we tried. It wasn’t through lack of trying though, and im pretty confident that we have nailed down a sound strategy. However 3 hours of rinse and repeat wiping is very tiring, and may well have had an affect on Monday nights raid sign-ups. Come kick-off we only had 22 raid members, which just wasn’t going to cut it for Ulduar, so instead another wipefest occurred in VoA when up against Emalon.

So with it being a Thursday today the obligatory raid is scheduled and numbers permitting we will have another crack at Ulduar, and maybe even kill some stuff!

I would be interested to hear from people on there raid make up though. How many healers are you taking to Ulduar in these early days and are you finding DPS more of an issue than healing?

Wednesday, 22 April 2009


Originally this post was going to be very positive for me, I was going to comment on my personal feeling of success since the February re-launch of the blog!, but then on reviewing my initial goal I realised that I haven’t really achieved anything.

I vowed that this time around I would do things properly, and I would aim to be a more vocal presence in the blogsphere and make sure I was up to date on all the latest news. I vowed I would post once a week (minimum) to keep myself writing… failed there to!

So what is there to be proud about? Well, I did a redesign of the blog, which was very satisfying on different levels, and prompted me to set some other cogs in motion, such as hooking up to sitemeter.

The latter upgrade was introduced both in order to inflate my ego, but more importantly to give me a better idea of where my readers were coming from and how. Site referral is a funny old tool, and it gives me a good indication about what people are searching for when they find me….

In terms of ego inflation I hadn’t really set targets in terms of site visit numbers, but I was excited to learn today that I am creeping ever nearer towards 1000 visits, which I find almost mind blowing. In the grand scheme of things it doesn’t seem like a lot, but to little old me, it’s a massive number, that I hadn’t even really imagined in my wildest dreams.

All this aside, im still not satisfied! I haven’t kept to my original targets for this year and that’s something im going to work on over the coming weeks, along with my articles which aren’t quite as thought provoking as I had hoped! Maybe bloging is going to turn out to be one of those things that you can never be 100% satisfied with, but we’ll see.


Tuesday, 21 April 2009

When the Going Gets Tough

I for one have been supremely satisfied with the new raid content that has landed with 3.1. Since wrath launched all those months ago everyone within the warcraft community has been waiting for some new, exciting, and most importantly, challenging raid content, and that is most certainly what we have received.

For those people that are bemoaning the content as over-buffed, pull your thumbs out of your arse and do some fricking work!

Before this patch was launched, we were blessed (if you want to call it that) with some real cake walk content, which has had a significant effect on how we now approach raiding, and not for the better.

We (collectively) have become arrogant, lazy and impatient, and rather than becoming excited by every kill, we criticise every wipe.

I recall a time not so long ago, where every kill was an achievement, a badge of honor you could wear proudly amongst you piers, and its about time those times returned.

For the record, by guild have only managed to clear the first encounter in Ulduar thus far, but we are not down heartened and we are not calling for the content to be nerfed! We are calling for a time where you gave 110% on every encounter, wasted every pot and every cooldown you had to ensure the raid success.

Warcraft is not all about easy kills and new gear! For some it is the excitement of seeing new content and knowing that they worked hard to achieve new goals! This is why I still play, it might also be why I came back, but the exhilaration of succeeding in an new encounter for the first time outweighs any ingame cost to you or your guild!

So next time your raid wipes, don’t be disheartend! Release, Rez, and try Again! And when you succeed! Celebrate!!! That first kill only comes around once!!


Friday, 17 April 2009

A month is a long time in wow

I made this very same comment in yesterdays post, but it wasn’t until last night that I fully understood its meaning.

Having logged on to wow last night I came to realise that whilst some things always remain the same in wow, as in real life, trends, economies and allegiance’s all change.

There was unfamiliarity about wow last night, about dalaran, about the people I have come to call friends. I’ll grant you it was a raid night and people were busy, but it seemed quiet, It did not feel like a living, breathing MMO, but a stale, dark, RPG.

The reason I return to wow is not because I have an abundance of spare time, in the same way I don’t write this blog just because there is nothing better to do. I play wow for the enjoyment it has given me, for the friends I have made, and the things I have, and still want to accomplish.

I have been secretly building up to last night for a week or so, planning my return to the game that has given me so many good memories, and maybe my expectations were to grand, maybe it was just a bad time to return with all that’s going on, maybe im looking for something that doesn’t exist anymore.

Im hoping to get involved in a raid this weekend, hoping that it will spark off that comradery that you only feel in the middle of battle. Maybe I’ll spend an hour or two before hand setting myself some real targets…. I do like achievements.

Anyway, the little posting I have done of late has all been quite dark and depressing, so, to the few people that may be reading this (and yes I know you’re still out there even if you’re embarrassed to admit it), here’s a few posts around the blogsphere to keep you occupied (and informed)….

Matts Guide to Healing Flame Leviathan
The Dueg’s First Impressions of Ulduar
What did Kestrel Think?

Keep up the good work guys


Thursday, 16 April 2009

Baby Steps

So its that time of year where everything you know and trust is different, everything you rely upon is broken, and every server you visit crashes!

Yes ladies and gentleman it patch time!

Ive only been away for a month, but I soon remembered a month is along time in wow, things change, people change, allegiances change! This is even more evident on patch day, and im comfortable in admitting im feeling incredibly lost.

On a plus side having read my guild forums I was pleasantly surprised to find for one reason or another some old comrades have returned to wow… These are people I grew up with in wow and im really happy to have them back again! Shlub, Abrams… Welcome Back!!

So anyway, I prepared a check sheet in advance of logging on tonight, although typically I expect to get sidetracked my aims are:

* Update and test addons and UI
* Re'spec for healing (im not bothered with my dual spec right now)
* Check out the Argent Tournament thing
* Do some old dailies
* Test out new spec
* Inspect the new achievements and compile list of my forthcoming goals
* Inspect new gear and compile my Ulduar Wish list
* Check out profession changes
* DO some AH trading
* Relax and fish!

That’s actually a pretty hefty task so I’ll see how It goes

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

More a "cya" than a "Goodbye!"

I always considered myself to be a bit of a writer, always thought I had something to say and that it would be a worth while contribution to the throw into the ring. Having started this blog and reading a great number of stories across the blogsphere, I started to realise I didn’t have that much to say. What I thought were original theories and view points, were not!

On my third stab at the blog I gave it a real go. I redesigned the blog from the bottom up, to a point that I was really impressed and proud with what I had done, yet as impressive as it was to me, the content I was publishing remained stale, unoriginal and essentially pretty lame.

At the moment I am taking a (what I originally envisaged permanent) break from warcraft. I’ve never been very good with prioritising things, and over the last month or so I realised some of my personal actions had been misguided at best. I made promises to myself, but more importantly to the people I love, and I let them down.

Have I missed wow over the last month, have I missed blogging, or spending every waking moment reading someone elses blog? Surprisingly not.

While I sit here writing this, I do so with fond memories of the game, and the people that became friends, and I sigh. For my personality does not understand the word casual, only obsessive.

So, what does the future hold for warcraft and I? To that question I have no answer, I’d like to think I was mature enough to only play casually, but in my heart of hearts im just not sure that I am.
The new content around the corner will entice me, but for now im going to say my good bye’s and good luck’s and hope you all continue to enjoy the game we all love!