Archive for May, 2009

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This Week in Raiding… Cry Baby, Cry!

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

Tuesday’s roster was… interesting.  We’ve recently come in to a whole slew of new recruits, which bumped out signups from having about 23 signed up as available to having closer to 33.  Quite nice to have a selection to choose from, and backups in case someone can’t stay!

And the raid itself went great!  We took out Flame Leviathan, XT and Kologarn in 1 shot each.  We also took out Auriaya, and she saw fit to hand over her Siren’s Cry!  Luckily the loot distribution was such that I was next up for gear among the present Hunters, so it’s mine!

It’s a very different feeling, being the first to get a shiny new Hunter weapon from Ulduar.  I was last of our raiding Hunters to get a Naxx ranged weapon, as well as last to get Journey’s End.  I am glad I don’t have to be last again!

We also took down The Iron Council with only a few tries, clearing out the Antechamber on Heroic for the fist time.   I think we can improve on that fight – specifically, next time I will move over to the Stormcaller after the big guy goes down so it’ll be easier for me to interrupt.  It’s nice to have me on interrupts there since I can stay out of range of his Overcharge ability but still get him easily.

Wednesday night we found ourselves face to face with Freya again.  We spent nearly 2 nights on her last week with only once passing into Phase 2… it was a bit discouraging.  But this week went much better!  After 3 attempts, we got her down.  What did we do differently?  Well, not much.  But we learned that Shockwave is the most effective way to freeze the explodey flowers in place, and that for us, the best way to deal with phase to is to have everyone loosely stack, and then alternate between two spots with Freya whenever she drops her seeds.

Thorim… not so nice.  We were having serious issues in the tunnel, and are yet to find the perfect balance of DPS to bring along.  I think we’ll do better next time if we bring one or two more.

Thursday we decided to finally suck it up and finish that darn Siege Quarter.  In only about 2-3 attempts each, we managed to take down Ignis and Razorscale, the bane of Unemployed!  Huzzah!  Rejoice!

We spent the rest of the evening working on Hodir.  We basically got him down… less than 8% left on one of our attempts, so we KNOW we can do it.  And we will next time!  I think everyone was just a bit too tired and losing their coordination nearing the end of the night.

SERVER FIRST!

SERVER FIRST!

ach_stormcallerach_antechamberach_hotpocketach_25conquestach_siegeach_stayingwarm

So that’s 4 new bosses, and 7 achievements in 3 nights of raiding!  Not too shabby, if I do say so myself!


treasure_chest1This Week in Raiding… is my weekly Saturday post where I allow myself to brag about new gear, bosses, achievements, and such.

Come back next week for another dose of epeen and QQ!

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Spammy Hunter Macros in WotLK

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

2007-08-02spamBack in my day, all we had was Steady Shot and a mousewheel!

Things have changed a lot for Hunters since the days of BC.  And while we no longer are consistently at the top of the damage meters, I would still say things have changed for the better.  Nearly everyone was BM.  And almost everyone had given up the fine art of handweaving shots, to use a spammable macro which would use our cooldowns, avoid auto-shot clipping and let us hit one button constantly to pump out proper DPS.

Now, we have priorities.  We have people playing each spec viably in raid settings, all with different styles and focuses.  You don’t have to even think about your auto-shots anymore, just timing your abilities and cooldowns to be used most efficiently.

I now use at least 5 buttons in my regular ‘rotation’, and I’ve mastered the ability to keep an eye on my cooldowns and my environment at the same time.

“The days of the spammable macro are gone!  Long live priorities!”  I exclaimed.

But I was wrong.  Apparently, people have built macros that still can be spammed, casting all abilities in the right order and priority.  I know a few people who use these, both for Survival and Marksmanship.

They are not simple macros, either.  “Why does it call all these other macros and use all these castsequences and stuff?” I asked someone who was a big supporter of his giant do-it-all button. “It’s because they won’t let you use more than 1 GCD in a macro, so this works around that.”

But wait… didn’t they do that for a reason?  If they wanted you to work around it, wouldn’t they have just allowed it in the first place?  /confuzzled.

To me, it’s silly.  It’s silly to put all your eggs in one basket, or all your abilities in one button.  What do you do if you want to change your priority?  What if you want to use Multi-shot instead of Aimed Shot?  Can you do it with the macro?  I don’t know.  But I don’t like it.

I like having full control of my character, pressing buttons when they are ready, my own personal whack-a-mole.

But that’s not for everyone.

I’m not going to say I think these convoluted macros are cheating, or that they make you a worse player.  It’s a different playstyle.  True, it’s not my playstyle, but who am I to say what is right or wrong?  Some people prefer to hit multiple buttons when they flash, some people prefer to spend a bunch of time learning and writing giant macros so that they can do it all with one button – both require some kind of skill.  Is it really different to be smacking 5 buttons or smacking 1 button?

So what do you think of these macros?  Do you use one?  Do you think they make someone a bad player?

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The Myth (RP)

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

It was a warm day in Durotar.  Then again, it was always a warm day in Durotar.  That was the constant state of the land – hot, red and dry.  While Brajana remembered more of her life growing up in Sen’jin Village on the coast of Durotar, something in her still longed for the lush jungles that her people once called home.  Sometimes she would find herself daydreaming, picturing what this land would look like with a horizon of green leaves and hanging vines, rather than jutting rocks and dry brambles.

Fssshew!

Brajana wheeled around and readied her bow at the sound of an arrow flying passed her right ear.

“Good reaction time, but ‘cha really got ta stop dozin’ like that!” her Uncle Tza’jin called as he walked towards her with Jin’tza, his raptor companion.  “Now that I got yer attention, where’d ya let Mandaril get ta?”

Brajana flinched.  She must have let the little guy run off while she was practicing her marksmanship.  Her uncle had let her train with his youngest boar companion, Mandaril.  He was barely old enough to squeal, and he wasn’t the most agreeable of beasts, but she’d been tasked to take care of him and more importantly, train it in combat.  Brajana was great with animals, and always had companions she could summon to keep her entertained: Zither the adder, Holistas the sparrow, and Jaz’hal the hare to name a few.  In fact, it was one of the first signs that she would follow the path of the Hunter with her uncle rather than the path of the Warrior with her father.

She had not yet come into her own companion yet.  There was no specific age or time a Hunter’s life that they found their companion, but she knew someday it would be her time.  Until then, unfortunately, she’d have to do her best to learn to command and control this curious little boar.  She’d found it wasn’t quite working out as she’d like.

“Dat’s what I thought.” her uncle rolled his eyes upon seeing her expression. There was so little he had left to teach her, but tradition insisted that he remain her teacher until she found her own companion, but she seemed content with her critters and her bow.

Then he had a though.  “Go ‘n fetch ‘im. Den meet me at the river.”

Several minutes later, Brajana appeared near the bridge to the Barrens with an extremely huffy look, Mandaril trodding cheerfully behind her.

“Are we to have Crocolisk Stew for dinner?” She asked hopefully, upon seeing the creatures resting nearby in the river.

“Ha!  That be not why we here, girl.  Come along.”

Tza’jin and his companion crossed the bridge at a jog, and began heading south.  Brajana turned to Mandaril and made several ineffective gestures before the little beast decided he would follow as well.

They finally slowed when they reached a low outcropping above a plain, spotted with low, wide shade trees.  Beneath these trees, Brajana could see a pride of at least 15 lions resting.  She’d always admired the cats, both the tigers that roamed the Echo Isles and these large, family-oriented beasts.  She wanted to ask why they’d ventured here, but she was content just watchng them.

“It is your time, my girl.  You are an excellent Marksman.  You have nearly mastered the ability to lay traps and track all types of creature.  But you will never be a true Huntress until you’ve begun to share your journey with another being.”

Tza’jin called Mandaril swiftly to his side, and began his walk back to Sen’jin.  This was for her alone to accomplish.  He hoped he was making the right decision here – Brajana was still quite young, and these beasts were certainly not the easiest to tame… but he believed in her.

Brajana didn’t question him, she didn’t ask for advice, she didn’t back down.  She knew he was right.  She surveyed the land, looking for the beast that would become her counterpart.  She walked along the outcropping, spying Lionesses and Lions to find the perfect fighter, the perfect opportunity.  She didn’t know what to expect… would she feel a connection when she spotted the right animal?  What if she chose wrong?  How would she isolate one from the rest of the pride?  She took a deep look at each of the resting beasts, and felt nothing out of the ordinary.  She began to fill with frustration… and then she saw him.

She must have missed him earlier because he wasn’t resting beneath the trees.  A stunning white beast with a large grey mane, among a pile of half buried Kodo bones.  He was alone, but not lonely.  Independent.

She descrended from the outcropping and approached him with caution, remaining directly in front of him.  When she got close enough, the beast made eye contact with her – his grey eyes were piercing.  She continued her approach and then knelt only a few yards from the beast, never moving her eyes from his.

The taming ritual of the Darkspear Trolls is a sacred rite.  It is not taught, it is not demonstrated.  It is a private, personal event that is instinctual to every born Hunter.  This was a test – the only way to know Brajana was following her true path.

She’d heard a Tauren myth about a cat they called Whitemist, Echeyakee in Taurhe.  In their stories, they claimed he was both mercy and death.  That he could kill so fast his prey would have no time for fear, or pain.  They said he hunts with such stealth, he is like a thin, white mist.  The hide of this beast was saught after by every poacher and leatherworker in all of Azeroth – it was said to have magical properties, a cloak made from Echeyakee’s hide would allow the wearer to become nearly invicible.  While she knew it was only a myth passed down through generations, she also knew this beast was not just some uniquely coloured cat, this animal she had encountered was the mythical Echeyakee.  SHe could feel it.

She arrived back in Sen’jin village that evening, her new partner strolling  confidently along her side.

Tza’jin met her at the entrance to their family’s hut.  “Guess ya won’t be needin’ Mandaril any longer, girl?”  he chuckled, both proud and relieved to see her with such a beast.  “What ya be callin’ it?”

“I’m calling him… Fiddlesticks.”

She grinned and looked down at the beast, meeting his eyes.  Your secret is safe with me, friend.

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News Flash: DEHTA imposes hunting restrictions on Nesingwary!

Monday, May 25th, 2009

[LocalDefense] Halaa is under attack!

Spent some more time with the Paladin this weekend!  I didn’t get the 4 levels in 1 day I got last week, but I did managed to get him to nearly 69.  Woo, almost to Northrend!

I decided not to head out right at 68 because that’s when I had just started Nagrand.  Nagrand is my favourite Outlands zone – I’m not going to skip it!

I discovered something though:  They made the Nagrand quests shorter in 3.1! Remember the Mastery quests from Nesingwary?  You had to kill 30 of every beast in the zone?  No longer!  They’ve all been knocked down to 12!  Does this mean the DEHTA has finally gotten to Nesingwary?  I think so!

In fact, this holds true for several other quests in the zone that I’ve noticed so far – the poo quest is down to 8 poo instead of 15 poo, you only have to kill 8 water elementals and 8 shadow elementals instead of 12 each… they have just made it all a bit quicker.

Even more reason to continue leveling in Outlands before hoping on a boat!

In other Paladin news, I ran a Blood Furnace PUG on the weekend.  We started with 2 Death Knights, 2 Paladins and a Rogue.  If you haven’t already, you can read my theory on Death Knights and PUGs.  I got shoved into the role of healer, which was fine.  We had no tank specified – it was a Free For All between the other Paladin and DKs.  That was fun to heal.

Well, we made it past the first boss, and then we wiped because someone pulled 2 groups full of silencers and I couldn’t ret heal our way through it.

DK #2 has gone offline.

/facepalm.

But for once, the rest of the PUG wanted to keep going.  So we did.  And we 4-manned the rest of Blood Furnace with two half-tanks and a ret paladin healer, with not a single wipe.  :)   Too bad for the guy who ‘disconnected’, just gave us more loots!  So my theory holds true: our PUG was actually more successful after we lost the second DK!

After this, I decided to respec my secondary talents for Holy rather than Protection.  There are two reasons for this:

  1. I don’t want to learn how to tank for the first time with a PUG.  I would rather wait til 80 when I can go with people who will be patient with me and help me out.
  2. There is always a huge shortage of healers while leveling and PUGing. If I can fill that hole, I will be much more likely to finish instances.

So, while I really don’t enjoy paladin healing compared to priest healing or paladin DPS, I can deal with it.

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This Week in Raiding…

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

After nearly 2 weeks away from the raid scene, I got back into the swing of things with Unemployed.  we had a big influx of new recruits, and not only have we got enough to run 25-mans, but we have enough to have people waitlisted!

Tuesday night we did a quick no-tower run through of Flame Leviathan, picking up Heroic: Shutout along the way.  We headed straight to XT-002 for playtime afterwards – no messing about with Ingnis or especially Razorscale, our eternal foe.

Unfortunately Pilsner was attacked by GIGANTIC FLYING ANTS and who took over her computer, forcing her to abandon our raiding to do some Raiding of her own (har har).  But thanks to all those extra people we’ve got, we were able to find a suitable substitute.

After making quick work of XT, we proceeded to Kologarn.  We had some issues… one of our new tanks wasn’t having the best ‘luck’ when trying to pick up the rubble, and they continued to lay the smackdown on our healers.  We swapped in a 4th tank and that seemed to do the job.

Auriaya went down pretty nicely on our second attempt, considering it was our first kill of her on 25-man.  It’s a bit of a hectic fight, lots of running and lots of cats.

It was quite a productive day for Unemployed… although I swear there is absolutely NO Hunter gear in Ulduar-25.  The closest thing that we had drop was some staff, but everything else is Plate or Spell Power (or both!)

Wednesday night was not so productive in terms of number of bosses down, but the attempts we had were progressively better as we went.

We hung out with Freya for the better part of the evening, and a couple of times made it -almost- to the second phase.  I’m sure we would have got it the next attempt if trash hadn’t started respawning.

We spent the last hour or so working on Razorscale.  I swear, if there is one boss we will never get down in Uld-25, it’s HER.  We rarely get more than 15% per ground phase, we just don’t have the pure DPS output needed.  It didn’t help that we were missing a shadow priest at that point, either.  I didn’t feel we made any progress on her that night, to be honest.

Thursday night was almost identical to Wednesday.  Freya attemps, Razorscale attempts.  We managed to get Freya to phase 2 once, but it wasn’t the “easy-mode” everyone claimed it to be, at least not on 25-man.

We tried a ‘new strategy’ onRazorscale.  I didn’t think it would work – and to be perfectly honest, I don’t think it did.  What I said would happen did – if we stick a few people at the back where the adds spawn, they will pull healing/ proximity aggro on everything, not just the Sentinel.

We decided to end the night by taking out VOA-25.  I’d never gotten Emalon down, and I’d only seen Archivon once.  Two emblems each?!  We totally need to do this EVERY WEEK.  It’s like, mandatory.  And not at all difficult.

Here’s hoping next week is better!


treasure_chest1This Week in Raiding… is my weekly Saturday post where I allow myself to brag about new gear, bosses, achievements, and such.

Come back next week for another dose of epeen and QQ!