Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Rag down and WoW Mad Libs

There's our first Rag kill from our last raid week. It was a bit of a messy kill, as the only person up at the end was a healy priest. You should have seen him wand-ing up Rag! :) Rag did have a bunch of dots on him though.

With raiding twice a week for a total of 5 hours a week, I think we did ok this tier. Sure, we could have done better and gotten the kill a couple weeks earlier, but overall I'm satisfied. The tough part about raiding only twice a week is that it can be an entire week before you see a boss again. For the last couple of weeks we've been clearing up to Rag on Thursdays and working on him on Sundays. Having an entire week go by before you see him again just means you have to spend a couple of pulls remembering how things go again.

So Rag dropped the rogue-mage-druid-dk token, which was good news. Honestly a part of me is starting to feel a bit bad for hunters, warriors, and shammys because we have never ever seen their token drop. Not once. Not on Cho, not on Nef, not on Majordomo, and now not on Rag. Now that's a screwjob.

Now during the early part of one attempt, our two tanks Jess and Chanti were chatting with each other in gchat, asking each other to try on certain gear pieces etc etc. I mean the healers and dps are busy, you know, doing important stuff, and the tanks are playing dress up? They actually had the leisure to type in gchat during the fight? (Yes, yes, I know there's a tank swap). Freakin' tanks...

Anyways. I am going to continue to question the existence of Smoldering Censer of Purity until I see it drop. Speaking of gear, it seems like Blizz is having more fun with naming gear lately. I don't know, I just seem to notice that gear seems to have unique names lately, names that often strike a chord with me. Jess mentioned the other night that I should be wearing Wristwraps of Arrogant Doom. Haha.

The gear that have these longer, more descriptive names, have names that tend to follow a convention of sorts with three parts. There is a noun referring to the slot, an adjective, then another noun. And the gear names that follow this seem to go [noun/slot] of [adjective][noun] or [adjective][noun/slot] of [noun].

Try it yourself! I call it WoW Mad Libs. Just think of a noun to describe a gear slot, then pick a fun adjective. Then just pick another noun. Put it all together, and voila! You have named WoW gear!

The noun and adjective don't have to go together or make sense at all. I think it actually sounds better when they are totally dissimilar. Like hmm... Pendant of Petulant Promise? I mean how the heck can a promise be petulant? But it doesn't matter! It sounds better when it makes no sense!

Now when you pick the adjective and noun, you should preferably pick words that you might have studied for your weekly vocab test in high school or the SATs or something. The more letters the better. Just think, Blizz could be helping the high school kids with their vocab!

I think Blizz could also branch out with the nouns they use to describe the gear slot. I mean let's get thinking beyond the typical names for gear for our backs, waist, and feet. How about a pashmina, coverlet, or a quilt? A cincture or cummerbund? Galoshes, cleats, or mules?

Also, I think Blizz should come out with some alliterations. Perhaps all the gear that drops in an entire raid or an instance could be alliterations. Headband of Harrowing Hedonism? Corset of Credulous Cacophony? Egregious Espadrilles of Evanescence? Quarrelsome Quilt of Quagmire? Anklet of Arboreal Acumen? You get the drift. Have I given you a headache yet?

Who names the WoW gear? Do you think I could get this job? :)

(Clearly I had too much time on my hands today. Yes work is slow this week.)


Friday, October 14, 2011

Raiding, drops, and a look back

Things continue to be busy with me on a personal front so I am glad that I'm at least able to post once a week! This week I got an apartment in Seattle and accepted an offer on my condo in Chicago. Woot! Anyways, I have still been raiding, though I will probably be out towards the end of this month when I make the final drive from Chicago to Seattle.

Last Thursday we had one of our more amusing raids in quite a while. I'm not sure what was in the water, but it was clear from the beginning that it was going to be quite a raid. During the raid Jess said something about tanks staying alive through some skill of their own or some crazy talk like that. Of course I had to chime in and tell him whose skill it really was that was keeping him alive, which led to these comments:

Tree of keeping people in line... I like it! Then later in the night we had one of the most amusing comments I've read/heard in a long time. I can't even recall why we were talking about tramp stamps, but Jess and his statistical self shared this:

OMG Sam and I just about lost it. Hilarious. I'm not even sure exactly what it means... but hilarious. Now it also seems that during our raids someone will discover about 4 or 5 bosses in, that they are missing something:

People are in the wrong specs, wearing Wraps of Unity, or other similarly wrong gear. I guess this tells you how nerfed the content is. Anyways. Let's talk about drops for a second. Majordomo is back to dropping the pally priest warlock shoulder token, though he did drop mage druid rogue dk for two weeks. I wonder if we got that different shoulder token to drop because I bitched about here enough.

So here's my next bitch. Why the hell hasn't Smoldering Censer of Purity dropped? It is on the shared loot table, but with all those times I've killed those first 6 bosses, I have yet to see it drop once. At all!!! Gah! Even worse is that my arch nemesis Lorosia has enough healy axes to dual wield them:

Finally a look back. I know there's been a lot of posts in the blogosphere for a while about the game and perhaps the decline of the game. I haven't really blogged about my thoughts on that yet.

When I look back to BC or Wrath, it's not so much that I miss some aspect of the game or game design from back then. I'm definitely nostalgic for the raids and the people that we ran with. So I miss those folks and those raids that we had, but I also think that we are also establishing memories with our raids and raid makeups now. Memories to look back on with nostalgia in another year or so when who knows how our raid makeups will have changed.

Ultimately, I guess game design or specific features means less to me? Or affects me less? As long as I have the people I want to play with, however the game changes, whatever Blizz does, I think I can adapt to it.

I just don't think that a game like this can be static. It's going to change and evolve, and I think it sort of has to. Whether you want to adapt to those changes or whether you need to move on either because this game is no longer for you, or because your real life has changed where the game can no longer fit in it, that's a decision everyone has to make for their own.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Some philosophies on raiding

Remember how just last week I blogged about being in that brand new job phase where I was turning things around probably way too quickly? Well, just one week later, and I am in a completely opposite phase. I've had so much to do this past week that I've been working until anywhere from 9pm - midnight. Crazy excel models FTL.

This means I haven't had to time to log in at all, even to unwind a bit:

Oh my goodness I love Chuck & Beans!!! Anyways, today and tomorrow will be slower before picking back up again on Monday, so I have some time to finally do a post I've been planning for a while, sharing some of my philosophies on raiding.

First, Jess created this for me the other day:

The story here is that I bring the seafood feasts, which means that I get to choose whether the raid is worthy of being fed or not. And if its a fight where we are learning a certain phase, I tend to not put down feasts. I guess I think its wasteful if we are clearly just learning something. If then we show progress, I give the raid a /headpat and feed them. Isn't the image so cute? See how its a tree? Giving the fuds? Get it? :p

Second, I'm going to confess something that perhaps some of you may not completely agree with. Ready? Here it is. I tend not to watch boss fights before encountering a boss. Why? Well yes, of course we all like winning:

But for me, I want to see and experience a boss for the first time on my own screen. Watching a video of someone else do it somehow cheapens that first experience for me. I also tend to be very much of a experiential learner, so that watching boss fights don't help me learn or do any better than just knowing general strats and learning through experience. So generally I just tend to read what a boss will do or what happens in a fight and go into new fights with that information.

I know this drives some of my fellow raiders crazy, while others tend to be more on my side of the fence. And yes, raiding is a team activity so that one person's performance affects the rest of the raid. But I think for the most part our raid has found or perhaps accepted the duality across the raid in terms of watching videos for raid preparation.

I think we're lucky in that Jess is a pretty good raid leader in terms of explaining new fights, so this helps us. The few times I've had to explain fights, there was a lot of "ums" and "so there's this thing" and "then you do that thing" and "then something happens". And perhaps this only works for us because we aren't a hard core raiding guild.

So while it may not be the popular course of action, I for one am here to admit that I don't tend to watch raid videos before seeing a fight myself.