Posts Tagged “Alt-tastic”

So, I was mucking around a little on Hermia the other day (as I do) when I got asked whether I wanted to come help a friend’s guild out in a Gruul’s Lair run. Specifically, I was asked “How good is Hermia’s gear” to which I replied “somewhat craptastic”. Personally, I don’t even feel comfortable with the idea of taking Hermia into Kara, let alone Gruul’s! However, after much stat discussion and checking, the guild deemed that I was good enough to tank a HKM add, and off I went!

The first order of the day was to suss out if there were any enchanters in the raid and get my chest enchanted so that I had hit the ‘uncrittable’ defense mark, otherwise things could have gotten very nasty. While I got that done, I also grabbed a couple other enchants since I was at the AH (-300g now from the epic mount fund!). I got summoned back there, and ran in the door…

… and then realised that I forgot one of my trinkets. Doh! So, back to the dreaded Shattrath went I (via my inconvenient hearth at SMV), and once again crashed my computer. What a bother. Since my whole computer decided to die as well, I couldn’t even say anything on Vent. Luckily for me, by the time everything loaded waaaay back up, they were still waiting for me. So nice. I am guessing Alorah mentioned that my computer is super poo. I grabbed my trinket, got summoned back, and was all ready to go.

Happily, I didn’t die on any of the trash pulls (Sar nearly always does! She is such a noob). I changed into my SuperSpunkyBearSet, and was asked to tank Kiggler the Crazed. Since this was my first time at tanking something which was serious, I was kinda scared. OK, more than kinda scared! I was very close to getting bear mess all over the floor. I know Gruul isn’t the cleanest guy around, but I still didn’t think he would appreciate it. I was given the sage advice of ‘back to the wall, begin with a moonfire, have fun!’, and off I went.

All seemed to go well for starters. Heals hit me regularly, and I held on to Kiggler for dear life. Then, the DPS started, and things went a little awry. I lost him! I still don’t know how he got away from me, but he did, and went running like mad towards Krosh Firehand. I chased him frantically, spamming Lacerate, and with a good Growl I eventually got him back to me. But boy oh boy was it messy. Then, since I was trying to pull him back to where we started, I got knocked back a few times. Not good, my friends, not good at all. Somehow though, we got him down, I whacked on my cat weapon, and went to work on HKM himself. We got him down first go, so that was pretty good in my book. And I got myself a shiny new kitty helm! Hermia’s first ever epic! Thanks guys.

I had to go to my scheduled raid then on Sar, so I bid my sad farewells and logged off, thinking ‘sure, I didn’t exactly nail that… but I didn’t really fail too badly either’.

So, when we did our fast Sunday runs into Gruul’s and Mag’s, I decided to ask if I could bring Hermia to Mag’s. I figured, hey, I really wouldn’t be tanking all that much, and we didn’t especially need the DPS. Since I was given the big OK, all was well and in I went. I was designated a channeler to tank, and once again, I was sooo scared! The first time, I stood behind my channeler and waited for the go ahead. Imagine my surprise when he took off towards the MT! Eeeeek! I frantically chased him and pulled him back, but boy oh boy did I feel stupid. So, the second time around, I decided to stand in front of him and intercept his path. Up top for thinking, right? Well, once again, I failed. Bah. So off I went, chasing again like an idiot, feeling twice as stupid as I did the first time. We wiped again, affording me a third chance to finally get it right.

Suddenly, I thought. Moonfire! Duh! So I grabbed him this time around with a moonfire pull, not letting him get away from me. Huzzah! I finally succeeded! My competence must have passed on to the rest of the raid, because we downed him, despite a frantic moment where the MT got swatted at 3%. Then everyone got hit by his AoE, since the clickers must have freaked and didn’t click. At 1% there were only a handful of people remaining, and they magically got him down. Phew!

Unfortunately, I didn’t get the perfect end to the night, rolling a ’2′ on my chest piece. Rats.

I guess though that I learned alot over those two runs, and that is the main thing. Moonfire is my friend! So is the mod Itemrack (after a nasty part where I didn’t expect to be tanking anymore, changed into my kitty set, and then was asked to tank an add and didn’t have time to change before the pull). I figure the learning is worth 20 loots!

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I am in a quandry. I have decided to level up a new alt, but I really do not know which one to go for first! I am torn between two options – Pewts, the level 11 mage (with a very rudimentary learning of enchanting and tailoring under her belt), or Eleyth, the level 22 priest (who has excellent alchemy skills thanks to Hermia levelling herbalism but not alchemy). Both classes hold appeal for different reasons, but there are also different reasons why I do not want to level them.

Pewts:

  • She is adorable, which is a plus.
  • I do enjoy the whole ‘sheeping’ aspect of the class… but I guess it could wear thin
  • I already planned out her professions and talents gosh darn it – so I plan a little in advance, shush
  • I already have a warlock, do I need another pewpew caster class?

Eleyth:

  • Is already 11 levels ahead
  • has prettier gear because she is 11 levels ahead
  • I would like to have a healer to round out my trifecta
  • has great professions
  • I have no idea how I want to level her though! Shadow seems so unappealing for some reason.

Heeeeeeeelp!!

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I have always depended on the kindness of strangers friends” (Blanche DuBois)

First things first, I think I deserve a wee bit of applause for remembering to write things down in my ‘WoW notepad’ as I went yesterday. /cheer!

As you all know, I have an enormous list of things which I need to work on to get my tanking set for when Hermia hits 70. Yesterday I decided that I would begin working on those right away, and at least get some experience from the kills that I had to make anyway. So heigh-ho, off to Nagrand we go!

Now I know that lots of people farming in a concentrated area can be a traumatic experience. As soon as the words ‘Elemental Plateau’ are mentioned people begin to cringe. I develop an eye twitch just thinking about it! Well, the area for farming Thick Clefthoof Leather can get pretty hectic as well. So first of all, a shout out to everyone who was farming there yesterday. Everyone was polite, I didn’t notice a single instance of kill stealing/skin stealing (except for one instance where I didn’t see a tauren druid going after a bull. I quickly apologised through the convenient ‘sorry’ emote, and intentionally left the next couple for him. He ‘licked’ me and went on killing).

In a couple of special mentions on the farming side, we have Valcrist, who kindly let me skin all his kills, AND sent me a tell later on with a lovely offer of a pair of the boots that I needed, since he had a spare pair on his rogue. I already had the boots, but it was incredibly nice of him to offer. Two Horde players, Mildrid and Morbidone, who also ‘let’ (in that I couldn’t ask, but they didn’t object) me skin their kills as well. I tried to help out killing their mobs as we went to make things a bit faster and less painful for them.

After a while I proudly mentioned to Whisperel (my favourite leatherworker!) in guild chat that I was nearly done! I had 55 Clefthoof leather, I needed a mere 20 more. Whisp offered some of the leather she had in her bank, but I refused (Whisp and her husband Wymonn already do FAR too much for me – more on that later!), and said it wouldn’t take me too much longer to farm the rest. Besides, when you are getting 800XP per kill, it’s not all that nasty. Well, Whisp pretty much insisted, but I was determined to do it all myself (so I came up with the not so sneaky plan of just farming it all anyway, so she didn’t have to use her personal stash). That kinda failed when I was running around farming, and saw someone killing a few clefthoof. I ran over to see if they may have needed a spot heal, since they were taking on a few at a time, and it was Whisp! Well, darn. She quickly traded me 25 clefthoof leather (more than I needed!) before I could say anything. Since I was done, I traded her all the clefthoof leather back, as well as the other leather that I had gathered over the day – sooooo many scraps! I said I would go rustle up some Primal Earth off Sar (since she is a miner), but Whisp already had that as well! Whisp flew back to Shatt, with me slowly slowly trailing behind… and when I got there, she had finished the crafting and traded the vest and leggings back to me… as well as a surprise of a Stylin’ Purple Hat, which was going to be my next farmed item. Then… I was told not to go anywhere, as Wymonn was logging his JC alt to ‘gem me up’.

Now this is really not out of character for Whisp and Wym. As I have levelled Hermia, I have often found little surprises in the mail, accompanied by ‘Thought this might be useful!’ notes from them. I got my Clefthoof Boots from Whisp before I had even hit the 60 mark, let alone the 70! Sar has also gotten things from them before as little presents. I have never before been able to acknowledge their kindness, and I thought that here would be the best that I can do for now. So, thankyou ever so much Whisperel and Wymonn.

To top the day off, Kalf also got me a Necklace of the Deep (even though I specifically told him not to!). I was umming and ahhing over it since I am saving for my epic flying, so he just went and got it for me. So sweet (and naughty!).

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From what I understand, your confidence in playing your character is supposed to grow as you progress. You have more practice, you have a better range of skills, therefore at a higher level you should really be starting to feel pretty comfortable in your skin. However, I am the opposite. I have a severe case of Tankophobia. I log on to Hermia, put my name in Looking for Group for a couple of instances… and secretly hope that I don’t get an invite. Is there something wrong here?

Reasons for Tankophobia

  1. The afore mentioned ‘comfort level’. This to me means that others also assume that you will be fairly good at your job by now. I know that in my case, this is just plain not true. There are still so many things that I think I need to learn about tanking, and it is going to take me a heck of a long time to pick them all up. I warn other people that I am not such a crash hot tank, and I don’t think they take me seriously – until I start making mistakes left right and centre. I am considering making an ‘Oops, sorry!’ macro it is that bad!
  2. The Cake Walk Factor – never before have I been so afraid of the 70 mark. With Saresa it was exciting, because it meant I had access to all sorts of shiny new gear. It also meant that my DPS would improve significantly. With Hermia, it outright scares me. I know that most people on the server are at least in Karazhan epics now. This leads to people expecting epic geared tanks, all the time, regardless of the difficulty level of the run. I am forever hearing people complain ‘Look at their gear though! It’s CRAP!’, and when I inspect, they are wearing all blues, maybe a green and a token epic. Since when is all blues not good enough for a regular instance run? I remember running heroics with groups who were all in mainly blues.
  3. I have had a couple of interesting experiences where I have been unlucky enough to be grouped with rude arrogant jerks. It doesn’t take much to make me doubt myself unfortunately (must work on that!), and when people are outright rude about my ability, I get pretty down on myself. I am not just a bear, I am a human being too!

So yes, I have the dreaded Tankophobia. Help me find a cure!

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Now to save for epic flight form at 70!

Edit: Those of you that know me may find it amusing that I intend to save for Swift Flight Form on Hermia when Sar is still chugging round on her Ebon Gryphon. Well, there’s a couple of (what I believe to be) perfectly good reasons for that! A) Sar is a filthy money grabber anyway, who keeps robbing Hermia for stuff like potions and food. Psh. Hungry whiny lock. B) Hermia is a gatherer, and I need to race everyone to get to those herbs! Including Kalf, the stinky herb hog! Can you believe the other day when we were questing, he fully expected to get BOTH the terocone spawns where we were since he said ‘dibs’? Greedy guts. C) I am a vain creature at times, and Flight Form is nowhere near as pretty as Swift Flight Form. People are already poking fun at my dull feathers.

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So, today has been one of those days. I woke up this morning to find my mouth full of ulcers for starters. Painful, but no biggie. Then I had to ring the Department of Education (my future employer), because they have an online interview booking process, and I kept getting an error message when I clicked the link. Turns out, after over two hours worth of phone calls, that my application has been lost somewhere in the system because of ‘IT issues’. So I now need to fix that. That was a little frustrating (especially when the IT guy on the phone was outright rude to me), and put a bit of a dent in my day.

Then I decided to play WoW and unwind for a bit. I got into a run on Hermia (Durnholde Keep) tanking, which for me is just fantastic. I really really need the practice. However, I got frustrated, because clearly my tanking is really really not that great. I don’t think that all the errors were on my own behalf. I guess alot of them must have been though. We had 4 wipes, which in my book is pretty bad. So, on my list of things for me to improve:

  1. Develop a new way of pulling. I usually pull with either Faerie Fire or Moonfire, and wait for the mobs to come to me. In some instances I am especially hesitant to just go charging in there, in case I pull something else (This has happened before!)
  2. Get used to incorporating Lacerate into my rotation. I am not sure if this is a correct rotation, but I have been using Lacerate (x5), Mangle, Maul. I refresh Lacerate and Mangle where necessary, and occasionally hit Mangle if I notice my threat getting low.
  3. Learn to communicate marks more effectively to the DPS team. I have gotten so used to taking marking for granted, that I neglect to mention things that most people regard as universal, but not all people know. I don’t know if this is a standard thing, but most every run on Cenarius I go on moon is sheep, square is trap, and diamond is a warlock ‘whatever’ mark. I forget not all people use these marks!

However, I think there are some things DPS need to learn as well to make their tanks smile.

  1. Please don’t attack a mob that the tank hasn’t got firm aggro on yet. Most times there isn’t a rush, and attacking before the tank is ready makes their job harder. On Saresa, I always followed the basic rule of ‘If you don’t see 2 sunders, don’t attack!’ (I guess the same applies for Lacerate?). Sure, you may look a bit lower on the meter, but it’s better than wiping!
  2. It might just be me, but I am not a fan of mages breaking their own sheep. I much prefer to break them myself and try to eliminate any left over aggro they may have.
  3. If you are a class with tanking capability, but are not there in a tanking role, please refrain from trying to tank unless you are asked to. It just slows DPS, and in my case makes me feel nervous.
  4. Please, PLEASE crowd control your targets! If you can’t for some reason, speak up, and I will tank it instead.

Anyway, so the run wasn’t the best. That normally wouldn’t bother me too much… if my cat didn’t start a vomitfest half way through. Epic amounts of vomit. He began his warning meows (yes, he has a distinct ‘I’m going to puke! meow) in the middle of a pull, and I frantically was mashing keys with my toe while I was grabbing the cat to throw him outside. Needless to say, I didn’t make it. Thankfully, it was in a tiled rather than a carpeted room. Phew.

That was basically the extent of the nasty side of my day. It wasn’t that bad in hindsight, but when you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, it doesn’t take much to stir me up. However… I made a little something which made me smile…

Rocket Chicken!!! One of my most favourite World of Warcraft things! That and the Gnomish Battle Chicken… simply because ‘Battle Squawk’ is the BEST buff name ever.

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Yesterday Hermia got the Shattrath City quest “What Book? I don’t see any Book!”, where you, contender on the left, gets to take on reigning Outland champion of the brawl “Dirty” Larry and his fellow cronies! Now, he was me thinking “Hey, I am pretty tough. Hell, I soloed Boglash! Not to mention a couple hundred nasty, incredibly ticked off naga. What can one guy and his mates (one of whom is a gnome *snicker*) really do against the almighty Hermia, ‘Druid of Teeth and Claw’?” Well… it turns out they can do quite a lot, actually.

First off, it would be advised that the somewhat arrogant Hermia sit down occasionally and learn to read a little. Now we know that this is difficult (like Pooh, Hermia can be a bear of litle brain), but when it is a matter of life and death, it may help. Please note, this quest is a group quest with 3 recommended players. Not one, not two, THREE. Hermia has comfortably soloed 2 player quests before, but never a three player one.

Secondly, while bears are colour-blind (otherwise those blaze orange hunting jackets would equal a lot less dead bears and a lot more squished humans!) and so can be excused occasionally from these sort of mishaps, a quest being orange should provide some indication as to its difficulty. Combining orange difficulty with the fact that it’s a 3 player quest… well, you can guess how it ended.

So, I called in the reinforcements. Salmrissa, one of the kind hunters in my guild, offered to hearth back to Shattrath and give a poor helpless kitty a hand. At that point we were once again feeling confident… we had a 70 and a 64, we should be able to smack this guy around a bit. Just focus fire and go for it!

Well… that’s not quite how things turned out. One of the adds was trapped, and the other beating on Goliath, Sal’s cat, along with Larry. I was beating on Larry until I noticed Goliath was nearly dead – uh oh! – at which point I shapeshifted out to try to throw a quick emergency heal up on Goliath. No dice, he was dead as dead can be. Soon the mobs were attacking Sal, and in my efforts to heal him through that, I pulled aggro and was promptly killed. Sal died soon after. Well darn.

We went through another variation of events (rooting Larry, trapping an add, me healing, etc), and got Larry to 15% before a nasty death yet again. When we came back and were assessing the situation, we noticed 2 level 70′s rock up to have their go at Larry (who was now undefeated 2 – 0, the dirty rotten bastard!). They kindly let me join their group, and Sal came along to exact revenge, and we pwned him like there was no tomorrow. Sure, it took 2 of us to beat him! But hey, who cares, right?

So thankyou to the two people who helped – I apologise for not remembering your names, I do need to learn to screenshot EVERYTHING now that I am blogging! Much love to you, and Elune bless (hey, I only get to say that when I am talking about Hermia, shhh :P Sar just mutters!)

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…….Is there anything more to say?

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I decided to spend the next couple of days focusing on my druid, probably for a number of reasons. I have found that having a 70 is starting to get a bit monotonous – raid weekends, farm badges and consumables during the week, snore snore snore. On Hermia, I get to quest, get the thrill of new gear frequently, as well as the exciting factor of new abilities and skills. I am even getting a kick out of herbing, and gaining the ability to pick new herbs, occasionally finding a fel lotus, and I rub my hands together in positive glee over the amount of gold that I am going to make. I will eventually drop my skinning I suppose to pick up alchemy, but for now skinning and herbalism are a great money making combo. I leveled Hermia again today (ding – 64! 4 levels to go now!), and I must say I am finding a druid even more fun to play as I go along (even if Kalf was evil and respecced feral to steal my thunder lol… I really shouldn’t have raved so much about how great feral was! *sigh*).

Tanking is also a great new experience for me – I haven’t even had much of a go at melee classes, let alone tanking, but it is absolutely great to do. I have also been lucky in the couple of groups that I have gotten so far, everyone has been very supportive and nice, and I haven’t had one unkind or rude comment yet. Some people have also given me some great feedback and tips on tanking, which is fantabulous! We managed to get through underbog today with only 2 wipes (one on the hunter boss, and one running back when someone accidentally aggroed the trash we left), although it was a close call on the Black Stalker… three melee on that fight is kind of tough, and we had some issues with positioning and the lightning. Oh well, the two priests managed to knock out his last 4 percent. Huzzah!

I have to admit though, I don’t like the feeling of entering a new zone and completely filling my quest log. It leaves me feeling intimidated, and I do not know where to start. Scary!

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Well, Hermia dinged 63 yesterday, and I celebrated this with a quick foray into Underbog. It was a late night PuG, so there weren’t many people around, but we managed to scrape together myself, a rogue, a shaman (enh), a priest and a mage. Now, I have often said that I am a bad bad tank, and I warned the group of this, but I feel for a PuG we did pretty well. Sure, we had a few wipes, admittedly some of these were my fault and some were not (bad luck where the rogue’s sap failed and he pulled for example, or accidental pulls of mobs).

I think the important thing was that I learnt alot, not only about playing Hermia, but also about tanking as a rule. Sometimes people will do things differently to how you want them to, like killing the wrong target first, or breaking their own sheep :). You have to learn to be flexible and allow for this – and for goodness sakes, remember which button you bound feral charge to! (*blush*). I also learnt that you can’t bluff your way through with broken gear – losing 2k HP and half your armour isn’t going to cut it on the final boss. I had gotten so used to being able to continue on regardless in 5 mans with dead gear that I completely forgot about survivability *duh*. I also found that the biggest aggro puller was the enh shaman, a trend I have been noticing lately. Want to throw these people a bone Blizz and provide some way they can cut back on their threat? IS there a way they can do it?

Also, in true Blizz form (and with my usual luck) nearly every drop was plate. I can’t remember if it was the priest or mage, but someone got a nice pair of gloves as well. Oh well, such is life.

I also achieved something else which has been plaguing me for a long time – I finally got to 300 herbalism! I decided to go skinning/herbalism on Hermia since she was intended to be my money maker (Sar is perpetually poor, especially since I can’t set foot on the new Isle without crashing or suffering significant lag), and I figured that I could farm herbs for my flasks for Sar on Hermia and send them along to my alchy friend, saving me a heck of a lot of gold each week. Finally I can begin to herb in Outland while I am questing – no more sad faces from me when everything is too high.

Best of all… only 5 more levels until I learn to fly! So excited!

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