Category Archives: Raids & Dungeons

Posts relating to raids, dungeons, instances, scenarios.

Oculus Can Die

And why my game sucks. A tale of disconnects and not-drake-getting woe.

It was a normal night in Dalaran. I’d just Trick or Treated and got yet more bloody candy, people were whining in trade about something or other, and Dan was talking about Paladin tanks. When all of a sudden he turned around and said, “I’m going to do a heroic, want in?”

I didn’t reply straight away, which led to Dan then saying, “I can do one on my own if you want?”

To which I replied, “Hell no, invite me, somebody needs to top the meters.” Yes, I am enjoying the overpowerediness of Shadow Priests at the moment, you would too if you played one in TBC.. the memories of Moonkins overtaking me on damage still haunts me to this day.

So we queued up, and of course, the group popped up almost instantly, for Dan isn’t just a Paladin, he is a Protection Paladin! That means he gets punched in the face a lot.

Then we see this:

“Hoorah!” Said we, for that was indeed the main reason we still do random heroics – we both want to ride the Reins of the Blue Internet Dragon.

We entered, and meeted and greeted, and I immediately decided that the Warlock was my favourite because he said, “Hello :)” which had a smiley face, and everybody likes smiley faces. The Rogue ran ahead, Dan cursed, and onwards we went – nothing really out of the ordinary.

I grabbed myself a green internet dragon, as did the Warlock, which was lucky when you learn what happened.

We pulled the last boss, who happened to be a particularly large blue internet dragon (see: above), and all was going well, until I saw: “You have been disconnected from the server.” I got back in pretty swiftly, not wishing to miss my chance at flying on the Reins of the Blue Internet Dragon, but my loading screen was stuck. I had to alt-f4 and try again. I’d missed most of the fight, so it really was lucky that we had two green internet dragons and not just one. This time I loaded in, and really, by this point, you’d think it would be the glorious moment.

It wasn’t. I was sad.

The End.

WTB Friendly Tanks

The way I figure it, all tanks are dicks. That’s what my time on the Argent Dawn battlegroup is proving to me at least. Last night, the rest of the guild’s 80s were busy in the 3 Icecrown 5 mans on normal mode so I figured while I did a few quests to get some money and my Argent Crusade rep up a little I’d chain some randoms.

The first one I got was Drak’tharon Keep, I figured great! I have a quest here and King Dred drops a pretty nice trinket upgrade. I asked if we could break a few of the webs in the spider room so I could find the Troll for my quest, which surprisingly they did for me, that was nice, I picked up the next quest, and then the tank ran through the room saying, “skip”. Well, I need the emblems but I can’t solo it, so I ran through, killed some bats, realised I needed that boss for my quest but figured oh well I’ll get it next time, at least I was able to pick it up. Running past King Dred, “skip”, yeah okay now it’s just annoying, so from the whole instance I got 3 emblems. Whoopidoo, what’s the point in doing it as a random if that’s all you get?

The next one was Utgarde Keep, yay a nice quick, easy one. Can’t skip anything either. We zone in and the tank immediately says, “buff”, and after a few seconds, “buff priest”. This pushes my buttons. No hello, no please, and I’m pretty sure the Priest wasn’t called ‘priest’. Either way, we carry on, get to the room with the proto drakes, the tank skips a load pulls the pack at the end, I accidentally pull one more proto drake which is easily Tricksed onto him, and I believe the Priest’s Mind Sear pulled another pack, which of course wiped us. Then the Priest left. This is an attitude I never understood, the guy who causes the wipe always seems to blame anybody but themself, usually the tank or the healer. When you mess up, you recognise you’ve done so 9 times out of 10. Anyway, he was replaced by a Warlock who was fairly decent, but twice pulled things by accident and got us wiped. The tank felt it necessary at this point to say, “ebay lock” which was entirely pointless of course. Oh well, we finished and the Warlock ninjad the blue legs from the last boss (he had Tier 9), I didn’t quite get that either.

Then Utgarde Pinnacle popped up and as expected, the tank skipped all but 2 bosses. He was quite up himself, but nothing out of the ordinary to report, just the usual, “WTB DPS”, and “chop chop I don’t have time for this”.

I believe I then grouped up with a couple of guildies who had either come online or finished their instances. We queued up while I murdered some spiders and bats in Zul’drak, and luckily got Forge of Souls heroic! Great, I’d already done this one earlier as a specific, this gave me an extra chance for the trinket. We zoned in, killed a pack, and our healer left, we fairly quickly got a new healer, carried on, and everything was going just fine until I disconnected. My net went down. I knew my guildies weren’t about to vote kick me, but I didn’t want to hold them up, so I reset it, was offline for maybe 5 or 10 minutes, and came back online to an argument. Now, I’m not particularly fond of elitist bastards, especially when they’re being nasty to people I like. I came back online part way through something I think, but:

I did try to vote kick him but apparently the healer didn’t like this so we had to finish the instance with him and queued for one more, hoping to actually get lucky and have a nice tank. Might I add where he says “you dont know tactic”, we hadn’t even reached the first boss yet and did kill the adds and move out of the shit accordingly, whilst he was running the boss around the room in circles meaning it was pretty difficult for 2 of us to get any dps off on the boss for the first phase. At least after this little exchange he shutup and continued being punched in the face.

This time we got Azjol Nerub and the tank and healer didn’t seem too bad. We killed the first boss, and then the tank started asking me to reset the second boss. First off, I’m not comfortable with this method. I’m not hot on how to do it, and there is a risk of me fucking up and dying. I might have given it a go just to make the tank happy except he started being a bit bossy about it. The second he said, “just do it”, I decided no, I really won’t ‘just do it’. With a “fine”, he pulled the boss, we moved on, and around the part of the instance where you jump down the giant hole (which I always always angle my camera down to avoid water walking or path of frost death from the TotC 25 days), one of my guildies disconnected. Either the tank or healer tried to vote kick him but that didn’t pass. He didn’t come back so I guess his net went down. We had one wipe on Anub’erak because the healer and other dps was hit by pound, to which the tank replied, “you guys fail”. Then ran back in, killed it, and decided at this point that that was more than enough dickheads for one night.

I really hope the entire battlegroup isn’t like this, because gearing my Rogue is going to become quite a chore without guildies soon if this continues. Aside from all of this, I am enjoying it. I’m able to join in with guildies now we’re at the same level and play something new. It’s nice to be able to chill and take a break from grinding reputation and mounts for a bit. Oh, and a note, I don’t honestly think that all tanks are dicks, I think I’m damn unlucky, but I did grab your attention didn’t I?

Just Another LFD Post

Honestly, since the release of the random dungeon finder tool, I’ve done nothing but love it. It has made finding groups for whatever 5 man you want to do SO much easier, which is especially nice when you’re levelling alts. Heck, it’s even possible to do Ragefire Chasm in Orgrimmar as Alliance and Stockades in Stormwind as a Horde now without being brutally murdered on your way in. That’s awesome, and I believe everybody can agree on that.

However, I was reading this article at the MMO Melting Pot, and it made me do a small double take. As I said in the comments there: if the LFD tool was available from the start of TBC, I wouldn’t have met Dan. Chances are, I’d have seen him chatting in trade and on the forums, thought he was a bit of a douche because I’d never had the chance to get to know him as a person, then moved on with my life. Considering I’ve been with him for 2 and a half years, that’s a slightly scary thought.

See, I pugged a lot when I was levelling my Priest. I found that doing a few 5 mans inbetween questing made the levelling a lot more fun, and it gave me a chance to practise my healing. I’d chat to the people I grouped with, possibly add them to my friends list, and if they wanted, I’d invite them to the social guild I was running back then, in which I’d only invite people who were friends of friends, or seemed nice, most I met in pugs. One of these people, when I’d reached my late 60s, I got talking to him again once I’d found which character he was playing and he’d joined a small friendly guild. They didn’t really advertise so most of the members joined via word of mouth, and I was no different. This was the guild where I met Dan. If I hadn’t got speaking to that guy in a pug in my 50s, I wouldn’t have joined that guild and spoken to Dan.

The result? Well, you can still pug with people from your server, though you’ll find that will be mostly raids. I’ve joined raid pugs which weren’t quite so bad, but I rarely whisper people now. I don’t know what it is, but these days people just come across as much less approachable and sure, a lot of this has to do with the way Wrath has changed the game, people can’t be bothered to form friendships outside of their guilds anymore because they assume everybody else is bad. This is how it comes across to me, at least, and it’s kinda sad – the guild I was in while levelling my Priest couldn’t exist now. I’d have to advertise in trade for social members and that’s the perfect way to attract flies without using an application process, which I find a little pointless for a social guild.

Blizzard seem to have created a way to maintain old friendships in the form of Real ID, but downgraded the ways in which we can create new ones. Sure, they’re still there, you can chat to people in pug raids, join a new guild, talk on the forums and in trade, whatever you want but it doesn’t seem to be the “done thing” anymore, I guess what I’m trying to say is that I miss the sense of community this game used to involve. Nowadays we have to make do with lots of small communities, in the form of guilds, which can also act as server cliques, as opposed to one big one, with serverwide events, radio stations, and everybody seeming to know each other.

You’ve Lost That Epic Feeling

Erc wrote a post, I read it, I commented. I realised that my rant about emblems, dungeons, raids, and my opinion on how this game could work really well in regards to gearing, raiding and hardmodes, mixed in with a little of my TBC nostalgia, was a post in itself. Or perhaps a rant too long for a comment.

Epic Dungeons

Many people say that epic dungeons are long gone. They pine for the days of Blackrock Depths, Maraudon, Dire Maul, but in essence I believe that Blizzard have given us an almost perfect middle ground in the Frozen Halls. Three dungeons, the Forge of Souls, the Pit of Saron, and the Halls of Reflection, which are intended to be run back to back as you help Lady Sylvanas or Jaina, but the best part is that because they have been split into three separate instances, they can also be treated as such, making them just a little more PUG friendly than Blackrock Depths ever was. I know it’s not quite the same thing, and I love the long epic dungeons, but I think it’s the best we’re going to get. Mind you, I hope we get something bloody long and epic in the form of Uldum after waiting this long for it.

Emblems

The thing with emblems is something I haven’t been happy with since they introduced Conquest emblems for running heroics. Yeah, great, I can gear up my alts, but I’m not fond of the idea that Naxxramas, Sartharian, Malygos, and Ulduar are pretty much skipped, aside from quick weeklies (for more emblems!!) and zerg runs. These were well designed raids, why change things so much that they become almost forgotten and left behind?

The Burning Crusade (and “Badgers”)

Back in TBC (nostalgia moment) we had 2 10 mans. Karazhan and Zul’Aman. We also had just one type of emblem: Badge of Justice. Originally, you could only receive badges from heroics, and heroics were fucking hard. I can remember back on my Warlock at the beginning, we got a group together for Heroic Underbog. We tried several times, even with the Rogue kiting one all the way back to the door we couldn’t get past the 2 bog lords before the first boss. This was how difficult heroics originally were. It wasn’t until later on in the expansion that heroics were nerfed, and a little later we could receive badges from raid bosses. This was a good thing, it made gearing up much easier and through TBC we would run Kara every Friday for badges, and sometimes gear. We’d take our mains, our alts, and sure it did get boring, but nowhere near as boring as Trial did. It was long, and epic, and we had a few laughs while we did it. That was the difference.

I was never a fan of the removal of the Black Temple and Mount Hyjal attunements as early on as they did, because when you killed Kael’thas and Lady Vashj for that attunement, you had a feeling of pride much bigger than any achievement, because they were HARD. The first couple of bosses in BT and Hyjal seemed almost like a “and now you can relax for a bit” reward for defeating two very difficult encounters, once they’d removed that, it felt just a little cheapened. I don’t think they shouldn’t have done it at all, I just think they should have waited until the 30% nerf.

Either way, once heroics became farmable and badges could be gained from raids, and there was some awesome gear from badges towards the end, not to mention Magister’s Terrace, with this, you could gear up enough to do Black Temple. Even so, there wasn’t really any skipping of content aside from Kael and Vashj. In my opinion, this was good.

Wrath of the Lich King

The beginning of Wrath was okay, Naxx seemed pretty piss easy to start with but hey ho, it was the first raid. Heroics were easily puggable to allow you to gear up to start raiding, which was great. Ulduar was a nice, big, epic raid instance. Then the Trial patch hit, you could get gear equal to Ulduar level, not to mention they changed the way hardmodes worked, which were fine in Ulduar. If Blizzard had kept the gearing system the way it was around the middle of the Ulduar patch (after a few nerfs, the easy modes are supposed to be doable after all), then content wouldn’t need to be skipped so much and the game would feel less like this linear, bland factory of mass production.

This is why I am pretty nostalgic towards TBC, there were 2 10 mans without a 25 man version, which made them less repetitive. The encounters were fun, the raids were epic. I have some great memories from Kara and heroic farming with friends, not to mention Black Temple runs, which stands as my favourite raid instance even now. Comparing then, to the game now, well.. there is a lot of difference. Things are too easy and repetitive now, raids aren’t that fun anymore, when I do raid it’s just doing the same thing over and over.. I pine for TBC, heck, I pine for Naxx and early Ulduar. When it’s just about having the best gear and keeping up, the game really loses its epic feeling.

My Opinions

My ideal situation would be kind of a mix between TBC and now. There would be multiple types of emblems, one for heroics, and separate types for each raiding tier, like in early Wrath. These would reward boots, trinkets, rings, the usual stuff, but no tier loot, that would be received from drops only. Hardmodes would exist the way they did in Ulduar, you would have to activate them in differing ways rather than simply clicking a “I want this to be heroic” button on the raid interface. The hardmodes would be fun, the easy modes would be doable for the more casual players, perhaps a buff similar to the one in Icecrown too. No content would be skipped just because people didn’t have to anymore and therefore couldn’t be bothered, it would work for all types of players. Thus mixing up the game a bit more, giving some variety, and less of the repetitiveness that leads to so much burnout. We’re getting there, the game is improving a lot, but there’s still a little way to go in my opinion.

When is the last time this game felt truly epic for you?

Why I Don’t Raid: Part 2

Note: For Part 1, click here. I have written up a part 3 as well, as more of a conclusion for this rant.

In the end, I missed Vashj. I had my boyfriend and a few friends over there I really wanted to play with again so I left Terenas to play Fae, my early WotLK main, also a Hunter. I’d realised that Hunter was now my favourite class, not Shadow Priest. I loved the diversity of the different specs, choices to make, and the playstyle of Survival (at the time, I’m now Marksman). I did a few heroics to get myself up to Trial level because I was still in Naxx gear (with the gun from hardmode XT 10 man though, I got lucky with that, and didn’t replace it for months) and applied to Dan’s guild – I had nowhere else to go really and this was where most of my Vashj friends were, Dice.

I got in, raided for a bit, except this guild was a little more hardcore than Respice so I found the change quite difficult. There were some awesome people in the guild, don’t get me wrong, but I wasn’t clicking and there were things I wasn’t happy with that I knew couldn’t change. I asked to be demoted to a social. Casual raiding had spoiled me and I got way too stressed out with the longer, more frequent raiding schedule.

I took a couple of breaks here, tried out Lord of the Rings Online, which had an amazing community and I enjoyed thoroughly. I also tried out Aion, which had a terrible community, though it hadn’t long been released, and some insane lag I couldn’t play through, but it was a beautiful game and the character creation screen and playstyle of the Spiritmaster class won me over nonetheless. I came back to WoW to do the seasonal achievements, having missed out on quite a lot over the year, though I’d kept up with my priest’s achievements (yes, she has the Drake now). One evening I logged in and the GM of Dice started talking to me.. telling me that he was an old guildy of mine from TBC but he’d gender and name changed his character, I clicked, it was. He flirted with me a bit which freaked me out, I don’t deal well with people flirting with me, but he’d always done that. By the end of the week, he begged me to come back, they needed good hunters. I’d like to clarify here, that though flirting creeps me out, and that week did seem a bit odd to me as he didn’t speak to me after I’d rejoined, he was a good guy and he was a popular person in the guild for good reason.

I tried again, but it was worse this time, I was forcing myself and felt really out of place. I quit “for good” after a couple of days, and ended up leaving the guild after an influx of, “Oh man, she’s a girl get her in!” (Not aimed at me, thank God.)

You can’t stay away for long though.. the officers and GM all quit for various reasons, didn’t like the game anymore, had a baby, heavy workload.. so they promoted a friend of ours to GM, who chose his officers: our other friends. I guess he knew he could trust them but in all honesty I never liked the choice. Dan and him both asked if I’d come back, they really needed good hunters and, I hope, liked me being around. I said okay, I’ll come back on a 2 week trial period, but that’s also for me, whether I’m ready to raid or not. After the 2 weeks I didn’t feel stressed enough to quit, I was fine, once I got in a raid I enjoyed it, and reading up on hunters a lot more was fun, I enjoyed improving.

The raiding was good for a couple of months, but after a while the new GM started treating his friends (well I’m not sure about the ones he promoted to officers because by this point none of them cared much to speak to me and no, I hadn’t done anything wrong, I think it was just a case of drifting apart) like avatars. I can specifically remember one raid, I was having a really terrible day, feeling like absolute crap, and I logged in and was instantly invited to a hardmode Trial raid, which I really couldn’t do with, but apparently there was nobody else. Stupidly I went along, told the GM I wasn’t really upto it, and he said, “Don’t worry” and carried on. Replaced 2 other people. Not me. Or Dan, who I think had a killer headache that night. I asked a bit later, if they could “please replace me because I really couldn’t focus anymore,” my day was getting to me in a bad way, I was freaking out and needed to lie down.. I’d told the GM at the start I was bad and I was met with silence, and one of the members saying, “There’s nobody to replace you.” After replacing 2 other guys who had to go because.. what.. they were tired, I can’t remember. That was when I realised he wasn’t a friend anymore. That wasn’t the only case of it, but it was the one that stuck in my mind, and after a while I just left the raid.

It was just after Christmas, I was in the friends 10 man raid to Icecrown 10, with Dan. We had a set group that went every week. This one particular night, I was on my Warlock, as I had been taking a break from 25 man raiding after Christmas and wanted to chill a bit, and Dan told me to relog because they were doing the ICC group. I relogged to my hunter, 2 minutes later I walked over to Dan’s screen and the group was full. I wasn’t in it. “What the fuck, did they just replace me? I’m right here..” Yep. He knew my Warlock’s name. He was still in the same guild as my Hunter. He couldn’t be arsed to look at his friends list, send me a whisper, or even ask anybody else but Dan, who was ignored, he just replaced me. I went absolutely APE SHIT, that was not on. If anybody else in the group wasn’t on their main, they’d have been contacted, I know because it’s happened before. I was sat right next to the other tank in the group! Just because neither of us were on fucking vent, I was replaced. After all of the being treated like just another raider, I exploded. A lot. And yes, this is also why I’m not a fan of voice programmes, if you don’t feel comfortable going on them or can’t go on them, you will inevitably be left out eventually.

He did try to apologise when I was still very much raging, but at this point I was too pissed off.. He didn’t even know what had pissed me off! I left the guild later on. The next day I left my goodbye message on the forum, which he deleted, and shortly after deleted my forum account. To this day he hasn’t explained why he did that, or apologised for it, but that really took the biscuit, it really fucking hurt to be treated like JUST ANOTHER RAIDER, by somebody I though was a friend. Yes, I get there are certain ways he’d have to treat me, but I’ve never asked for special treatment, just an acceptance that this is a game.

Since then I’ve done a couple of 10 man raids, I’ve seen upto Sindragosa in 10 man ICC, but after Dan took a long break I needed to as well and lost my spot, which I’m fine with, I can’t bring myself to raid at the moment. I’ve seen how much drama, and immaturity it causes, first hand and second hand, and I can’t deal with it. This is a game and the way people treat raiding means that I can’t enjoy raids at the moment. I’d like to kill the Lich King, I’d like to see the new dragon boss, and I’d like to raid again in Cataclysm, but I need to find a guild I can feel comfortable with and happy in for that to happen. That won’t be on Vashj, and switching servers will also be difficult unless you know where you’re heading, which I don’t. So I don’t raid for now, and haven’t done since Christmas.