A Cookie and an Update

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The last few weeks of raiding have been immensely fun for me and I’m a huge fan of how the druid tier set looks. A couple yummy resto pieces finally dropped that now make the electrifying blue druid! Here’s a short update on all the good stuff that’s been going on and what I’m working on for future posts.

Told you I look super blue…it might be time to change my hair colour so I don’t completely blend in! Anyways, thanks to my awesome guildies I’ve been sporting some really cool pieces: Omnotroners finally saw fit to drop Passive Resistor Spaulders for me and now my shoulders match the rest of my outfit; and our very first journey to Cho’gall was marked by one of his minions dropping Chelley’s Staff of Dark Mending. A very happy tree here!

Speaking of Cho’gall…

 

On our very first meeting two things happened: a) it was unanimously agreed upon that he was…well….hideous…and needed to go down before anyone else b) as we took him on, the first thing he did was to put the corruption bar smack dab in the middle of my raid frames. Ha! But yes indeed Cho’gall is on the list and it won’t be long before he shall meet his doom – nobody messes with my raid frames.

In the works is my healing write-up on the Ascendant Council. It’s a really fun yet challenging fight – one of those encounters I’ll never find boring. After three successful encounters I feel like I have a solid healing strategy to take them down with. Also in the works is my current quest of “what-to-do” outside of raiding this expansion…and I may just have found something I enjoy…stay tuned and thanks for reading! =)

The End Game Dilemma: Unintended Consequences

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It’s been a while since I wrote my last post. Now ordinarily, it would be because I got swept up with real life commitments…but this one is different. Truth be told, I’m faced with a strange dilemma now when I log on – outside of my weekend raids, I simply don’t know what to do. It’s certainly not something I expected and yet here I am.

Curiosity led to me to analyse my thoughts further and I asked myself, well what did you do before? And why don’t they work anymore? The answer to me, seems to be a cascade of unintended consequences that the cataclysmic changes to the game brought along peppered with a few other areas of disappointment for me as a player. Unintended consequences, usually undesirable ones, happen all the time everyday. We all have variations of stories where we fixed the water pipe in the house only to break the heater (or some such analogy – I have no clue how exactly these things work) – and it’s not until this happens do we begin to see the connections between all of them.

To understand this better, I went back to looking at the things I usually like to do outside of raiding, and why they no longer offer the fun they once used to. Indulge my analysis, if you will…

So…what do I usually do outside of raiding? And why isn’t it working for me anymore? And where do those unintended consequences play in?

Things to Do: My Experiences

Levelling an Alt

This is usually a great way for me to take a break from endgame things and simply relax as a lovely low level. It’s also a great way to meet new people you would’ve otherwise never met. I levelled a shaman…all the way from 1 to 70 thus far, and my experience was rather different. I mostly quested as I liked exploring the new quests and lore and only did two or three random dungeons. It’s very discouraging but I barely met a soul while questing let alone grouping up.

Levelling had a few new things added to the mix this time around – the phasing and linear questing style and while not quite as new but still recent, cross server LFD. I truly love the new quests and the fact that we can see the world progress. However, phasing had an unexpected result here…you were invisible to the few who were there as they were to you. But even if phasing wasn’t an issue, this is assuming that people were questing. With the convenience of LFD, its entirely possible to stay in a capital city and dungeon your way through the levels.

Professions.

I expected Archaeology to keep me occupied but instead quite the opposite happened. It turned into a tedious activity – a war with the RNG and nothing else. I burned myself out getting Tyrande’s Favourite Doll and the unfortunate result now is that I have almost all the rares with a few exceptions….and all the gold in Azeroth cannot make me pursue those remaining ones.

Achievements and Titles.

These have been a lot of fun for me and although I don’t take it upon myself to get all the achievements ever possible, I do have a few favourites that I would like to get. It so happens, that I’ve already got them as achievement seeking was a big part of my gameplay in the months before the expansion. The ones I truly wanted to get were Loremaster, Seeker, and Guardian of Cenarius (being a druid and all!). Titles like “Insane in the Membrane” and “Salty” aren’t really my forte, although if they had a sleep related title I’d be on it! =P I would dearly love to get “Justicar” and “of the Alliance” but to be perfectly honest, I feel like I have a higher chance of getting a vacation home in Venice. And this brings me to the other activity I like to engage in ocassionally…

PvP.

Alright, first things first. I’m not the best at this but I do like to kill some smelly orcs occasionally. I mean, who doesn’t? And sometimes, I even succeed. So I gave it a shot and I’m at a loss. We had one case where all the druids were healers in the battleground…and so we had the very weird case of having too many healers? And it seems to be my sorry fate that if the universe makes a frost mage angry at me (which they usually are), I have few options but to pray and run. This is disheartening to me since in the past dying to someone meant that I learnt something about how to deal with them the next time around and got better at it. Perhaps I’m missing something but I couldn’t come up with anything on how to save myself from a frost mage. Quite sad.

Random heroics.

These are mixed bag – they offer the convenience of running dungeons any time you want at the risk of dying numerous times and being insulted by strangers. I swore off these a long time ago and the few fantastic groups I get are far outnumbered by the jerks, in my experience. And we haven’t even talked about the dps who queues as a tank yet. I don’t know why they do, but they do.

Unintended Consequences

I made that list up there to help look at my options outside of raiding. I love my guild and our raids are immensely fun but the rest of the week seems surprisingly void of things to do. And this is a result of changes that brought in a lot of great stuff but at a cost that was unexpected.

Solo Leveling:

  • Phasing and linear questing had the social aspect take a huge hit. While levelling my alt there was little chance of impromptu roleplaying or grouping up. 

Jerks in LFD:

  • LFD hit the community as well on various levels. *Picks up cane and shakes it around* I remember days when I healed my way through my friends list. I found great tanks, friends and guilds that way. And while the older method of finding groups was hugely inconvenient, it did have a positive side. LFD’s biggest selling point is it’s convenience but it’s anonymity does have an impact both at the lower levels and at endgame heroics. 

PvP Balance:

  • I know precious little about PvP but even to me, it seems to be the victim of balancing issues. It made me feel helpless in a way I hadn’t before.
Archaeology Burnout:
  • Far from being engaging, this has turned into a tedious grind with few rewards, leaving me shuddering at the sight of a shovel.

I wrote this post with the intent of analysing what’s going on from my experience in the best way I could. I think it’s important to see the effects certain changes have had on the game in it’s current state because sometimes connections aren’t apparent until we see the things we do. For example, pre-Cataclysm I wouldn’t have even imagined that phasing could have the kind of consequences I saw while levelling my alt. Things weren’t perfect in the old days and they aren’t perfect now either. However, thinking about these things perhaps helps us evaluate whether the cost was worth the result or not. Thanks for reading as always!

Special Post: Tsunami in Japan

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This is a non-WoW post I’ve chosen to make in the wake of the tragedy that hit Japan recently. The devastation took place on a huge scale and the destruction is quite horrific. My thoughts and prayers go out to the people in Japan.

I’d like you to take a moment and consider donating any amount of money you can spare to the relief efforts currently underway. Any amount of money, even something that would’ve otherwise been spent on a Warcraft pet, can provide food and other necessities to survivors. If you do choose to donate, please be sure to donate to reputable charity organisations such as the  Red Cross.

In closing, below is a video of a dog trying to protect its injured friend amidst the rubble. The commentary is in Japanese but in summary, they are describing the situation and trying to see if the second dog made it through the catastrophe.

Thank you for reading as always! ありがとうございます。

Change to Living Seed in 4.1 on the Horizon

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I usually like to save blogging about changes until the Patch is actually live on servers, but I was so excited about this one, I just couldn’t hold back. The latest Patch 4.1 PTR Notes included a key change to the resto talent tree and is a wish come true for many of us tree healers out there.

“In addition, Living Seed is no longer a prerequisite talent for Efflorescence.”
Woohoo! Living Seed usually forms an abysmal portion of my healing while requiring a whopping 3 talent points in it just to get to Efflorescence. It’s not a complete talent revamp by any means but it is certainly a step in the right direction and I’m a happy panda about this. =)

A Peek at My Cleric

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So I’ve hit the point where I’ve been mostly twiddling my thumbs in WoW outside of the usual raids. I decided to see what Rift was like and rolled up a healing cleric to have some fun on the side. It’s a blast so far although I must admit, with the stunning landscapes I’ve been taking more screenshots than completing quests. I really like the one I took today and couldn’t resist sharing. I recommend viewing the image in its full size =)  Here’s a sneak peek at my cleric!

Healing Perspectives: Valiona and Theralion (10)

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Our two bickering dragons here are the second encounter in Bastion of Twilight. These dragons will both be engaged when the encounter begins and the entire fight is really quite the dance. Despite their bickering they seem to work rather well together when it comes to chomping on us. However, once everyone has the steps of this crazy dance down, its as easy as pie! As healers, here’s what we need to know for this fight…

Wintersaber Awesomeness

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A few days ago, during an inspired afternoon, I at last made the final push towards obtaining the Winterspring Frostsaber. I killed giants, furbolgs and fed Rivern Frostwind’s frostsabers large amounts of bear and chimera meat. I traversed the region endlessly and hunted the creatures down time and again, and finally my efforts paid off.

 The Wintersaber Trainers saw fit to sell me the Winterspring Frostsaber.

The beast’s fur was as white as the snows of Winterspring itself! With an exalted reputation, and a beautiful mount to call my own, I could’ve hugged Rivern Frostwind. He politely declined but something tells me he’s seen this before. Anyways, yay!