29 July 2011

BG's, Healers, and Khrox

*be prepared dear reader-wall of text post ahead!

Vidyala, over at Manalicious, recently posted "What your healer wants you to know about bg's." It's a good post and if you're a battleground dps'er, I suggest you give it a read.

Perhaps the reason this caught my eye tonight has to do with Khrox, and his rampaging urge to enjoy battlegrounds, after the frustrating grind through his Firelands dailys. (and we all know what a world pvp gank zone those have been)

Khrox is relatively new to battlegrounds, maybe two months? Can't say for sure though it doesn't feel like it 's been all that long. He began with the simple thought of gearing up better, and pvp gear seemed to fill the bill for "quickly available." He has since come to really enjoy bg's though, and is working hard with being good at them.

In the past couple of weeks his focus has been on taking out enemy healers, since the horde always seem to come fully outfitted with them and bg chat is constantly screaming for their healers to die. So he's taken it upon himself to remedy all this fuss by going for the throat, er, healers.

~I'm getting to the healer part of this, albeit slowly. Note though, if you are a healer reading this, feel free to offer your thoughts~

Picking out enemy healers, at least for me, is a chore in itself. Remember, I'm a little bit older now and two dozen players bunched up under a flag just looks like one big ball of blazing damnation to me, lol. Anyways, I love friendly healers. I do notice when my falling health bar takes sudden jumps upwards, and usually try to get a "thanks" out to the healer, if I can find them in the mess. So this led to me learning about HHTD, and promptly/dutifully installing such. First time out for a run, not only could I easily find and target enemy healers, but my own bore nice big green marks so I could actually keep one eye their way. But now I had another little glitch. Way too many nameplates cluttering the screen for one. And everybody's bars who weren't healers. well they all kinda looked the same to me. Every one was class colored for sure and there didn't seem to be any distinction between friend or foe. Result, turn off friendly name tags, only enemy shows. It also cleared up the playing field such as it is. Better, but not quite right in my eyes.

There's these really good little /y's that come up in the chat box. To the effect, friendly healer is being attacked by so-and-so. With no real marking to help me spot the healer as I scan the outer edges, I feel like I just have to get lucky and spot the enemy name tag. And of coarse, I'm usually in the middle of trying to save my own rear as well. Mostly because a detachment of horde are on me for beating on their healers. Hey, when I say it's a mess in there, it's a MESS!!!

Khrox was a small, tiny little horde magnet before all this. He did and does a ton of damage to the enemy, and they respond in kind by sending forth several killers to end his assualt on them. But since he's been focusing on their healers, and killing them, he's become a rather large horde magnet. I'm quite sure that their healer is screaming just as loudly at them since I've been known to chase them down until they die.

What this all leads to, is that there exists in bg's this kind of unspoken vendetta aimed at healers. Friend or enemy, I'm sure they're feeling all this attention coming at them. And I'm just as sure they're sometimes at wit's end thinking they have no protection from the dps'ers. I fully agree that more needs to be done by us, to help protect them. ~I must note here that I can only speak from my own experiences in bg's-the milage of others may vary~

As a fairly strong dps'er, I'm looking at a couple of options to help my healers. In the background, there's still adjustments needed to be made to the HHTD mod so that I can get full benefit from it. Up front in action, I've taken the coarse for now to know who the healers are by name. I've either had the opportunity to speak with them at some point, or, some actually mark themselves in the raid frames as a healer. In Vidyala's post and comments somewhere, I recall thoughts about healers adopting a pet dps, and dps adopting a pet healer. As humorous as it sounds, I think it's really a good option as well. Khrox certainly finds himself in the process of such, though it seems to be coming about in a natural way rather than formal agreement. But there is one regular healer he sees quite often, and has chatted with on occasion. So when he does jump into one of those balls of flag ownership disputes, he naturally looks around first to see if that healer is also there. If so, he makes determined efforts to try and keep her in LoS.

Anyway, I've rambled on long enough here, surely more than I should have. If you're still with me though and you happen to be a healer, feel free to add your thoughts or suggestions for they are most welcome. This is one dps'er who happens to think about you quite a bit...

after all...

my life usually depends upon you.

"Go with honor, friend."

25 July 2011

Photo Op----Deathwing!!!

That's right! After becoming a blackened dwarf just a short time back, Deathwing made a return trip to the same area today and blessed me with his permission for a photo opportunity, minus the scorching!

Deathwing in person!
Okay, I am one happy camper now. Got my own personal photo shoot!

Not long after that excitement, I blundered into this big guy--

One of those---OMG's!
I was quite fortunate while gazing at this fellow for the second time around, (he one-shot me and pet that day), to witness a guild group come by to take him down. {not my guild :( } I didn't time it, but seemed like the better part of 10 minutes for the fight. It was better than watching a boss vid for me, to hover at a small distance overhead and see what all was going on.

And in case you've missed it, Khrox is sporting a new hair style these days.

Khrox and his Crimson Lasher
Well, "Go with honor," friends. Tomorrow is maintenance day, once again.


24 July 2011

Recap....and guild change?

The past couple of weeks in game have been filled with something of a determined set of activities which have become somewhat routine. For the most part, this has generally been rewarding. In-so-far-as; being able to obtain some new gear along with various achievements, new mount and a couple of companion pets.

It has also been a time mixed with some frustration and moments of anger (which are now humorous). At the moment, all this leaves us with one very active Dwarf faced with making a choice to change guilds, or not. Exactly how all this fits into one simmering cauldron can only be described as: "World of Warcraft." It's an extreamly large world filled with just about anything one can imagine possible.

On the lighter side of this world: during this time period I've caught myself inside of a strange form of progression (or digression perhaps). The sudden realization that for a few moments, I was actually a tad angry and vocally yelling many obsenities at pixel people on screen. This is one of those, OMG!!! I'm Yelling At Game Pixels revelations. For someone who generally has all the bases covered with a coat of "it's just a game" attitude, this is one revelation I was not prepared for. Fortunately, I did not go the next step and actually type those strings of obsenities into the chat box, thereby becoming no better than the socially inept, ignorant jerkbutts I was yelling at. I laugh at myself now, though I have to wonder how I came into this state of being.

Khrox runs a simular pattern each day in game. 25/25 dailys, starting with Firelands (14or15), cooking/fishing (2), with the balance generally going to Tol Barad. Then it's on to battleground considerations. He tries to get at least two TB's done, hopefully three. The honor points alone mean a new piece of gear about every other day. The TB's will get mixed in with some Arathi Basin's, some leather farming, and maybe some random bg's if a guild mate is online. Not knowing most of the battlegrounds, I tend to favor the guidance the more experienced guild mate provides when a new one for me pops up in the random. He's good. I learn the layout and objectives much easier this way, compared to just reading about them. I guess that's my personal learning curve, :)

There is still a thorn in my side though, and that is the guild itself. Out of respect and some sense of loyalty, I won't go into details here, but these are very difficult times for me. For one who has spent most of his WoW life as a solo-reclusive player, I've come to love this guild and it's become like a family-sort-of-thing for me. So much so, that I've become a veteren status member, weekly leader in contributions of guild activity points, etc. You get the picture.

Over the past ten days though, I've been watching the guild fall apart. This brings a great sadness over me that I wish just wasn't so. Generally, most of the officers and GL will usually talk with me on the side about guild things. It took some time though, this go around, but bits and pieces of info are floating my way. Long story short: disagreements between GL, several officers and high ranking members blew up into a rageing fire which fueled the departure of many key members. And, the GL has openly stated that she will be mostly AWOL now. I haven't seen the GL in a week now. In fact, during my regular log in times, the guild has been like a vast no mans land.

One other member and myself, are quietly watching these proceedings, kind of hoping the guild will work it's way through the mess and survive. It's not looking good though, and the guild's viability is questionable. Some of the departed members have privately whisper'd me since the blow-up. Generally speaking, the concensous of these private talks go along the lines of: the GL is only serving her own interests (not those of guild or members), and I'd be well advised to look for another guild.

Starting over with another guild at this point, when I've worked so hard for this guild, seriously, is not something I'm looking forward to doing. The outcome of this mess is somewhere in limbo. I know I'll have to make a choice, probably in the very near future. I'm not a happy camper about that.

Have you been faced with this kind of a choice to make? How did you feel, and how did you make the choice?

16 July 2011

Sky Gone Red

It's relatively peaceful here, up around Kirkland in the Twilight Highlands. Good hunting grounds between our small town, the coast to the east, then south to the point near the Horde encampment that's just off shore. Plenty of worgs, elk and owls. Seldom, if ever, any enemy Horde to contend with. Yessir, a great place to just hunt and skin. Peaceful enough to let your mind wander over the day's events and battlegrounds. A couple of mountain ridges and valleys which block out the scattered fires, warring factions and just plain weird monsters. Yep, a good place for this dwarven hunter to wander, hunt, and generally un-wind. One lazy mindless hour here and 3-4 stacks of savage leather will be added to the storehouse. All is good.

Late this afternoon though, my little peaceful hunting trek was broken. The sky suddenly turned an eerie color of deep red/orange and visibility dropped considerablely.

Sky Gone Red
I knew the signs immediately. After all, I am a beast master hunter who can track and kill even the most elusive of beasts. But this one is special, a real monster. "Sky Gone Red" means only one thing. And that is the impending appearance of Deathwing himself.

Being an astute hunter with a small passion for recording history, I quickly scanned the skies with a 360 turn-about, determined to get a personal up close picture of this mighty monster. The deep bloody-red skies were becoming rather murky, so I quickly summonded my griffon and took to flight. Just over the coastal mountain ridge, I could make out a lot of smokey haze billowing upwards and drifting south. By the time I cleared the ridge, visibility was dropping fast. This is a rocky coastline, dangerous to navigate even in good daylight. I dropped below the smokey haze drifting the coast from the Highlands fires, and then down a bit more through Deathwings' "calling-card-red-sky." No sight of the monster yet, but I was still quite high up over this rocky coastline and turbulant sea. Not much to burn here with only rock and water. Nope, in fact nothing to burn. Except for.....

Yep, you guessed it. As soon as I broke through the haze into Deathwings' calling card....instant combustion. I could hear the announcement while falling from the skies, "On today's menu we have a generous helping of Blackened Dwarf. Freshly fired, which will be served as soon as some extra tenderizing is completed by allowing it to free-fall upon jagged coastal rocks."

Being the astute hunter/historian beast master that I am, I allowed my spirit-corpse to scan the skies for sight of the monster that preformed this most horribus act upon my physical body. Nowhere in sight. Not even a small parting glimpse. I lay upon those jagged coastal rocks, heartbroken, burnt to a crisp.

As I comtemplated my current state, still scanning the skies somewhat in vain, my spirit eyes rested upon the most beautiful, heart-warming sight I ever did see. Behold!!!

Horde Base-Twilight Highlands
There was the Horde encampment, totally engulfed in flames. Burning brightly, no doubt completely littered with blackened Horde. Such a wonderous sight. I just had to allow my spirit to bask in it for a bit longer.

I'm sure many have had their run-in with Deathwing by now. Were you as excited about the end result as Khrox was viewing a blazing Horde Camp?

"Go with honor, friend"

12 July 2011

Off Day Post?

The Blizzard loading screen tooltip says something like, "Take everything in moderation, including World of Warcraft!" Hence, the creation of Tuesday maintenance days. Also known as: "You WILL give our servers a much needed break!!" I hear that even Ragnaros is complaining about the constant flow of raiders maiming, beating and killing their way towards his sanctum already.

In other news today. Sol has officially announced his retirement to his guild leader, and passed the family reins on to that fiesty dwarf hunter, Khrox. This didn't come as a surpirse to the guild, whom long expected the transition. There were a few laughs to go around, but overall there was a strong sense of understanding and support. Just some of the many things which make DUT such a great guild.

Khrox has boldly stepped up to the tasks at hand. He's proven to be a work-horse. A strong supporter of and leading contributor to the guild. He makes his rounds with a form of calculated precision and swiftness, while still hungering for more. Hmmm, 25 dailys? Is that all? He could easily double that without even breaking a sweat. Soloing and farming dungeons, hrumphhh. A walk in the park. Why just yesterday, a rather typical day for this BM hunter, 25/25 dailys, 90 achievement points, 30 honorable kills, 7 soloed dungeons, several hundred thousand points contributed towards guild level advancement, a good sized batch of DE fodder gathered for one guild mate and plans to assist another with some dungeon runs to gear and help level him. And this somewhat crazy dwarf was still looking for more to do?

A good part of this has to do with the class and spec, or so I think. BM dwarf hunters are just awesome, and only get better the more you learn how to play them. True though, any class/spec you play well seems and is awesome. It's finding that class/spec that "clicks" for you which can be a long journey constantly in progess.

When Khrox first came into the family, his intended roles were simply to provide some additional bank space, and dabble in the collection of rare pets. Those roles were his mainstay untill level 60, when he suddenly burst into maturity and started to really show his strengths. Before lvl 60, it was all fun and games. Outland and Northrend though were viewed as horrible grinds to run out of necessity. The straw that broke the camel's back though. Khrox hit up only those zones which were above level for him and stormed his way through them to reach 80. He left many things behind in his wake, undone. 80-85 was fun and challenging again. Four of the five zones were completed to achievement level, two of them were completely drained of quests. Along the way, mastering the class/spec was priority bound.

Well, I should think that I've babbled on enough for now. There is no real point to this post, nor is there any earth-shattering useful information to be had. If anything could possibly be considered useful here, it's that underlying thought about finding a class/spec that fits YOU, then don't forget to have fun mastering said class/spec. There are soooo many possibilities. And, don't be afraid of "Change." It is a constant entity, always around you.

Now get out there and reek havoc throughout Azeroth.......and beyond!

05 July 2011

Regulary Schedueled Maintenance, errr, Post

Game day maintenance. Servers down most all day = usually means blog post day. Read: "maybe means a regular real post day."

I have been a bit of a slacker here lately, what with Firelands calling/demanding so much of my attention. Khrox has been going places and doing things which Sol has only dreamed of. The new Hyjal Firelands dailys taking the forefront. He has pretty much mastered the art of survival and faction war in Tol Barad, gained all the gear and such he set goals for, and now only farms commendations there for the drake mount.

Khrox has also been running some random dungeon norms, testing the waters with his refined beast master powers. Some pretty dumb mistakes were made, like jumping off a platform in Vortex Pinnacle......without clicking on the whirlwind thingy. But overall, he ruled the damage done charts and delivered some pretty good dps. With confidence levels on a high, heroic modes are the next targets. Hopefully, a good long look inside Zul Gurub. Today's story isn't about Khrox though. He's merely the force behind the lacks of posts here. Today, the focus falls on Sol.

Be warned: Personal thoughts ahead, lightly seasoned with game, and simmered.

 As many regular readers will know, Sol was my first level capped character and main for the majority of my WoW lifetime. As a balanced spec'd Nelf Druid, he totally rocked solo play with only questing and moderate end of Wrath Wintergrasp appearances.

Where to go next?
 The worlds of Azeroth and beyond were good. Sol's 'playground' was expansive. Then, the Shattering and the age of 'guilds', decided to rock Sol's world. Sol did join a guild, but the realities of a new game in Azeroth set in rather hard for him. Class balanceing, buff this, nerf that, eclipse, new class mechanics, (the list goes on), all played a part in Sol's fall from grace. He no longer 'rocked Azeroth.'

One of the many scenic views Sol enjoys!

Always traveling........somewhere
 In all honesty though, it really wasn't the game changes that took this once great Druid down. After all, there are plenty of great players in Azeroth which prove daily, that boomkins still rock. Nope, not the game. The real shortcomings with Sol came from the faceless one punching the keyboard behind the scenes. This was devastating, to say the least. "I", was no longer good enough!

In times past here, I've taken a few light-hearted pokes at my "fragmented mind," and, shall we just say, "issues." (for lack of a possibly more appropriate term atm) Bottom line: I could no longer play Sol with any sense of efficientcy/compententcy. Sol's toolbox is a loaded bomb, and I could'nt find the fuse. /frustrated facepalm. With honor, Sol has quietly stepped aside, slipping into a state of semi-retirement within the Emerald Dream, providing what support he can for family and guild. Of the many adopted kids over his lifetime, two have aged well and strong. Of those two, Khrox now handles the familys' leadership role. Surely, he will have many stories to share with us along his journeys. In the meantime, Sol is taking a well deserved rest.

Solitude....as Solitude is
"Go with honor, friend."