Wednesday, December 10, 2008

This just in!

I was browsing around the official forums (something I would rather not do, but none of my favorite bloggers have any new content) and I found a really well-written post on the Healing forums, so I thought I'd share it. The OP calls healing the most difficult role in the game. I'd be inclined to agree. DPS often gets the glory of the kill ("Wow! I topped over 3.5k DPS!"). Sometimes it's the tank, but people hardly ever actually thank the healers, in my experience. I've gotten a "Good heals" every now and then, but no one has ever told me "Thanks, Myss, there's no way we could have done that without you." Healing is a pretty thankless job.

I pride myself in being able to look at health bars and know in a split second what would be the perfect heal to use, and in Wrath this got even harder. Before 3.0, the goal of priest healing was to use some rank of greater heal so that you would get the healee as close to full without actually going over, because those were wasted heals. Now, the goal is to heal them to full and over as little as possible. These goals may seem very similar; however, the difference is that when people are taking damage, their health is constantly going down (duh). This makes the pre-3.0 goal much easier (i.e. it was okay for you to heal when you knew it had a chance of overhealing, because odds were their health would fall below that level by the time the heal was actually cast). Post-3.0 you have to practically heal your target expecting around 1k health overheal or more in order to be as efficient as possible with your mana. It's mind-numbing. Not to mention that healing as a discipline spec is completely different.

So, I would like to take a moment to /applaud that poster and thank him/her for catching the eye of the devs. I don't think it actually did much good, but we'll see in the coming months...

Monday, December 8, 2008

Romance -- It's the devil

Sorry I haven't been posting for a while, but that's why I'm here now. I've finally hit 75 on Myssidia (the priest) and 65 on Myssidia (the Deathknight). I'm certainly not the slowest at leveling; however, I am moving at an awfully slow pace. Why? I'll tell you why.

A few months ago
My boyfriend broke up with me. It hurt a lot especially after I had given him four and a half years of my devotion. You didn't come here to listen to me whine about my love life, though. Well. You kinda did. The title should have given away some of what I intended to talk about. The point of all this is that I assumed that after the break-up I'd zoom zoom zoom to level 80 really quickly. Oddly enough. The exact opposite happened. I almost completely stopped playing.

I find myself logging on to my toons now more to socialize with my friends than to actually play. When my friends aren't on, I get bored within a few minutes and log out. The game just doesn't hold my interest anymore. I'm blaming it on romance.

But now...
A recent development in my life, though, I may be on my way to starting a new relationship. Sure maybe 4 months is a little fast, especially after just getting out of one as long as mine was, but, once again, not the point of this ramble. I've found myself wanting to play more. I know this isn't good because the guy I'm talking to isn't a gamer in the least bit. He thinks it's kinda cute that I'm a little nerdy (which I certainly am, I've threatened to start theory crafting with a friend of ours if he isn't careful), but I'm assuming that he won't like me playing late into the night like I used to. I'm also assuming that he won't like me on a strict raiding schedule. Uh oh.

The game isn't all that important to me, honestly. It's simply one of my more favorite diversions. So I could give it up, but that really isn't the point. I've just liked seeing the way I've handled the game while I was in my relationships. It's funny to me that at the exact time that I needed to stop playing as much, I've had more of an urge to do it (for about 5 hours straight today, something I haven't done since before Wrath). Not exactly as informative as my other posts. This one is certainly more selfish. Oh well. My blog, so I can be selfish every now and then. Also, I would like to say that I've discovered that dance music is making my WoW-time very fun.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Things that still excite me about Wrath!

First, I want to say that the things I said before, still do excite me about Wrath.  The problem is... I haven't been able to experience all of them yet!  So I wanted to start by saying, all of that other stuff that I already said, is still on this list.  So I'm going to start at number 10 and go to number 6, so that I'll now have a complete list of 10 things.  That seems to be the general consensus for list postings.  10 is the minimum.

10.  Death Knights

The quests are cool.  The abilities are cool.  There are way too many of them.  Understandably so, too, because the starting area is truly epic.  The one thing I dislike about rerolling characters is the idea that I have to go through the same starting quests.  Albeit the Deathknight quests will probably get old, too.  But the difference is you aren't just killing wolves.  You are serving the Lich King.  You are his hand of destruction on Azeroth.  He asks you to kill innocent people.  To murder them while they're running away.  You people on the alliance should be ashamed for willfully doing this.  I'm horde, so its okay.  And then he gives you awesome blue items for mercilessly killing these people (It's good to be with the King).  But really, Blizzard did an awesome job with their first hero class.  I can't wait for the next one! Healing class, please!

9.  The Forsaken

They were always cool.  Always my favorite race.  If I could, I would change Myssidia from a blood elf to a forsaken (no I wouldn't, she's too pretty).  But they have an even more prominent role in this expansion.  Possibly more prominent than Hellscream Jr.  The Forsaken were created because of Arthas and Lich King.  It was the initial plague of the Lich King that created them, and through their own willpower (with some help from their resident bad ass) that they were able to break free of the Scourge and become a free-thinking society of undead people.  The best part about Forsaken quests? They're deliciously evil.  I mean, in the Howling Fjord I killed dwarves.  But that wasn't it! Oh no.  I also had to harvest their brains for study.  So I killed them then I used a hacksaw to cut open their heads.  I'm in love.

8.  The Landscapes

Two words: simply beautiful.  Now more than two words.  The most amazing thing about Northrend is that it is so real (besides the forest made out of crystals and the forest that never stops burning and all the dragon skeletons).  But the forests look like a forest I've walked through.  The massive, high scaling cliffs look like cliffs I've touched before.  It's so amazing that everything I see awes me.  Azeroth is nice, but it feels like an alien world.  Then to go from that to Outland was an amazing jump into even more alien.  But, it's so incredible to be brought back down to "earth."  It feels like I'm walking through the real world.  The colors are right.  The images are right (for the most part).  Northrend is beautiful.

7.  The Vrykul

Why? Because of the names of their cities.  They are fun to say!  Okay that's a little silly, but seriously... Say "Gjalerbron"(gyalerbron) out loud right now.  Say it again.  See how rolls right off the tongue?  Even more importantly is the fact that everything about Northrend and the vrykul is steeped in a faux Norse Mythology that's just incredibly fun to play in.  Everytime I see a Valkyr I think about bugs bunny.  Is that an odd thing to say?

6.  The Epicness

This is something that they are certainly pushing in this expansion.  From the time I set foot on the continent I can feel the presence of the Lich King.  There are dead things chasing after me.  And I see him popping up all over the place.  All of the quests are basically pushing toward some major encounter with the Lich King.  In Outland, Illidan was a problem, but he wasn't that thing that always clung to the back of your mind.  All of the quest givers didn't remind you how Illidan destroyed your families, your hometown, or possibly your life (if you're a forsaken).  Arthas is the bad guy I've been waiting for.  He's that goal that's always there.  I can't wait to take him out.

There we have it.  Right now Myss is only level 72, because I've been dealing with a lot of personal issues.  But hell, that's why I'm a casual gamer right? Personal issues are more important than "gogogo 80." I kinda feel like I'm letting my guild down by not rushing to 80 as fast as possible so that I can participate in the raiding like everyone else, but I'm hoping that I can catch up within the next week (maybe 2).

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I lied again.

Well not really. My other post is already written, but not on this computer. It'll be here soon. Very soon. Tonight after class probably. But until then I have a musing (a musing does not necessarily mean it is amusing). I was thinking earlier today that I read a lot about healing. I know a lot about healing. Maybe not as much as some of the other people in my guild, but I'm also very good at healing. Should I ask if there is anyway I could be named the healing "role" leader for my guild? I mean we don't raid all that much, and this would require me to get on a schedule to raid more than I used to. I find this idea very attractive though. I mean... in Kara when one of our tanks who wasn't quite at the defense cap was taking heavy heavy spikey damage and the direct healers (me and the shaman) were having trouble keeping her up, I took control and told the druid (who was on raid heals for some odd reason) to switch with the shaman. We didn't have troubles after that. So maybe what I mean to say is that... I care more about doing the job in the most efficient way possible than my raid leaders. I'll talk to one of the officers tonight.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I lied

So... I lied.  About not making a Deathknight so fast.  As soon as I installed Wrath, I had a discussion with myself.  I decided that (and please forgive me, this is going to get sappy) I would prefer to spend my first few hours of wrath with my family on Lightbringer (the nonraiding guild) than with my family on Kirin Tor (the raiding guild).  =] It was time well spent.  So in order to actually experience Wrath content over there (since none of my characters were 70) I *had* to make a DK.  The quests are epic.  I love justifications.

On a side note:  Sorry for not updating in a long time (all of you devoted readers lawl), but I'm going through a pretty harsh break up right now.  Four and half years all for nothing.  =] Luckily It's been over for long enough and I'm just optimistic enough to be okay now.  I'm going to try and do a longer post on Wrath stuff soon.  Like when the next few days.  Maybe.  (possible title: Things that Still Excite me About Wrath?)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

5 Reasons Wrath of the Lich King Excites Me

I know, I know.  Five things don't sound like very much, but honestly when sitting down to think about things, I couldn't think of a full ten that either haven't already been covered already or aren't that exciting anymore (e.g. talents and spells are already being experienced).  I mean, sure, I'll probably roll a death knight within the first week.  But it's not one of the more exciting things in Wrath.  Plus, this blog is supposed to be more or less about casual playing (casual raiding, specifically), so I want to hit on things that interest me as a casual player.

5. New Gear!

I'm not just talking about stuff with stats on it... I mean... That's pretty cool too, in fact, many classes are going to be itemizing completely differently from what we did in TBC. For priests part, I'm not in the beta so I can't be certain, but from what I've seen, it looks like int, crit, mp5 might take priority over all the spirit we're now using. Like I said, not positive, because we still get an awful lot from spirit, but the mechanics of shadowfiend and replenishment... and... hell... practically every other mana regen effect in the game now goes off of a percentage of your mana. This means the more mana you have, the more you get out of these effects. But also, we're travelling into a different land, something completely different from vanilla WoW and TBC. This new place has a bunch of Norse influence, so I'm looking forward to the weapon/armor designs that are coming up.

4. New Storylines

Some of them don't sound too interesting. DEHTA... really? But besides that... the Forsaken having a huge role? That's awesome. My very favorite race is the Forsaken, and Sylvanas is bad ass. Have you all seen her new look? I'm thouroughly impressed and excited that they brought her back to her Dark Ranger looks, instead of the rediculous Night Elf thing that she was. Besides that, though, they seem to be using this expac to go back to the roots of what Warcraft is: a game that is steeped in incredible lore. For TBC, they had to more or less pull some things out of their ass. I personally don't see why the horde got the blood elves. I mean, my main is a blood elf, but I thought it was a horrible twist of the lore in order for it to happen. And the draenei? What dev thought of that? All that aside, what I'm looking forward to is a return to the incredible lore that WoW is based on.

3. New Raids

This is in the middle of the list for me because, honestly, I haven't raided that much and I don't suppose I know what I'm missing. From a story stand-point I feel like such a heel for not ever doing Tempest Keep, Serpent Shrine, Black Temple, Sunwell, or Mount Hyjal. Especially Mount Hyjal. I probably will never experience these places that are so rich with story. Now we're getting more raids dealing with things Lich Kingy... and I wants them. I wants them bad.

2. New Mechanics

Specifically, new raid mechanics.  I'll be the first to admit that I didn't get to do that many raids, but the few that I did get to do were incredibly fun.  Why? Because each boss fight had its own set of mechanics that you had to know or be screwed.  And when the raid all knew what to do, it acted like a well-oiled machine.  And half the fun about that is learning how to become that well-oiled machine.  Sometimes there are wipes on the way to that, but its fun getting there (20 g repair bills and 2 hours worth of corpse running aside).  I'm looking forward to new raids with new boss mechanics to learn about.  I've already begun reading up on boss strategies for Naxx.  Maybe this is cheating, but I'm hoping that I can take those 20 gold down to 10.

1. Non/Heroic Raids

This, above everything else, goes the furthest to reaching out to casual players like myself in this expansion.  I suppose I could have joined a more hardcore raiding guild, but honestly, I don't have the time to devote to that.  So there is a lot of game content that I couldn't see.  A lot of stories that I couldn't see.  This is all going to change, though.  In Wrath, every raid.  Every raid will be 10-mannable.  I've been more excited about this than absolutely every other change that's coming along.  This is so exciting to me that I can barely hold myself back from squealing like a girl.  If only they had done it before... I could have been able to see Illidan, Kael'thas, or Vashj.  But that's okay.  Because I'll be able to kill Arthas.  He is probably the single most horrid character in all of video gamedom.  And in my head (not outloud, my guildies would make fun of me) I will be celebrating his death.  I will mentally be screaming "For Sylvanas! For King Menethil!" as I take all of his glorious loots.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Friends and the Game

There is a major problem that I have experienced many times during mystint as a WoW player (since Nov 06). I began playing with an even more casual attitude than I have now. I didn't have a single max-level character until about two weeks after patch 2.4 came out. I know right? What the hell is wrong with me? Since then, though, I have had some problems. The thing about a game, MMOs specifically is that they are people based. It doesn't matter if you say that the primary reason you play a game (any game) for the single player game; games are created under the assumption that, at some point, more than just one person will go into the doings of the game. Okay, that's probably incredibly too broad, but it's generally the truth. Sorry, back to WoW, the reason you're here.

I became a member of this guild, still my favorite guild I've ever been in, called Show us Your Crits. I know, classy, right? Well the purpose of the guild wasn't pvp or raiding or anything specifically. It was just a bunch of people that have been playing since the game's inception who wanted to play with friends. These people quickly became some of my best friends and I just couldn't stay away from the game, not to play necessarily, but to be able to talk to friends. I became frustrated though, I could tell that I had some modicum of talent in my class of choice and wanted to try a little something harder, so I ended up pugging many Kara runs. These runs were largely successful, and I soon had so many invites from various raiding guilds that my head was spinning. I didn't want to leave my some of my best friends, though, and here is my problem.

Should I stay with the people that have helped me enjoy my time on WoW?


Should I seek greener pastures and ultimately more bad-ass lootz?

I suppose it looks like I'm probably priveleging one over the other, but I'm really not. This is a question that truly bothered me for months, because while I love my guild and I love the people and I love the things they were doing, it was filled with too many lazy people to actually progress anywhere (e.g. 5 hour Kara stints wiping on trash countless times). So I've thought to myself that this is probably a problem that keeps most casual players from starting to do the things that will actually help them enjoy the game.

The thing about being a casual player is that your allegiance ultimately goes to your life. Your children, your job, your spouse, or your real-life friends are all, in a major way, more important to you than the progression of a game. So you think that you don't have the time or the ability to commit to a regular progression/farming schedule. Therefore, you, the average casual player, tend to stick to a guild because you have friends in the guild. You see that leaving them would be likened to treason.

My answer to this question is: TAKE BOTH. Okay, I suppose you people haven't figured out how to clone your characters yet, but I'll come down to your level and pretend that I *can't*. Your character is not you. You are the person talking to those people not your character. I love the people I met in Crits (in fact, I have the guild leader's cellphone number and she is quickly becoming one of my best and closest friends), but I can just as easily keep in contact on other characters. Other characters which I am attempting to level so that I can start actually doing things with these guys again (I just despise levels 40-45 and 50-55). My main, though, transfered to a new server where I was gladly accepted, and have been raiding ever since. Kara, ZA, Gruul, Mag all down. And I'm fine with the fact that all I do is 10-mans and the easy 25-mans. It can become more than I can handle with just those.

Coming Soon: Things that excite me about WotLK!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

1st Post!

Welcome to A Casual Encounter.  Sounds dirty, doesn't it?  Let me get started with the basics:  my name is Garry.  I play World of Warcraft.  Surprisingly, this doesn't mean I don't have a life.  I go to school as a full time student.  I am an English major, with an emphasis on creative writing.  I hope to be a poet someday.  Probably not a very good one, but if I can teach a little and get some poems published, I'll be happy.  I also work.  Twenty hours a week I work at a library where I help my students learn to read, obtain their GED, or obtain citizenship.  The rest of my time is spent studying, writing, talking to my boyfriend, helping my parents run our family restaurant, and playing World of Warcraft.  The reason I started this blog was twofold.

I want to talk about the things I read.  I read a bunch of blogs... most of them I agree with (why else would I read them?).  Sometimes I just like to talk about things.  World of Matticus, World of Snarkcraft, WoWInsider (I may have stolen the name of the blog... I need to check on that and change the name if that is the case.  Stay tuned, I don't like the possibility of lawsuits), and etc.  are written by wonderfully talented people.  Yet, the problem I see is that most of them are hardcore raiders.  Which brings me to my second point...

I want to talk about raiding as a casual player.  Casual players have a lot of things that they have to deal with.  Work, school, family--Life in general plays a huge part in what they do, but, as Jov said in a recent World of Snarkcraft article casual players "aren't stupid." And I'm not.  I don't want to toot my own horn, but I haven't found many priests on my server that can do what I do as well as I do.  I've been on PuG runs with T6 geared priests that have been amazed at how well I could do with the resources I have available to me.  I don't have the time or the resources to be able to do T6 raids, and, to me, having fun with a group of people I like is better than playing a game that feels like an occupation.  And takes about as much time.  I don't know how much I'll actually be able to talk about.  Hopefully this doesn't turn in to me talking about my personal life too much.  However, being primarily about casual players, stuff will get introduced every now and then.


My character:  Myssidia, level 70 Blood Elf Priest.  Kirin Tor server.  

Yes... that is one green and one blue.  The rest are epics.  That should show that I am at least somewhat devoted to what I do.  =]  That's all for tonight.  Soon: My first serious post!