Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Year in Review

Holy shit, i've been blogging for a year. I can hardly believe it. Looking back at the time since I first started blogging, I kind of find myself questioning what the hell i've been doing on here. Honestly, I am not really trying to *take* this blog anywhere. I just like having a place to ramble whenever the mood strikes me. The inspiration comes more often than others, which is why i've never tried to align myself with any kind of writing schedule. I can't force the word vomit that makes up my blog, and to try to do so would be... silly. For that same reason I sometimes have issues coming up with a topic to write for, but i've managed to never miss a deadline there, so take that as you will. There's always something worth talking about, but editorialziing like I do there doesn't exactly fit into.... whatever my theme for this blog is.

I write this blog for myself. I love it when people comment on my blog, or retweet my twitter announcements, or tell me what a good post they think I wrote, or whatever, but that isn't the big deal behind this blog. I don't feel like I owe my readership a post every day, or three times a week, or whatever. If it got to the point where I felt like I *had* to write here on a regular basis, to live up to some weird expectations, i'd probably give it up. I like babbling. If you've read this blog for any amount of time you know that. Hell, i'm babbling right now, for two paragraphs, without much real sentence structure. Such is life, and such is the life of my blog. This is a lot more stream of consciousness than it was probably intended to be when I first started writing a year ago, but it's the life this blog has evolved into, and i'd be silly to go against it.

So, as of April 23rd, this blog has existed for a year. I'm sure a lot of people do this big introspective post for their one year anniversary, but I don't do things a lot of people do... usually. I do what I want (it's a lot funnier if you picture that last line in Cartman's voice... damn my brain for leeching what's on the tv right now). Anyway, if you've been following me for the whole year... holy shit what are you still doing here? :D But thanks! And if you're a new reader... well thanks for stopping by! Hopefully I entertain you with my nonsensical jibberjabber, but if not it's cool too. I don't always ramble this much about nothing... just most of the time.

Also, I use way too many elipses. Sorry.

Friday, April 22, 2011


So, you may or may not notice (if you're reading this by a feeder, you should go to my actual page!) that I have a new header image. It's a giant, dead, 2-headed ogre... That's right motha fuckaz! We killed Cho'gall! Officially bringing *Stands In Bad* to 10/12 in normal modes.

In case you couldn't tell, i'm exceedingly happy about this. Cho'gall has been a cock-block for us for over a month now. So much so that we actually had to take a couple weeks away from plugging at him to clear our collective heads out. For a guild that's not a bunch of hardcore raiders, going in 2 weeks in a row and doing nothing for a day but throw ourselves against a wall of ogre.... it gets tiring. People make sloppy mistakes, they get burned out, they lose focus, they get irritable. It's really a difficult time for me, as a raid leader, to find out how to deal with 10 people who are so sick of the same shit... and really, I can't blame them. I was getting sick of doing the same boss. It's times like this that make me realize I am not the type to be in a real hardcore progression guild. I can only imagine how long the server firsters threw themselves at some bosses just for the sake of being... server first.

I don't have that kind of sanity. I like raiding 6 hours a week and not having to stress about whether i've got the mats for flasks or gold for repairs until tuesday. But all of that aside, we hadn't had a lot of real "failures" as far as our raiding progress goes. We had never spent more than a week or two on a boss once we went at him full tilt, so Cho'gall was especially frustrating to me, as raid leader. Aside from the fact that it is, expectedly, a much more difficult fight than any of the others we'd faced previously... it just felt like we would take 2 steps forward, than 2 steps back. We would make good, REAL progress, and then we'd slink backwards when we didn't kill him that time.

So, we took our 2 weeks away from him. Last week was our first time back, but we were running a bit slow on time, so we only had 30 minutes to chip away at him. Turns out those 30 minutes were just enough, really, for us to get angry at him again. Angry, but purposed. In the 3 or 4 attempts we threw at him last week, we got him to phase two, all but one time... A very good sign. So for THIS week we decided, on the surprisingly good advice of one of the guildies, to dedicate a two-hour block to JUST working on Cho'gall, and come hell or high water, when that 2 hours was up, we'd move on. After 2 hours of REALLY solid work, apparently there is something magical about the raid leader saying "This is our last shot before moving on" because i'll be damned if we didn't execute like a very angry, very FOCUSED, group. I haven't seen us that cohesive in a while. Sure there were miscues, but everything was just on. And we brought the fucker down.

Yeah... I'm proud of my group for that. Not just the other 9 people who finally managed to get us the kill, but everyone else who put in the work on chipping away at him for the last 5 or 6 weeks since we first stepped into his room. Every raider on my roster had a hand in it, whether they were there for the final result or not. So, let me just say thanks to all of you. Well deserved victory.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pugging, Hostility, and Silliness

I have been working on my death knight, a lot, lately. "Surprise, surprise" you might say... "Another alt"... Well yes, but it's not like that. I'm actually putting VERY serious consideration into making this alt my main. "¿Que?"... You heard me right folks. No this isn't going to be another rampaging post about how bad bears are, cause that's not the case at all. I still have a lot of fun with my bear, BUT, I think they are lacking heavily in the AoE department. Now, in 5-mans I can generally make up for that with the fact that i'm geared to the teeth, and most people in heroics... well... aren't...

Druids are bad at AoE threat. The worst, among the 4 tank specs. Pallies have always been kings, and that's fine. Now, Warriors have come to join the, adding some amazing mobility to the mix as well. Blood & Thunder (which spreads Rend to every target it hits when it's on one target), Thunderclap, Shockwave, lololol, heroic leap, and i'm sure there's something i'm forgetting. DKs as well, have pretty good AoE threat between Death and Decay and Blood Boil all over the place, not to mention all the disease spreads, and heart strike which hits 3 targets just off the cuff (although, admittedly, it shares a rune-cost with Blood Boil).

Bears, on the other hand, have 2.5 aoe abilities. There's thrash and swipe, both of which are on 6 second cooldowns, and there's Maul which i only consider half an aoe ability because it hits 2 targets, the 2nd one for half damage... Bleh. Now, in patch 4.1, they are buffing the damage of thrash and swipe, but lowering it's threat modifiers to compensate... wait what? I have to thrash, swipe, and maul just to keep threat on a few targets, just to outdo my pally offtank's consecrate/hammer of righteousness. And THAT doesn't even always work out well. He still manages to outaggro me pretty consistently in multi-target situations.

Let me reiterate that. They're taking the bear's weakest aoe ability (swipe), cutting it's cooldown in half (3s down from 6), and buffing it's damage... but to counteract the damage buff, they're lowering it's threat modifier. They're also taking our stronger (but still not that strong) other aoe ability (thrash), and buffing it's damage while lowering it's threat modifier. It just doesn't make a lot of sense. If we're struggling on aoe situations, why would they only give us what equates to a cooldown change on our weakest ability? Will it help? Sure, it will help some... but not to the extent that I think Blizzard is hoping it will.

Ah well. Aside from all this, in the process of gearing up, i've been pugging quite a bit to get some heroics out of the way... and much to my surprise i've had a pretty good time of it! I've run across people of all skill levels, good bad, and in between, but the REALLY shocking part is just how NICE everyone's been. And the fact that i've not had anybody leave any of my groups... Well no that's not true. Had a couple people go offline in a VP run I was in, but that wasn't becaues of any failures or anything. I even tanked Stonecore and the healers was like "WTB a group who doesn't fail on Ozruk"... well of course i'd learned that shit the *hard way* when Cata was new so I told him I knew how to tank it... and sure enough I didn't fail on it. He was like "Holy fuck i'm impressed"... Then of course, I go in and fail on the last boss by letting her drop a rock on my nose... sigh. Oh well, we all laughed about it, came in and kicked her ass a few minutes later.

Maybe this LFG call-to-arms shit won't be terrible... of course, i'm only gonna be tanking so i'm coming from a biased perspective. I totally meant to have a picture of my DK to put here, but I don't... So sue me.