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Taken at the Moment of my Death

August 30, 2013

Our guild is now 10/13 heroic Throne of Thunder.  The only bosses we have left to kill are H. Dark Animus, H. Lei Shen and Ra-Den.  It would be nice if we could get them down before 5.4 drops, but there’s not a lot of time left.  Also, these encounters are HARD.

Like, “Well, at least we’re wiping quickly” hard.

Heroic Dark Animus Wipe 2Stomping on our bodies to add insult to injury.

Last night Dark Animus went something like this:

OW!  Ow ow ow!  Why are they hitting so hard?!  Oh god, why?!?!

SPLAT!  Tank dead.

SPLAT SPLAT SPLAT!  One healer and two DPS dead.

RUN AWAY!  Try to brez someone but– SPLAT!  Now I’m dead.

“This is a wipe guys.”  NO, REALLY?!?!?

“You have wiped on Heroic Dark Animus at 1 min 4 sec.  You have 20 wipes on this difficulty.”

…Thanks for rubbing it in, boss mod.

Beautiful Image of Death

In between wipes I was chatting with Prinnie from That Was an Accident! on Real ID and she reminded me to take some epic screenshots of fail to post for everyone to enjoy.  I’m usually really terrible about remembering to hit Print Screen, especially when I’m in combat.  (I mean, come on, I’m trying to keep everyone alive, hitting Print Screen is dangerous!)  But there were a few moments (warning: understatement!) when death was inevitable and it really didn’t matter if I stopped to document our demise.  Though I had to be quick, because the wipes happened so darn FAST.

My favourite is this one.  I think it really gives a sense of what a clusterfuck last night was.

Heroic Dark Animus WipeI don’t think healers are supposed to have aggro on ALL the things.

I’m taking melee hits of over a million.  Also, I grabbed the shot just as I died.  Xperl is showing me as dead but Healbot hasn’t quite got the memo yet.

We did improve over the course of the evening though.  We’re hoping that if we get the first two minutes of the fight down the rest will be relatively easy.  *fingers crossed*

Heroic Twin Consorts Kill Video

July 11, 2013

I know this video is long, but I just love how even on progression our raid atmosphere is usually so calm and full of banter.  And if nothing else, you should really skip forward to about the 10:15 minute mark for some after combat hilarity.

 

I have a whole list of blog posts I want to write.  I really need to get around to writing them…

FEAR THE TREE!

July 2, 2013

As many of you know, I play a Resto Druid, aka, a Tree.  Trees aren’t known for their offensive capabilities.  We do have a few DPS options now, but not many.  It’s a running joke with me to yell, “FEAR THE TREE!” and then run up to something and start tree-punching it in the face for a little extra DPS from time to time.  At least one friend ironically refers to me as Scary Tree.

So today a friend and I were discussing what raid boss we would most like to be, and I naturally said a giant Tree of Doom.  I would scream, “CAN YOU OUT DPS MY HOTS, MORTALS?!?! I THINK NOT!!!!”

My friend replied, “If this were your base model, I’d be sold, ” and linked me the image behind the cut.

(Beware, madness lies within…)

Read more…

Hunter Pet Raid Buffs and Debuffs — A Handy Chart

June 10, 2013

I’m in UR Woods, Shootin’ UR Mobs

Kami and Penumbra Small

For the last few days I’ve been leveling my Hunter and oh man, is it ever fun!  I’d almost forgotten how easy everything seems as a Hunter.  Round up a dozen mobs and nuke them down?  Why yes, I can do that.  So far my pet has only died once to an overzealous pull, and by that time there were only two mobs left so I finished them off myself with no problem.  Run across a Pandaria rare spawn?  No worries!  I don’t even have to bother about most mechanics because my pet eats the damage while I stand safely at a distance.  I’m not even Beast Mastery — I’m specced Survival and just use the Glyph of Misdirection to keep aggro on my pet.  It’s awesome!

Not to mention all the taming of new pets, of course.  Whoever convinced Blizzard to expand the pet stable to 50 slots has my undying gratitude!  I randomly came across tracks for Savage,  the Hunter-only rare spawn white tiger, and totally managed to tame him!  It was an adrenaline pumping experience — the dark green tracks were so hard to see on the green Jade Forest background and I kept getting jumped and dismounted by nearby mobs — but I eventually caught him in my flare and got him.  I was so excited!  I renamed him Penumbra and he’s my new favorite pet.

I’ve also picked up a few other pets, but I won’t bore you with a full list of them.  Suffice to say that I’m starting to worry that 50 slots won’t be enough.

Oh, and I went out and tamed one of every color of Pandaria tiger, just so I could have a rainbow Stampede.  It’s hilariously epic.

Kami Rainbow of TigersOf course, getting them all to face the same direction is like… herding cats.  *Ba-doom TISH*

Yeah, Yeah, Enough With the Stories, Where’s This Chart You Promised?

So as I was running around collecting 10 different colored Cats, I started to wonder what pets I really need for providing group buffs.  I mean, what if I fill my stable with adorable Cats and then discover I have to abandon a bunch of them to make room for Sporebats and Spiders?  To find out which pets I still needed to collect I decided to make myself a handy-dandy chart.  This chart includes the minimum number of pets a Hunter needs to cover every necessary raid buff or debuff, which buff/debuff each pet brings, what other classes/specs bring the same buff/debuff and then, for my own reference, which pets I have that could cover each one.

Before I post my chart I need to acknowledge the two sources of information that I combined together:

  1. The Hunter Pets Buff List and the Best Hunter Pets by Frostheim of the Warcraft Hunter’s Union
  2. Mists of Pandaria Buffs and Debuffs by Zarac on WoWhead.

This may not be the prettiest formatting ever, but it’s concise and (hopefully) easy to read.  I hope someone out there finds it useful!

Hunter Pets and Raid BuffsClick to embiggen.

If you want to download the Excel spreadsheet for your own use, click here: Hunter Pets and Raid Buffs Downloadable.  If it opens as Read Only just use “Save As” and you’ll be able to edit it.

A Few Additional Notes

There are three Buffs/Debuffs not listed on the chart:

  1. Attack Power (+10% melee and ranged attack power). Brought passively by all Hunters, so if you’re a Hunter and you’re in a group, good job.
  2. Weakened Blows (-10% physical damage done).  This is provided by every tank spec.  If your raid doesn’t have any tanks then, um… good luck?  But if you really want to have your bases covered then a Bear or a Carrion Bird can provide it.
  3. Mortal Wounds (-25% healing received).  I figure this is more of a PvP debuff, and if there’s ever an encounter that requires it you can cover it yourself with Widow Venom.  But, again, if you want to cover your bases a Devilsaur will provide it, but you’ll need to be Beast Mastery to tame one.

If anyone who plays a Hunter as a main sees any errors, please let me know.  Also, I use Open Office instead of Excel, so let me know if the spreadsheet gives you any formatting errors.

That Guild Tier 15 Outtakes

May 13, 2013

Since I haven’t been so good about updating this blog, you all may or may not know that my guild <That Guild> is currently 1/13 heroic ToT.  We really should be 2/13 by now, but we’ve had a bunch of people get sick, or go on vacation, or have real life bite them in the ass recently.  *sigh*  We got heroic Ji’kun down to 10%, which means we are soooo close to a kill.  We just need life to stop happening, dammit.

Anyway, we’ve been frapsing all our kill videos, which I’ve never gotten around to posting, because at this point I’m not sure if I should give each one their own post + write up (which sounds like a lot of work), or just post them all at once (which sounds like something no one would bother watching).  I suppose I should just buckle down and do a bunch of write ups, because maybe they’d help some guilds that are still working on the bosses.  I’m just so lazy.

Where was I going with this?  Oh, right.

So, we all know progression raiding is serious business, right?  Well, not so much if you happen to be in our guild.  Behold!  Our Tier 15 Normal Outtakes!

 

Yeah… That’s our guild atmosphere right there.  LOL

Title My Toons (Plus Bonus Chibis!)

May 7, 2013
tags: ,

Repgrind recently shared the titles her alts are using and asked what titles everyone else wears and why they wear them.  I figure my reply is pretty long for a comment, and also that I need to blog more often, so I’m turning my response into a post instead.

Also, it gives me the chance to use these chibis that I made but never posted before.  Two birds with one post!  (That’s the saying, right?)

Kashina (Druid, main)

Kashina Chibi Blue

Kash usually wears “Starcaller” because I love it and it definitely suits her Boomkin spec.  (Starfall, anyone?)  However, when I earn a new title on her I usually wear it for a few days and then go back to Starcaller.  At the moment she’s wearing “the Flamebreaker” because I was randomly scrolling through my titles and thought that one sounded cool.

I talked about her chibi in a previous post.  It was not easy to make her look like a Tauren.

Karalina (DK)

Karalina Chibi

Kara is wearing “of the Nightfall” because she’s all dark and emo like that.

I think this chibi looks frighteningly close to the way Kara appears in my head.  Even the armor looks very much like her DK starting gear, which she’s currently using for transmog.

Kimea (Pally)

Both Kimeas

Kimmy uses “Crusader” because, well, she’s a Paladin and she thinks very highly of herself.

Two versions of Kimea, loosely based on her current transmog sets.  On the left is her red Ret set, and on the right is her blue Holy set.  I love her transmog sets so much!  I should really post them here sometime…

Kaylira (Priest)

Kaylira Chibi

Kay wears “Twilight Vanquisher”.  I’m honestly not sure why.  Maybe because she’s Disc/Holy and vanquishes the dark through her use of the light?

I think “Merrymaker” and “of Thunder Bluff” would also work well for her.

For Kay’s chibi I completely abandoned any attempt at recreating her awesome (and Mog Madness award winning) transmog set and just tried to capture the essence of her personality.  I think I did a good job of that, if I do say so myself, but it bothers me a little that I couldn’t make her look like a spotted cow.  :(

Khizzara (Mage)

Khizzara Chibi

Khizz is wearing “the Explorer” because I imagine her as someone who wants to learn about everything, especially if she can figure stuff out for herself.  That’s why she has both alchemy and engineering as professions, and why she studies magic in the first place.

I also think this chibi really captures the essence of Khizzara’s being.  :D

Kamilee (Hunter)

Kamilee Chibi

Kami has the “Dragonslayer” title because it’s super cool and seems to fit a hunter.  “The Love Fool” might also work for her personality.  (Don’t let the fur mislead you — Kami is hot stuff!)

It was difficult enough to make Tauren with the chibi maker, but Worgen?!  Not a chance.  So I chibified Kami’s human form instead.  But at least she gets to keep her fangs!  There were also no bow options for weapons.  WTF, chibi maker?  That seems like a huge fantasy oversight to me.

Kaeliss (Shaman, bank alt)

Kaeliss

Kae is wearing “Flame Keeper”, both because it has an elemental, shaman-type feel to it, and also because she sits in the city “keeping the home fires burning”, as it were.  She could also wear “of Thunder Bluff”, since that’s where she lives at the moment, or “the Patient”, since she’s the second toon I rolled and has been waiting for her time in the spotlight ever since.  Poor girl.

I really struggled to chibify Kaeliss.  None of the options available seemed to suit her.  I must have made at least 6 versions before settling on this one.  For this version I went for a classy, business-like, bank-alt vibe.  Not sure I nailed it.  Also, not sure you can tell she’s a troll.  And they didn’t have anything like her 3-mohawk hair style.  :(

Kaija (Monk)

Kaija

Kaija is “the Seeker”, as she is seeking to learn the way of the monk and find her place in Azeroth.

Oh god, making a red panda chibi is also difficult!  The chibi maker does have a panda base, but it’s a black-and-white panda, which definitely wouldn’t have been Kaija.  So I used the tiger base and just hid all the stripes.  >.>  Still not sure you could tell she’s a red panda without already knowing that’s what she is.

Korrina (Warrior)

Korrina Chibi

Korrina uses the “Ambassador” title.  She negotiates with her axe and tends to come to beneficial arrangements (for herself).

A female Orc warrior was surprisingly easy to chibify.  Currently she’s Arms and using a big heirloom axe, but there were no axe options, so I was like, meh, one day I’m sure she’ll try Fury.

Frankoz (aka Frank: Warlock, curmudgeon)

Frank Chibi

Ah, Frank.  Titles that would be appropriate for Frank would probably include “Elder”, “the Hallowed”, or even “the Patient”.  (He bides his time…)

“Farmer” would be absolutely ideal for him, but sadly he needs to level up a good deal more before he has access to it.

Of course, Frank being Frank he would much rather wear an ironic title than an appropriate one.  He was sorely tempted by “the Love Fool”, but eventually settled on “Merrymaker.”

I had so much fun chibifying Frank!  He looks so pretty in all the fancy dresses!  XD  In this version, I like to think he was invited to the annual Warlock’s ball, and this is his idea of “fancy dress”.

The Real-Life Cost of Running a Guild

May 2, 2013

Neri over at Neri Approves has been wondering why everyone seems to assume that guild leaders should be responsible for paying for guild hosting services.  This issue has come to a head for her because she has been feeling burnt out.  She decided to stop raiding and take a step back from the game and now finds herself feeling a bit resentful about having to pay the cost of her guild website and voice chat when she’s no longer using them.

I commented on Neri’s specific situation on her blog post, but I also wanted to answer her in more depth here.

Why Guild Leaders Are Generally Expected to Pay for Guild Hosting Services

Boss Lady Trixel

Guild services tend to be more secure and stable when provided by the guild leader.  In fact, most guild leaders I’ve known have been very reluctant to give up control of the guild website/voice services to another random member.  I have been in a couple of guilds where a member other than the guild leader was paying for the services, and while it worked for the most part there were issues that came up when that member changed guilds or quit the game.  Guild leaders had to scramble to replace services or gain administrative access to them, in one case having to create a new guild website from scratch when the website provider disappeared.  In contrast, when guild leadership changed we had smoother transitions as the outgoing guild leader handed over the metaphorical keys to the new leader.

The guild leader owns the guild and provides access to it and the guild services to the members.  Providing these services helps to strengthen the guild, attract new members and retain old members.  These are the goals of the guild leadership, not necessarily the guild members.  (Though you could certainly argue that members SHOULD have those goals in mind.)

Why Guild Members Are Reluctant to Pay Up

Lazy Goblins

Should the guild members be willing to contribute money to the guild?  Ideally yes… but most are probably not going to be.  After all, from their perspective: Why should they be paying for something most guilds provide for free? For a guild they don’t really “own”?  When they don’t know if they can commit to the responsibility or if they don’t know if the guild will be a good fit for them?  When they are already paying a subscription fee just to play the game?

If members don’t have PayPal they may find it a hassle to set up a method of payment.  They may also wonder how they can be sure they aren’t being overcharged, or that the money is actually going to the guild hosting cost instead of lining the pockets of an unscrupulous guild master.  New members in particular might balk at being required to donate money when they don’t know anyone yet and aren’t sure they’ll want to stick around.  If they join and discover they’ll be expected to contribute to the real-life guild fund they may turn around and walk right out the door again.

How Would Guild Leaders Even Collect Funds From Members?

Goblin Bank

Requiring members to pay for guild services seems rather complicated to me.  If you ask, say, every raider to cough up $1 a month, how do you organize that?  Do you have them pay on a per month basis, in which case they may not want to pay any transaction fees on such a small amount, or may feel like the contribution is too small to really be necessary?  Do you ask them to each pay $12 per year (meaning that each member essentially pays for one month of the service)?  If so, do you ask for it at the beginning of each year (which might make people balk if they aren’t sure they’ll play for the entire year), or do you assign each player a month and ask them to pay at the beginning of it?

What do you do if someone can’t/won’t pay?  If some people who pay feel resentful toward those who don’t pay?  If someone with limited funds feels guilty or embarrassed about being unable to contribute (to the point where they might leave the guild to avoid having to deal with issues of payment).  What about under-aged members who might need parental permission to contribute?  How do you track who’s donated and who hasn’t?  How do you penalize someone who doesn’t contribute?

If you just ask nicely for donations, what do you do if you don’t get any/enough?  Do you cut off the service?  (Possibly irritating your members.)  Eat the cost yourself?  (In which case, what’s the motivation for people to donate?  Will you feel resentful of this?)  Do you provide incentives for donating, like in-game rewards?  What if it’s the same one or two people paying the cost every month?  Will they start to feel resentful of the free-loading members?

Honestly, to me it seems like more of a hassle to get money from guild members than to just pay for the service yourself.  It’s possible that I’m just a pessimist though… If someone has experience with a successful guild donation program please explain it in the comments!

What if the Guild Leader Honestly Can’t Pay?

Poor Goblins

Obviously, if the guild leader is financially unable to pay for guild services other arrangements would have to be made.  I can think of four possible solutions to the problem:

  1. Have a trusted officer or long-time guild member take over payment.  This seems like the simplest option to me, though finding someone willing and able to do so might not be easy.  Approaching people individually is probably more likely to work than just issuing a blanket request for a volunteer.  (In the same way that telling a specific bystander to call 9-1-1 is more effective than just yelling for anyone to do so.)  This also has the benefit of minimizing the embarrassment a guild leader might feel about having to ask for financial help.
  2. Ask your guild members for donations.  Explain what the cost will be and exactly what services/features the money will provide.  I have no experience in handling this sort of situation, but I imagine that it would be necessary to track the level of donations somewhere your members can see it, (on the guild website, message of the day, etc), so that everyone knows where they stand and how urgent the need is.
  3. Look for free alternatives.  Do your members really need and use all the premium features of your website?  Maybe your members would be open to using Facebook or another social media platform instead of a traditional guild forum.  Can you find a free voice client somewhere?
  4. Do without.  Especially if your guild is a leveling guild or more casual/social guild you may not need any guild hosting services at all.  If your members complain you can tell them to feel free to donate!

What if I Can Pay, But I Resent These Free-Loading Slugs I Call My Guildies?

Begging

Ideally, I think every guild leader (or officer) should be providing guild services because they want to do so — because they enjoy being the bearer of guild perks and take pride in the thriving guild community they help create.  But if you’re starting to feel like guild hosting is a chore or a burden then it’s probably time to step back and re-evaluate what you find fun about the game.

First of all, is the burden a financial one?  If you’re stressing out about being able to afford to pay for your guild website, maybe you should pass the burden on to someone else.  WoW is a game and your other financial responsibilities should definitely come first.

If money is not the real issue, then maybe you’ve taken on too much responsibility within your guild.  Are you resentful of having to do all the recruiting, scheduling, raid leading, loot mastering, guild bank management, etc, etc?  Maybe it’s time to start delegating some responsibilities to the other officers.

Or perhaps you are just burnt out and have lost interest in the game entirely.  In that case, you should consider taking a break.  Hand over leadership to someone else, transfer ownership of the guild hosting to the new leader, and let THEM deal with paying for everything.

Maybe you just feel that if everyone benefits from the services then everyone should help pay for them.  This is a perfectly legitimate viewpoint!  However, you might find it difficult to convince your members to contribute.  Resenting your guildmates is never healthy for you or your guild atmosphere, so you should probably talk to your members and encourage them to donate.  The good news is that if you create a guild full of members who are generous with their donations you probably have some quality people in your guild!

Should Guild Leaders Be Expected to Pay for Guild Hosting?

Boss Mida

I guess this was Neri’s original question, and instead I’ve mostly explained why people expect guild leaders to be the ones that pay.  But should guild leaders be the ones to pay?  I suppose the answer to this question is “not necessarily”.  However, the guild ultimately belongs to the guild leader, who has the ultimate responsibility for everything about the guild.  If the officer paying for the website /gquits in the middle of the night and turns your website into a SWTOR site the next day, guess who your members will expect to fix the situation?  If you don’t get enough donations for the vent server this month guess who they’ll expect to come up with the shortfall?  Sure, the members might help, but in the end… it’s on the guild leader.

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