Departure

Cynwise has had to step away from Warcraft for health reasons. This is having a rather enormous impact on me emotionally – I have a lot of feelings around loss lately, and I think this is bringing them back to the surface. Realistically I know it’s going to be ok – he is doing what he has to do, and he is not completely gone from my life, we still have Twitter and email and all of that.

He wrote a really fantastic story about Cynwise’ departure from Waypoint, which you can find here – and you really should read it.

Below is a short piece I wrote about this.

A Surprise Letter

Yeliz had been camped out in Stormwind, supplying Waypoint with flasks and potions for their work down in Pandaria. As she packed up her latest shipment to Ilithia, she found herself daydreaming of her time on the battlefield with Cynwise and Rosavin. Maybe it was time to get back out and join the fun.

She headed for the mailbox and sent boxes off to Ilithia and Maeli. The packages she had received were the usual – herbs from Maeli, potions from Katze, a few unsold auctions. But there was also a letter from Visper.

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She set the boxes down and began to read the letter. It was short and to the point – as was Visper’s way – but it took Yeliz’ breath away. There was no real explanation, no extraneous information. A simple statement of fact.

“Cynwise is no longer with Waypoint.”

Yeliz found herself sitting on the Stormwind sidewalk. She simply could not stand up. She re-read the note several times, as if somehow the contents would change. A familiar voice suddenly caught her attention.

“Yeliz? Yeliz what are you doing?”

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She looked up. From her position on the ground, the night elf in front of her looked enormously tall. Slowly standing up, she looked Maeli in the eye and said quietly, “Cynwise is gone.”

“Gone? What do you mean gone?” Maeli snatched the letter out of the death knights hand. Much as Yeliz had, she reread the note several times. When she looked up, she was paler than any night elf Yeliz had ever seen. “Come with me,” Maeli muttered. “We’re going to see Visper.”

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They headed for the Waypoint guild house, knowing Visper would likely have no answers for them, but not knowing what else to do.

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Kingslayer

Back in 2010, Maeli still lived on Silver Hand, in a guild that barely played anymore, never mind raiding. But Silver Hand is the home of Leftovers, a really amazing organization/community for raiding. I hooked up with a raiding group called Gonna Die! and started raiding ICC. I had done a couple of TotC pugs, but ICC was my first real raiding experience. This group had Lower Spire on farm when I joined up, but past that we were still learning fights. They were a great, fun group of people and I still feel lucky that I got to run with them.

Boooooonestoooooorm

Getting ready for Marrowgar. Back in the days when hunters had mana.

Every August, I go to Pennsic, an event where 10,000 or so people spend two weeks camping and pretending it’s the middle ages. It’s a lot of fun. In August of 2010, while I was at Pennsic, Gonna Die killed the Lich King for the first time. It turned out that was also the last time. ICC had been out for a long time, and a large portion of the raid group was just burnt out. So they killed Arthas, and they called it quits. I wasn’t there, so I was just out of luck. We did a lot of retro raids after that – I got to do the old ZA and ZG thanks to that group. But no more ICC.

Chilling with my hunter friend Quinnaria before Blood Princes. Her hair is white and she had Zod’s at this point while I didn’t yet. Otherwise, twins.

I started playing Warcraft shortly before the Ulduar patch came out. I am, to use a hated term, a “Wrath Baby.” I spent a lot of time in Northrend. I ran a lot of dungeons. I got really super into the lore. I read several of the Warcraft novels including, while we were working on ICC, Arthas: Rise of the Lich King. All of this adds up to what Catulla would call “complicated feelings about Northrend.” So not getting to kill Arthas, getting every other boss in ICC down except him, is something that has been eating at me for 2 years. In all this time I never managed to get into a pug or guild run that actually finished – they either fell apart before ever getting to the Lich King (most pugs) or were unable to kill him despite being level 85 (one of the times I went with my guild).

While I was at Pennsic this year, my guild on Shadowsong killed the Lich King. On Heroic, no less. I didn’t find this out until I got home, and I was, to put it mildly, upset. But I got over it, mostly by reminding myself that I haven’t actually been playing on Shadowsong all that much this summer – the guild had been really quiet, not a lot of people around, and I started leveling some alts over on Medivh, with Waypoint. Who also, I should note, killed the Lich King while I was at Pennsic.

I was having a bad day…..

I got back from Pennsic, and Snack said “Let’s kill Arthas this Friday!” and I…couldn’t, because I had more camping to do. I got very upset about this. But then, finally, on Friday August 24th, I went to ICC with Waypoint.

Picked up a few achievements along the way.

Raid was scheduled until 10:30 PM, and I really needed to be done around then, as my boyfriend (who was also in the raid) really wanted to go out to our usual club that night, since we hadn’t been out since early July. I think we got to Arthas around 10:25 or so. We started the fight. We made it through the first transition. I remembered to Tranq Shot the Shambling Horrors. Everything was going great! And then, the Val’kyr came out.

This was my view for the rest of the fight.


I got dropped off the side. I was afraid we would wipe, because a few people were dead, and it was getting late. I was getting very stressed out. But I should never have doubted Waypoint.

Cudubh and I sat there and watched the cinematic, even though we’ve seen it before. I cried. Out of happiness, out of relief. He is finally dead, and I will wear this title proudly. I don’t care that it’s 2 years late. I am a Kingslayer.

Thank you, Waypoint. Thank you so much.

Jealousy, Frustration…I just want to kill Dragons

As I mentioned, my guild downed Madness of Deathwing last week. That was pretty sweet.

Destroyer's End

Awwww yeahhhhh

Earlier I was reading a post from a friend of mine, in which she mentions that her guild has Deathwing on farm now. They raid 4 hours per week – same as us. Thinking about this has caused all of my raiding frustrations to come bubbling back up. Comparing my guild to other guilds is obviously not particularly useful or helpful but I can’t seem to stop from doing it.

The road to finally downing Deathwing has been, at times, a very frustrating one. When I have no clue why we are failing, it’s frustrating. When we’re wiping on Ultraxion because people are failing to push the button, it’s frustrating. Especially when someone does it, is battle rezzed, and then does it again. My raid leader seems to like to logic his way through things instead of looking at available strats, which is fine, I guess, but when we’re on Madness this late in the game and he keeps having us kill the Blue platform second, it’s incredibly frustrating. I deal with all of these mostly by ranting on Twitter, and trying to figure out what I can do to improve the situation.

When we did finally kill Ultraxion, I got myself a sweet dragon

The one thing I can have the most direct effect on in a raid is DPS. I’m a hunter, I shoot things. I think I’m pretty good at shooting things. I switch targets when required, I use my cooldowns as effectively as I can, I pre-pot, I do everything that I can do to positively impact the raid. This included, when we couldn’t get past Ultraxion, switching to Survival, which I have never been before, and spending time on the target dummies and running heroics to get a feel for the rotation. I was raiding as Beast Mastery when Dragon Soul first dropped, because I was comfortable with it and it meant I got to use my favorite pet, Loque. No one asked me to respec – my guild is not like that. I did it on my own, and if I really hated Survival I would probably have gone back to BM or maybe tried MM again, although for some reason I’ve been struggling mightily with that this expansion. But it turns out I do enjoy Survival, and since respeccing I am consistently in the top 3 on the DPS meters. And let’s be honest, topping the meters can feel pretty sweet.

Hard to top those meters when Hagara is so in love with ice tombing me

And so we come to the part of raiding that causes me the most frustration and conflicted feelings.. I firmly believe that people should play in a way that is fun for them. Obviously if you are in a high end, hard mode, progression guild, you need to min max as much as possible. In a casual guild like mine, if your favorite mage spec is Frost then you go on with your bad self and raid as Frost. But when we are losing a DPS race, I look at that Frost mage, and I get incredibly frustrated. Sometimes I want to scream, “You’re a mage, you should not be 5th on the meters, what the hell!” As if that would be helpful.

Kael'thas

Kael'thas does his impression of me screaming about frost mages

The longer we wipe on any given fight, the angrier I get – with myself. The more frustrated I am with the raid team, the angrier I am at myself for thinking like an “elitist”…although I’m really not. I do get that other people just aren’t as obsessive about min/maxing everything they possibly can, and that is ok. Good enough is, in fact, good enough. If good enough to kill Deathwing isn’t good enough for me, I should probably start building that fortress of solitude because I’m clearly not fit for human company.

If you need me I'll be up here with everyone who is as cool as me, the elitist asshole.

I had been “consoling” myself with the thought that, since we were only raiding 4 hours per week, the fact that they never finished Firelands and that it’s taken us a while to down Deathwing were to be expected. (I say “they” in regard to Firelands because I was not part of the 10 man team for that tier.) Seeing “we have Deathwing on farm” in a blog post from someone who is raiding just as little as we are ruins that feeling.

I don’t have a good conclusion for this post. I’m not happy with our progression but I don’t really know what to do about that.

And hey, thanks to Twitter, I got to do Firelands anyway. I can’t really thank Blizzard enough for RealID raiding. Now if only they would hurry up and implement BattleTags.

So. Much. Fire.

Maeli, Destroyer’s End

Last week was quite eventful in the life of my hunter. On Thursday, my guild defeated Madness of Deathwing for the first time. It took us several attempts, and it was pretty close at the end, but we did it. As a bonus, I got to upgrade my Kiril from the raid finder version.

On Saturday, I went on a 25 man Firelands cross realm raid put together by Vidyala. It was the first time I’ve seen any of the bosses in there other than Shannox, and we did the whole thing. I died on the Ragnaros fight, but since I had only seen it in TankSpot videos before, I’m ok with that. As I said on Twitter, “There’s so much fire not to stand in or run through and everything is orange and OH GOD WHY”.

I picked up a crossbow and the tier 12 helm along the way. I don’t generally have helm display turned on, as I find most helms terribly ugly, and I love my sassy pigtails. But this one is pretty cool looking, and doesn’t look all that bad with my current transmog, either.

Other than raid nights I’ve spent most of my time playing my Tauren priest lately. She’s my “Get a Horde toon to 85 before Mists” project. Right now she’s in Nagrand, and seeing it from the Horde side for the first time is pretty awesome.

I’ve had a lot of things I’ve wanted to post about lately but never can seem to find the words, or the time. I would say I’m going to post more but with PAX East coming up this weekend I’ve got a lot to get done.

Heal (and transmog) ALL THE THINGS

This morning I got a RealID whisper from Joe asking if I would like to run a dungeon. Sure, I said. I can heal on my druid. So we ended up in End Time, me healing and him tanking on his paladin. We made it through with a couple of deaths but no complete wipes, and although I spent a lot of time going ‘AAAAAAA CRAP AAAAAAA’ I had a really good time.

After the run I was looking at my druids gear and realized a good portion of it wasn’t enchanted. Oops. So I took care of that, which included putting Power Torrent on my mace. I am actually using the Lightforged Elementium Hammer, but thanks to the wonders of transmogrification, it looks like a skull. With Power Torrent, I now have a flaming skull mace.
FLAMING SKULL

I have not done nearly as much work on my druid transmog as I have for other characters, but I do like the way it has come together, and the fact that the Guardians of Hyjal tabard (and my guild tabard) go well with the outfit. For the curious, this is what I’ve got:

Shoulders: Overcast Spaulders
Chest: Ymirjar Physician’s Robe
Hands: Fletcher’s Gloves
Waist: Fine Leather Belt
Main hand: Skullcrusher Mace
Off hand: Skull of Burning Shadows

Before I got the robe, I was wearing the chest and leg pieces from the Overcaster Battlegear set, but I like the look of the robes much better than pants.

If you are interested in some pretty outstanding World of Fashioncraft outfits, you should check out Cyn’s latest blog creation, Go Mog Yourself.

Finally

Last night, I deleted my creature cache file so NPCScan would work, logged in, and flew twice around Sholazar. Expecting nothing.

Right as I was getting to the last spawn point for the second time, there he was! And now he is mine.

Hooray!

He’s named after a Twitter friend who suggested naming him “Mike”. (I named him, posted the picture, and then anxiety brain went “oh but what if he thinks that’s weird.” But he said it made him laugh, so it’s all ok.)

So it really is Beast Mastery forever now. Because after waiting so long to tame him, how can I ever put him away? I mean, other than to take out one of my other spirit beasts like the show off that I am.