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.


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 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.

Loot Meltdown

I ran LFR with some guildies last night. If you follow me on Twitter and happened to be up and reading it, you may have witnessed my little loot meltdown. I have since deleted most of it, as it was childish and I am embarrassed.

In the first half of Dragon Soul, only one piece of loot I could even use, a tier token, dropped. I did not win it.

Over the course of that first half, several guild mates got various upgrades, tier tokens, etc. This continued into the second half of DS. Another tier token dropped. I did not win it. I had said in Vent, when the loot windows popped up, “If I don’t win that helm token I’m rage quitting.” Well…a guild mate won it. And I was unable to be happy for him. I was angry, and frustrated, and raging at RNG. I whispered my closest guild friend “I suppose it would be poor form to rage quit over a guildie winning that, huh?”

We got to Madness, and Deathwing dropped Kiril, Fury of Beasts, which is an awesome polearm. One of my guild mates rolled need (a druid, so he got the +role bonus on it) specifically so that I would have an extra shot at winning it. He won, and traded it to me. That was very nice of him, and it felt good to not be empty handed at the end of my weekly LFR, for once.

But I’ve been sitting here thinking about my absolute rage over LFR loot. It is actually worse, I’ve found, when I run with people from my guild. This does not make me feel like a particularly good person. Instead of being happy for my friends getting upgrades, I just get more and more jealous and butthurt about RNG hating me. As I sit here pondering this and feeling pretty much like an asshole about it, I’ve come up with at least one reason for it.

Most, if not all, of the guild folks who are likely to be in the group running LFR on Tuesday nights are part of the regular 10 man that runs on Wednesdays and Thursdays. They have their weekly opportunity for loot from every boss in LFR, plus a weekly opportunity for something from whatever bosses they get through on Normal mode. I am a backup/standby person for that raid. So I go into every Tuesday with the distinct possibility that LFR will be my only chance at raid loot for the week. So every roll that I lose is another week of waiting to try again.

Now, one could argue that the folks who are part of the regular 10 man need the gear more than I do. That’s a good argument. They’re getting more “use” out of it. Sitting here now not in the middle of watching my once a week chance at tier gear slip away, I absolutely get that. But jealousy and frustration at the nature of RNG and the one chance per week nature of LFR loot does not make for rational thought.

An additional frustration of LFR loot is that every week, you have the same chance at winning. Every week you are rolling against a new group of strangers. When you are part of a regular raid group, you still go plenty of weeks without getting any new gear. However, you also know that as your raid team gears up, your chances of getting your tier tokens or other gear that might be shared among other classes increases. Your chances in LFR never increase. I might roll on hunter tokens every week from now until Mists of Pandaria comes out, and never win one, because there will always be another person in the LFR group still building their tier set as well.

I don’t know if there’s a solution to this problem. I do wish there was a possibility of rolling on things more than once per week in LFR. Maybe keep it that you can only win loot off a given boss once per week, but you can roll more often. Once a day, maybe. Now that all the world firsts are over, I don’t think there should be worry about people gearing up “too fast”.

If I want to keep enjoying LFR – and I do actually enjoy it – I need to somehow let go of this anger about gear. Phase one of this effort is gearing up the rest of my 85s (mage, priest, druid) to be LFR ready. Which really will just put me in the position of losing more rolls every week, most likely. But maybe if I’m doing it on characters who’ve never raided before, as opposed to my beloved hunter, it will feel a little less shitty. We shall see.

Floor Tanking

For quite some time, any time my guild did Baradin Hold, I would die horribly on Occu’thar. Whenever he did his focus fire thing, my computer would freak the hell out and get all laggy, and by the time I was able to attempt to move out of the fire, I would be dead. The last time we went, I turned all my WoW settings all the way down, and survived the encounter.

I was just going through my screenshot folder, and came upon this little gem. It must have been summer, otherwise the floor surely would have tasted like bourbon.