Furry Healing

Saturday, August 19, 2006


Not a whole lot going on the last two days. Friday and Saturday are our 'off-days' so we don't have scheduled raids. Some folks did hit Zul'Gurub and The Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj last night but my internet was a bit flaky and so I decided to just chill and watch some movies on TV. This worked out pretty well since there were some decent flicks on HBO and various other cable channels.

I knew we weren't raiding today either and my internet was flickering on and off again so I'm once again relaxing and watching movies. I took some time to dust off Battlefield 2 and take it for a spin. I purchased it right around when it was released and had never really played it until today. Its a pretty neat game and I'll bet its incredibly competitive online. Since I didn't want to step into that world I just tooled around against the computer opponents.

I also fired up The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion for the first time in a couple of months and got loaded up into my old save, ran around for thirty minutes or and realized I didn't really have much interest in playing. Its kind of sad, the only game I'm really interested in right now is World of Warcraft and I think I'm kind of in a slump as far as playing it goes. At one point I had strongly considered leveling up a mage on an RPPvP server, just for the sake of doing it. Plus it was a relatively new server and I thought it would be nice to get away from the gear and faction imbalance a bit. I leveled her up relatively hardcore for a weekend, but I've lost interest in her as well. I think I'm more and more just holding on for the next patch and for The Burning Crusade. Hopefully its just a funk and I'll be back to really enjoying the game again soon.

The other alternative is finding another game to play and I haven't seen anything recently which has piqued my interest enough to even go look at the box let alone purchase.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Raid Data Exchange v6 (RDX6)

I've been following a thread on the Elitist Jerks forums in reference to a user interface mod which is focused on making raiding easier, namely RDX6. The previous versions of this addon/mod had all been private for use by the creator's guild/raid, though the most recent (RDX5) got leaked and cracked. The leaked version eventually gained some sembelence of support from a couple LUA coders from Conquest on Kilrogg and this version (though stripped of boss mods) was released publicly.

In light of the leaked code Veni, the creator of RDX, has decided that rather than trying to continue securing the code and worry about it leaking that he will provide access to it via a members only site. Anyone may become a member of the site by paying a supposedly small fee, the exact amount of which has yet to be determined.

I've been using RDX5 intermittenly with CTRA for the last week and a half or so. In my opinion the ability to group members of the raid group any way I like is incredibly useful. My two biggest gripe formerly about the frames had been the complete lack of spacing between the health bars in the windows and the lacking ability to color the names of according to class color. The spacing is something that I'm becoming accustomed to as I continue to use the mod though the class colors still bothers me.

RDX6 looks to add some extremely powerful tools for raiders and raid leaders. I think the most notable tool is going to be Omniscience, which boasts the following.

Omniscience is a post-mortem remote combat log viewer, meaning that after the boss (or the raid group) dies, you as the raid leader can examine not only your own combat log, but the combat log of any character in the raid.

The ability to do this will be simply incredible and will in real time eliminate a lot of the guess work around the question 'what killed the tank?' The author has claimed RDX6 will revolutionize raiding interfaces and assuming the rather impressive list of intended features is pulled off I'm fairly inclined to agree.

Unfortunately I'm rather skeptical my raid will be adopting it due to the fee associated with membership even if the raid group discount is significant. Despite this I am planning on getting it once a 'live' version released, and am strongly considering getting the alpha membership as well. The RDX site being up I take to be a sign he's getting close to ready to allowing some to download it and quite frankly I'm pretty excited.

Edit: Because leek is a plant..


Thursday, August 17, 2006

To PvP or Not To PvP?

The more I hear about the changes being made to the PvP System in The Burning Crusade (TBC) the more I'm beginning to think this may be the way I want to go with my future in World of Warcraft. PvP is far more enjoyable to me than PvE for the most part. I think its really more about the frequency of the rush though.

What I mean by 'the frequency of the rush' is quite simply the rush I get from playing the game. It happens in PvE when the group I'm fighting along side and have my time invested in does something which is, to me at least, great. Every first kill is an AMAZINGLY powerful thing for me; which is to say its a huge rush. In PvP I've found this rush to happen more frequently. Each team we come up against gets my blood pumping. Sure its frustrating as hell to lose, especially when you know its a team you could have beaten; the rush from winning though, nothing compares.

Thus far I've been fortunate enough to be a part of the two most dominent Horde PvP teams which have existed on my server, the first time my participation was minor at best. I ranked up to Champion and then faded away as my guild at the time needed me and so I more or less dropped PvP to help them and get entrenched once again in the PvE raiding game. Eventually the majority of that group finished out their ranks and they largely quit (PvP or the game). Then along comes the second group, I happen to be friends with a good buddy of the guy going for rank and putting together the team this time. So we're introduced in a way and I continue running with them. This second PvP group was really the catalyst for my leaving my first raiding group, it gave me something to move on too so I didn't feel like I was simply ditching them though I was; the lieing to myself made it easier though.

With this second group (who's name I woulnd't repeat even if I weren't trying to keep this anonymous) I met some skilled players, made some friends, and was able to rank up to about mid-way through General before life and work caught up to me. They still have people ranking, and I still play with them when I'm able, but its not really the same. The awareness one gets PvPing all the time is retarded, and harshly, by a month of raiding it would seem.

The future of PvP in this game though looks to be quite promising indeed! With the upcoming changes in patch 1.12 (namely the cross-server battlegrounds) and the complete revamp in I really believe that gearing up and simply PvPing may become a viable way to spend my time. However, I will certainly be waiting until the expansion to move to it full time since the seasons and tournament like play is what makes this truly viable. Of course, this all assumes I can find a good team to do it with, most of the second group is finishing up their PvP grind now and I'm not sure how many more weeks they'll be running. Hopefully the cross-server battlegrounds in 1.12 will provide enough of a challenge to make it worth spending a lot of time doing it simply for the enjoyment of it. If the group stays together through 1.12 I imagine I'll truly be able to test myself and find out if I'm good enough to continue doing it in TBC. Here's hoping.

Derr... Where Do We Go George?

I feel sick to my stomach, I'm grumpy and we're disorganized. I'm somewhat frustrated at raiding tonight and my PvP buddy is romping around killing people and taunting me about it.

We started like we were going to head back to kill the Emperors, we get everyone zoned in to Ahn'Qiraj and into Huhuran's room to start killing the trash again and then its decided we're going to head to Naxxramas to take out Anub'Rekhan and possibly Razuvious. Well now we're recovering from our third or fourth wipe, during which time we have not yet successfully started DPS on Anub... good times.

After five ugly as shit wipes we owned his ass with easy. It didn't cheer me much, but it was nice to see it go well. Lets see where we're headed next.

Onward we go in Naxxramas to take our try at Rasuvious apparently. I'm personally predicting a wipefest judging from us being not only short on healers, but having several undergeared healers as well. Should be fun!

Ooops down to twelve healers, and then there were 14 with two of them in blues... Oh fuck it.

On the bright side I did end up getting promoted amongst the guild ranks, I don't think it meant anything but it was a nice gesture. We now have two tanks who will be in 2/9 Dreadnaught, and we got our third Splinter of Atiesh (on one person), its no where near the 39 some other folks have but its still pretty cool.

Thoughts on Looting

I've been with my raid for about two months now I believe, and I've certainly gotten my fair share of loot however its mostly a result of personal philosophy than anything else. I would rather see something being used than something being sharded, so if I know I can and will use something I put in for it. The thing I have a problem with is this... I'm actually hurting myself significantly by doing this as far as my raid's current loot system goes because all epics drops (except those from Molten Core) have the same epic cost.

As I said before, I recently picked up the Stormrage Bracers largely because they were my third piece. However, under the current loot system because Dreamwalker Bracers have the same value I would actually have been smarter to leave them go to another Druid and hope my points got high enough to grab the next tier instead.

I suppose ideas like the above are the reason the loot is ultimately decided by a 'council' of the officers, and I also believe I'm just sad because I realize how ridiculously long its going to be before I'll be even in the running for a Rejuvenating Gem or some other hotly contested item. I guess it doesn't bother me as much about the Blackwing Lair things, as they spent a lot of time in there learning the place before I even realized how much I enjoyed raiding, but a place like Naxx where we're really just starting and I'm going to spend as much time and gold learning the stuff as everyone else only to see someone who may or may not have been there as often as me in Naxx, but who has been around a long time pick up the fruits of the labor just bothers me.

I realize while writing this it sounds as though the primary reason I raid is loot, and quite simply its not true. I raid because I enjoy it, and I enjoy it because I feel I'm an asset. Even feeling like an asset I definately feel the strain of being undergeared compared to most of the other Druids save the newest ones. I want to be in a progression raid and I despise feeling as though my gear is part of the reason we aren't succeeding.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Temple of Ahn'Qiraj to Twin Emperors

As I said before, I'd been elected as the new Druid guide. So I start off by asking if 'New Guy' (FNG) had ever done AQ20 because of the similarities between some of the trash pulls.. newp. I quickly went over the first couple pulls..
  • heal the tanks, the bird things hit like pansies but the Priests are mana draining
  • heal the tanks, the Anubisaths hit a little harder but whatever
Skeram.. follow your group heal the tank on the platform. This was about when I really started to realize how easy my job was for almost every fight. Anyway, we continue on and kill Huhuran and the non-set gloves I've been drooling over drop. I put in for them not really expecting to get them since I have decent gloves and the other Druid eligible for loot (not FNG) doesn't really, plus I picked up Malfurion's Blessed Bulwark and Stormrage Bracers yesterday in Blackwing Lair. Needless to say I'm relatively surprised when I am awarded them.

Hooray for loot council I suppose, not to say I'm not grateful but if I were the other Druid I would not be pleased.. at all. Judging from the way things have gone in the past, I fully expect Stormrage Handguards to drop withing 2 weeks and have me be the only Druid which needs them. Now that I have my 3 piece bonus available (even though they're the same slots as my other two highest +healing pieces) I certainly won't be taking it over someone else.

So we start clearing trash to the Emperors, pull the first one.. Plague and Shadow Storm with the spinning dervishes of doom.. we wipe because everyone was waiting to see what the second thing was after Shadow Storm and no one moved.. oops. We get ressed up and pull again, the next three go pretty smoothly. On the fourth pull we get two.. oops. Needless to say we wipe quickly with really no hope for survival. We get ressed up again and finish off the trash. FNG is doing alright, but is really poorly geared for being where we are. Fortunately he's the only new person really (but certainly not the only undergeared one) and so its not too big a deal.

We get to the Twins and suddenly the server goes to shit. Not so much that I'm crying about it, but I basically chain cast heals and cancel as needed. I'm cancelling a couple fewer than normal due to lag, but hey why else carry the potions. However its killing other folks, I've got to assume the lag is hitting them worse because I can't think of any reason with the lag where it is for me; Its annoying but possible to adjust. Short story short we wipe a couple of times due to the heals not landing in time on the other side. Eventually the raid leader calls it rather than throwing outselves at them (and burning two more Flask of the Titans in the process).

Hopefully tomorrow we head back clear the Emperors and take a couple stabs at C'Thun, time will tell.

Out of Work on Time!

I managed to get out of work at a normal time today (despite being about 25 minutes later than I wanted to be) which means I made raid invites on time, which was nice. However, the real news was I was talking to the President of my company on the way out (its a small company) of the office and into the subway and he says to me..

We may offer you some sort of compensation to stick around for another month.

See, currently I'm planning to move up to New York to live with my brother starting in September, but my current lease runs to October. If they are offering enough to cover the extra month of rent I think its pretty worth it.

On to the raid... I've apparently been elected as new Druid guide for the night, I think mostly because no one else wanted to do it.. so we'll see how that goes.

Temple of Ahn'Qiraj Tonight

I'm sitting at work, trying to get an Atom feed working for a government site using a package called Rome all the while thinking how much I'd rather be doing something else. Eventually my mind wanders to where we're bound tonight and I realize I'm really looking forward to it. If all goes well we'll clear up through at least the Twin Emporors tonight and maybe get some of the trash leading up to C'Thun out of the way as well.

Since we're currently working on beating the snot out of the old god this would be a huge plus. The less garbage we have to clear tomorrow (or Sunday) in order to commence the wipefest that is C'Thun learning. I'm just curious which sucker it will be to jump the gun a bit and get us all fried this week! There is a reason I hide around the corner until the first one in starts the countdown, and its not just because I like the way the Gnome back there looks.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Blackwing Lair Jump Start

Maintenance Day.. Everyone's favorite.

I'm at work ready to leave at 5:15 which generally puts me home just in time to get my already parked Druid signed on and invited in time to get full attendence. So yeah, ready to leave and the guy I'm directly doing work for (who is currently offsite) shows up.. GG 30 minute impromptu meeting. However, Blizzard to the rescue; due to maintenance I'm actually home in time to sit and wait an hour for Earthen Ring to come back up.

So ER comes up and in I go, parked at the Blackwing Lair orb and everything. We get going right around 8:30 and I'm thinking, "No way do we finish this clear in time." Color me surprised when 3 hours and 15 minutes later we're handing out Nefarian lewts.

Awesome job tonight in my opinion.

Edit: Lair not Layer...