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Let me give you a few pictures that sum up how I feel about the state of elemental in patch 4.0.1.

Recount - Deathbringer Saurfang

Recount - Festergut

If I can manage to actually get pro at DPS fire totems, and a little bit less “OMG HOW I CAST EARTH SHOCK?”, I just … I can’t even imagine.

 


A few quick words about elemental AoE – Earthquake.

The graphic? IS TERRIBLE.  Our GM has decided what it really looks like is an Aggro Pancake, and I can’t entirely disagree.  I likened it to really angry concrete. There is nothing “earthy” about it except for the dull brown color of it.  Try it out on a slope, like on the way into Prof Putricide’s room? And it looks even more absurd.

That said? IT’S STUPID FUN. When you are used to coming in dead last on the meters for AoE trash packs, and that’s with running in, dropping magma totem, abusing Fire Nova, etc. and so forth, having a channeled AoE that just wreaks havoc on a big old group of mobs is so cool.

Now that I am just about finished with patch download (thank you, Blizzard Background Downloader), have sort of figured out my main spec talent tree, have thrown up my hands in despair at the realization I have NO IDEA how to heal anymore, and found my portable hard drive so that the boy won’t need to spend 30+ hours patching (clearly, he doesn’t believe in the background downloader or planning ahead!), it’s time to consider add-ons.

(someone take that sentence out and shoot it, please?)

Important add-ons* that have been updated for 4.0.1 (with links even!)

Deadly Boss Mods

Omen

Pitbull 4.0

Bartender

Tidy Plates

Bagnon

Pally Power

Decursive

Important add-ons*I’m pretty sure will be some kind of fucked up:

– Autobar

– Satrina Buff Frames

Less important add-ons* I’m pretty sure will be some kind of fucked up:

– Auctioneer

– Ackis Recipe List

– Mik Scrolling Battle Text

New add-on I’m trying out for kicks:

Elementarist

*Your mileage may vary on the importance of said add-ons.

Alix is slotted to raid tonight, and since we’re not planning on anything painfully difficult (or, really, for the servers being stable), I’m sort of looking at this as a dress-rehearsal for all the changes.

This is the spec I plan to start out with:

I have no idea if this is really the “right” level 80 spec (and I’m fairly sure someone’s gonna tell me my glyph choices are WRONGWRONGWRONG), but as someone who’s been running around with Instant Ghost Wolf in her ele spec for … a really long time, I don’t know that I really need to have the 100% absolute best DPS spec.

If all goes well tonight (in other words, if I’m not OOM all the time), Krikket will be rocking an identical spec in ICC tomorrow.

So, there’s a handful of us in SiB who are SO CLOSE to our Rusted Protodrakes.

So here it is, Friday night, and we’re doing what good Nerd Point Junkies should be doing on a Friday night: standing in front of Yogg, with just one keeper up, getting ready to get our asses handed to us*.

That’s when this happens in raid chat**:

I don’t know what’s worse here: Bingle’s excuse, Ellemayne’s confusion, or my admonishment that he will dps and like it (in capslock, natch).

* – & get our asses handed to us we did. A lot. We will get this, but god damn. I have mad respect for anyone who got this when Ulduar was progression.

** – for the record? Bingle did not actually bail. Good try, though.

Sometimes, raiding is frustrating, not because of the difficulty of the content, but because of the clash in personalities and goals. While it’d be easy to focus on the things I hate seeing in my fellow raiders, I’d much rather put forth a list of qualities, and what they mean to me, that I love seeing in the people I raid with.

1. Knowledgeable

Knowledgeable about your own class and role in a raid is crucial.  Knowledgeable about mechanics of the various raid encounters makes everyone’s job easier. Knowledgeable about other classes mechanics and abilities assures that I want you in my raid group.

2. Consistent

Hey, we all have off days. But knowing that my raid team can put on their game face, even if they’re having a bad day makes me more confident in the raid group as a whole. To me, that means performing at the best of your ability every time you zone through that instance portal.

3. Adaptable

This might sound counter-intuitive, but yes, I want people to be both consistent and adaptable. If you’ve done the exact same job on the exact same fight 100 times, it might be scary at first to do something in a different way. Raid comps get shuffled, and sometimes, the ability to do something outside of your individual comfort zone is the difference between success and failure.

4. Enthusiastic

Raiding is always more fun when I’m with people who are excited to be there. Nothing kills my morale faster than pulling someone along who is making it abundantly clear that they have better things to do.

5. Positive

Guess what? Wipes happen. Sometimes, things that have always been easy are suddenly really hard for no good reason. Sometimes? It really is an RNG thing. Getting cranky when something goes wrong isn’t productive. Being upbeat – or at least being able to fake it for the duration – makes me want to raid with you more.

6. Respectful

I cannot fathom any reason to be rude to people while you’re trying to accomplish a shared goal. If you need to take a deep breath and consider your words, then do that. But those other players in your raid group are just that – players. People. If we all remember that, and treat each other like actual human beings with feelings, a better time is had by all.

I don’t choose to spend time with mean people outside of WoW – why on earth would I choose to relax with them?

7. Driven

I love when people are hungry for a challenge. I love watching people get better. I love the feeling when I realize that I’m getting better. I never want to be content to rest on my laurels or to say “Eh, that was good enough”.  There is always room for improvement, and someone who looks for that improvement in themselves instead of in others is an asset to their raid team.

8. Patient

Real life happens. People have pets and children and knocks on the door.  Computers crash and the power goes out sometimes. Are these things convenient or fun when they put a pause to the raid or cause a wipe? No. But this is a game, and as such, I realize that sometimes, something else needs someone’s attention for a moment or two.  Now, I don’t expect people to wait half an hour while someone cooks dinner or runs to the grocery store – but keeping a good attitude during those unavoidable short breaks is good for morale.

But I also mean patient in the sense that we’re all human and make mistakes. Some people have a steeper learning curve than others. If you can see that someone is really trying, and is improving, a little bit of patience goes a long way.

9. Benevolent

This entry was originally “selfless” but that didn’t really say what I meant.

I really prefer to raid with people who raid for fun. I hate when people say “Why would I want to do that raid? There’s no loot there for me.”  – I admit, that causes me to nerdrage a little. If you really don’t want to do something, just say that you don’t want to.

The benevolent raider knows that any loot that a raider can use benefits the raid group as a whole, and as such, also benefits them. I love seeing someone pass on a small upgrade for someone else, for whom it would be quite a sizable upgrade indeed. I feel like being able to put the best interest of the group as whole above your own personal interests is a very valuable quality.

10. Prepared

This is my no-brainer. Respect other people’s time. Be online on time. Be repaired. Have some money on you to repair during the raid. Have whatever consumables you think you might need ready to go at raid start. Read up on encounters you haven’t seen before. Make sure your addons are up to date, if you use them. Know that – barring a true emergency – you can commit to the time allotted for the raid. Make sure you gem and enchant your gear, and have all the appropriate reagents. Yes, this requires a commitment outside of whatever raid time is slotted, but if someone doesn’t have the time to make sure they’re prepared for the content they want to run? That person should maybe reconsider whether or not they have the time to raid.

Ok, I know by most WoW-players standards, I’m a baby raider. No one would take my tank to Kara. I didn’t play in Vanilla. Maybe I’ve got no right to talk because I didn’t raid when raiding was hard.

But dear god, nothing makes me want to rage-quit a raid group faster than when people start joking around about how everything is “faceroll easy”. Because that usually means that someone in that group is going to fail at the simplest of mechanics.

Here’s the thing: When I join a raid group, it is my intention to perform to the best of my ability on the content I have chosen to run. If I feel that content at any given level is beneath me, or not worth of my attention, then god damn it, I’m going to find something else to do. I’m not going to disrespect the 9 other members in the group by not taking their time & effort seriously, and I won’t lie. Being disrespected in that way makes me nerd-rage more than a little bit.

Sure, there are runs that are created with the intent to overgear it – like the five-tank H-VH we ran last week. In those cases? LOL all you want, joke about the faceroll-y-ness of it all. That’s the point to these kinds of runs, and everyone there should be on board with the intention.

But please, dear god. Just stop with the “LOL FACEROLL” in serious runs. Even if you truly believe you outgear and out-skill it. Respect that there might be someone in your group that doesn’t feel the same way. Respect that your healers may not appreciate you dancing in the slime spray. Respect that your tanks may not think it’s funny when you pull threat over and over. Respect that other people may not want to waste time and virtual gold on repair bills because you thought it’d be a good time to tank or heal in your tier 5 set.

If you can’t do this? Please don’t inflict your boredom on other people in a raid group.

Everyone finds their fun in their own way, I get that. But when you choose to play with other people, please know that it’s not all about you. And it’s not “LOL FACEROLL” for everyone.

An interesting discussion came up today in the middle of our ICC raid today.

A friend of mine (who seems to me to be a bit of a challenge-junkie) who plays both DPS characters and tanking characters, but no healers at endgame, asked about the “challenge” of healing.

We healers tried to explain it, but I don’t know that we were really successful.

The way I see it, not only are healers dealing with challenges of mana-management (although from what I understand, WotLK has trivialized that somewhat at most levels of gear) and fight mechanics, they also have the additional “challenge” of the human element. In my experience, healers are expected to make up for the mistakes of the other raid members. In a great group, this additional challenge is minimal. In a bad group? It could make up the majority of the difficulty of any given encounter.

I personally found healing the most difficult when I first hit 80 (and because of gear, mana management was a valid concern) and now that we’re hitting heroic-modes like Deathbringer Saurfang and Blood Queen. Sometimes, there’d be a significant increase in challenge when learning a new encounter, but after it’s down a time or two, it gets easier, not only because I have a better idea what is going on, but because everyone else in the raid does too, and therefore, we see less avoidable damage.

But I do think that’s kind of the opposite of where most DPS feel their biggest challenges lie. They are always trying to push out just a little more, and they never really reach that plateau of complacency that I’ve found sometimes when healing. If everyone’s all topped off, all I’m going to do by trying to push my HPS is irritate my other healers.

So, HEALERS FOR LYFE – I know you read this. Leave some comments about what you perceive to be the unique challenges of healing. Where do you find them most in the progression curve?

All I know is that every time I hesitated for even a second, or I misused a single global cooldown, I wiped the raid on heroic DBS. For me, that pushes it past the level of an “enjoyable” challenge, and into the realm of rage-inducing-ly frustrating.

So, less than a month ago, my other half and I were barely playing WoW at all. We had stopped raiding with our guild, and we were logging in a couple times a week to do an alt-run (well, alts for us) of ICC-10.

How things have changed.

Look at our raid schedule for this week:

MONDAY – Krikket & Shermaan continue in ICC-10 (on the Lich King, best attempt was 17%). 8p – 9:45p EST.

TUESDAY – Alixandra & Lands go to ICC-10, less than a week after hitting 80! 8:30p – 11:30p EST.

WEDNESDAY – Norrah & Darktyme rock ICC-10. 2p – 5p EST.

Krikket & Shermaan rock ICC-10. 8p – 11p EST.

THURSDAY – Norrah & Darktyme finish ICC-10. 2p – 5p EST.

Krikket & Shermaan finish ICC-10. 8p – 11p EST

FRIDAY – Krikket & Shermaan go to Ulduar for hard modes! 8p – 11p EST.

SATURDAY IS RAID-FREE, WUT? Don’t fear. We’re overbooked socially instead!

SUNDAY – Alixandra & Lands might be going to ICC-10 some more, depending on how far we get Tuesday and how badly we’re holding back the group.

This is insanity. Fun insanity? Absolutely. We’re finally getting to raid with ALL the people we like, even if it takes 3 characters each for us to do it.

I never cease to be amazed what three days of heroic grinding can do!

What’s that? 11/12 ICC in our first all guild run? Fuck yeah.

Who I Am:

CURRENTLY PLAYING

Kimorah
Holy/Shadow Priest

Alliance Raiding Main

ACTIVE ALTS

Krikket - Level 88
Elemental Shaman [A]

Kayci - Level 85
Holy Paladin [A]

Koralyne - Level 85
Unholy/Blood Deathknight [A]

All Classes to 90 Progress
May 2017
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