So what does a Bear do to drown his sorrows?

The same thing any gamer does when faced with disappointment. Kill shit with a big sappy grin.

Virtual shit, that is.

Our preferred foe is, of course, the eponymous internet dragon, favorite target of millions of frustrated players the world over.

You could almost feel sorry for internet dragons. Almost.

Yeah, right.

Okay, there is one internet dragon I feel sorry for, that I wish I could cuddle and give a small dragon toy to and assure that the mean ol’ nasty players won’t come to hurt them anymore.

Atramedes.

Who can have a hardened heart when faced with the blind internet dragon, Atramedes? Who can kill him without a care in the world?

Apparently, the crew I was with last night.

Shortly after my latest blog post went up, Tyben of Elitist Jerks whispered me to see what I was up to. See, she plays with a bunch of her horde friends, awesome people one and all, and on Friday nights they do what they call ‘gold runs’. Setting the controls to the heart of the Sun, also known as 25 player heroic mode, and going after, oh, just about everything.

THIS is why I used my level 90 boost on a Horde Hunter. So I wasn’t limited to playing with Alliance-only friends when Horde friends want to get up to trouble. So many people are Horde 4 Life, so it’s nice to swing both ways. Um. I mean, to keep your options open. To play both sides of the fence. Oh, fuckit.

Never mind. It’s things like this that cause Google Chrome to say I’ve got a bad reputation. Like I’m Joan fucking Jett or something.

Don’t know about you, Google Chrome says I’ve got a bad reputation, my first thought was, “FUCK YES!”

But that’s just me. I still love you, Chrome! Love you long time. You just can’t handle the bear lovin’.

Tyben, Elitist Jerks, gold run Friday night. Right, back on track.

Tyben invited me to come on board, and next thing I know I’m in a massive blast through the Cataclysm greatest hits.

Heroic 25 Firelands was first, a place I know well. So very well. Every Monday for how long now? No matter, here we are and I was fortunate enough to be there when Ragnaros went down and one of Tyben’s friends got their Heart of Fire, meaning another worthy soul will be wielding Dragonwrath today.

After that, it was kind of a blur.

Dragon Soul, Bastion of Twilight and Sinestra, Blackwing Descent and Atramedes, Throne of the Four Winds… that’s a lot of Cataclysmic stuffs.

I killed so many internet dragons last night I got the Dragonslayer title! Okay, you get that for killing Sinestra in Bastion of Twilight, but it coulda been from all the internet dragon killing.

We ended up in the Shrine, where I was glad to take a break. So many raids, so many dragons…

“Okay, someone find out where Sha of Anger is hiding…”

Wait, they’re not done? Are you serious?

Sha of Anger beaten up, okay time to go to sleep. Someone pipes up, “Okay, moo moo vaults next!”

Oh, hell no. Now all of Pandaria?

It turns out, there is a definite limit to how many dragons I need to slay before my bloodlust is sated for one day.

Those are some crazy cats in Elitist Jerks. Crazy, cats, crazy.

Ah, cross realm Horde side fun.

I do like my Blood Elf Hunter. I have a crow pet, and a crow battle pet, and I’ve now named them Huggin’ and Muggin’. They shall be at my sides, close enough to rest on my shoulders, every time I play.

Don’t judge.

Just goes to show, just as Monty Python says, always look on the bright side of life! Sure as heck wasn’t how I thought I was going to be spending my Friday night, now was it?

You never know how your day may end up. So cheer up!

Comments 2 Comments »

It’s over. No Challenge Modes for me! Or for the grand folks who tried to help when we ran into troubles, either.

When we lost our tank unexpectedly yesterday, Wren was good enough to help us out with his Paladin, and he did a great job working our way through Stormstout Brewery, but in the end having five people who had not attempted Challenge Modes before, or at least played as though they had never done Challenge Modes before proved to be too high of a handicap.

To be blunt, none of us acted like we knew where to go or what to do, and everyone looked to someone else to tell us what to do. No excuses, just poor preparation and no time left to overcome it.

I found out we were done the hard way… I logged in tonight, asked the person who had started this run what the plan was for the evening, and was told she had found friends to do it with her.

As in, not you Bear and your tank and healer. Other people than you friends.

As in, we’re not doing them with you and I wasn’t going to bother to email, tweet or in-game message you because you’ll find out when you log in and I’m already in there with my friends right now so kind of get the point?

As a friend of mine said, ouch.

Fair enough.

I can walk away from this experience with the satisfaction that, for one night, I ran with a tank who was exceptional in his skill, who led from the front, and who helped me to see success in two of the Challenge Modes in Silver, the Gates of the Setting Sun and the Temple of the Jade Dragon. Doing those as a team that came together and getting those silvers was a very rewarding feeling, and I am grateful to have had that experience at least once before the pre-expansion patch came.

I also feel the satisfaction that came from playing well in the Tuesday night runs, of performing all of my tasks as a Warlock with skill, and being well prepared for what was to come. I can look back on that night without a single regret. It was as challenging as I expected, and felt incredibly rewarding when we eventually succeeded.

What those Tuesday runs had was intensity.

Do I have any regrets about not completing the Silvers and having any of the mounts?

Yes, I do. But not about the Challenge Modes themselves, more about why I never got them done in the first place.

The truth is, I never attempted to go for Challenge Modes because I don’t know other people in game well enough to have friends to do them with. That is the reality. In game, I don’t have friends that I play with that would consider me as someone to ask when CM time came around.

I don’t really have many close friends in game. Just one or two people I really enjoy spending time with, and I often feel that I hang on them too much as it is, since, y’know, being my only good friends means I’m always there like a puppy when they log in, “How ya doing, huh? Huh? Wanna play? Huh? Huh?” Nobody likes that shit. Even I know that at the very time I’m doing it.

For folks that only know me from my blog, it may be surprising, or maybe not. I really am all the time how I am on here, and while a small dose of me in written form may be entertaining or endurable, in person all the time I’m told by those who would know it’s tiresome.

I have acquaintances, people I know to nod to, say hi when they log on, enjoy their company and wish I did things with and hung around with, but I lack something to make and keep those kinds of friends. I’m not the guy people call up when they want to go do something. I don’t really know why, over the years I’ve just come to assume I’m too abrasive, too big of an asshole to maintain friendships. I lack social graces. :)

Or maybe, as was said in ‘Hackers’, “I don’t play well with others.”

That is what I regret.

I regret that, in the last two years of Mists of Pandaria, I haven’t made the kind of friends, the connections with other people that would have led to going off and doing some crazy shit like Challenge Modes. Of being the guy asked to come tilt at windmills, to slam our faces into a brick wall and scream in shared frustration and hard-earned triumph.

Phoenix Mounts would have only been a token of a larger and grander thing, something that you can’t achieve in a single week of frantic last minute cramming for the CM exam. Of friendship and shared experiences.

For all of you that, in my attempts this week to help someone forge a CM group, who offered your time, your efforts and your partnership in my endeavors, I want to say to you all, thank you.

Thank you all, truly, for being there for me when I asked for help.

I know I do not know all of you or any of you as well as I would like to, but just to know that there are folks that I talk with here who were willing to come forward and try this insanity with me, that really does mean a lot to me.

It gives me hope that maybe if I pull my head out of my ass, I can get out there and make some friends.

And yes, I know that phoenix mounts were a hell of an incentive to run with me. Bribing people to get together, it’s so WARCRAFT that I wouldn’t have it any other way.

God bless you and keep you safe, but not so safe you don’t get to live in interesting times or have your own wild adventures.

In my guild, I would especially like to thank Monster and Tom for being there for me as my friends, from the very first day that I joined the guild right up until today, despite my being a colossal ass. I will endeavor to provide buttflame amusement and dancing Baloo bear bollocks as long as you’ll continue to have me around.

Good night everyone, and have a wonderful final weekend before the curtain finally draws on the Mists.

Comments 10 Comments »

Just found out two minutes ago, our tank has bailed on the Challenge Modes. Lots of stuff on his schedule, wasn’t able to make it.

Um, is there anyone out there that is a tank and would want to do 7 Challenge Mode heroics with us on Alliance-US?

I just checked all of the emails and tweets I’d had, and I have plenty of healers and DPS but nary a single tank.

I think I left it for far too long, to be honest.

Comments 5 Comments »

wow-challengerphoenixes

Short notice, but here goes.

I have a group that is all set and ready to go for taking on Challenge modes.

The plan is simple; help Suicune’s fiance achieve silver in the Challenge modes, get the Phoenix mount.

We have a tank and three DPS… what we don’t have is a healer, a skilled healer that plays Alliance US that would like to join us and complete these modes with us.

And the biggest catch? We want to start Monday night at 8:30 central time. We’d like to blow through these THIS WEEK. Or make a damn good effort.

Are you willing to take the challenge with us?

Your gear is automatically scaled down to 463, but there are things you can do to maximize what you’ve got. The key is the skills, not the OP gear. Which means I’m in trouble, but I’ll be studying, you can bet your butt.

We’re not worrying so much about going for the Gold, it’s all about those sexy phoenix mounts. We’re deadly serious about those phoenix mounts.

If you’re up for this, please send me an email at thebigbearbutt@gmail.com, let me know.

I’m not kidding when I say we want to be hitting it today, Monday, at 8:30 central time PM if at all possible.

Here is a link to the Challenge mode guide on WoWhead.

Here is a link to the WoW Challenger  website that Suicune says is a badass resource for best gems and itemized pieces, etc.

I understand that Resto Druids and Discipline Priests are kicking the most ass as healers in there, but obviously I’m open to anyone that is up to really go for it.

I hope I hear from you!

Update- it looks like we have a healer, the talented Joonces will be bringing some Resto Shaman goodness on board.

If you have contacted me since I heard from Joonces, I will certainly keep your name close in case something comes up.

I guess now it’s time for hilarity and hi jinks?

Comments 7 Comments »

Punchingismagic

As we near the home stretch, I keep eyeballing the two last characters that I haven’t leveled to 90; my Mage and my Rogue.

The Mage would seem to be the obvious choice to try, since I’ve got an Heirloom Staff from Garrosh I could pass off at 90.

Somehow, I can’t bring myself to do it. It feels so damned painful to even contemplate leveling a squishy ranged caster with long cast-time attacks.

There was something that tipped the scales over to the Rogue, and it wasn’t just that she looks fabulous in Midnight Blue.

Kittiana is my Leatherworker, and in Warlords of Draenor, it has been revealed that a max level Leatherworker will be able to craft a Riding Harness, to obtain a Dustmane Direwolf mount.

If I’m willing to kill dinosaurs for 9999 bones to get a mount that I personally think is butt ugly and will never, ever use, what do you think I’d be willing to do to get a gorgeous Dustmane Wolf with the new WoD wolf model?

Yeah, I’d even be willing to play a Rogue.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved the Rogue class… as a concept. I just always hate them at the start of every expansion, when stats and gear get reset and all their haste is sucked away so they SUCK to play with the most horrendous sit and wait bullshit for Energy Regen.

Nothing says fast killing machine like having to wait for 5 seconds or more before I have enough Energy for every attack, and of course it’s lovely having to sit and eat food to heal after every fight.

I still say speed of attack recovery should be baseline. Haste shouldn’t be a stat, so a character plays slow as shit like you’re in molasses at the beginning of an expansion, and then plays FUN once you get to the very end. Just, funcrushing. Who thinks that way? Who thinks that the way to run a game is to have your character be weak AND slow? Weak is fine at low levels, just not slow.

“Boy, I was slicker than greased owl shit when I killed Deathwing last month. Now I get my ass handed to me fighting a crocodile in a jungle. WTF just happened?”

Anyway. Didn’t mean to break into a rant, just sometimes design decisions make me wonder if the developers actually LIKE players and want us to have fun. I’ve always assumed players having fun was, like, a design goal or something. Maybe I’ve been wrong all these years, who knows.

As you can imagine, if I know going in I’m not going to enjoy the leveling experience, I’m damn well gonna find SOMETHING to have fun with.

I WAS planning on taking my Guild Leaders’ advice (Baddmojo, best damn Rogue i’ve ever seen) and level Assassination. Welp, that went out the window when I got a pair of iLevel 450 Fist of Fate fist weapons, and there isn’t a dagger to be seen.

If the spec is weapon dependant, and I ain’t got the weapons, then I guess I ain’t playin’ it.

Leveling Combat is apparently my destiny. Because Mutilate? Hell no.

Fist of Fate. Nice power for a level 85 starter weapon, isn’t it? But kinda drab. Needs a transmog.

I have a nice Axe, but hell no! I didn’t realize fist weapons were still locked to transmog with fists only.

Hmmm…

What are my options.

Apparently, my Rogue has only one fist weapon in all of her bags… Theldurin’s Fist. Alovely, massive spiked boxing glove you can get as a reward from the ‘Punch Deathwing in the face’ quest in the Badlands.

I kept it because it looked awesome, but sadly you can’t use it to transmog.

At least… it USED to be you couldn’t!

They didn’t… holy shit, they did! They changed it!

Awwwyeah….

A pair of massive spiked boxing gloves, can it get any better than that?

I dare say it can.

It should go without saying that the complete Dungeon Set 2 that Cassie and I worked together to get, me on my Rogue and she on her Paladin, are what I will wear for gear.

But what if we enchant those boxing gloves with the rainbow-hued Windsong?

Oh. Oh my.

Oh, that’s freaking hilarious!

I swing into action, and I shit you not, it looks like I’m punching my enemies to death with rainbow sparkles!

That’s it, time to go full Brony on their asses. “Friendship is magic, bitch! Be my friend or I’ll beat you to death!”

Suddenly, playing my Rogue looks a whole lot more inviting.

If you’ll excuse me, I have to go make friends with the natives of the Jade Forest. Somehow I just KNOW they’re gonna love me.

Comments 5 Comments »

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