One inch deep but a million miles wide

Yesterday, I touched on some of the things I was doing in World of Warcraft that has me feeling like there is too little time for me to do everything I’d like to do.

It wasn’t meant as any kind of statement that there is too much content in WoW for anyone to feel bored, but that seemed to be how at least one person took it, and they wrote a great comment that brought me up short.

Syl of Raging Monkeys said, paraphrasing here, that from the point of view of someone that has one main character they love as their avatar in the game, there is very little to do other than raids and instances. Any new content feels gone the day after it comes out. Being able to do the same 5 quests on 10 alts does not equate to 50 quests worth of content anyway.

I wholeheartedly agree with you, Syl. I’m not saying there is tons of content to do, I’m saying there are tons of things I’m keeping busy doing.

Watch this next bit… I’m going to start rambling about the good old days. And yet, were they really all that good?

There was a time when my Druid was not just my main character, but my only character, just like Syl.

I know for people new to the game it may be hard to imagine, but there was a time when I played my first and only character for three months in Azeroth… just to get to level 60. No alts, no distractions, no other games.

I tackled everything at level, trying to take stuff on at Yellow or Orange difficulty for boosted XP rewards, and I scoured the land looking for more quests. What I didn’t do was try to rush to level, and I didn’t grind mobs. But I quested pretty consistently, and yep, three months.

When I look back on those days, and all the things that have changed since then, I do feel the changes were for the better. But the side effect of all those changes has removed the one thing that helped me love my Druid so much; I loved spending so much time in one zone doing quests that it began to feel as familiar as home. 

When you really think about it, the original pace of the game forced us to take time to advance. And when you spend a lot of time somewhere, you come to know it well.

Maybe you come to love it, maybe you come to loathe it, but damn it you know it!

Aside from the pace of earning XP from quests, and needing more XP then to advance to the next level, there were other reasons we were feet wet in zones for a long time.

We didn’t get mounts until much later, then. We spent 1 through 40 walking everywhere. We carefully planned our hearth settings, gathered and consolidated quests to need fewer trips, we did what we could, but we were slow moving mammals.

One aspect of that easy to forget is that when you’re on foot, it’s a LOT harder to just blast on through to where your quest objectives send you. When you’re on foot, you sneak in or you fight it all, and trying to run just got you dazed/slowed and eaten. You spent more time fighting your way to places.

Another aspect was fast mount speed cost a shitload of gold by old school prices. I knew a lot of people before Burning Crusade that raided, that simply couldn’t afford a thousand gold for an upgraded mount. They had repairs and enchants and crafting Flasks to spend money on instead. So even if you WERE 60, you could be running around and aggro bad guys, and they would be fast enough to catch your ass and knock you off your mount. Phase three… fight!

I still remember the moment I bought my Druid fast mount speed. I was still questing in Silithis, and I had a fast mount, and I was riding past mobs… and they couldn’t catch up to me in time to knock me off my riding cat! I swear to you, that moment I felt a surge of disdain blast right through me.. “Hah! Try to catch ME, mother-)&*(^er! My ass is OUTTA HERE! Nyah, nyah! Woot!”

Another reason I spent a lot of time in zones, time enough to get to know them very well, was that we were comparatively much weaker back then. Gear and talents were aimed at incremental upgrades. It was all additive. You’d get a +3 strength boost on an epic as compared to your best blue. It didn’t seem like much, but when all your gear had those little boosts, it all added up and made you far more effective.

With content balanced with that in mind, tackling 3 or 4 mobs at appropriate level was a hell of a challenge, and just traveling through mobs to get to a quest objective could take a while and some careful planning.

By the time I was done with a zone, I might have been frustrated at how long it all took, but I really knew the area well. I had spent enough time there to develop unique experiences that stayed with me as special events. And gaining a level or two felt like a big deal.

Even now, I can cast my mind back and call forth doing escort quests, orc stronghold invasions, and performing genocidal slaughter of centaurs in Desolace as if it happened to me, and not something that flitted past my eye on screen for a second and was gone.

I remember with fondness the turning point in my feral Druid life, when I took on groups of mobs in Un’goro Crater because they were packed so tight, and developed a feral spec that drew deeply enough on Restoration that I could take Nature’s Swiftness. If it weren’t for how challenging the fights were then, there would have been no call for me to develop a fighting style where I could pull four raptors, burn one down in Cat while accepting the increased damage, switch to Bear and stun one to reduce incoming damage I’ll take in caster to two mobs worth, shift to caster, fire off a Nature’s Swiftness instant cast max level Healing Touch, shift back to Bear to grind them down to one left and then back to Cat to finish it off.

Three mobs, even four, and to still be alive at the end! That was some intense and satisfying fighting, and a true sense of accomplishment that lingers to this day. That was when I began to get a handle on how fun Feral could be if you lived it.

There, just like an old fool I rambled on about the good old days. Those days are long gone, and we have the game to deal with as it is now.

I drift off into into these things, and I think one reason is because I am having a very hard time convincing myself that everything today is rosy red.

I make alts, and they’re fun so long as the rush of possibility is still there. New alt, new name, maybe a new spec to play with, a new race combination, a new combination of professions.

The excitement only lasts while I can keep it different. The new content in Cataclysm is great, and I haven’t seen everything yet, but the closer I get any character to Outlands, the greater the dread grows.

What I try and avoid thinking about is how we have backed ourselves into a corner when it comes to new content.

The playerbase got Burning Crusade, and played it through and loved it. Once we got into end game raiding in Burning Crusade, where there were tons and tons of raids that had all these keys and attunements and quest chains and things to do before we were allowed to enter, we begged to have the leveling process accelerated so we could bring up a second character to help our groups out. DPS wanted to be able to have a Healer alt for when Gene can’t make it. Tanks wanted a DPS for when they felt burnt out.

There was so much to do at end game, we wanted to have extra characters to try and do it all. 

Well, now we’ve got it. The genie is long out of the bottle, the leveling experience is accelerated to ludicrous speed, and we can get alts up in weeks, not months.

But the acceleration applies to all PvE content outside of raids. And those of us with armies of alts long ago leveled them all most or all of the way there.

We’ve done Burning Crusade 8 times, Northrend 8 times, even Cataclysm 8 times.

Cataclysm feels more brutal to me than the others, and I think it’s because they gave us so much new in Azeroth. There is a limit to how much new content anyone can provide in an expansion, and the scope of what we got in Cataclysm was wonderful. It was more than I ever expected.

But it wasn’t quite enough in the end game to satisfy the need for new questing and adventuring.  

Blizzard has done a great job with Azeroth’s revamp, and the races/class combos, and the guild leveling, and the PvP, and even the raiding pace. They are fulfilling their promise of continuous new raiding and instancing content.

But Syl nails it on the head, that for those of us that want to take our main characters on an exciting new adventure, there just isn’t enough. Everything I’m doing is to distract me from that truth.

It is the adventuring that I love, and that calls to mind my favorite moments in the game over the years.

It is going new places with my Druid and seeing new things. In a perfect world, I’d be able to keep doing that with new questing content that came out as regularly as raids and instances. In a perfect world, there would be frequent mini-pack expansions of expanded worlds full of solo or two-person adventuring delight.

There would be $15 expansions of ‘pirate adventures’, and ’empire toppling’, and ‘lost civilization discovery’, the same as the D&D modules we used to buy from TSR. Things to keep you going for another couple of months of lateral adventuring at the same level and with new green level (or blue) quest rewards, leaving the epics to PvP and PvE raiders.

What keeps me from getting cranky about it, or seriously talking about it, is the simple fact that content for adventuring pleases one person at a time, and is only repeatable in that you can do it again with your alts. Content aimed at challenging a group of people can satisfy a whole lot of folks at once, and has a weekly reset timer.

It makes more economic sense to focus design team work on creating content that is inherently repeatable for a group.

The other thing I keep in mind is, Blizzard does have another design team hard at work on a new MMO. They are trying to make something insanely awesome, something that will both blow us away, and at the same time not compete directly with those of us that love the myth and feel of WoW. So I don’t expect the same level of investment in WoW as I would if it was all they had on their plates. WoW revenues help to support new product development. How could it be any other way?

I guess all I’m coming around to say is, I can’t always get what I want, but if I try sometimes, I justmight find, I get what I need…. until something shiny comes along, or the new MMO comes out, or getting to know a good group of folks to play with changes the game experience itself in new ways.

Thank you very much for the thought provoking comment, Syl.

And have a great weekend!

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When You Wish Upon a Star…

Just yesterday, I mentioned that I have no trouble findings things to keep me busy in the game without raiding.

What kind of stuff?

Well, I am playing my 85 Druid as a dual spec Kitty/Bear. Yep, two feral specs, one optimized for Kitty. I’ve run a heroic as Kitty in Bear spec, and my DPS was atrocious. It was crap. So, I’m going to see where I can take it with a fine tuned spec and planned out kitty gear.

No, don’t ask. This is my windmill, and I’ll tilt it if I want to.

Then there is that Human Warlock alt I made in honor of Fulguralis, and to give fair play to the Warlocks. My Mage tribute to Jaina and Gnomeageddin is level 71, so there is an inequity in the balance of power. Inequity? Hmm, the word sounds right but I bet that ain’t how it’s spelled. Well, damn the spellcheck, full speed ahead!

The Warlock reached level 25, and has 125 Enchanting/Tailoring. I was going to play more last night, but then…

I made a new Dwarf Shaman and sent over my two heirloom hammers.

Have you SEEN what a muscular dwarf looks like swinging two square-headed mjölnir ripoffs? The animation fits the models perfectly, which is a geeky way of saying the dwarf looks like a total badass. “Hey toad-boy, c’mere, let me say hello. Dwarves say hello by hitting you in the face with a sledgehammer. If we really like you, we hit you lots. Stand still, ya pansy! I’m jest trying to say I love ya!”

But wait, wasn’t there a Hunter? Yes, but the friends I was running heroics with ain’t been online. So, well, idle hands are the devils tools, right? And apparently the devil made me play alts.

Oh, and I farmed tons of herbs so I could make flasks so I am ready to make Cauldrons if my Hunter ever gets invited to another raid… and I’m making Truegold to get the crafted polearm made for my Druid.

It never ends, you know that?

Just going on the hunt for new non-combat pets on my Druid can last the week!

Seriously, with all this content, who the hell even has TIME to raid?

Geez, and I don’t even PvP! Can you imagine how little time there would be if I added killing slobs on top of it? Then I’d have to start building a resilience set, and a spec for slaughtering living, thinking peoples, and a macro that would scream “Screw the deeps, KILL THE HEALERS!!!”

I’m sorry, but there is just too much WoW to play. I think what I need… is a sponsorship. How am I expected to get everything done if I have to go to work every day?

Dude, seriously… people sponsor boxers, and the boxers go train. I know Curse sponsors serious raiders… I need to find someone that is willing to sponsor a World of Warcraft slacker.

And no, I won’t farm gold for you!

In Thrall we trust, all others pay cash.

Raids – Accessibility versus Challenge?

I’ve been wondering how you feel about raid accessibility and progression lately.

During Wrath of the Lich King, the raids started out at one level of difficulty, and then were reduced in difficulty over the course of the expansion. Raids kicked it big, and then as new raids came out, old raids got the ol’ nerfbat swung at ’em.

Even the last big pre-Cataclysm raid, ICC, saw planned gating with the group buff that got beefier the longer the expansion was out.

The most recent notes from patch 4.2 indicate that all existing raids in Cataclysm are about to meet with the same nerfbat treatment, just in time to ease the difficulty/speed the progression of those working on them to get people into the Firelands sooner.

We know for a fact that the easing of difficulty in the name of accessibility did not die with the Lich King. Also, Valor gear for Justice points, coming soon to a vendor near you.

So, how does that make you feel?

I’m interested in this, because for the first time in the game I have a character that could keep up with progression and see Firelands with my guild as it’s released.

In all the years I have played World of Warcraft, I was never one of the players on the leading edge of content progression. Of course, I’m still not on the leading edge, it’s the guild I’m in that is. But I’m kinda going along with them, running like hell to catch up, and I’ve been the beneficiary of their largess with pity epics.

That, plus some seriously focused playtime on my Hunter have placed me on the “wtf, I can raid?” chart as a backup/fill in. If content gets nerfed, then it will be the raids I’ve actively seen that are getting the axe. Including the one boss I haven’t seen die, Nefarian.

It’s my opinion that the nerfs aren’t needed, not on the basis of difficulty level.

I have now done the raids with two different groups, and I’ve had the chance to see how things look from both sides. One group has the content on farm, and the other has about half of it on farm and is tackling new bosses each week.

I’ve also done the heroic dance, getting the gear and figuring out what to get for Justice points, and what to save those precious Valor for.

What I’ve seen is that the content as it is, is excellently balanced.

It is very challenging to learn initially as a group, because each battle has multiple phases, slick gimmicks, and is balanced for groups with a good mix of melee and ranged. learning everything about each fight as a cohesive group takes time. I don’t care who you are.

The most challenging aspect of each battle seems to be movement.

There is a choreography for each fight, a timing and rhythym. They aren’t as rigid as the Safety Dance in Naxx, but timing is still critical.

The most interesting thing to me is that you can control the timing of your group. If your DPS is too high for some fights, too unrestrained, you can trigger phase changes at the wrong moment for your tanks to handle. You can choose whether or not to kill adds or kite them, and deal with the repercussions your own way if you feel up to it.

You’ve got more control, and the better your group is able to flow as a team, the easier the fights get over time. I like that. “And you can dance… for inspiration.” Oh, sorry, I didn’t really type that, did I? 

The thing is, once your group has learned these things, then the encounters are fun and thrilling without being a pain in the butt. When you finish a battle, you know you still had to do it right and do it well, you don’t snooze through. There is still definitely a strong feeling of “Hell yeah, baby, beat his ass again, roll him and grab his wallet” to it.

They’re not nerfing raid fights because they have to. They’re nerfing raid fights to make them easier to get past, and they’re doing it at the same time as they released troll heroics that are farmable for epics, and when they’re making Valor gear go for Justice points.

It’s all about accessibility for more people.

I clearly remember how I felt when all this happened in WotLK. I was glad that there was new content for me to do (the ICC heroics), and I was glad that my friends in Zug would soon be seeing even more tasty fun content.

I even got some benefit out of it, in that the old heroics defintely became a much easier proposition in ICC heroic gear. 

But at the same time, there were problems.

The old heroics were shunned, because why run one of those when there were fun heroics that had epics? Sure the old ones were easier and you could gear up in them to be stronger in ICC heroics, but a lot of people queuing up didn’t seem to care. As soon as iLevel gating said they could do ICC heroics, in they were. Carry me!

So that begs the question, is the current iLevel gating to the troll heroics forcing people to be much better geared in comparison to what we dealt with in WotLK?

Then there is the problem of how you feel, working so hard and taking on challenges, only to have them nerfed, then bypassed by stuff that people won’t get upgrades from if they can get into the new stuff instead.

Will the current raids still feel as epic, when I know that they used to require a tighter group? Will guilds that were struggling feel cheated that they didn’t clear it before the nerbat was swung?

Or will people feel too excited to get into the Firelands?

With Firelands out, will we see the same change in priority we saw in Wrath of the Lich King? Guilds that run the old stuff as little as possible in order to get into the tasty loot-dropping new stuff? Players that run the two new heroics with epic drops exclusively to gear up to hit Firelands, skipping the old raids entirely?

I’m really wondering. I wasn’t part of the raiding scene when ICC was released, so I never played with anyone that had been struggling on content, only to have everything they were doing flushed when ICC and the new heroics got released. 

Is your guild already farming hard modes and bored, waiting for Firelands? If so, will you ever return to BoT, Throne of the Winds or BWD?

Is your guild at the point that you’re could be done and farming the current raids, but have chosen to focus more on farming the new heroics for easier (and repeatable) chances at troll epics?

Are you still struggling to get full raid clears (much like I feel I am) and if so, how do you feel about the upcoming nerfbat, and where will the Firelands find you? Eager to enter, or determined to finish what you started first?

I’m surprised to admit that I’m interested to see what happens next in the story… but at the same time, I feel a strong sense of familiarity about the whole thing. I wonder if the content shift in the next patch will work smoother, or if we’re about to hit that bumpy patch in the road.

I’m just a healer (In a gogogo pug!)

With apologies to the Moody Blues, whose song and melody are the inspiration for this parody.

I’m just a queueing up to get a quick run
Looking for some more people
Who want to group up with me

And while I’m healing I see so many noobs
Tanks losing group aggro
Damage standing in green

And if you want my long cast heals
To glow around you
When you’re the only dumbass standing in the bad, don’t tell me

I’m just a healer in a gogogo pug!

The tank is charging at the whole &%$^ing group
I can’t heal that fast
we need some CC

If damage classes want to taunt off the tank
I’m gonna let you all die
Your screams aren’t bothering me

So if you want to pull the groups
in one endless chain
when you can see my mana running out
Please kill me

I’m just a healer in a gogogo pug!

How can we understand
damage for the meters for the idiots
Who are only destroying themselves

And when you see the dropping
health bars of the group around you
players still standing in the bad.

Standing in the bad.

I’m just a queueing up to get a quick run
Looking for some more people
Who want to group up with me

And while I’m healing I see so many noobs
Tanks losing group aggro
Damage standing in green

And if you want my long cast heals
To glow around you
When you’re the only dumbass standing in the bad, don’t tell me

I’m just a healer in a gogogo pug!

I’m just a healer in a gogogo pug!

How can we understand
damage for the meters for the idiots
Who are only destroying themselves

And when you see the dropping
health bars of the group around you
players still standing in the bad.

Standing in the bad.

Pugging is the misery causing our woes

Meeting so many asshats dying like fleas

I’m just a healer in a gogogo pug!
I’m just a healer in a gogogo pug!
I’m just a healer in a gogogo pug!

I Love the Smell of Caffeine in the Morning…

I am a Bear of very many words, but there is only one thing that I can think of to properly describe my state of mind this morning.

“It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the beans of Java the thoughts acquire speed, the hands acquire shaking, the shaking becomes a warning. It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.” – Unknown (derived from Dune )

… it smells like victory.

Double Rainbow Winning!

This post goes out to Fulguralis, and all those like him, that bring skill and dedication to everything they do.

In Fulguralis’ latest post, he mentioned that he and his raid team just successfully destroyed the Omnitron encounter, like so;

I have to admit, I was a bit jealous of the Bear earlier in the week. I mean, some of us have been toiling away for months over here, and he strolls in all casual like and passes us up in progression in just one day! Also, to add insult to injury, he did it on his hunter.

Fortunately, we downed Omni last night for the first time as well, knotting the score, as it were. Not that there’s any sort of race going on, just… he hasn’t raided in forever. He usually doesn’t even write about raiding. And he then steps in. And on a hunter. And. Just. Blech.

I was overjoyed that Fulguralis attained the satisfaction that comes from setting a goal for yourself, working hard to reach that goal, and finally tasting that hard-won victory.

At the same time, reading the beginning of his post made me feel a little sad. I hadn’t stopped to think how it might feel for someone working their ass off and fighting every week to read that. To strive so hard, and then see some complete noob and raiding dilettante just pop on in and get it first.

It was pretty rotten of me to do, and for that I offer my apologies to Ful and to anyone else in the same position who might have felt that I was, well, a cheater. 

That’s kinda what this post is about.

You see, the way I look at it, if you’re going to go and post something that causes folks to feel bad about their progression, leaping ahead without really trying, you should go the full monty.

You should really break out the total double rainbow side to side, baby.

So, let Uncle Bear tell you about the raid he went on yesterday.

The afternoon started much like any other… wandering around in WoW. In this case, I believe I was on my new Warlock alt, seeing what kind of craziness I could get up to.

I get whispered out of the blue to see if I could take an empty DPS spot in one of the raid teams in the guild.

Now, I’d been asked to raid already by my very good friends, Matheo and Hedwig, but I’d had to turn them down. The email I had said their raid time started at 8 PM, and went for about 3 hours. On Azuremyst, I’m two hours ahead of server time, so I took 8 PM, added two hours, and said thank you but no, I can’t raid with you. 10 PM to 1 AM would normally be just perfect for me, but in this special case Sunday was going to be my sons first communion. No way could I stay up til 1 AM raiding on the morning of so much preparation.

Now, here I am getting invited to a second raid for Saturday, to raid with one of the other serious raid teams.

Mind you, my total iLevel is around 342. I’m not being invited because of my stellar DPS skillz. I’m being invited because there are three kickass raid teams of ten people each in the guild, and there are simply no other unclaimed peeps. Everyone else that might be available are claimed on some other teams lockout. If one person can’t make it… well, when that happens they usually have to pug in someone to fill the raid.

I’m also getting invited simply because there were eleven signed up for the alt run raid on Thursday, and I wasn’t able to go. So, there was some kindness at work there too, which I certainly appreciated.

I’m getting invited, and hey, this was what I had hoped to be able to work towards someday. Being the guy that might not be in a regular raid team, but is able to fill in if he’s needed once in a while to help people out. And hopefully, not suck.

For this raid, I’m told the time will be from 4 PM to 7 PM server. Well heck, 6 PM to 9 PM my time, I can make that work. At least, I can this time. If Cassie feeds the cats for me at 6:30, and if we rush and get dinner done before 6:00 start time, and if we don’t go too far past 9:00. I run it by Cassie, and kind-hearted soul that she is, she lets me go ahead and be available.

So, here’s how the evening goes.

With a 3 hour raid window, I think we have time for maybe one solid shot at a raid instance. i just don’t know where we’re going.

We head to Bastion of Twilight.

I’m pretty excited, because while I’d taken part in killing Halfus, the alt run I was in didn’t clear Valiona and Theralion. Twin dragon deaths! Something to look forward to seeing, and hopefully this time I’ll live through it.

My greatest hope was that I’d see Bastion of Twilight in it’s entirety before raid time was over.

What happened instead was nothing short of amazing.

We went in and one shot Halfus, then Valiona and Theralion, the Sanctum of the Ascended, and Cho’gal. Pretty much at a dead run.

Did I live through everything? Err, no. I don’t think I did terribad, but at the same time the rest of the team moved like a well oiled machine. A machine lubed with vodka and everclear, but lubed nonetheless.

I was told who to pew pew, and when, and the more complicated stuffs were handled by those more capable at the finer elements.

You heard me right, I got carried through Bastion of Twilight and got the Achievement.

I received a very nice upgrade as well, a new necklace, the Necklace of Strife from Valiona. A raid with tons of stuff to see, and loot too? Verily, my cup be running over.

At this point, I naively thought the evening’s entertainment was done. They raid two nights on the weekend, so I figured they saved Blackwing Descent for Sunday.

Not so! Off we went to take on BWD, at top speed.

In short order Magmaw, Omnotron Defense System, Maloriak, Atramedes and Chimaeron went down.

That’s right, everything except Nefarian.

T’was at that point that the raid was called, Nefarian being held for the Sunday raid, which I, of course, would not be attending. Not just because I was busy, but also because my DPS just be too damn low. I stayed right around 12k to 15k, and that’s just not right. 

So, time to go to Stormwind, and then off to bed, just as soon as I had purchased a Gnomish X-Ray Scope for my new bow, Themios the Darkbringer, which dropped on Atramedes and was passed to me with something akin to relief, with a few comments along the lines of “Hey, for once we don’t have to shard the Hunter loot.”

Yep, loot whore, one each.

So, after I got the new bow enchanted, someone said, “Okay, now for Al’Akir.”

Wait, what? We’re not done yet?

Nope!

 We went straight into Throne of the Four Winds, where we proceeded to finally wipe, on Conclave of Winds.

Now, don’t get me wrong. They usually have no problem one shotting Conclave of Winds.

The problem was, according to vent, a combination of poor Kissinger the Mage getting actively hacked while we were on the platforms, and of my bringing too much DPS to the raid, compared to who they normally would pug in. I was rushing them to go all out sooner than usual.

Isn’t that great? I screw the raid by trying to do my best. You can’t beat that, my friends.

Poor Kissinger. Sitting there on vent raiding, and poof, you are booted from your own account and taken over.

He got it seized back quickly and changed the password, and he talked to a GM about it, but there was little else he could do. He has an Authenticator on the way, but it’s not in yet. Talk about screaming frustration, right?

To cut it short, we beat Conclave of Winds despite some incredibly embarrassing blunders by me, and moved on to Al’Akir.

Al’Akir is an amazing encounter. Truly amazing.

I also did something I can’t ever recall doing before.

I pulled the boss while the raid leader was still telling me the strategy.

That the team almost one shot him that try anyway just says how badly they were carrying me, but, um, yeah.

See, it’s totally my fault, but at the same time, well, shit.

I turn using my mouse. I hold right-click and change facing by moving the mouse around.

Al’Akir has ONE HUGE F’ING HIT BOX.

I pointed the mouse I swear at my feet, right-clicked my mouse to look around, and shot the boss in the ass.

I’ll long remember the raid leader saying, “Make sure during phase three that when you get lightning rod you move down 10 and out 40, then WHAT THE HELL?!?!”

Yep, that was me that did that, yep!

So.

One night. About 3.5 hours.

Bear got, on his still shiny new Hunter, blasted through every normal raid boss except Nefarian.

Umm, Fulguralis, I think at this point I should say something like, I’ll see your Omnomnomotron kill and raise you a please don’t kill me, please please please I’m sorry I’m sorry.

Not that we’re racing or anything. 🙂

Seriously though, what this has proved to me is one thing.

If you want to have success in raiding, having skill and gear is good, but joining a guild full of uber accomplished raiders that are willing to carry you is even better.

Okay, no, that’s not what it proved. I’m sure the more cynical would say it is, but meh.

What it proved to me is that skill and coordination and talent all play the largest roles… even to the point of a very good 9 person team being able to deal with a horrible noob and still come out on top. At least, as long as that noob ain’t a tank. Or a healer. Or one of the people needed for CC.

Now… THAT is how you’re supposed to write a post about leaping ahead in raid progression without earning a single bit of it.

I now return you to your normally scheduled blah blah BBB blah.

Oh, wait… I know what this post is missing. Screenshots!

Okay, huge blind internet dragon swooping in for the kill… poor little guy. If only he heard about Lasik Eye Surgery!

The gong show… my favorite show ever? Not really, but I always loved the Comedian in the Paper Bag. Of course, I think I was five when that show was on the air. Everything on TV is funny when you’re five, if it involves stupidity or farting.

Nezir, I think AnnCoulter would like a quick word with you… just be careful, she may be a hideous, deformed thing with a massively huge snout and ginormous mouth that roars incoherently all the time, but if she grabs onto your nuts with those teeth, it ain’t gonna be pretty.

Ahhhh, Al’Akir. You poor, poor Elemental Lord. You are huge, you are powerful, you are one of the four elemental lieutenants that had once led the armies of the Old Gods. Your power rivals that of Ragnaros himself, and you are worshipped by all that love the sky.

I’m really, really sorry about these arrows I’m about to shoot at you. I mean, the angle, what I can see here… it’s just not dignified, and I want you to know, if I had it any other way, I wouldn’t be about to do this. No, I mean it, I’m really sorry.

I’ll tell you what. Those arrows? You keep ’em. No, really, you can have them. I don’t want those back. You just… you just hold onto those. Just please… don’t mention it. We can let them be my gift to you.

Quick request – USMC Mahjongg tileset.

Back in the dinosaur computing era, as near as I recall 1993 – 1994, I was stationed at Camp Pendleton, SoCal.

We had a Win based computer for report writing at HQ, and on that computer was this incredible game called Mahjongg.

The coolest thing about that game was that the pictures on each of those little digital tiles were high qualty USMC related designs.

Rank insignia for officers and enlisted, Eagle Globe and Anchors, American flags, all in color.

I know this is silly, but I really, really wish I had Mahjongg on my computer at home with that tileset. I’ve tried to find it or one like it over the years, and never had any luck.

So I turn to you, and ask you for help. Has anyone ever seen a tileset like this before?

Thanks everyone for your time, and have a happy Friday the 13th. Try not to get axe murdered if you can avoid it.