Monday, July 19, 2010

Turns out it -was- too much!

You know how I asked how much was too much?

Yeah. Raiding all four of the days I had off, multiple raids a day, kinda burned me. Plus there was the whole frantic grind for frost emblems for my T10 helm/prims for boots.

Last week I managed to get my helm and boots right before we took on Lich King on Tuesday, and it was sexy. We managed to get to Phase 2 a bunch, buuut we kept wiping, which was fine, we were learning the fight. We spent three hours doing that, and we did significantly improve. We learned a lot about positioning!

We tried to regroup on Thursday, but not enough people showed up, sadly. Honestly, though, I was feeling pretty crappy- I had some a summer cold- so I was just as glad.

I declined ICC10 on Wednesday on my shaman, and on Friday I got invited to that 25-man on Dyna, but I said 'mehhh'.

I haven't even been running my daily heroic for frost emblems. I am suddenly the picture of apathy, and I hardly even want to log on...

Part of this is because this wonderful new raid group? The raid leader and main tank is leaving for a few weeks. Q_Q The raid will go on, but... I dunno. It's a bummer.

The other part is that... I just don't feel like it.

I've got a great group that I absolutely adore, and I am pumped to raid with them again. But now that I have experienced this wonderful, amazing- COMPETENCE- in comparison with what I had PuGging?

I don't want to go back!

I don't -want- to deal with the PuG rogue who tells me 'lol mail is 4 shamenz i h8 pallyz who where mail'.

I don't -want- to deal with the tank who isn't def capped and is pulling like a fiend while letting everyone else get aggro.

The idea of queuing for a random lately makes me go 'eennnnhhhhh...'

I mean. I need my off-set gloves. It's a nice upgrade. And I need my prims for my new legs. That'll be a nice upgrade, too.

But... they aren't -that- massive of upgrades... and... blehhh. I'll get them before the raid leader gets back. Mehhhh.

Also, RP has been kickin' lately, so- yay!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

How much is too much?

This time last week I was still buzzing from the excitement of my one, lonely successful ICC10 PuG group.

But the past four days have each consisted of ICC raiding. To be honest, it was a bit much!

Tuesday rolls around. I posted last week that I was silently stalking the raid leader of the group I had such a great time with, and that I was going to conveniently be online when their raid was due to form. However, he beat me to the punch! I get a whisper- "Would you be interested in coming to ICC tonight?" I try not to explode into smithereens of absolute giddy pleasure and quickly respond, "Hell yeah!" There's an invite on my calender and I'm quickly stocking up on the things I need to raid, making sure I'm repaired, etc.

I ended up doing a ToC25 PuG in another effort to get 'my' shield or 'my' trinket, but we couldn't down Anub before I end up needing to leave to go to ICC. It was pretty spectacularly horrible. I wanted to bash my head against a wall by the end of it. I drop vent and head to the other vent, and immediately begin to feel better as I hear voices which are already familiar.

It was, as like last week, an absolute mind-blowing joy to raid with them.

I got boots off of Marrowgar which I almost refused to take because they were 'icky crit boots' but then I realized that baseline they still had more int, plus two sockets... so I took them. Which great reluctance. Now they're gemmed, but not enchanted, and I'm wearing them and sulking about it; just you wait until I get my crafted boots!

One shot everything and it's on to Valithria. I explain to the shaman healer I've been two-healing this with that I... have never successfully restored Valithria to her full health. That I am (tragically) a keyboard turner and am nervous about 'doing this fight right'. He explains that we just need to gather as many stacks as we can in the portals, explains he's on a laptop too and understands my pain, and then challenges me (in a friendly fashion) to outheal him; he says that even if I don't end up with any stacks, as long as I'm mainly healing the dragon he could probably heal it himself just with that little bit of help.

This makes me feel better. I beacon one of the tanks, and -get to it-.

It was actually kind of fun! Unfortunately, the last two portals I'd inadvertantly let my stacks fall off because I blew my CDs and went balls to the walls and didn't notice the portals opening, I was too entranced by the pretty green numbers with the, what, 19 stacks of buff? ... but we had it anyway, even with my lapse in judgement. (By the way, the shaman beat me- but not by toooo much!) She even dropped me some nice (HASTE) shaman mail that the shaman didn't want to replace my icky crit T10 gloves once I get my T10 helm! I'll wear them until I can accrue the frost emblems for the awesome off-set 264 gloves- om nom nom!

Then it's off to Rottie and Fester. I don't remember much except some people go upgrades, which was great! We still had some time... so, raid leader says we'll do one or two attempts on Putrecide and re-group on Thursday.

Well what do you know, we one shot the bastard.

Feeling great, we disband, and I enthuse to the shaman healer about how awesome it was to raid with them and how much I love cohealing with him, because shaman plus paladin equals pure sex in terms of healing composition in a melee heavy group!

Wednesday rolls around, and, oh, hey? You know how I got my shaman into a new guild? She's signed up for ICC10! Welllll ooookaaay. Twist my arm. I need the frost emblems to fund Dyna's boots anyway. We head in and...

Well, I don't know. I think I went temporarily retarded. Being DPS seems to do that to me. =/ On Marrowgar I kept finding myself not where I was supposed to be, almost missed the call for heroism because my macro didn't pop right. Deathwhisper, I kept critting myself in the face on the mobs I wasn't supposed to hit, and had to ask 'how do I know which ones I shouldn't hit?' which was responded to with 'they have bubbles around them'. Right. The giant reflective bubbles that mean I-- oh fuck I just crit myself in the face again. I felt stupid.

We wiped a few times on Deathwhisper then downed her. Then did the weekly raid quest, which was to kill a frost giant- that was fun, and I didn't fuck up there. Then we move onto Gunship, and we're told to get rocket packs. I go to grab a rocket pack, click past the text-- OH SHIT THE FIGHT IS STARTING. Guess who talked to the wrong NPC.

I wanted to slam my face into a wall, I felt so dumb. I was appalled at myself. Still, we one-shot it; I mean, lootshit, duh. Then we move on to Saurfang, and I managed not to look like a moron there; even got a shiny necklace upgrade.

I don't remember if we downed Festergut. I don't think we did.

Overall, I was the top DPS; but each individual fight I was second. The mage and rogue fought between first and third, but I was consistantly second. I guess I did alright, but my sheer stupidity elsewhere makes me cringe. I did apologize to the raid leader and I did fess up to my mistakes, I didn't try to let someone else take the blame, at least. This raid, though it had people I knew, wasn't as much fun as the one on my holy pala. The raid group Dyna raids with is so amazingly competent. I'm not really one to talk (apparently) because I failed a lot, but... I don't know. No one even said anything when I fucked up, other than 'oh shit we're starting' on Gunship. But, eh, ICC raiding. I get to do it. I'm happy.

Thursday happens. We have Blood Wing and our progression boss- Sindragosa. We one shot Blood Princes, and two-shot Blood Queen but sadly miss the weekly raid quest on it- oh well! Then it's off to beat our faces against Sindragosa.

I will admit it. I expected us to down her, going into that.

It took some work, though. We hammered out positions. We fixed our strats. We had some really heartbreaking wipes- 12%, if only, if only!! Then the PuG retpally says 'sorry guys gotta go' and drops. After, like, three wipes. You knew this was progression night, I call you a pansy for quitting. Pfeh! So we try to nine man it.

This doesn't work either; strangely, we have the DPS... but two healing it is killing us. Literally. We consistantly get to third phase, and consistantly, one of the healers gets blocked and the other one can't keep everyone up alone. Saaaad.

I manage to pique the interest of a friend who 'quit wow', but was lurking on a lowbie alt, who brought in her ICC25HM geared ele shammy... we try three healing...

It's messy. We made some mistakes, things that were preventable. But that damn dragon dies, even after the raid leader says 'well that was a good attempt guys...' Silly raid leader!

The ele shammy wasn't even the top DPS, despite her amazing gear; I think she was kinda rusty, to be honest. Still, she pulled out the stops at the end and self ressed, pumping every ounce of pain she had into the dragon.

That's how I became a 11/12 ICC10 raider in two weeks!

We visit Arthas, do one wipe just for fun, just to see how the fight starts, and we're laughing and giddy as we die. Turns out? The edge of the platform really does mean the edge of the platform. Not on the edge doesn't cut it. Who'd've thought it?!

Then Friday hits, and... well. Frankly I'm kinda raided out. I just want to hang out in my skivvies and watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer and eat jello because it's hot and my head hurts. But... I signed up for the 25man. And I'll be damned if I won't honor my obligations. Besides, Marrowgar drops a sexy sexy shield that I'd really like to have; I already decided if the shield off of Sindi drops for us (which it didn't) the shaman gets it, I won't even roll, just because I know he really really wants it, and I've already gotten a fair bit out of loot raiding with them.

So I log on. And I do the raid thing. And it would've been okay, except my head is pounding, it's hot, and, oh, the raid is supposed to last for five hours. Five. Hours. And if you leave early, you won't get another invite back. Ffffffff.

We one shot everything up to Rotface, we do the weekly raid quest, I get a butt-ton of frost emblems and rep and all, but nothing I'm even remotely interested in drops. Eh. Oh well. We wipe a few times on Rotface, then down him, and move onto Fester.

For fuck's sake, we wiped on Festergut at least nine times after waiting for someone who is AFK for half an hour, re-explaining the fight to new people PuGged in at least four times... we're wiping because people are running the wrong way, there's oozes in the raid, and I want to just bash my face into a wall because it would feel more productive than this.

When the trash respawned, I finally gave in. "I'm sorry, guys, my head is killing me and I can't see straight. I hate to be 'that guy' who leaves, but I can't do this anymore, I'm not even healing at max capacity'. Which was true. My tank kept dying. Mostly because we had a shit-ton of oozes and no one was doing the right thing, but even with me- ME, a paladin- AND a tree druid on him, he was still biting the dust. I can say I messed up a bit, trying to make him my beacon target and healing other people- he'd be out of range and then POOF die. And I messed up because sometimes he was just out of range after we ran out for whatever the crap that AoE is. I don't know. I wasn't at my best, and my tank died, and I don't know how much of it was me not being at my best, and how much of it was unnecessary damage from DPS being retarded.

And now it's Saturday, and I'm glad I've got no more obligations until next Tuesday. You know. Because, by the way? My cohealer shaman in that raid group? LOVES me. Adores me. And the raid leader has extended a tentative invitation for me to be part of their group, even if I'm not guilded with them. Hell, they even helped me gem and enchant my upgrades! It was- I mean, I felt so- happy... because I was a part of their group. And they wanted to help me. And I want to help them. And if I wasn't in an RP guild that I can't leave, I WOULD JOIN THEM IN A HEARTBEAT. Just so they know for sure that I'm not leaving them anytime soon, if only they'll keep me around!

I'm two days away from my T10 helm, then I get to wear my shiny new haste shaman mail. I'm 3/5 primordial saronite for my boots, then I'm working on pants. Because damn it. Those pants are really, really nice. Once I get the frost emblem gloves, Dyna's frosts will also go towards prims, instead of just Iztli's, and I'm hoping the process will become much faster. I'm still dreading it, though.

But yes. Raiding overload. Too much of a good thing... can be a bad thing. I think I'll stick to Dyna's ten man team, and skip the 25... probably... there's some really nice gear out of 25... Maybe DPS on Iztli for her group, if they even want me around after last week's show of stupid.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Watching from afar

It's Sunday. The guild raid I joined on Thursday was supposed to down Sindy yesterday; they were hoping to move on to the Lich King, and, as I check the main tank's armory activity feed, scanning anxiously to see if they made it- my heart skips a beat, then falls. They didn't.

... when did I become a stalker??

Reverse, rewind.

It's Wednesday. After some real life obligations have been taken care of, I'm out doin' what I do best- role playing. Actually? I'm busy role playing my shaman, Iztli, into a guild. Which is entertaining because there's an interview process, and Iztli isn't exactly known for having people skills. As I emote her sniffing her interviewer curiously and listening to things that no one else can hear because she's batshit crazy, I notice Trade chat has a bulletin:

"Looking for Tank or Sassy Tank Healer for ICC at 6:30; 7/12, hoping for 9/12"

I bite my tongue. I've never seen those fights. The person posting is someone I've PuGged with before- a pallytank who MT'd Onyxia 25, and, memorably, called out several of the DPS whose DPS was lower than his own. Being an RP server, that sort of behaviour has a stigma to it- you're seen as elitist. Especially being as it was a full PuG. Yet I can't help but agree when people get called out for being bad. And I'm sorry, if you're in full T9 but can't figure out how to gem, spec, or play your class, then please, take the minimal effort and learn, it isn't that difficult.

But, you're not supposed to be mean in PuGs. I've seen people kicked for less. Frankly, it makes me roll my eyes, and I quietly give up hope on progression raiding as I beat my face into the wall every time I see someone pulls sub 2k as a DPS in all 232s.

This guy, however? He has a rep, in my eyes. And not a bad one, either. Well geared, knows what he's doing, not afraid to be mean- the sort of thing I'd look for in a tank- or in a raid leader.

But I don't know the fights. Being as I had, in fact, given up hope on getting past Festergut and Rotface, Blood Princes and beyond? Seemed unattainable.

So minutes pass. Iztli, remarkably, gets accepted into the guild, even after using her nose to assess her fellow interviewees. As she is given a pocket radio and ponders its taste- much to the chagrin of guild chat, which is abruptly barraged with slobbering sounds- I watch the ad get posted again. And again. Not spamming, but he posts every five to ten minutes or so; clearly he hasn't found someone.

Well. What the hell.

I send him a tell saying I'm a tank healer on an alt, but I don't know the fights. I give him my pally's name- then promptly facepalm. I've logged out in RP gear. Still, I have my rings and trinkets and libram equipped... I whisper him quickly- "Oops logged out in RP gear."

I get a tell back. "How much do you know about tank healing?" What. I am paladin. What don't I know about tank healing?? It's all I do! I heal tanks! He wanted sassy, didn't he? "I'm a paladin. It's what I do. I keep tanks alive. They do not die. This is my job." "Holy Light build, I see, picked up divine guardian; you gem for int?" "Nothing but, except my nightmare tear. But I don't know fights beyond Rotface and Festergut." "You keep the tanks up and don't stand in the fire." "... kay." "Sending an invite. Be on time, please."

... that easy. And, my heart soars- he knew the first thing about pally healing! Half the people on my server playing holy paladins couldn't tell you the difference between HL and FoL builds; everyone seems subspecced into ret, gearing for crit, and gemming... whatever the hell happens to fall into their palms! My closet elitist- which, I swear, really isn't that elite, just wishes people would research their class just a little bit before subjecting me to it- is singing arias for joy!

As my shaman continues to drool on her pocket radio and then wanders off to go play in the Moonwell- I'm hoping to rile up the local Kal'dorei population, see- I am grinning like an idiot and practically skipping for joy. He knew what pallies are supposed to gem for!

Prior to the raid, of course, I go tankspot the two fights we're going to be doing- Blood Princes and Blood Queen. For some reaosn, tankspot clicks with my brain a lot better than just a verbal explanation or reading a strategy guide; I watch the players do what they're supposed to do as the person explains how and why they're doing it. For some reason, I have a really hard time paying attention when the raid leader just talks and talks and talks... which is bad. I try. But it doesn't make sense until I can see it in action. So I prepare myself. I'm not going to look like a moron.

I buy some haste food from the AH, curse roundly as I can't find int/haste elixirs and pick up some frost wyrms instead, and make sure I'm logged on half an hour early. I check the loot lists; not much I want from there. I check the invites; looks like a pretty good raid comp. Lots of druids, a shaman, three pallies if you count me... I wait.

The raid forms. I get on Vent, which the raid leader is pleased to hear I possess. I get ninja inspected by the DK, who points out my trinkets and libram with approval- "A holy paladin who knows what they're doing!" Gasp- someone who can see past the low iLevel of these things?

"We have high expectations for you!" I am told in vent, as someone gives me raid assist 'to mark tanks in case you have healbot or something'. That's pretty spiffy; I mark the tanks as tanks, and also put the triangle and square over their heads, just to make them stand out more. Even though they gave me assist with that intent in mind, minutes later someone points out delightedly- "Hey, the tanks are marked!" And I grin to myself. "That was me." I type in raid chat, since my mic sounds like I'm in a wind tunnel. There's ooo-ing and aaa-ing over Vent; clearly I am exceeding their 'high expectations' so far.

We one shot blood princes. I barely remember the fight; it's frantic, for me. First time I've been there, there's damage flying and I'm determined to do my share. I have troubles making sure I'm not Standing In The Fire while also making sure my tanks are in range/LoS/whatever and throwing heals when urgently needed on DPS. Amazingly? No one dies. And, despite my initial assumption that there wasn't much for me on the loot tables for the bosses we're doing? I get a tasty tasty upgrade in the form of a ring to replace the spirit/haste 245 emblem ring. It has slightly less haste, but more int- and a socket for MOAR INT STILL. I am giddy; no one else rolls on it, no one else is even remotely interested in it.

Blood Queen is two or three shots; we had some difficulty with the bites. Just coordination stuff, really. It's not a tidy kill, but we down her... and head back for Putrecide.

Here is where I become less Pro and more Flailing Newb. I'm having a hard time hearing Vent because my speakers suck and The Boyfriend wants to watch TV. I miss most of the fight explanation and begin to get colors confused. On the purple ooze, stand by the green nozzle.. on the greeze ooze, stand in the middle? Oh god, now I'm in the middle of no where by myself... oh shit there's a thingie on me what do I do kite it into gr-- aggghhh!

We wipe a few times, and I move away from the noisy TV and focus on what the Other Healers are doing. We murder Putrecide; again, not a pretty kill, but a kill. Not only that, but the raid lead is calling people out on their mistakes; I don't catch my name, but he seems familiar with the group. It isn't public humiliation- just a simple, 'oy, you were in ___ when you needed to be ___'.

We move on to Sindragosa, since they already saved Valithria, and we wipe a few times before calling it a night. Everyone's positive. Our strategy on Sindy is good. The prot pally and I trade off using Divine Sacrifice on transitions. It's... nice. I was invited to Saturday's continuation, but...

Work. I have it.

So here I am, Sunday, going back to check and see if they downed her. I hope they did. But they didn't. I watch from afar and feel a twinge. I would like to be a part of that raid team. The raid team that gets past Rotface and Festergut. The raid team that doesn't wipe and automatically blame the healers for not healing through the fire. The raid team that recognizes a holy paladin who knows her class.

... they didn't down Sindragosa, or the Lich King, or Ruby Sanctum. And I don't know if the raid just never found the tank healer to do it, or if RL happened, or if they spent hours wiping.

For one glorious night I was a part of a team of people who were skilled and recognized my skill. It makes me feel sad and sort of pathetic, that I will continue to quietly stalk their progression from afar. That I will mysteriously sign on next Tuesday half an hour before their raid happens to start, and be mysterious 'not-busy' in case they need a holy paladin like they seem to. And yes, I stalked the guild; there's one retadin who dual specs holy. And a disc priest, who might fill the spot I happened to stumble across.

I can't gquit on Dyna; her guild is a huge part of her identity, of her character. Otherwise I'd ask to join this raid guild and earn a raid slot for myself.

So instead I'll watch. I'll stalk them from afar, and cheer when they do down Sindragosa- and hope against hope that they need a holydin next week.