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Gentle As A Chainsaw

With friends like these, who needs PuGs? (image courtesy of Optimistically Pessimistic)

Since the new LFG tool premiered a little over a week ago, everyone’s had a take on the new etiquette of cross-server grouping.  There have been the heart-breaking stories of groups that tossed about casual cruelty towards others, the pleas for tolerance of players who might not share your super-leet DPS,  and the groups that had no idea what they were doing and, moreover, didn’t care to learn.

I’ve had some “interesting” PuG experiences of my own, including one where a DK was pulling max. 400 dps.  We didn’t kick her, nor was there any discussion of her terrible output.  We did fine through the entire instance (the Oculus).  There were no wipes and the only time she died was on the final boss when she presumably didn’t know where to go during the phase shift.  And the most I wondered to myself about the whole thing was how any level 80 in half blues/half purples could only be doing 400 dps.

But this post isn’t really about any of the PuGs I’ve been a part of, the good or the bad.  It’s about the decidedly non-PuG grouping I joined in order to test out my new favorite thing: Bear Tazha.

Way back when I had dual-specced Tazha to be a feral tank, but found that she was useless in that role.  Our raids had all the tanks they needed and more off-tanks than you could shake a stick at.  Among my friends, we already had too many people vying for the tanking role and too few vying for the healing one.  So, once Blizzard redesigned kitty form, I respecced into feral dps.  I found it terribly boring and annoying, so much so that I never used it if I could help it.  The truth is, the only dps-er class I’ve ever really enjoyed to date is my fire mage (and solo-ing my secret horde alt hunter).  I fully admit that it’s not the kitty’s fault that I didn’t like it – I didn’t really give it enough of an effort.  Besides, dps-ers were a dime a dozen, too, so it was only useful for dailies, which I tend to avoid like the plague.  With the new LFG tool, however, tanks are king and being able to be either tank or heal for a dungeon is a distinct advantage when trying to get into randoms.  Plus…Rocket-Bear!

So it was back to bear-tank-Taz I went.  Triumph badges were spent like wild outfitting her, and I jumped at the chance to tank for a group of my loving (and forgiving, I hoped) guildies.  No random PuG-er to tell me I sucked or vote to kick me.  Just people I played with all the time taking care of me.  HA!

“Remember, guys, this is only my second time tanking in the last six months, so be gentle,” I said at the outset.

“Gentle as a chainsaw,” our mage replied happily.

I should have known then that there was going to be trouble. Continue Reading »

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My novelty suit from/for Tam.

So as active participation in Tam’s Christmas-present-syphilis-like-meme of bloggy exchange, I drew:

What was your “piece of wonder” moment (or moments) – the experience that defines everything that keeps you logging into WoW, the one you remember when you ask yourself “why am I playing this again”?

Is that all, Tam?  Sure we don’t want the answer to life, the universe, and everything, too?  (I have it on good authority that it’s 42.)

I’ve been thinking about it a lot since he posited the question to me.  And it’s made me realize that we humans (in our crazy, singular way) create relationships with everything around us. The obvious ones are those we have with other living creatures (those who can feel those same connections back at us), but we also create relationships with our homes, our workplaces, our jobs, our hobbies.  We have the same ups and downs, the same ebbs and flows of interest and disinterest, love and irritation.  And WoW is not immune to this.  Just take a look around at the WoW bloggers – we write feverishly, we are quiet for months, we vow to step away from the game, we come back from absences, we move on for good.

So just as there are a million moments and indescribable points of love and rage and perfection and failure between my husband and myself, between my career and me, between my family and me, there exists a million little reasons why the connection holds between WoW and myself as well. Continue Reading »

Now That Was Fun!

Five people + lots of dead-for-real undead + one lovers' quarrel = HELLUVA FUN TIME

I once read that blogging is a form of conversation between the blogger and their readers.  If that’s the case, I’ve been lagging on my end in a major way.  For months, all you’ve gotten from me is a distracted, “Uh huh, uh huh.  Yeah, I gotta go.”  And “What patch again?”  Real life intruded it’s ugly tentacled head as I’d known from the beginning it was going to with moving and house-selling and new-job-for-pally and oh-crap-no-new-job-for-me-yet and vacations and general exhaustion.  In the midst of all this when I’ve logged on to Warcraft at all it’s been to raid or to poke around with secret alts so that I can’t possibly be roped into conversation/instances/dailies with people I know.  As a result I’ve actually attempted to PvP which has been interesting and even entertaining occasionally (newsflash Alliance: Horde doesn’t actually have it all together like we always thought – and they complain about the Alliance being favored, too!)  I’ve read all the usual blogs and a few new ones (Hello, Miss Medicina!  Wonderful work you’re doing!), but I’ve been the silent stalker, rarely putting a toe forward to actually comment.  In the world of patch 3.3 discussions and Icecrown speculations, I’ve felt like the kid who started watching Lost in Season 3 – completely adrift and confused.  And I’ll admit that I wasn’t helping myself out by doing my usual research into what was actually going on.  (Yes, I do research, even if that research doesn’t make it onto the page.  Doubters.)

So there we have it.  That was me, logging on last night post-patch to join up with my Fantastic Foursome and a guildmate to have a go at the newly added 5-man content. Continue Reading »

When Goodwives Go Bad

We’re trying hardmodes and achievements in Ulduar now with some regularity.  Some are pretty easy.  Some are actually freakin’ hard.  After an unfortunate Crazy Cat Lady attempt, one of our DPS’s computers shut down on her, so while we waited for her to reboot, we held a pilgrim-costume dance party.  My pally took one look at my screen and remarked:

“So this is how Goodwife Taz earned her Scarlet A.”

So true, my Goodpaladin.

Goodwife Taz gets down and dirty.

Throw in a pink elephant and you have every pilgrim's feverish dream-sequence...

Push It!

Abandon hope all ye who push here...

This is a little recommendation for the WoW players out there who, like myself, have just done the following: spent three weeks on vacation, followed by playing only twice in order to raid, followed by playing nothing for a week due to no internet due to moving to a different state. Also, add in the moving company bringing all of your furniture the same day the cable company arrived (second time for the cable company since they messed up the order!), and a nice and overzealous moving van driver running over a “Do Not Enter” sign as he attempted to exit the complex by driving the wrong way down a one-way avenue.  Throw on some extra added “moved-whole-life” exhaustion, and then you have me last night.

So if you were/are/will be like me, you do not want to do the following: go into a saved Ulduar instance, teleport to The Spark of Imagination, buff up, and PRESS THE BIG RED BUTTON.  Continue Reading »

The Druid Questions

I’m back!  European vacation successfully completed with a minimum of National Lampoon-like instances.  I even got to play healer IRL when my poor pally was struck down by a hotel-room-quarantine-inducing sinus infection (and I got a regular, non-quarantine-worthy head cold), which had me stuck in a tiny room in Ireland for four not-so-pleasant days of pushing water and meds on him, watching as many pay-per-view movies as possible, eating lots of soup and brown bread, and wishing I was a tree in reality so I could “Abolish Poison” and “Rejuv” him back to full health.

The one good thing about the forced hanging-out-in-hotel-room bit of our trip was that the hotel TV offered internet.  It was a fairly wonky version of internet, but I was able to read stuff, so I did manage to catch up a little on what was going on in the blogosphere.  And while I am incredibly, horribly late to the party, and half of the guests have already gone home or on to other parties, and all the good things to eat are gone, I’m coming in anyway at this late hour to talk briefly with the exhausted host, sip a mostly slushy margarita remnant and mop up the last of the salsa with a few crumbles of tortilla chips.  In other words, I am responding to Miss Medicina’s healer questionnaire (even though Tam kindly gave me a pass due to my lengthy holiday): Continue Reading »

Taz and her pally head to Europe...

Taz and her pally head to Europe...

Well, on top of all of the moving, leaving my job, and general chaos that has been attending my real life lately, I’m headed out to Europe for the next three weeks with my pally!  Hooray!

Sadly, this means I’ll be 50 steps behind everyone else on the latest patch notes, druid nerfs (they’re doing WHAT to rejuv?!  new badges already?!), and general fun-fun that is going on in WoW.  On the other hand, I’ll be having fun-fun of my own trotting around gorgeous mountains in Switzerland and hanging out in Irish pubs.  (We will probably not be visiting London, so no Big Ben…or Parliament…)

So while I’m gone, happy playing everyone.  Save me a seat at the WoW table for when I get back.  And enjoy the hourly mind-numbing trick-or-treating that comes with Hallow’s End, as well as all the joy of killing the Headless Horseman with his crazy laugh (that I still hear in the back of my head sometimes…trauma from last year’s Hallow’s End.)

In the meantime, I thought I’d leave you with some fun pictures:

My pally and I don our Murloc suits.  A good time is had by all.

My pally and I don our Murloc suits. A good time is had by all, including our confused but trusting Worg Pup.

"The elders tell of a young ball much like you. He bounced three meters in the air, then he bounced 1.8 meters in the air, then he bounced four meters in the air. Do I make myself clear?" - Futurama

RUN FOR IT!!!!! *murgl-gurgl-gurgl-glug*