Tag Archives: Stands In Bad

Anybody out there? (Out there? (Out there?))

18 Apr

/peeks in

/coughs at the dust

Wow. Okay, so see, I didn’t *intentionally* mean to leave this blog hanging for four months guys. Honestly I didn’t. I just kind of ran out of things to write about, but I didn’t want to fully close the blog… I figured I would come back to it sometime and pick up the writing again, and I think that today might be “sometime” finally. I may try to revitalize this website and redesign it sometime in the near future, but for now I’m just going to try and get back in the habit of kicking out a post every week or so. I hope enough of you guys are still around to appreciate what i’ve got to say.

First off – Tier 14. It was a little disappointing to me, not because the fights were bad or anything like that, but because of how we performed, and I feel directly responsible for that as raid leader. My guild really struggled with Heart of Fear. We had some pretty heavy attrition issues, and a lot of things were just… problematic. I think the biggest issue came in the fact that there are some fights where you’re penalized for your latency and twitch gameplay more than you are for understanding the mechanics of the fight. Let me tell you, i’ve done Blade Lord Ta’yak a thousand times, but I *still* get picked up by a tornado that I was nowhere fucking near sometimes, all because latency makes me look like i’m in a different place than I really am. The weird thing about it is? Once we got past Blade Lord Ta’yak, we really didn’t struggle *TOO* much with the fights. At least, not more than I feel like we should have. Garalon took us a couple weeks, but we brought him down straightaway after 5.2 launched. Wind Lord Mel’jarak we actually managed to kill un-nerfed even if it WAS post-nerf (because that first week they had bugged out the debuff on Ta’yak and Mel’jarak). Amber Shaper took a couple weeks of work (but I don’t feel like it would have taken much longer without the debuff), and Empress was roughly the same. So, on March 28th, we finally cleared Heart of Fear.

After all the trouble we had in Heart of Fear, Terrace of Endless Spring barely felt like a raid at all. We walked in, 1-shot Protectors, 2-shot Tsulong, 3-shot Lei Shi and had 2 pulls on Sha before our raid week was up (after clearing Heart of Fear again that week). The next week (April 11th) we cleared HoF in like 90 minutes wednesday. Owned Protectors, Tsulong and Lei Shi, and even went on to kill Jin’rokh in Throne of Thunder (something we had been doing for weeks anyway). This gave us a full 3 hours to work on Sha on thursday. So of course, we 1-shot Sha as well. And thus ended Tier 14, for all intents and purposes, for Stands In Bad.

I feel like we’re rebounding pretty well into Throne of Thunder, in spite of our rather late start and catchup time while they tuned down 10m normals. From what I hear, pretty much the only people that were progressing past Horridon in 10s were people that already had heroic gear from t14, so I think they needed to be brought down. Speaking of, we managed to kill Horridon last week, and made some pretty solid progress on Council of Elders as well. I think that, for the most part, we could be back on track with t15 pretty soon.

I guess that’s all I have for now. I planned on talking about Death Knights some more, but maybe in a future post. I don’t feel the need to overload you guys so much on my first post in 4 months. For those of you who’ve kept me on your feeds and kept checking in from time to time, I thank you greatly. It’s been really nice seeing the discussions brought about by my blog in the past, and I think I am in a bit of a better place to be able to bring that back.

Chronicles of Cataclysm

13 Jun

I realize I am most likely late to the show on giving a sort of “post-mortem” of this expansion, but then, i’ve never been one to do things just because everyone else is doing them. Well… not *always* anyway.

Cataclysm has been an interesting time for me. There’ve been highs and lows and extended breaks and everything in between. I don’t have nearly as much to say about what *I* did this expansion as I did when I wrapped up Wrath of the Lich King… but then, I did a LOT more stuff personally throughout that expansion, I think.

Cata was a very up-and-down time for me. I put the game on hold for long segments at a time, and at one point even considered leaving the game entirely. Of course, that’s no longer the case, but i’m suffering the all-too-common “End of Expansion Doldrums” that seem to be plaguing a lot of people at this point. It’s natural, of course, to feel that way I think. Especially when you’re a part of a raiding guild that A – doesn’t do heroics raids, but B – is competent enough to have cleared normal DS  in a rather timely manner. This leaves me in an awkward, and sometimes frustrating position. Don’t misunderstand me, I really enjoy my guildies, and I am not shopping for somewhere new or anything like that. But as raid leader in a VERY democratic guild, it frustrates me sometimes when people aren’t interested in going after heroic bosses. I don’t have any doubt that we could be 2 or maybe 3 heroic bosses in at this point (Ultraxion being one of them, because we have pretty sick DPS, as well as a LOT of people who could alternate Hour of Twilight soaks, but I digress) and that’s okay that they don’t want to, I suppose. I am far from the kind of person that wants progression to trump the fun and relaxed atmosphere we’ve built for ourselves over the last two years, but every now and again I get a little jittery.

I started this expansion as raid leader and main tank for Stands in Bad, and that’s how i’m ending it. That fact, in and of itself, is unusual for me. You may or may not know this about me, but I am an altoholic (noooooooo…), and in my 4 years of WoW playing, i’ve switched mains something like 42 times. While my alting ways have far from subsided, the main changing has been kept to a minimum throughout Cataclysm. I started on my druid, and ended on my druid, (although there was a brief period in T11 where I tanked on my DK as my main, but honestly it didn’t last all that long). Raiding, as a whole, has been kind of a strange beast for my guild. We went through tier 11 strongly, finishing all of the normal mode bosses just under the wire before the nerfs and t12 came out. But then we went to the Firelands and we didn’t so much hit a wall as much as we were forcibly ran face-first into it, arms twisted behind our back. We were 4 bosses in when the nerf hit. And I am actually uneasy saying that we were even 4 bosses in, since we only actually KILLED Rhyolith MAYBE twice? And we were unable to reach any sort of consistency doing so. We’ll say we were 3 1/2 bosses in. Sure we had the kill, but we never actually had the fight down pat. Take that how you will.

The experience of Firelands was kind of a major break point for me and my will to continue playing WoW. I downloaded Rift and was really getting into that game for a while, but it was just a sort of breather, I think. There were a lot of fun things going on in Rift, but ultimately it just wasn’t the same. Also, somewhere around this point in time was where I met Kialesse. Now, generally, I keep my personal life out of my online/gaming persona, and definitely out of my blog (mostly because i’m sure you people don’t give two shits to be honest lol), but I would be remiss if I didn’t say that Kia played a pretty big factor in getting me back into playing WoW again. She didn’t actively try to coerce me or convince me or anything like that, but she got me legitimately WANTING to play again. It was definitely a turning point for me… but that’s enough with all the sappy stuff.

By the time we finally got Ragnaros down, we were almost to the point of counting the minutes until Dragon Soul was released… We were THAT ready to be done with Firelands, and indeed, we didn’t set foot in there as a guild for a couple months. You see, we had this legendary thing we had to complete. We DID end up getting both a Dragonwraith, and the Fangs of the Father in all-guild runs, in all-guild fashion, and props to both Darktyme and Teenytyny (respectively) for their accomplishments, determination, and ultimately willingness to do the same shit over and over week in and week out for inordinate amounts of time just for shiny orange weapons and some guild nerd points. o/

As it stands now, SiB is closing in on our 2nd birthday (ironically, on July 11th, or in American notation, 7-11) and we’re preparing for a drastic change in lifestyle. You see, when SiB splintered off from Brotherhood of Oblivion, we were originally on a low-mid population pvp server known as Azgalor (and still are, for that matter). A great majority of us (myself included) came to this server BECAUSE of this guild. Also, most of us are NOT pvp’ers. I mean sure, i’ll go in and wreck a lowbie BG on my priest or something like that, but world pvp just doesn’t do it for me. Then, last week, Blizzard announced a few changes to the PvP paradigm that are to come in MoP. I was not pleased one bit. World pvp is one thing. If someone wants to go around and gank me as i’m out questing or whatever, that’s all fine and good. If someone wants to raid Stormwind and kill King Wrynn, then by all means, have at it. The sort of straws that broke the camel’s back… well there’s actually 3 things that REALLY got to me about this post. The first was Blizz’s announcement of an item that can pull people off of flying mounts and force them to fight you. Not cool. Second was their intention of lowering the level of city guards on pvp realms. Third was the (understandable) announced lack of guards in the Black Market AH.

Now I want to be clear about a few things. I don’t have any issue with these changes on the whole. If Blizzard wants to bring back world PvP in a big way, then these changes are fantastic ways of doing so, and the people who enjoy that sort of thing will probably be dancing in the streets and celebrating. And more power to them. The thing is, I *don’t* enjoy that sort of thing. I don’t like having my hair stand on edge every time I hear the stealthing sound and wondering if it’s a horde rogue coming to slice me from end to end. I don’t like having to sit and fight a bunch of people everytime I want to go kill a quest mob just because they’re on the same quest. I like being able to go out and farm herbs until the end of time without worrying whether some hordie is going to come kick my ass for daring to cross the same herbing route he’s taking. It’s just not my cup of tea. No disparagement to the people who DO enjoy that sort of thing, it just isn’t for me. So, as a guild, we’ve come to a decision that we’re moving to a non-pvp server. It looks like Rexxar is going to be the new home of Stands In Bad, and this move could be happening as soon as over the next couple weeks. I’m pretty excited, I’ve gotta say. Questing in peace. Levelling lowbies without having to worry about douchenuggets 50 levels higher than me. Ahhhh, serenity.

Anyway, I haven’t been playing WoW as much lately, but that’s mostly because i’ve been REALLY busy killing demons. Also, the whole “boredom with WoW” thing that’s going on. I also haven’t been playing the beta as much as I was previously. As I said last week, there’s a large part of me that wants to go in and test ALL THE THINGS and play around and see all the pretties and everything, but then I realize that if I did all that NOW, then I would just be exceedingly bored whenever Mists of Pandaria goes live. It’s a difficult decision to make, but I figure A – new content is best experienced when I can enjoy it and don’t have to worry about “LOL WORLD SERVER IS DOWN”, and B – i’m an informed enough person about my chosen class(es) that I can make relatively sound opinions (for the most part) based on datamined info, and what I already know from the bit of beta that I *HAVE* played. I may kick around the beta here and there if I find anything particularly entertaining that I want to try out, but by and large, I don’t feel like I will be logging on to it too much from this point forward. I’m not going to partake in raid testing, or even level 90 heroics testing. I may make a premade level 90 to play around with talents or something of that nature, but it’ll be very small doses, and mostly (most likely) sitting around Stormwind beating up on a training dummy or something.

So, all in all, Cataclysm’s coming to a close. I look back on the expansion relatively satisfied with myself and what i’ve done, but I am ready for it to be over. So ready… When did they say MoP was coming out again? >.>

A break is a good thing…

15 Oct

If you hadn’t removed me from your readers by now, then you might be surprised to see me making a post right now. Honestly, I am a little bit surprised myself. If you’ve been following me on twitter than you know that I had been taking a general break from WoW, only logging on to raid. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was burned out. Our guild is relatively small, and my GM had a much busier real life schedule than I have had, so a brunt of the responsibility of running the guild from day-to-day, and keeping the sheep in line fell to me. Even with a small guild, if one person is shouldering the majority of the administrative duties, and being the general “face” of the guild, then it can wear on them after a while.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Amber definitely wasn’t TRYING to make me a workhorse, I certainly don’t blame her for ANY of it, and to be quite honest, I didn’t even realize it was happening. Amber and I have become pretty close friends over the last year, so it just kind of came to me being her right-hand man, so when she couldn’t be on to handle things (especially last month when she got married, and the couple weeks prior when she was preparing for it) it was kind of understood for me to do so.

So, what have I been doing in my couple months mostly away from the game? Well i’ve been playing Rift. It’s a surprisingly fun game, with a lot of little bitty things that I would like to see in WoW. It was refreshing to take a break from wow, and still get that… social aspect that I have always loved about WoW. I’m not going to go into a lot of details about it, but i’m sure that if Blizz took a look at Trion, they could happily take a few things that really wouldn’t alter the course of the game much, but could be just little… quality of life things that would feel big, when all added up.

Truth be told, though, I don’t know if I will be sticking with Rift full time. It did awaken something unexpected within me though. You see, in Rift… I am a healer. (cue gasping from any of you who really know me now) I know, it shocked me too. I didn’t even plan on becoming a healer. Fact is, it happened purely as a spur of the moment thing. There was a pug going out for one of the lower raids, and they were looking for cleric healers. Well, I REALLY wanted to see this content, and I fit the gear requirements (somehow), so I bought myself a respec and threw my talent points kinda haphazardly into a talent tree that seemed like it would work, and went a-raiding with this pug. Holy shit, was it fun. After that I started actually researching healing specs and learning some of the in’s and out’s of the spec I had decided on, and really threw myself into it full boar.

But anyway… this is a warcraft blog, not a rift blog, or even a general mmo/general gaming blog, so back on topic. A few shakeups have happened in SiB over the last month or so. Amber has stepped down as GM, and passed it along to Jen (who CLEARLY needs to blog more). Jen is a great person, and one of our shaman healers, and she’s kind of changing things around to relieve a bunch of the stress and burden of responsibility from me… especially because I hadn’t been in game much for a while. It wasn’t fair of me to do that to the guild, and just kinda up and vanish in-between raid times, but there it is. I was burned out from the burden of responsibility, and didn’t even realize it. Actually, it never even dawned on me that that’s what was happening, until I was talking to Jen yesterday, and was telling her how much more I had been enjoying the game since the shit has been spread around more.

I had been planning on quitting WoW sometime in the next few months, and searching for a replacement raid leader for the guild, but now that I’m not responsible for *everything*, I am starting to rethink that decision. I’m far more uncertain about my future than I used to be. I very well COULD be sticking around with WoW for a while now instead of stepping down. I guess only the future will tell.

Toot Toot – Tugboat!

25 Aug

After a somewhat disappointing (and EXCEEDINGLY frustrating) couple of weeks, with 1 raid night out of 4 occuring, we finally got back on track last night with a full roster of our own people, and some fresh nerfs to giggle fiercely at.

Toot Toot motherfucker

Yep.. We killed Rhyolith. Did it in 5 pulls, too. We took 4 pulls, with some obvious progress (and 2 weeks worth of rust), got a little annoyed and decided “Meh, let’s go kill Baleroc and come back to this douche later.” So, we did that. 20 or 30 minutes later, we’re back up on Rhyolith’s platform with ~10 minutes left in the raid. I figure we’ll give it one or two tries, and call it a night, satisfied with having shaken off the rust from inactivity. (BTW – we wipe on trash at the lulziest of times).

The first Rhyo pull after killing Baleroc, was pull number 5… And that was it for the giant fatass of a flame lord. Seriously, that slowfaced piece of flaming turd can just go away. And I got a new helm for my troubles… I also hit revered with the Avengers of Hyjal and picked up a sexy-ass trinket too, bringing my tanky ilvl up to 374.

Now, i’m not generally one to put TOO much stock in gearscore or item level or any of that nonsense, but I feel like it’s more important now than it was in Wrath (which is ironic, because Wrath is when the whole gearscore business took off). Item level feels like it’s much more of a throttle now than it ever has been before. I remember seeing people at the end of LK in ICC 25m gear, doing absolutely horrific DPS, whereas my t9 equivalent…. whatever I was playing at the moment would absolutely blister them on the charts. Now, it doesn’t seem like it works that way. Gear will hold back your DPS, affect your survivability, and throttle your healing capacity significantly. You will literally FEEL it change as you move up the ilvl charts. Don’t believe me? Think back to december or january when you first started running heroics, and then go run one now. Sure, things are always going to be much easier as the xpac moves along, but for my money this one is scaling much quicker than any of it did in Wrath.

Wow, it’s funny how your brain will carry you when you let it. I totally didn’t mean to sidebar about gearscore, but there it is. Anyway, so now SiB is 4/7 in the Firelands, with a big hairy flaming birdie looking us square in the face next. One of the downsides of there being only one raid this tier, is that after a while, there’s only one way to go. I guess I can’t complain too much though. Being able to pick from any of 5 bosses at the start of a 7-encounter raid is pretty good as far as i’m concerned.

Anyway, random rampaging ruminations aside (as well as auspicious alliteration!), Stands In Bad is still recruiting. I haven’t been having much luck with the conventional methods of recruiting (official forums, in-game guild finder, etc), so come check us out!

Side note: my “I” key has not been very happy with it’s lot in life lately, and it feels like I need to pay more attention to it, in order for it to work properly. It’s amazing how often you use a verb when typing, and how much can GO FUCKING WRONG when it’s not working right.

The Firelands Shuffle

2 Jul

I didn’t actually MEAN to go a full week without posting, but for some reason it just sort of happened. I blame the patch… anyway.

 

So… the Firelands huh? What’s THAT all about? I’ll give a few thoughts on it.

TOO MUCH TRASH, EXECUTUS.

We went in for the first time, as a guild, the day after the patch dropped (so, Wed the 29th, for those of you playing at home) and had an absolute blast. We played with the trash, we got some people their friendly cloaks, we played with the trash some more, and hey we even got a few attempts on the first boss we planned on, Shannox. Didn’t kill him the first night, but by the time we cleared enough trash for him to come down and start patroling, it was like.. half our raid time was over. On top of that, there was a nasty 2 hour trash respawn timer. Luckily Blizz had fixed that the next day (extending the timer to 4 hours). But still… MAN is there a shit ton of trash to clear before Shannox will start coming down to look for you. The next day when we went back in, even without having to explain the trash to everyone it still took almost an hour to clear enough trash for that fool to come at us. It took us another several tries of working out minor details (and people learning to not stand on traps so much), but eventually we DID end up killing the fucker. So now, SiB is 1/7 in the firelands. \o/

 

Shannox isn’t an overly complicated fight, but it does require quite a bit of precision from everybody. Also, the untauntableness can be pretty damn annoying when there’s not a trap near enough to the Riplimb tank for him to drop the damn dog in. I got up to 13 or 14 stacks, and the Riplimb tank got 18 stacks of that stupidass debuff before we cleared it off once… Ah well, such is life. We still got the kill (ugly as it was), and there’s a video for it on my youtube channel.

 

So, next week we’re going in to fight Alysrazor. I’ve been scanning wowprogress, and I came across an amusing thing. Among guilds on my server, the only guilds that have killed Alysrazor are the ones who have got at least 4 boss kills. (And one of the two guilds at 4/7 even skipped her, which I didn’t realize you could do). So… my guild is different. Or we’re just difficult. Hell, truth be told, probably a bit of both. One thing I do find kind of funny though… I think Blizz underestimated just how quickly some guilds would blow through 7/7 normal mode. Now granted, these people are all insane, but one guild even decided to get a jump on the system and faction transfer, resetting their raid ID, and start working on the heroic modes. Blizzard promptly said “Ha ha, NO” and promptly locked out all heroic modes until next week’s reset. Now, I am not calling “Stars” cheaters, but I think what they did is cheap as hell. I also think that if Blizz didn’t profit off of their “ingenuity”, they’d probably have that kill stricken from the records and recieve a 72 hour ban. Hell, Ensidia (i think?) had their world first LK kill removed, and were banned for 72 hours because some people were using Saronite Bombs in their rotation, and the siege damage caused the platform to rebuild, effectively neutralizing a MAJOR mechanic of that fight. And THAT was a bug on Blizzard’s part. It wasn’t even someone intentionally trying to game the system like the people at Stars were… so make of that what you will.

 

I also want to take a brief moment to complain about some of the crafting stuff…. again. There are patterns for craftable items that drop in the raid. These craftable items are ilvl 378, just like other raid drops. There are also craftable items that you have to purchase from the Molten Front vendors, after many days worth of dailies. These crafteables are ilvl 365… LOWER than what drops in the Firelands. What is the point in this? To use an example, we’ll go with the Witch-Hunter’s Harvester. Not a bad little agility polearm, that my druid would LOVE to have, but it won’t even be available for AT LEAST another week or so. By then, there’s moderate chance that my guild may fish up a Ranseur of Hatred, which is a BoE zone drop, and an even BETTER than the blacksmithed item. BLIZZARD! Y U NO MAEK SENCE!

/fistpump

19 Jun

So, this week, our guild went ahead and decided that we had had enough of Nefarian.

Oh, did I mention that this was just our 2nd night of attempts…. EVER? Yeah… Last boss of the expansion, and we basically get him down in 5 hours worth of work, and about 1/4 of the wipes we put on Al’akir or Cho’gall (if not less?). Man… We kick *ass*.

Honestly though, idk what it was, but it didn’t seem like he was nearly as hard as some of the other bosses. The thing about Nef… There’s a lot less actually going on, but the things that ARE going on have to be done with absolute precision, otherwise it’s a wipe. Now that can be a  head full of stress on any raider (let alone the raid leader), but sometimes thems the breaks. You really see who’s awful at interrupts. You’ll find out if your off tank will notice the lightning in time to turn. You’ll see if your healers can really deal with every getting ~100k damage every 30 seconds. You’ll figure out who knows how to JUMP ON A GODDAMN PILLAR FROM THE WATER (lol). Mechanically, I think Nef is probably the most unforgiving fight in the tier. But overall, it REALLY isn’t that hard. Or maybe my raiders were just REALLY on fire to get him down before the nerf happens next week…

Oh wait… That’s not happening either. But I didn’t feel like telling my raiders that the patch HAD been pushed back another week, just in case that WAS what was happening. Insert trollface here? Maybe a little bit, but i’ll be goddamned if it didn’t work.

I would type out a tanking strategy for Nef, but honestly there’s not much to tanking this fight other than “PRAY THAT YOUR HEALERS LOVE YOU”. Positioning Ony/Nef on opposite sides of the room isn’t even slightly difficult, and those 5 seconds or so while you’re moving Nef, yeah he hits fast… but it’s not so bad. It seemed like I got some decent avoidance strings during that time period to counteract it every time.

Seriously though, this is a big deal for me, both as a raider, and a raid leader, as well as a big deal for the guild. This is the first time the guild has been around for an entire tier of content, and we cleared the bitch while it was still relevant and not nerfed. Hell, when we formed, ICC was already at it’s 30% buff mark, and Ruby Sanctum isn’t really a “tier of content”… it’s 3 mini-bosses, and one major boss. Don’t get me wrong, I really LIKED the Halion fight, but it hardly counts in that respect, but anyway. It’s hard for me to not develop a bit of an ego over this. Most of my raiders have told me that they’ve never cleared a tier of content before it was nerfed, or before the next tier was released either, so that makes me pretty damn proud.

Anyway, have a killshot. Someone stabbed Nef in the eye with one of our banners… talk about adding insult to injury.

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