Thursday, 20 March 2014

Fanfiction: Short story

(This was written towards the end of Vanilla. I'm still not sure if I want to expound on it and write an actual story around these events. It recounts the first time Afterlight downed Nefarian. Only three paladins were left standing out of the 40, including myself. It was quite the victory!)

Blackwing Lair. The Dark Fortress of the Black Dragonflight. Throne of Nefarian.

. . .Soldiers of Luminance, blessed by Heaven above,
a champion shall be born amongst them.
Rhulain the Herald, the Bringer of Light,
will walk upon the world. . .

On the border of the Burning Steppes and Searing Gorge looms Blackrock Mountain where the formidable dragon stronghold stands. A land of emptiness and desolation, of fire and smoke and screaming hot winds carrying smoldering embers of the distant battles past, stretched as far as the eye could see.

. . .An old Evil will command its forces
and raise itself a kingdom of pestilence,
reaching its claws of decay o’er Azeroth,
raining blood o’er the mortal orders
and spreading its darkness o’er them all. . .

Vainglorious in its dark transcendence, the Evil One seeks to usurp Heaven itself from the Light. With the forces of the Black Dragonflight as only a part of those under his command, he calls upon Hell itself to surface to the mortal world.

. . .But the battle cries of the valorous will resound,
like the thunder of Heavenly Wrath,
o’er the wasteland of the Burning Steppes.
And they will come, in grim determination,
the Light’s finest, Heaven’s elite, with their formidable companions,
with skill unheard of in this age or in any before. . .

A vanguard of valor, with banners held high, marching in step, the multitude of a raiding clan amassed together in a journey to the fortress of flames. Relentless, they stormed the stronghold, Razorgore the Untamed, the first to die. Vaelastrasz, though corrupted as he was, was a respectable foe and fell with honor. The valiant party forced on, through the Halls of Strife, slaying the Broodlord and his whelps. After the defeated cries of Firemaw, Ebonroc, and Flamegor were silenced, Chromaggus was the next to fall. Bedraggled, weary, and wounded, the raid closed in on the chamber of Nefarian, Lord of the Black Dragonflight.

. . .Then the mountain will shake, for Nefarian will awaken,
his sinewy wings unfurled, his scaly bulk advancing
towards the brave champions of the Afterlight clan. . .

“Take heart, men! We can still bring this beast down! Heal the wounded, resurrect the fallen! Don’t let his trickery fool you, we will taste our victory!”

. . .The beast is a clever foe
and will resort to turn the tables
in order to cripple his enemies. . .

“Priests, no healing! Paladins, druids, pick up the slack and double your efforts! Hunters, stow those weapons, quickly! Warlocks, control your infernals! Magi, bring them down immediately! Shadowflames, prepare yourselves!”

. . .So few of the brave raid will be spared,
as a deafening roar fills the air
and lays their legions low.
Through smoke-filled eyes will they stare,
down the maw of the great drake
as he will spit shadowflames of death o’er them all. . .

So many victims, without even time to scream before they fall. Some melted into pools of bubbling flesh, others still turned to ash and were blown away.

. . .On that terrace, the multitudes will fall,
adding to the grisly d├ęcor of the drake’s lair.
Yet through befouling smoke shall emerge
a few from the brave order of the Light.
Choking and sputtering as they will be,
Hammers of Wrath they shall let fly. . .

Volley after volley of arrows found their mark, spell after spell successfully cast, swords, daggers, and axes struck true before the brave did fall. Every valiant one dead…except for the last three. As they were shielded by the Light, they struck the beast with the last of their divine strength and Nefarian goes down for the last time.

There, in the barren desolate lands of fire and smoke, can be heard the fall of the Black Dragon Lord.

. . .And the smoke shall lift,
and there they will stand.
Rhulain the Herald and her brethren,
with their glowing blades of Truth,
the shining soldiers of Justice and Light,
the Paladins of the Silver Hand. . .

Thursday, 12 September 2013

The new Warchief and 5.4

I figured the title of the post would indicate this but I'm going to say it anyway. Before you read any further, be aware:  **Spoiler alert**

For those of you who have seen the WoW Insider video of the world-first Garrosh kill, then you know who the new Warchief is. I've seen some comments from my fellow hordies saying that "now would be a good time to reroll Alliance." But I completely disagree. I was always a fan of Cairne being Warchief (I really miss the big wise lug...) but in his absence, I was rooting for either Vol'jin or Saurfang. I got my wish with Vol'jin, woo!!!

Contrary to aforementioned comments, I believe (and I've seen others who agree with me) that now is actually a really good time to be Horde. I believe that Vol'jin will be a good and honorable leader, who can bring the Horde back to their former glory, back to the way that the original leaders of the Horde intended it to be. And besides, what the Horde lost with Garrosh, the Alliance gained in Jaina. Seeing her reaction in that cinematic and hearing what she said to Varian about "dismantling the Horde" seriously made me say to myself, "Holy shit, Jaina turned from bleeding heart to mega-bitch." Talk about a complete 180. I almost prefer the old Jaina, as irritating as she could be, to this new bigot that used to be the ruler of Theramore. I mean, I get it. Her land was bombed to oblivion and all that. But we finally got some relief from Varian's bigotry and now have to deal with Jaina being almost as bad, if not worse. What the hell...

I'm anxious to get into some of the new stuff that was released this patch but holy hell is the lag ever bad on the Timeless Isle when one plays on a less-than-ideal computer. I'm thinking I'll have to wait a week or two for things to die down, like I did for the Isle of Thunder, before I can do anything in that area. It seems like a much more interesting place to quest, though, than Isle of Thunder, which got old real fast for me. At least it's a lot more aesthetically pleasing.

I'm also curious about how good/bad flex raiding will be. With all of the groups I've seen requiring a minimum 520, I won't be going into one anytime soon since I've really been getting the shaft on LFR loot. But from what I've heard, the raids seem to scale pretty well with however many players are in the group. I only wish that they had done this a little differently. It seems to me that the people who would benefit the most from this model are the guilds who can't get 10 people to fill a raid group. It would have made more sense to me to lower the minimum player requirement to, say, 7 players. It would give the small guilds made up of friends and family a chance to do these places without having to search for pugs, especially if they're on a particular small or even dead server. Even with the connected realms, it might still be hard to field a group of 10 for certain people so a little more, uh, flexibility in the flex raids would have been nice.

Not too many nerfs on the classes that I play, except to warlocks. Warlocks with a certain talent no longer have the ability to cast any spell while moving. Now, depending on their spec, they are only able to cast 1 specific spell while moving. I didn't think that one really needed to be changed but such is the nature of most nerfs since the dawn of Azeroth.

Proving grounds sound rather exciting; I think I will try the healer ones with my paladin and priest, the dps ones with my DK and mage. Once I get my monk to 90, I'll give the tanking one a shot. I just hope that people won't start requiring proving grounds achievements for raids or anything...

I'm looking forward to exploring more of this patch.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Baddies can improve, but elitists will always be assholes.

Since I started leveling my new monk alt (currently level 52), I've been hitting the LFG pretty hard, trying to visit each dungeon at least once to complete the quests before they disappear from my list as I level. Of course, as usual, the LFG is populated with either baddies or elitists.

Today, I ran across the latter - two of them. I got pulled into my group and was greeted by the druid. She was our healer, it seemed, and she was perfectly pleasant and good at her role. Our tank was a very inexperienced paladin, who admitted right away that he was new to tanking and had never done the place before. Fine, no worries, the druid and I were more than willing to help. She told him which way to go and gave him briefs on the bosses while I passed down my pally tanking knowledge.The other two were a mage and shadow priest, both of whom immediately griped about how they got stuck with a "nubadin."

Admittedly, the tank was quite terrible - at first. He couldn't hold threat at all (turns out he was not using Righteous Fury) but that was easily fixed when I told him he needed to remember to always have that on. But while he was working out how to play his role, the other two dps were being total dicks - surprise, surprise. The mage kept yelling at him to hurry up and pull more because he had "other things to do." The shadow priest kept running around and pulling stuff for the tank in attempts to make the run go faster. The entire time, they were harping at this poor guy for being a "baddie" and "not knowing shit."

I dislike being that person who says, "well back in MY day..." and all but sometimes it just has to be said. In classic, this never really happened. Why? Because back then, the game was actually hard. No heirlooms for lowbies to wear and blow through dungeons on. Everyone you grouped with was from your own server so there was accountability - if you were an asshole or a really terrible player, the whole server would eventually know about it and no one would invite you to groups or raids. It was unheard of for a tank to take on more than 3 or 4 mobs at a time, depending on the type of mob, so you can forget about tanking 2-3 whole groups of stuff at one time. But now, with LFG especially, it's just a broken record of impatient dolts screaming "GO GO GO" all the freaking time.

Eventually, the poor paladin's confidence had hit rock bottom and he whispered me to say that he was just going to leave. I told him to just sit tight and not to move - literally. I told him to just stand there. I whispered the druid, told her what was going on, and she agreed with my plan. So all three of us just stood there, doing absolutely nothing. As I suspected, a votekick was initiated against the tank. We hit "no" and kept standing there. Then the two dps started to pull loads of mobs but our healer made no effort whatsoever. So another votekick was initiated against her. It was denied. Eventually, the two elitist pricks got fed up and left - first the mage, then the priest. It took about 15-20 minutes before they realized that the three of us weren't going to move and since we had the majority vote, none of us could be voted out. So then they left.

In come two more dps, who were silent the whole time and didn't say anything as we kept trying to teach the new tank. Maybe they figured out he was new and were willing to cut him some slack. Either way, he greatly improved in just the short time it took us to finish the place. He was able to hold solid threat and was using the correct spells for the right situations. Not all bad players will stay that way; usually they just need someone to show them the ropes. Elitists, however, will grow up to be elitists and likely have elitist babies, forever doomed to repeat the cycle and drive the rest of us up the freaking wall.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

If this game is "so easy," why do baddies fail so hard?

I was on my mage, who belongs to a small guild recently formed by one of the members who also left the raiding guild we were both in. The following conversation occurred between me and who I gather is one of the new tanks that were recruited for the core team. We were discussing how he can get geared up before the next raid so he asked if anyone wanted to do HoF, but most of us were saved.

The guy wants to raid but thinks preparing for it is "too much work." Seriously? I looked him up and yes, he used to be in a solid raiding guild, though not Top 20 US like he claimed, and the GM to boot. But he was only in that guild for a grand total of 3 days so his claim was hardly a big deal. Why do people who get called out on their crap always have to claim that they're better than they actually are? How could you possibly expect people to believe that you used to be in a Top 20 guild when you think watching videos to learn fights is too much work? I'm willing to bet he left that guild after only 3 days because his attitude didn't fit in with the raiding environment. I've grouped with some of the people in that guild and they sure didn't mess around.

As a former GM of a raiding guild, I never would've let someone like this raid with my team. And we weren't even Top 20 or close to that. If he was the GM of such a guild, I really doubt they would have made even Top 20 on their server with his attitude, much less Top 20 in the US. He continued to argue and spout crap but I just paid him no mind since there really isn't anything more I could say to the guy. But he is a prime example of a raider who wants to get carried by others who came to the raid prepared. Fail "raider" is fail.

Monday, 3 June 2013

The lighter side of WoW

As I troll through the Intarwebz each day, I come across some really funny gems. I sometimes post them on my FB but so few of my friends actually get the jokes. I thought I'd start sharing all the good ones I find on here :)


How many of my peeps out there remember this mess??

This one really made me laugh since I jump through the instance portals all the time.

I never actually thought about how/where the loot masters would find the loot, if this were a realistic scenario...

Ogres and their butt pockets...

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Escalation begins!

Firstly, I would like to say that I'm 100% with the Darkspears in their campaign against Garrosh. Blizzard had said prior that they would make Garrosh more - err, likeable - in Cata but I think they pretty much failed on all fronts in doing so. If anything, they made him even worse. If Vol'jin can /end Garrosh, I wouldn't be the least bit upset. It would free up the title of "Warchief" for someone more deserving, such as Saurfang or even Vol'jin himself. Even the young Bloodhoof would be a better choice, though he lacks in experience compared to others.

With that said, moving on to new adventures as players begin assisting the Darkspears with their rebellion. Just like with Landfall, I'm not particularly happy about being forced to complete several scenarios before being able to get the actual quests. I'd be fine if they allowed us to do these solo, like with the Isle of Thunder ones. I dislike scenarios because they throw three players in there, group makeup be damned, and expect everything to go smoothly. It almost never does. The groups always rush in there and just start killing crap without even bothering to think, "Hmm, we're all dps - no one to tank and no one to heal. We should pull carefully." Thankfully, the Blood in the Snow and Dark Heart of Pandaria scenarios were fairly easy and, once each of my groups wiped once to stupid shit, they became more cautious with pulls.

I just started on the quests themselves so I'll write more later on those since I'm still not sure how I really feel about them. But the ones I'm doing are all in Durotar and when I arrived there yesterday, it was jam-packed with players, of course. It made it a little difficult to kill the mobs I needed and to loot the overturned caravans before anyone else got to them. However, it did make it easy to kill Commanders, since it's faction-tag and more horde seem to be around than alliance.

I'm happy with some of the class changes, and very unhappy with others. Mage aoe's were buffed, which is great because I could feel how weak they were before and they needed a little boost. Now I don't feel quite so useless when Frozen Orb is on cooldown. With the changes to Living Bomb, I swapped out Nether Tempest for that talent instead and it seems to do better for single-target than NT. I noticed a 1-2k dps increase. But for mass aoe, Frost Bomb still looks to be king.

More crying from the populace led to even more paladin nerfs. I should be used to this, really, since nerfs have been making paladins their bitches since the dawn of WoW. Oh no, how terrible that the pally tank in your raid is doing more healing than you because of Battle Healer. That shouldn't really be happening if you are actually healing and not whispering your friend while simultaneously chatting with your guild about how cute it is when your cat chases your mouse as you move it around. NERF. Non-bubble healers (and even rival disc priests) crying over how much holy pallies can absorb with Illuminated Healing. Sure, that's always #1 in my top 3 heals on the meters. But I have to actually cast heals to make that shield happen. Do you see how much mana I have to use to even cast that many spells for that many shields? Give me the heal-over-time capabilities of a druid or the mana regen of a priest, then you can nerf one of the few things that actually make my job easier. It's like taking crit/Illumination away from me all over again. And I'm still waiting (though not holding my breath) for Blizzard to give me back my 1-minute Divine Plea. At least the small change to Daybreak will make the T15 2-piece bonus a little more appealing. Yay for small blessings?

I'm not really sure but I might try main-healing on my priest, instead. Just a bit burnt out from playing the paladin for so many years and Blizzard completely gutting the class every time they feel like it. I don't think I will retire Rhu - she'll always be my favorite - but I think I just need a break. I got my druid to 90 but find healing on her to be kinda meh; same with my shaman. But I haven't touched my priest in a while and have always liked healing on her before so I might give that a shot now that the xp needed to level was been reduced by 33%. It gets a little tedious after the first 2-3 alts. And! I'm ecstatic that there is no GL bottleneck for rep with the other factions anymore. Time to get that Royal Satchel pattern!

Friday, 19 April 2013

Council down!

A nice, clean kill with only 24 raiders and 3 of them constantly disconnecting throughout the fight. Onwards to Tortos!

Winter came, but not for Impulse.