Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Guilt Tripping through Heroics

I haven't been able to play that much lately, mostly because of IRL things. So, I think this is an excellent opportunity for me to address a little thing that has had me thinking for a while.

Tam recently wrote a post on how some DPS can be utter utter, utter utter sh-, uhm, I mean a slight pain in the neck sometimes. I don't think there are any healers out there that did not have to deal with the sort of situations he has to deal with. What I like about his post, though, is that it clearly shows he has had enough and behaves more assertive in groups. He does not stay to grief or to be a weight the rest of the group has to carry around, he simply states what his problem is, and if it is not resolved, he quits. Whenever I read this type of posts I am in awe of who wrote them, and I decide it's time I step up in my own groups as well. But why is it that I have to read posts about it to make up my mind about behaving like a normal human being in the first place?

The Bossy Pally already addressed part of the issue. She points out she puts up with some behaviour because she doesn't want to be perceived as a whiny overly sensitive girl. When I read it, I agreed with her completely. In situations like the one she describes, her explanation does fit. But I tried to look at the wider scope. Why do we put up with any bad behaviour at all? We wouldn't do it in our actual lives. If we get harassed and yelled at by complete strangers, we call the police or yell back at them. Why do we meekly do as they say online?

At first, I pointed at The Panties In A Wad (tm) argument to explain why I put up with people. Then, however, something strange happened. (As a complete coincidence, might I point out. I do not think my thoughts and the following are linked in a causal manner.) Pocky started to get some heat in heroics. He admitted to me that he had not been on the top of his game, and he had been making some mistakes, but for me that is besides the point. He is the tank. If DPS pulls before he has aggro, or before he is anywhere close to where the DPS is pulling, they made a mistake, not him. If they then get transformed into bloody splatters on the floor, it is not the tank's fault either. Yes, he has ways to pull aggro back onto him, but they're not supposed to be part of his standard routine. He has them for very bad situations only. That is made quite clear by the CD Blizzard put on those skills. However, he was being treated like he was a bad tank, just because he had an off-few-days and only did an average job. (Otherwise, I am really happy to inform you, he is an excellent tank. Rocks my socks, seriously.)

Pocky should not be worried about having His Panties In A Wad (tm), because, quite simply, he is a man. Still, he follows the morons and idiots around to make sure he pulls everything off them, even when the good players in the group clearly need a break (mana or otherwise).

I will unveil my theory in a moment, but first I would like a small amount of your time and take you back on memory lane. From the earliest moments in our lives, (if all is well) we have had a mother to take care of us. Those first few years we would have done anything for her. She is the light of our lives. But then, that gradually changes, and sometimes she even becomes the bane of our existence. Still, we do everything she asks of us in the exact way she likes it to be done. Why? Because she guilt trips us into it. Remember the disappointed look? The slight raise of the eyebrows and the twinge right next to her mouth? The hitch in her voice that tells you you're upsetting her (and she will make your life miserable if you do!)? (Ok, maybe I'm taking this a bit too far, I'm sure you get the point.)

That is why we are vulnerable to those evil DPS'ers. Something drives us to please these people, to be praised about the job we're doing. And so we all shut up and nod when they're behaving like the bags of sh-, air, they are.

The bad news is that they won't stop after a reasonable argument, and we will be the ones feeling bad about it.
The good news is that it is perfectly reversible. Because, unlike our mums, these people have absolutely no hold over us. We are not their children. And, even more perfectly, they probably have the same training from their mothers. So, my brethren, I cry for justice in the form of the Mummy Treatment. Imagine all of the extremely annoyingly effective things that your mother has ever said to you, from the time she pulled out the baby pictures in front of your friends to the time she barged into your room/house during a crucial bossfight, and then slam them down on those prepubescent pottymouths. They will not know what hit them. Don't get angry, get disappointed!

I would also like to use this opportunity to call for some more tank-loving. All of you healers out there, remember to hug a tank today. They need the TLC just as much as you do. And maybe you can gang up on the baddies, that way?


PS: Please note that I refer to -bad- DPS in this post. The stress is on bad, not on DPS (not all DPS is bad). I'm well aware they come in all shapes and sizes, these players. There are healers and tanks like it too. I am not easily exposed to them because I usually know my tank will be Pocky. (Unless I'm on alts.) However, the Mummy Treatment will be just as effective on them, so don't hesitate to apply it.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Achievement earned: Raid Healer

The title pretty much says it all.

Today, I set foot in a raid for the very first time. (We only did the first boss of Naxx, but who cares, it was a raid, damnit!) The feeling I got from is was... something quite extraordinary.

I felt like the cupcake that discovers icing. A penguin that learns how to fly and asks itself wuh-tuh-fuh it's been doing all its life on the ground. A blind person that... ok no, that's going a bit too far. You get the point.

It was awesome.

I do have to include that there were a number of things that could have made the result Less Awesome. For example, the other healer was a paladin that apparently had never heard of the term 'tank healing'. I know. Where do I find these people? (Or rather, where does my dear raid leader find these people...) Seriously though. I asked in /raid who the other healer was, he stepped up, and I checked if he wanted to tank heal. Since, you know, he's a pally and I'm a holy priest. Things should be fairly obvious in role division, right? Ahhhh, no. First, he told me his gear wasn't good enough to tank.
"I mean, are you going to heal the tank?" was my reply.
He linked to his Beacon of Light and informed me he'd obviously be healing the tank, as he'd be healing everyone.

At this point, I blanched and turned to Pocky. (note: he was the raid tank)
I had no idea about the difficulty level of this raid, and was a tad worried our paladin friend hadn't actually touched a healing spell with a ten foot pole.

It turned out my worries were unfounded. It was a proverbial cakewalk. Our DPS was made of Absolute Awesomeness, and both tanks did a wonderfull job as well.

And I learned why holy priests are called 'raid healers'. For the few AoE's that I had to hit, I was shocked and amazed at how easily I topped off our raid. I genuinely felt like this was what I was designed to do. (Duh, Ari, this *is* what blizzard designed you for, dunce!)

-- Anyway, like I said, it was an incredibly easy raid, so it's probably not this great in others, but a girl can dream. *happy sigh*


Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Random update

I have been so bad at posting, I know. It's a downright shame. How can I call myself a respected blogger? *cough*

There are, of course, a multitude of reasons for my lack of posts, but I shall not bore you with them. Instead, here is some filler about what I've been up to.

I've been grinding my bum off trying to get that gear list together on my priest. Most of it drops from - three guesses - PoS and HoR. I have to put up with all kinds of badmouthing on the Forgemaster, and for what? I haven't had a single drop from that dungeon since I started. (I believe the words 'holy hell' apply there.) So, to stop myself from personally hunting down the DPS that won't clear their stacks, Pocky and I mostly run randoms to cool my moods. It eats time. (Oh, and I found a better pair of shoulders than in the original plan, I'll post about them soon.)

My Forgemaster-induced priest burnout led me to start playing my cute little lowbies some more. I finally got my shammy up to 15 so I can pug with her. Believe it or not, I was actually looking forward to it. Huge mistake. For some reason, I get grouped with assholes. I'm lucky if they even know enough English to understand what 'mana break' means. At one point, I was stuck with a trigger happy paladin as a tank. I couldn't figure out what was wrong untill he stopped for two seconds and I could inspect his gear. He was wearing cloth. Really. It looked suspiciously like the warlock starter dress too. No wonder he ran like the wind, without all that plate to lug around. Shortly after my discovery, he got votekicked. Shockingly. Good thing some decent stuff dropped for me. Hah.

For all you Pocky fans out there, he was having a blast doing battlegrounds in the meanwhile. (I swear I didn't just neglect him, see? He was poking baddies all this time!)

I am very sorry about not posting anything for this long. Don't worry though, I have enough ideas for posts to keep this up. It's not dead yet.
(I'm just too lazy, uhhh, busy, to post them right now.)


Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Heroic Pit of Snark

Usually, I get comfortable with doing an instance on normal before I attempt heroic. That was no different for PoS. We'd run it a few times and there were no more unpleasant surprises or uncomfortable moments for me, so I started dreaming of the loot that drops at heroic. On monday, we had had some awesome runs with really good dps, so we were feeling confident. I took a little break - I forgot why - and then decided it was Time.

Now, before I disclose the juicy details of how much I failed, I want to describe what kind of day it had been for me. I had been busy with a corpus study. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, it's basically looking up strings of words that have something in common and then identifying in what type of sentence they occur in everyday language. And yes, it is as tedious and sucky as it sounds. This one had to be done in google, so I spent most of my day squinting at the screen, trying to figure out what the writer meant when he wrote down that particular verb. I had a humungous headache at the end of it. To make things worse, I hadn't actually finished the damned thing and made the 'oh-so-smart' decision to drink some coffee after I called it quits. About the time we entered PoS, I was jumpy, headachy, and suffering from a coffee crash.

But I desperately wanted that loot. I have a chance that something drops at every boss, so I thought I'd get one thing, if I was lucky, right? I even gave Pocky kitty eyes to run it with me, even though he was tired and had work the next morning.

We had ok-looking dps, with a notably vocal rogue and shaman. The trash went fine, but then we came to the first boss. Forgemaster Garfrost. Even on normal, this is a downright pain to heal. Our dps decided (of course) to not use the boulders he throws to break line of sight, and nuke through it instead. We wiped. On our second wipe, the rogue chimed "You are terribad mate". Pocky asked who he was talking about, and I guessed (correctly) that he meant me. I know I wasn't doing very well, but I didn't think it was all my fault. Just mainly my fault. It's a difference.
After the third wipe, the shaman asked, sort of kindly, if I had a dps spec. I was mortified, embarassed in just about every way a healer can be. We pressed on nevertheless, but it didn't really get any better. The rogue and shaman kept making remarks on how badly I was doing, which was of course completely justified, but still not very nice. The more we died, the more I panicked and messed up. I'm one of those people, you see, that want to run and hide when something goes wrong instead of thinking of ways to fix it. Even Pocky was getting (mildly) annoyed, mainly at his repair bill.
After about seven wipes I told the party it was not happening and quit. I really wasn't going to heal through this thing in a mood like that. (Did I mention I'm a healer diva? ;D)

Yesterday, Pocky asked me if I wanted to do it again. I stared at him, but was tempted in again by the loot. Of course I was, material girl much? This time, we asked someone we know and trust to dps with us. I'm not going to claim we did not die and the run was smooth as cream, but it was one of the best runs I have ever done. There were still so many things that went wrong, and all of them could have ruined the mood easily, but the hunter we had asked to come made it all worth while. We died and wiped, but not as much as before, and absolutely no loot dropped for me. (Meanwhile Pocky has collected all of his loot already. Huff.) The hunter had this comic relief thing going on with the gnome mage, who had the unfortunate experience of being stuck in the fail pug. We were even playing off some roleplay-ish jokes along the way. And, to top it all off, our hunter was also a source of usefull information that made healing this instance a lot more doable, as he offered advice in a friendly and non-judgemental way.

We ended up finishing off the end boss, Scourgelord Tyrannus, to the astonishment of the entire group. We had done it! Even though the fail wipes had piled up and I lost a lot of gold on candles and repairs, without actually getting anything in drops. And we had a great time doing it. Amazing!
Incidentally, some great tanking stuff dropped for Pocky. Naturally. I am so jealous. Heehee.

I wish all groups were like this. I loved it.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Pre-Raid Priest

*Sound of trumpets*

It is here! With the help of the amazing Arceopteryx (actually, they made the list and I just edited it a tiny bit with my own opinions...) I can proudly anounce that we have a List of Gear for Pre-Raid Priests. I won't keep you waiting much longer, but please read the note at the end of this post for more clarification.

*open heavy red velvet curtains*

Head: Velen's Cowl of Conquest (T9, 50 EoT, here)
Neck: Evoker's Charm (19 EoC, here) (!)
Shoulders: Velen's Shoulderpads of Conquest (T9, 30 EoT, here)
Chest: Merlin's Robe (Craftable) (*)
Wrists: Bejeweled Wizard's Bracers (Craftable) (*)
Hands: Velen's Gloves of Conquest (T9, 30 EoT, here)
Waist: Braid of Salt and Fire (Pit of Saron H, Ick)
Finger: Band of the Invoker (35 EoT, here)
Finger: Oath of Empress Zoe (Halls of Reflection H, The Captain's Chest)
Trinket: Talisman of Resurgence (50 EoT, here)
Trinket: Ephemeral Snowflake (Halls of Reflection H, Marwyn)
Main Hand: Surgeon's Needle (Pit of Saron H, Forgemaster Garfrost)
Off-Hand: Shriveled Heart (Halls of Reflection H, The Captain's Chest)
Wand: Brimstone Igniter (25 EoT, here)

(!) As you can see, this item requires Emblems of Conquest, not Emblems of Triumph. It will be a pain to convert, but some believe it's worth it.

(*) The patterns drop at the Trial of the Crusader Heroic 10. It might be a bit rough to find them, or a tailor that can make them. On a positive note: you'll be able to collect a lot of Crusader Orbs while you're looking for it~ The mats for these two can also be a little tricky or expensive to assemble. But they're definitely worth it. (The only argument against that I've heard of is that it needs replacing after a while, but then all gear does, certainly at this gear level. It's called "upgrading". /end snarky comments)
Also: Arceopteryx' list had these for wrists, which are a very nice alternative if you decide not to go for the craftable.

Note: One of the reasons why there are no fixed gear lists for priests is that it is a very versatile class. Everyone has a different play-style and so a different opinion. However, that makes it very difficult for new players to learn the class, and if your brain shuts down when math lurks around, like mine, it can be a little harsh to bite through all of the theory crafting. That is why I made this list. As such, it is by no means an exclusive 'look-at-me-I-have-the-best-gear' list. It is more of a guideline. Any remarks or comments are welcome, especially if you feel you found an item that is better than what is posted here.

I will make short posts on gems and enchants in the near future.


Thursday, 18 March 2010

Wanted: YOU!

*image of me pointing finger at you, in the American military poster style*

Don't worry, I don't want to start my army to take over the world... yet...
This is just a short little post asking for some feedback from those who read this blog. You see, I am trying to assemble a BiS list for pre-raiding priests, preferably holy spec. The reason for this is two-sided:

1) I can't find one on the net myself, and I'm sure others are looking for a list like that. So I would actually be making a usefull addition to the internets. (Amagad!)
2) I'm gearing up to do raids myself, and I'm curious what the general gear-requirements are.

So, if any of you have a favourite item that you absolutely can not raid without, like those blue prada... uhm! Fancy purples! Fancy purples we all love, yes. That. (Whew, close one...) *coughs* If you have any items like that, which you think are real must-haves, please post about them in a reply to this message.



Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Up, down, and PUG it all around

There is something about pugging heroics that makes my heart skip a beat and my palms sweat. And not in the good way. My pockytank practically has to beg me before I grudgingly give in with a sigh. "Alright, let's run an instance...", a sentence that escapes my lips only when I feel just-so. My mood, which is volatile at the best of times, has to be tipped to the precarious state of 'happy' to even consider dealing with a pug, and more often than not I find myself on the gloomy side of the world afterwards. Yet, when I don't run any instances for a while, I get the itch to heal something. I even look for randoms that seem a little off, not quite one hundred percent health, and I stick a HoT on them as if I'm some kind of healing-obsessed maniac. (And let's be honest, I probably am.)

I know exactly why I don't enjoy pugging anymore. Yes, I used the word 'anymore' there, for there used to be a time, before eighty (or BE), when I loved running instances. I think my pockytank and me got the majority of our experience points running through some dungeon or other. He charged, I hit him with some holy goodness, and off we were. The dps was only a pain on rare occasions, most of the time it didn't really ruin the instance for us. Everyone wanted as much XP as possible, so everyone tried their best. Life was good.

Compared to what I go through now, it sounds like heaven. Of course, there might be a little bit of melancholy involved here that distorts my BE-memories, but I am sure there is something specifically wrong with heroics.

A few days ago, we found ourselves in one of those dreaded pug situations. At least I think so, since Mr. Pockytank is probably still laughing about it. We were in Halls of Stone. Usually a pretty smooth run for us, even with bad dps. This time, however, I would never see the endboss kick the bucket. For the very first time, I ragequit a group. Me. Ragequit. I still don't quite understand what happened there. Well, actually, I probably do. One of the main things that influenced what happened was a post made by Tam a few days ago, which Pocky and I both read. Good thing too, or I would have felt superguilty about what transpired.

We entered HoS and passed a friendly greeting to everyone. Our DPS of the evening consisted of a DK, a druid, and a mage. Cue Pocky's frown at the DK, and the usual muttered "I hope he keeps his lash where it belongs...". We cut through the trash reasonably well. Things seem to go relatively smoothly on my end, relatively because the mage does get knocked around a bit. To our pleasant surprise, the DK was controlling his aggro really well. Still, Pocky grew more and more annoyed next to me. "That druid keeps knocking trash into the next mob, and the mage keeps pulling!" he growled. "Well, ask them politely to stop doing that. You're the tank, right?" He did, and the druid immediately stopped pushing things around.

Next, we encounter our first boss. The big stoney dude with the crystals on his shoulders that turns everyone to stone every once in so often and throws rocks around, you know who I mean. We do alright with him, were it not for the unfortunate ending where he stoneformed everyone and immediately threw a rock at me. Bloody smear of priest on the floor. I kindly asked for a res, and the druid complied in a friendly manner, even though the mage, who was now turning into one of those lolololgogogo people, kept jumping up and down in front of the druid (while he was casting), screaming "RES THE HEALER!! RES DROOD RES RES RESSSS!!", or some such.

We made it out of there with only my pride smudged a little. All in all, this was not that bad a group. So far.

See, the next trashpull was one of those that drives Pocky insane. It's always followed by the next mob, and he can't figure out how to make it a more bearable experience. Either way, it's kind of a stressy situation for both of us. The DPS is already waiting, and I am sitting down with them for a quick drink. Pocky is still back at the boss, deciding if he wants to need something for his offspec or not. Suddenly, the mage pulls. Not just one mob, or the one that inevitably comes with that one, but ALL of the mobs in the vicinity. By that point, I had decided that I would only heal the minimum for the mage. They had not shown any of the usual curtsey, like sharing mana food, and were pulling like mad. I was starting to feel like an enabler by healing him to max health all the time. Maybe he would be more carefull if he was only at 50 percent? Apparently not. Pocky charged into the room, swearing, trying to get hold of the mobs. The mage iceblocks, and the mobs run to.... (dun dun dunnn) Me.

Somehow, we survive, and I stick a hot on the mage. This is where the proverbial shit hit the fan. "Priest, heal." I look up, startled. "I am healing you."
Mage: "Heal plz!"
Me: "See the green bar filling up gradually? That's me healing you." (Talking about the HoT.)
Druid: "That will take you over ten seconds to heal him!"
Mage: "Omg, the priest can't heal!"
Me: "What?"
Mage: "Ur only heal tank, omg, noob."
(It suddenly becomes very quiet as I stare at my screen. Suddenly, a window pops up for Pocky, I turn with a frown, expecting his game to glitch or something when I see.... the votekick. On me.)
Pocky: "Are you votekicking the healer?"
Mage: "YEAYEAYEA, he don't heal, votekick!"
(At this point, I am sad to say, I nearly start to cry. In frustration.)
Pocky: "You're trying to votekick the healer. In a guild with the tank."
Mage makes some stupid remark I can't remember...
(Votekick doesn't pass)
Me: *quit party*
Pocky: "Enjoy waiting for your next healer and tank."
Pocky: *quit party*

So yes. My first ever ragequit. To be honest, I am pleased I quit that group. I feel a little sorry for leaving that great DK behind, but that mage can shove it where the sun doesn't shine.

And so begins my rage against mages.