Maeve’s Big Day!

Last night was a milestone of sorts for Maeve. I had been lucky enough to have her tag along for Spine/Madness on our guild clear Saturday night, netting her the achievement for killing Deathwing on something other than LFR, and a new belt and staff.

With all that, she finally had *just* enough gear that someone might give her a second look when they were trying to find a DPS for their run through Normal Dragon Soul. So I was eagerly awaiting Tuesday reset, and finally had the chance last night to put up that advertisement in trade chat.

No sooner had I typed out “390 Ele Shaman LF fresh DS” when I had a whisper come through, and off we went!

At this point, the Maeve who previously hadn’t had much of a care in the world, finally had a bit of nerves hit. We had joined basically a guild run, and they wanted to do Heroic Morchok. Looking at her gear, blushing at the 378’s and LFR gear still lingering around, the thought of being in on a Heroic kill was suddenly overwhelming. I know my stomach flipped a little.

But we forged ahead. They were aware of the lacking gear and wanted us to go anyway. So okay! Let’s get this party started.

And sure enough, Maeve received her first achievement for a Heroic kill in Dragon Soul. And a heroic belt. The night was off to a fairly pleasing start. 🙂

After that, things became less daunting as we turned back to regular difficulty to continue on. It was much more comfortable, both as far as the fights went, and with the raid group. I finally piped something up in vent, after listening to the casual banter and sharing some whispers of my DS experience with the raid leader.

Maeve picked up a grand total of FOUR new pieces of gear from that run last night. It was astounding. And actually rather amusing for everyone by the time the third one dropped – this was a guild run, after all. 😉 Just so happened that there were things she could use that nobody else could – ie: the mail caster belt. She only actually rolled on one thing, which was the Insignia trinket when it dropped, and the shadow priest won the roll. The things she actually got were rather default.

I am absolutely grateful to them for letting Maeve join their run. I even said I would join them on their Firelands run that they will be doing for staff items if they were short a DPS, just as a way to really say thank you.

And now I suppose I’m off to take care of Maeve’s gear… She sure does take advantage of my wallet sometimes. 🙂

 

A Priest is Born

So, this great dude on Twitter (hai Rob!) decided that he was going to roll an elemental shaman. He asked if I would roll a new toon and level with him – but of course!

But then the dilemma hit: What on earth would I play?

I’ve already got my two elemental shamans. I have a max level hunter and druid, both which are really more “profession” toons, because I never really got good enough at them to do any sort of heroics/raiding/etc. I have a mage who is stuck in the mid-sixties levels, because – I don’t know, she’s kinda fun but I guess I haven’t quite got the feel for her yet. I am kind of intrigued by my warlock, but I was levelling her with my Wolfe, so she’s sort of on hold right now until he is able to play again.

Ultimately, I decided to roll a priest. Now, this could go really well, or not so much. I have made (and deleted) priests before, though admittedly that was a while ago. The last priest I deleted, I didn’t want to bother re-learning when the talent trees changed, and wanted an extra spot for something (a failed rogue experiment). Could things go different now?

Today Meilanith, a Night Elf priest, started her journey in to the world. If nothing else, it will be interesting! She’s equipped with an heirloom staff and trinket for now – nothing with an experience boost because my levelling partner is starting off without any heirlooms. I look forward to seeing how her story unfolds! 🙂

On LFR, Raids, and Life

Well, it’s been kind of an “all over the place” sort of week for me. Where to begin! I guess we’ll take it one step at a time.

Looking for raid. I’ve had a little bit of a love-hate relationship with this lately. I have been trying to take Maeve through it, in the hopes of upping some of her lower items so that she might be able to get in to the pug Dragon Soul raids offered in trade chat. At ilvl 387, she’s not exactly a prime candidate for people to choose – which is unfortunate, because given that she is the same spec as my main, I *know* what I’m doing in these exact same encounters for this exact toon. I don’t say this in any sort of a boasting manner, because I’m well aware that there are folks who are much better than myself, but for her gear level I’m sure she can outperform many who are playing alts that may have a higher item level but are not as familiar with that alternate class. I know Maeve like the back of my hand, because she’s a direct mirror of Avi. Just lesser gear. I’m really hoping that I can get her moving soon, but after 3 weeks of full LFR clears and not a *single* piece of loot to help move her score in the right direction, it is getting a little frustrating.

I haven’t done much LFR for Avi until recently, because there’s just no gear that I need out of there. But when I decided to try healing, it was a great place to jump in to. It has been a learning experience, and also gave me a new trinket yesterday. So there’s a bonus, I suppose! But it sure would be nice if any of those Rathraks that drop when I’m in there would ever drop for Maeve. 😉

Friday night also meant raid time for me. I had been looking forward to doing this all week – nothing like some good dead bosses to really kick things up a notch! I was a little concerned when I logged in that we weren’t going to have enough people online to actually go ahead with raid. But, luckily, things came together just in time. We had one or two “backups” who lack experience or similar gear level, but that’s okay! And it really, really was. We still managed to knock out another Heroic Zon’ozz kill, which was astounding to me. That boss is definitely an example of “it’s either right, or it’s WRONG”, in my experience. There is absolutely no room for error there, unlike some other fights. We can wipe early and painfully on Zon’ozz for enough attempts that we start wondering if we should just skip it – and then on our next (“last?”) attempt, he dies. It’s baffling, really. I won’t complain, he is still dead, after all. 🙂 But it’s just strange. Made for a good raid night, though. Being able to get through our 5/8 Heroic bosses, even with people in raid who had never seen fights like Zon’ozz or Ultraxion on heroic difficulty, felt amazing.

And finally, just a little personal thing that is one of the reasons I haven’t posted in a few days… The other day, I finally received a letter from my Wolfe who is away at Basic. I knew he had sent it, because he had managed a few moments to email me a little while back, and I’ve even had a lucky 5 minutes on the phone with him once since he’s been gone – a very long 5 and a half weeks so far. The notebook I’ve been writing “to him” in daily is getting filled quite quickly, so knowing how precious his time is, I sat down immediately and wrote a simple one-page letter back. I tucked in a few things that I’d printed off from Tumblr that I thought he would find amusing, and rushed to the post office to get it sent out right away. He can read my daily ‘notes’ to him when he’s done and has more free time. What’s important is that I finally got to write back to him. He wasn’t given the address before he left, so I’d been waiting all this time to be able to do that.

I’m looking forward to a weekend with possibly some more D3, and hopefully more raiding. I got my feet wet in D3’s Nightmare mode today – not very far, but I thought I might as well give it a shot. I haven’t played since I finished Normal, figuring that it would probably be difficult for me to get much further. But hey, I have the game, I might as well try! The inspiration from knowing that the Team Squishy crew was making progress in Inferno mode was a big part of this decision. I wish them the best of luck, and maybe one day I’ll get to that level! :p WoW raid schedule for tomorrow has us facing off against Heroic Warmaster, and I have my fingers crossed that we get the attendance to actually put some work in on him. If not, I’m sure some of the casuals/backups will enjoy a shot at a few normal boss kills and the loot they might be able to use from that. 🙂

A Healing Adventure

As you can tell, I am always a caster. I healed in EQ2, and found it too stressful. I’ve been playing casters-only (well, except for my brief Hunter-tryout) for the last … 4 years or so. I’ve always *had* a resto off-spec, but aside from things like Dreamwalker back during Wrath days – and one night of too much wine when I decided to heal an ICC 10m and actually did fine lol – I never use it.

However, I’ve picked up some off-spec gear from raids, because we’ve pretty much geared everyone’s main specs with 397 level loot. That means that I have two pieces of resto tier. I also have a Maw of the Dragonlord and a Seal of the Seven Signs. When I decided that I would actually try healing an LFR, I picked up a Reflection of the Light from the vendor (something to spend Valor Points on, yay!). I have spirit on most of my gear, but the extra from the trinket with an easy use-effect seemed like a good idea for now.

Yesterday, I went through both halves of LFR as a healer to see how it felt. I queued with two other healing guildmates, just in case I was *terrible* they would at least be there backing me up. I actually came out ahead! Hey, this isn’t so bad! Once the LFR was done, they swapped toons – one to his DK tank, the other to her priest – so we could queue for a random heroic and see how it felt in a smaller group. Things went fairly well, but I was still a little wary of over-stating my capabilities when my tank is fully raid geared. 😉

Today, however, I bucked up and waited until I saw the healer bonus for queue. If I was going to go in alone, I was going to get one of those darn satchels if we made it through! And so I did it. And you know what? It wasn’t terrible. I actually did fine, nobody died, and it was fairly painless. I think I’ll be okay to do this more often.

I give tons of credit to my buddy Elliaana, who is our main raiding resto shammy, for giving me the inspiration to even try it. The faith from her and her hubby (the aforementioned DK who put his life in my hands lol) led me down this road, when the idea of me healing anything sent everyone else – namely now-reunited guildies from back in Wrath days with Dark Legacy – in to fits of laughter. I was laughing along with them, so no ill-will or anything, don’t get me wrong. But I’m glad I decided to try it now.

Especially for those Satchels of Exotic Mysteries. I plan to get a lot more of those! 🙂

Avi’s New Transmog

In honour of my acquisition of the Heroic Ward of the Red Widow, I made a new transmog set. I’ve been running around in a slightly incomplete version of it, with placeholder gloves, until today when the right ones finally dropped. So today, I figured I would share it with you!

While obviously the easy solution would have been to transmog the shield to fit my last outfit (which I quite enjoyed), it was time for a change and this was the perfect reason for it. Allow me to present my “Tribute to Heroic Ward” Transmog Set.

 

One of the really neat things I noticed about this after the fact was how this particular shield works with Power Torrent.  I am constantly disappointed with the fact that PT shows up on top of transmog weapons – it really ruins the look of the weapon itself, and I hope that upcoming enchants don’t feature the same sort of visual effect. At any rate, the little orbs on Heroic Ward give off a kind of rotating orange/pink type glow.  So looking at my character from behind, the glow of the shield tends to “match” the glow from PT.

The simplicity of this outfit is one of the things I like about it. It feels basic and elegant, to me, when I see Avi wearing it. And it was high time for a new outfit anyway! 😉

 

Shoulders: Spiked Chain Shoulder Pads

Chest: Furious Gladiator’s Ringmail Armor

Hands: Lightning-Charged Gloves

Belt: Blue Belt of Chaos

Weapon: Morningstar of Heroic Will (H)

Shield: Ward of the Red Widow (H)

~Chest and back hidden. Feet and legs are not altered due to not being visible in my robe.

Newbie D3 Thoughts

With all the folks playing Diablo 3, I am really making myself give it a fair shot. I’m still not entirely a fan of the game style, but I’m slowly getting used to it at least.

It was kind of difficult for me at first. Part of that, I’m sure, is that the movement feels awkward for me. And the static camera angle. And a multitude of little things. But last night, I realized something that I think every player new to D3 should do:

Play with other people. Or at least one other person. And make it the *right* kind of person.

The people you want to play with, when you are as clueless as I am, are the folks who have done this before. The people who understand stuff about your chosen class and can help you. The ones who understand the ins and outs of the game – how crafting works, what gems are good, that sort of thing.

Ideally, you’ll find a situation like I did. A buddy of mine, who has already finished normal and is playing hardcore with some other friends, was going back through with another character and caught up with me. He’s in no rush on this character, and was more than happy to let me hear all the quest dialogue, watch cut scenes, and everything that I actually want to DO while I’m playing this game.

I made ridiculous progress on Wizard Avi last night. I never would have made it to level 24 – and the beginning of Act III – if I had been soloing my way along. Or at least not so quickly.

Co-op may not be for everyone. But that’s one thing I really like about games: the social aspect. I don’t like feeling rushed, though, so this setup was *perfect* for me. I got the benefit of someone else’s knowledge. I got to learn things about not only my class, but others as well. And I still got to play through the way I wanted to see the game.

So my recommendation, for anyone who may be hesitant to try it out because it’s different, is find a friend who is content to just play with you. It makes a world of a difference. And it makes it fun. 🙂

Oh – and I also discovered dyes! Here’s Avi as of last night. Helm “gone” courtesy of vanishing dye, and all decked out in pretty blue!

Avi at level 24

Because Everyone Needs a Squishable!

Today is the 5-year anniversary of Squishables!

They are these super adorable, giant stuffed creatures of awesome. I have loved Hai – Vitae’s Squishable Shark – ever since he first posted a picture of him.

Today, the very same Vitae (@vitaemachina) launched a contest in which you can win a Squishable! Check out the details here:

Squishable Giveaway

I’m already a happy paying customer, but there was no way I could pass up the idea of my very own squishy creature!

There are fifty (50!) of those guys on there. Now, some of them are sold out, which is unfortunate… I would have pounced right on their adorable Arctic Fox. As it was, I had a *terrible* time choosing! There are some awesome ones that just weren’t “quite right” as a pick-me-up that I needed. Like, the raven is amazing, but I wanted something a wee bit happier looking.

I ended up just random number generating to be able to pick, because I couldn’t choose!

And so, my order went in for … *drumroll* …

Squishable Jellyfish!

I can’t wait for the adorable thing to get here.  ^_^

Everyone should check out the contest for their chance to win – and get on board with such a wonderful host in the process!

 

(my allergies are kicking my butt today, or I would so share my excitement over this with the accompanying audio – but unfortunately I just sound all stuffy and can’t stop sneezing! Limits my recording ability…)

This Thing Called D3

So Diablo 3 released yesterday. I had many, many friends who were anxiously anticipating this – taken time off work, etc.

I have a copy of it because I signed up for the annual pass in WoW. I have never played Diablo before at all, it’s just never struck my fancy. But some folks convinced me to at least download it, so I did. And as I looked at my realID list yesterday and saw everyone and their dog playing D3, I figured I would try and made myself a wizard.

Yesterday was terrible. I don’t know if it was server lag or what, but I couldn’t cast stuff most of the time. It’s working fine today, so that’s what is leading me to think it was something related to the servers – which, if you haven’t been cut off from social media/etc in the past 36 hours, you know were having MANY issues since the game launched.

I got my little wizard to level 7 today, though I’m not sure how. I’m kind of out of my element in this game and I don’t seem to be connecting with it at all. But I was trying. Until I hit this cathedral. And wow, did I get shown just how little I know.

I have had my wizard-butt killed and sent back to the start of the cathedral repeatedly. I even have health potions that I’m using, but when you die faster than the CD on them – they’re not exactly helping.

I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing wrong at this point. But I do know that I wish people weren’t so MIA in WoW right now. I just want to log in and chill with my guildies – except there’s been all of 3 or 4 people online these last two days.

On the bright side, at least I can log in to Diablo long enough to approve any new Battletag requests, so that I can still chat with folks as they play while I tool around somewhere in WoW. 🙂

Quick Monday Update

Yesterday was a mix of real-life and gaming awesome.

My Wolfe actually managed to call me from Basic. I had received a super-quick email from him last week, but that was it in the last month. So when my phone started playing his ring-tone yesterday, I could hardly believe it. I actually paced the entire 7 minutes we were on the phone because I couldn’t contain my excitement!

Then I got nabbed for a Heroic Firelands last night. I’ve not been a regular on the optional Firelands runs, because I find that if I add too much to my regular raiding schedule, I can start to burn out pretty quickly. But I was in such a good mood last night that when they needed one more dps, I jumped right in! And I’m so glad I did.

 

That’s right – courtesy of Heroic Beth’tilac, I actually have a new shield! I had still been running with a 378 due to terrible luck in LFR, and a near zero drop-rate on Warmaster for our raid. The Heroic Ward of the Red Widow was a much appreciated upgrade for me! I had this baby gemmed/enchanted and equipped before I even left Beth’s area. hehe

I actually like the look of this new shield, too, so I’m in the process of forming a new transmog set around it. It almost worked with my current outfit, but any excuse to make a new one, right? 😉

 

A Surprising Toon Connection

Ever since I saw the female Pandaren models, I’ve been looking forward to having one. As an added bonus, they can be shaman!

Since I already have two shaman on my main server (and a few more left scattered across others… shh!), I was fully intending to race-change Maeve to a Panda when Mists hit. She was originally a Goblin, so unlike Avi – who has been the same since the day I started playing WoW – I felt it was a good option.

However, last night I realized something. Maeve was standing around Stormwind looking for something to do, and I felt a little twist at the idea of changing who she was. I like her. She feels like she has a story.

Now this was a strange thing for me. I have never really been much of an RP sort of person. My characters don’t have big intricate back stories (though, don’t get me wrong, I think the folks that have the creativity to do that kind of thing are amazing!). But apparently, I’ve done at least a bit of this sub-consciously.

Maeve feels like Avi’s much younger sister. Avi slowly and cautiously made her way through the new world she found herself in, opening up to new adventures over time and learning as she went along. Maeve, with her cute pigtails and sassy go-get-’em outfits, took the knowledge Avi had spent time learning and ran full steam ahead with it.

Maeve jumps in to things without a second thought, ready to take on the world at every opportunity. She’ll see some folks heading off to slay a dragon and call out “Wait for me!”

Maeve is a direct counter-point to Avi, who lives by a schedule and a plan. Avi knows what she’s after and considers how to accomplish her goals. She is constantly fine-tuning her knowledge and carefully trying new things to see if it might work better than what she’s done before. All of the hard work that Avi does, Maeve takes in without much effort and then she’s out the door again.

I never actually *knew* this until last night. I didn’t realize just the sort of impact these girls had on me. It appears that Maeve won’t, in fact, be receiving a race change after all.

And I think I’ll have to clear up a character slot for a third – Pandaren – shaman. 😉