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! 🙂

What’s your “niche”?

Do you like to tank? Heal? DPS? Are you melee or ranged? Or are comfortable across the board, whatever the group calls for?

Me, I’m a DPS – specifically ranged DPS, and hybrids at that. EQ2, WoW, SWTOR – all the same comfort zone. And in WoW, my *particular* niche is with Elemental Shamans.

I have a couple 85s. On Lightbringer alone, I have a hunter, a druid, and two shammies. I’ve got a BC level mage, and an in progress warlock. I have a shadow priest that “died” around level 38 cause I lost interest. I even optimistically started a Paladin, though she’ll have to be a healer (I’m SO not melee or tank), and I’m not sure I’ll be able to level her to that point.

But it’s the two Elementals that I *love* to pay. That’s where I come home, and it’s why the random toons I have scattered across other friend’s servers are *also* near max and/or max level Ele’s.

I’ve never had the same enjoyment out of any other class. My hunter comes a close second because I really do enjoy the pet system. It adds a separate level to the character, to me, and it’s *fun*. But the play of the class itself? Not so much.

Elemental shaman, however, is pure fun no matter what. I like to kill things. I like my totems (screwy fire totem AI notwithstanding). I like my lightning shield. I like being able to toss a Healing Rain when extra aoe heals will be appreciated. I like spamming Chain Lightning on trash packs. I like it ALL.

It’s just pure-and-simple good times for me. It is my ultimate niche. Do I ever wish I was one of the “high priority” classes? Sure I do. Do I wish that some people didn’t think “Elemental Shamans? Who needs ’em.” Of course. But it has never swayed me from my main.

I came in to WoW ‘late.’ I started playing when ICC was already out – hence Avi being unchanged since her appearance as my first ever WoW toon. My first love, my favourite toon, my always Main. That is Avi.

Maeve was originally Horde, started because an old BF raided mainly on his Horde toon on a different server, and the raid schedule was compatible with my current one so I levelled over there to raid with them. After that didn’t work out, I didn’t feel like I could abandon her, so I added some realID friends from that guild and faction/server transferred her to LB.

(current incarnation – she is set to become a panda when MoP hits!)

And I’ve gotta say, I *love* having two ele shammies on “my” server. Avi is my main progression raider. She’s the one that is there for every guild raid, getting all the improvements first, etc. But Maeve isn’t entirely too far behind because I LIKE to play her. I’ll actually DO LFR runs, because she can use the gear. People want to go back to Firelands for legendary staff stuff? Maeve would enjoy the achievements. She gives me an extra dimension of play that I wasn’t sold on doing with my other 85s, because I simply don’t like playing them as much as I do a shammy.

So where do you slot in with your WoW experience? And what makes your particular preference(s) enjoyable for you?

Totemic Wrath and being needed

You know, it’s an odd thing to provide a “unique” buff in the context of a 25m raid.

We haven’t had a steady warlock in Tranquility in a long time — and I can’t even think of when any (at least semi-reliable) warlock actually played Demo.

Since our other Ele shaman took a step back from WoW shortly after DS launched, I’ve been left as the ONLY person in raid that can provide the 10% buff. It brings me back to the days of Wrath when I was not only raiding with Dark Legacy in the 25m group, but also in the off-day 10m group because I was competent AND an ele shaman with Totem of Wrath.

It just feels odd to have that same expectation in a 25m raid. Out of ALL the raiders in this guild, I am the ONLY person who can give them that boost.

I’m not complaining or anything, don’t get me wrong. I love raiding, I know that I’m not being taken ONLY because of my buff – but rather because I’m actually damn good (or damn decent, at least, since I’m far from being a world-ranking ele shaman) at what I do. But at the same time, it’s a fair bit of responsibility.

I know that despite being more than willing to offer to sit when we have extra raiders on a particular night, if it’s not a straight up farm boss, I’m going to be in for that fight anyway. I know that people are counting on me to not have any sort of scheduling conflict with ANY raid, because that buff is a rather significant thing to lose when you’re looking to make a progression kill. And while I’m ALWAYS there for my guild, I dread the day where a migraine makes me unable to look at my computer screen because I don’t want to let my friends down.

Seems to be a thing you just don’t see very often in the days of similar buffs from different classes – at least not in a 25m group. But I’m honored to be able to be the one to provide it, and the personal dps, regardless. 🙂