Archive for July, 2010

S.O. vs WoW. Where do you draw the line?

This is a topic I never thought I would need to talk about, as me and my husband both play video games with each other, but with what I have been seeing around the web (many many times at the wow_ladies live journal, which is a wonderful place for males and females alike to chat about WoW ) and in the guild I am in, it is a topic that needs to be discussed.

Jealous of a Game?

A few weeks ago in our 10 man, our resident resto Shammy, I will call him ShammyA,  got online and sad he would need to be AFK for a bit that we should just pull trash and not wait for him. No biggie! We pull trash in the Blood Quarter and wait a bit for him to get back. About 20 minutes he emerges and apologizes to the group. Now, being the only female in the group I get treated like one of the guys, so this allows them not to watch their tongues and to be blunt around me. However tonight, my femaleness was put to use.

I get a tell from ShammyA saying he was having some “gf aggro” as we like to call it. I laugh because this is something that is said by random members of the group sometimes. He tells me it is bad that time and she went to bed telling him to stay on the couch. He let me know that she hates his gaming and cannot stand when he is on and not paying attention to her. ShammyA let me know it was getting so bad that she would flip out and they would fight every raid night. I told him that this was a common thing to have happen with couple with very different interests. But to give her time outside of the game and have a talk with her about why playing is important to you.

The raid got called early due to people needing to leave. ShammyA then asks me what he should do now. I tell him to go and see if she is awake, if she is to just talk to her and calm her down. Let her know that he is there for her and understand she may not like the game, but still needs to respect that he does. The next day I found out that it worked! She was talking to him again and everything was peachy! Wonderful I thought, hoping this was not going to be a trend in his relationship.

 Strike 2!

Cut back to last night. We were working on getting some achievements down, when ShammyA logs on, joins the group, and then goes AFK again. I ask the raid leader if he is coming back, to which I get the response that he had “gf aggro” again. Oh boy, here we go again! After being AFK for around 30 minutes, ShammyA comes back and logs off. The raid leader then says over vent, “Well, he says if he wants to keep her, he needs to go.”

This hit me like a ton of bricks. He actually had to leave a game he does not even play very much of, except on raid nights, to appease her. We just were doing easy mode achievements, so it did not bother me that we 9 manned them. What did bother me is that someone was so upset over another enjoying their hobby.

This is where things get messy…

Maybe it’s because I am female AND a gamer that makes this entire situation seems so unreal to me. I understand wanting to spend time with your significant other, I really do. My husband and I have mandatory WoW break times that we follow and we never eat a meal while we play. This is just something we do to make sure we are not too addicted.  But to hate someones hobby so much that you force them to not participate in it. I feel this is absurd.

Now I do not know the full situation or even both sides of the story when it comes to ShammyA, however I know gaming can be a pretty serious topic when it comes to couples. There are some people who have been married for a while that like the gaming break from one another. Our GL and his wife worked it out so he could be on a 9 server every night and they still get “their” time in. One of my best girlfriends told me that when her husband plays games, it is her release and it gives her the freedom to read or watch a movie with interruption.

Maybe it gets easier once the couple gets married and they are needing to find their own space. For younger couples who are living together, this separation from the couple sphere might be more than some can handle. There are also stories about how people get divorced over WoW. I think that is a little extreme don’t you? (Again, not saying here this is a horrible thing to happen, sometimes it takes moments like this to bring out the worst in someone.)

Is there hope for a resolution?

There is always hope. As my mom always said what is meant to be will be. So what sort of ways can couples work out their issues? First and foremost, both parties need to sit down and calmly address the issues. Turn off the games, turn off the tv, and just let it be a partner moment. Talk about how each other feels and get it all off your chest. I know you guys out there do not usually like the mushy stuff, but if you want to play and keep your partner, this is one of the best first steps!

Talking could even be your last step. Once you both understand how each other feels, there is usually an easier time letting your partner participate in what they love. Maybe you will see that you are playing too much and cut down your WoW time on your own. Or your partner could really see that you are not playing some mindless video game and are actually interacting with close friends.

If you need a bit more help, work out an arrangement. Your partner only raids 3 nights a week from 9pm till 11:30 pm? Well that seems like a fair amount of time to play in the evening. What about weekends? Oh you see your family every weekend for 5 hours? Another great time for your partner to WoW it up. I know how most people feel about being on a schedule with a game. You feel like you are being controlled but even if your partner and you have a date night every Wednesday and you cannot play that night, that does not seem too bad does it? Some of the men in my guild will not even play until their wife and kids are in bed and since we are a later evening raiding guild, this works out.

Another option is seeing if your partner will try WoW with you. I know this happens less often, but it is always worth a shot. Who knows, they may get surprized and love the game. If your partner is willing to try out WoW, you should also try out a hobby that your partner loves. Finding common ground is always useful in a growing relationship.

There are many ways to find a happy balance for personal time and couple time in a relationship. But fighting and creating anger is never a good idea. So take a breath, realise they are probably just mad because they are feeling ignored to a video game (I know my mom feels that way when she calls and I am playing WoW), and talk.

Do’s and Don’ts of WoW love/hate.

  • Don’t yell. This will only make things worse.
  • Do talk. Be calm and productive.
  • Don’t get violent. Punching walls is NOT the answer.
  • Do breath. Deep breaths help calm the heart rate and the mind.
  • Don’t threaten. When someone feels they are in corner, they can get defensive, making the situation much worse.
  • Do come up with solutions.
  • Don’t blame.
  • Do remember why you fell in love in the first place. ❤
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Two Kingslayers in one week? No way!

This is a little late coming, but last week I wrote about how our 10 man finally got the Lich King down. Well, it was almost like a double miracle last week! Our 25 man raid got him down as well on Wednesday! Double excitment here! But the most exciting part was that I did not wipe the raid!

In all of the 10 and 25 man attemps I have done, I have never been brought into the sword. Now, I know what to do as a druid and have read the fight many times, but I have never experienced it first hand. On the kill attempt, when the Lich King was at about 20% health, I get pulled into the sword. My heart started racing! I did what my raid leader instructed, I shifted into bear, enraged, bashed the ghosty thing and then proceeded to heal my face off!  I watched the ghosts health decrease and prayed we got to 10% quickly, I did not want to be the person who wiped us at 11%….

Finally the ghost dies! I get teleported out of the sword and then die! I was thinking to myself, of crap I messed something up and destroyed to raid. However, then I realized that we just hit the 10% mark and were to become 25 man Kingslayers.

Grats to all my guildies in that perfect execution!

Raiding. Is it in you?

Lately, because of the summer months, we have needed to bring in people who normally do not raid much (or who get sat most of the harder fights) into our normal full runs. Now, I am all about bringing in new people to raid with and even, when gear is not needed, letting them come in my place. I like when people get gear because I feel that everyone getting gear helps the raid as a greater whole.

The Story

A few weeks ago we needed a dps for our 10 man run. So we bring in a Mage as a replacement dps, lets just call him MageA. He comes to 25 mans, but is usually rotated out when better dps arrives. However, he is better geared than our TOP dps. Weird huh? Well none of us really knew why the 25 man raid leader would replace him all the time and he was not online at the time, so we think heck let’s just bring him and see how he does. Now, we were on the Plague Quarter, a place we all know and love. We can do Rotface and Festergut on hard so we decided to stick with it since we can usually one shot them.

We decided to do Festergut first. Everyone knows the fights, and we triple check asking MageA if he knows it as well. He says yes. Excellent! We start the fight and he is standing dangerously close to the range. The raid leader calls out for dps and healers standing on the outside to spread out more. MageA decides not to move a little but to follow the person he was standing on top of before. No matter where this person moves, MageA moves too. He was not on /follow either, he would wait till after his casts where finished and then move.

At this point the dps is starting to get mad, they cannot get their rotation going and are afraid of the vile gas. The dps, a shaman who I will dub ShamanA gets over vent and goes “MageA you need to get away from me,” right as vile gas gets them both. After this, MageA gets the spore, and runs to the designated spore area. As usual, there is a Mailable Goo heading for that area as well. We call out to move right, like explained before the fight, and MageA blinks to the back of the room with the spore, leaving all of us without the buff. This throws everyone off and we wipe.

I get a whisper from the raid leader asking if MageA knew the fight. I tell him he responded that he did, but maybe you should go over it just to be sure. Now, my raid leader does not care to go over a fight. If you do not know something, just ask! He is there to help us and make sure we all know what we are doing. The raid leader also informs me that he was dpsing way below the tanks, not just right below but it was almost like he was not dpsing at all. We figure it was because of all the running he was doing and that this time he could be totally fine, once he got moving down.

So the raid leader goes over the fight how we do it and we try again. This time he starts by standing in between me and a shaman healer. We both get over vent and ask him to move and he does! Great no more worries there. However, the boss seems to be going down rather slowly. What happened next was a group first on this boss that through us all for a loop! We hit the enrage timer. Let me say it one more time. We hit the enrage timer. Now, the DPS that MageA was replacing was our top, but in general all of our dps is very good.  The raid leader takes another look at the dps. Again, MageA fell way below the tanks. Normally, one person being low would not matter, but we had 2 deaths and I used my rebirth on the healer, since dps has never been an issue with us.

This is a bit troublesome. I know that gear scores really mean nothing in the grand scheme of things, but to do below the tank as a mage with the best gear in the guild is odd. We decide to try again and see what happens. There are no deaths and we get Festergut down. Phew!

Next we move to Rotface. The raid leader explains how we do the fight just so we have no issues. This boss continues the same way. MageA  continuously chains vile gas to everyone, stands in slime spray, and dpses lower than the tank kiting the add. After 6 attempts, we finally get him down. Now, not everything was the fault of MageA, there was some tank and even healer fail, but he was always standing where he should not and barely dpsing. We call the raid after this.

Cut to Saturday night. We need one more dps (summer raiding can and will be rough!) and the raid leader begins to look in guild. MageA is on and the raid leader goes, “Well guys, should we try with MageA again. Either him or we call it. I will put it to a vote, ‘yes’ for try and ‘no’ for call it.” Being raid assist at the time, I could see everyone voted no. This was then brought to discussion with the group. All the other dps agreed: He just doesn’t try hard enough.

The Issue

This really made me think. It was not because he was a bad mage who didn’t know his class, but it really was because he did not try nor seem to care if he did try. I found this so strange. Why waste not only the time of others but also your own, if you really did not care what happened? I know that when I get into a raid I am going to give 110% every time. This is not only about me progression, but for the 9 or 24 others. In 25 mans, I see this attitude of “I really do not care” all the time. Especially when healing. When you have 2 or 3 really good healers in a group, there are “healing slackers” as we call them popping up all the time. They see that the top healers got it and really do not try.

To me this is very sad to see. Yes, there are fights when 6-7 healers are really not necessary. *coughcough lootship coughcough* But what about fights like the Lich King? Having only 3-4 people really healing can make or break an attempt. Is this because they do not care about the raid? Or is it more of a personal matter of not feeling needed? I will be the first person to tell you that in a raid, everyone is essential. You do not just only bring your 12 best players to a 25 man and hope everything will be ok. This is not what raiding is about.

Another theory is boredom. Yes, we have been raiding the same places for a long while now and yes the same fights over and over can make your head spin. However, if you really do not want to raid….well then do not raid. This is a game where you are supposed to have fun. If you are not having fun then do not raid or just try to find something else to keep our interest till the expansion arrives. Boredom does not give you a free pass to not act like a team player and ruin raids for others.

Conclusion?

No matter what the reason, think of your fellow raiders before raiding. Are you really putting in the effort you know you can?

Has anyone else been in this situation before? How did you handle this person in your raid? Did they ever change? Are the summer months bringing your raids down?

When Turning into a Ghoul Wins!

So my 10 man has had Kingslayer for a while now. I, unfortunately, was not able to raid the night they went and killed the Lich King because my mother was in town. Its cool, I knew we would go back and kill him but I was really itching to! It has been a little while since we have gone back and tried. We were mostly working on hard modes and achievements. Plus the raid leader wanted to wait till everyone who needed it was on and could participate.

Well, last night was the night! 2nd attempt and bam! One dead Lich King. Actually, the first attempt did not count. Because of the change-up in healers, the one Shammy that was supposed to be cleansing was not. And we wiped because of that. Once we got that figured out though, it was on!

The kill was clean and fast, except for my epic death in phase 3! Well, the DPS forgot to kill the spirits and I was running away from them, but apparently not fast enough! They got me and blew me up. Being the other druid in the group, I was not able to get a BR, however our DK tank showed me some love with a little ghoul rez! I figured why the heck not and decided to start DPSing the Lich King as a ghoul. It was quite enjoyable to run around and claw the Lich King, and I stayed alive (thanks to some epic heals by my Shammy friend) and made it as a ghoul all the way to 10%!

We all knew it was my epic 264 dps that really killed the Lich King. Great kill and fun night!

Talents and Changes

Last week, Restokin discussed some great suggestions for improving the talent trees and Cannot be Tamed did a wonderful job previewing the new talent and ability changes. Now, I do not want to go into great detail about the changes, as they have already outlined everything. However, I would like to just talk about what I think about a few of these changes.

Talent Trees

I feel torn about this issue. In one hand I love that the talent trees are getting smaller and more concise. One the other hand, the previewed talent trees feel a bit…lacking. I also hate that I would need to get talents, that can be seen as a bit useless in order to advance in my tree. I thought there was going to be some variety, however it looks like that is all gone. The trees seem simplistic, forcing us to get talents we would never buy normally. It sorta seems like we “HAVE” to use these talents to be a good healer and there is no other real choice. Now I know that most everyone has the same spec, but it wasn’t magically given to us. There was work and effort that went into finding out which spec worked the best. For Cata it seems like it will just be a given. But being in Beta I still have hope that things can change.

One of my burning talent tree questions is why is everything give you a special at 25% or lower health? I know that if we were all sitting at 25% today I would be feeling a wipe coming on. I want to know what has changed across the board for raids that lets this possible. I am hoping I can read more of the info about Beta and see what Blizzard has up their sleeves.

Spells/Abilities

Lifebloom – Only active on one target…Ok I get it. This is now suppose to be a tank only heal. Cool. But really what is the point?  What about the poor second and third tanks in the multi tank fights? No Lifeblooms for them!

Regrowth – 2 second cast but 35% of base mana…ouch! I read they were making this our flash heal with a HoT. I had no idea it would cost this much!

Nourish – Costs very little mana, but a 3 second cast?! Oh my word…

Healing Touch – VERY expensive mana wise. 38% base?! 3 second cast…but great heals. This cannot be used often.

Tranquility – Now heals target’s party. 😦 I was really hoping for a cool raid wide spell! I know I know that would be COMPLETELY over powered, but fun! Lower cooldown of 8 min is nice.

Rebirth – now 30 min cooldown. Eh we have had it like this before. 10 min was nice though. At least we could count on it every fight and could maybe save someones bad decision.

I guess we still have a while before the xpac, but some of these new features are a bit disheartening. However, I will still love my tree….oh wait what tree! I still would like to see what they are doing about a minor glyph for Tree Form. I would miss it so much!

Stolen Survey

I found this one while reading TyphoonAndrew which he got from Cannot be Tamed and they got from Sorry Caps and I thought it might be fun to do and kill a little time.

1. Raider, farmer, PvPer, or altoholic?
Raider. However I like to play alts on my off nights.

2. Favorite raid or dungeon?
SSC. This place was so amazing. Great trash and even better bosses. I really miss raiding this.

3. Number one choice for a new playable race?
I like Worgen, just happy it is not Murloc! O.O

4. Class you suck the most at?
Warriors, Boomkin, and Kitty Druids. Yeah….I dual spec Resto =/

5. Original UI or modded UI?
Modded a million times over.

6. Profession you’ve never leveled past 200?
Mining…it is the ban of my existence.

7. Favorite flying mount?
Swift Flight Form. I love just jumping to my death and saving myself mid fall.

8. Nozdormu — friend or foe, you figure?
Friend…at least I hope!

9. Useless item you have in your bank that you’ll never get rid of?
Old gear that I should DE. Some from raiding at 70…I am just a pack rat!

10. Most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?
Flight form.

11. Favorite starting area?
Human

12. Inane goal you worked hardest to achieve?
All the Argent Tourament dailies only to switch faction and do them all over again.

13. Darion Mograine VS Tirion Fordring, gloves off — winner is?

Tirion Fordring, bc Knights of the Silver Hand are way cool!

14. Game music or your own playlist?
Game. I usually have the TV on in the background.

15. Particular option or setting that you always toggle on a new alt/server?
Auto loot on! I think that is default now, but back in the day it would annoy me so bad if it was off.

16. Highest amount of levels gained in one play session?
Hmm, my husband and I did about 20 with Recruit-a-friend.

17. Thing you’d most like to experience or see in-game?
12/12 hard mode!

18. Worst PuG moment?

The worst moment was a PuG  ToC raid my husband talked me into doing. Everyone was at around 4k gs to early 5k gs and the bosses would not die and people where dying left and right and I felt my head actually spinning.  After 3 wipes I was done !

19. Best dungeon/raid moment?
Beating Lady Vashj for the first time. Getting the timer down in ZA and getting my favorite mount ever!

20. Worst quest ever that you totally hate doing?
Killing all the mobs in Nagrand. The first 3 times it is ok…..then you just want to wipe the place off the map!

21. First thing you do when you hit 80?
Dance! Then start mass dungeon farming.

22. Character (of yours) you would RP as if you had to?
My resto druid for sure. She would be a little sweet but has a lot to say. She is the most like my first RP character ever.

23. Keyboard, mouse, or both for using abilities?
Both. Mouseover Macros FTW!

24. Thottbot or WoWhead?
WoWhead for sure.

25. Acronym you’ve seen in chat but don’t understand?
For the longest time I had no idea what RNG meant, then I googled it and felt dumb!

26. Plot point you’d like to see resolved someday?

No real preference.

27. Biggest thing you’re looking forward to in Cataclysm?
I just want to see if Blizzard can succeed in revamping healing.

28. Guild event you’d like to see?
Hide and Seek?

29. Level range you hate being in?
I really hate the 40’s and 50’s .

30. Favorite map to quest in?

Nagrand is so pretty to look at. But for doing general quests I would pick STV. So many quests there!

WoW = RL

This week the shared topic on Blog Azeroth comes from Six Inch Heals and asks us what WoW has taught us about real life or if WoW has impacted our real life in some way. This is a GREAT topic I think. And yes I am a few days late with starting it but for me this one flows freely.

How Shadow Labs Changed my Life

I think I will address the second part of this question first, has Wow impacted my real life in some way. When I read this I was a bit apprehensive to answer at first, most will find what I am about to tell you a little odd, but over the years I have grown to love and embrace the circumstances I faced.

Let’s take a step in my time machine and go back early 2007. I was 20 years old and had been playing WoW for a while. I played a warlock most of the time (while lvling my druid on the side) and would run dungeons constantly. One of my favorite of these dungeons was called Shadow Labs and I would run it constantly.

One of these runs contained two of my RL friends at the time and 2 random PUG hunters we found. One of the hunters (HuntardA) was horrible, calling out their crits in chat on little bugs that roamed the instance and in general low numbers and a poor attitude. The other hunter (Drewtwo) instantly whispered me saying just how bad this hunter was. I laughed and kept general chatter going back and forth about WoW and the other party members. By the end of the dungeon I thought it was great to meet someone so nice in this game and added him to my friends list.

Now, I am a very outgoing person, on the web and off, and I am not afraid to start chit chat with someone I have talked to in the past. I logged on after class the next day and saw he was on. I sent a quick little tell saying hi. I was not sure if he would respond because I thought he would not remember me. Sure enough he did remember me and we began chatting again. Asking general question about age (he was 4 years older than me), where we lived (he is Cali and me in PA),work, school, and interests. This went on for weeks just chatting back and forth and running dungeons for gear.

The guild I was in had a vent server and we would hop in that when doing dungeons. Now Drewtwo remained in another guild and I would occasionally run a raid or two with them for fun. One day he left his guild and asked if he could join ours. I was excited to have a nice and talented hunter join. Soon we were not only chatting on vent everyday but on the phone as well. Our bond was growing stronger and stronger and we were to the point where we could tell each other anything. We never even met and he was my best friend.

For my 21st birthday, I decided that my friend Bear and I would fly from PA to CA to meet Drewtwo and celebrate my birthday somewhere fun! Once we were there and I met Drewtwo for the first time, it was like cupid ran me over with a semi-truck. I was lovestruck. After a week of hanging out and getting to know each other in person, we decided to start dating. The feelings we had for each other were strong. We decided that I would move to Cali with him (Ok ok I know red flag right? But I was young and in love with my whole life ahead of me. PA was depressing and I wanted to get out and live my life. You only live once right?) .

18 days later, Drewtwo flew out and picked me up from my house and we drove across the country. December 22, 2008 he proposed at our weekly D&D game (yes HUGE dorks!) and March 7th 2009 we were married and we currently have a baby on the way.

While this story may be strange to some, this is the most wonderful thing to happen to both our lives. If we would have never played WoW, we would have never met. this game has shaped both our lives deeply.

A Short List of What WoW has Taught Me

1. Live in the moment. Sure things may seem bleak as you wipe on LK for the 100th time, but you never know what will happen when you do just one more attempt.

2. Your closest friends are ones who share your interests. I love my guildies as my good friends. We can talk about more than just WoW but it is WoW that binds us together.  

3. People take games VERY personally. This can be good and bad. Yes you want to enjoy the game, but you can take it too far. Competitiveness is good, but in moderation.

4. In game affects real life. I find this is especially true for role-playing. You need to separate out the game and life. Your friend betray you in a roleplay? Well that was just the character, not them. Do not let it ruin a friendship!

5. You can build confidence and learn to lead by becoming a Raid Leader. This may seem silly but I feel I have become more confident and effective by raid leading and being an officer in the guild. People come to you with issues and problems and it is up to you to sort them out. Plus being a female and getting on over vent to lead a bunch of guys may seem scary at first, but once you can you are ready to take over board meetings at work and speak your mind.

6. Finally remember, love and friendship could be only a LFG away. 🙂

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