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An Interlude on Propriety

I’d like to take this moment to, in the vein of a sports analogy of sorts, talk about yesterday’s hotfix as it affects the various tanks out there…not so much in exacting detail as a broader personal assessment of what was done.

Our analogy starts with a hobby my family and I enjoy, though it moves instead to the hobby’s professional sports level: drag racing.  Among the big-league racers, there’s a class of vehicle competition called “Pro Stock Motorcycle”, and we’ll be taking our analogy here.  Three distinct types of motorcycle drive in this class: Suzukis and other imports; Buells (V-twin engines); and Harley Davidson V-Rods.  Of late, there has been a consistency of performance among the latter two groups, usually involving the Harleys squaring off against the Buells in the semi-final round.  Import owners, having the largest stake in the class in both financial and vehicle numbers, routinely ask for the other bikes to be slowed down…and the league agrees more often than not.

Perhaps, if you’re still reading this, you’re wondering how the blazes this is all still relevant to the game we all enjoy, and to the hotfix I mentioned earlier.  As a few guildmates of mine have learned from direct experience, the DeathKnight tanking specialization is extremely powerful (some of them have openly called it OVERpowered)…especially compared to fellow tanks.  In addressing this situation via yesterday’s hotfix, Blizzard’s development staff had two options between which they could have chosen: nerf DK tanks partway to Hell to make up for the power given to them (as alluded to in the analogy above)…

…or make the other tanks more competitive, yet leave DKs as alone as possible.  Personally, I was delighted to see last night that they look to have chosen the latter; it keeps the other classes enjoyable in this role, and doesn’t detract from the fun folks have already been enjoying in the DK’s performance.

Now back to your regularly-scheduled Mists of Pandaria, all of you.  :P

New League, New Lineup

Alrighty…by the time this one gets up and broadcast on Twitter, there’ll be only a handful of hours before Mists of Pandaria, and the madness of yet another leveling frenzy overtakes everyone.  I swear, the NFL Draft is a safer place to be when it’s in full swing…
 
…ANYWAY.  With the new expansion, as everyone’s already read countless times in other places, new goodies come out to eat up everyone’s attention.  As someone who was away from WoW for a good long few months (around the middle of January to late August), the closest I came to killing the Big Bad Dragon was getting him into the giant swirling drain at the Maelstrom.  I don’t really regret not getting a killshot on him, and come to think of it, I’m also not upset that I didn’t get one on Ragnaros…though Rags also has the aspect of “wanting to defeat the encounter” on Ol’ Deathy, so I may come back to that drill later.  What I’m upset about–something that bugged a few good friends of mine about this expansion, as well–is that there really isn’t a reason to be upset about not killing Deathwing.  It’s like he didn’t mean shit, and really hasn’t since the first kill, not long after his raid went live.
 
And then there’s Mists of Pandaria.  Enough excitement’s brewed around this expansion that social media is being strained keeping up with it.  Just this past weekend, a countdown rallied on Twitter to mark the time until the release, a clear sign that…well…folks are excited.  This is good; this is VERY good.  It’s like a new season of football just started up, without the threat of poor refs or lame play-calling.
 
Cataclysm called; it wants its mojo back.  Mists called back, told Cata to have a mojo before bitching about losing it.

Unlikely Heroes

So…I’ve hit one dungeon since the night of utter fail that I described, a nice, mostly smooth run of the Scarlet Halls.  We had a tank and DPS death on the first boss, and a DPS death on the last boss…considering that, the houndsmaster sure seemed easy in hindsight.  But that’s it for dungeons for a while, since everything that opened since has been downright atrocious: Maraudon, more Mara, and some wings of Dire Maul.  Gnomer also unlocked early into that list, but…the Hell with Gnomeregan.

Leveling also hit a very slight snag, as I had to bring herbalism and inscription in line to make them useful.  Mission accomplished on that front, and the Hinterlands are completely done, marking my entry into the Plaguelands.  As of last night, only partway through Western Plagues, I’m…

…well, level 40.

On a character that’s supposed to heal.  A character that wears cloth armor.  A spellcaster, for Light’s sake.

Evistine: Whee!  *spams Flash Heal and Penance*

Solt: …Light-forsaken… Sit!  Sit, or no leveling for a week!

Evistine: *sits, pouting, and casts Holy Fire on something…somewhere*

…Ahem. Kia, if you’re reading this, that little blurb was for you. There might be more like it at a later time.

So, yes. Healer, level 40 and riding fast. Be afraid, world…for he who sucks at healing has discovered the joy of Discipline Priests…and that he may not really be that bad at it.

Oh, The Things I Have Seen…The Changes I’ve Known…

So…I was possessed by some strange urge not too long ago to take my old cloth heirlooms and finally put them to use again.  As a result, I have a strange new alt in my stable of characters: a priestess.  Normally, this could have been excused as trying something somewhat new that was within my comfort zone, but…then I specialized it into Discipline.  It was definitely not the first thought that crossed into my mind, and it was even stranger to consider later on, when the LFD queue was finally unlocked at level 15.  However, it has become something better than what I expected; it’s become downright awesome.  I’m someone who has…for lack of a better word, HATED healing.  I love the healers I’ve encountered, largely because I’ve only in the rarest of cases ever encountered a healer who couldn’t do the job right (and never once has that happened in my guild), but I don’t heal.  Leveling a Discipline Priest is kinda far out there, and enjoying it–enjoying HEALING–is something else entirely.  In fact, out of the first four dungeon queues I ran, only one had any issues…and at no point do I feel as though they were my fault.  (Admittedly, one of those four involved a Paladin tank whose main is a priest from within the guild who also has an 85 Tankadin, so I knew that, for that queue, I was getting someone who knew full well what she was doing.)

These four, however, were smooth.  As such, I admit that I hoped for and expected the trend to continue when she and I queued up last night.  For a time, it did.  The first run was perfectly smooth, and was my first time in a full run of Blackfathom Deeps (I had previously been in, solely for the old Paladin class quest for Verigan’s Fist).  After we cleared the place out, we made our way into the Stockades–and I began losing track of where the Hell my XP bar was–and the gravy train of smoothness decided to jump the rails.  First snag?  DPS Paladin in the Stockades group, wearing: a 1H sword, a shield, and Righteous Fury.  I really don’t understand that…she was in Ret, and sure as Hell wasn’t putting out enough threat even with RF running to pull off of my guildmate.  The question, I suppose, falls into why she wasn’t using DPS gear for her DPS setup (lowbie as it was)…but that’s not even the kicker of the night.  There was another run of BFD afterwards–and THAT was the nightmare.  It is officially the first damned PuG where I did NOT stay to see the end boss downed.

Going down the line among the DPS revealed a complete list of failbunnies, so fucking swamped in their own fantastic levels of failure and incompetence that it was impossible for me to imagine it being worse.  Let’s start with the warrior: ambitious (perhaps to the point of being over-eager) and clearly incapable of following the marks over someone’s head.  Got lost in the middle of action a few times, wound up needing a few resurrection spells due to neutral-reaction trash mobs that weren’t being lumped into the group’s field of fire.  Next…the hunter.  This guy…ugh.  I started a hunter alt last night, though I didn’t go much further than his starter zone.  There is a reason I made the hunter: because I wanted to experiment.  This PuG hunter has added for me a second reason: to redeem the class, after the harsh effect of his unspoken insult to huntering.

Finally, the mage from the group gets enough of a failing grade to warrant his own damned paragraph.  There is a moment in time when you are simply foolish at playing your class…either because it’s low-level and you have little to use, or because you’d rather be at 85 and just want the damned levels to go by faster.  Then there’s outright fucking moronically lazy, and dumb enough that I can’t call you a mouth-breather for fear of insulting the other mouth-breathers.  I have seen many things in my time with …I have seen many good things, and I have, through pugging, seen many bad things.  I have kept a less-than-clear mental list of the bad things, but this mage TOPS THAT LIST.  Yetamong his flaws, I shall list the worst one: prioritization fail.  Shortly after dying to his own stupidity, he consumed THREE resurrection spells.  THREE.  Why three, you might ask?  Simply that he was lazy enough to not answer the first two.  And why did he not answer them?  He was too busy…looking up mixing drugs and “edibles”.

…I don’t fucking even…

The tank and I left within three pulls, both less than comfortable.

Well, with that nightmare of a PuG behind us, I have to admit that it was rather interesting, on the whole, leveling the priest through all of that stuff.  It’s been fun, on the whole, using her, and I haven’t really felt too overwhelmed while healing with her.  At this rate, with how much I’m enjoying her and how fast she’s leveling…I think I could feasibly have her knocking on the Dark Portal’s door before the release of Mists.

…Me.  A healer.  AHAHAHAHAHA. Funny, but somehow becoming true.

I Healed A PuG, And I Liked It

…So, yeah, I dod heal a lowbie PuG on my priest alt last night.  Amazingly enough, it went without a hitch.  In recounting the matter to a guildmate of mine who knows healing tons better than I, I secured from her the admission that among her favorites ib WoW are:

Protection Paladins
Discipline Priests

Convenient, as we both have at least one of each…and I can see from last night why she likes the Discipline spec.

And for those of you who saw the title up top, enjoy the earworm.  I’m gonna go hide in a bunker now.

Trial of Strength – RP Segment

Technically, this is supposed to be Feature Thursday, but…it’s early, for once.  And technically, it’s also more of a short story-telling kinda story, and not real RP.  Not entirely worried about that…just wanted to get this posted.  It felt good to write.  Hopefully, you all enjoy it, because there will be more to follow.
————————–
It was colder this day than it had been all of the past few weeks…a sign, to some, that the day harbored naught but ill will for those who dared to challenge it.  Yet to say that Northrend was cold was the same as saying that Durotan was scorching, or that the Searing Gorge was unwelcoming.  Specifically, Icecrown was a place so chilling as to border on being inhospitable; few had ever had the courage to venture so far north as to reach it, the roof of the world…fewer still had survived.

Yet none of that could explain the fact that, seemingly just of its own will, the Argent Tournament had not only endured, but thrived in the frigid climes of the dreaded northern wasteland.  The tournament was little more, to some, than a showpiece, meant to project an image to those who participated; in spite of the underlying purpose for it, it was difficult to shake the thought that it was all just an act.  At that it was a truly deadly, dangerous charade, meant to test those who engaged in it to their very core.  Only the truly strong had any hope to prevail.

Yet strength was always open to interpretation.  Some took it literally, and honed their bodies to the pinnacle of martial perfection; others found their strength in the mind, and how it functioned, and others still found strength in faith, or in numbers.

Looking down on the small group of heroes––10, each one hailing from a different calling within the world––Highlord Fordring surely must have thought that they had simply not honed their respective strengths enough.  A single tear ran down his cheek, and his voice seemed sad and somber as he spoke.  “A great tragedy has befallen us,”  he began.  “Our champions fought with valor and distinction, but the beasts of Northrend were victorious.  Let us obser–”

Tirion never finished the thought, so forceful was the interruption.  Forceful, indeed, for even though it was barely loud enough to hear, it had come from the combat ring of the arena.  It had come…from one thought dead.  Echoing softly, the sound resonated against the blood- and paint-spattered walls of the Crusaders’ Coliseum, the distinct rapping sound of metal on wood.  Behind the sound, barely noticeable, was a softer second noise, the scrape of metal dragging across a wooden floor.  Buried deeper still was a third sound, so subtle as to only be recognizable to those used to it…a soft, low hum, like magical energy coursing through the air.  The gauntlet-laden hand that scraped along the floor began to glow softly with a bright light, and slowly, the glow overtook the entire body.  As it did, a feat beyond imagination took place, plain as day before the eyes of all who had just consigned themselves to the idea that this fight had been a monster’s bloodbath…

…the man rose, coming up to one knee, his shield once more in his grasp.  A shocked silence settled over the crowd, and as the divine glow left the still-kneeling figure and another began to twitch with a tenuous grasp on restored life, cheers rained down on a pair of desperate heroes, a man and an orc who, by all accounts, should have been beast fodder.  Metal plates and ornate chain links clinked gently as a short nod passed between two proud champions of their respective peoples, and for a few minutes, a war that had raged across the entire world and joined the journey into Northrend simply…

…disappeared.

Everyone in the audience cheered as the fight resumed, as the Tournament’s champions began rising one after another.  As the fight continued, the cheers grew louder, rising until they were just a single continuous shout of elation as the beast finally went down in a tidal wave of its own blood.  When the thundering crash of the monster’s death finally died down, all was the resounding cheer of the delighted crowd; all was the celebration of ten heroes, reborn in every way.  In the center of the ring, however, was something truly remarkable.  For a few seconds, even the loudest cheers were nothing but a whisper against the soft clink of metal as two gloves closed on each other; in that moment, the barriers reinforced by the greater war broke under the near-silent siege of camaraderie as orc and man shook bloodied hands.

A Half-Fresh Restart (Or, Fluffy Fluff from Fluff-Land, in anticipation of real substance).

Disclaimer: The below role-playing segment is intended, among other things, to bring a little life back to an old blog that has been sitting on Death’s door for a while. The last post was…something, almost three months ago, detailing some information that never really got off the ground (me posting, for instance, about Diablo III, and then proceeding to touch it very little between then and some time after the release of Paragon levels)…never mind the little Baby!Rogue who has since died off in the dustbin of Hell that I call my “deleted/old characters” pile. She still sits there in Memory Lane, giving me a cold look because of that. It is also, naturally, the work of fan-fiction, and as such, requires special acknowledgments be tendered.

First and foremost, to the folks at Blizzard Entertainment for creating and developing the world that is Azeroth, and all the zany lore that fits into it. As well, this is a shout-out to the authors of the various books made in the same setting. Through each and every page, a scrying crystal gives us clear, sharpened focus on another of the interesting histories of a most fanciful land.

Next, I want to thank all of the kind folks at , my Alliance e-home away from home on Rexxar. You’ve all been such great friends, and downright fine people…a man cannot ask for better, for the Light shattered the mold when they were done flooding it with the bounty of the forge. Would that there could be more of you all, for the world might yet be a better place. If you’re reading this post, and you’rean Alliance player on Rexxar (or thinking of stopping by) and looking for a good home, give us a try; you won’t regret it.

To everyone on Twitter…if I take the time to list all of you, it’ll be way too long to finish this post.

And last but not least, to my family––particularly my parents––none of you will ever really see this post, so I’m not one bit worried by what I say in it.  Suffice it to say that you guys drive me batty every so often, and there are times I’ve wanted to just storm out in frustration, but I love you all more than words can say…and I’d say you raised me right, as best as you could, given the circumstances.

Characters used in this blog post, and future RP blog posts, are the property of their respective owners, be they the fellow players with whom I enjoy this game, the company that maintains and shares it with everyone, and so on.  I claim no personal responsibility, therefore, for any characters other than my own, and shall do my best to try and make sure that, in using any character that is not mine, I stick as true to the character’s personality as the original author intended.

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