Sonnet of a Raid

Boss KillI wanted to try something new the other day, something that would challenge me.  So I googled the rules of a sonnet and set down to write my very own.  Without further ado, here is…

Fussypants’s Sonnet of a Raid

The group forms up and we all portal in
We eat our feast and buffs we do apply
With smiles and strats we boldly do begin
By magic and melee the mobs soon die

And now we have arrived to the end boss
The strat is read and boss is pulled by plan
The tank is low but heals do healers toss
The DPS bring deeps as much they can

Cooldowns are popped and chaos grips the raid
A hunter stands in badness and goes down
Quick now a brez and play the best you’ve played
Cast Bloodlust now you should have it keybound

With a tremendous roar we  end the fight
And revel in the lewts brought by our might

Fin

 

Addendum: Yotaan and I might be redecorating the site in the next couple of days, so tell us what you think!

Shields or no Heals

WoWScrnShot_082215_174132With sure steps, the heroic paladin dashes over the open field.  Her exotic build and glowing eyes mark her as one of the noble race of Draenei.  And her heavy plate armor embedded with crystals further denotes her as a paladin.  Across the expanse, the paladin charges to a fallen comrade.  She kneels down and quickly casts a healing spell upon her ally.  The figure stirs as it’s wounds begin to heal.
But the enemy is not gone! With a bloodthirsty shout, the orc raises it’s axe to behead the righteous paladin.  The draenei swiftly raises her arm, but instead of a protecting shield like usual, she carries a rather useless tome.  The orc’s axe carves right through the book and into the paladin and she is slain.
“Back again?” The spirit healer questions.
“Yeah,” answers the draenei glumly, “I can’t take any hits anymore without dying.”
“While I might not be an expert, I would really recommend investing in a shield,” offered the spirit healer.
“Yeah, but this book has got such better stats! It’s even Warforged!” counters the draenei.
“Honey, Holy Paladins just aren’t meant to use books.  Ignore the stats and go back to your shield.  You’ll thank me later,” the spirit healing wisely advised, “Or rather, you won’t because you and I will barely ever meet.”
“Thanks for the advice Mrs. Spirit Healer!”
“Any time Fussypants.”
The draenei returns to the living world.  But before she charges once more into battle, she pulls out her trusty shield and returns it to her arm where it belongs.  With a satisfied smile, Fussypants once more ventures forth to heal her allies.

There are very few stipulations I have when I play Warcraft.  I’ll play every race and almost every class.  I’ll play any faction on any realm.  I’ll play any role and any part of the game.  But what I will not do, is wield an offhand other than a shield on my holy paladin.

It’s just not right.  Holy paladins are the protectors of the light and of the injured.  And we can’t go about protecting when we’ve got some pathetic lantern dangling at our side.  A holy paladin needs her trusty shield.  That shield saves her life while she saves the lives of others.

But Fussypants, you might be thinking, paladins use Librams which are books! Surely you can transmog a book offhand! Yes it is true that paladins carry librams.  However, if you remember back, the libram didn’t replace the shield.  It was alongside of it.  Paladins can carry books, that I don’t care about.  But they have to carry that shield.  Book or no book, the shield must be there.

And if you are thinking about the BC cinematic as an example of a paladin libram, let me point out to you that that is Maraad, who is a ret paladin.  I honestly don’t care what those good for nothing but face smashing melee boys are up to, I speak only about holy paladins.  And holy paladins must use a shield.

The stats are of no importance to me.  If it ain’t a shield, I ain’t wearing it.  This is why, to the chagrin of my guild, I continue to wear my ilvl 670 shield instead of the 691 offhand that I have.  I cannot disgrace my holy paladin with that disgusting offhand.

Holy paladins are meant for shields, just like peanut butter is meant for for jelly.  Sure you can have them apart, but they aren’t as good.  And you certainly can’t pair mayonnaise with peanut butter, it’s gotta be the jelly.  Just as holy paladins can go offhand-less (not as good) but they can’t use a book (nasty). With the shield, paladins become an amazing juggernaut of healing power!

This is where I draw my line and not even the Naaru can move me.  Holy Paladins must have shields.  In order to heal those we care about, we must be able to protect ourselves!
#ShieldsornoHeals

(Yes, I wrote this whole thing to validate keeping my shield on my paladin.  Sometimes I don’t get why my guild still keeps me on the raid team :P)

Another Name Article (Demon Hunter Edition)

I was inspired (Artwork by Fussypants)

I was inspired (Artwork by Fussypants)

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past week, you probably will have noticed the monumental announcement regarding the next Warcraft expansion.  We won’t bore you to death with the details since you already know those, but rather focus on one particular aspect that interested both Yotaan and Fussypants alike.  Demon hunters.

Fussypants: My first reaction was something along the lines of “OMG this is the class I’ve always wanted and never knew until now gimme gimme gimme!”.  The lore behind the class was extremely compelling and honestly, demon hunters look pretty badass.
However the more they talked about the class, the more a nagging doubt echoed in the back of my mind.  Demon hunters were repeatedly mentioned as ‘agile and mobile hand to hand combat fighters’ with lots of abilities that move them around the map.  Sound familiar to anyone else? To me, that sounded exactly like the description of monks.  And since monks have become my second favorite class (only after paladin) I became a touch worried that demon hunters would fill our niche.
I understand that this is only the announcement and we don’t even have a beta yet, so I’m not actively fretting the demon hunter take over. But hey, it’s just some food for thought. And if-

demon hunter 2
Yotaan: Fussypants.

Fussypants: What?

Yotaan: What are we going to name our demon hunters?

Fussypants: Well, I don’t know.  I’ll probably name mine something ending with ‘pants’ because that’s become my thing.

Yotaan: I want to name my demon hunter Sally.

Fussypants: Sally? Seriously? This wickedly awesome and deeply scarred elf and you wanna name her Sally?

Yotaan: Well it seems that Sally is taken on our realm.  Hmm… Mindy? Also taken.  Oh I know, Suzie!

Fussypants: Suzie.  Are you serious?

Yotaan: Suzie has been reserved!

Fussypants: *facepalming very hard*

Yotaan:  You know what would be cool?  We should name ours together, like twins.  But inanimate objects! Lamp and Lightbulb! Or Fork and Spoon!

Fussypants: Spork and Fapoon?

Yotaan: That. Is. GENIUS!

Fussypants: Everyone is naming their demon hunters something serious and demon-y and we are naming our Spork and Fapoon.

Yotaan: Yup.  It will be great!

Fussypants: *sigh* Well, what do  you think of demon hunters?

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Yotaan: Kidding aside, I am excited for a new class.  I always level them up, if only to experience how they play.  I played with my death knight up to max level.  Actually, I enjoyed him a lot.   He was blood specced and at the time, was unstoppable with awesome DPS.  Of course I played a monk as well, and leveled him to max and for some time played him even more than Yotaan.

demon hunterI think the most interesting part of Demon Hunter is the lore potential.  The notion of them being Elf only is very appealing.  Here’s to hoping for a great introductory questing sequence for the demon hunter.  If it is at all like the death night initial experience, then I am sold!

That being said, as I peruse the Legion website, the night elf versions look better than the blood elf versions.  Since Fussypants has convinced me to play Alliance, I am happy that night elf is in my faction!

Oh, and by the way, Suzie is a killer demon hunter name….

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So what are you most excited about for the class? And what are your awesome Demon hunter names?

Next Expansion: Make it Brony

Photoshopped by the marvelous Scott Leyes

Photoshopped by the marvelous Scott Leyes

Yotaan brought up the topic of the next WoW expansion the other day.  Unfortunately, he brought it up over the dinner table, so the whole family got involved.  Including the members of the household who had no idea what Warcraft was, let alone what a new expansion would entail.

Yotaan started off by saying that he and I should post our speculation before the info drops on Thursday.  But before we could get anywhere with that speculation, my mom butted in.
“Brony.  It should be brony,” she said in the matter of fact way that only my mother can. “No wait wait wait, it should be that terrible dinosaur sitcom from the 90’s.  You know, the one where the actors dressed up in dinosaur suits and it looked horrendous.”

My father laughed out loud, and piled on that the next expansion should be Jane Austen to get more women in the story as they make their way through Elizabethan age life.  Pride and Paladin, my mother added.

But it got better.  My mom, having another flash of inspiration shouted “No! I know what it should be! Sex in the City! All the women will sit around discussing women things like their periods and men.  And all the guys will be gay but the women won’t be, so it will create weird tensions.” And even I have to admit, it’d be pretty funny to see hulking brawny orcs sitting around discussing their feelings.

Not one to be left out of the fun, my little sister joined in with ‘Unicorns! The next expansion should be unicorns! There will be unicorns running around and you have to do quests to free them and get meat.  And the unicorns only turn purple after they’ve been with humans!”

And we all agreed that she had the most fleshed out expansion idea of them all.

However, Yotaan and I still needed to write out our expansion predictions.  I sat down and did some good hard thinking.  Unlike the rest of my family, I was going to come up with a legitimate and plausible expansion idea.

The way I saw it, there were two options.  The first and more obvious one would be some sort of demon expansion.  With the lead up of Hellfire Citadel, a return of the Burning Legion made the most sense.   I foresaw some sort of invasion, either on our part or on the demon’s parts.  But the second expansion option is what I would prefer to see.

We return to Azeroth after the Draenor campaign to find that the Naga have been acting up again.  Racing to the oceans, we embark on a South Seas Expansion filled with Naga, pirates, forgotten islands, and more.  Eventually we discover that the Naga have been in contact with the Burning Legion (again) and are once more trying to bring them to Azeroth.  Neptulon plays a part so we finally get that thread wrapped up.

This is the expansion that I would really want to see.  I’ve always thought that the Naga make a great and chilling enemy and I really want there to be more pirates in WoW.  Also, the idea of islands instead of a single continent could be an interesting new take (provided there is fast travel between islands).  And we also are wrapping up tons of plot threads as well as smoothly transitioning from WoD.  It could be perfect!

My father (unfortunately) was way less… conscientious… about his expansion idea.

Yotaan: The heroes return to Azeroth after being away in Draenor battling orcs and demons only to find Disaster has struck!

All the major cities and towns are overrun with zombies (queue zombie invasion from Wrath)  How could this be?  We defeated the Lich King! Bolvar still sits on the throne…

But an old nemesis has risen again – Deathwing!  Now he’s a zombie and he is seeking (again) to destroy the world.  This time, he will crush all civilization first with the zombies under his control.

As if this is not horrifying enough, there is more…  Who is behind all of this?  How did Deathwing become a zombie to terrorize us again?

Oh no!

Its Gul’dan!!!!!

He’s at it again!

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We shall see who’s right come tomorrow!

What’s to a name?

WoWScrnShot_072315_114629I had one of those moments the other day where an almost loss taught me how valuable something was to me.  The ‘thing’ in question, was the name of one of my oldest toons.

I had transferred my gnome mage to a new realm a couple of months ago.  She had been flagged for a name change, despite the fact that no character on the new realm had the name that she did.  I submitted a ticket about it then, and was told I needed to wait 30 days.  The GM I spoke with believed that someone might have recently deleted a toon with the same name, which would keep the name reserved for 30 days.

So I bided my time.  I waited with the character flagged for two months, unable to play her at all.  Finally, the 30 days had past.  As soon as I was free to, I submitted another ticket about the name.

But apparently, Blizzard had changed their policies in the meanwhile.  I was invited to chat with a GM and was told that they can no longer unlock names.  In the name of fairness, Blizzard now releases names in waves every expansion, and will no longer free up name upon request. I would not be able to keep the name of my first toon.

In that moment, I realized how important the name had become to me.  You might think it’s a silly thing; to become to attached to a couple of pixels worth of character name.  But I was.  It was important to me.  The name might not have seemed like much, but it carried with it my history.  That gnome mage had to be called by that name, or else it would be someone elses’ toon.

Not willing to give up so easily, I asked (probably more like pestered) the GM for a little while more.  The name itself had some peculiarities to it (it was being reserved for no apparent reason and should have been freed up since the beginning) but there was nothing the GM could do.  I finally asked if there was some sort of temporary name I could put on the toon so that I could access her stuff, but still wait till the next expansion to snap up the name when it became available.

At this point, the GM told me to wait a moment.  I was in a pug at the time of the chat so I sat with baited breath, waiting on his response (It was probably the worst healing I’ve done all expansion).

About five minutes later, the GM was back.  S/he had made an exception for my case and had released the name.  I was ecstatic and logged off as quickly as the boss fight ended.

The GM was true to their word.  As I entered in the new named for my flagged mage, it was accepted and I was logged into the game world.  My gnome mage kept her identity.  I showered praise and thanks to the GM and we both went on our merry way.

First things first, I  want to express my extreme gratitude to that GM (I’ve withheld the name so I don’t get them in trouble). They went out on a limb to help me, a person they don’t even know.  I meant it when I said they were my favorite GM ever.  Their act of kindness made my week.  Whoever you are, wherever you are GM, you have my enormous thanks.

YAY!

YAY!!

Secondly, EEEEEEK! I GOT THE NAME! After spending 2 months and $25 on that toon, I’m glad she’s finally back to her usual self.  I hadn’t realized how important this was to me, but now that it’s finally finished I feel complete.  While my gnome mage may no longer be my main, she is still one of my original characters, and the toon I invariably go back to.  And the fact that she gets to keep that name, I feel like I get to keep all the history and personality associated with it.

I think that’s what’s to a name.  It’s more than just the consonants, vowels, and capitalization.  It’s more than just the syllables and the sounds to it.  It’s the history and the personality that has become associated with it.  Its the memories of things past that you have achieved on the toon.  It’s the Heralds of the Titans on my monk Yogapants.  It’s the Ahead of the Curve Garrosh kill on my priest Elfster.  It’s the countless raids and dungeons on my paladin Fussypants.  The names carry with them what the toons have done.  They define them.  They expand them.

My paladin is Fussypants because of all that she has done and achieved.  Sure, entering the name in the character creation screen assigned the name.  But the character owns the name by their actions.  The toon, the name, and the history become one.

So what’s to a name? A character, and all their achievements are what is to a name.

Note: Fussypants is again going out of town next week, so there will be no blog post.  Apologies in advance!

A Walk back in Time

TimewalkingI finally got to enjoy some good old fashioned Wrath timewalker dungeons this weekend (after missing the first weekend of timewalking).  And while my only memories of these dungeons are from leveling, I still found the experience quite enjoyable!

The first (and arguable the most exciting aspect for myself) thing that I noticed about timewalking was that it scaled down your gear to level.  Not only did this help the level the playing field, but this also meant that gear from earlier expansions suddenly became relevant.  I was taking Yogapants out for the timewalking spin, the character that I had done Herald of the Titans on.  This meant I had a set of gemmed, enchanted, and totally awesome tanking gear saved in my bank from Ulduar.
Even though I completed Heralds a few months ago, it felt pretty awesome to get back into my old gear.  My transmog was saved as well, so I looked pretty amazingly stylish.  I also pulled out my singular Warglaive of Azzinoth.  If you’re going to do it, go whole hog!

Now onto the actual dungeons.  I had not actually completed these dungeons in heroic mode, so there were new mechanics (and in some cases, bosses) for me to learn.  But they were the same dungeons that I had spent so many leveling trips through.  The familiarity was welcoming.

My gear and level was scaled down which also meant my health and damage were.  As a tank, I found myself having to bust out more cooldowns than usual.  I had to be on my toes for interrupts, CCs, and bursts of damage. While that took some getting used to, on the whole I enjoyed the increased difficulty.  If these dungeons had been facerolls I doubt I would have done as many as I did.

The gear dropped was admittedly rather boring.  Sure, it brought back the iconic Wrath look (fur, spikes, and brown!) but the stats were meh.  And everything I got was either critical strike (boring) or versatility (gross).   While some of the gear was an upgrade for me, the stats were poorly itemized for my spec.  I could just have been unlucky, but I would like to see some mastery, multistrike, or haste gear if at all possible.

But I didn’t run the dungeons for the gear, I ran them for the experience.  And on that front, they did not disappoint.  I will admit it felt a little weird to be running in places like the Nexus and not watching an experience bar for a ding.  On the whole though, I had a very enjoyable time.  Would I want to see Timewalkers be an all-time thing? Not particularly, but as a holiday weekend activity they were quite fun!

Wrapping up Warlords?

world-of-warcraft-warlords-of-draenor-logo-1920x1080A recent interview between Mammytwink and Zecharia and Lead Game Designer Cory Stockton has revealed a lot of key details about future content in WoD.  Namely Hellfire Citadel is most likely the last raid in Warlords and 6.2 the last content patch.  While Blizzard gave themselves plenty of breathing room to add more content if it is needed, the fact remains that we are at the end stage of this expansion.
Before I dive into a lengthy explanation of my opinion on the matter, I think it might be wise to review what this expansion has been thus far.

November 8, 2013 – Warlord of Draenor, the 5th expansion of the Warcraft MMO, is announced at Blizzcon
Some lucky Blizzcon go-ers are able to play an early version of the game.  WoD is described as beautiful to look at, but not very far along development wise

June 27, 2014 – Warlords of Draenor begins closed beta testing
A large chunk of time passes and WoD finally opens for beta testing.

November 13, 2014 – Warlords of Draenor Officially Launches
The Dark Portal opens and players pour into the timey-wimey alternate universe world of Draenor.  First impressions are fantastic: questing is the best in game and the world looks beautiful.  However, a lack of endgame content, weak profession design, and dependence on the garrison burns some players out rather quickly.  The expansion costs $10 more than previous expansions.

February 24, 2015 – Patch 6.1 drops, the first major patch of Warlords
Despite being a major patch, 6.1 is rather light on content.  Twitter integration, the last of the new models, heirloom tab, and garrison changes are all added.  General consensus is that this is a minor patch at best, and the leftover cleaning up from launch at worst.
Shortly after, Blackrock Foundry opens up and the first raid tier is finished.

June 23, 2015 – Patch 6.2 drops, the second (and final?) major patch of Warlords
6.2 is the first patch with actual content added to the game.  The patch brings Tanaan Jungle, the Shipyard, Hellfire Citadel, Mythic Dungeons, and assorted Bonus events such as Timewalking.  Much of the content feels like final patch content and Tanaan bears many similarities to Timeless Isle.
The New Dark PortalWhen you look at the overview of WoD, it seems truncated somehow.  Almost as if we are missing a patch in between 6.1 and 6.2. On top of this, the endgame content and story has been rather weak.  When you compare with Mists, the expansion just before, Warlords seems rather… lame.

I think Blizzard’s attempt at pushing out content at a faster rate has seriously crippled the Warlords expansion.  There was huge potential for an epic remix of Burning Crusade but what we got was not quite that.  The WoD we got was a half finished ‘almost expansion’.

Warlords hasn’t been all terrible though.  I strongly believe that the leveling of this expansion is the best in game.  The storytelling in the 90 to 100 experience is truly amazing. Cinematics, treasures scattered about, and all the little details help to build a complete and fantastic experience.  And, the leveling experience is very repeatable.  I truly hope that Blizzard recognizes WoD’s leveling experience for it’s strengths and uses the same design next expansion.

The endgame unfortunately has been less successful.  This has been covered time and time again, so I don’t need to go into much detail.  The general idea was that there was little to do or nothing compelling, and after particularly strong leveling content this really showed.

6.2 being the last patch is slightly disappointing to me.  Not because the patch itself is light on content (on the contrary, this patch could easily last myself personally a year) but because of the track record of the expansion.  If we end Warlords like this, the expansion will feel unfinished and half done. No other expansion has felt this way.  Even Cataclysm, for all it’s faults, felt like a whole expansion.  Warlords as it is feels like it is missing parts.

So I sincerely hope that Warlords is not over with 6.2. Maybe we will still go to Faralon? Maybe we can deal with the fungus that threatens to swallow Draenor?  Maybe we can learn more about the titan influence on the planet? There are so many loose ends that Blizzard can pick from to tie up.  Warlords needs at least one more patch to ‘complete it’.

Because as it stands, Warlords has had exactly one patch with actual game content.  Mists, the expansion right before had four.  Four patches where new content, new dailies, new zones were added.  In order to hold up to a precedent like that, WoD needs at least one more totally awesome batch of content.  I suppose Blizzard could just cut their losses now and wrap up Warlords quickly but that will stain their reputation.  And while Warlords was an ‘almost’, it shouldn’t be a stain.