Brewmastering

Me and my bull bud

Me and my bull bud, taking awful selfies

I am not a tank.  Have I tanked before? Yes.  Do I have a general idea of what tanking is all about? Also yes.  But I am a tank? No. I don’t have the reflexes or knowledge to tank with any regularity.  The best I can do is a few leveling dungeons. Which is why the story I am about to tell is so shocking (even to me).

As I have mentioned a few times, I am currently running a Herald of the Titans achievement group.  I, Iike I always do, went healing on my monk.  However, so did the majority of the other players who are part of the achievement group.  So when it came down to putting together the 10 man groups, we had plenty of dps, a plethora of healers, and not enough tanks.  Not even remotely enough tanks.

The day of the run came, and still no tanks had appeared.  Instead of postponing the whole group, I bit the bullet and switched my offspec to tanking.  Fifteen minutes later, and we were getting set up for our first pulls.

Now I had never tanked Brewmaster before, ever.  I knew vaguely that they had some sort of stagger ability, and something to do with flying kegs.  Other than that, I was completely in the dark.  I had a decent amount of gear (since I had been gearing up Windwalker and most of the gear is easily translatable) but other than that I was thrown out in the world without a clue in the world on how to Brewmaster.

I hurriedly set up my action bars as best as I could, read the tooltips of my abilities, and mentally prepared for the fight.

A little background on the Algalon fight.  There are a few adds during the fight, but the tank doesn’t really need to handle them.  The boss is hard enough.  Algalon, it seems, was not squished properly with 6.0.  His attacks are incessant and he hits like a cement truck.  Within the space of a few seconds, Algalon is capable of throwing out 44k damage.  And considering the tanks had about 50k health, this makes Algalon extremely dangerous.  Knowing your cooldowns and abilities is a must.  And here I was, a brand new Brewmaster, going in to tank this cement truck.

Unsurprisingly, the first few pulls did not go over so well.  As soon as the tank swap came, Algalon would turn his fist of fury on me, and gnome monk would squish everywhere.  However, I am super glad to be part of a supportive and encouraging team, so we picked ourselves back up and kept at it.

I started to get smarter, building up my Brew stacks so I could pop my Elusive Brew when the boss started smashing on me.  Instead of lasting three seconds, I lasted five, then ten, then until the other tank picked the boss up again.  I was actually getting better at this!

Over the next two hours, I went from completely inexperienced and confused to ‘Hey I actually know sort of what I’m doing’!  As someone with a chronic fear of tanking raids, that was a really empowering moment.  I began to feel that I actually knew a thing or two about tanking.  I began to conquer my fear of being the punching bag.  And while we wiped a lot, I feel like I was actually accomplishing something.

Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful with our attempts to down Algalon.  As we found out later, that fight is now as hard, if not harder than it was when it was current.  We simply weren’t prepared for an encounter as bleeding edge as it was (this is not me making excuses, that fight is more wicked than many of the current encounters I have done). However, we did get it down to 19% and I have high hopes that we will be able to conquer it next weekend.

After the raid, I went and read all that I could about Brewmastering. Unsurprisingly, there were things that I had been doing wrong.  But not as many things as I feared.  As it turns out, I had actually managed to figure out a lot about brewmaster tanking in my first two hours.  Whether that it testament to the ease of the class or my skills at picking up tanking quickly, I cannot say.  But I’m still really proud of that raid.

I’m always looking to improve and expand my interests and abilities in WoW.  Tanking was a huge area of the game that I had barely touched up until now.  After playing for a large portion of my life, its pretty thrilling to discover parts of WoW that I don’t know yet.  Tanking world, here I come!

 

Addendum: Remember to go enter in the contest!

100th Blog Post Contest!

My photoshop skills are improving!

My photoshop skills are improving!

One hundred.  That’s a pretty big number.  And especially for blogging, one hundred posts is a lot of blog posts! Today, as of this post, Growing Up in Azeroth will hit this big milestone!

In order to celebrate this milestone, Yotaan and I have decided to throw a little contest for you guys! The theme is “Who is your Main Character?”

How does one participate?
The idea of the contest is for you guys to tell us about your main character.  Why did you make them? Why are they still your main? What is your headcannons/RP? In order to tell us this, you can submit an entry two different ways. (Note: If you do not have a main character, you can still join in! Just tell us about your favorite character.)
Option one: Write about it! Write up a blog post or an email explaining your character, or telling your character’s RP story.  The more creative the explanation, the better!
Option two: Take a screenshot of said character that best represents them.  It can be an action shot or a still shot and again, creativity is king.  Also, artwork of your character is more than welcome!

How does one submit entries?
You can either blog your entry or email us at thefussypants(at)hotmail(dot)com .  If you do a blog post, please let us know!  Please make sure to include a method of contact (email, twitter, etc).

You said contest, so what are the prizes?
There will be two winners, a written and a screenshot.  The winning entries will get a choice of prize: either a Blizzard Store Pet of their choice worth $10 or custom artwork of their character done by Fussypants (digitally sent).  The winners (and perhaps the runners up) will be displayed on the blog as well!

How are the winners selected?
The day that the contest ends, Yotaan and I will round up all the entries and pick which ones we like best.  Yotaan and I are the sole judges of this contest.

When does the contest end?
The contest ends Sunday, April 26th and winners will be contacted shortly after.

And the contest starts right now! Good luck everyone!

Get Off My Virtual Lawn!

Yotaan in NagrandFussypants wrote a post about what she learned from playing WoW. Essentially, she wrote about the skills she needed to acquire to manage other people, respond to trolls, and such. She is figuring herself out.

 

It’s a bit different being an adult (and not a young one at that.) Not to say that I am not learning, but it is certainly not as broad as Fussypant’s experience. What I have learned is that WoW, for me, allows me to be a curmudgeon.

 

Sounds terrible, doesn’t it!

 

I’ve happily watched Fussypants expand her borders. She’s made many many friends in and around the game. She went from being a lurker in The Queue in WoWInsider to a contributing member in BlizzardWatch. I’ve watched her organize raids, set up special events, and chat endlessly. That is awesome and wonderful. And, I have no desire to do the same.

 

My daily life includes dozens of interactions with people all the time. I need to be positive, helpful, and caring. I love my job, and am excited to go to work. I love my family and also want to be a positive force for them. But, when I decide to play and escape, I am interested in having fun on my terms.

 

When I play WoW, chatting is not my thing. I want to read the quests and explore the world. When I am particularly annoyed with life, I love to pvp (even when my toon is underpowered), this gets my aggression out. The social part of the game is the least interesting to me.

 

I should say that I am not totally antisocial. I throw in a comment in guildchat now and then. I’ll answer a question when I know the answer. But mostly I’m quiet in the chat. Group activities are fine, but often I’ll choose the random ones. Currently, I’m working on expanding my mount collection via the Stables questing – a totally solitary activity.

 

Honestly, I was hesitant to write this article, but Fussypants correctly pointed out that I need to write what I learned in WoW. So, I have learned that I like to be a grumpy old man when I play my game. Actually, this is very strange, as this is pretty much the opposite of who I am!

 

In WoW, I have learned to play as I want to play. Currently, I’m a curmudgeon, but maybe I need to learn a little bit more from Fussypants…

Beta-Testing Life through WoW

Walking towards the futureI wrote a post a long time ago about the impacts that WoW has had on my life at that time.  However, I have gotten a good bit older (in kid-years at least) and a great deal more mature so WoW’s impact on me has definitely changed.  So thus, Beta-testing life through WoW.

I wish to start by saying that WoW has had an enormously positive impact on my life.  I know there are people out there that had the game completely take over and ruin their lives, but my experience has not been anything like that at all.  I’ve grown up in WoW, and it has been one of the best teacher’s I’ve ever had.

At this point in my life, I’m starting to decide what sort of person I want to be when I grow up.  How I want to act and react to those around me.  How I want to portray myself to others.  How I want to think of myself.  I’m beginning to realize just what the world is like, and its not an easy thing. I don’t know how many of you remember your teenaged years, but they can be a difficult and emotional time.

Which is why I find myself ever grateful to know about and play WoW.  That might sound strange; during my most vulnerable years I want to play a video game? How does that help? But it does.  WoW is the the place where I can really try out who I want to be. It’s the beta test, in a way, of my personality.

Because in Azeroth, I can be anyone I want to be.  Anonymity is a powerful thing but also a chance for me to try out who ‘me’ is.  How do I treat strangers? How do I treat friends? How do I make friends? I’d like to say it’s been a successful trial run thus far, since I don’t know of any enemies.  But it’s so much better than school, because there are no strings attached.  No history or past prejudice.  How I acted years ago doesn’t affect me now.  It’s a really empowering feeling, especially coming from school with it’s baggage of history.

But along with how I act, WoW has also taught be the best way to react.  Dealing with trolls is one of the stickier aspects of life.  This is going to sound really ridiculous, but the trolls of WoW have actually taught me a valuable life lesson.  How do you deal with insults? How do you deal with arse holes? I’ve learned that you can’t always fight it, but sometimes you have to.  And other times, you have to stand up for another. I’ve had some encounters with some really awful people in real life, but because of WoW I know how to come out on top.

Leadership is another thing I’ve picked up from WoW.  I’ve been an officer in three guilds now, and have organized and executed dozens of events.  I’ve led raids, organized people, and dealt with managerial stuff, to the point where I thing I have a good handle with what I am doing.  This sort of knowledge translates superbly well into the real world.  School projects become a lot easier (usually no one wants to lead, so I often step up and fill that role) and I would assume the workplace too. Because of my beta testing in WoW, I’ve learned how to lead and how to get people to follow.

The list goes on and on.  Time management, how to own up for mistakes, how to ask for help (I really struggled with this).  I won’t say that I’ve learned it all because I know I haven’t.  But I have certainly got a lot of advice and experience under my belt.  It’s made me a more mature, more confident, and more successful person.  Because of WoW, I’m finding who I want to be faster that most others my age.  I’m making mistakes, absolutely, but I’m doing them in an environment that will let me move past those mistakes.

However, I don’t believe that I am the only one who can change and grow because of WoW.  I would bet money, that every person who plays WoW can use it to better themselves.  This probably sound really hippy dippy talk, but I think this is an important idea.  You get out of life what you take out of life.  And I’m going to take all this WoW experience and run with it.

Because of WoW, I’m finding me.

 

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So yeah.  One soul baring article with added philosophical musings.  I promise I won’t get all profound and deep all the time, but I really needed to write this and get this out there.  Have a nice weekend folks and a Happy Spring Break (whenever that might be)!

The Apex of My Loathing

Apexis crystal hatredI don’t like apexis crystals.  In fact, it wouldn’t be untoured to say that I hate apexis crystals.  However I’m not one to rant without reason.  So let me tell you why I dislike those infernal little shards of the past.

First of all, Apexis crystals are really small.  Or they must be, because it takes so dang many of them to buy even the lowest tier of gear.  And because it takes so many crystals to buy things, there is a feeling that it is that much harder to obtain gear.  Back in the day of Justice Points and Valor Points, it required less of that currency to buy the comparatively same gear.  And while the rate of acquisition balances out, it certainly feels like it’s a lot harder to use currency to buy upgrades.

The second issue is that Apexis crystals are gathered differently than previous currencies.  With Justice and Valor Points, you could earn them from daily quests (which I’m glad is gone) or running dungeons/raids/scenarios.  But with Apexis crystals, you either do one daily for a large amount, you get lucky with work orders, you can do some garrison missions, or you grind elites for hours. I think this is the crux of the matter.  You can’t do instances to get crystals.

The way it used to work was you ran instances in hopes of getting new gear.  Then in case you didn’t what you needed, you went and used the points to buy gear that you couldn’t upgrade.  That way you always got something out of an instance, even if the bosses gave you no drops.  That also acted as an incentive to get those who might not need the gear from an instance to run the instance.  Meaning in LFR, there was always at least one overgeared person to pull you along.

But instead of grinding instances to get better gear, you now must grind mobs.  A grind is grind, right?  Wrong.  Grinding instances was an experience.  You could chat with other instances members (or fight with them).  You could help friends gear up by running them through.  You could stoke your ego and burn things down with your awesome gear.  But a mob grind? You mindlessly murder hundreds of mobs for hours.  Mob grinding is repetitive, dull, and anti- social.  Plus, tanks and healers especially can’t mob grind nearly as effectively as dps.  Instances, no matter how many times you do them, are more interesting than mob grinds.

As a healer (with a tank offspec) I can’t really grind mobs.  And besides that, I would way rather run an instance.  In effect, apexis crystals have destroyed alternative gearing methods for me.  And, they’ve taken away my incentive to run instances once I no longer need gear.

I know there are other methods of getting apexis crystals, but they are not as controllable.  The missions options change almost daily.  Work orders are completely random.  The daily is dependable, but you can only get your 800-1000 and you are done for the day.  I miss the flexibility of justice/valor points.

With the vast number required to buy a single piece and the time commitment and unenjoyable grinds attached, I definitely think that Apexis Crystals are a weaker aspect of this expansion. It’s completely possible that I’m doing this whole thing wrong, but they have been no use to my gearing up process.  I’ve bought maybe one or two pieces of gear.  Apexis Crystals just aren’t doing it for me.

Liebster Awarded Once More

liebster-award-rulesThe Liebster Awards are making their way back around again! Growing Up in Azeroth has been nominated by Waiting for Rez! Yotaan and Fussypants blog their answers below!

1)    How did you get started blogging?
Yotaan: My daughter really enjoyed playing WoW and really enjoyed writing.  It was a natural to put those two together and start a WoW blog.  I joined her to supervise (of course, have to be a father, and all) and we thought it was a blogging perspective not yet covered, that of a father/daughter’s take on WoW.
Fussypants:  The idea was all Yotaan’s; a way to connect my love of writing with my love of WoW.  I will admit though, I sort of took the idea and ran with it!

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2)    What ability or skillset do you most admire in others but personally lack?
Yotaan: I always strive to communicate better.  It can affect all aspects of one’s life.  Additionally, better communication means better understanding, and one cannot stop trying to improving understanding, no matter what the subject is.
Fussypants: The ability to tank.  Seriously.  I just can’t do it.  I’m alright leveling as a tank, but once I hit max level I just can’t do it.  I feel my veins fill with adrenaline and a develop a headache every time!

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3)    You’re a long forgotten celebrity from the 80s looking to make a comeback. Which reality show do you make an appearance on and why?
Yotaan: This question completely confuses me.  I suppose I need to watch more reality shows?
Fussypants: The 80s? Didn’t the dinosaurs live back then?

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4)    What’s the origin of your blogging name?
Yotaan: I’ve watched my daughter literally grow up playing WoW.  But “Growing up on WoW” was taken, and Azeroth turned out be a good googleable name.
Fussypants: The blog is a father daughter perspective, and one of the biggest parts about the game is the fact that I grew up in it (under Yotaan’s watchful guidance).  So we wanted the name to reflect that, but as Yotaan said Growing up in WoW was taken, so we went with Growing Up in Azeroth.

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5)    Which blogger would you like to meet in real life and why?
Yotaan: I enjoy my favorite blogger’s company every day (before and after school, that is.)
Fussypants: There’s this awesome cool blogger I read, name’s Yotaan.  Man, I’ve always wanted to meet him in real life since the first time I read one of his articles! (:P)  In all seriousness though, I think I’d like to meet any other blogger in real life.  It’s one thing to read a person’s writing, but quite another to speak to them face to face.

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6)    What is the most important thing you’ve learned from blogging?
Yotaan: Consistency is key.  You have to put something out there on a regular schedule.  Fussypants and I have struggled with this from time to time.
Fussypants: I will second what Yotaan said, but also add my own.  Not every article has to be this deep 1000 word analysis of some integral aspect of the game.  I struggle with writing shorter pieces because I always feel like I need to be conveying some important opinion.  Transmog articles can just be about transmog!

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7)    What work of fiction would you like to see made into an MMO virtual world that hasn’t been done already?
Yotaan:I wold love to see the Wheel of Time series made into an MMO.  There is a lot of depth to the series and I think it would work well.  But it would be have to be done right, by developers that love the series.
Fussypants: Hmm, that’s a toughie.  I think I’d have to say Narnia, purely because there’s a lot of wiggle room for character and story development.  Narnia is a pretty big and well imagined world, so it would make sense for it to be turned into an MMO.  But it would have to be done very carefully to avoid being childish or dissimilar to the original.

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8)    What role of the holy trinity of tank/dps/healer fits your personality most?
Yotaan: Since I am a father, I suppose the tank fits best.  I take all the abuse (sorry Fussypants!)
Fussypants: Definitely healer! I think of healers as those who enjoy helping others but also the leaders who are not afraid to do what what is necessary.

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9)    If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
Yotaan: My most vivid dreams as a kid was being able to fly, if you just concentrate in the right way.  Totally would love to be able to have that power and it would save time and gas on my work commute.
Fussypants: Forget flying, I just want to be able to instantly teleport anywhere in the world.  I would go to amazing natural locations and get food from different continents every day.  Also, I could wake up for school way later since I could instantly teleport there.  That would be really nice!

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10)    If you could cut and paste your favorite games into one mega-ultra-super MMO, what would it look like?
Yotaan: I can’t answer this one, I play very few games, just WoW and Hearthstone.
Fussypants: It would be the lore of the Warcraft RTSs turned into a ‘Everquest’ styled MMO called…. oh wait.

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11)    If you were to start up a video game company, what would you name it?
Yotaan: My video game company would be called “Cartridge Gaming.”
Fussypants: Enigma Gaming, and we would make awesome RPGs.

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The second part of the Liebster Award is to provide 11 facts about yourself, but since Yotaan and Fussypants have already done so, we decided to give you 11 facts about the blog itself.

Growing up in Azeroth is over a year old
Readership of the blog is from around the world
Oreos are very tasty
Wordpress keeps changing the rules…
In non favorable ways for blogging
Never have we gotten a hunter to max level
Gnomes are the best…
Unless you ask Yotaan
Paladins are great…
In both of our minds
Nobody was excited about patch 6.1
AZEROTH

Now for the last part, our nominations! We nominate
wowstorylines

A is for Azeroth and Z is for Zeirah

Blog of the Treant

World of Pascalcraft

Harpy’s Nest Blog

Gnomecore

Sportsbard

The Exodar Sisters

Ravyn’s Reliquary

BattlePetRoundup

Adventures in Skywall

 
Our questions for you!
1)    In your opinion (not based on views), which article that you’ve written is your best?
2)    You wake up in Azeroth as your main character. What do you do?
3)    What motivates you to write?
4)    You can have one spell in real life that isn’t a mage spell.  Which one do you pick?
5)    Best noob mistake?
6)    If you could kill off one WoW character to bring back another WoW character, who would you kill and who would you bring back?
7)    What was your first video game?
8)    If a patch is released and no one is there to play it, do the forums QQ?
9)    If you didn’t play video games, you’d be…
10)     On a scale of 1-10, how much have you enjoyed WoD (1 being not at all and 10 being its the best thing since sliced bread)?
11)    What’s the best thing about blogging?

Satire: Stop Catering to the Casuals Blizzard!

Wow is dead!(Warning: Satire)
Usually Twitter is the place for ranting, but today Twitter is what I’m going to rant about.  So I brought the party here.  Grab your popcorn folks, this ones gonna be a doozy.

Patch 6.1 brought many changes, but arguable one of the most radical was Twitter integrations.  The patch notes explain it best.

“Twitter Integration
Characters can now send Tweets for items, achievements, and screenshots from within the game client using the /share command.
To activate this feature, visit Social options in the Interface menu to enable, add, or disconnect a Twitter account.”

In addition to this, Blizzard also added a S.E.L.F.I.E camera as a garrison mission reward.  The S.E.L.F.I.E camera allows players to take a ‘selfie’ or head shot of their character. This picture can also be used in conjuncture with the new Twitter Integration.

I see what’s going on here.  I’m onto you Blizzard!

Stop catering to the filthy casuals!

What has WoW come to?? I remember back in the day how screenshotting was! It took real skill to get that shot just right.  HOURS of preparation to capture that perfect moment!  If you wanted to get a picture of your character you had to wait till they stopped yawning, or bouncing, or looking around, or sniffing to take the shot.  And then, right as you would hit the screencap button, your stupid toon would look away.  It used to take real skill to take screenshots!

Oh look at me, aren't I so cool with my S.E.L.F.I.E camera!

Oh look at me, aren’t I so cool with my S.E.L.F.I.E camera!

Now any filthy casual can do what it once took years of learning to achieve.  Just click on the S.E.L.F.I.E camera and Blizzard will solve the problem for you!  Any brainless mouth drooler can do it, and it makes me sick.

Blizzard is ruining this game!  They are making it stupid easy so any old schmuck can go and take a screenshot!  People liked it when it was hard! Change it back! Vanilla WoW was the best!

And don’t even get me started on the Twitter integration!  What used to take a hundred dollar investment in Photoshop and months of trying to learn the program now is a simple /share command.  Now everyone can post their screencaps without going through the pain of trying to find them in all the files that come with WoW and crop them to be just right!

You know what, I’m gonna boycott the Twitter integration! That’ll show them! That will show them to cater to the casuals! I’ve played this game for 11 long years so I deserve to be appeased.  My opinion matters more than the noobs that started in WoD!

What will happen next? Free Mythic raiding tiers for logging in? Full sets of conquest gear for killing one mob? Rare mounts for turning in any quest? It’s a slippery slope I tell you, and I just won’t stand for it!

It's simple math!

It’s simple math!

This game is dying! Any noob can now take high quality screenshots and post them to twitter.  The game is easymode!  No one will play, there is no challenge!  People loved spending hundreds of dollars and hours perfecting their skills! Don’t you dare listen to the casual’s whining; change it back!
So take to the forums my righteous friends! Give Blizzard a piece of our mind about this keyboard-turning camera! Make them see the truth of their actions! Shout it to the world and don’t let anyone correct you! This selfie camera is the nail in the coffin; WoW is dead!

Filthy casuals ruining the game….

(Disclaimer: I actually have no qualms with either, but it sure is fun to pretend to rant like a hardcore :P )