sapping my way to seventy

My rogue hit level 60, putting her at the bottom of the battleground bracket food chain once again.  I suspected she would be relatively useless in a one-on-one situation against, say, a level 68 rogue, so I decided to stick with Alterac Valley until I gained a few levels.

So, this past Sunday (after deciding to put off working on my novel), I cleared my bags, queued for Alterac Valley, and went mining.  (In between BG’s, I am mining and leveling engineering.  I want rocket boots!). I noticed that I was about 7000 xp points into level 60, for which I need 290K xp total.  Within a few minutes, the battleground popped and off I went.

After a victory for the Horde, it was back to mining and chatting with my guildmates.  One of them asked how the battleground leveling experiment was going and I said, “great!” and glanced up at my xp bar.  It was at 96,866 xp.  😮

Really? 90K for one battleground?  Wait… had I run a partial BG in there, too?  Or did I see that starting number wrong?  (I listen to podcasts while I run BG’s, too, so sometimes I’m only half paying attention.)  I jotted down the number and queued again.  Here’s how the afternoon broke down once I started keeping track:

Starting:  96,866 xp

After AV#2: 123,384 (26,518 gained)

After AV#3: 190,360 (66,976 gained)

After AV#4: 256,862 (66,502 gained)

After AV#5: 289, 757 (32,895 gained)

Of these, AV#2 and #5 were partial battlegrounds where I was probably replacing folks that had been afk or dropped part of the way through.  The Horde won all of them (woo!).  That’s pretty good xp for 15-25 minutes worth of play.

I wondered if there might be diminishing returns as I level more, but according to wowwiki, it should continue to be rewarding, because boss kills and tower cap rewards are based on a percentage of the xp required to level.  My numbers don’t quite mesh with theirs, given that I clearly got more than 20% of a level for a single AV win (twice!).  In any case, it looks like running battlegrounds (particularly AV) is a viable way to level.

And, it’s fun.  One of my guildmates teased me a bit about how I was spending my time (like, how could running BG”s over and over possibly be interesting), but I am loving it right now.  Each battle presents a new challenge against new opponents that may or may not do what we expect.  Sure, my teammates are sometimes obnoxious, whiny, and insufferable, but I either tune them out, zing right back, or take my frustrations out on the opponent.  If it gets too annoying, I just take a break and work on crafting for a while.  I much prefer all this to doing the Hellfire Peninsula quests again.

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I don’t get mad, I get stabby.

When we put together a static group with my sister and her husband, I decided to try my hand at playing a rogue.   I confess — for a long time I didn’t enjoy playing her.  She wasn’t remotely competitive with the mage and shaman on the dps meters, since she was limited to single targets, and often mobs were dead before I got close enough to hit them, so I spent a lot of time frustrated.  As she got into her 40’s and 50’s, it started to get much better.  Her spec matured and I figured out how to deal with her limitations (and mine, as a new melee player).  I even started topping the meters on some of the single target fights.  (Not that I have to be at the top; I just want to be competitive.)

We recently hit level 57, having slogged through BRD and the first wing of Dire Maul.  My husband, who has been tanking for us, tossed out the idea of folks swapping in different characters before we moved on to Outland.  It would be perfect timing, for example, if someone wanted to bring in a death knight.  They’d hardly need to level — just do the DK starting area and go.  It does sort of fly in the face of the “let’s start at level 10 and push to 80 together” idea that we started with, but he wanted a break from tanking.  Since I wasn’t completely in love with my rogue, I decided to give death knight tanking a try.  (I’ll save those omgnoobtank stories for another day though. 😉 )

Since my rogue was now free to play on her own, I decided I might try my hand at some pvp and level her in the battlegrounds.  I spent some time at shadowpanther.net looking at gear and specs and then sent my priest to the heirloom vendors to pick up some goodies for her.  Six heirloom purchases later (shoulders, chest, two melee weapons, a gun, and a trinket), my rogue was ready to hit the battlegrounds for the very first time.

I queued for Warsong Gulch first since it was the daily.  It popped almost immediately and I zoned into the base for a fresh match.  Scanning the list of horde players, it didn’t seem we had many healers, which worried me.  (This is why I like healing BG’s, generally.  Few people seem to be willing to do it and it can make a huge difference.) I surveyed my cast bar a final time to make sure I knew where vanish and sprint were.  The gates opened and off we went.

I won’t do a play by play of the whole match, but there were some great moments for me. I loved sneaking around, incapacitating the enemy’s healers, and sapping people when they thought they were alone and safe.  Once, I came upon a scene midfield where there was an Alliance DK and his druid healer descending upon on one of our guys (can’t remember what class).  I dismounted and stealthed up behind the DK and sapped him before he entered combat.  I then helped my teammate dispose of the druid and then we destroyed the DK together.  Ahh… it was lovely.

On one of the flag runs, I was the lone player guarding our flag carrier. He and I ran to the top of our base and I stealthed around, waiting for attackers.  I killed a rather persistent warlock a few times, but the best kill was the paladin.  As he approached our flag carrier, I sneaked up behind him, cheap-shotted him and then bludgeoned him with hemorrhage and eviscerate so speedily that he didn’t have time to heal, bubble, or anything.  The flag carrier said, “wow good rogue.”  Bwahaha…we won that BG 3-0.

This really whetted my appetite for pvp, though of course all the BG matches haven’t gone this smoothly.  There was a WSG where an Alliance DK had something like 8000 hit points and was basically untouchable.  Some on our team even suggested that he was twinked.  “How much do you have to suck to twink a DK?” they said.  I saw plenty of heirloom shoulders in the base when we were buffing before the match — not like we had room to talk.  “I think he has purples,” someone else said. I looked him up and, no, he has no purples.  He has mostly starting DK gear, a couple quest items, and some engineering stuff.  Nothing too crazy.  I suppose it goes to show how powerful DK’s are out of the starting gate.  I was unfortunate enough to go toe-to-toe with him at one point and he killed me in two shots.  Ow!

I have also run few Arathi Basins and quite a few Alterac Valleys, which have been fun.  As a priest in AV, I always stayed in the thick of things.  Even if everyone abandoned before capping, I had to go, too, because I could never defend anything alone.  As a rogue, I have a few more tricks at my disposal.  I still find myself missing psychic scream, but I suppose I can’t have everything.  🙂

Anyway, she’s now 59 and feeling strong, but will soon find herself at the bottom of the bracket again.  I’m looking forward to the climb to 80.  It’s been a while since I’ve felt this way about leveling!  Probably all the extra adrenaline.

/stabby

Still here…

… and playing plenty of WoW.  It’s hard to believe a month has gone by since my last post, but as I’ve said before, blogging about WoW was really something that I did to keep myself occupied during the day when I hated my job.  Since I’ve quit that job, my days are quite different.  I still like to keep track of things though, so here’s a little update.

A few things have changed for me in the game.  Our guild hit the same summer lull that many others are experiencing, made a little more sad by the fact that our guild leader, who always brought so much life into our guild chat, has been away, busy with family.  He finally decided that it was best for him to step down and let someone more active take over the guild.  As a part of this, they decided to bring in a couple new officers, as well.

(You know where this post is going now, don’t you?)

I think I knew when the conversation started that he was going to ask me to be an officer.  I’m one of those ever-present people, reliable and friendly, and I’ve been unofficially one of the go-to people for new casters getting ready to raid.  I teach them about spell hit, tell them which rep grinds to do first, make sure all their gear gets enchanted, and set them on their way.  I sign up for every raid myself and continue run heroics with people that are gearing up, though I have about 300 badges and nothing to spend them on.

I hesitated a little when he asked.  I’d always told myself I’d never agree to be an officer, wishing instead to be just a cog in the machine.  But when he asked, I knew I had to say yes.  I’d had a conversation with him in vent one night where we both agreed we would never want to be promoted beyond where we were (me a peon, him already an officer).  There he was stepping up to become GM when the guild needed him, so I was inspired to step up, as well.  And frankly, my responsibilities aren’t really that different now after the promotion.  I do what I always did, plus I get a sneak peek at what’s going on behind the scenes and a chance to help steer the guild a little bit.

Almost immediately after the leadership change, the guild felt more active.  Parts of our website that hadn’t been touched since before Burning Crusade are being updated.  We are recruiting and already have a handful of new raiders to replace folks that are busy with summer vacations or just plain burnt out.  It’s kind of exciting, actually.  I’m proud to be a part of it all.

I’m still very focused on my priest.  Because her gear is pretty much set aside from a few pieces in Naxx and a bunch of stuff in Ulduar, I’ve been working toward some of the more laborious achievement endeavors to keep myself entertained.  I thought the Children’s Week thing might kill my interest in holidays, but I did all the Midsummer Fire Festival stuff and had a great time with it.

I also PvP a lot now.  I was honor capped for a long time before I decided to take advantage of all those Wintergrasp battles and start collecting gear.  I’m past 900 resilience now and have a discipline PvP spec that I switch to when I feel like running battlegrounds for an evening.  I’m very, very hard to kill.  Bwahaha… I’m plotting a 2v2 team with a friend to see if I like arenas.  Lots of other folks in the guild are getting into it, as well, so I’m hoping we’ll also manage a 3v3 and 5v5, since that’s where the real rewards are going to be post 3.2.

I still raid as shadow and consider that my primary spec.  To make my PvE/PvP healing swapping less costly, I decided to go discipline for my PvE healing as well.  I resisted this for a long time, maintaining that I loved holy and never wanted to change.  On our last Naxx raid, I was pulled in as a healer, so decided to give a discipline a try there.  Sweet jeebus, that is a powerful healing spec.  And not only that, my mana barely budged.  I think I only got below half mana on maybe two fights, one of them being Kel’thuzad.  Hot damn.

The guild is progressing quite nicely in our raids.  We’re clearing Naxx in one night, usually Friday night, so the only thing that slows us down is drunkeness.  Many of the better geared raiders have stopped signing up for Naxx, leaving room for some of the newer folks to join in the fun.  I’m hoping we’ll have two full raid teams soon, maybe even allowing us to put together the occasional 25.

We’re also doing well in Ulduar.  We’ve cleared the Siege, aside from Ignis, who we’ve only tried twice.  During the first raid, we weren’t really prepared.  (We hadn’t expected to get to him!)  During the second, we were trying the brute force DPS method instead of dealing with the adds.  We got him down to 35% twice, but then we’d always get destroyed.  Next week, we’re going to give the good ol’ Tankspot method a go.  We’ve also got Kologarn down, no problem, and are working on the trash before Auriya.  (We were prepared for the fight, but those Storm Tempered Keepers took us by surprise!  We’ll be ready for them this weekend.)

I’m feeling much better about things than I was a month or so ago.  I can see in my drafts folder several unfinished posts where I was pissed about something or another.  My last beefy post does have a lot of complaining in it, too.  Hehe… but stuff is okay now.  🙂

How are you?

A Few Steps Back

I’ve essentially given myself the week off from WoW.  I’ve been popping in to do a few dailies in the mornings and evenings, but I’m not doing much else.  I feel myself arriving at burnout.

Burnout has been precipitated by a few things.  Briefly…

School of Hard Knocks.  Yes, a damn achievement.  I stepped into the BG’s briefly to attempt some of these and it quickly became apparent that I wasn’t going to get them done.  It was complete and utter misery.  I can’t remember the last time I was so angry at the game.  I said, “%^&* it,” turned in my whistle, and tried to get used to the idea that I wasn’t going to get the meta-achievement done. *sigh*

Guild “progression” issues.  I feel like we give up too easily.  Last weekend, after downing Flame Leviathan, folks were like, “well, let’s go back and finish off Naxx!” since there was overlap with the group that had been there earlier in the raid week.  WTF.  We’d been in Ulduar less than an hour and the raid leader was taking us back to Naxx?  I was furious.

Minor guild drama.  Minor, but I felt pretty uncomfortable with the situation.  Our guild leader doesn’t play much any more because of family obligations and while the officers mostly do well in taking care of things, they’re not as … patient?  Attentive?  Er… ?  I don’t know.  I feel like the guild is slipping.

Other things in the guild that I could normally ignore have also been bothering me.  Again, it’s stupid interpersonal stuff that I’d been content to stay out of previously.  Now, I feel myself wanting to say something, even though it might make trouble.  Of course, I don’t … but, is this me?   What happen to the old nice me?

Yes, this is the new crotchety me, crispy around the edges.  I see burnout just around the corner. I’m getting mad at stupid things.

So, I didn’t sign up for any raids this week.  After I’m done with dailies each day, I log out and play something else.

The thing I look forward to most now is playing with our static group each week.  We’d hit a bit of a rut for a while there, skipping weeks as folks had RL stuff to deal with, but we’ve been playing pretty consistently lately.

This week, the static group is doing some non-dungeon activities, gathering up all the ZF quests. I’m really excited, given that that’s as far as our Pox Arcanum group made it, though it’s somewhat bittersweet because of that.

Where did February Go?

– I am still here!  Just writing other stuff!  I happened to pick up a relatively big writing job at the beginning of February.  My days of browsing the job sites, writing proposals, and sneaking in the Sons of Hodir dailies over lunch time are pretty much over for a while.  I can’t say that I write solidly from 8am to 8pm, but when I sit down at my computer each morning, that is my intent.  And I am content.  The guy I’m writing for likes my work well enough that we’re discussing a long term arrangement (omg salary).

– I’ve got a long post in the works to follow up my last one.  In essence, it’s how to recruit healers and not be too creepy.  You’d think it wasn’t that tough…

– I’ve gone shadowy.  As other priests in the guild began to pick up their tier 7 pieces, they all seemed to be going with the healing one.  After the third one did so, I decided I’d be the guild’s token shadow priest.  My holy gear set really kicked ass, but according to be.imba, my shadow set is now even better.  My DPS on Patchwerk last weekend (our first attempt at him) was over 2500, and I brought tasty replenishment to all the mana users.  Mana mana…

– I haven’t been back to heal the 25-mans with that other guild since all the stalking with Mr. Creepy.  This is in part because they haven’t been able to fill up their raids even with me along, so they’ve been taking some time off.  Last week, they seemed to have enough folks, but took a guildie instead of me (which is totally cool).  Our little guild is ramping up the raiding a little bit, expanding the Naxx runs from one night to two, so I don’t mind.  It’s plenty for me right now, especially with my limited play schedule.

– Our little guild regularly clears the Arachnid Quarter and have cleared the Military Quarter twice.  (People keep saying that we have it on farm, but … is downing the Four Horseman just twice really considered “on farm?”)  We had one hilarious attempt at Heigan (-splat-) and we successfully downed Patchwerk at the end of a run one evening.  Now that we’re expanding our raiding beyond a single 3-4 stretch (one night per week), I think we’ll make a little more progress.

– I haven’t had quite as many times for heroics lately, but the thing that I always make time for?  Wintergrasp. Yes, really.  I don’t know what Wintergrasp battles are like on your server, but on mine, they are positively EPIC.  In the evening battles, we routinely have two full raids (sometimes three) on each side, hundreds of people battling it out for the keep.  Last night, I was in a brilliant battle, defending the keep.  Both the east and west walls were breached, and in the last five minutes, the Alliance made a push through the front.  There were crowds of Horde blasting down the vehicles as they burst through one by one.  The Alliance smartened up, gathered up a bunch of seige vehicles, and made an organized assault on one of our inner walls.  My god, it was exciting.  They didn’t bust through it on that push, but they did on the next.  During the final two minutes on the timer, they managed to get a few catapults inside the heart of the keep.  We managed to take them down before they did too much damage, and we kept control of Wintergrasp.  Lots of elated folks in the channels after that one. 😀

Adventures in Twinking

Dammerung and I and some other Sidhe Devils are cooking up some twinks to play in the battlegrounds together. Initially we were going to do level 19 twinks, and then decided upon 29 instead, which was a bit of a relief, partly because Warsong Gulch is my least favorite BG, and partly because in reading about how to build a 19 twink, it sounded a bit intense. To maximize your character, you need a small army of level 70 friends willing to run you through dungeons repeatedly to get the BoP drops (again, mindful of not getting too much XP, so this means them clearing the place out and then bringing you in for the boss kills), walk you through lengthy quest chains, and lead you safely through all the areas you ever hope to explore during your career. I totally understand the point of twinking guilds — these characters are not easy to build alone. I don’t have the resources to build the perfect twink, but even building a pretty good one was requiring that I outline a fairly specific plan of attack. The 29 twink seems to have a lot more possibilities for outfitting with BoE drops and PvP rewards, it seems, plus there’s a lot more room for preparation during leveling. I’ll still probably be asking for help with some quest chains, but the process won’t be quite as intense. 🙂

So, this weekend, I spent time leveling my new little rogue, hoping to get her into the BGs for the first time.

Part I: pre-Twink

As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I’m not that big into melee DPS. I’ve only recently started really enjoying my cat druid (now that she’s in her 30’s), and I think I might like the rogue even better. At first it was kind of boring, but now that she can dual wield and has a few other tricks under her belt (hiyaaaah! *kick!*), I think I might want to start another rogue to level to 70 at some point.

Anyway, she finished off Dun Murogh, and then I took her to Elwynn to do the green quests there. There were quite a few other players in the area doing the same quests, so I kept my head down, hoping not to party with anyone because I wanted to get as much XP as I could. I helped a few people out of sticky situations (usually involving murlocs), but otherwise minded my own business. At one point, I was standing by a quest giver and another player also there whispered me: “Can u use swords?” I said yes. “U want [sword of some sort with +1 agility]?” I said that it would be better than what I had, but that I hadn’t trained in swords yet. “Come get it,” they said, and invited me to a group. I joined, met them, they gave me the sword, and I thanked them. I did a few emotes, bowing and so forth, getting ready to say goodbye. “Wow u need better gear. Need sum gold?” HA!!! I told them no thanks, that I’d be fine…

I had to chuckle, given my plans for this toon, but honestly, before a character gets into their 20’s, I really don’t pay attention to what they’re wearing and only upgrade with quest rewards or things I find. It’s not uncommon for me to hit level 20, accept a quest reward, and find that I am replacing a piece of vendor trash. Really. My gear was apparently so pathetic at this point, a random kid was pitying me and offering me gold!

Part II: First Forays into Warsong Gulch

As soon as I hit level 13, I was itching to go into Warsong Gulch, but to avoid the wrath of my teammates upon seeing such a lowbie in there, I decided I’d stay out of until at least level 16. (This was the level Dammy suggested I might actually be able to survive.) At 16, I finally equipped the +agi gear I’d bought in the AH, and entered the queue for WSG. Within a minute or two, my baby rogue entered the battlegrounds for the first time.

Thoughts: 1) Starting at the top of the map instead of the bottom is weird. 2) Although I wasn’t doing tons of damage, my improved gouge very often incapacitated the enemy long enough for one of my teammates to slaughter them, so I still felt useful. 3) It is weird to fight the Horde. I find myself confused by the alerts when the flags are picked up and captured (wait, was that us? oh no…), so I hesitated to say anything encouraging in /bg like I normally do.

We put up a pretty good fight, but ended up losing the BG. I queued again, already addicted.

As useful as I felt in that first shot at WSG, I felt useless the second time. I was getting one- and two-shotted all over the place. It seemed that the Horde twinks were finally out to play, and man, was it frustrating. It wasn’t as bad as one of the BGs the next day, where they camped us by the graveyard farming us for honor for so long that we eventually stopped rezzing just to get them to cap the last flag and end the BG, but it was frustrating. It felt like we just couldn’t get/keep the enemy flag, nor could we defend our own. Gah. Another loss.

After a break to grab some flightpaths, I decided to go back in one more time. This was Saturday night, just after midnight, and I wasn’t sleepy, so what the heck… This time, the Alliance twinks were out! Lots of my team’s guild names had “twink” in them, and I noticed quite a few folks with enchantments on their weapons. We destroyed the Horde. It was amazing. We capped the first two flags pretty quickly, and upon grabbing the flag the third time, our twinked out flag carrier stayed down on the Horde side of the map and ran around. The enemies came up to him and he’d stab them a few times and down they’d go. I ran around next to him in case he dropped the flag, but he never did. I sprinted around him, gouged and kicked his attackers, and soaked up the honor. After about 5-6 minutes of messing with them, he ran the flag back and we won. It was pretty freaking cool to watch.

Part III: Gearing in the Deadmines

Sunday, I worked on the Deadmines quest chains. From what I’ve read, the most desirable chest armor for level 19 twink rogues is the Blackened Defias Armor, a possible drop off VanCleef. Many guides warn that you may have to have your level 70 buddies kill VanCleef numerous times to get it (so plan ahead, mindful of XP, etc). I was just planning to get the also desirable Tunic of Westfall instead, which is a quest reward from killing him. I wasn’t going to stay at 19 for long anyway, I suspected, and it has nice agility on it. I worked my way through the Defias Brotherhood quest line until I got to the escort quest, and then asked if anyone in the guild might help me out. Ash immediately volunteered and met me in Westfall. Yay!

We burned through the escort quest and then made our way into the instance. I picked up red bandanas and goodies for the other quests, along with loads of ore and cloth. Ash was an aggro machine, though I did get into trouble a few times. He’d run in the room and try to gather up all the mobs, and sometimes they’d notice me before they noticed him, so I’d get smushed. Staying outside the room wasn’t always safe either because of the sneaky patrols in there. I could defend myself against a non-elite, but the elites usually killed me in a couple hits. Ow!

We had great fun though, and I only died a few times. (On the bright side, I’m pretty good at navigating my way into that instance now.) Sneed’s Shredder dropped the Buzzer Blade, which was a huge upgrade in DPS for me. I picked up a weapon for my other hand that gave me more agility, but I can’t remember what it was (not a blue, anyway). The Blackened Defias Belt dropped, which was pretty exciting because I picked up the Leggings in my last Deadmines run and never equipped them on my old rogue. Yay!

We had a few close calls as we worked our way up the boat, thanks to my large aggro radius. Ash kept us alive though, and slaughtered everything in our path. (I was down to 10 health once — hehe, close one!) We got up to the top and he killed VanCleef. I looted everything else first, and then finally VanCleef. The drop? The Blackened Defias Armor. 😮 /hug Ash

So, maybe I will stick around level 19 for just a little while after all… 😀 I won’t have the perfect twink gear, but what I have so far is pretty darn good. I’ll now level to 19 and bide my time in WSG until my partners in crime get their twinks built.

Fun!

I’m a Griefer

My horde guild organized a raid on some Alliance towns last night. It was advertised as a blood drive (hee hee), and our plan was to march to Darkshire, stir up trouble by killing NPCs (and whoever else stood in our way), and if nobody came to defend, we’d move on to Redridge Mountains and Lakeshire. We went in hopes of the Alliance drumming up some defense and giving us a good fight. There were even plans of planting someone in Stormwind to alert folks to come defend if the message did not get out on its own.

There were 13 of us, mostly 70s but a few folks in their 60s and one very brave level 38 hunter. We laid waste to Darkshire and cleared out two of the buildings, and kept killing guards as they respawned to keep the local defense messages flowing. Just a few Alliance players showed up, and some even flagged, but they were no match for our small army. We ended up chasing them down, through the buildings in some cases, and all in all, it was really fun. After a few rounds of this, we decided to look for a better matched fight and moved on to the next zone.

At first, our march was slowed by respawning guards in Darkshire, but after we got further from town, were slowed by a rogue who would randomly sap folks in the raid. It was amazing. He didn’t attack, he just stealthed up, sapped, and the person would say “He got me!” and we’d all laugh about it and try to find him. We had a few hunters with us, so when he unstealthed at one point (don’t know if someone managed to tag him with a trap or whether he was just running off), we were able to get him. It was awesomely fun for us, and I’ll bet he got a charge out of it, too. Made me want to level my rogue!

Some unflagged Alliance 70s caught up with us, and marched with us to Lakeshire. We killed some NPCs (including the gryphon master), and then tried to fortify at the end of the bridge near town. When the Alliance got a sizeable group toegher, they all flagged up and the real fight began. We were on the side of the bridge near town, and they were coming at us from across the bridge. A second group of them attacked us from the side, coming from town, so we moved up the hill a bit. That’s when the guards stormed us. Between all the guards and the growing number of Alliance 70s, they eventually obliterated us all, but lemme tell ya… it was FUN. It was a great fight. At that point, we decided to unflag and wait before resurrecting because a bunch of folks had to log off, and with no reinforcements coming, there was no way we’d get our bodies back anyway.

While we were waiting, one of the funniest moments of the night… There was an gnome called Bilbo wandering unflagged along with the group, just watching. He’d been lingering since we were in Duskwood and we were all hoping he’d flag up so we could kill him, just because of the name violation. When we were all standing there in ghost form, he finally got the nerve to flag up!! One of our shamans seized the opportunity. He quickly resurrected, killed Bilbo, and was of course destroyed in short order by the 20 other Alliance standing by, but he said it was totally worth it. Hee hee hee… many chuckles in vent over that one.

Mr. Ess didn’t come along for the raid, but he watched a bunch of it, and this morning we were talking about it a bit more. He said that I had to acknowledge that while it may have been fun, what we did was griefing.

“Well, that wasn’t our intent,” I explained. “We were looking for a fight.”

“But you have to admit it was griefing.”

“We were hoping to get something going with some 70s that showed up. We weren’t killing the NPCs just to make the lives of the lowbies difficult.”

“Yes, but that’s still what you did. That’s griefing.”

I recounted the time he and I were in Thousand Needles, standing at that little camp, getting ready to turn in a quest when Night Elf druid passing by smoked the NPC in one shot with his moonfire, waved to us, and rode off. Now THAT is griefing. Mr. Ess said I had to admit what we did was griefing, too, or else I’d be a hypocrite. What about the folks that wanted to use the gryphon master in Lakeshire?

“Ok, it wasn’t our intent to grief anyone, but I can understand if people felt griefed by what we did.”

“That’s like saying you’re sorry if someone was offended. Not quite the same as saying you’re sorry.”

“I definitely don’t feel bad about what we did. We had fun, and I think the other folks that showed up to fight did, too.”

“That’s fine, as long as you admit it was griefing.”

Gah.

Ok, fine. Last night, we undoubtedly griefed somebody, intentionally or not, so that made us griefers. I was part of that group, so technically, I am a griefer. Fair enough.

It is interesting to think about though… I still believe intent should be considered, but maybe that’s just me defending my actions. I think there’s a difference between intentionally trying to make another player’s life difficult and what we did last night. I can hear in my brain the level 15 me standing there in the Crossroads saying, “Why can’t those Alliance *&#^@#’s go roll on a PvP server instead of hassling us?” I can see now that maybe they weren’t trying to inconvenience us, they were just hoping to get some defense out there for some world PvP. They don’t want to PvP all the time, as on a PvP server, just a taste now and then. Take out the NPCs to alert the opposite faction to your desire for some bloodletting, and wait for the defense to show up. Why not go pick on someone your own size? You want NPCs that are easy to kill… you want the focus to be fighting the opposite faction, so you pick an area where you can swat the respawning NPCs like flies.

It’s not for everyone, I suppose, but I can see both sides of it now. And, I’m sure that wasn’t the last raid on an Alliance town that I’ll participate in. Apparently, I do like to partake in a little bit of griefing, even if my intentions aren’t mean. It’s fun! Sorry, Alliance. 😉

No more BGs on weeknights…

…unless I am going in with a group of folks I know, because it is just. Too. Annoying. Also, it apparently turns me into a raving lunatic. Last night…

[Scene: WSG ends, the Alliance wins, and I storm into the living room where Mr. Ess is reading his book.]

Me: You would not &*#*ing believe what just happened. We had the Alliance flag all the way at our base, but both flags were out so our carrier couldn’t cap it yet. A bunch of us were defending him in the flag room and when a wave of Alliance came in, we all attacked but the kid with the flag just #*&^ing stood there, not moving, not defending himself at all. We all died, they got their flag back.

Mr. Ess: (looks up)

Me: The @*&#ing kid just just #*&^ing STOOD THERE. So, someone said, “dude, why didn’t you attack or anything?” And the kid said, “I was afk i had to let the dog out lol.” WHAT THE $%^&%$!!! You were letting the ^&#&@ dog out??? If you’ve got the flag and you need to go afk, give the #(*&$ing flag to someone else!! Who DOES that kind of thing??!! RAR!!!!!! (storms back into the office)

Mr. Ess: 😮

[Curtains close.]

So… yeah. I’m reminded of when I realized I needed to quit tournament Scrabble. (Don’t laugh, it’s true!) I was playing in the lowest division and my opponent was a little old man named Herb who played only three letter words and muttered the entire game. “Bat, bat, bat, as in baseball bat, I like baseball, 13 for me.” “Hoe, hoe in my garden like a spade in my shed, that’s 16.” As if that weren’t bad enough, every time I tried to open parts of the board, he closed them, and we ended up building the diagonal staircase of doom. I felt myself reduced to his horrifying style of play, lobbing off three letter words, fishing for better tiles and praying for a bingo there wouldn’t be a spot for anyway. He beat me (by a slim margin, but it was a win) and I left the board disgusted with him and myself. After the game, I went to my Scrabble friend I was there with and completely trashed the old man. Sure, much of my reaction was rooted in frustration with myself in this particular case, but my response toward this other player was still needlessly nasty.

It’s not something I’m proud of, but I realize I have a competitive streak that can make me unpleasant and unforgiving at times. I can forgive noobness (because we all have to start somewhere), but not passing off the flag if you’re going afk is just stupid. Yes, if I had a dog and it looked like it was about to relieve itself on the carpet, I would go afk to let it out, too, but I would first pass the flag to one of the many people helping to defend it. That’s common sense.

I should clarify: I don’t vent my spleen in the battlegrounds themselves, just like I didn’t blow up at Herb. I’m not one of those people crying the BG chat in all caps how stupid everyone is or how everyone is a noob. Instead, I shout at my monitor or my poor husband (receiver of all my venting — that was in the vows, right?). Unfortunately, I’m betting after last night, Mr. Ess (and now, maybe all of you) would hesitate to step into the battlegrounds with me. That sucks because you’re an intelligent lot that would certainly pass the flag if you were going afk, I’m sure. But still, I understand. I don’t like that cursing madwoman I have the potential to become either.

So, I think I’ll give the BGs a rest for a while. I got enough marks last night to buy my Red Skeletal Warhorse, so now I’ll level my mage to 60 and proceed through Outland. From here on out, unless I’m going into the BGs with people I know, I’ll limit my BG play to early mornings on the weekends when there seem to be more sensible people around.

Weekend Recap: PvP

(Yeah, who would have thought I’d have so much to say about my PvP activities that it would actually warrant a whole separate post?)

My frost mage spent a lot of time in the battlegrounds this weekend. Part of the reason for all the PvP is that I’d really like to save a little money on the epic mount for her. (Also, it means she could easily ride something cool like a wolf or a war horse instead of the chicken.) I realize it’s the training that’s the expensive part, but with my hunter saving for an epic flying mount, plus two toons ~60, I’m going to need to save every silver. (I joked with my guild that it was like having all your kids in college at once. It’s ‘spensive! Maybe I’ll wait a while before leveling my priest to 60!)

I hit the BGs early Sunday morning and queued for both WSG and AB. I got a bite for WSG first and entered the battleground. When the battle began, there were 6 Horde, 4 Alliance. Heh. We got the message that the game would end in five minutes, and one of the Horde folks left immediately. I’d never seen this before, so I stuck around to find out what would happen. We ran our butts off to the Alliance flag and carried it back twice within that five minutes to win 2-0. I don’t know what the Alliance did because I didn’t see any of them. How’s that for easy marks? I ran WSG three more times, and it wasn’t until the third and fourth runs that we started to see good solid competition from the Alliance, but the Horde still won all the matches. Personally, I felt I did well. I even had the opportunity to run the flag once! Oh, and in honor of Daxe, I ran one of the matches using my fishing pole instead of my new Staff of the Twin Worlds. The staff really does have better stats. 😛 )

I was hesitant to hit AB again after my recent frustrations there, but I only had about 10 of the 30 AB marks needed for the epic mount. So, I queued and hoped for the best. It turns out the Sunday morning crew is much easier to deal with than the Thursday night crew. We lost one close fight, had an easy-peasy 5-capper (since we outnumbered them 9 to 4), and won the other matches thanks to really good defense and communication. I took it upon myself to coach the team a bit. I’d occasionally call out which nodes needed defense, encouraged people to fight by the flags and not let the enemy pull them out onto the road, and was relentlessly positive about our progress. I thought I might be overdoing it a bit, but one teammate said, “I love your positive attitude!” Heh… it’s all good while you’re winning, I guess. It helped that there were a few others in there that agreed with the strategy of capturing three nodes and defending them, so I wasn’t the only voice reminding people not to get greedy. I encountered these same players in BG after BG that morning, and I’m hoping to run into them next weekend, too.

Last night, I finished my weekend of WoW with a few matches in AV. In the first two, I did something I’ve never done before: I stayed and defended the graveyards until they capped. I’ve always heard people yelling for others to do this, and have never been sure if anyone bothered. It’s a little boring to stand there for two minutes doing nothing but buffing whoever runs by, but we did have to fend off a few attackers. There was another guy who was following the same pattern, and we met up at both graveyards in both BGs. “Come here often?” he asked. Heh. We won both of those matches.

Somewhere along the line, I picked up a few AV quests, and managed to satisfy one of them (to kill Vanndar Stormpike) during one of the first two runs. The other involved getting a banner from a cave in the south part of AV. On my third trip through, I decided to check it out. I wandered south and found the cave, and was bummed to find that it was filled with gnolls. They were below my level, not hard to kill, but what a pain. I started chipping away at them, and hoped nobody would think I was hiding or afk. After a few minutes, a shadow priest appeared and we killed a few gnolls together. I conjured some water for him and asked if he was looking for the banner, and he said yes. I thought we’d work together, but instead he decided to dart in and try to run past a bunch of them. Uhh… yeah. Didn’t work. He was killed and fortunately, I didn’t grab aggro on any of them, so was safe to keep picking them off one by one. He apparently got far enough in that he couldn’t retrieve his body safely, so I had to kill my way back to his body before we could work together. Fortunately, in ghost form, he was able to find the banner, so at least we knew where to go. We retrieved his body, got the banner, and then decided that allowing ourselves to be squished and rez in the graveyard would be much faster. 🙂 Within just a few minutes of our resurrecting in the graveyard, the Alliance won the BG. Alas… but at least I got that stinking quest done. I ended up getting loads of XP from it, too. There was the initial prize of the trinket, and then I got to upgrade it a few times (because my rep with Frostwolf was pretty good), getting about 9000 XP each time. Wowsa. Wish I’d known about that before! I should really check for other BG quests soon!

Arathi Basin Blues

Last night I did three rounds in Arathi Basin with my frost mage. She’s not hit 70 yet, but she was still eligible for the daily, so I decided to give it a go. The Horde lost all three matches. Argh

I hate to say it, but I got very frustrated with my teammates. In the first match, the Alliance capped four nodes really quickly, and there was essentially no organized effort toward getting any of them back. Given the number of enemies pummeling the farm, our one remaining node, there had to have been at least one unprotected Alliance node somewhere, but folks just weren’t finding it. My typical response when the Horde is falling short is, “what’s the plan, guys?” People usually respond well to this (though I’m always bracing myself for the smartassed answers), but I got absolutely no response at all with this team. As a noob pvp mage, it’s not as though I can personally lead the charge anywhere, though I can encourage it. I suggested we take the gold mine since it’s a little easier to defend than the blacksmith’s, and some folks did join me, but we just weren’t organized enough.

I entered the second match after the Alliance had already capped three nodes, so I must have been a replacement for someone who quit. ( /sigh ) I stuck it out, I didn’t quit, and we managed to get a two nodes, but we just couldn’t hold them. This was one of those groups where the whole bunch swarmed in and killed all the enemies, took the node, and sometimes left for the next node before the newly captured one had capped. Grr! Again, as an individual player, there’s only so much I can do to defend by myself. I should make macros:

/bg We could use more defense at the mine.

/bg I’m the only one here.

/bg inc mine!

<–dead

So stupid. Of course, we lost.

In the third match, the Alliance again capped three nodes alarmingly quickly. Rather than abandon all hope, I stuck with the group and helped us gain control of two and then three of them. The leader said, “Hold these, don’t get greedy.” I looked at the map and saw that we had at least three folks defending each node, so I thought there might be some hope. There was a rogue that couldn’t help but scope out the mine instead of help defend (ok, fine), and I saw someone wandering the road toward the stables, too… it was a mage. Wha?

I was at the blacksmith’s, defending along with a hunter and a rogue. We fended off a few small waves of Alliance and the few times that I thought I was totally dead I managed to outlive my attackers. The attacks stopped coming at our node and we could see a battle ensuing down the hill on the road, toward the farm. My fellow defenders began to wander a bit toward battle and then they mounted up and left. “Keep defending bs, please,” I said, but of course you know what happened next. Alliance poured over the hill behind me, destroyed me, and took the node. We never got it back either. Gah! I don’t think the three of us necessarily could have defended it from such a large attack, but with just me alone, there was no chance.

So, I think AB has now replaced WSG as my most frustrating BG. I had a pretty good time in WSG last night, in fact…

When I entered Warsong Gulch, the Alliance had 2 captures and the Horde had zero. Ah, another case of a mid-match replacement. Oh well, free mark of honor, right?

I buzzed in and starting killing Alliance. Awesomely fun. Despite the score when I entered, the Horde was playing some great defense (maybe thanks to other new arrivals?). The Alliance got our flag a time or two, but we knocked them down and destroyed them each time. “Just let them win,” one of my teammates said. “Screw you,” said another. “Ya lets turtle,” said someone else. “No let’s win,” said the screw-you guy. Heh… that’s the spirit!

We continued to fend them off for quite a while when someone finally said we should either go get the flag or let them win. So, some folks went and got their flag and managed to get it back to the Horde base! I stayed midfield and froze enemies as they rode by. In particular there was a hunter and a rogue that I made a point to attack every time I saw them. Hee hee hee… We captured their flag a second time, and there was much rejoicing. (Yaaay!) The screw-you guy did a lot of mocking of the let’s-quit guy at this point. I can’t say I blamed him, but we hadn’t won yet.

After getting killed midfield and resurrecting in the graveyard, I noted a lot of action outside our base, so I ran over to help defend. It was a lovely chaotic mess and I got killed a few times, but managed to take several enemies out, including the druid carrying the flag at one point. Aww yeah… We had our base pretty well cleared out, and it all seemed a little quiet to me for a moment. Then the music played and the scoresheet flashed up: Horde Wins!!

So, AB sucked, WSG was a blast. Go figure.

Also…

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Woo! Thanks for reading! 🙂