Archive for the “Effing guild” Category
The end of the year has come and gone and Eff the Ineffable is (a) still around and (b) still kicking and © still recruiting. This comes as a surprise to some since things were looking dark at the end of the year. The fact that the Holidays always wreaks havoc on raiding schedules is still an endless source of surprise to many, and when you’re feeling a little bit vulnerable, as we have been, it ceases to be an academic issue.
Still, you have to admit that losing a GM and over half the core raiding team is a pretty difficult obstacle. Throw in the fact that the new GM has some stuff keeping her away from the game for a few weeks, and conditions are ripe for the typical collapse cycle.
Fortunately, there are many things that mitigated these factors. First of all, the new GM was quick to let people know what was going on, so the usual ennui on the part of the rank and file did not occur. Secondly, we have some individuals that are willing and able to take up leadership roles – interim or not - and maintain a sense of order that a guild needs to survive. And, thirdly, efforts to recruit are bearing fruit – whether to get new members, or to build a guild alliance, remains to be seen, but progress has been made and thus far the new faces have been met with amity and approval.
The net effect this weekend was that we actually had to sit some people out for our weekend raiding. Oh, sure, the new faces were a factor, but that’s the point of bringing them in, or getting together, or however you want to put it.
The ultimate result is that we’ve managed to move on to 4/8 Normal. I realize we’re not talking world or even server firsts here, but it is achievement, it is progression, and I don’t think anyone walked out muttering bad things about anything.
As usual, I am not satisfied with my damage output. There were one or two fights where I did exceedingly well, but for the majority I’m close to tail-end Charlie by the numbers. On the second day, I realized that I had some gemming and reforging issues, which I’m not sure how happened, but even that didn’t improve things much. I have some time this week, so I’m going to investigate a Survival build. I hear that’s the hawtness these days. Always in motion, the future is.
So, anyway, the future of EtI is far less full of woe than it once was, and I consider that to be a good thing.
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A quick technical note
If you’re unable to log in to a character, or know someone that is having this problem (i.e. you get to the loading screen and the bar stops around 1/4 the way across), there is a solution. Apparently any addon using the lib-Tourist library will cause this. Just disable the addon. Currently this includes:
- Fishing Buddy
- Fubar (not here, but I’ve heard things).
I’ve also had problems with a couple of other programs throwing LUA errors on use or login, but that’s minor.
I’m really amazed that the WoW LUA interpreter lets an addon blow up the whole program like that. I have two words: error checking. It’s hawt.
A new look
Thanks to the addon follies, and a side trip to the queue to watch The Big Lebowski, the crew really didn’t get moving until ten-ish; since they were right there, Jas, Illume, and Flora got right down to clearing the bank of old yet sentimental wardrobe items, and mogging current gear to their favorite ‘in town’ outfits.
The biggest disappointment is that at some point I managed to lose Illume’s Abjurer’s Regalia (except the head piece, ick). So we’ll be looking to pick that back up. There is no outfit anywhere that screams "ice mage" quite as much as this set.
Myself, I’m still mulling over things. If mail it is, it’ll probably be bits of the DS3, a sentimental favorite. There really is no other hunter gear that doesn’t look plain hideous to me, and I can’t really mog my current armor into my favorite in-town duds. I want something that actually says "woodsman" when you see it. Like plain leathers and a viridian cloak. Research is required. I’d love to find this in-game.
A somber mood
This patch day is somewhat more somber than past ones, though not as much as the 4.0.3 patch day when I was contemplating a server transfer.
Now, after a fantastic year (or as close to a year as makes no difference) of raiding a camaraderie with Eff the Ineffable, it appears that is coming to an end. So many of our fundamental supports are leaving to go beat on Boba that we’re already marginal. With our GM stepping down (she outed it on twitter), the future of the guild looks murky. I was already sad over the departures; this doesn’t help matters.
So while the new instances and the new raid look magnificent – truly, they do! – I find myself suddenly without any motivation to participate. I’ll probably get out of my funk before too long, at least enough to party with the posse a few more times, but it will be bittersweet, I think.
My blood, my cousins, my Calvary
Yeah a piece of them’s gone but still I feel them strong.
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Last night, Flora got benched so I could participate in a unique guild event. So, thanks, Flora, for not setting my Cheerios on fire this morning.
When the nature of 4.2 and the introduction of a new Legendary staff was clear to us, we actually had a vote ahead of time to pick who would get the staff fragments, should it ever drop for us. Well, it did, indeed, drop for us, and our esteemed GM, Alas, was the designated recipient – a choice I highly approve.
Last week, she obtained the final fragment and thus began the harrowing next steps, which apparently includes soloing a special instance of The Nexus – one of the rare times that such back-referencing happens. I wish I could have been a bug on a wall for that, from a lore perspective. Alas avers it was extremely difficult. Well, that’s fitting, it’s a Legendary staff, after all.
Last night’s event, then, was to obtain a branch of Nordrasil that Ragnaros’ chums had obtained. To do this required us to go in as a raid and engage several bosses long enough for her to obtain bits and bobs, and then a new, special boss encounter for the branch.
I can’t speak to the lore aspects, but from a gameplay perspective, I gotta say I like the way this is going. Engaging to the recipient, difficult but not impossible, and engaging to the whole guild. This is a great thing. It promotes esprit de corps, strengthens the whole guild identity thing.
As a guild we chose the one to whom this staff went to, and as a guild we are there helping her complete it. That’s pretty awesome.
I have yet to see the endgame for this from within, but so far, it looks like Blizzard hit it out of the park.
A note: somebody in vent was saying there was like nine months of full clears to go in order to get the rest of the stuff for the final staff. Mathematically, that’s not possible. I’ve seen several people get this staff already – you can’t miss it if you live in Stormwind – and 4.2 hasn’t even been around for nine months. So if you see exceptionally large numbers presented in guides, seek a second opinion. I have reason to believe they are wrong.
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I was quite nervous about raiding Saturday. I’ve been very much so since last time I set foot in Ragnaros’ den. One rarely enjoys something that offers little chance for success. BUT. Gotta pull my weight, or give it a good try, anyway, so tonight I took my second look at ol’ flame-face. No, we didn’t take him down. But, in my eyes, we DID make progress.
We started out unable to handle the Sons at all, but near the end we had a couple of very good and clean Sons phases. Our next challenge is the Seeds – not just the first wave, but subsequent. We’ve been given our homework assignments. I shall study more.
No, Yours Truly did not top the charts, and he’s not likely to for a bit, but at least I’m in a spec that I like. If I fail at MM so bad that BM does similar numbers, it doesn’t matter – and I can flaunt my exotics around to boot. The upshot is that I did see some improvement in my performance, and that contents me.
The previous night was far less stressful, though our fight against Alys put me in new and unfamiliar territory – I was the flyer. One of my weak spots is taking a job that HAS to be done reliably, so this will help me deal with it. Right now I’m just focusing on staying alive, no matter how many times I have to pop my parachute. I managed that on our final try of the night – and we did take her down, so, woot. Again, homework. What does the flyer bring to the party, and how can I make that more awesomer?
I AM annoyed that my main nuke is down on the ground, though. Maybe I should swap to SV and bring a wind serpent for this fight. If only they didn’t shrink our stompasaurus down after we tamed him, he’d have a shot at nipping hat her feathers when she did the molt thing.
Speaking of SV – let us not speak long of my performance on Beth. My secondary spec UI was busted and I didn’t realize it until the battle started. So, I henceforth plan to run at least one day a week in SV spec just to keep it fresh, and avoid such embarrassing incidents in the future.
Alas got her final fragment for the Legendary Staff quest! She has a bunch of other quests to do now, and apparently needs to run some Firelands trash to gather other bits. She posted a request on the Calendar for Tuesday that sounded quite apologetic (we get to die a lot, apparently). Silly mage. Once a posse, always a posse. Flora might miss a raid night this week, but it’s well worth it. How many times in this game do you get to be part of such a thing? My only regret is that I won’t be able to witness it from end to end. Her own misgivings aside, I’m very excited for her.
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Well, it was a day later than originally planned, but my invasion of the Twisted Nether Blogcast was carried off last night and I only talked ten or so minutes over the proscribed timeline. Anyone that knows me in real life knows that Hydra and Fimlys got off easy.
The Effers represented and livened up the chat channel. It was great seeing a bunch of familiar faces. I’d name names but I don’t want to risk offending if I forgot someone and left them out. It was almost 2 AM by the time we were all done, so imma claim sleep deprivation. Anyone that heard me try to recite my blog URL will understand.
The podcast itself will be up later this week, at which point I’ll post a link.
Thanks again to Hydra, Fimlys, and everybody that attended. It was fun!
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I know it’s been quiet here, but it’s not because I’m in another one of those navel-gazing moods of mine, honestly. There’s just a lot going on and it’s hard to see a good blog post all the way from beginning to end. Last week’s flowchart was a bit of a fluke as I was at my desk at work with Visio running on my PC and a conversation from guild chat ringing in my ears, metaphorically. So that one more or less wrote itself.
This is not to say that work is not being done on the blog. I am around 2/3 of the way through my next omnibus overview (I hesitate to call it a review) of Unit Frame addons, somewhat related to the HUD overview a couple of months back. I won’t blurt anything out here other than a thought that the time of the general Unit Frame addon may be coming to an end. And maybe that’s a good thing.
I’m also working on yet another overwrought origin story for one of the many alts that hang out here. In this case, Floramel. How, exactly, did a hard-bitten veteran of the Stormwind criminal underworld end up as part of my virtual family? I’d be lying if I said I didn’t steal just a little bit of the story from Joss Whedon, but it was a good bit.
Guild-wise, we’re 9/12 over at Eff the Ineffable. I know that our RL and GL are probably disappointed that we have not downed any of the final 3, though we did get Cho down to 20-ish percent this weekend. That was probably our last chance to beat the 4.2 nerf, as this coming week may be raid-less. There has been talk of a lockout extension. We might get one more chance.
I do get the sense that I personally disappoint in my performance, and I regret that. I am a slower learner than others in our guild, and it makes me less likely to run the right way or have the right angle at the crucial moment, until I become really familiar with the fight. As an example, when we downed the elemental council, I was one of the first to go down on the final phase. I can try to justify that all I want, but the fact remains that 9 other people didn’t. While my DPS is generally in the top 3, my effective DPS is much lower if I’m tanking the floor. At any rate, this poses the hard decision between taking me, or someone else that does not die as much. As an RL, I know what my decision would be. Progression bosses should be faced by the best of us. If I don’t cut it, I will loudly cheer them on.
Still, on fights in which I used to die frequently, I’ve improved. For example, I survived the Atramedes fight this time, which I usually haven’t. So I can be taught.
One of the takeaways from our Cho attempt a couple of weeks ago was that our DPS wasn’t up to the task of getting Cho down fast enough – we would probably hit the enrage timer. So, I took a look around for ways to improve. One thing I did was go to Mister Robot to audit my equipment. I had been avoiding this but I really needed a sanity check. The good news is that most of my equipment choices – including gemming and enchants – were good. A couple were not. I also spent a few gold to purchase a BoE belt that is close to BiS as a result of this audit.
The bad news was that my reforging was very off from the suggested optimal. This leaves me with a conundrum. There are three, maybe four reforging schemes out there and none agree. The one I was using was an addon called Reforginator, and it was really sweet. It used the collective wisdom of Elitist Jerks to drive its optimization engine, but the engine itself made a plethora of calls that disagreed with Robot *and* Pawn. Pawn was closest to Robot’s suggestions, but not quite there. And, finally, there is the raw tap from EB itself, but that’s another story.
The upshot is that I gave Reforginator the heave-ho and used the Robot profile. DPS improved a little bit, but not dramatically. What was interesting is that on the Cho fight, my DPS was extremely consistent, whereas in the past it’s been all over the place. I’m not sure what to make of that, but consistency is usually a good thing. Unless you’re a screw-up.
One thing I need to do next is try different reforges with FemaleDwarf.com. If this favors one over the other, that will help me decide. On the other hand, FemaleDwarf DOES suggest I take a cat in raid, as well. What is not taken into account is that the buff a cat brings is already present. I bring a wolf because nobody else gives the +crit that he does. The rather surprising news is that my DPS is 2K lower than the theoretical that FD suggests I should be getting. THAT will require some review.
The Cho fight itself is quite a task to master. Whereas most bosses have one or two gimmicks, Cho has at least four, if not more. There’s the worshipers gimmick, there’s the blob placement gimmick, there’s the tentacle gimmick and the corruption gimmick. He has both a hard and a soft enrage timer.
Each of these gimmicks has to be sorted out and mastered. Right now, we’re hurting on the adds, and Blizz didn’t make that easier when they changed the timer on the Fury debuff (I think that’s what it’s called), since it’s now out of sync with the add spawn. So that’s one thing. Then the placement of the add when he dies is also an issue. Too far apart side to side, and no one AoE will stop them. Too close together, and the add tank is two-shot by previous pools. And if you don’t burn the big add fast enough once he’s in place, same thing happens. AND if you take too many DPS off Cho to help, he’ll enrage. You get the picture. Gimmick after gimmick, and precision is absolutely necessary. So we’re learning how to be more precise.
The good news is we saw Phase 2, so we now have a real sense of the phase 2 gimmicks. I think.
Having maxxed out Engineering, I’m now working on a helm and gun that may or may not be BiS for me. Pawn says that the helm, with cogs, will be. Robot says the gun will be. I’m also farming the Jeeves pattern in Northrend, oh joy. I’m finally able to put stuff on the AH that may earn me a few bucks here and there, which is fortunate as my nest egg has dwindled to half of what it was when I set foot on the server.
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As you may have noticed, my guild has a lively, yet not vindictive group of healers. Apparently, such innocent things as making a haiku about Lolwells can get you in trouble with your healy friends. In fact, talking about it may earn you ire in that regard.
However, healers have so much to DO! Keeping those margaritas topped off, accepting bribes from nervous tanks, and so forth. It’s just a BOTHER figuring out if a target is worthy of receiving such ire or not!
To that end, with Jasra’s help, I present you the LET ALL THE THINGS DIE flowchart.
Heals, plx. kthxbai.
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No, seriously, it is. It can turn the most benign of allies against each other. And when husband and wife are involved? The knives come out.
(Note for those keeping score: “Zelsha” is Zelmaru, “Toxicasset” is ArcaneTinkerTank, both of Murloc Parliament fame. I believe you already know Alas.)
Seriously, Zel, roll a warlock. You have a talent for that sort of thing, obviously!
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