Tag Archives: Shared Topic

Mementos (A (Very Previously) Shared Topic Post) And How 4.3 Will Affect Them

17 Aug

Blog Azeroth’s Shared Topic for the September 6th-12th OF LAST YEAR (which shows you how long I tend to hold onto drafts, yes?) was suggested by the blog FERALTREE. He recently wrote a post about mementos (which keep trying to spell as ‘momentos’, a word that doesn’t exist but if it did would mean ‘a small moment in time’ or ‘a chewy candy mint”). You know, those items in the bank or you bags that you keep around for the memories they bring.

I had started writing a post about these things that I keep around, because I know very well what it means.

You’re looking at a Class-A packrat in-game, who only gets rid of items she’s kept FOREVER only to replace them with more items that she will keep FOREVER.

For example, take a look at Mishaweha’s bags:

The inventory of Mishaweha

This screenshot is from a year ago. Her bags don't look much better today.

Right now I’m up around fifteen empty slots… and I have a few bigger bags too. And the inventory I carry around is usually filled with items that I’m more likely to use.

In this screenshot, for instance, the last three or so bags were full of my elemental, enhancement, and extra-resto equipment. Nowadays it has my enhancement set and some pvp gear (I use my resto set to do elemental things, which means it’s horribly optimized for pew pew).

The other bags contain food, drink, potions,  some more equipment, leather and other things that I skin, and a few ‘collectible’ items for fun — today’s bag is also full of these things.

And of course, none of these extra items can go in my bank, because it looks like this:

The bank of Mishaweha.

This screenshot from a year ago would pretty much look the same today. My bank doesn't see too much turnover.

That’s right — my bank is full! It’s mostly gear I’ve saved for looks even though I never try it on, or quest reward items that hold memories (I suppose that’s why they are mementos, eh?)

Here’s a partial list of the items I’m holding onto:

  • Some gear I’ve saved for looks, including my clover shield and my shiny mace (that I died many horrible, horrible deaths for).
    • And my wolf helm. It looks awesome on Tauren.
    • And a matching weapon set. Fury and Rage, maybe?
    • And some old tier gear, because it looks awesome.
    • And that scuba helmet that blasts you into the air.
    • And the Onyxia attunement necklace, just because.
    • And my Green Dragonscale Armor set. It was my very first matching set — and I made it myself! I have a screenshot of me in it, dancing by the summoning stone before going into BRD…
    • And my starting Shaman gear. That’s right, from when I first rolled Misha.
  • Wearable event items, like the pilgrim’s hat, some bouquets, and Brewfest mugs! Not to mention the outfits from the Lunar Festival, Noblegarden, Wintersveil, the Fire Festival, Hallow’s End…
  • A few non-wearable ‘fun’ items, like the crusader’s book thingy from the scourge invasion (or is it a trinket?), that never-ending food leaf (why would you ever want to get rid of something that gives you free food every day?!), some preserved holly berries, and a remote control of some sort.
  • A bajillion tabards – I know you don’t have to hold onto them but once I buy something, I don’t want to go out and buy it again later! What if I need it NOW?!
  • A few shirts of various colors. We have to coordinate the shirt color with our armor, you know!
  • Tons of trinkets that either do neat things or remind me of quests! Such as…
    • The Netherwing Trinket. I still never beat that commander guy for the flight challenge. Sigh. Least I got my drakes now. (And a side note: Your disguised drake? ONLY FLIES AT 280 SPEED, EVEN IF YOU HAVE 310. ARGH! I so thought I was going to BEAT him this time!)
    • The voodoo trinket that summons… voodoo gnomes, I think.
    • A shaman trinket from a shaman quest. It’s a mini-mana totem that took me awhile to replace. And then I just couldn’t part with it.
    • AV Trinket — For the Horde!
    • Carrot on a stiiiiiick. I was so proud of myself for getting that at level. So very proud. But now it’s useless!
    • Essence of Eranikus. I felt really bad for him, what with the questline just sorta ending with you using his essence to empower yourself as he desperately threatens you/asks you for help. I’m holding onto it in case there’s some way to save him later, as I feel it would be wrong just to sell it.

And there’s much much more!

And I’m guessing here that I’m not the only one who saves their favorite old gear, and holiday outfits.

But the question I’m sure you all are asking is…

How will patch 4.3 affect mementos?

I’m so glad you asked.

Let me direct you to this quote from a WoWInsider article on this new thing call Void Storage:

Another addition coming with the patch is “Void Storage”, a new 100 to 150 items slots. Like transmogrification, void storage comes from the Ethereals. Void storage is a pocket dimension created for a player that allows them to store extra items, but there is a downside.

Anything stored in the void is stripped of its enchantments and gems and the name of the person who crafted it, Chilton said. The stripping isn’t tied to the lore of the game, either, but is the byproduct of a technical issue that makes this new storage system possible.

An additional 100 – 150 slots?! For holding the gear I’ve been saving for the memories and the looks for so long? Sign me up!

No longer will I and countless other pack rats be forced to give up one of their prized possessions because you want to save this new piece of gear you had.

No longer will we be punished with our characters screaming “My inventory is full” just because you wanted to collect gear for three of your specs for both PvE and PvP, for your bank will now be a pristine clean space with all of your low-stat-yet-stylish treasures tucked away into the void.

No longer will our fellow RPers wonder why our character always wear the same set of clothes, as our collection of RP outfits will no longer be limited by the space in our banks.

(Until we collect over 100 – 150 pieces of gear, that is).

(You know it will happen).

I, for one, will enjoy this change immensely. Especially with transmogrification service that will be offered.

What do you think? Are you looking forward to the extra bag space? Is this a change that should have been made sooner? Or do you care less because you actually have an empty bank? And is this more or less awesome than the transmogrification of armor? Let me know in the comments!

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Classic Achievement Suggestions (A Shared Topic Post)

13 Aug

The Blog Azeroth Shared Topic for August 9-14 asks us what “mount achievements” (ala the raiding protodrakes) would Classic WoW contain if it had had those achievements (this concept was proposed in Ryyus’ post, on the blog I Gem Crit).

In his post, Ryyus referred mostly to “old-school” vanilla WoW raids, as that would be where the extra rewards would come from. Unfortunately, I started playing WoW only a few months before BC, so I don’t have any level 60 raiding experience.

But what I have done is run a lot of lower-level dungeons, thanks to LFD, and the fact that most of my toons are 40 and below. And since I remember these lower dungeons well (since I’ve run them repeatedly), I thought I’d make up achievements for them instead of raid instances. After all, it would be fun to get more achievements in a dungeon for stuff besides the ‘last’ boss!

I used this tool to create all of these achievement images. It allows you to put in a custom image, but my laziness (and wedding planning) got the better of me, so they all have the same image. I’ll let you use your imagination as to what kind of icon would be best.

And now, I present to you my first dungeon achievement makeover in…

RFC

Good ol’ Ragefire Chasm. I have run through this many, many times, even before the LFD system came out. In those days, most groups would actually clear the whole place to complete quests, something that very few LFD groups ever do anymore, what with the ‘final boss’ usually being the first boss most groups kill. And then the drop the group, even with that perfectly good boss right over there!

That’s why the first achievements I would add are these:

Kill Ogglflint

Kill Jergosh the Invoker

Kill Bazzalan

Yes, ‘kill the boss’ achievements, for the poor forgotten bosses of RFC. It’s a sad world (of warcraft) that we live in when one of the shortest instances in the game cannot even get a full boss clear by PuGs. It would help immensely if all dungeons had a ‘kill the boss’ achievement for each boss; at least some people would want to try to kill the other bosses then!

As for who these bosses are… Ogglflint is usually killed by horde players completing a quest, where they need to investigate a dead Tauren, who, presumably, Ogglflint killed. He’s up the pathway no one takes anymore, but I assume more horde LFD groups may kill him.

Jergosh is the other ‘true-boss’ in the instance, besides Ogglflint and Taragaman. He drops blues and isn’t too far away from Taragaman, which makes it extra frustrating when people drop group as soon as they get their bag.

Bazzalan isn’t technically a boss, but he is the object of a quest for horde players, so it would be nice to get an achievement letting everyone know you killed him. Also, I totally vote for him to become a boss who drops nice things.

Not all the achievements are about bosses, though. Here’s one about a quest:

Hidden Enemies - Complete the quest chain Hidden Enemies

That quest line always annoyed me, as I got lost in the cave. I died in there a lot. But I think I’ve completed it on several of my horde characters, and I think it’s a worthwhile experience, especially if you do it at level.

Rock and Roll! - Kill 10 Rock Elementals within 10 seconds of each other

I think this is a fun one. Usually groups I’ve been in will pull the rock elemental room recklessly, so why not make it an achievement? The numbers could be tweaked to make it more completable by at-level characters – I’m unsure how many elementals could be killed at once with the limited aoe at 15, so maybe 10 is too many.

Patrol? More like no-trol! - Kill all patrols in the center room of Ragefire Chasm.

Groups often always get the patrols in the center area to add at the most inopportune times. Why not give an achievement for getting them all?

Bonus achievement: Getting all the patrols without pulling the boss, or only pull X many groups. *evil grin*

Wailing Caverns

This is one of the longest early dungeons. The sprawling zone requires you to pretty much kill everyone and everything on your way to the final boss, Mutanus. For those of you scratching your head at the name, that’s the murloc at the end of the instance. You know, the one you summon after you kill all the bosses*. Before LFD, I had only done a full run of WC twice before, and those were when I outleveled the place! So yes, it’s pretty tough for a random dungeon.

Since there are so many bosses, I decided not to make achievements for each of them. Just pretend I did. 😀

Here are a couple that have to deal with movement throughout the instance:

The Eastern Gulph - Sucessfully jump the gap in the eastern path.

Screamin' in the Screamin' Gully - Fall down the Screaming Gully.

Alternate title for “The Eastern Gulph”: Leap of Faith.

(Also, I apparently used a really old spelling of the word “Gulf”. I would like to say it was on purpose but…)

When you go down the ‘left side’ (when coming from the entrance, facing the end cave. It may not actually be east on the map, but I equate ‘left’ with ‘east’ apparently), along that path is a gap. You must jump across this gap. If you just walk off, you will fall down, and it will take forever to get back up. Trust me. Therefore, it makes sense you to get an achievement for making the jump — it reinforces your behavior there, plus it’s existence tips you off that there is, in fact, a gap there.

As for the gully, well, it’s the fastest way down when you’re done with that side. Why not add an achievement for it?

Next are some achievement based on events in the instance:

Mark of the Disciple - Receive the Discipe of Naralex's Mark of the Wild.

Sleep with the Dreamer - /sleep with Naralex while he still slumbers.

Okay, okay, maybe the second one isn’t actually related to any events. But at least you’ll know there is someone named Naralex who’s sleeping, right?

The first one encourages people to get the buff from the Tauren. You wouldn’t believe the number of people in LFD groups that don’t talk to him to get it.

These last two achievements are based on one of the most annoying mechanics you’ll come across in Wailing Caverns…

Asleep on the Job - Be put to sleep at least three times in one run by Druid of the Fang.

Wide Awake - Avoid being put to sleep by all of the Fanglords in one run.

Yup, that mechanic is sleep. Being put to sleep three times would be easy, based on my experiences. But staying awake while fighting the Fanglords? Much more tricky! You’d have to, like, interrupt stuff or something!

*Technically, you only need to kill the four Serpent Lords. However, on your way to all the Serpent Lords, you have to kill the majority of all the mobs on the way, and all the extra bosses are either on your way there or back, so it makes sense to kill them instead of skip them when they’re ten feet away or blocking your path.

Deadmines

Deadmines is another long instance, though not as long as Wailing Caverns, I think. Either way, I couldn’t think of too many achievements. The ones I do have are based more on various events in the mines.

Tear down this wall! - Destory the door leading to the docks.

I don’t think I’ve ever had the chance to blow up the doors. This achievement will encourage competition to do so. I’m sure Deadmines would be even more fun with people clamoring “Give me the gunpowder so I can get achievement pls!”

Of course, that achievement leads directly into this one…

Mmm, Steak - Defeat Mr. Smite while in the presence of a cooking fire.

The Tauren in me is cringing, yet it still makes me giggle. Plus it encourages toons to learn cooking!

What goes up, Must come down - Jump onto the water wheel near the ship while your health is less than 100%.

This one could use some tweaking, I’m sure, but that water wheel has saved many a group (usually not me, because I never remember about it until too late). This is key for rezzers, as you can save the group a run back if you hop on during an inevitable wipe.

Either good... or lucky - Defeat all bosses in Deadmines without dying in a single run.

BWHAHAHAHA. I’d like to see anyone do THAT at level.

Gnomeregan

I’m skipping a few instances (because I haven’t run them recently) to write about Gnomeregan, i.e. that instance everyone hates. But what achievements besides the end boss should be added? How about this one:

No - ALL the Traitors -- Kill all mini-bosses in Gnomeregan.

Yes, all of those mini-bosses everyone skips. There are actually quite a few bosses in Gnomer (as there should be, given its size and maze-like qualities):

  • Mekgineer Thermaplugg
  • Viscous Fallout
  • Grubbis and Chomper
  • Electrocutioner 6000
  • Crowd Pummeler 9-60
  • Dark Iron Ambassador

I’ve killed all but the Crowd Pummeler 9-60 and the Dark Iron Ambassador (who I have seen once, since he’s a rare spawn). An achievement like this would encourage LFD group to kill more than just Viscous Fallout, Electrocutioner 6000 (sometimes), and Thermaplugg — a fairly small number of bosses for such a large instance.

Speaking of large instances…

Mapping the City - Exploring the entirety of Gnomeregan.

It’s a shame that groups will ignore large section of this instance just to get it done sooner, and so will perform wipe-inducing jumps to skip a level, or quickly skirt down a hallway to avoid pulling more mobs. I know it’s a long instance, but it would be nice to explore the whole thing while still getting experience to be in there. Though I’m unsure if people would embrace achievements ‘forcing’ them to wander the halls of Gnomeregan, killing everything in their path…

What achievements would you add?

Are there any achievements you would add to these instances? How about other instances and old end-game raids?

A Screenshot Tells A Thousand Words (A Shared Topic Post)

26 Jul

Today’s post is a Blog Azeroth Shared Topic for July 26-31. Nuniel, from the very art-filled and aptly-named blog “The Rambling Draenei Death Knight”, asked us to share a screenshot, fan art, or handmade drawing, and then tell us about it and how it makes us feel. Since I love art and pictures, I’m going to do, not one, but TWO posts on this subject — with multiple pictures in each post! (That’s allowed, right? I could hardly pick just one image to talk about — I couldn’t make up my mind! Which reminds me – this is an image heavy post!) Later this week there will be a post focusing on user-made art, but today’s post will be about screenshots.

Screenshots. Lots of people take them. I know I do; I’ve even ‘graduated’ from manually taking most of them to letting the addon Achievement Screenshotter take pictures for me. And let me tell you, there are a lot of reasons I take screenshots.

The majority of them nowadays come from Achievement Screenshotter. So obviously, I get a lot of screenshots of my achievements (which include my usually messy UI!) It was fun to flip through and see all the ones I have gotten in the past.

Mourninglory killing the last boss in Maraudon.

It only took her until level 80 to get this achievement! Poor DKs.

Adenine gets the 'Can I Keep Him?' achievement.

I see this one a lot. No comment as to why. >.>

Marlenn receives the 'Not In My House' achievement while dead.

Getting achievements while dead in BGs is more common than you'd think.

Achievement Screenshotter also conveniently takes pictures when you ding!

Mamouska dings in a dungeon.

Ding!

I have tons of screenshots of my toons dinging now. Sometimes they are in quick succession when they are going from 1-5 in a single play session, but quite a few of them are toons dinging from turning in quests, and more commonly, while in the middle of a dungeon (but I won’t bore you with any more of those. XD )

In addition to both the ‘dings’ and the achievements, Achievement Screenshotter can also grab the battleground info. I eventually turned that off, because I participate in quite a few battlegrounds where I lose horribly the score is uninteresting, so I figure I can save the space on my computer for screenshots that don’t show such crushing disappointment aren’t so boring.

The WSG battle score

But here's one that's interesting, since the Horde won. Check it - I even capped the flag to win. Hooray!

But not all of the screenshots I have are taken with the addon. I do still use the good ol’ fashioned ‘print screen’ key to take them. And after going through just one of my screenshot folders (the one on my main computer — I’m leaving the other computers out of this post), it’s occurred to me that I take screenshots of a lot of random stuff.

I mean, check out these chats I saved:

An ASCII 'THIS IS SPARTA!' scene.

You've probably seen this before, but it still makes me giggle.

I have used a quiz addon to keep some of our raids occupied during downtime. Please note which player gave the correct answer first, and that Lightness, bless his heart, is a paladin. Quizzes are so much fun!

Another quiz question, another silly answer by Lightness. To his credit, he IS Canadian. (And an awesome healer!)

Usually I don’t screenshot chats, so I bet I thought these were extra funny (I hope you find them amusing too, actually!) I’ve started using WoWScribe to log chats (for RP purposes), so in some cases I won’t have to take screens of chats anymore. But it’s only useful if you start logging before the funny happens. XD

Of course, some screenshots were more congratulatory. Like when the raid would pose for a boss kill:

Xcessive standing in front of a dead dragon.

We won, hooray! Now if only we could pose better after a kill... 🙂

Xcessive poses on KT's throne

That's better. 🙂

I was surprised at how few of those boss kill screenshots I had. I distinctly remember lining up for some when we killed Moroes and Netherspite, way back in the day when we ran Karazhan all the time. Since it was so long ago, I probably took those screenshots on my old computer. Hopefully their in my backup folder on my current computer (Remember folks — when you move between computers, make sure you always grab the screenshot folders from you games! They’re easy to forget, and you may miss those screenshots you took!)

Of course, there are other reasons we took group shots. Like after we took out the Alliance Leaders — FOR THE HORDE!!!

Group of Horde toons riding warbears in front of the Alliance Inn in Dalaran.

After trouncing of the Alliance cities, we obviously we had to go pose on our bears in front of their inn, right?

This particular bear run was set up by Dreykala. She set up weekly runs for months (maybe even more frequent than that), with an almost 100% success rate. And if they did fail on one, she always made sure to follow up so everyone could get a bear. It got to the point that people wouldn’t go on a For The Horde run unless she was leading it. And then she would sing a song in vent after the raid. It was pretty cool, even if you had to stay up ridiculously late. Eventually, server trade chat troll Hemoomoo raised gold (through trade chat and word of mouth) to buy Dreykala a motorcycle. That was pretty cool.

Of course, not all the screenshots I take have massive groups in them. Some of them can actually be rather silly situations:

Mishaweha sits with others (including Alliance) in Dalaran, around picnic blankets.

Love is in the air! Horde and Alliance (and Undead Ghouls) all sitting together and having a good time.

Mourninglory stands on a visible divide between terrain types.

"I stand on the divide between good... and evil. Or something like that."

(Incidentally, it was a little tricky to get up there. I think it happened while I was gathering herbs. A few screenshots later in my folder, Mourninglory is standing at the patch that has three different terrain lines. I guess this will end up being a rare sight in Cataclysm!)

Characters end up being the focus of many of my screenshots — it’s kinda hard to avoid that when the camera is usually centered on them. But the reason why I take the screenshot of my character differs, though. Sometimes it’s to show off some armor…

Mishaweha shows her blue swirling shield.

I love that shield. I think I still have it.

Mishaweha stands with others wearing similar gear.

Check out my totally awesome gear. It's so rare, I doubt anyone else has ... wait a minute...

Or because I have a weird effect…

Mourninglory is green.

OH NO! I'M GREEN! Also for some reason my horse turned green too... check out those glowing hooves!

Mourninglory, in Zangarmarsh, colored a pink-purple.

Pink now!? Enough with the color-changing already!

Mamisha (probably) is a human ghost, on a kodo.

Can YOU find the Tauren in this picture?

Methril in an ice block in the Thunder Bluff bank.

Stop - hammer time!

Or just because I look cool…

Maiheela stands with the moon directly behind her head.

"That's not the moon! That's my holy radiance you're looking at!" >.>

But my character usually isn’t the only thing on the screen. For example, I have screenshots of my hunter pets:

Mamisha and Moonshine.

Mamisha and Moonshine.

Mamisha and Rexxa.

Mamisha and Rexxa (her first 'real' pet)

(And I’m not even showing you the ones with just the pets. XD )

And I also take lots of pictures of my mounts, especially ones where I’m flying around.

Mishaweha riding on a hippogryph.

My very own Cenarion War Hippogryph.

(On a side note, my keyboard is too big for me to reach from the ‘w’ key to the ‘print screen’ button with one hand, which is what is needed to take a screenshot of a mount ‘soaring’ from the side, as the mouse is holding the camera. I always forget about the arrow keys until it’s too late!)

Three red drakes in a row.

Three, three red drakes! Ah ah ha...

Mishaweha on her violet protodrake.

Oh, I'm not doing much. Just guarding these eggs here.

But my favorite type of screenshots, out of all the ones I’ve shown from my extensive collection, are the ones that take the character out of the picture, and just admire the scenery. The World of Warcraft can be a beautiful place.

Depressing rain in Silverpine (probably).

A silhouette of Icecrown, from Dalaran.

Golden ring floor

BRD Wall Art

Netherstorm Sky

The Flying Book in the Scribe's Library

Sunset by Booty Bay

But these are only my favorite types of screenshots. Do you have a favorite type of screenshot? Do you take lots of screenshots, or only when you think it’s a ‘special’ moment? Let me know!

-Misha

Flying Ace (A Shared Topic Post)

20 Jul

Today’s post is a Blog Azeroth Shared Topic for July 19-24, proposed by Strumwulf. We are asked to RP a scene with our favorite mount (you can see Strumwulf’s RP scene here). Now, I may not have a favorite mount (I love them all! Well, actually, I love most of them), but the one that I have the best backstory for is the Red Drake, from the Red Dragonflight. I made sure to get my Wyrmrest Accord rep up first when I got to 80, and saved up my gold to buy the drake as soon as I was exalted, so he holds a special place in my collection (even though I spend most of my time nowadays on the extra-fast Violet Protodrake and Sparkle Pony).

Below is the story for how Misha obtained her Red Drake, based loosely on my original backstory idea. Not all the concepts I originally came up with are in this particular scene, but I think it touches on most of it, even if I did write the ending in a hurry. (So any corniness I blame on quick writing!)

And now, for your enjoyment, is the short tale of the ‘Flying Ace.

Flying Ace

Wyrmrest Temple

Wyrmrest Temple

“Dive!” Mishaweha yelled, and then hung on for dear life.

The red dragon (well, drake, really) she rode upon furled his wings and plummeted towards the distant ground, weaving between other drakes and dragons of the red and blue flights.

Above them, the magic flames of their attacker — a blue dragon — ceased, as he realized his target was now well below him. He too dove through the battlefield.

“Turn and fire?” Daestrasz spoke to Mishaweha. Of course, he didn’t actually say anything. Dragons were like that — all they needed to do was make you think you heard them speak. It was usually best not to wonder how that worked and just accept the fact that dragons were fairly magical beings.

“Yup! Turn and fire!” Misha shouted in response. The ‘telepathy’ only worked one way, thankfully. (If it did work both ways, the dragons certainly didn’t tell the mere mortals about it.)

Daestrasz’s wings shot out, catching the air in a well-practiced maneuver that Misha was now well-practiced at not falling off him when he did it. So experienced she was that it only took a few seconds to straighten up and sight their enemy.

“Twenty right, up fifty!”

Daestrasz swiveled to the approximate degrees she shouted, mouth already churning with fire. With a might breath (or belch, as some would say), the fireball roared at the approaching blue dragon. The red drake’s flames hit the blue’s right wing and side, searing the scaly skin and burning a large hole through the wing. Their enemy roared in pain as it plummeted to its death.

“Got him!” Daestrasz said, sounding proud. He had taken down full grown dragons before, with Misha’s assistance, but it was still impressive for a mere drake to do.

“Who do we take on now?” he asked.

Misha surveyed the battlefield. Fights were dying down, and the majority of the blue flight was either retreating or locked in mortal combat.

“We should head back. We’ve been out here for… for awhile, I think. Time to stop.”

“I suppose…” He turned and gracefully flew back to the Temple, taking her to the checkpoint. Landing a little awkwardly in the smaller space, he walked away from the ‘narrow’ entryway to let other drakes through. He crouched down, to allow Misha to slide off.

As she shook her stiff legs, Daestrasz brought his head down to be level with hers, tilting it to the side to get a good look at the tauren.

“I like you, Misha,” Daestrasz stated matter-of-factly.

“Oh – … I like you too, Daestrasz,” Misha replied, a little surprised. Usually he paid her little mind once they were done on the battlefield.

“Good.” There was a pause. “I think I will miss you when you die.” He paused again, tilting his head in thought. “Yes, I think I will.”

“… Me too, Daestrasz.”

Daestrasz seemed pleased with her answer. “Good. See you tomorrow then!” And with that he took off to do whatever young drakes did in their spare time.A red drake.Misha shook her head and stretched some more. “Dragons…” she thought with chagrin. “I suppose I should feel honored that an immortal creature might miss me. And yet…”

She shrugged it off, grinning at her dragon friend’s tactfulness as she walked over to Lord Afrasastrasz to get her pay. It wasn’t much, but the dragons insisted that they give the helpful ones a little something for their service (as Daestrasz had put it, “We don’t have anything better to do with those little shiny things other than to give them to you. Since you all love them so much.”)

“Ah. Mishaweha. Thank you for your assistance today. It is very much appreciated,” he said with a small smile, handing her a few gold.

“It’s an honor to help, m’Lord,” Misha responded. (Misha had been taught to always be polite to immortal beings. Technically she was to apply that knowledge to elementals, but it certainly didn’t hurt when dealing with dragons. The drakes, if you were to take a lighter tone, didn’t understand or care. But their elders had a surprisingly good understanding of social nuances. Besides the fact that it was, well, actually an honor. From what Misha had read, there were very few times dragons allowed mortals to have such close interactions with them.)

She turned to leave, but was interrupted mid-step by Afrasastrasz.

“And before you go, Mishaweha, I have had word that Quartermaster Cielstrasza wishes to see you at your earliest convenience.”

“Which means now,” she thought. Aloud, she said, “Yes, m’Lord.”

Tariolstrasz will see you up.” He gestured in the steward’s direction, and then went back to his reports.

Misha switched directions and went to Tariolstrasz. He gave her a curt nod before fetching a nearby drake to whisk her up to the top of the tower. She recalled the first time she was allowed to go visit the Queen… it was… amazing yet terrifying. She had been near petrified, being so close to such a powerful being (you could feel her aura hum in the nearby air), yet she was so kind as Misha gave the message from her delegation (she had pulled the short straw; the others apparently did not want to be the tongue-tied one up front).

But today she would not have to present herself to the Queen (a reluctant relief). Instead, once her ride dropped her off, she went off to Cielstrasza, the quartermaster for the mortal allies of the Wyrmrest Accord.

“I heard you wished to speak with me, m’Lady?” Mishaweha asked after giving Cielstrasza a salute.

“Yes, I did. I have heard of your performance on the field, both here at the temple, and in other places where the Accord has been in need.”

Misha nodded, not too sure where this was going.

“Because of your outstanding efforts for our cause, I would like to present an offer to you… to put it bluntly, would you object to taking Daestrasz?”

“… What? I’m sorry, I don’t think I’m following.”

Cielstrasza sighed, putting her hand to her head. “I mean, would you like to use him as… as a mount? To help you travel from here to there? I am aware that you already have some, but surely you could use his assistance.”

Misha blinked, surprised yet again. “Well, yes! That would be… very exciting. But…” She trailed off, afraid to question such good news.

The red dragon Cielstrasza, in Blood Elf form.

Cielstrasza

“But why?” Cielstrasza grinned, looking like she expected the question. “Young drakes like Daestrasz should not be in battle for too long. We have lost many of our young already, and it is the youngest who tend to get killed, especially when they do not have someone looking out for them.”

Misha nodded. She had heard a similar spiel before, when she first started riding drakes into the Wyrmrest Temple battle.

“But if we take them out of battle without giving them something to do, they make trouble or just join the fight again — without supervision. So if we let them tag along with you—” she started counting with her fingers “— they see much more of the world than they would otherwise, experience the mortal cultures of the world, stay out of mischief, and most importantly, do not have to fight and possibly die. Traveling with you would be a much safer learning experience.”

“I see. In that case, I would be happy to take care of Daestrasz.”

Cielstrasza grinned. “Excellent. Let me get you set up.” She turned and rummaged in a nearby box, where there was a set of thin leather rings. Cielstrasza picked one out and eyed it for size.

“This will do…” she murmured, and then her eyes glowed brightly as she muttered an incantation. Magic jumped from her fingers onto the loop, which shimmered for a moment with red light before the dragon turned to give Mishaweha the loop, apparently satisfied with her work.

“Put this around Daestrasz’s ankle next time you see him. The front left one would be preferred. This will allow him to come to you whenever you need his assistance.”

Misha took the leather loop. It tingled slightly.

“Also, here are some ground rules: Make sure he gets food when he needs it – I am sure you can find some hunting ground to go to. He will not be picky. You may not, under any circumstances, cage or otherwise keep him from moving freely. He will be voluntarily transporting you, so if you do contain him, we will find out if you do, and we will not be happy. Understand?”

Misha nodded vigorously.

“Excellent. Also, since we want him to stay out of harms way, please do not ask him to fight for you. We do not wish for any of your enemies to become angry at our Flight or the Accord, as we have our own worries. … Oh yes – the Accord also requests a donation to the cause for allowing you the opportunity to fly on our wings.” Cielstrasza’s last statement sounded rather wooden, as if she was reading from a script.

Inwardly, Mishaweha shrugged. The quartermaster often asked to exchange gold for services.

“How much?”

“For you? 1800 gold.” Cielstrasza smiled sweetly.

Misha blanched, but nevertheless fumbled for her money pouch and emptied its contents into Cielstrasza’s waiting box. The dragon peered at the amount given.

“Close enough,” she said, and snapped the money box’s lid shut. Leaning in close to Misha, she waggled her eyebrows and quietly said, “How else do you think we get the cash to pay adventurer’s for their services?”

“I’ve actually wondered that myself…”

“Ha ha, I bet you have. Anyway, I have given you the rules and the reins, and you have given me the gold, so I think you are free to go. You two have fun, alright?”

“Yes, m’Lady, we will!” Mishaweha bowed deeply and was about to turn away when Cielstrasza grabbed her shoulders, pulling Misha’s head close to hers.

“Remember, Mishaweha – we are only offering him to you because you have proven your worth to the Accord and our Flight. Please, take good care of him.”

“I understand. I will,” Misha responded softly, looking down at the concerned blood elf face. The concern softened slightly at her words.

“I know you will. I know.”

For a moment longer they stayed like that, the tauren held fast in Cielstrasza’s deceptively strong grip, before the dragon let her go. Mishaweha bowed once again, and left quickly, in search of her new mount, partner, and friend.

Live and Let Die (A Shared Topic Post)

7 Jul

Today’s post is a Blog Azeroth Shared Topic post for July 5-10. This shared topic was brought up by Ecclesiastical Discipline, who asks “When should a healer let somebody die?”, a question thought of when they wrote about how healers rule five mans.

My main, Mishaweha, is a shaman healer. I love healing; I leveled resto (before that LFD system, mind you!), which in retrospect was a very painful, slow way to level (I seem to have blocked out most of my memories on the matter). But it means that I have plenty of experience healing dungeons and raids… and letting people die in them.

Now, in my experience, there are different reasons why a healer let’s somebody die. For the purposes of this post, I will classify these reasons into three different categories: Accidental, Prioritized, and Purposeful. I’ll explain what types of deaths constitute each category, and how often I let those happen when I heal.

Accidental Death

An accident - a car has been lifted by the camper it was towing.

Whoops!

I believe that this category is the most common reason why people die in WoW dungeons. I would assume that every healer has the goal of keeping everyone alive — not only is it their job, but it also keeps the group moving. But sometimes there are… accidents while going through a dungeon. I’ve classified these accidental deaths in sub-categories for your enjoyment.

AFK-Healer

The dungeon is going swimmingly, no one is taking unexpected damage, you’ve got the mouse posed right over the your healbot-like interface (or whatever you use to heal), and the HoTs are rollin’ (if you’re lucky enough to have HoTs. Stupid druids). But then something interesting pops on the telly, or that blog post your reading is really engrossing, or that youtube video got to the really funny part, or your parents/friends/roommate/S.O. demand your attention for just a moment… Whatever the reason, you become ‘momentarily’ distracted, and that’s when everything hits the fan. The tank pulls too many mobs, randomly gets hit hard, aoe plagues the group, and people start dropping like flies. If you notice soon enough, it usually can be recovered from, but this can lead to  a wipe.

This usually happens to me while I’m raid healing trash and got bored because there were so many other healers, or when healing lower-level dungeons in LFD PuGs. Especially when on my baby healing druid. It’s easy just to throw a couple HoTs and then just look away, secure with the knowledge that it will certainly handle the next pull as long as the tank doesn’t get all the mobs on the other half of the room…

Pulling in 5… 4… NOW!

This is similar to an AFK-Healer, as you could have been AFK. But most likely you were just unprepared for the pull — the tank charged in without buffs/HoTs/a readycheck. And then they go SPLAT, along with the rest of the group that has aggro, which may or may not include you.

I’ve usually encountered this on in raids, where the tank missing buffs and HoTs is more important, such as XT, Razorscale, and more recently, Marrowgar. These fights do call for some positioning at the start, which means HoTs buy me some time to get settled into my position and getting my totems down, since I typically don’t focus on healing until after I get situated. That’s why the HoT helps, and when it’s not there tanks go SPLAT way more often.

(On a side note, I believe that tank deaths for shaman healers dropped significantly when the “Call of the Ancestors/Elements/Spirits” spells were introduced. It really helps not having to spend 4 seconds or more at the start of a fight setting down totems while the tank takes a beating.)

Hey guys — Wait up!

Oops! There you were, refilling your mana, looting, or gathering, when the tank just went right on ahead! Now they (and everyone else) are too far ahead to heal, no matter how fast you run! This is sometimes a salvageable situation, but often leads to a wipe. This can also happen when the group splits up in a dungeon on accident, leaving you to pick which group to save and which group went the wrong way (hint: if the tank isn’t with you, you went the wrong way).

A similar situation is when a single character (or a small group of them in a raid) happens to be too far away for you to heal due to fight mechanics.

I’ve mostly been annoyed by this in dungeons, as Mishaweha is a skinner. And some dungeons have oodles of mobs to skin. But very few tanks will pause to let the healer skin them all. I usually can get a drive-by of one or two while I’m in a hurry, but that sometimes causes me to lag behind. >.>

In lower level dungeons, I’ve had this happen when a dps (or two) get the notion that they are also tanks, and therefore should lead the group in the opposite direction of the tank. I usually stick with the tank, though, so the dps end up dying if they’re too far away for me to run between both groups.

The raiding situation is common enough, but usually doesn’t end up with someone dying. Death does occur every now and then, when a single dps runs to that side to avoid killing the group, and you’re on this side with a giant wall of fire in between.

Almost… done… casting… @#$&!

That poor, poor soul you were trying to heal, with just that sliver of health left, died right before your cast went off. 2 seconds are wasted, possibly leading to a wipe (if it was the tank) and makes you forever question why you chose the extremely long cast time heal instead of the faster one. It’s ten times worse if it was an aoe heal that was going to save everyone around that person too, but now they all die in the same manner as you keep picking the wrong one to try to save. This often leads to you giving up on healing the really low health targets, and aiming an aoe healing spell on the ones that won’t die in (cast time) – .1 sec.

Not that’s ever happened to me before while I chain heal a melee during aoe attacks on the group. Nope, never.

Well that SHOULD have reached them…

Similar to the above situation where your direct heal failed due to death, this situation is when your aoe heal, which you were sure would hit “that guy who’s almost dead”, does not get to them, leaving them rather dead, in most cases.

For me, this happens when I send a chain heal to a ranged person, thinking they might be standing next to another ranged person who also needs heals… but they’re not! (See “The Hunter” diagram for further explanation of the situation). I don’t know if other classes have aoe heals dependent on where folks are standing, but sometimes it’s rather frustrating!

(Side note: This is why you’re shaman healers might ask you all to clump up if they’re raid healing — that way they are guaranteed more hits with the chain heal. On another side note, this is why I hate fights that require everyone to stand at least 10 yards away from each other.)

Holy Damage, Batman!

You’re healing your main target just fine… when all of a sudden, that guy takes a holy-crap-ton extra damage! From where? You don’t know, but it’s too late! Whatever it was killed them. Could be when the offtank gets to take damage, a dps pulled threat, or the floor turned on you yet again. This has happened to me so many times I’ve lost count, but except for the cases involving tanks, it’s likely their own fault. (And even then, some tanks are known to stand in the bad floor too and get killed! Curse you KT!)

Healing Overload!

Raid damage is everywhere and you can’t keep up! Similar to the ‘Holy Damage Batman!’ but it’s everywhere, not just from a boss switching targets. XT used to be like this for me when I was raid healing, especially before it was nerfed. It’s a lot of damage going around, and if you hadn’t topped everyone off from the start… well… they were likely to be a goner. This situation often leads to an “Almost done casting” scenario.

Prioritized Death

As in, you were given the lowest priority, and now you are a floor tank.

All deaths in this category can actually be considered Accidental Deaths, since again, they weren’t intended. But this category is focusing on a particular thought process where the healer purposefully chooses someone else to live. These types of prioritizations often happen when there is a “Healing Overload” — A large number of targets are taking damage, and you know you can’t save them all. Who do you choose?

I think this calls for a flowchart, ala I Like Bubbles:

A Flowchart Showing Priorities for Healing

This proves that tablets don't make everything pretty when the person using them is lazy

You’ll note that there is no end to the flowchart. That’s because a healer must always go through and recheck this list at all times in order to be effective. It’s not much help if you heal up the tanks and move onto the dps only for the tanks to flail and die a few seconds later.

Priorities like this are why dps always seem to drop first, but that’s because they are only slightly more expendable than other tanks and healers. If your tank dies, well, that’s pretty much a wipe unless you’re in that last one or two percent that you can burn off while everyone drops like flies. You can get by with less healers, but it makes the job harder for yourself, when there are less of you, and usually leads to a wipe (especially if you end up solo-healing). However, if you lose one or two dps, you still have a good chance to kill the boss, especially if the ones with higher dps are still alive. However, it’s still not optimal to lose lots of dps, as the others have to make up for the lost damage — and if they can’t make up for it? Death for all!

Purposeful Death

A man with a flashlight below his face grinning evilly.

DIE! DIE! BWAHAHAHA!

I would opine that this type of death in WoW happens the least. This is when the healer purposefully does not heal a person, no matter what. It’s not an accident that they die, it’s not because they were given a lower priority — no, it’s because the healer has chosen not to heal them.

Typically, I don’t purposefully let someone die. I have an itchy trigger finger when it comes to staring at my Healbot, so even if I don’t want to heal someone, I end up doing it anyway. They’re probably better off alive than dead, anyway.

However, there are several reasons why healers purposefully choose not to heal someone. I have made a list:

  • Joke – Most common in guilds, this is where the healer (and hopefully the rest of the group) decide to call of healing Player X. I would guess this would usually be the tank. I know our guild has a running gag of saying we’re not going to heal our main tank, even if we do.
  • Idiocy – Player Q keeps running into the fire and pulling threat on purpose? Tank keeps pulling before you’re ready even after being told? Fine! They won’t get any heals! (I may have done this one once or twice, but it doesn’t happen more often.)
  • Refusal of Service – Most common in LFD PuGs, this is when the healer refuses to heal a certain player (or the whole group) until a particular condition is met. These conditions are usually pretty simple ones, like ‘stop acting like a jerk’ or ‘let the tank pull’.
  • Personal Vendetta – Player V, for whatever reason, has ticked off the healer. If it was a LFD group, they probably let their mouth run off and that made the healer angry. Therefore, they get no more heals. (I’ve wanted to do this on several occasions, but I always end up going for the heal button anyway).

I’m sure there are other reasons why someone would purposefully not heal someone, but that’s all I can think of for now. Since I typically always heal everybody due to my itchy healing trigger finger, I really don’t have much experience not healing people.

What about you?

Are these ‘categories’ accurate from your own healing experiences? Are there ones that happen more often for you? Have you ever purposefully not healed somebody? Have you ever been on the receiving end of no heals, or knowingly been on the ‘low-priority’ heals?

Feel free to comment and let me know!

-Misha