Archive for the ‘Unemployed’ Category

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This Week in Raiding… How Brajana Got Her Groove Back

December 13, 2008

As a quondam post of mine can attest to, it’s been a very busy, very messy week.  While the bus strike is still on, exams are over!  Which means I am stuck in my apartment with nothing to do but play World of Warcraft.

Friday, which was supposed to be a day full of heroics, didn’t end up being what I expected.  In the morning, I ran Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle, which of course (like everything else) I’d never been to before.  We made it through fine, but with no thanks to me.

I was a mess!  I don’t know what was wrong with me, but my DPS sucked, I kept face-pulling, and it’s probably a good thing they never asked me to trap.  Seriously, it was a mess.  By the end of the run, I was only about 4% ahead of THE TANK on the damage meters.  Ouch.

I felt like after they’d explained a boss fight to me, I’d immediately forget what they said.  I just was not focused.  I don’t think it helped that I’d never been there before and everyone else had, and I also had three cats vying for my attention, as well as my brother trying to have a conversation with me via text messages (I hate writing text messages!).

I picked up a pair of [Gilt-Edged Leather Gauntlets] in the end, but I actually felt guilty taking them – I didn’t contribute to the run, and didn’t feel like I deserved anything.

It’s probably good I didn’t end up running heroics all day with that group.  It probably would have just been more of the same!

After that, I continued to have more troubles with my computer, and wasn’t able to play most of the afternoon… but after I rebooted and let my video card take a nap, I managed to convince it to stay awake for a couple runs in the evening while  I helped Tigerfeet search for a new tanking staff.

We started in Heroic Black Morass Violet Hold.  It was lots of fun, and I love having Tiger as my tank, she’s a very good tank and more importantly, she is always very constructive and forgiving of silly little mistakes that we all make.  And for some reason, my complete lack of focus was gone!  Huzzah!  Misdirects for everyone!

We had a little trouble learning the second boss, which was Zuramat the Obliterator, the big Voidwalker type guy.  Apparently he is hailed as one of the most difficult heroic bosses around right now.  But after a couple of wipes and researching the exact mechanics, we had no problems… our Shaman healer got to purgin’ and we killed his little minions and all was well.

When we were done, while I walked away with [Twin-Headed Boots] but the staff didn’t drop, so we took our party to Heroic Utgarde Keep to have of either the staff or the crossbow dropping!

Finally, a heroic I’ve done before!  It went pretty smoothly, I can’t say we had any real troubles.  And congrats to Tigerfeet on her new [Enraged Feral Staff]!

I think I’m comfortable with running heroics now.  Which puts me a little more at ease about possibly jumping straight into 25-man raiding next week.  I’d rather get some practice in 10-mans first, but it seems the guild’s priority is to jump right past that.

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This Week in Raiding… Oculus and Naxxramas

December 6, 2008

So I finally hit 80!  Time to run some heroics and raids, right?

Nope.  Instead of skipping right to raiding and heroics, I took a trip to regular Oculus with a couple other newly 80 guildies, and a couple not so newly 80.  And it turns out running something on regular was a really good idea.  It turns out I haven’t run any instances since around 72-73… and other than those 4 times I ran instances then, I haven’t run a 5-man instance in many a month.  I was rusty, it was pretty clear.  I was running around all flummoxed, not used to it being more than just Hanno and me.

No sending my gorilla in and rounding things up, then volleying.  No, now I have to pay attention to which target I and my pet are on!  And I have to pay attention to when my cooldowns are up!  I admit I forgot to use kill shot about half the run… even though it gives me a little notice when I can use it, I’m so used to ignoring the notice that I just seemed to skip it.

But in the end, I started to get back into the swing of things.  I am glad I had guildies there to not think I was a total noob.

You shoulda seen me running around trying to find the entrance to the instance.  I’ve decided the minimap should be 3 dimensional.

If I’d PUG’d myself, I’d have kicked myself before the run even started!

Anyway, it was hunter night in Oculus apparently, and I could have picked up 3 upgrades.  I grabbed the [Wyrmclaw Battleaxe], the [Centrifuge Core Cloak] and passed on the [Spaulders of Skillful Maneuvers] since I’m going to be making new shoulders soon anyway (but I won the roll for the shard!)

All in all, it was nice to be back to running things and being part of a group.

While I didn’t get to go to Naxxramas, <Unemployed> had quite a successful week.  The got quite a few bosses down.  I just hope I get a chance to get in there before they clear it all!

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10 + 10 = 25?

December 3, 2008

<Unemployed> had their first ‘official’ Naxxramas raid last night.  I obviously didn’t go, since I’m not near 80 yet and I was out seeing Quantum of Solace, so I missed the action and how it went.  But seeing the roster of who had signed up to raid on Tuesday and who actually went has brought up some concerns I’ve had.

There were about 16-17 level 80 characters signed up with hopes of raiding with the guild last night.  This is understandable, since just a couple of months ago, we were having 25+ people sign up for raiding regularly, and we’ve gotten several new recruits since our BC raiding days.

But Naxx is only a 10 man raid.  Which means once our 25 raiders get to 80, only 10 of them will be getting to raid each night.  We could possibly build a second group if we have proper class balance, but even then, that means at least 5 people are being left out each raid night.  And I think there is a limit to how often people would like to be told to go run heroics instead, since eventually that’s not what they’ll be wanting to sign up for.

One of the things I have been most excited about is getting into the new raids and being present for some more guild first, feeling like I’m part of a team who works together 3 days a week.  Although I’m not a raid leader and I don’t really get to hear about the decisions the leaders make about who gets to go, these are the only possibilities I can see coming to pass:

  1. We run 2 groups, 1 of the ‘top geared heavy hitters’ and 1 of the people who took too long to get to 80.
  2. We swap around groups, alternating which people are in which group, thus causing problems coordinating people and strategies since there are no solid teams, and leaving people disappointed for being benched at the last minute.
  3. Raid nights get split up, and we have two groups running different days, so those with multiple 80s can get in on the action every day of the week, and people don’t have to deal with being benched when they are sitting there waiting for invites at raid time.

I can’t really say which option I think is the best.  They all have pretty big downsides, and I do not look forward to any drama to come.

I understand that the guild wants to do what’s best for the guild as a whole, and that a lot of people are focused on progressing as quickly as possible.  Which means, since it is taking me a couple more weeks than everyone else to get to 80, I may not get much chance of raiding with the people I want to, or with the frequency I’d like.  It’s likely I’ll be the 5th hunter in <Unemployed> to reach level 80, which makes my prospects of getting into a 10 man raid pretty grim.  But my concern is not just for myself, I don’t want any of our raiders feeling left out.

I’d like to say, I do not regret my decision to take things slow in Wrath.  I’m really enjoying each level and the experiences I’m gaining through them.  I’m glad I focused on school when it was necessary, and spending my weekends with my dear Dwarf Hunter are much more important than rushing to 80.  I just hope my decision doesn’t cost me in the end.

I can’t be the only person who is flummoxed by the math here.  I’m sure there are other guilds who had 25 raiders who are returning and looking for more of the same intense progression and action.  It’s a tough decision, and I do not envy any raid leaders who have to make it.  How do you take 25+ people and stick them into a raid that only fits 10 (or possibly 20)?

Brajana – Level 78 Troll Hunter

  • Skinning: 450
  • Leatherworking: 424
  • First Aid: 418
  • Fishing: 392
  • Cooking: 400
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Lots of Leather! :)

December 2, 2008

Since I’ve hit 77 and I can fly again, I decided that it is time to get my leatherworking on.  Coincidentally, last night Tharaks (on his 78 mage, Trimk) proposed we do some AoE grinding.

Boy was it fun!  We headed out to the Basin and we’d get on our mounts, we’d each head in a different direction, meet in the middle and AoE down 6 or 7 mobs at once.  Even got him some herbs from the flower mob thingies!

I picked up about 120 [Borean Leather], which isn’t that much when you make it heavy, but with the leather I’d already picked up from questing in Sholazar, it was enough to get me from 413 to 421!  I made a couple [Bag of Endless Pockets] for Raks and another guildy, and went and picked up a couple new patterns.

I put my giant list to use and figured out what upgrades I wanted to have ready for when I hit 78.

I spent another hour farming [Icy Dragonscales].  They drop more than I was expecting, and I had 40 pretty quickly.  I decided to make [Dragonstompers] now, since they only require level 77, and then once the servers are back up after today’s extended maintenance I’ll farm some more so I can craft up my [Eaglebane Bracers].

Oh, and I need to figure out where to farm [Eternal Fire] for my [Virulent Spaulders], no way I’m paying 120 gold for 2 of ’em!  I was a little flummoxed about whether the upgrade was worth it, because new shoulders will break my T5 healy pet bonus, which I love to bits and pieces… but I figure I can always keep my [Rift Stalker Mantle] on hand for when my pet might be taking serious damage.

Brajana – Level 77 Troll Hunter

  • Skinning: 450
  • Leatherworking: 422
  • First Aid: 413
  • Fishing: 392
  • Cooking: 400
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This Week in Raiding… Brought to you by Brajana’s Gorilla Delivery!

November 29, 2008

So, I didn’t do any instances or raids this week.  Not much I can say about that.  But what I can do is share this screenshot I took this morning on my journey out to Sholazar Basin!

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Brajana's Gorilla Delivery: If we can't deliver your gorilla with aplomb, no one can!

I also finally picked up [Manual: Heavy Frostweave Bandage], so all that Frostweave I’ve saved up can be used to get me to 450 FIrst Aid!

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This week in raiding… Brajana hits up Northrend!

November 22, 2008

Time to discuss my first week of instances in the Wrath of the Lich King.  I had time to experience the first three instances, Utgarde Keep, The Nexus and Azjol-Nerub.

First of all, I’d like to say that most of the people in Unemployed, myself included, are trying to learn instance encounters on our own. We aren’t looking up boss strategies beforehand, we’re trying to develop our own.  I’m enjoying that a lot.  While it may lead to some avoidable wipes, it’s a lot of fun going in and not knowing what to expect, moving and changing how you play on the fly!

Since I started my adventures in Howling Fjord, it made sense to have Utgarde Keep as my first new instance.  And it was pretty fun.  To be honest, it wasn’t entirely memorable… I barely remember what it was like, and it’s only been a week since I was in there.  I also know that there was a point where I didn’t realize the mob we were fighting was a boss.

However, I do remember one point where the tank asked me to have my pet off-tank one of the mobs in the pull right before one of the bosses, which resulted in a quick wipe.  Why?  Well, if you’re a hunter, it’s likely you’ve noticed that on occasion, your pet likes to run off with the mob they are fighting.  Generally, I have time to recall my pet before he gets too far… but I was busy also trying to trap at the same time, and Ambrose and the mob he was supposed to be tanking decided to go have their fight right on top of the boss.  Boo.

The next instance I got to experience was The Nexus.  What a pretty instance!  I must say, if I’d had my gorilla in there, he’d do a great job of blending in.  Lots of blueish white icy goodness in there.  The tank this time seemed to know where he was going, and we almost rushed through the instance, so I didn’t get to make many observations.  Ormorok the Tree-Shaper felt like a combination of the Dragonhawk boss from Zul’Aman and Astromancer Solarian from The Eye.  He spawns these little ice thingies… and if you don’t get out of the way, they’ll shoot you up in the air.  Which is fun the first time (just like Solarian) but some people need to be a little more observant.

Grand Magus Telestra was a lot of fun.  I didn’t really know what the heck was going on most of the time, but I know there were several points when she used me as her own personal yo-yo.

The final boss… was one of those wipes that could have been avoided.  There’s a stacking debuff that she puts on everyone, which causes frost damage periodically, and causes more damage with more stacks.  I couldn’t figure out why I was dying so fast.  The SMART thing to do would have been to read the text in the debuff, the part that said “Movement will cancel this effect.”  Instead, I stood back and shot my arrows, which is my default strategy when I don’t know what’s going on.

I also had a chance to run through Azzjol-Nerub, or Azz-rub as our Guild Leader has coined it.  Neat place, but slightly unerving.  The moment I stepped on that web-like floor, I had the feeling I was going to fall through.  It was worrisome, and I was always afraid the next step would be my last!

Oh, and big spider boss?  Creepy.  *shudder*

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Brajana’s Adventures in Wrath

November 17, 2008

So things have been pretty busy for me, IRL.  Wrath came out midnight on Thursday, but unfortunately I had two very large and difficult exams on Thursday, so I didn’t make it out to the midnight launch.  Instead of getting only 2 hours of sleep because I’m busy working on a Death Knight, I only got 2 hours of sleep because I was busy studying relational database design and token ring network topologies.

My original plan was to head out to EB Games and pick up my preordered copy at 2:30PM, after my second exam.  Unfortunately, I also have an extremely large final project due on Tuesday, and my group partner decided Thursday afternoon/evening was the time to work on it.  So we worked til 6:30, I managed to convince her we needed to take a dinner break so I could go pick up my game, and finally I was able to play 10PM that night.

I didn’t ge to play much Friday because I had ANOTHER exam on Saturday morning.  But I got a bunch of Fjord quests done anyway. Saturday, I had my exam at 10AM and then a couple local guildies and I had an afternoon of board games.

So my real Wrath time didn’t start until about 7PM on Saturday.  But I had all of Sunday to play, even if I shouldn’t have.

I’m sitting about 75% through level 73, with all of Howling Fjord and most of Borean Tundra finished off.  Here’s my take so far.

Howling Fjord is amazing.  I loved it there, and enjoyed all of the quests.  From the first quest on, I felt really engaged and interested in the story, and found the atmosphere beautiful.  I felt like I was just flying through the content, and there was no time that I felt like I really wanted to stop.

Borean Tundra… well, my first impressions weren’t great.  After figuring out how to navigate Warsong Keep, I get outside and am surrounded on all sides by these Nerubian creepy crawlers and everything was all grey and burnt red.  As someone who never enjoyed places like Burning Steppes and Searing Gorge, I was not very pleased.  But once I got out of the initial area, I was a little more satisfied.  Borean Tundra has some fun quests, like the D.E.H.T.A. quests and the seige tank quest, but I got very sick of swimming very quickly.

“Go swim out to these ruins.”

“Go swim out to this rift.”

Come on.

The Tuskarr are my favourite thing in the expansion so far.  They’re so cute!  They are walruses riding turtles!  And their quests are fun!  And they have a little non-combat penguin pet at exalted.  hehe!

I did actually start a Death Knight, which I wasn’t planning to do for a long time.  But I’d come up with a good name (wish I could do that with my Gorilla…) so I started him up and did about 20 minutes worth of quests.  I like the starting area, even though I haven’t seen much of it yet.

I have also now tamed a Rhino!  I wasn’t sure what to replace, but I figured… I never really used my wind serpent, and I can always go back and get a new one if I feel it’s necessary.  So I said goodbye to Sparkle, and hello to… Sparkle!  Yes, I named my Rhino after my wind serpent.  He’s fun, and I can’t wait to get him out on the AV bridge and make him punt gnomes all over the place.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now.  Next time I’ll talk a little bit about instancing and how that’s going.  When I leveled from 60-70 I only ran 2 instances.  Now that I have a guild to level with, I’m getting a lot more action in there.  It’s been pretty fun!

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A preview of posts to come!

October 27, 2008

Hi!

So I thought I’d give a bit of an update.  To be completely honest, I had a post all written up about what I’ve been doing since 3.0.2 hit, but I keep forgetting to insert the screenshots I want in it, and so it’s been sitting around waiting for the longest time.

So here’s the quick version.  I plan to elaborate on most of these topics in independent posts, but here’s an overview of what’s goin’ on.

New pets!  Woo!

I am loving the new pet changes.  I can hardly even contain myself about how much I love being a hunter right now!

I’ve picked up a Moth, just like I said I would.  His name is Ambrose, and he’s purpley and flappy and a darn good Ferocity-tank.

I’ve also picked up a Gorilla, who still needs a name.  He’s the Unk’loc skin though, and I spent two whole days waiting for him to spawn.  But that’s another story for another post!

The hunters of Unemployed have picked up Orange MC Core Hounds.  They’re pretty nifty, but mine is remaining in the stable until they get rid of the screen shaking.  While it’s true that if you are the hunter with the stampy pet, it doesn’t affect the screen nearly as much, I feel for the other players and won’t subject them to that. 🙂

Spellpower Changes?

Okay, Ferguson has nearly retired until the expansion comes out.  But I did log on to check out the spellpower changes to his gear, and between my Shadow set and my Healing set, I’ve formed a super set of spell power gear.  Just one set of gear.  It’s pretty nice.

Achievements…

are fun!  But I am not nearly as dedicated to them as some people I know (points at Boostah).  I haven’t gotten any new titles yet.  More on the achievements later.

Alts-ahoy!

I’ve been spending quite a bit of time leveling a couple of alts.  I resurrected my level 45 Gnome Mage and transferred her to my boyfriend’s main server, which is a PvP server.  How it remind me why I left that type of server in the first place!  But I’ve gotten her to 55 with little problems, and I am enjoying setting things on Fire.  Although Fire Mages have very little to do with healing or huntering, I’ll probably write something up about playing a new class.

I also spend a very significant portion of yesterday playing a new character.  It’s a hunter.  There’s a bit of a story behind how I ended up starting a second hunter, and I’ll get into that in another post, I’ll introduce him formally.  He’s cute, I think you’ll like him!

Unemployed’s Second Annual Hallow’s End Costume Contest!

Last night, we took a break from the zombies and everyone dressed up and met in Brill.  We had a blast, and some of the costumes were amazingly creative!  Way to go, Unemployed!  Mine was about as second-hand as you can get, but I still had fun.  Screenshots inc, I promise!

Well.  It looks like I’ve got quite the load of posts to work on.  You don’t even want to know how much stuff I’ve had going on IRL lately, to boot.  Busy, busy, busy!

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This week in raiding… A’lar downs Unemployed :(

September 20, 2008

Well, the game is beginning to slow down.  Now that we have a pukka release date of Wrath of the Lich King, people are starting to realize how close it really is, and how the work we put into raids now isn’t going to do a whole bunch of good for us later.  We have had a guild discussion about the direction we want to take.  Our options are pretty much: a) Work on Kael’thas and Vashj, b) Work on Zul’Aman, see if we can get at least one bear mount, or c) Take a break from raiding all together.

Most people opted for the Kael/Vashj idea.  We’d all really feel it would bring a sort of conclusion to our raiding progress.  I agree, plus I’d like that title! 🙂  But I wouldn’t mind a bear mount either… and a break would probably do my grades some good.  So really, I’m along for whatever the guild chooses.

Tuesday night, we planned to get some more Tempest Keep, but unfortunately, our luck with A’lar returned.  After a number of attempts, we just couldn’t get him down.  Instead of trying to re-clear all the trash, we gave up and called it a night.  It was very frustrating.

Wednesday night, we didn’t have enough people signed up to do a real 25-man, so we tried to split into two Zul’Aman groups.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough interest to get two Zul’Aman groups going… so we ended up with one.  I felt a bit bad, because that meant that some people who really wanted to go to Zul’Aman couldn’t, but something is better than nothing!

We tried to do it as quickly as possible, but we only managed to get the first timed chest.  We had some confusion in the pull before the Bear boss, and it led to the timer going off when we had him down to 50%.  We still practiced the rest of the run as if it were a speed run, and we got all four bosses down.  We had to reset a couple of times on the dragonhawk boss, so we wouldn’t have gotten it anyway.  But it was good practice!  Hopefully we’ll do better next time.

Thursday night, we continued ZA from where we’d left off – at Hex Lord.  Got Hex Lord and Zul’jin down – it was my first time seeing both fights!  And they’re both pretty fun.  I have decided I really like Zul’Aman.  I like the way the bosses are set up, and I really like how the final boss cycles through each of animal bosses.

I see a lot of ZA in our future… and not so much Kael and Vashj like we were hoping.  I think too many people are just ready for the expansion and can’t be bothered to come… which I can understand.

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This Week in Raiding… Unemployed officially enters T6!

September 6, 2008

Tuesday, some Lurker and Leo action.  Not much excitement there, I just want to say that Leo doesn’t seem to drop the Hunter/Warlock/Mage set piece ever!  We had enough time to spare afterwards to head in and take a look at Vashj though!

It’s a pretty complicated fight, and while I have read up on it and tried my best to listen to the raid leader explain our strategy – it’s always so different to be right in on the action.  And in fact, for me it was more like watching a video… because I was the first to get the static charge, and also the first to die from it.  I think the problem was that when the people around me realized that I had the charge, they also ran away, as I did.  So we ran together for a little while, which in turn meant I needed to run even further and I think it put me out of the healer’s range.  Oh well, it was a good place to observe the rest of the attempt!  And we managed to get her down to 69% on our first attempt… not too shabby!

Wednesday night was more of Vashj.  I wasn’t there, but it looks like a lot of learning took place… and there may have been problems with the changes in the fight at 50%, because it looks like that’s about how far the raid could get her.  Instead, I was out enjoying a fabulous meal at Lago, a belated birthday dinner.  I had a Butternut Squash Ravioli, and it was amazing.  I could eat that everyday.  It was really rich and tasted very buttery, but it was amazing.  I finished it off with a great Root Beer Float with Caramel Tequila ice cream in it… mmmm!

Er, I mean… raiding!  RIGHT!

So, Thursday night we took another stab at some progression and headed into Hyjal.  We didn’t have any serious problems on the trash – actually, it went a lot faster than it had before.  We are really getting the hang of it!  Though I’m sure having 4 warlocks and 2 mages to AoE the trash really DOES help a lot. Our first attempt at Rage Winterchill of the night we didn’t quite get him down.  If I remember correctly, we just had too many loses to icebolts and death & decay.

Second attempt we decided to drag Rage over to Jaina, which we had been reluctant to do before.  From about 25% to 4%, the only people we had alive were 3 DPS (myself included), one tank and one healer, plus the NPCs.  It was amazing how long we lasted… but it wasn’t long enough.

But… third time’s a charm!  It went pretty smoothly the last time, and I noticed that the healers really got their macros working to get a heal on the icebolt target, we hardly lost any to it.  Unfortunately, I died do to a small peccadillo – running into the Death and Decay rather than running out of it… but we still managed to get him down!

It really IS a pretty straight forward fight, now that I think about it.

He dropped 2 pairs of leather bracers, DPS and healing.  I thought about rolling on the DPS ones, but I figured there would be someone who needed it more, and I’ll just wait til something more appropriate for me drops!

Oh, and Friday night was ZA, which I wasn’t scheduled for.  But about 2 hours into the raid, I got a whisper asking if I wanted to go heal for a couple bosses on Ferguson!  Whaaaa?  I was a little nervous, because I’ve only raid healed once, and I’ve only been to ZA about 3 times on Brajana, never on Ferg.  But what the heck, it was worth a try!  We went in and got Dragonhawk down and made a couple attempts at the Lynx boss (which I’d never seen before).  It was fun, I should go to ZA more often.

And the best part?  I got my very first [Amani Hex Stick], never had one before… and what happened on my first try?  [Mojo]!  That’s what happened! 😀