Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Summer seems to be an interesting time for WoW. Students have considerably more free time, being free from school, yet guilds everywhere seem to be dragging a bit. A lot of people are attributing it to a pre-expansion lull. And though I was playing last summer, I don't remember enough to make a comparison. I didn't have any level 80 characters and I was working my first full-time, i-have-to-commute-every-day job.

Memento, too, is struggling. As I've mentioned, we have gained and lost players over the last few months. At our present moment in time, we've gained exactly one more player than we've lost. A slightly noobish paladin that happens to be the brother of some other player nobody in Memento can stand. Good times.

So, reduced to our core set of people, Memento is left in the position of pugging 2-4 raiders for anything we want to run. This is not a problem for the weekly and VoA runs. But lately it has been hard to pug spots for ICC.

Have so many people downed the Lich King that its not interesting anymore?

I don't know if this is due to a summer lull or pre-expansion jitters but I'm starting to wonder if I'm going to get to smack Arthas in the face sometime before I hit level 85.

Any pug can go 6/12 in ICC, I think. I mean, certainly if we can do it nobody else should find it terribly difficult. Don't get me wrong, we're good. But we're mostly dps. Picking up good tanks and healers is altogether a more difficult thing.

Also, the idea of there even being a pre-expansion "i have nothing to do" experience blows my mind a little. There's SO MUCH that I want to do before Cataclysm comes out that I don't even know where to start.

For example, all of the Vanilla Dungeons and Raids. I haven't done all of them. I hadn't even done most of them before a couple days ago. I mean, yeah, Aioka was randomed into most of them over the course of her leveling, but most of those never completed. Pugtards at levels 50-58 can't even follow basic directions.

So, I've seen... parts of them. Several bloggers recently have talked about how epic Blackrock Mountain is. Blackrock Depths in particular. So I took Mara and went off to pay Blackrock Mountain a visit. I was halfway through UBS before I remembered I had done it and Blackwing Lair before. So that only left the other two. Of course, Aioka randomed into both BRD and Lower Blackrock Spire several months ago. Doesn't mean I knew how to get around them. Because she was never in a group that completed them.

One particularly memorable event was in LBS. The group wiped to a bunch of dragonkin outside a locked door in the room to the left of the entrance. I now know that this section is the entrance to UBS and we had no business being there anyway, but at the time I just made the run back to Blackrock and waited for the rest of the group. And waited. And waited. After ten minutes or so the "Rez me" and "Res me, I'm lost" started coming in. And the reason I remember this so clearly is because NO ONE SAID 'PLEASE'. If they had, I probably would have done it. Even though I'm totally against it; if anyone had ASKED I would have cheerfully hunted down their broken corpse and shoved their spirit back into it just to continue this already clearly pointless adventure. When the tank, who apparently was smart enough to find the entrance, started in with "Why don't you just res them? ffs" I lost it. I ranted about the lack of courtesy on the internet and how impolite people are and how fucking lazy do you have to be to skip typing "pls" and I ragequit. I quit the game and turned my whole computer off because that's how DONE I was with Blackrock Mountain and retarded random groups.

I can admit now (now that I'm far enough removed from levels 50-60) that both BRD and LBS are epic. They have just a huge scope: they actually look like cities, there are a ton of bosses and mobs to kill, and the storylines that exist there are also pretty epic. The downside of these huge and involved instances is that I spent an unholy amount of time lost. Even with the advantages of the Dungeon Guide and, you know, the internet I had no idea where I was going or what I was doing.

When I got as far as the room outside of Emperor Dagran's room, Ann had to tell me about the two fire braziers that have to be lit within a certain amount of time or the doors won't open. Oh yeah, and the room is packed to the brim with non-elite mobs. This isn't too big a deal for a level 80 warlock who actively enjoys slaughtering things. We've all had those days, I think. And when all you want to do is kill things, wow certainly delivers.

When I finished with BRD, I went over and attuned myself to the Molten Core. I spent a few minutes staring in awe at the Black Forge. Then, because I'm lazy, I asked Ann to group up with me so I could walk into the portal to MC so that when I walked out again I would be back in Blackrock Mountain.

Well, Mord saw where I was headed and thought I was going to try that for my next solo project. He said it couldn't be done. Turns out, it can be done. (Youtube link: Ragnaros) Maybe not necessarily by me, but other warlocks have certainly tried and succeeded. Maybe I will give it a shot one day.

LBS was a bit easier in terms of getting around than BRD. I noticed that in LBS there's mostly only one route to follow. Any other route involves jumping down off bridges and stuff. Which is viable - or so I read. If all you want to do is kill Wyrmthalak, which is all you need for the achievement, you can skip most of everything else. It involves jumping off a ledge in one of the early rooms. If you're anything like me, you'll never find it.

Other things I'm trying to complete before Cataclysm include the Keymaster achievement and Karazhan (also soloable, I've heard). I've done all the Outland dungeons except the Shattered Halls. I've toyed with the idea of chasing the Loremaster achievement. But I haven't committed myself to it. Yet.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Observe carefully. I hope this show of hypocrisy is brief and singular.

I am a hypocrite.

On our Friday ICC-25 run, the one that was full of pugtards, there was a particular mage who was rather more pugtardy than anyone else. Which, in the end, rather made sense as they're from a guild that seems rather marked by their pugtards as this is mage is now the third pug that will never be reinvited to one of our runs.

This mage shall, for the purposes of this post, be called Magetard.

Magetard has an impressive array of gear, ranging from ilvl 200 to ilvl 268. Some pieces are from Naxx, some from Ulduar, some from ICC. Some are tier pieces from a tier that is before my knowledge of raiding. Several are pvp pieces with stamina gems in them.

Before I continue, I do want to make sure it is known that Magetard is not labeled a tard based entirely on his gear. He was labeled a tard because he acted like a tard. As we were clearing the trash before Marrowgar he wanted to know which of the casters had the most spell power. (The answer: As I was in my demonology spec, it had damn sure better have been me.) The reason, I gathered, was because he thought he had the highest and when we assured him that this was not the case he said "Damn :(".

Magetard also tended to offer "helpful" advice continually and spent a lot of the time talking when we wished he wouldn't. This kind of behavior always bothers me. The raid leader is there for a reason. If they want your advice, or your help advising others, they'll ask for it. Otherwise, its their job to know what they're doing and how to impart that information to the other 9/24 people.

Now, Mara's gear spans a similar range (ilvl 200 to ilvl 277). I would probably die of happiness if Blizzard introduced a nice haste trinket somewhere before 25-man Rotface. Or gave us one that we could purchase for emblems. Seriously.

If we ignore the Abyssal Rune, Magetard gets a range of 219-268 and Mara jumps to 232-277. This distinction serves no purpose except to make me feel better about myself.

Anyway. When asked about his gear, Magetard simply says "Oh, you're wondering why I have Ulduar and PvP gear. :p". Well, yes. But no explanation was forthcoming.

Aioka, nooblet priest that she is, has a worse mix of gear. I have two pieces of high level hit gear, and now I have a piece of high level pvp gear. And, damnit, I will heal with them anyway. Because they are better than my current alternatives.

This is where the hypocrisy comes in.

Despite my mixed-bag of gear, Mord was willing to essentially carry Aioka through VoA-10, VoA-25, and an OS-10 zerg run. Of course, nothing priestly dropped in either VoA except for the Wrathful Gladiator's Cuffs of Dominance. Yeah, I'm using them.

When we started pugging the zerg run, one of the dps asked "Why is there a 4k gs priest in here?". Being typically wonderful, one of my guildies said "To keep you from dying". But I was still rather put out. One of the other puggees said "Well, he's doing very well."

Despite being a she, and not a he, I do try to heal my silly dorf butt off when I'm on Aioka. Mord had me healing the raid in OS while Takk was on his Shaman healing the tank. I also got to bubble the tank and hit Pain Suppression whenever I was told. I discovered that binding stuff to your middle mouse button (wheel?) is extremely annoying. Pain Suppression will be moving to a new home.

We died a lot. Mord blamed it consistently on the dps. But then... I was (apparently) taking up a dps slot. One of our charming puggees wanted to know why there were two healers to begin with. I told Mord I wouldn't be offended if he opted to replace me. I bet if I were a pugger I wouldn't stand a chance in someone else's run.

We succeeded when everyone pulled together and executed one totally awesome attempt. It's really very cool to get a chance to practice raid healing. I think its something that doesn't really get practiced. Usually a new healer just has to do it. But I have the advantage of knowing (or perhaps just believing) that if I suck too hard another healer can and will pick up my slack.

This is especially true if I'm healing with Mord; who absolutely dwarfed me in Healing Done and HPS. Haha, pun.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Getting Carried

Replaced my mother board. Finished my summer class. Should be good to go for awhile.

On Tuesday, Memento returned to TOTC-10 for a full clear. The weekly was Jaraxxus, but some of our members didn't have the achievement so we persisted. It was interesting. I've noticed a theme when we tackle TOTC. Either the Faction Champions are impossible and we essentially throw ourselves against a brick wall for an hour, or they're ridiculously easy peasy. Thankfully, we got the easy peasy variety and we were able to finish off TOTC with very little hardship.

I know there's some confusion because Blizzard was stupid enough to introduce two ridiculously similar sounding instances. Trial of the Champion (5-man dungeon) is denoted, in Maraworld, as TOC; while Trial of the Crusader (10/25 man raid) is TOTC for normal and TOTGC for heroic. Your acronyms may vary.

We went on to do Onyxia for kicks and giggles.

We met a bear-tank; he joined up as one of our pugs for TOTC and came back for Onyxia. Memento is (slowly) building a list of reliable pugs that we can call on to fill our raid slots. The goal is to eventually be able to avoid trade recruitment altogether. Trade has given us some truly horrid pugs.

On Thursday I asked for (and got) a happy-birthday-carry for Aioka in ICC. I only planned on staying for the trash for some reputation, but Mord was in for carrying Aioka through the first four bosses. She got some totally awesome, if hit-oriented, gear upgrades. I won't complain. Regardless of hit, I'd rather heal with the Sister's Handshrouds over the Moonshroud Gloves any day. Same goes for Icecrown Spire Sandals and the Aurora Slippers.

I healed most of the time. ... As a third healer. By which I mean I bubble-spammed everyone and tried not to freak out. Our trees, Hippy and Time, were doing the real healing.

I dps'ed Saurfang though. That was terrible. Militia's Rankwatch addon complained about nearly every one of my spells. Which explains why my dps sucked so hard in Heroic Halls of Stone.

And I knew, I knew, that my ui system was prone to screwing that up. It's supposed to automatically update to the highest rank of whatever spell, but it doesn't. And I neglected to check it. For like... 40 levels.

Seriously, I was using Rank 4 spells when I should be on Rank 9-13.

Anyway, after the Lower Spire, Mara replaced Aioka, no harm done.

We tackled Fester and Rotface, rolled face, etc.

Then, because we're silly, we threw ourselves against Putricide for two or three tries. It was very interesting. We made some good attempts. Got him down to about 50%. I'm sure our big problem was getting the adds down in a timely and efficient manner. I was spastic. It was "Zomg, green add! Zomg, orange add! Zomg, dps Putricide for like 4 seconds!". Rinse, repeat.

The really exciting part is that we are going to (try to) extend the raid lockout for more facerolling attempts against Putricide, Dreamwalker, and The Blood Prince Council. I have my fingers crossed. I have been wanting to try the Blood Prince fight for forever. It looks like such a fun mess.

On Friday we put together an ICC-25 pug. That was interesting. I got accused of ninja-ing loot several times. I was the loot master. I'll just let that information settle for a minute.


Yeah. We adopted similar loot rules to the ones DAY uses. The most interesting part being that Primordial Saronites and BoEs that don't get snapped up for MS use are rolled for at the end of the run. So if you leave early, you don't get to roll on them. And if you win something shiny earlier in the run, you don't get to roll on the BoE. It's an attempt to make life fair all around.

So when Lady Deathwhisper dropped some Primordial Saronite for us, the raid complained when I picked it up and put it my bag for safe keeping. Did they think I was going to leave it on the boss until the end of the run?

We laughed about it, but the pugs' inability to pay attention to simple things like loot rules made it impossible for us to make it past the first four bosses. Still, it's always an interesting trip.

The real life monster ate one of our truly awesome guild members. Timesink had to leave us, hopefully for only awhile, but possibly permanently. He will be missed, for sure. Stay sexy, Time. :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

I can haz Alt

First, a real life revisit: It was not, apparently, the ram giving my computer fits. Me using Sen's ram and Sen using my ram worked well until about an hour into last night's raid. My computer crashed right at the end of a boss fight. Awesome.

I've been told (rather consistently, though I didn't want to listen) that it's probably my motherboard. Le sigh. It will be replaced.

You are now returned to your regularly scheduled tales of noobraid.

We jammed a ton of action into Thursday night's raid. We did the weekly, VoA, and ICC. All in the same night. Crazy, right? It helps that we moved our raid time to an earlier slot. We're not as tired throughout the whole thing and it doesn't severely impact my sleep schedule if we decide to spend another hour rolling face.

Our weekly this week was Patchwerk. I was so freaking excited. You may rightfully wonder why I was so stoked to see Naxx again. It's because my priest hit 80 last week! And our intrepid raid leader allowed my nooblet Discipline priest to actually come and HEAL our weekly raid. Regardless of the heirloom mace she was still toting around.

Don't worry. Mord's not completely crazy. My healing partner was one of our awesome druids and there was another druid in the raid prepared to pick up my slack if need be.

Mord also let one of our deathknights assist with the tanking. I don't remember who was technically tank and who was technically off tank, but it worked well.

Of course, they had my awesome bubbles to keep them alive.

Hitting 80 with Aioka was a seriously great feeling. I have been hoarding gear for months; all carefully collected and crafted with a healing priest in mind. (Heinously ugly gear, unfortunately, but I guess you can't win them all.) Getting to raid with her the first week was truly icing on the cake. Also, Blade of Dormant Memories replaced my heirloom mace. More icing, pls.

Since hitting 80, I've also healed normal Forge of Souls and Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle. In many ways, Heroic Utgarde was the easier of the two. It may have helped that I had guildies in the Utgarde run and complete strangers in the FoS run. I enjoy healing for the most part. Doesn't change the fact that sometimes its quite stressful. ("OMG, STOP DIEING.") I have some oh-shit macros for when stuff goes terribly wrong. One for single target omg and one for AoE omg.

I'm starting the long, slow gear-grind of getting my first level 80 alt ready for raiding. Or, at least, I will be starting the long grind when I have a functional wow-playing system again.

After the weekly, I switched back to Mara. ... I didn't really want to. I wanted to take Aioka to VoA - just in case something priestly dropped - and I wanted to take Aioka to ICC - for the trash pulls only, Mara is already exalted with the Ashen Verdict.

Luckily, nothing priestly dropped in VoA. To be honest, I'm not sure why we're still running VoA-10. I think all of the mains have everything that could drop off of Toravon. I mean, there's pvp gear that drops to, but who would want that?

I jest. I hate pvp and make no apologies or excuses about it. It was, as I noted, the end of my dreams for What a Long, Strange Trip its Been for this year at least. Ann, though, has been experimenting with battlegrounds and stuff so I guess it must not be all bad.

No, I'm sure its all bad.

Rolling face in ICC involved taking out the Lower Spire and Festergut. We also bugged the weekly get-both-disgusting-slimes-things-on-you quest. I picked up my last piece of frosty gear. Not much else interesting; it was a very good night.

I think our biggest hurdle to progression at the moment is simply people. And not the quality or types of people we have, but the number. I bet, if we could get a solid 10-man guild run for both Tuesday and Thursday, we could do some serious damage to ICC.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Last night we again pretended to be a leading edge raiding guild and pugged one extra dps for Ruby Sanctum. We should have had an all guild run, but my computer was on the fritz. Sen insisted I go on his computer while he fought with mine.

Something in my computer hates me. We've been fiddling with driver updates for the video card(s) and the chipset and the audio card for days now. We took the whole thing apart practically and dusted it. Applied new thermal to the processor. Nothing worked.

Today Sen swapped his ram with mine and I haven't had trouble since. Which makes absolutely no sense, as our ram is identical in every way.

Just reminds me that no matter how much computer science I learn, I will never know enough.

Anyway. Enough real life. I went on Sen's computer which has none of my addons. A warlock without a DOT timer is a sad, sad thing. I tried to not suck too hard.

We succeeded over all the mini bosses, though Saviana Ragefire took us a couple of tries. We were provided with fairly basic instructions and then completely failed to follow them. This becomes a theme later on.

Being on the range dps side of things, the battle with the third mini boss was all about getting down adds. It felt more like trash than a boss fight. The tanks switched off adds and boss between each wave, so it seemed to be pretty basic for them too.

Then, swoosh, Halion appears amidst an extremely annoying camera shaking event. Mord tries to give us the rundown of the fight. There's three phases. And you need to know stuff for phase one and you need to know stuff for phase two. Then when phase three rolls around, one group needs to remember stuff from phase one and the other needs to remember stuff from phase two. (For an actual strategy of this fight, try here.)

Well, apparently, we suck at phase two. Honestly, most of what Mord tried to explain went in one ear and out the other. I'm not an auditory learner. I can remember information I've heard, but I can't apply it. Nothing really made sense until we started the fight.

This is why I try to tell people my learning curve on a fight tends towards at least three or four tries. I can read strategies, listen to phase information, watch the videos of other people doing it, but it's still not going to click for me until I've actually tried it. Put fingers to keyboard and given it the old college try.

Anyway. Phase two. We die. A lot.

At around our 2 and a half hour mark we throw in the towel. I think it amounted to 5 or 6 tries on Halion, but we were all kind of worn out by the end.

Takk and I were discussing it earlier and I have to agree with him: the problem with Ruby Sanctum is that, unless you actually defeat Halion, you get very little out of it. You get a frostie from each of the mini bosses. And that's it.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Serious Business

Memento Mori is currently the Land of Eternal Drama and I am not enjoying it. Apart from the general animosity between Mord and Batra, Militia has thrown himself into the ring. I can't imagine why, but I can attempt to explain the sequence of events as I know them.

Last Thursday
We had our first official raid leader test for electing a super official raid leader. :)

I set Sartharion with 3 Drakes as Mord's test. Mord was welcome to choose any strategy, any mix of players, tanks, healers, whatever he wanted. I would have liked to have seen it done the "real" way, in which the drakes get off-tanked and killed one by one.

But Mord opted for the zerg strategy and I did my job and we won. We almost all died, but we won. I was decently happy with the results. I was also (I think) the last person to die before Sarth himself.

Anyway, the council voted and Mord is official now. We didn't include very much pomp and/or circumstance in the promotion. Just a general "huzzah!".

Previously, Batra had told me that Militia expressed an interest in becoming the Death Knight class leader. So I stated talking to Batra about the idea. I have done a minuscule amount of research into DK stats, rotations, gems and enchants. Minuscule. Really.

But I gave the information I gleaned to Batra, because I knew he was regemming some of his gear. Thursday night I noticed he picked up a new meta gem, but it wasn't the one that I'd read was most recommended. So I asked him about it and got "Militia said use this one."

So, while I was in a council-y sort of mood Thursday night, I told Batra that I was slightly concerned about the information he was getting from Militia.

Apparently this is where everything went to hell.

Batra went back to Militia (evidently) about the meta gems, because the next thing I know is that Militia is talking on vent about the merits of Crit metas vs. Agility metas. And at the end of the day... I don't care. Especially since I'd already discussed both gems with Batra and I told him that I would talk to Militia about it if I felt I needed to.

It bothers me that the conversation about DK nonsense and the quality of Militia's information that I was having with Batra did not remain a conversation between me and Batra.

There. That's out there.

Because now that Militia thinks the quality of his information is in doubt, we have been the fortunate recipients of "I know my shit" posts on the forums of our guild website. Awesome.

On Tuesday we pretended that we were a cutting-edge raiding guild and pugged Ruby Sanctum. It was pretty terrible actually. We died on trash a lot. We lost some tanks and some dps and had to re-pug.

We got lucky with our second pug tank. We managed to pull together and find some strategies for the trash groups. We succeeded! For awhile.

We one-shot the first mini-boss or whatever. One our trees pulled him on accident, and we still succeeded. Yay.

Then our tank dropped. Had to go do something with his guild. It was super lame.

But overall, I had a good time. For the time ever - EVER - I was in the new content the night it was released and it was awesome and I felt awesome and even though we got very little accomplished it was an amazing experience.

Then we re-pugged for our ICC10 run. Not as amazing.

I remember we had a hunter. I think the hunter started with us in RS because Militia really wanted him to go away before the ICC run. And he was pretty terribad if I remember correctly.

But. Some cloak dropped in ICC. It had agility on it. The hunter rolled. Batra rolled. Batra rolled higher. I gave it to Batra and here's where thing's get a little sticky.

The cloak (Agility, Expertise, and some other stuff) was not an upgrade for the hunter. At least, that's what I've been told. It was, however, a main-spec roll to which we generally give preference to over off-spec rolls. Batra was in his unholy dps spec which, as I understand it, does not rely on expertise. I believe he has a cloak with Strength and other stuff on it for that spec. So... technically, while Batra wants to switch his main-spec to Dual-wielding Frost, that wasn't the spec he was running in at the time.

Do we really want to get into what should main-spec/off-spec when both specs are dps? Sounds like a mess to me.

And frankly, it never fails to blow my mind that DKs actually want agility on some of their pieces.

Blows my mind.

Anyway. The hunter complained. I told him Batra rolled for it as well and it was clear that he rolled higher. Mord didn't appreciate this either and went on a mini-rant of how DKs do not need agility and agility is clearly a hunter stat and DKs should never roll on agility gear.

Militia seemed to take this particularly personally. Ensue massive debate. Begin large amounts of "The top dps dks of <wherever the f-nonsense> do it this way" and "Well, here's a billion online resources that say they're wrong".

It's rough.

I'm tired of it.

It seems to me that our biggest problem is that both Mord and Militia take these debates and disagreements personally. And once one of them starts to get offended the "I've been doing this a long time. I'm a ba raider and I know what I'm talking about." arrogance shows up out of nowhere. That starts to make everybody mad and everyone sounds like a jerk.

A calmer night by far. Some people were missing, so we kept it simple. Weekly, VoA, Mord did Amphitheater with my priest and Takk's rogue. It was good stuff.

Militia says he's been having a hard time dealing with some of the tards we've pugged with recently. I think, in our quest to ignore GS, we've also started to ignore some truly noobish behavior. If we're to enforce our "appropriate gear" guidelines for guildies, it needs to be the same for pugs. If our guild members can't show up in half pvp-gear with bizarre enchants then neither can non-guildies.

I don't think it has to be a matter of "we will only take well-geared players to our raids". But it would be nice to have a "we will only take non-tards to our raids".

In the interest of this initiative, Militia posted a "Red Flags when looking for pugs" where everyone can drop a little bit of their own personal knowledge of what to look for in their own class. I think it's a neat exercise. I stopped to remember some of the really nooby things I did when leveling my warlock. For example, I used Demon Armor constantly. It didn't matter what was going on or what situation I was in. I did not discover the awesomeness of Fel Armor until probably level 78. And now I know from experience that a level 80 warlock who wants to raid wouldn't touch Demon Armor with a 10-foot pole.

It's a nice feeling, being able to share little nuggets of knowledge like that.