Thursday, December 16, 2010

Things are Shiny

I had to wait a couple of days to start Cataclysm, so this marks MY FIRST WEEK in the new expansion. Of course, I'm having an absolute blast. With this also being the end of the semester - also the end of school, period, for awhile - I can drag the fiance back into Azeroth with me. He's not quite as excited as I am, but that doesn't mean we haven't had tons of fun.

This post is broken up into sections, mostly for my own wandering train of thought.

-Mara and Sen are Coming Down the Mountain
-Aioka is Sinking into Vashj'ir
-Under Construction
-Blog Woes
-A. D. Temple's Azeroth

-Mara and Sen are Coming Down the Mountain

My fiance plays an Arcane Mage, Senach. I like to say its proof that Mages and Warlocks can get along... sometimes. Leveling as two casters might sound like a goofy, inefficient idea but we've had 80 (now 82) levels of practice.

I level almost exclusively as Demonology. So we have Flaag, my mighty felguard, to do some tanking if we run into trouble. Sen cranks out the big numbers so things die quickly. I supply the slow damage for adds or extra mobs and the healing for the tank.

Occasionally, if we come up against a "Kill X number of mobs", we'll split up and each tackle half the group separately. Usually, though, we prefer to kill things and experience the quests together.

However, that didn't stop Sen from continuing on while Mara played with some new friends:

Sooooo Cute!

What have they been feeding you?

He does tricks!

I am NOT rubbing that belly!

We did catch up shortly after that to check this place out:

-Aioka is Sinking into Vashj'ir

Meanwhile, Aioka was leveling through the aquarium underwater world of Vashj'ir. In some ways, its a complete nightmare. Full 3D environments and I don't always mix well. Occasionally, when something is attacking me from afar I just have to sit and eat the first bolts of damage just to see where they are coming from.

On the other hand, I think the storyline in Vashj'ir is better than Mount Hyjal. It has great continuity through each of the three sections of Vashj'ir, its deeply engaging, and it actually creates a world where you care about the NPCs around you.

The most common complaint about Vashj'ir that I've heard is that there are too many gathering quests. I can understand the frustration. Having Aioka out on her own means I don't have to share gathering quests with anyone else. And the only one that I found was truly terrible was Fish Lure.

My biggest complaint about Vashj'ir is that, if you're strictly following the storyline, you won't hit the Throne of Tides until the very end. It's extremely impactful that way, but a little less on exposure to the new dungeons.

My first group in the Throne of Tides was worth the wait. Our tank was level 80 and extremely squishy, but the druid healer was on the ball. Most of the time. I went in as a DPS and I am actually more scared now to try healing that I was before. I ran out of mana faster than the healer did. Very frightening. But my Hymn of Hope saw some use. I used my bubble when I thought it might be useful. And I used bandages and health potions on myself to ease the healer's mind.

Didn't stop the squishy tank from dying a lot. But between me, a hunter, and a shaman we were able to bounce aggro around enough to keep all of from eating big damage and the healer kept us alive long enough to kill things.

On trash, its kind of insignificant.

On a boss, its a trip and a half. On one boss, the tank went down at 70%. We dps bounced it around until 4%. Our totally awesome druid healer took it down the rest of the way. It was amazing. I'm not sure I've ever seen anything quite like it.

-Under Construction

Some of you might have noticed that this is OP's second major make-over this year. Memento's guild site is under similar construction. We've been trying to get things shaped up for the new expansion. Not that we're anywhere near raiding, yet, but I've think we've got several things to decide on and hammer out before we're ready to tackle anything.

Memento essentially floundered its way through Wrath. Never having a complete 10-man group it was difficult (at best) to accomplish things. For some reason or another, none of our recruits really hung around very long and I think this is something the guild needs to discuss. Being as small as we are, I think we can arrange an all-guild meeting to discuss where we want to go and what we want to be doing.

Additionally, with most of our members in college, it's difficult to determine a night and time where everyone is available. I'm trying to find out at the moment how many nights a week everyone is interested in raiding. It seems obvious to be that our once-a-week attempts at ICC were fairly ineffective. Now, however, several of members have graduated and have their evenings free. Hopefully, we can find more than one night that fits into everyone's schedule.

Memento's distribution of responsibilities is almost nonexistent. Our GM is mostly hands off and everything goes through the Council. As a single body, the Council is expected to accomplish or delegate anything that needs to be done. However, Council members are pretty lax in both identifying things that need to be accomplished and... accomplishing them.

I took it upon myself (maybe rightly, maybe wrongly) to make changes to the Guild Website. Frankly, I think it looked terrible and the forum system is a bit unwieldy (my fault, since I designed it the first time) and Ann and I were just generally dissatisfied with it.

As far as that goes, Ann and I weren't totally sure we'd be sticking with wowstead. If you have a suggestion for a new/different/better guild website provider I would be delighted to hear it.

-Blog Woes

Closer to home, we have the updates here. I think that my dissatisfaction with how my blog looks has a lot to do with my... not knowing what I want to do with it. OP started with a specific purpose - to talk about how I, being level capped for the first time, was handling the multi-faceted beast that is raiding. That was almost a year ago.

Now, I can talk about being level capped for the second time. I could talk about my happy-meal-sized guild and how it handles the transition from Wrath raiding to Cataclysm raiding. I can talk about having a priest as my primary raider. I can talk about Marariel and her adventures in solo'ing/duo'ing content.

I could branch out some with some projects. I could level some tanks and/or some more healers and see where that takes me. I could include some story/fanfiction elements.

My demonology guide was well received. I could scour the internet resources and put together a few more.

What would you like to see?

-A. D. Temple's Azeroth

My first project that I would like to introduce is called A. D. Temple's Azeroth. A. D. Temple is a renown historian from the story I occasionally get to work on. He travels the world investigating historical sites, writes books about the ancient gods and goddesses, and provides assistance to a particular team of cartographers, mostly just for fun.

What I'd like to do is a profile of each zone in Azeroth. I plan to talk about its history, its recent changes (omg, cataclysm), its settlements and people. I have no idea if other people will find this interesting or not. At the least it will be interesting for me and I hope to learn a lot about the world we all (virtually) live in.

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