PUGs – Petoholics Anonymous http://wow.wolfdragon.net Because you can never have too many pets Sat, 16 Nov 2013 15:57:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 1574202 I am a ninja and a “theif” http://wow.wolfdragon.net/2011/11/i-am-a-ninja-and-a-theif/ http://wow.wolfdragon.net/2011/11/i-am-a-ninja-and-a-theif/#comments Sun, 27 Nov 2011 18:33:50 +0000 http://wow.wolfdragon.net/?p=1293 At least according to one death knight that I met last night. Here’s the setting: I finally got up my courage to try tanking on my undead DK Iyocene and it turns out that I’m not too bad at it. At least I haven’t gotten anyone killed so far and I can mostly hold aggro. So I’m running through BC dungeons with my friend on his mage and somewhere along the way we picked up a hunter that liked spamming the queues with us. We get into Sethekk Halls with another DK and some random dps and healer. The run goes fairly smoothly as usual, with the only death being the healer when said DK pulls 3 groups when I’m not ready at all.

Talon King Ikiss, the end boss, hits the dirt pretty fast and coughs up a shiny plate belt.

Deathforge Girdle

I’m still wearing this belt.

The Plaguebringer's Girdle

Since this has a nice chunk of stamina and those gem sockets, I naturally assume that it would be perfect for both my dps and tanking sets. The other DK and I both roll need on it and I win it. Little did I know that this was where the fun would start. I’ve provided a screenshot of the conversation (with handy annotations!) for your viewing pleasure.


I almost feel sorry for the guy. He was either truly convinced that the belt was solely for a DPS, or he was just a very poor loser. I wonder if he realizes that he’ll be replacing all his gear with Wrath greens in a couple levels…

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In Raiding News… http://wow.wolfdragon.net/2011/11/in-raiding-news/ http://wow.wolfdragon.net/2011/11/in-raiding-news/#comments Tue, 01 Nov 2011 19:53:33 +0000 http://wow.wolfdragon.net/?p=1288 So it occurred to me that after my post about a non-guild raid group, I should give everyone an update. Since blogs are suppose to be updated on a regular basis… *cough*

Anyways, let me start at the beginning. I began by scraping most of the requirements that I had listed previously and wrote up a simple macro to spam in General chat.

Want to raid but don’t want to leave your non-raiding guild? Tired of PUGs and want to raid at the same time every week? I’m putting together a regular raid group for people who want to have crazy fun while killing big bad bosses. PST for more info

I was actually surprised by the turn out that I got. After using it irregularly for only two weekday evenings and a Saturday, I got 7 people who were interested in the idea as well as the weekend raiding times. So I set up the first raid for that Sunday and between them and my guild, I had 16 confirmed players.

We ended up clearly all but Chimaeron and Nef in BWD on the first time. I had to sheepishly admit over Mumble that I hadn’t read the strats for half of the bosses because I didn’t want to go in with high expectations in case we failed, so I had assumed we wouldn’t get this far this fast.

Chimaeron proved to be a thorn in our side as it took us 3 raid nights to get him down. But every night everyone agreed that they wanted me to carry over the raid lockout so we could make our attempts again and again. It was a relief for everyone to finally see him die.

It was still early in the night and everyone was in high spirits so we continued onto Nef. This also took us several tries for several reasons: switching which tank goes on which boss (hey, maybe a pally would be better for Ony since she has a shadow debuff!), switching out players because my healer fell asleep mid-pull (WTF?), a tank learning that you need to constantly be moving when kiting the adds on phase 3 (oops, my bad), etc. Because of the player switches, I ended up bring Saraku to tank, which I was perfectly happy with because Niqora had already gotten the achievement anyways.

Each time we were making progress though, until he finally keeled over and gave up his dragon-flavored loot. Which was a good thing too because Kazi (who had been healing me) had died and I was out of cooldowns. I <3 Kazi’s shammy heals. Plus I think he died because I dragged us through Nef’s flame breath but THAT’S BESIDES THE POINT.

We have killed the dragon! ...Again. Was Blackwing Lair merely a setback?

We have killed the dragon! ...Again. Was Blackwing Lair merely a setback?

So now that BWD is done and over with, we’ll be continuing to BoT this weekend and see how far we get. I suppose it’s back to reading strats for me.

Things that I’ve learned from this:

  • MS/OS/Greed rolls are the way to go. If only the items that dropped were useful for anyone. (Cloth drops when we have a single mage who’s geared to the teeth. Why, RNG?)
  • Generally I’m pretty open with varied strategies but sometimes I need to set my foot down. On Chimaeron, I was originally going to go with a Break tank and an offtank that takes the Double Attacks. The tanks didn’t like this idea because of all the taunting and wanted to try taking 4 breaks/switching or taking 1 break/switching. That didn’t work out so well because the tanks kept dying. >.< Eventually I insisted on my strat and it worked out. Not to say I R RAID LEADER, I IS ALWAYS RITE because lord knows 9 heads can be better than 1.
  • I can’t multitask. Or at least not very well. Trying to call out when to taunt on Chimaeron, calling out when to collapse for System Failure, and dpsing at the same time does not work. I have to let others take responsibility sometimes.
  • Everyone will be whispering me when it comes to raid invites. EVERYONE.
  • I’m expected to know everything about every encounter, including trash. What, do I look like some sort of leader to you people? >.> Unfortunately with my poor memory, it’s impossible for me to retain all the information I just read and we will be essentially winging it the first time. Once I know how to “do by doing”, life gets a lot easier.
  • I’ve never been nitpicky over talents and gear, and I will generally bring anyone who wants to fill a slot. However, I have found some limits. A death knight tanking in all PvP gear? Sorry, no. A warrior tank alt in blue gear because “this character could actually use the upgrades”? Also no. Maybe it seems callous and I shouldn’t be picky but what I’m worried about here is the fun AND success of the raid as a whole. Wiping over and over again because of bad gear is not going to get us anywhere.
  • You can find some freaking awesome people this way. There’s a healer who insisted at the beginning that she wasn’t geared enough and should probably be replaced, but she has been fantastic at her job and a pleasure to play with. She has also signed up and shown up on time for every raid so far. I want to keep her forever.
  • Our mage refuses to die, even when I order him to just wipe it. Except when he’s kiting adds, then he dies all the time! (Still love you, Keys.)

Things that I still need to work on:

  • I may need to get better at scheduling regular breaks and making sure people know that there shouldn’t be AFKs in between. Or I at least need to get people to TELL me when they’re going AFK. Seriously, is it too hard to type “brb bio” or “brb baby”?
  • Getting some folks to sign and be on time is still a bit of a trial. :-/ Unfortunately (or fortunately), I haven’t had any people warming the bench to take their places. At least it hasn’t lead to any drama yet.
  • It can be really hard at times to keep everyone’s spirits up. What can I do short of breaking out into a comical song about how we should keep trying again and again?
  • I’ve had both non-guild and guild members who have signed up multiple times and not showed altogether. I should probably just not invite the non-guild people again but what about the guildies?
  • I’ve got to learn a better way of absorbing strats. So far Tankspot videos have not been cutting it.

As a side note, I’ll be participating in NaNoWriMo for the first time ever so I think it’s safe to say that I won’t be posting here much, if at all, in the month of November. Nice to know for once that I’ll be busy ahead of time, eh?

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Living in the moment http://wow.wolfdragon.net/2010/09/living-in-the-moment/ http://wow.wolfdragon.net/2010/09/living-in-the-moment/#comments Thu, 16 Sep 2010 18:08:18 +0000 http://wow.wolfdragon.net/?p=971 I’ve seen a lot of bloggers reminiscing these days, about WotLK, about TBC, about Vanilla WoW and all sorts of other things. Others have been looking towards the future that is Cataclysm, with thoughts and opinions that range all over the map. Now don’t get me wrong, I like to look back on my own memories and how things were. And I’m excited/nervous for Cataclysm just like everyone else. But right now, I’m happy with the game at this exact moment.

Being a TBC baby, I’m certain that I see things differently than those who have been around since Vanilla, or those who only started playing in WotLK. If I wanted to wave my old lady cane around, I could talk about the times when us hunters didn’t have Aspect of the Viper as we leveled. Or how paladins would have to reapply their blessings every 10 seconds because they’d lose them whenever they used a judgement. Or how about even much more recently, in the time before they nerfed Halls of Reflection, when me tanking on Saraku and Kazi healing were one of the few tank/healer combos that could actually get past the first two bosses on heroic? /flex

Does this mean that I grumble about how they’ve made things easier for all of those newbies that have since joined the game. Of course not, because what right do I have to steal their fun away? If they had kept paladins the same, I probably would have never rolled Saraku. In fact, I did roll a blood elf paladin back in TBC and abandoned her at level 14 when I grew sick of having to rebuff myself after every judgement. Why shouldn’t hunters get Aspect of the Viper early on when they’re just going to have to learn how to use it down the road? And thank god they made HoR easier because it took weeks before I was able to bring Niqo in there; we just couldn’t find other tanks/healers that could do it.

Dungeons Galore

The LFD system also seems to have people reminiscing about the good old days, where it took you time to get a group together and you bonded during the whole experience, wipes and all. I remember those times a lot differently. I remember being terrified to go into a dungeon because I was worried that I’d make some huge mistake and everyone would be mad at me. I would be scorned as “that huntard” for accidentally pulling a pack of mobs. So I never really grouped with anyone. Before Niqo reached level 70 in TBC, she had maybe been to 3 dungeons in her entire career. And I’m fairly certain that for at least two of those, I had to be persuaded by my friends. Even once at level 70, I believe I stepped into another 3 dungeons at the requests of my guildmates in Bloodriver.

It wasn’t until WotLK came out and I felt well-protected by Bloodriver that I began to venture more into dungeons. I despised pugs back then, almost only running instances with an all-guild group. I remember there being a core of us 5 officers tentatively toeing our way into heroics in our quest greens and blues. We eventually got our piece-mail epics, almost none of them tier gear until we started raiding Naxx about the time Ulduar came out. I recall guild members scheduling “badge runs” where they would spend all day running as many heroics as they could (because of flight times back then).

Then the LFD system came out and with it the opportunity to run dungeons faster, thereby acquiring badges faster. Kazi and I paired up and threw ourselves into random after random. Our Naxx gear was replaced with tier 9 in a matter of about 3 days. Strangely enough, these randoms were the beginning of my confidence boost. I was having to play with people I didn’t even know and…I wasn’t screwing up. The strategies for each dungeon were becoming second nature by now; I could actually make my own way through them without getting hopelessly lost. And for half of them, I wasn’t some faceless DPS in the back, I was the freaking tank! I, who would have huddled in a corner and cries if someone asked me to run a dungeon two years before, was now leading a group of complete strangers through a dungeon and deftly keeping the attention of packs of mobs on myself so the rest of the group lived. You have no idea how much of a change this has been for me.

Now I find myself being more drawn to the LFD system than ever. I have two characters, a warrior tank and a disc priest, who I am leveling up solely through random dungeons. You may think that I’m completely nuts but I am now getting to see all the dungeons I missed, either by being right there in the middle of all the chaos or standing back and observing the quirks of different mobs and bosses as I toss my bubbles around. When the rest of the group is silent, I can take the opportunity to note the music and the beauty of the surroundings. And when they are chatting, I have the chance to joke around with them and meet some interesting people. If there’s someone I don’t like and never want to group with again, it’s a simple matter of putting them on ignore and not giving them a second thought. There is no requirement to be nice to an arsehole simply because they’re on the same server as me and I don’t want to accidentally piss the wrong person off.

Quite a few bloggers have also been dismayed at the fast pace of the dungeons. Me, I revel in it. If I wanted to do something slower, I’d casually quest or go herb picking. A quick dungeon is more exciting to me and provides a little bit of variety. Will I get Zul’Farrak this time, which is quickly turning into one of my favorite instances? Or will it be another Maraudon where those damn oozes will burst my priesty bubbles in a matter of seconds? The speed always keeps me on my toes and teaches me to actually use more of my cooldowns. Yet it doesn’t have the randomness and utter chaos of PvP so I can take a second or two to plan ahead for the next pack of trash mobs. And those particular mobs will always operate the same way so I can hold their strategies in my head for the next time. I’m also better able at gauging the limit of the tank or healer that I’m with, and what classes need breaks for mana here or a little extra help on a particular boss there.

All in all, I think that the LFD system has made me a better player. It’s given me the opportunity to expand my horizons. Before I would only play hunters because they were some of the best at questing solo and that’s what I mostly did. But now I can try out different tanking and healer classes and by queuing for randoms over and over again, I actually am able to practice and learn that particular role. So say what you want about it (and I won’t deny that it could stand to use some improvements) but I am one person that’s enjoying the LFD system as it is. 🙂

How they were and are and could be

Years back, I was going to be heading off to a camp for a couple weeks in the summer and my mom asked me what I thought it would be like and if I was excited to go. I simply looked at her and said “I’m not assuming anything about it, I’m just going to see if I like it or not when it happens.” This may seem a little unemotional and cold but I keep trying to view things that way. Like I said before, I’m perfectly content with the way WoW is now. And I was perfectly content with it back in TBC too. Things change, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worst, but I make my best attempt to just go with it. With all these changes happening in Cata, I’m perfectly fine with just waiting to see how they turn out. I’m sure I’ll like some and hate others. I’ll adapt to them as I did before, or I’ll join the other bloggers who talk about the good old days…or maybe I’ll even quit WoW and move onto something else. Change is simply change, folks, whether it’s good or bad is a matter of opinion. I personally am going to keep on trucking until Cata hits and a whole new world of opportunities opens to us. I have too many things I want to do now that there’s barely any room to think of Cata stuff!

And when that time comes, when Azeroth as we know it is torn asunder…I’ll just be living in that moment instead.

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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly http://wow.wolfdragon.net/2010/02/the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/ http://wow.wolfdragon.net/2010/02/the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/#comments Wed, 17 Feb 2010 20:51:57 +0000 http://wow.wolfdragon.net/?p=832 We’ve all heard the stories about pugs, even long before they implemented the new LFG tool. I’ll admit that I had never really pugged until the tool was introduced. If I wanted to do heroics, I just asked my guild and my friends to see who wanted to come along. More often than not, it was them convincing me to do some heroics. But since they added the LFG tool, I’ve been pugging a hell of a lot more.

There have been some bad ones, as I’m sure everyone has experienced. Xerin talked about some of his in the Ten Ton Hammer WoW newsletter, The Overpull. And poor Lodur over at World of Matticus has had some doozies.

My own experiences…well, I’ve had some interesting ones. Most often, we get that one dps who’s pulling 3-digit figures in Recount. But as long as they don’t start pulling mobs ahead of the tank, I usually don’t care. I’ve had a couple bad tanks or healers, including one that asked if our druid tank (aka my guild leader) had the right gear to be def-capped. (Pssst, druid tanks get all their defense from talents, ya moron.) He seemed to be having trouble healing the druid which I thought was strange because not only had I had no problem healing him before, but at the time he was also one of our best geared characters in the guild. And this was just H-CoS.

Surprisingly, I’ve had the worst experience with pugs that are below 80. For example, my little warrior Tuyok along with Kazi’s little warrior and another guildie on his druid decided to pug SFK. Kazi was the tank and our druid offered to heal but let us know that he had never done it before. A pugged pally that joined us was specced ret but said that she would heal because “i no wat im doing”. After some discussion, our druid ended up healing anyways. And he did a pretty good job all things considered. However, the paladin…kept pulling off Kazi somehow. For the entire instance. We still managed to make it to Argul without much incident. We nearly wiped on him because of some bad coordination but managed to kill him in the end. After the paladin had left group, we checked Recount just out of curiosity. Hand of Reckoning, which is the pally single target taunt, was 30% of her dps.

Let me reiterate that. A dps paladin used her taunt as part of her rotation. Either she was completely ignorant of what it did or she was an idiot. Either way, I was completely blown away. And this was the person who said that they knew what they were doing.

Then there was the pug that, in my opinion, was good and bad. It was H-HoL, with me on Niqo, Kazi on his pally tank, and our two fury warrior friends Jorgath and Barashi. All we needed was a healer so we decided to pug one out. We get a priest who quickly switches from his dps spec and clothes into his healing set up. Soon we’re all set to go and Kazi starts pulling. We quickly figure out that something is very wrong. The priest is barely healing Kazi, nevermind the rest of us. By the time we kill the second boss, we have learned that this priest has not only not healed before but is entirely not ready for it. Sure he has a holy spec…which does not have the 51-point talent and has things like 5 points in Darkness in the Shadow tree (which increased Shadow spell damage). He is also dressed in almost all greens, including some gear that has stats like strength and agility. We all shudder.

We could have kicked him. We were sure talking about it over vent. But from the way he was talking, I could tell this guy was a new player and it had probably never occurred to him to research his class. He had most likely fumbled his way up to level 80 solo with a lot of dying and no one to help him. What can I say…I took pity on him. Barashi had a level 40-ish priest he was leveling and as such, was the only person who had any kind of expertise on priests. So we started teaching him. Barashi covered the priest specific parts while the rest of us filled in the general information of how a group operates. He took all this information to heart and with complete soberness. Never did he talk to us with disrespect because he thought we were lecturing him. In fact, he thanked us numerous times for the advice.

The next few pulls showed some noticeable improvement in his healing but it was obvious that he just didn’t have the gear or the practice to heal us through to the end. So I jumped on Saraku and switched him to Holy. We gave the priest a task: to stay in his healing gear and spec and practice healing Barashi. And I will say that he did his job. His reaction time was still a little slow but I had to throw almost no heals on Barashi except on the last boss. We finished by reminding him to clean up his Holy spec and to get gear that was meant for his class. He thanked us again, and then we went our separate ways.

The priest wasn’t even from our server, there would have been no repercussions from kicking him and getting another healer. But…I dunno, it didn’t seem right to do that. It felt good to see him improve from our advice and to know that he was lucky to have landed with us. Who else would have been patient enough with him? I can only hope that he’s out there somewhere in better gear and a proper spec, healing up a storm in heroics and the like.

With all of this said, the majority of my pug experiences have been good. A lot of them are fast and pretty quiet, speed-farming their badges just like us. We have the 15-minute H-AN down to a science now with a good group. Kazi and I met a kitty druid on our server during a pug, who was so impressed by our healer-tank duo (with me tanking on Saraku) that he told us once “I’m going to glue myself to your shoe.” He has since accompanied us on numerous random runs when we’re looking for a solid dps and has made his way onto my friend’s list. A pair in the same guild from another server joined us for a random through H-UK and were nice enough to comment at the end that it had been the smoothest heroic they had been through yet.

Our friendly attitude might have been part of it on that last run. I squeed with glee in party chat as I always do when Kazi hexes the rider off his drake on the way to the last boss. And I proceeded to tell them how I make him do that every time we’re in there, which they chuckled at. What can I say? I’m easily amused sometimes. >.>

All in all, it’s been my experience that there has been more Good than Bad and Ugly when it comes to pugs. The LFG tool has certainly made it a lot easier for me to get emblems. And the teleport to dungeon feature is absolutely divine. Even if no one says a word the entire time, all I want is to get the bosses down in a efficient and timely manner. Meeting some cool people far overshadows the few idiots I’ve come across. Then again…maybe I’m just lucky. 😉

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And when you’re dead I will be still alive http://wow.wolfdragon.net/2009/05/and-when-youre-dead-i-will-be-still-alive/ http://wow.wolfdragon.net/2009/05/and-when-youre-dead-i-will-be-still-alive/#comments Thu, 14 May 2009 19:08:52 +0000 http://wow.wolfdragon.net/?p=415 (Yes, I am still hooked on the Portal song >.>)

The other day a member of Carpe Jugulum (a guild that Bloodriver has an alliance with) was leveling an alt and asked in our common channel is anyone had a character that they wanted to take to RFC. I remembered my dragonling pally Sarauku so I logged onto him and we both got started gathering the quests for that dungeon. In the end the group fell apart and I didn’t get my run that night but I rediscovered how much I love playing Saraku. So since then, I’ve basically been doing dailies on Niqora and then logging onto Saraku for the rest of the night.

While questing with him one of these nights, I got into LFG for Ragefire and merrily checked all the role boxes (even though he’s specced Prot, he can still heal and DPS at level 14, right?) It wasn’t very long before I was invited into a group of a warlock and a druid healer, who asked if I could tank. Which was perfect because I want to learn to tank on the dragonling. A rogue joins and then gets his shammy friend invited as well.

First pull in the instance…is not by me, but the rogue. Okay, whatever, maybe he stealthed a little too close. Only the next pull is the same. And the next. And the next. Not only that but I’m fighting for aggro with the shammy as well. This is my first time tanking and they’re not dying so I chalk it up to my inexperience. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong as I’m using Righteous Defense whenever I can but I keep going and don’t say anything.

Then the shammy yells out “AM I ONLY F***ING TANK IN THIS GROUP?” Which wouldn’t have been so bad if I hadn’t iterated several times that I was going to be tanking. As I’m remembering why I don’t like pugging, I calmly respond with “I’m tanking but I’m having some trouble holding aggro against you.”

A couple minutes later, the rogue and the shammy are still pulling aggro from me but not as often. Well, I’ll take what I can get. Then the shammy has to leave. The rest of us decide to try and 4-man it. Now the rogue is really pulling everything, even if the healer has no mana. Does no one watch their healer’s mana bar? Then the rogue manages to pull a nice big group when neither the healer or me are ready. He takes a couple good whacks that bring his health way down and has the nerve to call for me for help. He manages to survive thanks to the quick thinking druid but I give him the warning “You pull it, you tank it.”

Of course that doesn’t stop him from pulling anyways but by this time, I’m getting pretty good at figuring out when to taunt and use my other abilities so I’m tanking most of the time. Nonetheless, I’m still getting really irritated by him.

We kill Bazzalan with only my poor dragonling dying (it was no one’s fault, the healer just had a lag spike) so I get rezzed and as I’m drinking and eating, I see the rogue sidle up to the ledge right over top of Jergosh. Oooooh, I can just see the tiny gears in his brain turning. He wants to jump right on top of Jergosh. Saraku’s bars are all full up so I walk over beside the rogue to peer down as well, and the rest of the group joins us.

Do you think the rogue asks if we should do this, or even asks me to go first? Nope, of course not. He stealths and jumps off the ledge. He’s lucky and lands without the boss noticing him. But he doesn’t wait for the rest of us, oh no. He attacks Jergosh and his two cronies all on his own. The druid and the warlock aren’t moving an inch so I’m not moving either. Then finally, right before the rogue dies, he asks for some help. Only then do I jump down and try to get aggro off of him but of course it’s too little too late and the rogue dies. And releases because he’s certain it’s a wipe without his pwnage.

We kill Jergosh and his pals. And between frantically clicking on mobs to make sure that the rest of us didn’t die, not only did I not notice that the rogue had released but I accidently right-clicked Jergosh’s corpse (in all honesty, I did not mean to).

All in all, Saraku got Subterranean Cape and quite a few greens which was nice. Personally, I had my first tanking experience…and got some first hand knowledge of what it’s like to be the tank of a crappy group. Oh well, tis life.

P.S. If all my references to “dragonling” are confusing, I roleplay Saraku as the humanoid version of Niqora’s netherdrake. He doesn’t have any uber powers or anything (just noting that for you RP natzis 😛 ) and he can’t transform back into a dragon while in Azeroth due to the lack of nether energies (although he amusingly turns semi-transparent at the most inopportune times. Makes for some great RP)

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