Eyy eyy eyy. I'm segWAY, but you can call me JT (as does everyone else.) I enjoy gaming on my PS3, XBOX 360, and various other consoles, but gaming is only a bit of who I really am. If you want to know more, the message button is only a scroll or two away :D.
About a month ago, I downloaded a nice little $1.99 iPhone App called Sporcle. It's premise was simple: "Hours of Trivia Entertainment!" You pick a topic, and answer as many questions you can in the time alotted. For example, there is a game for all of the powers from 1^1 to 10^10. There are games that test your movie and TV trivia, such as naming all of the surnames of the characters of LOST. There are even the somewhat bizarre games, such as naming all of the Big Mac ingredients.
Fast forward to present-day, and I can tell you what those answers are. I can tell you every Harry Potter spell, I can tell you what the famous British Authors of the last 5 centuries are. I can tell you every fucking book in the Bible, Old Testament and New.
If you want to know information that could possibly be useful, or make you look intellectual in front of friends or the opposite gender, but this little two dollar app. NOW.
((Please see bottom for asterisk notes, if you are unfamiliar with some terminology))
Toolagged was an amazing guild. First off, they were the 5th or 6th top guild on the Alliance side at WotLK, but previously in BC they were established as 5th or 6th on the whole server, so I knew that they were still serious, but they all have had a hardcore experience and they know what they were doing. Second off, from the moment I got in the guild, they were friendly (in the BMR sort of way) to me, which was a major plus. I knew I would be with <toolagged> as long as I could.
There was a GM named Ra (Warrior), a 2nd in command, Ambrya (Paladin) and several officers that I just can't think of their names right now!
Our raids were something else. We accomplished more than Upper Echelon usually did, and with less strictness. When I think of this, something really sticks out in my mind. We were doing the achievement [The Twilight Zone (25 man)] (This was the patch before Ulduar, so this was technically the hardest achievement to do except for the 10 man counterpart. There was no "zerg" strategy back then*). We were set. The reason this sticks out in my memory is that about 15 of us sung "Fuck You Gently" by Tenacious D while we were doing this, and the song ended just as we killed Sartharion.
I was laughing constantly. I was accomplishing something in World of Warcraft. My school grades were bangin' (and still are, to all you "WoWers don't have a life" people!). I was surrounded by great people. This is where I consider my "2nd" Epitome to be, but an Epitome is just the top, you can't get any further up.
Some of the officers were arguing. We weren't getting enough progression when the new raid instance (Ulduar) came up. We weren't accomplishing anything anymore. I don't know why or how it happened, but most of our core members either quit the game at that point, or they went to another, more serious, more timestraining, more progressive guild, <Prodigy>. There lies the end of <toolagged> as I know it. I didn't want to join <Prodigy>, because I knew if I put more time into the game, something would have to give, and that would probably be my grades, my highest priority. So again, I was left guildless, looking for a home.
So I did something I thought I would never do. I leveled another character. This time, it was a Horde rogue named Sanguini, on the Earthen Ring realm, because I heard that there was a VERY (2-4000 people) large guild on that server. There was a guild there named <alea iacta est> (AIE). I leveled him to 80 within 2-3 months, and started the gearing process all over again. AIE had many members at 80, roughly 900 or so, so I figured I could find a good group or two. Now, being in a large guild, I was BOUND to meet some newbies (which isn't derrogatory, just means new) or some baddies (they're just bad). I got geared and was ready for raids.
Some profiling on AIE. The guild was created by two podcasters (of "The Instance"), Maui (Priest) and Gerp (Hunter.) There are many children, many adults, many mature, many immature. Most of the people I know in AIE were kind of afraid to make PUGs (Pick up Groups, basically a group with random people), which kind of made me curious, because I believed that many groups in the guild to be just that, glorified PUGs. I was half wrong on that. When I grouped with other people on the server, they were nice, normal, happy-go-lucky people. But when I joined AIE, there felt like there was a "bond" between members, people going out of their way to help others. This, I thought, was a real guild, not defined by their size, but the definition of a guild.
The other guilds I've been in, where you could curse or shout a meme in chat and no one would give a flying fuck, possibly even join in, were nothing like AIE (don't get me wrong, I ADORE that type of guild chat.) Keep in mind, because they are a large guild, they need some moderation on their chat. They don't allow "hard" cursing (ex. You fucking piece of ass shit) because there may be a large population of younger children at any given time. Their control on chat was so excellent, that I must give them props on that.
Back to the raiding. I searched on the forums for 10 competent people to try doing the 10 man [The Twilight Zone] Achivement, Zerg style*. After 2 weeks or so, I got a group ready, and we tried it. We failed miserably for about 3 hours, and the next day we finally got it after 2 more hours. I felt exuberant, feeling that I could do anything now. AIE now felt pretty close to the feelings I had when I was in BMR or toolagged, almost as much as a home as those two.
Next time, I'll wrap up to say where I am now and what the future might have in store for me in WoW.
* http://www.wowwiki.com/SartharionThis fight lets you control your difficulty on this by letting you choose how many dragons you fight, 1(Sartharion, mandatory), 2, 3, or with three extra dragons AND Sartharion, 4. You get increased amounts of loot for the ladder 3, and for the last one, you get a mount, and a title, Twilight Vanquisher (25 man), or "Of the Nightfall" (10 man), so it would display "Sanguini of the Nightfall" or "Twilight Vanquisher Fival." There is also a zerg strategy where if your raid damage is high enough, you can kill Sartharion before all three drakes spawn, winning the fight with more ease. This was not available when I did the 25 man with Fival, because at the time, the gear was not good enough to do so. By Sanguini's time, the gear had progressed.
To recap, last time I was recruited by a guild named <Blood Moon Rising>. This guild was an established, top 10 alliance guild. They had a guild leader named Sillena; 1 2nd in Command, Roflchopper; 8 Class leaders: Cattyn (Priest), Dimka (Warlock), Greenskittle (Shaman), Feathere (Druid), Draydin (Paladin), Likfr (Hunter), Pliabloone (Mage), and Acerrubrum (Rogue). (This is all very important so please keep this in mind.). We had members who also regulated other class affairs if they didn't have a class leader ranking.
Back to me. My first run with them was in Serpentshrine Cavern. Our goal was to take down Hydross (1st Boss) and The Lurker Below (2nd boss.) As some people were trying to learn some stuff about it (for those of you who don't know, you need two tanks and we healers and dps must not attack or heal the target until this Hydross' aggro drops, or we wipe.), the officers were making fun of us people who didn't know it (in a friendly way.) We cleared Hydross after three tries, and Lurker is just plain easy, so I'm going to skip his tedious tactics.
By the end of the fights, we checked recount. I was last, dead last. Cattyn was first with a whopping 25% of the entire raid's heals. Draydin and Feathere were both at second place with a margin of difference of .1% of the total healing. Some other members were 4-6, but I was dead last at 7% of the total heal. Roflchopper from then on called me his bitch because I couldn't heal for shit. (Please keep in mind that these insults are in the most joking way possible.) This same recount repeated itself maybe every 4 times, and some fights, mainly fights where I was constantly spamming the tank with one button, I would be fourth. Draydin helped me on this, and so did Cattyn, and finally I was consistently 5th place! This was probably the biggest accomplishment up to date.
Somewhere around this time I get to talking with some of the officers, whom I've befriended quite well; namely all of the Class leaders, a hunter named Elfmastaflex, a warlock named Tiffspark, and a druid named Brocolli. The one officer who I didn't really have a GREAT friendship, but still had an okay friendship, was Sillena. So I get to talking with them, and I finally found out that ALL of them have played with Upper Echelon. They either quit because they couldn't handle their raid schedule, or their guild leader, who, in BMR (Blood Moon Rising), had a reputation for being a rear end in a top hat. In fact, this guild was made when parts of Upper Echelon disbanded. My respect for them continues to greaten.
I'm sorry I don't have it in better resolution, but thats me in the lower left corner.
This point, right here, is where I consider my "1st" of 2 Epitomes in my WoW career. This was honestly some of the most fun I've had in this game, or video games altogether.
About 3 months later, Sillena writes a long post on our guild forums, saying that he wants to leave the guild with him and his wife (who was also a guildie) in order to spend more time with his kids, and he knows that BMR will prosper well without him. We would've done well, too, if it weren't for his actions after this. Yes, he said he wanted to spend time with his kids, but going back to Upper Echelon and playing 5 hours a night isn't the way to do it, Sill! The members of the guild were enraged, some gquit (left the guild), some joined new ones. Cattyn and Dimka joined Upper Echelon (it was well known at this time that Cattyn and Dimka were both one of our most valuable players.) I couldn't get in (healing, lol) so I stayed guildless for a long time, but I kept in contact with all of the CL's and people I mentioned, but I probably kept in most touch with Elfmastaflex, Dimka, Brocolli, and Cattyn. I told them I was starting a new character. I rolled a Night Elf Druid, Fival, on a PVP (player versus player) server, Blackrock. I leveled this guy to 70 solo, but I did it incredibly fast.
By the time I hit 70 on this guy, it was one week until the release of the new expansion pack, Wrath of the Lich King (WotLK). I was still in great contact with the four I mentioned, talking to them in vent almost every day. Then, one day, out of nowhere, Cattyn told me that he, Dimka, Elfmastaflex, Brocolli, and another warrior I was friendly with, Clarity, were all going to another server, to play with a guild named <Havoc> on the Cairne server. He said they could invite a friend to come with them as a casual, and they chose me. I was thrilled.
Most of you don't know this, but <Havoc> was the number 105 guild in the WORLD. Out of all the hundreds of thousands of guilds, in several countries, they were 105th in the WORLD. To put it in perspective, Upper Echelon was somewhere in the 4300s.
So I joined them on my Druid, which I had to rename, so I picked a funny name, Willferal (Play on words, Feral is a specialization for druids, so it sounds like "Will Ferrell")
WotLK just went live. Everyone in the guild was scrambling to hit 80 as fast as possible, to increase their chances of being in the top 100 worldwide. I remember someone hit 80 23 hours after the game went live. In 35 hours, we had enough to do a 10 man raid instance. I, of course, being a casual, didn't have to do this, so I took the normal time (it usually takes about 3 weeks for me to hit 80 from 70, and that isn't unreasonable for most.)
Two weeks later, when I was about 78, Cattyn tells me that they want to transfer again, to another server (his current server, which I cannot say where, sorry :( ) He said I was welcome to join them. I told them that as much as I appreciate it, I'm going to go back to Blackrock for the PVP aspect (Blackrock is known for their brutal PVP, and I couldn't stay in Havoc, being on the "Friends and Family" status when my F&F weren't there!) So once again, I'm off to Blackrock. (As a sidenote, we all stayed close friends, me being the butt of most inside jokes)
As another side note, this was about the time where I discovered Destructoid, and became a casual in their ventrilo channel until someone stopped paying for it. (That was a fun ventrilo... :( )
So I searched, and searched, and searched on Blackrock for a great guild, and finally I found one, not as good as Havoc, but much better than Upper Echelon. Their name was <Toolagged>.
Next time, I'll talk about toolagged and more crazy antics!
I left off last time when I had just quit my old guild <The Z FIghters> and joined my new guild, <Durlusk Knights>. The environment was much larger, much more mature, much more raid-savvy. I was overwhelmed by the sheer size and the chat. "LF2M Kara 800+ DPS no alts." What the fuck did this mean? I had no idea, but it sure as hell thrilled me to get those last 5 levels done. Man, those last 5 were gruelling, I had my mind on much more important things, like who was Kara and how was I to aquire 800 of these DP's?
I remember hitting 70. It was 3 weeks later, in Shadowmoon Valley. I expected to get my last XP point epically, like slaying one of those guys in the cracks of the valley itself (for the love of me I can't remember the name.) Alas, no. I got my last XP point exploring the Scryer town. You know what happened after I hit 70? I got killed by the Scryer guards. Those assholes!
Right when I hit 70, several people whispered me, asking what "spec" I was going to be. Being a total noob at that time, I was currently 21/20/20, thinking that balancing them was the best way. Everyone laughed, and the current Paladin officer at the time, Tsager, got to tell me how to spec. He told me that Holy was healing, Retribution was damage, and Protection was Tanking. Holy looked so much cooler in my eyes, so I took my 300 gold and invested a gold of that in speccing Holy. All my keybinds changed! Now, instead of keeping my damage on there, I had to fill it with healing binds. Yep, all three of them! (keep in mind there was three Holy spells that were used by the holy. Holy Light (HL), Flash of Light (FoL), and Holy Shock (HS). Tsager also explained how I should use 'downranking' and my 'blessings.' (Downranking is the practice (which no longer exists) of using a lower ranking spell which had a smaller mana cost to more effectively heal. It no longer exists because now everything is a portion of your base mana.)
Now that I got my spec ready, all I had to get was my gear! I bought an Essence Focuser for 100 gold, a Crystal Pulse Shield for 95 gold, and the rest of my gear came from normal instances. Now was time for my first Heroic (which I was attuned for at the time, I knew about quests). Heroic Steamvaults. Now that was pretty hard for me! I healed as much as I could, tried my best each time, but for ten straight times, I could not get a Mask of Penance, which I wanted before I entered Kara.
Now, even though I was slightly undergeared, I remember Zoquara asking me if I wanted to go, and I wholeheartedly said yes, but I wanted to do ONE more H-SV beforehand. I did it, and guess what fucking happens? The Mask drops! So about 30 seconds after we finish it up, I hearth to Shattrath City, and I get an invite from this guy named Nashan. Who was he, I don't know. I asked Zoquara who he was, and she said he was part of their group of raiders who played with him. He was in a seperate guild called <The Code>. I said alright, and I accepted his invite. I was summoned to Karazhan within 1 minute. (I, too, was attuned, I just didn't want to write that annoying-ass process.)
So I enter, and I see that not five, but TEN people are here. I was wondering why, and Zoquara said that this is a ten-man instance. I thought this was the epitome of the raiding spectrum, with two groups, THIS was an MMO. Boy, was I wrong. So that night, we clear through Attumen the Huntsmen easily (I got a little more confidence, because this was an easy-ass fight.) We then hit up Moroes, who was a pain in the asshole. "Cleanse this guy!" "Shackle this guy!" "Heal the tank! No, I meant the DPS!" This was, by far, the most frustuating boss in all of Karazhan for me, because as some of you guys know, before we were buffed, Holy Paladins were just spammers, we were meant to push one or two buttons throughout a fight, and to one person, really. We get past him in 4 tries, and we head up to the Maiden of Virtue. She, too, was a pain but nothing big ol' me couldn't handle. We beat her in two tries, and something strange dropped. [Shard of the Virtuous], it was purple, and I could use it! Since I was the only one who really needed it, I received it, and I was overjoyed, because after all this hard work, I finally got an epic!
We ended the raid there that night, and over the next 2 months, I raided Karazhan with them or different groups. One night, some other guild, named <Upper Echelon>'s leader Lynxz asked us if we (the guild) wanted to join them in their raid of "Gruul's Lair." Holy shit, I have never seen a shitstorm in chat as that had been. Apparently, they were the best Alliance guild on the server. They needed 15 people, and I was chosen! By that time I was getting the raiding shit down, but finally, a TWENTY-FIVE man raid with the best guild on the server (for those wondering, they were the top alliance guild until a few months ago.) We entered the raiding area, and I see this Draenei Paladin decked out in Crystal (I didn't know it then, but this was the Tier 5 set, called Crystalforge Raiment http://www.wowhead.com/?itemset=627). CRYSTAL. His name was Juanwheat, and the Class leader for the Paladins of Upper Echelon. He, too, was Holy.
We get to the first boss, but he wasn't the first boss, he was FIVE! There was a mage, a Warlock, a priest, and a shaman, and this guy in the middle, much bigger. His nameplate said, "High King Maulgar." I assumed he was the main guy. Then, this Lynxz guy told us many instructions, who was DPSing, who was Healing what, who was Tanking what, everything. In the end, I got to heal the mage who was "tanking" Krosh Firehand (which I still believe to be the hardest healing role in the raid, due to major burst.) We pulled once, and it was a bloodfest. People were dying, ogres were dying, a giant beast was summoned (I didn't know it, but this was the Warlock Ogre's pet), and we managed to finish the entire fight with 10 people, and the mage and I were two of the survivors! I did my job, perfectly! We distribute the loot, and I didn't get the piece I wanted. However, no one else wanted a shiny mace, so I took it, maybe I could use this "Hammer of the Naaru" for later.
We finally got to the big honcho of the place, "Gruul the Dragonkiller." My first thoughts were, "What is he, 12 years old? A Dragonkiller?" I was explained what to do, and the raid leader just kept saying, "Don't get near anyone." So I stayed away from people. That plan worked out until Gruul had about 75% of his remaining life left. He made me leap somewhere and I was right next to someone, and I could barely move! So I did what I always did when I was in trouble, I bubbled! It worked, and I got the fuck out of his vicinity, and all was good from then on in that fight, understanding the mechanics and whatnot. We beat Gruul with 23 of our people left, which was pretty awesome. We distribute the loot, I get nothing, and then I see this warning on my chat screen: "Recount; overall healing done." It showed seven people, with my name at fourth place! This Juanwheat, assuming that all these stats were right, nearly tripled my healing! However, I was fourth, and the lower three were also from my guild. I got first out of my guild. I was eccstatic.
Within one week, Zoquara tells us that our guild is merging with that guy Nashan's guild, <The Code>. All right, if you think this is for the best, I'll come too! I know you guys weren't there, but I assure you, it was most certainly not. The Code was basically a clique, meant for Nashan's raid group. I don't know why, or remember, but a few weeks later, Zoquara tells the rest of her old guild that she was leaving and creating another guild, and they were all welcome to join. The name of THIS guild, was <Durlusk Misfits>. This guild wasn't too bad, but it wasn't a raiding guild at all, just casual. So, for some unknown reason to me, she creates a NEW guild, named <An Ean Corr>. An ear of corn? Really? She explains to us that it means <The Misfits> in Gaelic. Uhhhh..... So this guild is a raiding guild, but not as active as I want to be, so I say my goodbyes, and leave. (As a note, this guild is (I think) still active.)
So I leave, and I never saw the inside of Gruul's Lair for a whole 2 months, when I finally decided to apply to another guild, not as hardcore as Upper Echelon, but pretty much up there. Their name was <Blood Moon Rising>. After a trial Kara run, I was accepted.
Stay tuned for the Blood Moon Rising saga, with much more!
Alright, I've had this idea for a loooooong time, and I really wanted to start it up, so here is my blog to recount my story of my WoW live, from super casual to hardcore.
I started World of Warcraft (WoW) in March of 2007. I didn't know much about it, but I wanted to definitely try it out. My first character was a Dwarf Paladin on the Nordrassil Realm, named Oozaru. I remember the first week I had the game I just traversed the small areas of Dun Morogh and Ironforge, not knowing how to attack, talk to anyone, getting ganked by "high" level 15's in Loch Modan. I thought this was a bore, and I was surely going to quit. Those were my thoughts until I met someone who turned it all around for me.
A level 12 Human Paladin, named Philipe, was trying to start a guild, and was asking for my "signature." I clicked around intensely, looking how to type, when suddenly I clicked on his name, and a chat box appeared! I finally got to talking with him, and we started up a guild, called "The Z Fighters." Now that I look back, the DBZ reference seems quite immature. However, our starting players were not.
A level 30 Night Elf Warrior, Blueangel; a level 15 Night Elf Hunter, Ekalb; Philipe, and myself. These four people were my first real "eFriends" ever. They taught me how to attack, to talk in general and trade, to do everything! As they progressed, so did I. We quested, we explored, we died many times, we had fun.
I ended up playing my paladin until level 65 with them. Then, finally, I was making myself known to the community. I finally whispered a frequent Nordrassil forum-poster named Zoquara, who also had a raiding guild starting up, named Durlusk Misfits. She said she would be delighted to have me in her guild, and right then and there, I told my grand, level 50 friends (we were all slow levelers) that I was leaving for <Durlusk Misfits>. We said our goodbyes, and my descent into the raiding scene begins.
Next time, I will share my stories going through various raiding guilds, and my first true "hardcore" guild, whom I wish I was still in contact with.
Today, Blizzard released their Q&A's regarding Warlocks and their futures in 3.2 and beyond.
Some major highlights of this Q&A session include:
Demonology's (using pets to greatly increase damage) damage is mediocre compared to Affliction (Using shadow DoTs (damage over time) to increase DPS greatly) and Destruction (using mainly caster spells to greatly increase damage (two types: Shadow Destro and Fire Destro)) and will try to fix it so demonology becomes a more viable spec.
Blizzard believes that the gameplay between Warlocks and Mages are too similar, and they are wanting to change gameplay to differ.
Warlocks need to be represented more in PvP
Basic idea for the new Soul Shard system: Soul Shards will provide a combat (damage) boost, but should not be something Locks need to farm. This change will be beyond Patch 3.2., with more information ideally at BlizzCon 2009.
The Cooldown for SoulShatter (Warlock's main aggro dump) will be reduced to three minutes
Blizzard is considering giving Warlocks different pet designs/models
Blizzard is looking into the possibility of Warlock-exclusive mounts
Blizzard wants to make pets scale with stats
All in all, it looks like Warlocks are going to get some buffs come 3.2, and then some. PvP may become much more viable for warlocks, and pets may play a major part in PvP and PvE. If all goes well, I may just start leveling my warlock again. :)