Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Kudos to my Fellow Druids!

For a very long time, I had been wearing the cloak off KT in Naxx 25. Yes, with the opening of ICC, this means I was wearing a piece of gear about 3 tiers down on my back. Now, don't get me wrong--it's a great cloak--but after Ulduar, I started looking to upgrade it.

The best cloak upgrades pre-ICC were in ToC25 Beasts and the Heroic version thereof. (I won't even list the tribute chest cloak, which was so far out of my reach it might as well have not been created.) Every time we downed Beasts, I'd hold my breath just a little and be disappointed when no cloak appeared. Once it finally showed up in Heroic, but another player was in line for it according to our loot system, and so I had to be satisfied with waiting a while longer.

When ICC came out, I did my customary search for gear and listed what I would hope to get. There was a reasonable cloak to be had for Frost Emblems, but it was equipped with crit, and I was hoping for haste, as was on the Beasts cloaks. But Saurfang (25) dropped a cloak with haste, and that ended up being the one I put on my wish list.

Last night, Saurfang dropped the cloak. The names of people interested started being listed . . . and I was ahead of them according to our loot list. At last! I would be able to upgrade my ancient cloak! But then one other player put his name in--Supremus, our beloved moonkin--and he was ahead of me. I sighed and ported back to Dalaran with the rest of the raid.

Over Druid chat, I commented that someday, I really would be able to upgrade my cloak. When Supremus saw which cloak I was wearing, he graciously spoke with the loot master and passed in my favor.

Alphadark, my companion in tree healing, was excited I had finally gotten my long-hoped-for cloak upgrade, and he volunteered enchanting mats and a gem to complete the set-up.

So with the help of my very good Druidic friends, the old cloak is now upgraded, and I am excited to help them get their upgrades. (Alphadark is hoping for the neck upgrade next . . .)

Thank you, guys!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Hasty Decision

With the changes to the Druid talent tree in 3.3, I've found myself chasing haste. Before, I didn't worry about it too much. If it was on my gear, well and good, but I found the amount I had to be sufficient with my Gift of the Earthmother talent to make my healing life fairly simple.

But with the changes to that talent, I suddenly found my Global Cool Down feeling very sluggish. I had to watch it spin, so I didn't click too soon and slow down my healing by having to click again because the first one didn't cast. I started eating haste food instead of spellpower food. But I still felt that everything was moving too slowly, almost like I was trying to force my way through mud or snow or Jell-o.

So I have caved in to the latest stop-gap trend in Restoration talent speccing: 18/0/53. I specc'd for Celestial Focus, dropping Living Seed.

I have to admit that it feels a lot more comfortable now. The GCD is spinning at what seems to be a more proper rate, and I am not finding myself becoming bogged down as I was before. I'm hoping to pick up some more haste gear along the way and when I get a few more pieces, I may be able to scale down my Balance Tree speccing and put more points into the Restoration tree again.

Sometimes when you finally give in and do what you have to do, it ends up being a lot less painful than you thought it would be.

To Tell or Not to Tell

Recently, a former raider from my guild applied to another guild. On the surface, this didn't seem like anything terribly disconcerting. He hadn't raided with us for a while, due to scheduling concerns, and he had apparently had some success in putting together PUGs, which is not a talent of mine.

To be honest, most of us in the raid wouldn't have wanted him back, even if he had applied to raid with us again, which is our normal policy for those who leave the raiding group and want to return. And if he had applied to any guild other than the one to which he applied, I would not have a single concern about it.

But the guild to which he applied is one which I respect greatly. The overall guild culture is congenial and decent, unlike several other guilds I could bring to mind. I've had nothing but positive experiences with the members there I have encountered in PUGs and so forth. And I don't want to see them have to deal with the troubles we had pertaining to this particular individual.

Part of me wants very much to whisper one of the guild leaders, to tell them the personality, skill, and integrity problems we had with this person. But I am not part of their guild, nor do I have any sort of relationship with the guild leaders. He going to their guild is not hurting mine. I have no foundation of credibility with that guild, and I think it would only serve to lessen me and my guild in the eyes of the other guild's leaders. And so I will keep silent, hoping that the leaders of that guild can read between the lines of his application and put two and two together.

I have usually followed the policy that people will reveal their true character if left to their own devices; they do not need any help from me. I think that this case is probably no different.

Postscript: It looks like the guild leaders really were able to read between the lines. This particular person remained unguilded for quite a while and has now apparently started his own guild.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blog About It!!

I have this insane hope that Supremus, from my guild, will stumble upon this. I hightly doubt he will, because even though I have a link to this page from my guild avatar, I have never known anyone to actually acknowledge following it.

I do not know if someone else in my guild has a blog--more than likely a more active blog--but lately, there has been a trend in our guild chat. When someone has a complaint of one sort or another, someone (usually Supremus) will tell them, "Blog about it!"

Which brings up the question: what is the purpose of a blog?

I've heard that, traditionally, a blog is meant to be a repository of information--a place where someone could come get information and links. An example would be blogs where the author (or group of authors) researches information on Druid stats and specs, including links to Elitest Jerks or Tankspot, for example. Icedragon's blog, Druid Main comes to mind, focusing on many aspects about the Druid and role-playing, as well as The Overpowered Druid , which includes links to videos and strategies.  (Some other blogs relating to Druids are also linked on this page.)

A venue for writing about one's life experiences or opinions is more properly termed a "web journal," and yet, this is the purpose to which many personal blogs are written. (Including mine.) This is the sort of blog in which someone may say, "Man, my guild messed up so badly in ToGC25 last night! You would not have believed the poor job the healers did . . ."

But, hey, it would be a little cumbersome for Supremus to say, "Go write in your web-journal about it!" Saying, "Go blog about it!" has a much more succinct and powerful ring. So I'm not going to quibble with him on semantics.

That said, unless one has a private web journal, it might be wise to be careful what one does end up publishing. (If one actually cares about keeping the peace in one's guild, that is . . .)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

On the Reforging of Val'anyr

I like to write verse. I can't justly call it poetry, because it's not terribly good. But it is fun, and it is a way I can be unique. (For good or ill . . .) This verse was written to commemorate the reforging of Val'anyr accomplished by the Tempest guild of Gorgonnash server. <*ahem*>

The fragments quivered subtly in my hands,
As if to whisper long forgotten lore.
Could this be? Were we to understand
That we had found the treasured mace of yore?

A ruin now, once held in Stoneheart's grip-
Titan-forged, to bring the Earthen life-
Fated to oblivion to slip
From ancient war of Iron/Earthen strife.

A chance, however slim, to mend the break-
A chance, its former glory to restore-
Resolved were we, heroic risks to take,
While facing down the ancient god once more.

A final meal--the calm before the storm--
A prayer, a blessing, gifts on all were given.
A final check, that all might well perform
The task which we by destiny were driven.

At a nod, we dashed into the den
Which once had been a prison, now a lair.
Deceptive was the one we found within
Who urged us fight and never to despair.

Then chaos reigned, the evil one's intent--
But aided by the three whom we had freed,
In speed and pow'r our skills they did augment,
Our minds refreshed, they willed us to succeed.

We saw the visions dark within the one
Whose work affected history for worse.
Fear pushed aside, blows struck to briefly stun,
And all did rally, casting spells diverse.

But hark! We heard the monster's dying roar
Into the gaping maw the fragments flew--
A hit, and he lay silent in his gore
And Val'anyr, reforged, awaited new.

Erupted then a cheer, in victory sweet,
And healers resurrected those who fell.
The quest, pursued, was finally complete
And Tempest annals long the tale would tell.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Gaming Keeps You Young?

Today, someone posted up on a forum I read a link to an article on an interesting topic: Tetris May Boost Brain Efficiency in Teen Girls. It made me think of my own experience as a 40-year-old woman playing World of Warcraft.

Among the people with whom I play, there are a few older ones. (The vast majority are 29 or below, but there are some in my age range or older.) We've discussed it among ourselves, and we think that playing actually helps keep our minds younger.

It's not the same as Tetris, obviously, but to play the game well, it requires quite a number of skills and attributes.

--A certain amount of research

--Good reflexes

--The ability to adapt quickly to changing circumstances

--The ability to work with a team

--A tolerance of others' foibles (in that, I tend to think older players have an advantage.)



--Personal responsibility

--Economic acuity

--The ability to evaluate and make judgement calls

Wow, it actually takes a lot to be able to play the game well, come to think of it. They don't list all this out on the box, or it would scare people away . . . Now that I'm working full-time, I have other opportunities to use my mind a lot, but when I was a stay-at-home mom, after I stopped homeschooling, playing the game gave me a great way to exercise my brain.

The secret of youth, I guess, is play. ;)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Yogg-Saron Bites the Dust!

Last night, the Tempest guild's 25-man raiding team finally downed Yogg-Saron. After wiping multiple times (a bit of an understatement), dealing with changing raid members (it is the summer, after all), and generally moving along the learning curve (which I declare must have been changing every week), the big guy with tentacles is finally dead.

It was a moment of great satisfaction to everyone in the raid.

It made me remember when, long ago, we downed Archimonde in Hyjal. Again, that was a fight which took a lot of work for us. We even had "remedial healer and tank training" days, where the dps was not brought in, and the only goal of the healers and tanks was to learn the required movements of the encounter enough to stay alive until the enrage timer. Once we could hit the enrage timer, we called in the dps.

It took weeks of orchestration, but those weeks of practice were what made the achievement of the goal satisfying.

When goals are too simple, their accomplishment does not bring this sort of satisfaction. This applies to real life, as well as any game. I had a teacher once tell me she did not want my daughter working on "+5" exercises, because they were more difficult for her. She wanted to keep her on the "+0" exercises, to boost her self-esteem. I told her that meeting and surpassing a challenge is what brings self-esteem, not repetitively performing simple tasks.

This is why I do not complain when the game encounters are difficult. I know that victory will taste all the more sweet for the price we had to pay along the way.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


It occurred to me that I have not properly introduced myself. I am Commander Anachan, Hand of A'dal, of the guild Tempest, of the Gorgonnash server. I play a 14/0/57 Restoration spec in raids or on battlegrounds and a 55/0/16 Balance spec when I am just messing around, doing dailies or farming. I have raided as Balance, Feral, and Restoration, and I vastly prefer raiding as a healer.

I have one alt of any consequence, which is a level 70 mage called Amiranar. Unfortunately for Amiranar, between the fact that my raiding schedule is something akin to a part-time job and the fact that my Druid is just a lot of fun to play, she spends a good deal of her time parked in one inn or another.

My husband plays a level 80 hunter called Shadowfoe. His paladin is almost level 80, spec'd for tanking and healing, Shadowbeard.

My eldest daughter has a level 80 Death Knight, Shadowquean, but she does not spend much time playing her right now.

I will not go into all the other details about Anachan, as anyone who wishes may look her up on the Armory with the above information and find out for themselves.

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Grove of Druids

Not too long ago, on the World of Warcraft Druid forums, someone asked what would be the proper term for a group of moonkins. After all, a group of cats could be a pack, while a group of Druids in flight form could be a flock. It was an interesting question to ponder. (My personal favorite was a "parliament" of moonkins, as a parliament of owls . . .)

But in conversations with the Druids in my guild, another question was raised: what do you call a group of Druids, in general?

In my guild, our 25-man raids usually include 5 or 6 Druids. On any given night, we may have 2 Feral Druids, 1 or 2 Balance Druids, and 1 or 2 Restoration Druids. This means that when you look around the raid, you would see a combination of bears, cats, moonkins, and Trees of Life. What word could be used to describe us all?

We thought about it a while and discussed it over our super-secret Druid chat channel (whose name has been closely-guarded from all outsiders . . . at least for the past 14 months or so, since I joined the guild.) Finally, a suggestion from one of our moonkins seemed to make the most sense.

We are a grove of Druids. As with all Night Elves, we are tied to the World Tree and, by extension, to the forests. We take upon ourselves forms at home in the forests. Of all the terms we discussed, a grove of Druids fit the best.

I do not know if every Druid discussion group would come to the same conclusion. I highly doubt they would. But for us, it works.