Thursday, May 28, 2015

IRL update amidst sparse WoW happenings.

I like pigs. They are cheering. So here are some.

I've been set up at my "sweet" New Jersey pad for a few days now, but as the tier has been winding down, my life has become even more demanding than my garrison. While my places both in and out of game can be described as intermissions, the usual post-progression lull and its lazy farm raids, lack of urgency, and general boredom as one searches for little things to fill in time greatly contrasts with this interim period full of job-hunting, rejection, and self-loathing. Trust me when I say that self-loathing takes up a lot of time.

With patch 6.2 coming up sooner than I expected, it doesn't look like I'm going to have as long of a break to work on my unemployment and neglected local personal relationships before the push happens again. Obviously, it's a busy time even though progression is over, but while I work to rebuild in a new/old location, I can at least take comfort in the fact that I'm closer to a place of happiness. I'm not just referring to proximity to my favorite city either though that's definitely a huge perquisite. This weekend, I'll be heading to Union Square to watch the Manhattanhenge sunset, take stock of my life, possibly shed a tear, and then comfort myself afterwards with a vegan cupcake.

Yes, I have a date with myself.


Saturday, May 16, 2015

The birthday girl reports Blackhand progression.

Since I had to raid Thursday night and then catch an early Friday morning flight to LGA, I tried to save time by writing up a blog entry about our Blackhand progression while we were working it. Unfortunately, our performance varied so much over the course of the night, I was having trouble deciding on an angle.

Today is my birthday, and I couldn't have asked for a better present that my guild's Mythic Blackhand kill.

It would have been nice if we could have gotten a M Blackhand kill for my birthday, but sadly our progress has been riddled with attendance issues and constant relearning.

After expecting us to kill Blackhand every raid day for the past two weeks, the boss went down surprisingly easily. I'm now convinced that pep talks are what a guild needs to be successful. Oh wait. Just kidding, because we wiped again.

Thanks to Blizzard's massive wave of bans in the middle of our M Blackhand progression, we've had to completely reorganize our core team. Oddly enough, we're still failing at the same point we always are in phase 2 even with new people and losing all of our former god comp boomkins and hunters. Is "bring the class, not the player" a myth at a certain level of skill?

While early kills are all about min/maxing and class comp, relatively later kills like today's is all about not being terrible at this game.

Omg my flight leaves in a few hours, and we're going over time. I need to pack!!!


See you soon, NYC!


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

There's really no pleasing raiders.

Traditionally, the last bosses of WoW raids have always been epically long, multiple-phase, battles for survival. Progression ultimately requires players to suffer through 10+ minutes of Garrosh or Imperator only to get f'd in the a in the last phase and have to go through the entire encounter again. When raid time is limited, it can be fatiguing to repeatedly execute the monotonous yet still punishing beginning parts just to see and learn the all-important and usually most difficult final push. One begins to wish for a shorter fight that compacts our skill and strategy into less time or moves the phase that matters earlier instead of tacked on at the end. With Mythic Blackhand, we get exactly that.

I put on Glyph of Metamorphosis so all the locks look different in demon form.

Yet, M Blackhand only demonstrates what Blizzard already knows of its customers, which is that we can find anything to complain about, because here I am bitching about eight-minute pulls and how equally fatiguing they are. There are no lulls or semi-relaxing intervals of mindless DPS between important mechanics. Downtime between attempts is minimal, and it's a constant res, buff, pull timer cycle. The fight is all about phase 2, and if we could consistently get out of it without any missed balconies, this boss that probably should have already died yesterday would be down. As opposed to perfecting execution of early phases to see the last phase, the encounter is a series of short DPS pushes while trying to mitigate RNG, and the deaths of any of a number of key players leads to a call for a quick wipe and regroup. Four hours and fifty attempts a night of this can be quite taxing.

But more importantly, I'm going through consumables like they're mage water! Seriously, every early wipe is a painful stab at my miserly soul, and whoever is selling augment runes and buff food right now is making bank when I'm popping them just to lose them to bad Demolitions in the first phase or having to call a wipe because a siege tank decided to make love to a healer. Every random disconnect makes me groan when I think of the 70g I just spent to buff myself for two minutes when I could have spent it on two hours of game time instead or just held onto it forever like I do with all my gold anyway. Botched attempts hurt me physically, and when our res is down, I stare at the dead tank on my raid frames with the same despondence associated with watching a beautiful stranger on the street walk away and out of one's life forever.

We are so close to a kill now, and my in-game wallet wants it as much as my guild and I do. All I can say is thank Draenor for my treasure hunters carrying back loads of gold from who knows where.

By the way, after a mere five months in Los Angeles, I'm moving back to the East Coast. Sorry, California. You had good vegan food and a much cleaner beach than NYC's, but I must return to the concrete jungle and surrounding suburbs whence I came. No hard feelings, and see you at Blizzcon, maybe?