Monday Musings: Procrastination

Procrastination - Plants vs Zombies

I finally got my Singing Sunflower

Even for me, I have gone to new lengths to procrastinate.

My mermaid story is still unfinished, laughing maniacally from the the corner of my desk.  The story is done (well, obviously, my niece wrote it and I made very few changes there – only to ease panel creation) but my drawings are not.  Drawing everything/everyone once was fantastic.  Convincing myself to draw them multiple times in different positions… less so.

I miss turkey hands and turkey faces.  lol

So what DID I do this weekend, while I should have been working on my mermaid story?

Challenge Mode: Gate of the Setting Sun

Procrastination - Gate of the Setting Sun

During the week, Ranico planted the seed of another Challenge Mode.  Saturday afternoon seemed to work best for our same group from before – Ranico tanking, myself healing, Ariano as kitty, Finalflame our Hunter, and Gv our Warlock.  Ranico decided Gate of the Setting Sun looked like a good second project.

Friday night, everyone except Gv was around, so we picked up Zweibella (I cannot get used to Zweibel’s Hunter being a she!) and ran Mogu’Shan Palace for the daily.  We got the silver fairly easily on our first try and called it good.  (Well, minus a small snafu involving a rocket fuel leak on the first pull, which we reset after.)

Saturday afternoon, I logged on lazily after sleeping in and then assembling my new computer chair.  (Squee!)

Within minutes, Ranico was whispering me: “I thought we said 1:30pm!  It is 1:35pm!”  There was no Ari and no Final.  Ranico was obviously excited to get started, and is a stickler for timeliness.  Which I understand, but it was Saturday, and I was feeling pretty laid back, so I hate to admit it, but it amused me.  I could visualize him impatiently tapping his foot through his whispers.  Luckily, he could not hear me giggling as I suggested we give it a few before starting to worry.  Ari logged on moments later, and the four of us got into Vent and reviewed a Gold video Ranico was watching.

I think it was about 2:15pm before we saw Final.  He apologized and explained he had been called in to work on his day off, because his co-worker had gone into labor.  Well, I suppose that qualifies as a reasonable excuse.  🙂

We brought Final up to speed, and headed to the dungeon.

The funny part?  Our first and second runs were both pretty smooth.  We got two Silvers in minimal time – 17:49 and then 15:12.  The pulls before the first boss were hairy, but smooth.  We got our rhythm down, and prepared to shave off another two minutes or so, discussing where we had room to improve.

Our following attempts got strange, and suddenly it was a chore to get past that first string of mobs.  There were stray explosions to the face and Sapper woes and smoke bomb headaches.  I think we all had our turn at stepping wrong on that first string of mobs – except Ranico, of course, cuz he is OP.  😛  Even Ari mentioned she was starting to dislike that stretch.

I have always disliked it, because I have healed PUGs through that dungeon.  😉

For some reason, we all got an intense amount of lag on the second boss, but we had a good run going and pushed through it.  We even ended up one mob short somehow (one must not have died to DoTs while we were kiting to a boss or something) and we had to kill one of the two we originally CC’d on the way to boss #2.  But that hardly slowed us down, and we just let the second mob reset when we jumped down to Raigonn.

Raigonn went down like a sack of potatoes – probably the easiest fight in that whole dungeon, at least from the healy point of view.  🙂  Lo and behold – we hit our Gold!

Procrastination - GotSS Boards

We waited a few minutes for the realm boards to update, and I was still standing at the boss’ corpse when Ranico announced we had hit the number one time for Elune!  11:59!!

Go team!

Gv got our run recorded again, so here you go!

Old Raids

I have some transmog goals for my Rogue.  Last week, I dragged him along behind Caeridwen through Molten Core and Blackwing Lair.  I killed him multiple times in the process, since Caer’s heals really only affect her, but I did get him a few pieces.

This week, not only did I have transmog pieces taunting me, but now – new raid dropped pets!  So I did it all over again!

I am sure it is in many other places, but for those unaware and for my own personal reference, the pets drop as follows:

Molten Core

  • Magmadar – Blazing Rune (Corefire Imp)
  • Sulfuron Harbinger – Mark of Flame (Harbinger of Flame)
  • Golemagg the Incinerator – Core of Hardened Ash (Ashstone Core)

Blackwing Lair

  • Razorgore the Untamed – Unscathed Egg (Untamed Hatchling)
  • Chromaggus – Whistle of Chromatic Bone (Chrominius)
  • Broodlord Lashlayer – Blackwing Banner (Death Talon Whelpguard)

Temple of Ahn’Qiraj (40man)

  • Prophet Skeram – Jewel of Maddening Whispers (Mini Mindslayer)
  • Emperor Vek’Lor – Anubisath Idol (Anubisath Idol)
  • Viscidus – Viscidus Globule (Viscidus Globule)

Naxxramas

  • Maexxna – Dusty Clutch of Eggs (Giant Bone Spider)
  • Loatheb – Blighted Spore (Fungal Abomination)
  • Gluth – Gluth’s Bone (Stitched Pup)

When all was said and done this weekend, I had two new raid-drop pets!

Procrastination - Raiding with Leashes Progress

Even though Vanilla and BC raids yield very little in the area of useable drops for my DK, I usually use her over other characters, simply because I find it easier with her high survivability and melee attacking.  (Killing low mobs as a caster is something I find more annoying than anything – as there is casting time involved, as opposed to just smacking things with a melee class.)

Mid to late Cata, I did a lot of them with my feral Druid, Solaes, for that exact reason.  She soloed Molten Core (or dragged someone through) many, many times.

So here is a rundown of how I felt solo’ing.  (An AFK Rogue does not count!  Even though, I tried very hard to manage both him and my DK during Razorgore to no luck.  Some multitasker I am.)

Molten Core

Procrastination - MC Achievement

Easy, easy, and easy.  Even getting thrown into the air by Baron Geddon does not scare me anymore.  I could fairly easily solo at Level 85, and so Level 90 is no biggie.

But no pets.  😦

Blackwing Lair

Procrastination - Razorgore

Razorgore still SUCKS.  I tried leaving my Rogue standing in the corner.  I tried managing both my DK and Rogue – both with my Rogue controlling and my DK controlling.  (I was running my Razorgore toon on the desktop and my adds toon on the laptop.  I really need to try dual-boxing, now that I have two monitors, but I was watching season one of SVU!)  And finally, I gave up and soloed it with my DK – which took several more tries.  It seems to just be a matter of killing the adds on me between controlling – which proves difficult with Razorgore running in – while I smash eggs as quickly as possible!

All fine in theory…  Reality is slightly different, though.  😉

Vael, the red dragon, is annoying, because I cannot figure out how to get around him killing me as he dies.  This is something I just have to deal with?  Isn’t that a little stupid?  If Blizzard was going to adjust old world raid mechanics, you think this would have made the list.

Running two toons through the suppression traps is FUN.  Oh boy!

Chromaggus has a habit of MC’ing my DK, who then two shots my Level 85 Rogue.  This is apparently a 5 minute MC too.  It works fine if I am solo (no MC), but duo, I basically have to wait out the MC, kill Chromaggus, then rez my Rogue.  Even the first time this happened a week or two ago, it was only funny until I saw the MC timer.  :/

Apparently, Nefarion also has an MC, which I did not see until this weekend.  My poor Rogue, he gives new meaning to the idea of a “sacrificial Rogue.”  But unlike Chromaggus, Nef seems to bug out.  I waited and waited and waited, then finally logged off to grab something to eat, came back on just my Rogue (cuz he needs the gear, and I thought just MAYbe…) waited some more.  Finally, Nef graced me with his presence and proceeded to overrun my Rogue with endless waves of mobs.

Not sure if that was lack of DPS on my Rogue, or also a bug.  That was a LOT of adds!

Procrastination - Chrominius

Yah, I just kind of moved on for the day after that.  But I did get Chrominius.

AQ20/AQ40

Procrastination - C'Thun

AQ20 was also pretty easy solo at Level 85, so I had no problems there with Caer.  (Screw that Rogue!)

AQ40, on the other hand, was all kinds of fun – actually, just two bosses were “fun” in the sarcastic sense of the word.

The three bugs.  Grr…  I tried keeping them even, I tried killing each first (which was only mildly successful as I went from flying through the air to stunned to feared and rise and repeat), but without fail, they reset every time.  After several attempts in this manner, I finally decided: Optional encounter with no pet drop?  Pass!

The twin emperors encounter was where I started to doubt the gear of my poor DK.  About 15 minutes into the fight the first time around (and having melee dood to about 70% – finally!) I DC’d.  Ugh!  The second time around… I dunno, it was long, really long.  I dare say a half hour at least.  But progress was being made, and I stuck through.

Best part: no pets.  😦

Naxxramas

Procrastination - Naxxramas

I have only seen Kel’Thuzad once, and I believe it was on my Pally.  So the idea of soloing Naxx was a daunting one.

Caer made pretty good progress.  She cleared the Arachnid wing, and I got to Gluth in the Construct wing.  Gluth kicked my butt a few times.  I would be going along steadily, then he would hit his enrage thing (is that percentage based, 25-30%ish?) and my heals and CDs could not keep up.  What?  I am a DK!  Nothing should be able to kill me!!

It was late Saturday at this point, so I gave it up for the night.  (And I went on to what I will explain last in this post, here in a few.)

I went back Sunday evening with Effy and cleared all of Naxx fairly easily in Ele, still in my Resto gear.  Instructor Razuvious made me pretty much OOM by the end of that fight – he hits really hard, and the Four Horsemen was my first time ever seeing them, so I did not get the achievement, because I did not know they would be so spread out.  Lastly, Kel’Thuzad was really easy after my guildie whispered and warned me to stay in melee range.  So I fought that with my back to the throne and cleared Naxx fairly easily with my Shaman.

Procrastination - Fungal Abomination

And I got a Fungal Abomination!

Pet Battles

Procrastination - 1 First Pet Battle

I have been back to WoW for almost two months now.  (Wow, has it been that long already?)  That entire time I have been avoiding one aspect of the game like the plague – pet battles.

Saturday night, after faceplanting on Gluth on my DK for a while, I decided I was not tired, but I wanted something really easy going to occupy me for a while.

So I wandered to Stormwind and I meandered to the pet trainer and I finally trained Effy to pet battle.  I started the quests and battled some wild pets.

Procrastination - 2 Pet Battles

Well, I am hooked.  Have I mentioned I have a very addictive personality, and that is why I have been avoiding this?  lol

Procrastination - 3 More Pet Battles

I beat one trainer and headed to the second.  I quickly discovered, OMG, there are battle pets in Westfall that I do not seem to be able to get any other way!  (Yay, mini harvesters!  Oooh, shiny!)  I captured a grey harvester, because I did not know any better.  So I then decided I wanted one of EVERYTHING!  Upon looking at some of the low level pets available to battle on WarcraftPets, I saw the Ruby Sapling.  I just had to have one.

I flew to Ghostlands and ran around through the Blood Elf starting area.  I made sure to /wave at all the noobies I could, and wondered if they were trying to figure out what the heck I was doing there.  hehe

While I was battling various pets on my way to find a Ruby Sapling, I randomly got a blue/rare Spirit Crab (who I aptly named Ghostcrawler)!  This made me do some more reading, and I realized ALL the battle pets come in various rarities – blue/rare being the best for the battle pets.  So, I spent until the wee hours looking for an elusive rare Ruby Sapling.  About 2am, I left Effy to rest in Eversong Woods, and promised her we would finish in the morning.

We WOULD get a rare Ruby Sapling!

Sunday morning, I started coffee, took the dog out, did my farming, and went back to Effy, who was still in Eversong.  It seemed like forever, but I got my Ruby Sapling, and then I changed her name…

Procrastination - Battling With Navimie

Procrastination - Navimie Ding

To that of my closest blogging friend: Navimie.  🙂

There were other cool pets to be had.

Procrastination - Finding Rares

But there was one more in particular I knew I wanted to capture:

Procrastination - Finding Rares 2

Procrastination - Catwynn Ding

To name after my dear friend, Ancient’s Druid: Catwynn.

None of my pets are anywhere near Level 25, but I have discovered something to sink time into… another way to procrastinate.  🙂

Consider this part of my thanks to two of my very favorite people.  Ladies who have always been supportive and there to make me smile.  ❤

Happy Monday!  I leave you with some Monday songs!

~ Effy

Blue Monday by New Order

Manic Monday by the Bangles

Going for the Gold

Left to Right: Finalflame, Sporebat (cuz they are the best Hunter pet!), Effy, Ranico, Ariano, Gv, and some demon minion guy.

Last night, when Ranico whispered me and asked if I would like to do a Challenge Mode, I figured no big deal.  I had done a whole ONE other Challenge Mode, but we had completed it, getting out with some VP and a Bronze medal.

They are tough.  They are a lot of healing.  They are a lot of cooldowns.  They are about organization and teamwork.  They are very much about knowing your class and eking out every drop of potential possible – both the potential of your class/spec and the potential of yourself.

But a run in 45 minutes or less – I told myself, that is no biggie.

Then, I jumped into vent as I was heading to the Temple of the Jade Serpent and realized just what I was getting myself into.  They were not aiming for some quick VP and a Bronze.  They were already talking what trash to skip and invisibility pots, as well as pulling trash all the way to the boss and then Hero’ing on said trash.  They were discussing practice runs, and the possibility of a good number of them before reaching the intended goal…

They were going for the Gold.

They wanted a completion in 15 minutes or less – not 45.

I admit, I got a little panicky.  My last Bronze had included a wipe or two, and a few restarts before that.  It had included me bottoming out my mana nearly every pull, abusing my healing cooldowns and Mana Tide Totem, and stealing drinks for regen whenever I could.  The damage in Challenge Mode is way more heavy and spikey than in regular Heroics – little, efficient heals do not cut it.

What was I doing here??

Okie, Effy, just keep telling yourself you are a good healer.  You know your Shaman.  You can do this.

A few wipes on trash and I was really anxious.

We practiced on the trash up to both Wise Mari and the Lorewalker encounter.  At one point, we did the dungeon all the way through, and ended with a decent time on a Bronze.  32:59, plenty of time to spare, and that was after wipes and doing trash on both sides before killing Wise Mari.  Just practice, but a full run of it.

Breathe.  You got this.  Mana is in short supply, as are cooldowns, but you got this.

The next time around, I was starting to feel fairly competent, if not comfortable, with the flow of the fights and the rotation of my cooldowns.  There seemed too few, as I would have gladly used several for every pull, but I know my Shaman and her specifics, and I even feel I know her Mists changes fairly well at this point.  I will not go so far as to say I know her limits, because previous to last night, I would never have attempted such a harrowing run.

By the time we completed our first Silver run, in 17:45, almost half the time of our previous run because we did it in order, I was nearly convinced my cooldowns were timed around the encounters…  Managed properly, I felt I was able to space them just right.  Sure, mana was a sorely abused commodity, but I was getting around running low by popping Ascendance and spamming Healing Wave at those times.  I was also taking full advantage of drinking every chance I got, especially during RPs.

We got ourselves down to 15:52 for our second Silver run.  Almost a full minute shy of a Gold.  Could we cut a whole minute off our time?  It was a hefty sounding task, considering the fumes I was getting by on for most of the run already, and I knew everyone was pushing themselves.

But we were feeling confident at that point, our adrenaline was getting up, and we really wanted the big ol’ Gold.

Our next run went really well until Liu Flameheart.  One death seemed to snowball into several wipes.  Probably because we were rushing to finish at that point.  Somehow, we still managed a Silver, though.  23:01 was still pretty good.

Conversation turned to whether that run had had the chance of being a Gold run.

Ranico asked if we were getting tired.  It was about 10:30pm or so at that point.  I was not tired – I was energized.  Every part of me was wound, and I knew I was pushing myself and Effy, but I also knew I could do better.

We all agreed that we would make one more solid effort – Gold, Silver, Bronze, whatever we placed, that would be our last run.

It was time to pull out all the stops.  More stuns.  More DPS cooldowns.  Better timing on my Fire Elemental.  Heck, maybe even my Earth Elemental if it would help our DPS.

It turned out to be a near perfect run.  Everything fell together just as we planned.  Other than my near panic at the beginning of the Wise Mari fight, where it seemed like the entire dungeon was smacking on Ranico and a few seconds of “ugh!” when the bird in the library silenced me, I felt my little healer zen take over.

And we got our Gold, with 6 seconds to spare.

Woot! Number 3 on Elune! GJ, guys!

Gv offered to record our last attempt, and boy I am glad he did!  He posted it on the guild forums, and I thought I would link it here as well.

It is pretty exciting, really.  Challenge Modes seem the ultimate culmination of raid awareness, toon awareness, player skill, planning, and team work.  The most awesome part is knowing it was a display of utmost effort from all of us to not only accomplish the dungeon at all, but to keep trying and tweaking and to earn that Gold.

As nerve-wracking as they may be, I think these Challenge Modes might prove addicting…

~ Effy

I Healed a Heroic – And I Liked It

It has been two weeks that I have been back to WoW, and Effy has never envoked such a mixture of emotions for me as now.  This time around has proven a lot of firsts for me.

  1. 85-90 was my first leveling experience with Effy where she was not paired with Laz.
  2. It was also my first leveling experience where I did not heal a single dungeon while leveling.  (Dungeons were always a breeze with Laz tanking and me healing.)
  3. The one dungeon I ran while leveling was the first dungeon Effy ever topped the DPS.  (Soo sad…)
  4. I am actually feeling like I am doing “okie” DPS in heroics and LFR.
  5. I can count the number of times I have queued as a healer since coming back on one hand.  (Two Headless Horseman, one 1st half LFR, and one heroic.)

It is just so weird to try and consider myself a DPS.  I still feel like a healer in my off-spec when I am in Ele.  In fact, I could not bring myself to touch how her specs were set up – she is still Primary Resto and Secondary Elemental.  Which may seem silly to even mention, but it is a mental thing for me.

I have spent the last week or so at Level 90 trying to prepare myself for DPS’ing, but my eyes wander to Resto articles.  I try to work on my gear, but every piece I find myself pondering for far too long how it will affect both my Ele AND my Resto spec.  (I am being very particular about all my hit being from Spirit, just so it still works as Resto gear.)  I discuss the Shaman class with friends, and the conversation always ends up about healing.

So last night, after finishing the dailies most important, a guildie asked about heroics, and I offered to come along.  Then, it was the question: “Are you going to heal or DPS?”  ><  I keep finding myself responding to that with, “I would rather heal… but I should probably DPS.”

It feels like an obligation.  Lord knows I need all the practice I can get before I embarrass myself in the 25man tonight.

I suppose it is good that we have a number of healers in the guild, and I usually do not have to ponder this for long.

Last night, a guildie Holy Priest came to heal, and I stayed Ele.

We ran several, with my fellow blogger-guildie Amowrath tanking for us.  When our Priest logged off, we decided to do a few more.  For the first I stayed DPS, and we got a Resto Druid who died to the second to last boss, sat down to regen, logged off, and did not come back.  I hope he did not think us to blame for him standing in stuff and dying?  :/

Amo was like, “No worries.  We can pull trash while we wait.”  Yah, even trash was too much for my mana under the strain of repeated Healing Surges to last long.  So I switched to Resto, we did the last boss, and we left.

Simple.  Done.

We all agreed on one more, as it was starting to get late, and I “warned” Amo I was staying Resto.

I think Amo was way too easy on me.  I used Healing Stream regularly, but not one time did I drop below 50% mana, nor did I use any CDs.  No Spirit Link, no Healing Tide, no Mana Tide, no Ascension.  I did not even need my herbalism CD or Spiritwalker’s Grace.  <blink>

It was quite different than the flail-flail-OOM that was LFR on Sunday.  Healing Rain seems less powerful than it was before, and certainly more costly.  Either that or it is just that LFR peeps do not seem to like to stack for any reason.  <—-  So apparently that was not the best intro back into healing on my Shaman.  (Headless Horseman does not really count, it is a whole 2 minutes.  I healed, I was OOM, it was over.)

So today I have spent the whole day lamenting having to DPS tonight.  DPS is not me.  When it comes to DPS, I am the WoW raiding equivalent of a minute-man – I start strong, but it ends quickly.  I start to miss punching CDs.  I forget to renew my totems.  (Stupid stupid new totems, every one is 1 minute or less, most much less.  What happened to my high endurance, reliable totems??  The totems that came in fours – one of each pretty elemental color??)

I am not sure if I can really focus on the repeated smashing of the same rotation of buttons for a ten minute fight… over and over and over again.  :/

Usually raid night greets me with an exciting type of nervousness.  Will I be “on my game” tonight?  Will I discover some mind-blowing trick or combination that works “just right” for me?

But I am just a nervous wreck right now…

I am soo going to embarrass the hell out of myself…

And I have so much to do before raid…

Why am I still sitting here typing this post…?

Ahh!!

~ Effy