This is a very proud moment for me. I have a troll of my very own! Not a particularly intelligent one, but when you’ve been blogging for over a year and your 300+ commenters are amongst the nicest of folks around, you can’t afford to be fussy. Sure, my troll doesn’t appear to be smart enough to know how the Warcraft Armoury works and his spelling and grammar are the usual troll standard, but he’s MY troll dammit so leave him alone!
The thing that seems to have provoked my Troll’s ire is Jingles’ Even Bigger Adventure, which is a bit wierd since it’s hardly the most controversial topic I ever posted. But heck, who can say what attracts the Trolls when the official forums are having a slow day.
Speaking of which, I can’t just keep calling him “my Troll”. He may become a regular visitor and will therefore deserve a name! I’d call him George but that may just be bit too Steinbeckian.
Bah! I’ll think of something.
Moving On Swiftly
Yes, all the big news is about Cataclysm, I know, but meh.. it’s a year away and I have more important things to discuss.
Askara is growing up! My little spacegoat shaman is 77 at the time of posting and is having the usual trials and tribulations getting groups for normal instances in order to acquire teh phat lewtz while levelling. Unlike with Sithica, I’ve not twinked Askara at all, no Bind on Account Heirloom items, no expensive enchants, no donations from the Royal Bank of Calli. Everything she’s carrying she earned with the sweat of her own brow, and you know what? It’s still just as easy and quick to level without the expensive stuff as it is with. You know what else? While running Sithica through the Armoury to generate the link to her name, above, I discovered that on the whole WoW-Europe armoury there’s only ONE other character called Sithica. So if you’re that level 10 Night Elf warrior on the Frostwhisper server, congratulations, you almost have the honour of having a completely unique name!
The PuGs have been the usual mix. I got Askara into a Violet Hold PuG a few days ago as the healer, she’s dual-specced Enhance/Resto but her healing gear isn’t amazing. Not that it really matters, but when I saw the tank was going to be a level 73 gnome warrior and the dps were all ranged from level 75 to 78, I really started to get a very bad feeling. As it turned out, things got a bit surreal. It’s wasn’t the smoothest run at all, in fact it ended in tears without a single boss downed, but the way it all panned out was totally bizarre.
First of all, the tank was amazing. This blew my mind. He took a beating, as you’d expect for a tank of his level, but he paid attention to healer mana, kept mobs off me and even took the time to taunt mobs off the overenthusiastic Mage without getting pissed off. Our first boss was Zuramat the Obliterator and naturally, the only people who knew you had to kill (and how to kill) the Void Sentries were the tank and the healer, and we kind of had our hands full, you know… tanking and healing. No big deal, we ran back, briefed everyone on what needed doing and tried again. Round Two was better, but not good enough. At this point, the Mage spoke up, he’d noticed something odd about the level 76 Warlock.
Mage: “Dude, how much spellpower do you have?”
Everyone: “Huh? Are you serious?”
Warlock: “How much do you have?”
Mage: “1300.. you only have 315?”
Warlock: “How you get so much spellpower??!!!??!”
Me: “You might find using your Fel Armour helps with that.”
Mage: “Kick the lock or I leave.”
Ok, it’s hard to find technical fault with the Mage here. Nothing we could do in the space of warming up to take another shot was going to turn this newbie warlock into a dps superstar, but he didn’t have to be such a dick about it. I don’t care how much you suck as long as you’re prepared to listen to advice about how not to suck, and the Warlock pretty clearly was keen to learn. True, he was never going to be able to pull his weight in time to make any difference in that particular group, and we were pretty much doomed to failure, but there’s no need to go and make someone feel miserable just because they don’t have intimate knowledge of how to play their class in a levelling instance where the loot drops don’t matter because you’ll be dropping them for something better in two days. Sure, call it quits if you know the group’s going nowhere fast, but that’s a human being on the other end of that Warlock, don’t be a dick just because you can.
Needless to say the mage just vented some more scorn on the poor Lock and left the group, so we called it after the tank and I’d spent a few minutes giving the Warlock some tips on how to improve his game which was very gratefully received.
Guru of Drakkuru
I had a totally different PuG experience later, after being asked to dps in a group for Drak’tharon Keep (more trolls, see what I did there?). On the surface, this looked like being a much better group. We had a level 80 Deathknight as the tank, a level 76 Paladin healer who was covered in Heirloom gear from head to foot, a hunter who was so anonymous I had trouble even remembering that he was a hunter and a level 73 Feral druid.
The tank was appalling. Really, really, bad. I’m not going to be too harsh since I give props to any Deathknight who’s willing to put aside the loldps for half an hour and try to do something different with their class; and he was at least willing to give it a go, but if he hadn’t significantly out-levelled the instance we’d have been in deep, deep shit because you could pull aggro off him with a wet towel. But like I said, he was at least willing to try and responded to tactics advice without throwing his ego about, so you have to give him some credit. The Paladin was as competent as you’d expect from someone who was clearly the alt of someone with a significant amount of raiding time under their belt. The hunter was… well to be honest I’m not even sure the hunter was a hunter, he was so utterly forgettable. This isn’t a bad thing in a PuG. He didn’t pull aggro, his dps was fine, he didn’t make an ass of himself, so whatever class he was he did okay. The feral druid on the other hand…
Let me just prepare you in advance for this, you’ll need to make sure you’re strapped in so you don’t fall off your chair. Ready for this? Strapped in tight? Here we go.
Yeah, you read that right. Now I know he was using his special attacks because I clearly saw his energy bar moving, so I am utterly at a loss to explain how it was even remotely possible for someone to do less dps in Northrend gear with an enhancement shaman providing melee dps buff totems, than any of my dps characters did at level 60. You can’t even do 300dps just by autoattacking as a feral druid. Just by way of comparison, Askara managed to pull 1200 dps in unenchanted gear that she either made herself or got from the same quests the druid should have been doing, and I in NO way, shape or form am particularly good at playing an Enhancement Shaman. Askara is easily my least-played and newest character.
The mind, quite simply, boggles.
I guess it all goes to show that you just can’t judge a group at face value and expect to be right all the time.
Okay, I know I said I wasn’t going to turn this into a Cataclysm post, but is anyone else getting all excited at the thought of Gnome Priests?
Okay, it’s just me, then.