I’ve been putting off the inevitable. But this morning, I took the plunge, and canceled my World of Warcraft subscription, almost 6 years to the day I started playing.
I haven’t logged in since Christmas Day, when I logged in to pick up a few gifts for my alts under the Winter Veil tree. MIA were the many folks who’ve made the game fun for me. And thus I quickly logged off and went back to playing that other MMO.
I have 6 years of memories– both amazingly awesome and incredibly disappointing– behind me with this game. I don’t think I can say the same for any previous game or online distraction.
And then there are those of you who are actually reading this post. The amazing online blogging and twitter community that has sprung up around this game over the years has been a prime motivator and instigator of so much of the fun I’ve had in game. I won’t miss you guys b/c I am taking you along with me via twitter and the other blog.
I may be back for the next expansion, becuase I really am excited about my 150 vanity pets becoming Pokemon.
In the interim, I will still write about MMO guild management topics here when the mood moves me to do so.
But for now, I’m shifting out of the purple shadow form and hanging up my Boomkin dancing shoes for a bit.
As evidenced by the increasingly irregular posts to Bible of Dreams, 2011 was not the best year of my almost 6 years of playing WoW. But still, I bring you, my annual year in review meme…(see also 2010’s edition)
What were you most excited about in the past year?
I managed to find time to level up some goblin ladies and found myself enjoying every minute of it. Well, other than a few really jerky LFD groups. Overall though, had a blast and highly recommend you roll one as they are just too darn adorable to miss out on. I also logged in to make the most of the various holiday activities and bosses, other than Winter Veil.
What was the best thing you bought?
Buying myself and Wrenz each a Vial of the Sands was definitely my most well spent G of the year. A big Bank of Azeroth balance is nice and all, but being able to turn into a huge shadowy dragon, grab a friend in my claws and fly off– that’s priceless!
What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
I would like to have a new reason to log in and play. Right now, I am really not terribly motivated to do so. There have been little pockets of excitement like logging in to transmog my favorite ladies into the gear I most loved, but honestly, other than that and a few other things I’ve blogged about this past year, I haven’t been super motivated above and beyond logging in to hang out and chat w/some of the folks I love playing with across my collection of servers.
What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Hitting the 125 pet mark for Anexxia and Psychocandy, with a little help from my friends. Thank you. 🙂
What was your biggest failure?
I tried to lobby Blizzard to add a tuxedo kitten to the assortment of vanity pets in game, but they didn’t bite. Even though I served up the most adorable cat model for them, my much loved and missed kitty.
What do you wish you’d done less of?
Waiting around to see if I was going to actually be invited to a raid group.
What did you do in the World of Warcraft in 2011 that you’d never done before?
I stopped raiding. And it was really really weird. I’ve been raiding consistently on one or two characters ever since my first character dinged 58 and we needed another healer for our MC raid alliance raid. Raiding didn’t work out for me, despite being in both horde and alliance guilds that were raiding. As became all to clear to me once I gave up the ghost of raiding being a possibility, I didn’t find myself having as much fun in Azeroth on an ongoing basis without it, and thus, spent significantly less time there.
What was your favorite new place that you visited?
Tell us a valuable WoW lesson you learned in 2011.
Watch your back. The dwarves say this to me all the time. I should have heeded them! Also, actions speak louder than words. I have never heard as much malarkey from folks as I have this year. If you don’t walk that talk, don’t bother flapping your jaws about it! ;p
What was your Year in WoW like? Share a link to your year-in-review in the comments!
PS Haven’t written yours yet? Steal my list of Qs and link back to this post!
1) What were you most excited about in the past year?
2) What was the best thing you bought?
3) What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
4) What was your biggest achievement of the year?
5) What was your biggest failure?
6) What do you wish you’d done less of?
7) What did you do in the World of Warcraft in 2011 that you’d never done before?
8) What was your favorite new place that you visited?
9) What was your favorite WoW blog or podcast?
10) Tell us a valuable WoW lesson you learned in 2011.
Anexxia had been at loose ends for a few weeks now, ever since walking out on her raiding team. They continued on with their never-ending fight against evil monsters, leaving Anexxia puttering about in Orgrimmar, restless.
One hot Sunday afternoon, she packed a small bag with her herbalism scissors and her sewing kit, and hopped upon the zeppelin for Tirisfal Glades. It was an easy decision to leave the dust and bustle of the City– she’d never felt welcome there. It was merely the most convenient point from which to set out with the raiding party. With those days behind her, she was free to return to the only place that had ever felt like home — The Dark Lady’s kingdom.
Even from the zeppelin tower, it was clear that things had changed in the years since she left on her crusade for justice. Brill had grown up. No longer a hastily slapped together burg, it was now a respectable place to call one’s home.
Anexxia kept her eyes peeled for for rent signs. The office was the easier find. But it took poking about in a number of unsatisfactory rooming halls before she found the studio. She’d nearly decided not to head up the stairs to look at the place after her encounter with the landlady. She was quite possibly one of the most dim-witted shadow priests Anexxia had ever met. Standing about with her flapping outdated bat-wing staff, not having been in shadow form in aeons. But her feet were getting tired, so Anexxia trudged up the stairs, and found the absolutely perfect place.
Nice rock hard bed, candles everywhere, cobwebs in every corner. Yes, this will do, she thought to herself. “I’ll take it!” she yelled down the stairs at the landlady, who chirped back something about being just thrilled to have another shadow priest in the house.
Taking off her dusty boots, and lying down upon the bed, Anexxia still didn’t know what she was going to do with herself. But at least she was finally home. And thus, she rested.
Because a screenshot is worth a million firey deaths…or something. ;p
Ever since patch 4.2, I’ve been doing a lot of air swimming in Stormwind on my druid. It seems to take a minute or so for the screen to catch up with the idea that she in flight form.
This one never gets old…how exactly is a spellcaster with hands intact, holding a mace, unarmed? Malfurion, honey, you need to buy some glasses!
All these NPCs prancing around and at best they can be counted on to waltz in and take the killing blow on a mob. Unless of course they are busy posing on their ponies, er, kitties. Mmmhmmmm.
Lady, I just met you. But Thrall and I go way back. What is all this true love stuff you are talking about? Who are you again? ANd how did you take over Thrall’s heart? What’s that? You have a book you want to sell me…?
The absolute best part of the Patch 4.2 content is my druid getting to run around as part of a druid posse. Most. Fun. In ages.
Each expansion, I’ve had a goal in mind. For WotLK, it was to save Bolvar Fordragon. This expansion, from the moment I saw the Sandstone Drake, it was to be able to shift into a shadowy dragon. And as of this weekend, that goal is complete.
I didn’t want to get the Vial of the Sands for Anexxia, since she already has an awesome mount for shadowform– the Blazing Hippogryph. Thus, my Alliance shadow priest being the lucky recipient.
I’d burnt out on trying for the Vial on my alchemist after the fourth canopic jar full of nothing more than mummified remains. Thus, I’d started searching for the Vial on the AH every time I logged in, to get a sense of how much it was going for, so I could save up accordingly.
Just last week, I’d seen it up for 75k which was way too rich for my blood. But then something funny happened over the long weekend. Suddenly there was a price war, and we had three of them up with buyouts under 49k, and bids for 44k. Still a ton of cash, but then again, it cost me a lot of cash to make my motorcycle back in the day as well.
For those wondering just how I happened to have so much cash on hand, well that’s a direct result of being used to supporting raiding costs on two characters, but not doing any raiding, on the whole, for months. Instead of using up all my consumables and materials on myself, I’ve been selling stuff as I accumulate it. And continuing with my usual crafting. But not having anything to spend the cash on meant it piled up on the bank alt.
And thus, I’ve met my one Cataclysm goal to date. It’s great timing too — I’m about to be even more busy IRL due to a promotion at work. So even if I don’t play seriously for a few months, I’ll still be able to feel I’ve gone out in a blaze of glory, so to speak. And no, I’m not quitting WoW and I’m not stopping the blog, but I am a bit preoccupied with life outside of Azeroth at the moment. Catch you on the flipside.
I’ve been leveling my goblin shaman in large part through LFD groups. I’ve been enjoying the under 10 minute queues, and seeing the old instances in new level ranges. But what I haven’t been enjoying as much is the non-stop arguing about who gets the spirit gear.
While in Dire Maul, I rolled need on, and won, mail spirit gloves. Our healing paladin, who, in that same moment, won the shield off the King, immediately started berating me. The conversation went roughly like this:
PALADIN: ” Why did you roll need on those gloves, shaman???”
PALADIN: “Don’t you know anything? You use AGI not spirit, dumbass.”
ME: “Actually, as an elemental shaman, with a resto offspec, I can use spirit in either spec. I have the talent that converts spirit into hit.”
PALADIN: “Obviously you don’t raid.”
ME: “Yes, I actually, I do. Your point?”
PALADIN: “If you raid then you should know main spec before off spec.”
ME: “As already noted I’m elemental and have the talent that uses spirit for hit. And you not only got plenty of other loot this run, you can wear plate so you didn’t have more right to win those gloves than I did.”
ME: “Next time, before you start berating a stranger in an instance over loot, be more informed about your topic.”
That’s right. The paladin and I both rolled on mail spirit gloves, in a run wherein they had won a ton of loot, and he threw a hissy fit about my winning them with a need roll. I am not making this up.
Back in October, when I first wrote about the changing face of spirit, I expected we would have some short term hiccups. I did not anticipate, however, that my hybrids (and I only really do instances with my SP/boomkin/ele shaman) would be the target of non-stop harangues from healers who felt that every item that dropped with spirit on it was their priority over mine.
Yes, I understand that healers really really need spirit. But hybrids also can use it. And especially when you are talking about the mail and leather gear, there isn’t a plethora of non spirit gear awaiting my picking it up. And it’s ridiculous to expect me, in PUG 5-mans no less, to pass on any item with spirit on it in case a healer wants it. That’d be a great way to be wearing level 20 quest gear up to 60.
Warlocks and Mages: Still Don’t Need Spirit
Probably one of the more vexing related issues that crops up just as often is warlocks and mages rolling on cloth spirit gear, or my worst case so far: melee DPS rolling on and winning a spirit trinket. I know that Blizzard spent an entire expansion trying to convince locks and mages that they should have a teeny bit of spirit in their gear, but those days are past.
Yes, as someone pointed out to me in their argument as to why I was wrong that they don’t use spirit at all, your rate of out of combat mana regen is dependent upon spirit. That would technically be considered “using spirit” but having a stat on your gear that you mostly reforge away because it only affects your out of combat mana regen does not really fit in with my definition of “using it” the same way that casters who convert it into hit (which you need whenever you are fighting something up to your hit cap.)
At this point, I’m going to have to make a macro to spam before the first boss drops his phat loots, that says something along the lines of: “Since it always comes up, please be advised that boomkin/elemental shaman/shadow priests actually use spirit as hit; I have it talented. It’s not just for healers. Cheers.” Not that it will do any good, but it will save my wery fingers from typing these worn out arguments at least…
Two months ago, I left the guild I’d raided in through most of WotLK and been an officer in for over a year, and joined a friend’s raiding guild. Alas, our friend’s guild had a bad case of Main Tank Syndrome plus a RL revolving door and start time. Although offered the opportunity to run the B team raid and thus have complete control over the RL and start time, in a guild that is now 11/12, my SO and I both put raiding on the back burner for the first time in over 5 years (5.5 years for the SO.)
Truth be told, my RL schedule has been too hectic for the past month to take on progression raiding prep, let alone leading a raiding team. But this leaves me at loose ends. Yes, I have a whole army of neglected alts who would love some attention. But my World of Warcraft — from the time my druid hit 58 and stepped into MC to heal our META guild’s raid– has revolved around raiding. Not always cutting edge, top 5 on the server raiding (though there has been that too), but I’ve always been a part of a regularly scheduled raid team since that first night of raiding.
It feels weird to not need to make any flasks.
It feels weird not to be watching tank spot videos and pestering people to read Jaded Alt’s strats.
It feels weird to be poking around on alts in the evening instead of slaying Internet dragons with friends.
I don’t think this hiatus from raiding will be permanent, but I do think it’ll be longer than a vacation break. It’s absolutely exhausting to think about trying to find a guild that raids horde-side, 6 PT start or a bit later, with fun and friendly and interesting guildies. I am positive it can be done, but I don’t feel like I have the energy or the time to do it right now. And my schedule with the classes I’m taking means I don’t have a more open schedule for raiding at the moment. But I know that once 4.2 hits the live servers, the urge to raid will likely tip the balance back to “must raid!” from the “not enough time to find the right fit in a guild.”
One thing I know for certain is raiding progression is not enough reason to stick it out in a guild where you don’t connect with the other people, or worse yet, they don’t even connect with anyone else. I’ve already spent too much time in guilds where folks were only all about the raid and were PUGging 5-mans alone in a sea of 25+ guildies online, in-between bouts of snarking at each other in the guild forums. I want more than that. And I’m positive I’ll eventually find it.
Due to a real life work and continuing education schedule that hasn’t left me with much spare time, I haven’t raided in a few weeks. Instead, I’ve spent an unusual (for me) amount of time playing my alts. And creating new alts. I blame @psynister’s influence!
This past weekend, I indulged in some profession power leveling on my two goblins, speeding them through inscription (maxing out what’s possible for level 35) and tailoring/enchanting (making good headway for a level 11.) But that’s not even the half of it:
I moved my Tauren druid, who hadn’t been played since the expansion hit, to the server whre I’ve been rolling my goblins to play with some great tweeps.
And proceeded to earn her a level, bringing her up to level 81.
And despite all that, I still had time to push my Alliance warlock to 84
AND get all my toons the Legacy of Arlokk staff
AND do a wee bit of Children’s Week on my primary characters.
All of the above in a few short hours this weekend, in-between bouts of homework! So while all around me I am hearing about boredom and burn out, I’m back to having a nice solid “to do” list, across a half dozen characters. And that’s just the way I like it.
Next up, I’ll need to decide if I want to leave any of my hordelings on Bronzebeard at all. As of now, I’m leaning towards not leaving them there. In the 2 1/2 years I’ve been there, the server environment has changed as far as not having as many PUGs going for raid content, and not a very wide selection of raiding guilds. Plus many of the folks I really enjoyed playing with there have either left the server, or stopped playing. Our friend’s guild is 11/12, which makes it great on the casual raiding front, but it’s really not exactly what I’m looking for from a social standpoint, truth be told. Given all this, I’d prefer to have my beloved shadow priest on a server where she had a number of raiding options, so that she’ll never again be stuck in a less than inspiring guild situation all for the sake of a raid slot.
But that’s all stuff to figure out later. Right now, the class and homework schedule, plus work busyness means not thinking about raiding at all short term. For the first time in 5 years. And yes, it feels pretty strange to not have any raiding progression targets on my “to do” list. It will remain to be seen how well not raiding works out. And where I end up.
Ah, the main tank. This is the raid quarterback role. All eyes are on them, all the time. Unfortunately, as a result, and due to how important and seemingly irreplaceable a good tank can be, some guilds bend over backwards to keep them happy. Often at the expense of the rest of the raid team.
My last serious progression raiding guild, circa Burning Crusade, had such a tank. He slowly but surely drove off many skilled raiders who were also great guildies (disclosure: I wsa one such member driven away), negatively impacting their ability to progress in raids. When last I checked in with them, in very late Wrath, the primadonna tank was gone for greener pastures, and they were nowhere near a Lich King kill. From progression raiding group, to a guild unable to get even one ten man kill of the Lich King. That was the cost to the guild for coddling a tank who was a bad fit for the guild– but able to talk a good game about how the guild couldn’t progress without him.
Don’t become that guild. You really don’t have to. There are always early warning signs that you have a toxic main tank that needs to be neutralized before he disolves your raiding team. Here are five:
Disrespects the other raid members.
This can manifest itself as talking over other people or shouting them down, fingerpointing at others whenever an issue or challenge pops up, and telling other people how to play their role. Often, this behavior is also related to not taking personal accountability for one’s actions and their consequences. Don’t chew out a melee for not knowing which add you wanted them to focus on when you 1) didn’t tell anyone beforehand and 2) didn’t mark a target. Bonus points if the tank also tells other people how replaceable they are.
You’ve told more than 1 raid member to just put him on mute on Vent.
Guildies should not have to put other guildies on mute or ignore. This is not open to discussion for me. Guildies should not have to put other guildies on mute or ignore. Yes, people are people and will have disagreements and different — sometimes clashing– points of view. But I have an expectation that I am playing with people who can be mature enough to have a difference of opinion without being nasty and rude to each other. If your main tank is mouthing off and being disrespectful to guildies to the point folks are upset, maybe you should tell the MT to mute himself.
Comes to raids…whenever he feels like it.
Oh, he missed the raid tonight without telling anyone because he was tired. MMMM’kk. But he wasn’t too tired to come online an hour and a half later to go to another raid? Um, no. He’s playing you. By not signing up for raids in advance, and then not always showing up, he’s playing a game designed to keep you walking on eggshells, saying things like “don’t upset the tank!” How much do you think it upset the 9 people who didn’t get to raid when he blew them off to show them their place? And double minus points if he has transferred off the server to go play with a more progressed guild at some stall in your progression.
Is an alt, with a main in a more progressed guild.
I’ve seen a lot more of this in the past 2 years, likely because of the ease with which we can get our alts geared up through heroics and badge/points gear. My serious raiding guilds would give an auto gkick to people who were raiding (or applying to raid) elsewhere. Why? Because you don’t want a raider who is only half committed to your raid. If you’re super casual this may not be an issue. But if you are working on Al’akir, and finally making some headway, do yuo want to call it when your tank bails to go do something with their main’s guild? Because that’s what starts happening eventually. And again, that leaves your raid team in the lurch.
Thinks (or even says out loud) you can’t possibly carry on without them.
It sucks to recruit a tank for your guild. But that doesn’t mean your toxic tank is irreplaceable. None of your raid members are irreplaceable. And if someone on the team has this attitude– this arrogance, it spills over into their interactions with the rest of the raid team. People don’t like someone who wields their smug superiority over them. That’s not how to build team camaraderie.
A raiding team full of frenemies may have some initial success, but once you hit the end of the tier bosses, you need true collaboration and teamwork to pull things off. If your main tank is exhibiting a few of these traits, sit him or her down and have a conversation about the importance of working as a team. Don’t let a key player unravel the team.
Patch 4.1 brings us 5-man heroic dungeon versions of a couple of classic raids: Zul'aman (ZA) and Zul'gurub (ZG), with an opportunity to deck yourself out in ilvl 353 epics, which should help ease more folks into being raid-ready from a geaer perspective.
Thankfully, the loot tables will additionally help fill in some gaps for some of the harder to source items (i.e. wands and bracers.) Personally, I can't wait for my new and improved Will of Arlokk. That was always my favorite staff…
Once the item databases provide more details, I'll subdivide the list by instance.