5 completely pointless but fun things I would like to see added to the game

  1. Fishing Boats: Ideally requiring 450 fishing and perhaps some kind of weird and wonderful quest chain that sends you all over the game world hunting bits and pieces down. Then at the end of the day you can moor your little boat somewhere peaceful, pour a beer and start fishing.
  2. Dogs: The worg pup is not enough. There are 6 different types of cat mini pet yet no real representation of man’s best friend. This, Blizzard is not good enough.
  3. Tikbalangs. Mostly so that my bank alt currently sporting the infallible tikbalang ward could smirk in a gnomish fashion as everyone who has ever laughed at her wearing said ward gets carried off to the treetops.
  4. Tents: Bind to Account tents that you purchase through one of the many badge things currently on offer. What purpose would these tents serve? Simple, when your alt wants to log out rather than go hunting for an inn, you simply put your tent up and pop inside for easily optained rested.
  5. Some form of trinket that turns you into a Vrykul, preferably one of their hulking red haired scary but strangly sexy women.

101 things to see and do: Pay a visit to Stratholme

Pay a visit to Stratholme before it burned. Wander its streets seeing human faces to those poor plagued creatures who still lurk, shadows of their past selves in its darkened and cursed streets.

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See little Pamela playing with her dolls unknowing of the horrors yet to come at Darrowshire.

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Wander down to the city itself down a pleasant country lane teeming with wildlife. Nothing more dangerous than a relaxing evening stroll, you could be in Elwynn.

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Explore the shops and perhaps pick up a unique souvenir, a Lily for a loved one maybe or a memento mori for yourself.

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Knock on Wood: Freya with Elder Ironbranch from a holy priest’s perspective

picnicatfreyasRan out of pictures of Freya so thought I would use one of us having a picnic with Archmage Vargoth in her garden instead.

The fight is very similar to Freya solo with one notable and annoying addition. She now casts iron roots on up to three targets every so often. The roots have around 38k health and do considerable damage every 2 seconds until they are killed or the person trapped inside them is dead (they are removable with cloak of shadows so if any rogue dies to them, feel free to point fingers).

Before you start, make sure your Grid is displaying the following debuffs:

  • Iron Roots (the full name of this ability is “Strengthened Iron Roots”, but Iron Roots suffices on Grid)
  • Nature’s Fury

as most of the healing will need to be directed at the people suffering from those debuffs, plus the sunbeams. Phase 1 of Freya is always a fairly healing heavy fight and this pairing is no exception. The biggest problem comes when roots meets up with the Ancient Protector as if the imprisoned people are nowhere near a mushroom, the melee can’t free them so casters need to prioritise this and healers should help out if possible.

If as a healer you get caught in this fashion away from a mushroom spawn be extremely vocal especially if you are running with a small number of healers.

Assuming you aren’t silenced, you can damage your own roots but obviously thats a less than ideal solution for healers.

In phase two, you need to keep a particular eye on anyone who gets rooted near the little green bombs she drops (usually the melee) as these will need a lot of focused healing in order to survive (also the other melee shouldn’t be trying to free them, leave that to ranged).

Healers: 6

2 x resto druids

2 x holy priests

2 x resto shamans

Assignments:

1 druid on the maintank & keeping hots on the offtanks whilst the adds are up

1 druid on the offtanks & keeping hots on the maintank

1 priest taking care of one ranged party plus throwing the odd heal on the tank/debuffed people

1 priest taking care of the other ranged party plus throwing the odd heal on the tank/debuffed people

2 shamans prioritising  melee

You could easily substitute Druid number 1 for a paladin and glyph of holy light would help take care of the melee but our only holy paladin is currently slacking due to exams. (Yes these assignments are to make maximium use of prayer of healing and chain heal).

As with most of the Ulduar fights, once your dps stop the tunnel visioned mindless nuking and start prioritising roots, little trees and moving away from other people when they have nature’s fury this is a really simple fight which nets you one extra emblem of conquest and an achievement.

I personally think the easiest add to start out with is Stonebark, he of the ground tremor massive aoe fame, because the combination of roots plus the silence aura can be rather frustating but if you lack huge amounts of aoe healing.. this is probably the one to take down first.

Positioning is everything:

The most important tip here is never to stray too far away from the rest of the raid. Its likely at some point you will need rescuing from the roots and especially if you run with a melee heavy group, you don’t want them to have run miles to save you.

Also don’t all stack under the same mushroom because it goes without saying thats where the sunbeam plus the target of nature’s fury will all end up, forcing the raid to take far more damage than it actually should.

Its also worth making sure your dps are either:

using a macro to target the roots plus the happy little healing trees she spawns occasionally

or

if they are using Grid making sure they have the same debuffs showing

or if they are really after cookies, doing both.

Baby its cold outside!

We are working on hardmode Hodir at the moment and I have to admit the fight has really grown on me. Lots of bouncing around, lots of prayer of healing spamage and a wintery theme.

In order to meet the dps requirement we are naturally scaling back on our healers… (boo hiss) so my top tip is keep an eye on the starlight patches spawned by the druids and use them to speed up both prayer of healing and divine hymn cast/channels. I actually prefer them to the toasty fires now that I’ve found my rhythm of cast a bit, move whilst using instants to reset the biting cold debuff, cast a bit more.

The chicken or the egg: whats really to blame for gender stereotyping in WoW

Two things really annoy me about attitudes towards females in WoW

1. When a woman gets upset, frustated or generally annoyed some bright spark always makes a PMT joke or throws about the word “Hysteria”. Yes we get that it comes from the Greek for “womb” but that has more to do with the outdated beliefs of Hippocrates who named the condition a very long time ago than any empirical proof that only people with vaginas suffer from it. In fact anyone who raids will have played with plenty of dramafic boys who have tantrums and hissyfits at the drop of a hat.

2. Women who blame their poor play on being female. No sweetie, the fact that you either didn’t spot that voidspawn or failed to move has nothing to do with whether you are sporting breasts or man boobs. It is either because you are a muppet or because you have the reaction times of a dead sloth, if its the former maybe raiding just isn’t for you regardless of the vent sex and naked pictures for the forums and if its the latter, paying more attention might help. Either way, your gender plays zero part it in. Most people have time to put down their can of coke (or w/e your poison is) and then move out of the fire/voidspot/spawn/fire wall/lava wave/dire annoying cloudlike thing, so surely you can manage too.

After some consideration I think its the second one that annoys me the most. Everyone stands in something fatal at some point whilst raiding, but the majority of people admit it and carry on. Its not an issue and it certainly has nothing to do with their sexual organs, which is great, after all gender shouldn’t really matter in an online game like WoW. So why do some people insist on making it one?

Now perhaps I’ve been lucky, but despite being an Officer in several successful raiding guilds, despite being an often bad tempered bitch, no one has ever thrown my femaleness at my head. No one has ever diminished my opinion or criticised my performance because of it. My GM is also female and hasn’t had any issues either which got me wondering.

If you ask some of the men who post/use sexist language on the forums/ingame why they behave they way they do, they all tend to reply with a similar answer. Interestingly enough it has nothing to do with where they grew up or any interaction with females outside gaming. Which brings me to my next point, is it possible that women themselves are responsible for the negative way in which they are often perceived in games like WoW?

Sure its not always primary sources, in fact it might be the same person being refered to in every tale, but everyone I’ve spoken to who puts women down has a story about some chick who wrecked a guild, who sent naked pictures of herself to fellow guildmembers, who cried on vent if she didn’t get whatever loot she wanted, childish, disruptive forces who bring nothing but negative energy. I’ve never met a man who blamed dying in a voidspot on being a bloke, yet I’ve met several women who expected to be left off making really stupid lazy mistakes because they have cute and perky breasts. Everytime I hear a woman being happy when someone tells her “she plays great for a girl”, I want to slap her. Trust me, that “girl” thrown on the end is an insult especially when you consider most females playing WoW that I have encountered are past their 18th birthday.

Sure if WoW required physical strength or speed, I could understand gender playing a part, but it doesn’t. I could never beat my boyfriend in a 100 metre race and he can carry me whilst I can’t lift him at all, yet I can beat him in a duel (his prot warrior owns my holy priest though… nerf prot dps).

So in conclusion are we really our own worst enemies? Are women responsible for the negativity surrounding women gamers? Its hard to say for sure, but I really don’t think all women help our cause. My reason two definately leads to reason one, but then it turns into some awful loop of excuses, naked pictures, more excuses, accusations of hysteria and then more excuses. Of course, men have to take some of the blame. Just because you heard some story from a friend of a friend of a friend’s nextdoor neighbour’s great uncle about some dreadful guildwrecking harpy who stole the guildbank doesn’t mean you have to judge every single female out there before you play with them. However I’ve seen first hand behaviour from women who really should know better that makes me cringe and then get angry. Please remember next time you blame something on being “a poor little female who can’t play”, its likely to be thrown at the head of the next woman who comes along as well.

To end, I’ll leave you with one of my favourite quotations:

Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed.  If I fail, no one will say, “She doesn’t have what it takes.”  They will say, “Women don’t have what it takes.”

Clare Boothe Luce

Unfortunately, the sentiment still rings true today.

Witching Moon

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Pretty in pictures

This week in pictures (yep, any excuse to post pictures!)

weekinpictures11Even whilst herb gathering in the Hinterlands, its surprising what catchs your eye.

weekinpictures01The view from above Ulduar on a Wednesday just before raid time.

weekinpictures10Us preparing to repay Hodir for all that helm polishing, spear thrusting and other such tasteless, tacky and menial tasks his sons made us do for gold and shoulder enchants.

weekinpictures02It seems even ogres have toys

weekinpictures08My little pink bunny following the call of the wild and bouncing all the way across the desert to Un’goro.

weekinpictures04What happens when all the melee decide to pull everything in Freya’s zone at once, two little priesties taking dirtnaps. I do rather like the way that my mace is trying to eat his tail though.

weekinpictures09Finally, me and the gnomeling nested up a tree in Un’goro. Wish the pet bunny from Noblegarden was pink with white spots, so much more exciting than brown and white.

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