On Criticism

Picture the scene, Alterac Valley in the level 70-74 bracket. One tower still remaining and you are wiping on Drek’thar. Some bright spark calls out in the aftermath, “There was a priest and shaman here”. Naturally someone (currently playing a warrior) turns to me and promptly starts questioning my ability to play. All fine and good, only I wasn’t anywhere near Frostwolf when they wiped, I was up Tower Point being zerged by 10 Horde. I ended up in Frostwolf because that was our closest graveyard and according to the scoreboard, I was the only Alliance healing Priest.

What would you do?

I (being rather insecure at the best of times), pointed out that I wasn’t there and thus, couldn’t have possibly been responsible for the wipe. All fine and good, however the conversation then took a slightly nastier turn. After naming half our spells, they started quizzing me about my rotations whilst we were fighting and I freely admit, I’ve never really mastered the art of typing and fighting at the same time, pesky keybinds tend to get in the way so I was slow in responding. Next thing I know I’m being told I’m arrogant and stupid for rejecting advice on how to play a Priest from someone with a Priest main.

Now this was the first time they had mentioned a Priest main and since they hadn’t actually offered any advice, I was a bit taken aback. Arrogant is the last thing I think I am and had any actual advice been offered, based on my actual witnessed play, I would at least have listened even though I’ve been playing a Priest since the game went live in Europe because I do subscribe to the general principle that you can always learn something new.

However it got me thinking, is offering unsolicited advice a good thing in any circumstances?

I can understand wanting to be helpful, but surely the right thing to do is assess whether the person you are trying to help is at all interested in your advice before you start and certainly before you call them names. For example if he had been looking at recount and noticed that 90 percent of my healing came from heal, then yes, he would have been justified in saying something. Or if I were trying to tank an instance as say a Prot Paladin and never used Righteous Fury then as a victim of my sloppy tanking, sure but without a reference point, it just comes across as insulting and condescending.

Yes, he got my back up right from the start. Being accused of causing a wipe when you were half a map away is never a good way to start a conversation but even if this was my first ever Priest, would I want help from someone who started out that way? Probably not. First up, any one can claim to have a main of a certain class but that doesn’t mean they know what they are doing. Secondly, healing in PvE and PvP are different beasts so just because you’re good at one doesn’t mean you are good at the other. Thirdly, before you offer advice, it rather helps if you actually have something the person you’re offering it to did wrong (in your opinion) as a baseline.

I’ve always helped people who have asked for help but I’ve never been so confident in my own “awesome” abilities to feel happy dishing it out unasked.

Replaying the conversation, I can’t help but think he or she is the arrogant one, assuming that A. I’d never played a Priest before and B. that I’d made it to lv 72 without having looked at Elitist Jerks or any of the many Priest resources online and thus needed the help in the first place.

Time flies when you’re having fun

We’ve been back over a month now which just goes to show how time flies. So what have we been up to?

PvP and lots of it

Random battlegrounds are strange places. Sometimes everything just falls into place and other times it’s hard to believe you’re playing with other human beings. Although to be fair, quite often, especially late at night, you aren’t.

Rediscovering my love of Priests

On my Druid there are Priest tools I’d kill for and vice versa. Comparing Regrowth say with Flash Heal or Divine Hymn with Tranquillity, even Cyclone with Fear, I find myself wishing . Yes, I get the whole apples and oranges argument but I really think that the expensive panic heals, the regrowths and flashs of Azeroth should come out somewhere similar. Just as I’ve hated seeing Divine Hymn go from being awesome to “Oh look I’ve just boosted everyone else’s healing for a bit”, especially when compared to how good Tranquillity is.

Levelling purely as Disc has changed my appreciation of the spec quite considerably. I’d forgotten how over powered well geared low level Priests are. Reflective shield is awesome and mind control never gets old. I’m also loving the changes to grace and being able to be immune to silence/kicks. Just wish Holy would get some love soon.

Farming gear for Transmogrification 

We started with the Black Temple and in case anyone was wondering you can 2 man up Gurtogg Bloodboil and everyone before him. It didn’t take too long either as you can skip most of the trash leading to the the first two bosses. As a feral Druid and ret Paladin, the only issues we had (apart from getting slightly lost) were when we forgot to clear the trash in Akama’s room before starting him off. Far too many stuns/sleeps and other such annoyances ensued and we died. Lesson learnt, it was probably the easiest of the fights.

For High Warlord Naj’entus, we just stood close to each other for easy spike removal. On the shade of Akama, clear the room before you start and I really don’t see how you could go wrong.

Whilst we were wandering about remembering how much we hated the place when we were raiding it, we paid a visit to Teron Gorefiend and I got revenge for all those times he gave me that hateful debuff first.

Revenge is a dish best eaten cold

Unfortunately no Priest on a stick this reset but we intend to see if the rest is clearable with 2 at some point. The Reliquary of the Lost is probably going to be the biggest challenge but since we can both kick, hopefully it will be passable.

At 250 gold per boss, plus gems and other bits and pieces from the trash, it’s pretty good money as well.

Transmogrification picks: Staves

I’ve been thinking about transmogrification quite a bit recently and I noticed as I flicked around fashion blogs that there was very little discussion about weapons.

So in no particular order, here are my favourite staves.

The Staff of Earned Tranquillity/Chillwind Staff.

Unfortunately, the former is only accessible to Worgens and the latter is an Alliance only quest reward. Here you see the Tranquil version modelled by my Worgen Hunter. Basically it’s a skull bound to the staff with vines and roses. Every so often petals drift off, falling behind you. Despite being slightly creepy, it’s got a dreamy feel to it. I imagine it working best for Shadowpriests and Warlocks but any staff user could bring it out for the Gothic look.

Here is the Chillwind model in the mitts of Sproutling, Gnome Priest of Doom.

I can’t help preferring the red roses on the Worgen version but this is better than nothing for those of us who don’t have fur and fangs.

Staff of the Green Circle/Staff of the Verdant Circle/Draenic Wildstaff

The first two are  the lv 20 Druid reward staves from the Shadowfang Keep quest. The latter drops from the Avatar of the Martyred in Heroic Auchenai Crypts. They scream Resto Druid in my opinion, however would suit anyone wanting to bring a bit of flower power to their lives. The staff flowers in two different colours, first a pale blue and then the pink shown here as well as having leaves float off it every so often.

Terestian’s Stranglestaff/Medusoid Staff.

Who wouldn’t want an octopus on a stick? The former drops from Terestian Illhoof, one of Karazhan’s demonic inhabitants and the latter is a quest reward from Vash’jir, which is available to both factions.

I can’t help but think this is one occasion where the sequel is better than the original. I much prefer the vivid blues of the medusoid to the green of the Stranglestaff. Not sure why but for some reason, I always think of this suiting Moonkins.

Staff of Rampant Growth/Conifer Cone Staff/Shadow Wing Focus Staff

The former is no longer available, as the Nature Dragons it used to drop from were removed. However the Conifer Cone staff is a random world BoE green from Wrath of the Lich King.The Shadow Wing Focus staff comes from BWL and is a different colour scheme to the other two, using reds and browns rather than vivid green.

The Staff of Rampant Growth was actually my most expensive ever DKP purchase. Every staff user in my old guild wanted it, mostly so they could wave it about giggling about the name. It suits Druids, especially those planning on wearing tier 1 or perhaps an autumnal outfit.

The evil red version would work well with Mage tier 5 or maybe Warlock tier 6.

Charmed Cierge/Spire of Twilight

Another creepy number  but I rather like the idea of running around with a giant candle stick. The Charmed Cierge drops from WotLK Naxxramas and the Spire of Twilight which is no longer available in-game dropped from the 40 man version.

Lifebinder/Dreambinder/Rapture

All three of these can be found in Ulduar and there are slight variations in colour between the different models.

Benediction

The good old Priest classic for those of us who want to relive the days of  confetti trailing behind us like breadcrumbs for the rogues to follow.

Staff of Siphoned Essences

This comes from Grim Batol and despite being fairly simple, I love the vivid colours and the shell like shape. As a version drops on both normal and heroic it should be fairly easy to obtain as well.

Zhar’doom, Great Staff of the Devourer

This drops from Illidan in the Black Temple and is a must have for the Warlocks amongst us.

The lv 60 PvP staves (Alliance version/Horde version).

I particularly like the Alliance giant Hobby horse version but both are easily obtained and striking.

Edit: Unfortunately Blizzard decided to make the 60 PvP gear an exception, so unless you had rank 8 or higher on the character you want to transmogrify it on, it’s not available. If you did have rank 8 or higher, you need to visit Area 52 in Netherstorm and buy a new version for gold rather than honour points.

Priest on a Stick otherwise known as Staff of Immaculate Recovery.

Dropping as it does from Gurtogg Bloodboil in the Black Temple, this wonderful but somehow creepy staff would work well with Priest tier 5.

So fellow staff users when 4.3 breezes in, will you stick to your current model or will you be tempted by something else?

Personally I’m thinking the Medusoid for Teasel, I quite like the idea of smacking random dpsers in the face with a octopus.  Erinys will probably stick with the Benediction as she likes glitter and my baby gnome Priest will go for the Chillwind.

Screenshot Saturday – Random is Random

Feeding an Addiction

This is Sproutling and she’s my guilty secret.

She’s also a Priest.

I wanted a Gnome Priest as soon as Blizzard announced their intended inclusion in the game, however race changing Erinys (Elf through and through) or Dornröschen (Forsaken for unlife) just didn’t seem right. Thus Sproutling came to be.

Her name comes from the fact that my Warrior who sported the same hairstyle (called sprouts) was always referred to as “Sproutling” or more commonly “your stupid Sproutling”.

So far she’s been decontaminated (as much as you can decontaminate a gnome), escaped Gnomeregan and made her way to Darkshore via several Arathi Basins and a handful of Warsongs. Low level PvP is best described as hilarious. In WSG one team always ends up camping the other’s graveyard and Arathi bears more resemblance to a mass Lemmings outing than a battleground. No one defends anything, it’s just a massive game of musical chairs with bases swapping every few minutes. The delay being the length of time it takes for people to walk from one to the next. As a Gnome with tiny little legs I’d love an engineering mishap to shrink the two pre-mount AB maps down a size or two. Getting up to the Lumber mill is like climbing Mount Everest (well close enough).

My intention is that she will stay Disc and perhaps I’ll grow to like the spec a bit more outside PvP. After all, a girl can’t have too many Priests now, can she.

The Culture of Losing: Gear, Bots and Strand of the Ancients

This is a rant thinly disguised as a constructive post.

First up, disclaimers.

I realise that random is entirely that. The players making up your team and the opposing team are picked at random from a large pool of people. The battleground map is picked at random too. There is no malicious consciousness set on deliberately ruining your day behind these random choices. Sometimes it just feels that way.

Gear Discrepancies

I don’t want to be playing with sub 100k health and zero resilience wearing people, especially when the opposing team are fielding a full bunch of ruthless wearing, hard hitting, 140k plus, objective focused gladiator wannabes. Nor do I want to face people with no gear, I don’t play battlegrounds to farm people at the graveyard. What’s the point of keeping score when you know the outcome as soon as you see the enemy riding across the map.

I’m not saying that everyone with sub 100k health isn’t objective focused just that if you can’t kill anyone or outheal anyone’s damage, you are a waste of space (Yes, there are exceptions to this and they are usually Frost Mages however they tend to be few and far between). I’m currently playing a Resto Druid and the difference between geared and non-geared players is immense. I spent a good 10 minutes running around Tol Barad with 5 brand new 85 Horde trying to kill me but barely being irritating. If you are in a 10 man battleground and half your team can’t kill one healer you have a major problem. Suddenly you are outnumbered nine to five. Then there is the fact that if you are particularly squishy, you tend not to be able to reach any objectives in the first place. Spending 90 percent of your time in the graveyard is not helpful.

Then there is the lose fast culture. The two teams clash, one team comes off as the clear and definite winner due in part to gear. From the graveyard comes the “lose fast”, “they out gear us”, “we can’t win”, “you all suck”, the latter usually coming from a Deathknight in greens and epics from a previous expansion. The game is basically over, it doesn’t matter how hard you as an individual try when a good chunk of your team are content with taking their losing honor as fast as possible and trying again.

So on to the constructive bit. You can’t enter Heroics without a certain item level of gear so why not implement something similar but different for Battlegrounds. The 40 mans would be available to anyone regardless of their gear as the sheer numbers tend to balance out across both teams. That way brand new 85s would still be able to play with friends whilst gearing up.

The rest, because each individual contribution is much more important in smaller scale PvP would be divided up into two brackets on plus and minus say 340 item level basis (the number would increase as the expansion progressed).  Everyone in levelling gear would only be fighting people in levelling gear. Yes, it won’t stop people in pure PvE gear getting steam-rolled by those in PvP gear but since it seems rare (in my experience) that anyone bar brand new characters don’t have some sort of PvP gear already, it shouldn’t be too bad. It should make everyone’s experiences a bit better and provide more balanced games, removing the need for threads like this on the forums.

Afkers/Bots

Then we come to the afkers/bots, some of which are doing it because gearing up half way through an expansion/season is horribly painful and some of whom just don’t like PvP in general or hate having to play with the “random” factor.  Having recently took part in an Arathi Basin in which five people, one third of our team never actually moved from the start zone, I’m rather unimpressed with people who join games and don’t play. Again, I feel it comes down to the accepted culture of losing that permeates battlegrounds at the moment. Through the random queue system and the various bits and pieces you get throughout the game (especially during battleground weekends) honor just ticks up too fast from losing. There is no incentive to fight hard to turn around a losing game  and since Blizzard don’t seem to care about people botting in PvP, there is no incentive not to do that either. Yes, I’m sure that people who do afk through games would rather pick up winning honor but it’s still better than nothing. Part of the problem is perhaps that honor can be converted to justice points allowing people who don’t like PvP to gear up for heroics/raids in an afk fashion. Botting 5 mans is a bit more obvious than botting battlegrounds.

What I would like to see is a reduction in the amount of honor you receive for a losing game. The object of PvP is to win, everyone in the team should be focused on that and not the fact that losing fast is better than winning slowly. I accept that sometimes bad luck means you can lose ten plus games in a row, so I feel that there should be some honor for losing but it should be minimal. Hopefully this would also mean that the voices crying to lose fast from the graveyard would finally shut up and start focusing on objectives.

I would also like to see the honor all being rewarded at the end of the game, not piecemeal through as it currently is. That way if someone is afk and it takes you half the game to get them kicked out, they get nothing just as they deserve.

I also feel that Blizzard should police their battlegrounds and implement severe punishments on a regular basis for people caught botting/afking. At the very least, all their honor/conquest points for the current season should be wiped along with everything they have bought with said honor up to this point, including any PvE gear/mounts etc. It is after all, a form of griefing. Winning with one hand tied behind your back because you don’t have a full team is tricky and the late night games where you are desperately hoping the opposing team has as many bots as you to give your side a fighting chance are horrendous. I once played an AV in which both teams had 40 players but only six people from eighty were actually fighting. Five on our side, four paladins and my hunter and one on theirs. Needless to say we won, but it took a while. Unfortunately though, whilst threads like this fill the battleground forums, Blizzard keep rather quiet on the subject.

Strand of the Ancients/10 mans

Everyone who likes battlegrounds will have one or two maps they hate. For me, it’s SotA and EotS, according to the forums for other people it’s AV, Isle of Conquest and quite often SotA. I’m also not too partial to the 10 mans because of some of the reasons I’ve outlined above. You can’t afford to have low geared or afk people in a 10 man unless the opposing team has similar and since that’s random, more often than not, they just pull you down.

So I propose that we can set one or two battlegrounds that we just don’t want to ever see. For me, one would definitely be SotA, my heart sinks every time I see that loading screen.  Although popping Treeform and dancing about instant rooting demolishers and players is pretty fun, I could live without the thrill and happily never see the place the again. It’s not helped by the fact that someone always afks straight away before the game even starts. Failing that, I’d like random to be a bit less random. Knowing that if you get SotA, whatever battleground you get next won’t be SotA would go along way to making the place a bit more palatable.

Random questions and stuff

But Teasel, you only hit 85 10 days ago, surely you must have been one of those undergeared people you’re complaining about?

Nope. I timed my arrival at 85 to co-inside with Alterac Valley weekend. When I dinged, I already had 4000 honor points and 4000 justice points so I could already buy a couple of decent 85 items, which I gemmed/enchanted before queuing up for more 40 man goodness. When AV weekend ended, I then queued specifically to the 40 mans for a day or two to make sure I had gear I was happy with before hitting the random queue. I hate the idea of inflicting myself on people if I feel I can’t pull my weight.

Losing fast? Can you lose fast? Oh yes. However, it tends to bring out my bloody mindedness and I’m good at making losses slow and painful. Tagging back bunkers, stealing flags and trying to make sure the lemmings don’t die can be lots of fun especially when they are all calling you names in chat.

Finally, yes I realise that there are rated battlegrounds where you don’t have to carry people with zero resilience (unless you choose to) or put up with afkers/bots. However, I like to battleground throughout the day and finding nine to 14 likeminded people at 6am would be a challenge. Plus fielding a team which works well together takes time and commitment (in my experience getting commitment out of WoW players is a painful process). Besides, people should be able to queue for an aspect of the game which they enjoy without having to put up with bots/afkers and rogues wearing dresses.

Eye of the Storm Draw

Since they were the better team in terms of gear and team play, it’s still a victory of sorts.

Screenshot Saturday – Levelling Archaeology

The only thing keeping me going whilst levelling archaeology is the scenery. Flying from one end of a continent and back again got stale fast, so now I’m focusing more on the landscape and less on actually digging stuff up. Although I would love to know how the scandalous silk nightgown survived being in the ground so long and yet remains recognisable.

Horse Riding Rage

Am I the only person excited about the new Worgen mounts? I’ve wanted this one ever since I first saw them running wild in Grizzly Hills. The black stallion that already exists as a mount has always been my go to human mount as well, so I’m doubly happy that I’ll be able to get a new version without a saddle.

Picture "borrowed" from MMO-Champion

Yes, it’s a horse and no, horses aren’t particularly exciting but the Worgen were human once and I’d rather have a horse as a mount than some random spiky monster creature. Not convinced I would ride one on a Worgen though, the males certainly look too big for them and the females are a bit borderline.

I’ve dug my Gilnean tabard from the bank and am now frantically running dungeons whilst wearing it. Which also has the added benefit of collecting bits and pieces which I may or not use for transmogrification.

The number of threads full of angry people complaining about them has surprised me  a bit, although I can see why people might think that a horse doesn’t quite match up to a goblin trike. However what would have made more sense? Some sort of were-horse with flashing eyes and fangs? But then we’re heading dangerously close to Warlock territory. A giant wolf? But then that’s stepping on Orc toes (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially if you’re wearing heavy boots but the complaints would be worse). That were-pig creature that we saw the concept art for? Well I don’t remember seeing any of those running around Gilneas and I’m not sure other than the “were” aspect quite why Worgens would ride pigs. Giant mutant mastiffs? Yes, please but can I still have a cream coloured pony too.

I’m hoping that adding these mounts will then allow Blizzard to produce Goblin and Worgen PvP mounts at some point in the near future and then with the Gilnean War Horse, add some armor and other bits and pieces to make it more exciting whilst still giving us the plain option of these horses.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,302 other followers