Archive for July, 2010

Virgin Tanking BRD in a Bikini

Posted in WOW with tags , , , , , on July 25, 2010 by Razorstorm

Did that title get your attention or what?

I finally completed dual-speccing my paladin, Dedeamona (Lightninghoof-US hordeside), into her Protection spec.  She’s been Holy since level 10, so this was a pretty big deal.  I selected my talents, using a spec shamelessly pulled from Wowhead.  I rebuilt her toolbars for her new identity.   I bought my glyphs, supplemented my random tanking items I already had with pieces from the auction house, and queued up for a dungeon!  She was level 58, and I had no desire to struggle with a DK for aggro on my first run, so I queued very specifically for BRD.  I figured that I’d out-level it a bit, and that my gear was plenty sufficient for it, so hopefully it would be a good place to try out pally tanking for the first time and learn what the heck I was doing.  I fully expected that the group would fall apart and not finish, because that’s what happened every other time I’ve run BRD in the past.  That’s right, you heard me.  I’ve never completed BRD before. No one in my pugs ever knew how their way through the damn thing.  So I clicked in for my instant queue fully expecting that things would fall apart in about an hour. 

Well, wasn’t I shocked when I had not one, but two people in my pug who knew what they were doing!  So we kept going.  And going.  AND GOING!  DAMN THAT IS A LONG DUNGEON!!!!!!!!

Ahem. Forgive me.  Moving on.

Three hours later we finally took down Emperor Dagran Thaurissan.  I was so tired, but I was thrilled.  I finally beat that place.  And now I don’t ever want to do it again, unless I’m going in with friends.

But I tanked it!  That’s right, on her virgin tankadin run, Desdeamona tanked BRD all the way through.  I didn’t do a half bad job, if I do say so myself!  I did however make the #1 “Pally Tank Newb Mistake” of all time.  That’s right, I forgot to turn on Righteous Fury for about the first 30 minutes.  And I gotta tell you, that was a rough 30 minutes.  I wasn’t holding aggro on anything for more than a few seconds.  Once I realized my mistake and clicked the freakin’ button, suddenly things weren’t so difficult anymore.  

I didn’t find a single upgrade from the whole run, so I guess her scabbed together gear wasn’t as bad as I thought.  I have to say, I absolutely love her chest piece right now.  And I was afraid when I equipped her first plate chest piece that it wasn’t going to be pretty.  Check out this bad girl!  Princess Leia, eat your heart out!  

 

That’s right.  That bikini top there is freakin’ PLATE MAIL! 

I love blood Elves.  Yep, I do.

And I love tanking. 

That is all.

-Razorstorm

Jizella’s Homecoming

Posted in WOW with tags , , , , , , , , on July 25, 2010 by Razorstorm

Versuvius is my Draenei shaman on Earthen Ring-US.  I plan on doing a background post on him, but I really wanted to get this out there.  So, here’s just a really quick background. He and his young daughter, Jizella, escaped from Draenor with their people, as one of the last groups of refugees.  She was swept off her feet by a human man during their first visit to Stormwind.  She stayed there while Versuvius returned to continue his work in Azuremyst, and after hearing whispers and rumors investigated and then joined the Netherbane  Demonhunters.   This was her return home, as RPed between myself and my wife, playing Jizella.  Some of the dialogue has been edited, and additional narration has been added, but largely, this is a pretty accurate dramatization. 

The old Draenei sat on the docks outside the Exodar awaiting the boat that would take him across the channel to Auberdine fishing rod in hand.  One of the small tentacles on his chin gently stroked the long white mustache that reached down to his chest.  The sun was low on the horizon line, the temperature was mild, and the fish were biting.  He listened to the wind.  It said today was a good day. He agreed.

A gentle voice came from his left, “Are the fish biting today?”

Versuvius looked up from the water, at the young Draenei girl standing a few feet away and gasped.  “Ji… Jizella,” he sputtered as he rose to his feet, the fishing rod forgotten on the pier, “What are you doing here?”  The young woman cautiously took a breath, as if to brace herself against an oncoming blast of wind.  “I thought you were staying in Stormwind.” he asked critically.

She replied bitterly, “I’ve decided I’ve had enough of humans and their world.”  Then she added softly, “I’ve come… home.”

Versuvius’ opened his mouth as if to speak, but was overwhelmed, not be able to form the words.  Finally he simply said, “I missed you.  I missed you very much.”  He slowly walked up to her, and firmly took hold of her shoulders.  She braced herself, for the coming storm of parental scolding… which never came.  Instead, he leaned in and gently kissed her on the forehead.  He pulled back and looked at her with eyes the color of ocean depths.  “Are you… Are you all right?”

“Yes,” she replied. “But I never want to see another human as long as I live,” she added with a touch of venom. 

Versuvius smiled sadly, “Oh my child,” and pulled her into deep bear hug.  She wrapped her arms around him and rested her cheek on his chest.  He seemed stronger, more alive than the last time they were together.

After a moment, they pulled apart, and Jizella leaned against a post, looking down into the water below.  “You were right. That human was horrid.  I never should have trusted him.  That very night, after I’d moved in, he came home, drunk, with another woman.  He said he “forgot” that I was there!” 

Versuvius let her keep her distance, “Oh my child, I’m so sorry.  I knew he wasn’t to be trusted.”

Her mouth tightened with hurt and anger at the memory.  “I left that night and haven’t been back since.” 

“I wish I’d stayed longer, rather than rushing back here.  I should’ve known something like that would’ve happened,” Versuvius replied.  Then he realized something was missing, “But if you weren’t staying with him… what did you do?”

She looked further out to sea, so that her father wouldn’t see her sly smile. “Not so hard to get by in the gentle wilds around Stormwind.  Much easier than during the aftermath back home.  I stayed in a cave I found out in Elwynn Forest…” she paused for effect, “and I met another charming fellow.”

Versuvius growled, “Another charming fellow?  Another human?”

Jizella turned to face her father with a grin.  He didn’t smile back.  She pointed down the pier, and his gaze slowly followed.  About 20 feet away, sitting calmly on the dock, was a large brown bear.  Jizella made a signal and he slowly made it to his feet and lumbered down the dock to nuzzle her hip, almost knocking her into the water.  She braced herself against the post and scratched behind his ear as he growled in pleasure.  “His name is Bernard.  He is very loyal.”

Versuvius scowl melted into a smile, and he chuckled heartily through the exchange.  He crouched down in front of the bear and looked into its large dark eyes.  “Hello Bernard,” he glanced at Jizella after saying the awkward name. “Pleased to meet you.”

“Don’t worry,” Jizella added.  “He’s really just a bear, not one of those druids that can look like a bear, or anything.”

Versuvius rose to his feet.  “You’ve been gone for some time.  Much has happened while you were gone.”

Jizella looked concerned, “What have you been doing?”

Versuvius turned to look at the hills beyond the Exodar, where Azure Watch could just be seen, and in the hidden distance beyond, to Blood Watch.  He took a deep breath, knowing where the conversation was heading.  “I spent several weeks helping our people rebuild and secure a safe haven on this island,” he said, stalling.

Jizella nodded and laughed gently, “That sounds just like you.”

Versuvius continued stalling, “Then I ventured into the nearby continent, into the lands of the Night Elves to relearn how to hear and speak with the spirits of this new world.”

“How did that go?” asked Jizella.

“I hear them more strongly than I did back home.  I have found the spirits of this new world… suit me.”

“Oh?” Jizella said, somewhat surprised.

“And… I have joined a crusade, against the Burning Legion.”

Sensing that there was more he was holding back, Jizella prodded, “Really?  What sort of crusade?”

Taking a deep breath, Versuvius proceeded cautiously, “They are called the Netherbane.” He paused, bracing himself.  “They are demonhunters.”

Silence.  Then, “What?!” she spat.

“Yes,” he replied.

“But… you are a shaman, not a demonhunter,” she shot back.  “What happened to peace and love and all of that?”

“Sadly I believe that the only way to achieve peace in a world that is under siege by the Burning Legion is to fight it…” he paused then pressed on, “to destroy it through any means necessary.”  Seeing her shocked expression, he added, “I’m doing this so that someday you may live in a world that they do not touch.  I think of you everyday.”

Jizella’s look of shock slowly shifted to one of disgust as she leaned in, whispering harshly, “I’ve heard about these demon hunters.  They cut their eyes out, did you know that?  Did you know that some of them become demons themselves?”

Versuvius held firm, like a stone being crashed by a wave, “I know all of this.  More importantly, I know why they do it.  They do what others are not willing to do, in order to save this world.  I think they are very noble.”

Jizella rolled her eyes, “Oh wonderful! So they are martyrs on top of it all!”

Versuvius smiled sadly, “Perhaps we are, at that.”

Jizella turned away and walked to the other side of the pier, shaking her head.  “I don’t like it.”

Versuvius continued solidly, “I don’t expect you to understand.” His voice choking on him, “This is not something I could have done before… before your mother…”

“Oh, stop!  Just stop!” She cut him off, whipping around to face him.  She took a breath to calm herself.  “What do you think the Naaru think of your sacrifice?”

Versuvius’ eyes flicked to the side, not meeting her glance.  “I believe the Naaru understand what is in our hearts better than most.”

“Ugh, that is just what they told you to think,” Jizella retorted.  “What happened to you?  You’re not thinking clearly!”

They have told me nothing about the subject,” Versuvius replied, his voice catching fire.  “That is what my heart tells me.  And I have stared in the face of O’ros since I made this decision.  I feel no shame.”

Jizella paced away from him in frustration, and then circled back to him, her expression softened.  “Father, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have left you alone.  I know you were worried about me, and perhaps this radical group sucked you in because you had no one else.  But I am here now.  I will take care of you and you won’t need your demon friends anymore.”  She softly reached her hands out and took hold of his.

Versuvius firmly held her hands, and looked her square in the eye, “I am glad you have returned to our people.  More than you can ever understand.  I hope for nothing more than to see you fall in love and experience the joy of a family of your own.”  Jizella snorted and looked away at this, but Versuvius held on.  “But I cannot in good conscience turn away from my path.  I hear the voices of this world.  It is in pain.  It needs to be cleansed.  It needs to have this infection that is the Legion purged.”             

Jizella smiled as she would to a child, and gently stroked one of his tentacles, “I know, father, but it will get easier with time.  We just need to get you some help.” 

Versuvius stopped her hand, “Jizella. I do not need help.” 

She kept smiling and took his hand. “This is all the result of things they’ve told you, and probably some strange drugs, too.”

Versuvius’ jaw dropped in realization, “You think I’ve been brainwashed don’t you?”  Jizella only shrugged innocently as he continued, “You think they’ve indoctrinated me to believe whatever they tell me, don’t you?  Do you really think me so… simple, so weak and senile?”

“Father,” she replied.  “I still love you, and I’m here for you.  This is a new world, and this isn’t your fault.  We are still so new here, it’s not your fault they’ve taken advantage of you.  It happened to me too with that human.  It happened to both of us.”

Versuvius tore his hands away from her, his eyes alight with frustration, “They have not taken advantage of me.  I sought them out.  This is my choice, my path!” 

Jizella took hold of his hand again, “Come along father.  Let’s get you somewhere you can rest.  I’ll make you some soup.”  She turned to walk up the pier, pulling him behind her.

Pulling her back to face him, “I will not be patronized by my own daughter!  You may not understand my decision, but at least have the respect to recognize that it was my own choice!”

She nodded, “I know it was.  Now let’s get you home.  What sort of tea would you like me to brew for you?”

Versuvius stepped back.  “I don’t believe this.  I will not come home with you and be fed soup and tea like some sad, senile elder that is on death’s door!”

Jizella stayed deliberately calm, “Father, you are getting so defensive.  I’m only trying to help.  Soon, you will be well again.  And don’t worry about the Netherbane.  I will take care of them.  I will make sure that they never bother you again.”

A puzzled and concerned look crossing his face, Versuvius replied, “’Take care of them?’  Just what, child, you to you think you are going to do?”

“Don’t worry father,” she replied confidently.  “I will be safe.”

“No you don’t be,” he railed.  “The places I walk these days are dangerous.  They are filled with demons and Orcs bent on ripping this world apart as they did our homeland!”

“Well, I survived that.  I will be fine… though they will not.”  And with that she pivoted on a hoof and walked towards the entrance of the Exodar, deep in thought.  Bernard, who had stayed seated during all of this trotting along behind her. 

Versuvius held his ground, “Where do you think you’re going?”

She turned and yelled back, “I’m going to make you tea!” She then turned again and continued on, the setting sun at her back casting long shadows. 

After sputtering for a second, “Jizella, come back here!  We aren’t finished with this!”  Her stride didn’t falter for second.  Versuvius stood there in shock at what had just happened.  He reached down and picked up his forgotten fishing pole and sat down to think about this new development.  He asked the wind what it thought he should do.  He got no reply.

Where did Outland go? I think I missed it…

Posted in WOW, Wowcentric with tags , , , , , , , on July 15, 2010 by Razorstorm

So Rayzorstorm hit 70 last night!  Woohoo!  It’s about freakin time, sheesh.   Guess what?  So did Lahruna!  Happy level 70’s!  Yay! 

So, I had an interesting realization.  I don’t feel like I saw very much of Outland.  Thinking back, we entered at 58, walked through the Dark Portal.  We made our way to Honor Hold.  Did some questing around there.   Made our way to Shattrath, and used it as a hub.  Ran a bunch of dungeons!  However, looking at the list of Outland dungeons, I sure missed a bunch!  Here’s my progress on Outland Dungeonmaster:

There’s SO MANY I haven’t done!  I feel so cheated!  What zones?  How much of Outland did I really see?  Well, I saw most of Hellfire Peninsula, for sure.  Ran all over that place.  Saw a bit of Terrokar Forest.  Especially around the big ole complex that has all of those Ethereals dungeons, Mana Tombs, Auchenai Crypts, etc.  Touched down in Nagrand very briefly just to farm a little leather, for all of maybe 30 minutes…  Flew over Zangarmarsh… Flew over Blades Edge Mountains on our way to Netherstorm, since we suddenly realized that we were 67 and needed to get out of Hellfire Peninsula.  Didn’t even set foot in Shadowmoon Valley.  Leveling in Netherstorm was painfully slow, so halfway through 68 when someone told us we could now hop over to Borean Tundra in Northrend, we were gone! 

So now I’m standing in Northrend, just dinged 70, and I’m asking myself… Where did Outland go?  I feel just a little cheated.

On the plus side, last night I got to see my first INTERNET DRAGON that wasn’t trying to eat my face off!

And, for posterity, here’s what Rayzorstorm looks like at level 70, with a little gear I got from my VERY FIRST RAID! (More on that and my Epic Floor Tanking skills later)

Oh, and I was totally going to post a pic of what Rayzor looks like in bear form now, but then I realized… He looks the same as he always looked…  That might constitute a post of its own…

-Razorstorm

Am I a “Softy Healer”? (Blog Azeroth Shared Topic)

Posted in WOW with tags , , , , , on July 11, 2010 by Razorstorm

In this week’s shared topic on Blog Azeroth Ecclesiasticaldiscipline posed a question that grew out of her post on how Healers Rule 5-Mans.  Her question is when, as a healer, should you let someone die?

I don’t talk about it very much, but I do heal 5-Mans on my Blood Elf holy pally, Desdeamona, pretty regularly.  I have also been healing in lowbie 5-Mans on my Ele Shaman Versuvius, though he is not specced for it.  At this level his healing is sufficient, and the gear overlap between Ele and Resto helps as well (and I sunk 5 points into the resto tree to help a bit). I have no illusions that I’m an amazing healer, but rarely do people die on my watch.  So I do have perspective on this subject.

Listening to this discussion, I think I’m a “softy healer.”  I personally can’t remember ever actually making the decision that I would no longer heal someone and just let them die.  Part of it comes from a belief that I just shouldn’t do that, and part of it comes from the mindset I’m in when I heal.  I have a natural mental priority in my mind when I’m healing: Me, Tank, DPS, DPS’s Pets.  Yes, I always heal pets as long as things aren’t going to shit.  All DPS are pretty much created equal to me on Healbot.  I have certainly healed people that were pissing me off mostly because I have hard time overriding that instinct.  However, if someone is being a jerk, I may prioritize other dps over them.  If that means they die, then they die, but I will not consciously stop healing them.  I just really have a hard time declaring that I will no longer fulfill the role I promised to do by checking the little box (man, I think I have WAY to large  a sense of duty to a little box). 

Now, I HAVE refused to res someone when we wiped and I had to run back too.  That’s my rule: If I have to run, you have to run. If they are running back, and get lost, that’s different. I’ll res them in the interest of keeping things moving (and out of lots of sympathy, there’s been several times when I couldn’t find my way back into the instance *nasty glare at Blackrock Depths*).

I also wanted to comment on Ecclesiasticaldiscipline’s thoughts about healer’s power in 5-Mans.  Her point was that she finds that healers have more clout in 5-Man’s due to the fact that there is a nasty blame game between tank & dps, while healers stand outside that conflict as a powerful neutral party.  I completely agree with this.  When I tank, I feel a huge rush of relief when a healer backs me in a conflict.  I get incredibly nervous and listen hard when a healer starts to criticize me.  As a healer, I always take a side in these conflicts, and my vote usually swings things. Also as a tank, I pace the run to the healers mana, so they actually set the pace of the run.  It’s very interesting how much power they do have.  I probably don’t wield this power like a I could. 

What do you think, am I a “softy healer?”

-Razorstorm

Mind Control made me feel AWESOME!

Posted in Uncategorized, Wowcentric, wowcentric with tags , , , , , on July 9, 2010 by Razorstorm

Last night we were running a random dungeon and got the Auchenai Crypts for the very first time. I encountered something I never really have before: Mind Control.  It comes from the Phantasmal Possessor, which are summoned by the Auchenai Soulpriest.  You are controlled for a whole minute!  Keep in mind that I’m the tank.  So not only did I start attacking my team mates, but all the mobs go crazy.  So why, you ask, did I feel so awesome? Because I scared the crap out of my teammates!  I swear I got bigger!  And yes, I know its bad that I take a little glee in the fact that I almost ate our healer, but I really have a little giggle to myself at the image of my bear tearing apart our team.  Why? Because I felt badass!  There I was, my big-bear self, tearing aroung the room mauling the clothies!  I so often am used to getting totally pwned in battlegrounds that I think I’ve developed a complex that I’m this lousy, undergeared, wus.  It gave me a small amount of satisfaction that when thrown against  other toons that aren’t twinked out for pvp, I eat their face.

Was it mature? No. Was it a good team mind-set? No.  Did I still giggle like a 12 year old? Yes.

RAWR!

-Razorstorm