Written by | Posted November 19, 2013 – 4:46 pm Deconstruction

Bad things are happening in Stormwind – and beyond.

The Hand of Lothar, they call themselves.

Yva Darrows was their first target.

Tirith and Aely were their second and third.

They have since… expanded their reach and escalated their methods …

RP and Recruitment
comment 1 Written by on November 17, 2011 – 7:58 am

There’s a discussion over at WTT:RP going on about recruitment in RP, and how it differs from other guild types.

Roleplay guilds, by their very nature, can’t really function in the same way as raiding guilds. I’ve talked about that before, particularly when I got a chance to review the Guild Leader’s Handbook. Actually, that post is a good intro to what makes roleplaying guilds different from other sorts of guilds in general.

On top of all that, these days raiding really is affected if your group is not all from the same guild, thanks to the guild leveling system. But there is no “bonus” for having everyone at a roleplaying event be in the same guild. Chat channels serve exactly the same function as guild chat, and most events are even better set up to use /say and /yell.

I don’t think recruiting has to involve broadcasting in trade “OPEN RP NIGHT!” or “LOOKING FOR MORE FOR RP!” – mostly because that’s a really good way to get griefed/trolled. But posting on the realm forum, RPing in the open, and having open events are all things that show that we’re around, open to roleplay, and willing to interact with others. These things become a form of roleplay specific recruiting.

In that light, I disagree with Bricu that the Wildfire Riders don’t recruit.

While he’s right that we don’t recruit in the traditional manner for guild spots (guild membership can be a long and involved and not overly linear process), we are always open to new roleplayers. When someone whispers me about my guild, I invite them to a Tuesday Pub Night – that’s where we do our “recruiting”. Not necessarily for our actual guild, but for our circle of roleplayers, which is really a much wider net.

The Riders aren’t just the Riders. We’re the Riders and Associates, and I think that’s a good thing. It allows characters like Annorah to be around and roleplay with others, without having to wear a guild tag that she probably wouldn’t intentionally pick up. She fits in with the larger whole, but not necessarily under the direct command of Tarquin and his band of (mostly) neutral aligned players.

As a player (and not an officer) in an RP guild, I like that method of “recruiting” – we’re always open to new people, and our RP is often public enough for others to join in, especially if they show up more than once, but we avoid the awkwardness of a player joining the guild and just not being a good fit – IC or OOC. Given the close knit structure of a lot of roleplay guilds, that’s a really good thing. Guilds become almost like organisms, and it’s hard to recover from a bad trial run when someone is thrown into that already functioning organism and turns out to be a poor fit.

Having a wider net of active roleplay also exposes players to other guilds (a good thing), and helps to reinforce that RP happens WITH you, not TO you – you have to be willing to participate, not just join up and expect the RP to magically happen.

Favorite Bosses and Mechanics
comment Comments Off Written by on November 16, 2011 – 8:39 am

Jasyla, over at Cannot Be Tamed, has a really interesting post up about raid mechanics – namely her favorites, or the ones she finds most interesting. Apparently the conversation came up at BlizzCon, so I get to be super jealous about all of that, since I don’t get to go (mostly due to financial concerns; it’s a long way from here to California).

ANYWAY. I thought it was a neat post, and one that made me really think about things. I’ve had some favorite bosses, but it was hard to pin down if it was mechanics or just that our raid group pulled together and kicked ass after much wiping and learning.

There are also several fights where I wouldn’t say I loved them, but where the mechanics made things difficult, tricky, or interesting in a way that was memorable.

For instance: Killing Mimiron in hard mode was an exhilarating kill, but I wouldn’t call pushing the big red fire button a particularly evocative boss mechanic. And I can see Rhyolith as a memorable fight (he does have a truly unusual fight mechanic) but as an elemental shaman, I blast his foot until I blast his other foot, so while the actual mechanic is interesting, the execution of it isn’t overly entertaining. The Yogg Saron fight is also like that – well tuned, requiring a high level of execution, but without one “defining” mechanic that you have to master in order to succeed. In fact, I’d say with fights like Yoggy or The Lich King (and most raid-end/tier-end bosses), everyone has several mechanics that require mastery before the whole raid can succeed.

It was interesting thinking (as well as chatting in Perfidy about it).

What exactly makes a boss fight memorable, cool, or someone’s favorite? And how is it that some people can just LOVE the Malygos fight while I detested the whole thing because the 3D made me queasy?

I did manage to come up with some of my favorites, though, and realized I’ve been raiding kind of a long time. Some of these boss fights are from way back in Vanilla!

General Vezax, Ulduar: Necrotic Aura - This fight was all about the mana. Healing teams, cooldown rotations (that made sense, unlike OTHER cooldown rotations) and constant communication with ranged DPS to pop bubbles and be able to stand in the ouchie but mana-regenerating slime. Vezax was all about coordination, and I really liked the fight. It also took place in a really cool part of Ulduar, and walking down to Vezax’ room was always a trip. The madness was truly tangible in there.

Kaz’Rogal, Battle for Mount Hyjal: Mark of Kaz’Rogal – This isn’t a fight I nabbed for it’s “fun” element, but for the amount of preparation that went into fighting this dude. Between shadow resistance gear and all the mana regeneration skills, being ready for Kaz’Rogal was really quite a big step on the way through Hyjal. It was also a fight that was both a DPS race and all about mana conservation, even down to timing Heroism, so it was one that made me a little nervous until we got the hang of it. This iteration of the “mana challenge” was one that kept me on my toes a lot, much like Loatheb (and later Vezax), but with a different variation (death when you went OOM).

Four Horsemen, Naxxramas - This fight gets mentioned for RP reasons. Aelflaed always hated this fight, not for any mechanics reasons, but because she came face to face with four fallen members of the Silver Hand – one of whom, Sir Zeliek, was so strong a paladin that even in undeath the Light still answered him, and though his body and his spells followed the command of Kel’Thuzad, he retained his sanity. She found the whole place nauseating, but especially that one room.

Twin Valkyr, Trial of the Crusader: Powering Up/Empowered Darkness/Empowered Light – As a healer, I didn’t always get to do a ton of bubble popping, but I always liked this mechanic. The more bubbles you pop, the more damage/healing you do. It was fun, but positioning was tricky and the fight could also be very frustrating. Still, this was probably the fight in ToC that I hated the least.

Zul’Gurub Raid: Trash - Hakkar’s Poisoned Blood was probably the most memorable mechanic from the Zul’Gurub raid, but it was the trash pulls there that stick with me as some of the most amusing, from the Splodey Bat Men to Priestess Mar’li’s drunken spider pulls. While I like the new 5-man version of Zul’Gurub, I will always have a special place in my little shriveled hunter heart for parts of the original Zul’Gurub raid (even if some of those places are rather bitter, even still. *shifty eyes*)

Kael’thas, Tempest Keep - I HATED this fight while we were learning it. Honestly, there wasn’t much redeeming about Tempest Keep, except maybe that smug feeling after you turned Kael’thas into Elf Paste. Well, and resto shaman haxxing my way through VoidReaver. Still, the Kael’thas fight was one that always felt epic, even while it was face-smashingly frustrating, so it deserves mention here. There was SO much to learn and there was so little room for error, but once the whole raid got it down, executing it was pretty spectacular.

Valithria Dreamwalker, Icecrown Citadel: Nightmare Portal/Dreamstate Orbs – As a holy paladin, I LOVED this fight. I got to pretty much ignore all of the crazy that went on outside, and spend the entire fight swimming around popping green bubbles… followed by spamming heals for increasingly larger and larger numbers. A high Emerald Vigor Lay On Hands crit could count in the hundreds of thousands. It was stressful, especially to learn, but also really was a fight I had a lot of fun doing.

So that’s my not-very short list, compiled without doing too much research. I’ve been raiding for quite some time, I suppose. I didn’t do much in Ahn’Qiraj or the original Naxxramas, and we never got to Sunwell, but that’s only the very top tier of raid content from the very first incarnations of WoW that I’ve not gotten to see when it was current.

What fights stick out in your memories of raids current or gone by? (Feel free to choose from instances as well as raid content!) Are they the ones people usually think of, or do you have some off the wall favorite boss fights?

And, somewhat more interestingly, what makes those fights so memorable?

Murphy’s Law of Transmogrification
comment 2 Written by on November 15, 2011 – 7:58 am

The set which you find most visually attractive and best suited to your character will either be no longer available in game or restrictive to obtain and dependent on multiple player interaction in old/outdated content as well as require several random drops.

See: Loot Unicorn

See Also: Mistshroud Armor

Of COURSE that would be the set I really want to collect for Angoleth. I guess I should go after the Dragonstalker Recolor instead, as Ahn’Kahar Blood Hunter doesn’t look much more likely. It shouldn’t be any harder to get than Annorah’s Earthfury Recolor.

And yes, I am counting my lucky stars that Aely already HAS the Soulforge set, all of T9 with matching boots and weapon, and several other really attractive sets of mail armor.

Stylin’
comment 3 Written by on November 14, 2011 – 7:54 am

There’s been a lot of buzz about the upcoming Transmogrification ability, and rightfully so. While a lot of people are really excited about it, others are on the fence or just don’t care, and I can sympathize with both groups. (Also, most Druids I know don’t really care, as the gear changes don’t show up when you’re a bear anyway)

The basics:

  • Transmogrification is intended to bring more variety into WoW gear and let players choose how their gear is going to look, especially if they’d like to use a now outdated dungeon or raid gear set.
  • You must own the original item currently to be able to make another item look like that (to have Judgment Looking Pants, you must actually own the Judgment Pants)
  • You won’t be able to change the appearance of your armor into another armor type or class armor set
  • The system will be rather conservative to start, eventually building to include more items and types of transformations.
  • You will not be able to transmogrify TO or FROM a legendary item.
  • Eventually there may be a way to get favorite items that are no longer available (dungeon sets that are gone, quest gear, DK start zone gear).

Good places to look for RP gear in general, Transmogrification gear in specific:

You all probably know all this, but I’d not actually looked into it all that much, so now I know.

The biggest criticism is that really, the progression of gear towards a set is an identifying marker – gear from Firelands is fiery, etc. That and people don’t really care or aren’t interested – which I can understand a bit. I like my characters to have the option of looking like the content they’re clearing is appropriate for their gear. On the other hand, for example, there aren’t matching boots to go with the Ret Paladin PVP set – the plate DPS PVP boots match the Warrior set. So being able to get the healing boots that DO match the pally gear and then mog the actual DPS boots to match … just makes sense, if it’s a little convoluted to type out.

But from a roleplay perspective, I really like ‘mogging. Being able to do an in character dungeon run while wearing armor that is appropriate for the character is kind of a huge thing, and something I’ll definitely be using.

For me, the most attractive thing about transmogrification is the ability to change weapons.

Aely still has her Verigan’s Fist, Sword of Serenity, and several 2H Swords she’s really proud of, and she would never use anything other than the shield that Jolstraer gave her when he died, so the ability to ‘mog things to look like the weapons she would ALWAYS use is nice. I also like, for a non raiding character, the ability to match up her armor sets – especially some of the rarer ones like Soulforge – instead of having to wear a leveling mishmash of assorted gear.

Angoleth still has her Rhok’delar and Lok’delar – she intends fully to use them, especially since ranged weapons (guns, bows, and crossbows) are considered interchangeable (as far as I know *fingerscrossed*).

Weapons seem most useful and wide ranging as transmogrification targets, especially if you have a brawler character who can use two Barman’s Shankers instead of regular daggers…

To be honest, the gear thing seems more useful in RP for cloth and leather wearers, since my cloth/leather wearers typically don’t change into “RP clothes” the way my plate wearers do. Aely only wears full plate to RP night when she’s feeling like there’s a threat, so I’m still carrying multiple sets of gear around for her. But Annata being able to avoid looking like a typical Outland Clown and wear truly rogue-looking gear all the time? That’s a big draw! (Especially since, at level 60, she’s got at least three complete sets of rogue looking leather… ) I can also see the draw of mages looking truly magey, and priests looking priesty, and warlocks looking warlocky with transmogrification of gear into former sets or items. Sometimes the look isn’t what you want for a character, and for some reason I find it easier to imagine swapping robes than I do changing out entire plate armor sets.

Mail is more in between, but while I have lots of ideas for fun things for Annorah to wear, I think she’ll still probably wear robes most of the time for RP, and Aely will still wear boots, pants, and vests.

Still, I’m definitely looking forward to transmogrifying stuff. It’ll be fun to be able to actually use the gear and weapons I’ve squirreled away for the last 6+ years…

What kind of things are you planning to transmogrify, if anything? Are you farming for gear sets to be able to use?

Deconstruction

November 19, 2013 – 4:46 pm

Bad things are happening in Stormwind – and beyond.

The Hand of Lothar, they call themselves.

Yva Darrows was their first target.

Tirith and Aely were their second and third.

They have since… expanded their reach and escalated their methods …

Patrol

November 13, 2013 – 9:59 am

The cathedral bells stop ringing overnight, except for chiming the hours. Three bell strikes, and Angoleth padded softly around another corner of the Cathedral District, staying carefully in the shadows. Trained ears picked up Mogget’s soft breathing – nearly inaudible …

Riders in Lordaeron – Memory

November 7, 2013 – 1:33 pm

(Written by Jolly, Tarquin, and Annalea)

The highlands of Lordaeron were not for the faint of heart; be it the putrescence of the Scourge’s long-lingering remnant, or the rock-strewn hills and valleys that made farmers out of only the most …

Riders of Lordaeron – Logistics

September 13, 2013 – 7:11 pm

(With Tarquin and Annalea)

Once more, four people made their way through the thickets and hills of Lordaeron, this time in the crisp chill of late morning, seeking after the Rider. Aelflaed had snatched what sleep she could while Chryste …

Riders of Lordaeron – Problematic

September 11, 2013 – 9:47 am

(With Tarquin)

She hadn’t wanted to leave Jolly – not so soon after finding him again – but once away, it took about five minutes for Aely to figure out she had a problem.

That problem had just announced that …

Riders of Lordaeron: Arrangements

September 9, 2013 – 10:05 am

It was an uneasy goodbye for him, but it was agreed by both he and Aely that a stroll back to Hearthglen would not be very easy to explain, nor would the explanation needed for the three Argent soldiers once …

Riders of Lordaeron

September 7, 2013 – 9:02 am

“Light sent me ye when I needed ye afore – an’ now again when I need ye. I canna ask fir more than tha’.” She sighed and slung the shield back across her shoulders. “It’s… Light. Been awhile hasna it? …

Dark Rider of Lordaeron (Part 4)

September 6, 2013 – 2:02 pm

She blinked, but did not drop either of her shields. “Aye, though I’ve been Caltrains fir th’ last near three years. Canna say I’ve any memory ay ye.”

“Yeh’ve far moar’n yeh realize,” he replied evenly, his grip tightening on …

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