Written by | Posted October 24, 2014 – 12:01 pm Elevation

Squire Benjamin William Sullivan stood in the middle of Light’s Hope Chapel in his underpants.

Actually, it was white linen pants and a shift, but the effect was approximately the same. The little chapel was warm, on the edge of …

The Best Heroic Oculus PUG Ever
comment 9 Written by on August 2, 2010 – 5:34 pm

Normally I avoid “Tales from the PUG”* type posts, but this one was so unbelievable that I couldn’t resist. For reference, I was there on my hunter, Angoleth, looking for my Random Dungeon Frost Badges.

We all load in to OCC, and the tank DC’s on the second pull.

The Ret Pally with 15K health offers to tank – he doesn’t have a shield, but he can TOTALLY do it. Mage and Holy Paladin tell him “no way”. The Holy Pally is an ICC10 tank, but really doesn’t want to tank (which I totally can understand), so we piddle around and wait for another tank.

The Random Dungeonizer grants us a Prot Warrior, and we pull to the first boss… at which point the Ret Pally starts going on and on and on about how he wants to do achievements, can we please do a drake achievement OMG I WANT IT PLEEEEEASE PLEASE PLEASE, as he spam links them in chat.

His Mage friend agrees, the Holy Pally says “whatever,” the Warrior says “whatever,” and I get outvoted on my “oh please let’s not.”

So we all get Amber Drakes.

As we’re clearing trash, the Mage starts licking the Ret Pally and promising him naked goodness.

Turns out they’re friends in real life, or something. There was conversation about Facebook, and how the Mage was totally hot.  After this, the Mage starts talking about how she’s really afk playing guitar… a declaration supported by her sub 1K DPS. (I was doing about 50% of the damage in the group, followed by the tank. I’m not that good at huntering.)

Turns out she’s not actually playing the guitar, she’s playing GUITAR HERO. They start epeening about who is “better at guitar,” and comparing which songs they can or can’t do expert mode on, and how it’s really hard.

Anyhow, we kill Mage Lord Urum (whom the tank kited back and forth through the ice slicks, instead of out of them), and the Ret Pally blows a shitfit about how he didn’t get his achievement.

When asked if he’s ever been to OCC before, he says no.  I facepalm, since this was all his stupid idea, and we set up a rotation for the Amber Drake Time Stop thing.

Ret Pally screws it up, and we wipe
Ret Pally screws it up again, and we wipe
Ret Pally screws it up a third time…and everyone but the Ret Pally and I leave the group, several with a string of parting expletives, and lots of YELLING IN ALL CAPS (pretty sure the Mage had been afk the whole time we’re fighting Eregos anyway).

The Random Dungeonizer gives us a new healer (who is like WOOT FAST BADGES), a new tank, and some random rogue. I inform them to pick drakes that aren’t Amber, and we proceed to oneshot the boss.

At which point the Ret Pally says…

“lolol thats so much easier glad we didn’t listen to those guys anymore”

angoleth

*Tales from the PUG would be a pretty awesome name for a series of posts.

A Last Hurrah
comment 5 Written by on July 30, 2010 – 8:03 am

Tonight is TRI’s last official raid for the expansion.

Even as one of the officers who was part of making that decision, I’m a little bittersweet about it.

Yeah, I’m pretty tired of Icecrown – we’ve been in that place for 8 months now. And yeah, I’m kind of tired of making rosters out of duct tape and sheer force of will, and having to cancel half the raids in the last month due to lack of people doesn’t help much either. And I don’t really like bringing in undergeared, inexperienced subs and having to re-teach bosses we’ve had on farm for 6+ months every week, nor do I like not being able to work on our progression because we have so many new folks (who don’t know the fights, and end up dead or have low numbers due to concentrating on fight mechanics) that we don’t have the DPS numbers to beat an enrage timer. Wrynn’s Buff of Chin doesn’t make up for having to learn a fight, you know?

But at the same time, I really like the people I raid with. They’re fun and funny. Quite literally any member of the raid would, if they were magically in town for the weekend, get invited for coffee/beer/barbecue, and we’d probably have a good time. I’ve spent 7 hours a week (if not more, for officer stuff and 10 mans) with them for all of Wrath of the Lich King. Some of them, for all of Burning Crusade too.

So I’ll miss that.

But in the end, I think this was a good decision for a number of reasons.

Recently, TRI’s become kind of split.

We’ve started having roster issues, in ways that we never have when we’re fighting new bosses, because people are tired of the content. They’re burned out. We’ve been raiding consistently for more than 18 months with no more than a week or two off until recently – which is a long time, especially for people who have lives and kids and jobs and etc.

Within the regular roster, there’s a group of people who are so unbelievably done with raiding that they’re only showing up because people expect them to and depend on them as part of the group. (Which, by the way, is very cool. Having been there, sometimes that SUCKS, and so this is me saying “If that’s you, we know, and we appreciate that you’re still showing up.”) They’re silent in ventrilo and chat channels, and some of the usual exuberant banter has been lost to just “getting it over and done with”.

The other group within the raid is still gung-ho about raiding and is really interested in doing hardmodes in ICC. But, when asked, they generally said they didn’t want to push too hard for it, because they know other people in the raid don’t want to do hardmodes, are burned out, and aren’t having fun, and that puts a damper on their enthusiasm. They really want to keep raiding, but they don’t like “forcing” people they like and care about to do things they hate. (Which is also very cool, and says a lot about the caliber of people in TRI.)

So between that, the next two weeks having huge numbers of known absences that would probably cause both weeks to get called off entirely, the officers being kind of burned out too, and “real life” busily getting started for the fall again, we decided to call it off now.

To end on a high note, rather than running the raid into the ground and dragging people through farm content while we re-train new folks, and canceling every other raid, until everyone was thoroughly sick of it and each other.

I don’t think this is the “end” of TRI raiding, either.

It’s the end of official 25 mans, but I expect to see a few 10 man achievement runs pop up, and to see the occasional 25 man run for alts or achievements as well. Plus whatever happens with Operation Gnomeregan. And once Cataclysm rolls around, we’ll see TRI version 4.0 – newer, stronger, and in whatever form it ends up taking for the next round of raids.

We’ve killed Kel’thuzad and Sarth+3 (back when Sarth+3 was hard, and Ulduar hadn’t released yet). We’ve killed Yogg’saron and many Ulduar hardmodes, Anub’arak and half of hardmode Trial of the Crusader. And we’ve killed Arthas and Halion, we’ve pushed through a number of hardmodes in ICC too. We’ve run two, sometimes three, successful 10 mans, as well as achievement and drake runs as well.

As a raid, TRI progressed farther and faster in Wrath of the Lich King than any other incarnation of TRI previously. Sure we’ve had our struggles, but we’ve gotten the hatchmarks on the fence, and we’ve done it while remaining a “casual” raid and having a good time.

I’m proud of what we’ve done, and proud of the people I raid with. This was my first set of raids as an officer, and I can’t think of a better group of people to be part of leading (or a better group of officers to lead raids with).

And I’m really, REALLY glad we have chat channels, ’cause otherwise I’d miss them terribly.

annas

It seems to me rather fitting that the only thing on the hit-list tonight is Arthas.

Doldrums
comment 9 Written by on July 29, 2010 – 10:01 am

“It looks as though I’m getting nowehere,” yawned Milo, becoming very drowsy and dull. “I hope I haven’t taken a wrong turn.”

Mile after
mile after
mile after
mile, and everything became grayer and more monotonous.

Finally the car just stopped altogether, and, hard as he tried, it wouldn’t budge another inch.

“I wonder where I am,” said Milo in a very worried tone.

“You’re . . . in . . . the . . . Dol . . . drums,” wailed a voice that sounded very far away.

He looked around quickly to see who had spoken. No one was there, and it was as quiet and still as one could imagine.

“Yes . . . the . . . Dol . . drums,” yawned another voice, but still he saw no one.

“WHAT ARE THE DOLDRUMS?” he cried loudly, and tried very hard to see who would answer this time.

“The Doldrums, my young friend, are where nothing ever happens and nothing ever changes.”

- Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

Attitude is a funny thing.

I’ve got three active RP characters, plus three that I’m still developing. A freshly 80 Hunter, who’s now finally reaching her gear threshold to be able to hold her own in a 10 man raid. A fully geared ICC25 paladin, with two fantastic sets of gear. A level 70 druid, a level 22 rogue.

By all accounts, I have /lots/ to do in game.

I also have a Cataclysm Beta account. I’m sure you won’t be surprised to know that I’m not doing any of the actual quests, just exploring zones (and submitting terrain bug reports and such). My screenshot folder is fat and happy, but I haven’t really felt inclined to log in that often.

Even with all of that, I am, as it were, stuck in the doldrums.

Usually, with WoW, I have an abundance of things to write about. There’s always RP going on and stories to take care of. I’ve got Aftermath going here already – but I can’t seem to force myself to work on it. It’s a bit like pulling teeth really. The whole Arthas thing was, for a number of reasons (and not all of them game related) hugely anti-climactic for me, so even though I know it’s a major issue for the /character/ I have trouble getting the writer invested enough to actually do anything about it.

Yes, that story has a lot of awesomeness potential. I love the idea of the story. I love where it’s going, and how it’s going to end. I just… don’t love writing it.

I guess that’s the story of WoW for me right now – I love the idea of my Rogue, and her personality. I love the potential she has for RP… I just don’t love leveling her, and there’s other stuff going on that keeps me from bringing her to RP night. Not least of which is that just about everyone seems to be hanging out in the Doldrums with me, so RP nights have been thinly attended and forced.

Maybe the Doldrums are contagious. I hear a lot about them lately, and though I usually don’t have trouble keeping myself interested in game (see: lots of alts!), it’s been harder for me with this go around.

Maybe the Doldrums are raid related. TRI is winding down for this expansion, having killed Arthas, gotten a handful of hardmodes, and killed Halion. We’ve “won”, as it were.

Maybe the Doldrums are a symptom of real life stuff. I’ve got lots of other hobbies, and some of them are kicking into full swing (or will be soon, and I’m getting ready for that).

Maybe it’s all three, or some other reason.

Either way, I’m there.

Are you?

annas

Ask Anna – Hungry Hungry Gamer
comment 10 Written by on July 27, 2010 – 8:02 am

Dear Anna,

My wife has left me (for the week) and I’m a bachelor once more. (Technically, I have been for the better part of 2 months, what with travel and all. But we’ll avoid that fact for the purposes of comic relief.) She’s taken my son and left me with two needy dachshunds. Needy in that they need to be fed daily. How’s a man supposed to handle the stress?!

Anyways, I was writing for some advice. See, I have these chicken filets that have been sitting in my freezer for God knows how long (3 days). I know I should probably eat them at some point, but I’m culinarily-challenged. I was told eating it straight out of the freezer probably isn’t the wisest choice, but I can burn water putting it on the stove. Any suggestions for a kitchen neophyte?

Sincerely yours,
Utterly Lost Without A Female Around To Keep Him Fed And Showered

Dear Utterly Lost -

As a gamer, you’re more than capable of reading up and doing a bit of research on your class. Cooking is not that much different, it’s all about following a basic rotation! Granted, you’re probably not wanting a really fancy recipe that involves deboning a whole chicken, stuffing, and roasting it, but chicken breast fillets are easy to cook and quite delicious.

Also, I emailed you back, and you mentioned that you’re comfortable with a grill, but unsure about this whole “oven” thing. As such, we’ll cover both the vanilla recipe and a heroic version.

The Basics:

1. Defrost the chicken - either in the fridge (for probably 24 hours if they’re in a package from the grocery) or sealed in plastic under cool running water. The latter is faster, but requires more babysitting. If you choose the fridge, place the chicken package ON A PLATE, and keep it at the bottom shelf of your fridge. Chicken Juice + Anything Else = BAD. You want to avoid cross contamination, if you will.

2. Turn on the oven to 400F, and let it heat until the little “I’m heating up” light turns off, or it beeps and says OVEN READY or whatever your oven does.

3. Get out salt, pepper, and spices that you find tasty. For this recipe, look for a bottle of Italian Seasoning (usually a mixture of spices like Basil and Oregano) and a bottle of Garlic Powder. If all you can find is Garlic SALT, do not add other salt to the chicken.

4. Get out a large baking pan (I like a 9×13” glass pyrex dish, but anything with sides will work) and line it with aluminum foil. Put a little bit of olive oil in the bottom and spread it around, or spray with nonstick spray. Spray carefully, so that you do not accidentally get non-stick spray onto your floor. Trust me.

5. Carefully arrange the chicken breast fillets in the pan so that they are in one layer, and not too smushed up against each other.

6. WASH YOUR CHICKENY FINGERS. Warm water. Soap. Salmonella is full of fail, and you don’t want it (nor do you want to give it to your family, or have it growing on your spice containers).

7. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and the seasonings. If you’re worried, go easy – you want to lightly dust them, not dump so much garlic powder on them that your coworkers will smell you coming tomorrow.

8. Put the pan in the hot oven for about 30 minutes. Use a timer. Use a NOISY timer.

9. After 30 minutes, check the chicken to see if it is done. If you have an instant read thermometer (See – cooking is appropriately geeky, you get to use cool gizmos), you want it to read 165F. If you don’t have such a device, carefully remove one of the chicken fillets and cut it in half through the thickest part. If the juices are clear, you’re good to go. If they’re still pink, back in the cooker they go, for another 5-10 minutes at a time.

You can, at this point, enjoy your chicken just like this. I suggest eating it with a vegetable or a delicious salad and some vinaigrette… or Ranch Dressing, if that’s how you roll. Also, once you remove the chicken from the pan, the aluminum foil can be tossed in the trash, and you don’t have a pan to soak and wash.

You can also vary this recipe by using different spices – cumin and chili powder will get you a “southwestern style” chicken, for example. Basically any spices will work here!

If you’re looking to try a HEROIC version, you can do the following:

Take some tomato sauce and spread it over the chicken, right there in the pan where it already is. (The plain tomato sauce in a can is fine, add a little bit of that Italian Seasoning and give it a stir before you add it to the chicken) On top of each chicken fillet (that is now covered with a spoonful or two of tomato sauce) add a slice of mozzarella cheese – or a handful of the pre-shredded stuff in a bag. At this point, you can add a few pieces of pepperoni to each chicken breast if you like.

Now put the whole thing back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is all melty and delicious. (Use your eyeballs. Look at the cheese. Is it melty and delicious after 10 minutes? No? Then set your timer for another 5 minutes and check back! If the cheese is getting toasty brown in spots, it’s /definitely/ done.)

Yes, I’ve just given you a recipe for Pizza Chicken. Enjoy, and try not to burn the roof of your mouth on the molten cheese.

Let me know how this turns out – hopefully you end up with a delicious and satisfying dinner! (If not, well, you’re home alone, and nobody ever has to know but you!) Just make sure to use a timer that you’ll hear, because while melty and delicious is good, blackened and smoking is not.

As with things in WoW, you don’t want your dinner standing in fire either.

Good luck!

annas

Pizza Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 slices mozzarella cheese (or 4 handfuls of pre-shredded)
1 cup tomato sauce
salt, pepper, garlic powder, Italian seasoning blend
pizza toppings (optional)

Preheat oven to 400F.  Line a 9×13 baking dish with aluminum foil and spray lightly with non-stick spray. Arrange chicken so that it is not touching/smushed up. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, italian seasoning.  Bake for 30 minutes or until juices run clear.  Place 1/4c tomato sauce on each chicken breast, top with 1 slice mozzarella cheese, and a light sprinkling of other pizza toppings. Bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melty and delicious.

Makes 4 servings, and can be adjusted to serve more or fewer people relatively easily.

Elevation

October 24, 2014 – 12:01 pm

Squire Benjamin William Sullivan stood in the middle of Light’s Hope Chapel in his underpants.

Actually, it was white linen pants and a shift, but the effect was approximately the same. The little chapel was warm, on the edge of …

Introducing the Newest Anna

June 29, 2014 – 4:39 pm

So I’m not really in a position where I should be creating alts. This, of course, does nothing to deter me from making alts when the inspiration strikes. I’ve been really enjoying my Alliance hunter, and she’s my raiding main …

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 …

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