Written by | Posted September 8, 2015 – 9:51 pm Descent and Ascent

It didn’t take long to get from Thunder Bluff to the Echo Isles – Ankona took advantage of a wyvern so she could think and plan before getting to her destination. She had information to confirm with the spirits – was Gromnor dead? Was he really in the northern part of the Eastern Kingdoms, somewhere […]

Letting Group 2 Die*
comment 9 Written by on July 14, 2010 – 7:29 am

It’s been awhile since I tackled the Blog Azeroth “weekly post idea,” but I thought weighing in on this one would be a good idea, since it’s come up before and I’m not sure I’ve ever specifically made a post about it.

When should a healer let someone die?

I can think of two situations when I’ve knowingly let someone die.

1. I have a finite mana pool, and you are not my #1 priority.

My priority list is as follows: Me, Tank, Everyone else (in a 5 man) or Me, Assignment – usually Tanks, Everyone else (in a raid) – I can only heal one, or maybe two, people at a time. If the tank is taking heavy damage, and you stand in the fire, you’re going to die in that fire. If you do so repeatedly, you’ll probably annoy the piss out of me, but if I have mana and time, I will almost certainly try to heal you.


Because healing you takes less time and is less stressful than wiping, and I don’t get any vindication out of repair bills and an angry group. (Though I will definitely remind you not to stand in the fire, and possibly squawk loudly in chat/on vent.)

2. You are out of range/out of LOS.

If I can’t get to you, I can’t heal you. Sometimes that’s my fault. Sometimes it’s your fault. Sometimes it’s the nature of the stupid encounter and the fact that my 6 foot tall human paladin “can’t see” up 3 stairs. Sometimes it means the group ran off while I was drinking and pulled something. Either way, if someone is grey on my bars, and a few quick steps don’t get me into Holy Shock range… they’re probably going to die, and I don’t worry about it too much, especially in a raid situation where I have other healers to split up the raid with. (If someone is greyed out on my bars then, I don’t even pay attention to their health – they’re usually someone else’s job.)

Other than that, I can’t think of any other reasons to *intentionally* let someone die.

Why is that, you ask? And haven’t you joked about letting Tarquin die, or letting Izzy die, or letting the “hey ma, watch this”, aggro-pulling noob in the PUG die?


I joke about it because it’s a pressure release valve. And because, as a healer, my job is one that can be pretty stressful. Someone who seems to be intentionally making that job harder is going to get my hackles up – but I don’t let them die unless I absolutely can’t avoid it. My job in a group is to heal people. The tanks job is to tank things. The DPS’s job is to DPS things.

If someone in my group got mad at the tank and decided to sit in the corner and not DPS because he thought the tank was bad, I’d be peeved. Yes, sometimes people do dumb things – and yes, in PUGs that can be highly exaggerated. But in a 5 man group, all 5 people are responsible for the group’s success, and quite honestly, someone annoying me is very rarely worth my own repair bill and the time it takes to wipe. And then find 2 new DPS and wait 15 minutes for a new tank because people drop out of the group because we wiped on something dumb.

In a raiding situation, if someone – especially the same person – repeatedly does the same dumb thing and dies (usually bringing at least 5 of their neighbors with them), I can address it, or I’ll have their role leader address it. And yeah, sometimes the healing team will announce that anyone who stands in (X) thing isn’t going to get heals, as a way to get people to pay attention. But that seems to me very different – as well as announced beforehand – than letting someone die out of spite, particularly since usually standing in (X) will get people killed pretty quickly, and cause a raid wipe.

Besides, when it comes right down to it, in the heat of a major boss attempt, I’ve got my two/three tank targets, and I STILL can’t keep from dropping Flash of Light on a not-tank that takes some damage from something. I don’t have the time – or the mental presence, usually – to separate out that THIS yellow square should get heals but THAT yellow square shouldn’t.

Health drops, I heal it.

It’s the green bars, people!



So yes. Healing is stressful and sometimes makes me want to pull my hair out. And yes, sometimes I’ve thought “man, it’d be so much easier to just let that person die”. But barring some pretty extreme circumstances, I’m not going to actually do so. I might release some pressure by joking about it, usually in the healer channel or one of my other chatter channels, but my job in a group is to heal people.

Even annoying people, or people who pull aggro or stand in fire.

Even, dare I say it, rogues, fury warriors, warlocks, and Cassamir. (Sorry Cass, it’s my job, you know.)

I feel guilty enough when someone I’m supposedly “responsible for” (in a healery sort of way) keels over. I don’t need to add to the guilt by having it be intentional.


As an aside to this, I think people often overestimate how often they’re “intentionally” allowed to die. I’ve been yelled at with “WHY DIDN’T YOU <expletives> HEAL ME?!!?!” before, and saying “you were out of LoS and I had no mana” doesn’t seem to make any difference, which is frustrating and kind of demoralizing.

In my experience in PUGs as DPS, when I’ve died, it’s almost always because I was doing something stupid, or because the shit hit the fan for the whole group. So, before we all go off railing on the healer or the tank for being vindictive and spiteful and terrible, let’s make sure that it’s actually not something WE can affect. As a DPS in a group, if I pull aggro, that is my fault, no matter how “bad” the tank is. If I stand in the fire (or pull aggro, or adds, or don’t drink a pot/eat a demoncookie) and die, that is my fault, no matter how “bad” the healer is.

Responsibility is a group thing, and we’re all in charge of ourselves, yeah?

*Group 2 is the melee DPS group in TRI most nights. When I began my career as a healer, I was the healer assigned to Group 2 because we only had one shaman, and totems were only group-wide (not raid-wide). As such, the Resto Shaman was stuck in a group with the rogues and fury warriors and ret pallies. I was their healer, and they were my /job/. Which didn’t mean that Group 2 NEVER died, but I still feel kinda protective over that group of aggro-gives-me-rage/aggro-means-I’m-winning crazies.

**It’s a sickness, I know. I do it when I’m DPSing on a class with heal buttons too.

What’s in the Box?
comment 1 Written by on July 13, 2010 – 12:18 pm

Upon returning home at the end of the night, your character finds… a box before his or her door.  It’s rather common-looking, as boxes go — a simple wooden crate, about two feet on a side.  There are no markings telling its point of origin, but your name’s stamped in big, block letters right on top.  It’s closed with a simple brass hasp.  No one appears to be around that witnessed its delivery.

As you peer at it, something shifts inside:  just the faintest sound of movement, then all is still again.

What do you do?


By the time Angoleth found herself walking south down the familiar path past the logging grounds, her eyes had adjusted to the faint starlight. The day had been long, and she was glad to be home, but Grizzly Hills was abuzz with insects taking advantage of the short summer season, fireflies and crickets and katydids and



She took her time on the path next to the river, idly noting the summer flowers and checking for berries in the brush. As she approached the little house, however, a large crate sitting next to the door caught her attention. Her name was written on it clearly, but there were no other identifying marks, no return address, not even a delivery stamp.

The box rustled.

Angoleth sat down on her front stoop, eyeing the box suspiciously. The box rustled again and then was quiet. She checked it over for a third, then a fourth time – still no identification. She nudged it with her foot.


With a sigh, she stood up and carried it inside, setting it on the floor and whistling for Shan’re. He trotted over, interested, and sniffed the box thoroughly. After a moment, he started to paw at the box, whining.

The box whined back.

Suddenly everything in the room was interested in the crate. The great grey owl ruffled her feathers, watching the box intently. Arsaelan padded over to sniff at it, his upper lip curled back, tail twitching. Shan’re continued to worry over the crate, which rustled more impatiently now.

Angoleth, on the other hand, eyed the box as though it was going to explode.

The wolf nudged the box with his nose, shoving it along the floor impatiently. Curiosity finally won out over caution, and the hunter pushed the wolf aside, unlatching the box gingerly and opening it just a crack. Shan’re shoved his nose inside, flipping back the lid and exposing the contents of the crate.

Angoleth blinked. Inside, wrapped in a faded woolen blanket, was a wolf pup. Shan’re immediately started licking its ears.

She lifted the little furball out of the crate, but there was no note that she could find, only a little wad of cotton, soaked in some substance that made her vision dizzy. Nestling against her arm, the puppy began to cry, prompting more nosing from the bigger wolf and snapping the perplexed hunter out of her search for any sort of identifying information. She wandered into the kitchen, murmuring soft reassurances in Darnassian, an incredibly intent Shan’re close at her heels.


(PS: if you didn’t click the wolf pup link, you should.)

Mental Goulash
comment Comments Off on Mental Goulash Written by on July 12, 2010 – 1:50 pm

Houseguests all weekend – fun ones, certainly, but I’ve not done much gaming, and even less computering, and I’m kinda catching up on things and reorganizing my brain from hostess mode into “normal weekday” mode.

No post today.  Hope you all had fun weekends!

Brutal Honesty
comment 25 Written by on July 9, 2010 – 9:51 am

(Please read the Edit at the bottom :) )

I don’t know any other way to write this, so bear with me guys. I imagine it won’t be any easier to read than it is to write.

I canceled my account last night.

It will expire on August 13, unless I re-up. Fortunately, or unfortunately, that’s the day before I head out of town, so at least I’ll be distracted for a bit.

The more I hear about RealID, Facebook, Activision, the “new social gaming experience” and Activizzard’s willingness to let go of their community, their players here in the US, and the people who have in some cases played this game for 5 years, the less I like it, and the angrier I get. Go ahead and read Dechion’s post on the subject. I’m pretty sure he’s got the right of things, which makes me even angrier, because it’s not just about smoke-blowing, it’s flat out lying. And then couching it in sunshiny, meaningless, corporate bullshit terms like “positive and constructive new direction” that people only use when they know they’re saying something that’s going to upset someone else.

I don’t have any problem choosing not to pay money to a company whose practices I dislike and do not trust. They’re a business, and their job is to make money. They think this is the best way to make lots more money, and so that’s been their decision. It’s my decision whether to like it or not like it, and to choose what to do from there. And so I chose to write a letter and then do the only other thing I could that might actually mean something. Walk away.


That wasn’t the hard part.

The hard part was turning around and saying “well, now what?”

What do I do with the blog?

What do I do with the stories?

What happens to Aely? To Arrens? Their wedding isn’t supposed to be until after Cataclysm. Can I leave that story unfinished? What about the Aftermath story, which was supposed to start publishing here this week?

What happens to Annie Mae and Duugvilder? Do they make it through Operation Gnomeregan together?

Will I really have to decide what to do with the last month in game, and where my characters will log out, and what they’ll be wearing?

What happens to the friendships? I know some will continue. The relationship I have with people like Bricu, Yva, Arrens, and Linedan have gone well beyond a video game – we talk about other things, and hang out online outside of game and do non-game things. But I’m not naive enough to think that the other friendships I’ve made will continue, or to think that none will lose a level of closeness without a commonality to keep the conversation going when it stalls.

Sadly, the answer to every one of those questions is quite simply “I have no idea.” I don’t know yet. I don’t know what the end result will be. I don’t know where the blog is going, or even (at this point) if it’s going anywhere at all. None of those questions is easy to answer.

Nothing is set in stone right now, and we’re all kind of waiting in the infinite feedback loop, trying to figure out what Activizzard will do in response to people’s leaving the game. (My guess is nothing, but I could be wrong. I kinda hope I’m wrong.) If things change, I might re-up my account. I don’t know on that front either.

This is not a goodbye post. (Trust me, a goodbye post would be a lot longer, and I’d be crying.) But I didn’t feel that it was worth leaving you all out of this completely. I like you guys. A lot. I could probably quote Bilbo Baggins here, but part of the original would be untrue – I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like, but I think most of you deserve the affection and goodwill I have towards you.

So here’s to figuring out what’s going on.

Sadly, I’m afraid it doesn’t look so good.


EDIT: Blizzard has, in fact, and to everyone’s great surprise, actually backed down off this one.

I’m not sure what it means for my account in the long term (I still don’t want Facebook in my WoW, and I still abjectly dislike the direction that Activision is taking their games, especially with regards to DiabloIII), but for now, I think we’ll call this a successful bit of communication on a mass scale.  Thank you to everyone who went at this with a clear head and logical discussion.

…Can I say they backed down ’cause I told them I was quitting?  /impish grin


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