standing at the back in my sissy robe

July 30, 2009

And gentlemen in Azeroth now-a-bed, shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here

Filed under: Hemo,Sweets for the Sweet,Vainglory — Tamarind @ 4:12 pm

M’Pocket Tank and I finally, finally, finally 2-manned Onyxia. Oh yeah! Down with you, my lady (and, no, I don’t say that to all the girls). She’s handed us our arses crispy friend the last time we tried and, truthfully, it took us another 3 attempts to perfect our technique. But we got there in the end.

It helped that I purchased a shadow wand on the AH before we went in, which increased my average damage from 3 (yes 3) per hit to around 250 per hit. Okay, so I’m never going to top a DPS meter with that but it still represents a significant improvement over stabbing her in the toenail to death with a lollypop stick. 2-manning Onxyia for a tankadin and holy priest is basically a fight of attrition: damage is much less important, (as long as you’re doing slightly more 3 per hit admittedly) than survivability. Phase 2 was always the sticking point for us. We’d get burned, overwhelmed, and usually I’d run out of mana, before we could whittle her health from 64% to 40%, which is what it takes to induce her to land again.

For our first attempt this time round, we thought I should concentrate on DPSing in an effort to get out of phase 2 a quickly as possible. This turned out to be a really stupid strategy because I ran out of mana and then Ony slabbered us mockingly. Once I was re-assigned from primary DPS to keeping everyone alive, we did much better. By now, I was getting really good at dodging fireballs and M’Pocket Tank was whelp collector extraordinaire. We were feeling pretty positive, all things considered. Until I mis-positioned and got Onyxia’s breath attack full in the face. Would you like fries with your chargrilled priest? So much for over-confidence.

On our third attempt we remembered M’Pocket had a fire resistance aura, which meant that the breath attack had a slightly better chance of not one-shotting me instantly if I screwed up. The bottom of my cape got a bit singed but I managed to run in mostly the right direction during the breath attacks this time round. Yay! Between causing damage, avoiding fireballs, keeping health topped up, collecting whelps, and not having our faces melted, we somehow got it all together and we romped into Phase 3. From there, it was easy. Victory, precious 18 slot bags, and a cavalcade of now useless epics were ours. Ours!

I’m so glad we did it, and before 80 as well.

I’m actually significantly less well-equipped than I was the last time we took a shot at Onxyia, due to the idiot-disenchants-all-his-stuff fiasco. The ironic thing is that I’m poorly geared but what I do have is incredibly well augmented. Normally I don’t bother with enchanting or gemming while levelling because you know you’re going to discard Sanguine Robe of the Cold Whale for Upbeat Tunic of the Chilly Dolphin 10 minutes down the line anyway. But in order to compensate for the general shiteness of my equipment, everything that can be enchanted is enchanted, everything that can be gemmed is gemmed – and all the very best my meagre resources can manage. The WoW Gods are laughing at me. I can hear them.

In other news, I’m currently grinding rep for the Guild Killer title, having joined yet another inevitably doomed guild. It was entirely an Act of Whimsy on my part but since I have had equal misfortune with Acts of Whimsy and Acts of Research, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The Prettiest Elf was messing around in Hellfire Peninsula a few days ago when a message went over General that made my mustachios stand on end and my monocle jump right out of my eye.

This was the message:

Excuse me, but has anyone seen a fel reaver recently, please?

Astonishing, isn’t it? Full sentence. Punctuation. Deployment of the word ‘please.’. Will wonders never cease?

As it so happened I had seen a fel reaver recently so I whispered back with directions.

“Thanks so much” came the reply.

And I thought that was that, day brightening, assuredly, but fleeting.

An hour or so later, a recruitment message went out over the chat channels. I didn’t really pay much attention, other than to note it was at least moderately coherent, but then I recognised the name. It was the polite person! I whispered for more information which is usually the point at which the recruiter devolves in a blithering moron before your very eyes but we had a perfectly nice and perfectly sensible conversation about the guild and its aspirations, so Tam and M’Pocket Tank signed up. It’s a very small, starting guild and it may crash and burn, in tears and politics and ineptitude, within a week but who knows?

Our interactions thus far have been broadly positive. Also the spread of levels is quite varied. Usually when you join a new guild there are 80s and 20s and nothing in between, so being in your mid-70s is a sad and lonely experience. We boast a handful of 70s, M’Pocket Tank and I at the highest end of them, making us the default heavy hitters, which is a bizarre feeling since normally we are normally useless newbies.

And the other thing that gives me a strange fluttering sensation that may, dangerously, be hope is an already evident culture of willingness to do “group things.” Polite Person confided that she wanted to do “everything” hinting at a WoW temperament to match my own.

Since, M’Pocket Tank and I were headed there anyway, we did a guild run of MagT (non-heroic) last night. Of course, we had no excuse not to succeed, M’Pocket Tank and I being 78 a piece, and the rest of the team ranging between levels 70 and 75. But it’s still an unforgiving instance, and it felt like an accomplishment, in developing a sense of guild unity if nothing else.

I find guild runs rather nervous-making. If you’re with a dreadful PUG you can just spit curses and exit stage left in high dudgeon and, perhaps, a puff of red smoke. But there’s a sense of investment in a guild run. Ideally you want a situation in which nobody thinks anybody else is an arse. And whereas in a PUG I have no compunction whatsoever in saying “You see that act of gross stupidity in which you’re currently engaged? No, I don’t mean your life, I mean having your pet on aggressive in an instance, or using deathgrip to pull off the tank, or using misdirect onto the mage, or whatever else it is you’re doing. Stop it please, and right now, or there’ll be no healz for you.” But if you’re running with your new guild you don’t really want to behave that way. Ideally you want to form good relationships with these people, not piss them off.

Thankfully, everyone was moderately competent, and it was genuinely fun. I’d temporarily forgotten the joy of the 5-man, but now I’m full of enthusiasm again. And I don’t think I was an arse, although I did end up, de-facto, leading the run. If I’d known I’d have prepared better but at the very least I could still remember vaguely how to handle the bosses from the last time I did MagT. I didn’t heal especially well, however, because I was too busy overseeing strategy, spotting issues and angsting. We made a big mess of Priestess Delrissa because the DPS leapt off their leashes too early, and we ended up in a bloody ruck right between the pillars for maximum LOS inconvenience. I managed to heal through it (somehow, although I nearly killed myself a bunch of times) but afterwards I was debating whether or not to say something and, in the end, I did. I was super-fluffy about it (not my usual style at all) but nobody spat in my face and the DPS really did make an effort to contain themselves during future pulls, which made our progress much smoother.

I feel quite strange about leading runs. Unless you’re a group of friends who know each other really well, I think you do need someone to do it. And the problem with thinking that you need someone to do it is that it usually ends up being you. Still I suppose it’s better to be default-guy than the alternative. The few players I’ve encountered who actively want to lead runs, and be recognised as the person who is leading the run, tend to be exceptionally unpleasant people, committed to crushing the fun out of the game at every possible opportunity, and turning the rest of you into soul-less husks whose only function is to support their gameplay.

I think I tend to go too far the other way. We wiped on Kael a couple of times and I swear to God I turned into Henry V.



  1. I’m not sure if I’m understanding right about the issues you had with Delrissa. That fight is always going to be a bit chaotic because the npc’s don’t have aggro tables. They pretty much all go after anyone and switch targets quite frequently but those decisions aren’t influenced by any group member’s threat.

    The fight is supposed to feel like an arena match which also explains why the npc’s drink health pots when you get them low.

    Comment by Shayzani — July 30, 2009 @ 5:14 pm | Reply

    • That is why I, speaking as a tank, always loathed the fight. The monsters ignore me, how dare they! How dare they run after my squishy healer?! I don’t like to be put out of my job, and if I wanted to play 5-versus-5 arena fights I’d do PvP.


      Oh, and cheers on besting Onyxia. Haven’t seen her since early TBC, maybe I should throw my bear at her and see how badly she singes my fur. And I shall add “in high dudgeon” to my phrasebook, that sounds fancy. 😉

      Comment by Feralan — July 30, 2009 @ 5:41 pm | Reply

      • It’s an annoying fight, I agree, but the majority of my rage is preserved for the surrounding structure. I hate it. It’s like the Gazebo of Line of Sight Doom. I don’t know why but the squishiest person always disappears behind a pillar…

        The idea of throwing an bear at Onxyia … seems cruel! All the same, I’m sure you’re a very tenacious bear and will bounce.

        Comment by Tamarind — July 30, 2009 @ 6:23 pm

    • Well, basically it was all about me, I’m embarrassed to say, because I’ve found it difficult to heal through this the few times I’ve tried it before if you engage them in the pillar-ed area. Everyone seems to scatter in all directions and, possibly I’m just shite, but I have real trouble maintaining LOS on people and keeping them within the range of my AoE heals if the fight takes place dead centre of the garden.

      If you get somebody to pull everyone as far back into the garden area you’ve just cleared as possible, using the outside of the pillars to drag the casters forward, I generally find it easier to handle. It’s also makes it easier to see as well, because you don’t have the pillars in the way.

      If the DPS dash forward straight away, it means you can’t control where the fight happens. And since it’s about the only thing you can control in that fight, I damn well want to keep it.

      Possibly I’m worrying WAY too much about the pillars and this is a stupid plan. 🙂

      (I should also add we didn’t have much CC, otherwise I’d have done it differently)

      By the way, always feel free to tell me if I’m being a fool. I am, still, rather a noob you know 🙂

      Comment by Tamarind — July 30, 2009 @ 6:11 pm | Reply

  2. You actually noticed the word “please” in WoW? I’m amazed.
    How about pigs, did anyone fly by?

    Comment by Naïve — July 30, 2009 @ 5:22 pm | Reply

    • I was in Outland so it would have been a flying hellboar…

      Comment by Tamarind — July 30, 2009 @ 6:24 pm | Reply

  3. Congrats on killing the dragon!

    re: gear. You probably know this but if you have at least honored rep with the Tuskarr, there are some nice blue chestpieces that you can buy from their quartermaster (need to be level 76 or so).

    Comment by spinks — July 30, 2009 @ 5:24 pm | Reply

    • I didn’t know that, having paid very little attention to Northrend beyond blundering through – on the other hand, I would have to grind to honoured with a faction, and I’m really bad at grinding faction rep… I will, however, consider it, thanks for the tip 🙂

      Comment by Tamarind — July 30, 2009 @ 6:26 pm | Reply

      • You can actually get to honored with the Kalu’ak just by doing their questlines, no grinding necessary. 😀

        Oh, and grats on getting Ony, she had it coming.

        Comment by repgrind — July 30, 2009 @ 8:38 pm

      • But I’ve just gemmed and enchanted all my crappy gear to compensate for crapness… oh all right, this is really sensible advice *trudges off to quest… oh the drudgery* 🙂

        Thanks for the grats. And she totally did. I don’t know why were so obsessed with taking her down but we were 🙂

        Comment by Tamarind — July 30, 2009 @ 9:04 pm

  4. In regards to leading the 5 manned dungeons, someone does have to lead imo if not the tank has to…

    and usually fresh tanks has plenty on their plate. -and 99% of pugs i’ve tanked, im automatically beeing set up as leader of the group unless someone else insists on doing it (leading that is).
    But tank leading is a matter of play style. When i’m tanking i luve it when someone else calls the shots, then i wont be typing “move out of flames”, but instead doing my bestest tps.

    Tanks that start a PuG with “make me leader or im HS” on the other hand…. Either they are dumb, or they are extremely control-freakish. Both are not usually players I like to have fun with.

    Comment by redux — July 30, 2009 @ 5:26 pm | Reply

    • People tend to look at M’Pocket and I a bit strangely because I mark up for her, if people try to make her leader. She’d much rather concentrate on the fight than worry about what’s going on behind her.

      I like it when PUGS have a little discussion about leading. First of all it shows that it does at least recognise the need for it, and secondly it shows that nobody is on a maniacal power-grab, and thirdly it shows that people aren’t just automatically assuming it wasn’t the tank.

      Truthfully I’m most comfortable when it isn’t me, but that’s just laziness on my part 🙂

      Comment by Tamarind — July 30, 2009 @ 6:30 pm | Reply

  5. We once two-manned Onyxia as a holy priest and prot paladin (though we might have had a guildy along as a third now that I think of it, but I can’t remember what class) and I came to the conclusion that I despise fights that want me to look up for whatever reason. It’s one of the reasons I find myself completely uninterested in Ulduar, because I heard a rumor that one of the bosses involves dodging things that are falling from the ceiling. My camera is not happy with that arrangement.

    The first runs you do with a new guild often give you a very good feel for the kinds of people they are. For example, when I joined my raiding guild back on Silver Hand, we went and did all four heroics leading to the Champion of the Naaru title, whirlwinding through them all in a row. It was great fun, and I had some good times with that guild in the year and a half after that.

    Our current guild continues to be minimally annoying, consisting of one level 80 death knight, a couple of 62-ish people who run stuff together, the two of us at 39-ish who run together, and a handful of really low-level people who never log on. Perhaps someday we’ll get to the same level bracket as those two other people and see if they want to bug us about doing stuff “as a guild”. And see if we actually want to run stuff “as a guild” with those people. I’m perfectly content to just run around guildless if they start to get annoying.

    I wonder if there’s a server like Wyrmrest Accord in Europe, where everyone is polite and speaks in full sentences?

    Comment by Kiryn — July 30, 2009 @ 8:54 pm | Reply

    • Yes, M’Pocket Tank had a grim time gathering whelps and trying to keep looking up at Onyxia. I did better because long months of priesting have trained me to run around instinctively, looking at fluctuating bars rather than anything behind them. The main issue is locating where she is relatively to anything else as she … takes … a deep breath. Noooo! And then pegging it to the right corner of the map.

      I am so sad you can’t get Champion of the Naaru any more. I mean, I see why – since content has moved on, any old body can be Champion of the Naaru, which kind of defeats the point. But of all the available titles it’s the one I’d want.

      I hope your little guild brings you fun – and if not I’m sure another will snap you up. I don’t think my guild-killing is a computer-transferable virus.

      Comment by Tamarind — July 30, 2009 @ 10:41 pm | Reply

  6. “Wah you no see Fel Reever. Your Mother!” – That’s what I get on my server.

    Congo rats on the guild, and as for being a Tank and a leader. As a Tank I was forced to take the role many times, and I think thats what led to me getting burnt out on the class.

    Now I’m a mage, and I only obey one thing. The Skull Icon, he is my master.

    Comment by theerivs — July 30, 2009 @ 9:18 pm | Reply

    • Seriously, that’s what you’d usually see in my server. It’s why I was so thrilled and flabbergasted by the polite message.

      Ultimately I don’t think leading a group is a whole lot of fun – you have to concentrate on *everything* instead of just doing your job, perfecting your art, etc. I have pretty decent instance running stamina but if I have to lead I usually do one and then to need to sit alone in a dark room for a while with a damp flannel over my face =P

      Comment by Tamarind — July 31, 2009 @ 11:59 am | Reply

  7. Dear Tamarind!

    So YOU were the one who rat me last night.
    Nice…thank you…fine…weill done*sigh*

    You know what?! I should’ve walked over your head some more times when you were on the Hellfire Peninsula.

    Don’t you think I have a job to do here as well?
    Do you think it’s fun not forfilling my quote of percentage-of-walking-on-peoples-heads-per-day.

    I have to explain Kiljeaden, why I was dead for about 10 minutes until reserrection.
    i should have walked on peoples head about 5 times in THIS 10 MINUTES!!!

    Bristling in anger,
    Fel reaver

    Comment by nimayne — July 31, 2009 @ 6:44 am | Reply

    • Dear Fel Reaver

      You have stood on my head so many times that the only possible answer to your missive is:

      Ya boo suck. Nar nar nar nar nah.


      Yours in childish vindictiveness,

      Comment by Tamarind — July 31, 2009 @ 9:17 am | Reply

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