Getting Back The Raiding Mojo. I Mean Ops. Totally Ops.

After a month – yes, you read that right, a MONTH – of being unable to raid due to family obligations, I am putting back on my big girl (hawt) pants, and my new shiny sand people shirt from the world event, and going back into… wherever we’re raiding this weekend (TBD).

Yes, this picture again. It’s a seriously badass shirt!

Guys, I’m a little nervous.  But, as you know, nothing helps a case of nerves more than excessive and obsessive preparation.  It’s true.  I read it in a fortune cookie.  So here’s the agenda for the rest of the week:

  • Re-watch all the videos and re-read the strategies so I don’t forget some major thing and insta-kill myself and/or wipe the raid.
  • Do some dailies or flashpoints to remember where all my buttons are… so I don’t do something derpy and insta-kill myself and/or wipe the raid.
  • Try to avoid insta-killing myself and/or wiping the raid, generally.

But, of course, the above takes discipline.  The devil on my shoulder wants to procrastinate and go fiddle around on my mercenary.  You know, put on the headphones, tune out the world, and just focus on the story (this is my first imp toon, so it really is a new-new story).  But, as I remind myself, if I want to be a vaguely competent raider, and raid with my awesome team, I can’t just give in to my id.  It will be a miserable raid for everyone, especially me, if I’m making us wipe right and left.

Maybe I’ll find some more videos narrated by dudes with hot accents because I totally learn better from them.  It’s science.

Still Waiting for Real Server Transfers

Let’s translate from Bioware Bullshit into English.  We never had true “server transfers.” They were mergers.  Phased mergers, to be sure, but mergers nonetheless.  Now, the population problem has been fixed, enough dicking around, I want real transfers.

The whole damn point of server transfers (as opposed to mergers) is to have the option to play with certain specific friends of your choosing, not to join a bunch of random other people who are also transferred to the same place.  I’m mid recruiting for Snark Side, all the while thinking that it would be damn easier if we weren’t limited by the population of our server.  True, it’s a very large server, but that is irrelevant to any given person who is not currently on the server and would have to level up from scratch.  Some of our guildmates who had high level toons on other servers (pre-merger) and were hoping to bring them all together when we got “server transfers” – they’re shit out of luck because those toons ended up transferred (merged) to other servers.

Recruiting is hard.  Lack of server transfers makes it harder.  Being a GM super sucks.

Did I mention we’re recruiting?  (Seriously!)

A Very Limited Window

I thought I’d be really happy with the world event.  After all, it was a non-grinding non-dailies sort of affair that was fairly short.  And I was enjoying the hell out of the quests.

But I’m not happy because I couldn’t finish.

It’s a 7-day event.  And, a person might say, can you not get online once during that 7-day period? After all, it is not a long event.  Well yes, I managed to get online on Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday… but, you see, that’s not good enough.  Because the last 3 quests had a staggered release.  So essentially I needed to get online at least once during a specific 4-day period to finish the last quest.  I really thought I could make it, since I could probably squeeze in an hour or two Friday night or Saturday, right?

That didn’t happen.  What did happen is that my washing machine gave up the ghost in a dramatic fashion a day before I was scheduled to leave on vacation.  There was the repair guy to call out (on the weekend), there were soggy clothes to remove.  Saturday afternoon, my last chance to finish, was spent at the fucking laundromat.  And then, after all that, there was packing.

A week-long event is not acceptable to a casual player, even if the event doesn’t take that much in-game time to complete.  What is even more unacceptable is the extremely crunched window to finish up that last quest to complete the event.

It’s not the rewards.  Fuck the rewards.  It’s that it’s new content!  We haven’t had new content in a while, seriously.  And I don’t get to complete all the new content that I am paying for because I missed a 4-day window.

For a game that is going F2P to appeal to a more casual audience, they are really alienating casual players right about now.

Timing Fail

Man, this sucks.  I mean, I’m going on vacation so YAY… but…

The world event!  It’s only a week long!  I’m not going to finish it!

And, more importantly, Snark Side is recruiting but I’m going to be totally out of game for a week!  I’ll be answering recruit questions from my phone…

… from the pool…

… with a beer…

Oh wait, those were my vacations before I had a kid.  Now it’s MOMMY SPLASH.

See you guys on the other side.

Scavenger Hunting. FYI, I Fail.

Unlike last time, I’m actually doing this world event.  Well as much as I can before I go on vacation.  I’m a little pissed off that it’s gated because then I definitely won’t finish by the time I’m leaving – and it will probably be over when I get back in a week.

Anyway, Dulfy’s guide in hand, I set out to find all the things.

The intrepid Zabrak does… something.

The most fun was when I was following some dude… people who spacebar through the cut scenes would be totally screwed in trying to find this guy.  Oh, wait, there are guides.  And I used them because, let’s be honest, I suck at directions.

So there he goes… UP…

Um… crap.  I alt tab out to Dulfy’s guide which cheerfully says:

So the bounty hunter climbed up..See those crates there? Take a climb!

Take a CLIMB?  As if it’s that easy for someone so jumping-impaired as myself.  Gulp…

Yes, there are 5 jumps. The horror.

I did manage to vault up there and while it was not on my first… or seventh… try, I didn’t have to yell downstairs “Hey Honey, can you make this jump for me?” so I was not too embarrassed.  Until I saw some chirpy asshole scoot up there on his first try like he was a monkey.  Haet.

As for rewards, I wasn’t too impressed.  I don’t need bowcastthingys, I don’t give a crap about mounts or pets, and fashion-wise I already have a sand people outfit.

I was so wrong to dismiss the sand people outfit!  It may be the same model as the original, but it color matches so much better.  Less chiquita banana, more badassery.  And on the republic side, seeing a color, a real color that isn’t brown or tan or brownish tan, is pretty nice.

Totally badass, amirite?

The main thing I got to do during this event that I don’t normally do is that, whilst searching for random crates, I wandered around on my speeder through various levels and eventually bumped into the imperial side of things.  “Bumped into” being code for “ahhhh holy shit they are AFTER ME!!”

How are you liking the world event?

Theoretical DPS

Things I don’t miss about WOW:

  • Meters
  • Cookie cutter specs, where if you don’t use it, you FAIL
  • Highest theoretical DPS

Seriously, I may kick in the crotch the next person who talks about highest theoretical DPS.  This concept is ridiculous because it assumes we’re all automatons (or 22 year olds with the reflexes of a coked-out ferret) and will PERFECTLY execute whatever it is.  We will never have lag.  We will never miss a debuff dropping off.  We will never mismanage our mana/energy/photontorpedoes and run out at a crucial moment.  Nope.  PERFECT.

Well that’s just BULLSHIT.  I’m a person, not a theory.  And things just don’t work that way.  I’m not saying that I need an easier rotation and that I will automatically do better with that, because I’m incapable of the theoretical DPS perfection.  I’m saying that different people click with different specs and styles.  Something that is difficult for you might be easy for me, and vice versa.

Let me give you an example: in WoW, cat DPS is generally considered to be difficult.  There are bleeds to manage and energy and combo points and self-buffs and debuffs and… well you get the idea.  However, cat and I always clicked.  When I read my first cat raiding guide, upon hitting max level (I think it was 80 at the time), I was just like… oh, I’m already doing all those things, carry on.  To me, it seemed so natural.  My GM at the time called me a kitteh savant.

Now, shadow priesting?  Forget it.  In fact, forget anything where I have to string together casts.  Even if it’s a 3 button rotation, I will fuck it up.  I can’t shadow priest. I can’t boomkin.  I can’t elemental shaman.  Just terrible.

Enter SWTOR.  And as I’m twirling around through the levels with my Sentinel, it is known that Watchman DPS is the raiding spec.  Mmkay…  So I watchmanned and I was OK.  It wasn’t that hard to grasp, but at the same time, I didn’t feel any sort of love.

Due to a bug, I ended up respeccing Combat to try it and, holy shit, it was love.  It was like with cat – I didn’t have to really concentrate on where I was in my rotation, I just KNEW.  When something interrupted me or knocked me back, I got right back on track and didn’t flail around like LOLWUT?  And I kicked some major ass, much more than with Watchman.  Sure, watchman may have higher theoretical DPS, but in my hands, Combat has way higher dps than Watchman.

I was reminded of this phenomenon when I was trying (and failing) to do dailies with my smuggler.  I had specced scrapper and I was just SUCKING at it.  Dying all the time.  It felt like I was hitting the mobs with a wet napkin.  My companion tank was constantly whining that he was going to dieeeeee – and this was AFTER I re-geared both Corso and Bowdaar.  And I couldn’t use a non-tank companion because I needed to be behind whatever-it-is, so I needed a tank to take up the mob’s attention.  I always found myself out of buttons to press because it seemed like everything was on cooldown.  I just hated it.

So fuck it, I switched to Dirty Fighting.  Now, I know that dirty fighting is better for crowds, is more mobile, and doesn’t rely on positional attacks, so it’s already innately much more suited for dailies… but it wasn’t just that.  It felt right in a way that scrapper did not.  I was specced that way for about 5 minutes and I was already easily adapting to things like not having a gap closer or dealing with groups of various compositions.  It was easy.  There was no fumbling and pausing like “um, what do I do next?” Oh, and I didn’t die.  I pwned.

The point of my dumb story is that if you are sucking at something or you just hate it, ignore the guides and just damn well try something else.  It might work!

Anticipating, Planning, and Other GM Stuff

I’m not entirely sure how I got stuck with being a Co-GM, but um, I am.  And as such, the natural planner in me is getting quite the workout.  Take the last few weeks…

One of my main tanks (and one of my raid leaders) is leaving the game because the game isn’t doing it for him.  OK, we’ll miss him, but we’re ok, we have 2 full-time tanks left and a part-time tank/dps, and 1 raid leader.  Even so, I start thinking that’s not enough roster depth – or enough raid leaders.

Hey, Monkey (one of our raid leaders), how would you feel about being a tank?  Leveling one?  Ya know, just in case… Anyone else want to lead raids?  Oh OK, we got that covered… and then…

Then my Co-GM and her husband (a TANK!) decide to play with cuddly WoW Pandas.

Now I’m in freakout mode.  I have just gone from Co-GM to potentially the GM – at least until I find a replacement.  It also occurs to me that my Co-GM currently does raid rostering and recruiting, which now need to be done by someone (hint: not me).

Also, now we’re clearly short a tank!  Oh wait, that’s right, Monkey is leveling a tank for just such a predicament!  And because I was neurotic when our first tank quit, Monkey is already within spitting distance of 50!  Whew, crisis averted on that one.

So now we just have to see what we have and what we need to recruit.  I have heard rumblings about people maybe changing roles, so I want to nail that down before deciding what we need to add to the roster.  In the meantime I’ll remove the “we are not accepting applications at all!” notices from the guild website, but not make an announcement soliciting applications until we know exactly what roles we need.

But wait!  F2P comes along.  Is everyone going to be still subscribing?  Um, dunno.  Let’s give them a few days to sort that out before figuring out recruiting needs.  And of course there’s still a chance that the pandas will kidnap a few more guildies.

About a day later it dawns on me that my Co-GM also has the mumble server.  Oh right, mumble.  We need that.

At this point, I have a few gdocs going for planning purposes.  One is aptly named “GM Shit” and I take perverse pleasure in doing a strikethrough of the shit I’ve already completed.  And all sorts of other checklists.  I may be losing my mind.

How did I get stuck with Co-GM-ship?

Armormech Heavy Armor (Republic) Boot and Glove Mismatch

Remember when I first discovered the boot mismatch for orange armormech recipes (heavy armor, republic)?  I didn’t have all the recipes at the time and hypothesized that some boots got “swapped” and went with the wrong sets.

So now that I have all the boots, all the gloves, and most of the belts, I can say with certainty:

  • In a given set, the boots, gloves, and belt will match each other.
  • There are situations where there is NO match.  Not mixed up, just none exists.
  • I’m ignoring bracers, because they are pretty much under gloves, and I don’t have enough of them to figure out what matches what.

Here, let me show you the sets, you’ll see.  Keep in mind that I don’t have all the belts so if the belt doesn’t match, it’s probably the wrong one.  But hey, we’re focused on boots and gloves, right?

Electrum Onslaught. Just, no.  Why are the pants and chest dark green and the gloves, boots, belt ORANGE?  I can’t find a suitably matching set of greenish boots.  Seriously. You’ll see.

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