Thursday, March 17, 2011

Oh hai?

It happens to all of us at some points: our focus shifts away to other things, our time gets consumed with other activities, and things we used to do regularly fall by the wayside. Awkwardly, that has happened to me with all things WoW. I am still raiding and have no intention to stop, but my time outside has been eaten up by external activities. Nothing bad, nothing huge and life-altering, but simply is.

Just to reassure, I have no intention of stopping blogging. For those that don't already, I suggest using an rss-feed reader like Google Reader to keep up with updates :)

General Rambly Life Update:

My regret, though, is that it has put a halt to any amount of art I used to do. Once upon a time, I would make real paintings and colored-pencil sketches. I even did medieval scrollwork, though I used acrylics (I like Celtic knotwork, and silver paint is fun). As I got into photoshop, I started doing full digital paintings, though I never got anywhere near the level of the "super digital artists" like Meerkat or Sarah Ellerton, both of whom I admire for their skill and dedication--both of them inspired me at times.

Of course, you all know me for the stick figures I have posted on this blog: the rough and easy quick doodles that serve to illustrate important aspects of boss fights. That's most of what my art has amounted to in recent years, though I have spent time with larger art projects, like creating removable "stained glass" windows ~5' x 5' tall out of tissue paper and plastic dropcloth.


I idly wish I could get back into digital painting, maybe one day be able to match the skill of those who inspire me, but that's a time commitment I just don't have the time for. For now, I need to take one step at a time and at least provide some stick figs for all of you :)

WoW Stuff:

I'm enjoying raiding on my druid, still. While the daily quests have gotten dull and repetitive--irritating, really, for a mainspec healer, spending time raiding with my guild is what keeps me interested in the game. I will admit, though, to a certain hatred of heroic Chimaeron.

- Heroic Chim rant -

Chim is one of those gear-and-skill-check fights on heroic. Communication and very strict job assignments are required. For a tank, it's all about communication and cooldown timing. For a dps, it's a snooze-fest except to dps as hard as possible and group up periodically, aside a single dps-tank who has to fill an out-of-the-box taunting role and sometimes deal with popping survival cooldowns.

For a healer... it is an intense fight that requires complete focus and quick reaction times. But you can't rely on your usual reaction of "fill the bar, they're low health" or you'll go OoM: the healers have to train themselves to AVOID that reaction and rely purely on low-health debuffs. It's all in decision and assignments and making sure each healer does their job and can trust that the others will do their job, while at the same time keeping an eye out on boss timers and making that snap decision of "massacre inc, there are two with low-health, I need to help them now" and have pre-arranged with the other healer as to which person you will heal (by party and by top-to-bottom vs bottom-to-top).

Entire nights of this will leave a healer's brain the consistency of porridge. I'm not talking about that thick glop, either: I mean the kind where you accidentally poured in too much water and it's beginning to more resemble stew or even soup. It reached a point where running into the room, I would see Chimaeron snoozing there with his little green z's and my mind would fill with loathing, loathing for the pixels before me. Pyrecraw didn't help, pre-stack-nerf when we all had to rotate LoS to drop the flame buffet stacks, and that was just trash. I preferred playing with Nefarian and wiping to tailwhip+electrocute combos to dealing with H-Chim.

Now, my guild did kill H-Chim last night. I wasn't there, but my guildies got it. I haven't heard what loot dropped, but I am hoping and hoping it was a pair of uber-bracers for my fellow resto druid Herc (the guild's new healer recruit, who slipped in in spite of our hope to get a shammy or pally simply because he is so awesome). We have never seen a pair of epic leather bracers drop off of Chim so we've both still been rocking blues all this time.

- Bear, rawr? -

On a feral side, they have had me tank H-Halfus for a few kills. Me, in my mostly-blues tank kit. I had to completely remap some of my bear keys to allow for a quicker interrupt reactivity, and I had to huge-ify (yes, I claim that's a legitimate word) my quartz target cast bars to be able to make sure I didn't miss the casts that I needed to interrupt. I am currently running around specced as a healer primary, bear secondary, which as you can imagine makes dailies 'interesting.' It was a change of pace that I enjoyed, though. I have yet to tank a 5-man in the expansion, yet I have helped tank 10-man heroic raid bosses. Ha. Go me. I even managed to keep aggro off of our insane DPS. Scawwy bear-kae, rawr!

Yay, Puppy!

FLUFFY! She is about 75lbs (or more) and still likes to climb in laps. She spends lunchtime laid out across the couch, mostly in my husband's lap and sticking her paws and nose in my lap while we eat; being able to go home for an hour lunchbreak is a wonderful thing. She and I like going for walks around the local college campus, where she has been getting better about not trying to yank my arm off or digging through the landscaping to find all of the food the students like to leave laying around.

The leash-training and behavior training have been a weekly challenge as she is true to her breed: stubborn and independant, but with lots of positive reinforcement and treats, she is coming along well. I have taken to training her on a few sledding commands for left/right (haw/gee), though I am using an archery-range command of "hold" to get her to stop and freeze given that I want her responding to that command when she hears it around that range.

She enjoys campus more than our local neighborhood, as she gets to see lots of people, and many college students love seeing a friendly fluffy dog they can cuddle with.

I'm just waiting for the moment I try to give a raid direction in vent and say "gee" or "haw." It is bound to happen. -_-;

So, that's a quick update for those of you who have been worrying. I have been plotting for more stick-figure guides, just need to get around to doing them.


Jasyla said...

Hooray, you're alive! :P

Good to read a blog post from you. I <3 your puppy, she's gorgeous.

Vidyala said...

Nice to hear from you, Kae. Lovely puppy, as usual! I'll keep you in my feedreader and be happy when I see your name in bold but otherwise trust you are doing just fine. :)

Theladas said...

Heroic Chim gave us a tank ring (something we also hadn't seen before) and resto shaman gear for Mujie.

The healing sounds to be as brain-damaging as HLK could be. That fight was huge on split-second reactions to keep everyone topped (as opposed to just over 10k) for each major threat coming in (Soul Reaper, Infest, spirit bombs). I think our healers were hitting a sort of rhythm - finally - last night, which was probably the biggest help; once they were comfortable, everything else could fall into place.

It's a dumb fight, compared to nearly every other Heroic encounter I've seen since Wrath. Tanking it is a nightmare unless you abuse the DPS-tank style, and the randomness of Feuds requires constant updates coming across for proper CD management with each and every feud. That fight makes me talk myself hoarse, and has gotten so repetitive that I even botched one attempt by mis-calling a "non-feud" when there was a feud. Chim can go die in a fire.

Oh wait, he did. Go Immolate!

PS: The return of puppy & wall feasts was also pivotal in our victory.

Kae said...

Yeah, I am still working through my thoughts on H-Chimaeron. I am not the only one who has noted that restos are being benched for that fight.

For now, until I can put my thoughts together into a coherent rant about Chim, I will focus on H-Maloriak. Which is, ironically, another fight that seems to punish the HoT-tick-timer of resto druids (I'm looking at that flame breath) and may require us to limit our resto druid use.



Anonymous said...

Kae, that pseudo-stained glass is beautiful! And such a clever concept, too! How do you get the pieces of tissue paper to stay where you want them to in the design?

Kae said...

Glue sticks :D I got the ones that are purple and dry clear, and put the glue over the plastic before laying the paper over top.

The goal was to create something nice that wouldn't block light, but would block direct line-of-sight between two rooms, and be durable enough to last a week's worth of a site rental while also easy to clean up. I am sure the paper would fade fairly quickly if it's left in the sun, but these windows were interior looking out over a gym from a conference room so that wasn't an issue.

Niniel said...

Glad to see updates from you again! :)

I'm sort of in the same spot, still raiding along on heroics (5/12) but haven't really posted much in quite a while now. The difference is that people actually miss you ;)

Sakaki said...

Yay a post from Kae! Still my favorite blog for whatever reason :D and I enjoy your art, wish I could do anything as nice as even the stick figures.

I've also been lacking in wow playtime. Work, apartment, life XD raiding is the only really fun thing to do these days anyways it seems =/ Hopefully we both have some time to enjoy new fun things they might add though :)

Angelya said...

Kae! Your puppy is getting so big and adorable <3

Glad to hear everything's going well :)

Nelle said...

Even though I knew you were alive I am glad you posted :)

Beruthiel said...

Yay! A Kae!

I'm very glad to hear from you and happy to hear everything is well! :)

And my gosh, if that puppy gets any bigger I'm going to have to wonder if she's eaten you!

My what big ears you have, Ms. Kae! ;-)

Zy said...

Haw and gee = win

Lemontree said...

Ugh, heroic chimaeron on 10 man. I am a resto druid and I was previously in a 10 man guild with only 3 healers, so I couldn't be benched, but that fight is in no way our strength, or even our average. It's probably the worst possible fight for a resto druid, in fact.

We did do it though. And I agree with you about the it melting your brain. And I hate that boss with every fibre of my being, even on normal mode.

Also, I'm now in a 25 man guild, and on heroic chimaeron we don't even have healing assignments. I am super annoyed at the disparity in difficulty on this fight.