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A Look Back at Cataclysm…

September 24, 2012 Leave a comment

So here we are…less than 24 hours from the launch of the newest World of Warcraft expansion, Mists of Pandaria.

I’m still neutral on a new expansion. I discussed my thoughts at length last night with a guildie and shared that right now, for me, the biggest draw of the new content is going to be the day I step into the new raids. I’m looking forward to strategizing with my cotank, figuring out how we’re going to handle the fights, looking forward to the motivation of downing new content.

But instead of looking forward into the crystal ball at the content I haven’t run yet, let’s look back on Cataclysm in general!

Launch and Tier 11

I don’t really recall Cataclysm’s launch. I wasn’t in an active guild,4 so I wasn’t in any rush to level. I was on a high population realm, Area 52, so I think I actually didn’t bother to log in for a couple days until the initial rush died off. Not to mention that it was in the middle of the holiday season, so I was busy baking and preparing to entertain guests.

I leveled my first Paladin, Valkyrii (my Wrath main), to 85, and then followed up by leveling my hunter, Mirina (my BC main). At some point Raziel was thrown into the mix, along with my Death Knight (Azrael), my Priest (Gabriel), my Mage (Raaena), and my Warlock (Kiiera). To this day, I haven’t leveled the rest of my alts (2 shaman, a warrior, a rogue, another DK (who is now set up for Herald of the Titans), and my druid), because the Cata content got dry very quickly.

I decided that I wanted to go back to raiding (I had taken T9 and T10 off from guild raiding, and instead PuGged through ToC and ICC), so I started looking around. Not seeing many options on realm, I decided to start recruiting. We had almost gotten a solid team, but no one wanted to focus on gearing and I ended up deciding to transfer off the realm.

That’s one of the challenges with large population realms–there’s a ton of people, but there’s also more guilds than you can shake a stick at.

So as Tier 11 approached it’s end, and I still hadn’t started raiding, I began searching off realm for a new home.

I ended up transferring Raz to Drenden to raid with Rades‘ guild, Tsu Tain Guu Faitaa, otherwise known as TTGF!

Tier 12

I ended up joining TTGF to tank full-time in Firelands. Which, looking back on Firelands, was pretty damn fun. Dog tanking on Shannox, chasing adds around on Rhyolith, and eating Decimation strikes on Baleroc (ouch).

Firelands was a fun tier, but I still have heartburn over the fact that we missed the nerf bat by a week on the raid. We had been working so hard on Ragnaros, and almost had him down. But due to our inability to sync schedules for weekend raids, we missed our chance for our pre-nerf kill.

It was a sad day.

We dabbled with some Heroic bosses, but primarily stayed with normal clears through the raid. The bigger challenge for me was our raid times. I was raiding 10p-1a while having to make a weekly client meeting the following morning, requiring me to be about 3 hours after I went to bed (assuming raid wrapped at 1a). My body couldn’t keep up with  the time difference, and I had to look for another place with better aligned raid times (the challenge of raiding with a West Coast guild!).

Firelands was great because I finally got to focus on what I loved doing best, tanking. I had healed in Wrath, dabbling with tanking when my GM was willing to respec to Holy for me tank 5-mans. I was never able to tank in a raid environment (the downside of having a BiS healing set for the time), so Firelands was the first chance I got to fully climb into the tanking driver’s seat and get ready for the ride.

And it was totally worth the lack of sleep to do it!

BlizzCon

BlizzCon fell towards the end of Firelands, and I had a blast! I got the opportunity to meet a ton of the folks I get to talk to on Twitter and to spend some time with some of the great WoW personalities! I even got some time to talk to Ghostcrawler himself about tanking at the Charity Dinner (which was super cool as well)!

While at BlizzCon though, I got to meet a ton of members of my future (and current) guild, Enveloping Shadows! It was fun to be able to sit down, drink, and socialize with a large majority of the officers!

Soon after I returned home, I applied as a healer (hilarious, I know), and was accepted. I transferred over a couple weeks later and dove into Firelands with a 25-man team, trying to wrap my brain around healing. I actually healed for our H. Alysrazor kill!

But there were only a couple weeks left in Firelands, and then we headed into Tier 13…

Tier 13

Tier 13 started with some healing fun, but before Christmas I had swapped back to Prot almost full time. I’d heal as necessary (I do actually have a pretty nice healing set on Raz now…and a pretty nice Ret set…and yea…), when we managed to be short a healer.

Tier 13 was the first time that I can say that I tanked an entire raid, start to finish, on all difficulties. I got to down Deathwing on Heroic mode several times!

Tier 13 was interesting…I went from 25-man raiding back down to a 10s team. I watched as we were almost barely able to fill a raid towards the end of the tier. I watched people decide to “retire” from raiding, shrinking our pool to the point that we were pulling in non-raiding guild members that we hoped could hit buttons or soak an Hour to pulling in people like Rades once Dragon Soul went RealID wide.

Rades has bailed my ass out repeatedly. Thanks dude!

The Miscellaneous…

Since we got to the point that we were clearing H. Dragon Soul in 2 hours, we had a lot of time to fill. ES took some time to backtrack into Tier 11 and clean house in H. Bastion of Twilight, capturing our first guild Heroic clear and downing Sinestra, to heading to Throne of the Four Winds and cleaning up H. Al’Akir. We went back to play in Blackwing Descent, but still, to this day, H. Nefarian still isn’t playing nice…maybe at 90.

In Conclusion…

Cata, while not the most “thrilling” expansion to me (I still haven’t quested through all the low level content), brought about a lot of changes in my play style. I’m back to raiding full-time, having an integral spot on a raid team, having a raid team that I usually love signing on to hang out with (usually because some nights I’m just not in a mood for people).

As the clock ticks down, I spent time cleaning out Raz’s bank, taking some time to gear my unplayed hunter (she went from 333 ilvl to 375 last night thanks to guildies carrying me through dungeons), and playing around. I haven’t been online much in WoW lately, but the past couple days I wanted to go back and play the content. I pulled people through dungeons, both guildies and PuGs, for the shear fun of seeing how fast we could clear the content before I never set foot in them again. I’ve run ZG, ZA,  and even multiple Deadmines. I even did a full clear of H. Halls of Origination yesterday afternoon!

To me, that’s the perfect send off. Remember what you did in this expansion, and run it with the people who bring you joy in the game world, and in turn, energize yourself for what’s right around the corner.

In less than 15 hours MoP is live…I wish everyone the best with leveling! I’ll see you in Heroics soon!

What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been – 20K Tweets

December 23, 2011 4 comments

Raz and Kirian lookin' matchy with Transmog and drake fun

Really, what a long, strange trip it’s been! I never thought I’d last until the 20K mark on Twitter, much less be able to meet some of the most fun and loving people within the WoW community via Twitter!

So here we are, the infamous 20K. I pondered how I would celebrate this. I started watching my tweet count last weekend, knowing that I was getting closer and I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss it!

Since Twitter enabled me to share my blogging with the WoW community and expand beyond just Twitter, I figured a post here would allow me to share my thoughts with more than 140 characters!

The Guilds and Their Members

I can’t even begin to list all the people who have crossed my path since I started this roller coaster ride, but I’ve met 4 great guilds and had a blast with their members! A shout out to AF Guild, Waypoint, TTGF, and ES, 4 guilds that I’ve been able sprinkle characters in and have an absolute blast with their members! They allowed me to have fun in Warcraft again–which was a challenge since Cata started out as a very rocky road without a real home to settle in. Each of these guilds opened their doors to me, giving me a place to call home and to grow my abilities as a player and as a person. For this, I am forever grateful.

Dee, AKA Kirian

Kirian by Dee

Most of all, I need to make a call out to my favorite sassy mage. Kirian’s keeper, Dee, has been a shoulder to cry on, comedic relief when I’m depressed, a source of calm when I panic, and the first person I talk to as I sit down at my PC with a cup of coffee. She has been my partner in crime in both PvE and PvP, a supplier of beautiful places with screenshot worthy views, and she knows when I just need to get away after a frustrating night of raiding. She is a truly beautiful person who I am blessed to know and each day I am thankful for that! One of my BlizzCon highlights was being able to sit down with her and talk lore and characters and everything else. She allows me to have fun and enjoy being cocky as hell with Raz before he gets smacked back down to reality by Kirian. It’s been hilarious to play the two characters off of each other and it’s made WoW that much more enjoyable for me :) Ironically, I think to a degree that in real life, we’re a lot like the characters we play, as I swear I saw her shaking her head at some of my antics at BlizzCon >.>

In Closing…

So thank you my Tweeps for sticking along for the ride, allowing me to meet some of the most fun members of the WoW community in one spot, having the ability to get together with you all at BlizzCon and to have an overwhelming desire to keep going back for more! Here’s to another 20K and even more friendships, fun, and excitement!

–Miri

BlizzCon Wrap Up — Sorta…

October 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Hai!

Just sticking this out there to let you know that I’m still alive <.<

BlizzCon was a blast and I got to spend it with some incredibly fun and gifted people–I couldn’t have asked for a better trip! Being able to sit with some of my favorite bloggers and Tweeps and talk definitely was a shining highlight of my trip!

I’m currently working on Halloween Trick or Treating on Raz while I cross the US. I could blog my thoughts, but honestly, I’m still recovering from BlizzCon, lol!

So instead, you get my Soon ™ post! I’ll be compiling all my thoughts on the impending changes for 5.0 in the near future, but it will probably be midway through the week before I really get a chance to analyze what was said.

Hope that everyone who is returning home from California is experiencing safe travels, and I’ll see you all soon!

Categories: BlizzCon, Paladin, Twitter, Warcraft

BlizzCon 2011 – Mists of Pandaria, First Impressions

October 22, 2011 1 comment

At this point, this is all old news, but I still wanted to capture my thoughts and experiences with the newly revealed WoW expansion!

As many are aware, the fourth expansion to the World of Warcraft universe was announced this morning at BlizzCon: Mists of Pandaria. The feeling in the room was mixed–some were excited, some sat there in shock–I think Twitter did a valid job of capturing the shocked reactions around me–the majority of the commentary on Twitter being “are we being trolled?”

While I feel that the WoW universe is getting a bit crowded with it’s elves, werewolves, and now apparently, pandas, to each their own!

I took some time this evening to play through the starting zone for the Pandaren, and…well, I was impressed. I rolled a Pandaren Monk (I wanted to try the class out), and Mal rolled, what else? A warrior. The characters moved very fluidly in their attacks–Mal commented to me that the warrior movements were incredible to watch and that he would definitely be leveling (yet another!) warrior  when the Expac releases.

The zone and music were absolutely beautiful! I actually spent a lot of time just checking out the scenery and enjoying the music that was playing as I quested. Questing was fluid and gave you a good chance to use your abilities–though honestly, I’m not quite sure what abilities I needed to be using and when (I picked up some “finishers” and I should have taken more time to read the tooltips to understand their usages), but that ties into me wanting to make sure I’m performing to the best of my ability, and day one with an Alpha build *just* might be pushing it a little bit!

In all, it was a very beautiful and enjoyable zone to quest in. Will I play a panda? No. Will I play a monk? Possibly, but I enjoy my Paladin way too much to want to learn a new method of tanking as a Brewmaster! So have no fear, my blog will remain Paladin (prot/holy) centric for the foreseeable future!

BlizzCon 2011 – Charity Dinner

October 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Thrall, by Glenn Rane

Hello from BlizzCon! My BlizzCon experience started out much better than some–simply for the fact that I didn’t have to take on LineCon 2011 to get my badge!

Instead, I was able to sit in the lobby and enjoy the company of members of Enveloping Shadows: Rhidach, Antigen, and Ildara, in addition other guildies! I also am able to say that I had a drink with the amazing mathematical genius of the Paladin community: Theck! It was an absolute blast and the members of ES are an incredible group of people to hang out with!

Once their hotel room was ready, we parted ways, Ant and Rhi heading to the WoW Insider party and myself and Mal heading to our room to get ready for the Charity Dinner that night.

The dinner was lovely (I spent more time at the bar than I did eating, this came back to haunt me later), and I was able to speak with several members of the WoW development community!

I did get one on one time with Greg Street, Ghostcrawler! It was at the charity dinner that he broke the sad news to me that the developers would not be discussing the upcoming tanking changes that he had highlighted in the ongoing Water Cooler sessions. *sad Raz moment* I thanked him for his efforts and the open lines of communication that he has strived to maintain with the WoW community, while dealing with the absolute bottom of the WoW community that inhabits the forums.

I also got to speak with Mike Morhaime, who was a fun and energetic individual who is completely devoted to the growth and development of Blizzard. It was very refreshing to see a company President so in touch with his employees and it was readily apparent that he loves what he does.

J. Allen Brack was absolutely hilarious and incredibly honest to speak with regarding WoW in general! He told me that he was greatly impressed by my lore knowledge and my interest in the characters who inhabit the World of Warcraft universe! I also got to speak with his father, who is also a WoW player and currently working on Dragonwrath for his guild!

I got to speak with Chris Metzen and apparently my husband is the new “Red Shirt Guy” after that discussion! I didn’t realize it would be so easy to stump Chris regarding his own lore! We spoke to Chris regarding Sylvanas’ character development and inquired if we would see closure on Syl in Cataclysm or if her character would continue to develop through the next expansion. Chris confirmed that we shouldn’t expect resolution to the Plaguelands situation with Sylvanas and Koltira (damn!) in this Expac. He also confided that Sylvanas scares the shit of out him–and that she’s more batshit insane in his mind than Garrosh is. He actually fears Syl more than Garrosh! We stumped Chris on our inquiry about Lillian Voss. Apparently she has been completely forgotten as an NPC in Chris’s eyes! I felt that I should have gone and gotten Mal a red polo after that discussion!

Once we stepped away for the evening, we headed down to the Hilton lobby, where the parties were just getting started. I got to spend some time with Aldous and Sniz from TTGF, and even managed to draw Dee out of her hotel room after she had spent the entire day on a plane! There was a lot more alcohol consumption and there was a great picture that hit Twitter of me laughing so hard about something that I fell flat on my butt at our table (we were standing, not sitting). All in all, I’m sure Sniz is now very concerned about one of the guild’s tanks and her apparent sanity (or lack thereof).

Once Aldous and Sniz departed, and Mal chose to go to bed, Dee and I got to sit and talk Firelands (ick) and lore (yay!) for what resulted in several hours. Apparently during our discussion someone fell into the fountain in the bar and we both missed it!

I was gifted some of Dee’s lovely sketches (SHEEEEEEEPS!) and she even hand delivered popcorn cheese to me (which I’m staring at as I type this).

Anyway, it was a great kick-off for BlizzCon, and it made sitting through the first day of panels VERY difficult because I was up so late (and maybe partially hung over, but I’ll never admit to that)!

More to come on panel discussion, assuming I don’t fall asleep as I’m typing this!

BlizzCon 2011 – The First Boss

October 21, 2011 Leave a comment

20111021-082242.jpg

First boss of the morning, the Starbucks line.

I’ll be Tweeting pretty much until my battery dies, so follow me @wowmiri for updates. If I’m not drinking, I’ll crank out summaries of the day in the evening.

Categories: BlizzCon, Twitter

The Countdown to BlizzCon

October 17, 2011 2 comments

Home Base (for the next 6 days)!

Hello from sunny California!

I started my BlizzCon trip today, departing the NoVA area early this morning and arriving in beautiful Anaheim this …morning. Time changes kick my butt!

Some observations:

  • Gingerbread iced chai ROCKS
  • Airline food is amazingly good – especially if you’re in the first row of the plane <.<
  • Starting your morning with Bombay Sapphire will enable to you sleep for a good part of your flight
  • Time changes kick my butt – I really want to go to sleep right now, and it’s not even 6p – I’m also starving right now
  • I either have great priorities, or I have issues – BevMo has an INCREDIBLE selection of booze – definitely a good first stop!

That being said, I’m here, and I hope you enjoy the picture to go with this post–at this moment I’m too lazy to go outside and take a picture of the convention center, so instead you get my “mission control center”: leftover lunch, a gin and tonic, and my laptop, all set up in my hotel room.

Lots of fun stuff went down while I was thousands of feet up in the air–apparently there were some amusing Twitter discussions, Rades shared his newest blog post regarding Fabulor and his “achievement evening.” And apparently I got featured today on WoW Insider. Let me tell you, I wasn’t expecting that!

So, if you’re a new reader, welcome to my..uhh… *rubs back of neck and smiles uncomfortably* home on the web. This blog is sorta my amusement–you’ll find some serious stuff, like my  boss strat guides, my humor regarding guildies and my main character, Raziel, and just anything else that pops into my head.

So…uhhh….welcome to the mayhem? =)

BlizzCon 2011

October 14, 2011 7 comments

It's COMING!

BlizzCon sometimes feels like returning home after a long absence. Not the geeks, but Southern California in general. I’ve lived on both coasts, and have found that I have happy memories of both locations. It’s been 15 years since I last lived in California, where I hung out at Lake Mission Viejo, went to Knotts Berry Farm, and shopped at South Coast Plaza. One of the joys of returning for BlizzCon is that I get to visit all my old haunts–restaurants (that still exist!), malls, and stores that take me down memory lane.

Mal is slighly amused each time we return–I always have a list of places to eat at and shop at, and I drag him all over the area reliving those years. It just so happens that these visits always coincide with BlizzCon (I have no need to be in SoCal otherwise anymore, my clients are all based around me in the DC Metro now), but flying in on Thursday and departing early Sunday morning never gave me a chance to go everywhere I wanted to go!

Fast forward to this year! We decided to make BlizzCon a vacation! Flying out to California on Monday, spending a couple days shopping and hitting places like Disney (Mal’s never been), and then kicking off BlizzCon with the Charity Dinner on Thursday night, which I’m GREATLY looking forward to!

Miri’s BlizzCon Plans

If you’re not familiar with food options that aren’t fast food in SoCal, I provide a list of my favorites:

  • Tortilla Flats - The FOUNDERS of #TACOTUESDAY!
  • Ruby’s Diner - Great burgers and shakes, avocado burger FTW!
  • Claim Jumper -  Oh god, so much good food!
  • Peppinos – The ORIGINAL Peppinos restaurant! Italian food that makes you sob in happiness!

For shopping I always head over to South Coast Plaza, but the Anaheim Garden Walk is close to the convention center and has lots of chain restaurants (PF Chang’s, Cheesecake Factory, M&S Grill, etc.)

I’ll be at the Hilton Anaheim for my stay, where I always stay for BlizzCon, so if you want to visit, I won’t be too far away!

Where to Find Booze

This is more for me than anything >.> But…if you want to know the closest places to get wine and hard liquor, I give you my findings:

  • BevMo – Wine/Hard Liquor - Closest to the Convention Center AND you can tell them what you want and it’ll be ready in an hour. Hell yea!
  • Costco – Wine/Hard Liquor – Closest to the Convention Center. Glad I’m a Costco member!

BlizzCon Party List

Parties that I’m aware of (so far):

  • WoWhead, WoWInterface, WoWInsider Party @ the Tangerine Grill & Patio at the Anabella Hotel – Thursday starting @ 5p
  • Twisted Nether Meetup – Bar Louie @ Anaheim Garden Walk - Friday @ 9p
  • Invite Only - Curse BlizzCon Party – Hilton Anaheim, 2nd floor – Friday @ 8p
  • BlizzCon After Party (with Blizz employees in attendance!) – Hilton Anaheim, Lobby – Saturday @ BlizzCon wrap
  • Hotel Guests Only - BlizzCon After Party (with Blizz employees in attendance!) – Hilton Anaheim, Pool Deck – Saturday @ BlizzCon wrap

NOTE: If you know of others, shoot me a note on Twitter or stick it into the comments and I’ll update this post!

Tweeps Attending BlizzCon

The following Tweeps have identified that they will be at BlizzCon. If you aren’t following them already, you’re probably missing out on fun and a chance to meet great people!

NOTE: This list is in progress as I get more responses! So, keep checking back in!

Looking forward to having fun! If you want to get together, shoot me a DM on Twitter or stick a message to me somewhere and I’ll get back to you!

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