Shared Topic: Wasting Time in the Timeless Isle

I’m meant to be doing a bunch of stuff, including several labs and some log analysis for my guild. This means, of course, that my brain just really wants to do the Blog Azeroth Shared Topic for this week. Proposed by Amerence, the topic is all about the Timeless Isle: how much time we spend there, whether or not we find it fun, whether or not we do the dailies, etc.

Here’s the thing: I hate the Timeless Isle.

It may very well be that I’m a healer at heart, but grinding mobs for hours on end isn’t exactly my idea of fun.

I really tried, at the beginning. I went there, did the initial quest chain, tried to grind rep (it’s really hard when you mostly roll with two healer specs, incidentally). The thing is, I’m not a collector. It was kind of interesting, seeing if I could kill stuff in my disc spec without dying, but it wound up being slow and repetitive and none of the rewards seemed worth the grind.

It’s weird though, because I don’t have that problem doing dailies for mounts. That’s how I got my Netherwing Drake and my Cloud Serpent, and they never bothered me to the degree the Timeless Isle does. I think the main difference is doing it via quests feels very predictable. I can tell exactly how much time it will take me to get to my goal if I do them every day, so it doesn’t feel like such an interminable grind. Timeless Isle is all about random drops and variable rep from different mobs, so it’s very hard to tell when you’ll get a given pet or mount. I don’t mind randomness in rewards when it’s an activity I enjoy intrinsically, like raiding, but it turns out smiting stuff to death (or Mind Blasting if I happen to be specc’ed into shadow) is not something I enjoy intrinsically. Additionally, I think another difference that has an impact is that dailies force me to pace myself, and I don’t wind up grinding for several hours and burning myself out quickly so that I hate everything about the mobs and the place after one evening.

In short, I’ve only ever gone back with my main a handful of times (for stuff not world bosses). Once because I decided I wanted to give the Harmonious Porcupette to a friend for Christmas (that didn’t go far; I wound up buying something else from the AH) and a few other times because I wanted to practice my shadow skills on stuff that wouldn’t melt in two casts.

And you know what the best part about the Timeless Isle is? It’s alright if I never step foot on it on my main again, because it’s content that is entirely optional.

Alts, though, alts are an entirely different thing.

All throughout the expansion, I’ve been slowly levelling some of my alts so that I now have all of the healers, plus a horde DPS monk at 90. Now, I could have, upon hitting max with them, just gone the normal route of grinding heroics, then LFR and so on to get them semi-geared, but that takes a bunch of time (especially when in questing greens) so my standard strategy for gearing them is now thus: go to the Timeless Isle, do the initial quests, never engage anything that’s an elite because it will melt your face, and try and find chests until the character is geared enough to do LFR. From there, I just run LFR and dungeons, using VP, drops and JPs to complement my gear. (And, yes, I’m saying I vastly prefer healing LFR to grinding the Timless Isle; make of that what you will). It isn’t exactly fun, since the jaunt through TI is mostly running around on my mount, dying a lot. Honestly, it makes me really miss the model with different tiers of dungeons for catching up. But then, I’ve been missing that the whole expansion, because I really like healing five-man content.

Blizzard has said they’re doing more dungeons next expansion; they’ve also said they’d like to implement more TI-like max level content. If they manage to do the former, I will be happy, but if they only really do the latter, I might cry. Dailies I don’t mind (as long as they don’t go overboard – ohhai, 5.0!), dungeons I love, but if I have to grind mobs in order to get geared for raiding in WoD, it just might get me to quit. (Probably not – I just went for hyperbole to show how much I dislike the idea – but I will whine a lot.)

The Info Dump is Here! (Healing Priest Edition)

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Finally, after months of impatience and complaining, Alpha is here and we know stuff. I honestly am a little surprised. I figured I would be freaking out at this point – either too excited for coherent thought, or devastated that priests were going to be unplayable next expansion –  but most changes were either expected or pretty minor. And though there were some changes I’m not too keen on, they’re a far cry from the end of the world.

The Chakra and Sanctuary Change

Healing Chakras have been changed to only buff their pertinent spells by 10% and make their exclusive abilities a lot stronger. Now. while having less of a penalty for casting spells outside of your Chakra is absolutely a good thing, the fact that there’s still a penalty means the ability is still problematic. The only way I can ever see the current implementation of Chakra working and feeling really satisfying is if they can make casting spells in the right Chakra feel like a bonus (i.e. balancing it so that priests are a little stronger than other classes when casting spells appropriate to their Chakra), or simply make the stances be tied to the Holy Words and nothing else (which was suggested by Derevka, I believe). The latter would be boring but functional.

Honestly, though, I would be much happier if they just turned them into short throughput cooldowns that share a CD. (And give us Serenity permanently and tie Sanctuary to our Lightwell so we can pretend we’re druids! Although, then again, we can’t reposition that at will, so it might be a terrible idea. ><)

The other thing to note here is that Sanctuary has been massively buffed. Which essentially means we now have Healing Rain. I know it’s been said a lot that Sanctuary is not meant to be Healing Rain, but I can’t help but think that there isn’t much of a different niche that an AoE circle can fill. It has to be something that provides enough healing to be worth the cast in both mana capped situations and GCD-capped situations. While I wouldn’t say it wasn’t necessarily worth the cast currently in a period of heavy AoE damage, it certainly wasn’t much of a heavy lifter either. (I’ll confess I even forgot it for a couple of Malorok kills; I know, I’m a terrible priest). Ideally, I’d like it to be something expensive enough that you would only cast it where there really is a lot of damage going on and people are liable to be stacked, instead of something that you just keep down whenever you’re in Sanctuary Chakra. But, hey, as long as it doesn’t become 50% of our healing done (in the style of current Shaman Healing Rain), I’ll be happy.

The Atonement and Smart Healing Change

Atonement now heals for 25% less. This is, as far as I’m concerned, something that absolutely had to happen. Not necessarily because the smart healing component of Atonement was too good (though it was), but because its interaction with Divine Aegis made it entirely too powerful. As your crit inevitably went up (and as it will again in Warlords), it meant you could cover the entire raid with crit bubbles and get all the benefits of shields (effective health, less spiky damage) while bypassing their biggest drawback – the fact that if there’s not damage incoming, your resources have been wasted – due to smite spam being absurdly cheap.

This change, coupled with the fact that smart heals only heal a random injured  target as opposed to the most injured target means Atonement will likely only be a good choice for stacking Evangelism and periods of very low raid damage, which is honestly much more in-line with the original design intent for Atonement i.e. give discipline priests something to do while they would ordinarily be twiddling their thumbs, instead of having them spam it all encounter because ‘DA, lulz’. My only question is whether this is enough of a nerf, something that we won’t know until we see some actual numbers.

The Stuff We’re Losing

Rapture and Void Shift are gone. I can’t say I’m too happy with either of these losses. I thought Rapture was an excellent mechanic that made it so spam shielding wasn’t much of an option (until we got ALL the mana regen at the end of the expansion, that is) while casting our one shield on the tank didn’t feel punishing. I expect the reasoning for this might be that it’s one of those mechanics that required an external addon to track so you could perform adequately, but I still worry that it’ll will either mean we’re back to being shield spamming machines (the new perk that lowers Weakened Soul time doesn’t exactly alleviate this concern), or that with the proposed mana changes we will only cast Power Word: Shield very rarely.

Void Shift just makes me sad ’cause I thought it was a fun ability and appreciated having a second tank cooldown. I thought that the risk inherent in it (I’ve killed myself with it more than a couple of times) made it so it wasn’t completely broken, and -let’s face it- nothing is more satisfying than combo’ing it with your Desperate Prayer. The worst part is I’m not really sure why it’s going away. The only feasible reason I can come up with is PvP. In which case, I bite my thumb at you, PvP. (The more pressing question, however, is how am I supposed to be able to get rid of tank Chomps as disc in the proving grounds? D:)

Other Bits and Bobs

Honestly? I expected them to talk more about how they’re making absorbs less effective. An across the board nerf to all absorbs? Worse scaling for passive absorbs? Shorter duration for effects like Spirit Shell? Or longer cooldowns maybe?

I’m thinking it’s probably the former, which I’m not too sure I like. I honestly think that Power Word: Shield and Spirit Shell are alright in their current incarnations. Spirit Shell is only really good for predictable spike damage. In fights where the damage is unpredictable or constant it’s, at best, overheal protection and, at worst, a gamble that is not worth it if you don’t have the mana to sustain possibly useless PoH spam. Though I suppose a longer cooldown wouldn’t be terrible.

The talents look alright. The only one that really piqued my interest is Words of Mending. Clarity of Will seems meh for disc (do we really need an other absorb?). It seems like it’ll be a nice boon for Holy in terms of stacked up fights, though, to smarten up Prayer of Healing some. Saving Grace just looks entirely too situational, but I will withhold my judgment until we’ve seen more of what kinds of damage patterns to expect in Warlords.

Finally, who thought it was a good idea to give priests an incentive to cast Lifegrip in the middle of fights? I’m looking at you, Improved Leap of Faith; you have finally given me the excuse I needed to troll people in farm fights under the guise of trying to save them (‘well, your health looked really low and I figured I could really use that extra 50% healing when I brought you up. I’m woefully sorry it interrupted your Chaos Bolt’). Not that I would actually do that. :)

Liebster Awards!

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Reihyou, over at Mana Tide Totem, has nominated me for a Liebster Award!

I’ll confess this had me confused for a second there, since I’d never heard of them, and they seem to work nothing like an actual award. They do appear to be an excellent way to find new blogs though, and I’m thrilled to have been nominated. So, onwards!

You may be wondering what, exactly, is a Liebster award? I shall steal a quote:

“Well, it is only an AWESOME award given to up and coming bloggers. Given by other up and coming bloggers. It’s a cool way to find other blogs and feel like you are getting into the blogging stratosphere. It is simple, you get nominated by someone else, mention their page and a link to their blog in your Liebster Award Post, answer the 11 questions they give you, then tag 11 other nominees and give them a new set of 11 questions to answer.”

 

(Incidentally, this quote seems to be attributed to the ‘Liebster People’. Who are these mysterious people? I’m not sure, but I’m going to guess they designed the lovely icon.)

These are Reihyou’s questions (and my answers):

1. What inspired you to become a blogger?

Back when I was very much a noob, I came across WoW Insider while on a quest to figure out how to play my mage (who was the first character I rolled) somewhat decently. When I made my priest my main, I started reading Spiritual Guidance quite avidly, and then the rest of the site. At some point, thanks to links to blogs they posted (especially Dawn, in Spiritual Guidance columns, to other sources of priestly information), I discovered WoW had a rather active blogosphere. Pretty much since then I’ve been wanting to try my hand at it. I am, however, a little bit shy, and the idea of posting stuff for other people to read seemed daunting, especially when I didn’t feel particularly knowledgeable about the game. It took me a couple of years to get over that and a while longer to actively try to get anyone to read this (posting an intro thread at Blog Azeroth counts, right?), but here we are!

2. What was the first character you raided with?  Which raid was it?  Do you still use this character as your main?

The first character I ever raided with was my priest. It was ICC ten-man, at the end of Wrath. She’s absolutely still my main and probably will be forever, since every time I consider switching to another one of my healers I wind up feeling terribly guilty and regret it immediately.

3. If you could instantly be knowledgeable and proficient with any class/spec, what would you pick and why?

Shadow, probably? I know, it’s a boring choice, but I’m kind of an awful DPS’er and I’ve always wanted to be the kind of healer who can switch to their offspec and top some DPS meters if the raid requires it. Otherwise, I’d kind of like to be instantly much better at Mistweaving (then again, Tzufit’s awesome guide from a while ago already sort of helped accomplish that ^^).

4. If you could live in any virtual gaming world, which one would you choose?

SW:TOR’s! (A.k.a. that galaxy far, far away). I mean, are you telling me you’ve never wanted to be a jedi? Plus, all the other virtual worlds that I like tend to be medieval fantasy and I’m really pretty fond of things like showers and medicine and computers.

5. What would you do if Blizzard shut down WoW permanently?  Would you play another MMO or game?

I would cry a lot, and throw things. And then I’d probably move on to the ever growing pile of Steam games that WoW tends to keep me from playing. I would probably also give SW:TOR another try, since I do love the class quests and they still have dedicated healing in their game (*glares at GuildWars 2*). I also have a soft spot for Bioware.

6. If you could change anything about the class you play in WoW, what would you change and why?

Oh, my. This could easily turn into a very long essay, so in the interest of being brief I will say only two words: Divine Aegis. It’s way too powerful for an ability that I don’t really have to think about the majority of the time. And its scaling is ridiculous.

7. If you could pick any job in the gaming industry, what would it be?

It’s one of my secret life aspirations to be a writer for BioWare. I suppose it’s less of a secret now.

8. Are there any bloggers out there who you aspire to be like? What is it about them that you love?

Alright, gushing time. I’m not sure there is anyone in particular I aspire to be like but I’d definitely love to have Dayani’s grasp on everything healing and the ability to explain things as clearly as she does. I also really admire Hamlet’s theorycrafting skills and would like to be as proficient with WoW numbers one day. Most of all, though, I’d like to eventually develop a writing style similar to Ophélie’s. It’s always light and funny and easy to read.

/fangirling off

9. If you could be in any top-end raiding guild, which one would you pick?

Midwinter because Alliance.

10. What is the oldest screenshot you have in your WoW Screenshots Folder?  What is the story behind it?

Well, all of the computers I’ve had WoW on previously have crashed and burnt and exploded, so my oldest screenshot is actually one of my UI during a bad Elegon attempt earlier this expansion. I wanted it to show it to someone, I think. This is boring, though, so I’m going to cheat and show you my newest screenshot (shhh!), which is a bit more interesting

Eat ALL the banquets!

Eat ALL the food!

This happened the other day while I was doing LFR on my druid and someone asked for food. I didn’t even notice what was happening until my friend whispered me ‘Well, that rogue did ask for food.’ Then I saw that we had like twenty banquets out and had to take a screenie.

11. What is your favorite in-game memory of WoW?

One of my best friends IRL got me into WoW, and right before Cataclysm dropped we decided to do the ‘World Explorer achievement’ (entirely on horseback, no flightpoints except to help us get to the other continent) as a sort of farewell to the old world before it got smashed into itty bits. We didn’t get very far, but it was fun while it lasted and it gave me the chance to really notice a lot of details in zones that I had never paid  a lot of attention to. Old Southshore, I still miss you.

And time to spread the fun!

Drum roll, please.

Here are the nominees to the Award for Best Director Liebster Award:

Yup, there’s only five. It turns out that finding new-ish bloggers who haven’t been nominated already, whose blogs I read or have read and who are actually kind of active is pretty hard, so I’m just going to leave these five names here.

Here be the questions:

  1. What made you start playing WoW?
  2. What made you start blogging?
  3. Is there any blog post you’re particularly proud of?
  4. Is there any piece of advice you wish someone had given you before you started blogging?
  5. Name one character from MoP you’d like to see in a future expansion.
  6. Is there a class or spec that you’ve never played that you’d really like to try one day?
  7. Dungeons or scenarios? Why?
  8. What are you looking forward to the most in WoD?
  9. If you could have any WoW ability in real life, what would that be?
  10. If they were a playable race, would you play a murloc? What class?
  11. Tea or coffee?

 

On Proving Grounds as Gating: The ‘Jerks’ Argument

Ever since the idea of proving grounds as a gating system was introduced, the most widespread argument I’ve come across for why it’s not that great of an idea (beyond the balance argument, which I think is fair) is that it won’t do anything to solve the real problem with random groups. That is, inconsiderate jerks.

I think this argument is nonsense.

It is absolutely true that there are really skilled players with an attitude problem. Who enjoy belittling other people, or who refuse to account for what other people in their group might struggle with. But, guess what? Unskilled players aren’t immune to attitude problems.

Let me tell you a story. It was early in the day and I was doing my daily auctioneering and fiddling with my specs in preparation for raid, when I noticed someone periodically posting in trade chat, asking about gemming his character. He was getting no response, so after seeing it a couple of times and getting a tad bit irritated, I whispered him. Now, I’m no expert on prot pallies, but one of our tanks is a pally and I’ve done some research on them while trying to troubleshoot encounters. (Plus, I kind of love reading Sacred Duty <3; much math, such happy!) So while I couldn’t accurately answer his question, I could definitely point him in the way of sources that could. Namely, Maintankadin and Icy Veins.

His answer? Thanks, but I’m looking for someone who can tell me exactly what to gem.

That response had me rolling my eyes; but I’m stubborn, so the conversation didn’t end there.  Instead, I described the gist of what IV said and explained that gemming really depended on what build you wanted and what content you were doing and that, if he really wanted to raid (he mentioned this at some point), he really ought to go and read the guides so he could figure out the best gemming strategy for his gear (and -though I didn’t say it- how to actually play prot; his attitude didn’t exactly inspire confidence in his skill). 

He stopped responding at that point. I’m not sure if he just decided to ignore me, or if he actually decided to follow my advice. As an eternal optimist, I retain hope that he was tabbed out reading the basics section of Maintankadin. But If he didn’t, then I’m glad the proving grounds will serve as a gate for the next expansion heroics.

He wasn’t a jerk in the traditional sense of the word. He wasn’t mean; he didn’t insult me or laugh at me. But if you don’t care enough about the people you’re grouping with to take ten minutes and read through a webpage -even when being saved the googling by being specifially pointed in its direction- to make sure you know what you’re doing, then you are a jerk, and I don’t want you in my dungeon.

And he’s not the only one. My first WoW guild had quite a few skilled players, but it had many more players like that paladin; who couldn’t deal with the mechanics in Cata heroics, or put out half decent DPS, and didn’t really care to improve themselves. A lot of them were perfectly pleasant people, with whom I would’ve gladly sat down to have a drink and chat. But they were the kind of people I dreaded being asked to do dungeons with, because it meant three, four, five hours runs with nothing accomplished. And any attempt to help them was essentially ignored. Honestly, they were as bad as the tank that pulled everything and ran me out of mana, despite my protests.

I’m confident that Silver Proving Grounds is easy enough that the unskilled player who takes some time to do research and practice will eventually succeed. And that’s good. I don’t mind if your DPS is a little low – or if you’re having trouble interrupting or holding aggro -if you’re willing to learn; if you want to do better. But players like that paladin? They’ll be stuck at the gate, and I won’t have to carry them. And I will be happier for it.

Will the Proving Grounds requirement weed out all jerks forever? No. But it’s not a dichotomy. You don’t get either great asshats or nice newbies. At least, this way, you’ll weed out some of the terrible asshats.

The Paragon Fallacy

‘Given enough raiding hours per week, any guild is comparable to Paragon’.

A few weeks ago there was a conversation in our guild’s chatbox that basically amounted to this. I’m not sure if the guildie who posted it meant it literally (I’m betting on hyperbole here), but I do think it’s a common line of thinking among raiders that if they could only raid a couple more hours, the group would be far more progressed.

There’s obviously some truth to this. More hours a week means more attempts so it’s more likely you’ll get a kill, and then you can work on the next boss earlier and you’ll get more attempts on that boss per week so you’ll kill it faster and so on and so forth. It’s certainly a pleasant thought. At an average of eight pulls per hour and ten pulls to kill a boss, you’re looking at almost an extra kill per week!

Except this fantasy fails to take into account several factors. For one, the faster you get to a certain boss, the less geared you will be for it, pushing the number of attempts required for a kill upward. Plus, the deeper you go into a tier, the more it’ll take you to do a clear up to the boss you’re working on and the harder the fights become (ostensibly, though I suspect this is only universally true when you’re doing heroics and you can pick the order, and not even then if you pick wrong), meaning your average number of pulls needed to get a kill will also go up because of that and the number of pulls you’ll get per week to work on progression will start to decrease. I’m not saying the effect of added raid time would be completely negated, but it would definitely be mitigated. And while you may be Paragon in your head, you’d realistically only be few bosses ahead of where you are currently (I guess it should be noted that if you’re working on the latter heroics on a limited schedule, you may very well be comparable to Paragon, and this generic you is not really addressing the very specific you).

But I don’t have a problem with this argument because of its inaccuracy; I have a problem with it because it becomes a mental crutch that hampers progression. There’s nothing wrong with being a little optimistic when it comes to your own skill (no one wants you to sink into a pit of despair because you’ll never be as good as a raider in a top ten guild), but this sort of thinking can lead to people forgetting that they still can improve themselves. That the skill gap between a guild far more progressed than their own is very much real, and that work can be put into shortening that gap.

I know it’s very tempting to fall into this sort of thinking (I’ve been guilty of it more than once, myself), because the time we raid is often the one thing that is out of our control (beyond just switching guilds, but even then, our own time constraints might not allow it). No one likes to think that a lack of progression is their fault, or the fault of their teammates (in the majority of cases; I’m operating under the assumption that we all like the people we raid with). Except that it always is, because we could always be doing better, we could always be working on improving something. It’s just a matter of how much effort you’re willing to put in, and how much you care about your guild’s progression.

(Sidenote: this post could very well be called ‘the Method fallacy’. I picked Paragon because it was the guild that got mentioned in the conversation. Really, just choose your favourite high-end guild.)

Fucking Mexicans (On the Language Barrier and Xenophobia)

Let me tell you a story. It was the end of Cataclysm and I was working on nerfed heroics with my guild at the time. A friend, who’d started playing right around the time I had but never made it past sixty, had just come back to the game, bought Cata, and was levelling his paladin tank mostly through dungeons. He was around level 81 at the time and his first attempt at running BRC had been disastrous. So I offered to help. I figured, even if he screwed up massively, my overlevel, overgeared disc bubbles would keep him alive, and I could explain how to do the bosses in the dungeon as we went.

Everything was going more or less fine. With a steady stream of whispered explanations, we got to Karsh Steelbender without incident. This is, by and large, the boss most likely to make a tank cry, and so, I wrote a veritable essay detailing the importance of only leaving him in the fire for a couple of seconds. This would’ve been fine, good even, except that I accidentally wrote half the explanation in party chat, and -me and my friend being Mexicans- I wrote it in Spanish. And that was, apparently, the worst offense I could’ve comitted. Our hunter exploded (a hunter who had taken me chastising him for standing in the crap during the first boss relatively well), and no amount of ‘sorry, mt’s would deter him. His response was ‘SPEAK FUCKING ENGLISH YOU STUPID MEXICAN BITCH’.

This being the first instance of xenophobia directed towards me in my life, let alone my WoW career, I was more than a little upset. I reported him, tried to kick him, failed (his brother was in the group, I think), and spent the rest of the run letting him die and refusing to res him (because I am petty like that). And that was that. Except it wasn’t.

I honestly thought this would be a one-off sort of thing, just some random bigot I happened to encounter (whom I like to believe was twelve years old). I honestly wish I could say this was a one-off sort of thing. But, alas, I transferred to Lothar.

One of the quirks of being a Lotharian, is that my random groups tend to have a high concentration of people from Stormrage and a high concentration of people from Latin American realms. A lot of these people speak English (or WoW English, at least), but a lot of them don’t. And whenever a problem is identified as being attributable to the language barrier, insults follow. They range from ‘everyone in -whatever realm the perceived offender hails from- sucks’, to my favourite and the most common, ‘fucking Mexicans’.

I mean, seriously?

I get that trying to communicate something to people who do not speak your language can be frustrating. I get that, after it happens a couple of times, you might feel like you’re on your last nerve. On my tank, I had a Brazilian hunter use pack during the bunny gauntlet in Stormstout Brewery and just never take it off (this after a long series of hunters with growl on that would not turn it off, some also Brazilian). I speak no Portuguese. I have no idea what the Portuguese name of the ability is. I eventually dropped group, it annoyed me that much. But while that hunter could use some tips on how not to suck at his class, the fact that he couldn’t understand me when I politely asked him to turn it off wasn’t his fault.

The onus to learn your language isn’t on people from LA realms anymore than it is on you to learn theirs. It’s hardly their fault they’re stuck in a group with you. They paid Blizzard to pay a localised version of the game in Latin American servers, just like you paid to play on US servers.

Not only is insulting a whole group of people based on the language they speak wrong (something I would expect people old enough to play WoW to understand), it’s counter productive. If I’m one of the people from Rag or Quel’thalas, and I see you insult my whole server or call me something nasty, do you think I will be willing to engage the next time? Willing to learn new bits of English or translate for someone else? I will probably just turn off instance chat at that point.

There are other, more productive ways to go about it. There was a thread on the forums with common phrases in Spanish. You can browse the talent calculators in the community site for Brazilians and Spanish speakers (as long as you know your WoW icons, you should be able to find what you need; except for growl – I couldn’t find that.) Ask for someone who can translate. You might be surprised.

And, for God’s sake, if you feel the urge to use the phrase ‘fucking Mexicans’ do remember that a bunch of the LA realms are actually Brazilian, and the remainder have people from all over Latin America. Reducing a huge diverse group of people to one single nationality is ignorant and idiotic, and just plain wrong.

Mythic!

So, much to my suprise, and after worrying quite a bit, I’m actually rather excited about Mythic raiding. Not only did my raid team pleasantly surprise me by pretty much uniformly agreeing to the idea that we’d have to go 20-man, but the upcoming change has led to a series of discussions on the structure of the guild. Honestly, I think if we can pull this right, it will be incredibly beneficial in making us more efficient a team so we can push a little harder come progression time, which makes me all kinds of happy and excited.

Of course, one of the proposed changes involves role leads. And I think I might’ve sort of volunteered to help out as healing lead, which makes me incredibly nervous. It’s not that I don’t think I’d be a good fit. I mean, I know I have the knowledge to do it. I spend probably entirely more than I should reading up on other healing classes’ mechanics, so working out assignments and rotations shouldn’t be too much of an issue.  I’m slightly more concerned when it comes to the interpersonal aspect of it. I find being firm with people quite hard, and I tend to be paranoid about hurting other people’s feelings. Still, I really want to help and if this is the way I can, I’ll definitely give it a try. Plus, this gives me an excuse to set up a healing channel for the guild, which I’ve been wanting to do since day one.

Beyond how this affects our guild, though, I’ve been thinking a lot about how this might affect the healing game. Blizzard devs made a point to mention some of the more niche abilities and how they could go back to designing mechanics around these abilities now that you’re more or less guaranteed at least a member of each class in a Mythic raid, and this makes me hopeful that they’ll go back a bit on their homogenisation of the healing classes. While I think it was definitely necessary at the time, I miss having proper assignments. Obviously, it’s a delicate balance, since they still have to make every healer viable in Normal and Heroic in just about every comp without making the encounters trivial to heal if you’ve got every class available to you, but I’m optimistic that it could be pulled off.

And I’m simply excited to get to meet more people. :D