Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A whole lotta shakin' goin' on

Phew! It's been on hell of a week on Burning Steppes (EU), and I would have quite a lot to write about. I fear, though, that time nor energy levels will give me the staying power to squeeze everything in one post.

I just flashed back to my second blog entry and noticed my still persistent quandaries, but I am going to have to set these aside for another time.

So what has been going on?, I hear you ask.

Firstly, Eternal Brigade has seen some fairly major upheaval over the last week. The guild drama centred on the guild's unofficial mission statement and the tensions surrounding it. EB has always been a fairly casual guild and yet has been, with lots of good results, getting steadily more organised in terms of raiding & recruitment over the last couple of months. With all the Kara-related enthusiasm and the unbounded success of our first kara team (this week clearing kara in 2 nights), we got somewhat carried away in establishing the second team that so many of our members were clambering for. Now, I'm not going to go into all the details here, as this is primarily a druid blog and not the journal of a Guild Officer, but the long and short of it is that after several 'unilateral' invites dished out by our second raid leader ("join our guild and you will jump straight into kara"), there were quite a few disappointed long-term members, whose hope and dreams of stepping through the hallowed wooden door to Karazhan (tongue firmly in cheek here), were rather abruptly dashed.

And so, as the last week of raiding came to an end on Sunday evening, said raid leader and some of the newcomers entered into a heated argument (discussion was dismissed even before it was allowed to begin) concerning the direction of the guild - they were trying to pull us into a more "hardcore raiding" direction - and the balance of the two kara teams. Things came to an ugly climax (lots of uncalled for personal badmouthing) and the troublesome raid leader and his small band of followers /gquitted without so much a word of explanation to the rest of the guild.

Sadly, these events somewhat overshadowed the great success that our first kara team had, but thankfully not entirely. Great work all - kara on farm now that we got our Netherspite tactics down to a T.

So what else has this druid been up to other than trying to settle the nerves and allay fears of a guild disbandment (Never!!)?

Well... as previously mentioned, I have been further exploring my love of respeccing and have combined this with experiments in the arena. I spent some of last week as a Moonkin for solo grinding and for some needed dps backup in a guild instance run or three. For the rest of the week, raiding duties aside, I stepped into practice arena skirmishes with my partner and fellow druid, Aikon, (she's much more adept at PvP than I am) - dying a lot in the process. I also had lots of fun dishing out nukes and healing in premade BGs, and then, finally, after having convinced our PvE stalwart prot Warrior to respec MS and enter the arena with me, getting my first 2v2 team off the ground.

What have I learned/observed from all this spec and PvP fun? Well, firstly, when it comes to Moonkin, I noticed two profound things that I had not before (primarily using Moonkin to solo-grind/farm, doing the odd instance when I had worse healing gear). 1) My tank pointed out that I am an aggro machine - worse than fire mages in his opinion - in instances. I've been trying to work out whether this is to do with my lack of caster dps experience in instances, not having an aggro-shed trinket or talent as in feral cower, or, whether there is something inherently aggroish about Moonkins?

I was playing with my healing set on, with the addition of caster trinkets (Skyguard and Xiri's Gift), giving me +55o spell dmg and around 14% spell crit. This did not lead me to expect any aggro problems and yet they came... even though I was below Cobalto, our BM hunter, on the damage charts when we did a few SV/UB/SL runs. Any thoughts?

The second piece of Moonkinism that caught my attention was how quickly I died in the Arena. Yes, I know that I am undergeared and have little/no arena experience, but I was surprised to see that in the skirmishes that Aikon and I attempted, our opponents mostly went straight for my throat and ignored her, the healer! Is this normal? Again, if there are any PvP Moonkins that care to enlighten me about why this happened and/or what I should do to avoid such imminent death, I will be most grateful.

Slightly downhearted about my Balance efforts in the arena, I respecced for PvP resto (with a hybrid pve twist 3/11/47) and stepped in the throws of carnage with Grogrun, my newly PvP specced warrior friend - suffering from the same PvE epics dominated gear issues as myself. In the beginning we really sucked and died all too easily to all kinds of combinations. However, after some quick tactical reassessments and with the realisations about the potentials of our newly acquired talents, we set about demolishing 4 of the 1o or so teams that we subsequently faced. Not a bad start, even tho our season beginning 1500 rating dropped quite quickly - LOL! Interestingly, we proved ourselves to be the slayers of warrior-paladin teams! On the downside, we got obliterated by our guildmates (a certain female druid and her fire mage compadre) and other combinations besides.

Two things that both Grogrun and I noticed: 1) you really do need some good resilience gear, but having epic pve gear does not make the arena impossible, and 2) after practice and determined effort, the arena can spark passion and excitement in even the most pve-oriented of players!

More on my team's arena progress and learning curve in posts to come! (Hopefully, my one single piece of S1 gear will be added to soon).

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