Looking forward to the end of the world

Thinking about the future is one thing, actively planning for the unknown is another.

That has been taking up a good chunk of my time lately. Planning, plotting, and gathering has been on my list of things to do for a while now.

Like a squirrel putting away nuts for the winter, or the ant in the famous story stocking up for a rainy day I have been gathering.

Gathering up things that I will need for my new characters when the Cataclysm comes later this year.

In a way that is a shame.

It’s not that I am not enjoying the game that I am playing now, far from it. It’s more along the lines of looking forward to the content to come.

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People who like to raid are getting their fix of new content now, as Icecrown opens its doors to their not so tender advances.

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People who prefer PvP are getting a new arena season. (Or so I have been told, I don’t participate.)

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People like me who actually enjoy the leveling process are still running the same content we have for the last four years. Soon though, that will change.

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I for one am looking forward to it.

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New places to explore, new quests to do, new lore to see, it will be great.

Ok, it will be great unless I am required to swim everywhere. I prefer my gaming environment to be rather two-dimensional. Thats probably why I don’t care for Eye of Eternity or Oculus, but I digress.

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What does any of this have to do with gathering stuff towards the Cataclysm?

Well, it turns out that looking at it I am not gathering like it’s the end of the world.

I am gathering like I am going on vacation.

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I want enough cash in the bank that I don’t have to worry about grinding dailies or working the auction house to support the characters I will be leveling. That sounds an awful lot like vacation to me. I just want to have fun and not “work” to support it.

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I want basic starter gear for both of the ones I plan to start. I am not talking about having a complete changout of gear I can swap to every ten levels sitting, already gemmed and enchanted, in the bank.

I am just talking about a few heirlooms and other odds and ends.

That leads me (as such things often do) to making a list of what I want to have set aside for my new characters. Since I am writing it down anyhow, and need to put it somewhere where it won’t get lost, it’s going to go here.

  • Cash. 8K gold should be enough to cover money sinks all the way through cold weather flight, so I’ll likely go with an even 10K to be safe.
  • Bind to Account chest(s) appropriate to the class.
  • Bind to Account shoulder(s) appropriate to the class.
  • Bind to account weapon(s) appropriate to the class.
  • Inventory bags. I figure four Frostweave Bags at 20 slots each will do fine.
  • Bank bags. Seven Travelers Backpacks will do well here. 16 slots each, and non-binding so I lose nothing by updating them later. 

Is that perhaps going a little overboard?

I don’t think so.

Going overboard would also include things like this:

  • All the cloth to level first aid to 450.
  • All the meats to level cooking to 450.
  • All the raw materials to level both chosen professions to 450.
  • A well stocked personal guild bank full of consumables and recipes.
  • A second tab in that bank with complete gear sets (minus the heirloom slots) to carry you all the way to 80. Bonus points if there are sets for multiple specs.

When the Wrath of the Litch King was still on the horizon I was planning and gathering as well. The difference is I was a raider back then. Everything revolved around getting to 80 as quick as possible so I could get back into the raid group.

Leveling those ten levels from 70 to 80 was a chore to be done, an obstacle in my path. Work I had to do before I could play the game I wanted to. Everything I stockpiled was with that in mind.

Now it’s the leveling I am looking forward to, and raiding is just distant smoke on the horizon.

This time instead of having ten levels of work before I could start to have fun, I am looking forward to 85 levels of fun before I start having to work.

It’s actually kind of refreshing.

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My Priests Christmas list of purple pixels

Last night I did something on my priest I rarely get to do.

I healed.

I healed not for a random group of keyboard turning, face rolling, fire standing idiots, but for a group of guildies that were having fun. Wether we wiped or not (preferably not) the whole group stayed upbeat and cheerful, even joking around as we rebuffed.

There was no finger pointing at all. Discussion about what we could do differently, yes. Bitching, no. (or at least was done with the mic off if it happened.)

It was the first time in a while that I remembered why I actually enjoy healing.

The only thing I did not like was seeing people go down faster than I could keep up.

Was the fact that we were running TOC (normal) with two of our DPS  not yet 80 a factor?

Possibly, but it is a 75+ instance. It should be doable, particularly with an 80 healer and tank.

I got to thinking this morning (sitting in a quiet office drinking coffee waiting for something to break will do that to you.) I got to thinking how I could improve myself to make runs more smooth for those whose lives are in my hands. I thought of two things I can work on.

Experience is one. I am rusty, and it showed last night. More than once I had to think about what heal to throw. That kind of thing used to just happen. I would be watching the health bars and would just be hitting the right buttons at the right time. That was missing a bit last night, although I started getting the rhythm back by the end of the second run.

The folks I ran with (did I mention they were awesome yet?) told me I did fine… but I know better. Like anything else a person doesn’t do frequently I was just a bit slow. I was a half step behind playing catch-up.

The only thing I can do about that is heal more often. Practice is the only cure for being rusty.

The second thing I can do some work on is my gear. Most of my healing set is crafted stuff I picked up when I hit 80, along with a few odds and ends I got from Naxx pugs and heroics. Lots and lots of shiny new loot has been added to the game since then.  So I sat down this morning and worked up a shopping list of sorts.

Gear I could get without running a raid instance that would be an improvement over my existing kit. I found that with a very few exceptions there is gear out there that will make my job a lot easier.

Now, being the list loving blogger that I am I decided to convert the chicken scratch in a tattered old notebook into a post. Now here is how I chose what I was putting down.

Everything listed in order of preference

Anything that has a duplicate the badge cost of something listed as better will be excluded

Everything has to be available through Crafting, Vendors, Questing, Badges, or 5 player instances.

The numbers in front of everything is more a note to me than anything else, it is the difference between what I am using now and the item in question. All figured using the Wowhead default setting for a holy specced healing priest. 

The few places where I had no real upgrade outside raiding  I went ahead and listed a few similar items to what I have that would fit the list. I know some folks might use this as reference. I also included what I am using in every slot at the moment.

See something I am overlooking? By all means let me know.

Back:

0.85 Cloak of Kea Feathers  (Valor - 25)

0.09 Whispcloak  (Tailoring BOE)

Currently wearing Kurisu’s Indiscision  (TOC heroic)

Chest:

3.51 Valens Robe of Triumph  (Triumph – 75)

3.10 Royal Moonshroud Robe  (Tailoring BOE)

1.99 Valens Robe of Conquest  (Triumph – 50)

0.70 Embrace of Madness  (TOC heroic)

Currently wearing Robes of Mutation  (Naxx)

Feet:

Currently wearing  Serene Echoes  (Naxx drop)

 -0.05 Saviors Slippers  (Tailoring BOE)

-0.22 Slippers of the Holy Light  (Valor – 40)

Rings:

2.50 Etched Loop of the Kirin Tor  (vendor, but a bit expensive)

1.51 Renewel of Life  (Valor – 25)

1.39 Band of Channeled Magic   (Valor – 25)

Currently rearing 1.02 Wicked Witches Band (Headless Horseman)

Currently wearing 0.00 The Horsemans Seal (Headless Horseman)

Hands:

2.78 Valens Gloves of Triumph  (Triumph – 45)

1.68 Valens Gloves of Conquest  (Triumph – 30)

1.55 Touch of the Occult  (Conquest – 28)

Currently wearing Spellweave Gloves  (tailoring BOE)

Head:

5.59 Helm of Clouded Sight  (Triumph – 75)

4.01 Valens Cowl of Conquest  (Triumph – 50)

1.39 Gaze of the Unknown  (TOC heroic)

0.88 Elder Headpeice  (An’kahet heroic)

Currently wearing Deadly Gladiators Mooncloth Hood  (I had the honor to spare, and no luck with drops)

Legs:

4.82 Valens Leggings of Triumph  (Triumph – 75)

3.35 Valens Leggings of Conquest  (Triumph – 50)

2.75 Legwraps of the Master Conjurer  (Conquest 39)

Currently wearing Cyanigosa’s Leggings  (Violet Hold heroic)

Weapon:

4.06 Mariel’s Sorrow  (TOC heroic)

3.07 Spectral Kris  (TOC heroic)

0.96 Warmace of Unrequited Love  (Nexus heroic)

0.82 Dagger of Lunar Purity  (TOC Heroic)

Currently using Titansteel Guardian  (Blacksmithing  BOE)

Neck:

2.25 Frozen Tear of Elune  (Conquest – 19)

1.70 Symbol of Redemption  (TOC heroic)

Currently using Titanium Spellshock Necklace  (Jewelcrafting BOE)

Off hand:

Currently using Urn of Lost Memories  (Naxx)

-0.11 Faces of Doom  (Inscription BOE)

Ranged:

0.17 Wand of An’kahet  (An’kahet heroic)

Currently using Rod of the Fallen Monarch  (Azjol-Nerub heroic)

Shoulder:

2.56 Valens Shoulderpade of Triumph  (Triumph – 45)

1.51 Valens Shoulderpade of Conquest  (Triumph – 30)

Currently using Valorus Shoulderpads of Faith  (Naxx)

Trinkets:

1.56 Talisman of Resurgance  (Triumph – 50)

0.20 Je’tze’s Bell  (BOE world drop)

0.12 Darkmoon card Greatness  - (Quest – Darkmoon Faire)

0.00 Currently using Darkmoon card Illusion (Quest-Darkmoon Faire)

-0. 07 Egg of Mortal Esscence  (Heroisim – 40)

-0.11 Tears of the Vanquished  (TOC normal)

Currently using Mender of the Coming Dawn (Quest reward)

Waist:

2.30 Sash of Potent Incantations  (Conquest – 28)

1.57 Cord of the White Dawn  (Tailoring BOE)

0.45 The Confessors Binding  (TOC normal)

Currently using Sash of Jordan  (BOE world drop, oddly enough it actually dropped for me while leveling)

Wrist:

1.72 Royal Moonshroud Bracers  (Tailoring BOE)

1.14 Bejeweled Wizards Bracers (Tailoring BOE)

Currently using Bindings of Yearning  (Naxx)

The great Retcon

When I first got the game and began leveling up I remember distinctly being told that the game began at 60. Raiding was where it was at, everything else was merely hurdles to overcome to get there.

Obstacles placed in the way by the games designers so that only the worthy would persevere through it all.

Raiding was the real game, everything else just got in its way.

I bought it, hook, line, and sinker.

 

I started that day looking at all the zones and quests starry-eyed, filled with wonder, like I was part of a story that was ongoing. I was happy to be where I was, discovering things as I went.

Once I bought into the game starting at the level cap that all went away.

Leveling up was no longer fun, it was an obstacle in my way. Less a lore filled joy to experience and more something to simply get through as efficiently as possible. So I turned on instant quest text, grabbed some addons, and started smashing my way through.

 

I no longer looked at each quest, I didn’t have to.

The arrow told me where to run.

The mousover told me what to kill.

The sparkles told me what to gather.

Then the arrow told me where to go turn it in.

It was fast, efficient, and boring as hell.

No one likes doing chores, and that is exactly what leveling had become.

I look back on it now and realize I was wrong.

 

The game does not begin at the level cap. The game begins at the character creation screen.

I would hazard a guess and say that 95% of the content of the game has to do with something other than the level cap.

There are stories out there, great stories, just waiting for me to be a part of them.

Unfortunately I already did them, blazing through with quests unread, just following the arrow under my feet.

I didn’t just kill critters as I quested away, I killed a huge chunk of the game for myself.

 

That’s why I am so looking forward to Cataclysm, it is going to give us something people only dream about in real life.

A fresh start.

A chance to live out the dream of  “If only I had known then what I know now.”

 

Cataclysm is going to be just that, for me at least.

I plan to roll a shiny new character, currently planning on a druid, and turning off all the helpers.

I will read the quests and follow the story where it leads me.

I am not even going to spoil the new areas by blowing through them to get to 85. With the new Looking for Group tool I can instance my way through those five levels on my level 80′s without ever leaving town.

Most of all I will keep in mind that leveling is not a chore to be done, nor is it an anchor holding me back.

It’s 95% of the game, and I plan to have fun with it.

I’d love to, if I only had the time

I have read a few posts this morning while catching up on my feed reader. Well over a hundred just from this weekend actually. In there were quite a few gems, I am going to talk about a pair of them now.

Euripides over at Critical QQ wrote a rather interesting post about his lack of enthusiasm about the lore while raiding. He goes so far as to say that the boss does not really even need graphics or fancy named abilities, and could in fact be a featureless blue cube named “boss”.

Both Larisa and Elina at the Pink Pigtail Inn chimed in with their thoughts as well about reconciling the story behind the game to the mechanics of it.

They are both good reads, go check them out.

Seriously, go read… I need to go make a fresh pot of coffee anyhow.

Back? Good.

 

Here, very briefly is my take on the story behind the game and how it relates to the actual playing of it.

I love the stories behind the game, I really and truly do. In fact I think Blizz has done a good job of bringing the stories to life. They have lots of interweaving plotlines, some spanning several zones and levels.

The stories as I see it fall into two categories. Tales told while leveling and tales from endgame. Sometimes they tie together, such as the Shadowmoon Valley quests leading to Black Temple. Sometimes they kind of drop the ball (we are in TOC for what reason again? I must have missed it since I hate jousting.)

The problem with the lore while leveling is the speed at which we now do it. Seriously, Diashan, my Death Knight, did parts of Hellfire, Negrand, and Terrorkar before hitting 68 and shipping out to Northrend. I use to hit 70 somewhere in Netherstorm.

Where I used to run out of quests in a zone and have to go find another my Shaman (at 18 i think) is having quests go green or grey. She is leaving zones half complete simply because she has outleveled the content.

Am I bitching? No. I chose to put the shoulders on her, I bought the breastplate, I choose to only level her rested. I am just making a point. Those with refer-an-alt will outlevel it even faster.

I think that one of the things I am most looking forward to in Cataclysm is the whole reworked leveling experience. I look forward to working my way through and actually finishing a questline before it goes grey on me. I have actually put off leveling a couple of alts for now, just because I want to see what’s in store for me.

Hell, I am almost tempted to put all my affairs in order and take a break till the expansion. I won’t since I have so much fun running with the Sidhe Devils, but I will definitely be backing off a bit.

Now lore in raids and instances is another story. The stories are grand, the characters are well developed, and the artwork is phenomenal.

At least thats what I see on videos.

You see, in an instance I am far to busy watching health bars, cooldown timers, aggro meters, deadly boss mods warnings, and staring at my fet to make sure I am not standing in green goo/fire/void zone/spilled kool-aide or whatever the random “kills you if you don’t move” crap is for that particular fight.

If I want to see what the boss looks like I go to youtube or tankspot or any number of other places to see it. When I am engaged in the fight itself I simply don’t have the time, especially if I am on my Priest. I glance away from the green bars… hell, I blink at the wrong time… and we all die.

It’s not that I don’t want to look around, it’s that I simply can’t spare the concentration. I wonder if they still put sound effects in the raids? Myself, I can’t afford that distraction either. I haven’t raided with the sound on since Karazhan. If it’s not on vent, I simply don’t hear it.

Want to solve the lack of healers problem Blizz? Make it less like playing whack-a-mole while trying not to blink.

I’ll try to answer the question simply. Yes I would love to get involved in the lore, I hope to get far more involved once Cataclysm comes. While I am raiding though, I  just can’t do it.

I’d love to, I simply don’t have the time.

Something was missing

My feed reader is clogged. Seriously people, I go away for a long weekends vacation and come back to hundreds of posts. After two days working my way through the list I came across this post by Starman over at Casual Raid Leader. It really got me thinking about the mauling of Karazhan that the pug I was with laid down this weekend.

It was fun, fast, and surprisingly stress free. No one else needed the upgrades, so my young huntress came away with a boat load of shiny new purples. Things I would have gladly dumped all my DKP on not so very long ago are now just purple vendor trash. The run was fun, but it felt kind of hallow.

*fade back nearly two years*

 

 

I remember the nights of leveling my first character, a Troll hunter named Decado. During the weeks leading up to the release of The Burning Crusade I was furiously trying to catch up to my friends at 60, I wanted to raid. As I quested I would sit silently on Vent, listing in. I knew I would get there and wanted to learn what to do.

Burning Crusade hits. The race to 70 starts. There were dungeon runs aplenty, gearing up for the great monolith of Karazhan. Specs were debated, professions were learned, boss fights researched, and skills practiced. I found the ogres in Negrand provided an excellent training ground for chain trapping. Not because it made farming them easier, but because a missed trap on Morose would often spell a wipe.

Attumen taught me the benefits of focused fire, and that time is not to be wasted.

Morose taught me about crowd control and how everyone needs to work together or it will all come apart.

Maiden taught me to stay in range of the healers while still keeping range on my target, I began to pay attention to more than myself.

The Opera taught me to come prepared for more than one thing. To think and adjust on the fly, to never leave home without my Nifty Stopwatch, and to run like hell when chased by a giant wolf. 

Curator taught me patience, switching targets to handle the flares first. The Curator to follow in good time.

Illhoof taught situational awareness, switching to the chains instantly while dodging imps all the while.

Shade taught me to control myself and my pet, one move at the wrong time spelling disaster.

Then we had a problem, we were starting to cancel raids because of a lack of healers. Spread too thin the healing corps of Infusion simply could not handle two Kara teams at once. At the leaders recruited, I put Decado on hold.  I rolled a priest who never made it past 50, then Infusion died.

 We switched factions and servers when that happened. That’s when I rolled Morham, my priest. I leveled him up and raided as far as SSC before the great boss nerf of ’08, but I never forgot the teacher. Even though my new guild was no longer running Kara I pugged it every week. In the same halls where I once learned to kill in I now learned to preserve life.  Although the lessons were different I was still learning.

During all of that I was slowly leveling another hunter, Drupadi. This weekend she was finally ready. I got an invitation to run Kara and bring her along. It was time to go back to the schoolhouse and prove that I had absorbed the lessons it had to teach.  Time to show what I had learned, to impress the teacher.

And the teacher had left the building.

That’s what was missing.

It was a wonderful zombie filled hunter Christmas

I was going to write a long drawn out post about the whole zombie invasion part of the current world event. Then I started reading my feedreader and realized that had been quite thoroughly beaten to death. My opinion on it? I think it was fun while it lasted, but I am glad it’s over.

Secondly, I don’t normally do “loot posts”. Not that there is anything wrong with them per say, just usually not my thing. Well this weekend was exceptional, all the stars were properly aligned, all my rolls were good, and best of all no one else needed (or greeded) anything that dropped.

 

 

 

Enter Drupadi, my relatively fresh 70 hunter. She has so far run two instances, Shadow Labs and Kara. I knew she would have been fine leveling in the blues and greens she picked up questing her way to 70. That in mind I had no intention of going gear farming for her before wrath hit. That changed when I got an offer to run Kara with a well geared pug group that was mostly there to farm badges.  That’s when the epics started to drop.

In short order I picked up the Worgen claw necklace from Attumen. He went down like he was throwing the fight. I know it’s Hallows Eve and all, but you don’t have to just sit in your stable and pass out epics. Then again I seem to remember being happy at this point just to have gotten something other than badges for the run.

It was amazing how fast things were going down, both from most of the raid being overgeared and from the great boss nerf of ’08. Morose lost all four of his buddies by the time of his first vanish, and he himself was down before his second. Curator never managed to make it to evocation, and we pulled him accidentally along with the last pack of mobs.  I don’t think maiden lasted long enough to put us to sleep once. I seem to remember this place being a lot harder a few years ago.

Continuing on we pulled up the curtains on the opera only to find…. Big bad wolf. He managed to get two turns chasing people around before we took him down. What drops? you guessed it, the Wolfslayer Sniper Rifle. Even better was that no one else needed it. Counting my lucky stars that I managed to pick up what is undoubtedly my favorite gun in the game as we carried on.

Boss after boss went down with a speed that continued to amaze me. On Illhoof we managed to nuke is buddy first, and have him down before the re-spawn. I think one person total was sacrificed. When we went through his pockets, low and behold there was a Girdle of the prowler and I was the only mail wearer in the group. More hunterey goodness.

Moving onward and upward we cleared to Shade of Aran, then put him out of his misery before he had a chance to do more than say “WTF?”. Speaking of being the only mail wearer in the group, Shade in all his kindness decided to drop me a nice Steelspine Faceguard. I was actually starting to feel bad that all the loot was going my way, but better to use it than shard it.

The rest of the group was giving me some good natured grief about about the way things were falling, but we were all having fun with it. We even predicted how it would all end. Prince down by the third infernal. Low and behold there sits what I have been questing for since my first hunter started running Kara almost 2 years ago now, the mighty Sunfury Bow of the Phoenix. Not only did it finally drop, but no one else wanted it.

I write this not to brag, not to gloat, not to stroke my e-peen. If I was doing this just to brag I would post shots of the damage meters for the run, which had me at 3rd overall. Not bad for being woefully undergeared. Hell, I actually feel bad for getting so much loot in one run.

I write this so that six months from now, when my forehead is bloody from beating my head against the brick wall known as “progression” I can look back at this and smile. I can remember the day that the bosses dropped like Hogger and the epics fell like rain.

Raiding in WotLK.

I read an interesting post this morning from the Greedy Goblin. In it he makes several good points about the life cycle of a guild. He points out that, in The Burning Crusade at least, guilds tended to reach a certain level of progression and stagnate there.

If I am reading it correctly he states that the leadership and it’s attitude were the primary cause of the stagnation. Therefore, he reasons, that once you personally are done with an area of progression you should move on to a guild that is at the level of progression that you are looking for.

For example, you managed to get all the gear you need from Kara while the guild was still working on the instance, it would be time to /gquit and move on to a guild that is doing the early 25 man content. In this way your personal progression would be sped up quite a bit. The reasoning is that while you may be leaving the guild you are not preventing others from following you up the progression ladder, so no one is hurt in the deal.

My thoughts are a bit different on this subject, then again seeing the last boss of TBC go down was never one of my goals. Would I like to down Arthas in Wrath? Of course I would. Will I? Possibly, we shall see.

I think that the stagnation of guilds in The Burning Crusade was more brought on by design decisions within the game than anything else. In my opinion, the stagnation of guilds was brought about by two things, format change and lengthy attunements.

The attunement system was designed to be a time sink. Since some folks were not able to dedicate the same amount of time to grinding out the key to each level of raiding people started getting left behind. I know many people who will say right out that you are not a “real” raider unless you have done your attunement quests. Personally I think that’s a bit silly, especially now.

Take my priest Morham for example, He has never done the Kara key quest. He has not done the attunement to SSC. He has not finished the attunements to BT and MH. On the other hand he has healed his way through Kara enough times that he is exalted with the violet eye just from the rep from mob and boss kills. He has taken down Magtheridon several times and Gruul more than a few as well. He has logged a few trips to SSC as well, with a few boss kills under his belt there. The quests did not make or brake his ability to do his job in raiding, just effected his ability to go.

Where the attunements were a time sink that caused the stagnation of an individual, the format change from 10 players in Karazan to 25 in Mags, Gruuls, and SSC was the real brick wall for many guilds.

I have seen many guilds go through an endless cycle of gearing up people through Kara and badge gear only to have people slowly trickle away to higher progressed guilds. Was this because the guild had failed to advance? No, it was because the guild was tasked with getting 25 – 30 players geared and ready for 25 player content with only Kara and heroics to gather gear from. Many of these guilds would lose their better geared players to other guilds that were more advanced causing them to repeatedly have to start over with gearing up.

Do I fault the players for leaving? No. They want to progress through the game not farm Kara for 6 months until everyone has finally gotten their drops. As I said it was not a failure by the guilds or the players, it was a failure in game mechanics.

Fortunately I don’t think it will be the same in WotLK. The addition of both 10 and 25 player versions of complete paths of raid progression was not an accident. By doing that and not placing lengthy attunements or rep grind requirements on access to the various instances they have taken away one of the wedges that drove guilds apart, instead replacing it with a reason to stick together.

In short, I think in WotLK guilds will become more of a place to stay and progress together, rather than stepping stones to ever more advanced content.  Will some people stay while others go? probably. Will new people come to fill the gaps? Most certainly. Will I still be there when it’s all said and done?

Yes.

Thats stability, and in my book it’s a good thing.

What are epics worth?

I was planning to write something witty this morning but alas my brain is mush. Last night I popped online to chat with a few friends before I went to bed and got snatched up by the epic bug.

I was on my priest in Shat when the whisper came. “Looking to fill one last healing slot for a fresh Kara clear, are you interested?” With a glance at the clock I knew I should not go. It was already about 9:30 and I had to be up for work at 3 am, but the epics were calling.

For those who don’t know me my priest is relatively well geared considering he hit 70 about 2 months ago. Tier 4 and badge epics mostly with a little bit of crafted gear thrown in. The only things I had never been able to replace were the gloves and trinket I had been using since my first Blood furnace run. Yep, I was healing SSC with a pair of level 60 blues.

Well, I reasoned, I have 22 badges sitting in the bank. A full clear would give me enough to upgrade the trinket at least, and there is always hope for one of the two pair of healing gloves to drop as well. Thus I finished convincing myself and agreed.

The group I ran with was reasonably well coordinated, competent, and smashed through most of Kara with few wipes. It was a good run. Not only did I have an absolute blast and get my badges I picked up the token for my tier 4 gloves as well. I hearthed back to Shat, logged, and headed to bed. As I climbed in to go to sleep I remember looking at the clock, 1:26 am.

At 3am I was back up and getting ready to start my day. I was pondering a bit about people calling Badge rewards “welfare epics” for the casuals. The more I rolled that around in my head the more I thought that there is nothing “free” about the epics I have gathered. Epics in the game, like everything else in life have a price. It’s all about how much you are willing to pay.

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