A Gladiator in Hellfire

Change of Plans

Yesterday when I got up in the morning, I had every plan of coming home after work, hoping that what I was making in the crock pot was actually edible, and then sitting down to an evening of Fallout 4.  I do after all need to finish up the main story line, so that we can properly talk about it for Saturday’s podcast where we in theory review it.  Then I saw the above tweet come across my timeline.  Now I have known Jed for ages, but never really had much of a chance to hang out with him in game.  I can’t be for certain, but I believe our connection dates back to the Blog Azeroth community, and the subsequent IRC channel associated with it.  While he hasn’t really blogged all that often in recent years, I still think of him… mostly as one of the many bloggers making up my twitter feed.  Now we zoom ahead to the above twitter message, and it scrolling across my screen.  Friendship Moose is this awesome thing that was started more or less on accident from what I understand by Thomicks.  The idea was to have a community for running Heroic Hellfire Citadel for the purpose of getting people the moose mount prior to the launch of Legion.

Now I am not technically on any of the lists, but my hope was that if I got one of my characters geared I could maybe just maybe work my way into a raid at some point.  I like the concept of getting that mount, but I am not going to be super disappointed if it doesn’t happen.  Nonetheless when I saw someone that I kinda sorta know, doing an open call on Twitter for folks to join in on an Alliance side cross realm raid for the purpose of getting in training…  yeah I was down with doing that.  Also traditionally Wednesday nights are an excellent time for me to do anything raid related, since until 8 or 9 at night I am pretty much at home alone until my wife gets out of church.  So I signed up, made some flasks and armor potions… and was ready to go.  I was idling outside of HFC when the invites came through…  at which point I was straight up ganked by some hordies while waiting.  I guess it turns out that the folks leading the raid… are on a PVP server, so that was a bit of weird sequence of events since I am pretty much a dedicated carebear who has always played on not even PVE servers… but Roleplaying Servers.

More Fun Raiding

A Gladiator in Hellfire

There was a period of time when as one of the leaders of NSR and eventually Duranub… I used to farm my alts out to other peoples raids to help them when they were running short a person.  One of my great pleasures was seeing how the dynamics of these different raid groups worked, and what their cultural norms were.  I am not completely certain if this was a regular group of people, or a group thrown together specifically for the purpose of Moose practice, but whatever the case it was an enjoyable group to hang out with for the evening.  Since I have been mostly playing my MooCowAdin, it was a bit of an adjustment to get back into playing the very APM based Gladiator spec.  The Retadin feels like it has some breathing room in your attack sequence to chill a bit, whereas as a Gladiator it feels like there is always some button I desperately need to be pushing.  As much as I dislike the fact that I know the Gladiator spec is going away during Legion… I can absolutely understand why.  It is a quirky spec, with quirky gearing requirements… and that requires spastic button mashing to really make work well.  While we were actively raiding last, I made the conscious choice to uninstall recount because watching the meters actually made me play worse.  So I have no clue how I did, but last night Jed said he was going to upload the logs at some point today.

A Gladiator in Hellfire

We made it roughly as far as we managed to make it in the Facepull raid horde side on Sunday.  We had a bunch of issues with Kilrogg, and that fight is significantly more technical than I realized.  During the Facepull run I pretty much just killed adds constantly, stayed out of the poo… and made sure the poo didn’t drop in the raid.  Past that I had no deeper understand of the mechanics, and this time around I actually got to play one of the technical roles of the fight.  Namely there is a phase where three players have to run into these portals and get transported into another realm… where they attempt to deal as much damage as possible to wave after wave of adds.  When they come out they have a large dps buff, and can make stuff dead faster.  I ended up in the third wave of folks going into the portals, and this is something that I absolutely took for granted that folks must have just been handling on Sunday night.  After several tries we defeated Kilrogg, and man when we did it was satisfying.  We hit essentially the same stumbling block that we did Sunday as well… with the Gorefiend encounter, but I am thankful I am getting quite a bit more work in on learning that fight.  The problem with the last fight of the evening always seems to be the same… whatever you raid before you stop, is the point that people are starting to lose focus, and over the course of the evening we had also lost a handful of people.  The problem with raid scaling is trying to keep that appropriate mix of healers and dps… and just like Facepull it felt like we were short one healer from making it feel stable.

Transmog as Endgame

A Gladiator in Hellfire

All in all I had a pretty great night, and the timing of the raid was just about perfect for me.  It started around 7pm CST and ended around 10pm CST… which is just about the ideal parameters for me.  If a raid goes much longer than that, I am honestly going to start fading horribly.  It sounds like this is a weekly thing, so I am probably going to offer my services more often… that is if Jed will have me.  Overall I had a pretty shitty night as far as loot went… I spent a lot of tokens and don’t have much to show for it.  The thing I am in most desperate need of is a new weapon… but unfortunately while we did Heroic Blackrock bosses, I never got any of them to drop me an upgrade so I am sitting on using Taner’s Terrible Skinner the 670 version.  It is my hope at some point this weekend to pop into LFR and focus on trying to get one of those bosses to drop me a weapon and shield upgrade, since both are severely lacking at this point.  I did manage to pick up Warforged Shell-Resistant Stompers and a decent ring… that doesn’t actually sim out to being better than the slightly lower ilvl prismatic slotted ring I was already using.

So babysteps forward in catching up my gear level I guess…  I am still largely sitting at 680 with the ability to jump up to 685 if I really needed to.  However because of the quirks of Gladiator… and how important the Blackrock Foundry four piece set bonus is for that spec…  I will likely be running several ilevels lower than I could be at all points.  This is the point where I actually wish we had managed to raid Heroic Blackrock a bit more…  so that maybe I could have gotten slightly higher ilevel versions of the set gear.  This is the problem with set loot… because if you happen to get one of the few amazing bonuses… you simply cannot upgrade out of it without taking a significant hit somewhere.  I remember that was the problem with Hunter Tier 2 loot back in the day…  that eight piece bonus was so phenomenally good… that even though we were getting Tier 2.5 gear… there was no way we could actually take it and make it viable.  I know my friend Thalen would argue with that point, because he wore a lot of 2.5 back in the day…  but it certainly felt like it at the time.  In any case…  I just hope I was still acceptable dps, because I had a fun time last night.  No matter how much I try and push raiding out of my system… it remains there clinging desperately… just waiting on me to come back to it.

Since I just rambled on for two paragraphs without talking about what I set out to talk about…  after the raid I popped into 25 man Heroic Icecrown to clear it.  Now that I am writing this… I am realizing that apparently I left after Sindragosa so at some point I will have to actually go finish up and do the Lich King.  I guess in my head… I got the item I was hoping to get so it was a successful run for me.  For awhile now I have been collecting the bits of the Red/Fel Green set of Deathknight look alike armor out of there for my warrior.  When mixed with the similarly colored set of armor from Sunwell, it crafts a transmog that I am pretty happy running around in.  I guess this is my nod to all of the fel themed stuff in the tail end of this expansion… and the next one.  Transmogging after all is the TRUE end game of World of Warcraft.  So I ended the night on a really high note by completing an outfit.

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