Guild life. Tuesday, Jul 31 2007 

Horrible traffic on the way home last night ūüė¶¬† so once I had dealt with the real life stuff and settled down for a little fun and games, it was a little later than usual.

It was really lovely to see, but we had a whole bunch of folks online in guild who I have not met before.    I hope that some of these folks can come and join our Labs raid tonight Рit will be so much fun if we can have a full raid.

As usual, I grouped up with my friend Wazza almost as soon as I logged on.  I was very pleased for him yesterday because he was promoted to officer.  It is very well deserved.  I thought he was an officer right back when I joined the guild, because of how he conducts himself Рalways helping anyone that needs it, conducting himself in a way that I imagine guild officers should by encouraging positive, inclusive activity.

Well we were deciding what to do for the evening when we noticed some conversation about quest updates for Hooluk hat in guild chat.¬† We didn’t feel like going into SoS or PoA for Claymore, so we offered to help.¬† Well it turned out that there was a bunch of folks who were after that update, including another of the Templars in guild.¬†

While I felt a little sad and left out, I was more than happy to leave the group and make room for the folks who needed the updates.¬† It didn’t seem fair for me to take a group spot when someone else actually needed the update.¬† 2 people actually sent me a /tell to say ty for making room for them.¬†¬†They didn’t have to do but I thought it was nice of them.

I then happily set about finishing my deity quests.¬† Although there was a bit of running around, these quests are essentially very easy, and I cant believe I had not already done them.¬† ¬†The last step of the quest line¬†required Dragon speak to get my deity cloak, so it made the pain of finishing that running around¬†worthwhile ūüôā¬†

So Kilanna is now the proud wearer of her cloak of Tunare giving her bonuses to her healing Рalways a good thing.  I also had a look at getting her some adornments for the gear that I know she is not going to be upgrading any time soon.   I want to concentrate on the ones that give additional Wisdom and additional healing of course.  I have been lucky that my vendor has been ticking over nicely the last few days so I can spend some plat and not leave her completely broke.

Although Wazza and I were not grouped Рwe talked a lot while we were enjoying ourselves.  We chattered about the direction of the guild, about what we thought a guild officer should be, about various quest lines, about adornments.  I am wanting to do some more Claymore, start on SoD and get my Orb of Tunare which is a lovely ranged item for a healer.  I am also really looking forward to getting my MoA neck piece too.

I expressed a little of my concern to him about the number of Templar in the guild and how I am worried Kil might end up missing out.¬† He offered to assist with funding Kil’s betrayal if that was something I wanted to do.¬†¬† This issue of betrayal keeps coming up for Kil.¬† Betraying at lvl 70 is a huge deal and something I have decided I dont want to do, but there are definitely some days when the fact there are so many Templars in guild is not a plus ūüôā

The main thing that stands out to me about last night, is that it was about guild life.  It was about the social aspects of the guild family and collaboration.  Thinking about helping colleagues as individuals and the guild as a whole.

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MoA Trials Sunday, Jul 29 2007 

As always, the weekend meant some time for fun in EQ ūüôā

On friday night, we got a group of the guild together to progress MoA which was a hoot.¬† First of all, we had to go down to HoF for the last update before the trials.¬† I still squealed in the room that had around 20 Drakes – where you just dive in and¬†AoE the heck out of everything¬†ūüôā¬† but there was never any fear of anyone staring at that nasty screen saying “You have died”.¬†

After that real quick update, we had such a fantastic group together and we were on a roll, so we decided to proceed with the first 2 trials together.  Once again, because some of the guys had already done the trials, we had absolutely no problems.  And then I decided to finished the 3rd solo trial.  I took some screenshots and might add them to this post later.  After clicking on the dragon statue for the buff to complete this trial, I was awestruck to see Kil in dragon form. 

¬†All now that remains is the epic part of the quest.¬† We certainly have plenty of folks eager to complete it, and Kil is eager for the pretty necklace reward ūüôā

Sunday was also a¬†whole bunch of fun.¬† Raid into the courts did not go on as scheduled, but we did have a bit of a run through DoF taking out named epics for aa.¬†¬† Lockjaw was an awesome sight, and it was nice to have a revenge kill of that epic raptor .¬† Afterwards, there¬†was¬†helping a friend with a few quick quest updates in LP and a bit of crafting, and a nice weekend was rounded out ūüôā

RL continues to have quite a bit of drama, and I am reminded of Bilbo Baggins in the Lord of the Rings feeling like butter spread over too much bread.  This makes my game time quite precious to me.  It is my distraction and what helps to keep me sane.  Hopefully I shall be back to my normal chirpy self  soon enough.

Happy gaming everyone!

Solo questing fun. Friday, Jul 27 2007 

This week marks 3 months since Kilanna made the very brave move to change guilds.  In that time I have certainly made new friends and had an absolute hoot of a time.  Kil has reached level cap, started raiding, settled in as part of her new guild family, gotten experience with grouping, and in general it has just been a huge buzz.

As you can perhaps guess from the title of my blog today, last night was a change in pace for me in game.¬† A few new people have joined the guild, and they are keen to join us in raids.¬† 2 of these new folk are healers, which is always a good thing ūüôā¬† Guild leader asked my usual grouping companions if they would mind grouping up with the new folks to help them get some levels.¬† This also has the added bonus of really helping to make the new folk feel welcome to the guild.

Because they already had 2 healers, Kil was not going to be too much help, so this was the first night in more than 2 months that I actually did some solo questing.  All I will say to that is woah.

Now obviously since the last time Kil solo quested she has had an absolutely amazing boost to her gear, and all of her spells are now at Adept III or better.  While she is certainly quite slow at killing mobs, naturally for a healer, I found solo questing much less frustrating than I remembered.  This shows me how dependant we are on having good gear and having our spells as high as we can get.

I chose to do some quests in Bonemire.  I completed a pretty easy quest for killing ravasect which gave a decent ranged item as reward, as well as doing some updates for Grizzfazzle and the Gnome tinkerer bag quest.  Some friends from guild are planning on a trip to the Den of the Devourer some time real soon so it made sense to progress the Grizzfazzle quest to the point where I needed the devourer for the update. I also got an easy few updates for my creature catalguing quests which was also neat.  I did go and heal for a short while to help the raid main assist tank, but all in all I had fun running around by myself.

After my usual enjoyable chatter with Stargrace, and some other nice things that happened through the evening last night, I once again got to thinking about my online friendships.¬† For me personally, the social side of MMO’s is a big plus.¬† While I would never ignore a real life responsibility or friendship because of a game, I believe that my online friendships are just as valid and valuable as some of my real world friendships.¬†

This may be quite specific to perpetual MMO worlds I guess.¬† Generally, you will have the same people logging on to the same virtual world.¬† Add guilds into the mix, and then you have the chance that you will be in regular contact with the same people.¬† You will get to know a few of these people, and you will develop friendships with a precious few.¬† Just human nature I guess.¬† We share time and experiences with these friends, and to me that is no less real than many friendships we have offline.¬† Hopefully that doesn’t make me look like I am all stalker like and someone with no social skills who only has friends online – it was just something I was thinking about.

Anyway, the weekend approaches and that hopefully brings with it some fun and games this weekend.

Happy gaming everyone ūüôā

Ascent of the Awakened Thursday, Jul 26 2007 

After a few not so successful adventures lately, last night was a happy night.  The guild was rostered for slayage in Ascent of the Awakened x 2 to help a few folks that are working on Deathtoll access.

We tried it last week but had no end of bother with the fire dragon up top.¬† We tried for a few strategies but seemed to end up being over run by the little lifefire adds that were spawned if anyone was in range of the dragons AoE.¬†¬†Never let it be said that we are not persistent.¬† We were determined to conquer him ūüôā

So last night we assembled our 12 players and in we went.  There were a few times when we had a little trouble and a couple of the dps fellows got beat up on, but all in all there was little of consequence to speak of through the zone. 

Soon enough we were face to face with the fire dragon (Ashari I think his name is?).  We had everyone at range, but no-one was really sure what the range of his AoE was.

First attempt was not pretty¬†and we wiped ūüė¶¬†¬†¬† On that first attempt though, we noticed that if the healers were at range, that the¬†AoE¬†only spawned¬†the 2 adds for MT.¬†¬† Provided everyone stayed behind us we should be OK.¬† So we all got buffed up and into position for attempt 2.¬† Healers bunched together at max heal range, all dps behind us.

Main tank pulled the dragon, main assist taunted the spawns behind the healers and out of AoE range.  Mellee dps killed the little lifefires while ranged dps and MT wore the dragon down.  Rinse and repeat each time the adds spawned Рand in a few minutes hey presto we were dancing on the smooshed body of said Fire Dragon. 

I almost severely embarrased myself when I summoned my hammer to send it in to help kill the dragon, but dismissed it as soon as I got over my 2 second brain freeze that hammer = pet = DO NOT USE FOR THIS COMBAT lol.

There is nothing like the feeling of defeating an enemy that has killed you a couple of times is there hehe.

As always happy hunting everyone ūüôā

Raid night is fun night. Wednesday, Jul 25 2007 

Last nights schedule involved the slayage of Lord Vyemm and his various companions from throughout the Labs.   Well that was the plan anyhow.

¬†We only had one full group and 2 groups of 5 with 3 members 2 boxing – and it was soooooo darn messy.¬† Kil ended up naked ūüė¶¬† along with the rest of the raid party.¬† We didn’t even finish the zone.¬† While that was a wee bit frustrating, I still really didn’t mind too much.¬† It was fun to just be hanging out with the guild and killing stuff.¬†

All of the healers were working flat out but for some reason we just could not keep up with the damage that the mobs were doing.¬† It didn’t feel like we were doing anything different to be getting our butts whipped like we did *shrug* .

Kil did roll for¬†and win a new sceptre.¬† It is exactly the same rating and damage as her current hammer, only has different stats.¬† On the positive it has a chance to proc and increase casting speed by 16% which of course is very nice for a slow caster like Kil ūüôā¬†¬† Not bad when combined with the blessings aa to give it a higher chance to proc.

I will be interested to see how the heal parses worked out last night, I felt like I was healing well. I was looking after the mellee dps boys again last night and enjoy that challenge.  I think they are important boys to look after well.  I still remember one of the first things Stargrace told me about raid healing Рlack of dps will kill a raid just as well as a dead MT.  

I am almost always grouped up with the raid MT outside of raids, so it still feels wierd to me when the dps boys are getting beat up a bit and I am focussing on them and¬†not watching MT health as closely ūüôā

At one point last night I noticed that we had 4 Templars online in the guild and 3 groups.  This combined with some grouchy raid chat  got me starting to think that Kil might not be needed for raids if we had too many Templars.    I had a quick word with the guild leader after raid and no longer have that concern thank goodness.

My concerns were further reduced as I was getting ready to log off.¬†¬†Raid leader sent me a /tell to say that he thought¬†Kil will be ready to go¬†in the MT group soon *blush*.¬† I guess that means she must be adjusting OK to raid healing after a long solo career ūüôā

Silly I know Рbut I am the kind of person who does not do anything half hearted Рand that includes my EQ.  I dont want or need to be recognised or have people blow smoke up my ass.  But I figure if I play my part well then we all have fun.

In other game news¬†I was wired after raid and¬†so I started to prepare my tradeskill girls for the next live update getting them some of their very own sales displays.¬†¬† I re-looked at Kil’s Templar aa tree and thought I might try going down the smite wrath path rather than cures/sanctuary.¬† Sanctuary is an awesome spell but it’s recast means it is only useful once per combat even if you put 5 aa into it.

I am almost ready to do my MoA trials and am not sure how hard it will be to complete the Solo trial as a Templar without the extra smiting damage.  Giving up 10 seconds duration on sanctuary and the reactive cures is the trade off so I am still to decide.

Anyhow, enough rambling for today – Happy hunting everyone.

In loving memory… Tuesday, Jul 24 2007 

Although initially many people think otherwise, typically I am a fiercly private person except with my most trusted friends.  I have been tossing up all week whether or not to write what follows, but today I have chosen to make a deeply personal and perhaps self indulgent posting.   

So far my blog has been all about my fun and excitement and enjoyment in virtual worlds, and it almost seems wrong to put some deep real life emotion next to that.¬† I also don’t think that people necesarily¬†want to read someone elses personal emotional ramblings.¬† However, this is my¬†own blog and¬†I felt that it would not be right to let this occasion go without mention.

This past week or 2 has been a somewhat harrowing and emotional time.  Sadly, my Father in Law passed away early last week  He had been sick for a while, so it was not entirely unexpected.  However, that has not lessened the sadness for the family.  He leaves behind 2 wonderful sons and 2 lovely daughters that I am proud to call family.

As family and friends gathered on Saturday to celebrate his life, I was filled with fear and dread.  I have never been to a funeral before, and I was so unsure of how to support my husband and his siblings.  Now as I write this I would like to think that simply being there, to listen when they wanted to talk, crying tears of sadness together,  and laughing together at happy memories was important.  That was the only support I knew how to give and I hope it was helpful.

The happy memories will always be with us, and I am certain that the sadness will fade with time.  I feel that his passing does not correct past wrongs but it puts their importance into sharp perspective, and will help to heal any hurts that remain.

He had a passion for the arts (particularly drama), encouraged those around him to challenge themselves toward excellence, asked questions which made you think critically, and had a love for community.   He was a very gifted teacher who touched the life of many students in a small community Рa legacy which his whole family can be proud of.

So today I raise a virtual glass to toast the life of a gifted and yet complicated man, and to wish him a fond farewell.

Templar vs Inquisitor – my thoughts so far. Thursday, Jul 19 2007 

With the lack of folks on Tuesday night, our Labs run had been postponed till last night.  We all were assembled some 15 mins before scheduled time and into the labs we went. 

We successfully finished the zone but it was just one of those nights where it was quite messy and we could not work out why.   We wiped 3 times to the Corsolander, and had trouble pulling Vyemm Рbut once we pulled Vyemm we had a lot less trouble with him than that nasty basalisk.  Prime was just a tasty snack to finish the night off.

Kil won lotto for a pretty set of plate gloves that dropped – they were quite a decent upgrade for her which was nice.

After the raid I was a little wired so I popped across to Kayyla for a little more fun and games on the baby Inquisitor before bed.

My reasons for making her up were to check out the Inquisitor class to help decide if I was going to betray Kil.¬† I have decided that I wont betray my girl, but not because I don’t like the Inquisitor. In fact I love the Inquisitor class. She plays very comfortably similar to the Templar and yet different. Her dps is very lovely compared to Kil, so she is very enjoyable to play solo.

Kilanna was born as a Pen and Paper character 15 years ago and is good aligned. To change her now would not seem right ūüôā In addition, I really really like a few of the class abilities of Templar that I would be very sad to give up – my blessings aa (extra 25% for group proc’s), my group heal when target mob dies, stoneskin, sanctuary, extra damage against undead.¬† Kil now has no shortage of chances for grouping in her new guild – so she has no reason to worry about her low dps any more.

On the other hand, Inquisitors Verdict and the ability to cause fear to mobs in AoE are still very very tempting along with the lovely dps. I have had quite a good look at the Inquis AA lines too and they are very appealing.

So far my little girl is only lvl 15 so I am definitely only getting started on her. She has completed around¬†80 quests and has 8 almost 9¬†aa points – I have had her combat xp switched off almost the whole time since I dinged lvl 11.¬†¬† She is about to move out from Darklight woods into Commonlands.¬† I am making a point of doing all the quests I can – thank you again EQ2i ūüôā

I DEFINITELY find it much less frustrating to quest with Kayyla solo compared to questing with Kil solo. I wonder whether that might simply be due to the fact that I am a more experienced EQ player, and so I have a better idea of what is important to keep her as effective as possible.  We will see if my views change some more as she gets to higher levels.

Regardless, this has been a very interesting exercise. Although the classes are very similar, there are some quite significant differences. Both classes are great fun¬†to play – I guess I just love those healer classes ūüôā

To dps or not to dps… that is the (healers) question. Wednesday, Jul 18 2007 

Last night we had a scheduled raid into Labs.  We only had 14 people so it was decided we would do AoAx2 working toward Deathtoll Access.

Our guild leader normally 2 boxes his Templar in MT group and his Dirge in dps group.¬† Last night I felt very humbled when he dropped his Templar moving me into MT group and he played his Dirge.¬† I took that as a complement and vote of confidence in my abilities as a healer.¬† I know it may seem silly because EQII is only a game after all, but I was nervous to make sure I didn’t disappoint.¬†

Well at the same time, one of the other fellows in guild was speaking to me in /tell and encouraging me to do more dps.  He said to me that some Templars can do up to 1K dps, but I should be doing around 300 dps.  Really up until now, my philosophy has been healers should heal and leave the dps to the dps classes.

Being the obliging sort of girl that I am, of course I tried something different, and indeed did hit around 300 dps¬†in a few combats.¬† But I was not very comfortable with it.¬† I felt that my healing was not at it’s best and there was one encounter where Wazza died and maybe he should not have.¬† He did manage to pull a few adds too ūüôā¬† but I wonder if I had been on my game whether I could have adjusted and kept him standing – after all that is my job right.¬† In addition, I was having trouble with managing my power which I normally have no problem with.

Now I am still not sure if it is because it is just unusual and I am not used to it, or if I am just plain uncomfortable with healers also doing dps instead of pure healing in raids.

Thankfully, I had a quick talk to Stargrace about her philosophy.¬† I very much respect her advice because she has been healing in raids since way before I even started playing the game.¬† Lets just say I was not surprised to find that once again we have similar thoughts on the matter ūüôā

At this point then I had a bit of a revelation.¬† I may only have been grouping / raiding for a little over 2 months, but maybe I should really trust in my own instincts and not allow myself to be influenced by the advice of too many people.¬† I guess that people will always have different perspectives, but if I do my bit to keep the MT up while the dps classes do their thing, then my work is done.¬†¬† In the virtual world as much as the real world you are never going to keep all of the people happy all of the time.¬†¬†Although I may not have as much experience as my fellow guildmates in groups and raids, I should still have confidence in myself as a player and my girls’ contribution.

I have blushed in the last few days when various people have complemented Kil on her healing (so that tells me I don’t completely suck as a player), and I know myself how far she has come in just 2 short months even though she still has a long way to go.¬† I would like to think that I will always be thinking on how to improve and play her better, but I don’t ever want to feel that I am not enjoying playing my girl.

I am not sure exactly how many raids I have been on now Рbut if I went back through my blog I could count.  I estimate that it is somewhere around 15.  I still have a lot to learn and experience that is for sure, and I guess that there will always be lots of people wanting to give their sagely wisdom.  The trick is balancing all of that against the advice of those few folks whose advice I respect and trust.

As always – happy hunting everyone ūüôā

MoA and other assorted mutterings Tuesday, Jul 17 2007 

Last night was quite distracted with some¬†very significant real life worries – but in between I did manage to get in a little fun in game.¬† A few of the guys in guild¬†are working towards MoA raid, and it so happens that Kil and 3 other members of the guild are all at the same point.¬† How convenient you hear me say ūüôā

So last night we found ourselves headed to SoS to advance the quest a wee bitty which was always fun.  We had my Friend Wazza as always, the raid MA tank, guild leader on his dirge, the friendly guild brig and one of the guilds Rangers played his Mystic alt.

A very nice group of folks and a very nice combination of characters too ūüôā¬† We had little or no trouble in advancing at all in SoS.¬† We then jumped across to PoA and continued the fun and games for a short while.

These few dings for quest updates gave Kil her 85th aa point.¬† She was able to put her first aa into increasing the duration of Sanctuary – which is ALWAYS a good thing ūüôā

Speaking of aa Рone of the fellows in guild was suggesting that I look at the Cleric Agi line for Kil.  The end result is a nice ability to avoid AoE for around 30 seconds, and the line has some other benefits such as additional opportunities for shield use.  I agree that this would be a very helpful ability that can be cast on a friend Рso I could use it to give Wazza some extra Avoidance benefits there when we are in groups. 

However, I have to think very carefully about this because I would have to sacrifice one of my current aa lines that I am very happy with.  I would have to give up the Sta line that gives me additional chances for crit mellee/heals, or the Int line that gives me Divine Recovery.   For the occasional benefit it would give Wazza when we group, I am not sure if it is worth Kil sacrificing one of those lines.  

I feel that it could make her a less effective healer, particularly in raids.¬† Maybe I might be missing some of the significance of what the benefit would mean to Wazza so I will chat with him tonight.¬†¬† Because we group together most nights I am really quite happy to look at changing if it will benefit the group – but I think he will prefer me to have a higher chance to crit heal and to have Divine Recovery while¬†I am watching his back¬†ūüôā

We had finished up in PoA quite early,¬† so this gave me the chance to partake of my much loved crafting while chatting with Stargrace – thanks again girl for listening.¬†¬† I got my Alchemist girl up to lvl 46 and made some potions for Kil to use in Labs raid tonight.¬† I have set myself a very lofty goal of getting all my crafters up to 70 before the expansion.¬† I don’t think it will happen but I will give it a darn good shot.

Anyhow – enough rambling for today – happy hunting all ūüôā

There is no place like home! Monday, Jul 16 2007 

There really is no place like home – wherever that may be ūüôā

Last week I was very fortunate to attend a work conference in Taiwan.   The weather was hotter than I normally like, particularly coming from Southern Hemisphere winter, but it was a wonderful experience.

On the personal side, I got to meet a lot of my colleagues from Headquarters and other international affiliates, enjoyed some of the most wonderful food I have ever tasted, went to the top of the tallest building in the world, and visit a place that probably would not have chosen myself.

From a business side, there were a few presentations that were very informative and it was nice to get that business networking opportunity.  All in all it was a lot more fun than I thought I would have.

After getting home and getting myself sorted out, spending some time with the family and so on, I did have a quick chance to jump on and catch up with some of my online buddies last night.

I really am a bit of a social creature I think.¬† I really missed chatting with some of my online friends while I was away.¬† I didn’t miss my game so much, but did miss chatting with Stargrace and having a good laugh with my guildmates.

I pride myself on being a very strong and independant person, but I was also surprised by how much I missed my Husband and the dog too.   So while I had the most wonderful 5 day trip РI was very glad to be home.

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