Just pottering about Friday, Oct 30 2009 

By the time I was settled and logged in last night, time was getting on.

My regular companions didnt seem to be in the mood for doing anything much … so it was an evening where we all pottered about a wee bitty on alts.

I started to look at Killy and Nanytyas bags.   They both need a good sort out, they both have a lot of stuff that I am holding on to for transmuting.  Nanytya is my muter and she is just passed 140 – so a hiddeously long way to go.   I decided that I would use one of my baby girls on my second account to farm low level treasured / leg / fabled.   I have a little SK at around level 12 that I decided would take this spot nicely.

I have effectively level locked her by putting 100% experience into aa.  One of the boys has managed to get his little level 14 toon with over 50aa *grins*  At the moment she is in Darklight woods doing the quests from the Wonderlust Fair.   I will take her to Timorous deep she can start some quests in Antonica and Commonlands too….  It will be a lot of fun.

I dont know about anyone else, but damn I find transmuting to be an incredibly demanding and resource hungry skill to level.   It feels like I have used maybe 30 or 40 treasured items for barely 3 skill ups!!  At the end though, is it REALLY that useful other than to potentially get something useful from the odd piece of raid lewt that may rot???

On one good side though, my baby toons will all have transmuter made adornments :p

This weekend will see me fairly busy with plans with the family … but that should NOT stop me from enjoying a little fun and games in Norrath !   Who knows I might even use the Chronomages and mentor down Nanytank to go farm in RoV or Stormhold for her own Transmutables 😀 

Although it would be fun to have the chance to tank a couple of zones too. *ponders*

Hope everyone else enjoys their weekend in Norrath too.  Happy hunting and crafting.


Patience is a virtue Thursday, Oct 29 2009 

And believe me, my friends and guildmates are very virtuous :p

Although the servers went down on Tuesday night right in the middle of our regular raid time, we did manage to sneak down into VP and kill silverwing for a couple of myth updates.   Sadly, we did not have enough time for Phara Dar, but I hope we get a chance to go get him soon.

Last night, I had a chance to take the Pally tank for a run.   We got a group together and headed to Najenas tower, and this is why I count myself as a very fortunate person.

Despite the fact that we had some deaths in the group, and we wiped once – I can say that I had a fun time.     I am fortunate to have a lovely group of guildmates who are very patient and are happy to have a giggle despite my inexperienced tanking :p   

It is a completely different world to tank as compared to healing.   I seriously have so much respect for people who tank well.   Having to have eyes in the back of your head, control agro, control mob position, watch for your healer and dps … but oh my gosh it is so much fun to do something different.   At the end of the day fun is what it is all about – the minute it stops being fun is the time I take a break from the game.

Between the couple of instances and various things that the little pally has done, she has earned about 4 or 5aa in the last week which is great 🙂   My favourite Dark Elf spent some time helping me to reset her aa last week, so she now has Aura of the Crusader (endline ability for the third of the shadows aa trees).  I also now have a clearer picture on where to spend my aa as I am earning it!

Last night I also set myself another little goal – and that is to tank Deep Forge.  Some people may or may not agree with me – but I am a little bit nervous about trying that zone.   I honestly believe that zone deserves respect – the mobs hit hard and the group needs to be on its toes.   When I am healing, it is definitely a more difficult zone to heal compared to Najenas.  The guy with the hammer adds, and also the whole of the last room with the Firelord can not be taken for granted IMHO anyhow.  But I would like to give it a try- and hey what is the worst that can happen – we die a few times in a virtual world and spend a bit of virtual gold to repair :p

On news outside of gaming – I am so excited that I must make mention.  Today I recieved an offer to go back to University to finish my degree.   It will be interesting trying to juggle part time study, full time work and a social life – but I am up for the challenge 😀

Until next time, happy hunting and crafting!

Another of THOSE nights Tuesday, Oct 27 2009 

Last night was night three of our latest venture into VP.   It should not have been so – but what an awful night we had.

We had Skygazer, Silverwing and Phara Dar to go … we should have EASILY got that done in two hours …. but NOOOOOOOOO

Skygazer was done and dusted pretty quick smart – he went to join his other Wyrm cousins that had already been dispatched.    And so it was on to Silverwing.

Well what an almighty mess that was.  Nothing more to say.   It was not much fun at all.

For the times we have done this zone, we have never found this mob to be the easiest.    But last night was just ridiculous considering we had so many mythicalled main characters playing.    

It certainly did not help that the encounter appears to be bugged by all accounts.   the little wisplings were travelling in a different path to normal and pretty much chain stunning us if anyone got close.   Not to mention, when we pulled Silverwing, he started to heal himself back up to full right away.

So a little research, and we decided to pull Silverwing to a different place to usual.   Normally we pull him into the alcove to the left as you face him.   Instead, we pulled him back to the door on that same side of the room.   The alcove is normally a good place to pull him because it protects the healers from getting punted across the room with his wingbeat.

So last night the positioning was just awful for me as a healer – either I was getting hit with his AoE stun … or else I was getting slapped across the other side of the room by his wingbeat.  

We did manage to get him down to like maybe 30 percent on one attempt but it was just messy messy and frustrating as heck.   We shall just have to put it down to being one of those nights and move on.

Sadly, tonight we are going to miss our regular raid.   There is to be a server down right during our normal scheduled play time.   I am really really sad about this because we still have a couple of new guildies to get their myths, but our instance will reset tomorrow night 😦   At least with the magical barriers changed, we can start a fresh instance and head strait for that wing.   

Perhaps Nanytank the Pallytank might get her Leviathan kill for access and Hoshkar for her VP myth update next instance.   This would leave Thuuga and Imzok.

So with the servers down there will be NO play time for this little dorf tonight …. but until next time Happy hunting and crafting everyone!

In among real life Monday, Oct 26 2009 

As I hinted in my last post, I have had a friend visiting from interstate.  

While I am missing my game time very much, it was so lovely to have her company and to be able to talk with her.  It was nice to be able to share some very exciting and important things that are happening in the rest of my real life and have her perspective.   No matter how much I love the boys, there are just SOME things that are secret womens business :p

Between all that, there was time for a little game time with the tankgirl HOOOOORAY!

While I know that most will not think this as a major accomplishment, I took Nanytya out to play this weekend and she tanked a couple of shard instances.  We did Crucible and Evernight Abbey – had a bunch of fun, beat all the critters up, and none of our heroes died (although we did indeed loose the Conji pet a couple of times – but such is life *giggles*)

I absolutely had a bundle of fun, made some mistakes is for sure – but meh no one minded :p 

I must admit I was rather nervous about tanking the encounter of three before the master.  I was worried that I would not be able to hold agro on all three since it is not a linked encounter.  It was hardly the prettiest of encounters but I did manage to keep the bad guys from beating on the dps for the most bit.    I really do enjoy that zone, and it is really nice as a tank when the mobs are not social.

One of the reasons we chose Crucible was for a chance for my girl to get her Deepwater Barrier – a rather nice tower shield from Codexicon.   Arisha finally got one for his girl recently after MONTHS of us trying.  I was giggling uncontrolably when my Pallytank got hers on her very first run *cheers*

After that we headed to Evernight – where EVERYTHING is social.  Again we had a few encounters that were quite messy, but no one died even though we came close a couple of times :p  

The upshot was that we had a fun night and some giggles, we got some shards and some lewtz.   By the end of the evening, my girl had actually earned herself 2 full aa.  I dont think I will ever be a very good tank, but I dont think it matters – to me it is all about just enjoying your game time and the friends that you are with.

Happy hunting and crafting to all 🙂

The mighty Pax is even mightier now! Wednesday, Oct 21 2009 

As I mentioned yesterday, we continued on in our return to VP last night.   The aim was to get another group of toons Mythed up.  And mythed up we got them indeed!!.

After the kaffuffle that was Monday night, our second night went MUCH more smoothly.   Granted that the mobs in the second wing are certainly less of a challenge than Nex and Druushk, but it was MUCH tidier than Monday night.

We really enjoyed the recent changes which removed the magical barriers within VP.   We did mobs out of order and even chose to avoid those we did not need which was great!  So last night Hoshkar, Xygoz, Taskmaster, Ashenclaw all went down, giving updates to a new guildmate Pally, my favourite Dark Elf (who brought on his swashy), 2 coercers, 2 conjurers, one or maybe two wardens …. and a partridge in a pear tree *giggles*

Always a good thing to have a really worthwhile trip.  I am sure that in the last two nights that is around a dozen Myth updates we managed to get.  But wait there is more! ….. we need to go back and hit Silverwing and the Phara Dar encounter for our Bruiser and Ranja!!   That will happen next Monday.  Next week we are also scheduled to hit a couple of low key non VP myth updates.  I am hoping we might be able to sneak some updates for my Pallytank too.

On maybe a couple of occasions I have mentioned how fond I am of my guildmates especially those who I refer to as “my boys” :p.    They spoil me quite a bit really … Including trying to get my Pally her VP access while I was away last weekend.  Sadly, the raid wasnt succesful, but how spoilt am I.   They even took my girl to speak to the couple of NPC’s she needed to advance the first step between Fabled and Myth lol.

I have read a few blogs recently discussing the value of guilds and what keeps people playing MMO’s.   I will say it again, but for me it is DEFINITELY my guildmates and in game friends that keep this game so much fun for me.   I am also pretty sure that some of those whom I call friends only stick around because of the relationships and networks built up in game.  I dont think it is the pure game content that keeps us interested after more than three years. 

*sigh* The busy pace of the rest of real life continues on … and I have a friend visiting from out of town for a couple of days yay!.   This will mean that I wont get a chance to take my little Tankgirl for a run through a shard instance or two, but they will still be there next week I guess :p

Hope everyone is having as much fun in Norrath!    Happy hunting and crafting.

The return to VP Monday, Oct 19 2009 

After being away at my high school reunion over the weekend, I have no adventures in Norrath to report.  However, I was so excited after I logged in to briefly say ello to my beloved guildmates.

First of all, I logged on to Pallytank.   My favourite dark elf had logged her in over the weekend and taken her for a run to Chamber of Destiny hoping to get her VP access.   Sadly the raid failed and she didnt get her update – but how spoilt am I to have good friends who would do that !   Not only that …. but when I flicked over to Killy she had a lovely little present waiting for her in her backpacks too.   The boys had run Shard of Love hoping for an appearance slot Tower Shield or buckler to drop.   Neither of those items dropped – but my lucky little girl now very proudly sports her gorgeous little wings.     I am truly a spoilt little dorf *giggles*

Last night then saw Pax head back to VP to get some mythicals for new guildies and ALTS.

We have not been in there for a wee while …. and there has been a some changes since we were last in the dragons lair.  This is the first time that we have been in there since the DPS Cap was removed from Nexona, and the magical barriers between the various wings were removed.   The majority of people required updates from Druushk and Nexona.   With the barriers removed, we worked as quickly as possible to get directly to those nasty wyrms.

It is interesting how some nights click, and some nights just dont.  

Whilst I only died once, last night felt sooooo messy.   We struggled with DPS not assisting the MA, and in particular the first time we pulled Nexona was REALLY ugly – resulting in a wipe.   We did manage to get Druusk down first pull, but once again you could hardly say it was a well executed encounter by our intrepid adventurers.

None the less, we have half a dozen new myths within our guild now – so at the end of the day that is a big win 🙂  

Tonight will see us head further in to hit Taskmaster, Xygoz (love that encounter :P), Hoshkar, Silverwing and the Phara Dar encounter for more updates.   Wish us luck!  and hope tonight is much more disciplined and better executed than last night 🙂

Until tomorrow – happy hunting and crafting to one and all.

What is a “good” tank? Thursday, Oct 15 2009 

I was out at a work function last night, so sadly no adventures in Norrath to report today.

This does however, leave time for me to write a small monologue and I genuinely do hope for some comments back.

Obviously, with my renewed enjoyment for the little Pallytank, I have been considering what is it that makes a good tank?

If I consider that question from the point of view of a long time healer – there are a few things I really appreciate in my tank.

1. Aggro management is obviously right up there.  If the tank cant keep aggro then it makes my job harder as a healer, and makes it harder for the dps too.

2. Mob placement.   I really appreciate a tank that puts the mob in a place such that the DPS have good access to the mob, the scouts have rear access to the mob, the group avoids frontal AoE and they have goodvisibility to control roaming mobs which may add.

3 A knowledge of the zone and mobs you are facing

4.Communication with your group – for example if pulling to a special place, or asking for a particular spell / buff / debuff if required

I believe that each of these attributes is a combination of various factors

After just the minute amount of tanking I have done, I have an even greater respect for tanks that do a great job at holding agro.  I think it is a combination of knowing when and how to use your spells and abilities, fast reactions, awareness of your surroundings, a knowledge to some small degree of the key abilities of your groupmates, taking the time to research and optomise your gear and aa, and I absolutely reckon practice practice practice 🙂

Sometimes mob placement is not always the easiest, particularly in dungeons / confined spaces.  Sometimes I have noticed that steps and other obstacles can interfere terribly.  I know that a lot of scouts like tanks to turn the mob and I try.  If  I have a messy pull or trouble turning the mob, I have been thinking that it is best to just be still and let the scouts find the rear of the mob themselves.   I figure if I dance around trying to manouvre the mob, this could be frustrating to the scouts cos it makes them move again.  Is that the best approach?

As the person leading a group, it is ideal to have some knowledge of the zone and mobs you are facing.  Do mobs repop?  Are they social?  Do they have any particular detrimental effects?  Do they have any special abilities like Frontal AE’s or Memwipe? Do they need to be killed using particular strategy?  This to me comes with Trial and Error and practice practice practice.   Reading strats is an awesome help, but no substitute for actually doing of the job.

As for communication, I love it when my tank uses Macros .. telling us he/she is using certain key abilities.  To be honest I think that goes for any and all classes in an MMO game.   Dirges for CoB, Brigs for Dispatch, Enchanters for Peace of Mind, Templars for Sanctuary just to name a few.  Are there abilities which stun you? – warn the group so they can hold back on DPS while you get aggro stabilised again… are there abilities which will benefit other group members? – let them know you have used it!  Are you pullin to a particular location?  Tell the group so they know where to position themselves for range.

These are my thaughts and impressions – but I have only had the smallest amount of experience.   Would experienced tanks agree or disagree with these points?  Do they have more to add?

Happy hunting and crafting fellow citizens of Norrath.

Nanytank the Pallytank :p Wednesday, Oct 14 2009 

Although real life consipired to minimise my game time last night, the time that I had was quite exciting.

As I logged on, my favourite Dark Elf sent me a quick tell to ask if I felt like tanking an Everfrost zone.  Of course my answer was HECK YEAH!!  After some distractions we headed out to Everfrost and hit Anathema.  We didnt mind which zone but someone was after the chance of a cloak for an alt.  So Anathema it was.

Well we finished the zone in about 30 mins and no one died so that in my opinion equals success.

A couple of times my favourite coercer ripped aggro – but i guess that tends to happen since he is decked out and doing uber damage :p

It was great to mix it up and play different toons … Having Arisha there with small tips and some advice here and there was great.    “Hey Killy this mob fears so I put my back into a wall”,  “You can put Amends on the Wizzie since you will be also be getting transfer from  coercer and swashie”,  “I tend to target x and that grabs the rest of the group on the way through”, “Mobs arent social in here Killy so you can range pull at will”  

It is interesting that it is only after almost 4 years of playing that I am questioning how some of these mechanics work lol.  In the past I have just trusted my tank to stop the mobs from smacking me – and if they smack me I deaggro and hold up heals for a bit while the tank gets it back lol

Something I was sort of wondering about ….. do good tanks still often see aggro flicking to other members of the party?   Is the measure of a good tank just being able to get that aggro back?   Obviously sometimes over zealous dps will get aggro and that just happens – doesnt mean you are a sucky tank right?.  

Last night I was generally range pulling using an encounter damage,  then hitting with my encounter taunt, and then hitting with AoE DPS.  Does the fact that I saw aggro flicking about on the pull mean I am too slow with my spells and Combat arts?

I guess then the next thing for me to consider is her dps.   I didnt pay attention to ACT last night, just the couple of parses that the boys posted.  Nanytya did about 2500dps as compared to the Coercer and Swash doing 4 – 4.5k each.   I am comfortable that a mixture of experience, some gear upgrades, and more aa will see my girl holding her own in that department.

I have tanked a couple of instances before, but for the first time last night I genuinely enjoyed myself.  I think that the boys enjoyed the change of pace too.   I am no Arisha, but no one would expect that.   We finished the zone, got our shards, and no one died = win!.  Some encounters may not have been very tidy, but I am guessing that happens to EVERY tank.

I feel like a kid at christmas playing with a new toy :p   I am heading interstate for my high school reunion so I wont get a chance to be in game this weekend, but I am really looking forward to the chance to get to play her again.   I think I need to finish some quests in RoK , and take her to Moors STAT for some of that delicious aa 🙂

Until next time – happy hunting and crafting all,

First glance at Miraguls Tuesday, Oct 13 2009 

Well last night was another scheduled raid night for our crazy adventurers, and it was decided that we would poke our heads in and have a lookie at the new raid zone in Everfrost.

Our dedicated raid leaders had checked things out and had a wee bit of an idea of what to expect … but hey there is no substitute to experience.  So we got in there and had a go.

As expected we didnt get very far, and we died a bit.   We cleared trash and didnt get any named down but that was OK.  The trash mobs in that zone sure as heck drop some nice pretties … so it was far from a wasted effort for us.

I know that I was dog tired last night, and I know that our MT was tired even before we got started (Damn that daylight savings lol)  Perhaps now we have had a couple of tries at pulling those first named, we can go away and maybe have a little more success next time we visit. 

I watch the heal parser in raids.   By now I know the expected pattern of how our various healers will parse, but I find it valuable.   I know what sort of parse I am capable of, and also our MT Shaman.  By looking at the parse I can see if we have got the healing well under control, or whether it is at the limits of our capabilities.   Last night I could hardly believe it, but Killy parsed the highest heals/sec she has ever managed.   As she died, it was around 3500 heals/sec!

As I mentioned yesterday, I was looking at getting the stone tower shard accessories for my little pallytank.  Sadly, these items are NOT heirloom, so I could not have Killy make them and transfer through the shared bank /sigh.   Fortunately my guild faction is sufficiently high and there were several people who offered to help out, so now Nanytank has a few more upgrades.

I dont know what the next couple of nights in game shall bring …. but I am sure it will be fun as always!   Until next time happy hunting and crafting 🙂

The switchmaster in on my list Tuesday, Oct 13 2009 

Monday night = raid night for the brave adventurers of Pax Fatalis.

In order to maximise our lewtz, we have decided to stop hitting our heads against Thet for the time being.   Our new strategy is this … we shall hit the first couple of named in TotMC, and then run across to PotAO and keep going on the switchmaster.

This is turning out to be quite a good idea, as we can get all of that done in two hours … more lewtz for our brave adventurers in one sitting 🙂

Not much to mention.   We did have a couple of wipes on the twin named in PotAO.  One time it was quite annoying since we had killed the first mob, and someone got the curse when the second mob was almost down 😦   Not to worry – the next pull we killed them good.

We had a couple of pulls at switchmaster … but really the fact that you have a good 10 minutes fighting trash before the named spawns means that you dont get much of a chance to fight him.  It would be ideal if you only had to kill the adds once, and not each time the encounter resets.  I guess you have to expect to work for your lewts when you play with the big boys!

So I guess the upshot after last night is that the switchmaster is DEFINITELY on my S*%$ list – he will go down to the mighty Pax.   You mark my words!

After raid, I had a few minutes chatting with my favourite dark elf over Pally aa and gear.   I dont think I will ever make a great tank, but I think with patience I could learn enough of the basics to make a passable tank for some nice easy instance runs.   It will just take practice and experience – just like when I was learning how to play Killy.  

This morning over breakfast, I popped onto game and browsed the broker.   100pp got my girl 4 or 5 masters – which wasnt too bad really.   After talking to Arisha I was comfortable with the M2 choice I had made – so all in all my girl should have had a HUGE boost in her capability at holding aggro.   I shall have Killy make her the stone Tower shard jewelery set, and that should be a good boost to her tanking survivability 🙂

The mere thaught of me tanking fills me with dread and terror lol – but then and again I remember a time that solo healing a zone on Killy would fill me with that same fear and dread lol.   It is so exciting to think that playing an Alt character can just give you a completely fresh experience of the game.  

I hope the boys dont run out of patience while I learn …. but I think we will all enjoy a bit of a switch around and chance to play some different toons.  It will be nice to just enjoy the fun – and what is the worst that can happen – we spend a little extra gold on our repair bills lol

Until next time – happy hunting and crafting everyone!!

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