GO Pax GO! Thursday, Nov 5 2009 

Sadly, I didnt get a chance to post yesterday – but what a completely EXCELLENT Tuesday night raiding we had.

We went to Miraguls Planar Shard hoping to get some more exquisite drops from the trash mobs and have another crack at those named.   And I am as proud as punch of what we achieved!

We put in a decent showing against the trash, and had some nice drops.  Then we set ourselves up for the named in the room to the left hand side as you come in the door (not the “Snow room”)  

Armed with some new intel, we hammer pulled the named with Killys hammer.   The named broke at the door leaving us with only the trash to take care of.  Rinse and repeat until all that remained was the actual named.   We knew he had a nasty trauma AoE, and had the raid force joust it.   He beat us about a bit and our raid force was definitely a little bruised and bloody – but *cheers*  we got him down!   His chest had the BEAUTIFUL healer neck item.  Unfortunately Killy didnt win the roll for it … but I get a feeling we will be coming back here again in the not to distant future.

Then on to the room that I refer to as the “Snow room”.  To take on tuskers and his mean nasty handler :p    We followed the same line of thinking to aggro the named, he breaks in the room and so we took care of the adds out in the corridor.

Then it was time to face the mamoth and his ghostly master.   We decided to have the MT group take care of the ghost, while we set up an MA group with two tanks to deal with Tuskers mem wipe.   First couple of pulls didnt go so well – but that was OK as we got used to the tanks controlling the mem wipe.   We also took a couple of pulls to get an idea of good placement for our raid force.

And then if memory serves it was our third or maybe fourth pull – we hit our rhythm.   A couple of times Tuskers ran amok and was smacking on my favourite dark elf as well as the ghost, but we managed to keep him up for the most part :p   Now I was tired and am terrible at taking in details first time in a new place, so my recollections of what was happening are hazy and sketchy at best :p

I think what we did was “easy mode” when the ghost got to 25% Arisha clicked something and then we were able to damage the Mammoth.   While the raid force were taking the mammoth down, unfortunately the ghost was healing up a little … but no never mind.   It is what happened next which was dissapointing.   We managed to get the Mammoth down to 25% too … but something happened and Tuskers re-aggrod and killed us all.   We think that it may have been someones Autoattack ????

So – while we can say that in theory we defeated the encounter, we didnt get aa for it nor a pretty exquisite chest 😦 

By this time it was too late for us to keep going.   So we wished my favourite coercer a happy birthday as raid broke up and people logged off.

While it was dissapointing not to have gotten a chest from the second named encounter, Pax Fatalis still holds it head high.   We were in a new zone, and in theory got down two new named encounters, and had a bunch of laughs while doing that – stunning effort.   Not to mention we got some pretty lewt pieces for our raid force.  

What was even more gratifying to me was that there was a lot of fairplay when it came to distribution of lewt.   I saw people passing up on some very shiny pieces so that they could go to guildmates that would benefit more.  I saw people thinking twice about rolling on pieces that were more suited to other classes.  Very very gratifying indeed, and makes me proud to wear the tag of Pax Fatalis.

We always seem to have a nice quiet night on Wednesday nights, and last night was no different 🙂  I spent last night tradeskilling pieces for both guildmates and other friends from within Norrath.    I think I made  4 or 5 sets of armour, plus some weapons and jewelery and shard gear.   While I was keen to take the pally for a wee run, it is awesome to see that my crafter girls are being called apon to use their tradeskills.   I see no point in leveling all those tradeskill girls if they are not going to get used!  

As I was preparing to log out, someone yelled that the headless horseman was running about, so we quickly assembled in Nek and took care of him with little trouble.   By the time we had pottered about doin that,  and I had spent time chatting to people, it was time to bid gnite to Norrath

We have a x2 raid on the schedule tonight.  Not sure if I will go – would really like to run the pally around some more if we have enough folks to get a group together.

Hope everyone is enjoying their time in Norrath too … Happy hunting and crafting.

Monday night is raid night Tuesday, Nov 3 2009 

Last night was one of our regular raid nights and we headed to TotMC and PotAO to have a crack at the first few named in each zone and get ourselves some pretty lewtz.

We actually decided to have another go at Thet this week rather than switchmaster, and it was quite gratifying I think.

We got ourselves two T4 pieces for the evening if I remember correctly – nothing that my girl could roll on but good to pimp up our raidforce.

When we actually got to Thet, we tried something a little different.   We split the healers from groups 2, 3 and 4 to cover the spawn points for each of the adds.   The thinking here was to keep the people with the curse alive til they kill the adds.  

I basically think our problem was that we were not achieving high enough dps to kill the adds as quickly as we needed to.   Last night was our best show yet, and I think that now it is just a matter of time before we get her down.

We also had an absolutely HIDDEOUS run with bad luck of who was picked to be cursed.  At one point we had both the MT and Killy cursed 😦   Killy got cursed at least one time each pull.   We had decided that since we did not have the luxury of an excess of healers, Killy needed to cure herself of the curse and stay with the MT.

Our only problem we had was that there was insufficient communication from the people who were cursed and which add they were going to take care of.  This meant that sometimes two people were on one add and there was an add with no one taking care of it.

I was chatting with my favourite coercer , and he thought it would be too hard to concentrate on casting and directing the people with the curse as to where to go.  I am thinking I would like to try it next week to see if it helps us.   Killy really is only a secondary healer since our shaman is so well geared.  This fight is WELL within our healing capability so I dont think it would be any threat to the survivability of the MT to try it.   I am sure I will get a chance to talk quietly with him about it before next weeks raid.

Tonight sees us heading to Miraguls.  I dont see us killing any named, but wow the trash mobs still drop some pretty stuff in there 🙂  No matter what I am sure we will  have a bit of fun killing some bad guys and having a giggle.

Happy hunting and crafting everyone!

 

Another weekend filled with fun and games. Monday, Nov 2 2009 

Although the weekend was filled with lots of fun out of game, I still had quite a bit of fun in game.

Friday night saw us head to WoE.  We cleared the zone and got lots of pretty patterns for various folks in the guild.   The gloves and helmet dropped.  I didnt roll on those for my girl since she has the Rune Etched Helm and Ethereal Mist Gauntlets.  However, the breastplate DID drop and I managed to win that for Killy.  

We got all the way to Aiden in smart time and had a few really good cracks at him.  It really is now only a matter of time before we get him down.  My favourite dark elf was not tanking, nor was my favourite coercer on his chanter.   Fortunately for Killy he was on his Mystic rather than the coercer, and we made a fabulous healing team.

Saturday night started out quiet – but soon some guildies logged in and were looking for some fun.   One of these guildmates was a fellow Templar and so close to dinging 80 we had to help her out!.   We decided to do Vaults of Eternal Sleep and Maidens Chamber – the aa from the named and completing Anaphylaxis and the Unglued Alchemists Amulet would hopefully do it.  We were also hoping for a chance at Gift to the Queen dropping for her.

Well I have to say it was a hiddeous displayof tanking from me lol … but no one got too upset (/hugz thanks boys! :p)  We wiped probably half a dozen times on Sandstorm … but it was all fun and games and we got it done in the end.   After we finished Sanstorm I was panicking thinking OMG how am I going to go on the sisters and Drusella – but they were not as scary as I had thought.   Just those adds kept trashing us on Sandstorm.

Well the healer ring / wrist didnt drop. but we popped outside, got our guildies their anaphylaxis rewards and unglued alchemist amulet – and DING!!!  a new 80 Templar *cheers*

During the weekend I also used the chronomages and mentored my Pally down to 35 and took her to RoV to farm for her own treasured items for transmuting.   All I can say is superawesomehotsaucecoolfun!.  35 was a PERFECT level as all of the named are still con green or blue – Varsoon himself is con white and I had fun taking care of him, although the lamia that spawns just before him still hits like a freight train and I actually had to heal myself :p

We were also lucky enough as a guild to take down the Headless Horseman once on Saturday night and once on Sunday night.   We had some very nice things drop – including a beautiful fabled 4 heal crit cloak for my girl.   Two other healer (alts) from the guild were incredibly kind to pass on the cloak so my girl could have it!    Bless them 🙂

Tonight we head to try the first named in PotAO and TotMC.  Cross fingers for some nice pretties to drop eh!

Hope everyone else had a wonderful weekend in Norrath too.  Happy hunting and crafting 🙂

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.

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