Turtle Sunday

If I could, I'd tame a Druid. Not just because it would be really, really awesome--I'd want a pet Druid because at least he'd be able to tank.

Hawrt is only two levels below me, but can't tank at all. I had a black raptor to match my mount, and he didn't do much better. Normally this wouldn't be too much of a problem, but I've been a bit spoiled in the past--both of my level 80 toons quested with Jon's tanks, and I've gotten used to being able to take on any quest mob I run into, elites included. Schen has been leveling up with Jon's Warlock, though, and it makes me feel very, very squishy.

So, Sunday afternoon after the two of us had barely managed to take down Ragemane, my Troll set off on a quest to find a new pet--one who could tank.

was my starting point, of course, and I settled on a rare bear named Ursol'lok because the name caught my eye. When I got to Ashenvale he was nowhere to be found, though, and I was getting impatient. I wanted to get back to questing so I could hit 75 and go do the Brewfest boss. I was about to give up and tame a normal, boring bear when I remembered that BFD wasn't too far away. Maybe a turtle or a crab would be a better choice... after all, I'd heard good things about Shell Shield.

Ten minutes later I had a shiny new green turtle named Desdemona.

I've specced her for heavy tanking--the next couple points I get will go into Pet Barding and Taunt--at the expense of any damage-increasing talents. I'm hoping that Misdirect and her Growl will be enough to keep threat, and I don't plan on using her in any AoE situations so Thunderstomp shouldn't be needed. So far I've only needed her for normal questing, and she certainly has not been taking much damage, so I'm feeling optimistic. I'm excited to see how she does against elites.

Meanwhile, she's been growing on me. I didn't expect to like a turtle--they're big and clunky and ugly, and my ideal Tenacity pet is still my Night Elf's ghost hydra--but she's got personality. Maybe it's just the ridiculous name. Whatever it is, I did something I've never tried before and spent about an hour yesterday customizing her emotes with the PetEmote Editor, since the default options didn't really do her justice.

I may be a little crazy, but at least I'm having fun! :)


To The Asshat Outside My Window:

Yep, you woke me up. Kudos, I guess. Check that one off on your Dickwad Bingo card.

It's all right though, I understand. It's hard to find something interesting to do at three in the morning. It's not as if the liquor store across the street is open all night, or there's a Denny's in the area. And don't worry, I know sleep isn't even an option--with your IQ, you'd probably just choke to death on your own drool. I totally get why you'd feel the need to hang out under my window shouting profanities at your buddy for nearly an hour, then amuse yourself by trying to wake up "the people in the apartment with the window cracked open, lolz." I even get why your friend sticks around with you, drunk, pill-popping, maggot-brained delinquent though you are: Huge asshole, big mouth... Let's just say I'd be careful about what I drink if I were you.

No, I didn't call the cops. I'm the understanding sort, remember? You would have just run away into the bushes like the scared little rabbit you are, anyway. I'd run too if I'd been stealing and ingesting my mom's hormone supplements. No, instead I lay there and attempted to get on with the sort of things that I like to do at three in the morning: Sleep, not have a headache, etc. Obviously my attempts failed, probably because I'm not quite such a determined and charismatic individual as you. It might have worked better if I had attempted to inflict my sleeping upon the whole neighborhood, but I digress.

Instead of sleeping, I decided to be productive, and come up with something fun I could do to while away the long minutes next time you and your special friend decided to visit. I scratched my head, and I stretched my toes, and I came up with a lot of really fun ideas! Unfortunately, there would probably be legal consequences for offering free, laxative-laced cookies or installing a giant live-capture trap, so I was forced to examine options further down my list. I was planning on going with a giant print of goatse, lit up in my window for all to see, but then I remembered that my husband has a very delicate disposition, so that idea had to go. Besides, I wouldn't want you vomiting on the sidewalk (any more than you already have, at least). After much thought, I finally settled upon a solution I'm sure you will agree is classy, charming, and quite agreeable (much like yourself).

This morning, soon as the sun rises, I shall be paying a visit to the local Goodwill. Specifically, I will be looking for the largest speakers they have (though of course I won't purchase anything under three feet tall, so I may have to turn to Craigslist).

I will install them facing my window. I will wait. I will be ready.

You will come, I know you will. You will be loud, boorish, and utterly obnoxious.

And then, my fine young man-child, I will introduce you to my good friend Mr. Astley.


No new news.

Yay! We just got back from the doctor's office, and the Guppy's heartbeat sounds good and strong! There was even a little market there where we got some excellent plums and cherry tomatoes afterward, so I got to see a big, happy smile on Kate's face all the way home.

It's been a good day today. In WoW news, nothing too exciting, the guild seems to be caught up on General Vezax in Ulduar, although 10-man Trial of the Crusader we've gotten cleared through. Maybe someday I'll even get a new shiny pair of boots.

I've been playing some other games, too, most notably one called "League of Legends." This one's still in the Beta process (ooh, my first closed beta!) It's just recently been ... well, I can talk about it now without the thugs coming to break my kneecaps. It's based on the Warcraft III Defense of the Ancients map type, one that's been very popular, and I've even had fun playing it before now. The heroes all look very fun, with unique characterization, looks, skills and voices; the only catch, oddly enough, is that it's an online game.

Most of the appeal with online is playing with friends. Random people online are rude, inconsiderate, unintelligent and often unskilled. This comes from around 12 years of experience playing online games (remember, just because someone is up to Jedi rank in X-Wing vs TIE Fighter doesn't mean they can play like a Jedi.)

That's all I wanna say for right now, maybe next time I'll tell you about my first impressions of Tales of Monkey Island: Launch of the Screaming Narwhal.


One Night In Ulduar

One night in Ulduar makes a Shaman humble
Not much between despair and ecstasy
One night in Ulduar and the melee tumbles
Can't be too careful with your company
XT dropped a Gravity Bomb next to me

"Kate, wake up!"

"Mmph...g'way...Nesingwary Moon Laser...grmph."

"We're doing Ulduar and we need you to come DPS. Wake UP!"

"Gimme back my blankets!"

"No. Now get up and go get a drink while I log you in."

Grumble, grumble. "Fine. Hate you."

"Okay, the computer's ready. Just hop on vent and let them know you're logged in."

Stare blankly at screen.

"Guys, Tana's on, go ahead and invite her!"

Minutes pass.

"Tana, are you going to log on?"

"'m logged on 'ready."

"That's funny, I don't see you online..."


"What was that?"


"What do you mean you're not in the guild??"

Grumble. Accept guild invite. Accept raid invite. Accept summon.

"Okay, now the first boss is Flame Leviathan. Everyone knows this fight, so we're going to be trying it with four towers up. Demolishers tanks choppers cannon pyrite Leviathan BOOM!"


"Uh, guys, she hasn't done this fight before."

"Just have her get in your siege engine and shoot stuff."

Okay, shooting stuff I can handle.

"Autobots, transform and roll out!"


We're all gonna die.


I should probably take this opportunity to confess: I consider myself a raider, if not especially hardcore, but until last night I had seen the inside of Ulduar once. It was on my Hunter, back before bombs were nerfed so they wouldn't go off during XT-002's Tympanic Tantrum, and it was a miserable wipe-fest. I was brought in because it was a pure melee group, then kicked because I couldn't solo all of the adds before they reached the boss.

I cleared 10-man ToC with Jon's guild before setting foot in Ulduar again. Yes, I skipped an entire tier of raiding.

Last night was a great opportunity to get caught up, and I had a blast:

Flame Leviathan was much more fun that I expected from the whiny descriptions I'd heard in Trade Chat right after Ulduar was released. I got to ride up top in the gunner's turret of the siege engine Jon was piloting, and since my biggest complaint about vehicle combat is the steering, I really enjoyed myself. I'm a Hunter, I shoot things. Okay, so I was actually on my Shaman, but I had fun, darnit. We ended up going for two towers instead of four, but it was still fun.

Next up was XT-002 Deconstructor, my old nemesis. He was surprisingly weak compared to what I remembered, and no one died to bombs. We didn't quite have the DPS to try for hardmode, but I'm not complaining.

Razorscale was fun in a crazy sort of way. I was told to focus on the "big shirtless dudes" and had a bit of trouble figuring out which dwarves had shirts on and which ones didn't. They're made of metal, it's tricky! I cheated and spent my time interrupting the casters instead. <.<

--This is the part where Blogger ate half of my post so the next couple boss descriptions are going to be short cause I don't want to write everything out again.--

Ignis was a big pair of feet with fire everywhere. He didn't seem too complicated, but he picked me up and killed me so I guess it's a hard fight after all. I couldn't even use my healthstone. :(

Assembly of Iron (which I shall refer to as the Three Bears) we tried first on medium-hard mode, which did not go well, and then normal mode, which we somehow survived. Baby Bear turned into a GIANT LIGHTNING SPIDER at the end. 0_o

I was a little behind the rest of the raid when we got to Kologarn, so I didn't get to see him do his pop-up book thing but that was okay because the fight was so FUN! As melee I didn't get to see much of the eye lasers I was warned about, and I didn't have to do anything about the crazy packs of adds, either--all I had to do was beat on his arm til it broke off, then hit him in the stomach for a while until he decided he'd had enough of that and grew his arm back, and then it was back to the arm again. The really fun part was that he and his arm had low enough health that I felt like I was actually making a difference, unlike certain bosses that just take FOREVER to die *cough*Anub'arak*cough*. About halfway through, Jon told me to start using Chain Lightning instead of Lightning Bolt, and thanks to that and the efforts of one of our DPS DKs we killed both arms and the body all at the same time and got a nifty achievement!

Auriaya was a little disappointing after all I'd heard about the crazy cat lady--the pouncing kitties didn't seem to cause much trouble at all. We just stacked up in a corner and went wild. The trash leading up to her made up for it, though--basically you play monkey in the middle with big balls of lightning. It's been a long time since trash was fun, and I really enjoyed it.

Hodir was the first of the "big" bosses we did, and he totally beats out Kologarn as my new favorite fight. We wiped on our first attempt--a bunch of people got frozen--but I at least got a nifty achievement for picking up all of the buffs at once. We downed him on our second try, and it was just crazy. I love fights where the positioning really matters, had a ton of fun running in and out and around trying to stand in the spotlights and on the ice and avoid the glowy blue circles. Near the end, I somehow got aggro--scary scary! I held out for a couple seconds, popped my wolves' Twin Howl to taunt him off of me, got him back on me as soon as it wore off, and then the tanks got him off of me and we killed him. It should have been embarrassing, but it felt pretty awesome. I was all RAWR I ARE SHAMAN TANK. :D

Thorim was our last boss of the evening (though I could have kept going much longer), and also pretty fun. It took us a few tries--the arena group was having a lot of trouble and they ended up with six people while the other four of us took the stairs--but we finally got to the part where we could fight the boss. The gauntlet was super fun, especially once I got the hang of the giant fireballs, but Thorim himself was kind of boring. The zappy feet were just confusing, and he didn't seem to have any fun mechanics like Hodir. (And the IN THE MOUNTAINS line was not nearly as epic as I had been lead to believe. They should have had Mr. Smite do his voice!)

Anyway, that's probably as far as I'll get this week--tonight Jon and I are going over to his parents' house to have dinner with the family in celebration of them finally getting rid of his little brother Brian leaving for college (Gratz Bri! :D) and while I'm sure the guild will finish up the rest of Ulduar while we're gone, family stuff comes first.




Things have been going quite a bit better since my last post--Tana is now kitted out in almost full epics (still got a blue ring and trinket in there, but the Meteorite Whetstone is darned sexy), I've been doing 2.5k and up pretty consistently depending on the fight, and I went and bought a helm enchant from the Wintergrasp vendor so I don't feel quite so silly anymore. I've run Vault of Archavon on 25-man, including the new boss (I hate Koralon so much), and was alive when each of the bosses went down. People who died halfway through tried complaining about not getting Bloodlust, and I was able to point out that I was still sated, and so would they be if they didn't suck at not standing in the fire. I mean, I'd never done Kory before, and even I figured it out after our first five wipes. Not that hard.

(Yes, I refer to bosses by cutesy nicknames. I can't imagine how this could possibly come as a surprise to anyone.)

Anyway, while I had trouble breaking 2.5k DPS in there, the fights were rough on melee, and I know that I was doing my best simply because I didn't die and made sure the melee were covered by my totems at all times. I even won some nifty new pants--Elemental stuff, but as the only Shaman remaining, I got them by default, and they're going into my rather minimal healing set for emergencies.

Naxx 10-man was a lot better--I was breaking 3k on some bosses, top 3 for DPS on some of them too--though unfortunately we never made it to Patchwerk so I couldn't get a really fair estimate of my real raid DPS. I still had fun, though, and if the main group hadn't failed so hard at switching on Four Horsemen I would have been able to call myself a real Shaman tank: I was assigned to the back of the room (as Resto of course) and did a pretty good job if I do say so myself. We wiped repeatedly because the front group refused to switch bosses when the tanks did, though, getting up to about 8-9 stacks before dying. We ended up just calling it a night after the third attempt since no one was really awake enough to focus. I'm hoping I get another chance at shammytanking next time, though!

So, now that I'm feeling a bit more positive, here's what I'm looking at:

1. I need a new weapon. Yes, skill > weapon damage (I watched another Enhancement Shaman with Angry Dread barely manage 1.7k DPS--if you're not going to use it, give it to me! <.<) but I feel like I'm reaching the limits of what I can do with Greed and Pride. Besides, I want to replace my weapon chains with Accuracy, and if I'm going to shell out the gold for that, I'd prefer it to be on something that's a little higher quality.

2. I need rep. I was originally going to go Resto at 80, so I'm Exalted with the Wyrmrest Accord, but I never bothered to get my KotEB rep up past Neutral. I've been Enhancement long enough that there's not really any excuse for me not having ground it up to Revered yet--sometime this week I'm going to have to bite the bullet and go do the opener quests.

I'm going to start in Zul'Drak, though, so I can pick up a few stacks of Bitter Plasma for any healers who don't bother to bring drinks and then beg for water. Yummy!

I also need to get my Sons of Hodir reputation up. I'm doing a bit better on that, though, as I'm already nearly to Revered. I killed the Wild Wyrm on my own for the first time today, hooray!

3. Enchants. I've got almost everything covered already, but my cloak and chest still need to get zapped. I just keep forgetting. >.<

4. I want to see if I can tweak my spec to pick up Earthen Power, maybe even just one point. I've been in a few situations, not just PvP, where I could definitely see it being useful. For that matter, my Enhancement spec could probably use a bit of fine-tuning in general--it hasn't changed since I was leveling. I just hope I don't end up having to give up instant Ghost Wolf!


It's a Guppy!

About a month ago we discovered that we are going to have a baby! Kate and I were very excited, but also a little scared and nervous. We made an appointment with a doctor as soon as we could, much thanks to the Salem hospital, btw for sneaking us in and also pushing our appointment back from 8:15 to 1:15 when we asked nicely.

The doctor had good news for us and some good pictures, too, so here they are.

Here's the first picture; the darker area is the womb, and the smaller blotch inside it is the baby.

This second picture is from another angle (the CRL1 and CRL2 at the right of the screen are the measurements of our little one), so far about 16 mm long. From this the doctor deduced that she is about 8 weeks pregnant.

OK, OK, I'll stop now; we wanted lots of pictures, so sue us! But we're very excited, and not at all willing to discuss names until we can at least deduce the gender.

(Note from Kate: It's not going to be named Aragorn, Link, or Samus. We promise.)


Grumpity grump grump.

I'm trying to enjoy my Shaman.

Jon wanted to transfer his pally to Ursin, and I insisted my shammy not be left behind, so I only have myself to blame for it. I feel as if I have to play her more to justify going to the trouble of transferring her.

(Really I just think they're a cute couple and didn't want to split them up.)

It seems like no matter how hard I try, I have trouble breaking 2k DPS. With the number of AoE pulls in Northrend dungeons, its understandable that I lag a bit behind, especially given my gear. I mean, I got my first Emblem of Conquest last night. I still have a green necklace. My gear sucks.

But I think I must suck too. I've seen Enhancement shamans pulling off crazy high DPS. I may just need to use my cooldowns more, and melee positioning is hard so maybe that's the problem (though I don't die, and I have plenty of expertise). I'm pretty sure it just comes down to skill, which I don't have.

I don't even have crazy awesome luck to make up for it, though, like the BM hunter I did yesterday's daily Heroic with. Couldn't break 1k DPS (including pet) to save his life, was not in Viper, and basically had no excuse to fail as hard as he did. He made my barely-2k DPS look good... while the 5k DPS Elemental shaman sat in the back and laughed her tusks off at both of us.

He had Skoll, of course.

Life is horribly, horribly unfair. :(