In Which We are Fools to Have Come To This Place

Vidyala has done a little bit of raiding since hitting 80. I sneak her into things like VoA runs, or the weekly if it’s a place like Naxx or EoE or even Ulduar, now that we’re done getting people drakes there for the foreseeable future. (And I’m happy about this, not because I dislike Ulduar, I think it’s fabulous. I just don’t want to see Yogg’s ugly mug again any time soon).

So I’ve been raiding, sometimes even raid pugging. A few weeks back there were a bunch of us from the guild online and so we organized an ICC run. First I picked up a tank I had seen asking in Trade – his gear was good, it sounded like he knew what he was doing. We had one bearface from within our own ranks so that was at least a single tank covered. I would heal along with our resto druid’s alt… resto druid. I have to confess I’m often a bit jealous of people who know so clearly which class they want to play. Oh, they flirt with alts, but when it comes right down to it, there’s one class they love above all else. So they have a main of that class. And an alt of that class. (See: guild mage who just yesterday moved a new character into the guild…another 80 mage). But I digress. So we had from within our guild, a DK, a resto druid, myself as a holy paladin, and a bear druid.

Now, as any experienced pugger will tell you, these are not good odds. We were greatly outnumbered. We didn’t even have enough of us to make a five-man. But, I put out the call in Trade, LFM for ICC 10, need DPS.

I have never seen so many whispers in my life. Seriously, they filled my screen. And I use an addon (WoW Instant Messenger) that is set up to make a sound when I receive a whisper, so that I don’t miss it. The whispers broke the addon sound. It just gave up. I started to sift through them. A couple of warlocks, DPS warrior, some hunters, a mage, a moonkin. To be completely frank, I set up the group with extreme prejudice. I like mages, and I like moonkin, so they were pretty much guaranteed as long as their gear wasn’t bad. Then I even grudgingly invited the warlock because hey, it’s good caster synergy. By the time I was finished looking people up on WoW-heroes, several minutes had passed. The fury warrior was starting to rage at me, whispering me impatiently. Finally he says, “You could at least ANSWER me,” and I felt a pang of guilt. I told him we were all full on melee DPS – not that I’d take someone who loses their shit over a five minute wait and has clearly never organized a pug where it actually matters who and what you bring. He didn’t reply after that, which is probably for the best.

So our motley crew set out to ICC, after I managed to grab a few fish feasts out of the bank. Vent info was passed out and everyone joined. Our little gnome mage, it turned out, gave me the feeling I would have if I were to play WoW with my Mother. She was sweet and, I think, a bit nervous. “I’m an ar-CAN ma-dge,” she told us all. Now that I think about it, what other class would my mother play? One who bakes, naturally! I was extremely glad to have her along, not the least because she was the only one of us who actually had the skill to USE the fish feasts I’d so thoughtfully grabbed from the bank. Whoops.

The hunter ruined my shot with his need to get ready to shoot Marrowgar in the face.

All in all, the ICC pug went… pretty well. Our paladin tank’s microphone was not working, so that was a bit aggravating. Worse, he was the kind of pugger that’s annoying – not because he says or does anything annoying, but because of what he doesn’t say. I have a mental image of someone sitting at their desk – TV on in the background, alt-tabbed out or with dual monitors browsing another website, music blaring on top of that, and, oh I don’t know, a book in one hand. And a drink. So when you ask them something like, “Alright, so you will taunt after you have x stacks of Nasty Debuff,” you’re met with silence. Both in vent (broken mic) and when you try to type it out in raid. Just when you start to throw up your hands in aggravation after typing “Are you there?” and decide the person must be AFK, they say something noncommittal and short like, “yeah no problem,” or the like. Maybe he took a break to do his taxes.

But apart from minor irritations like that, the whole group was quiet, respectful – and eerily silent. I don’t know if a decent ICC pug is a rare beast, or what, but I got the impression that they were all just really happy to be there and didn’t want to mess anything up or irritate anyone. We proceeded to do Marrowgar, Deathwhisper, Lootship, and Saurfant without a hitch. Really, not a single wipe. Then we hit the Festergut wall.

As one of our guildies remarked, “Pugs remind me of why I am in a guild.” I don’t consider Fester to be a really tough fight – it has a few coordination things and a DPS and healing check… oh, the healing check. Let me take a moment to talk about that. You understand, I didn’t heal this fight with characters in just entry level ICC gear before. I’ve healed it as a resto druid – the heroic version – with two other very skilled healers. I’ve never been OMG spam healing the tank before and had him die. I think in this regard I am remiss – if I’m going to be going any further into ICC, I need to do some paladin specific research about it. But more importantly, I think we might need three healers for our alt runs past that point. The raid damage was stupid, and the tank damage was stupider – and I’m not sure if it’s because the mage was barfing on the warlock or what, but here’s where the pug started to get interesting.

The hunter went AFK on our second attempt. He was locked outside the door just standing there, although it didn’t yet actually say over his head that he was AFK. We kicked him and were arranging a suitable substitute when our resto druid had a pet health related emergency and had to go. But the weekly raid quest was the one where you have to bring back a sample of spore yuck from Festergut and OMFGWHATISTHISITSTOUCHINGME from Rotface. With our odds of downing either boss slim (who am I kidding, zilch) someone suggested we could use the cheat-ey sort of method. Apparently if you engage each boss and run them to the door, having some folks stay in as sacrificial lambs and a few others outside, the spores will hit people outside. Then you go on to do the same thing with Rotface – in theory. We did the first thing, and a number of people had the debuff they needed. Of course, being the only healer I was one of the Marked for Death folks.

We proceeded to Rotface to do the same thing. Here I reveal to you a dark secret… Sometimes, I do things. These things, might not be considered the most intelligent things. For instance, in an effort to save our death knight’s multiple debuffs from death by Rotface, I may have…BOPed him. Which may or may not have removed both debuffs. I really couldn’t say. The best part about this was that he instantly blamed the other paladin with great ire in guild chat. “Why would he do that,” etc., and the best part, “STUPID PALADIN.” I turned to Voss (husband exhibit A, not in the raid, but in the room and in guild chat) and said, “Please don’t tell Shaen – there was a stupid paladin involved, but it isn’t the one he thinks it is. I’m just glad there’s another one here to take the blame.”

Yes, that’s right, I tossed my fellow paladin to the wolves… remember, he’s watching a movie, reading a book, reading websites, and possibly preparing a four-course meal during this raid. He’s very busy and important, so it’s too much of a strain for him to type, “Yes, I understand,” with regards to any fight mechanics. My conscience is clear. A few minutes later, though, said Death Knight came to the realization that there was in fact more than one paladin in the raid… one paladin he’d feel immensely guilty about calling stupid had I, in fact, been the one stupid enough to Ruin Everything. He whispered me to apologize.

The best part about the whole thing though was that after I’d stolen his debuffs so cruelly…the whole raid turned to see the mage – the only other person who’d managed to acquire both debuffs – her little gnomish body entombed in a block of solid ice. Why she iceblocked, we’re still not sure. (Why did I BoP the DK when there was no need? Let’s not go there…) I’m of the opinion that she panicked, didn’t want to screw up and get killed, and was trying to save us all. Unfortunately, iceblocking, much like a BoP, removes the debuffs! We were back at square one.

Astoundingly, we still had people with the Rotface debuff, so we only had to re-do Festergut and we had someone with both debuffs. We did not BoP, iceblock, or in any other way interfere with the delivery of said debuffs. The warlock laughed at us running back and forth down the corridor – as we went to turn in the quest we triggered the Trap of A Zillion Geists. He said, “We are such a bunch of muppets!”

I will neither confirm nor deny his claim. But we got to turn in the quest and earn some extra frost emblems! Around this time, the previously AFK hunter whispered Bearface to apologize for having gone away without a word. He said, “My roommate fell down the stairs, and he wouldn’t shut up!” We aren’t certain whether this means he fell down the stairs and was screaming in pain, or that he fell and then insisted on continuing to talk about it. In any case, the hunter was not so callous as to let a friend down (har) and he must have gone to either help the guy deal with his broken bones, or make him tea to soothe the pain. In any case, he missed out on the raid weekly and earned himself a mention.

I’m beginning to formulate a theory as to the likely composition of any pug raid. It’s not very scientific.

There will be:

  • One lady who could be my Mom
  • One guy who is baked out of his mind (in this case, the moonkin, honest to goodness I saw him hitting a blood beast with his Nibelung at one point)
  • One guy who never talks
  • One guy you wish would never talk
  • One guy who apparently is filled with pug rage and rants on and on about how pugs fail, why all pugs break up after Saurfang, how we promised we’d go further, etc.
  • One guy who goes AFK
  • One guy who Knows All There Is To Know About These Fights and is Happy to Share His Knowledge. His very presence causes capitalization.
  • One guy who will do or say something completely random that may or may not coincide with one of the previous categories. Clearly the Hunter takes this prize.

I’m sure there are more, but fortunately we don’t get them all at one time because we try to have approximately half guild to half pug. All-in-all, it was a successful run, good times were had, and I can’t complain because I cleaned up in the loot department. The first thing that dropped was the Frost Needle from Marrowgar. I know, it has hit, but it was still a huge step-up from Seethe. I never thought I’d get my pally hands on it, though – the group had both a mage and a warlock. As it turned out…They both had Quel’Delar. So I took that. The other thing that dropped was the Citadel Enforcer’s Claymore. The only person who could have used this two-handed beauty – our Death Knight – also had Quel’Delar. So I took that too. Later on at Gunship I also wound up with a mail headpiece whose name I can’t currently remember, but it was better than what I had, even though it bears a disturbing resemblance to a moose skull. I have it hidden. And the run – in combination with my epic trash clearing a few weeks earlier, was enough to make the Ashen Verdict feel more friendly about me than neutral, really. They gave me a ring, and I was very happy.

Finally, our proper raid group (no blues, no n00b paladins in sight) deserves a mention here for having cleared out the last parts of ICC we needed to get these Bloodbathed Frostbrood Vanquishers:

This is the one and only time my druid will actually ride the thing, sadly.

Having killed H. Sindragosa on the 13th, we just had a few oddball achievements to finish. We’re still working on the last of these for people who missed them the first go-around; most painfully (of course) the Sindragosa one where her Mystic Buffet debuff must not stack on any raid member higher than five stacks. Somehow the first time we attempted this we did it almost effortlessly. A repeat has been a bit tougher, but we did it again last night. We haven’t really started serious heroic Lich King attempts because we wanted to make sure to get drakes for people first. I’m sure once we do start working on it more it’ll give me plenty to talk about.

27 responses to “In Which We are Fools to Have Come To This Place

  1. That pug sounds like one of those comedies of errors we are so prone to have in all-guild runs.

    I rarely pug anything, but did pick up a few people yesterday to round out a VoA run. We got the “guy who never talks” twice over. It always feels awkward to invite someone into your vent, have them log in, you say “Hey there” and they don’t respond either in vent or in raid chat.

  2. Haha, I swear doing that weekly raid quest without actually doing it the proper way leads to all sorts of hilarity! We had a similar adventure in a pug group a while ago where we didn’t know about the glitch-reset method, and just sent in some sacrificial lambs and our two hunters who would get the debuffs and then feign death. It was just chaos trying to get the debuffs, not die, and not cleanse them accidentally (we had one person get the debuffs and immediately BUBBLE/HEARTH to try to preserve them, which sadly did not work).

    And sigh, of course it’s a hunter who had the ridiculous (but amusing) AFK story. Grats on the bone drakes though!

  3. Well…he was a FURY Warrior after all…. also why are warriors always such onery bastards?

    Annnyway, this tickled me muchly.

    Personally I think the hunter was some kind of Caligula-like psychopath. His roommate fell down the stairs, lying in a bloodied heap at the bottom, howling in pain for help, whereupon the hunter – who is TRYING TO RAID – went downstairs and slit his roommate’s throat.

    That’ll stop him screaming. *nods*

    • “OMG GUYS BRB”
      (moments later)
      “Sorry I’m back. My roommate fell down the stairs and broke his leg!”
      “Oh wow! Is he okay?”
      “Dunno, I shut the door. His screams of agony were distracting me.”

    • Haha. That’s pretty much what we figured, too. Then came back to tell our RL about it. “Oh yeah, my roommate fell down the stairs and he wouldn’t shut up!” …ominous silence.

  4. I have that mail headpiece (or at least one that looks like it). It goes well with the shaman tier gear (or at least the shoulders that I bought). That’s why I haven’t hid the helm at all – it matches the shoulders and my ugly green shield from Anub. And I may still be showing it because I miss wearing wolf helmets…

    Btw, I think it’s a shoveltusk, and not a moose. >.>

    • Your ugly green shield from Anub!

      /cry

      I finally took a DPS offhand for my holy pally main due to my EXTREME failure to get that shield to drop.

      Also, Vid, it’s so depressing that your alt is as well geared as my main! XD We are now sporting the same weapon and hat.

      • I’m sorry, Rhii! Will you believe me if I tell you… it’s really just this character. I don’t know why it is, but honestly, loot rains from the sky for her. She’s just stupidly lucky. And when I say stupidly (you’re going to smack me) I mean “I went to ToC once and got this shield.” Once. I’m sorry! Vid swallowed a horseshoe. Or maybe it’s because she HAS horseshoes…? I just don’t know.

      • Funny thing, Rhii. I passed on that shield like… 3 times before I finally took it due to no one else wanting it. Yes, it dropped that many times for my guild.

        Sorry!

    • I think you’re right… but moose sounds funnier to me! Although if you think of a shoveltusk as an animal with a shovel on its head, it becomes a bit funnier. I might not hide the helm if I were a shaman. I tend to hide most of my helms though because I prefer to see my character’s face.

      • I’ve always found that Tauren look pretty good with dead animals on their heads.

        ( please ignore the comment I made below with the same text! XD)

      • Ahaha. THAT’S why you said that. The way comments appear for me in WordPress (at the dashboard) meant that it just sort of appeared – not connected to a post that made sense… and I was there going, “Why are we killing the animals and wearing them, I don’t understand!?” But now it makes sense. ;)

      • Yes, sorry. I guess I have a tendency to reply to posts and comments that are older. >.>

  5. I so love your laundry list of the Pug Types! That’s soooo accurate!

    Vid wrote:

    As one of our guildies remarked, “Pugs remind me of why I am in a guild.”

    No kidding. As a veteran of more pugged raids than I care to remember, I can honestly say I’m about done with pugs. I think probably my biggest regret about WoW is that I never managed to find myself a guild to feel at home with. If Wrath of the Lich King has taught me anything, it’s that pugging is a big black hole into which you pour your fun and sanity. :)

    • Yeah, I think if I was exclusively all-pug, all the time, “sanity tap” would be a moot point because I would’ve probably quit playing. The good news is that if you are guild searching, heading into Cata would be a good time for it! I know you play with your RL friends too though.

  6. One guy you wish would never talk

    I don’t know why, but this one struck my funny bone. Considering the lack of talk in most of the 5-mans I run, having somebody who never shuts up would be a rare bird indeed.

    The first thing that dropped was the Frost Needle from Marrowgar. I know, it has hit, but it was still a huge step-up from Seethe. I never thought I’d get my pally hands on it, though – the group had both a mage and a warlock. As it turned out…They both had Quel’Delar. So I took that. The other thing that dropped was the Citadel Enforcer’s Claymore. The only person who could have used this two-handed beauty – our Death Knight – also had Quel’Delar.

    Wow. Nice weapons, there. Essentially a pair of Quel’Delar equivalents in one raid. Grats!

    One thing I’ve been meaning to ask is how your guild is doing with the summer on us. The current guild that Quint is on seems to be fairly stable at the moment and has two groups running ICC-10. (Ironically enough, my early morning time on WoW has actually had several guildies on at the same time, which up until a week or two ago was strictly a solo endeavor for me.) I haven’t seen a bunch of drops in a while, and I certainly haven’t seen the departures that Larisa’s guild has been experiencing. Things seem to have stabilized for my two blogmates too, but naturally the only constant is change.

    • Thanks Redbeard! It’s actually the reason why I’ve never gone out of my way to farm or purchase Quel’delar. It makes total sense if you aren’t intending to raid – and it looks like a fun quest chain, but for me (who usually wants to raid and will, somehow or another) it doesn’t seem advisable to try and overgear an instance before I even go there. I’ve made that mistake with many characters.

      How’s BT doing, you ask? We haven’t had anyone leave, things have been slowing down a bit. We took our fourth raid night and made it an optional alts run night because the content just isn’t there at the moment. If we gave ourselves free reign, we could more or less mow down most of ICC heroic modes in 1-2 evenings leaving only TLK for another two nights. I think that should help. I anticipate that folks may start to take breaks as the summer goes on (and still no word of release date for Cata…) but they’ll be back for sure with the expansion. We’re a small group, so in a way it could impact us more or possibly less. One thing we did joke about was that you can tell summer is coming when you have fifteen alts join the guild in the span of a few days. Everyone is rolling or leveling alts! It’s altpalooza.

  7. Healing Festergut as a Paladin (10m normal).

    1) Cat BoL on MT
    2) Stand on boss.
    3) Get JotP up and judge every 10 sec.
    4) Cast Holy Light on everyone in sight until your fingers bleed.
    5) At 8 stacks switch to healing the OT, or swap your BoL and heal the MT (you’ll need to do this anyway)
    6) Use HoSac and DSac during the 3 inhale portion (save Aura Mastery for the exhale). Heal yourself during the time these are up. If you can, save HoSac for the exhale.
    7) Immediately after the exhale, use Divine Plea and melee the boss between HLs.
    8) Repeat until enrage

    Fortunately our role in that fight is pretty straight forward (and it sounds like you’ve had experience with it).

    Mmmm – PUG riads.
    Good luck :)

    • Thanks Adgamorix, you’re very kind. Number two was my first problem/fail. But I think a large part of it was just lack of raid experience with this character. 5-mans and raids are not the same. There’s a reason I only bring her to alt runs! That’s no excuse for not improving, though.

  8. What time did you send out that /trade call for ICC pug?
    I recall seeing something to the effect of LF6M for ICC need tank, DPS and thinking:
    “Rochmoninoff, you’d be crazy signing up for a PUG with only 4 people in it”.

    But if you do this late at night (when I’m typically online) then I’d definitely like to join the fun.

    • This was… around 9 PM server, a few weeks ago now? I think we’re moving pug runs to Sunday evenings at more 6 server, if we need folks I’ll definitely give you a shout! I’d assumed you tend to run 10s stuff with DB!

  9. I love the way you tell stories! Always so funny. <3

    Btw, if you need to cheese the Fester-Rot weekly again and you have a warlock, the lock can put a teleport circle right outside gate, go in with a tank and healer, get the debuff, and port out safely. If tank or healer happens to be a pally, one can DI the other near the gate after lock ports out. :D

  10. Congrats on the vanquishers and the gearing of the alt! I’m envious here lately of guilds that have managed to escape the summer doldrums. My poor guild has had to recruit and then re-recruit and then re-recruit all while staring Arthas in the face. We’re so close and yet so far away still. D:

    • Thanks Bell. We’ll have to see what the summer brings, I’m sorry your guild is being hit hard though. I hope you can manage to pull together the people to do it!

  11. Pingback: Hello, Paladins. « Manalicious

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