Tag Archives: Gnomeregan

I “Need” to sell it on the AH, if you disagree you’re just being greedy.

There are benefits that come with taking a brief hiatus from leveling a character, and also drawbacks. One excellent thing: rest bonus! The levels just fly by when you’re getting added XP. I started pugging this evening about half-way through level 28. Two instance runs later, and Vid’s reached another major milestone: Level 30!

The drawback is that the break I took did leave me noticeably rusty and a little unsure of some of my pally tools. (No, I didn’t lose my FoL button, fortunately. I did forget which key + click combination I was using for Divine Protection.) I know it sounds a bit silly, but I have trouble keeping track of the names of paladin things compared to the other classes I have leveled, but it may just be a question of familiarity. I know before I played a resto druid, all the regrowth, rejuv, lifebloom, etc. sounded the same to me. I wondered how druids could manage them. Mind you, at that time I’d never seriously committed to playing an arcane mage. Arcane blast? Missile? Barrage? Explosion? Oh, we’ve got your arcane covered.

But with the pally it’s more Hands/Seals/Blessings/Aura… there are more effects going than you can shake a stick at. I hoped that by leveling as I am, I’d have enough time to acclimatize in between levels but it can still be a bit overwhelming to get something like six new abilities at once. In any case, I now have Divine Favor, which I have macroed to FoL for the time being. My guild’s resident Holy pally, Ambriel, tells me that I will change this to Holy Shock in ten levels.

But that’s not what you want to read about, is it? You want to hear about how I went to Gnomeregan. I’m thinking I should change the blog’s name: “Straight Outta Gnomeregan.”

I logged in and tried to remember what my shiny buttons do. When I felt good and ready, I hopped in that queue. If you ever owned a classic NES, you’ll know what I mean when I say I was doing everything I could to picture this pug working. In the same way you used to blow air in the cartridge, turn the machine upside down, dance in a circle and hop on one foot, I crossed my fingers as I clicked accept. It went something like, “Please not Gnomeregan, please not Gnomeregan…”

Yes, Gnomeregan

You know how the next part of the story goes. We had three druids and a mage. One druid fancied being a bear, the other two were cats. The mage was a smartass, but we’re all kind of like that, really. This druid hadn’t read what Big Bear Butt has written about bear tanking at lower levels. But she wasn’t bad, she was struggling a bit and squishy to heal (relative to other tanks I’ve seen going through Gnomer). But I think her biggest problem was something I’m starting to think of as Pug Diffusion. It seems to happen especially if the tank isn’t a strong personality, or at least they aren’t in a role they’re as comfortable with. Tanks are under a lot of pressure, and it’s a big responsibility, even if a lot of folks don’t take it as such. When a tank seems uncertain or the least bit hesitant in these lowbie pugs, there are usually three other people entirely too willing to seize the reins and go charging off – in three different directions.

My rule is pretty simple. I stick with the tank. Even if they’re going the wrong way. In this case, one cat seemed to know the lay of the land, but would often head in a different direction from my bear. “This way,” and “Here,” and “No go here,” and I’m starting to be glad that the bear ass is easy to keep an eye on. I still managed to lose her in the room where you can clean gunk off an object and get a little present… she was standing meditatively in front of one of the machines, feeding one grimy lump after another into it while the rest of the group waited. I almost want to go back and do the same – I have 19 of those things. I said almost.

No animals were harmed in the taking of this screenshot.

The best part of this pug was when we were at one of the circular places…with the robots… and it was as if word had gotten out about the fleshy beings, because we sure got their attention. Each DPSer was tanking their own little pack of mobs while the bear stood in the middle, things were hitting me, him, her, and it felt like I’d stumbled into the Ringling Bros. Vidyala’s Traveling Circus! It became one of those intense, heal, heal, heal, mana potion, oh crap judge wisdom on this and try to swing a hit at it, heal, heal, moments. It was great! At the end, I was completely empty, and everyone lived. I even took a picture.

Not long after this, one of the DPS druids was voted out of the party. He kept needing on every green while people said things like, “Why did you need on that, you can’t even use swords??” I was still staring at the “Vote to kick” pop-up when the motion passed, apparently you only need a majority to do it. This is a major problem with some of these older instances, though… If you kick someone, it’s nigh-impossible to get a replacement in because they start at the very beginning. Assuming they aren’t like me, and bound to get hopelessly lost, they’ve still got to contend with pats, trash that didn’t get cleared, whatever. It isn’t worth it, and the rogue who joined our party agreed with me. After a brief, “Don’t go back and get him, come back here tank,” mini-drama, we went to kill Mekgineer whosits with four of us. It actually may have been the quickest Gnomeregan run I’ve had yet; or it’s also possible I’ve lost all sense of time.

Naughty Secrets!

Next, I encountered a dilemma. Our completed Gnomeregan run left me a mere bar of XP left to go until level 30. I’d really like to be level 30 very much. Another run of Gnomeregan much? Possibly… except I get lucky. I recognize that loading screen from the Hallow’s End event. Scarlet Monastery, Graveyard! This instance is short, sweet…and eerily silent. I haven’t encountered this at lower levels, although in 80 pugs I more or less expect it. Nobody answers my hello or says anything at all, some of these people are doing over 100 DPS – at least double what I’ve seen up until this point. We clear through handily, and the only thing of note is that the bear tank is wearing all heirloom cloth gear. I know that at lower levels, feral doesn’t have all the stuff they have at higher, but I think she’d have been easier to heal if she were at least wearing feral gear, if not using a feral spec. But who am I to talk? We cleared the instance in about ten minutes. It was smooth, and nothing eventful happened at all, and now my small pally is slightly bigger. Only 50 levels to go!

Go Gnome or Go Home

I haven’t had many new pugging adventures to relate, as the holidays meant that both myself and husband were on a break, and there wasn’t much incentive to play my little pally. Hey, I didn’t say I’d be getting to 80 as quickly as I possibly could!

I have to admit  that my last two pugging experiences did leave me a little cold. I usually do pretty well at just rolling with whatever slings and arrows a pug tosses my way, but first thing:

Gnomeregan. Oh, Gnomeregan. You are the only dungeon squarely in Vid’s level bracket, and I’m so very tired of you. Once was enough to experience you in all of your ooze-y green and filled with angry gnomes and robotics splendor.

You see, I have this dirty secret that isn’t such a big secret to people who know me or have ever waited for me. It’s the reason I’m really not that great at FPS games. I get lost, so completely and utterly. Even with a map. Even with a map that shows a dot to represent me, or a dot to represent my fellows. I do better now with the 80 instances, since they have maps. But the old ones don’t have those kinds of maps. I’m spatially challenged when it comes to a virtual environment. Or maybe even real ones; I once directed my mother down a one-way street in Vancouver. Confronted with no less than six lanes of honking vehicles, she managed to turn onto another street while I cried triumphantly, “Oh! So that’s what that arrow means!”

Needless to say, when  you put me in a place with a map that represents multiple levels of elevation but no way to discern which is which, it gets ugly. I was lost in Gnomer playing a level 80 for at least an hour. All I wanted was for you to love me, small gnomes! I’m pretty sure I ended up never doing those quests, teleporting out of the instance in frustration, and just turning in a ton of runecloth instead.

So my attitude going into the place was bleak – no, resigned. I’d gathered the pre-quests. I knew that my chances of going there were very high, and my chances of getting out again – quite slim.

On some levels, the first pug was good. We had a rogue doing good DPS, a hunter, a bear tank. They knew generally where they were going. So that was excellent, because I could follow them. I was doing a few quests – gathering mechanical junk from mobs, and also the one where you have to gather the sort of mail-box looking things. I want to say Essential Artificials, but all I know is they look like mailboxes.

Anyway, I realized fairly early on – that all the DPS were charging on ahead to loot these things. (I’d like to know, incidentally, just how one stuffs a mailbox into a backpack. Probably the same way you fit Onyxia’s head in there.) So I was starting to feel a bit indignant. Just because I was hanging around the tank, making sure he didn’t… you know, die – these jackasses were going to take them all until they had completed it, instead of sharing them around. I started to hedge my bets a little. I’d see a mailbox, heal the tank, sort of creep towards it…and at one point I just ran full out. “He won’t die before I get back,” I thought. “I can get this mailbox.”

The rogue sprinted to get there before I did. He beat me to it, and looted the damned thing. For the first time since I began this experiment, I had pug rage.

“Did you seriously just sprint to get to that before I could?” I typed out indignantly in party.

“lol yeah it was epic” was his reply.

“I’d advise you not to take very much damage in this instance,” I told him grimly, seething to myself. I know that these ARE pugs so my expectations shouldn’t be too high, but I still have some naive  notion that a group of people who’ve come together to accomplish a common goal may actually pretend to work together. Just for a little while. Or have some courtesy at all.

In an act I’m not exactly proud of, I was vindictive enough to actually barely heal him the rest of the instance. I say “barely” for a few reasons. One, I’ve always had a hard time letting a health bar drop when I know I could redeem it. I wouldn’t play a healer if I didn’t have an instinct to heal. So I may have healed him just a little bit. But he never got close to dying anyhow. I don’t remember much of the rest of the pug, except that at the end we ended up killing trash so the rest of the party could finish their robot guts quest. And there were about 50 extra mailboxes so there would’ve been enough for us all regardless – but it’s the principle of the thing!

The next night found me back in Gnomeregan. This time… fewer people knew what they were doing, or where they were going. It did include the experience of seeing someone standing next to an active explosive (the trogg caves) and not moving. In other news, fire is still hot! I wondered if it would outright kill her… it did. (In case you think I’m a complete jerk, I’d just had time to move myself, it’s not that I stood there watching and let her die in cold blood without warning or anything. Unless you don’t count an NPC yelling something like, “Get away from there, it’s going to blow!” as warning. In which case, she had no warning.)

This pug suffered from the opposite problem the other one did. Its players didn’t know where they were going, had only a vague idea what they were doing (and I include myself here) but they were so nice. I couldn’t desert them.

We were in there 2.5 hours. At first it was a little joke in guild. “Hey, anybody want to run some random heroics? Oh, you’re in Gnomer, nevermind, we’ll see you in three hours.” As each hour ticked by, it became less amusing. We occupied ourselves by jumping from great heights, fighting interminable trash packs, and talking in party chat about things like why the mage wasn’t doing any DPS.

“You should try casting fireball instead of frostbolt,” our sage tank advised. Of course, my main is a mage, so I have to check this out. I just assumed the mage was frost – for leveling. The mage… had spent four talent points in frost. The other 17? Unspent.

“You have 17 unspent talent points!” I twitched, “You should spend those!”

“I haven’t decided what kind of mage I want to be,” he said.

(One of my guildies suggested, “How about one that does damage?”)

I tried to talk him into spending his points in Frost on the spot (You could spend them right now! You, too, could actually be damaging things in this instance and keep us from spending 2.5 hours here!) but he would not be rushed. “I’ll think about it,” he said.

I’ll think about it too, every time I remember running in circles in that underground hell. But I set myself a goal; leveling, pugging, randomly. I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen the last of Gnomer.