Feb 13th 2012 8:29AM Great write-up Matthew!
I have a very similar fondness for the Hammer of the Naaru. From the moment I first saw it, browsing through the exciting new loot tables of The Burning Crusade raids, it sparked a small fire in the back of my mind that eventually made me return to the Paladin class. The pursuit of this weapon, which I finally got early last year, wasn't quite as daunting (High King Maulgar doesn't really compare to the whole of Blackwingf Lair, after all) but I imagine our responses to seeing it finally equipped on our characters was much the same!
And then came Landslide...
Jan 29th 2012 4:40PM These two things are actually already in the game, but only for Paladins (probably due to their history as an all-round support class):
Hand of Sacrifice - Places a Hand on the party or raid member, transferring 30% damage taken to the caster. Lasts 12 sec or until the caster has transferred 100% of their maximum health.
Divine Guardian - All party or raid members within 30 yards, excluding the Paladin, take 20% reduced damage for 6 sec.
Twelve and six seconds isn't all that impressive, and your point is still very valid. It would be nice to be able to actually be a bit more 'tanky' in WoW PvP.
Jan 26th 2012 7:48PM Absolutely agree - just take it out of the meta and leave the achievement in there. I got the achievement back in '08 or '09, and the three objectives that require you to take a flag basically encourage people to ignore the actual PvP and just out-jerk their own team-mates (!) in a mad rush for the flag.
Analogies usually fail, but there is a very good reason the "Hail To The King, Baby" achievement is 'Defeat King Ymiron' and not 'Get the killing blow on King Ymiron'.
Jan 26th 2012 6:18PM School of Hard Knocks! Oh, you mentioned that already. Still: School of Hard Knocks!
Also: the 'get lucky or come back next year RNG'-achievements like the Hallows End pet drop before 2011.
Jan 26th 2012 10:41AM That's always unfortunate. It makes me wonder if, generally speaking, it's a better idea to take these issues to whisper or put it out in party chat. On the one hand, as you say, whispers avoids party-wide drama, but the flip side of that argument is that people might react more defensively if they're confronted one on one. At the end of the day though, the fact is that people are so anonymous, and the chances you'll group again so small, that those of ill will can probably never be convinced to 'do the right thing'.
What I sometimes do when such an issue comes up is that I will also roll Need and, should I win the roll, trade the item to the most appropriate party member. I do this only very rarely since it's easy to get bogged down in arguments and delays - and, to be honest, oftentimes I just don't really care if Mage123 gets his +hit belt or not.
Jan 26th 2012 10:24AM Misdirection on slacking DPS is something that always makes me chuckle when I see a Hunter doing it; and you're right, I won't help him out unless I see that the healer isn't in on the joke. After all; I don't want him wasting mana healing said person.
Doing less DPS than the tank has been cool for ages, though I have to admit that Protection Paladin DPS is probably rather high. Given the right type of instance, I often have little trouble keeping up with most DPS, unless that person is either much better geared or just an above average good player. For a long time Warrior tanks seemed to have the hardest time of it in terms of DPS, but I'm not too sure these days.
As for the Lightwell; after every major patch I am always amazed to see that it's still in the game. It's a total nightmare as Priest because as you say, nobody uses it. I think it comes down to the fact that most people are just too busy with their own character, movement, rotation, etc. & that they take their healing for granted as "something for the healer to worry about".
Jan 26th 2012 8:35AM Very recognizable! After a gruesome 3,5-hour Stonecore run back in December 2010, I stopped tanking in PuGs for the longest time, and only did so with people from my guild. I don't remember exactly when I got back into it, but I suspect it must have been shortly after the Troll instances were reintroduced.
Jan 26th 2012 8:27AM Do you have a couple of hours, Allison? :P
I levelled a new character to 85 during the Christmas period, using the Dungeon Finder almost exclusively. The main issues were, funnily enough, very much related to the level ranges. The levels 15-45 are all about 'not waiting for the tank + healer'. It's hard to blame the DPS for this, as the instances in this level range are so ridiculously easy these days that I wouldn't at all be surprised if you could 5-man DPS pretty much all of them. The levels 45-60 have one common theme in that the instances of this range (Scholomance, Zul'Farrak, Stratholme, Blackrock Depths, Blackrock Spire) are all far too large for the Dungeon Finder-era: "skip this boss :)", "plz do ubrs only!!!" and "FFS GO UNDEAD SIDE" will no doubt become part of your daily vocabulary if you take too long to level to Outland. Which is where, in the 60-70 range, AoE is the name of the game. Apparently all classes have (most of) their AoE spells by this time, and this fact, together with the dumbed down difficulty of the BC instances means even the largest pull is too small. The healers, overconfident from the, for them no doubt boring, grind up to this point, are the worst here: "pull more!", "tank can make big pulls plz :)", or "LOL lets beat my rec ramp in 6 min !!11".
Things then normal out over the course of the Wrath instances, and slowly the normal patterns start to emerge: the ever present 'bad player' doesn't interrupt, can't move, doesn't CC, doesn't assist in pulls of caster mobs, is AFK, rolls Need on tanking and healing gear as DPS, is rude to the healer, falls to its death after failing to mount a drake in Grim Barol, and is generally a burden to the rest of the group.
Now, after that (sadly all too true) negativity, I do have to say this: most instances end successfully because of all those generally quiet people who just do their thing, do it well (enough), and get stuff done. To those people I say 'Thank you!'.
Jan 17th 2012 1:14PM Oh yes, Thrall!
The following was written by The Renaissance Man over at The Children of Wrath: http://childrenofwrath.blogspot.com/2011/12/everything-i-need-to-know-about-playing.html
A select number of lines, check out the full post at his site linked to above:
"Everything I Need to Know About Playing My Shaman, I Learned From Thrall.
* Mounts are for chumps, real Shaman use Ghost Wolf.
* Drop only one totem, any more and you're just being elitist.
* When you drop your raid cooldown, it's important that you yourself do not stand in it. This might make you seem selfish. So stand away from your bubble, even if it means you get hit by the giant boss AoE and can't help in the second half of the fight.
* Wind Shear is a brutal DPS loss. No matter how many mobs are casting, never wind shear, it's time that could be better spent meleeing."
Again, the full post is over at The Children of Wrath.
Dec 26th 2011 8:58AM Somewhat dated but possibly interesting article on genders and classes: http://blog.gamerdna.com/2008/10/17/bartle-gender-and-wow/
From my personal experience in our guild, I've only ever noticed one anomaly in the relation between class and gender, and that is Priests - human Priests specifically. We have males and females healing with Paladins, Druids, and Shamans, and they can be dwarves, draenei or worgen - but the human Priests have as good as always been females. This curious situation has always puzzled us somewhat, but I suppose it might just be a coincidence of our guild.
As to what could be behind the stereotypes? It does seem true from almost all research into this subject that females are more likely to be playing healers than men are. However, more likely does not at all mean exclusively, which I guess is at times lost on some people.