Monday, September 8, 2008


I did another solo Ramps trash farming run last night.

I've also been watching some of Pike's videos, specifically the ones on jumpshot kiting and chain trapping, since I still badly need practice in both of these areas. I had thought it was just me where kiting was concerned, but apparently the amount of lag suffered by Oceanic players is a genuine factor.

My grasp of multi-mob pulling is getting a lot more solid; I can now manage four mob pulls at the HFP level at least, or five with Readiness. I only died once in my second attempt at reaching Gargolmar, and that was on the Beastmaster where I consider it more or less inevitable. The initial pull there is three mob, and then the Beastmaster summons another four hounds. Thus, I do that in two parts; I will die on the Beastmaster's adds, but as long as the Beastmaster himself is dead before I am, I still consider that progress, as the other two mobs can then be very easily dealt with when I run back.

I'm still not able to successfully down Gargolmar himself yet, either; my pet just doesn't generate enough threat to hold one of the healers, even when MDing. I'm going to go back there this morning and apply a new approach which I think might work, but up until now, I've simply ended up pulling the healer to me. Killing it melee is then too slow, and the trap the other one is in breaks before the first one is dead.

Aside from simple enjoyment, my other reason for wanting to practice more is to get better for hopefully more raids; I've become aware that in SSC at least, a very solid grasp of such skills as kiting is extremely important for a Hunter.

I've been called a scrub a lot on the forum, as I've written here, and I think the real reason why I'm not more able to ignore it is because deep down, I fundamentally believe that the people who call me that are largely right. I was a mess on Zul'jin, and when we went to SSC, the raid wiped probably three times each on both Leo and Tidewalker; they didn't get past either of them, and even though I know those are 25 man groups, part of me wondered how much (if anything) that had to do with me. I'm sure some of my resident haters in the forum would probably take great delight in telling me that if I hadn't been in the raid, at least a couple of said wipes may not have occurred.

People have wondered why my progress in this game has been so slow; truthfully I've wondered myself, but I think it's primarily because it's only been relatively recently that my offline life has become sufficiently peaceful that I've been able to truly start to focus on this game. I've missed raiding in two of WoW's iterations now, for the most part; first the initial game, and now TBC. I can only hope I will be able to progress quickly enough in WoTLK to have a shot at the new Naxx, since I always wanted to go to the old version.

I've realised something else as well, and that is that, as do a lot of people, I also consider Alumatine to be the grand master of Survival, and possibly even of this class in general. I've read some material recently on the definition of the term alpha male, and realise that Alu is also a good example of what that term refers to. Although I don't know for sure, I tend to suspect that, as he has at times implied, for him that carries over into offline life as well.

I still find his level of arrogance difficult, as I always have; but I can not deny that it is more or less entirely justified. I realise now that that was actually the cause of the conflict I had with him; I have a tendency to put people on pedestals, and can react very badly when it turns out that they're human.

When Brandon Sato wrote to me and asked me to write a Hunter class guide, I truthfully felt in no way qualified for the task, and although I initially consented, did not ultimately end up writing it. I wish now that when I had replied to Mr. Sato, I had told him to get in touch with Alumatine instead. Pike ended up writing the guide that Sato now has on his site. I consider Pike exceptionally competent; moreso than myself, truth be told; but she still isn't tier 6, and neither, so far as I know, is Big Red Kitty, who is AFAIK more or less considered the o sensei of Beast Mastery.

One of the reasons why I resisted raiding for so long is because, although it's obviously more relaxed, (the game not being real, and guilds, for the most part, being entities comprised of civilians) it genuinely is about a chain of command. In attempting to learn the lessons about human social interaction that I feel that raiding can give me, I'm trying to reconcile myself with this psychologically, and also learn, while continuing to seek to improve myself, to give my superiors their due.

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