Saturday, March 9, 2013

Project: Mage Rage

"All I ever wanted to do was study."-- Jaina Proudmoore, the Mage's Mage

First: Apologies again to Cymre for my blistering blue language yesterday. Tome understands: once in awhile a girl's just gotta say, "F#&!@*$."


Who has my soul? The Beancounters.

Second: There may be brief moments of unfiltered rant. However, there might be some good information in here. I sacrificed harmony in my own hearth and home yesterday to get to its conclusion, (yes, things got a little ugly at the Matty-shack last night), so bear with me.

Exposition:
Ceniza is a mage I began for a guild: they needed a draenei mage for the Classy thing. It was while I was playing her that I g/quit that guild in defense of a player who was actually, unbeknown to me, may have been enjoying the trio of trolls of which she was the third party. No matter. They were all just joking, mmkay? The point is Ceniza was born of Ambitious Goals and Anger. Where my shaman evokes personality traits of fire, she also is the side of me that can cool things down, or dump a bucket of cold water on the situation. Zep the Priest is all light and shadow, and Ceniza: she is my fire girl.

This past week two things happened, one at work, and one in game. At work, I am trying something new and that 'something' took a big, fat misstep on Monday. No one got hurt, thank goodness, but I wouldn't allow that to happen ever anyway. A colleague reported, (false isn't the word because she didn't think she was lying), but misinformation to my boss, and I got an earful (well, an e-mail-full anyway).  I spent pretty much all day Tuesday at meetings intermittently crying in frustration. Don't you just LOVE 'colleagues' who support you, help, or just help by getting out of your way if they can't do anything else? Yes, this colleague was not that. Awesome. 

Note to self: No good deed goes unpunished, so before you do a good deed, get ass protection. (Oh my sweet baby murloc I can just imagine the spam now.)

This has nothing to do with this next part, except to say perhaps I was already set up for grumpiness.

On Wednesday or Thursday, a dear friend mentioned there might be a spot on the raid team he was on, however--only for a mage. He is very aware, and we did talk, that Ceniza is a far down-the-list priority alt, and this character is no where near 'raid ready.' "Are you sure you guys don't need a priest?" I repeated. "No, the RL is a priest." 

"Oh."

They raid on Saturdays, my 'sacred night of saving all that is dear to me,' night, so I can't go regardless. BUT -- it did pique my interest: With the supposed changes with 5.2, and the other two characters I have who are qualified, what would it actually take to get a character like Ceniza 'raid ready?"

This is a question each and every one of you should be asking yourselves. This is where we players make a choice: continue to appreciate and love a beautiful world and have fun, or rail at that Beancounters of Blizzard who continue to put unnecessary obstacles in our path? These "beancounters" are not unlike my colleague who snitched on me instead of bringing me her concerns directly. They do not have your back, in a manner of speaking.

The "rage" is not in the game, or the quests, or the gear: I finally, totally understood the pain of the gear gate-keeping that the faction reputations has caused. It absolutely, undeniably, SUCKS. That a player cannot pick up an alt, gear it up reasonably quickly with valor and drops, and just go effing play, is cause for outrage. I could only access two of the current LFRs because my gear score wasn't high enough, and couldn't get a higher gear score because I couldn't purchase valor gear with my (unspent) valor because it required faction reps, and I couldn't get more faction rep because I am only one human with limited play time. (Where is that shaman with that bucket of water when I need her?)

Consider this the ultimate make-over. I still wanted to see "what would happen if,"what if I had two evenings to get a IL464 character to IL470 in two days? (Consider: mages love studying - they love academic challenges. If you want to win a spelling bee, take a mage.)

I wanted to do this with a few stipulations. First, I didn't want to go into gold debt and borrow gold from wealthier friends to buy gear. Second, there wasn't much to be had. Third, I wanted to know empirically what would it truly take. 

The List

1. What gear does she have now?
Unfortunately, I didn't get a screenshot before I got the cloak yesterday, but I'll get to that.


Ceniza was at an IL of 464. I bought a belt that had eight higher points. Blizzard math that brought me to IL 466. I can't even get into all of the current LFRs.

2. What rep does she have?

Ceniza's fanfic story is a tragic one. That's why she was hanging out on the farm. Reputation-wise, she didn't have Jack-squat.

3. Now that Patch 5.2 is live, what should she do first?

*Go do both LFRs 
*Go do a dungeon or two and click the rep stats. 
*Prioritize on Shado-Pan since Honored status would get her a cloak. (See #1)

4. Go to Icy Veins and reeducate myself on her priorities. As my friend Krasher would say, for a fire mage like Ceniza it would have been: Intelligence>Dirty Vodka Martini>Passport>Matches, but no, it's:




5. Prioritize those reps:
A. Get to honored with the Shado Pan. 
B. Go fight Trolls with the Kirin Tor for better gear.

Getting Honored with the Shado Pan wasn't as easy as typing it: I died a thousand deaths killing those bugs all over again. I wasn't even to the daily point with the Shado Pan yet. It brought back all those horrible, painful memories of when I was trying to bring Zeptepi through there. And boom goes the dynamite. That's where the rage exploded. That's where Cymre got her earful. I effffffffffing hate doing those quests all over again. But there was no other way. No other options. Though I had been through them twice before, it wouldn't matter. 

The Kirin Tor have all the cool new shit:




And while I wish that all reputation was across the board for all alts, I also say to myself 'be careful what I wish for,' because after all---that is the fun of the game. Shh. You didn't hear me say that.

In 5.2, the reputation changes are actually pretty cool, well -- better than nothing I guess. The nothing being "I am going to cancel my subscription and take up knitting again," so at least the Beancounters compromised there. 

On the LF  (looking for) tab, and on your rep, you can click the little star next to the faction you want to earn rep on. What I learned is that you can't grind in one night, and this didnt' seem to work in LFR, but only in dungeons, with the Tillers, and with the scenario. And it only works one run a day. (EFFFFINGBEANCOUNTERS!) However, the scenario topped me off last night (I played for three and a half hours, had dinner, and came back for two more hours yesterday) to put me over the Honored line. And thus: I got my cloak. So between Thursday and Friday, over ten hours spent on this project.

Why can't I hit the Alter Time spell then, jerks?
I will play Cher's Turn Back Time in your earhole


6. Understand rotation, macros, and spells:
Icy Veins has a comprehensive guide to all of this; however, it will take time. There are spells that came around the last patch I do not understand. They are as mystifying to me as a magician's trick. 

Which brings up another point: maybe mage isn't the class for me after all? Not sure. 

I "get" my shaman, and priest. I have had loads of fun playing Ceniza, but with every patch and loss of spells I understand, there is a reason why she was played less frequently. 

The most confusing spell for me is Alter Time.

Here is a video with a PvP focus on Alter Time:

Another clarifying video on Alter Time:

He does a great job of explaining Alter Time in the second video, and it's clear he loves his mage. I don't even understand Daylight Savings Time here in the States. I understand that I hate it.

And for the record, I think Rune of Power is stupid.

Because I'm stupid.

7. By which we go back to gear. So, Thursday and Friday afternoons into the nights are both spent doing quests, LFR, dungeons, etc. After all that effort, I got to IL 468, two points away from IL 470 so I could get into LFR to get a still slim chance of more loot. (I cannot tell you how discouraging it was to go into LFR for my 25th time after the patch to try to get that damn fist weapon again, and nothing. I think this is more about shaman rage, actually...but....yes, I need therapy.) Fortunately, my good guildmate suggested I go get some sleep, and today run Alterac Valley for some Honor Points for some decent come-ups in gear score. Okay, Senor, I shall. And I know for those serious PvPers out there, I shall endeavor to do my best.

8. Relax, chica.
So what if my head caught fire, my repair bills were nuts, and trolls had me for a midnight snack? Meh. No matter. My trusty pal Iocane more than cheered me up with a happy little pet I promptly named "Sweetpea" because that's who Iocane is - a very sweet young lady.


Also, I got an electrified gator from a swamp. Cool, cool.

And: I am not this:

Was this helpful to any of you? Helpful in hammering in the fact you never want to play a mage? Helpful in confirming your opinion that I am batshit crazy sometimes? Well, in my defense I do love to learn new things. I learned that, wait, what did I learn? I learned I still need to get my taxes together, it's a beautiful nearly-spring day, and that Azeroth will be there for me. Mages are a challenging class, and it's those challenges that keep us engaged and interested. Without curiosity, all the cool cats would be dead and have nothing to show for it. It was time to get Cenzia off the farm, and see what she can do. Let's see where this takes us.

7 comments:

  1. I like the idea of playing a Mage more than the reality. Although when I did play one (wrath), I had great fun "bullying" warriors. When we got Nightelf ones, I had a semi story in my head for a slightly strange, flower loving blue haired pyschopath fascinated by books, religions and funerary rites but she's got no further than level 40 and Theramore.

    Your colleagues sound like mine :( /hugs.

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    1. Your imaginary mage sounds a lot like one of my many alter-egos, too! I have books on all those subjects! I'm feeling better about that little mage, although I will never reach 'epic' mage status, and that's okay. You and I are kindred spirits when it comes to our sentiments with the Fall of Theramore, and it was time she came out of mourning and start doing her part, narrative-wise. And the colleague? Sure, this person may have the 'ear of the queen,' but I know I have others who do support what I'm doing. They're just not as vocal.

      (typical, right?)

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  2. Ow, sorry about your week. I was looking at all my characters this week and thinking I'm not sure they're all going along for the ride this time. I love the expansion but sure wish once the first through got exalted everyone got it.

    Can't comment on Mageness, my only attempt was back in Vanilla and she's my level 53 bank alt now. She died so much I didn't have the heart to delete her.

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  3. At least you have supporters, it would be worse to have those who are supportive to your face and then do the opposite behind your back. At the moment I only see my mage when I'm doing something profession wise.

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    1. Those mages tend to stay behind velvet curtains, and now-you-see-them-now-you-don't. I think all of us have experienced both kinds of supporters; mostly I think it's a bad case of being misunderstood that never gets rectified. Ah, where are those magic wands when we need them?

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  4. Iocane9.3.13

    I'm really glad the toenibbler cheered you up. I knew the game was ticking you off but had no clue that real life was jumping into the fray that much, too. :( Sending you all the warm and fuzzy internet hugs I can.

    I'm not going to worry about the reps and gearing for my alts. Heck, I'm not even worrying about the gear for my main. I raided through Dragon Soul and the self-imposed break I took when Mists hit has been amazing. I work on achievements and having fun and personal goals now, and watch my guy raid from across the room. I've only even set foot in heroics three or four times. It's a lot like my approach when I first started playing the game, and it leaves me blissfully stress-free for now.

    My mage is only level 14ish, but this post makes me want to go play her some. In fact, I think I may do that right now.

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    1. I am absolutely certain it was because of your sweetness to get me over the painful game hump that I got that mage back on track! Thank you again Sweetpea! :)

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