Start the weekend with a 25 man raid on ICC on Friday night with the guild. End it 48 hours later in a ten man. In between?
I had one weekend goal: to get my various collection of badges and stone keeper’s shards turned into heirlooms before the patch hit and the cost was prohibitive. Problem 1: I don’t know what my worgen is going to be. Goblin will be a shaman, but worgen? No idea.
Problem 2: turning in my stone keeper shards (over 500 on each of my two characters) requires us to win Wintergrasp. Which isn’t something you can count on….
Saturday morning Reversion wakes me up to tell me we own WG for the next 12 minutes so I should get it done now. I hop out of bed, grab the mage, buy some shoulders, grab the tree, buy the rest of the shoulders and the caster staff. I’m pretty sure whatever I roll will be a caster, so I decide to get the cloth, leather, and mail caster gear. Ok, so if I roll a hunter I’ll be sorry, but maybe I’ll keep that for later in the expansion.
That done, I decide to stick around and help defend WG. I guess the Horde were sleeping in, because we knocked down the southern towers, defended against both pushes the made, and kept the keep. Ok! So let’s grind enough badges to get the chest pieces to go with the shoulders. I needed about 40….
Reversion tanked, we grabbed some guildies, and were off on a whirlwind grinding session. Wheee! I got most of the way to my goal before time to go get our traditional Saturday burrito lunch. Came back, joined with the guild to run the weekly raid – XT needed to die, and we were just the ones to do it.
Those raids are so fun with a vent full of cheerful people. I drove a demolisher (working toward the win-in-all-three-vehicles achievement) and we skipped from FL to XT. On the way to XT, I made too enthusiastic a gesture and my mouse flew off my desk and hit the floor. Hard. I picked it up. The cursor moved… but the buttons weren’t clicking any more.
I scrounged around and with Reversion’s help, got an old wired mouse plugged in before the pull. Ugh! Good thing I was healing easy content, because with no side buttons I was having to target and use keys to throw anything besides Rejuv. I’ve gotten so used to click casting….
So after XT died, I told Reversion we were going to Best Buy and we piled in the van for the trip. It’s a good half hour’s drive – along the coast, with the ocean on one side and the bright blue sky overhead and the windows down. Worth the trip just for the driving.
And there we were at Best Buy, staring at gaming input devices. Mice, keyboards, keypads, weird combo items… I’m drooling over the Naga and the WoW gaming mouse, but I know they’re useless to me. You see, they’re right handed. So am I – but I mouse exclusively left handed. (Don’t ask). I need an ambidextrous mouse.
Turns out there is such a thing. I pull the SteelSeries Xai out of the box (don’t tell! I felt guilty doing it) and fell in love almost at once. A little large for my hand but not unworkable. Two buttons on each side. The best feeling mouse I’ve ever set hands on…. mmm.
Reversion meanwhile was looking over mice too. He decided to try the WoW branded gaming mouse (he ended up taking it back and going with a different one for reasons I’ll let him explain himself). And then we stared at the keyboards…
They had a handful of “gaming” keyboards. One was just a normal keyboard but with glowing lights and a funky shape. But the Logitech one actually looked…. cool. There’s a bank of 18 keys (three groups of two rows of three keys) on the left, and you switch them between three modes to toggle different modes. We could see some immediate applications… and the little led screen at the top looked cool…
Long story short, we walked out of Best Buy with a new keyboard and mouse for each of us. We spent the trip back discussing how we’d set things up. Then we were really really good and did our yardwork :) while our new toys sat inside for us.
And then it was playtime! We’re planning a real in-depth post on it later, but basically we used Bartender to make the keybindings work. Now I can have my healing and utility spells in one bank; press the mode key and grab the buff/out of combat stuff spells.
I had to do a screwy work-around to get two of the buttons on my mouse to work right. I love this mouse, but unlike most smart mice it doesn’t have enough key-click options. Two of the mouse buttons are mapped to “tilt right” and “tilt left” which didn’t seem to do anything that I could read. So I mapped those buttons to F11 and F12 and then had those keys trigger mouseover macros for the spells I wanted. Result, the clicks work the way I want to and I can just hang my mouse over the Vuhdo frame and do anything I want.
Fast forward to Sunday afternoon. Church over, it’s time for some laziness before the evening 10 man. Only I signed on and immediately got asked to a TOC25. What the heck, sure. Pop in, beasts are dead, so we start on Jaraxxus. Get him done, get Faction Champs. Time for times. The raid leader is explaining the fight for those who don’t know or can’t remember, and there’s a few of those. Doing a good job of explaining to – and then a hunter pulls. Argh. We pick it up, we fight, a few people die, we get it under control and they drop. Loot gets handed out. The hunter who started the pull dc’s. Apparently he wanted the trinket, didn’t get it, and so was done. We make a try at Anub, bleeding puggers, and break up. It happens.
6 o’clock and time for the ten man. I’m excited. Analogue and Approximate (Reversion’s hunter) have been invited to an excellent ten man group that the guild runs. We’ve got an hour to get as far as we can before most of the raid goes to a 25 man continuation of a different guild’s run. We’ll do more Monday night. We get in, get pulling, and clear the first wing in 45 minutes. We thank them for the invite and go to make dinner. Reversion is playing Final Fantasy with the baby while I cook, when I hear voices in Vent in the next room. “Looks like they’re afk,” says the raid leader. I run back and there’s an invite on our screens. I accept and ask what’s going on. The 25 man didn’t happen so we’re getting back together.
8 o’clock, baby in bed and food eaten, we start again. We do Rotface on heroic – my first one that wasn’t lootship! We wiped once but it was fun. Other than making my fingers hurt from all the healing, it wasn’t too bad at all. We do Festergut normal since the weekly quest was Fester/Rot, and then try Putricide on heroic twice before swapping back to normal and downing him.
Oh yeah- so we started Saurfang before we switched the difficulty back to normal, accidentally, and while we did switch the difficulty, he started with 100% blood power. So we did that whole fight with one mark out. Don’t try this at home, kiddies.
Anyhow. We were at quitting time but we decided to continue and knock out the blood wing. I hate the Princes fight. It’s just so much running around, trying to heal, trying to find the people who need heals… but they died. And so did the Queen, although we wiped on her the first time.
Tonight we’re going in, killing some dragons, and taking a long, hard look at Arthas. This group has all mostly killed him before and we’re thrilled to get the chance to try, alongside them. We transferred servers and guilds hoping for a chance to down Arthas before the expansion is over. It would make me really happy to do it tonight, the last time I can be a tree for the whole fight…