A Difference in Mindset

“Well, maybe we can just make our own casual team?” Tianchu suggested, glancing out the corner of his eye to gauge my reaction.

Night had fallen at the TRekt BlizzCon house, and we sat with my fiancee, Adam, in the kitchen while the others were out partying. We’d all been pretty excited about the Shadowlands announcement, but it admittedly put me in an awkward position: I knew that I did not want to return to a team that could barely scrape past Cutting Edge, and that meant that I probably did not see myself returning to World of Warcraft. Further, I had dissolved our Final Fantasy XIV static (raid team) as a result of a growing frustration: I wanted to raid competitively, and it had felt like on all sides that in both teams, there had simply been people not on the same page as that.

I shook my head, wincing. “I can’t do it,” I explained. “I’ll play for story, but I’ve tried the casual life and it’s just not something I can do.”

As the convention came and went, and I had some amount of time to myself in the resulting con crud, I began to take a hard look at what had really burned me out with both teams (because, frankly, it wasn’t entirely the game), and how these mindsets differ.

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Drastically dramatic tea

This is not an easy post to write. However, it’s a post that feels necessary – to tell my side of events for one, and for another, to get all of this off of my chest and out of my mind. I’ve cycled a week-long haze now of different shades of depression, anxiety, and anger, but finally have landed upon a feeling of peace.

I am not going to paint myself in the best light here. I made my mistakes. I’m human. Nevertheless, I hope this clarifies certain things that have been spun in apparently less-than-honest ways, or at least to explain why I’ve wrapped myself away in my own shroud of anger and depression. To be quite honest, I didn’t want to make this post, but recent events make me feel obligated to have my side of the story recorded.

This is the Drastic post. It’s going to be long, and somewhat rambling, and frankly, it doesn’t have the best structure due to having to work on a bit and return with other things that had come to mind that are worth mentioning.

In any case, I’ll start from the beginning.

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Why (Mythic) teams die

I’ll make a suggestion and you can do with it what you will. Maybe a blog post where you don’t name names but (it sounds like you agree with me) emphasize some of what I said and give your thoughts too? Maybe people will look in the mirror and either figure their crap out or leave

Espyr

This was the last thing that Espyr said to me last night after he handed me his resignation.

I wished him luck, and gave him time to inform the other officers while I dealt with my initial shock.

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The meta obsession

My heart sank as I looked over the mined spells for Dark Knight. It’d already been stated in a Live Letter prior to patch 4.36 that the job would be receiving a massive overhaul, and I’d known there stood a good chance that I flat-out wouldn’t enjoy it. That’s just the general risk when an MMO has to re-create whatever job or class you’re playing; I’d had to go through it many times with World of Warcraft, and now I faced the same thing for Final Fantasy XIV as new information released for Shadowbringers.

Something struck me as I glanced over all four tank jobs. They were all… the same. And yet, they were all… different.

Square Enix had managed to homogenize each of their tank jobs, while at the same time, creating extremely unique playstyles. The last time I’d seen this done had been when healers were streamlined over the last several expansions in World of Warcraft, except this had another effect:

After an expansion of Dark Knights being locked out of party finder groups for not being considered “eligible” for the meta and for just basic clears, the meta itself wound up knocked on its ass in one broad swoop.

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New Beginnings

“Stop healing me,” I gasped over Mumble, watching as my HP ping-ponged up and down. At one point, it zerged quite suddenly to full, dropped, and then back to full. I stared in moment as I regained control of my monk, incidental cleave having obliterated the ice block that I’d been thrown into.

“I’m fine. Let’s kill this bitch,” I announced, staring as the boss’s health went from 9, to 7, to 5.5, to…

Achievements flashed over my screen. “YES!” I yelled, making Panda shoot out of my lap and behind her cat tree. Korki opened trade, and handed me the mount.

“We’re not loot counciling tonight,” I said. “Everyone, let’s take a ten, and then let’s come back.

“Back on characters, or just the people?” Banter asked.

“Just the people. Let’s chat and hang out. And guys, please ask any questions you have for next tier.”

Honestly, I needed the ten minutes to get hold of myself.

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A final hope, part 3

“I just feel that if we hadn’t changed our tank classes, and changed our strat for the sake of change, we’d have had it,” Valakondria lamented in our Jaina channel.

I felt the blood in my veins begin to rise, and took a deep breath. “We didn’t wipe because of tank classes,” I replied as evenly as I could.

“We wiped twice because you died. I don’t see how you can say that.”

“I can say that because I know how to type,” I wrote in the chat box, and then deleted it. “I can say that because that’s two of thirty wipes in one night,” I tried again… and deleted it. I took another breath. It wouldn’t do to reply with the same amount of venom that I felt. Instead, I was honest: we wiped because, for the upteenth night in a row, our raiders had stood in fire, been clipped by their own Avalanches, and experienced a multitude of wipes in a phase we’d seen hundreds upon hundreds of times. My warrior hadn’t died due to a lack of healing or getting gibbed or some other mistake; my warrior had died from healers’ attention being pulled from tanks onto the raiders.

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A final hope, Part 2

I can’t lie that I felt incredibly frustrated. Tick-tock. 8.2 would be landing the next day, and we’d already hit the hardest part of Jaina’s mechanics. Yet, as soon as we had a good pull, we’d relapse right back to wiping on early mechanics. It wasn’t a single person; it was multiple.

The officers had already discussed how we’d end the night, and I think that added a new cloud to each of our perspectives.

“I’d like to say something before the announcement,” Espyr said in O-chat during pull timer.

“No,” I simply replied between casts.

As we wiped again, the time had come.

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