Tradition to Skip
As completely charming as Christmas Eve ended up being… yesterday ended up being very strange. Granted the entire day wasn’t that odd, given that we got up super early to drive an hour to open presents with our great niece and nephew. When trying to determine what we would get them for Christmas, my wife and I talked about our favorite parts of Christmas morning. In both cases we remembered being super excited about what all had been crammed into our stockings. I remember pulling out one magical thing after another that Santa had left for me. So instead of a big gift, we opted to make them custom stockings jammed full of little treasures. The funny thing is that the item that seemed the biggest hit was this little wall clinger octopus that we both remembered from our childhood. You threw it up on a slick surface and it wriggled down slowly. My nephew spent the better part of the morning throwing it up on the sliding glass door and watching as it jiggled its way down the door.
So I have to say that part of the morning was absolutely adorable, but from there we took a detour into strange land. We went to Christmas lunch with a branch of the family that we don’t spend a ton of time with. In part this was a good excuse to see the brand new child of our niece, and deliver our baby gift to them. When we first accepted the invitation we had no really planned on doing the early morning thing, so we thought it might be the only time we would see my wife’s mother. Honestly “our” family was kooky but just fine, it was when a bunch of people that must have been neighbors showed up that things cranked up to 11 on the strangeometer. This large bear of a woman came in and upon seeing the baby asked the following question verbatim… “you feeding that baby titty milk?”. My wife and I turned to look at each other… surely we did not actually hear what we thought we heard, but sure enough yup that is precisely what she said.
Moments later another woman came crawling in on the floor. At first I had zero clue why this woman was butt scooting across the floor, but a bit later we found out that she had a wheel chair, but she just didn’t like to use it. Thankfully at this point we had eaten, and we figured it was safe to slowly make our escape. The new additions to the group all seemed exceedingly sauced, and reeked of booze. I still don’t have a firm understanding in my head of who exactly they were, but in any case they made our normally insane family look normal for a moment or two. So while this year has been a year of creating new traditions… I am not sure if that is one we will keep. I really enjoyed the early morning with the kids, because Christmas needs kids to rekindle the magic each year, but I think we will skip the lunch.
Overall I have been pretty disappointed with my raid performance as a Gladiator, so over the last few days I have set about to tweak some things. The largest change is that I am giving up on the Heavy Repercussions talent. In order to make that talent work, you absolutely have to get 2 Shield Slams in during a Shield Charge buff. I found it frustrating to try and cram them in, and often times fate conspired against me to only actually get one in. In many ways it reminded me of just how unforgiving the Unholy Deathknight rotation was back during the Icecrown days, and if you missed the timing your dps went to shit. Now I am moving to what seems to be the more reliable and more common Unyielding Strikes talent, and as such I have to rejigger my priorities a bit. Additionally I fiddled with my glyphs and talents a bit after looking at some warriors that were parsing well in Highmaul.
Noxxic has been a bit wonky in the past with some of their guides, but based on the high parses I have seen they seem to match up pretty closely. I seemed to be taking a lot of the “wrong” talents, the biggest of which was I was previously taking Bladestorm which seems to have limited use in raiding, but instead should have been taking Bloodbath which is a 1 minute cooldown damage cooldown, something that protection is sorely missing. Even though I have already run LFR, I am more than likely going to run the first part today so I can see what my damage looks like against The Butcher fight. My hope is that all of the tweaks I made will give me a more stable damage curve, and keep me from lagging behind the way I have been in overall raid damage.
Those who have been reading my blog awhile will know the tale of Lodin the Hunter, the character that I never actually intended to be my raiding main back in Vanilla. Well with the recent round of hunter changes I have once again become interested in playing him, and quite honestly have been really enjoying it. Last night I entered Draenor on Lodin and for the first time since Burning Crusade he is actually caught up and doing relevant content. I never actually managed to level him to 70 back then, and during Pandaria managed to catch him up from 68 to 85, then finally with the launch of Draenor pushed him up to 90. I used my spare engineering bits to knock him out a pretty sweet epic rifle that I am looking forward to him being able to use when he dings 91. I’ve been spending quite a bit of time over this break hanging out on my laptop, and the hunter play style fits that perfectly.
Last night before the melatonin finally kicked in I managed to make it roughly halfway through the introduction sequence in Tanaan Jungle, and as soon as I finish writing this blog post and do my “Wizard Chores” as my guildies call the Garrison dailies… I am going to start working on him again. I seriously would not mind him being my 3rd 100 of the expansion. It feels fitting considering I am back playing Belghast, that I also dust off Lodin. Since this is by nature a nostalgia ridden expansion, it only seems right to wallow in said nostalgia with some of my oldest characters. I look forward to LFR with the Lone Wolf talent, but in the mean time I want to catch more awesome pets because lord knows Draenor has some awesome looking ones. I am shocked an amazed that I am still having as much fun playing Warlords as I am, so hopefully it continues to last.