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Greetings!  Long time no post from me, I know, but I have a fabulous excuse!  One that Regis will no doubt use as well (or would have except he got a post up before me!  doh!).  The two of us have been on vacation an epic adventure and have been AFK for more then 2 weeks!

I admit:  I did consider bringing my authenticator on the trip.  However, I resisted.  Being a desktop user with no laptop, there really wouldn’t be many opportunities to play to make it worth it.

Our vacation adventure was absolutely lovely, filled with time spent with family and friends!  Some of those friends were also guild mates!  Some who I had never had the opportunity to meet group with in “RL” adventure before so it was definitely an exciting time for me!

Pacheco & her shaman made us feel very welcome, as you can see!  I’m quite pleased that this welcome sign survived the flight back.  It’s now hanging up in our games rooms, along with the Horde Christmas Ornament that she gave us last Christmas!  Truly, she is a most fabulous Tauren!  She even showed us her Tauren dance!

Crafty Pacheco Welcomes Us in Style!

Every travel/adventure zone has creatures that you should be wary of!  This fearsome beast was most likely the reason we only saw one solitary whale on a four hour long whale-watching trip.  Curse that cranky looking beastie!

Beware!!

Shockingly, this evil green creature had the ability to cast polymorph and sheeped me when I got too close.

BAA! I've been sheeped!

This left Regis alone to face the dreadful monster.  He promptly feigned death.  At least, I think he feigned death because of the monster.  Maybe it was the lighthouse that scared him more.

Yes, Mages can cast Feign Death but only at scenic viewpoints.

Thankfully, the treacherous sea-monster didn’t continue his attack.  He disappeared into the Bay of Fundy, probably to eat that one whale we saw!

As you can see if was a lovely, lovely vacation adventure and we would love to be there again.  It’s a sure thing that we’ll be back again on another trip some time in the future.

You're supposed to stay off the black rocks at Peggy's Cove

Back again, if only to cuddle with Hello Kitty again! 😉

A true Hello Kitty fan-troll!

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Good afternoon, all.

I’m going to redirect you to the first installment of Ask a Tauren, as provided by the lovely Pacheco over at Hello Tauren!

The post is both a brief and brilliant discussion as to how to raid casually, how to keep it casual, and how to keep loot drama to a minimum.  It was posted a little while ago and I’m sorry for taking so long to link it.

Enjoy the read!

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I know exactly where I was.  I was online in Azeroth with two of my long-time, real life friends.

Our somewhat serious raiding and leveling guild got overwhelmed by drama and subsequently collapsed and we were without a home.  We had options as to where we could go, but we ultimately decided that we didn’t want to deal with big guild drama.  Or having some snot-nosed kid pulling rank.  We wanted to play World of Warcraft on our own terms.

So we formed our own guild.

And thus was the birth of The Zug Initiative. 

Happy Birthday, guys!

The guild has evolved a bit over the last few years.  From mostly an alt guild to a casual guild that can pull off a few 10-man raids here and there.

It’s been loads of fun and I look forward to keep things going!

(Okay, I’ll admit, Pacheco beat me to the punch.  But I’ll use the excuse of her being 3 time zones ahead of me!)

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For those of you who missed out on the epic history of this blog, I’ll recap briefly for you:

Chawa and I started this blog just over a month ago.  (Yeah, that part about the “epic history”…I was embellishing.  Just a tad.)  Interest in writing this blog piqued when our very lovely, near and dear friend, Pacheco, posted a few blogs about our guild’s progress and achievements.  It’s mostly to share our experiences and thoughts on WoW.  We’re not theorycrafters or PTR junkies or “World firsts” raiders.  So, we knew our audience would be limited – mostly likely to just friends.

Now, Chawa and I read a few WoW blogs; one of them being a particular and popular druid blog known as Big Bear Butt.  It was even extra cool because he was on our same server!  *gasp!*  (BTW, it’s an excellent blog if you haven’t checked it out yet.  But you probably have.)  Aaaanyway – he decided to host an in-game event in honour of a friend and guildie who was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  This event would be called Raid for the Cure, which Chawa and I were happy to participate in.  During this event, BBB was bouncing between both factions.  So we were lucky enough to meet the Bear himself, in-pseudo-person!  *gasp!* *get autograph!* *swoon!*

Turns out, he’s a really cool dude.  Ended up stalking chatting a bit more when he hopped onto his Horde toon thereafter.  We also took pity on his sad, little Retadin and had him tag along for some instances and guild raids.  

One night, we were on Vent and one of his guildies, Dechion, had joined in.  We met him at the Raid for the Cure shindig as well and he just so happens to be another really cool guy.  (He’s helped me make so much money on the AH!)  So, while we were chatting, it came out that we (Chawa and I) had a blog.  Dechion already knew about it from chatting at the RTFC event, but the infamous Bear had not.  I didn’t elaborate on the blog that evening, but I should have figured he would have hunted us down eventually.  Because that’s what bears do.  They hunt.  Honest.

So, one day the wonderful and beautiful Chawa writes an amusing post about her thoughts on achievements for Pilgrim’s Bounty.  The crazy thing is…the Bear…he liked it.  So much, in fact, that he wrote a post of his own that had it’s own little Bear-esque-tangent.  But the intro, well, it referred to and linked to our blog!  *gasp!*  It was pretty exciting and some e-mails to Pacheco, Pach’s hubby, Chawa, and I flew around.  It was pretty fun!  The only issue, though, was how the hell do we not get all “OMFG!  ISTHISFORREALZ?!” at work?  (Fun @ work is prohibited, you know.)  Most, if not all, of my co-workers do NOT play WoW… so how would you explain that one?  “Uh, yeah.  Customer e-mailed.  He’s mad and needs something yesterday, but we can’t get it to him until tomorrow.  Yup.  That’s why I’m smiling.  Angry clients.” 

That was now about three weeks ago.  And not that I’m a total stat nerd or anything, but I had to check it out and looked at the ol’ WordPress stat report for this blog.  This is what I saw:

See that huge jump in site visits? Yeah, guess what caused that...

So, if you weren’t convinced that BBB was a popular blog, well… here’s some proof.  And I’m pretty sure that not everyone who reads his blog clicked the linky to our page. 

Eventually, it occurred to me that there’s only one person that likely has this kind of influence.

You guessed it:

Oprah.

Thus, I propose a new blog name for our friendly feral druid – Big Oprah Butt.

Yup.  I’m calling you BOB from now on. 🙂

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Healing over time

I recently levelled my paladin to 80 and decided it was a good time to take up Chawa and Regis’s call for guest posts from the guild.

While I levelled to Northrend in protection spec I had gotten interested in paladin healing and ended up doing most of my levelling from 70-80 by healing in instances and in battlegrounds. During the process I started to think a bit more about what I like doing in WoW.

I’ve decided that while I like levelling and questing on DPS toons I’m kind of indifferent to playing them in instances once they have hit 80.

I also really like tanking but I find I need breaks from it.

But I’m pretty much happy to heal all the time.

Until the guild started doing Kara and I needed to heal it my druid was definitely an alt. If we had the healing covered I would have brought my hunter instead. However, I found healing the fights really interesting.

Part of it was that the other healer was my partner’s resto shaman. The guild didn’t use vent but we effectively had a healer channel since we were in the same room. Each fight was a problem to solve — there was a certain amount of damage going around and we had to work out how to heal it.

As we levelled through Northrend and worked through the new five-person instances I liked learning the fight mechanics and determining how to deal with the resulting damage.

Once the guild had enough level 80 toons to start doing Naxx it was a similar thing. We had a discipline priest on the main tank and the two of us on everything else. Each fight we had to come up with a plan to keep every non-rogue alive.

However, while I like the planning aspect of healing it’s also lots of  fun when things don’t go according to plan.

The guild recently took down Koralon for the first time and had only a single tank from 20%-5% and a rogue tank for the last 5%. There was a lot of yelling going on in the “healer channel” during that last 20% but it was pretty satisfying when he went down.

To heal you need to think ahead but also be ready to abandon the plan and just know your abilities well enough to get through it.  This is my rough guess at why I like healing best, though maybe I just like playing whack-a-mole.

Incidentally, I still need work on the second part on my paladin.

I’d be interested to hear what some of my guildies who are better at DPS than me think about this.

Anyway, I think I’ll go respec my shadow priest.

– Brokentree / Maggotbrain / …

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