In a rare, but not unprecedented, move, the judge gave the jury two weeks off mid-trial for the holidays. I'll be back in deliberation after the New Year, so I won't be back on schedule for probably another 2 weeks here in blogland.
WoW-wise, I've been so immersed in the minutiae of rogue mechanics (mostly so I can keep up with my guild's stupid fury warrior, who is inexplicably about to get buffed while I'm not) that I haven't talked much about what's been going on lately.
About 6 weeks from being unleashed upon Northrend, I'm in nearly full epics (still need trinket and helm), I've run out of things to buy with badges (heirloom items, here I come!), and my guild has cleared all 4 themed wings in 10-man Naxx. Now the game's insidious grip has finally loosened enough that I can finally pry its black talons from skin and actually spend some of my free time outside of Azeroth.
Though Naxx was definitely a major challenge when we first stepped in wearing our leveling gear and having barely dipped our toes in heroics, the entire place has now become trivial, save for a kiting boss (Gluth) that is unusually hard for our group makeup. One short week after going in undergeared and killing only 2 bosses, we come back and cleared out almost the entire place in one weekend, one-shotting most of the bosses. So yeah, the place is a little easy for a group of seasoned raiders on the hardcore side. So it will probably be just right for the "we are a guild of friends who help each other and have a tabard, and we're going to try 10 man raids once we get more healers!" set, which makes up a large chunk of the subscriber base, as far as I can tell. And more power to them. I like having an easy early instance, though I look forward to something a little more old-school challenging in the future patches.
Once you clear the 4 wings (first 13 bosses), there are two bosses remaining in Naxxramas: Sapphiron the frost wyrm and Kel'Thuzad the lich. They both drop gear that is a tier higher than the rest of the instance. As far as I can tell so far, they are appropriately a tier harder than the other bosses. After blowing through the rest of the place, we've been stopped cold by Sapphiron. This is partly because we don't yet have much frost resist, but it's also partly because the fight can be pretty unforgiving. There is a ton of raid damage going around, the blizzard is tough to see and get out of, and you only have a few seconds to hide behind an object before his frost bomb kills you.
Wherever I look on the internet to figure out if we need frost resist (we're all making it anyway, which doesn't seem to jive with the casual focus of the rest of the instance, but is much easier than I thought it would be to craft), all I see are the "omg I'm a better person because I'm better at this game, you losers" crowd saying "you don't need frost resist if your group isn't retarded".
Not only are those people probably stretching the truth a little, and seemingly posting for no purpose other than to self-aggrandize at the expense of others, but they also have probably never led a normal raid. I defy you to find a group of ten people who you can get all together at once who are actually good enough to "not be retarded" by that guy's standards. The only guilds that make that are the server-first guilds, and only a tiny percentage of players are in them.
My guild is a casual guild that "seriously" raids, which to us means that anyone who is cool can join, and anyone from that group is free to raid with us as long as they contribute. This means bringing consumables, gemming and enchanting appropriately, performing reasonably well at your role, being able to follow raid directions to a reasonable extent, and not being a whiner or trying to wring more out of us than you earned.
From this policy, we end up with a raid full of awesome people, where half of the raid are absolute top-of-the-line (I'd pit them against any member of a server-first guild and expect them to keep up), and the other half are "pretty good". They put out strong dps but don't compete for the top spot, they tank well but don't have the full situational awareness of our best tanks, or they can keep the group alive in most situations but can't perform the emergency miracles that our best healers can. I would never, ever consider these people a "drag on the raid", and each one of them has an awesome attitude to match, where they will sometimes pass upgrades if they think the other person deserves it more, or cheerfully sit out a raid if we are full. Wherever they are weak, they take good constructive criticism and make efforts to improve, and then actually show improvement. In short, they are awesome to have in a raid.
They are not "retarded". But sometimes, they don't quite get behind the pillar in time, or don't notice that they are standing in the Bad Shit. And that's OK. I view myself as a top-of-the-line raider by any standard, and yet I've been known to walk right into a Heigan eruption myself from time to time. But it means that Frost Resist is right for us on the Sapph fight, since it gives us a nice margin for error that forum trolls claim isn't needed if you "aren't retarded".
So basically what I'm saying is: those guys on the forum are wrong. Why did I waste so much space on that?
Also, I can't stop reading The Greedy Goblin, even if he could stand to read something besides Ayn Rand once in a while.