Monday, December 28, 2009

Oops I did it again

Is it just me or did Freya get kinda hot over the course of the expansion?

When I first fired up WoW I knew exactly what class I wanted to play. I wanted to be a druid. I wanted to be the class in the game that could do everything. Artorin was my main from the moment I started playing right up to the end of Burning Crusade. During this time I came to realize that while druids could indeed do everything... there were some classes that just did it better and that I enjoyed playing more.

The result of course was my druid being on the back burner and only now, more then a year later, he has finally hit level 80. Being able to find groups quickly as a healer is what really drove me to finish off those last few levels. I really enjoy healing and the changes that I originally protested (mainly nourish) I've come to love. Yesterday my druid hit 80 around 5:00 PM. I then spent the next 7 hours going from regular runs to heroic runs. I leveled entirely in my BC epics from tier 4 and 5 content and only at 80 started replacing gear. All I have left to replace is a trinket and my gear will be all 200 up. He has the emblem of triumph idol and enough emblems to pick up the tier 9 shoulders.

I'm kinda sad now though... I like being able to say I have 8 80's! For some reason 9 80's just doesn't have the same ring :(

Now to level my deathtard to 80... I still have a good 7 days left of my holiday it could happen!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A tale of two pugs

It is no surprise I'm sure that I am still running heroics like crazy trying to gear up. Like all of you I've experienced absolutely terrible players and incredibly skilled players. Then there are simply the uninformed.

What I present to you today is the tale of a dungeon experience I had while on my druid Artorin. The last few days I've been trying to queue atleast once for the dungeon daily on my now 78 druid. The 2 emblems of triumph and 33k xp is nothing to sneeze at when you are working your way to 80. Artorin is still very well geared from Burning Crusade and going as a tree I find I have a lot of time to sit and observe what other players are doing.

In this case we had Ezili and Vaeled (names changed slightly since). Ezili was from another server and was our protection paladin tank. She used blessing of wisdom and seal of wisdom, as well as having 70 points in the protection tree. Vaeled was of course... a death knight from my very own server. He was an unholy speced DK who put 15 points into blood instead of shadow, skipped out of necrosis and didn't have gargolye talented. He also had 3 unspent talent points and never once summoned his ghoul.

I first mentioned something to the DK who was actively using death and decay before the mobs got to the tank in addition to not using pestilience... at all (except I saw him use it once on a single target pull). I asked him if he realized he had 3 unspent talent points. His response was "yeh lol I lvled so fast i didn't have time"....

You didn't have time to push a button 3 times to alocate 3 talent points??? Seriously? Oh yes... he was serious. He also linked the damage meter after nearly every pull when I commented that the tank was beating all of them in dps. He also took more damage during the brann bronzebeard fight then the tank did by standing in the fire whenever humanly possible. Which of course he said was because it was normal and that I would heal him...

On the flip side of this terribad DK was our tank the protection paladin. Before one of the pulls I mentioned to her that she should try blessing of sanctuary and seal of vengeance, then use divine plea before pulls to keep up her mana. What happened next? She listened! She had to dig through her spell book a bit to find the abilities I mentioned but find them she did. Before the end of the instance she was doing 400 more dps, totally destroying all the rest of the group, and had no mana issues while having 10% more str, stam, and 3% damage reduction.

After we killed the last boss she thanked me for giving her advice. She told me that it was another group that pointed out that she should be using seal and blessing of wisdom... probably because she was drinking between pulls and slowing them down. After about 30 mins of talking I told her that she queue for another dungeon and I would go a long so that we could continue talking. She queued us up... and we got halls of stone again... this time though she never had any mana issues or threat issues. She was also a little easier to heal, which isn't saying much because she was damn easy to heal in the first place. I never dipped below 80% mana on any of the trash pulls and proudly refused some mana biscuits from the mage.

During this second run she hit 80 and we began talking about gear options and getting ready for heroics. All in all we spent about 3 hours doing dungeon runs and talking. I gave her my e-mail address so that she could ask questions since we were on different servers. I really hope she doesn't get discouraged while gearing up for heroics because despite her lack of knowledge she was a very skilled player. I gave her the link to maintankadin and I hope she takes a look or at least keeps in contact with me.

It is truly rare these days to find someone willing to listen to advice and learn. I'm proud to have been able to help someone. But the real pride lies on the person who is able to listen and take advice instead of wallowing in self ignorance.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Gear sort of does matter...

Gevlon over at Greedy Goblin has been on a crusade recently against the belief that you need x gear for x content. Don't get me wrong I certainly agree that skill>gear but I've also seen my share of cock blocks when it comes to raiding to understand that being undergeared is a problem.

He is forging a raiding guild based off the mild success he had with his Blue Ulduar run where he geared up his hardcore raiding buddies with item level 200 or lower blue gear. They managed to clear all of Ulduar with this gear and now he believes that he can clear all content both 10 and 25 normal modes with this kind of gear. Frankly I think he will fail miserably.

Beating Ulduar 10 that was designed to be beaten by people coming out of Naxx 10 in heroic gear that is of = stat level with epic gear from Naxx 10... doesn't make me believe he is somehow going to be able to beat content tuned to 213 (uld 25) 219 (ToC 10) and 226 (ToC 25). I'm sure he will fail and then blame it on the other raiders not pulling through. After all nothing can be his fault right?

Now the meat of this post is about Wednesday night. I was on my warrior tank and had just finished doing the random heroic when kobeck logged on to his druid Averlexis. We chatted a bit and decided to screw around farming for the Battered Hilt from Pit of Saron trash. We picked up Phired on his DK and after clearing the trash out I suggested we should knock out the weekly raid. Our servers weekly raid happened to be Sartharion. Well were jokingly going to try and 3 man Sarth but I realized we only had about 21 mins till our 10 man ICC raid was supposed to start.

So we grabbed Errweyho, one of the healers in our 25's, who brought his rogue. So here we were 4 alts getting ready to tackle Sartharion and his evil drake minions.


The trash packs were pretty tough with one tank one healer and 2 dps but we managed to pull through and one by one the other drakes fell.


We cleared all the trash and drakes without a single death and stood face to face with Sartharion herself. The fight was on and it was a truly epic fight. Dodging flame walls left and right, picking up adds, and doing as much damage as we could and then at 20% everything went to hell. Phired went down pulling the adds off of Kobeck and I managed to pick them up after just long enough for Errweyho to finish him off.



Now here is where the gear comes in... don't get me wrong I really enjoyed this fight and it was a real challenge. But the fact of the matter is... we were able to pull this off because of gear. While these are our alts they are fairly well geared in uld 10-toc 10 gear. Each with several pieces of tier 9. Errweyho and phired both pulled off over 5k dps on Sarth putting our overall raid dps at around 12k.

You have to remember that this content was tier 7 content. Designed with 2 tanks 5 dps at around 1500 each and 3 healers. Of course you didn't need that exact comp but the fact remains that our 2 dps equaled the 5-6 dps that were required. Tanks at that level were lucky to have 33k hps fully buffed and that is what my warrior sits on without buffs. Kobeck had the mana regen and spell power to heal all 4 of us through the incoming add damage and random fire ball strikes.

Was this an awesome accomplishment? To me it was... but it wasn't as hard as it seems. Could we have pulled this same feat off a year ago? I very highly doubt it.

Nonetheless it was great fun and maybe next time we will try it with just 3 :D

Raiding ICC as frost?

I’ve been raiding as arcane since my mage first hit 80 and I really do enjoy the spec. However, I seem to be having issues keeping up in ICC. From what I can tell the issue is largely due to the fights requiring a lot of target switching and movement. The combination leads to an unfriendly environment to a spec that is entirely based on cd management. Both arcane and ttw/fireball specs way heavily on the fact that the target you are attacking will be slowed. Generally this is the case as every tank has a attack speed debuff that is applied to the target.


But what happens when you switch targets?


Marrowhatshisface does an ability called stormpike graveyard which impales 1 target in 10 and 2 targets in 25. The impales have 38k health in 10 man and need to be burned down as the person gripped takes a lot of damage. This forces me to interrupt my arcane rotation to attack and break out the person rooted. If they are near by this is as easy as targeting and going on with my next nuke… but often you have to move to get in range of the target since not everyone groups up after the whirlwind. The impale also will not have any slowing effects on it so I lose 12% base damage right from the start. Additionally this can mess with using cd’s and lead to you critting the impale that has 4k health left with an 18k arcane blast wasting damage.


Lady deathwhisper is even worse… because generally as ranged dps you are working on burning down the mana shield… and the boss isn’t being tanked which means no slowing effect and 12% less damage. Saurfang for the most part isn’t a big deal as the adds are generally being slowed by some kind of kiting effect… but all of these things makes me wonder if I wouldn’t be better served raiding as frost for these fights.


Last night after ICC we went to knock out sartharion who we had for the weekly raid thing. I decided to go as frost and managed to pull 6.2k dps largely without breaking a sweat. As arcane for the entire night I couldn’t break 5k dps. This is extremely frustrating because I did more dps in ToC then in ICC. Now I know that on sarth I can do over 6k easily on sarth as arcane… but the fact that I did over 6k as frost… really makes me think that using frost in ICC may not be a bad idea.


I mean with frost TTW is going to be up nearly 100% of the time as frostbolt slows… so every time I target switch I won’t lose 12%. I can fight the entirety of Deathwhisper with that 12% increased damage that I would be missing as fire or arcane. On Saurfang… well I could drop the frostbolt glyph for ice barrier and my frostbolt would make an AMAZING kiting tool. Heck the 20% healing reduction may be helpful too if mortal strike debuffs fall off. For all these fights ice barrier would help ease the healing load on me because I'm usually the squishiest member of the raid.


I also bring replenishment so our SV hunter can go MM and a nice 5% crit buff which would help other casters in addition to our frost DK. I mean I know in a 25 man environment I would be crazy not to go arcane… but in our 10 mans… if frost is around 10% less damage then arcane… but arcane relies on a 12% buff that isn’t there… does that mean frost comes out ahead?


What do you all think? Am I crazy? I think I’m gonna try it next week and see how things go. Oh and 23k deep freeze crits are pretty cool.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Big update and Halls of SUCKSTOBEAWARRIOR

First I want to apologize for my lack of posts lately. See I love blogging… but I love WoW more then blogging. So when I get home and sit at my computer I want to play more then blog. Before 3.3 it wasn’t such a huge deal… but now? I have SOOO much I want to do that finding time to actually blog is a bit hard.


I did have a few posts that I started writing but some events in game made that irrelevant. Like I had a post about how my arena team was at 1700 and we were going to push to 1800 the night before the patch… only one of our teammate had finals so it never happened. In fact in the week since the patch I’ve only done a hand full of bg’s and no arena. Well obviously if I haven’t been doing PvP I’ve been doing PvE.


The new LFG tool may be my most favorite feature added to WoW. Now I’ll admit that the queue time for dps can be a bit of a pain, but it still beats spending 20 mins in lfg channel and having to coordinate getting a group together. I mean heck… you don’t have to ask your guild for help now! For some that may be an issue… but for me it’s a sigh of relief. I don’t feel burdened to help gear everyone else up when I have my own toons to gear up.


Forge of NEVER GONNA DROP YOUR LOOT


As I mentioned in my previous post one of my big goals was gearing up my lock and rogue. Well the process is going fairly well… though not as fast as I would like because everything I need on my lock… drops for my rogue and vice versa. I’m not even kidding either. I think I’ve ran forge of souls probably 17 times now… 6 of those of been on my lock. I’ve seen Seethe the awesome spell power sword drop 10 times out of 11 on my other toons. I’ve seen it once on my lock and some stupid mage rolled need and won even though he had a staff out of ToC 10 that was better.


Forge of souls seems to be the big place that I need to hit for gear. The dagger and sword that drop off the last boss are awesome for my rogue and lock, in addition the kick ass trinket from there would be great for my rogue and hunter. If I could get the damn axe to drop off the first boss for my shaman I would be in great shape… instead my rogue has 3 of them but only one dagger. So maybe I’m limiting myself a bit doing Forge of Souls every day on at least 2 toons… and I still have 3 that haven’t gone through the questline. I’ve seen the battered hilt drop once… and didn’t win the roll.


Halls of Sucks to be a Warrior Tank


Joining the random heroic as a tank is by far the fastest means of getting into a group. In fact if you have a tank friend… get them to go with you! I don’t have the lf many or lf pug achievements on my warrior simply because I’m always bringing at least one or 2 people along with us. For the most part the groups have been pretty solid… though there have been a few exceptions. I’ve managed to pick up quite a few pieces of gear and have been having a blast. Even when I have to tank Halls of SUCKSTOBEAWARRIORTANK.


I mean seriously… talk about an instance designed to be a pita… then multiply it by the fact that you only have 2 aoe threat moves on cd’s. Spamming demoralizing shout doesn’t help much to get threat… Add in some suicidal dps and you are in for a few wipes. I’ve found my best friends for these are rogues and hunters. A misdirect followed by volley or tricks of the trade fan of knives combo gives me a good threat lead and from there I can handle anything. It wouldn’t be so bad if they all spawned in the same place… tanking them in the corner insures they all get into melee range… eventually. I find myself waiting for 2 to get into range and using thunderclap and then praying I can hold off on using shockwave till everything is in range. Sometimes it works… other times the mage and hunter stand there and eat the healer. Mages are less of a problem because I can silence them with heroic throw… but double mage groups can kiss my big blue ass.


Iced Crown Citadel


In Ulduar we would get together at my house and play Ulduar shots... every time someone would ask which teleport to use... or we wiped we would take a shot. In ToC we played Marrus shots in honor of our raid leaders long winded explanations. So with the introduction of the new raid... I declare Iced Crown shots! Crown is my favorite whiskey by far plus it works for the name sake... now I just need to figure out something good to require taking shots.


On the raiding front our 10 man group cleared up to Saurfang and then got taken down by the bosses unique ability to disconnect two of our raid members at the beginning of every fight… We will get him for sure this week.


In 25’s we just managed to get to deathwhisper… and get overrun by adds nonstop. That fight is no joke and with the terrible mix of pugs we had last week… just wasn’t happening. Hopefully things will get better. No lie we had a mage doing 1700 dps that had a ton of pieces from ToC 25 and 10. Who needs torment the weak as a fire mage? Apparantly not this guy, but he was rocking 133% mana regen… We brought in my wife on her warlock after kicking this loser and after tweaking her addons so that she could.. ya know… actually move during the fight… we promptly kicked lord marrogawarawrs ass.


That about sums it up… I need to go home now (blogging at work=/= bad I swear!) and get this up asap.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Ready for Icecrown? I was born ready!

Whether the patch comes out this week or next, I'm totally ready for Icecrown. Our 10 man group pretty much took this week off and I couldn't be happier to say goodbye to ToC. Still that won't stop me from raiding 25 tonight on my shaman as Enhancement.

I have to remember to include Flame shock in my rotation and pray to the loot gods that a nice slow onehanded weapon drops. Death's choice wouldn't hurt either... but if I do win the roll I would probably give it to Cassiana... since she has lost every roll since we started doing ToC. That of course brings up the whole morality of rolling on something with the intent to give it to someone else... but that's neither here nor there.

Hmm... third paragraph now and I've come to the realization that I don't have a point in writing any of this. I'm just really freaking excited about seeing Icecrown.

Lets see if I can organize this into a list of things I want to do once icecrown comes out.

1) Run the 5 man reg, and heroic on all 8 80's if for nothing else then to do the epic questline for a sweet 251 weapon... of which most of my toons are in dire need of.

2) Run the 5 man reg, and heroic another 5 million times on my rogue and warlock to get them caught up on gear and into the raid scene.

3) Run the 5 man heroic of every other instance because I'm masochistic and like pugging.

4) Run the 10 and 25 man raid on all who is currently capable (5/8 80's).

5) Get ready for the final Arena season and switch to one of my MS capable characters (rogue, warrior or hunter) for our serious 3's team.

6) Get poor old Artorin to 80 (semi motivated to do this before the patch)

7) Remind myself that I need to go to sleep, go to the bathroom, and eat. Oh and saying hi to my family now and again.

8) ???

9) Uh... phat loots?

Did I mention I'm excited about patch 3.3?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Looooonnngggg Weekend

Having a fairly normal 9-5 type job I had the luxury of having Thursday and Friday off giving me a nice long 4 day weekend. The RL stuff was pretty typical going to my Uncles for some turkey on Thursday and then going to my parents Saturday for some decorating of the Christmas tree. Ok... so my sister and mother mostly decorated... while the rest of us sat and watched... Star Trek.

Anyway the rest of my RL weekend was pretty uneventful which of course means I spent a lot of time on WoW. My wife found out one of her old high school friends plays WoW and so we both created characters on Nordrassil. Wilderness my brand new female Orc hunter is currently level 14 questing in the Ghostlands, because I've never leveled a blood elf but wanted to experience the lore rich zone. My wife also created a hunter... a male blood elf and the 2 of us together literally destroy everything before us. My wife has been spending more time playing her hunter then me but meh whatever playing a low level hunter is boring when I have an 80 hunter.

Speaking of which I had a lot of fun doing Arena on Arravis with Kobeck's druid Averlexis. We did most of our games last night bringing our rating from 500 something to 1100 which means that I can pick up the furious helm. Before the games I splurged and picked up the Furious legs with arena points and then bought the Furious Shoulders with emblems of Triumph that I had piling up. All in all I'm sitting on 596 resilience so I'm getting there. On the raiding front for Arravis I did Ony 10/25, and ToC 10 man. Still without a good 2h weapon... I swear the weapon upgrades I really need never drop.

Which of course leads to Saravid. I did a TON of raiding on my shaman. I ran VoA 10/25, ToC 10/25, Ony 10/25. So pretty much everything. I got a pair of legs out of ToC 25 for my enhancement set... but I can't really spare the hit to use them not to mention they have armor pen.... and would break my tier 8 bonus. So for now they are sitting in my bags. Most of the raids I ran as enhancement, but I did go as resto when I ran with Phired's guild (one of the regular tanks in or 25 man's) when we did ToC 10. Duo healing with a disc priest was a lot of fun and we cleared ToC without incident. Which was good considering they run starting at midnight... (east coast server west coast guild) and it was Sunday night.

My mage went through VoA 25 and ToGC 10. VoA was funny because the raid had 4 mages... and all 4 of us were at the top of the charts. Korolarn of course dropped nothing useable by us... but then the next 2 bosses all dropped tier gear that none of us needed. ToGC we ran Wednesday night and went through beasts and Jarraxus with only a little difficulty. That of course brought us up against faction champions for the second time. We didn't have any kind of solid strategy and the comp we were up against certainly didn't favor what we brought to the table. I still thought we did well though and on one attempt we killed off 2 of them before wiping. No upgrades dropped (sensing a trend?).

Well after we finished our last attempt on Faction Champs some people had to go and the rest of us swapped out some peeps to go run through ToC 10 reg. Cassi switched from her uber hunter to totally undergeared DK and I switched to my warrior. Hour later and we were done. I picked up a nice tanking neck but still no upgrades I really need... like a freaking shield to replace my crest of lordearon from CoS heroic. Anyway Sunday while I was doing Arena on Arravis I got a whisper from Curinir one of my old guildies and good friend. He was looking for a tank to finish up some of the later parts of Ulduar and wanted to know if I would be interested. I wasn't sure at the time but 2 hours later when the raid was about to go down I figured I had nothing better to do.

The Ulduar raid happened to be a Guild run for Serendipity... my old guild. The old guild leader (who put into place stupid rules leading to my leaving) had quit the game and now my friend and old druid mentor was the Guild Leader. I really had fun playing with some of my old guildies and hope that I can do more runs with them... while still being in a different guild. Anyway... we had Thorim, Hodir, and mimiron still up and they went down in that order. Thorim was a one shot... damn tanking in the arena as a warrior is freaking hectic. Hodir I went Arms and let Nikkyo the bear tank take Hodir. Took us 3 attempts before we got him due to people getting frozen. I wasn't one of them but I was curious and found out that if you are in the middle of bladestorm while the freezing thingy goes off that you won't get frozen.

Mimiron took a bunch of attempts, usually people (including myself, stupid shock blast) dying to stupid stuff. I was tanking the head during phase 3/4 and eating bomb bots om nom nom. With Mimiron dead... we headed to General Vezax. I LOVE the journey down to his room. Some of the people in the raid hadn't been this far in Ulduar... as we were headed down I announced that THIS is why ToC was such a disappointment to so many raiders. Icecrown better be worth the wait. But I digress, General Vezax is the furthest I have ever been in Ulduar before and have never killed him. On top of that I had never done the fight as a tank. So here I was getting ready to stand toe to toe with a boss that could easily kill me and the raid if I wasn't careful.

First attempt went pretty well all things considered and we got him down to 1 mil health. Ethren who is one of the best rogues I know in the game did an incredible job of interrupting of interrupting the flame thingy. I had 2 or 3 interrupts to his 20 and we only had one go off on an attempt because one of the mages was a little overzealous and pulled the boss out of range. I would use shield wall through the big shadowy thingy and run like a little girl when my cd's were er... on cd.

On our 4th attempt the big lobster finally died! I have to say that this is one of my favorite fights so far to tank. Having to watch everything and be ready to run for your life while still putting out as much threat as humanly possible combines all the elements that make a fight great. I was about to start using the 1h dps sword that I had gotten from Anuberak( that I use for PvP ) just to kick out extra threat.

Lanora did ToC 10 and VoA 10... and thats about it for raiding. Llina, Jadedfury, and Skillet got almost no attention. Perhaps when Icecrown comes out.

As an aside... how is it that most of my toons raiding the current tier only got one paragraph each... but I easily wrote 4 paragraphs on just Ulduar? A raid that offers absolutely nothing in terms of gear upgrades... but feels more exciting then ToC and Ony?

Monday, November 16, 2009

WotLK Super Bowl, and AACH!

Can you feel it? The excitement in the air? Icecrown isn't far away. The culmination or super bowl if you will of the last year isn't far off and already blizzard has made some ground breaking changes. But before we get into that lets look and see what our lineup looks like.

Starting with our Veterans we have;

Arravis. Unfortunately Arravis has been on special teams all year. She has great talent and could easily become one of the best wide receivers but unfortunately the team simply has too many of them already. As a result Arravis only gets to come out for a few games here and there. Nonetheless Arravis has been on the team from the very start and always gives it her all.

Lanora. Starting quarterback all year (except for that broken rapture in the first few weeks of Ulduar) Lanora has been at the center for a long time. She can always be called upon in a pinch and is guaranteed to deliver. ToC has seen her in the tip top shape of her life and she is ready for the big game.

Of course then we have our draft picks;

Saravid. First round draft pick Saravid has brought the pain on offense and was the star of Ulduar as a wide receiver. Unfortunately though, just before ToC, drug testing detected some steroids and she was put on leave for the entire duration of the game. She recently has been getting some practice time in and may be starting as a running back for the big game... assuming she can stay off the roids.

Llina. One of the greatest linemen you ever heard of... wait... you mean you remember linemen? Well she has lined up to take a beating since late in the naxx game but linemen don't make a very big name for themselves. She is there in the background... er foreground whatever but perhaps not the biggest star.

We also had two drafts come in mid season;

Gandreolf. Blam! This guy came out of nowhere and really made a name for himself. Taking over where Saravid failed, Gandreolf has become the premier go to guy. He has had impeccable performance in ToC and is a shoe in for MVP in the big game. Of course the bigger the pride the greater the fall.

Skyru. Raw power are the best words to describe this behemoth. The defensive linebacker and offensive running back is the very definition of power and versatility. This guy has a lot to make up for coming in to the game late but has certainly done an amazing job so far. You can count on this guy being ready when the lines are formed at Icecrown superdome.

Standing on the sidelines... I mean behind the TV we have;

Jadedfury. This weekend warrior was (emphasis on the was) an incredible football player back in highschool. The years unfortunately haven't been kind to our wannabee athlete and she has really packed on the pounds. She is hopeful though, for Blizzard has announced an alternate root for her to get in shape for the superbowl and you can bet she will take advantage to seize her dream.

Skillet. Remember the Titans, The longest Yard, and that one Mark Wahlberg movie, Skillet has watched them all. Including a 15 minute instructional video. Sure she doesn't know a touchdown from a touchback but she is confident and ready to go! Again thanks to Blizzards alternate Advancement for the Aptitude Challenged, or AACH, Skillet can be ready to go.

AACH is a 2 week program created to quickly whip potential Icecrown ballers into shape. The first week consists of Running the regular 5 man icecrown warmup until you complete this once. Then you begin learning the Heroic 5 man Iecrown Workout which you can do once a day. Do the heroic work out and as many reps of the warmup as you can per day.

By the end of the 2 weeks you will have completed enough runs, as well as the epic questline to get your very own official shoulder pads, and you will be ready to compete in the Icecrown Super Bowl!

So how about you? Who is your superstar or record breaking rookie going to be? Are they experienced? Or will you have to take them through AACH?

And finally... in the spirit of Potts over at WTF I bring you

Do I win?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I'll take them myself, Cover me!

Yeah OK the title has nothing to do with the following post... but I couldn't think of a title because I decided to try something new and wrote a post while at work. I had the post all set up but was missing the title... my daughter was watching Star Wars and Darth Vadar was in the fighter and had just said "I'll take them myself, Cover me!" so that is the title.


I was reading a post over at AA talking about why it is that Zan is into alts, I have to say that it mirrors my own reasons pretty closely. Zan mentioned and I’ve talked about before, the fact that playing multiple classes helps you as a leader. You know what kind of gear people need, what rotations they should be using or what unique abilities can help during a fight. For instance during Onyxia I taught one of our hunters to use Chimera shot to disarm the big adds. She didn’t even know that chimera shot could be used as a disarm!


The other thing Zan talked about was solo play when it comes to alts. Growing up I learned to entertain myself as a child… no get your head out of the gutter that’s not what I meant! I mean playing with… ok that doesn’t work either.


The point is growing up we had one computer. This meant single player games were all I grew up on. We also didn’t get games regularly which meant I had to find ways to replay games to make them entertaining. I’ve played the original half life from start to finish probably 30 times growing up and warcraft 2 was the same way not to mention starcraft.


I never had a strong enough internet connection to do much of anything online with any game. In fact it wasn’t until after I was married that I played my first MMO… Runescape. My brother got me into playing this game and as much as I made fun of him for it at the start… I really got into the game. I only really played one character in Runescape, but that was because I didn’t need to play anything else. There were no varying classes so I can learn everything… and I did exactly that. I was nearly 100 when I quit playing with many of the skills in the 90’s.


Even though Runescape was an MMO I played it nearly entirely solo. I played runescape for 2 years I think before starting to play Guild Wars. Guild Wars was cool because you could combine classes… but each class was still unique that I ended up buying extra slots so that I had one of all the 10 classes the game had to offer. I found during this process that I couldn’t focus on a single character because there was no real need to. You could complete the entire game without ever having to group with another human yet all of the content was group based.


I didn’t like how Guild Wars was instance based and really missed the open world environment of Runescape… but the graphical difference made it impossible to play any browser based game again. I also hated the fact that you couldn’t jump in either game…


My best friend got me into playing WoW and I rolled a druid… the class that could do everything. I discovered a community that didn’t exist in the other games and once I joined a raiding guild was hooked. Life at 70 though outside of raiding was pretty boring (wasn’t even daily quests at that point). The issue was that I had soloed my way mostly to 70 and now everything that was remotely challenging required groups. So when I felt like getting out on my own I turned to leveling up alts. Having an unguilded alt was a great way to escape from drama and just feel free of the burdens of the endgame.


I love soloing or at least attempting to solo group quests. Always have. It’s a challenge and you have to adapt and use abilities that you normally wouldn’t in order to survive. Can I solo this elite that I killed on my hunter solo on my priest? Ouch guess not! How bout on a mage?


I do the same thing even at 80 with various elites around icecrown. What is the hardest thing I can kill with the different classes? Pretty much all of them can kill the big monstrosity guy but so far only my paladin has been able to solo the riders.


Anyway enough rambling for now cya!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

PSA


Public Service Announcement: This Holiday season don't drink and raid. You just may end up dead.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Been Hunting

This weekend saw the end of Hallow's end and the start of Day of the Dead in World of Warcraft. So for dancing with some chick in Dalaran I got to look like an undead mexican cowboy... thing. Ok. Cowgirl. Whatever. Anyway I was in Isle of Conquest when I noticed how my hunter was mounted with her gun.

Immediately I thought of this.


You wouldn't believe how long it took to find a cowboy picture with the gun resting across the lap. I mean you see it all the freaking time in movies but on the internet?

My wife insisted that I should use a cowgirl for the picture... we did a search for cowgirls and came up with some... lets say interesting pictures.

I got to the point where I was about to log on to wow and buy a bear mount so that I could use this picture




So yeah I've gotten back into my hunter over the weekend. And it sucks. I mean don't get me wrong. I love playing my hunter. In fact every time I play my hunter I remember why I love the hunter class and why it was my first toon to 80 in wotlk.

Why does it suck?

Because I don't get to raid on my hunter because we already have 2 hunters in our 10 man. Neither one of them have 80 alts, and our 25 man's aren't any better. My poor hunter never has had much luck when it comes to raiding. In the beginning of WotLK the guild I was in raided regularly... without me. Oh I did get in a few times towards the end of the night and get a few attempts in on harder bosses.

I only actually killed a handful of bosses in Naxx and went 2 months without seeing a single useable drop. I remember being on vent one night waiting to get into the naxx 10 group... and every. freaking. boss. dropped hunter loot. Who got it? The crappy hunter who couldn't even be bothered to enchant and gem his gear. We were supposed to switch out at 9:30... 11:30 rolls around and the #$*)*@$ finally switches. We get one attempt on a boss in and then they called it.

After that I started seeking raids on my own any time that I couldn't meet the guild's. The guild had a problem with anyone pugging anything... and I was further banned from raiding with them leading to me quitting the guild. I had leveled up my priest during that dry spell and when I moved to the new guild... I raided on my priest and my hunter was left out in the cold.

When 3.2 came out I got into my hunter again. Quickly picking up gear that was needed to flesh out my kit through ToC 5 runs. I even asked if I could bring my hunter to the 25 man's since we didn't have an MM hunter and the attack power buff was missing. Yeah... instead I raided on my mage and one of the regular hunters switched to MM.

Tw0 weeks ago I brushed off my hunter after almost 2 months and ran ToC 10 with Phired's guild. Phired is one of the tanks in our 25 man group and someone who Kobeck and I have been doing our 3's with. He has almost as many 80's as me!

Anyway it was a fun run for me and I picked up the Diplomat (gun in the top picture) as a reward. Finally this weekend I got around to gemming and enchanting said gun. In addition I picked up dual spec and dove straight into battlegrounds and arena. Getting dual spec on my hunter means that all 9 of my characters on Durotan have Dual Spec's... and all of them have at least some form of PvP spec. I also ran a pug ToC 10 and VoA 25.

BG's are insanely fun with my MM pvp spec and I ran quite a few with Kobeck's druid healing me. With a dedicated healer we went 10 or 11 bg's without dying once while I lead in HK's. I even got the Wrecking Ball achievement. Would be interesting to see my hunter become my main focus again... but I don't see that fully happening without raiding, which I can't really do with my current raid group.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Little fish in a big pond

Two days ago a Real Life friend transferred his warlock to my server to join our Guild of real life friends. He transferred from a low pop server where he was in an average guild for that server. He was a big fish in that Guild and constantly sat at the top of the DPS.

I wasn't sure how good his DPS actually was but Wednesday night I put in the effort to get him an invite into our 10 man raid. I went on my priest to heal opening a dps slot for him to take. So how did he do with our experienced group? Around 3k dps which netted him dead last amongst the rest of the dps.

He was really excited and enjoyed running with a good group of skilled players and he picked up some nice upgrades to boot. In a few months I'm sure he will catch up to the rest of the group but it still brings up an interesting topic.

Can people grow at the top?

It takes a lot of time and effort to reach the pinnacle in any field and playing WoW is no difference. The warlock was a big fish in a little pond on his old server but here on mine he is just a little fish in a big pond. With a larger server comes more talented and skilled players not to mention that the economy on high pop servers is much more stable. He mentioned that epic gems on that server cost upwards of 1200g each where as on ours you won't see any over 200.

I wonder if he had stayed on his server would he have gotten better as a player? Without competition would he look into his own flaws and mistakes to try and improve them? I'm sure that some people have that internal motivation to constantly get better but it still begs the question of with a limited pool of additional resources (more people), do people reach a cap of what they are capable of?

The group I play with is a very skilled group of people. They are very intelligent and take raiding very seriously. I've grown pretty accustomed to them, yet I wonder if I would do better in an actual hardcore guild. I find myself slacking because my performance and gear is "good enough". I generally keep up regardless of not min maxing my gear as much as other raid members.

In a more hardcore guild I would be lower in the dps rankings and therefore have more incentive to min max my gear and focus on just one character. Unfortunately I don't have the dedication to be a part of a hardcore guild. Fortunately though I have a group that fits in very well with my skill level.

Last week we had a rogue with us that was only doing 2800 dps in mostly 232 gear. I was frustrated because the raid leader was still going after hardmodes in ToC even though it was obvious that this rogue was dragging us down. I said something out loud about it and my wife just stared at me.

"I do 2800 dps!" She said.

I had to stop and think about that one. While her gear isn't as high of quality as the rogue's she did have a point. The few times my wife has pugged she has commented on how she is always the highest in dps and yet when she runs with us she is lowest.

The rogue had a suboptimal spec and that was a big part of why his dps was low. Should I have said something? My past experiences with trying to help people improve their dps has left me wishing I would have just bit my tongue instead.

That rogue may have gone back to his guild and said OMG I just ran with the most awesomest people! Maybe it would even motivate him into getting better! Instead he got bitched out in our 25 man run by behindya who just recently started raiding again and destroyed pretty much everyone in dps.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Who is Garrosh?

You first meet Garrosh Hellscream crying his eyes out by a bonfire in Nagrand. I spent hours killing hundreds of ogres, demons, and more ogres liberating the Maghar because Garrosh was too much of a pussy to do anything himself. Next we see Garrosh in Warsong Hold in Borean Tundra. Not only does the SOB not remember all the shit I did for him in Nagrand... he treats me like dirt and once again I have to save his brown ass from all the scourge in the area!

Maybe I'm missing something in between there but it seems like Garrosh stepped through the Dark Portal and completely lost his mind. He went from a sad pathetic orc to flat out attacking the king of Stormwind in the middle of Dalaran. The word is that in Cataclysm he is going to become Warchief of the horde taking over for Thrall.

Thrall: Do you wanna lead this horde?

Garrosh: Yes!

Thrall: Well... You can't... (shifty eyes)

Garrosh: Sure as hell do a better job then you.

(yes I shamelessly pulled that from a movie)

All of this makes me wonder though... from a lore standpoint what if Garrosh isn't really Garrosh? His father Grom was very easily manipulated by Mannaroth into drinking the pitlords blood. What if his son is just as susceptible to evil forces?

He was all fine in Nagrand and then BAM as soon as he goes through the Dark Portal gets mind controlled by an Old God. The Old God uses Garrosh to rekindle the conflict between the horde and alliance weakening them further so there is less of a challenge to Deathwing.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Why is 6 afraid of 7?

Cuz 7 8 80's!

Yeah I know... its stupid. I haven't posted in over a week and its because I've been working on getting my Warlock to 80. Last night Skillet finally hit 80 at about 1 am. I don't remember what I was doing when I hit 80 and I didn't take a screen shot because I was half asleep.

I just remember going to Stormwind training my lvl 80 spells... casting demonic circle and teleporting. Then I logged off and went to sleep.

On the whole the last few weeks I've felt really off. I've been really tired during the day and busy at work so I haven't been keeping up on blogs and have lacked the motivation to post anything. I've been raiding and doing PvP when not leveling my warlock. I also managed to get the Halloween achievement for my warlock which was pretty cool.

I want to make another shift in raiding mains when Icecrown came out. The question is I don't know who I want to focus on... I'm having the same issue in pvp. Gear is much harder to make up for in PvP then it is in PvE. You can raid ToC in Naxx 10 gear but you can't hit Gladiator wearing lvl 78 frostsavage gear...

Anyway... that's all for now. I'll try and get some info up maybe on the spec choices I've made as far as pvp goes. Still finding it hard to concentrate on raiding these days... though Saturday night we did get a 10 man Ulduar group together to take out the last few bosses. We had a less then ideal group and some people who have never been there... but I got to tank Mimiron on my warrior! That really is the highlight of my raiding these last few weeks...

Friday, October 16, 2009

/cast [modifier:shift] macro; post

One of the issues I've always had with WoW was getting keybindings set up in a natural feeling way. When I first started playing and really only had my druid to focus on it was easy to keybind everything I needed. However, I didn't continue to just focus on my druid and I soon realized that trying to set up intuitive keybindings for every toon I had was an impossible task.

I spent a long time pushing the wrong button and eventually gave up. I did a lot of clicking which was fine for long casts like starfire or fireball. Short casts were assigned to 1-6 for easy accessibility. Ultimately though I never felt that this system was effective and I searched for a method to condense all the buttons I needed to press into easy to reach locations. Early on I had set my F keys to raid marking so that was out of the question.

I finally found a solution in a rather strange place. I was reading a post on Resto4life about setting up a gaming keypad that she had purchased when I picked up on this awesome macro.

/cast [modifier:(key)] (spell 2); (spell 1)

The modifier key that you select can really be anything but coming from a FPS backround shift seemed like the perfect button. Shift is a very natural button to anyone who has played FPS or just in general types using the home row. So with this macro I can use 6 keybindings to activate 12 abilities.

So for example here is Lanora my priest's 1-6 bar.





From left to right you have Shadow Word:Death, Flash Heal, Penance, Greater Heal, Renew and Power Word:Shield. Now when I hold shift I have...




Now from left to right we have Shoot, Binding Heal, Penance, Prayer of Healing, Prayer of Mending, and Power Word:Shield.

Pretty cool eh? If you notice I kind of have a system to the set up. Flash of heal and binding heal are both 1.5 sec casts that heal for around the same on the target. Greater heal and Prayer of Healing are priests big slow spells for single target and AoE. Renew and Prayer of Mending are both instant cast spells.

Now I usually have un macro-ed buttons for spec specific spells such as Penance. If I were speced holy that is where Circle of Healing would go. I also usually don't have anything majorly important in one slots so that I can move other spells (such as mass dispel/fight specific items).

How to make it!

So if you don't already use this macro... hopefully now you will want to and are wondering how it works? Well lets break it down.

/cast [modifier:shift]

This is the guts of the macro. As you can see I chose Shift as the button I want to press in order to activate the second ability. You can use ctrl or alt or just about anything to activate the secondary ability but I don't recommend using alt. Using alt can be risky because if you use your F buttons for anything it increases the chance of you hitting say alt+F4 and closing WoW.

/cast [modifier:shift] secondspell; firstspell


Now we add our abilities to the macro. Secondspell is whatever spell you want to be active when you hold the shift button, and the first spell would be whatever spell you want active without the shift being held. It is also essential to seperate them with a semi-colon and space.

Now I like to be able to see the tooltips of the spells on my bar so we want to add this to our macro.

#showtooltip
/cast [modifier:shift] secondspell; first spell


So our finished product will look like this...












Tips and Tricks

Just a few things to note you can add additional modifiers to the same macro. A good example is for paladin's judgement spells. You have 3 of them so why not condense them into one spell? This is what that would look like.

/cast [modifier:shift] Judgement of Wisdom; [modifier:alt] Judgement of Justice; Judgement of Light

So with this you typically will judge Light. Holding shift will judge wisdom and holding alt will judge Justice.

Finally, I like to macro spells with cooldowns to be the secondary spell and the main nuke I am using becomes the primary. The downside is that you won't be able to see the CD on that ability. But there is a solution to that! You already know what the primary spell is so we can set the tooltip to show the secondary all the time. So for instance my warlock has a macro that looks like this...

#showtooltip Chaos Bolt
/cast [modifier:shift] Chaos Bolt; Incinerate

Somethings that are nice to set up as shift macro's are Power Word:Fortitude, and Prayer of Fortitude. This way you can click for a single buff or shift click to buff the raid. You can also condense your mount selection by having your preferred ground mount, and your preferred flying mount macro-ed together.

Well that is all for now I hope this serves as a good break from my ranty posts lately!

Edit: Apparently Kobeck decided to correct me! You can shorten Modifier in the macro down to Mod and call it good.

(Bastard)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

LFM Must be Geared

http://www.indiamart.com/mecoengg/pcat-gifs/products-small/geared-coupling_10692549.jpg
I'm not sure how it is on your realm but this is something that I hear in LFG channel all the time. It is also the phrase I hate the most because it is totally meaningless. Somehow in the course of the WotLK expansion the term "geared" has become a measuring stick of a player. But what is considered geared... and why is it important?

I remember during towards the end of BC I was pretty heavy into pvp on my druid. One evening though I decided to join a pug of Kara as a healer. The group had zoned in and without even fully buffing the tank started pulling without saying a word. Well the end result of a complete lack of communication is a wipe which is exactly what happened.

I then was kicked from the group. Totally confused I whisper the leader and asked why I was kicked. He replied that I had under 1400 healing power and that I didn't have enough gear. Well this boggled my mind because I looked at my character sheet and it said I had 1600. Then I remembered that I had logged out in my pvp gear which had significantly less healing power. When I told the leader that he must have been looking at my pvp gear and that my pve gear is what I was wearing... he pretty much called me a liar and put me on ignore.

To compound the issue

For the most part BC was you needed x healing or x + damage, hps, attack power whatever. Now though people are using mods that calculate the value of the gear you are wearing. However this doesn't even begin to go into whether you have chosen the proper gear only the item level and the quality of gems and enchants. You could be wearing spell power plate gear as a prot pally and have spell penetration gems... gearscore mods and sites wouldn't know the difference.

Sometimes people make poor choices just because the item has a higher ilvl. Take for instance the melee dps trinket out of Regular ToC Victor's call , this trinket has a ton of expertise that unless you actually need the expertise... is a step down from even the Mirror of Truth.

None of these even matter if the person doesn't know how to play their class. You can have the best gear in the world but still die in the fire if you aren't paying attention, or have a terrible spec and spell rotation.

One of the mages that runs with our raid group consistently does around 1k to 2k dps less then my mage. His gearscore according to wow-heroes is 200 pts higher then mine.

This weekend our 25 man run was a little light on healers for our Saturday night clean up of TotC and Ony. Earlier that night one of my Guildies let me know that he had the night off and was looking for something to do. So when the time came and I saw we needed healers I let the raid leader know that he was available.

The RL response?

"He is a little undergeared, most of his gear is from Naxx."

.....

To which I ever so politely reminded my RL... that the very priest I was playing was still in half Naxx 10 gear and was in FULL ilvl 200 gear when we started doing TotC!

I've been raiding with them on my priest every other week alternating between my priest and mage depending on what was needed. Our first clears of TotC 10 was with my priest in one piece of ilvl 219 gear from ToC 5. My priest still has 5 pieces I think of ilvl 200 gear and has healed up to Jaraxxus on TotGC (heroic 10)

And they are trying to tell me that the paladin who has cleared half of Ulduar with us before isn't allowed to go because his gear was low??

With my flawless and impeccable logic they finally invited my guildie into the group. How did he match up next to the almost full ilvl 245 geared holy pally?

He out healed her. Not by a lot... but considering the gear difference enough to make my point damnit.

I'm sick of everyone putting so much focus into gear.

Last week we only had 9 people for 10 man TotC... so we brought one of the RL's mother along on her mage... who did 900 dps. We one shotted every boss in TotC, VoA, and 2 shotted Ony.

/sigh

Monday, October 12, 2009

Waiting... I hate waiting

What am I waiting for?

Patch 3.3

Does anyone else feel like it is almost pointless to do PvE right now? Yeah I probably won't stop raiding right now... but it all feels so dull and pointless in the shadow of Icecrown.

I really want to play my rogue. I do. I just can't seem to get into her though. It isn't because of the play style. It isn't because I don't know what I'm doing. I just can't make myself run through all the current content... just to have it all replaced the day 3.3 comes out.

I don't want to run heroics 5 million times. I don't want to run with the bad pugs trying to farm ToC 5. I don't want to spend thousands of gold on outdated BoE epics... not when in a month or two I can farm easy content to get ilvl 232 gear.

It is one thing to raid current content on my characters who are already geared for that content. Getting upgrades now that I won't replace till Icecrown 10 man is fine.

But farming heroics to run Naxx, to run Ulduar, to run TotC.... I can't bring myself to do that for the 7th time.

I really do want to play my rogue though.

So I've been doing PvP. My rogue is Dual Spec with PvE Mutilate and PvP Mut/Prep.

And I'm still waiting. Waiting for my arena points from the week before. Waiting for BG queues and WG to reset. Waiting for towers to cap and walls to come down.

Did I mention I hate waiting?

I did 2700 dps in VoA the other day... what are the chances I can convince a TotC 10 pug that I can keep up while in 2/3 blue gear?

/sigh

July 2008

I found a few interesting photo's from my old collection that I took of a few of my characters at the login screen. At this point I had been playing for around 1.5 years. I'm pretty bad about taking screenshots and I can't find anything prior to June 2007. So for nostalgia sake here we go.

This is of my rogue in July of 2008

Now taken at my log in screen today here is Jadedfury


Hippy mage Gandreolf at age 44 (really needed to lay off the peacebloom)


And now at 80 with Jetpack shoulders

My priest was 56 at the time and she would hit 70 a month and a half later, making her my last 70 before WotLK was released.

My how times have changed. Is it just me or has the textures on the faces improved a bit over the years? The hair looks a tad darker and features more pronounced. I haven't changed the appearance of either of them since creation. No not even for the stupid achievement.

Anyway in case you were curious here is the earliest picture I could find. It is of my paladin in her 20's. I used to have a really terrible router and would disconnect all the time. Often I would get some interesting pictures between the time where I disconnected and the client finally realized it wasn't talking to the host.


Most of my early screenshots consisted of these types of events or really stunning locations that made me stop and admire the world.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ask me anything!

So I finally got around to setting up an e-mail address specifically for the blog! This means that any questions or thoughts that you want to ask, but maybe don't want to leave as a comment, you can e-mail directly to me! Since I obviously have no life (playing wow and all) you can be sure that I will take the time to answer all of your requests Soon(TM).

Really though a lot of the time I don't really know what to post on my blog because I'm not sure what people are interested in reading. I have a ton of knowledge in a great many area's of the game but I don't want to just spew it out onto the blog. This hopefully lets my readers (all 5 of you) ask questions they may otherwise be afraid too or give me criticism on what I can do better as a blogger.

Anyway feel free to e-mail me at WMMA@att.net
I included the address on the sidebar for future references.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

So... ya... I'm going to need you to come in Saturday

I'm not dead... I've just been busy. I can usually get a post up at the very least on Friday... but I've been working Saturdays and taking naps when I get home during the week. Of course that is mostly due to going to bed too late playing wow... but w/e.

That is one of the bad things about PvP... it caters to that "just one more round!" mentality that makes WoW so addictive to me. I've certainly been doing a lot of PvP on my non raid nights between arena on my shaman... and grinding out that bloody terrible level 73-76 grind on my warlock.

Skillet has been my latest obsession so far this week. Warlocks are so uber when it comes to PvP and even being terribly geared and at the low end of the bracket, I'm still holding my own. I've certainly noticed a trend lately. There are much more lower level players in this bracket then when there was when my Druid first started leveling through PvP.

I wonder if this is just a trend with the 73 to 76 range. Are people that bored of the early wotlk zones? I mean I am because I've done them 7 times... but perhaps I'm not the only one sick of them. BC had a good amount of mix in the zones, at 66 you could be questing in Nagrand, Blades Edge mountain, or Terrokar Forrest.

The other aspect is that perhaps once people get to 77... they like me, start preparing for 80. At 77 I'm grinding out quests for my head enchant faction, as well as the everlasting Sons of Hodir grind. Level 80 dungeons open up so that people can get their 80 friends to run with them through easy content and start gearing up. Heck you can get into ToC at level 75!

Most of the BG's are unaffected by this shift in players... with the HUGE exception being AV. The horde seem to have a huge advantage in AV because.... well Balinda doesn't one shot your tanks with a crit or crushing blow. Not having a 79 tank with decent gear means serious trouble... especially when Galv can just fear THE ENTIRE group out of the room. I have a feeling AV will adapt to become an eternal turtle with people defending the towers to the bitter end... abandoning the prospect of killing the bosses.

Unless of course that miracle 79 warrior tank comes a long who knows how to use Beserker Rage. But I'm not holding my breathe.

P.S. Oh and bonus to anyone who can tell me where that screenshot was taken.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Tetris: Patchwerk Remix

So Tobold had a post talking about the shifting of Raid's from a single difficulty to having multiple difficulties so that more people can experience the encounters. I do agree to a point. The problem with having all of these versions of the same instance... is that hardcore players have to run ALL versions of these instances.

If I want to do the hard versions... I have to run both the regular for gear, and then the hard version of THE EXACT SAME INSTANCE. While having heroic versions is nice for the challenge... it isn't exactly the same as having challenging new encounters. Having a boss deal more damage and have more hps and maybe one new mechanic isn't very exciting. Or is it?

Well I know in the case of Crusader Coliseum it isn't very exciting. I was thinking though... what if Blizzard designed an encounter that progressively got harder? My unlikely to be implemented idea is that you take a relatively simple fight like say Patchwerk, you take the fight and add a twist to it.

You start off fighting Patchwerk and then after 3 minutes another patchwerk spawns. This patchwerk though has 10% (maybe 20% would be better) more health and does 10/20% more damage. You have another 3 minutes to kill this Patchwerk before the next comes out. Essentially each patchwerk becomes a level and every 3 minutes whether you killed him or not the next level starts. This simply continues till the raid wipes.

At that point the raid zones back in and a chest is there with rewards equal to the level of challenge they completed. You get one emblem of whatever for each patchwerk dead and then say after 5 you get an additional whateverlvl of gear. At lvl 10 you get a tier piece and every level after that you get an additional tier piece and so on and so forth. At level 10 the raid would have been fighting for 30 minutes straight and would have to kill a version of patchwerk dealing twice the damage and having twice the health.

With this type of encounter anyone can experience a challenge equal to their ability/gear level. You still get a reward no matter how far you get and the further you get the greater the reward.

The fight doesn't have to be patchwerk but I chose him because it is a good benchmark for dps yet still requires 2 solid tanks and good healing. You would have to find a good balance between the right number of dps and healers to get as far as you can before your healers run out of mana, the tanks get one shot, or you don't have enough dps to kill the current before the next comes out and you get overwhelmed.

The hardcore Guilds can compete to get to the highest level and would give them something to constantly challenge their abilities. Put the whole thing on a one attempt per week deal to where everyone gets an equal number of attempts to get the furthest.

Anyway what do you think of the idea? Is it stupid? What boss would be a better fit to challenge the whole raid since dps have the easy job? What kind of reward scaling would be appropriate?

80 Baby! FoKing a!

So ya... my rogue hit 80 last night. I got Fan of Knives. Its fun. Did a little pvp with Kobeck's druid. We got our asses handed to us. Ran Brewfest. Got the Barman's Shanker 2.0. So yes. Now I can stab people with a beer bottle.

Oh and FoKing is awesome!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Da PvP

So I was PvPing on my druid the other day and we had just won AV... and the strangest thing happened. I had just died and resurrected and was looking at the leader boards... when all of a sudden my character started moving.

My druid switched into cat form apparently summoned one of my pets, the spirit of competition, and proceeded to start attacking a horde player. Don't believe me? Look at the screen shot! I couldn't move or do anything but continued to go through a pretty solid cat rotation on the player with faerie fire and keeping up bleeds.

Anyway this doesn't have any real relation to what I wanted to talk about aside from the fact that it was an interesting unexplainable event and involved pvp.

I've largely ignored PvP thus far in WotLK mostly because there has been so much to do in PvE and I've largely enjoyed raiding and instancing. Things are starting to change though...

Gearing up has become easier then ever and part of the challenge of theorycrafting and researching upgrades has dissipated when you can just go into a single instance and get all of your gear. Not to mention for the most part all of my 80's at the moment are pretty much finished when it comes to gear. No none of them have all best in slot but they have enough gear to perform in the raid environment that I would play them in. Essentially every character is Ulduar ready. Half of them are ToC ready/geared.

So I've been working on my rogue and druid getting them to 80. I realized that my rogue was 76 after making my post bitching about not having anywhere to quest... and so headed to Sholazar. Now she is 77 and there is a good chance that she may hit 80 by the end of the weekend.

All of this including the malaise I talked about over the current raid content has pushed my interest more into PvP. I spent a lot of time doing BG's and Arena's at 70 on my druid when I stopped raiding, so this transition isn't new for me. With PvE being either dull or seemingly pointless PvP is where the challenge is so that is where I am heading.

Last night after running Coren 15 times Kobeck, Phired and I decided to put together a 3v3 arena team. I decided to go on my shaman and Phired went on his lock. Kobeck decided to stay on his DK so we went as a 3 dps team, ele shaman/frost DK/destruct lock. I'm sure this isn't the greatest comp but it was still fun! We lost our first 9 matches in a row... I'll admit it was mostly my fault. I'm rusty in playing my shaman and had just switched my enhance offspec to pvp elemental spec. I picked up the stoneclaw glyph (which is totally awesome), thunderstorm glyph, and glyph of hex... I think was the third one.

We did 26 total matches last night and won 9 of them. Certainly not the greatest but it was a ton of fun and we started getting into the groove of things towards the end. One of the huge problems for me is while my shaman has insane gear... most of it is PvE gear. I had a grand total of 100 resilience, kobeck had 400, and Phired on his lock put us all to shame with 800. So it is my mission over the next few weeks to get into more bg's and get practice being an uber ele shaman in pvp.

In other words I need to get better at running away.

Oh btw... our teams name is Taunt on Cooldown in homage of Katmandue.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bring back that epic feeling.

I transferred all of my screen shots to another computer after my Desktop was hacked and I had to reformat. Today I took a stroll down memory lane looking for screen shots from BC raid's that I had done.

See the recent raid instance Trial of the Crusader has me feeling a little burned. Not really burned out, just burned. I suppose I had high hopes for the instance. Sure I knew it was going to be in one room... and that there wouldn't be any trash... but I had hoped that the fights would seem epic. I don't feel that way.

The regular Trial of the Crusader isn't as difficult as I had hoped and the fact that it is 5 bosses in a round room just leaves me saying that's it? It was 5 weeks before we killed the last boss... but only because they didn't release the entire instance at once. Last night we cleared it in under an hour.

When I was in a raiding guild... I used to take screen shots of first boss kills. You can see Serendipity's first Alar kill above. It took us 3 weeks of 3 hour raid nights to finally down her (him?) That night we continued on to kill Void Reaver and that other chick, all three were guild first kills. It was one truly epic night. It was also my last night of 25 man raiding for BC.

I think part of the problem now is that patch 3.2 came a little too quickly for me. We were just starting to work on General Vezax, now though it seems I'll never see Yogg. Our raid leader is only interested in raiding progression which means we are doing ToC and ToGC (Heroic). I don't really mind clearing ToC... but then we go back in for the heroic mode... and its the same thing!

Ok sure the fights are harder and some have gimmicks to make it more challenging... but the fact remains that we are just killing the same bosses we already killed the day before. The first time through ToC was fun... we killed the twin valk's and fell through the floor and killed Anub. You know what Tirion Fordring had to say?

"Oh now that you did the regular come back and do the Trial of the Grand Crusader."

What?

Wait...

Now that we found out about the Lich King's plot to undermine (pun intended) the tournament and kill off the champions... you are going to rebuild the floor, revive the bosses, and let the Lich King do it all again? Just now its harder? Any immersion I had in the tournament was gone when I talked to Tirion after killing Anub.

I liked the way that Ulduar did hardmodes... yes it was gimmicky having to destroy the heart for heartbreaker, and yes Hodir was just DPS faster... but having a big red button that says do not push? I'm sorry but that's just awesome. Proving how awesome you are killing Yogg without any of the watchers? That is epic.

Raiding is about taking down the big evil bad guys that are threatening to destroy everything you love... not glorified loot pinata's captured by the argent dawn. Where is the sense of danger? I love the movie Gladiator... one of my favorite scenes is when they first fight in the Coliseum. It is him and a few other Gladiators in the middle of the arena with the crowd roaring. The main character says.

"What ever comes out of these gates, we have a better chance to survive if we work together."

Why can't ToC have this sense of danger and surprise? I know that Gormakk is going to come charging out... Jaraxxus you see getting summoned in which takes a good 40 seconds. The rest of the fights you engage on your own terms.

There is no surprise, no threat of danger. I don't feel like an epic gladiator or champion. I feel like this is me and a buddy outside tossing a baseball around instead of the World Series. Killing everything in a round room and then coming and doing the same fights again... that is not epic.

Dear lord let Icecrown come soon... Give me my grand battle against unbeatable odds... not some beasts that you "captured". Not some Demon that a dumbass gnome summoned in. Faction Champions? Ok well that fight is atleast fun... but Twin Valk's? I saw the damn things shackled outside of the tournament! I'm glad they find time to rebuild the floor every week...

I've been contemplating about quitting raiding till Icecrown comes out. I don't want to get completely burned out and wiping to Jarraxus on heroic just doesn't have the same appeal to me as wiping on General Vezax.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Adding a Challenge to Leveling

I was reading a post from Tobold today and after thinking about that and talking to my wife a bit, I noticed a trend in WotLK. I mentioned earlier how I'm a bit burned out playing my rogue through the same zones I've done multiple times before. The same can apply to my Warlock and to a lesser extent my druid. I'm mostly leveling my druid through PvP and healing the occasional instance.

Thinking back, when leveling most of my characters, I've hit this road block around 74-75 every time except for on my hunter who was my first character to 80. Why? Well Blizzard had a great idea about adding in multiple leveling paths in WotLK. You had two starting zones, Howling Fjord and Borean Tundra, which if you did only one could get you from 68 to 71/72 or from 70 to 73.

From there you head into Dragonblight. Dragonblight is interesting because it takes quest lines from both zones and streamlines them into an obvious progression through the next two zones. You start in the Walrus people harbor thing which connects the two zones, which leads you to stars rest, which leads you to Wintergarde keep. Which then sends you to grizzly hills which sends you to Zul'Drak. Now you can of course choose not to follow the quest lines exactly. You can spend as much time in any of the zones that you want or even head back to the starting zone that you skipped over. In fact I did that on my hunter, starting in howling fjord and then going to Borean Tundra.

In Dragonblight I did the Wintergarde and Wrathgate quest lines and the goblin quest hub to the north of the zone. After that I was 76 and headed to Sholazar.

My other Characters however, would go through dragonblight/grizzly hills or Dragonblight/Zuldrak and lastly even grizzly hills/Zuldrak. But it was always these same zones. With the same quests. And absolutely zero challenge. My challenge came in soloing as many of the group quests as possible but even then, there are only around 3 or 4 of these per zone.

Blah Blah Blah

Ok I have a point in all of this. You see WotLK has a natural progression that gets really old really fast. After you have done the quests the first time there is nothing new to gain from doing them again aside from experience. There are two starting zones and two 80 zones and one that you can't start till 76. Not being able to start Storm Peaks and Icecrown made a lot of sense.... when you couldn't fly before 77. Sholazar being a lvl 76-78 zone never made any sense to me though. You don't need a flying mount for any of the quests (save a few in the northern part) and you can easily access the zone from the south.

In Vanilla WoW you often times would end up accepting quests that were designed for 4+ levels higher then you. Those quests were designated in red text. In WotLK I can't think of one quest you can pick up that is red. All of the quests are gated for the appropriate level... which effectively means you can't skip ahead of your level to quest.

My friend Kobeck is leveling a Warlock horde side and he remarked that he always seems to be stuck with red and orange quests. You know what? He is never without a challenge as a result of this. Why can't we do the same thing in WotLK? I've done every quest in Northrend at least once, so there is no challenge in the actual quest... why can't I try these quests at a lower level?

Gasp??? You mean I might miss an orange mob? Oh no! That mob won't die in 3 casts! You mean I have to attack a mob from stealth instead of just running up to it and stabbing it in the eye???

Tobold sort of said that he thought experience gain for taking on tougher challenges should be rewarded. I agree. But you know what? I don't care about leveling faster I just want to have a little bit of a challenge. So let me do the quests earlier and keep the experience the same and we will call it even.

I think you should be able to take Sholazar quests at 74, Stormpeaks at 76, and Icecrown can stay the same... maybe that way I will actually get to do some of the Icecrown quests while leveling instead of hitting 80 doing Sons of Hodir dailies...