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


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.