Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Operation: Gnomeregan

I did the quest chain last night on my Death Knight.

And I came away very disappointed. The event is well scripted and fun, but I thought I was atleast going to be earning reputation with Gnomeregan for helping the Gnomes :(

The gold rewards were nice for such a short time period of doing quests (estimate about 120g for 30mintues of effort).

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wrath Bucket list: Update

My Bucket list for the WoW xpack: Wrath of the Lich King was something like this (couple of months ago - I cannot even find the post):

  • Level all characters to max level
  • Obtain Loremaster achievement on 1 character
  • Clean out bags and bank vaults on all characters
  • Stock up on consumables for leveling in the new xpack (Cataclysm)

To date I got all my characters to max level. That is done.
Gave up on the Loremaster, as I set a new goal of rather getting epic flying training for all my characters (Only 2 out of 9 have it now). This meant a new focus on generating gold via questing and AH business.

I cleaned out the bags and bank vaults of I think 2 or 3 of the characters. Its slow going to decide which old item I still attach value enough to keep. The gold it generates in selling the items to vendors are not to shabby either (200-400 gold per character).

I am also working on getting all my characters gear slots to at least the item level 200 zone. All but my Rogue, Hunter and Mage meet this criteria. I'm still debating if I want to push to 232 level for all.... But I think my epic flying has a higher priority...

Otherwise, I am still enjoying the game, relaxing, raiding when needed, and working on being a gold-hording goblin!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Cataclysm Beta: Worgen

After finishing up the huge 13gb install, and then a 108mb patch, I finally got to play.

I immediately rolled a Worgen Warlock. In two sessions I reached level 7. The new starter area and quests and much more streamlined (almost feels like you are on rails).

I need to explore Gilthaens is bit more. I still do not know where most of the trainers, shops, professions etc are.

But the quests are very well done. Only the male Worgen model has been implemented and it looks great running around as a huge Wolf.

I had a couple of minor bugs that I reported:
On 1 quest you get a mastiff dog as a pet - it immediately despawned my imp!
Further when you are in the inn... the icon on your character portrait do not appear to show that you are "resting".

If I have time, I plan to look at the Human starter area next to see how the quest got changed there.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Primordial Saronite shuffle

Been running all my level 80s through heroics as much as possible to obtain Frost badges to convert to saronite.

This past weekend i had enough to make the BOE legs for my Priest. She is all set other than 10/25man raid drops.

Next up is my paladin.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Very very interesting read and analysis

Wow Insider on the Gear explosion

The scaling in gear in this expansion is huge. I recently felt the effects very keenly on my new level 80 Warrior, that attempted to tank some random heroics.

My Warrior is in quested green/blues, some BOE drops (blues) and some crafted epics (ilvl 200 level). Some of the raid-geared DPS had to scale back their DPS and it slowed down the heroic tremendously. Together with a Warrior that struggles maintaining AE threat, DPS was not able to AE to their MAX DPS.

I am queueing my warrior now as Arms-DPS for gear.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Saurfang dies again on 25man!

Last night my guild joined our alliance partner Expire for a 25man raid on ICC. I had not planned to attend, but a shortage of healers convinced me to go help.

And was it a great experience. The two groups worked together flawlessly. Morrogar downed 1st try. Lady D needed 2 attempts, battlehsip in 1.

Saurfang needed 2 attempots, and then we got stuck on Fester... Had 2 solid attempts and 2 learning attempts. The last attempt we missed his anreage times while he was less than 10% and wiped the raid. We need to lift our average DPS (raid-wide) by maybe .5K DPS (across 15 DPSers) to down him.

I am sure that 1 or 2 upgrades per person, will lift our raid wide DPS during the next week to down the bad boy.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Buyah! Saurfang down for the first time

My intrepid group of guildies hit the ICC 10man instance last night to continue our assault on Arthas' last hiding place.

Before we hit the first boss Morrogar, my Priest had enough reputation to upgrade her ring to the honored version. We then proceeded to 1shot the big ugly. The new Fury warrior in our team began getting loot like a Bandit.. :D

Lady D's 1st attempt was a wipe. My fault for being really rusty at raiding and standing too close to the tanks, and I got cleaved. More Fury warrior gear!

Battleship event was fun as always, and we got a mail drop and more DPS warrior gear. See a trend?

Then Saurfang. I gotten to him twice before, and the one night we wiped 5 or 6 times. Our first attempt, I switched to Shadow, to help DPS, but we wiped on around 10%. My DPS for the fight was around 2.7K DPS. Our Resto shammie said maybe he should DPS and I heal, as he does about 3.5-3.8k DPS in his elemental set.

And Bingo! Saurfang toppled! Nice cloth DPS item dropped, that went to our mage, and surprisingly.. a DPS 1h sword, that got sharded.

We moved on to the next section, and made it all the way to Festergut. We had 1 try on him, resulting in a wipe.

All in all a satisfying raid.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Scattered playtime

Between work, getting ready for a daughter's birthday party, and various household stuff.. My warrior dinged 80 over the weekend.

It continues to amaze me how doing a quick quest here and there over the span of day adds up to a bunch of experience over time.

All that remains are my mage, prior to Cataclysm.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wow, just WOW!

Blizzard's plan to sell virtual mini-pets for real money paid off.

The Pandaren Monk Pet is sold on Blizzard's website, but they offered to donate half of the proceeds to Make-A-Wish foundation.

Today the check was delivered for $1.1 million. That is a big MOUNTAIN of pets!

Kudos to Blizzard for supporting the community.

Read more at WoW Insider.

Wow status check

Based on Tobold's World of Warcraft Personal Status Report I decided to do a similar one.

My only problem is I have much more alts. So sit back, and enjoy the fun/misfortune of an Altoholic.

I currently have seven level 80 characters, a Warrior close to 80 and a mage in the low 60s.
My Priest is my main progression raider. My paladin is my other non-progression raider. My other 80s, are used to fill raid holes, or assist guild members with whatever they need help with. My Hunter and Rogue are not even geared for heroics yet.

My Priest's gear is good - she just needs Frost emblems for her heal set, and more Triumph for her Shadow set. Paladin has a great tank set, but could use a shield upgrade. Her heal set also needs some Triumph badge loving.

The Druid has heal set from Triumph badges, but her tank set needs work. Death Knight's both sets (Tank and DPS) needs Triumph upgrades, similar the Shammie. All of these three can fill both their main and off-spec roles in non-progression raids.

My Hunter and Rogue just both have some BOE new level 80 epics, and quested blue/green gear. My Warrior will have the same when she hit 80 (which should be in the next couple of weeks). I spend over 1,200 gold last night to have a guild blacksmith craft some of the Titansteel BOE epics for her (as he needed the skill-ups). Mage is too far of to really have a good idea of how her level 80 gear will look.

So what's my plans?  Previously I thought to get Loremaster on at least on of my characters, but that lost its appeal. I love questing as my army of alts demonstrate... So I think, once all of them are 80, is to start by having all of them complete all the Northrend quests for the zone quests achievements. That should provide me with enough gold in the bank for Cataclysm (and I might even get epic flying on more characters).

Other than that - just keep queuing in either Dungeon Finder or LookingForRaid to collect emblems for T9 upgrades.

Friday, February 12, 2010

RL trumps game time

Due to the recent heavy snow in my area, my work load has fallen behind and that cut significantly into my game time.

Just had time for a quick log in, play the AH for gold, and do a quick couple of quests.

My bedtime reading for the past couple of months have been to re-read the entire Honor Harrington series written by David Weber. I bought the latest book in the series over Christmas, and it came with a CD, that included electronic copies of all the books!

I loaded them all into my Kindle, and have been enjoying it tremendously following her adventures again.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Love Festival boss encounter

Two more nights of multiple attempts with my army.. only netted us 1 more pet. Very unhappy. 1st night had 12 attempts, and the second night 10.

No mount drop either. And the Lunar festival starts soon. I'm guessing the doggie is see my alt-army regularly as guildies need the encounter. Since it's a simple tank and spank fight - a tank and healer can kill him.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Blizzard incoming! Level 80 Alts are useless?

And no, not the developers.

My North-East state is schedule to get a visit from Old Man Winter, and his coat of 12+ inches of snow...

At least my snowblower is repaired and ready for the avalanche.

Last night was an interesting WOW game night. I am not big into the festival events, but I am willing to help my guildies that are fanatic about it.

Back to last night, I logged on to just do a quick frostie run, but got asked to help out with the new seasonal boss, since my guild members wanted the pet and/or mount drop. None of us really needed the gear that dropped.

So between the 5 of us, we cycled through all our level 80 characters. One person only had their Warrior, another had a Warrior & Rogue, 3rd person - DK, Paladin, Shammie and Mage, 4th person had Lock, Shammie & Druid.... And me with Paladin, Priest, Shammie, Druid, Hunter, DK and Rogue...

Out of 17 attempts, we had 2 wipes, and 1 pet drop. A couple of the characters got either main spec or off spec upgrades, but most were disenchanted.

all of mine remained parked just outside of the instance at ShadowFang Keep. To assist with each days attempts to farm up either the pet or the mount.

And who said alts were useless?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Snowy weekend

Spending the weekend dealing with youngest daughter being sick and snow-locked on Saturday with 8-9inches of snow.

This resulted in a down-tick of WOW game time. Together with my promise to drop the game if my family needs me, locked my out of raiding and 5mans for the weekend. So my alts got plenty of game time. My mage's restedbonus XP got fully consumed, and my warrior's dipped to under 80%.

It was interesting saying good bye to the classic world with my last character moving to the Outlands (before cataclysm). I am still considering working on the Loremaster achievement on my Death Knight.

My other observation from the weekend was, how "twitchy" a protection Warrior plays in style vs a protection paladin. When tanking multiple mobs, I was always switching targets, stunning, or shield-slamming casters, etc. It made for a more frantic pace of combat. Definitely not Paladin easy-mode tanking.

But the strategy to mount up your horse, pick up agro from 4-8 mobs and beat them down works very effective. Just had to watch my health more carefully since I do not have self-heals except for a healing potion.

My mage and her pyromania is a boatload of fun. Yes, I know Ice-spec is faster to level. But nothing warms my heart than saying "Hello" to a mob with critical Pyroblast, critical Fireball and a scorch to finish them off.
But her survival once things get in melee range is numbered in hits: 1! Especially if I am in the Alterac valley battleground.

Still it was a pleasant weekend's gaming.

On Sunday night we did do my "training" raid, and we had a brand-new solo-all-way Druid in the raid. He struggled to break 800DPS... His gear was not even end-game quest green/blues. Some items were still from the Outlands! But we got him a couple of upgrades, as we cleared Spider and Plague wing in 2 hours. But I advised him to run random instances and heroics to improve his gear (either with guildies or PUG - depending on his level of comfort).

Some of the encounters in Naxx10 are trivial now with characters being over geared for it. On most boss fights we did not lose a single person due to 2 ICC raid geared healers, althought our single tank was only in average ilvl 213-228 gear. Our Off-tank was a DPS spec and geared DK (when needed).

But still we had 3 new raider running with us. And we took the time to explain the strategies, tactics and plans that will allow them to grow as raiders in the guild.

Friday, February 5, 2010

When RealLife calls...

Last night was one of those nights that we gamer-parents dread.

Youngest got sent home early from school with an ear infection, and she was just miserable. I relieved my wife from care-taker duties when I got home, got kids fed and in bed.

Once everyone settled down in sleep, finished my household chores and fired up WoW. I started a quick frosty heroic run on my tank, and got Halls of Stone. We made quick fast progress. Cleared the crystal boss and Maiden.

Then during the scripted encounter with the waves of adds, youngest one woke up bawling. We had 45seconds let on the encounter. I threw down consecrate, typed /p AFK - kid crying and ran to the room.

Got the little one calmed down. Gave her some medicine, and she was quickly back to sleep. Walked back to my computer expecting to be in Dalaran vote-kicked. Mmm, nope... Had 20seconds left to roll on the chest drop from the encounter. Clicked greed and started running to the entrance for the last boss.

Type /p back. And received cheers form the group. The DK switched to his tanks et and they cleared the trash, but his gear was not up to snuff for the boss. They decided to give me 5 minutes, before kicking me.

I was humbled by the kind consideration 4 strangers showed me, in allowing real life to take preference over the game.

Once we were done, I thanked them. Once back in Dalaran, I informed our raid leader that I could not attend the raid as a result of RL-home expectations. And was I glad I did, the little one was up every hour or so. I think she slept most of the night being held in my or mommy's arms.

It feels great holding on to that precious little one. Sleep is overrated.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Skill vs Gear: Intelligent analysis Hunter
Brian Wood, over on the Hunter discussion performed a very good analysis of how gear increases would scale with the various ilvls.

However, his startling conclusion was that raid buffs contribute even more to your DPS than gear upgrades.

But his conclusions is Skill > Raid buffs > Gear.

So why are people so fascinated by gear scores?

Heavy-handed: Ensidia suspended for 72 Hours (updated)

Update: Apparently you can only damage the tower if targetted, not as part of normal DPS rotation on the boss or adds. Still, in my mind as a raid team, they analyzed the encounter and found a method that would ensure success. Great analytical thinking, and then superb execution. I do not think the punishment fit the "crime".

MMO-Champ article

Dear Blizzard

Now that is extremely heavy-handed of you. Your premier global raiding guild defeated your final raid boss... Due to an glitch, bad coding, unforeseen use of special items made by an Engineer..

That is just not acceptable. Yep, apply the hot-fix to prevent it from happening in the future, but removing the achievement, items AND banning them... That is too much.

I think you over reacted and used a 10ton hammer, instead of a more dignified approach.

Yes, its terrible that your premier, showcased final boss are defeated more hours after it became available to the the players. Yes, it was a mistake on your part for allowing saronite bombs to assist with the ease of the default. But were has your Q&A and design teams been? Have they not kept up with the players' theorycrafting to maximize DPS for each class and talent build?

However, banning the entire raid for the use on a item, that is a common craftable item from one of your crafting professions - is egg in your face. Not Ensidia.

I applaud the players and raiders in their guild. I wish them the best on the next time they face the Lich King and that the "fixed" encounter pose no additional problems for them.

Blizzard - go take a chill pill and rethink how you will handle situations like this in the future, when players, using the tools you provided them, destroy your carefully crafted plans in a short time period.


Monday, February 1, 2010

Satisfying newbie raid

This past weekend I kicked of my "training" raid for WoW. It was a commitment I made to our guild leadership, that I would continue to help develop and train any member that is new to raiding or want to learn how to improve their characters as well as skill to join our progression raiding teams.

We started off with a easy raid: Naxxramus. We had 3-4 people that never raided before and that were interested to learn. The remaining 7 raiders were old hands - either on their main characters to help, or on alts they wanted to gear up.

First off, thank you to the new people - without you, this would have been boring :D. Ed/Black, Kristie/Garsindrea, Chance/Meetloaf and Lex/Iceelatte - thank you for allowing us to teach you. Black was tanking, the rest were doing melee or ranged DPS.

Friday night we started in the spider wing and after a rough start on the first boss (2 wipes before we took him down), we 1 shotted the next 2 in the Spider wing. In Plague wing, Noth was a pushover but Heigan's dance caused 3 wipes. Rather than beat our heads against him, I opted to switch to Construct wing, and we took down  Patchwork and the next boss pretty quickly. We called it a night - and I was well pleased how the new people learned.

Thanks to the experienced people that was willing to swap their characters, talent specs and assignments in the raid around as needed to be successful.

On Sunday night we continued. Icelatte did not join us, but Adam/Gracefulfury joined us on his rogue. The experienced people once again had to swap some characters and talent specs around, but we started off with a wipe on Gluth, then downed him next attempt. Thaddius was 1shotted with only 1 raider being killed.

On to the DK wing. The instructor caused a wipe due to our new tank not clearly understanding the use of the bone shield from the trainee, but next time we got him down very smoothly. The trash to the next boss continues to be a problem, but we 1shot the next boss even with us losing the healer on the Dead side. The 4 Horseman suffered a similar fate, although we lost 3 people (including myself - watch your stacks! :D ).

At this time, rather than go back and finish plague wing, we headed to Sapphiron. We had a very good 1 st attempt, that failed due to our Druid healer DCing twice during the fight. But on the next attempt the big undead wyrm bit the dust.

I unfortunately could not stay longer, but the raid planned to proceed to KT without me.

All in all, a very successful first training raid. We had 5 new raiders came and learn. I hope to speak to them individually through the week, to discuss their performance, lessons learned and plans for the next raid.

But why spend this effort if very little of the gear is off use to the characters? 1) Due to most raiders having much better gear than what the encounters were designed for - they are much more forgiving, and allows for a "safe" training environment for new raiders. Almost like Karazhan was towards the end of the Burning Crusade.
Secondly, it introduces basic raiding concepts to new raiders. The value of raid buffs and consumables, tactics and strategies, as well as the need for voice communications.
And lastly, it allows the experienced raiders to share their knowledge, wisdom and experience playing with the new people to make them better gamers, and future participants in our progression raids.
It allows creates a larger pool of skilled, experienced players to fill holes in the progression raid roster, if a raider is absent on a given night.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Disapointing 25man raid

Last night, was a guild-alliance reunion raid event.

But it turned into a disappointment for me. We were not able to down the Northrend Beasts. :(

Yes it was great seeing all the old names from months past again. Everyone is shiny new gear, purpled-hued. But for some reason, we just coulf not get the cohesiveness going and after 7 wipes in 2 hours called it a night.

We had two very close attempts were we got Icehowl to within his last 10%, but just could not finish him off.

In the morning after, I think going with 5 healers instead of 6 was what made us unsuccessful. Most of us are geared for 10man raids. The 25man is a step up and losing 2 or even 3 healers out of 5, left us gasping for mana to raid heal.

Lesson learned. When doing progression raids, bring more healers to allow for a more forgiving run.

/Salute to our Partner in Raids, the Legion of Heroes (Arygos)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Battered Hilt adventure

During my various PUG adventures on my army of alts, I experienced a trill that I thought would be denied me for a long time.... in Heroic Pit of Saron, a trash undead mob dropped the Battered Hilt... This starts a quest that reward you with a ilvl 251 weapon of your choice... and a truly epic store/lore to go with it.

After a couple of weeks of internal debate, I decided to use the quest to upgrade my Druid's weaponry. I initially thought of getting her the tank/DPS staff, but ended up pursuing the caster/healer main hand mace. (I found I could tank as a Druid, I just preferred to heal with her - exactly the opposite of my paladin).

So over the past couple of weeks, I slowly but steadily advanced the quest line, until I hit the two big roadblocks. Having to -reforge the weapon in Pit of Saron, and then temper it in Forge of Souls instances... My Druid has never done them. Well well...

I put my self up as healer looking ONLY to run Forge of Souls (since that is required to unlocked Pit of Saron), and found a quick running PUG team. I was able to heal it pretty easily on Heroic (much to my surprise). Biggest trouble was the huge 5 pull packs and the AE ghosts near the final boss. Boss fights were easy.


Couple of nights later I once again braved the PUG line using DF tool for Pit of Saron. I only needed the 1st boss to forge the weapon, and had both tanked and healed the fight with my Paladin and Priest - so I was well educated on the fight). Still some how, I died, but we took him down. After a rezz from the tanking paladin, I was able to reforge Quel-Deran. Now to get it tempered... (We did complete the run and I got a caster staff from the final boss... talk about adding insult to an injury! I'm got to replace it soon! :( )

Over the weekend, I got a guild group to run Forge of Souls with me to get the blade tempered. The team breezed through the instance, and I was able to temper the blade in the chamber with the final boss.

The last steps of the quest line took my back to the Sunwell instance. After defending/assisting a long dead Sun Elf, I got permission to throw the blade into the Sunwell. After an interesting scripted piece, I got my reward: Hammer of Purified Flame

Not as imposing the the sword versions of the quest rewards, but its mine. :D


Friday, January 15, 2010

Saurfang is a pain.

Our guild's 10man team assaulted Icecrown Citadel last night for my second run with the raid group. The group is 3 healers (Priest, Shammie, Paladin), 2 tanks, 5 DPS (3 melee, 2 ranged).

My 1st attempt at healing the 1st boss Morrogar, went off without a hitch. I think we lost 1 DPS, but downed him pretty quickly. The 2nd boss Lady Deathwhisperer was also 1shotted with 2 deaths in the raid, and we rolled the battleship event without any problems.

People got a couple of upgrades.. and then we hit the final boss of the 1st wing, Saurfang. BAM! We had a good hour left on our schedule, and feeling confident after our success with the 1st three...

Wow.. we had 5 or 6 attempts - each with a wipe. But we learned a lot about the encounter. Definitely need to fine tune our strategy a bit, and makes sure nobody gives him any runic power, because that debuff of him is a killer.

But my Priest's gear is doing very well. Only have a couple of ilvl 200 pieces left I need to get rid off. I have 2 Triumph emblem pieces to get and then 2 Frost emblem pieces, and 2 craftable pieces (that is going to cost a boatload of gold due to the orbs needed). I just hope to win some upgrades that will preclude spending crazy amount of gold. :D

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Cataclysm - Plans?

Considering the success I had at predicting what patch 3.3 would force on the Wow playing community, lets see what I can do for Cataclysm.

Patch 3.3: My prediction that tanks and healers were going to be kings of the Dungeon Finder tool, was spot-on. On my battlegroup, I am experiencing almost insta-queues on my tanks, about 1-5minutes with Healers and did not even try to queue as DPS (through guild chat - it appeared to be 10-30minutes depending on time of day).

So my decision to respec some of my toons to tanks and heals - up my playtime vs sitting in dalaran waiting.

So Cataclysm... What impact will it have on playstyle?
I suspect the race up to max level (85) will dominate most players initially. But then the question on how master levels and the various paths work? I think these might "force" altoholics like myself, to focus on a single character or maximum 3 characters for development. Just gearing up is not going to be enough - you'll need to have certain role specific master level abilities as well.

However, playing alts is going to assist with guild leveling, far more than end-game raiding will (I think). But, until the mechanics of how guild level, and how members contribute are not explained in more detail, we can only guess and assume.

The reason why I think that alts will drive guild leveling, is that it is much easier to earn achievements on a low-level atls, vs a max-level character.. Aka there is much more un-explored achievements to get for a new toon vs a max-level.

My personal plans?
I definitely plan to roll a Worgen Warlock (my only class I have not played over level 20). I might even pay to get my druid race changed to a Worgen...
But getting atleast my paladin and priest to max level 1st will be my priorities. Instances and raid need to be tanked and healed :D

And I aim to capitalized on the shortage to maximize my playtime.

Friday, January 8, 2010

I found a new Hero!

Kalon over at Thinktank made the following post a while ago:

Yes yes and YES! On my paladin tank I agree (although I am not quite at his top-gear level), but crappy, complaining DPS gets the kick-vote very very quickly.