Archive for February, 2009

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Blogging senior moment

February 24, 2009

With various sources springing up with information related to the new 3.1 patch a lot of players are going through these notes and what they mean. I’m going to break from that and not really go into them at all until we get nearer a release. One thousand gold for the dual spec seems a bit steep but I know that for level 80s it’s not that much work to grab that kind of cash. As for the rest of things though it’s not worthwhile idly speculating as it is still early days and things are liable to change day to day.

I need to stop diverting myself and get my ass to 80, last week seemed to be a disaster for levelling and this week I am coming down with a cold, if I can keep my motivation I’ll need to hit the Shamaning hard and am hopefuly of level 75 by the weekend. I have a habit of setting goals that are always seemingly slightly unobtainable as time progresses though.

I did have a proper blog topic all worked out for today as well, however, due to various work issues (well, one work issue that is currently destroying my will to live) I have completely forgotten what I was going to say. All I can remember is that it was pertinent and insightful, I should have written it down.

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“Use the Force Luke”

February 23, 2009

I am a Star Wars nerd, my parents used to limit me to watching the original Episode 4 (A New Hope) once a day when I was a kid. “What has this got to do with WoW?” I hear you ask. Well, as it turns out quite a bit. When Obi-wan is training Luke he is told to trust his feelings because his eyes can deceive him. This works for WoW just as well when dealing with other players, especially in group mechanics. For the past week I’ve been trying to get a group together to go to the Nexus, I have 4 quests there, so that’s 160k XP just from hand-ins without the XP from the mobs and bosses in there (nothing in the way of Shammy gear from drops so not fussed about loots). I’ve had a near miss where I got invited to a group by a Death Knight, he afk’d, gave me leader without asking or saying a thing and I think I was supposed to go find the rest of the group, without knowing if he was DPS or Tank (DPS as it turns out). That group didn’t get off the ground.

Well, yesterday I get invited by a different Death Knight (after getting the “Healer?” whisper despite my comments saying DPS on numerous occasions). I accept and then we grab another Elemental Shammy, a Resto Shammy and a Draenei mage, so 4 Draenei and a Night Elf, we are hot! The Death Knight (who is DPS) suggests that he can tank, now, this is where alarm bells start to ring in my head, ones I probably should have listened to. He has under 10k health, now I know that this might sound a little Elitist, but I believe a little bit of elitism isn’t necessarily in and of itself a bad thing. I have a level 60 Death Knight and our guild’s main tank is a Death Knight so we’ve had plenty of discussions. I reason to myself that a Death Knight should still be able to tank even in a DPS spec because they are that way inclined and I’ve seen it done before. Resto Shammy thought we were going to UK but when summoned to Nexus did us a favour and stuck around, props to the player there.

So, a group assembled we run on in and go through the first set of trash pulls with not much incident, however, the “tank” is taking an assload of damage. We go up the ramp towards the first boss and wipe on the Mage Hunter and dogs patrol, how I have no idea but complaints start filtering through about our tank getting two-shotted and that’s not enough time for heals (I’ll agree, I’ve been in a group with my Holy priest in Mechanar when a DPS warrior (said he was tank) turned up to tank and was getting two-shotted by mobs, you don’t have time to cast a thing). I politely ask if he is using Frost Presence and he says he is (I have my doubts). I ask in guild chat about DKs and what I should be expecting to see, Roop chimes in with some points that I whisper to the tank in our group hoping to improve his performance rather than further add to the chastisement in party chat.

I get spanked after getting AOE’d, my own fault but the tank is having trouble keeping aggro from the group of casters but we make it to the first boss. I already know how this is going to go, I’ve burnt through an Ankh already and we’re now waiting for the boss who divides into 3 and has a random aggro. Unperturbed we give it a shot, we wipe. So, ress and try again, another wipe, the tank is trying to keep aggro on all three of the bosses at once with his health pool that is only 3k higher than mine. He asks us to hold off DPS, I tell him they have random aggro, people are getting impatient and then the Death Knight says that he “doesn’t have any tanking gear” /facepalm.

I should have listened to my feelings from the start and saved myself the repair bill. Third attempt is another wipe, Death Knight leaves group and before I can try to keep the rest together and just find a decent tank I am all alone. At least I picked up the book for one of the quests. In part I believe my earlier assumption that a Death Knight can tank even in a DPS spec is correct, however, I’d have expected him (perhaps unfairly) to have a set of tanking gear or at least a few swap out parts. I am still not sure he had Frost Presence up as his aggro generation was low, he spent most of the time without his Ghoul as well.

After talking with Roop about me possibly respeccing Resto to get some more groups I have decided against it for now, after all, doesn’t matter if you have an awesome healer if the tank sucks and it seems at the moment as if the main problems arising from pugs are poor tanks. I have a level 5 druid that I was going to spec Kitty (hence her name being a play on Kitty) but I may level up and go tanking (if I can stomach the grind from 5-80 and the gearing process over time). Seems like there is plenty of gap in the market for those willing to take one for the team and play either the healer or the tank for groups.

I did eventually complete Nexus after I got a quick run through with Guildies, I also did Old Kingdom and Azjol-noob, totem utility is making me happy and I feel of use to my groups more than before. I also had a bit of an hour off and ran myself through Deadmines and the Stockades for a few quests and some cloth. All the greens I got ended up on the Auction House so hopefully I can grab a few gold off those to help my epic flyer fund.

Didn’t play at all on Saturday or Friday night so I ended my weekend 4% off 73 and still running around Dragonblight, I have my Wyrmrest tabard now though and have cleared out even more stuff from my bags after expanding my bank capacity. I don’t know why or how you accumulate so much complete crap in the bank and then have such a hard time justifying just getting rid of it.

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Re-visiting Old Haunts in the World (of Warcraft)

February 20, 2009

Last night <Naxxramas Bin Collection> had a Kara run scheduled in the calendar (by me), sort of another bout of nostalgia (Hoac wanted achievements too) and being a mere 71 would provide some level appropriate XP to my Shaman. Earlier that evening I finished off my tour of Kalimdor and managed to grab that achievement, I’m at almost 1000 points now and feeling good about the character’s progression. It was fun when we all arrived outside the gate in Deadwind Pass to find that none of us actually had the key to get in, while our tank logged in his wife’s character I thought I’d start the attunement quest but didn’t manage to finish either parts before we got in.

Our party started off with Roop (Death Knight), Hoac (Ret Pally), Lekktra (me in Elemental guise), Aliye (resto Shammy) and once we were about done with Maiden, Steller (Tr00d). When Karazahn was the entry level raid for 70’s I remember spending many nights with the guild running it and having a great laugh. Going back with 4 (or 5) people does seem to be a bit of a cheat but I’ll admit that revisiting the passages and hallways proved to be great fun. We ripped Attumen a new one (no Horse dropped), Moroes was AOE tanked and downed in short order, Maiden went down easy. Hoac body pulled The Curator when we hadn’t finished clearing his hall, still, we downed him on his first evocation. The Satyr guy whose name I can’t remember went down smooth, I died to a lag spike during the elementals phase on Shade of Aran but used an Ankh to finish off the fight. We had to have two gos at the Chess event and Netherspite was a doddle. In just over two hours we were standing at the pinnacle of the place starting down Prince Malchezzzzzzzzzzzzar. We drop totems by the door, assume positions and make the pull, apparently I am the only person to remember that he does an enfeeble, everyone bar me and Roop die, no problem, let’s try a 2 man then (might have worked if I was 80). I start to offheal as well as DPS the Prince but a dodgy Infernal drop cuts me off and in trying to get around it I end up dead at just over 40% on the boss. Roop on his own manages to get Monkeyzar down below 30% before he bites the dust too. Not bad for a first effort I feel, the next time he goes down with no trouble at all.

I even managed to get a few new pieces of gear, I got an epic cloak off the trash mobs which was a massive upgrade to me and a partial upgrade epic belt, everything else that was greeded ended up on the vendor and I have some badges to spend on a new Relic I think. After all that I am a mere 5% off 72 so bagged around 200k experience from the whole event (rested) made 150g and am a good way into Friendly with Violet Eye. I wonder if I can persuade everyone to try Zul’Aman in the next few weeks?

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Maybe I Should Get a Guest Spot on Dora

February 19, 2009
Tabard of the Explorer

Tabard of the Explorer

In all of the hullballoo of actually making this attempt to switch my main class there are a few things which always weigh in favour of keeping the original character that you first started in the dim and distant mists of the long past. Bouaza was created a few months into TBC and numerous alts came after her, on my login screen Lekktra is not even in the first 5 characters, she came very late to Team WoW. If memory serves Lekktra was created during the period where myself and our guild <Renegades> were busy romping our way through Karazahn and quickly exceeded the other alts I had in terms of level. Even today, the only other character I have close is Phaed my Death Knight, the next level bracket where I have things is in the 40’s and that contains a Hunter, a Paladin (Horde) and another Shaman (Horde).

When I returned to WoW I started off on my Hunter aftering keeping up with a couple of blogs and deciding that I was still pretty “meh” about the Priest. After not too long the Shaman came back on the scene about the time that other RL friends came back to the game as well. It was due to a little pressure from them that saw me take up the challenge with Bo again and get up to 80. I still wanted to do the Shaman and after our Warrior switched to Death Knight I knew my time had come and here I am today at almost 72. Yet, there are still things niggling in the back of my mind, it’s not the money, nor the lack of current Tradeskills that does it, it’s not the gear or lack of 80. There are really only two points that make me wonder if I am doing the right thing, these are Reputations and Achievements.

Due to the fact that Bo has been around a lot longer she has obviously earnt more in the way of achievements, although not everything that she has done previously has been recorded by the system when it was added. The fact of having been active at end game TBC means that a lot of content that was current for her is historical for Lekktra so, Lekktra seems less “experienced” and I have a load of stuff that will need doing on Lekktra in order to “catch up” with Bo, but then again there are a few achievements that Lekktra has that Bo hasn’t (Onyxia for example). The worst possible ones are those achievements relating to reputation. Gaining rep in WoW is inevitably a long grind, while I applaud the addition of the Northrend Tabards to aid in this regard anything pre-Wrath though is going to take some time. This is both a blessing and a curse, a blessing because it adds something for me to do at endgame other than Heroics/Raiding but a curse because of the potential for grinding out things, especially after I screwed up my Scryers/Aldor thing by not reading a quest properly and turning in an Aldor quests which dropped me from Neutral with Scryers and no longer able to hand in Signets or Tomes.

Last night I had a bit of a relax and after running Onyxia the night before I thought I’d pick up and do some exploring. The last thing Bo did was grab her explorer title and tabard and although I am devoid of a flying mount at the moment I thought I’d do something that will grab me some acheivements and doesn’t require me to actually do too much. I don’t know why but discovering places is actually one of my favourite things to do in the game, the uncovering of a new area of the map as well as that little XP boost always brings a smile to my face.

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Impromptu Raiding FTW

February 18, 2009

With my attempts to find a group for the Nexus proving futile I spent most of last night questing in Dragonblight (I am going to go mad if I get one more whisper of “healer?” when I put “Caster DPS(Elemental)” in my LFG comments). I got most of the way to level 72 and am 100g lighter off from starting the night getting my level 71 skills.

Lisuri our main Warlock has decided that he wants to try levelling his level 62 Paladin as an alt, I have no problems with this as I am trying to replace my Priest with this Shaman so we rounded up some folks and decided to do some Outland instance farming. We grabbed Hoac our level 80 Retridin, Qet the now 66 Warlock, myself and Lisuri’s alt, Etaew. Apparently I was going to be healing [natch]. First off we went to Slave Pens then cleared Underbog all nice and easy, after that we hit up Mana Tombs and Auchenai Crypts, for the last two of those we’d been joined by Roop after Steller in Trood form had logged in and taken over healing duties for Underbog. I made Honoured with Cenarion Expedition so grabbed my first Heroic key on this character.

When we were done in Auchindoun Roop suggested that we go do Zul’Gurub for a laugh, well, it’s already in our raid calendar for the weekend after a request I’d had earlier (Kara is scheduled for Thursday night at the moment). So, as we already had that raid scheduled I suggested we go do Onyxia. After being met with a surprising number of enthusiastic responses I found myself in Dustwallow Marsh with Roop, Hoac (in Holy gear), Qet and Lisuri back on his main. Back when I played Horde in vanilla WoW I only ever made it to 41 on my Tauren Shaman so never really got to appreciate the endgame content. This is the first time I’d ever been inside the instance and it was the same for our whole group, even those with more playing experience than I.

I’ll have to say that I really enjoyed the experience, having never done any of the old 40 man content to go in with a group of 5 was obviously completely different to how it would have been. Virtually no trash and just the one boss, but either way we had a lot of fun and unsurprisingly downed her in short order, cue a huge stack of loot (I didn’t win the 20-slot bag either and I am carrying 14 slots) and an achievement for those of us who had just on the spur of the moment decided to go run it. I am expecting to have more nights run like this to give us a break from either levelling or gearing up for Naxx, some old school content should prove to be interesting and a bit of fun. I’m not sure if we’ll get to all go to ZG on Saturday as some real life shennanigans may appear but we may postpone till the Sunday at worst I hope, I want a Raptor or a Tiger!

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Qa’pla

February 17, 2009

Is Klingon for success, yes, that’s right the nerd “is strong with this one”. I have a dentists appointment this afternoon that is going to eat into my posting schedule, I have a little file of blogging topics building up so I’ll give you a pictorial preview of an upcoming topic.

LOLcat

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The Weekend is NOT for working!

February 16, 2009

Indeed it is not, so losing four hours of my Saturday by being at work is something of a bummer…. oh well, I suppose that is what they pay me for.

Apart from that lost afternoon though this weekend has gone quite well, I topped out on Sunday night at 30% towards 72 and am on my way now to Dragonblight after completing the Borean Tundra achievements. I still love those Murloc quests though and reckon I’d get another character to Northrend just to do those quests again. I even managed to do the Arcatraz and the Mechanar, there is talk now about also going back into Kara to grab some achievements there, especially for those of us that have either never seen it or are now going in on different characters. I wonder if the Infernals are still as annoying as they were when we were doing it for real. I also took some time last night to grab a couple of the Love is in the Air achievements, although some are appearing to be infuriatingly elusive.

I’ve already got some massive gear upgrades and am seeing my crit climbing, Totem of Wrath is an amazing buff to my damage output too. We’ve also been helping out our level 65 Warlock Qet, he got his Dreadsteed on Saturday and I had a laugh with Lisuri taking him through Scholomance. As the de facto leader of <Naxxramas Bin Collection> I’m getting some questions about going raiding, I have no problems if anyone wants but I need to try and get the Shaman to that level, Bo has no enchants on her gear and I am not going to spend all that cash when I’d rather get Lekktra there and invest in her. I’m coming up on 2000 gold just on Lekktra as well, leaving me to hope that getting the epic flyer at 77 shouldn’t be too much of an issue at all.