Friday, November 23, 2012

It's been how long already?

After almost two months, I've barely put a dent in the expansion's new content. I did manage to get my main and another character to 90, but my play style has changed a bit since leaving my regular raiding schedule. Since I didn't have any pressure to "improve" my character, I've been able to pick and choose what I want to do rather than what I "need" to do. I wanted a cloud serpent, so I worked on reaching exalted with that group. I wanted to max out my farm, so I also worked on the Tillers. So far, they are the only two groups that I have worked on. With both of them at exalted, I may move on to the Anglers and Lorewalkers. I'm up to honored with the Klaxxi on my other 90, and once I hit revered I will work on another rep that I don't have on my main. I'm not going to bother with the same rep across characters until 5.1 comes out with the rep boost mechanic - there's just no reason to burn out repeating the same daily quests across all my characters.

Most of my main professions are at or near max across all of my characters, although most of them haven't even set foot in Pandaria yet. In two more months, I may have two more level 90 characters or perhaps a few more level 86 ones. It just be a matter of what I want to do when I logon. I have run a total of 2 scenarios and one heroic on my 90s, so there's that to do yet. LFR hasn't even been on the radar. Oh, and pet battles too!

I'm very happy with the expansion. With more stuff to do than time to do it, I don't see running out of new things to try for quite some time.

My monk has reached the half-way point, mainly waiting for the weekend and playing until the rested XP boost is used up. I've been running pugs using the LFD tool, and that have been pretty good for the most part. The last run I did, however, wasn't as smooth as the rest. I zoned into a live-side Stratholme already in progress. I caught up to the group, and we proceeded to make our way to the canon boss. Somehow, the boss was pulled before the last trash pack was finished, and we ended up wiping on the never ending trash mobs that spawn.

This run had all the signs of a fail pug: joining in progress, wipe to bad pull/mechanics, dps that didn't release and run back, and now an argument between the tank and the healer. A vote kick on the healer came up, and didn't pass. I didn't vote to kick because I hadn't seen enough to make a call. The tank then proceeded to pull the boss and dropped group. So, Snookkums, that makes you the asshole. We managed to down the boss without a tank for most of the fight, keeping him by the cannons and using them to kill off the marksman when they spawned.

With our new tank, we proceeded to the next boss. The tank accidently pulled another group that wandered into the group we were fighting, and we wiped. The healer asked him not to pull such a large group rather rudely, and they started arguing. The healer and lazy DPS from before were still dead and going back and forth with the tank by the time we had released and ran back. I had finally had enough, let them know just what kind of idiots they were, and dropped group. I was almost to 45, so I did the cooking daily in Stormwind to level up. Sigh.

I am going to eventually have all my characters reach 90, but I'm not working on it in the same way as my 10x85 project. I'm just going to play what I want, when I want, and keep track for reference.

11x90

Hunter 90
Death Knight 90
Rogue 85
Priest 85
Mage 86
Druid 85
Warlock 85
Warrior 85
Paladin 85
Shaman 85
Monk 45

Monday, September 24, 2012

Cataclysm in Review

With the launch of the new expansion tomorrow, it seems like a good time to look back on what I have been doing in this expansion. My usual posts are written up during my lunch break, but I haven't been able to get to them over the last month or so due to work.

I completed my 10x85 project, with all but one character getting through at least part of the LFR Dragon Soul raid. I managed to do some "real" raiding on my Hunter main, and even got the legendary first stage daggers on my rogue. The only character I haven't gotten up to raiding level is my Paladin. If I have a chance tonight, I will attempt to get hm geared up enough to at least give it a try.

I haven't logged onto my Warlock since the pre-expansion patch, and that is the only character that hasn't been through the Theramore scenario. I will do that first tonight, as that will be easiest to complete. The new scenario concept is interesting, with some pros and cons. On the plus side, they are fairly short and easy. When the queue is not horrible, it is a nice way to run group content. At the beginning of the week, the queue could be an hour or more. It was around five minutes later in the week. The objectives are spelled out for you with the rolling quest objective system introduced with Cataclysm. There are some "shortcuts" that can be taken by experienced players, but even going through all the trash only adds a few minutes to the run. As long as you don't over-pull, it can be completed without crowd control by three DPS without any healers. That would be the slowest, least efficient method so far although I haven't seen a group with three healers.

On the negative side, the biggest problem is what happens when someone drops out. As far as I can tell, there is no way to get another player like you would in a LFG/LFR run. You can either two-man it, or drop group and requeue. I was able to two-man the last two fights with another caster on my mage, but it was slow going. The demolisher was easy, but the final fight was a lot longer than usual. The other negative was not something specific to the scenario system, but rather the false expectation that this was somehow a pre-expansion event, or designed to take its place. There is no bread trail quest, nor anything in-game other than the queue interface. No lore, no backstory, no follow-up. It just feels like they dropped the ball on this one. I wasn't around for the Burning Crusade event, but I was there for the Wrath and Cataclysm events. It is disappointing that this is all there is.

For most of the last 30 days, I've been working on leveling my personal guild. With level appropriate quests giving 60K guild XP, I took advantage of the $5 sale and started multi-boxing again. I found the most efficient way to level my guild was to run through the human starting area; the quests are all close together and there is only one gathering quest. By the time the characters are headed to Goldshire, I had half a bar of guild XP. In the limited time I had available, I was able to gain several levels by three-boxing. Once I start running my regular alts through the new expansion, I should have no problem maxing out my personal guild.

I also changed up my computer layout a bit, and finally upgraded to a decent graphics card. I still have some rearranging to do, but everything is set for the new expansion. Well, almost everything. My work schedule isn't going to allow me to spend the first few days in Pandaria as I had hoped. In fact, the soonest I will be able to start will most likely be Thursday, if not later. The silver lining is that hopefully most of the people will be out of the starting zones. I didn't take part in the beta, nor have I read very much about the new zones. This is the part of the game I enjoy the most, exploring and taking in the new content. I won't be rushing things just to level, at least on the first few characters. By then I should be well on the way for my 11x90 project!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The End is Nigh...

For Cataclysm, that is. I'm looking forward to leveling my main again. Over the course of the last month I've spent two weeks traveling for work, and my internet connection was just too laggy to do anything other than a few daily quests. I did manage to get some bucket list stuff done on my main when I was home; I finally finished up those Northrend quests and snagged the Loremaster title. I haven't been in the beta at all, even though I had an invite from the annual pass. I've been reading up on it a little on blogs and WoW Insider, but haven't delved too deeply into the details, so it will be a pretty fresh experience when the patch hits in two weeks.

I also rolled a few more alts over on Stubborn's server. I figured that I would roll a Death Knight, since it would be easier to catch up to his Warrior and help generate a little income to support the slew of alts I was likely to create. After running Wailing Caverns on my Hunter and winning the roll for the pet, I ran through several times on my Death Knight. I sold them on the auction house for 1500 to 2500 gold each, and had more than enough to support any expenses.

After running as DPS through level 75, I decided to pick up a tank spec on my DK. The last few pugs I ran cemented the decision. The first was a Violet hold run where the tank was completely clueless and eventually dropped group. The last was another VH run where the tank dropped group after starting the event. I stepped in to tank while waiting for another one to join us. I started getting a tank kit together after that, and setup a tank spec. I was able to get a nice relic by doing the PVP quests for honor over in Grizzly Hills. The place was deserted, and I had no problems soloing two or more elite mobs to retake the island. After retaking the lighthouse, I had enough honor to pick up the relic and the tanking cloak. I hit the auction house and was able to pick up a few pieces of tanking plate on the cheap.

The first two runs I made were both Violet Hold again, which was nice because the pace of the dungeon is already set. Both runs went smoothly, and I was able to get used to my tanking technique. The following run was Halls of Stone, which got off to a shaky start when one of the DPS stood too close to where the first patrol walks. I was able to quickly round them up, and the remainder of the run went fairly smoothly. I ended the week at 77, slowly catching up to Stubborn's now level 80. I'll make a few more WC runs to get enough gold to pick up some Cata greens, which should help make up the lack of heirloom equipment I have on this server.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Alts, Pugs, and Trinkets

After finishing my 10x85 project, and getting 9/10 through LFR, I started playing around on some of the other servers that I have characters on. I went back to Medivh, where I had a small personal guild and characters in another guild that belonged to a friend of mine. He hasn't played in over a year, and I've just been logging on there to keep control of the guild if he ever decides to come back. I rolled another druid, and started getting used to leveling while healing pugs without the benefit of any heirloom items. I managed to hook up with a nice level 25 guild, and healed a full clear of Gnomer with a guild group. It went a lot smoother than any pug run I've ever been on.

I had read Stubborn's post about his pugging woes, which gave me another excuse to roll some alts. I haven't rolled an alt on a new server in quite a while, and I had forgotten just how expensive everything can seem when you are just starting out. The first character that I rolled was a hunter. I went with a dwarf this time to check out the changes Cata brought to the low level areas. I was level 15 in very little time, even without heirlooms, and started pugging. Most of the runs seemed to be controlled chaos, where DPS chain pull mobs or "tanks" aren't in a protection spec. On some runs, there were people that would need on everything. Sometimes they would get called out, other times no one said anything. The queue times weren't too bad, about 7 to 8 minutes, which gave me time to work on leveling my professions as I waited.

Only needing on items that were an upgrade for me, I haven't had any issues gearing up. Between dungeon quests, satchels from pugs, and a lucky boss drop or two, I've steadily replaced almost all of my gear with blue items. I even have a pair of mail bracers in my bag for when I hit level 40. The only thing I haven't gotten yet are trinkets. There just aren't any low-level trinkets that either aren't profession specific or from PvP. The first one that drops from a boss is the dog whistle from Houndmaster Loksey. I think I ran that wing four times, and the whistle dropped twice. It isn't anything that would make a significant difference to my DPS, so I only rolled greed on it. When I finally got into Maraudon and killed Noxxion, the other low-level trinket dropped.

While the stats are nice for a tank, it isn't anything that can't be used by another class. As it is the only other trinket in the game that isn't profession specific, PvP, or heirloom, I don't see a problem with anyone rolling need on it. I rolled greed, because if it doesn't increase my DPS I couln't care less. The tank and one of the other DPS rolled need on it. The tank didn't win. The tank proceeded to just stand there. Didn't move, didn't D/C, didn't say anything, just stood there. After a few minutes of this, I initiated a kick. if you want to protest a roll, say something. Don't just sit there and waste my time. Especially for an item that has a 1 in 3 chance of dropping.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Ding x 3

Over the holiday weekend I finally managed to complete my 10x85 project! My warrior was the first, hitting 85 while questing in the Twilight Highlands. My paladin was next, questing through the same zone on the Horde side. My shaman was the last, running pugs as DPS and questing enough to hit the first level of shoulder enchants from Therazane (my paladin is a scribe, so no need for that grind again).

I hit the auction house and picked up a few items for my shammy, and then ran a regular heroic to pick up enough JPs to get a new relic and a trinket. By augmenting my gear with PVP items, it put my ilevel up high enough to queue for the new heroics. I managed to make it through all three without too much drama. Although I wasn't the best DPS, I know the fights and the trash leading up to the fights. And I can CC and interrupt without being prompted. I did get a few comments from one DPSer, but he spent most of the fights dead from failing to do the fights correctly so I was able to take solace in his fail.

Work is going to be a bear for a few weeks, so my playing and posting is going to be sparse.

10x85:
Hunter 85 i390
Deathknight 85 i387
Rogue 85 i385
Priest 85 i379
Mage 85 i386
Druid 85 i385
Warlock 85 i381
Warrior 85 i322
Paladin 85 i318
Shaman 85 i364

Monday, May 14, 2012

Still Kicking

The real world has been a bit of a bear, with the past two weeks being the worst of it. I've been able to play a little in April and May, but not much. I've been on some really good PUGs, and even tanked a few successfully on my paladin. I've been seeing more fail than normal on LFR, most likely because I'm only running it once or twice a week if I'm lucky.

I tried, for the last time, to finish School of Hard Knocks on my hunter. The other players, even those on my side, were being less than helpful. Like going out of their way to make getting the achievement impossible. I have never enjoyed PvP, and this little bit of hell made me hate it even more. With the account-wide changes coming in MoP, I may try again on another character.

I have been getting closer to my 10x85 goal, with all three remaining toons pushing 84.

10x85:
Hunter 85 i390
Deathknight 85 i387
Rogue 85 i385
Priest 85 i379
Mage 85 i386
Druid 85 i385
Warlock 85 i381
Warrior 83
Paladin 83
Shaman 83

Friday, March 30, 2012

Reason #129 Why Friday is Better than Monday

I got an invite to help out in a "real" DS raid last week with one of my guildies friend's guild. They still had to PUG a few spots, and one of their guildies had never been in DS before (not even in LFR). The raid leader did a great job explaining the fights for him, which made my life easier as well (I had only done the LFR version). We easily cleared the first four bosses, and scheduled the next half for Monday. I logged in early on Monday to do a few daily quests, and noticed severe lag and had several disconnects. I reset all my equipment, but it didn't make any difference. I checked the forums, and there were multiple posts about the issue. I added my tracert log to the list, and by the time the raid was starting I was still having issues. I let the raid know about my issues, and we still gave it a shot. Even though I could manage the button boss on Ultraxion with the lag, the constant disconnects were killing me. I had to bow out of the raid. Mondays just plain suck.

I'm still running my level 85 alts through DS every week, and the loot drops were a little sparse this week. I also ran a few dungeons on my lowbies over the weekend. I tanked a few on my pally, and then switched to DPS. I just didn't feel like dealing with the idiots while trying to tank. I'm not the only one. I was in DPS mode when our tank dropped group in Halls of Stone because the huntard kept pulling. I was able to pick up the strays and keep it from being a wipe, but this hunter was a total tool. I wasn't able to kick him, but I did put him on ignore. On another run, I was with three people from the same guild. Things were going pretty good until the end of the run. While the other pug and I were trying to turn in the dungeon quests, they kicked us. I guess they wanted to queue up again and didn't want to wait the minute it would take to let us get our quests done. I must have neglected to put them on ignore, because I ended up with them again a few groups later. I made sure that I added them that time.

Another tank cracked, this time in LFR. For some reason, chain pulling and starting fights while buffs and rezzes are happening seems to be getting more and more common. Starting fights while the rest of the raid isn't present is starting to happen as well. When someone called the responsible tank out on it, he pulled a trash pack and dropped group. We easily handled the trash, and went on to finish the raid with no issues. Other than being a dick, the tank who tried to wipe us accomplished nothing. I guess some people are just assholes.

10x85:
Hunter 85 i390
Deathknight 85 i384
Rogue 85 i385
Priest 85 i376
Mage 85 i382
Druid 85 i385
Warlock 85 i380
Warrior 80
Paladin 78
Shaman 77

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Easily Distracted

My original goal was to have 10 level 85 characters of each class. I have been sitting on 7 so far, with three close behind. My usual method has been to run my 5 "raid ready" characters through LFR, and then leveling my rested three lowbies. Over the past two weeks, I haven't really been following that. I did a few pug runs on my shaman as a DPSer, and sent all three to the Darkmoon Faire to do the profession quests which have a two-fold benefit; five extra points on their profession and XP is a win-win situation to me!

I had one problem with the profession leveling though, as both of my horde toons needed wool cloth to level up high enough to be able to accept the Darkmoon quests for first aid. I was contemplating taking my 75 paladin on a grinding run, when Blizzard unexpectedly intervened. The new scroll of resurrection promotion would enable me to kill several birds with one stone. One of the accounts that I had let "hibernate" had an alt with a bank full of low-level cloth, and was never upgraded to Cataclysm. I resurrected the account, and did a neutral auction house transfer of the cloth I needed to my horde toons. I also now had a Cataclysm level account that I could pay for another month of game time and get a shiny new mount for my main. And grant any character on that account an instant level 80 boost. And server transfer any character from that account to one of my main accounts server for free. Very, very nice!

Some of my "raiding" level 85 characters are pretty much done with drops and point purchases from LFR, and will most likely be done for a while. I started getting the other two level 85 toons ready, and their disparate gear levels required slightly different approaches. My priest had a few higher level pieces from the past holiday bosses and tailoring, so I felt comfortable going right into the Hour of Twilight heroics with her and the few pieces of PVP gear she still had. I ran her through all weekend until she had capped out on points, and between gear drops and the initial quest rewards, she is sitting at a 370 ilevel. I'll purchase boots for her from one of my valor capped characters, and I'm only a few justice points away from getting a new cheast piece with will replace the last of the PVP gear and give me a two-piece bonus going into LFR.

My warlock, on the other hand, had very little gear to start with. I had one ring from the headless horseman and the alchemy trinket. I decked her out in PVP gear and hit the normal dungeons. I ran the normal dungeons until I couldn't get the bonus justice points any longer, and replaced some of the green items with drops from the normal dungeons. I purchased the chest and legs from the justice point vendor. I "gifted" her with bracers and boots from points on another character, and queued for the new heroics. After zoning into a few already in progress, I managed to get into the first heroic in a fresh run. It was probably the nicest run I have been on in a long time.

The other runs weren't horrible, but they weren't very notable either. This run, however, was really pleasant. People were polite, there was some humorous banter, and a good time was had by all. It was just plain nice. I managed to get through all of the new heroics, and almost cap out on valor points before I was eligible to enter LFR. I also left the heroics with a few less pieces than my priest, so I picked up a necklace from the justice point vendor to get rid of a low level item. I was sitting at a 375 ilevel, so I decided to try the first half of LFR instead of doing another heroic. The raid went fine, and while I didn't top the meters, I wasn't all the way at the bottom either.

I know there are a lot of people who have issues with people using PVP gear in PVE. I understand and have been witness to several occasions where someone who had PVP gear was a detriment to a pug run. It is, however, possible to do just fine with PVP gear if certain criteria are met. All of my gear was gemmed, enchanted, and reforged to get the most optimized PVE stats possible without using epic gems and really expensive enchants. They were all DPS toons. Tanks, with the exception of druids, and healers really can't pull it off unless they're really, really good. Almost all of my alts that are now LFR veterans have gone into LFR with at least the PVP helm and shoulders if they weren't lucky in the new heroics. My warlock was the most PVP setup of all of my characters. I could have gone right into the new heroics, but I chose to run regulars to get the justice points to replace the chest and leg pieces, because I just wasn't putting out enough DPS with all PVP. My priest had better gear than my lock before adding the PVP items, so it was a non-issue. Against Mannoroth I pulled 150k on my warlock with 6 PVP items, a green trinket, a green ring, a 300ish neck, and a 333 blue staff. After getting 378 ring, trinket, bracers, and boots I was closer to 170k the second time I faced him. It's just a matter of knowing what you are capable of doing so you can make an informed decision.

I was also slightly distracted by the new Star Wars MMO. I had gotten it for my son for his birthday, and played it a little when he was asleep. It is pretty neat, but it runs like crap on my desktop (crappy video card). My laptop is a higher-end Dell XPS, and he doesn't have any problem playing it on that. I did manage to level a Jedi to 11, but the choppy display on my desktop was to annoying for me to really get into it. Aside from the voice acting, the initial questing is just, if not more, linear than WoW. Oh, the previous week I also downloaded the free to play Star trek MMO, and played that a bit too. My ironman alt still sits, unplayed, in the night elf starting zone...


10x85:
Hunter 85 i390
Deathknight 85 i384
Rogue 85 i383
Priest 85 i370
Mage 85 i380
Druid 85 i381
Warlock 85 i375
Warrior 80
Paladin 75
Shaman 72

Friday, March 2, 2012

5-10-15

That's how close I am to finishing my 10x85 project. With a little time to play over the weekend, i've managed to push my shaman into Northrend, hit 75 on my paladin, and I haven't done anything with my warrior for quite some time. I also started another alt, specifically for the WoW Ironman. By started, I rolled a Nelf druid and left her parked in the starting zone.

10x85:
Hunter 85
Deathknight 85
Rogue 85
Priest 85
Mage 85
Druid 85
Warlock 85
Warrior 80
Paladin 75
Shaman 70

Friday, February 17, 2012

Scattershot

Over the last two weeks my usual play style has been just that - scattershot (forgive the hunter pun, but that is my main). I did do some leveling on my shaman and ran the holiday boss daily on my 85s, but the majority of my time has been in LFR. As some of my characters approach the last of the upgrades available, my shadow priest is now geared enough to start the last three heroics. With a few more items, my warlock will be up there as well.

Loot list to date:

Hunter - all tier pieces, belt, boots, one trinket
Deathknight - tier shoulders (DPS and tank), tier chest (tank), belt (DPS), two rings (DPS), 2h weapon (tank)
Rogue - tier chest and pants, non-tier shoulders, both trinkets, axe, dagger, ranged
Mage -  3 tier (helm, shoulders, chest), gloves, belt, boots
Druid - 3 tier (chest, legs, gloves) and belt

The grand totals (starting with the characters in LFR longest to least):

Hunter - 8
Deathknight - 7
Rogue - 8
Mage - 6
Druid - 4

That's 33 pieces of gear from drops in LFR. I only roll need on items that I want, I do not roll need on items I have to trade. I either pass on the tier stuff I can't use or roll to D/E the items that allow that selection. Even in the current climate of LFR folks needing on everything, it is still possible to gear up without behaving like the basest among the pugs.

Most of the LFR runs have gone smoothly, although now that the majority of the people there are either on alts or are new to LFR the quality of the run can vary on any day. It used to be that the "real" raiders ran the first two days of the lockout, and quality steadily declined throughout the week to the point that the last day of the lockout was almost guaranteed to be a fail run. At this point, I've had fail runs on the first day and good runs towards the end of the lockout. Usually the failure occurs during the second half of the raid; I've yet to not make it through the first four bosses.

The only problems that I have seen on the first half of the raid have been people issues. By people I mean asshats. Normally I just ignore the idiots, both literally and using the in-game feature. The last one really got under my skin. I rarely vote to kick someone if the boss dies and they aren't acting like an idiot. This guy, however, was a total asshat the entire run. Aside from being a tool in raid chat, he went AFK during the next to last boss fight. He followed that up by keeping the raid in combat by starting the trash on Hagara and then starting the Hagara fight so he could not be kicked. He was immediately killed by Hagara, so he also contributed nothing to that fight as well. I used the in-game tool to report his behavior. I was so fed up with his antics, in fact, that I created a character on his server and sent a letter to his (former) guild leader to let him know what kind of person he had in his guild. I see that he is no longer in the guild, perhaps he'll play a little nicer with others from now on. AƱklebiter of Alterac mountains, welcome to my asshat hall of shame.

The second half of the raid is where most of the problems occur. I have zoned in to a wipe in progress on the trash before Utraxion, and have wiped repeatedly because the tanks don't know the fight. As in saying "I don't know the fight" after wiping the first time. Usually it takes two or three wipes before they either learn the fight or leave/get kicked. The second fight usually always goes well. Last night was a prime example of the problems on the spine fight. I think we had two amalgs up the entire time because people just wouldn't listen to instructions. I was surprised that we actually got it down. I didn't think we could get madness down, and I was correct. I don't know exactly where the raid failed, because I died on Alexstaza's platform and couldn't see what was happening on the last one. My guess is that people weren't killing the adds and single-targeting the tendrils. At the start of the fight, one of the heals D/C'd. Another one died on the same platform as me. Four druids in the raid and not a single battle rez. It was late, so I dropped group, repaired, and logged out.

The most fun last week was a fun run on my main with a few guildies. We beat up Karazhan first, then took down Blackwing Lair. I finally had my Classic Raider achievement!

10x85:
Hunter 85
Deathknight 85
Rogue 85
Priest 85
Mage 85
Druid 85
Warlock 85
Warrior 80
Paladin 73
Shaman 62

Friday, February 3, 2012

Progress

I did make a little progress on my 10x85 project. The lunar holiday provided some XP, but it got a bit tedious after doing my two lowbies that could fly. I only bothered to hit the elders that were in the area I was questing in on my non-flying shaman. I managed to figure out a decent rotation on my warrior, and tore up quests in Sholozar and then Icrecrown. The last bit flew by, as I was decked out Cataclysm greens that I farmed up specifically for these last three toons. I was two and three hitting the mobs, managing to get from 79 to 80 faster than I thought I would.

I looked on the auction house for the Cataclysm greens first, but the prices were way too high. I logged onto my deathknight, and tried a few spots. I eventually settled on Mount Hyjal, specifically Ascendant's Rise. The mobs there dropped tons of 77-79 greens along with gold and cloth. When I cleared out the area, I flew around the general area picking up some ore. I continued the pattern until my bags were full. Hearth, sell the junk, fill up the guild bank, repeat. I managed to sell the cloth, leather, and INT plate on the auction house for a tidy profit. I also picked up enough gear to outfit my paladin and shaman when they hit the 77-79 range.

With the raid lockout reset on Tuesday, I went back into LFR. I went on my druid first, and managed to pick up a set of gloves for my restro spec. The raid fell apart before Deathwing. I made out better on my mage, picking up tier shoulders on the first half and non-tier gloves and boots on the second half. Last night I only managed to pick up a set of shoulders for my tank spec on my deathknight. The run finished quickly, so I popped into a random dungeon and smacked Benedictus around a bit. I was putting out some pretty slick DPS on that run, with the next closest being the paladin tank about 10k behind me. I use the meter to see how I'm doing on the run; I can't stand those who start crap about DPS when stuff is dropping like flies. It was a quick run, so I hopped back on my druid to see if I could get Deathwing down. The only LFR that popped was starting on the first boss, but I had nothing better to do. I should have just logged off, as the group I was in couldn't get past the trash.

10x85
Hunter 85
Deathknight 85
Rogue 85
Priest 85
Mage 85
Druid 85
Warlock 85
Warrior 80
Paladin 73
Shaman 54
 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Wouldn't ya know...

That the first PUG I do on my shammy healer would have an asshat. I haven't played that character for a while, and I spent a little time re-familiarizing myself with my capabilities. I zone into a fresh Dire Maul North run, and while I and the others are getting the quests from the NPCs at the entrance, the tank is already in combat. Sigh.

We clear most of the way to the first boss, and the tank pulls the boss before the last trash pack is dead. As soon as we drop the boss, he's on the way to the next trash pack. I manage to get a little drink to restore some mana between trash pulls. As we make our way to the second boss, we get into an area where there is several different levels of ground and columns that block line of sight. You can guess where this is going.

At level 45 I have 3 healing spells. I have Healing Wave - a mana cheap, long cast, low healing spell. I have Healing Surge - a shorter cast, mana expensive, slightly larger healing spell. I have Chain Heal. That's it. As the tank chain pulled up a ramp and out of line of sight, I had to stop casting my big heal and folow him to get off a quick heal. Meanwhile, one of the DPS butt pulls a group back down the ramp, past the pillars. Instead of using line of sight to gather the casters causing havoc, he gets out of my line of sight twice; once going down the ramp and again going out around the pillar. He dies along with the DPS that pulled the extra mobs.

The other two DPS and I kite the mobs around the pillars and get them down. As I'm rezzing the tank, I notice in the party chat that he had typed "You suck at healing". Had I not already pugged other healers a ton, I might have felt bad. I knew he was a fail tank, and I didn't let it bother me. If I sucked that bad, it would have been a wipe. Just another entry on the ignore list. We almost had another wipe at the boss who fears and calls adds. The tank couldn't keep aggro and I end up dead. The he and another DPS dies. The last two DPS (the same ones that lived last time) managed to get the rest down, using crowd control and kiting. We finished the rest without any other problems.

I did run it again with another pug, with a tank that knew what he was doing. It was a quick run with no wipes and no issues at all. Even with a healer that sucks. Go figure. I swapped over to my elemental spec and did some questing, calling it a day when I hit 50.

I logged onto my warrior and was questing along, trying out my respec to arms from fury when I realized that the new holiday quests were also giving experience points. I hearthed back to Stormwind and picked up the starter quests. After swooping in on an Omen kill, I proceeded to honor as many elders as I could. Between questing, holiday XP, and one run of the Nexus I managed to hit 75. I also learned that I truly suck at arms. My DPS in the Nexus was horrible, until I was in a group of mobs. Bladestorm was giving me numbers that i'm used to seeing on my 85! Adding the quest givers into the Northrend and Outland dungeons was also a nice surprise. I logged onto my paladin and followed my warrior's course. I skipped the old world elders for now and went back to Northrend. I tanked a run of UK before I logged, bringing me up to 73.

During the week, I spent some time on my 85s. On Tuesday, I ran through LFR on my druid. I picked a few drops; a set of bracers and two pairs of tier gloves. I wish they would fix the roll system. While I was trying to look for the next highest roller to trade, people were already complaining in chat about my winning two tier gloves off the boss, while still pulling trash for the next boss. I was finally able to trade it to a grateful mage. I tried to do a few heroics to cap valor points for the week, but getting even one fail pug later at night is enough to make me want to logoff. I was the only one trying to get Thrall out of the ice tomb. I think I was the only one staying out of the ice as well, being able to shift out of the snares kept me the last one alive. We almost made it on the third run, until Thrall was put into an ice tomb for a second time. I didn't even know that was possible. I left the group, hearthed home, and logged out for the night.

I hopped on my mage Wednesday and go into another DS run. i managed to put out some respectable DPS, although I only received valor points from the run. Thursday was my deathnight's turn, and it did not disapoint. I picked up a ring and tier shoulders! I also ran a Well of Eternity where I broke 100k DPS on the last fight. I'm really enjoying the frost spec, but I may take a stab at unholy to see just how much I can do. Tonight I'll run my hunter and my rogue through DS, and spend the rest of the weekend using up the rested bonus on my lowbies and gearing up my priest and warlock for DS.

Hunter 85
Deathknight 85
Rogue 85
Priest 85
Mage 85
Druid 85
Warlock 85
Warrior 75
Paladin 73
Shaman 50

Friday, January 20, 2012

Scattershot

There are a lot of things buzzing about this week; where should I start.

SOPA/PIPA - bad laws are bad for everyone. The media corporations are looking to cut off their nose to spite their face on this one. In the wake of the big multi-national law enforcement bust of a major copyright infringer, these bills have been shown their complete lack of need.

Back to WoW topics, the first nerfs to DS are going to be coming. The insane amount of QQ over this is astonishing. It is expected on the forums, but to see some of my regular bloggers overreacting to it has shocked and saddened me. I don't see what all the uproar is about. Blizzard has been monitoring the data, and they have their hand on the dial. They see the exact number of groups hitting roadblocks. The nerf is there to let them use it for that last little bit of push. Most people do not enjoy hitting their head against the same wall for weeks upon weeks.

Oh, using the nerf is optional as well. If you haven't already gotten the world first or server first, you aren't the elite group you portend to be. After two months, you are already nerfing the content by using DS drops and VP items, and most likely are already kitted out in LFR items to boot. If you and your guild want to keep running it without the nerf, you are free to do so. If you are upset because some other group may get the server first by using the nerf, you really need to realize that the rest of the world isn't going to wait for you. At this point, you've been weighed, you've been measured, and you've been found wanting. Get over it.

Other complaints about the nerf come from those who haven't beat the game yet, but have more of a concern for their epeen than anything else. To those, I say "Fuck You"! Please take your nerdrage and GTFO. If you fall into that camp, you are nothing more than elitist scum, please die in a fire. The complaints also mention that LFR is there for the "baddies" to see the content. LFR is there for those that do not have the option to otherwise raid. Period.

Speaking of LFR, I now have five characters that can take advantage of the new raid. I have done the LFR on my main, my deathknight, my rogue, and my mage. I may run my druid through there this weekend as well, but I have already capped VP doing the new heroics to gear up so I may wait until next week. Last night, I completed one and a half LFR runs. Prior to LFR, I only ran raids on my main. Towards the end of WotLK, I ran two of my druid alts occasionally during alt runs. This new tool has increased my options for enjoying this game exponentially. There was no possibility for me to raid on such a diverse group of character types before, and I am extremely happy for this. Even with the asshats sometimes found in LFR.

There are several varieties of asshats in the new LFR, and I have seen them all. There are the leeches, who just lurk and autoattack. They usually get kicked. They also draw attention to people who, while at least trying, don't put out much DPS. They sometimes get kicked as well. I find that to be a bit much; a dead boss is the only standard I feel is required. Having the minimum gear for LFR will result in low DPS. Using a class that you are not used to will also result in low DPS. I had a tough time transitioning from a ranged to a melee character, but I improved as I went along. I always gemmed, enchanted, and reforged my gear before LFR. There is no excuse for not using the cheap enchants or gems.

Being number one on the DPS meter doesn't excuse you from being a dick. Last night, the top DPS, a mage, kept spamming recount and waving his epeen. The mage actually had the gall to whisper me for my drop at the end of the raid. Not to trade for another item, but to just give it to him to complete his four set. There was no way I would even consider helping that prick. I had a similar issue occur with the healing crew, with the top healers demeaning the others. There is no need for that if the raid is progressing. These people make my ignore list, sometimes even during the raid.

There is a special place in hell for the following people. This particular asshat sometimes works alone, and sometimes works as part of a larger group. If you roll need for items you don't need, this would be you. I don't care if it is because you want to use it for trade for something you want, to give to a friend also in the raid, to act like some kind of master looter to hand out loot to people you find deserving, or to troll by selling or sharding the item.

I have had little trouble gearing up using the LFR. Sometimes I get a piece or two during the raid, sometimes I only leave with VPs. I only need on items that are an improvement to the gear that I already have. Some feel it is OK to roll need whenever the dice are lit. Those people are assholes, and deserve a swift kick in the balls. Blizzard has started to address some of the issues already, with more changes on the way. Currently, if multiples of an item drop, one person could win them all. This was obviously not intended, and will be fixed in the next patch. If I were to win two of the same pieces of tier on one boss, I would trade one to the next highest roller. Even on my characters that could use it for two specs. Don't be a dick.

My 10x85 project has stalled with all the LFR action this week.

Friday, January 13, 2012

LFR

I've been neglecting my 10x85 project as the Darkmoon Faire and gearing up a few of my alts for LFR has filled my free time. The first alt to enter LFR was my rogue. I spent some time running both normal and the older heroics to be able to enter the new five-man dungeons. I didn't want to be "that guy" showing up in PVP gear and being carried by the rest of the party. With some JP purchases, I was competitive with the rest of the party. After a run through all three, I had enough upgrades to my gear to be very competitive on the DPS meters. I wasn't able to meet the gear requirements for LFR until the second week, but once I did I had a blast. I've never raided on a melee character before, but I managed to make it through without any major issues and picked up a few drops as well!

I started the process with my deathknight, whose best items were leftovers from the holiday bosses. As I did some questing in the Twilight Highlands, I queued for a Cata heroic. I zoned in to Ripsnarl in Deadmines. After the first wipe, I knew it was going to be a rough one. I wasn't happy with my DPS, but it was better than anyone else in the party. I inspected the tank after the second wipe. He had half tank gear, and little to no gems or enchants. Instead of dropping, I decided to just use the experience as practice.

We managed to drop the boss, and made it through the nightmare portion of the next boss. I managed to not wipe on the rope boss, only to have us wipe a few minutes later. We did eventually down the boss. I managed to pick up the achievement for Cookie, and went back to working on my Wildhammer rep. I still wasn't happy with my DPS, so I took a better look at my spec. I realized that I was setup for a two-handed weapon build instead of the two one-handers I was currently using. I fixed my spec and hit the auction house. I picked up a bunch of PVP gear and did some reforging.

The next day I was back in the highlands, and was doing a lot better. I queued for a new heroic, because I didn't want to get stuck in another fail group. I managed to make it through all three new heroics, and the only people that beat my output were those in raid gear. I ran the new heroics until I was valor capped, and between the quest rewards, boss drops, and justice/valor purchases I had replaced all my PVP gear and was eligible for LFR. Even though i was capped on valor, I still ran LFR hoping to get a new piece of gear.

The first run started like they all do, with a faceroll of the first boss. When the only death didn't get rezzed, I felt something was off. We cleared the trash around the beach ball boss, and again the dead didn't get rezzed. We one-shot the boss and moved on to the next one. We made it through the trash ok, but then things went downhill. Normally, the raid lead would either mark or call out the kill priority; nothing but silence. We managed the first two add waves ok, but the third is where everything broke down. Half the raid went to the wrong add, and we eventually wiped. As we were being rezzed, the boss respawned and engaged again with half the raid dead and the rest at partial health. I dropped group for the first time in a LFR. I repaired and queued up again. The second time through we one-shot the entire wing. The overall DPS was better, and there was communication during the fights. The difference was night and day.

I have a three day weekend coming up, and after running LFR on my other two raid-ready 85s I'll most likely get back to leveling my 10x85 characters.


Hunter 85
Deathknight 85
Rogue 85
Priest 85
Mage 85
Druid 85
Warlock 85
Warrior 72
Paladin 70
Shaman 45