It's been a great 5 years. I've had fantastic experiences which I'll never forget, made many friends and perhaps touched some lives.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Posted by SolidState at 12:18 AM
Thursday, April 01, 2010
Last night (as is almost always the case on Wednesday) we had more than enough people for ICC-25, so we had our usual ICC-25 clearing run.
- Our tanks had more health as did the rest of the raid, leading to increased survivability.
- Healer HPS actually went down. I guess this is due to all the healers doing more healing per spell, resulting in more over-healing. I could be wrong.
- Raid damage was higher. We managed to take down Blood Queen with 2 MC'd people at the end, something which probably would have meant a wipe before the buff.
Posted by SolidState at 5:19 PM
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Last night being a Tuesday we had less than 25 raiders online as is usually the case for us lately (officers are currently busy recruiting so hopefully this sad situation should change in the near future).
Posted by SolidState at 4:24 PM
Monday, March 29, 2010
"if you do want to group you have to put up with getting less xp, taking longer to complete quests, and generally getting less bang for your questing buck than if you were by yourself."
"What I would like for the next few MMOs to do is to provide some genuine benefit to grouping..."
Posted by SolidState at 11:44 AM
Sunday, March 28, 2010
I wanted to put down on paper, err virtual in this case, my thoughts and impressions of ICC-10 man heroic boss fights. This won't be a strategy guide as the information on the normal websites (wowwiki, wowhead, tankspot) is already pretty good, but I will highlight some things I think are important, especially from my point of view as a healer.
Posted by SolidState at 3:57 PM
Been a while since I posted, as I've been writing short updates on Buzz which was enough for me. But I hear I may actually have a couple of readers so perhaps I should update here too ;p
Posted by SolidState at 3:35 PM
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Where have I gone to these last few days?
Posted by SolidState at 4:14 PM
Sunday, February 07, 2010
Last night I went for a scheduled 10-man raid. Actually we were supposed to have 2 teams running but we were short on both an off-spec tank and a healer, so in the end the officers decided to put one strong 10-man team up and have the other deferred to another evening when hopefully there would be all the mains needed.
The evening started off as usual, first wing was never hard for us in 10-man and after the recent nerfs it is practically a joke. Second wing however was another story...
Posted by SolidState at 2:23 PM
Tuesday, February 02, 2010
Last night ICC was accessible, which means of course we didn't have enough people in the guild for a 25man raid. Murphy's Law and all that...
Posted by SolidState at 5:11 PM
Sunday, January 31, 2010
I haven't reported on progress for a while, for the simple reason there really hasn't been any. At least, not significant (in my eyes).
Posted by SolidState at 2:29 PM
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Not if you judge by my recent random heroics - AN on Solidfaith and Zul'Drak on Solidstar.
Posted by SolidState at 6:09 PM
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Last night after clearing the first wing in ICC-25 our officers decided it would be better to give the new wing a try instead of doing Fester/Rot/Putri.
Posted by SolidState at 12:07 PM
Monday, January 18, 2010
Last night, which was Sunday, the guild continued our ICC-25 raid from last week.
Posted by SolidState at 2:56 PM
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Been a while since I've posted, really mostly been too busy. But WoW business has been as usual, since the new wing opened we've cleared both Festergut and Rotface in 10-man and 25-man. Rotface-25 only last night since the guild missed a couple of raiding days due to missing people (including myself one day).
Posted by SolidState at 3:17 PM
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
There seems to be more than the usual amount of negative posts on various blogs lately about pugging since patch 3.3 was released.
Posted by SolidState at 1:24 PM
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
There's a good post over at Honor's Code about the new LFD system and wait times. In a nutshell, wait times are short now because many raiding tanks are doing one daily heroic for the Frost Emblems and once the need for those drops, so will the number of tanks.
Posted by SolidState at 5:13 PM
Monday, December 21, 2009
First of all there is a nice post up at Dreambound about healing ICC-10 as a Resto Druid. Actually it was posted Dec. 9 so I'm a bit behind the times but better late than never :)
Posted by SolidState at 3:15 PM
Sunday, December 20, 2009
This is a post about healing the first wing of ICC, hopefully I'll remember to do followups for additional wings as they open up. I'm not going over boss tactics, except as they relate specifically to healer, as there are enough good sources of information for general tactics.
Posted by SolidState at 12:06 PM
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Well it has been a week since 3.3 came out and I continue to be pleased with it, especially the new LFG tool.
Posted by SolidState at 5:40 PM
Friday, December 11, 2009
Well nothing went wrong tonight thankfully, and I managed to login without a problem and join the raid. Well, addons will take a bit more configuring to go back to normal state but otherwise the game was fine, not even much server lag (only once or twice the whole evening and not very bad then).
Posted by SolidState at 2:10 AM
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Alas, I had problems with the new patch and couldn't login (only finally got it sorted this morning), but at least my guild raided and they downed the 1st boss in ICC (25man) and got the 2nd boss down to 3% or so, so I'm sure we (assuming I have no further problems and can get a raid spot) will get it down tonight.
Posted by SolidState at 10:05 AM
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Well it's been a month since I last mentioned Solidd. I've been busy raiding of course with Solidfaith but Solidd has not been neglected. Over the past month I've been busy doing heroics with him and even the very rare 10man raid. Although I haven't done the heroics every day I still got enough emblems to gear up my resto spec rather nicely.
Posted by SolidState at 11:06 AM
Friday, November 20, 2009
Although my guild raids 25man ToC and so has good gear and although we had a team who already downed Anub'arak in Heroic 10-man ToC, I have, until last night, failed to take him down. Nor has any team of the guild managed to do a wipe-free ToC-10 heroic till last night.
Posted by SolidState at 4:32 PM
Sunday, November 15, 2009
4.5 months ago I blogged about Ulduar-10 hard modes, how we tried to get a few of them down and met with limited success.
My-my, how times have changed :)
This weekend, with much better gear I entered Ulduar-10 and very much nuked the place. Well, almost...
On Friday evening we took a friend of one of the guildies, a holy priest who was pretty well geared but not quite as much as we were. So we were 2 holy priests and a paladin healing (the other 8 people apart from me were all from the guild). With a strong DPS team and good tanks, we did okay and managed some nice achievements:
FL - we tried for 4 towers up but you really need people who know how to drive the siege engines and throw a person up to shut down FL at least once. We didn't have these people so we wiped a few times before deciding it was not important (almost all of us already had the achievement) and did it with 2 towers.
XT - this is where our strong DPS team really shined, going into hard-mode was not difficult at all and the fight itself was healing intense but very doable.
From XT we continued to Kologarn, no hard-mode there so we just nuked him. Crazy Cat Lady was also not too hard, mostly I guess do to our paladin healer and 50k+ health tanks :)
Now it was Hodir's turn and again our strong DPS made a once very-hard achievement into one which was, well, pretty easy :) I think we had like 1 minute left on the 3 minute timer, what a change vs. 4.5 months ago when I blogged about being short by 6 seconds!
Last but not least was Thorim hard-mode, actually I was caught off-guard by how hard the healing is once the gauntlet team jumps down and I got a little confused and managed to get myself killed near the end :(
Thankfully the rest of the team pulled through and we one-shot him also.
We had time for a few hard-mode Mimiron tries but it was quickly obvious we just didn't have the healing output for it, so we called it a night.
On Saturday evening the non-guild priest was replaced by our GL, a very well-geared (and well played) resto-druid. We were also joined by a new recruit, an enhancement Shaman who had great DPS but had not in the past cleared Mimiron so didn't know the fight. Hard-mode Mimiron is a really difficult fight, even for a team with ToC-25 gear doing Ulduar-10. It is really tuned so that any mistake will wipe you - so everyone has to be just perfect and not do any mistakes. So having a new guy who didn't quite know the fight led to a few wipes, apart from all the wipes made by people making the usual execution mistakes.
However the new guy learned quickly and after a few wipes I guess the rest of us had worked out how to not make mistakes, since we finally got the fight down, eliciting much cheering on Vent and a Firefighter achievement :)
My GL says that Mimiron hardmode is the hardest fight in Ulduar apart from Yogg+0 and after doing it, I believe him.
We continued to Freya+3 and not only got her down on the first attempt with time to spare but no one died. After the healing crazyness which was Mimiron hardmode, Freya+3 which I once described as a healing challenge felt... almost easy. Not quite, since people still needed to be on top of the action and do stuff like kill the 3 adds together, but certainly a lot less hectic than Mimiron.
I would love to say we also 1-shotted Vezax hardmode but alas we wiped the first time. What happened was, we had only 1 ranged DPS (a hunter) so we decided to have only him and the resto druid be ranged and group everyone else under Vezax. Alas, Vezax would have none of that and promptly cast Shadow Crash on a healer - yes on me :( As I was practically under him this of course completely messed up the melee and we missed the interrupt rotation. On the second try we had all the healers stand at range and this time we managed to get him, hardmode and all, almost without a problem - it was close though as both surviving healers were at the end of their mana :).
Now came Yogg+0 and this is where we completely failed. I don't know if it was the late hour, the group composition (too many melee, only a single ranged DPS) tactics or a combination of all of the above but on most wipes we barely made it even to phase 2, our best attempt was 50% on the brain. Initially we tried it with the druid as Moonkin but the DPS just didn't interrupt the Shadow Volleys and me and the paladin just couldn't keep the raid up, especially as we are both classes that need to stand to cast (especially big heals) and we were running almost all the time away from clouds. Once the druid switched back to resto we had problems with the DPS pulling agro on guardians. We tried to solve this using 2 tanks and had better luck getting to phase 2 but now we obviously lacked the ranged DPS to down the big tentacles, not to mention all the smaller ones who were casting spells/fears on us all the time and we quickly wiped.
Near the end of the evening we decided to give up on Yogg+0 for now and try for Yogg+1 but although that helped us to get to phase 2, our group composition of only 1 ranged DPS as I said basically killed us and on our best attempt we only got the brain down to 50%. I hope we try again with a slightly different DPS setup and manage, although Sunday-Tuesday are raiding nights so we might be too busy with ToC-25 heroic... we'll see.
All in all though the entire weekend for me was a huge success in terms of just having fun and stretching my raiding abilities. Sure some of the fights were much easier now but the hardmodes were not trivial by far, certainly not the hard ones like Mimiron and Yogg-Saron. If I make some of them sound easy it is only because all of the people in the group are experienced raiders who know all the fight tactics well. So I definitely have a sense of accomplishment about the recent 10man-Ulduar achievements and I hope to be able to down Yogg-Saron too :)
Posted by SolidState at 11:20 AM
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
It's been a while since I last blogged, and the reason is due to the "Other Stuff" part of the headline - you see, I've started playing Torchlight :)
What happened was, I was disappointed with lack of heroic ToC-25 attempts by our guild, every time we were missing a tank or just not enough people. Tank shortage meant trying to do heroics with my new level-80 Druid was mostly pointless, so I was kind of looking around for more things to do.
At this point I read a couple of reviews of Torchlight, which described it as a Diablo clone with modern graphics but no multiplayer options - sort of Diablo 3 "lite", but here and now instead of in the far future. I took a look at some videos and screenshots, saw the price was just $20, fired-up Steam and bought the game.
Youtube and Google will give you all the videos and screenshots you want, suffice it to say I enjoy the cute graphics although I miss the true 3D environment of WoW - this 2.5D stuff pales in comparison. They did solve the "character behind some object and you can't rotate the camera" problem in a nice way though, your character becomes like a ghostly outline, you have to see it but it's very cool looking :)
Gameplay is very straight-forward with a single quest-line driving the "story" - there's no real meaning to the quests though as they only require you to drill down deeper into the levels of the dungeon. There's no such thing really as a class, since the "mage class" Alchemist for example can be played as a melee type! However I've always enjoyed playing a "mage" so that is what I'm focusing on.
There's also no World and no ability to wander from the path you are traveling, although there are side-branches/rooms you can enter for extra loot/xp. But in general gameplay is - go down the stairs to a new level, follow the path while killing everything in sight and looting anything that drops, continue till you reach the stairs to the next level, repeat.
Actually there are 2 other side quests, one is a robot that gives you a quest to kill a boss mob on a level further down, this is repeated every time you return - you just get the same quest but for a boss a few levels down. Rather pointless since there is no other way to go but down and you pretty much have to go through those bosses...
The other side-quest is from an NPC which will give you once every few levels a quest to get an item from a mini-dungeon to which it will open a portal. This mini-dungoen plays exactly like any level of the main dungeon, so the only reason to do it is for some extra loot and XP.
On the negative side, this is a very simplistic game, especially when compared to the complexity of WoW. There is nothing to do except kill mobs - no crafting/professions, no trade (except NPC vendors), no real story. There is one "mini-game" which is fishing, sometimes in the dungeon you will see fishing holes, which when clicked bring up a hook icon surrounded by two rings, the inner one is constant while the outer fluctuates. When the outer one merges with the inner, you click the hook icon to pull up the fish. If you timed it right, you catch a fish which you can feed to your pet - it gives it another shape and various abilities.
In addition to being very simplistic, you can see the lack of polish - items with the same name but different stats, ability to kill mobs that cannot reach you, quests from the robot NPC having exactly the same text, abilities and "talents" that are repeated (exactly the same) between the 3 "classes".
Of course the biggest downside is the lack of any multiplayer ability, never mind massivly-multiplayer :)
On the positive side, this is a very simplistic, simple game requiring no thought or effort to play :)
So if you've just spent a night wiping in WoW and want to relax, spending 20 minutes clearing a level or two of Torchlight with loot and gold dropping like rain might work for you - certainly I appreciate the experience. I don't really worry about my gear, certainly not about my stats. Time will tell if I can play and enjoy it for an entire month, which is what I would like to happen to feel that my $20 were well spent. For example there's no re-playability when trying another class- you get the exact same storyline, quests and instances. So it is possible that after finishing the game with one character, I'll find it too boring to repeat. We'll see.
As for the first part of my subject, we finally had the tanks and people online (well sorta) to give ToC-25 heroic another try. I say sorta, since one healer DC'd practically the entire night and one tank would DC almost every other fight. Still we did well and actually got Icehowl to less than 1% life before we wiped - even the healers were DPSing at the end, hoping to kill him before he killed us all (he was enraged already so all the tanks were dead), it was that close. The cries of frustration on Vent would have been amusing if I hadn't felt like howling myself at that moment (couldn't of course as the rest of the house were sleeping :)).
Hopefully we'll continue with more attempts following the reset today and finally get Beasts-25 down in Heroic mode - a big factor will be if people will learn to run away from his charge, since this is what wiped us every time we got to Icehowl (Worms still wiped us most of the times).
Posted by SolidState at 3:24 PM
Saturday, October 24, 2009
I actually dinged a few days ago but haven't had time to blog about it :)
Posted by SolidState at 7:42 PM
Saturday, October 17, 2009
I've been a bit quiet but not due to lack of playing, more due to lack of time to update here what with work pressure on the one hand and constant raiding or leveling taking up my little spare time.
Solidfaith continues to raid as a Disc priest mostly, although one exception is worth a mention. A group of guild-mates had cleared most of 10man ToC heroic and were stuck on the last boss, Anub'arak. A spot became available and I was invited to join as a healer. However the problem is, Anub'arak is a classic Holy-priest fight as the entire raid takes damage all the time so needs to be healed, in addition to 2 tanks - one on the boss and one on the adds and both needing large amounts of healing. Probably the best combination would have been a Holy Paladin (for the 2 tanks) and a Druid or Holy Priest (for the raid). We didn't have a Paladin and after it became obvious my Disc healing wasn't cutting it we did a switch and tried several attempts with 2 Resto-druids and me as shadow. We almost made it, 4% best attempt. Better luck next time I hope but it was certainly a fun night trying to beat an impressively hard fight.
Since my guild clears normal content very fast and we still don't attempt heroic 25-ToC every night, I did find myself with some raid-free nights recently, which I used to level my Druid (who is level 75 currently). I started leveling him by chance, a friend who was 70 wanted a partner and my warlock was still (and still is) level 67 so I had my choice of a hunter, mage or druid. I knew I could now get cold-weather flying for my druid at level 70 and assumed flight-form would make for easier leveling, maybe even easier than a hunter. I think I was right :)
Flight-form is an incredible boost to leveling. In many quests I have to pick up stuff, frequently with mobs pathing close to the required items. With any other character I would have to clear these mobs, not hard but certainly a slowing-down factor. With a Druid in flight-form I just swoop down, pick up the item still as a bird, and fly back out of range, taking me OOC.
Actually killing mobs is pretty fast as a cat with practically zero downtime, except on elites or multiple mob pulls when I have to go bear. I consider that I think an advantage over a hunter where I have to micro-manage my threat and my pet's actions or a DK where if I'm specced as blood for better survivability and less downtime, my DPS suffers. Although thinking back I recall it being easier to solo 3-man quests on my DK compared to my Druid :)
In any case I'm enjoying going over some familiar quests with a new character and I'm already imagining life at level 80 as a resto/moonkin duel-spec raider :)
Posted by SolidState at 12:32 AM
Thursday, October 01, 2009
When I joined Nightmare-EU I was asked to come as Shadow, as they had enough priest healers at the time.
Although I have never played as a raiding Shadow Priest I was willing to give it a try and gave it my best effort. I read blogs, forums and various sites, worked on my gear and rotation and generally tried to output the best DPS that I could.
Results were... frustrating, to say the least. On some fights I could output very nice DPS - but only if they were overwhelmingly AoE fights where I could spam Mind Sear. On single target fights (most boss fights) I was sadly behind most of the other DPS in the guild.
It was not a gear issue nor was it rotation (I think). I think the problem is a combination of two factors. One is that Shadow DPS is behind in general, you can see that in wowmeteronline.com in the Rankings, Shadow Priests are almost nowhere to be seen. The other factor is I think that Shadow Priest damage is just more susceptible to being hurt by high latency and since I usually play with 300ms-500ms lag I was hurt more by this.
Anyway, I noticed after a while I was not really improving relative to the rest of the DPS-ers in the guild. I also noticed we were usually lacking a Discipline priest in the raid. Putting 2 and 2 together I approached the GM and suggested I would go main-spec Discipline. He agreed and that very night I raided 10man Ulduar as Discipline :)
Since then I've had only one other fight as Discipline (25man Mimiron normal mode), as I was needed as Shadow during the other fights. But I have to say I enjoyed going back to Disc - my last time was after LK was released when I realized as a fresh level 80 that my low gear just didn't support Holy very well. I enjoyed being Disc also back then but was tempted to Holy by high healing output especially in fights with lots of raid-wide damage, of which there are a lot in Ulduar. Since then I've seen Holy HPS nerfed a lot with the Prayer of Healing nerf while Disc has not suffered as much (although the Penance nerf did hurt). In addition we have enough Holy raiding priests but not as I said Disc priests.
In terms of actual healing, the main HPS spell I have is PW:S - just cast it on as many raiders as possible, especially in AoE damage intensive fights. Prayer of Mending, Flash Heal make up my other main healing spells, with other spells such as Penance or Renew being used a lot less often.
Mana regen is just fantastic, I just don't see mana as being an issue currently. Of course I still haven't tried out Heroic ToC-25 as a healer which is where the real test will be.
In fact the only gripe I have so far as a Disc healer is that Recount doesn't measure bubble healing so I have to wait for the post-combat log parses to see the real healing picture. But of course this is not a problem with Disc healing itself :)
Posted by SolidState at 12:04 PM
Sunday, September 27, 2009
I haven't had a lot of time to level Locksolid, hence the slow leveling. Thankfully leveling is now so fast that even with the little bit that I played I still managed to hit 67, only 1 level shy now of going to Northrend.
I dinged 65 still in HFP, amazingly. I did manage to get the HFP achievement for quests which is nice. 66 happened after a few quests in Zangramarsh. I could have stayed and done plenty more green and yellow quests but the mobs would have given me very little (if any) XP so I decided to split to Blade Edge Mountains, where the fact that I have a flying mount helped a lot.
After getting over half-way to 67 I was invited out of the blue to a Mana Tombs PuG. I decided to take risk that it would turn out to be a disaster, but thankfully we had a level 80 Paladin tank who pretty much cleared the place for us (everyone else was 66 or 67) and I dinged 67 just as I handed in the quest at the entrance of MT after the run was over. I even got a nice upgrade from the last boss, a necklace. So I'm happy :)
Anyway my rest XP is very low now so I think I'll rest and let it build up again before pushing on to 68. In any case, Northrend here I come :)
Posted by SolidState at 1:14 AM
Monday, September 21, 2009
Been a while since I've updated on our raiding status. Haven't really felt the need since we are neither bleeding-edge hardcore, nor are we struggling. Surprisingly, we're doing just fine, so situation as usual, nothing to report. No news is good news, right?
Last night we took down Yogg-Saron in 25man Ulduar, I think this has been something like 3rd or 4th takedown. A few wipes but people are really getting used to doing the phases right, especially the portal team which typically caused most of our wipes. Outside DPS is getting really good, I think it was on the takedown fight were we cleaned out all tentacles outside during every portal phase, leaving us with time to stand around and regen mana while the brain team did the hard work :)
ToC is also doing well, both 10 man and 25man. In 10man we finally got the team and time together and cleaned up heroic 10man ToC up to Anub'arak. I was there for the entire normal run and the first heroic boss (which we 2-shotted, although it was a close call there at the start). I had to leave at that point but my replacement must have done well since the team cleared all the other heroic bosses except as I said for the last.
25man has been cleared I think twice now(?) in normal mode, I don't remember exactly but we had some problems with attendance and AFKs but basically hiccups in otherwise successful runs. Hopefully people will show up today and we will be able to start 25man ToC heroic attempts.
Posted by SolidState at 5:48 PM