My Chars

Monday, December 31, 2007

Respeccing for PvP

While BM is great for questing/grinding, I would like to improve my damage output for PvP. So I've been thinking of respeccing to an MM build, something like this (1/53/7):

The single point in the BM tree is all I had to spare. If I had more points, I would put them there. Certainly the extra health from Endurance Training is useful for PvP. However I wanted to maximize my DPS, hopefully improved gear with more sta and resilience will take care of survivability. So I put the point in Improved AotH, a talent that may, from time to time, give me more DPS (in general I prefer talents and gear that give passive all-the-time bonuses rather than an active-with-CD bonus).

The 7 points in the Survival tree went to Humanoid Slaying, which is obvious, and Hawk Eye, which I feel is critical. With Hawk Eye a hunter has more range than any other class, giving us a great opportunity to get the first shot off against mages, warlocks etc. That first shot may be critical :)
The last point is again a spare point and one which I was not sure about. However I feel Entrapment is a very useful PvP talent and I hope I'll be proven right. With only a single point the proc rate will be low however it's there and a little help once in a while is all I'm hoping for :)

Finally the MM tree is obvious, I won't say anything about what I did take, instead I'll talk about what I didn't.
Improved Hunter's Mark is an obvious raiding talent and of limited usefulness in PvP.
Go for the Throat falls in the BM/Soloing/Questing/Grinding talents slot, great for a BM hunter but again, not as useful for a PvP hunter.
Rapid Killing is one of those situational talents that I lose little I think by not taking. Yes it will proc often in a BG but just as often I think its CD will be over before I find a target to shoot at. I need the 2 points more in other places.
Improved Arcane Shot is the only one I'm not sure about, placing talents here can be a real DPS boost. However I currently have mana issues which is why I took Efficiency. This is one place which is very gear dependent, if I see my mana situation improving I will definitely try to switch to Improved Arcane Shot.

Comments are welcome :)

Sunday, December 30, 2007

PvP with a Hunter

Since Supersolid hit 70 I've been doing a lot of quests with him, which is both fun (I actually read the quests text :)) and profitable. I've even done some group quests by badgering people from my guild to help and am now able to do the Ogrila daily quests, which will also be a good source of money.

However looking at my available play time I've decided my chances to go raiding with Supersolid are between slim and none. Even 5-man instances can be a problem, if I need to get up from the computer in the middle of a fight to tend to a crying baby.

So how can I get better gear and have fun without being committed to long stretches in front of the computer? PvP of course :)

I started this weekend, luckily I could play this Saturday more than I usually can so I made a good start, over Friday evening and most of Saturday I made around 10k honor points. That seems to be a good start. I plan to get the Gladiator's Heavy Crossbow. Wish me luck :)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Supersolid has hit 70

Well Supersolid has dinged for the last time (at least until WotLK) and is as fun to play at 70 as he was before :)
Currently my biggest problem is finding a group for doing group quests and instances, since he is neither a healer nor a tank. So I've got a ton of group quests sitting in my quest log... :(
Still at least I can do 2-man quests alone :)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris was an icon in my youth, I loved seeing him kick ass in movies and TV when I was young. When I started coming across random Chuck Norris jokes on the internet, I didn't pay it any special attention, as it seemed to be a sporadic thing. Then I started playing World of Warcraft... :)
If you need to ask what is the connection, you haven't been playing since before TBC. Chuck Norris jokes still exist in general chat, but they were really thick and heavy during ye-olde MC running days. Many a time I would turn off general chat while in MC/ZG/AQ20 so I would not be distracted by all the spam in general chat, including many Chuck Norris jokes. The highlight for me was a complete fictional story posted on the WoW EU forums revolving around WoW and threaded with Chuck Norris playing an all-powerfull level 1 Gnome Mage. Funny as hell, even blue moded it up :) Too bad I can't find it now :(

Now it seems someone has taken the random jokes written by other people and printed them in a book, trying to make money from it. I for one am glad Chuck Norris is suing them and hope he wins. Anyway some of the /. comments are really informative and/or funny which is the whole reason I posted this :)

Friday, December 07, 2007

Mage Issues

Shalkis posted a nice review of mage class problems: gear+stats, damage and mana.
But interestingly he starts of by saying that it is mostly in mages' heads. I disagree.

I've played a raiding mage for over 2 years and have been using him to quest, farm and raid - in short, do what everyone else does. And I have to say, compared to my hunter (currently level 67), my mage sucks.

Not in DPS, mind you. Supersolid will need to get to 70 and get very good gear to compete with Solidstate (who is using Kara/Gruul gear). But in the *fun* factor, the security factor, the feeling of being this invincible force, or at least one that is very hard to kill :)
I don't know, maybe I'm wrong. I'll know better when Super hits 70 and starts doing the level 70 instances in normal followed by heroic mode. But for now, being a hunter is just *more fun*.

Sorry mages ;)

Monday, December 03, 2007

It's the end of the world as we know it...

Well not really, at least not in my opinion.

I'm talking of course about the Activision-Blizzard merger. Reading the feedback on WoW's forums brought to my mind the R.E.M. song of the same name as this post's subject. Seems like most people expect WoW's servers to come to a halt tomorrow due to the merger.

I think ultimately, this merger will of course have some impact on WoW. But this will take a looong time to happen and by then, WotLK will be long released and WoW will be either steadily declining or still going strong (against all odds :)). I think the merger will have only limited effect on that long-term trend. Certainly it seems impossible for the merger to affect the WotLK expansion in any significant way, at least with regards to content.

Bottom line is, I distrust crystal balls and anyone who tells you he knows what's going to happen for sure in the far future (anything over a week) is either lying or trying to sell you something. I say, wait and see. Whatever will be will be ;)

Sunday, December 02, 2007

This site might be already familiar to other people, but I only recently had a chance to look at it:

The main focus of the site is a searchable database of WoW loot. You can search/filter by many parameters and each item lists the name (tooltip is the item info window), iLvl+cLvl, an icon for raid/quest/etc., the name of the instance where it drops (if relevant), and link to thottbot, Allakhazam, wowhead and the Armory.

There is also a nifty feature, an item comparison. Each item has in the last (right most) column 4 colored bars. Click on one and the item will appear to the right of the main table. There are 4 locations, matching the 4 colored bars. So you can compare up to 4 items.

While all of the major item databases mentioned above have their own search/filtering functions, lootables' search seemed to me to be the fastest and easiest to use. I also liked the fact that you can search for several types of items together, so for example I did a search for epic guns+bows+crossbows for level 70, since I want to see the best ranged weapon I can use, regardless of the exact type. I can't do such a search on wowhead for example...

There are some things I would change -
1. Why do you need both an icon and a text description of where the item drops? Especially as the icon has a tooltip that says the same thing as the text.
2. Make the search button much more visible - large and use text. Since when does a magnifying glass icon imply search?
3. Need more info on items on the site itself - vendor price, convert ratings to percentages @L70 (a-la RatingBuster)

These are just minor issues though, overall I'd rate the site 9/10. It's a worthy addition to any serious player's toolbox of reference and helpful sites.

Oh, and for those who are interested in such things, the site doesn't advertise gold sellers - always a positive step for WoW sites in my opinion (although I won't stop using a site just because it advertises gold sellers, I'm too much of a pragmatist ;)).

Thursday, November 29, 2007

PvP-ers are the real hard-core

I've always been a raider and I've almost never done PvP. So it should come as no surprise that while I have always thought of the serious raiders as hard-core, I've never thought much about PvP players as hard-core.

But you can't play WoW seriously (meaning track blogs and forums as well as learn everything you can about the game) without getting to see a bit of the culture of the PvP crowd, even if you don't do it yourself. So over time, I slowely realized that the PvP crowd are not only just as serious as the raiders when it comes to playing to the max, they also have a very tight sub-culture inside WoW. Serious raiders know bosses and tactics, use raid-specifc mods and view takedown movies by famous raiding guilds such as Nihilum. Apparently, PvP-ers are just as serious about names and tactics of top-rated PvP players, PvP mods and, of course, movies ;)

So over time I've grown to appreciate that PvP is a whole sub-game within WoW that I don't know. But I guess somewhere I was still under the impression that the really serious raiders play more, invest more and put more effort into their game, compared to the PvP people. This has changed today.

It changed because I stumbled onto a new blog (well new for me) from a druid called "The Ooglar". The top post was about a move to a new server and.. well, you can read it yourself. The point is, this guy is serious about PvPing. So serious, he up and moved to a new server to play with a warrior he calls "the best in the world". And that warrior was willing to plunk down gems, gold (huge amounts of gold) and to go roll a level 1 alt to another server just so he could convince this particular druid to join him. He didn't just try to convince - he talked to him for over 3 hours!
These guys are serious hard-core players. Sure, serious raiders will spend tons of time and gold maxing themselves to get the next boss down, but so do these guys, and I've never heard of a raid leader going after a specific player with such dedication. Maybe it's not required for raiding, but still - the dedication is there. So hats off to the PvP crowd, you have me convinced. PvP is hard-core :)

As a side not, Supersolid is now level 66 and I'm starting to think about what to do with him when I get to 70. The sad truth is, I don't see any raiding in my future, at least for a while, due to RL. So I'm thinking, as I'm sure many have thought before, maybe it's time to turn to PvP for a source of good epics... stay tuned... :)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Wowhead item links as tooltips

Apparently, it is as easy as adding:

<script src=""></script>

To your page, after which all wowhead links, such as Sunfury Bow of the Phoenix show a tooltip when moused-over.

Now how cool is that? :)
(kudos to wowinsider where I read about this :))

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Patch 2.3 introduced many interesting things for my mage, so last evening when I had a chance to login early I took it and instead of logging in to my hunter (who is very close to 64 :)) I decided to let him rest, while I sample the new 2.3 content with my mage.
Then, while I'm doing a daily quest, out of the blue, I get a whisper from one of the raid leaders organizing the two Zul'Aman groups, asking me if I want to join. Do I ever! I thought I'd get to see Zul'Aman maybe in a couple of months, certainly not now. Luckily for me, my wife's sister was staying with us for the night and helping my wife with the baby, and this left me free to raid!

So after getting summoned to Zul'Aman and taking the flight-point and the quest from the guy outside, we went in. I was the only mage but thanks to the new Manna Biscuits I had no trouble feeding and watering all 10 of us :)
The only problem was, the spell uses the same reagent as Arcane Brilliance and needs 2 of them, so as the only mage, I was running very low by the time the raid was over. Note to self, bring more of that powder...

Anyway, trash was not hard, we had me to sheep and a Shadow Priest to MC, a hunter to freeze and of course fear from several classes. I think we wiped only once on trash.

The Bear Boss went down for us in one try which was awesome. The other group had a strange problem where the adds before the boss kept respawning in waves, probably a bug. We just had 1 group per ramp on the way to the boss and the fight itself was pretty much an endurance fight, for both healers and mages/locks. I think actually that this was pretty much true for all the boss fights in ZA that we did (three), they were all pretty long fights, certainly much longer than any of the fights in e.g. ZG (for comparison), except Hakkar.

Eagle boss gave us a few wipes due to us mis-understanding the tactic, people were not running in time to the storm target, but finally we got it right.

I think the longest fight was the Lynx Boss. He has only a 600k health, but you need to "kill" him again and again - once at 75%, once at 50% and again at 25%, plus the "real" health pool he has (so 4x600k). Each time, he resets to 100% health and a spirit lynx appears which you need to OT. After you DPS him down to zero, he resets back to the health he had just before the spirit lynx stage (e.g. 74%) and you need to continue DPS-ing him down to the next stage. All the while, you need to kill totems that he casts ASAP or they wipe the raid, AND he's wailing away on 2 (one is not enough) tanks, doing massive damage to them.
I spent most of the last fight (when we got him down) face down, after a totem decided it didn't like me and 2-shotted me, but the other 9 were able to carry on and win the fight.

There were some very nice touches in ZA, like frogs that you un-hex with sticks from mobs, they turn into people that either give you gifts or are vendors - we had a reagent vendor (no mage reagents alas), a food vendor (I bought over 20 of +23 spell damage food from him and 5 of the +30 sta food that I gave to our MT) and a vendor that sold in limited supply super health and mana pots - sweet! Even better, if you go straight from the entrance and after the river with the small pyramid in the middle turn right into some hut and kill all the mobs there, an NPC troll will suddednly thank you for saving him and turn into a vendor that repairs armor - way cool! :)

Overall I'd rate ZA a 9/10. Fun instance, good boss fights, hard but doable for a guild that has Kara on farm, with special touches that really make the instance stand out. Even if you don't get any loot from bosses, you get Heroic Badges, so no one comes out empty handed.

Thumbs up Blizzard :)

Monday, November 05, 2007

New blogroll added

The new blogroll is ready and working.
To create it, I first followed the procedure outlined at:

Summary: Add Google Reader feeds to the blogs you read, bunch them under folders (tags), make the folders public, use the code generation box at the above site.

One I had the code for each folder (Druid Links, Hunter Links, etc.) I created a new HTML/Javascript element here and added them all, one after the other, with:

<span style="font-weight: bold;">Name</span>

Added in front of each section. Simple :)
I stole the idea for this (and the <span> line) from Altitis - thanks mate!

The one thing that bothers me is that the code for each section is almost the same, with just an id number and the link to the Reader folder being different. I wish I knew enough Javascript to change the code so that can be reduced to just calling a function taking those 2 things as arguments - hmm maybe I'll have to learn Javascript now...

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Hunter advances, blogroll removed (for now)

I've temporarily removed the Blogroll section - there's a new "automatic" way of creating/updating it by using Google Reader but I still have a minor kink to work out before I start using it.

Supersolid is advancing at a (for me) amazing rate, he's now 61 (and a half :)) and going strong. The gear I'm getting from Qutlands' quests and the first instance (Ramparts) is really a major step up compared to what I had before. Of course I was expecting this but still, I'm really astounded about how good the gear is compared to what I got from the "old world".

In fact the gear is so good, and I'm doing so well against mobs, that I've allowed myself to take a 2H weapon that looks amazing but has stats that are not as good for me - Hellreaver. Awesome looks :) This baby looks so good I think I'll keep it for walking around town even when I have better weapons that I will use when questing - right now I have a green axe that's decent but the difference in AP isn't so big so usually I don't even bother equipping it.

Really it's amazing what I can do as a BM hunter, e.g. kill 3 mobs at a time or 5 mobs (even 6) one after the other - happens when there are a lot of mobs and I pull others by mistake while killing the current one. At level 60 I soloed Drillmaster Zurok and unlike the others that commented on wowhead I barely needed to kite him, Mend Pet kept my pet up (a cat) without a problem.

Hopefully in the next few days I'll get a group for Blood Furnace and get more nice gear :) Stay tuned...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

EA buys Bioware

I've read several blogs commenting on this, and they seem very negative. I'd like to be more optimistic.

I think if EA gives Bioware the financial and marketing backing they need, Bioware can make a NWN based MMO game that will knock the socks off of every other MMO out there excluding WoW and will give even WoW (finally) some decent competition.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Mage changes in patch 2.3

Blizzard have already started to post (some of?) the changes in patch 2.3. Here are the mage changes, as currently posted:

  • Fire Ward and Frost Ward now gain additional benefit from spell damage bonuses. Base absorb values of ranks 5 and 6 have been reduced.

  • Ice Barrier now gains additional benefit from spell damage bonuses. Base absorb values of ranks 5 and 6 have been reduced.
Nice changes, although without knowing how much the base absorb has been reduced and how much is the gain from spell damage bonus, there is no way to tell exactly how nice the change is. Looking for example at Ice Barrier, ranks 3-6 absorb currently 678, 818, 977 and 1175.

Assuming Blizzard don't reduce rank 5 below tank 4, I would guess around 900 base for rank 5 and 950 base for rank 6.
An optimistic scenario is that a mage with +800 spell damage will get 400 bonus absorption. Such a mage will have a rank 6 Ice Barrier of 1350 - around 200 more than currently, give or take. That's a big help when farming mobs or normal 5man, a lot less help in heroics or raids. Still, overall, a very nice change.
If the base absorb is reduced only slightly and the entire +spell damage goes to the absorption this will give, depending on the mage, around 2k damage absorption. This will make PvP mages very happy and all other PvP-ers very angry :) so I doubt it will go that high.
  • Detect Magic removed. All players may now see their target's beneficial effects at all times.
I've got mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, having to use Detect Magic was at times annoying. On the other hand, it gave mages another thing to do which increased their raid utility. All in all a positive change I think but as a raiding mage I'll remember it fondly. No idea about the PvP aspects, I've heard PvP mages QQ about it.
  • Arcane Meditation (Arcane) increased to 10/20/30% mana regeneration.
While this doubling of the mana regen rate due to Arcane Meditation is nice for Arcane mages, even for them it's not a big deal. Since it requires 15 points in Arcane, Fire or Frost mages will never take it. As for Arcane mages, 30% of a very low number is still a very low number. Simply put, mages have never had high Spirit and will never have. Trivial change, affecting only a part of the mage population.
  • Evocation now regenerates 15% of total mana every 2 seconds rather than increase Spirit based regeneration.
Fantastic change. This brings the mana regen from Evocation back to pre-TBC days, from 40% to 100% in 8 seconds. Plus I can get rid of those spirit staff+wand, clearing up another 2 slots in my bags :)
  • (NEW SPELL) Ritual of Refreshment available on trainers at level 70.
I wish Blizzard came up with a better name, "Ritual of" sounds like a Warlock spell. Other than that, what can I say except "ty Blizzard" :)
  • Improved Fireball: The reduction in damage coefficient caused by this talent has been removed.

  • Improved Frostbolt: The reduction in damage coefficient caused by this talent has been removed.
This one change will have mages going ga-ga over this patch. Really, if this was the only change in patch 2.3 with regards to mages, I would still be happy. Of course, only time will tell if this will really increase our DPS or if Blizzard will find another way to nerf us, but for now I'm optimistic :)

Disappointed with new Enchanting recipes

Before patch 2.2 I did a massive rep-grind, getting to exalted with all the factions that were getting new Enchanting recipes where I was not yet exalted. I was already revered, mostly half-way to exalted, so the effort was hard but not crazy. I must have done about 7 SL runs to get to exalted with Lower City, 5 SH runs to get to exalted with Honor Hold, and I forget how many BM runs :)

Not that some of the runs were not fun, especially if the group was strong. I think with one group I did BM in ~40 minutes which was insane pace.

But after all that effort, all of the new recipes are gray to me, which means while they are nice to have (especially the new lower threat one), they will not help me level up my enchanting, which is what I was hoping for. Too bad :(

Monday, September 10, 2007

Gruul down again, Consortium rep increased

Last night was a good night.
I logged in late, due to work and RL and found my guild in Gruul, taking on the big guy. They had already started and wiped 2 times so I bid them GL and went to farm Zaxxis Insignias for the Consortium rep. I was lucky and also got a high drop rate for the Ethereum Prison Keys.

So after a while I suddenly get a whisper from one of the tanks, do I want to come? I go "sure!" and fly over to BEM. A 2 min wait and I get invited as another raider had to leave. So, we get ready, go in and *bam* in a few minutes I'm 3rd in Damage Meters and Gruul goes down. Sweet :)
Mage T4 pants token dropped but I didn't win, didn't bid a lot. I have good gear so not in a hurry and I'm glad another mage got them.

So the raid broke up and I decided to fly back to The Heap to resume my Consortium farming. Luckily for me, my GM who's a well equipped hunter agreed to come, I agreed with him I would get all Insignias and he would get all the Keys that dropped. We farmed for about an hour and boy did we kill em, in droves. Mage+Hunter = effective killing machine :) By the end of the evening I had 220 Insignias, 100 from previous evenings and 120 just from this one. I turned them all in for ~5.5k rep (love being human :)) and so I'm got only another 5k to go before exalted with Consortium - yey!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Fire Spec

So, a while ago I finally broke down and respecced from Frost (10/0/51), which has been my spec for I think pretty much since I got to 60, to Fire (10/48/3).
There were two reasons for this:

  1. I wanted to improve my DPS standing in the guild, at least relative to other classes. I don't mind other mages being higher than me, but I don't want the raid leaders to think "oh I better take that hunter, Solidstate does crappy DPS". Not that my DPS was so low, it just wasn't very high. In a 25 man raid, say 6-8 are healers and 2-4 tanks. So let's say at least 13 are DPS. To be 7th or 8th place out of 13 isn't too good, especially as of those not all are DPS-ing all the time (except for Gruul fight, but even if all 13 are nuking, 8th place is low for a mage).
  2. I want to raid with my mage. That's his main point. Looking at TBC raid instances, Fire is a good spec to have, except for Al'ar. Since I want to contribute the most to my guild and be the best raider I can be, it makes sense to switch to Fire. Frost made sense pre-TBC since MC and BWL were bad for Fire. But now, keeping Frost just doesn't make sense. Not that Frost can't do do high damage, especially if you have good gear and maybe coupled with some points in Arcane - but Fire simply makes it easier to get those high crits and high overall DPS.
So how is it now?
Well my DPS has increased, I am now regularly in the top 5, sometimes top 3 of the DPS-ers. Of course not for every fight, sometimes I die, sometimes the fight requires that I keep a mob sheeped all the time... But when I DPS, I rock.
Yesterday I upgraded my damage even more, making and equipping Spellfire Robe and Spellfire Belt. With some nice +dmg gems, I now have even higher +dmg and expect to climb even higher in the DPS list. My Mana and Health both took a hit, but that can't be helped and I think I still have enough. Health is a bit low and that worries me, but except for instant +8k dmg hits I should be okay in a raid setting, with buffs and pots bringing my health up to an acceptable level. I still haven't raided with the new gear, am looking forward to it to see what it is like. My biggest problem will probably be agro.

However, questing and killing mobs are harder now. As a Frost Mage, it was much easier to keep the mob away from me. Even when it reached me, I had Ice Barrier to soak up a few hits and Ice Block as a panic button.
Playing a Fire Mage is very different. for one thing, I can't slow the mobs, so they reach me quickly. For someone used to watching the mobs run to me in slow-motion, seeing them suddenly barreling at full speed can be disconcerting. Also, I have no Ice Barrier, so until I can kill it, I have almost no way of keeping the mob from hitting me. Frost Nova and Dragon's Breath both last almost too little time to make a difference. The result is that I get hit a lot more and spend a lot more time eating.
Worst was doing the "Wrangle More Aether Rays!" Daily Quest - since I can't kill the Ray, I have to ever-so-gently DPS it down below 20%. With my huge crits and the Ray's small health-pool, I've killed several Rays by mistake. On the other hand, I've had a single Ray take me down to 50% life... :(
The good news is, the higher your DPS, the better being a Fire Mage becomes for killing mobs. With my new items, I can usually kill the mobs in the Netherwing Ledge Mines (typical level 71 mobs) either before they get to me or before the manage to hit me a lot. Add the T4 two-item set bonus that prevents me from loosing Fireball casting time from damage and the result is I had a fairly easy time killing mobs, as long as I can open with a large crit and from a distance.

I think the change was well worth it overall, even the massive gold expenditure to buy the mats for the Spellfire items. For now I don't plan on getting the gloves, I'd lose I think too much from giving up my T4 gloves, even though the Spellfire set bonus rocks (more damage ftw :)). Fire is definitely a spec that works better the more spell damage and crit chance you have.

My biggest problem will be farming Primal Fire in the future. As a Frost Mage, I could farm Primal Water from the elementals below Halaa, those aren't immune to frost. But all mobs that drop Motes of Fire are immune to Fire :(

Oh well, you can't have it all...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Faith in Karazhan

Last evening I logged in, fully expecting a quite evening of farming, fishing and an early bed. Solidstate already has both T4 pieces from Karazhan, so I wasn't expecting to be invited to the raids (we have 2 going now).
But group 2 was missing a priest and I happen to have Solidfaith, a Holy Kara-Attuned Priest. So a few tells, a quick relog, and Solidfaith was on his way to his first ever Kara run :)

I was a bit nervous, I've only had experience healing in 5-mans up till last evening, so I wasn't sure if I was good enough. To help me out, I popped over to the AH and bought a Flask that gives 20 MP5, still had mana problems during the longer fights but was okay otherwise.

My +heal with raid buffs was +1250, give or take, so my GH do about 4k and crits for ~6-7k. I don't crit a lot, so by myself I would have failed as MT healer, but luckily I was just there for buffing and backup healing. The two raid paladins had most of the burden of healing.

Attumen was a snap. Moroes was harder since I had to keep one add shackled all the way to the end of the fight. This being my first time I had to use shackle so extensively, I messed up and the add kept getting loose and going after the close-by pala. Luckily for the raid, the pala is harder to kill than a squishy like me and I managed to re-shackle with no serious harm done. Later a hunter helped with Freeze Trap so once when my shackle broke the trap got him :)

Moroes down, although a bit messy, and we continued to Maiden. We made good progress on the trash, but wiped on our first try, not enough healing on MT :( (yes, partially my fault)
But we quickly pulled ourselves together and managed to take her down, this time with only 2 people down.
From Maiden we went to the Opera event, got "Romeo & Julianne". I prefer R&J over Big Bad Wolf, I hate getting turned into Little Red o_O
Jul got a couple of heals through but otherwise we did the event by the book, very clean and no deaths. Even better, Jul dropped Masquerade Gown, a very nice priest chest. Actually it wasn't that much of an upgrade over what I had, but the proc happens often enough that I think it makes this a good chest.
We were very pleased with our progress so far and decided to continue to The Curator.
Trash was actually easier than usual as we had 2 locks and 2 mages, so plenty of AoE on the eel packs.

I was assigned to heal the MT by the RL (pala), luckily for me the other pala /w me and told me he would keep his target (the OT) topped up and help me heal the MT, that made me a lot less nervous.
During this fight as a mage I usually stand far away from the Curator so I have a clear view of the entire fight and how everyone is doing, as a MT healer I was standing in line with him, next to Curator, so I didn't see the rest of the raid at all or how the DPS were handling the adds. I was okay with healing but pala helped a lot since I was running low on mana during the entire fight and even drinking mana pots like crazy barely helped. In any case the MT never got too low and we managed to down the Curator without any problem, which made us all very happy :)

We had originally planned to get only to Curator, but we had made such good progress we downed him early and after voting on it decided to continue to Aran. I was actually a bit skeptical, lots of new ppl and at least 2 alts (me and a lock) were in the group, and Aran is a fairly hard fight for Kara.
Aran, as a mage, is bloody annoying. I don't have a lot of health, so if the healers aren't quick enough to top me off and he targets me, I have a good chance of dying. I've spent many an Aran fight dead on the ground mid-way through... Furthermore, mages need to stand in order to DPS, and Aran sure likes to make you run around...
This time though, I was the healer, so keeping me topped off wasn't a problem. With 2 locks, the adds weren't as much of a problem as they usually are, and from my perspective, the fight was not that hard - just keep alive and stay ahead of the occational Blizzard. Again mana was a problem, but I guess that can't be helped, I'll have to get used to chugging mana pots :)

Well we got Aran down and tired but happy broke off to sleep. Today the guys will only have Illhood, Prince and the 2 dragons left, a challenge but I'm they will be up to it. Alas, I already know I'll be logging late today so I couldn't register for more Kara fun with my priest.

Maybe I'll get that fishing done... ;)

The only other thing to note is that the other Kara group, having dropped Attumen, got the Fiery Warhorse's Reins. Our GM, who was in that group, bid 100 DKP and won, and I was really happy for him, he's worked hard for our guild and I think deserves such nice rewards. But later when I saw him in Shattrath I was a bit disappointed. At a quick glance the horse isn't very different from a warlock mount. Also, the horse is scaled to human proportions, like a regular horse. So a Night Elf riding it looks a bit like a human riding a pony in RL... I think all Blizzard have to do is make the horse bigger and that alone would make it more drool-worthy. Giving it a speed boost over 100% would make it even more epic. As it is, it's not something I personally would spend 100 DKP on. However, our GM goes to practially every raid and so has a lot more DKP to spend... :)

All in all I'm very happy, got some nice new gear (forgot to mention the new ring from Violet Eye) and better yet had a fun time doing it with people I like, chatting and joking around in TS. Life couldn't get much better... (cue the Swedish Bikini Team... :))

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Knowing More Things: Useful In-Game Mods

There's a nice post over at The Hunter's Mark detailing useful websites for WoW information.

Those are all nice sites and I use all those he mentioned, but I also think there are 2 in-game resources worth mentioning that will help you appear all-knowing, without even having to alt-tab to Windows :)

The first is Cartographer. It is a modular, lightweight, and efficient (Ace2-based) framework for manipulation of the world map. The base mod is already useful, but throw in the various addons such as Cartographer Quests and it becomes a really powerful resource, e.g. for C. Quests you can see at a glance where there are Quest-givers in an area and what their name is and the quests they give.
Download C. pre-compiled databases and you'll have almost too much info :)
Another cool feature is that any guild mate using C. GuildMates (? forgot exact name) will have an icon on the map showing his/her current location, so that you can see at a glance where in Shattrath that guild mage of your is that you want to trade for water, without having to be in the same party. Not a must-have, but Very Cool :)

The second is LightHeaded. It adds a window to your quest log that displays quest information and comments from WoWHead, eliminating the need to Alt-Tab when you need info for a quest. Even better, for every quest, the name of the NPC who is the start/end of the quest is a link to another page that has the coordinates for that NPC. Every coordinate is a link that when clicked, draws a way-point arrow on your screen, showing direction and distance of that coordinate relative to your current location. Mega-useful feature :) In fact, for most quests, leafing through the quest comments, you'll usually find a post that says something like "the mobs can be found at [x-coord,y-coord]" where the coordinates will be a link just like the NPC link, arrow and all. I just love this mod to pieces :)

Using these 2 mods will really help you appear all-knowing :)

Supersolid has hit 51

So around noon yesterday I decided I wanted to do ZG, I had a bunch of quests there and I figured with those and the XP from mobs, I'd get to 51.

At first I asked the guild chat for alts or a free level 70, but no one responded. So I put myself in the LFG and pretty soon found a PuG, not a good one though as one DPS was only level 44 which is about as low as you can be in ZG.

Just as we were about to enter ZG, suddendly I get a /w from a level 70 guild mate who tells me he can come help me. I figured it would go faster with him, apologized to the PuG, left and teamed up with him.

He was also a hunter, so I was a bit afraid at first of wiping on large groups, but we were taking them down so fast, it was no problem. Even in melee range he was doing some serious damage :)
I pulled too much agro on the pyramid event, died and had to run back. There were several respawns (patrols) on the way back to the pyramid, I had to FD twice but in the end I made it, just in time to kill the last mobs, loot the quest mobs I needed and kill Bly. Lucky me :)

Didn't get any serious gear upgrades, just a necklace and later a nice ring from a quest reward. Most importantly though, I dinged 51 so that made me really happy :)

Later that evening I had more free time, so I continued from Gadgedztan down to Un'goro Crater. My quest log was getting a little sparse in terms of yellow quests and Un'goro seemed just the right level to get a new bunch of them.
Right after entering Un'goro there's a quest NPC, he gave me 2 quests, already a good start :)
I continued in the direction of the flight point, hugging the mountains (alas, no veins that I spotted). On the way I saw a big level 54 elite rex, figured, what the heck, I'm feeling confident :) Alas, he turned out to be too much for me. For one thing, he kept fearing NotAllThere (my cat). For another, he hits *really* hard. With improved Mend Pet on full time my pet's life was still going down way fast. In the end he killed me but I got him down to 10%, not bad for trying to take down an elite 3 levels higher than me. He'll be seeing me again once I hit 52 for a rematch :)
I got to the north-east corner and started killing apes for the pelts, drop rate was pretty bad but managed to finish it. Continuing to the flight point, I passed the tar-pits. As I had a quest for the "super-sticky tar" that drops from the mobs there and they were just regular level 54 mobs, I figured they wouldn't be a problem for me to take down. They weren't but it was a bit slow. Coupled with a low drop rate, I was there for a while killing them. So after I finished I went up to the FP, grabbed the quests there, took the bird back to Gadg to return the "super-sticky tar" quest, get rested-XP in the inn and logged for the night. Now I have a bunch of yellow quests, a fun area to run around in and am looking forward to hitting to 52 in a couple of days. Too bad I won't have much rested-XP, but I just can't wait to get to 58 and outlands :))

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The problem with Lightwell

I recently respecced my Priest and I decided to take Lightwell, even though common sense and the Priest community all said it's a shitty spell not worth the talent point.
Spell description (screenshot from wowhead):

Aside from the obvious technical difficulties - 6 min cooldown, damage taken cancels effect - I think this comment from wowhead sums up the main problem with this spell very well: "A heal that relies on the competence of other players to be efficient and effective is an interesting idea but it rarely works out."
This has also been my experience. Even in situations where I saw Lightwell could be useful, the spell's healing relied on the other people actually using the Well. If they forgot/were too busy, the spell had ZERO usefulness to them. Even if they did use it, if they forgot to stay away from damage, the quickly lost the effect - this happened more than once.

I see a quick respec in my near future... ;p

Overview of my chars

I haven't updated for a long time about my chars, so here's a quick overview:

  • Solidstate - human mage, 70, frost. Still my main, used mostly for raiding and grinding.
  • Solidfaith - human priest, 70, Holy/Disc. Been playing a lot on this char lately, getting some nice gear and slowely working towards Kara attunment. Not in a hurry to get there... For now doing instances for fun and daily quests for money (regular quests require killing mobs which is a pain for a Holy priest).
  • Supersolid - NE hunter, 42-ish, BM. Well ofc he's BM, what do you expect for a leveling hunter? :) I haven't played him in a long while, he's kinda of on ice for now.
I have a bunch of lower-level alts but they are too low level to be worth a mention. Well that's the situation so far, probably take a while for any significant update to take place, I don't play WoW as much these days as I used to.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

5 Things About Me

Okay, Foton asked for 5 things from other bloggers, so here's mine :

  1. I always play a mage, if I can. In any game I've ever played.
  2. WoW is my first MMORPG. For now it's my only one :)
  3. I'm not really a blogger, I lack the inclination and time to write a lot. This blog is just for my own amusement for now.
  4. I spent 3 years (not consecutive) in Dayton, Ohio. There's nothing much to say about Dayton. Or about Ohio, for that matter ;)
  5. I'm one of 2 Guild Enchanters for my guild. It usually means a lot of logging between my alt who serves as guild bank for enchanting mats, and my main. I wish Blizzard would add better support for guild banks in the game...
As I don't know any other bloggers, the buck stops here. I don't believe in superstitions so I don't mind :)

Meet my hunter

My hunter is level 32, so maybe it's time to introduce him.
Supersolid is level 32 atm, NE, has a good green bow and 2H sword, and some average green equipment. I haven't bothered twinking him out in blue gear, leveling a hunter is easy enough as it is :)
I have what I think of as a very cool pet, a semi-transparent Ghost Saber from the north part of Darkshore. At level 19 or 20 you go up there, find a Cat Figurine lying on the ground amongst the ruins, right click and out pops one of these lovelies. Tame it and it's yours.
I'm still thinking of a name, haven't thought up any good ones yet. Any suggestions are welcome :)

Professions are skinning and mining, as my mage is a Tailor/Enchanter, so I need some income.

More about the adventures of Supersolid, and some pics, in later posts...