My Chars

Monday, September 29, 2008

WoW Endgame and The Journey

Keen, a blogger I have been following for a while now, has a nice post up about "The Journey vs. A Means to an End". He writes that WoW is both types, where the WoW endgame is the "End" part and the leveling process is the journey. To quote:

In World of Warcraft when I was playing through for the first time it felt like an amazing journey... The third, fourth, and even the tenth time through the leveling process became all about 'How can I get through these levels as fast as possible so that I can raid, pvp, etc.'

So for Keen, as least as I understand it, the leveling process was the journey, and the endgame (raiding, PvP, etc.) was "the End".

I beg to differ.

WoW's endgame is where a player (or rather character) will spend most of his/her time, unless you level extermly slow or play for a short time before canceling. Blizzard know this, and have made sure the endgame remains captivating by allowing your character to progress even while not being able to level. This progression can take many forms: simply finding new places and seeing new content, getting new gear, advancing in reputation with various factions, progressing your trade skills (e.g. getting new recipes) and of course, for those who like it, improving your PvP skills and getting higher Arena rating.

Dinging max-level, in WoW, has always been a beginning, not an end. It unlocks new talents, allows you to wear level max-level only gear and go to max-level only content. Progression pre-TBC meant doing regular level-60 instances (Strat, Scholo, etc.) for good enough gear to enter MC, followed by getting the next harder boss down in MC, followed by BWL, followed by AQ40, etc. In TBC, 5-man instances formed a much larger part of the progression, with a greater variety and heroic versions too. Attunments also were a big part of TBC originally, providing a clear path for players to follow while attempting to progress.

It was only recently that I dinged 70 on my druid so I still remember both the satisfaction at getting yet another max-level character and the slight apprehension I had on the new horizons opening up before me - would I be a good tank? How hard would it be to progress my tradeskill (LW), gear and faction reputations? As I starting tanking normal instances, followed by heroics, I had a deep satisfaction from seeing my little bear become a big bad tanking machine. The culmination (for now) was in tanking nearly an entire Karazhan run. The journey I had done on my bear to be able to do that, since I dinged 70, was a journey by any definition of the word - dinging 70 had not been "the End" for me by a long shot!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Gruul and Magtheridon

Last night my guild joined with another guild in order to have 25 people so that we could begin raiding again (not counting Kara or ZA as raids ;)). Even with 2 guilds bringing people it was not enough, one of our people brought his brother (a tank) and the GL of the other guild asked a friend (healer) to come, otherwise we would not have had enough people.

Our guild leaders decided on Gruul and Magtheridon for the night, as those are easier fights and we would get a chance to see how the guilds cooperate and how individual players do. For many of us those fights are old content, but there were people who joined who have never been to any 25 man raid. Both guilds joined our TS server and created new chat channels for mages, healers etc. in order to better coordinate efforts.

There are only 2 mages with stamina gear and experience in tanking the HKM fight in my guild, myself and another. As there are no such mages in the other guild and the other mage was not online last night, I went on my mage to this fight.

Clearing the adds on the way to HKM went fine, I was surprised to see myself high-up on the damage meters as there are some very good geared people in the other guild (left a BT-raiding guild as they did not like the leadership). I did die once but in my defense those ogres have a wierd agro mechanism as I was not even close to being 1st or even 2nd in Omen...

I switched to my stamina gear for the actual HKM fight, what can I say, it's nice to have nearly 15k stamina :)
First pull went okay for me, I got Krosh to stand right where I wanted him and stole his shield and it felt like it was going smooth, paladin healing me had no problems. However the rest of the raid had problems due to (from what I later heard) mis-assigned tanks, and the try had to be aborted (reset). On the second pull the hunters pulled a second before me and Krosh got to around the middle of the area before targetting me, causing some people to be in range of his AOE and dying. However everything else went smoothly and we downed HKM without further problems.

On Gruul himself, I let out all the stops, blasting away with Arcane Blast whenever I could. I found a good spot near the wall where I was far from other people and at most had 1 person close during the Shatters. I also got lucky with the cave-ins, none landed on me. The result was I was first in damage according to my Recount, which is pretty amazing as Gruul, with all the silences, is not a caster-friendly fight. As we had some top-rate healers and tanks and the DPS was not too bad we managed to down Gruul in the first attempt. Another nice thing for the evening - my mage even got some loot, the T4 token for the pants - as no one else wanted and I greeded for my stamina set (I replaced the green pants I had been using with the S1 PvP pants you can buy with the token).

After Gruul we all went to Magtheridon. As we had a healer leaving I was asked to bring my priest to this fight - I didn't mind as I enjoy healing as much as I enjoy nuking :)

In spite of 2 "surprise" pulls of the mob-packs around his room we managed to clear all the adds without wiping and got ready for the actual Magtheridon fight. As everyone was almost ready, the Raid Leader asked one of the tanks to stand closer to his add. The tank somehow managed to click the add while getting closer to him and started the fight before all were fully ready and in places!
Thankfully the other tanks and healers made a quick recovery and grabbed their adds. The DPS was at first a bit low (shocked maybe? :)) but quickly got into it and were on the last add just as the boss released. I was busy casting heals left and right and group-healing so I didn't see when exactly the last add went down but it all went smoothly. The cube clicking which is the part which usually wipes raids actually went very smoothly, I guess thanks to the fact that all the people there were experienced.

Near 15% at least 2 people (including one on a cube) and perhaps more got DC'd mid-fight, causing half the raid to die due to the blast from the boss. In the remaining fight I took over the un-manned cube and we manged to take down the boss with only half the raid alive, although it was a bit slow :)

All in all a very positive experience as 25 man raids are a lot more fun and involving than 10 man raids. We have plans to continue with SSC/TK - I hope it will go well.

Oh a side update - Solidd managed to get to exalted with Argent Dawn. Yey :)

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Last night my mage went to kill a new boss - the Brewfest boss, Coren Direbrew! :)

It starts with you going outside and below Ironforge to the Brewfest camp and talking to the NPC who welcomes you to brewfest (just complete the "say hi" quest and receive your free drink).

From there, ride a little distance to Dun Morogh and talk to the NPC who gives you the quest to go to the Grim Guzzler.

Ride back to IF, take the bird to Searing Gorge and ride into Blackrock Mountain and down to BRD.

As soon as you enter BRD, on your right, are some clickable boxes on the ground. Click one and it will teleport (actually, "tunnel" - it's a fun ride :)) you to the Grim Guzzler - no need to clear anything in BRD.

Return the quest to the NPC standing just outside the room where you appear and get the followup quest - the one to actually kill the boss. The boss is standing right in that room, talking with 3 NPCs (all are green and cannot be attacked until someone starts the quest).

Once the fight starts by having someone with the quest talk to the boss, the 3 (normal) NPCs are easy to kill but more will spawn periodically, making the fight a bit interesting. AOE helps a lot, and make sure your healer isn't being picked on by the new adds that spawn. The drills that spawn from the ground can interrupt spells but are otherwise not dangerous.

Adding to the fun is an elite (Ursula Direbrew) who spawns (sometimes right on-top of the boss so hard to see - use alt-tab to target) and starts throwing beer mugs on people. Make sure to drink the brew appearing in your bags. Her 8-sec disorient ability (which turns your head to a big beer keg - very funny :)) might be a problem if applied on your healer or tank, so make sure to get agro on her and down her. She has a large health pool but didn't do much damage to my mage with the thrown kegs, so she's fairly easy.

Full strategy details are on the boss's wowwiki page but really except for the elite add there's not much to do, just tank-n-spank.

We had a druid tank wearing partly greens and a disc-specced priest as healer and still the fight wasn't very hard (no one died). My hardest problem was that my gear was so much better than the tank's he couldn't keep agro on the boss. My solution was to concentrate on killing the adds mostly and only occasionally focus on the boss.

Once the boss is dead and you finish looting him, his body will despawn and a new one will appear with the same initial 3 NPCs, ready for a new fight. You can only start the fight if you have the quest so make sure all 5 people have picked it up before-hand so you can do the fight a full 5 times. No need to run outside the instance to reset or anything like that.

Alas, our group didn't get the mount to drop but at least we got the Balebrew Charm (the healer got it). Nice use effect :)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Clams now stack!

Some of the comments are really good too... epic thread :)

(this story was posted on wowinsider. I don't usually repost their stories since I'm sure everybody reads them already, but this is just sooooo worth reposting :D)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Patch 3.0.2 and the End of Cookie Cutter Builds

Solid's prediction #1 for patch 3.0.2 - your standard 'everybody but the oddball takes this' cookie-cutter build will go out the door, for most classes.

I see it in priest blogs, I see it in druid blogs - I see it for myself when looking at the mage talent calculator. There are just so many options now, so many viable talents to take, that really the old "best mage DPS" or "best druid bear build" will no longer apply.

Some people choose to see it as a sign that the new trees are "bloated" and need trimming down, consolidating. I choose to look at it in a more positive light (IMHO). I think Blizzard have given us more options and therefore more flexibility, to suit our talents to our specific gear, occasion, personal playing style, whatever. A freshly minted bear with very low mitigation will want different talents than an old veteran with a set of uber gear, who wants to focus now on more threat. A mage who prefers to PvP a little but still be raid viable will be different from a mage who wants to be 100% raid focused and on top of the damage charts. A priest might want to take a spec that complements the spec of another priest, so that the 2 of them together bring maximum utility to the raid.

I can see how some people would be put off by an abundance of talents that look "required", but that's just the thing - there no longer is a single "required" build for most classes. Of course there are many central talents which everyone will take, but the other points - well, those you'll get to place however you prefer/need.

Now I just have to decide on a spec for each of my 4 alts. Damn... ;D

Well actually, 3 alts. I just can't resist being a BM spec on my hunter - who doesn't want a Core Hound as a pet? :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Zul'jin Impressions

We tried real hard, but could only get Zul'jin down to 9%. That's not bad for a first try and I'm sure if we keep at it we will get him down. Zul'jin is an interesting fight and although you can read all about it on wowwiki (or even see videos), I would like to give some personal impressions.

First of all in terms of group setup, we found our more successful tries to be after we switched to a more melee/hunter heavy group with fewer DPS casters. Every caster means lost DPS in phase 3 as they can only wand, and the longer that stage lasts, the more in danger you are of a healer dying. In addition, probably because our DPS is a bit low, a 4-healer group was easier for this fight. A druid was practically a must for phase 2.

So much for group setup, now the actual fight.

Phase 1 is very easy as long as healers are quick about topping off people who get the Grievous Throw debuff. We had no trouble here. Tip for casters - save your mana, don't nuke, you'll need max mana for stage 2.

Phase 2 changeover is the first place where we (and I guess others) had trouble due to the agro wipe but also due to the fact the the boss almost immediately hits the tank hard very hard and then paralyses the whole group, including priests. Even with 2 Renews on him the tank (a warrior) sometimes went down (had 21k life buffed). Once we had a druid however we had no problem as the druid's HoTs were more than enough to keep the tank up until we were released.
For the casters, this is the stage where you need to nuke all out (but watch threat) as you don't need to save mana, you'll get it all back during phase 3 when... You wand only lol :)

Phase 3 - hunters and melee can continue DPS and are advised to nuke as there is no agro and no damage from boss, only from the vortexes. I found this stage very annoying as both a mage and a priest, it was always a relief (on every attempt) to get past it. Tip - make sure every person has read the wowwiki guide and knows which abilities their class can safely use.

Phase 4 - we nearly always lost the person who was the focus of Claw Rage unless it was the tank or could FD/bubble/etc. The debuff was also nasty to heal let me tell you as you would have 3-4 people ticking for 1.5k every 2sec each. Almost every attempt that we got here, if we managed to get past it, it would be with fewer people.

Phase 5 - with the healers low on mana already from healing phases 3+4, and sometimes with dead people from phase 4, this phase was a killer. Partially people simply didn't move fast enough from the flame columns, sometimes it was because healers were simply OOM. Overall, if you compare this fight to Hakkar, or compare ZA to ZG, I would say ZA/Zul'jin are more interesting/fun than ZG. The only thing I dislike in ZA is the gauntlet. I think the boss fights in ZA are more challenging and require a greater amount of group coordination and individual ability than ZG.

Partially this is of course because ZG was build for 20man and not 10man. Furthermore I found the fight mechanics in the Zul'jin fight to be more interesting and challenging than Hakkar. For Hakkar, getting 20 people (in a non-hardcore raiding guild) to step into the poison cloud was literally mission impossible. I really don't remember any fight where at least one person did not make it into the cloud in time. So really the difficulty of the fight had more to do with coordinating 20 people and getting them all to understand what to do, more than the technical aspects of the fight. Furthermore, once you do a single cycle of dps Hakkar/cloud, the fight becomes rinse/repeat (with MC being the only really variable element). The fight becomes predictable and therefore slightly boring. With Zul'jin, each person has to change his tactics and the way he performs and this doesn't require all people doing the same thing, just people doing what they should for their class. The 5 different phases of the fight add spice and flavor to the standard 2-phase boss fight and really make the fight unique.

So even though we wiped (over 10 times I think) and didn't get the boss down, and even though we were not really well prepared, I still had a lot of fun. Heck, I got to see new content - that doesn't happen every day any more...

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Malacrass Down!

For the first time in too long, my guild have taken down a new boss - or at least new for me :) I think the guild did manage to take him down once a long while ago, but since then we've been pretty slack about even trying ZA, and when we did, it was usually with some weak people/alts.

It started with our GM posting a ZA raid on GC for last night, after an officers meeting where we talked about starting official 10-man raids (pretty much given up on 25man raids, at least for now). 
I logged in early in order to be prepared. A few minutes after invites were scheduled to start, the GM still had not logged on so after a quick word with the other officers I started invites.

Fairly soon we had a full party: 2 mages (myself on Solidstate and another), 3 healers, 2 tanks, and 3 other DPS - a warlock, a hunter and a druid (acting as both DPS and OT where needed). We had to wait for a while as one of the healers had a RL problem but eventually, although late, we got started. Our goal was to get 2 bosses in time for the timed event, and see how well we do on the others.

We tried going according to the order most likely to allow you to do the entire event, as we need the practise and this is the order we'll be using eventually. So first up was the Eagle boss. I think we cleared the trash up to him fairly okay and pretty soon we were at the boss. Here in the past we usually wiped due to people not all converging in time on the boss but this time luck or skill was with us and we 1-shotted him and got the chest.

Second up was the Bear boss, he was not hard but we had taken some time on the trash leading up to him and the fight itself was a bit long, so the timer was almost up by the time we downed him. Still we got the chest and the very nice Amani Divining Staff dropped from it which I won (more on my mage gear in a seperate post coming soon :)).

From there on we knew we could not beat the timer so we took it easy. As the Lynx boss is the easier boss we went to him first and 1-shotted him as well without mishap. 

Next up was the Dragonhawk boss. The gauntlet leading up to him is, in my humble opinion, the hardest part of the entire instance (at least that I have seen), including some of the bosses (I think the first 2 are easier!). Both the Scouts and the Flame Casters are the real pain here, we usually get at least one or two Scouts that manage to call for help, leading to extra mobs. The Flame Casters require continual sheeping meaning much lower raid DPS (2 mages busy) and even then they sometimes get loose, so that the raid takes massive fire damage continually. All in all a frustrating experience, and I think we were pretty lucky to have passes that last night without multiple wipes (having the druid shift to bear and OT a loose mob or two really saved the day several times).

The Dragonhawk boss himself was relatively easy, with the paladin tank in full FR gear he could release half of the eggs of a side at a time, so in relatively short time all the eggs were cleared and we could concentrate on nuking the boss.

After the 4th boss down we were a bit tired and it was getting a bit late but also we had had such a good night, no one wanted to stop, we all wanted to see if we could down Malacrass. After clearing the trash to him our paladin put on his healing gear and so with 3.5 healers :) we started the fight. 

This time, unlike a previous attempt a few weeks ago (on which we wiped) we first cleared all the adds before attempting to nuke the boss. Clearing the adds went amazingly smooth, tank (the druid) managed to hold agro and the add didn't run around. Healers managed to keep everyone up and in short order, all 4 adds were down. The boss was still effectively at full health due to healing himself (I guess this is where the lack of a rogue in the party was felt the hardest) but everyone just gave their 100%, I guess healers were chaining mana pots like crazy :) I managed to spellsteal lifebloom and Avenging Wrath from the boss which was a hoot (mage with wings :)) Basically after the adds were down it was a race to see if the healers would OOM first or the boss would go down, luckily he went down! The only death was... yours truely, luckily when the boss was at 4% so I didn't lose a lot of DPS time :)

It was really a sweet ending to a great night, felt really good to finally take down a boss for the first time. I hope we can repeat the experience with Zul'jin :)

Monday, September 08, 2008

A scathing AoC review + Some D2 Fun

I don't, as a rule, write about any other games apart from WoW, as I want to keep this blog focused. However this AoC review/rant was just so good, I had to link to it. Some of the comments are also good or downright hilarious:

There is an endgame in AoC. It’s called the forums.

Of course, one could say the same thing about WoW and PvP, so maybe I better not expand on that ;p

So what about D2? Well as it turns out I had no Internet connection last night - some problem at the phone company preventing the ADSL connection from working. A bit bored, I thought of trying a bit of Diablo II LoD. I recently thought of Diablo after reading about D3. Anyway, remembering the crappy graphics, I didn't have a lot of expectations of having fun...

Man was I wrong, I had a blast :D

I rolled a Necromancer and started running around killing stuff and summoning skeletons. By level 7 (when I went to sleep) I had 5 skeletons, a Flesh Golem and an archer mercenary following me around. A veritable (regenerating) army that let me roll right over any opposition, pretty much doing whatever I wanted and going where-ever I wanted. "Bosses" were a bit more difficult, I had to hit them myself for a bit to help my skelies and prevent them all from dying too quickly (since I rely on dead enemy bodies, my supply is not infinite).

So what makes game so much fun, even after all these years, the dated graphics and the fact that I've played it through several times already?
  1. Fast furious action.
  2. You are truely epic. Nearly no mob in the game, except for bosses, can stand up to you. At least not in normal mode... :)
  3. Very re-playable. There are 7 classes and each has 3 talent trees (called "skills" in Diablo) to further customize the experience. For example I played a Necro-summoner last night, letting my army do most of the work and only physically getting involved on bosses. As you can imagine (or read from the various online guides), a curses/bone+poison melee Necromancer plays the game very differently.
  4. Nightmare and Hell difficulty levels add even more play options, although this is not exactly of the same quality as a WoW heroic vs. normal instance - bosses/mobs do not have different abilities, they are just harder. Of course, not all heroic mobs/bosses have different abilities, so this is, at least some of the time, a fair comparison.
  5. The loot :)
  6. Getting around is very easy, with the teleport pads ("way points") and town-teleport scrolls providing similiar functionality to WoW's Summoning Stones and Hearthstone. Actually getting around is almost too easy - I'm guessing the WoW devs felt the same.
Of course, looking at D2 (single-player mode) from the eyes of a WoW player, it's easy to see what is missing:
  1. Very basic quest system - only 6 quests in the entire first act! Compare that to WoW's several thousands of quests...
  2. Bag space way too small. Waaaay too small. This is just plain annoying. And unlike WoW, there is no way to scale this up. The stash doesn't help - I want more bag space when walking around, not back at town. If I go back to town I can just vendor the stupid item...
  3. Talent trees are relatively small (fewer choices), and there is no way to respec - once you've made a choice, you're stuck with it. Kinda makes you appreciate the WoW respec option, high cost and all :)
  4. A simpler character sheet. E.g. no trinket slots!
I could go on - but D2 was an older game and therefore it makes sense that it would be simpler. It was also at heart a single-player game, a very different beast from an MMORPG. E.g. professions make little sense in a single-player game. adds a system for letting several people play together, including a basic barter system - but that still doesn't make D2 an MMO.

I'll say it again though, all things considered, D2 is amazingly fun. Although it will also suffer from dated graphics, I now have high hopes for Diablo III :)

Sunday, September 07, 2008

A smallish rant

Last evening, while grinding AD rep (I'm already revered, yey :) - now going for exalted), I was in the LFG channel hoping for a Mech pug (for my Arcatraz key quest). Suddenly I see someone writing in the LFG channel: "LFM 1 dps for Mech".
Now I don't know about you, but when I see someone writing "LFM 1 dps", I assume the party is currently lacking only that. Otherwise, why not write "LF2M"? Of course, as you may have guessed, this party was still missing one person even after I joined. Even worse, one of the other DPS was a level 68 hunter. For Mech... without a warlock in the party...

In my opinion, someone who writes "LFM 1" when he really needs 2 people is a liar and deliberately misleading people. That may be harsh, but such a person is really mis-using the LFG channel and that annoys me.

When I asked the party leader (a warrior who was the tank) why we had a level 68 hunter for Mech, he asked me if you had to be level 70 to go there... realizing this person had absolutely no idea where he was going - and this was the tank - I bid the group GL and left. I don't mind wiping with friends but going into an instance with a PuG knowing in advance we'll wipe again and again because the tank is totally clueless was too much.

You might think this is not the right attitude to have when looking for a PuG but in my experience someone who uses the excuse "I've been away from the game for 5 months so I'm a bit rusty" when I ask him how come he doesn't know about the mount requirement for Mech, is really someone who doesn't know he has abilities such as shield-bash or spell reflect... or in other words, an eBayer ;p

I can't really say there is a rule for staying with a PuG. I've stayed with PuGs even when we wipes multiple times on trash at the beginning, if the people were nice and seemed to try their best. OTOH when I joined this particular group, not a single one bothered to reply to my "hi" and this really gave me a bad vibe. Coupled with the missing people and the obvious (for me) fact that the tank had no clue and was probably a power-leveled char, and I decided to call it quits even before the ran began. Sometimes you just want to quit while you're ahead :)

In case you're wondering what this rant was all about, it was mostly about people who:
1. Mis-use or don't give all the facts on the LFG channel.
2. Want to lead a party to an instance but have never been there or in general are clueless about it (this is bad for someone just joining as a DPS but for a party leader it spells certain doom for the party).

Thankfully I didn't finish the evening with a bad feeling - a bit after the above, I got a whisper from a friend asking if I could come heal Karazhan on my priest, they were after Curator and their priest had to leave. I don't need anything from Karazhan on my priest but my friend's Kara runs are usually pretty fun, and this one was no exception - only a single wipe due to the Chess event somehow being in-session when we pulled the first mobs from the next room. The in-game chess debuff prevents you from doing any action (including healing or dps), which resulted in a quick wipe. Nobody confessed to re-starting the event ;p I got my 15(?) badges for the cost of about 2 hours, not bad. And I helped a friend, always a worthy cause :) All-in-all a much better use of my time than wiping with a PuG in normal Mechanar...

Thursday, September 04, 2008

A Good/Bad Evening

Yesterday was a mix of good and bad. I went to heroic SL followed by heroic BM with some guild-mates: Solidd as tank, a shaman healer, and a rogue, mage and hunter as CC.

On the good side, I got 2 high-end LW recipes: Pattern: Stylin' Jungle Hat and Pattern: Stylin' Purple Hat. In addition, I got a very nice tanking trinket, Adamantine Figurine. So on the loot side, I was really pleased with last evening. The tanking trinket especially is nice and I've known tanks to farm SL for a long time before it dropped, so I got really lucky there.

On the negative side, the SL run was slow and hard, we wiped many times on trash. Especially on the trash just before the 2nd boss, every time we started a fight a rogue would appear and start killing people before I had a chance to do anything. But it was also due to some stupid wipes, like me backing from a mob and getting too close to a 2nd group and pulling them, or the hunter sending him pet by mistake to a 2nd group. In terms of bosses we actually did fine (all one-shotted) till we got to Murmur. In heroic, all have to stand inside the circle, and run out when he starts his sonic blast. First time, we wiped due to healer not running out in time. Second and third wipes, I didn't run out in time. I don't even remember if we wiped a 4th time but we finally got him down.

By this time according to Recount I was ahead of the rogue in damage done during the run, and the mage was not doing too well either (~600 dps which is very low for a heroic run). So I don't know why, but I suggested going to heroic BM. The hunter (a RL friend) wants the Hourglass of the Unraveller trinket from there and I thought it would be easy (and fast) badges.

Alas, with low DPS, heroic BM was a mess of adds running around, healer going OOM every fight due to having to heal the rogue and mage like crazy and in general too low DPS. We wiped once on the first boss, waited for the instance to reset, downed both the 1st and 2nd bosses but wiped on a mini-boss in wave number 13. After that we all agreed to call it a night.

I guess the lesson is, even if you want to run with a guild mate, if their DPS is very low, don't go heroic with them. Help them gear up, perhaps go to easier heroics, but not to a place like BM where a wipe means starting over from the beginning...

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Solidd gets his Kara key

Really not much to say. BM heroic was very easy and at the end I had my key :)

Well with that out of the way, I guess it's time to grinding AD rep.I might go all the way to exalted, I read somewhere that there might be an "Argent Defender" title... :)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Solidd on way to Kara key

Last night I was talking to some guild mates and happened to mention that I still need to do SL for the first Kara key fragment. I didn't have plans to do SL when I logged in last evening, but it sort of came up and as it turned out a couple of other people needed it as well - a rogue and a moonkin druid.

Well one thing led to another and soon we had a guild run set up, complete with a main-healer paladin healing normal SL, me (with pretty good gear) tanking, and 3 good DPS. Needless to say, we rocked the place and had a good time doing it. No wipes, although some people died due to agro, but as people were intentionally pulling agro like crazy, no one took it hard. Oh and the healer spent half the time doing DPS as well :)

After we had gotten the first key fragment, the rogue, myself and the moonkin continued to do stealth runs for the 2nd and 3rd fragments. The SV run was short and sweet, however the Arcatraz run was more painful. For one thing, all three of us didn't have the Arcatraz key - the rogue had to pick the door open for us.
For another, as a moonkin, the other druid didn't have the Feral Instinct talent. This led to him being seen several times and pulling, which of course led to his death. Even if the rogue and I stayed in stealth, the rogue still had to go outside to open the door for him again. So this stealth run was slightly slower. Still in the end we got the fragment and now we're all just one BM run away from a Karazhan key. No more asking for someone to open the door for us in Kara alt runs! :D

I guess in between getting more Argent Dawn rep I'll now need to find the time to do Mech and Botanica runs also, so that I can finally get the Arcatraz key also ;p

Monday, September 01, 2008

Solidd small updates

Haven't been playing that much in the last few days, only a few hours here and there. So no interesting news.

As I had quite a bit of fun doing old-world content for the Onyxia key, I decided on a whim to get exalted with another old world faction, the Argent Dawn.

Part of it is that once I'm exalted (or at least revered) I can get Solidd attuned to Naxxramas. Totally useless of course, but it's fun :) The thing is, I've been soloing Strat and Scholo a few times for the last few days, as well as doing some AD quests or simply grinding Gahrron's Withering Cauldron for the repeatable rep quest, and I'm only half-way to revered. This is harder/slower than it seems... still I'm sure I can get to revered fairly soon and as for exalted, well I'll see about that. It's not like I'm in a hurry or something :)

Another reason I'm doing this is that with the lack of raiding and my general lack of time for long play sessions, I don't really want to dedicate >2 hours to find a PuG, get everybody to the instance, suffer through AFK's, stupid wipes or just going slow due to people being in the instance for the first time or under-geared. All this for badges/gear that I will soon-ish stop using... If I had plans to raid with my druid, I would of course be pushing heroics/kara to get the badge gear as quickly as possible, like I did with my priest, solidfaith. But now that I'm not raiding, I simply don't see the point in it. My gear is already good enough for tanking heroics/kara, which is the highest level content I'm likely to see before the expansion hits.

To have fun in short playing sessions, I could go BGs - but I don't really like PvP. Grinding gold/primals/mats gets old quickly, although I will continue to do it from time to time, at least enough to keep me liquid and to have enough to cover misc expenses. I actually started to collect low-level herbs with my herbalist (solidfaith) for Inscription, but I'm taking it easy - I plan to roll a DK to take up Inscription and there is time till the expansion.
I could grind Outlands rep, but in general this has as much meaning for me as grinding old-world rep (don't really need anything from any of the remaining factions), and grinding old-world rep is faster. So for now, old-world it is :)

Part of the way to grind rep for AD is to get Insignia of the Crusade and Insignia of the Dawn (20 rep per turn in). It looks like the best way to get the first type is by turning in either 30 Bone Fragments or 30 Crypt Fiend Parts. For the second type (Dawn) my best bet is probably to turn in 30 Dark Iron Scraps. That's 150 items for 100 rep, 1500 items for 1000 rep, 31500 items for the 21k rep needed to get from revered to exalted. Ouch :) Well of course I won't be depending on these turn-ins, it will just be a way to help get a little extra rep from drops, while I grind rep in other, more profitable ways.

Since the required items for the Naxx attunement at revered are quite easy, I'll probably grind only till revered. Why stop at revered and not go all the way to exalted? Simple, I want to grind a few other old-world faction reps before the expansion, including Cenarion Circle, Timbermaw and maybe the Thorium Brotherhood.

Of course all of the above might take me a bit of time, due to my limited play hours. What with needing to gring a bit of gold/mats now and then, as well as helping guild mates once in a while or doing a normal/heroic instance, I will probably not manage all of these factions before the expansion. But I hope to at least advance a bit, and have fun while doing it :)