Thursday, September 25, 2008
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 :)
Posted by SolidState at 2:17 PM
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 :)
Posted by SolidState at 10:18 AM
Monday, September 15, 2008
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)
Posted by SolidState at 9:08 AM
Sunday, September 14, 2008
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? :)
Posted by SolidState at 2:54 PM
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
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.
Posted by SolidState at 10:59 AM
Monday, September 08, 2008
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?
- Fast furious action.
- You are truely epic. Nearly no mob in the game, except for bosses, can stand up to you. At least not in normal mode... :)
- 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.
- 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.
- The loot :)
- 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.
- Very basic quest system - only 6 quests in the entire first act! Compare that to WoW's several thousands of quests...
- 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...
- 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 :)
- A simpler character sheet. E.g. no trinket slots!
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 :)
Posted by SolidState at 1:00 PM
Sunday, September 07, 2008
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...
Posted by SolidState at 12:00 PM
Thursday, September 04, 2008
Posted by SolidState at 10:09 AM
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Really not much to say. BM heroic was very easy and at the end I had my key :)
Posted by SolidState at 2:17 PM
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
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
Posted by SolidState at 1:00 PM
Monday, September 01, 2008
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 :)
Posted by SolidState at 2:10 PM