My Chars

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Naxx Alt Run

Last night we setup an alt/social run to Naxx.

On the plus side, it was nice to play a little with my DK, I got his some loot, got to use him a bit and remember why I had so much fun leveling him. During the run I got to do both a little tanking and mostly DPS and I think I did good on both. My tanking spec felt good to me, I had plenty of "emergency" buttons and I think my health regen as blood helped the healers.

As a DPSer I did pretty well (considering my gear), about 2.3k DPS on some boss fights. On trash I think I could do better, I am thinking maybe putting a point in Corpse Explosion, but since that will only really help on trash mobs, I am not sure I will go that route.

On the negative side, Naxx bores me a bit due to having been there so many times :)
Also, we had an OT who's main is a hunter and he didn't know the correct tactic (as a tank) for some of the fights, causing us wipes. Especially on the first boss of the Spider Wing we wiped several times until I replaced him as OT.

The run was also slow due to wipes, low DPS and having to explain tactics to a couple of social people who had not been in Naxx before. We were also only 9 people there as there simply wasn't a 10th person online and this didn't help, but still, looking at Recount during the run when you see someone supposed to be a DPS character doing below the tank, you realize you have some DPS problems :)

Still overall I am happy I went as I got some badges and even the T7 shoulders. We cleared 2 wings which is not too bad. I got the gloves token with 60 badges and got the tanking version of the gloves and shoulders with the tokens since I consider tanking to be my main spec for the DK.

Monday, May 25, 2009

New Computer, Ulduar Advancements

I haven't updated in a while but not due to lack of things to write about, just lack of time :)

For one thing, I got a new computer (yey :)). It's a very nice gaming machine, built to be a good combination of bang-for-buck plus as quiet as practical. The important components - an E8400 Core 2 Duo Intel CPU, HD4870 based graphics card from Sapphire, Sileo 500 case from coolermaster and a Silent Pro 600W power supply. Thanks to these components I can run WoW at ultra graphics mode while still barely hearing the computer fans.

At the same purchase I also (finally) replaced my aging 19" CRT with a 24" LCD screen, specifically a Samsung 2443BW Syncmaster. It's a good TN-based screen, suffering from the usual problems that TN screens suffer from, e.g. don't try to look at the screen from the side, not perfect colors (this specific monitor is a bit on the bright side). But since I'm the only one looking at the screen it works for me. As far as I can see the picture quality is superb (after a little tuning) and the price was just right :)

The computer shop people were kind enough to install (by my request) Windows 7 RC for free and I have to say I am every impressed with this newest iteration of Windows. Everything feels snappy and works very smoothly while at the same time, the eye candy is superb. Of course Windows XP on a new machine would also probably feel snappy but it would not be as pretty :)

I did have some trouble with WoW, for one thing some log files, patch files etc. keep insisting on appearing in another directory, it's not a real problem just annoying. A more serious problem I had was that every time I would exit WoW, it would crash. This prevented addons from saving their preferences, which made playing with them impossible. Since I love my addons, I was about to give up on Windows 7 (I was blaming it) when a Google search finally came up with the real culprit - ClearFont3, a new addon I had installed in parallel to moving WoW to the new computer. There's a lesson here, don't change too many variables at once...

Anyway, now that CF3 is gone all works fine. Thanks to my new screen and computer I'm playing WoW at 1900x1200 resolution and as I said in Ultra graphics mode. Actually a bit below since I lowered shadows. So far I've seen a minimum of 35fps in Dalaran and usually I'm closer to 55 so I'm happy :)

As for in-game, my guild has advanced nicely in 10 man raiding, if a bit slowly. We've cleared the first 2 wings of Ulduar, downed Hodir and are now trying Freya. So raiding is going fine for now.

All in all good times, I just wish I had more free time, RL keeping me very busy. For example I'm starting to get curious about other games, I feel I've been playing only WoW for too long now. Well maybe I'll cut down a bit on WoW, we'll see :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Respeccing to Holy

Last night we were going for another evening of tries on the Assembly of Iron encounter in Ulduar. Problem was, both our Resto Shaman and Holy Priest were not present, we only had 2 paladins and myself as healers. Since the encounter has a lot of AoE damage, I decided to respec to Holy.

Actually I had been thinking of respeccing from Disc to Holy for a while now, both due to recent Disc nerfs but also because I used to be Holy before WotLK and I missed the AoE healing power. When I tried Holy out as a fresh level 80 in 5-man runs, it was pitifull - low healing output and catastrophic mana regen soon combined to drive me to Disc. However I had read that Holy scaled very well with gear.

Well, Holy certainly lived up to its promise in terms of HPS (Healing Per Second) output. According to Recount I was pushing over 3700 HPS on some of the tries last night, with ~35% overhealing. For 10-man gear, that's pretty awesome. However, I'm sad to say that while the mana situation is not as bad as I remember it from my initial level 80 impressions, it is still pretty bad. I'm guessing Blizzard optimized mana regen for 25-man groups where regen is naturally higher, leading to too-low regen in 10-man raids. I never had much trouble as a Disc priest, but that's not surprising - my main spell as a Disc is Flash Heal, which is very mana efficient as a Disc. Especially with mana returns due to shields.

Sure I still can optimize my gems and maybe enchants too, getting slightly more spirit. Also I need to look at glyphs, there may be glyphs more suitable for Holy priests compared to my current Disc-oriented ones. But overall I'm pretty bummed and not hopeful at all. It's all nice and well to have high-healing output, but when you are running low in the middle of the fight, having used Shadowfiend, pot and Hymn, people are going to start dropping pretty soon after :(

Sunday, May 10, 2009

More Fishing and a Bit of Leveling

Solidfaith got to 350 fishing, only 100 points left till the cap :)

After I got to 350 I pushed on to 375, most of it done in Wintergrasp. WG fishing yields all of the fish needed for the Fish Feast, which I have been cooking and using on guild raids.

I also took some time to continue leveling Supersolid, my hunter. It is really amazing how easy it is to level a hunter. Sure if you want to level fast you need to put some thought into it, but if you really want to stick to the basics, just send in your pet, turn on autoshot, and read a book while the mob's health goes down :)
Of course I didn't really do it this way but the point is, it is possible. Even with my DK leveling was not that easy.
In any case part of the leveling was done killing Rhinos in Borean Tundra. Why kill Rhinos? I get XP for Supersolid, Rhino meat for Solidfaith to cook and use (+16 MP5 and +40 sta, not bad), Chilled meat for daily cooking quests as well as some cooking recipes, leather for Solidd to level up his leatherworking on and the occasional green item for Solidstate to DE. It's slow leveling for Supersolid but very good for most of my alts :)

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

First Ulduar Wing Cleared

My guild, in spite of having raid attendance problems and therefore a low number of raids over the last few weeks, managed to clear the first Ulduar wing.

Ignis was the last boss to die (last night) and the toughest fight, although I expect this will get easier as people get used to the fight, which is very dynamic.

Actually we had 1 person from outside the guild come and join us (one person had to leave mid-raid and we didn't have anyone in the guild online who could come). But I still consider this a guild take-down as he was DPS and I think if we had a DPSer online from the guild, we would also have managed to take Ignis down.

My guild's main problem now is lack of people. We have very few people who show up on a regular basis, the rest show up for raids only sporadically or not at all (socials). We have missed many raid nights or started late due to this and it is really frustrating for those people who do want to raid. We are thinking of a raid alliance as a solution but it's hard to find another serious guild willing to take 5-10 people and give them raid spots. What will the future hold? Only time will tell...