Thursday Musings

I normally do Monday Musings now and then, but this week I’ve not gotten around to it, so here’s some Thursday Musings instead.

On Real Life

While this might not interest you at all, and you’re welcome to skip to the next part, I wanted to mention that you may have noticed me being a bit slow on updates at times. This is because I’ve been busy fretting about that horrible Real Life thing going on and the fact that in just over a week I’m out of a job.

WoW has been a bit on the backburner other than showing up for raids, but I’ve got posts in the works – and will continue on them as soon as I can.

On Raiding

My guild isn’t a server first guild, or even a heroic guild. We have attendance problems and a lot of times it takes us a while to get going when new content is released. It’s frustrating, but we deal with it.

Our goal this expansion has been to clear content on normal before the nerfbat hits. When Blizzard announced the 4.2 nerfs we had only just reached Ragnaros, and they gave us all of two remaining raid nights after their announcement to work on him.

I’m happy to say that we finally got him down on Tuesday night (with the patch hitting Wednesday in Europe), so we beat the nerfbat by mere hours. But we did it.

Last night we went back in to see how the raid looked after the nerfs. And boy is it nerfed. I suspect that a lot of the fights we have previously 3 healed we can now (and probably should) switch to 2 healing.

Beth’tilac
We did it with our normal setup of 2 tanks and 3 healers, but I suspect we could easily have 2 healed it (we have done before). Nothing hits as hard anymore and the adds die quicker. There were times when all adds were dead and we were actually standing around waiting for the next wave of spinners to drop down off the web.

Shannox
Okay, we ended up doing this on Heroic (our first one) and it still took us a few tries to get him down. I’m sure it would have taken quite a few more tries had the nerfs not hit. You will still wipe on Heroic if you don’t get the trapping right, but everything does less damage and the boss has less health so you burn him down quicker.

Lord Rhyolith
At first we thought there were less of the little adds, but they were just dying quicker. Again, everything was just dying quicker and doing less damage to us.

Alysrazor
We started out as normal, 2 tanks, 2 healers and 1 person flying. But we soon realised that the adds and hatchlings died really quite fast, and our shadow priest soon was soaring up in the air with me.

The caster adds don’t do their Fieroblast nearly as often, and they die fast. The whirlwinds are ridiculously slow. You never have to switch direction. Alysrazor died quickly as well. She was dead before we had a second whirlwind phase.

Baleroc
We did it with 3 healers, but I know 2 would have worked. The crystals didn’t seem to do so much damage and people could eat more stacks than before. The melee swings of the boss are really slow and he just went down quickly.

Majordomo Staghelm
Things just do less damage, and with his lower health he was dead before we even entered the phase with the Burning Orbs.

Ragnaros
I’m so glad we got him the night before, because we went back in with 3 minutes left on our raid time and figured we’d just do one try – and one shot him. This being the boss we’d spent 3-4 nights on. The adds die really quick now – I was Demonology for our first kill for the extra stun on adds – but last night I went in as Affliction and the adds posed no problem.

I’d like to say that we just knew the fight so well after our first kill, but let’s be honest – he’s just nerfed to the ground.

The good thing I guess is that until 4.3 hits we can get away with raiding one night a week and clear all of Firelands. We might do an extra night a week and clear some more Heroic modes to gear up before 4.3

How are you finding the nerfed content?

On Project Ten

Nothing much is happening with levelling due to the aforementioned reasons. I’m not playing all that much outside of raids right now, but I’m still planning to get back to this.

The few changes:

The Shaman has gone from 80 to 82.

The Druid has gone from 58 to 75.

And I’ve started my baby DK who’s not part of the challenge, and so not really something I should work on (but she’s fun!) and she’s currently 66, but sitting tight for now.

Extra

My friend and the Guild Master of my Paladin alt’s Horde guild has started blogging. You should go say hi to her!

The Little Priest Who Could

 

Step One – Complete

So after a slow start to raiding this latest patch I’ve finally gathered all of the 25 pieces for the next step of the questline to obtain the legendary caster staff. Last night I did the solo quest in The Nexus before the raid, meaning that I could gather the pieces to unlock the portal to Volcanus once the first four bosses were dead.

Killing Volcanus was quite easy, and since you get turned into a treant you do extra damage in the final phase. Had I been more on the ball I’m sure I could have done more damage than I did, but it was still quite fun to see your numbers spike like that.

Pew Pew

I now have the first part of the staff, and need to collect 1000 cinders for the next quest. You get a temporary title after killing Volcanus, as well as leaving a trail of flowers everywhere you go for the next two hours. Makes me feel very… Warlocky… Really!

Trail of Flowers... Oh yes...

I will try to post a little guide on how to do the solo quest in The Nexus soon, since Warlocks don’t necessarily have an easy time in there. I realise a lot of people have already done this bit, but I’m sure there are other stragglers, like myself, who haven’t.

Here’s a nice, new image of my Warlock with her flowery presence. Suits her so well…

Me - Flower Girl Warlock Extraordinaire

Abby!!!

Ok, so I’ve been nurturing an NCIS addiction these past few months. While every other show was on a summer break I watched NCIS from season one and all the way up to the last episode shown.

I’ve also been playing WoW of course, and as I decided to make myself my very own Goblin (because any Horde, even if just a part-time one like myself, really should have one) I realised that she looks just like Abby!

I swear. This goblin is like the Abby of the WoW-universe. Just a bit more green and all. But you have to admit – she looks just like Abby!

 

Have you found any characters in WoW that look like a favourite movie star/character?

Adventures of a new Death Knight

I recently started a new Death Knight for what must be the umpteenth time. I have a level 85 one what I transferred to my Horde server – but I’ve been wanting to level a new one because I want the full experience again.

During the years since Death Knights were first released I’ve played through their starting zone, and a couple of levels more probably ten times or more. I keep getting them to Hellfire Peninsula then deleting them.

The last one I mage was a little gnome called Tewwor (hunting wabbits!), but my deep seated hatred for gnomes made me delete her in the end. So I made a new one again, a night elf. I’m normally not very fond of night elves, but I have too many humans and I saw a few night elves in Stormwind and I realised I quite like how they look in plate.

And so I am (yet again) beginning my adventures as a new Death Knight. This time, I’m really quite enjoying myself and I think I will continue to play her.

Battlegrounds

I’ve taken her through some battlegrounds because I wanted to see what the xp gain is like, and it is a nice change to just questing or doing instances.

Wearing virtually no PvP gear, but some heirlooms my success in there is wildly dependant on who I meet it seems. I get demolished by multiple attackers, but I usually fare fairly well against solo ones.

My moment of glory was solo killing two undead rogues. Eat that you sneaky sneaks!

My moment of fail is any time I come up against warriors or other DKs. Well it’s fifty-fify it seems. I still need to learn not to freak out the moment someone attacks me.

My Ramparts Experience

I queued up for Hellfire Ramparts, because I’m bored with questing in general so dungeons and battlegrounds is a nice alternative. I never sign up as tank because I have no gear for it and I dislike the fact that our “proper” taunt isn’t something we get until level 65. I don’t feel comfortable tanking when all I have is a 35 second cooldown taunt.

I zone into Ramparts and see that our tank is a Warrior, figuring that this will be a breeze cause Warriors are good (I was worried it’d be a DK). As we start pulling I realise that I’m pulling aggro on pretty much anything that I attack.

With the recent changes made to threat I can’t figure out why. So I check that I’m not in Blood Presence. I’m not. I have a closer look at the Warrior. He’s using a sword and board, but damnit if he isn’t specced Fury! You don’t get the increased threat if you’re not specced as a tank!

I’m not the only one pulling off the tank. Pretty much every dps in the group is. We ask him about it, but he doesn’t even bother replying to us. A few packs into the instance he doesn’t even pretend that he’s a proper tank anymore, but switches to two weapons and just dpses. The poor healer is even getting aggro at this point.

Finally I grumble and say that “fine, I’ll tank then”, and I switch to my Blood Presence. The run goes a lot smoother after that, because I’m actually Blood specced which means I do get the increased threat. I still miss having a short cooldown taunt though.

Why do plate wearers insist on queueing as tank even when they’re not specced for it? Maybe at lower levels that’s a viable option, but once you get higher it’s not quite so simple anymore. We all want quick queues, but what’s the point of a quick queue if you can’t even complete the instance?

My Slave Pens Experience

I joined another instance queue later on, again as dps for the above mentioned reasons. The group I get into has already gotten about halfway through the instance, but I’m okay with that.

They all seem do be doing fairly okay, and while I’ll occasionally pull off the tank, I manage to keep my threat down for the most part.

When we get to the final boss the healer asks us to stack up, but the tank puts the boss in such an odd position just at the edge of the water that we end up with line of sight issues and wipe.

The healer and I both release and start running back to the instance. As we’re doing so I’m noticing that no one else has, and ask them why they haven’t.

“Not everyone needs to run lulz.”

Here’s the thing. Maybe everyone doesn’t need to run, but it’s the polite thing to do! Not to mention that it saves time. Because this way the healer has to run back, resurrect everyone, heal them up and drink mana. If everyone runs back together you’re all pretty much ready to go by the time you approach the boss.

Also, what if the healer decided that they were the one who shouldn’t have to run?

Anyway, I pointed out the above things, and the mage in the party released. A moment later we see he has resurrection sickness. When someone asked him about it he left the group. So either he didn’t really know what he was doing.. or running back was too much of a hassle for him?

When the healer and I get back to the boss the tank and rogue are still lying there on the ground, not having released. The healer tells them she can’t rez them because they’re too close to the boss. She tries anyway, and ends up pulling the boss.

The tank and rogue finally release.

I’m annoyed at this point, and as I see the boss running towards the healer I switch to blood presence and start attacking, pulling it off her. It takes a while, but we manage to kill him with me tanking and her healing, no dps.

The tank and rogue return to the boss a few seconds after he’s dead and seem astounded that we killed him. And maybe a little bit unhappy.

Should we have wiped after she pulled when trying to rez them when they were too lazy to run? I’m sorry, but I don’t want to wipe just because someone is lazy. If they’d run like we did we’d not had a problem in the first place.

The priest seemed nice, so when she asked us to help her kill a few remaining trash packs (she was very close to the next level) I agreed to do so. The tank was still grumpy and left the group though, but the rogue stuck around. We finished a few trash packs, she dinged and we all left in a good mood.

Now, obviously I’ve had several instances where nothing spectacular happens and everyone in the group is just average. But these two stood out to me.

What’s your dungeoning been like lately?

Me vs Arena

I realise that some people like to PvP, they might even enjoy it. I am not one of them.

Sometimes I might do some battlegrounds, which I find bearable for the most part. Especially while levelling it’s a nice change of pace from questing and instances.

But then there’s arena.

The dreaded arena.

I think it might be difficult for people to quite grasp how horrible I find arena. I get easily stressed, and part of the reason why I will never be a good PvPer is because of that. Something attacks me and I freak out and start spamming whatever I can think of to spam.

This would be fine, really. Because I have no aspirations towards arena, and if it were up to me I’d never set my foot in there again.

But I am. I do set my foot in arena. And I hate every moment of it. I start dreading it hours before we actually do it – that’s how horrible I find arena.

You may ask why I’m doing it then. The truth is; I’m a wuss push-over. My friends/guildies have a really horrible setup for a 2v2 team and needed a healer for their 3v3 team. No one else in the guild has a spare healer.

And so here I am. Being a push-over and doing something I loathe to do. That makes me feel horrible when doing it.

I can’t even say that “hey at least I’m getting some gear out of it”, because I do it on my Priest.. which I never play outside of arenas other than to do her daily Alchemy transmute. She was pretty much retired when I was coerced asked to do arena.

Sorry, arena ranting is over now.

The screenshot below is something I took without even realising it (my screenshot button is next to my push-to-talk), and it pretty much shows how arenas feel to me these days.

Can’t do that while silenced.
Can’t do that while silenced.
You can’t do that right now.

For those PvPers out there who might react to the fact that my team mate is dying and my PvP trinket is off cooldown, I can say that yes – that screenshot doesn’t exactly show off my skills (as if I had any – hah!). I’d just switched to my new, upgraded trinket and forgot to change the icon on my bars.

How do you like Arena/PvP?

Me, the Archaeologist

I’m hunting wabbits Canopic Jars.

I have Archaeology and Alchemy on my Mage alt, which naturally means I’m out searching for the Vial of the Sands recipe any time I get a chance.

Tol’Vir absolutely hates me! I have solved two 150 mark rares, and probably around 100 other solves. Out of those 10 have been Canopic Jars. None of them contained the precious recipe that I’m after.

I will continue my hunt for the pattern, but I will admit – it grates me to know that my brother started the search last Sunday and got it after five Canopic Jars a few days later! Can you spell unfair?

I guess random drops are random.

It’s still unfair though because he also got Zin’rokh. All I got was a hand-me-down dress for cloth alts – which I don’t have because they’re all 85. (It is rather pretty though, I guess I could stand around in Stormwind and show it off.)

I want my Vial of the Sands dangit! Give it to me!

I think what I find the most annoying (except for my brother getting it before me and being on another realm so I can’t buy it off him) is that I have to do all of the digging on an alt. I’d have liked to do it on my Warlock for the achievements, but she doesn’t have Alchemy.

Okay, I admit. I did get a few other BoA items, but I still want the recipe.

How is Archeology working for you guys? Are you getting the items that you want? I’ll admit though, I find Archeology fairly boring still, but I find that it works out nicely if I’m on the laptop and watching a TV show or movie at the same time.

PS. I’ve updated the Bane of Havoc guide to include the Firelands fights where I’ve so far found that it might be useful.

PS 2. Off-Topic – I’ve decided to pick up on my personal blog again. It’s nothing too interesting of course, but if anyone’s interested there’s a link up in the Contact widget on the side.

PS 3. I’m incredibly proud of my Horde alt’s guild for killing Shannox on the very first try. Obviously it was all due to my awesome healing *cough* Okay fine, also the other healers.. oh and I guess the dps.. and the tanks.. and… fine – everyone did a splendid job!

Raiding “Naked”

About a week ago I went to visit my dad for a weekend, and since I normally raid with my alt’s Horde guild on Saturday I’d obviously declined the raid.

However, during the evening when everyone was busy with other things I borrowed my stepmom’s computer for a few minutes wanting to complete my Firelands dailies. (Both my dad and his wife play WoW, albeit on a casual level.. Though my dad has turned out to be quite the little goblin, having amassed somewhere around 170k gold by now!)

I had really only intended to be online for the 15-20 minutes it would take me to do the dailies on my Warlock, but no more than a few minutes in my Horde friend whispered me through Real ID asking if I could please join the raid anyway. One of their healers had needed to leave and they were a person short for completing the raid.

I was very hesitant to be honest. Not only was I at my dad’s and had planned to be social, but I was on a computer I wasn’t used to and it had absolutely zero addons. I mean it. Zero.

On my own computer I run with a bundle of addons, ranging from what I consider necessary to useful to fun.

I explained all of this to my friend, but she said that we could at least give it a go – and asking my dad and his wife if it was okay (their raid only had another hour or so left at that point) – I logged off and logged onto my Horde Paladin.

Now, you have to imagine my dread at how my healing would be. I had nothing that I was used to. I had to change my keybinds because my stepmom’s mouse has less buttons than my own – and the keyboard felt foreign to my fingers. (Have you ever noticed that? How different a keyboard that isn’t your own feels, and a mouse as well?)

I had no Grid (I don’t use Clique or any addons, but I like it because it’s small and doesn’t cover the screen), so I was stuck using Blizzard’s raid frames that I quite honestly hate. (They’re so big!) I had no Boss Mods. No Recount or Threatmeters. No cooldown meters or timers.

I felt naked.

It was an interesting experience though for sure. Blizzard has definitely improved on some of the things the game tells you during a boss encounter – when using Boss Mods I never know what is Blizzard and what is the Mod.

I fully expected my healing to be appalling with no addons to help me. It wasn’t.

I had my friend link me the meters and I can tell you that my healing was no worse than it normally is, but pretty much spot on. I did get a bit flustered at some point and wasted some mana, but for the most part it went really well under the circumstances.

I didn’t die to standing in bad (I like to think I never do though), I managed to heal the people that needed it (despite using Blizzard’s ugly raid frames) and I felt really good about it.

I missed having my addons, because I do prefer raiding with them – but I managed without.

It proves that you don’t need addons to do your job. However, when given a choice – I will use my addons. Not because I need them, but because they do make my job easier. I don’t necessarily perform better, but I feel more comfortable and in control – and isn’t that what it’s all about?

What about you? Do you use addons or do you stoutly refuse? If you use them, have you ever had to go without them at one point and found that you miss them?

Death Knight Woes

I’ve written about my Death Knight before as I was leveling her and realised that I really don’t have any idea about how to tank as one.

After she hit 85 I did a couple of dungeons on her as a tank, realised I really didn’t know what I was doing and ended up playing my Paladin. She was demoted to Blacksmith and Alchemy transmuter.

Lately I wanted to give Death Knight another go though, and she’s now a Blood Elf so I can play with my Horde friend and her guild. Can I just say, by the way, that Blood Elf Death Knights look awesome? I love the darkened tips of their ears! But back on topic, I still feel like I’m flailing when it comes to this class.

Most classes I can pick up fairly easily, but Death Knight – there’s just something about it that makes me flounder. It doesn’t help that her tanking gear is horrible. Seriously, she has a green chest. I’ve tanked a few Heroics, but I don’t feel that I know what I’m doing when doing so – while if I tank on my Paladin I know what I’m doing all the time.

At this point I can’t quite figure out if it’s inexperience at playing the class, or if I should just stick to Paladin because it’s something I know and enjoy. I do okay when tanking, but I never feel in control – and as a tank that’s a troubling feeling.

I’ve done some Zulroics as Frost dps, and I will admit that I don’t entirely know what I’m doing then either. I pretty much just keep diseases up, spam Obliterate and Howling Blast, Rune Strike when those two are on cooldowns – and I seem to do okay dps for the gear she has. But I suspect there’s a more planned out way to do it. And once I figure it out, maybe tanking will get better as well.

I’m currently fighting my urge to just keep her as dps and use my Paladin for tanking. Surely if I keep at it I’ll eventually learn?

My two hordies

What about everyone else? Do you have a class that you sort of enjoy, but never quite seem to feel comfortable with? Any flounderers/flailers like me out there?

What goes around…

I recently wrote about how I feel that people in lower level dungeons have a better attitude than those in random 85 Heroics. Of course I had to do a Nexus run on my Shaman that went completely against this.

Don’t get me wrong – there are always exceptions – I just find it ironic that this happens just as I write that post.

The scene: The Nexus (normal), me on 74 Resto Shaman

We had a Mr.HotShotWarlock in the group who knew best. You know the kind. We also had Mr.NewDK.

When Mr.HotShotWarlock commented that Mr.NewDK was dpsing in blood spec he was not wrong to do so, because – as we all know – blood is a tanking tree now.

Mr.NewDK was simply so new he was just blood because “his friend said it was a good spec for leveling”. Which I’m sure it is when questing – because hey, you probably can’t die!

Anyway, he saw the error in being blood as dps in a dungeon and switched to his unholy offspec. (Btw, can I just – randomly – muse about the fact that so many DKs in instances are in blood presence, despite being unholy/frost.. it’s kind of scary when they keep taking aggro!)

His dps was rather awful, but it’s a normal dungeon at level 70-74 – I’m not really bothered. Everyone else in the party was well making up for it. But of course Mr.HotShotWarlock had to comment on it. Again. And again. And again.

It wasn’t constructive feedback either like, you know you could use X and Y ability and your dps will be higher. No, it was.. “your dps sucks!”, “dk’s usually do 5k dps in these dungeons! yours suck donkey b#!!$”

First of all, this Warlock must run with some great DKs. I know they’re very good, but really – 5k dps at level 71? I’m either getting the runts of the litter with me in dungeons, or he’s got his numbers wrong. Anyway, I digress.

Eventually, the DK was starting to get pretty defensive. Words were getting more heated – and I was getting fed up. Turns out the DK is a 13 year old kid as well, and maybe it’s some maternal thing (hah! totally not I play a Warlock!) but I’m starting to feel bad for him.

I’d already asked Mr.HotShotWarlock to just be quiet and let the DK be, because, hey – it’s Nexus normal and we’re not wiping or having difficulties killing anything. But he kept on going, so I finally snap.

Me: “Look, the kid is obviously fairly new and learning. There are social people in the game, everyone has to learn and everyone’s allowed to play.”
Warlock: “I didn’t say they couldn’t.”
Me: “Not directly, but the way you’re coming down on this DK might make some people feel pretty bad and make them stop. You’re not being helpful, you’re being spiteful.”

Mr.HotShotWarlock was quiet after this. We got to the final boss and what happens? Mr.HotShotWarlock who knows best doesn’t move to remove the stacks! He stacks some nice 14-15 or so of the debuff and subsequently dies.

I told him, “You didn’t move. Fail.” (Yes yes, I could have been the better person and shut up – and I wasn’t.) He didn’t even wait to be resurrected, just left the party after the fight finished and the loot came up.

Is it completely wrong of me to feel pretty smug at this point? I can’t help but hope it took him down a peg or two because he failed at something as easy as that mechanic. (He had heirloom gear, so I highly doubt it was his first time there.)

There’s just something about people complaining about others, and then failing themselves, that make the evil side of me jump in glee. I can’t help it.

Have you had any similar occurances? People acting like they’re all that, and then turning out to make the simplest mistake of them all?

 

 

Double Paladin Update

Rhaura 2.0 has reached level 85 since a couple of weeks back now and I’ve been playing her as Protection/Retribution. It took me a few days after reaching 85 to feel comfortable queuing as tank, but I now have a few times.

For the most part, I only will if I have at least one guildie with me for moral support, but admittedly the one time I solo queued to test the Call to Arms I ended up in Deadmines (scary tanking!) with a really nice group.

No one was awesomely geared, but everyone was pleasant. The Priest healer admitted to having been 85 for all of twelve hours, but with me using my cooldowns we really had no healing issues at all.

There was only one wipe, when the dps was uncertain about what to do on the second boss – and a couple of deaths during the run back to Vanessa VanCleef at the end. But we managed the instance fine and I’m glad that I got into such a nice group of pleasant people.

Perhaps one day I will dare to queue alone again!

I queued with one guildie another time and despite not actually wiping or anyone making any mistakes we had the oddest run. We zoned into Halls of Origination to immediately have the healer and one dps leave the party.

I don’t think it’s because of my tank gear. Sure, she’s not running around with +180k health like a raid geared tank, but she’s securely sitting around +150k and an average item level of 352. Definitely enough for the regular Heroics.

A new healer arrived, and a new dps. We went forward and pulled the first pack. The healer disappears mid-pull without even tossing me a heal.

Using cooldowns and some CC we manage to survive and queue for another healer. We get one (they’ve all been Priests so far for some reason).

This healer sticks with us until the first boss, and even through a wipe on it because people didn’t jump down in time. We kill the boss second try – then the healer leaves, and a dps follows.

I’m really perplexed at this time, I really don’t know why these people left. They said nothing, just disappeared. We get a new healer, a Shaman this time, and a new dps. The rest of the instance continue on with no problems and everyone staying in the group.

I haven’t been doing a lot of Heroics lately because my Warlock hasn’t needed anything. So I’m feeling a bit rusty in regards to what is “normal” these days. Is this a common thing with people dropping groups for no reason?

Other than that, my Paladin has mainly been joining guild groups and running Zul’Aman and Zul’Gurub as dps. I’ve tanked them both one time each, but it’s something I only do with a guild healer since I know I’m not awesomely geared and those mobs do hit for quite a bit.

Rhaura 1.0 is still Holy and has now healed her way through five bosses in Blackwing Descent as well as Halfus and Conclave of Wind. However, since she’s not on my main server she doesn’t get the kind of loving she needs, and her gear is pretty much stuck and only getting the odd upgrade from raids.

She would benefit from doing ZA/ZG but I’m scared about healing those. I actually find them more intimidating than healing raids!

So for the time being, I will (in shame) admit that she only gets logged on to check if my friend’s guild needs me to fill out their raid spots. (I’m a back-up only after all.) I do feel like she’d do well to get a few more pieces of gear though, since it would help her healing in raids as well. But yeah.. ZA/ZG terrifies me when it comes to healing – and her dps gear is even worse!

How do you healers feel about healing ZA/ZG? Should I dare to give it a go, or stick to raids? Or maybe I should actually spend a bit of time on her and do some regular Heroics. I just find it difficult to spend time away from “home”.

It’s an odd thing for me having alts on different servers. I like having everything in one place, with my professions to back them up with whatever they need. Having Rhaura 1.0 elsewhere makes her seem rather stranded, and she sadly gets less attention than the others.

How does it work for you? Do you have all your characters on one realm or are they spread out over several? Do you still have one server that you consider home? And do you manage to divide equal time between the two?