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Archive for September, 2012

Taking it slow… too slow?

I’m loving the expansion. Loving Pandaria, although we were questing in Valley of the Four Winds last night and I looked at Rev and asked “so where are all the rice paddies?” It feels weird to have such an Asian-inspired landscape without the ubiquitous rice paddies. And they are ubiquitous. I’ve ridden the shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto and you go from massive high tech urban to rice paddies just like driving out of Chicago and hitting the cornfields of Illinois. I did see one corner of the Valley looked like it might have rice paddies on the map but I haven’t gotten there yet.

Anyway. We didn’t quite make 86 on Tuesday, but we hit 86 and then 87 yesterday thanks to some good solid quest time and a couple dungeon runs. Got bugged out on the storyteller encounter in Jade Serpent temple but we went back and finished that place later. I really like the feel of the dungeons so far. They feel just about the right length, the fights seem interesting, and based on the pugs we got yesterday it’s going to be a while before anyone’s beating Rev’s dps. We should have taken guildies but I always just find it easier to decide I’m feeling like running a dungeon, hitting the button and instantly having a group. Plus if I take guildies I have to keep them alive, not let them die to laugh at them for standing in bad.

 

Where was I? Right. Leveling sweet and slow. Only then I looked at the calendar and realized Rev’s going to be out of town interviewing twice next week and we’re supposed to have a raid night of some sort a week from Saturday. Hmm… I guess we’d better get down to things. Wouldn’t look good for the raid leaders to still be level 88, would it? So I think we’ll have to focus a little more and I’ll hold off on the pet battles (but my team is level 11!), the baby monk (I haven’t even rolled her yet), the alts, everything else…

That’s the awesome thing about alts though. Even if we miss whole zones on our way up, we’ve got alts ready to go as soon we want…

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How many runs of the Theramore scenario are required when your mage alt decides she really really needs the white wizard hat, Sunday afternoon a day before the hat is unobtainable?

25 embersilk bags worth of runs, assuming said mage is a tailor.

So yeah… Bocat’s post with the pretty wizard hat picture had been bugging me and I said what the heck, let’s do it. Queued up and noticed on the first run I got 8 stacks of embersilk cloth. Huh… this could be worthwhile!
I got all sorts of groups. Sometimes Rev brought his hunter with me, that made for good groups. With him there we could round up lots of groups, have a pet taunt things, and aoe them down fast.

Or I’d go alone. One run I got me, a priest, and a warlock. Warlock refused to get out a tanky pet, priest refused to heal, both refused to use cc. Group fell apart on the second boat. Another run we had two mages and a rogue. That group used cc and as long as none of us got the aggro from an entire pack we did fine.

I did three consecutive runs with a tank/healer pair who knew each other. The dk was in dps gear but knew how to tank and did amazing damage: the resto druid mostly just healed us. I managed to do 25k dps on those runs thanks to massive pulls and lots of aoe but the dk left me in the dust. Neither of them were tailors, so I got lots and lots of extra cloth drops.

In between runs I turned the cloth into embersilk bags for our alts. Now they’re all set up for Panda leveling!

In eight runs I got 3 staffs, 25 fireworks, and finally a wizard hat.

Totally worth it. Now I need transmog gear to go with it.

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Ok, NOW I’m ready

I’ve been having fun with old content. Mostly working on Netherdrake rep on my mage, enjoying the old world and the relaxed end-of-expansion feel. We put Deathwing on farm months ago, took a long break from raiding, and I felt like we “won” this expansion.

Well, maybe not. Tuesday night Rev got an invite from the off-server group we did Firelands with the other night. Did he want to come tank heroic Dragon Soul? Of course he did! I wished him luck and worked on my writing and went to bed at a decent time, and he got all the heroic Dragon Soul bosses down. Awesome!

And then last night they whisper me. They’re going back on alts for one last run, do I want to get the achievement? Of course I do! But only if there’s a healer slot because my dps sucks right now.

There was a healer slot! In fact we two healed it and I was proud to be able to hold up my end enough to do that. I really didn’t want someone to have to switch. Tirael  gave great concise feedback for what I needed to do. I screwed up a couple times, but not too badly. The heroic fights were a lot of fun. I’m not sure that I’d have enjoyed wiping on them dozens of times, but three attempts on Spine and a half-dozen attempts on Madness seemed reasonable. One wipe was completely and utterly my fault, I died twice in the first two minutes and felt really embarrassed, but then we got him down. That was a cool feeling.
I also realized why killing Deathwing doesn’t feel as good as killing Arthas. There’s just no matching that “we’re all dead, now we’re being rezzed, he’s down and wow cutscene” feel. I hope Blizzard pulls off something as awesome in MoP.

Anyhow. Killed him. Rolled on the mount. Won it. Felt vaguely guilty about coming into another guild’s raid and stealing the cool mount but – man, that is a cool mount. Thanks, Tirael and Arioch, for a great time!

And now all that’s left is planning my pre-release party this weekend. Chinese food, Kung-fu Panda movie, and friends over. We’re going to kick off MoP in style.

 

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Prepping for Pandas

I was out of town for a week and when I got back I wanted to play WoW. Well, I really wanted to play Mists of Pandaria. New quests, new content, new raids. What is there to do at the very end of an expansion, when all the focus is on what’s to come and there’s the feeling that we can’t wait to shake off the dust of the previous content?

There’s alts. I’ve got a baby warlock up to level 34 (she was 28 before this weekend) and I’m having fun with the class for the first time ever. The new talent system make figuring out how to play her a lot more friendly. Also, finally picked the right race combo. Why had I tried a human lock, a worgen lock, but not a gnome lock, when most of my alts are gnomes? Something about the tiny balls of death make me giggle. She’s the right level for the new Scarlet Monastery instances and man, those are going to rock as heroics. The SM courtyard? That’s going to be a wipe fest, isn’t it.

There’s pre-expansion prep, but that’s mostly done. Bank space and bag space cleared, picked up a few big bags for my main, ditched old quests, d/e’d off-off-spec gear and obsolete trinkets. I’m a trinket collector. At one point I had fifteen different trinkets in my bags that I could swap in depending on the fight. Now I’m down to about six, and no doubt those will be replaced soon…

Oh, and really old content! Rev and I went to Tempest Keep to see if we could two man Kael’thas. We got close, but couldn’t figure out how to avoid the mind control while burning him down. Might have to try again at 90. I want an Ashes of A’lar!

Sunday morning I got out my mage and went to do the Netherdrake dailies in Outlands. It’s been on my been meaning to list forever. I think  I did one day’s worth of them years ago and then never went back. Now with shared mount collections I have more motivation. And to my surprise, the Netherwing Ledge was crowded! Cross realm zones meant there were about a dozen of us running around one-shotting things. I was briefly annoyed that I had competition for spawns but it really wasn’t bad and it was fun seeing a deserted world populated again.

Then we tagged along with a Firelands raid with Arioch’s guild, for some achievements. Loads of fun. I hate the color scheme in that place but I do love the fights and the feeling of a cohesive instance, which DS sort of missed. We had a blast and got some achievements. Need a heroic run there sometime…

And then we went and did  a pvp tournament with the guild, which the DKs won. Naturally, stupid over powered class (please don’t kill me!)

So I’m really looking forward to new stuff, but I filled about eight hours with old stuff and I wasn’t bored at all!
Can anyone tell me for sure whether we’ll be allowed to bring people in cross-realm for current raids in MoP? Because that might make a big difference in my roster plans… still planning on Saturdays at 7 server, will make sure everyone’s kept up to date if that changes.

 

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Still Looking

>Thunk thunk<
Is this thing on?

Oh hi there. Yeah. So I guess it’s been a while?

Took a break from raiding. And sort of a break from Wow. Not a real one. I leveled my shaman to 85. Poked around at a few things. But I’ve been concentrating hard on my writing and, well, WoW was feeling boring for a while. I knew I’d be back.

I took a long weekend this past weekend and when I finished Mass Effect 3 (wow, the ending was dumb on so many levels) didn’t have much else to do. Fortunately I’d already scheduled a fun raid for Saturday night. We had a great time. Zari talked about it and we had a special guest star, Arioch, come help fill out our roster. And of course the lovely Bocat and Repgrind were there. But they haven’t written about their experiences yet so I can’t link directly to them. So there!

We had some wipes on things we maybe shouldn’t have wiped on. The 8 second cooldown on cleanse really threw me. As did the fact that they renamed it. Which I realized after our wipe on Zon’ozz. Oops. Mana felt tight but Rep and I two healed it and none of the wipes were down to healing. I blame Log. Not really but when the off tank disconnects randomly it makes thing tricky.

Better yet was when we went to do spine, Log doesn’t stand in a hole and goes flying off the dragon 18 seconds in. Thanks to the high dps and people being on the ball, we one-tank two-heals the whole fight. I guess that 35% nerf makes a big difference. I remember when that fight was a healing nightmare.

Then Deathwing died. He dropped the Blazing Drake which I won and totally didn’t get a screen shot. Oops. But it’s cool, trust me.

Sunday I got bored. So I decided I needed a chopper. They were selling for 40k on the AH. Fortunately Rev’s hunter/engineer has the pattern so we went on a quest, grabbed the mats, and made me a chopper. Of course I had to learn it first on the gnome mage. Gnomes look so silly on the chopper. I gave Approximate a ride.

Then I decided to clear up alts a little. That worgen warlock was never going to level past 20. I just don’t like worgen enough. So I stripped her bare and got Rev to fly her somewhere vaguely appropriate for a suicide.

Eh, maybe not the best screenshot but killed by an angry fire demon seems ok for a warlock. Then I started a new one – but hey, I’ll save some of those stories for later, huh?

Anyway. Had a great time. Looking forward to pandas. Probably going to do a whole post about it but I need two dps for a Saturday night raid in MOP. I’d kill for a hunter but we could work in a lock, mage, rogue, monk, dk… or double up on something we’ve got already.

Analogue out…

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