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The Pen is Mightier

Reversion suggested this title. I thought “We ain’tn’t dead” might be better but hey someone out there might not read Discworld. If so shame on you.

Anyhow. Yeah. Long time no post! Don’t blame Star Wars. Sure, we’re playing a little, our characters are a whole level… I don’t know. 26 I think. I like the game but it’s not keeping me from WoW. The kitchen remodel is a worse distraction, we’ve lost hours putting new cabinets up. They look awesome, and once I have the counters in… two weeks from now… the place will look awesome.

Nope, the problem is our other shared hobby/passion. (Not THAT one, perverts out there). Writing. Remember we did NaNoWriMo? Well, despite Christmas and cabinets and Star Wars and everything I kept at it and last week finished the first draft of my somewhat epic fantasy novel. And then went “ugh, this thing needs so much work”. Rev is my content editor/talent manager/first reader/co-writer on scenes that I am sucking at, as well as working on his own writing project. Our free time keeps getting taken up by one of two things:

1. Talk about something we need to change, add, edit, delete, whatever in my story, or his story, or some other story we’ll write later

2. Listen to Writing Excuses and lose all track of time.

Seriously if you want to write fiction – or draw webcomics, or similar creative pastime – go lose a few weeks of your life with these podcasts. 15 minutes long but when you mainline them you tend to realize it’s 11 o’clock at night and you have been steeping in creativity for hours.

We’re serious about this thing. We’re going to a writing workshop at a convention later this year. My goal is to have my book in a state where I can look for an agent this fall, and be working on the followup novel (I’ve got three followup novels planned….). And it takes time and energy I’m not spending in WoW or blogging.

But… where was I? We’re not officially closing up blog. Had a great time raiding this weekend. Some fun times with the guild. Heck, Reversion even drew on the whiteboard last night – a map for me, not a comic, sorry – so who knows maybe we’ll do more Corporate Raiders soon. It’s our two year blogiversary next month and I’m not quite ready to throw in the towel yet.

You guys may or may not find it amusing, but it just occurred to me that my main male character is a bear warrior. Metaphorically, anyway, he doesn’t turn into a bear or anything but it’s what the people in my world refer to his sort of battle magic… I swear being married to a bear tank didn’t have anything to do with it…

Seeya in WoW or out of it.

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A Week in, 4.3 is Awesome

So I should be qq’ing massively. As a resto druid with jewelcrafting as my profession, I got nerfed, nerfed, and then minorly nerfed again this patch. Not that the JC nerf is obvious until we start running around with lots of epic gems, but it’s the thought that enables the QQ, right? Ah well.

I’m not in a qq mood though. Haven’t been playing WoW super hardcore this week. We had to finish off NaNo last week and my novel isn’t complete yet. (Since it’s a fantasy epic, the 110,000 words I wrote in November are basically half the story. Yes, my blogging has been low this month because all my words are going elsewhere. Trust me, I made the right choice)

Still, what I’ve done so far has been awesome. The new five mans are super cool. My druid went through once to get my boots and a few VPs. I got my boots Thursday and when I did, made a comment about how Alysrazor had never ever dropped the leather int boots so of course she would now. Loved the five mans except the bit in Well of Eternity at the end when I was trying to turn in a quest to Illidan and he would not stop running around. Seriously, dude, get a Ritalin prescription or something. Ran the first two on Invariant and got her like 4 upgrades. She’ll be LFR ready in a couple days at this rate. The Murozond fight is amazingly cool.

Transmogged Analogue to a nice understated set. I didn’t screenshot it, but I know Repgrind did so the two of you who might care will see it later. I don’t actually like any druid tier except the Conqueror’s Nightsong Hood, which is the most awesome headpiece ever, so I’m sporting that. And probably always will. What doesn’t got with a glowing crescent moon headband?

Darkmoon Fair is cool! I’ll stick to doing that on my mage only. She collects pets, she’s my fisherman (and not maxed level so that fishing daily there is great!). The little minigames were awesome, except the shooting one. It’s hard enough to do as a gnome because you’re the same height as the counter and that’s before a Tauren on a Kodo parks on your head. Grr. The other games were great. Healers will own the Whack-a-gnoll!

And raid: Well. For about an hour Friday night things were looking really really bad, because an hour before raid time Rev and I had no internet. We troubleshot and determined the problem was on our internet provider’s end, and called them up, only to discover that they use their own phone service and so  were completely down.  Hmm. Well, we can always use guild chat to let the raid know we’re having trouble and to find another tank and heals, but since our disc priest lives in the same town as us and has the same isp, they’d probably be down two healers… which is not good.

Around raid time the internet started staggering to its feet, and after several dcs and much muttering, we were ready to go. This was going to be our one solid night this weekend; Saturday we were missing Kerick, Log, Grom, and Slice; I didn’t have a clue who I was going to get to tank for us. But that was tomorrow and this was now. I’d asked everyone to watch the first four fights and know what to do, so we went in and got started.

We one shot Morchok the Not Really A Raid Boss. I got to soak crystals, whee! Nice note to start the night. Went to the ping pong boss. Took a few tries – like, what, four? It really wasn’t bad. Then off to the oozes. We had the mechanics there right away, just had to learn how to handle various combos, and he went down too after a few tries.

Off to Hagara for some ice and lightning. I rather outdid myself with sucking on that fight. Our penultimate pull, I died twice. The final kill, I was dead… that time was just bad luck with getting bounced funny though. We did really awesome with the chain lightning bit. I thought that might take time to learn but we mastered it right away.

Right. So. Now it’s 9 pm, we have two hours left, and we’re standing around going “I dunno what do you wanna do?”

We ended up deciding on Firelands. We want to make Falahla’s staff still, and I don’t think we can ask people to commit to another night for Firelands clear, so we’ll just have to devote a couple hours every week to doing 6/7 in Firelands. It may slow our progression a bit but I am determined to make that staff! She’s on the final collect stage now.

We got half the firelands down, called raid, and went to bed. Came back Saturday, collected some guildies to fill our slots and went back to FL to finish the clear. We had one wipe on Alysrazor. And then she died and dropped my #$%&^#%$% boots. That are not as nice as the End Times quest boots. I hate you, loot gods.

We even made a few Rags attempts before calling Saturday early. Rev and I got to go watch a movie on a raid night! It felt like cheating or something.

Anyhow. TL:DR is that I love 4.3 so far, am slightly worried that the first four Dragon Soul bosses are undertuned, and my HPS have gone through the floor, but Kerick and Toxic can make up for me so I just need to get used to the new normal of me not owning meters.

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Nerf Weeknights!

Ok, seriously, dropping a patch on Tuesdays is mean. We can’t raid til Friday! And heck, I can’t even spend much time in Wow. Last night I spent working hard on my writing (Yeah, Nanowrimo is about over but the book ain’t. I’ve got another 90k or so words to write so… Christmas time, maybe? Just before jedis arrive?). Tonight, it’s choir practice until late. I barely had time to transmogrify Analogue, and her weapon is a stupid dagger so I don’t even have a cool weapon.

Anyway. Apparently Dragon Soul has some easy bosses. Repgrind says so and they’re 4/8 now – sheesh! I’m studying up now. Even sent messages to my raiders who haven’t done them telling them to watch the first 4 fights. We are looking really bad for Saturday night so we need to hit it hard Friday.

Guys, who told you you were allowed to be absent one night the first week of a new patch? Those bosses don’t kill themselves! Noses to the grindstones, people!

Just kidding. It’s nice to be looking forward to WoW playtime again!

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Part 1 yesterday described how to get ready for this quest chain. If you haven’t read it yet and you’re an actual resto druid, go take a look. If you’re a holy priest or something, it might have some good advice for you too, just ignore the druid specific stuff.

Ok. So you’ve got your gear reforged, gemmed, enchanted; your buff food and flask; your keys bound to useful stuff; and your mage slave waiting around at the Nexus entrance to Arcane Brilliance you. Now what?

Enter the Nexus and you’ll see a big blue dragon there – our buddy Tarecgosa who we met outside. When you talk to her, she’ll start the gauntlet. Now, the gauntlet isn’t that bad, but I found it really confusing the first few times I ran it, so I’m going to do a whole walkthrough here.

Like everyone who runs the Nexus, she heads down the hallway to the left. Partway down she casts invisibility on you so the big sentry doesn’t see you. Keep with her and when you get to the room at the end of the hall, start attacking the big arcane sentry.

You’re going to dot him up with Moonfire and Insect Swarm, then look at the two doors you didn’t come in. A little magic-eater-dog thing is going to come in both doors. Guess what? Hibernate works on them! Pop Nature’s Grasp to root them when they touch you, and Hibernate one. Dot the other, then kill it with Wrath. Note, these guys have a really really nasty silence. Definitely keep one asleep while you kill the other.

Once dog 1 is dead, kill the other dog, then kill the sentry. All this time the sentry is doing an ability you will want to avoid. When there’s a big glowing ice patch under your feet, move. Get off it. Don’t stand there. It hurts.

If you get low, pop out of boomkin and drop a few heals on yourself.

When the sentry dies, Tarecgosa gives you a chance to rest – heal yourself up now – and then leads you down a corridor of mists. Stick with her and don’t stand in the mist.

You’re going to come down to the next corridor. In the normal Nexus, this is where the frozen people are. This time you’ve got another Sentry plus dog pair to handle. Just do it the same way as before. Hibernate one dog, kill the other, keep the Sentry dotted, heal yourself, kill the other dog, kill the sentry.

Tarecgosa will play with the Sentry while you kill the dogs.

Now that the sentry is dead, start heading down the corridor. Halfway down, this happens:

Yeah. Two big nasties. She freezes you and lies to them. They disappear and she runs ahead.

Now the first couple times this happened, I got really confused. See, there’s a slow effect on you after you come out of the ice, but you can more or less catch her at the end of the hallway. She runs up the next ramp and if you follow her, you’ll probably die, because things are coming up behind you to nom your face. Let her go on ahead, while you go to the end of this corridor and turn around to deal with the new threat: not two but three puppies. They spawn right where you were frozen and run for you.

See this image? This is what happens if you don’t move from where you were frozen. They spawn right there and you have no time to get set.

Hibernate one, pop your Nature’s Grasp, let one get rooted, and then move away and kill the third. They’ll still silence you but you can handle it this way.

I forgot to screenshot this next bit. As you go up the ramp there are frozen spirits in ice cubes, and mists. There’s basically 5 spirits to a “chamber”. Enter the chamber. AOE. When the mists disappear, go to the next chamber. AOE. The bits to worry about here are, these guys hit really hard. Don’t worry about mana, nuke ‘em. Starfall kills them dead but Hurricane works well too. Also, they respawn when the mist forms, so don’t stay behind in a chamber – keep moving forward.

When you get past these, you’ll be up where Whatsername usually is, the splitting mage chick. Telestra. You know her. Anyway, instead, our buddy Tarecgosa is there, with a pair of arcane sentinel guys. Kill the first sentinel, avoiding the ice, and then the second.

Now Tara leads you around the corner and you find an ice wall. She’ll deal with it, and you get to deal with a great big named fel puppy demon this! Piece of cake. Dot him up, avoid his breath of fire attack, boom, he dies. I am serious about avoiding the fire breath thing though, it hurts if you don’t. When he’s casting, just get behind him, he doesn’t move once he starts casting.

Now – the funnest part!

Tarecgosa flies off and leaves you alone to make your way across the chasm. But you can’t use flight form inside! So just hop on that little platform. It’s a vehicle, but don’t worry, you don’t have to use vehicle abilities. It just takes you to the next guy to fight. There’ll be a big dragon on a big platform with four floating orbs. Nuke him, and click the orbs as your platform goes around. They give you a shield against his big damage attack although it doesn’t completely prevent damage. When you kill him, you have a new empty platform. Don’t jump yet – heal your wounds first. Then jump.

Two little adds will spawn, rising up on platforms. Hibernate one! Hibernate is awesome and this is the first time, like, ever, that it’s been so very very useful. Kill the other, then kill the hibernated one.

Then jump to one of the little platforms. Rinse and repeat your way across the chasm.

When the big scary dragon dude shows up, don’t panic, just jump to the next platform, kill the last dragon that you have to face, and jump to the ground. When you do, Tarecgosa will make her way to you and kill all the dragons on the ground. You don’t have to fight them!  Just try to avoid attention til she gets there.

That’s it, that’s the whole gauntlet. Now it’s time to face the boss… or it will be in Part 3!

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A Quick Note to My Raiders

If you aren’t in a raid group with me you probably don’t want to bother with this. Just scroll past and get to the next item in your reader :)

 

Log’s going to be out Friday, but available Saturday. That means right now we’re out two tanks, one healer, and two dps. I’ve invited a few fill ins but haven’t gotten replies from all of them…. I’d say it’s probably not going to be a good raid night. Up to you guys what you do. Saturday looks a bit better and I bet you can get a clear  in then!

Rev and I will be back next week with our serious pants on and we’ll work on putting the smackdown on some bosses. Of course we need to talk about 4.3. Looks like it’s coming soonish. But we really want to get Falahla’s staff, and that’s going to require a lot more Firelands clears. We’ll need to figure out how to best spend time and we’re open to suggestions.

 

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This one requires a little explanation.

Saturday I was working on the Legendary staff questline in the Nexus. I’ve finally got it figured out enough to get through the gauntlet but the dragon…. ugh.

So after the first time I engaged the boss I zoned back in and found a portal that took me back to where you fight the dragon (it’s where you kill Anomalous, the Void Boss, in Nexus). Cool! I don’t have to do the gauntlet every time! I knew that the gauntlet part respawns eventually so I had incentive to try hard. Well… I did. My best attempt I got him below 30%. Ugh.

Anyway after a wipe I came back and the portal wasn’t there – and neither was the friendly dragon, or any other part of the gauntlet. Well, I’ll run back. The empty Nexus seemed vaguely spooky. I got to the place where usually you fight across bridges over the chasm. In this version of the Nexus, there’s these floating platform disks you hop from one to another of. You kill a dragon on a big disk, hop onto that disk, then two little dragons appear on little disks, you kill them, hop on a little disk, fly to the next big disk. It’s pretty straightforward. The key thing is you have no control over the disks, they just appear.

Well, the disks were all empty. I hopped onto the first big disk  – and the little dragons appear, realize they aren’t supposed to be there, and fall all the way to the bottom and despawn. Now I’m stuck. I finally decide to try to use the “leave vehicle” button and click on the next platform as I’m falling. This actually works for the first platform, but then the platforms beyond my new perch are too far away and I fall. Oh well, I think as I slowly drift downward. I’ll die and maybe the portal will be back.

Except I don’t die. I land in… well, let me show you.

A glowing blue realm. Absolutely featureless, like a prison of ice. Above I could see the place I’d fallen from. On the floor, there was one of the little platforms, and it was clickable.

It levitated! I moved slowly around the room as it took me for a ride.

 

 

I got close to the bottom of the platforms. This view was really, really cool.

 

And then it took me past the big platforms. I could jump onto the very closest one to the door where you start – so I did. And then there I was stuck at the beginning of the chasm.

I tried a couple times to get across but ended up having to hearth out and try again later.

Coming soon: A Resto Druid guide to getting this gosh-darned staff quest done. Maybe. Or a Resto Druid’s Guide to Getting Through the Darn Gaunlet, Already. That part I can write.

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Sundries

My mage ran Hallow’s End every day and got 8 Sinister Squashlings and no horse. Boo. She got the crate though.

Analogue got the Crate as well. We have a plan with Logarithm to pull them out when Kerick has made her pet all sparkly and we think it’s something lootable. Take that sparkly pet!

I’m ready to do the next part of the Legendary Staff, where you go to the Nexus and kill stuff. Unfortunately my dps fu is weak. I died ten times Saturday and never even got to the boss dude that’s in there, I keep failing the gauntlet and all the strategies I’ve read basically ignore the gauntlet entirely. Apparently I suck! I’m going to have to dedicate some time to it, but NaNoWriMo just started and I have no spare time!

We can apparently 2-heal and 9-man any Firelands fight except Ragnaros (which we 2 heal, but need all the dps we can get). We also have yet to get more time on any heroic modes. And I don’t know if we’re down one tank this weekend, yet.  It’s a bit annoying to have our progression stagnate, but I do like how much fun we’re having. Friday night was full of innuendo and gambling. Not really very PG-13. I blame Slice.

I think rolling alts is up on our server. For the last two weeks, I’ve had my Netherweave Bags priced about 2 gold higher than my usual price and I can’t keep them in stock. Just that phase of an expansion, or something else? No clue.

 

I feel so pretty in my Fire Druid gear on my Fire Hippogryph, I just had to post this one. Also: Stormwind is the best capital city for taking pictures!

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