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Sailor Azeroth

Pretty warrior of love and justice! In the name of the moon, I’ll punish you!

My transmog set looks awesome with the guild tabard this week. This is actually my boomkin set. It looks just like my resto set because 2/3rds of it is the same gear and when I put it on and don’t transmog it, it looks awful. Yes, I’m in bird form most of the time but still. I think with the heart it makes me look like a magical girl wanna-be. Or maybe it’s the pretty moon headband.

Raid nights have been really great the last two weeks. Last week we finally got Gunship down after a lot of hard work and then we proceeded to take down Spine in only three attempts. Team is really coming together! Right now we’re running with three priests and two paladins so of course only the hunter token will drop, which makes gearing up a little fun but everyone’s very good natured about it and doing things like LFR to get tier. We’ve got both tanks in their four sets, Kerick got hers, and Toxic and I are just a couple drops away.

Anyway we did some Deathwing attempts last week, then this week we got all the  way to him Friday night. One shot everything except Spine and even that went really well.  Saturday we came in and got to work. We mastered the mechanics pretty quickly, so after two hours it got obvious that we were having problems getting enough dps. The last set of tentacles just didn’t die very fast, and then we would hit Catacylsm with about 20% still to go on the limb. Everyone was playing hard and getting lots of dps out of their gear, but we just didn’t have enough. So the healers decided we’d try two healing it. I know sometimes it’s frustrating to the rest of the raid that they can’t see our deliberations in our channel but we don’t do that much strategizing, mostly just who to beacon. But sometimes when it’s something like “do we offer to make our lives harder for the next hour” it’s good to be able to just have us girls in there. (Interesting demographic note: our raid is now 60% female. We have 3 real life couples in the raid. We’ve been feeling very laid back lately)

Anyway, so I went boomkin. I was the obvious choice for a couple reasons. I’ve been going dps on Ultraxion for weeks now. Kerick and Toxic have both two-healed Madness in other raids before. And with me in boomkin the raid could get the bonus spell damage debuff and the attack power buff from Ado’s pet.

We had a really good first attempt – we wiped with Deathwing below 7% health. After that we started getting sloppy and tired but the concept was good.  So we’re likely to try agian.

On Ultraxion I’d been pushing 16k dps. Not very good considering my gear. The Deathwing fight was hard to tell because of all the buffs but I was dead last and that was after I went and reforged spirit into other things until I was just at hit cap. Time to do some reading. Oh wait – back when I was doing the legendary staff quest, I took some pvp talents. Do I still have them?

Yes, I do. Oops.  And one glyph wrong. Those are easy to fix. I read up on what my stat priorities were supposed to be and dumped a whole lot of crit for haste. And then Sunday Rev and I  hit LFR. In the first half I won a shoulder token. Ok, I lied. Rev won a shoulder token and gave it to me. Since I have tier shoulders in my main spec, that went to the first piece of my boomkin tier. Second half, I won a chest token and now I’m torn. If I make it a Resto piece, it’s an upgrade plus then I have 3 pieces of resto tier. But I could get the boomkin 2 piece which would be a dps upgrade…. I decided I’ll hang onto it until later in the week. Tuesday we’re going to run LFR again with the guild. Maybe I can get another drop.

The respec and reforge were obvious immediately, I wasn’t anywhere near last on the charts. I was pulling 20k on fights where I could just stand still and nuke one target, or more on trash. Fights that require movement, not so much. Then on Madness I managed to take the number 3 spot! I was really proud.

Sunday night the guild does Firelands to work on Falahla’s epic. I made Sousa heal and went dps. Not very impressive showings on most fights but I got to go up on Alysrazor and got that yummy haste buff. Mmm! Makes my stuff hit hard and fast! I was having .5 second Starfire casts.I pulled something like 35k on that fight and we finished a full minute faster than my previous best time. Guess we just needed a dot class going up! Falahla does a great job when she goes but I know Arcane doesn’t scale with haste quite as – um – insanely.

Anyway between all the stuff we’ve been doing and just feeling more relaxed in WoW Rev and I are tossing around some more blog post ideas. So if you are still reading our blather, stick around…

Oh yeah – an action shot! Blizz, why did you take Tree and leave me with ugly owl?

tsuki ni kawatte oshioki yo!

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.

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.

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!

Fun run

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Part 1 here – how to prepare

Part 2 here – the gauntlet

So here we are! Through the gauntlet, and ready to take on a huge dragon.

Couple things before starting. First, running up the ramp to where the void boss usually lives will start the event. Don’t go up until you’re ready.

Second, if you die and run back, there’s a nice glowy portal that brings you here.

Don’t try to run in manually, you can’t get across the chasm. After some period of time, the portal goes away and the gauntlet respawns. My guess is it’s something like an hour after you first clear the gauntlet – so yes, you might have to clear it again. It took me several days to beat the boss so I think I ran the gauntlet four times.

Now, take a minute to look at the fighting area. You’ve got the ramp and platform, and you can also run around in the area in front of the ramp a bit. Don’t get too far away or he’ll despawn and that sucks.

When you’re ready, go up the ramp. Tarecgosa goes with you, and then Thyrinar appears. He stuns Tarecgosa and now you get to fight him. he starts at 50% health, but that 50% is going to take a while.

Be in boomkin form when you go up the ramp. As soon as he goes active, pop Barkskin, dot him up, and blast away with cast spells. Be ready. When he flies over to the other side of the platform, get to the ramp. When he breathes fire, run down the ramp and don’t let the fire hit you. Hot yourself up at this time, and lay Wild Mushrooms near the bottom/middle of the ramp.

Pro tip: run down one side of the ramp. That way the fire only hits one side and you can go up. Also don’t cut to the other side as you leave the bottom of the ramp. The fire will follow you and block the bottom. Cut toward the same side the fire is on until the beam is off the ramp and then run in a circle around it to get to the other side.

After the fire is done, he starts shadow bolting you again, but more importantly an add spawns at the bottom of the ramp. These adds suck. But there’s a way to handle them. They spawn at the bottom of the ramp, run up the ramp, look around, and come hunting you. If you’re at the bottom, you can dot them up, blow your wild mushrooms, and they will either be dead or nearly there when they come back.

When you can’t kill them this way, they have a couple nasty abilities. A Silence, a Fire Nova, and a nasty melee hit that can daze you. Don’t forget about Entangling Roots or Nature’s Grasp as a way to get them off your back.

The adds spawn… fast. Somewhere I read every 30 seconds but I think it’s more for druids because we don’t have to worry about the self-heal thing that all the other classes have to deal with, thanks to us not having an offensive dispell.

Anyway. Add is dead. Run up the ramp – check your health! – and dot up the boss. Barkskin might be back up. Use it on cooldown. Watch for Starsurge procs, and use them when you can. Don’t hard cast Starsurge or use Starfire, they’re just too slow. You’re more likely going to be healing yourself.

The first two add spawns sync nicely with fire, but the third one seems to spawn a good ten seconds before the fire. Beware of that. After that I didn’t notice a pattern.

You might get your treants to help you with adds, or they might just sort of wander around shaking their fists at the boss.

The key to this fight is movement, and keeping your dots and hots going. And your mana up. Innervate early and often. Don’t let the fire hit you. Get the adds dead. Rinse, repeat.

My successful fight took 15 minutes and some of my attempts took nearly as long. This is a long, long fight. Be prepared. You will probably wipe a few times learning to handle it.

I actually had Reversion helping me toward the end by sitting over my shoulder and watching my procs and cooldowns – “Barkskin’s back, use it!” “Starsurge, starsurge!” “Add spawning, get the mushrooms down!” It helped me. If you have a friend or partner who plays WoW and can sit there with you, and you won’t kill him for this sort of thing, it can be really valuable to have another set of eyes.

(Rev editorial: It is a nasty little fight. Doing it in a spec you are not already pro with is hard. You have a lot of procs and abilities to use and the difference between Barkskin at a critical time or 15 seconds later because you did not notice it was off cooldown… well that is life or death on this fight. If you find you aren’t using some things you might just macro, grasphing roots, barkskin, starfall, and inervate to something you spam so you can’t possibly miss using them. Also be sure to space those mushrooms out as you run up or down the ramp. If you have spare mouse buttoms you might map the shrooms to a click. It makes them a lot easier to use while moving. Use those ramp runs to be dropping shrooms or healing, or both. If you are not used to shrooming remember this: it takes time to drop them and then blow them. Don’t aim them where the add is. Aim them where he is going to be in a little while. If you just space out all three around the center of the ramp it is almost always the right place.)

Doing this chain improved my boomkin skills a huge amount. I’m still a Resto druid, but now I can do some decent DPS, too.

If you’ve got any questions about any part of this chain, please feel free to ask me!

OH – don’t forget to click the clickable thing near Tarecgosa after Thyrinar is defeated, or you won’t get the quest completion, which would kind of suck.

Good luck, and have fun!

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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