WTB Playtime

So I keep getting blog posts about raiding, progression, even patch 5.1 for crying out loud. And it’s been two weeks since I’ve logged into the game. Ugh. Moving ain’t fun. But most of the stuff is here now so maybe after Saturday I’ll have time to set up my gaming rig and get up to date.

I want to raid so bad! I know we’re short people still (ah, Kerick, are you 90 on Winterhoof yet?) and I need to recruit dps. Which I can’t do if I can’t log in, but that’s coming soon! I hope…

At least it’s nice to be moved and getting unpacked. Today starts NaNoWriMo which makes 11 years for me participating in the Write-a-novel-in-November challenge. I’m psyched for that! Got to get my writing habit back too. But honestly that won’t interfere much with WoW. I’m aiming for two hours a day of writing, right after my workday gets over. I’ll be done by the time Rev gets home from work and then if we want to spend an evening in Azeroth there’s nothing stopping us! But I have to get serious about my writing again. Taking a month off was necessary but not fun. 

I’m thinking my top priority once we start playing will be to do some more LFR runs. Maybe I can get some of our old raid together? I could try scheduling something for next Saturday night and then we could go from there…



Looking for Loot

So Rev and I ran LFR last night. We read quick overviews of the fights and checked our gear. I couldn’t quite meet the requirements, but I had a nice cloth helmet that would give me the last point I needed. I equipped it and we were ready to go!

Got in. Some dk says “Ok I’m main tank.” He had more health than Rev so whatever. I decided I’d be Rev’s personal healer. We started trying to talk about strategy but the other tank was just “keep amethyst dog away from the others go go”. Only the amethyst dog wasn’t even up… and that’s not remotely the strat… whatever.

After the raid got petrified and wiped (I didn’t die, I like the petrification mechanism!) Rev told the other guy what to do and he said “oh ok”. And then didn’t do the taunt swapping. At all.

Another druid healer said “Ok, I’ll go tank, you dps” to the tank. We did, it worked better, still wiped, came back and got them down cleanly. I noticed we’d four healed that encounter. LFR means people can stand in bad, not do anything they’re supposed to other than tank swaps, and four healers can manage it. Also, I was doing huge amounts more healing than the other healers. And I’d cheesed my gearscore to get in. Huh.

Next fight has a boss that… does a lot of stuff. As a healer all I was really aware of was oww oww that hurts heal everything not enough mana arrrgh who dies? Everyone who isn’t me or a tank, oww. He wasn’t too hard to get down but again, we were down a healer, I doing about 20% more healing than the next guy on the list, and I was starting to get curious. The five healers we had right now included 3 druids and two holy priests, so you’d think the numbers would be somewhat similar, but not remotely.

I got a lovely offhand fan from that fight, chock full of spirit! Yay! I’d thought loot showed up in the bags of treasure but I guess you get either loot or a bag. Hey I wasn’t arguing.

Looked at the gear from the lowest performing druid healer. Huh… ilvl 429 shoulders. PVP legs. ilvl410 boots. One nice trinket. How on earth did he even get in? Clearly, he had a whole set of tank gear, or something, in his bags because there was no way his raw score should let him in.

I think Blizzard shot themselves in the foot by setting the ilvl to get in so high initially. I know they knocked it down to 460, but when you see 463 and realize you need a heroic piece in almost every slot… and you just can’t get that stupid hat to drop… it’s depressing. You start thinking about cheesing it and once you’ve decided to do that why not go crazy and just get in with whatever you can? Someone else will pick up your slack, after all.

Lest you think I’m just being elitist about gear, I checked this guy’s spell use. He wasn’t using Lifebloom on boss fights. Like, at all. He apparently was just hitting swiftmend and wild growth on cooldown and occasionally tossing a rejuv. Which is a great way to go OOM fast without doing anything useful. Sigh. I’m always amazed when other druid healers are so bad, probably because I know what good druid healing looks like and so can tell when someone else sucks.

We downed the last of the three bosses in one attempt, very cleanly, and I spent a loot token and got a ring. And enough valor to buy a necklace from the bug people, since they’re the only ones who like me enough to give me goodies. Sweet! My mana regen went up about 500 mp5 after that run!

Anyway, I’m liking LFR but looking forward to being able to raid for real soon. I hope soon. We’re getting ready to move here and I think it’s going to affect raiding a little…


Help a girl out…

So last night I did this:

Did the archeology on my mage, who is currently level 86. I did a lot of dying, hitting nodes on Kun-Lai Summit and Towlong Steppes. Did a lot of cool mage tricks like slow falling down the tallest waterfalls in the world out at the north end of Kun-Lai, which you should really go fly past if you haven’t. Just beautiful.

I might not have made the push to 600 but it was one of the last professions the guild needed to get our BOA legs. This one really was a team effort! Another guy did the fishing and was working on archeology but when I mentioned how close I was he went off to level his panda, clearly glad to be done with that grind for a while.

I’ve made three of the four MoP rare archeology things: the spear, the trinket, and the umbrella. Oh, the umbrella…. it’s a BOA offhand, one of the nicest in the game pre-raid right now and it is lovely. I don’t mean the stats. Here, let me show you.

Seriously, it’s one of the most beautiful items in the game right now and I really need to transmog my whole outfit around it. So I’m looking for suggestions: leather gear that will look good with this. I have a feeling it’ll be harder than finding cloth pieces. Is there such a thing as a leather geisha dress? I’m currently thinking of going back to Conqueror’s Nightsong Headdress for my hat: it’s just a simple glowing half moon on my forehead and my default head item. But that leaves the rest of me… and the tabard. Our guild tabard is unwearable right now thanks to the death knights winning a contest and having the tabard redesigned to honor them for a month. (Troutwort, it’s been long enough, right?)


So, fashionistas, how would you coordinate around this umbrella?

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…

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.

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.


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.