Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Mage Solo's Onyxia

Holy crap, a mage actually solo'ed a raid boss. I'm not sure what else to say. I guess I need to go get me some gear and wait for the next patch to land so I can try it out. Check out Faxmonkey over at WarcraftMovies.com.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Research, Research, Research

Do you ever get too busy with stuff to do stuff? lol.

Since I have hit 80, I've noticed that I've spent quite a bit of time over at Elitist Jerks. I've found that I really enjoy the control and survivability I get from Frost, but I doubt I'm doing the highest DPS I can. I've even played with Deep Freeze even though it has almost no use in Pve, and I seldom used it in my adventures through questing. Right, right... it's a Pvp spell. Kinda a shame that they took out the damage component, but whatever.

So, now I'm left wondering if I'm so low on the damage meters because of my gear, my spec, or because I suck. I'm guessing it's mainly due to the first, possibly some of the second, and hopefully very little of the last. With Focus Magic in my spec, I consider myself partly utility. The Water Elemental's Mana regen helps with that as well. I really enjoy the solo'ing/questing with Frost, but I'm sure I can do more dps with Frostfire.

Besides all that mage talk, I've been researching Holy and Shadow spec's for my wife's toon as well. She's still not even close to 80, but I want to be informed for when she does get there.

Long story short: I've been researching my own personal things way too much bother with this silly blog. lol. Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

AH = EBay

I was chatting with one of my raid leaders last night about things that were almost completely unrelated to Wow... until now. *queue ominous music* She works at a comic book store, and she was telling me how she just got their e-bay business/store back up and going, and she's doubled e-bay sales in the first month. (Double over when it was running.)

Then I started thinking about her Wow life. Among the many things she does, she's a very good player of the Auction House. Her alt jewelcrafter made enough money to completely pay for Epic Flying Training and a lot of the rare BoE gem cuts. She also took over selling the excess stuff out of the guild vault, where she's always turned a great profit as well. So... her doing a great job at work with e-bay was no surprise at all.

All in all... it's just another example of the lessons you can learn from playing Wow. Add micro-economics of the things you can learn from this video game.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Hard Habit to Break

I think at times I can be kind of stubborn in my ways, maybe even compulsive to a degree. Kind of reminds me of a smoker... with all the knowledge and education we have about how smoking kills you, there's a lot of people that keep doing it. "Why?" I ask. Why? Why? Call it stubborn, call it dedicated, call it whatever.

Leiandra, my mage, has always been my main character. She has always had tailoring and enchanting as professions. I've respec'ed her very few times. I think I've only paid for 2, maybe 3 respec's, and one of those times was because I didn't put the points exactly how I felt they should be. (Although I have tried most specs due to talent point resets, PTR's, Beta, etc.) Once it was available, I choose to specialize in Spellcloth and I haven't given that one up either.

Which is kind of funny that Leiandra is so set in her ways. My alts were willing to try anything and everything. My priest did healing duty (both as holy and disc), and was also shadow quite a bit. My shaman's done all three trees as well. (Probably my worst toon as far as gear is concerned. Getting multiple sets of gear was never my forte.)

So what's the point I'm making here besides rambling? I posted awhile ago about the different specializations in tailoring for Wrath, and also how much + hit I need for raiding. So, I'm pretty sure I'm going to respecialize to Ebonweave so I can make the necessary cloth to make the two pieces of Ebonweave gear. That will bring me (with current gear) to 280. It's not quite 368, but it's 83 points closer.

My wife's shadow priest is already Ebonweave specialized, but she's pretty far away from 415 skill, so I can't use her cooldowns yet. And I could always make a set of these for her as well. I don't know... it just feels so... warlocky for me to go this specialization. It makes my skin crawl. But, in the name of + hit, I guess I do what I have to do.

If need be, I suppose I can go Moonshroud for a bit so that I can cleanse out that icky feeling. Then I can help my wife get her healing gear. :)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Wotlk BS Bop Items, Wut???

Okay... this will not be a rant. I have to keep telling myself that.

In the PTR's MMO-Champion is reporting that there's a new Bop Blacksmithing sword. Two of them in fact. Titansteel Deflector and Titansteel Defender. Check out the link to see the stats.

This will not be a rant.

I thought Blizzard's platform was that they were not going to allow powerful Bop items from professions. Something about doing the tradeskill that's fun, and not the one that you have to to be the best.

This will not be a rant.

Where's the freakin' Bop items for Leatherworking and Tailoring? Engineering has had their best head piece reign for awhile now. And then there's the hawt JC only gems. And wasn't Inscription supposed to get a 4th major glyph?

Yep, it turned into a rant. Well, finish the professions already. They so don't feel done.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Catching Up to Me

I've been sick for about a week now, although it only knocked me out for Sunday. Without too many details, it feels like the flu with the whole achy feeling. On Sunday, I could hardly move my muscles. I thought I was feeling better, but I notice things that aren't exactly right.

Like after doing holiday baking with the family, and wanting to hit level 79, I found myself just too tired to log on last night. Or how I have this slight "pressure" in my head. Not quite a headache, but still... something uncomfortable.

So, maybe I need to start getting more than 6 hours of sleep. 6-7 has pretty much been my norm for a long, long time. But with the new commute, it's been more like 5-6. I guess that one hour really makes the difference.

So, out of curiosity, how many hours per night do you guys and girls sleep?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Vehicles and Mounts

I was in Grizzly Hills last night questing with my wife who is still level 73. Out of habit of using my old flying mount, I clicked on my bear mount (to stay on the ground with her) thinking that it would kick me off my magic carpet and summon my bear. Instead, I summoned my bear mount on top of my magic carpet, as you can see from the screen shot.

What I find even more amusing is that Leiandra decided to surf the bear as if it were the carpet. So, you have a mage surfing a bear, who's riding a carpet.

For those that didn't realize, a magic carpet is considered a vehicle. This means that it has it's own hit points (almost 9k), can't be dazed, or rooted for that matter (that last one is per wowwiki, if I'm understanding it correctly). There's some negatives to it as well. You can't just cast a spell to dismount like you can your other mounts. Which is something that I'm very used to doing. And it seems to take a second (maybe less) to actually dismount.

It has it's own little pet bar where you can dismount and attack. When I first saw the "attack" button, I got excited thinking about it. I guess I figured that somewhere, there was a little Abu and I'd be able to fling the monkey up into the air. Instead, I get the message of "unable to attack that" every time. Kind of disappointing, but I suppose asking it to be able to actually attack would be too much. Or having one of those Mammoths attack with their huge tusks... yeah, that would be unrealistic as well.

So, instead of attacking, I get to surf on a bear that's balancing on a flying carpet. All things considered, I guess it's a fair trade.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Gearing Up... WOTLK edition

As I am getting closer to 80 (yeah, I know... the flu bug hit me, whatever), I've started looking at all of my gear options. One of the big priorities is to get spell hit capped, or at least to approach it somewhat.

Without me having to write up a whole post on spell hit for mages, go check out Spicy Tuna's post on it. Basically, since I don't usually have a Boomkin with Improved Faerie Fire, nor a Shadow Priest with Misery, and my Dranei Elemental Shaman is now a Death Knight, I have to rely on my own talents and gear for a 14% miss rate (instead of 17%) with Elemental Precision. That means, that I need in the neighborhood of 368 spell hit to guarantee a spell hit against a boss.

368? Are you kidding me? That's a lot of hit! I'm currently at 197, and I've replaced very few pieces of gear since 70. Furthermore, a lot of my stuff is still gemmed for Arcane (Intellect and Mana Regen), so I could regem stuff since I'll either be staying Frost, or more likely going back to Fire with a side of Frost. But I also started looking at items that will help me upgrade quickly once the level restriction on items is no longer an issue.

I'm still a firm believe in Rawr, but I've fallen back on MaxDps.com a bit. Although with Rawr's latest patch of 3.1.4, they've put in filters to make it a bit more appealing again. There's still too many combination of gems if you ask me. I'm trying to look for the best item to upgrade to; that's the hard part. I'll plunk down whatever money I need to for the gems and enchants after that.

I'm not entirely sure MaxDPS has it right now either. They used to heavily lean on + hit, and now it seems like they're more towards haste. But it's still a good tool to start your search. As soon as you're running Naxx, you'll be replacing gear anyway.

So, with that said, there's a couple things that might be easy for you to get before you start your first raid.

Emeline's Locket
is a guaranteed item since it's a quest reward from The Admiral Revealed. Sure you have to get a group together for the quest... and it's a fairly long "chain" if you consider all of the Icecrown quests you need to do. But after my recommendation, you were already questing there anyway, right?

The next item I would look at is the Dark Runic Mantle. It's a BoE off the Dark Runic people in Heroic Halls of Stone. You can also pick it up from the AH if you just want to give up the money. There's no + hit on this one, but it's a pretty solid shoulder piece.

As a mage, the Shroud of Dedicated Research should probably be one of your easiest upgrades. It requires you to be Honored with the Kirin Tor, and I believe we start out as friendly with them anyway. Yes, there's other upgrades, but it's a decently solid item.

I have a few options for my chest piece. I figured I'd start off with the Black Duskweave Robe since I have the mats and need to level tailoring. Then I'll upgrade that to the Robes of Lightning for the + hit (it's a quest reward for running Halls of Lightning). But then I'd really like to upgrade my chest piece to the Water-Drenched Robe which is a drop from Ichoron in Heroic Violet Hold.

So, those are some of my pre-Naxx choices. I'll take a look at some more options and let you know what I come up with. There's a lot of other options, and a lot of better ones as well, but I figured that all of these (except for the Water-Drenched Robes) were pretty eash for just about anyone to get. See? I can be "casual friendly".

Monday, December 15, 2008

Hot Lips

Today I am going to shamelessly plug a fun game that my friend and his two buddies created for the iPhone. With all the capabilities of the new iPhone, they've created an application called "Hot Lips" that will tell you just how well you kiss. It provides some funny sayings/voice files along with an actual rating of how you performed.

I tried it out, and it's pretty fun. (No, I didn't actually kiss an iPhone. There's other ways to do it, you'll just have to figure it out for yourself.) It's not like it's going to be the next WoW killer, but it's certainly something fun to do while standing in line for say... Blizzcon tickets or something. ;)

As their web site over at BCD Soft says, "Don't let your little brother play this game or you will never see your iPhone again." So, for those of you with iPhones, head on over to iTunes, search for "Hot Lips", and buy yourself some cheap entertainment. Enjoy!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Fun and Frustration with Phasing

Today's post is actually partly a response to Kulat's comment yesterday on my blog. For those of you with short term memory loss, I was commenting on the very cool aspect of phasing out in Icecrown. It's really neat how Blizzard has worked this technology into the game, and it makes for a lot of possibilities of how they can progress story lines. Excellent for the solo player.

For the groups, however, it may or may not be the coolest thing. As Kulat was saying, he was asked to help with a group quest and he couldn't see the mob; his whole party got knocked off the cliff, but he didn't see the assailant.

When I first heard about phasing, and started playing the beta, I mistakedly thought that phasing only occurred when you had that "fog" around the edges of your screen, such as occurs in Borean Tundra in Riplash Strand. Heck, you can't even see the mobs there until you go into the fog. And it's also an easy way to run away from them, if you just run out of the fog since they disappear.

Fast forwarding a few months, I knew that Icecrown was phased like this, and when I went there in beta, there was none of the fog. But I still thought it was only to certain instances or areas.

Phasing struck again last night in Dragonblight. I have the achievement for quests for Dragonblight, so I'm mostly done (just 3 group quests left there, I think). All of the phasing that will take place probably has already. Although, I didn't realize there was any taking place. That's probably the seamless manner that Blizzard wants the world to appear to you. (Oh! Except up where the movie took place. I really wish there was a way to silence those people. I hate that when I fly by there.) At any rate, we were at Wintergarde Keep where my wife was going to do a few quests before we headed over to Grizzly Hills.

"Go ahead and set your hearthstone here," I said.

"Ok. Where's the inn keeper?"

"Right in front of us. She just walked by you. She's the one pacing."

"Nope, I don't see him," she responds.

So, I lean over to look at her screen, and sure enough... no inn keeper there. Nothing. Is it a loading issue? Lag? Nope, all the other NPC's are there and I can see my own toon on her screen. So, without realizing it, at some point, I quested the inn keeper back to Wintergarde Keep where I can now set me hearthstone if I so desire. My wife, on the other hand, apparently has a quest or two to do.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Icecrown

I'm about 1/3 of the way through Icecrown quests, and so far, it's one of my favorite zones. Without too many spoilers, here's the gist of the zone.

You get sent out to the zone from Dalaraan. The one-way flight they give you puts you on top of this giant flying ship that circles in the eastern part of the zone. They then send you to this one area to start all the quests in the zone. As you complete quests, more parts of the zone become populated with NPC's you can get other quests from. Along with that, there's daily quests that open up as well.

Think of it as Isle of Quel'Danas, but instead of things opening up when the server completes a certain number of quests, things open up when you complete a certain number of quests. The whole zone has that phasing thing, so there could also be a ton of people in the same area, but they won't be spoiling the quest line for you since you can't see them.

So far, it's a very interesting story of how all of the landscape changes. One of the quests has you heading all over the place (Moonglade and Shatt) to save somebody. It's a fun diversion (and they provide portals for you).

My favorite quest, just becaues I found it to be quite different is also a daily quest. King of the Mountain has you get in this robot, and you jump to the top of the mountain to plant a flag. It's also a PVP quest, so there's horde trying to do the same thing. Here's some hints. Don't worry about falling, you don't take fall damage. Also, you don't have to jump onto solid ground, so just jump onto the side of a mountain and then jump again before you fall too far. You can get to the top in a matter of seconds if you scale straight up like that.

At any rate, I hear there's also a movie, so I'll continue questing there so that I can see that. I still haven't replaced much of my gear at this point, but I'm slowly starting to. I went straight out there at lvl 77, so you don't have to wait until 80 to go out there. And the zone is basically designed to be used with a flying mount, so that's nice as well. There... there's one bonus of Cold Weather Flying. lol.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Buffing Classes You Can't Raid Without

A fellow raid leader and I were talking about the sudden lack of Shaman that Primogeniture has now found itself with. Two Shaman re-rolled Death Knights, one went to another server, and one disappeared without a trace. (I really hope the last one is okay... never heard from her again.) So while we may be looking for a few good Shaman (as well as some other healers), that's certainly not the point of this post.

One of the reasons that Shaman not being in our guild is sort of a bad thing is the loss of Heroism/Bloodlust. If I'm not mistaken, some of the melding of the classes and removal of stacked buffs was to get people to take who they want to a raid, and not who they need. Looks like a raid still "needs" a Shaman.

For that matter, it looks like there's still a few classes that are kind of a must have. Looking over at MMO-Champion's nifty tool, it kind of shows who can cover which buffs and debuffs. There's a couple that are slightly flawed, but let's take a look at them anyway.

The first item that is on their list that is only represented by one class (besides the aforementioned spell) is Blessing of Wisdom. With changes to potions, I'd say this is probably a must have. Every 30 seconds or so, that's probably another spell you can cast. So, pretty valuable stuff. Then again, the mana regen portion of Improved Water Elemental, depending on your mana pool, could probably easily be about the same amount of mana regen, just not something that is always on.

Wrath of Air Totem is the next one that is awesome for your caster group. You really should have one of these in your raid. Oh... wait. That's a Shaman again. Dang. Well, let's hope you have one.

Power Word: Fortitude is a Priest only spell, but can be slightly mitigated with Command Shout or Blood Pact. Probably still preferential to bring a Priest, but there's still these minor substitutes.

Then there's Mark of the Wild. Okay, we now need Druids. And then Blessing of Kings. I guess we'll have to take a Paladin with at least 1 point (preferable 5) in Protection spec.

So, there you have it. The only classes you now need are Druids, Shaman, and Paladins. Every other class is simply a filler.

(And in case you didn't get the tongue in cheek attitude, other classes are obviously needed, but maybe not as much as the 3 above.)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Flying in Wrath

Right off the bat, I'm going to have to admit that I am thoroughly disappointed with Cold Weather Flying. I think there's a few things that kind of irk me, and they're probably mostly based on past experiences and expectations.

Think back to when you first hit 40 (or now 30) with your first toon. You had to do your normal routine of going to a major city every 2 levels to train, but then you also had to go off somewhere special to plop down your hard earned cash to get your mount. You had to go off to special nooks such as Menethil Harbor, or Eastvale Logging Camp, or Darnassus (yep, it's that far out of the way). At 60, you had to again break the bank and head off to these same people.

At 70, you had to head out to Shadowmoon Valley to be able to fly. And, oh the freedom! You get to soar above all these trash mobs that you didn't want to kill anyway. You could swoop down on unsuspecting mining nodes. The sky was the limit! (Okay, there is technically a ceiling, but it's still in the sky.) And the incredible speeds you achieved once you learned to fly those epic flying mount... well... that was just stupendous.

But now... at 77. I have get to port back to Dalaraan, pay my 1000g, and I get nothing new. Not another level of riding skill. Not a faster mount. Just the ability to do what I've done since hitting level 70, but now in Northrend.

Furthermore... because I still need to do quests, and I want to get the xp from the mobs, I find that the flying mount (with only 100% ground speed, if I'm not mistaken) isn't all that great. I hit a small hill and take off causing the mobs to evade. It's great for killing those named mobs, dropping out of the sky as if performing a death from above, but I've been doing that for years now.

I certainly don't know what I was expecting. I knew this was the deal all along. I'm certainly glad that I can now put the game on "pause" by flying up into the air in a random spot. I just find that I'm so under-whelmed with the non-newness that I had to post about it.

Edit: I thought of another example of this underwhelming in Wow as well. Druid's have these semi-epic quests to figure out how to turn into a bear and water form. Then at level 20, the trainer just teaches them how to become a cat. The expectation was set in the first 2 forms, and then completely dropped for the next 4. At least for swift flight form there's a quest you have to do at 70... oh wait... you can now train it at 71. Still... unlike Coldweather, at least you're learning something new in these examples.

Monday, December 8, 2008

And I Said: NO

I'm sure I've said this before, but World of Warcraft is the ultimate game of "just one more thing". There's always just one more mob to kill, or one more quest to do, or one more level, or one more person to port, or... or... or... You name it. It's part of what keeps the game engaging and overwhelming all at the same time.

I'm usually not all that great at the self-control when it comes to this portion of the game, especially if I'm excited about the next thing/reward/whatever. If I just hit 75, I can get this new spell. And then after I get the new spell, I want to see how it works in combat. And then how can I make that spell better? You get the picture. This is probably the reason I used to log off nightly around 2 or so.

Now that I'm a little wiser... ok... who am I kidding? It's just because I get up so early in the morning. Getting up around 4:45 to be at work by 7 (yes, my commute sucks that much) means that by 11, I'm pretty tired.

So, last night, I was questing with my wife (which I have been doing a great deal lately, and we've really enjoyed it), playing one more thing World of Warcraft. She got tired around 11, and then we did a couple more things (finished one quest, had her train levels, did my cooking daily, bag management, etc) until about 11:30. I'm currently level 76, and about a bubble and a half away from 77. I'm obviously anxious and excited about hitting 77 so I can start flying again. So, I start thinking what quests I can do really quick to get that last bubble and a half.

My hearthstone is up, so I can head on out to Grizzly Hills where I was solo questing. That way I wouldn't mess up any of the quests I was doing with the Mrs. I could take the plane out to Sholazar Basin, where I have a handful of quests. Any other dailies I could quickly do?

Then I actually showed some self-control. I logged off. I brushed my teeth. And I actually went to bed at the same time as my wife.

The last bubble towards 77 will still be there tonight. It will take me very little time finish that off. I won't fall asleep on my commute to work. And tonight... I will be flying.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Expansion Cheapness

Is it just me, or have people seemed to become really cheap in the expansion? I understand that a good portion of money is being used up to train new spells, new professions, and to buy new mounts, but come on people... even crappy quests of "go talk to the person next to me" seem to reward 5g at a minimum.

One of the many reasons I started noticing this and I bring it up now is due to mage portals.

Let me stop here so I don't lose a bunch of you cheapskates. Yes, the reagent cost is 20 silver. And yes, I only need to press 1 button to cast it. But whether you agree with it or not, the cost of a portal is NOT 20 silver.

While the cost is subjective, it should be more for "higher" cities. We can first learn to open a portal to cities at level 40. (most old world cities) Let's say that's 1g. (Assuming you're at max level, that's being pretty cheap for a high level toon and you probably should give more, but I'll start there for sake of discussion.) We learn portals to Darnassus and Thundering Bluff at 50. There should probably be a higher cost, but with demand so low for those ghost towns, I doubt anyone charges more. At 65, we can open a portal to Shattrath. The time we've spent levelin, plus the opportunity cost easily justify a nice, round 5g for a port to Shat. Just before launch, I was having people offer me 10g all the time.

And finally, our last portal comes at 74. It's to a city that you cannot get to without help unless you're level 74. It's not like the Dark Portal that you can run through at 68 to get to Shat. No, it's 4 levels after you've entered Northrend that you can get to Dalaran alone. Now with the help of a mage, they can send you there. (There's also the ghetto port I talked about before, but you get that messy deserter debuff.)

Now, I'm not setting a price for your port to Dalaran. If Shat was 5, then it makes sense that, especially if you're below 74, you give at least 10g, maybe more. I don't know. But the cheapness comes in when I see people offering 2g for a mage to open a portal to Dalaran for them. When I openely express that that's too little, I basically start a zone-wide arguement on the price of reagents and why it should only be a small stipends. It's not like I'm asking for your first-born or anything. Geez, people. Do a couple quests and pay up for services to others.

On a total side note: I logged in with my Shaman (who hadn't even seen Northrend on Live) last night, and I thought there was an error because he had 365 JC'ing. I swore he wasn't that high. But after a big of research of what I was skiling up on, I realized he was. Dang there's a lot of things to learn as a JC'er.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Veteran of the Wrathgate

For those that haven't quite gotten there yet, I wanted to highlight a "Fun Quest" (as my category puts it). Really, it's more of a required quest line. If you have a toon at 80 and you missed these quests, you must go back and do it. Now.

I'm talking about the quest line for the Veteran of the Wrathgate achievement. It's probably best to simply go look it up on Wowhead on the link provided. It's about 20 quests for the Horde and 30 quests for the Alliance. I believe they're pretty much all in Dragonblight. Pretty easy quests. They're all soloable. Good xp as well.

Why should I drop everything to do this now, you ask? Am I that obsessed with achievements that I think you must do all of them? No, of course not. The reason for the urgency and prodding is that once you turn in Return to Angrathar (the alliance one linked, Horde one is here), you get to see this sweet in game movie.

I won't say anything about it to avoid spoilers, but I think it's a lot of fun how Blizzard really has thrown Arthas in our face ever since we entered Northrend, just like they said they would. It really feels like everyone has a chance to mess with him, very much unlike Illidan in the Burning Crusade.

What are you still doing here? Go quest, now!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Crappy Excuse for a Post

Got wrapped up in work and developing stuff for our new guild web site (had to set up a test environment and all that stuff too), so didn't make time for a post today.

Just remember this: Even if they're the opposite faction, there's still a person behind all those pixels you're stealing kills from.

Yeah... but it felt great when I stole the 10 mobs from the Blood Elf Paladin that kept gathering everything up.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Wrath Tailoring Quests

I've pointed out before that there's not really any patterns that drop from current raid/dungeon experiences. Most of the stuff in Wrath is learned from the trainer with some quests or research that you can do every once in awhile. They basically made it so that anyone can get every recipe in Wrath.

I don't really agree with philosophy. If you're in a guild running the deepest, hardest dungeons, you should get the patterns for the best stuff. Heck, the materials should come from those same dungeons as well. Some random guy that played the AH well should be able to have the best gear in the game. (I'm exaggerating here, folks.)

But all that aside, let's talk about the feats of strength you have to perform in order to get the "cool kid" tailoring patterns.

Wispcloak
This cloak you can make once you've successfully run all of the instances in Northrend and gotten the Northrend Dungeonmaster achievement. Okay, not that big of a deal. You put in a little effort, hit every dungeon, and you get this pattern. I'm on board with this one. Makes sense.

Deathchill Cloak
This one, however, seems a bit more extreme. You have to get the Loremaster of Northrend achievement. That means that you have to complete 875 quests in order to be able to craft this bad boy. So, maybe the "hardcore" people in Wrath aren't the raiders, but the questers and completetists.

And that's it. As far as I'm aware, there are exactly 2 patterns that you have to work for for Wrath crafting. The Wispcloak will be a gimmie for me, but the Deathchill's gonna take some time. But I think I'm about 1/4th the way there. :)

Wotlk Content Finishers

So, I understand that there are a number of guilds that have finished all of the Wotlk content. Good for them. The ex-Nihlium or whatever did it in like 3 days. Good for them. There's at least 2 guilds on our server that have finished everything as well. Good job guys.

But then there's the rest of us. Probably the 99.9% of the Wow community that hasn't done that yet. There's maybe the 90% of the people that haven't hit 80 yet. Now granted, there's some people that just don't want to raid, so even my estimations are most likely skewed.

So, I was thinking about Ghostcrawler's post that basically said that the difficulty of Wotlk is good. I was thinking about all the games that I've rented from Blockbuster, back in the day. Within 1 week, I could generally beat most of the games I rented. Sure, I burned a little more midnight oil than normal sometimes, but I'd generally finish things. Maybe not EVERYTHING, but most things.

Now there's this new era of games called MMO's. Games that people schedule vacations around launches so they can level up as soon as possible. Games that have a huge age range of players. Also there's varying degrees of game time availability. Some people play for a couple hours per week, and some play for 23 hours per day. (Hey, you have to sleep a little, right?)

So, this time around, they didn't make it so you have to spend months raiding in hopes to get one piece of gear like it was in Vanilla Wow. They scaled things down quite a bit so that more people get to see the content. That also means that these hardcore people get to level multiple alts... perfect reputations. Work at getting ALL achievements. All in all, for my $40 and $15 per month... I still think we're getting our money's worth.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Post

Warning: this post has almost nothing to do with WoW. So, those that are here only for Wow stuff can simply move along.

I wanted to publicly throw out a few things that I am thankful for.

First off, I am very thankful for my wife. She's very supportive of me and my "hobby", and she's encouraging in the things that I do. Sure, she doesn't let me play 24-7, but who would want to have a dead-beat father like that anyway?

I am thankful for our guild and the direction that it has gone. We have a great group of people. Sure, everyone has their quirks and whatnot, but I really enjoy hanging out with my friends online. And even though I've only met a couple of them in RL, I'd gladly hang out with any of them if they lived close enough. I am also grateful for all the leaders in the guild. Not just the formal officers (which I would be lost without), but also the ones that don't get an official title, but nonetheless are an integral part of the group.

I am thankful for my children. For the most part, they are a lot of fun. I enjoy their personalities, and sometimes they even play Wow.

I am thankful for my RL friends, and all the guys from Cracked Anvil Trading Co. I wish we all played as much as we did back then, but life goes on, doesn't it?

I am thankful for my readers, and especially the ones that post comments. It's fun when I glance at my visitors every once and awhile, but it's more fun to hear people laughing along side me. (Or at me... take your pick.)

I am thankful for The United States of America. It's such a great land that we live in. Sure, it has problems, but we have so many freedoms here. I am grateful that we can live, worship, and work pretty much however we see fit to.

... and that's about it as far as this blog goes. I am grateful for so many more things... but I think that's about the extent of the things I touch on on this blog.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sparkles!!!

I know Blizzard implemented this like almost a year ago (or so it seems), but I'm really glad that things sparkle when there's loot AND when there's a quest item to collect. Last night in my first few quests in Dragonblight, I was instructed to go blow up a mine. And I noticed that there's now sparkles where you're supposed to use the item (in this case, a bomb).

So, while I am grateful for the sparkles, they're also a bane to me. I guess for somebody that can be so focused when raiding, I sometimes get a little distracted when questing. "Ok, I'm gonna go do this quest over.... hey, what's this?"

What's also funny is that in a raid, I almost never loot anything. Sure, I've probably walked over a small fortune in gray items, but I'm just too focused on the next boss, or the next strategy, or making sure everybody's having a good time, etc.

But overall... Blizzard? Thank you for the sparkles.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Monsters Wow Minis

I forgot to post that I got another pack of the Wow Minis. This time I got one of the Monsters packs. In it, I got the Succubus, the Voidwalker, and the Panderan Brewmaster, Chen Stormstout.

So, I was going to make another few posts about them, and show off the cards and everything, but... they're kind of already out there on the Internet, so seems like too much effort.

At any rate, it's still a fun game when I can convince somebody to play with me. (It generally involves a deal where I have to go play Polly Pockets or something like that afterwards.) One of the local game shops has Tuesday nights set aside for Wow Minis, so I'll have to go check them out one evening, most likely with at least 2 of the kids in tow.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Frost: The Solo Elite Killer

First off, due to some RL stuff going on, I had to take a few days off of playing. Kind of really bad timing since we're all pushing to 80, but RL is WAY more important that my virtual life, so I did what I needed to.

I didn't play for about 5 days. Finally logged in last night, and lucky I did to get the 4th anniversary achievement and pet. Not like I really care (since I really don't like the majority of pets), but still... I didn't miss it. The funny thing was that, I really had to remember how to play. I'm sure it's a combination of me changing spec and then the days off, but I felt so... lost. Oh, don't worry... I picked things up fast enough; it was just a strange feeling at first.

Now back to our regularly scheduled post.

I've heard a lot of people comment on the amazing amount of control that you have as a frost mage, and it's very true. You've just got a lot of options. Practically every frost spell involves chilling targets so they're slower, rooting them with ice so they have to stay still, or a shield so that you don't take damage. Not only that, you've also got a summoned pet that can deal damage as you're on the run (and it can root as well), and if you've used up all your cooldowns, you've got a spell that will reset everything.

Last night, I was doing some of the quests up in the Northeastern part of Howling Ford where there's these meandering elites. Now, the quest to kill them is only considered a 2-man quest, but I still had no problem taking care of the elites with minimal cooldowns needing to be used. Then there's the 3-man quest to kill the bigger giant. And while I had help from a shaman that I had grouped with so we wouldn't kill steal, I really didn't need it. Heck, as long as I could root them with Frost Nova, there's really not much I can't down.

I'm not saying that I have the highest DPS or that I'm super uber or anything like that. It just seems easier to kill stuff that's supposedly more difficult. And now I understand why it is so nice to level with Frost.

Hmm... I do have an extra talent point or 2 now. Maybe I'll actually try out Deep Freeze. (Am still kinda bitter that they took away the damage component, but it would be another 5 seconds of control.)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Wrath Enchanting Wands

Not sure how many of you followed the Wrath Beta, but I was excited about one part that I haven't exactly seen go live on the live realms yet. And from the title of this post, I'm sure you can guess that I'm talking about wands.

Which is kind of funny, because this is the reason I first got interested in enchanting. I had been playing for less than a week and I started asking around in the Stormwind, "Where can I get a wand for my level?" When I found out I could make my own, I was elated. (Remember that I came from EQ2 where I enjoyed the whole crafting usable armor/materials.) So, I think some random stranger showed me where the enchanter trainer was and game me some dust and essences to get me started, and off I went to make my very first wand.

An interesting thing you might notice though. As of this writing, Wowhead lists exactly 4 wands that can be created by an enchanter. The best wand being the Greater Mystic Wand that has no stats, and requires level 30. Gee... no upgrade for level 60 enchanters in Vanilla Wow? No upgrade for enchanters when the Burning Crusade came out? And again no update with Wrath? Tsk, tsk.

But yet from the beta, we know the developers were thinking about it. And not that the mats were correct in beta, but it was nice that it was essentially 75 Void Crystals to get the best crafted wand available.

So, what happened? Did the developers realize that there are other classes (besides just the Mage, Priest, and Warlock) that may be enchanters that aren't interested in wands? Were the wands just too overpowered, so they scrapped them? Or was it the direction that they now seem to be taking with BoP items for professions, in that they don't want them? Or is it simply that professions for Wrath still aren't done and they're trying to figure out wands after 50 levels of enchanters not having other crafted wands? We may never know.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Nothrend Instances - First 5

So far in Northrend, I've managed to ding 72, compete a good amount of quests, get to Dalaran, and complete the first five 5-man dungeons. For those at home who haven't been keeping track, or haven't looked it up yet, here's what those are:

Utgarde Keep (70-72)
The Nexus (71-73)
Azjol-Nerub (72-74)
Ahn'kahet (The Old Kingdom) (74-76)
Drak'Tharon Keep (74-76)

As you can see from the recommended level, I was a bit under on most of the instances. My gear was fine for it, it's really more the fact that because of the level difference (5 levels in some cases), I kept missing all over the place. I think at one point, my DPS was around 200. (Not exactly stellar for a mage of my level.)

I didn't take pictures; didn't want to spoil anything for anyone, but I was very impressed with the instances. The thing that I noticed the most is that they're short. Granted the group I was in for the upper dungeons were all higher level than me, but they hadn't really gotten very many gear upgrades. And the stuff that was dropping at that point was about on par with what they had. So, while a lesser gear grouped might take a little longer, it's still pretty feasible. I think we were joking that Azjol-Nerub is the Mt Hyjal 5-man of Nothrend. (One of those scripted pulls where things keep coming until you pull or kill the boss.)

So, by my count. That's almost 1/2 the 5-mans in Northrend. I'll wait a bit before doing The Violet Hold (75-77), and then maybe I can actually be a contributing member of the raid. lol. But overall, I'm having fun. And I don't even think I'll mind having to run these instances again and again for rep. Then again... we've only just begun, haven't we?

Ghetto Port - Dalaran

One of my biggest pushes in the expansion was to hit 71 as soon as possible so that I could get to Dalaran. There's a simple quest that mages can do at 71, and then you learn how to teleport to Dalaran. I was also under the impression that the portal to Dalaran could be learned at the same time (which didn't make sense, but I believed it, and I think it was that way in beta). The reason for this was simply so I could port all my guildies to Dalaran way before they hit 74.

Well... the portal can't be learned until 74. So, we pulled off what we call the Ghetto Portal. (Figured it out with the help of a certain priest in our guild.) I teleported to Dalaran, queued my party for a battleground, and then once entered, they went afk and were transported back to Dalaran. There's a small issue as far as the level range goes. Everyone that was 71 or higher, was no issue. I did it once with some 70's though, and they didn't get queued in everything I did. I queued in both WSG and Strands of the Ancients (Sota?). They got 1 and not the other. (Don't recall which one atm.

So, there you have it. And now anyone that's set their hearthstone there can do the same trick. Oh, and once you're there, you can also do the attunement quest that starts up in Dalaran (by the floating triangle thing) and get attuned yourself. So, level 74? Bah. That's so not even right. heh.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Bossy Quest Leader

So, apparently I've become bossy when I play Wow with my wife. I guess it made sense when we were leveling through and up to 70 because I generally knew the quests and where to go next. After our adventures in Beta and her liberating revelation that all these Wrath quests are new to me, she wants to be more independent and not follow me around like a lemming. Okay, I can completely understand that. Furthermore, I actually like the idea that she thinks like that. To me, it's that she's getting into the game more, and not just playing because I play.

So, yesterday morning when I was playing, I did all of the quests in the first couple areas in Howling Ford. Then last night, when my wife played for the first time post release, we decided that we'd run through Utgarde Keep. I couldn't remember how many quests into the chain it was until you got the quest for some guys head and steal some weapons from Utgarde. So, I helped her do the first few quests en route to those two quests. I kept saying "go here", and "where are you going" and "just get all the quests quick." Yeah, well... my ex-lemming didn't like that too much. I got the group together to run UK pretty quick, so she didn't even get the quests she needed. (No huge loss... just means we run it again.)

I think she may have been relieved when I wanted to keep questing on Leiandra to hit 71, leaving her to complete the quests I had already done on her own. I completely understand where she's coming from. I have friends that will do quests so fast I didn't even have time to read the quest text (which I generally enjoy doing). So, I just have to remember to stop being so bossy, let her do things at her pace, and generally enjoy the ride, not just rush to 80 ASAP.

On that note... Lightning Infused Relics was a fun quest that starts with Walt at the Explorers' League Outpost. It's like you get to be Iron Man. lol.

Revenge of the Queue

Before The Burning Crusades came out, and before Blizzard did a whole bunch of upgrades to their hardware for said expansion, Bronzebeard had queues. For somebody logging on about 8 o'clock, it was just a fact of life. Queues would generally be in the 800-900 range. And now? They're back. Logging in last night, I was exactly number 900. So, I figured I'd sit down and share some tips of how you can log in to Wow these days.
  1. As soon as you get home from work/school, first launch the game and get in the queue. This is an important step. Do it.
  2. Go fix yourself a nice meal. Health is important; you need to take care of yourself. Nothing too fancy, a 5-course meal should do it.
  3. While it's in the oven, go exercise. Again, you want to take care of that flab. :)
  4. Take a shower and get into comfy clothes.
  5. Eat said dinner.
  6. Build yourself a second (, third, fourth, or fifth) computer. If you don't "need it", build a web site so that you can start selling them to other people.
  7. Take care of your yard. Water the grass. You may even have to mow the lawn (might want to do this before you shower). Take some time to watch the grass grow.
  8. Watch the stars and sky, and observe the patterns in order to determine future weather cycles.
  9. Determine next steps in obtaining World Peace. Create appropriate memos to world leaders to set this plan in to place.
  10. By this time, you should probably be in about the top 10 for the queue. Go ahead and wait, and then log in to play.
There. See? It really wasn't that bad. And look at how productive we've all become. Maybe I should have made the top 10 things you can do while waiting for the queue. lol. But with a little bit of planning, it's really not all that bad. I think it took about an hour. I'm sure they'll die down eventually. So, what other servers had some pretty hefty queues?

On another note: I did some of the beginning quests with my wife on her toon, and there wasn't any lag, and the huge population/race/ninja issue I expected for the quests really wasn't that bad. So, all in all... good job, Blizzard.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wrath Has Landed

Well, in case you were in a coma, you know now that Wrath of the Lich King went live on the realms last night. Here's the play-by-play of my evening.

  • I went to bed shortly after I put the kids to bed at 7. (Yep, my kids get their sleep... at least for a little while longer.)
  • Woke up at 11:30 to head over to Gamestop.
  • The line was kind of a mess, and I had to wait in two lines because I didn't have my "final" receipt, even though my wife had already prepaid for both copies in full.
  • Left Gamestop at about 12:30.
  • Was home, upgraded and installed by about 1.
  • Logged off of Wow at 4:45 to shower and get ready for work.
At about 3:45 or so, I asked in guild chat if I should take another nap, or just keep playing. The response was kind of like "duh!" So, I kept playing.

The funny part is, that I've almost done as much on live as I did in Beta with Leiandra. Even ran the the first instance (which is something I always planned to get around to, but never did). She's about 1/2-way through 70.

When I logged off, we had one person that had hit 71; he was the 13th person (by my count) on our server. There were even a couple 72's on our server. Armory isn't exactly accurate... that's too bad. When I click on the person that's 71, it shows him as 71. But in the guild roster, it still shows him as 70. So, not sure when that will update. And who knows.. maybe we have more 71's. :)

At any rate... If you don't have it, go buy Wrath. If you have it... well... what are you doing ready my blog when you can be playing? Your excuse better be like mine: I'm stuck at work.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Free Epics

Yesterday was kind of a huge debacle for Blizzard. It was the kind of blunder we haven't seen in a long, long time. I have no clue what is done in (mostly) weekly maintenance, but sometimes, it's just full of fail, isn't it?

In case you forgot to log on yesterday, well... you probably didn't miss much. First of all, the servers were down pretty much all day. I think they finally came up about 9 o'clock, which is only 10 hours after they said they would be back online. When they did come back up, the in-game mail was all messed up, I didn't have a single thing in my mailbox (which I had a few things in there (mostly expired auctions), except a note from Blizzard telling me that there's an issue and they're working on it.

And then there were the Arena gear vendors that were selling gear for some classes for free. Nothing that I saw for a mage, but my priest got epic'ed out. Then again, I really don't expect him to still have those items once I log back in with him. He obviously didn't earn them, so I'm sure Blizzard will fix it so that he doesn't look way cooler than he actually is. lol.

Then there's posts on various web sites that are claiming that this would be considered an exploit and you can get banned for it. Oh, come on? Seriously? From the amount of people that were in SW on my server alone, multiplied by all the servers... and with an expansion about to hit where people haven't bought it yet? Yeah... I can't imagine a mass-banning like that. Or even a mass suspension. Especially for their mistake, that would be a horrible business decision in my opinion.

So, we didn't put the raid together, and that means I got a bit more sleep than usual. Also helped since I was doing a bunch of stuff on the "Honey Do" list, so I was a little tired. My wife said, "I have to get all the work out of you now since I know you'll be useless to me after Thursday." I opened my mouth to argue, but laughter came out since I know she's right.

I plan on zero progression tonight. My plan is to head to bed as soon as the kids go to sleep, wake up with enough time to get in line and purchase the x-pac at midnight. And then play until I have to leave for work, or have to fall asleep again, whichever comes first. The plan is that that will get me out of the starting areas when the bulk of the traffic hits on Thursday night. I'll probably be playing with my Austrialian and New Zealand brothern. lol.

So, if I don't post tomorrow... somebody call me. I probably fell asleep on my keyboard at work.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mother Shahraz Down

Just as an update for those that care... Primogeniture took down Mother Shahraz last night. Full shadow resist gear is not needed, but we did have a lot of it. Because of the Fatal Attraction, 1-3 people get ported around and then have to run away from each other. That's what makes that fight a semi-complicated dance. There's not much time to react, and you have to do it quick.

Kind of makes me think of high school (or at least movies) where the cool kids have to dance off in the center of everybody else. Only difference here is, the cool kids are just any random group of up to 3 from the raid. lol

Took a shot at Illidari Council, but in the 10 minutes or so we had, we didn't have a chance to make much progress. Oh well... we'll come back "soon" just for the fun of it and smack them all around.

We'll see what we can do to clear Mount Hyjal tonight. :)

Please Don't Silence The Voices In My Head

I don't recall if I ever addressed it or not, but... awhile ago, I was accused of using this blog and taking all the glory for my guild and everything we do. Let me assure you that this is so not the case. Generally, I'll make the subtle distinction between "I have" done something vs. what "Primogeniture has" done. There's sometimes that I use "we" when I was involved in taking down a boss, but another one of the raid leaders was the one leading it.

I kind of morph the two together for two reasons. First, it's just easier to for me to lump everything together. It's also a group effort, so "we" is very valid. I don't think I've ever seen a raid leader be on top of progression without at least 24 other people supporting him/her.

The second reason is that our guild is kind of private to me. Yes, this is a public Internet site where I happen to talk about our guild, but I don't want to give people attention especially if I don't talk to them about it first. "Hey DruidA is the best druid on the entire server," could also lead to DruidA being recruited by other guilds. I'm less concerned about people leaving, because I think guildies generally enjoy being part of our group. I'm more concerned about privacy, security, and people not necessarily wanting their name or their toons name out on the Internet (despite the transperency due to the Armory).

Call me crazy, but that's the way my mind thinks. --But-- that's more or less the background.

Today, I simply want to thank the voices in my head. You know who you are. You're the other officers that remind me to explain a certain point of a fight. You're the druid that looked up Wowwiki while we were wipe recovering to see if there was anything else we could try, and whispers me with suggestions. You're the normal Joe Member that suggests (via whispers) that we position the boss in an alternative spot. You're the member that keeps me sane when guild-wide drama unfolds. You're the one that pm's me letting me know what a great job you think I'm doing, even though I just got a tongue lashing from another officer. You've got the toon that will respec, for the 100th time, without ever having complained about it even once. You're the person that took the time to talk through an issue with a memeber and resolve the issue without me even having known about it. And even though this is a game, you're the person I love working with.

To all those people, I would like to say Thank You. I seriously couldn't do it without you, nor would I want to. So while I haven't mentioned names, and I've certainly only paraphrased just a few of the many examples... I simply want to say Thank You.

Monday, November 10, 2008

WowJutsu May Be Flawed

So, I understand that with all the recent Pug runs and whatnot that WowJutsu is probably cracking down on who gets credit for each kill. Heck, we got credit for a number of kills prematurely, but we've always taken the boss down eventually.

Well, the other day after our kill on Teron Gorefiend and Gurtogg Bloodboil, we dropped down to 18 on our server. I was curious to see what our rank was after our accomplishment in Reliquary of Souls, and we're now up to 20.

Wow, I thought, a lot of guilds have been progressing ahead of us. No, wait... they took away credit to Teron Gorefiend, and didn't give us credit for Reliquary of Souls. So, pay no attention to that number 20 on the banner to the right. I'm guessing it should still read 18. Not a big deal to anyone but us, but still.

Tailoring in Wrath (375-385)

I'm still a little unsure about the direction of Tailoring in Wrath. From the Verimonde's post, it looks like we won't have any Bop tailored epic items, and I kind of disagree. I liked the fact that I could make my own gear. I hit 375 tailoring and crafted my first 3 epic items. Heck, it's practically payback for all the mats I dumped in there. I understand the direction they're going, but I don't necessarily agree with it. There's always going to be min/max people. And you'll always have people changing professions just so they can get that one special thing. Sigh... oh well. What can you do?

So, I'm not really finding a huge push to hit 450 at the moment. But I'm still planning things out as if I were. I guess the worst case scenario, I'd like to start making some type of cloth sooner rather than later to get my gear and maybe make some money off of Tailoring. So, I started looking at the recipies I'll be using.

First off, I have enough Outlands materials that I'll probably be using some of those first. It'll push me ahead about 10 points or so. So, here's what I have:
  • 375-380 Arcanoweave Robes. At about 300 Netherweave Cloth, 100 Arcane Dust and 10 Rune Thread, it will be a tad expensive, but since those items aren't selling much on the AH anyway... might as well use them up. Hopefully I can sell some of the shards to leveling enchanters.
  • 380-381 Spellfire Bag. I'm not 100% sure I'll do this one. I'm guessing not, but was just a thought I had, so I figured I'd put it down. I never made the largest (as of TBC) enchanting bag, so I figured I'd make 1 to get the point from it. Not really sure why I'd want to since I can make the Mysterious Bag at 440, so I'll probably scrap this idea.
  • 381-385 Golden Spellthread. This might be a tad expensive, so I may pass on it, but it uses "old world" mats. It really just depends how cheap (or expensive) Frostweave Cloth becomes. I may just do 5 (or 6, depending if they all skill up) Frostwoven Robes. That will be 100 (or 120) cloth. Yeah, breaking it down like that, I may do the Spellthread option. Again.. we'll see what the AH does come Thursday.

Going Down?

Alright, alright. Get your minds out of the gutter. I'm talking about the Achievement of Going Down? Yeah, see? Nothing bad at all. At any rate...

I hadn't really made a big effort to try to get this achievement yet. Just haven't taken the time to "almost die" as many times as need to be able to fall 65 feet.

When I first heard about this achievement, I thought, "No problem... I have Slow Fall." Then my friends told me that you can't use this spell... nor can you use Levitate (Priest) or other spells akin. But now Spicy Tuna is pointing out that you can use Ice Block to negate the damage, but still fall as far as you like.

So, anyone want to guess what the first thing is I'll be going tonight when I get online? Yep.. that's right... taking my bird really high and dismounting. I'm guessing that this works for Paladin's Bop as well. So all you pallies and mages out there? It's time for some free falling.

Slight Wall

Alright.. last post of the day for now. And since my company has Veterans Day off tomorrow... don't expect any posts tomorrow.

Last night we continued pushing forward into Black Temple. With a more solid and better explained explanation on Reliquary of Souls, we cleared that boss in one attempt. So, not bad at all.

After that, we hit a slight wall named Mother Shahraz. Now, pre 3.0.2 there is no way we would have tried her. We still don't have all the Hearts of Darkness to craft the full Shadow Resist gear for a raid. So, we only have a few that happen to be Shadow Resist capped. But we've heard that it is possible to do without the Shadow Resist gear now that the hit points are less and we're doing more damage.

We tried a couple different strategies and got close (a couple attempts at 20%, I believe), but she's still alive. Healers not being able to heal while thrown up in the air is one of the many challenges we're facing. Had we had a few more priests with CoH, we probably would have been able to do it. So, we'll see what we can do tonight.

Worst case scenario: we give it a couple of tries and then we don't take her down. Hey... how many people (as a percent of total wow players) have actually gotten to see all the stuff we have anyway? I'm very impressed with the group we have, they all make a solid effort (despite our gear in this case). So, if we don't take her down, we'll just come back at 80 to clear it before the next expansion. :)

Death Knight Blog

So, you still have questions about Death Knights? Want to know what spec to have for leveling? For raiding? For PVP? Or how to get the jump on all the other Death Knights out there? Well, all of the subjects haven't been covered yet, but Skeleton Jack is a great resource for all things Death Knightly.

And Skeleton Jack knows his stuff. He's raided with a warrior and shaman. He's in the guild that's #2 on our server (which also includes taking down Kil'jaedon). There's a lot of great information already, and he just started blogging about a week ago. So... what are you still doing here? Go check out Skeleton Jack.

Friday, November 7, 2008

City Defenses

With the new Black War Bear mount from the achievement of killing the opposite side's Faction Leaders, I started thinking about the cities themselves. Why is it that the Horde have such horrible lay outs for city defenses?

I mean... take the old world cities first. Stormwind, Iron Forge, and Darnassus all have exactly 1 entrance from which the Horde can attack. Sure, you can argue that Stormwind and Iron Forge have a tram that runs between them which is technically another entrance, but since you'd still have to run through an enemy city to get into that, it's not really the same. And you could also argue that you can get into Darnassus from Teldrassil. But how do you get to Teldrassil unless you go through Darnassus, so that doesn't really count either.

And Iron Forge has to be one of the best strongholds in the game. Especially since there's now spells that will knock you back, a frontal assault to Iron Forge would never be successful with a mage or two (and appropriate healers) that have Blast Wave.

In contrast, there's two ways to get into Thunder Bluff, Orgimmar, and the Undercity. Now, granted that the elevators in Thunder Bluff are a bit more predictable as far as when you'll get attackers, but there's still two choke points for direct attacks. Again, the mage and healer thing could apply here, but you'd still have to have double the defenders.

The two cities that were added in the expansion may have been the attempt to even this up. Exodar has two entrances, while Silvermoon actually has 1. (I don't remember being able to get in another way. Please correct me if I'm wrong.) But one pair of cities doesn't really add up to the 3 pairs.

I guess I was really just trying to figure out why the imbalance. Is it because the Horde racials are generally better than Alliance for PvP, and therefore they should have an easier time killing Alliance attackers? That certainly can't be the case or else the battlegrounds would need to be always more favored towards the Alliance as well, and I know they've gone to great lenghts to make sure things are equal.

Nothing game breaking here, I suppose. Just one of those things that make you think a bit. If you've never entertained the idea of getting a Black War Bear or doing World PvP type of things like this, then just move along... I'll have another post on Monday. But can anyone think of any other reasons?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

3.02: The Anti-Patch 1.10

For those that played long enough, you'll remember the days when you could bring 10 people into instances like Stratholme and Scholomance. Heck, you could bring 15 people into Lower and Upper Black Rock Spires. Then patch 1.10 hit, and the limits were dropped by 5. It was the "end of the world" for most people. "How can they expect us to do this?" and "It's so hard now". Then people adapted and realized that it was really too easy before. 10 people running through Stratholme meant that at least 5 were probably on follow and afk. You still had to know where to go, but you could pretty much Aoe everything and be super sloppy pre 1.10. Once that patch hit, you could no longer be

Last night was a continuation of Black Temple for Primogeniture. We downed Teron Gorefiend and Gurtogg Bloodboil. Gorefiend was a 1-shot and Bloodboil took 2 attempts. We also took an attempt at Reliquary of Souls, but we were pretty much at our time limit (got started late) so I gave a horrible and hurried explanation which got us through phase 1, but had us die due to the Spirit Shock in phase 2.

So, I was thinking... Maybe with the increased damage from new talent trees AND the nerf of all mobs in raid instances, maybe this is almost the opposite of patch 1.10. It's like letting people walk around Karazhan and ZA with 15 people. Gruul's Lair with 30. And basically letting everyone be all loosey goosey and still down pretty high end bosses. But hey... it's nice to see the bosses die. You still have to do the strategies and deal with stuff.. there's just a lot more room for error. I kind of like it (in a cheating way). lol

We have 2 more raid nights scheduled for Black Temple before reset. I'll keep you updated on how far we go.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Black Temple Progression

We didn't feel like we had the right mix for a good Mount Hyjal run last night. So, what did Primogeniture do? We went into Black Temple instead. lol.

Yeah, seems kind of backwards, but the logic was: we really don't have our strongest group, nor do we even have 25 online that are able to raid. We had waited around for some time in hopes to get more people online, but were starting to get too late for others. So, at 9, we put it to a vote in the guild, and decided to see if we could down Najentus with our highly melee group. 1-shotted him without any problems.

Walked over to Supremus (accidentally pulling multiple groups at times and having to Aoe them down), and killed him in one attempt.

It was then getting late, but we pressed on to Shade of Akama. The trash right before Shade of Akama is a bit stronger, and our accidental multi-pulls caused a few near wipes (go go Soul Stone). It was getting late, so once we cleared out the room, we thought we'd give Shade one try. Yeah... that encounter didn't last long either.

So, here we are on a Tuesday having killed all the bosses we've ever killed in Black Temple. To be honest, I'm not even sure where I need to go for the next boss. Guess we have some research to do before tonight's raid. lol.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Leiandra, Hand of A'dal

I think that amazes me the most about the nerf to all the raid bosses and post 3.0 patch is the amount of time it now takes to down bosses. (This is all pre-Wrath stuff obviously.) Raids that used to take days now seem to take mere minutes.

A perfect example is Al'ar last night. He didn't even need to go up in the air in phase 1. We killed him before he left the 4th platform. And then in phase 2 we only had 2 mages killing the adds, we used to have 4. So, since I was focusing on the adds, when one suddenly disappeared, I though maybe the fight got bugged out somehow. But nope.. it was just that Al'ar was dead in something like 3 minutes.

We did run on up and poke Kael with a stick or two as well. Same basic story as our Lady Vashj fight. We killed Kael on our second attempt, which is really good considering how quickly I ran through the explanation (for those that had never read or seen it, and a general "this is how we'll do it" thing). Again, I'm 100% sure that we could have done this pre-nerf had we had enough attempts and people online. Oh well. What's done is done.

Tonight we'll see if we can't clear Mt. Hyjal. Who knows? lol.

Monday, November 3, 2008

My Wife, the Hallowed

I don't recall how many times I headed over to Scarlet Monastery over these past 2 weeks or so, but I can tell you that I did not get a Squashy Pet or one of the Pumpkin Heads for the achievement, but I did do practically everything else. And as far as getting those drops from Trick or Treating... well... let's just say that I got tricked to many times that it wasn't even funny anymore. Never did I get a toothpick or any of the other BoP drops needed for those two achievements.

My wife, however was lucky enough to get all of them. And after having me grab the candy bags over all of Kalimdor and Outlands for her, and persuading her to do some Pvp for the 50 H.K.'s (I was going to have to do it for her), she got all of the Halloween achievements. Well... all except the mask which is supposed to be patched out as a requirement from what I hear.

But it's nice to have her "excited" about something in Wow. She enjoys the game. She enjoys hanging out with me. But when we get online the response to "What do you want to do?" is usually "Whatever." So, she's now taking the next step to becoming even more of a Wow nerd... I may actually get her to research something for her toon soon. lol.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Wizard Oils Be Gone!!!

Ardent Defender pointed me to the official blue post that states that there will be no more Mana/Wizard Oils and Sharpening stones in Wrath. I'm not sure where WowInsider is getting their information, but an update to a post they had on this says that these items will not work on items post level 70. Hmm... All these reductions in raiding mats means that I'm gonna have a heck of a lot more bag space. Woot!

Halloween Eve

I used some of my WoW time to create a "scary" fruit dish for a work potluck. Behold, my fruit brain. Made entirely from a melon.


Props to Family Fun Magazine for the idea. And I kind of feel like Shelby from The Bronze Kettle for being all creative and stuff. Go me. lol. Happy Halloween everyone. And be safe.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Start of Aoe Farming

I'm guessing that mainly because of the short notice of last night's raid, we didn't have enough to go in and take on Kael. We were short a few healers, and I didn't really feel like pugging them, so we had a group head off to ZA while I went and did more achievement exploring. I ended up in EPL hanging out with Kurt (who's a minor celebrity on our realm forums, but I'm sure he doesn't know me). Then since I was there decided that I should go do some Necrotic Rune collecting.

Now, in case you hadn't heard or I neglected to mention it, Leiandra is now full frost. That's right, all 61 points dumped into the frost tree. I'm enjoying the spec. I'll probably use it to level, but just not 100% sure after that. (It's kind of important to the point of my story.)

After putzing around and capturing the towers in EPL, the attack there was over, so I headed down to the Burning Steppes. I started Frostbolting the undead and 1-by-1 killing them off. Then I remembered what spec I now am. I'm the king of Aoe farming spec. There is none that can kill more faster than a frost mage. I'm sure the other people around hated me for doing it, but here's some of the things that I did to get 22 Necrotic Runes in a very short amount of time. (I'm not saying this is the best way to do it, it's just what seemed to work for me.)
Damage. Control. Survivability. Yeah... why wouldn't you Aoe kill melee mobs?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

FeedBurner

Since Google bought FeedBurner, and it's mostly integrated into Blogger, I thought I'd try out some of the "FeedFlare". (I mostly like to see how many comments are there.) So, if you do follow my blog through a RSS Reader (such as Google Reader), make sure you're pointing to http://feeds.feedburner.com/ZanderfinsWowcasualRaiding.

And yes, this is partially a test on my end to make sure it works.

Lady Vashj Down - p.s.

Ret pallies are so over powered, it's not even funny.

Check out our WWS from last night here. Something's so wrong with a paladin out-DPS'ing everyone.

I'm not sure if I mentioned how a friend and I were on our pre-made level 80's in beta. Me, a mage, and him, a hunter, started chasing down this paladin. It took us nearly forever to kill him, and that was even with us pulling out all the stops. I agree with Ghostwalker. "NERF THEM TO THE GROUND!!!"

Lady Vashj Down

The Burning Crusade content past 3.0.2 patch is kind of a joke. Don't get me wrong, it still takes some coordination, but mostly the break-neck speed in which bosses die is just silly. We killed Lurker on our way to Lady Vashj, and he was at 50% before his first dive. The trash mobs that we used to solo kill are now all rounded up and Aoe'd.

Lady Vashj herself was a little bit of a challenge, but it was really more of a communication thing. Who's picking up this strider? Who's got the core? Where do I pass it? On our 3rd attempt last night, she was dead. Great job to Faytlynn for leading that one. I'm proud of our kill, but at the same time, saddened that we didn't get in more attempts before patch 3.0.2. (I think this is only our second night of attempts.) It's almost like I want to put it back on Heroic mode so that we could have the honorable kill, and not the easy mode. I know we could have done it. Oh well... at least she's dead and 1/2 of my Vials of Eternity quest is done.

It's kind of along the same lines as when a week ago, an ex-guildie whispered me to tell me that he had just downed Illidan. "So what?" I thought. First of all, I didn't care (he left on semi-bad terms, but also hadn't whispered me once since he left), and secondly, I knew it was less of an accomplishment.

The guild's pumped to be raiding again, so we'll see how far we can push in content before November 13th. Who knows.. maybe we'll be killing Illidan shortly. lol.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Retraction - Guild Calendar

Just a quick note... I wrote about the Guild Calendar and how it was showing up blank for me. The issue was later resolved, and I now get a full calendar of all our events. I knew it would get fixed eventually. I still wish there were more features in Armory, but things are getting better.

And more specifically, with the Guild Events... it's nicer than I thought it would be. Not only can I see my events that I created in game, but I can also see who's invited, declined, and accepted the event. Like I said, there's still things that could happen to make it better, but it's getting there.

Tanking Krosh Firehand

I think I've mentioned that Primogeniture has kind of taken a break from raiding. We just weren't getting the numbers, people signing up and not showing up, too many people wanting to do other things... so we decided to stop. Turns out, the members of our raiding guild actually like to raid though, as we have a pretty big sign up list for tonight's SSC run. The plan is to kill Lady Vashj, so we'll see how that goes.

But last night, we had about 20 people online, so I quickly threw together another Mag run (cake walk) with a follow up Gruul's Lair run. We had to Pug a few people, but that's how you make friends, right? lol. The only hiccup with Mag was that a lag spike caused him to get off most of his Blast Wave, but he was at about 10% when he started that, so we still downed him without a problem on our first try, albeit number of deaths though.

Then the majority wanted to go to Gruul's. Since I was the only mage, I figured I should stick around. We got another mage when a few people left after Mag, but he was still wearing Bloody Surgeon's Mitts, so not exactly up to par. He wasn't on Vent, so when I died the first time and I told him to try to pick up Krosh, he didn't do it. The second time I died, somebody had relayed the message to him, and he was trying to tank Krosh, and stole his shield before I could. He claims he didn't, but since I was on vent, and he wasn't... and I was leading the raid, I blamed him for that wipe. To be completely fair though... it was an alt toon. I'm just saying.

Anyway, the whole point of this post is to glorify me in that this is the first time that I've tanked Krosh Firehand. Had a few pieces of PvP gear to get my stamina up. Got handed some Chewy Fel Taffy (which I didn't realize can stack up to 4 times) to make sure my Spell Steal wasn't resisted. And after a few times of awkward positioning, we killed High King Maulgar and his buddies.

We finished it off by slaughtering Gruul in like 4 growths or something like that. Yeah... the boss nerf bat hit hard.

Tailoring Decisions in Wrath

With the launch of The Burning Crusade about a year and a half ago, Tailors from all walks of life (classes) were gently guided into choosing a specialization for Tailoring. Healing Priests were enticed to Primal Mooncloth for the Primal Mooncloth set, such as the robes, that used to be BoP and were strictly a + healing item. Shadow Priests, non-Destro Warlocks, and Frost Mages (were there any true PvE Frost Mages in TBC?) were drawn to Shadowcloth and Frozen Shadoweave Set. Most of the mages and Destro Warlocks wanted the + fire and + arcane that came from the Spellfire Set. But I'm a little confused about what to choose as a mage in Wrath.

Let's take a look at the 3 specializations and what they can craft. Things so far are very similiar to their level 70 counterparts. You need imbued cloth along with some level 80 Primals to make the special cloth. Each special cloth makes some really good armor, a bag, and this time some thread for your back and a flying carpet. As far as I can tell, the flying carpets are purely aesthetics, so I will not discuss them in each group. Also, the bags need multiple cloths, but there is a predominate cloth for each. None of these patterns are BoP, so that makes things even more questionable.

Spellweave Specialization
At first glance, I thought this was the one that I do. It worked for me as a fire mage in TBC, why wouldn't the level 80 equivalent be the same, right? Well... not exactly. The Spellweave Robe and Spellweave Gloves have nice haste on them, but no stamina (I like to be able to survive something), and chaulked full of Spirit. Seems almost more like a healing piece.

Spellweave is the predominate cloth for the 32-slot enchanting bag, also requring 2 Moonshroud, but not really being class-specific there.

The thread for the back piece from Spellweave is actually for a melee class: Swordguard Embroidery. Not really sure where Blizzard is going on this one. Only tailors can do embroidery on their own cloaks, and last I checked, melee wearers don't wear cloth. So, this belongs to... umm???

Moonshroud Specialization
Again, from the level 70 version of, I thought this was more for a healing Priest. Let's take a look at the armor you can make: Moonshroud Robe and Moonshroud Gloves. Well.. there's good all around stats there. This could really go for any of the three clothies, I suppose. No + crit or hit or haste, but has a good amount of all the major stats.

Glacial Bags are made with 4 parts Moonshroud and 4 parts Ebonweave. So.. umm... have two tailors so you can make lots of bags? I don't know here, but big bags are cool.

But the Lightweave Embroidery is really one of the best things for DPS casters. I still don't think there's any armor that is + holy resist, so there's almost no chance it will get resisted. (Okay, might be a small exageration.) At any rate, extra damage every once in awhile is a good thing, okay?

Ebonweave Specialization
Ah, the Warlock Specialization. Finally something I know. Wait. Or is it? You can make the Ebonweave Robe and Gloves with this cloth. The + hit is beneficial to all DPS casters, arguably more needed for a warlock, but Mages and, to a lesser extent, Shadow Priests need some too. So, again... could be for pretty much any DPS caster.

The Abbysal Bag has Warlock written all over it. But since you'll only buy one, this factor alone shouldn't dictate which route you go. As mentioned before, this is also the other 1/2 of the 22-slot bags.

And finally the Darkglow Embroidery is for mana regen. That would mean it's for... healers and arcane mages? /shrug.

Summary
After looking at all the different options, I have no idea what I'm going to specialize in. If I wanted to make a profit, I guess I'd go for Ebonweave or Moonshroud, since that has the potential to make a lot of bags for people. Other than that... well.. Wrath is still technically in Beta, so there could always be changes.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Commited to Professions

In truth, since Wow 3.0 (or 3.02 if you want to get technical), I haven't been on Beta and in Northrend much. I've been too busy doing achievements, trick or treating, killing the Headless Horseman, and battling the scourge. I even went and killed Prince Tenris Mirkblood in Karazhan. (Had never walked up those steps past Attuman before.) And it was kind of fun because it was learning a new boss, not just your standard tank and spank, and it made me think more about all of the instances that I will need to start learning in just a few short weeks.

Then there was an incentive to skill up my Tailoring a bit more since a guildie had sent me a whole bunch of Frostweave Cloth. I burned through it in no time flat, and didn't even hit 400. It got me thinking about how much cloth will be used to hit 450. Furthermore, how much cloth did I use to get to 375?

If you look at Highlander's post on leveling professions over on the EU boards, you'll see that in order to get your Tailoring from 300 to 375, you'll need, roughly, the following materials:
  • 2,880 Netherweave cloth
  • 210 Arcane Dust
  • 30 Netherweb Spider Silk
  • 45 Rune Thread
  • 20 Knothide Leather
Now, looking over at the Guide forum post by Thinkpad, to get from 375 to 450 it will take the following materials:
  • 7,225 Frostweave Cloth
  • 780 Infinite Dust
  • 175 Eternium Thread
I doubt I'll follow those materials exactly. For the 405-415 section, I don't think that 5 Duskweave Wristwraps will net you 10 skill points. Thinkpad also has you skilling up your last 10 points creating 50 Frostweave Bags. If you create the other bags instead of those, you might save 600 or so cloth, but you'd also have to worry about cooldowns and a few other mats such as Eternal Fire.

But regardless of which path you take. That's a lot of materials. I had forgotten how much cloth I had "spent" skilling up to 375... twice. (Once on my wife's toon... I took care of all of her professions.) And now it will be almost 3 times the mats to get to 450. With no reputation discount, that will be 525 gold in thread alone! Not to mention all the money it will cost to learn the new spells. Wow... I better figure out how to make a profit out of this somehow. lol.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Wow Miniatures - Highlord Bolvar Fordragon

Today's Wow Miniature wasn't all that impressive to me when I first saw him. The miniature itself just looks like your average, human paladin. Then I looked at his cards. Yeah, he packs a lot of punch. No wonder that Highlord Bolvar Fordragon is actually of epic quality.

Fordragon is so unique, the he actually has an Action Card that can only be used by him. The rest of them you can mix and match (like a druid can use any other druid card). I actually haven't played with him, because he just sounded too overpowered (not unlike the current post 3.0.1 paladins) against the 2 starting Horde miniatures I have. So, that's it until November 11th, when I hopefully get my hands on another booster or two.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wow Miniatures - Grumpherys

Today's Wow Miniature is the Alliance hunger, Grumpherys. He is of rare quality.

It's kind of cool that he has a pet for an action card, but I'm not exactly sure how to use it. I mean... you would think that it would be it's own separate miniature, but Bloodclaw is not on the list of miniatures. I don't know... maybe I just use a marker or something. /sigh. But still a very cool collectible.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wow Miniatures - Moonshadow

Today I'll be showing off the common Miniature that I got in the booster pack. I'll only apologize this once: these are not professional photographs, and the cards I mass-scanned didn't all come out exactly straight, but I think it's good enough to give you a good idea of what everything looks like. Just don't go out and buy all the booster packs that I want on November 11. And if you're in Southern California... maybe you shouldn't buy any booster packs at all... you know... just in case. :)

So, without further ado, may I present Moonshadow, the Alliance Resto Druid:
They each come with come with two Action Cards and the character card themselves. See images below.