Friday, May 30, 2008

Fun Quests: Introduction and Test Flight

Since I spend a decent amount of time leveling alts on non-raid days (although none of them have hit 70 yet), I thought I'd start a new "feature" focusing on some of the fun quests that I enjoy through my leveling process. I know a lot of these will be old news for many of you. It may bring back nostalgic for others. But I figured it might be fun to write about, and I always enjoy your comments about, well... everything. :) Plus, I may be better at getting screen shots, because I'm usually thinking about way too much during raids to remember. :) I may also make this a feature of "guess that fun quest", if you guys think that might be fun.

Today I'm starting with a group of quests in a zone I completely bypassed (except to farm for Enchant Weapon - Major Spellpower through all of lvl 68 when it used to drop from the Razaani Spell Thieves pre patch 2.1). For those of you enchanters out there (or those that simply pay attention), you'll know that I'm talking about Blade's Edge.

I found most of the quests out at Toshley's Station to be quite entertaining. And what Star Wars geek wouldn't with all the Star Wars references floating around down there. I finished the last of the Test Flight series last night and stole a screen shot from Wowhead to prove it. :) This quest is called Test Flight: Ruuan Weald, and just like the other Test Flights, you get thrown into the air by some major electrical contraption, and then at the last second, when you're about to land, you get smashed into the ground (for a small amount of damage). What makes the Ruuan Weald version the best is that A) you get thrown the furthest, and B) you get to use a Nether-weather Vane that sends you twirling around in circles through the duration of your flight. It's a lot of fun.

You can also use the Test Flights to get thrown close to some of the objectives for the other quests at Toshley's Station. (I used Tour Guide to help with that coordination.)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Bugs, Speed, and New Content

I think I just got out of the habit of blogging. What with Memorial Day here in the U.S. and all... yeah. But wanted to share a couple of things with the readers.

First off: Al'ar was slightly bugged for us on Sunday night. We had our paly add tank sitting up against the wall tanking the adds. In Phase 2, Al'ar would go up into his Meteor ability and then come down on our paly tank. Because he was right up against the wall, we discovered that it would consider Al'ar out of the room and reset the boss. Wow was nice enough though to also leave the adds (at 100% mind you) for us to finish off. After having Al'ar reset on us twice, we figured that maybe it was time that we tanked the adds against the ramp wall (at the bottom) instead of near the door where they're usually tanked. It was a relatively easy kill after that.

Speed: On Tuesday night, we had everybody online and invited by two minutes before start time. We had the first pull by just after 5 minutes. And we smoked through Hydross, Lurker, and Leo. It was a good night. Wednesday night was back to the old "who can we borrow" game so that we could hit 25 people. I know people have RL issues and whatnot, but I really wish we could start at 8:30 each night like is scheduled.

New Content: And with us breezing through (mostly) TK and SSC, we're going to start on Hyjal this next Monday. It's not so much about the loot as it is Hearts of Darkness and epic gems that we need/want to farm. We won't go past the second boss until we down Kael and Vashj, but we want/need to start farming the Hearts for our resist gear. And the rate we're going through these bosses, we'll hopefully have enough resist gear for everyone by the time we need it. In my opinion, the speed of the game has changed quite a bit with all the Badge Gear. While you had to farm "lower" raids for a heck of a lot longer before 2.4, now you can just get your badges and have most of your items epic'ed out and almost walk into Mount Hyjal and further. So, we want to make sure we're ready for future fights asap... hence the Hearts of Darkness farming.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Revision of Previous Post

The only "posting" I'm going to do is to re-work my 11 tips for raiding post. Thanks to your submissions, it's grown to 30, so I'll include all of those. But this time I actually have a valid reason/excuse for slacking off. We're moving tomorrow, and I've been a bit busy packing up entertainment centers and computers and whatnot. (I guess the "whatnot" is the bulk of it, but my main responsibility (at least in my mind) is the other stuff.)

I did get off of work a couple hours early yesterday when power was knocked out at our building. The funny thing is: I work at the Electric Company. (Don't worry, the rest of the power grid was fine, it was just our location.)

I'm sure I'll be back on Tuesday. Have a fun, safe, and adventurous Memorial Day.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

11 Characteristics of a Good Raider

Last night was not exactly a stellar night of raiding for Primogeniture. So, it got me thinking about what exactly makes a good raider. A lot of these can be applied to 5-man instances as well. So, here were the 11 things I came up with, in no particular order.

1) Listen to strategies - Even if you've done the fight a million times before, there's a chance that the raid leader wants to do something just a little bit differently. Plus, assignments are usually handed out at this point. It drives me crazy when people consistently ask me what they're supposed to do 5 seconds after I just got finished explaining their specific role.

2) Be aware of your surroundings - If they're fire raiding down on top of you doing 2500 damage every 2 seconds... get out. Unless there's a specific reason to be there, you can most likely move and save yourself. Otherwise, your healers may have to make a choice to save you or somebody else. And as much as you've buttered up that uber healer, sometimes, the decision isn't to save you.

3) Be aware of your health and act on it - Health potions, bandages, healthstones... it's not a bad idea to use these every once and awhile. It might mean the difference between you being dead and alive. A lot of time I have health potions on healthstones on cooldown because I've used a mana pot and gem... but I'd still have bandages.

4) Be proactive to avoid damage - Sure your raid is uber enough to heal through some trash mob's Aoe spell, but a simple spell interrupt can make that trash go so much faster. And you may have the DPS to kill the mob even if he gets off a heal... but that doesn't mean you shouldn't ignore those either.

5) Do not pull aggro unnecessarily - If you're the tank assigned to that target, you should "pull" aggro. But unless another tank is dead, leave it alone. Oh, and DPS should never pull aggro no matter how much they want to down the last few percentage points before it gets to them and kills them.

6) Dead = 0 DPS. A lvl 1 priest can do more damage than your dead corpse on the floor. Stay alive.

7) Be a Team player, not a Me player - I love the players that are willing to sit out for whatever reason for raids. Raid leaders, don't take advantage of these people and make them sit out every night because of their generosity.

8) Efficient rezzing - If for some reason you have a near wipe (I know, I know... you're way more leet than that), think about the order that you should rez. Priests, Paladins and Shaman should be first so they can rez others. Mages and Druids next because they'll need to eat/drink, buff others, and then drink again. Warlocks and Hunters are next so they can rez their pets, but also because they need to get mana back. And finally the Rogues and Warriors because they can be ready for action by a healer throwing them a simple heal. I think a lot of times we want the tanks up so they can protect us, but it really seems like this is the most efficient manner.

9) Everyone knows you're dead - "I'm dead" doesn't really do anything for raid leaders. They have a UI. They're watching the bars. So, shut up. Now... that said... "I didn't kill my demon" is a perfectly acceptable statement so we all know we're free to kill you for not taking down your demon in time.

10) Keep the chatter down - I really don't want to talk about breasts or your significant other or the latest prank you pulled in the middle of a boss fight. Voice communication channels need to be open for boss related information. Keep it in tells, or keep it turned off.

11) Be on time - If you signed up for a raid at 8:30, be there at least 15 minutes beforehand if you can. Sure there's going to be exceptions and times you can't make it, but those should be exceptions, and not your M.O.

p.s. I'm sure there's many, many more things that could be covered in this topic. These were just the first 11 that I cane up with. Feel free to add other tips below.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Falling Behind... Again

I was off of work on a personal day and then on jury duty so I'm a bit behind as far as work goes. But wanted to post a quick update. We're now at the 3/4 TK, 5/6 SSC position. We killed Tidewalker last night. Took one attempt to figure it out (got him to 75%), and then another attempt to actually down him. Yep... we have a great group of raiders.

So, we're still determining where we want to go next. There's the obvious of Vashj and Kael, but we're also toying with the idea to take on Winterchill and start farming for Hearts of Darkness for our shadow resist sets. (Oh, and the epic gem farm after the second boss is full of win as well.) Since it's reset Tuesday, we'll venture into our "farm" content for the next few days, so we have some time to figure out our next kills.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Blogging for Dollars

No, this has absolutely nothing to do with advertisements for Zanderfin's Wow "Casual Raiding Blog or anything like that. Don't worry, my blog is still free, and I'm still doing it as a volunteer. But if anyone's looking to buy my blog...

At work, I've been tasked with writing some articles to help inform other people about some pretty significant changes we have going on with our systems. The person explaining this new role to me described it as blogging, and said, "I don't know if you have any experience with blogging." Hmm.. let's see here. 235 articles... on the 25th of this month, I'll have been blogging for 1 year. I've generally only missed days when I'm sick or on vacation... Yeah, I think I have some blogging experience. :)

Oh, and since I am coming up on a full year of having this site and my ramblings, I'm going to celebrate. I'm gonna look into having contests and prizes. Maybe I'll see if I can even give away a PS3 or something. Bottom line is: all the money that I've gained from blogging in the last year, I'm giving it all back to you, my readers*. I'll do my typical Sunday post* on May 25th, and you'll know all the details.

*For my not-so-regular readers: I've haven't gained any money from this site, and I've never posted on a Sunday. Don't be surprised if May 25th comes and goes without a single prize given out, because that's mostly likely what will happen.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

New Daily Quest Discovered

Just when I thought I was aware of all of the daily quests, a guildie showed me a new one last night. Well, technically it isn't a "daily" quest, but more one that can be done every 5 days. What am I blabbering on about? Onyxia.

So, while this may not be news to a lot of people that Onyxia drops a pretty good chunk of money (180g), it may be news that she is very easily done with only a few people. We 6-manned it last night, but even that was pretty much overkill.

Yet another way to make money in World of Warcraft. Now, I'll admit that our group is pretty epic'ed out. But even a solid group of 10 people would get 18g for a pretty easy encounter. And if you really want... you can go farm T2 helms. :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

2.4.2 Live

I've decided that I don't want to completely bore anyone that may be reading my blog. Sure, sometimes Primogeniture has great raiding nights, and sometimes we don't. So, that said, unless it's mildly amusing or funny, or I just really need some place to vent, I'm not going to write about our failures anymore for full posts.

That said, we couldn't take down Al'ar last night to complete Ruse of the Ashtongue for a lot of our members. For those that don't know, it's part of the optional attunement chain for Mount Hyjal and Black Temple. Yes, there is still a reason to do this chain. First off, you eventually get the Medallion of Karabor. But even before that, you get the reputation to be able to craft the other shadow resist gear that will be needed for all raid members. And lastly, you can get a nice little trinket such as Ashtongue Talisman of Insight when you get exalted with the Ashtongue Deathsworn.

So, we'll go in there again tonight.

But enough of that. You don't want to read that. You want to know that 2.4.2 went live today. Download the 15mb patch so you can continue to quest/raid/pvp... whatever it is that you do.

What I found interesting about the patch:
  • The cooldown for Void Shatter has been removed (yeah).
  • They're really trying to get rid of unnecesarily changing trinkets such as making mount enhancement trinkets (Carrot on a Stick for example) "enchant" your mount (unconfirmed change) and Goblin Jumper Cables are no longer a trinket.
  • Crafting cooldowns have been reduced. (23-hour ones are now 20 and 4-day ones are not 3 days and 20 hours.) This helps to bring it closer to how most people will use it of once per day, but why not just make it once per day? Reset it at the same time dailies are reset or something. At any rate, it's a change for the better.
  • Brilliant Glass no longer requires a forge (was an inconvenience) and has a chance to produce epic gems (yeah).

Those were the biggest things for me. I'm still not sure about the NPC polymorph spell not healing players. If mine heals them, why does theirs not heal me? And really not sure what's going to happen to groups that don't have the DPS to take down Shade of Aran before the mass polymorph. That could get very ugly.

There's also the fact that most "Main Hand" weapons will now just be 1-handers. And that a lot of the epic, Bop, crafted weapons are no longer unique. Great for a lot of classes... not really helpful to my mage, priest, or elemental shaman.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Old Skool UBRS

After a horrible, but successful Magtheridon run, and some honor farming for AV weekend, a small bunch of us thought it would be fun to run through UBRS just for kicks. There were 4 of us, and 2 of us had played long enough to remember the days when UBRS was kind of the "introduction" to raiding. Heck, we could also remember when UBRS was 15-man, but that's even more off the topic.

Our group consisted of myself (on my mage), one of our pally tanks (who was Retribution for the weekend, like usual), Elemental Shaman, an alt priest (level 51), and oddly enough, a 70 Pug hunter, that happened to be outside the instance portal while we were waiting for everyone to get there. (No summoning stones for us.)

The thought process in getting to the decision to run UBRS was something like, "Hey... won't this be fun?" And it kind of was, but it kind of wasn't. It might be fun to go run with a full group of 70's so we could just bust through it, but there's just too much trash to make it fun for just a group of 5. I'm not complaining or calling for a "Nerf UBRS". I'm just saying that nostalgic shouldn't have to take that long. :)

The most entertaining part of the evening was that the priest, who happened to be healing when it was needed, kept getting charged and pretty much one-shotted. I can't tell you how many times I heard "WTB rez, please." All said and done, with full red gear, I think she had a 1g repair bill though.

It got late, and right after The Beast, we decided to call it. Nobody else died at all. (And I do have to thank our priest for saving my butt quite a few times.) But there also wasn't really any motivation to see the rest. We'd shown 2 people most of what we endured over and over again at level 60.

I always thought it would be cool if Blizzard went back and did all the old skool instances with a heroic setting. Now having set foot in UBRS one more time... I'm really glad they didn't do that.

Friday, May 9, 2008

New Wrath Information

Let's be honest here: I'm way too busy reading all the new information about the upcoming expansion to write about it. So, check out all the goodies over at GameSpy and World of

One thing I will comment on though: just the other night, my friend and I were talking about just being able to see all the content. (He hasn't even seen all of Karazhan.) We thought: how cool would it be if everyone could somehow see all the raid encounters? Hmm.. it seems that all of the 25-man instances will also be able to be completed with only 10 people. Kind of a normal and heroic setting of raids.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Not So Daily Report

I'm sure all of you were sitting on the edge of your seats checking my blog every day to find out how we did on the night of Cinco de Mayo. And I left you all hanging. Bad writer. Well, I had the flu, so thinking really wasn't on my list of things to do for the past few days.

I did do some mindless grinding and questing on my druid though, and he hit level 43 (from about 39 or so). Yeah for mounts, although less of an impact since I had travel form.

Back to the subject at hand though... Monday night's raid was a pretty big success. We downed Fathom Lord Karathress with only 2 (or maybe 3 attempts (give me a break, I've been sick for 2 days)). Our kill order was Priest, Hunter, Shaman, boss. This fight is pretty similar to High King Maulgar in that the pull and positioning is about 90% of the fight. If you have the gear, once you get everyone in place, it's a pretty easy cake walk. That said, the priest frostbolted me to death, and I got to watch the rest of the fight from the ground for our first kill.

When we killed the Fathom Lord last night, it was a pretty clean sweep. It seems like a lot of sites out there tell you to leave killing the priest to last. That really doesn't seem to make sense unless you have a MT that can't generate enough agro. The additional spell that Karathress gets when you kill the priest is Tidal Surge. It basically puts melee in a ice block for 3 seconds every 10-15 seconds. But they don't lose agro and they still take damage. Seems rather harmless compared to the Spitfire Totems from the Shaman or the improved Beast Within from killing the Hunter.

Once the Priest is killed, that frees up healers to deal with the additional damage once the Hunter is dead. And if you leave the Shaman to last, you don't have to kite around Karathress when he drops the totems; you just have the raid kill them.

So, unless somebody can give supporting evidence otherwise, we're going to stick with our easy kill method of priest, hunter, and then shaman.

After only semi-success on Tuesday night (just killed Hydross), we took down Leo and Karathress in 1 shot on Wednesday night. See? It's an easy fight if you have the positioning.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Cinco de Mayo

First off, for any of my guildies that read the blog: Awesome job on one-shotting Al'ar last night. Way to bring the "A" game.

Secondly, I need to preface this post with a bit of insight to me, for those that don't know me. For a lot of reasons in a lot of different categories, I don't drink alcohol or smoke. I never have, and I never will. I won't go too far off in a tangent about why, but I don't. I recognize that a lot of people in my guild do these things, and that's okay, per se, as long as they don't dork up the raid because of these things. Now... on to the post.

During last night's raid I realized that "tomorrow" (which is actually today) is Cinco de Mayo. As far as I know, there's basically two major drinking holidays here in the United States. One would be Cinco de Mayo and the other would be St. Patrick's Day. I suppose you could technically count Oktoberfest as well, but that's kind of a whole month... so probably doesn't fit here. This isn't an anti-drinking post, so if you want to go out and get drunk, then have fun poisoning your body and be safe (designated driver and whatnot).

The reason that this is such bad news to me is based on our last major drinking holiday. On St. Patrick's Day of this year, we had Gruul's Lair on farm, but that specific night was horrible. In our DKP heading for that night, it's called Wipe-fest in Gruul. We got through it eventually, but we usually did Gruul and Mag in the same night. That night, our raid performance was so bad that we didn't even go in to Mag's.

I brought up this concern last night to the raid saying something like "Oh no... everyone's going to be drunk tomorrow. Should we even raid?" The response was something like, "Most of us are drunk nightly anyway." I'm sure it was in jest. If not though, I really feel sad for those people. There's obviously a difference between buzzed, drunk, and completely smashed. I'm hoping that those that drink are just buzzed. Otherwise, I'd probably classify nightly drinking/getting drunk as an alcoholic.

So, we're going to attempt to raid tonight. But if we have difficulties doing our 3/4 "clear" of The Eye by killing Void Reaver, there's no way I'm headed into SSC to attempt Fathom-Lord tonight.