Javascript

Thursday, December 30, 2010

In which progress is progressy

This Christmas break period has been full of surprises, one of which is the fun zone that is Uldum.

Uldum has been my favourite zone to date.

I've done Hyjal twice, and am in the middle of doing it for a third time.  It's not too bad, and is a bit a of a treat for those that like lore, and the revival of the ancients.

That under sea area that I can never spell, because I can never remember how to pronounce it properly, it possibly the most boring.  I've done that twice now, and am not looking forward to doing it again. The end sequence with sitting in the sub, and just following the uber shaman around is a little boring.  I wouldnt mind a skip button for that section, if there's nothing really interactive to do (like fire a ships harpoons).

I've done Deepholme once. That was fairly interesting, but nothing to write home about.  Due to the shoulder enchants, at least one of my toons will be making return trips for the dailies, when I get sick of leveling.

I've yet to complete the Twilight Highlands.  So far, I've dinged 85 twice, while doing that zone, and I've stopped to move on to the next toon.  I'm sure I'll go back and finish when I want some more quest gold.


So, the first surprise was getting my first toon to 85.  That was Anion.  The second surprise was discovering that Arms is very fun to play.  The third surprise was Uldum, and the Harrison Jones quest line.  It's my favourite quest line to date.  With Pathak, I went through Hyjal, Vash, Uldum and then straight to Twilight Highlands. And the final surprise was actually getting Pathak to 85.  I really thought he'd be one of my last toons to make it through.

Now I'll be sending Col through the gauntlet.  Except, I'll be leveling Col the rest of the way as Protection, and if I can put myself through the ringer, I may even run some instances with him.  I've yet to run any instance, and I've still not done my homework to read up on them.


  • Anion 85
  • Pathak 85
  • Colerejuste 82 

Monday, December 20, 2010

In which progress is linear

Last week, some good progress was made on leveling, and I discovered that Arms is actually a pretty fun spec to play. Anion, Pathak and Crowfoot stole most of the leveling limelight, with a short stint for Chewychop and Blackthorn.

Anion has now completed Hyjal and Vashj'ir, and Pathak has completed Hyjal.  Comparing the two zones, Hyjal is remembered as being the more fun.  It's probably because Hyjal doesn't seem to drag on, and it has a happy ending.  Where as Vashj'ir seems to go on and on, especially since there's still a bit of backwards and forwards traveling across parts of the zone, with only one or two of the discovered flight points actually being of use.

What I've really noticed about questing this time is the linear aspect.  Old Azeroth, Outland and some parts of Northrend had an illusion of choice, with regards to storyline progression and questing.  In each zone, there would be two or three quest hubs that you could do a variety of quests from.  Sometimes you didn't do all of them, sometimes they had you traveling all over the place.  This time, there's not a lot of that happening.  It's not necessarily a bad thing, although there are likely to be complaints from those who want it all.  The saving grace of the linear questing is the storyline that opens up, and eventually leads us to the next zone, or an instance that we can participate in.

Col, despite being really close to 81, hasn't dinged yet.  He's been logging in every day, and doing his JC daily quests.  My only complaint with the JC quests is the micro economy that has been created around it.  So far, I've only come across two JC dailies, and have had those two repeated.  The first requires no actual gems to be cut.  You just need to target 10 humanoids and spray them with something sparkly.  The second involves cutting 3 zepherites to solid zepherites.  There must only be a limited number of JC quests, and they don't cover all the uncommon gems, because those zepherites are going to 100g each on the AH, with the cut solid zepherites only going for 9g.  Somehow, that just doesn't seem right.  Now, since the quest actually requires you to cut the gem and hand it in, and since perfect cuts don't count towards the gem hand in (but they do for the cut), most sensible folks will either buy or mine the ore themselves and prospect.  A few dopey buggers might buy the uncut gems for 300g, if they're really short on time, and just want to get the tokens so they can learn the new rare cuts.  I'm not sure if epic cuts have been released yet. 

Anyway, I'd like to see the bottom drop out of that skew on the AH.  Either the requirement to cut the gem yourself should be abandoned, or there should be JC dailies for all of the uncommon gem types and the quest distribution should be even.

The summary of leveling is as follows:

  • Anion 83
  • Pathak 82
  • Colerejuste 80 (almost to 81, still)
  • Blackthorn 80 (barely started)
  • Crowfoot 21
  • Chewychop 8

Monday, December 13, 2010

Cataclysm Toon Update

Here's something I haven't done in a while.  It's a toon update!  I have so many alts, and during WotLK, while I was leveling them, I would post the weekends progression as a toon update, and then stick a wetted finger in the air, and give a forecast of what I might decide to do next.

Barthilas has been really busy.  With the release of Cataclysm, alot of players have returned and the realm is in a constant state of Locked, and has queue times that I just can't be bother dealing with.  So for the moment, Misomer, Dubh, Petitemorte, Chewychop and the rest will be on hold until the realm goes back to a status of High.  Note to self: Log in sometime in the next 10 days, and clear out the mail, just in case.

So, it looks like I'll be spending most of my time on Aman'Thul, again.

With this release of WoW, I'll not be raiding again.  I'll be sticking to heroics and BGs, and lots of questing and crafting.  As a result, there's no gear curve to be racing against, so I'll be taking my time with leveling, spreading the love and making the most of rested bonus XP.

You can see my full list of alts at WowHead.  I'll only mention the alts that I've actually done something with, from the last time I made a toon update.

Anion and Crowfoot have been getting the most attention, closely followed by Colerejuste, and then some curiosity leveling for Pathak.

Anion is going to be my Balance/Resto combo, and Crowfoot will be Balance/Bear.  Both alts will maintain a Bear outfit, just in case.  Both are skinners and leather workers, though I'm not sure how much I'll be concentrating on leveling leather working for Crowfoot.  I'll skin as I go along, and make what I can with what I've got, but the full leveling will probably only happen as I move from Vanilla to Outland to Northrend and then back again.

Col will level as Ret and run dungeons as Prot, and will be actively leveling his mining and jewelcrafting.  JC dailies require a bit more effort this time, with most quests requiring gems to be cut and handed in.

Pathak got a bit of love last night.  I wanted to see how Arms was again.  And the experience was interesting.  It's going to take a little while to get back into the groove of leveling a toon without a quick escape, although at least there's a little self healing available with his herbalism bonus and frenzied regeneration.

The overhead of picking up a level 80 and doing something with it is probably a bit more gold than I'm willing to throw away all at once.  First, you've got to train for your new spells and passive abilities, such as the armour specialisation and mastery.  Then you better pick up your flight masters license, or Hyjal is going to be very tough.  Then you have to train in the next level for your professions.  That all costs a pretty penny.  So for the moment, toons like Benzol, Bojsen, Blackthorn, Fidgette and Nevynoch will be waiting by the side lines, leveling their crafting if excess materials become available.

The summary of leveling is as follows:
  • Anion 81
  • Colerejuste 80 (almost to 81)
  • Pathak 80 (barely started)
  • Crowfoot 18

New Mechanics in Questing

I've got a friend who used to be a mad WoWer.  He did the raiding thing, he had multi-boxing going on, but he managed to manage his RL around WoW time fairly well.

A few months ago, he decided to take a break for a bit, after earning his Kingslayer.  So far, he's not been seen in game, but he did send this along to an email discussion list.

This sparked a comment on some of the same-sameness being a little different, due to phasing, and some of the more interesting questing mechanics used in the game.

Here's a little list of questing mechanics that I found interesting.  I'll try not to detail the actual quests, to avoid spoilers for those not found.
  • Using ropes to abseil cliff faces.
  • Flying mount jousting (doesn't really resemble AT jousting at all)
  • Land mounts provided to quick return to a quest hub from the front lines (for low level toons)
  • Threat bot that goes ka-blooey!
  • Seahorse rodeo
  • Sated bear hair yoinking
  • Lots more phasing!

That's just a short list.  I haven't made it to 85 yet, let alone 82.  There may be other new quest mechanics that I've seen in the game, but I've either forgotten, or it might not have been that interesting.  No doubt that a few of these mechanics might be primers for raid encounters.

This is probably something better covered by the likes of the Melting Pot, but what are your favourite new quest mechanics?

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Introducing...

Let me introduce two new characters to my growing list of toons.

First created last night, after waiting for a modest time for the Barthilas queue to subside, is Chewychop, a female Goblin Warrior who will level as Arms.  I only made it to level 5 before getting stranded on the Lost Isles and then scooting off to make dinner.  The time taken to get to level 5 for Goblins did seem to take a lot longer than it did for Worgen.  When I came back from dinner, the Barthilas queue was in the 2500 range, so off to Aman'Thul I wandered.

I did want to call the goblin Missymoo, after my pet cockatiel, but than name was unavailable, so I went with Chewychop, which is another name we give her.  In fact, she has alot of nicknames, and she answers to just about all of them. Missy Moo, Moo Poo, Pa-Chewy Chop and Chewy, or even just Chop.

The queue for Aman'Thul was only 400 or so, and dissipated after 8 minutes or so.  I created my Worgen Druid.  I was going to call him something like Greyfang or Blackfang or Redfang, but they were all taken.  So I hit the random name, and ended up on Crow as a random suggestion.  I settled on Crowfoot.  Not as cool as Ravensclaw, but it was available and still kinda fits for a druid.

I was given a key for the beta, but the only participation I had in it was the Worgen intro as a Warlock, and some leveling in Hyjal as a Balance Druid.  Note to self: remove my beta flags on my account.  So the Worgen leveling process was fairly familiar.  It was only after getting to level 6 did I remember I had a few heirloom items, and a full complement of 22 slot Glacial bags for Crowfoot.

Crowfoot will be leveling as Balance.  With Starsurge available early on, plus situational spells like Thorns doing alot more damage, Balance is viable for leveling from the get go.  I'll probably maintain a bear set for him, and make that his offspec, but it will be bear only.  I'm not going to bother with a cat set.

There were a few choke points that were particularly annoying.  The most annoying one was The Hungry Ettin.  Here's a little tip: Once you're on a horse, and you've roped your second, go and hand them in.  The Noose ability will only make one horse follow you at a time.  If you try to grab another, you'll let your noosed horse go.

The other choke points were the two undead captains (which were easy with Tab and a hot key to moonfire), and Grandmas Cat.  The Cat was a little harder, because you had to click the cat to start it, target the undead guy (who could not be auto targeted on the initial spawn), and then get in quick with whatever auto cast you have.  Moonfire came in handy again, but it took a while.

I ended up getting through the whole Worgen intro line to Darnassus in 15 levels.  I'm not sure if that was intentional.

I was hoping to have an early night, so I'm rested for my Tae Kwon Do grading tonight (i.e. bed at 11:30pm), but I was struggling to find a place to stop at an inn, during the leveling process. Ended up going to bed at 12:30am, instead.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Impending Doom

It's merely minutes before 12:00 PST December 7, 2010.  For those in my town, that's 6pm 7/12/2010.  For thousands, nay, millions of World of Warcraft subscribers, that's minutes away from Cataclysm being playable on the US servers.  EU have had their up for a while now, and apparently there's already a level 85 world first via mob tagging.

I'm going to content myself with a Goblin Warrior on Barthilas, if I manage to get a login.  I tried logging in a few moments ago, and was in a queue about 500 long.

Failing the Barthilas login, it'll be the Worgen Druid on Aman'Thul.

It's midnight, kiddies.. here we go.

 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

[Spoiler Alert] Deathwing lands in SW, unopposed.

Spoiler.  Three words:

Elemental Invasion. Evacuation.

Sorry to those reading via RSS.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What's in a name?

I've had a post from Windsoar sitting, unread and starred in my Reader for almost a week now.  Finally, as I wait for WoW 4.0.1 to install (it's almost been an hour now), and have grown a little bored of listening how APB failed, I've decided to follow up with how I've come up with names for a few of my toons.

(Oh. the new installer just came up!)

(And nuts, there's another 1.4GB to download after that 4.76GB I had already preloaded)

When I first bought WoW, it was to play the game with a good friend of mine.  He had a whole bunch of his friends already playing, but I ended up getting it about 2 weeks before he did, and ended up creating a couple of toons around the place.  I had a troll called Zulanu on a PvP Oceanic realm, and a gnome rogue somewhere else that made it to level 13.  Eventually I found out that the crew were playing on Malygos as Alliance, so off I went to join and start my first WoW toon on a realm that I would stick with for some time.

And I chose my words carefully there, since Nevynoch, my Night Elf Hunter and first toon on Malygos, would only make it to level 13, before being discarded for my next toon who would be my main for the remainder of Vanilla.

The name Nevynoch was actually, originally intended to be Nevyn.  It's a name I'd picked up in a fantasy book that I don't recall the title of.  I think there was another character in that book called Malouf, and that's a name that has stuck with me for some time, though I haven't tried creating a toon with it yet.  Anyway, disappointed that Nevyn was taken on Malygos, I tacked an "-ock" sound on the end, in the form of "-och".  If I think about it too much, I could say that it was intentional, and the "-noch" was for nocking an arrow, or that a similar spelling of noche was Spanish for night, as in Night Elf.  But no, Nevynoch was just an effort to get a name that has stuck with me through any game I ever had to put a name to, the most popular being Quake II.

My next character, who was intended as a companion to my friend, and who ended up leveling with him and a complete stranger, almost all the way to 60, was a Night Elf Warrior named Pathak.  My friend started a Druid called Zaraq, and initially, Druids seemed a little squishy to me, so I went with a Warrior.  I probably could have stuck with my original hunter, or gone with a druid as well and played as Feral with a bent for bearing up, but what's done is done and I had fun doing it. 

Pathak was named after the sound of an axe lodging or glancing off the back of ones head.  Say it with me.. Paaaa -THAK! It seemed to fit with his Arms spec and the occasional tanking that he would do throughout Azeroth. 

One thing that I did get confused with was the abbreviation of names.  Rather than type out whole names, I would simply be referred to as P, Zaraq as Z and our third in the trio that we ended up leveling through from about level 13 to 60, and then some more in TBC was D. (Oh god, the launcher just scared the crap out of me, as it went from yellow to green.  It makes a sound, almost like Paaaa-THAK!  That's a very loose almost).  Anyway, through leveling, I would often see "Pat!" on the chat channel.  And I would think "What?! What have I done?".  And then some group would come along, and I would come really close to pulling it.  It wasn't until much much later in the game that I would realise that Pat, was short for Patrol, rather than Pathak, and the Pat! was a warning of a patrol, rather than shouting at me for doing something silly (like turning up to tank without pants on).

Somewhere around late Vanilla, I started up a few alts based on ideas. Some have managed to keep their names, others have not.

My first experiment was that of a Gnome Warlock named Bojsen.  That's a soft J, as in "J'suis Australien", and a long O.  Bow-sen.  Being small and cute as a button in a little old man Xmas elf kinda way, he was almost like a boisenberry.  Except being a warlock, he wouldn't be tasty.  He'd be poison.  So Bojsen would be my half way point.  I guess you could go with any of the phonetics... boy-sen, bow-sen or bouge for short.  Though usually I would get bodge-son, and more often than not, he would make a bit of a bodge of things.  I wasnt very good as ranged DPS, but that didn't stop me from trying.

My next experiment would be a Dire Bears ultimate companion.  A bearded human priest called Grizzlyadam.  But Grizzly, or GA as I would name him, didn't have a Dire Bear to look after him, so he turned to the shadow as soon as it became viable and would mind flay his enemies, instead of healing as others around him applied the damage.  Since GAs migration to Aman'Thul, he has become Benzol, a ringed hydrocarbon than can be bad for you in large quantities.  And if you've ever seen him heal as Discipline, you'd see why.

And lastly, for my cloth wearing DPS, I would choose a Frost Mage called Chivers.  His skin was very dark from all the frost burn he would earn himself while training.  His name was a play of being cold and a frost mage, and also on the scotch Chivas Regal.  While Frost was a bit of fun, it really wasn't for me in the long run.  He only made it to level 70, and has since been transferred to Barthilas as a Horde character.  Quicker than you can whistle "Take a walk on the wild side", Chivers became my other favourite name for a mage, Malamor, a female Blood Elf mage, who will most likely go as Fire, if she progresses any more.  Ah Malamor, my bad love.

During Vanilla, I also created a female dwarven rogue named Roquette.  And then I also created a female gnome rogue called Fidgette.  At some point, I decided I really didn't like playing rogues at all, but I like the idea of an engineering gnome, so Fidgette got to stay, and Roquette did a lap of Ironforge before throwing herself in to the lava, never to be seen again.

I also had a dwarven Pally called Mosesjones, but he was replaced by a Draenei, when The Burning Crusade was released.  Now, that toon had a cool name.  He was Col√®rejuste, also called Colour Adjust by though who liked to tease, or just Col.  I had been hoping that the Draenei would have a French influence in their vocals.  Unfortunately, it was some sort of Greek or Russian accent... distinctly not French, but my character with a name loosely translated to Angry Righteous, or Angry Justice was a point in pride of being my first character to be leveled to 70.  Unfortunately, I had an encounter with a GM while leveling in Blades Edge Mountains, and after pointing out that some of the Arrakoa in the area had floating head pieces after they died, he made me remove the accented √® from the name.  Col became just mildly pissed, with no justice, or casually belligerent, after that event.

During TBC, I also created a Shaman.  Female and named Znakharka, which is a Ukraine name for female shaman.  Recently, however, she was transferred to Barthilas as Horde, and was changed to a male orc.  The female orc model is almost as bad as the female troll model, and so Kopuz was bought into being, a male orc.  Kopuz is a shaman instrument from a someplace.

At some point during Vanilla, I had create a druid.  Her name was Dubh, Gaelic in origins (perhaps), and definitely meaning dark.  In her move to Aman'Thul, her name did not survive and she became Anion.  I did have thoughts of creating a Worgen druid called Cation, but it's already been taken.

I also had created an other druid called Hinny.  Her purpose, as the name might suggest, was as bank alt and auctioneer.  Eventually, she was replaced by a death knight, also called Hinny, although this time around, she was human.  Most undead end up looking more human that not, unless they're ghouls, regardless of their race of origin, so I figured that was a fair swap.  Hinny resides alone on Malygos, at level 80 in her crafted epics, unable to transfer, and very likely never to be played again.


(Boom!  After 2 hours of installing, the Playable green zone has finally fully applied.  I guess it will all be ready to play when I get home from work tomorrow night)

Sometime during TBC, I got really bored with playing Alliance, so I thought I give the Horde story line a try.  Killing two birds with one stone, I also thought I'd try leveling on a PvP realm as well.  The third person I mentioned earlier, D, also had a toon or two on Barthilas, so I went to join him for a while.  Now, I really didn't like PvP all that much.  Battlegrounds are fine, but I'd never had really great experiences with Arenas, and world PvP just seemed like the worst of the worst. So I went with a character that could avoid all that stuff if I didn't feel like it, and decided on a female Troll Rogue (mining and engineering, just because) called Misnomer.  Misnomer: an error in naming a person or a place.  A PvP rogue, that which is not.

With Misnomer, it was difficult on Barthilas without all the supporting toons that I had become accustomed to on Malygos.  Though I did get into PvP at the right times to earn myself a Black Battle Raptor for a mount, but it was shortly after the 2008 Olympics when I stopped at about level 61, and went back to Malygos to try my hand at dual boxing, to quickly level my shaman and hunter, and gift my druid wth the free levels, almost to 60 (hunters make the best shaman pets).  More recently, Misnomer has tried leveling again, and has got to level 78.  I could have got her to 80 by now, but started to get bored again.  It's a pity, though Kopuz is appreciative of his Black War Bear.  Maybe I'll try leveling some more, but I've only got a little more than a weeks worth of play left before I head overseas for 5 weeks.  I think Kopuz may end up leading the charge into Cataclysm, when I get back as elemental and resto.

I have a few other names of toons as well.  There's Petitemorte (little death), my tauren death knight on Barthilas.  There's Bunnyboiler, an undead priestess on Barthilas, and Metacarpal, an undead warlock that is likely to be replaced with a Goblin warlock in Cataclysm.  I've also got Tefal, my non-stick Protection Blood Elf Paladin on Barthilas and Dubh, another druid on Barthilas, honoring the name I couldn't keep on Aman'Thul.  I have Fling, an orc hunter, Araas, a troll hunter (because arass is what hunters fling).  I have Netherous, an undead rogue, and Logartick, a tauren of some description used for logging tickets, and finally, Patent, and female Tauren druid, no less.

That was a fun post, taking me back to when I first started playing WoW in June 2006.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Pathak Remembers His Brief Fury Encounter

I was having a read of the latest MMO Champion article, and saw this repost from the blues:

Using all your GCDs
Yes, and we have said this a lot, so it shouldn't come as a surprise. In a nutshell, the problem with filling every single GCD is it gives you no room to do anything else. If you're called upon to do something special or even run away or even look around to see how the fight is going, you don't have the cognitive space to do so. If we give you a proc to use and your rotation is so locked then you can't use the proc, then we have a problem. If you literally can't stand to go 1.5 sec every now and then without hitting a button, then our game has serious problems. :(

I know this is really weird for paladins who just have the muscle memory of always hitting something -- anything -- every GCD. It will take some getting used. Just try to evaluate whether it's truly not fun or whether it's just really different. Having any class that hits a button every 1.5 seconds is something we're trying to move away from though. We don't think it's good for the game.
The comment is actually about Paladins, but it reminded me of Pathaks brief encounter with the Fury spec shortly before WotLK was due to hit.  The actual 3.0.1 release had hit (or whatever it was called), and with it came free respecs (not sure if that was for all classes).  Anyway, Titans Grip looks interesting and fun, so picked a Fury spec and tried doing the Quel'Danas dailies.

Well, that lasted all of an afternoon, and back to Arms I went.  What made Fury so weird was the lack of button pushing I had to do, as compared with Arms at the time.  I would look at the tools available, while in Berserker stance, and think "So, my few abilities are on cool down, what do I do now?".  Arms may not need to press a button at every GCD, but Fury felt like there were several GCDs passing me by as I waited for my next ability to be available.

Maybe I was doing wrong.  I wouldn't be surprised, afterall, I'd only given the spec a single afternoon to reveal itself to be "fun".

For the record, I like direct that certain classes shouldn't need to be pressing something every single GCD.  It makes the decision to get out the fire easier (though it should be a no brainer already, you still meet the occasional person who insists that their DPS is more important that their health pool), because you can afford to actually move, rather than spam the next ability that must be selected with precision timing or OMG, MY ROTATION ITS RUINED I'M MELTING I'M MELTING!

But I digress.

I'm just a little excited about 4.0.1 hitting "soonish".  As MMO Champion mentioned, proabably not this week.  My thought was that if Brewfest is due to run until October 6, then an October 5 release of 4.0.1 would be in the middle of that, and that just didn't feel right.  At the end of this month, I head off for a 4 week jaunt around Europe, and should be back in time to recover from jet lag, and get Cataclysm. Yay!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Toon shuffle

Last night, a couple of my toons languishing on Malygos (A-PvE) were shuffled to Barthilas (H-PvP), where they would receive a bit more care and attention.

Znakharka of Malygos was the first to be moved.  She was a Draenei, and had to do a faction change after the initial realm change.  I had previously deleted an old toon called Znak to make way.  I had intended to recreate the toon as a female orc (already have Petitemorte and Dubh covering my Tauren contingent), but the model looked so bad, I changed to a male orc instead, and named him Kopaz (yet another reference to shamanism in some other language).  Now with a level 80 on the realm, I can get some Cold Weather Flying action for Misnomer.

Chivers of Malygos was next.  He was human, but I've always had a thing for a female blood elf called Malamor (loose translation : bad love), so I deleted my existing low level Malamor, and performed the realm move, faction change, gender change operation.  At level 70 and with heirloom shoulders, I think it turned out okay.

For the moment, I'm still going to concentrate on progressing Misnomer, Dubh and Petitemorte.  However, with only four weeks to go until I go on leave for a month, I don't expect much to get done.  It's very likely that Cataclysm will drop before I get back from those holidays, and everything will be different.  It is yet to be seen if I will return to Aman'Thul immediately, or continue with the Horde PvP experience.  There will be goblins and worgens to try out as well. Oh my!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Operation : Gnomeregan

Just a couple of notes about Operation : Gnomeregan, that is currently running on the live World of Warcraft realms.  The same probably applies to the similar event happening around the Echo Isles for the Horde.

  • Groups are not necessary.  A raid group is probably not advised at all, since you can't complete non-raid quests in a raid group.  Just stay in range of Mekk and the stat buffs that he gives.
  • This is easy quest gold.  You should get about 94g 92g 94s out of it.  Run it on your alts, if you can.  You won't need to travel anywhere dangerous, and if you stick with Mekk, you should be safe at the lower levels.  I've got 8 toons on Aman'Thul.  That's a very easy, guaranteed 743g for 2.5 to 3 hours work, depending on how well I streamline my questing.
  • To save time running on your alts, run the intro quests up to talking to Mekk.  If he's not there (i.e. he's running the Operation), then log to an alt on the same realm and do the intro quests there.  If he is there, do the Op, and when you're done, log into your alts that have also done the intro quests.
  • It's a 6 minute wait between Mekk finishing the last Op and starting the next one.  I haven't timed the Op, but I think that takes about 10 minutes.  The intro quests should take about 15 minutes
  • You'll get an achievement at the end, and an object that will allow you transform into a Gnome Soldier for 30min, every 4 hours.  This could be handy for PvP, or hiding in Mammoths in Dalaran, if you're not a gnome already. And a cloak, and I haven't tested it out yet.
Update:  Only toons with a level of 75 or greater can participate in the last event, however, toons that are at least level 5 can do the intros.  Still, that's 79g a pop.  Not too bad. I got the reward slightly wrong, too.

Update 2: The Tunnel Bug.  If you move too far down the tunnels while fighting the troggs, you'll miss out on the big trogg, and then it bugs out.  Mekkatorque will sit still for what is probably the remaining scripted time, then will despawn and the event resets.  The recommended action is to stay with Mekk until he moves forward.

Update 3: Okay, so I really messed up with the reward money for under 75s.  After having Mekk bug for the second time, I tried the Echo Isles operation on my level 70 troll rogue.  I had completely forgotten about the sliding scale of quest gold, and that I would get XP instead of a good portion of that quest gold.  After spending 30 minutes to fly, turtle, fly, zeppelin and raptor ride my way to Sen'jin Village from Howling Fjord, I completed the short intro quests and got 22g and some XP for my efforts.  Apparently, the event is limited, so I'm not sure I'll get to level 75 in time to experience the whole event.

    Wednesday, September 08, 2010

    Cataclysm Balance Druid Spec, Update

    The cataclysm druid talents aren't what they used to be the last time I made mention of them.  So here's a little update.

    Leveling Spec for Balance Druid (Beta Build)
    When Cataclysm is released, and one of her specs becomes Balance, she'll be sporting this tree for the purposes of leveling.

    This one only goes to level 79, according to the calculator, and has Owlkin Frenzy for those moments where things start hitting me with sticks and stones.

    As I level, I would place points in Heart of the Wild and then Nature's Grace or Nature's Majesty.

    Then when I hit level 85, I switch out Owlkin Frenzy and pick up something like this, instead.
    End Game Spec for Balance Druid (Beta Build)

    I haven't given much thought to Glyphs yet, so that may change some things, or the most appropriate glyphs may leap off the screen and thump me repeatedly around the head until I pick them up.

    Friday, September 03, 2010

    First Day of Cataclysm Beta Testing

    Warning: This post contains Cataclysm spoilers.  No, there's no break or jump.  Just stop reading, unless you want to.  You know you want to.

    This post is a little about my first day playing in the Cataclysm  Beta test.  I'm not going to be gabbin' on about all the testing I do, but this might make an interesting read for me sometime in the future.

    After a night of downloading, patching, downloading some more and then waiting another day for the Cataclysm Beta realms to come back up, I was finally in. My first move was to transfer a premade Night Elf Druid, which I have not yet logged into.  The second move was to create a Worgen.  Since I want to play a Worgen Druid when it all goes live, I thought I'd start off with a Warlock, and save druid game play surprises for later.

    The first thing that was strange was no pet UI to start with.  I had an imp, and the imp had a spellbook with entries, but neither were particularly interactive.  I knew there was a thing with the hunter pets not being interactive until level 10, but it wasn't particularly clear that this was the case with warlocks.

    It didn't actually bother me until level 6 or 8 (I cant quite remember which.. it might have been 8), when I was able to get a voidwalker.  Traditionally, the voidwalker is a tank pet, so I pull him out to help take down time spiders.  I was standing on a patch of withered grass in the middle of the village, firing off Immolate, Bane of Agony and Shadow Bolt to take down a spider, and it was evading.  I figured there was a pathing problem (which was reported), and moved to the road.  Well, the spider picked that up and came for me.  But the voidy?  No, he just stood there, sulking on the grass.  No help at all.  What a sucky tank! After combat finished, and all appeared safe, he decided to move, and stand by his Master. 

    Disgusted, but finished with my spider slaughter, I made my way back to the quest hub.  Unfortunately, I was not as cautious as I could have been, and attracted the attention of a few more spiders.  This time, voidy sprang into life, after my initial spread of Bane of Agony on a few of them.  And then, he was suddenly void of life, leaving me much the same a few moments later.  Low level voidies seem to have no tanking ability what so ever.  I wasn't sure if it was the lack of health or the lack of an armor class.  I'm leaning towards armor class, because my imp has taken a few hits, and was able to last more than three of them.

    After the resurrect, the voidy went away and the imp came back out.  At least I got a stamina buff from the imp.

    A very short time later I dinged level 10, and was given a Pet Control passive spell (that required manual activation).  Activation of this spell gave me my pet bar UI.  I tried one more time with the voidy, but he was still useless, so the imp stays out for the moment until the voidy gets some decent trained buffs.

    One thing I did some across at the early levels was a possible bug (which was reported), to do with a Mastiff pet that is supposed to detect and attack lurking worgen.  This would have been around level 3 or 4.  It may have been something to do with my character being a warlock, and having a pet UI that was not yet active, but the Mastiff seemed to neither detect or nor attack.  I was able to see the lurking worgen if I got close enough, but puppy just didn't seem to be doing his job.

    I'm heading into wall of text territory, so I'd like to leave you with a few thoughts on what else I saw:

    Sylvannas, you're one mean piece of work.  Whilst Varians hatred of the Orcs is not unfounded, and their new leadership will put them on shaky ground, I would consider the Forsaken to be the major threat within the Horde.  I still wonder what drives the Forsaken, or at least, Sylvannas.  She seems to have it in for everything and everyone.  What happens when she kills everyone, or converts them to be Forsaken?  Maybe she's looking for a seat in the throne room of the Burning Legion (if it could be said there is such a thing).

    You'll be gabbin' about gabbin', alot.  The phrases used by the Gilneans seem to be American impressions of English phrases and accents.  They're always on about gabbin', unless they're having a bad feeling.  One of them distinct sounds like Johnny Depp, with a stilted, slightly lazy/slurred delivery of a version of the phrase "Any friend of such-and-such is a friend of mine".  My ear isn't good enough to pick where the accents some from exactly.  They're definitely not Cockney, possibly west London (whatever that is).  I'd like to see a lot more variation.  Perhaps a Yorkshire theme.  Sometimes the voices don't seem to match up with the characters.  Here's hoping for some "Cheerio, luv" (or guv) from some Gilnean Peasants or Refugees later on. I think I recall a "What's your game?" in there somewhere, which was close to normal, if you're suspicious of a big hairy dog man nuzzling at you for XP and quest gold.  Here are some other phrases I'd like to see: Spare us a coppa, wontcha guv? Gilneas callin'. What you lookin' at? Genn's a right muppet (for the Gilnean malcontents, if there are any).  It's all ruined, innit.

    Apologies to the English offfended by Australian interpretations of English phrases and accents.  At least you only have to read them, and not listen to them.  Apologies to the voice over artists actually doing the Gilnean voice overs.  It's not like you'd have a firm grasp of your motivational context: Your city has been invaded by wolf men, then by the undead, then your country side destroyed by earthquake and flood.  Now give me your best "Cheerio!".

    Wednesday, September 01, 2010

    Hardcore vs Casual : Part Two

    As a follow up to Hardcore vs Casual, I'd like to draw your attention to Defining Playstyles: Beyond casual vs. hardcore, over at WoW.com.

    They've got a nice categorization system, at a species level.

    Reading through the definitions, I've ended up falling into several categories. 

    When I first started playing, it was as a Socializer, although I was spending alot of time leveling to catch up with the rest of the guild of friends who had level 60 toons.

    For a while in TBC, I was a Jenkins / Time Crunched hybrid.  Colerejuste was at max level and playing a little end game content (just Kara runs), although I did do research and put effort into my game play, and only ended up doing one SSC because of the time crunch factor.  These days, I'm semi Time Crunched.  I play enough hours, but I can't set aside 2 or 3 fixed timeslots each week to attend raiding.

    With 10 level 80s and more on the way, I've become an Altoholic.

    With the low attendance in our Guild, sometimes it's like a Single Player MMO.  End game past heroics is not something I concern myself with, and with maybe only one or two other players online, it all gets a bit quiet.

    Come Cataclysm, it may be time to find a social guild of mature players to hang out with, for a couple of my toons.  Some guild members in the Alliance side have alternate guilds to do their raiding with, and we have a global channel to chat on.  I don't make specific use of the guild bank any more, and will perhaps pop a couple of hundred gold in there now and again, or extra materials, but my repairs aren't paid for via the guild bank.

    It's a non issue at the moment for my Alliance toons, since I only log in there to do the Jewelcrafting daily and check the Auction House.  However, on the Horde site, being the only active member is starting to feel like Single Player MMO.  My druid there is currently unguilded, so it might be worth looking around for a social guild when I start leveling her a bit more.

    This is turning into a wall of text, but it's the evolution of this thread.  And this evolution is about a perceived notion of players sponging of their guilds.  WoW.com did a couple of articles on freeloading a short while ago (Part I and Part II, if you need a quick read).  Even if you are a sponge, you still end up having to gain reputation with your guild to get those rewards offered by the guild rank.  You can't just waltz in and cherry pick the top guild rewards on day one.  You'll need to quest or actually do guild runs and other guild activities to earn Exalted with your guild and be able to pick up those top rewards.  If you are actually a sponge, you'll be detected as such long before then.  Guild Leaders and Officers probably have more to worry about than someone grinding Guild faction and getting access to those high level rewards.  The bank ninja is probably more of an issue, or someone without an Authenticator getting hacked and becoming the bank ninja.

    Anyway, that's enough for todays wall of text.

    Tuesday, August 31, 2010

    Cataclysm Beta Invite

    Squeeeeeeee!!!!

    And as much fun as that sounds, I should probably be responsible with the invite and dedicate some time to actually doing testing.. as is implied by the "beta".

    So, what first.. worgen, goblin or something at the level cap?

    Oh yeah, the download first, perhaps. 12GB worth, last time I heard.

    Squeeeeeeee!!!!

    Tuesday, August 24, 2010

    Aman'Thul vs Barthilas

    Most of my toons are now located on Aman'Thul, a PvE realm, as Alliance.  I have two 80s and a 70 left on Malygos.  Perhaps one day, Znakharka the 80 Shaman will make the transfer to Aman'Thul, but probably not until toon limits per realm are lifted.  The primary reason for this is that I have eight toons on Aman'Thul, I'm leaving one spot spare for a Worgen druid in Cataclysm, and I'll leave another spot spare for whatever may happen in the expansion after Cataclysm.  If the character limit per realm is increased, then I'd bring Znak over, and probably Chivers as well (70 Mage).  Unfortunately, Hinny will have to stay there, as you can only have one Death Knight per realm.

    At the moment, I'm leveling Misnomer, a Troll rogue on Barthlias, a PvP realm.  This started as an experiment in seeing what the Horde story line was like, and also to experience leveling on a PvP realm.  Misnomer made it as far as level 61 before WotLK was released, and I've only just started leveling her again.  She's now at level 66 but has no rested bonus, so I'll be leveling Dubh, a druid with a bent for enchanting and jewelcrafted (ah, the shinies!).  I've got 9 toons on Barthilas, with Misnomer at level 66, Petitemorte, a Tauren Deathknight at 58 and the rest at about 20 or better.  I've got a warrior languishing on a second account from when I was duel boxing, but I'm never likely to revive him.  When Cataclysm is released, I'll be rolling a Goblin on this realm, and will probably start a warlock.  I've already got one called Metacarpal (he's Undead, can you tell?), but I figure that warlocks make a good representation of goblins, and I've already got Misnomer as a rogue.

    Anyway, the point of this post was the difference between Aman'Thul and Barthilas.  There are the glaringly obvious differences that also make them constants.. Alliance vs Horde, PvE vs PvP.  They're both Oceanic, so for the most part, that is a constant.

    The interesting difference that caught my eye was the usage of 2.Trade. 

    On Aman'Thul, trade is used for everything.  Trade, General, LFM, LFDungeon, LFGroup, LFGuild, LFRaid and mostly, the collection of inane chats about Anal [Spell Link], how someone's a ninja, what a douche Stormkid is and the usual bickering about real life stuff.

    On Barthilas, it's... different.  It must has started as a "thing" where to get your say, you needed to make sure it stayed on the 2.Trade channel long enough to be read.  So instead of saying it once, or even at 30 second intervals, it gets spammed 5 times in a row, and then that spam happens every 5 seconds.  Initially, it was very off putting.  I had quite a few people on my ignore list.. and then I realised this was the norm for Barthilas.  Trade chat was the LFR/M channel, and any actual chat about trade would have to be limited to /say, or spammed just as much, if not more.  On the lighter side, there's very little trash talk you'd recognised as it's constantly being whisked away by LFM spam.

    The AH was also different.  A couple of inspired users (on Barthilas) have trying to make usage of Auctioneer a bit tricky.  They've got postings in just about every item going for anywhere between 1000g and 50000g, just to mess up the average price of whatever it is you're trying to automatically adjust margins for.  I'm not really sure what the long term effect is, though I suspect it might add stability to prices, as all bids and buyouts would need to be manually set, instead of doing an automatic undercut.

    So far, I'm enjoying Barthilas again.  Though, in Outland, I've only seen 2 Alliance and have been ganked by neither.  I'm told that almost everyone is in Northrend, and the dieing happens regularly.  Makes me wonder if I should make the most out of Outland, while it's quiet, and perhaps do SSO dailies to help raise gold until I hit 70 or so, or if I should bite the bullet and hit Northrend at 68, since I'm going to get ganked by level 80 alliance, regardless of if I'm 68 or 70 for a start, anyway.  I'm also thinking I should get my Engineering and Cooking up to scratch before hitting Northrend as well. Stamina buffs would be welcome and being able to process the ore I collect immediately will cut down on the need to buy bigger bags.

    Sunday, August 22, 2010

    Take that, random duel guy

    I'm a big fan of leaving PvP in the BGs and the Arenas.  It's just what makes sense for me.

    Though now I'm leveling Misnomer on a PvP realm, I expect a bit of slap and tickle out in the world.  However, random duels are not something I'm a fan of at all.  I'm perhaps inclines to accept in a city, but out in the wild, in a PvP realm, you really can't afford to be caught off guard by some yahoo who want to randomly duel you.

    Here is a tale of my sweet revenge.

    I had just completed a corpse run to the Murkblood base in Nagrand.  One of my poisons had worn off and I'd foolishly thought to take on Ortor.  He's got a bit of protection that saw right through my stealth.  Perhaps it's because I was only level 64.  Nevermind, not important.  Anyway, I get back, and there's an Orc DK clearing a little patch outside the building where I died.  I decided it would be better to spawn there, rather than inside, and sat down for munch to get some health back.  As soon as I sit, the Orc DK has thrown down the duel.  I'm pretty sure he tried to duel me in Zangamarsh the day before, but I was resetting my talents at the time.

    So this time, I think "Okay. It's probably going to be a wipe, but lets get it out the way".  I accept, while still seated and eating. 3... 2... 1... *stealth*, and off to the side, I move.  I was trying to get behind him, when I feel down a gully. Maybe he saw me, maybe he heard me, maybe he was just as clumsy, since he fell down it too, but not on top of me.  And he wasn't stealthed, so he ran into a few Murkblood Scavengers.  Hee hee.  And then ran into two raiders.. oh, the sweetness.  There's only one thing better than winning a duel, and that's finishing it up with a fatality.  So I weighed in with a couple of stabs to win the duel any me Duel-icious achievement, and see him going down to the mobs that were still on his back.  I managed to Vanish out, but still had a couple of Murkblood raiders on my back, so I finished them off and high tailed out of there.

    He hasn't tracked me down, or whispered nasty things to me, which is a little surprising, but maybe he thought he deserved it.  Maybe he'll be a bit more careful about random dueling in the middle of contested territory in future.

    Saturday, August 21, 2010

    Misnomer sneaks back on the scene

    Sometime near the end of TBC, I got a bit bored with my toons on Malygos.  So I started playing some toons on Barthilas to see the Horde side of the story, and experience leveling in a PvP environment.  My primary character was a female Troll rogue, Misnomer, miner and engineer by trade.

    Misnomer made it to level 61 because the call of Malygos and the prospect of WotLK drew me back.

    Well, my current goals on Aman'Thul are now just to earn cash for the next gold sink, 5000g for 310% flying.  I'
    ve a primary interesting in earning this for Col, Blackthorn and Fidgette for ultra fast travel for mining, herbing and mining/mote extracting.  Eventually, I'll probably earn it for the remaining toon, but that will probably be done as a part of the Cata end game with whatever dailies are available then.  So far, Fidgette has managed to raise 7000g through AH sales of flasks, elixirs, potions, food, gems and enchanting mats.

    In the meantime, Misnomer is going to get some attention, as I play through the Horde side of things.

    So far, any actual PvP seems to be at a minimum.  Maybe it's because it's Outland and a release behind, or maybe it's because it's a PvP realm, but Barthilas really seems to be a Horde server.  I've not seen any Alliance at all while leveling through Zangamarsh.  Not that I want too.  Misnomer is horribly undergeared, and has only just managed to purchase the flying skill.  I don't even have any daggers to make the most of my Assassination spec that I've picked up from www.wowpopular.com.

    I'm not sure how much of the Outland zones I'm going to visit before heading to Northrend.  I've heard that Nagrand has a quest line that results in a visit from Thrall.  Are there any other Outland quest lines I should play before heading to Northrend?

    Thursday, August 12, 2010

    Nevy Hits 80

    Nevynoch finally hit level 80 two nights ago.  Armed with heirloom shoulders, chest and a dagger, he sped his way through Howling Fjord, Borean Tundra, Dragonblight, Sons of Hodir intro (up to here Thorim was taken), Argent Tournament intro, Ice Crown intro and the Shadow Vault.

    Since then, I've been gearing him, making ready for heroic instances.  So far, he's got a nice Nessingwary 4000 DPS gun, the Giantmaim bracers and leggings, the Icestrike cloak, engineering goggles, crafted shoulders and boots, and a couple of Wyrm Accord AGI swords.  I'm not quite done with enchanting yet, and I have some PvP items, like chest, gloves and belt that I'm not sure if they will be improvements.  I guess I'll be firing up Rawr before too long to get a good indication on what enchants I should be using.  The Warcraft Hunters Union has been pretty helpful for talent specs too.

    Speaking of specs, Nevy has now picked up Marksman has his secondary spec and new wolf pet.  The wolf pet now fills the last of Nevys stable slots, and it will be a bit of a wait for Cataclysm before being able to go out and collect some more pets.  After enchants are sorted, Nevy will be spending a bit of time in IF, practicing his rotation.  If he can get anything above 2000DPS, then he'll be signing up for heroics.

    As an aside, Fidgette managed to score some action outside of the auction house.  Instead of quest grinding for cash to earn money to by materials for all of Nevynochs upgrades, Fidgette jumped in her ROLFcopter and did lapse of Sholozar Basin, mining Saronite, Titanium and extracting gas clouds where ever possible.  Those gas clouds are a great source of Crystallized Fire, and seem to be thoroughly under farmed, fortunately for me.  Mind you, the single cinder cloud in Sholozar is a bit of a disappointment, yielding only 2 Crystallized Fire at a time, as opposed to the Steam Clouds, which can give up to 4 Crystallized Fire.  My other observation is that Crystallized Shadow is better farmed from Saronite in Ice Crown, than any other place.  Anyway, having a miner/engineer makes collecting Crystallized Fire a doddle.

    Friday, July 23, 2010

    Crabs are nice, if you like that sort of thing

    In a mad dash, before the early maintenance this week, Nevynoch flew out to Vengeance Landing to grab himself a Giant Tidecrawler.  I tried leveling with it for a while, but it really didn't end up being all that great.

    Sure, having the crusty crustacean stomp and pin the enemy down was handy, but I really don't have my game play down to do alot of pet managing when it comes to multiple mobs.  So I've put the tidecrawler in the stable for the moment, and have gone back to using Saucy, my albino devilsaur from the Ungoro.

    Shortly before bed, Nevynoch dinged 75 and switched his secondary spec over to Marksman and picked up the appropriate Glyphs.  I'll need to play with the rotation a bit, in Ironforge before signing myself up for a 5-man or two. 

    Heirloom items are awesome, I must say.  Just hit 75, I've completed Borean Tundra, the intro quests at Moa'ki Harbor and I've got Gjalerbron and Fort Wildervar to go in Howling Fjord.  By rights, I should be done in Dragonblight by now, though I'm likely to start the Drakuru line after completing Howling Fjord so I can pick up the instance quests for Drak'Tharon Keep.

    Monday, July 19, 2010

    Nevy Gets His Engineering Groove On

    This week, Nevy spent alot of time in stasis, while Col did the hard yards of collecting ore and smelting so that Nevy could get his engineering groove on.  Yep, Nevy dropped herbalism, and picked up Engineering. 

    That makes 2 toons with Engineering now, with Fidgette being the other.  Though Fidgette has Goblin engineering and Nevy has Gnomish engineering, but has yet to create some of the special Gnomish trinkets and tinkers that come with the profession.

    One of the biggest grinds with Engineering is the epic flyer, and I cheated somewhat.  Col spent quite along time, flying around Nagrand and Terrokar Forest, looking for the very rare Khorium vein.  He did manage to pick up enough to make 4 of the 8 Khorium Power Cores required for the flyer, but I just couldn't grind it out any more.  I wanted Nevy back on the level, and flying in his epic fly throughout Northrend as soon as possible.  With a handful of individual Khorium Ores going for 20g each, I ended up putting a bid of 1670g for a 13 stack of Khorium Power Cores.  I figure I can sell the remainder, but do so maybe 2 at a time, and make a little money back.

    The next big grind will be the 250 or so Saronite Bars required to level engineering to 449, so I can then make the goggles, hopefully hit 450, and then make the epic DPS gun!  I may even need to make a Wormhole generator as well, though I'd likely hand that off to Fidgette, since she's doesn't have one yet.  Oh, all those bars are needed to level, and will be used on Army Knives.

    Nevy has also switched back to Beast Mastery for leveling, and will probably take up a Marksman spec for dungeons.  I'll probably have to do a little soloing as Marksman as well, just so I can get accustomed to the rotation.

    My biggest complaint about Beast Mastery is the number of buttons.  I haven't done my proper research yet, but so far my soloing rotation includes (depending on availability, and can I be bothered):
    • Hunters Mark
    • Trinket
    • Rapid Fire
    • Serpent Sting, and reapply as needed
    • Multishot
    • Arcane Shot
    • Steady Shot
    • Killshot to finish off, if I remember or the pet doesn't do the job for me
    There's also the pet abilities of Beastial Wrath, Kill Command and Intimidation to work in there as well, as well as juggle Dragonhawk and Viper auras for mana, and the tracking as well.

    One of the things I haven't paid alot of attention to, and need to, is the Arcane Shot vs Steady Shot discussion.  Arcane is magic and Steady is physical, which means, for the most part, Arcane should be preferred, unless the mob has a magic immunity.  I've seen alot of arguments for Steady > Arcane, in that it does more damage.  However, that damage on the tooltip doesn't take into account armor mitigation, similar to Arcane Shot tooltip not taking magic resistances into account, either.  In PvP, Arcane is probably better against Mail and Plate wearers, while Steady is probably better against Cloth and Leather wearers.  Next time I'm shooting something, I'll take a look at those battle text numbers, and maybe even review Skada.  I'm likely to save ammo and mana by sticking to one shot or another for a single mob, and it may even improve my DPS.

    I'll be very glad when Cataclysm launches, and I get a trap launcher, and perhaps a better default UI for auras, traps and tracking.

    Oh, one thing I'm going to do with Cataclysm launches (and I may even be able to do it now), is to head to Vengeance Landing and tame one of those Giant Tidecrawlers.  50 stabled pets with 5 active in Cataclysm is going to be awesome.

    Wednesday, July 14, 2010

    Cataclysm Balance Druid Spec

    Update: This post is old and no longer relevant to the current build of the 
    Cataclysm Beta.  Now that I'm in the beta, if I come up with a Balance spec that I choose to share, I'll update this update with a link to the updated spec.  Update! (He totally said "date").

    The closed Cataclysm Beta (that I'm not in, yet :() has had a new build delivered (Build 12479).

    This drop is particularly exciting, because it contains the first pass of the new Talent Tree specialisations, in which you get 41 talent points at max level, have to put 31 talents in your first tree, and get 1 talent point and skill upgrades on alternating levels.

    There's a note on the MMO Champion link above that primary skills are learned when you pick you main talent tree.  At first, I thought this might mean you actually get those skills at level 10, but now I'm thinking that you may automatically learn them when you get to the appropriate level.  It's hard to say, since I'm not in the Beta and it takes a while for external sources of info to be updated.

    For example, Starsurge is listed as a Balance Druid primary skill.  However, according to www.wowtal.com, which seems to be partially updated for the new tree setup, has Starsurge listed as a tier 3 talent, which would mean it's not available until level 40 or so.

    Just for shits and giggles, I've come up with a Balance build I be likely using at 85.  Though it might be tricky to work out which 3 points I'll drop while leveling.  In fact, I'll likely use a spec that includes Owlkin Frenzy while leveling, because I'm likely to have mobs get all up in my business while Wrathing to oblivion.

    I've attached a screengrab of the build, for convenience, since it's likely to change.

    As I mentioned, not all external sources have been updated yet, so keep that in mind when viewing the screenshot.  Currently, it does not reflect that on 41 points will be available, and that a talent point will be available every second level.

    Hardcore vs Casual

    Wow.com is one of the WoW News/Blog sites I follow on a daily basis.  Some articles I'm likely to read more than others (Know Your Lore definitely get read, anything that requires YouTube or sounds only podcasts, not so much).

    And occasionally, I post replies to the comments.

    Here's one such question (tyler)

    what's the next lvl down as far as player-types? there's hardcore, casual....then what?
    what's below casual? this is a player that only logs on once a day or so, and does some battlegrounds here and there, maybe a few dailies to work on some rep, a few quests on an alt, etc etc. would this be super-casual?
    And my reply (Colerejuste)
    I think the base terms of hardcore and casual are grossly misrepresented. There's raiders, and then there are non-raiders. There are people who just do 5 man instances, heroic or not, and then those that don't even do that, and just stick to questing, leveling professions and doing soloable achievements. There are theorycrafters, followers of Elistist Jerks, browsers of wowpopular.com, people who spec from first principals and those that don't have a firm grip on the direction of their spec (which Cata will help with, somewhat). There are altoholics who love to level, or maintain as many 80s as they can, or those that have 1 main and bank alt. There are people that prevent the progress of their toons at level 19, 29, 39, 49 or 59, just so they can gear up that toon for BG dominance (they're called twinks in game, though you may wish to ask your parents about the real world term "twink"). Then there are world PvP, BG PvP and Arena PvP players. There are people that log 6 hours a week of game time or less, and they could fall into any of those categories. There are those that log 35+ hours a week, and they too, fall into any of those categories.

    The player who logs 35+ hours a week, just leveling alts, gathering and leveling professions or running 5man heroics and doesn't do raids could be considered just as hardcore as the player who 9 hours a week to do 25ICC heroic only. Both players might have a very good understanding of their specs, talents and spells for the level of play that they are at.

    And out of game, you've got bloggers, blog followers, ranters, forum trolls and care bears (though that can be in-game as well).

    Yeah, narrowing down the field of WoW player definitions to hardcore and casual is like to describe colour in terms of black and white.

    - Update 23/07/2010:  This post was featured on MMO Melting Pot. Awesome!

    Tuesday, July 06, 2010

    Who To Level First In Cataclysm?

    Over at my higher selfs site, I've made a posting on how to use Prolog to discover facts and relationships, and help determine which characters might get leveled first when the Cataclysm hits.

    In the end, I think the fun factor is going to win out for me.  In earlier days, it would have been possible to rotate through your rested bonus, and give each toon a bit of loving.  However, I noticed that in WotLK, running out of rested bonus was something that just never happened.  In Cataclysm, given that 81 to 85 is supposed to be as long as 61- 70 or 71-80, the only way to run out of rested bonus will be to hardly have any in the first place.  Rested bonus scales a little too well.

    A tentative preference for leveling will be as follows:
    • The Worgen Druid, playing until his rested bonus disappears.  Though I'm likely to go through levels 1 to 20 in one sitting.
    • Anion, because I'm having alot of fun with Balance, and I can fall back to Resto to get quick instances if I want them.
    • Colerejuste, because Pallies are fun, too, and gems are handy, and ore is handy for Pathaks Blacksmithing.
    • Pathak, because Blacksmithing will be handy for Col.
    • Benzol or Bojsen.  Depends on what combos of cloth are needed to make the next big bag size, if there is one.  Otherwise it will probably be Bojsen, because enchanting is useful for all toons.
    Some toons can just wait their toon, like Fidgette who mainly does my auctioneering, or Nevynoch, who negates my current boredom of running 5 mans with an over powered Moonkin.

    Sunday, June 27, 2010

    Nevynochs Misadventures in Huntering

    Anion has got just about as far as she can with improving her gear without raiding, so while she quietens down to do special events and her daily two Frost emblems, Nevynoch has been transferred to Aman'Thul and will be making some sort of effort to get to 80 before Cataclysm arrives.  Afterall, now that Path of the Titans is Way of the Dodo, Inscription will be King!

    Now, I've not much experience with playing a hunter properly.  Hunters, having pets, also make really great pets for Shaman, especially in a dual boxing scenario.  Which is how Nevy got to 60 with Znak, and then somehow muddled his way as a Beast Master to 70.

    Now that I'm picking up the class again, and will be trying as Survival, I'm discovering I'm really bad at it.

    I'm pulling agro off my pet, I'm running out of mana, I'm running around like a loon, trying to get far enough away to land an explosive shot on my target.

    It would probably help if I actually have my little bear Cheeks some talents, turned on Tracking for the appropriate mob type, and used by Aspects appropriately.

    /sigh

    Friday, May 14, 2010

    Heirloom zoom zoom

    Well, it looks like this Heirloom grind is likely to be alot quicker than original calculated.

    It turns out that I already had the BoA PvE leather shoulders and chest stashed away in the bank, and Benzol had 49 Emblem of various flavors waiting to hand in.  Since the 2H mace is 6065 Emblems, I ran a couple of daily heroics and now have 59 Emblems.

    One more daily heroic, and maybe 2 or 3 days worth of Argent Tournament dailies, and my Worgen Druid will have a reasonably good set of BoA equipment to get him through levels 1 to 80 as feral.

    -Update: 2H Emblems weapons are 65, not 60.

    Wednesday, May 12, 2010

    Heirlooms loom

    ... and generally make a nusance of themselves.

    In my previous post, I make considerable mention of earning some heirloom items via the Argent Tournament dailies.

    It's be drawn to my attention that there are items that can be bought with Stone Keeper Shards and PvE badges.  I kinda knew it, but didn't pay it much attention.  The Stone Keeper Shard equipment tends to sacrifice hit for resilience, and for some reason, I just didn't pay much mind to the badge costs.

    My opinion with the resilience gear is that it's not totally worth it, unless you're leveling via BGs.  For PvE leveling, the hit is much better.  It's also rumored that Resilience will be reduced to only reducing player damage in Cataclysm, and only damage generated from crits.  That puts a decided damper resilience gear for leveling.

    Now, badges costs:

    The shoulders and chest gear is 40 badges (compared with 60 seals), the trinkets are 50 badges (compared with 75 seals) and the 2 hand weapon I'm eyeing off is 60 badges (compared with 95 seals).  I'll have to do a toon scan to see if any of them have a few unused badges.  It's Emblems of Heroism, too, which is the WotLK entry level badge.  I know I have a few toons with 17 or so Emblems of Heroism that I can't justify spending, so maybe now I'll have a reason to run a few instances on them.

    And then there's the Dread Pirate Ring!  Another 5% XP to add to the stack, and available as a reward from the Kalu'ak Fishing Derby.  If I can remember, perhaps some of my fisher men will enter.

    Pathak back in the fray

    Well, I managed to stay away for a little over 30 days, but after getting a bit bored with DDO and it's futility for solo players, I've renewed my subscription to WoW.

    An addition, Pathak is now also a dwarf.

    I've played a couple of nights now, and I'm keeping play very very casual.  As always, there's a plan.

    The current plan is to gather heirloom items and bags for the new toon to be created when Cataclysm is released.  And in between times, I'll be fiddling around with Arms PvP for Pathak and Balance and Resto PvP for Anion.

    So far, Benzol is my only character capable of earning enough Champion Seals for all the heirloom goodies, but Col is very close behind.

    Tip: Make sure you hit exalted with Silver Covenant before finishing up the last of the Alliance faction dailies.  Same goes for Horde and their equivs.  You should be close by the time you get that far with the faction dailies, but it will be a drawn out few days making the final reputation, especially if you don't do Threat From Above and Battle for the Citadel everyday.

    Given that tip, that's the space that Col is stuck at, at the moment. Though he's only two days away from exalted.

    So, how many Champion Seals do I need?  Alot.  The chest and shoulder bits are 60 seals each, the staff, ideal for feral druids, is 95 seals and the health trinket, which I may as well get, is 70 seals.  That's a total of 285 seals required for all the bits.  If I were to do all the Champion Seal dailies, given exalted with Silver Covenant, that will be around 28 days worth of grinding.  If I decided to skip TFA & Comms, that pushes it out to 40 days.  Luckily, Benzol already has a tidy collection of about 40 Seals, and Col is almost ready to be earning his 10 Seals a day.  So that brings my grind days down to about 12, if I play both toons every day and do all quests, or 17 days if I skip TFA & Comms.

    Anion is also going to try and complete the Argent Tournament grind as well.  This will be mostly for the gold, since I don't think she'll be able to get to exalted with the Silver Covenant before Benzol and Col complete their grinds.  Although, the spell heirlooms could be handy for when the new toon runs instances while leveling up to lvl 80.

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010

    Cataclysm Raiding and Badges

    Blizzard released some info today on changes to raiding and badges in Cataclysm.

    Essentially, 10 and 25 man raids will offer the same item level for rewards, and badges (or points, as has been proposed) is a distillation of what has been happening with WotLK.

    Since I don't raid anymore, and have participated in exactly one 25 man raid in TBC, and have participated in exactly one 10 man raid in WotLK, my opinion is based on what I've heard from people I know directly, or what I've read about.  But it's an opinion, so I'll spout away.

    On the forums, there's been quite alot of sad people heralding the doom of the 25 man raid, even amongst those who apparently prefer to raid in 25 mans.  This is where I get to sit back and point, and laugh, and giggle at the hypocrites QQing about their game that they've been participants in, going down the drain.

    My thoughts:

    • Blizzard are making the change so that they don't have to deal with 4 levels of gear for each raid level that is released during the lifetime of the Cataclysm expansion.  They'll only have to deal with 2.  One for normal modes, and one for hard modes.  Alot of the complaints seem to be about 25 man raiders loosing an entitlement to better gear than 10 man raiders, simply because there are more of them.  This might be a legitimate complaint, if Blizzard were to introduce this change right now, but the current situation is that none of these people have played a Cataclysm raid, and it's highly likely that 10man and 25man raids will offer the same difficulty, as is appropriate for the number of players in the raid. 

    Anecdotally (?), I always thought the 40man raids were slightly more forgiving than the 15 or 20man raids in vanilla.  You could have 2 or 3 people die because they did something slightly silly, and the whole raid didn't have to bite the dust.  Similarly, I would have thought that a similar thing might have occurred with 25man raiding.  However, with slightly better gear being offered as a reward, perhaps not.  With Cataclysm, and raids that have not yet been implemented, or nobody has actually played yet, you'd think Blizzard will be taking this into account.

    So how do you compare a 10man raid with a 25man raid, and how can you find parity?  My guess is the DPS check.  Bosses usually have a health pool, and an enrage timer.  The simple math says you have to do this much damage per second before the enrage timer hits, or the raid wipes.

    For a 10man raid, you'll have 2 tanks (one being off-tank for adds), 3 healers and 5 DPS.  Therefore, raid DPS will be calculated by the 5 DPS and 2 tanks doing damage on the boss.  The 2 tanks don't quite add up to two full DPS slots, because they only need to scale for threat, but Blizzard probably expect a certain percentage of damage (I believe it's now called Vengeance, but only applied to the main tank).

    I've got no idea how many tanks, healers and DPS you have for a 25 man.  I might guess 3 tanks (2 are off tanking for adds), 4 healers (1 tank healer, and 3 looking after specific groups or the raid in general), and the rest are DPS (which would come to 18 DPS in my fictional group).

    Now, to find parity between the two raids, Blizzard would need to tune it so that the each contributing DPS member would have to output the same DPS, regardless of the 10 or 25 man format.  To tune this, Blizzard would adjust the health pool of the Boss.

    Of course, it doesn't stop there.  They would need to tune and find parity on a whole bunch of factors, like threat generation, damage mitigation, damage avoidance, adds, debuffs, buffs and whatever interesting effect that makes the raid fun to participate in.  In the end, DPS will heal the same amount of damage, and healers will be doing the same amount of healing, and tanks will be generating the same amount of threat, and everyone will be doing the same amount of fire dancing.

    On the surface, I might say that the people in the 25man raid who may deserve something more are the raid leaders and officers who end up herding the few waste-of-spacers who just turn up each raid slot, expecting to get their phat lootz, just because there are 17 other DPS, or 3 other healers capable of hauling their slack.  But in reality, when you're taking on a raid encounter, at level, everyone has a role to play, regardless of raid size.

    • Blizzard are making the change so over geared 25 man raiders don't render 10 man raid content pointless.

    The 10man raid format is good for guilds that want to keep things intimate, or can't or don't want to make up the numbers with randoms just to get some warm bodies filling spots.  However, what happened in WotLK is 25 man raiders taking their shiny 25man loot into 10man raids, blitzing it, then calling on Blizzard to produce more content because they're suddenly bored.  By having the same gear rewards for both size raids, and having a shared lockout, you're less likely to see 10 man content beaten so quickly.  You'll also allow an equal footing for 10 man raiders breaking into the 25 man scene.  The player wanting to trade for a bigger group to raid with can rely on their skill, not their gear, because the same gear is available in both raids.

    • Blizzard will still offer incentive for run 25man raids.

    Somewhere in the post, they did state that 25 man raids will drop additional rewards, and that these rewards would be more gear in a single lockout, more badges and perhaps more gold.  They still want people to run 25 man raids, and the trade off for spending more time in a 25 man raid will be less time spent trying to hit the Valor points cap for the week.  They want 25 raids to be the more efficient method of gearing up.  I think those that currently run 25 man raids, do min-maxing and want to spend more time raiding and less time running heroic PUGs will cotton on to this and stick with the 25man format.

    Now, points. Heroic points, Valor points, Honor points and Conquest points.  This is what Blizzard will be using to present the concepts of Badges, Emblems, Honor and Arena points in Cataclysm.

    Conceptually, it's not so different from what we have at the moment.  When each new raid tier is introduced, the currently top emblem gets down graded a little, and a new emblem is introduced to buy the latest gear to fill the gaps until you can get drops that may or may not trump.  Though instead of having a collection of 4 or 5 badge types at the end of the expansion, you'll just have Heroic and Valor points.  With Valor points, you can buy the latest gear, and with Heroic points, you can buy gear from the last tier.  This should make gearing alts for raiding a bit easier, and you won't have to deal with lower denominations of emblems that you can't do anything with. 

    I like the idea.. however, the representation is a little bleagh.

    We've been dealing with Honor for so long, and we're comfortable with Arena points, because Arena is a little like a sport.  But settling for the "points" system for PvE rewards seems a little boring.  I'd rather having something with a tangible name, even if it's going to be represented virtually on a Currency Tab.  I'd like to see some sort of stone, shard, crystal, gem, powder or even just dirt.  Magic beans are a more imaginative in game representation that points.  And for PvP, perhaps scalps, clasps, hilts, ears, swatches of dried skin or gladiator molars and canines.  It's hard to come up with something that hasn't been used before, but points, while easy to read in a currency UI frame, are just a little dry for the imagination and palette.  Even tokens, though tried and tired, strike up a bit more enthusiasm than points.

    The next transmutation material for alchemy will be interesting.  In Vanilla, we simply had enchanted leather, or converted iron to gold, and mithril to truesilver.  In TBC, we had Primals and Motes.  In WotLK, we have Eternals and Crystalized thingies.  In Cataclysm, the elements will be playing a bigger role and elementals everywhere will be spilling earth, fire, water, air, shadow, life and combinations therefore quicker than you can calculate just how many you'll need to farm to max any given profession.  Lets hope they come up with something better than Chunks and Lumps and points.

    Thursday, April 15, 2010

    Pathak considers Dwarfism

    I was reading an article on WoW.com today, and one of the questions was about deleting high level characters.  The writer had never done it, but had deleted a lvl 65 night elf warrior before race conversions were possible, because he looked silly.

    I don't mind Pathak being a Night Elf, but there are arguments for having him change race.

    I'm well represented by Night Elves.  Currently, I have Pathak and Anion, my two relatively active, or at least, played Night Elves.  Lore wise, I'm probably the wrong way around.  The warrior should have been female, and the druid should have been male, but never mind.  Back on Malygos, I also have Nevynoch.

    Human Diplomacy is handy.  Blackthorn, Benzol and Chivers all find the 10% bonus for reputation to be quite spiffy, and I really don't like the reputation grind.  However, I'm over represented by humans, too, so that probably won't happen.

    I'm under represented by Dwarves.  I've started two Dwarves in my time, but they never really got past lvl 13.  The first was Mosesjones, a Pally.  He disappeared to make way for Colerejuste when TBC was released.  The other was Roquette, a female rogue.  I had Fidgette on the go as well, and decided I didn't like playing the rogue class enough to have two of them, so Roquette went the way of the dodo.  The deciding factor was that female Gnomish rogues are too cute to delete, especially went they're being all stealthy-like.

    So, I think when I do get back to playing, Pathak will undergo a race transformation and become a Dwarf.

    There are bonuses for playing a Dwarf, but my info might be outdated.

    Treasure!  When Pathak isn't tracking herbs, he can track treasure.  Too bad if it's in a lockbox.  Maybe Cataclysm will allow Blacksmiths to create keys capable of unlocking high level lockboxes (not sure if this was possible in WotLK).

    Stone Form!  Now that might be a racial that is gone by now, but I do remember Dwarves once having the ability to temporarily increase armor via Stone Form.

    Enthusiastic emotes!  I find the Dwarven emotes to be the best of the Alliance classes.  Or maybe it's that I don't have a Dwarven character yet that I've not got sick of them.  I usually enjoy grouping with a Dwarf, and having /charge, /cheer and /ty coming through the speakers that the continue moanings of a male gnome(Bojsen: "Pleeeease heal me!" )

    Got any toons you'd like to see undergo a transracialmorphgrafication? (It's a Gnomish process, don't you know?)

    Monday, April 12, 2010

    Cataclysm Class Changes

    It's only been 6 days since I last logged into WoW, and 4 days since my subscription lapsed, but the WoW community has been turned on it's head by the previews of the class changes that Blizzard will be making for the Cataclysm expansion.

    MMO Champion has been quick to pick up the posts, and WoW.com has been close behind with attempts to offer insight in to what these changes will mean for players.  I've got no idea of what's happening on the official forums or EJ, since the Blizzard forums have a high troll ratio and Blizzard haven't released enough information for EJ theorycrafters to offer anything more than guess work, like most of the other sites.  Actually, that's a bit prejudiced of me.  EJ just seems to deal with what is better than what might be, and they usually don't tolerate flights of fancy all that well.  Maybe I'll check them out later.

    As yet, Pally changes are the only thing left unannounced, and we're not really expecting anything until April 16.  Looking back on how the Pally has been changed in previous expansions and patches, this is going to be "interesting".  The kind of interesting where you may wish for someone to "live in interesting times".  Nerfs, buffs, a complete change in paradigm or just not knowing how they could improve or scale the pally experience to level 85.  Who knows?

    Another "interesting" is the changes to the DK rune and runic power system.  I've been following Skeleton Jack for a long time, and his insights into the best specs for leveling and end game have enhanced my DK experience quite alot.  However, he's not a fan of the DK changes for Cataclysm at all.  I'm of the opinion that these changes are necessary if the class is going to scale to lvl85, and remain interesting.  If they're still up, you can read a few posts by Blackthorn on the site for my thoughts on the matter.  Hmm, I wonder if this would be one of those times where I should QFT?

    The druid changes have also been announced.  On the whole, also classified as interesting.  I was a little disappointed that there would be no new spells for the Resto Druid, but also comforted that Blizzard thinks they're in a good place and have just about all the spells they think they will ever need.  The Tree of Life changes are different though.  I think it will be fun to have the ToL become situational, instead of a passive effect that makes you not show off your armor.  I'd really like to see the caster form sprout a few branches from the forehead, much like the antlers we see on some druid artwork, or perhaps develop hands of Cenarius for temporary improved healing.  With this information, I think I'll be leveling my worgen druid as feral, then switch to balance/resto in Outland.  Well, I'll try.  That didn't work out so well with Dubh (now Anion) when an attempt to move to Balance was made at lvl71 with no actual Balance gear.

    Friday, April 09, 2010

    Glass Cannon Rail Gun

    Blizzard have recently released class changes for Warriors and Priests.


    http://www.mmo-champion.com/news-2/cataclysm-class-preview-priest/msg2464618/#msg2464618
    http://www.mmo-champion.com/news-2/cataclysm-class-preview-warrior/msg2468482/#msg2468482

    Priest changes look quite fun, offering a Mind Spike to fill the gap for Shadow Priests when they don't get a chance to ramp up their full rotation.. and shadow orbs.  I'm also a fan of the Leap of Faith ability, which can be useful to pull people out of the fire. 

    I'm sure there will be comical situations of playing tug of war with locks and mages, as PvP DKs and Priests from both sides push and pull their glass cannons from the middle of a battlefield.  In fact, I'd like to see a glass cannon rail gun effect with Horde DKs down one side, Alliance priests down the other, and an Alliance mage or lock getting pushed and pulled all the way down the middle.  For the callous of heart, your rail gun ammo could be a dwarf shaman, and a tauren balance druid could be waiting at the exit point to do a knockback off the end of a cliff.  Who knows, maybe we'll see some sort of WoW movie featuring some sort of dwarf or gnome toss by the end of the Cataclysm beta.

    Heroic Leap seems to be making a comeback for the Warrior, providing a leap and a thunderclap.  I wonder if Warrior changes will make Prot less viable for soloing as it was in WotLK, or it will leave it in the same place where you just don't do as much damage as your Arms and Fury counterparts, but you get the job done eventually.  Gushing Wounds looks fun as well, making a "run away now that I've stabbed you three times, will you?" seem quite undesirable.

    I'm really looking forward to the druid changes that will be out later this week (or next week.. my RSS feed to MMO Champion will keep me informed).

    Tuesday, April 06, 2010

    Taking a WoW break

    I've decided to take a little WoW break. 

    I'm not sure how long it will be for, and at the moment, all it consists of it removing my credit card details from the WoW Subscription screen so I don't get automatically charged.  My current subscription runs out on 8th April 2010.

    I'll be back again sometime before Cataclysm hits.  Probably when the Cataclysm beta starts.  I may even be back as soon as the end of May so Hinny and Grizzlyadam can pick up their Brew of the Month.

    In the meantime, I'll be playing a bit of Diablo II and a bit of Dungeons and Dragons Online.  DDO is free to play, and has been quite a refreshing change from WoW.  Most dungeons, except for the ones that have to be solo'd, can be done in Casual (really really really easy), Normal, Hard and Epic modes.  I think there's a Raid mode for further down the track.  In fact, before you can do a dungeon in Hard mode, you must complete it in Normal mode first.  And Normal mode is usually easy enough to do solo, and if you're good enough, or are running the right class, you can usually do the Hard mode solo as well.. well, at the lower levels, anyway.

    So if you do decide to play a little DDO, I'm on Khyber and are playing Colerejuste (Pally) and Anion (Cleric).  I may even buy a Turbine Points Bundle so I can be a Premium Member and get up to 4 character slots to try out a Rogue and some sort of spell caster.

    Monday, March 22, 2010

    Col tanks

    There's a slight problem with trying to be a responsible tanking these days, especially when you're just starting out.  You do your best to make sure you're defense capped.  You craft epics, you do the Sons of Hodir grind, you pick up a few easy upgrades from the Argent Tournament.  You practice your AoE rotation, but don't really have any in game tools to see how much threat you're generating and if it will be enough against the DPS who are all sporting 5K + GearScores, nevermind having to deal with agro pulls because of zealous DPS or not all the mobs got caught up in your AoE threat ability.

    So finally, you're geared, theoretically practiced and a bit apprehensive.  So you queue for a normal instance, hoping to get something easy to practice on.  Hello, Forge of Souls!  Well, not such a bad introduction really. There are only a few AoE groups, and only two bosses.  Col was very lucky to pick up one Lucky Old Sun.  For added effect, I had the Mongoose enchant put on it. Hmm, sparkly.

    With that one positive tanking experience under his belt, he queued for another normal instance, and got The Oculus. Not quite a baptism of fire, but I'm struggling to think of a more challenging instance outside of Icecrown.  Anyway, that actually went quite well.  I was a bit apprehensive with riding the Ruby Drake for the first time, but it turned out to be not so bad.  We did have one wipe, but that was before the last boss event even started, with a bugged whelp that was trapped inside a rock.  We really should have just moved to another rock, but oh well.

    After that, I decided to try my hand at a couple of heroics.  The first one to spring was the Culling of Stratholme.  I'll be glad when the intro gets cut shorter for that one.  It went pretty well, and we were able to get through quick enough for a crack at the Bronze Dragon mount (which we all passed on). 

    While I had my flask up, I queued for another heroic and got Nexus.  The DPS warrior in the group offered to tank because his gear was better than mine, but I declined, saying that I'd only just started tanking and that this was good practice.  And if I messed up too badly, I'd be happy to hand tanking over.  We got through it pretty quickly, and without incident.

    And with that instance run, I also scored enough Triumph badges to upgrade my shoulders.

    So, why Col?  Well, I just wasn't feeling confident with Blackthorn tanking.  I'd practice my rotation in IF alot, and I was kitted as good as I was going to get without running instances.  But in the end, I needed a confidence booster.  For the moment, tanking with Col will provide that boost, and I think I will stick at it until I have a full T9 set with trinkets, rings, etc.

    Monday, March 01, 2010

    Blackthorns UI

    This is Blackthorns UI.  I thought I'd stick it up for prosperity, and as a milestone.  Actually, the key mappings have changed a little, but the general layout is the same.
    Featured in the layout is XPerl unit frames, Bartender action bars, a bunch of Fubar stuff across the top, Recount, Omen, AlphaMap, SexyMap and Wintertime, not to mention Blizzards own objectives tracker.  I normally run QuestHelper, but since my move to Aman'Thul, I've been having out of memory problem in WG, so removal of QH has helped a little.

    What you cant see is Autobar on the right hand side, Gatherer and Auctioneer, and a whole bunch of smaller UI stuff, like Classtimers, Quartz, teksLoot, Cartographer and Deadly Boss Mods. 

    I'm still trying to get used to the whole keyboard only thing for abilities, instead of clicking as I need them.  I find myself looking at the keyboard to make sure my fingers are over the right spot, and then not moving as well as I should be, because my fingers are preoccupied with abilities, instead of doing forward and strafe movements.  However, battlegrounds have been good practice, and I'm going to start doing daily regular instances to work through instance quests, and practice the keymappings via DPS.  I'm still not sure my tanking gear, or my familiarity with the new layout is up to scratch for actual tanking.

    Sunday, February 28, 2010

    Next round of moves

    Dubh, Grizzlyadam and Fidgette have now made their moves from Malygos to Aman'Thul.

    Unfortnately, Dubh and GA had to be renamed and are now known as Anion and Benzol respectively.

    Nothing too special behind the names.  Anion was found as an alternative female elf name, though she could be interpreted as a negatively charged particle.  And Benzol, as a priest, well, he's just not good for you in certain quantities.  There's a good chance he'll need to complete the Brewmaster event later this year.

    Fidgette can be found in Dalaran, taking over duties of AH bitch from Crumpler.