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Alt-itis

April 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Been putzing around on my small army of alts lately:

Warrior – 85, and went ahead and swapped from fury to arms in anticipation of this week’s 4.1 patch. I believe I can pull more dps as arms, plus arms is simply more fun; don’t like how at times I’m caught going “no buttons to hit” or “fuuuu rage starved” while playing fury. Second spec will remain prot so I have that option available if guildies need a heroic tank. I’m also a heroic Putricide kill away from a nice Frostbrood drake for this char, which should be done this upcoming reset. Yeah, only 6 or so months behind on that, but my warrior’s an alt, albeit a former main and with significantly more achievements than any other alt I have.

Druid, warlock, priest, paladin – All are in the 82-84 range (84, 83, 83, and 82 respectively). Despite being the highest level, I’ve played and enjoyed the druid the least…not sure why, to be honest. I did get him from 80 to halfway through 81-82 simply via herbing, hence his level lead. I’ve tried boomkin, kitty, and resto, and wasn’t really thrilled with any of them; apparently the only druid spec I’m remotely good with is bear…durr. Warlock (affliction/destro) and priest (shadow/disc) are a blast to play, least to me. Paladin has been relatively fun leveling as holy, but I’m running into the same issue with ret as I did with fury, where it’s like you’re sitting there at times with nothing to do. Sure, those times may be a second, but as a dpser, any time where I’m not doing something is time I’m not doing dps, thus wasted time. More time on target dummy needed (after a few mins of it, I was getting a better feel for the rotation/priority).

DK, hunter – 77 and 76 respectively. Both pull ~3k dps at their level (unholy and survival are their main specs, again respectively). Having to catch up their professions, but that’s on pace at this point.

Rogue, mage – both at 65, and they’re kinda polar opposites in terms of dps. Mage (fire/frost) completely wrecks packs with aoe (which is just about every pull now) and does respectable single target dps. Rogue (combat/assassination) isn’t an aoe machine, but does brutal dps on boss fights (where I can actually get rupture up, heh). I prefer assassination over combat, but combat smokes it with perma-sweeping strikes. I think I can pull higher dps on bosses as assassination, but with 90% of dungeons being trash pack AOE fests, combat’s the way to go (Until Fan of Knives at level 80…really thought they would add that at lower level by now).

Heirlooms are OP, btw. I’ll probably buy the new tanking ones, although I don’t know if I’ll use them or not, heh. I don’t think they need to add heirloom legs (which have been found via datamining), but if they do, I won’t complain.

Things will pick up for Kaz with 4.1; I may feel motivated to finish my Professor title from archaeology now that there are more “not-so-rare-rares” that appear to be added to the profession. I’ll also get another chance at picking up a bear mount with the return of ZA.

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Derp.

April 7, 2011 Leave a comment

Been a while since I could take the time to even touch this page. Fair amount of activity, but just a lack of time to get anything meaningful posted:

12/12 in normal content, FINALLY: Nearly 2 months (from around the time of my last post until now) ago we started on Nefarian. Not a difficult encounter, although for 90% of our attempts, I was resto due to a dearth of healers. Finally, last week we had enough healers I was able to dps, and equipped with my Reverberation talent I alone could lock down one of the P2 adds, thus allowing our other dpsers to go all out on their targets without worrying with interrupts (thus proving that dps shaman are king for this instance of interrupts). Up until last week, our attempts were constantly marred by disconnect after disconnect…and it wasn’t always the same people. Even folks with amazingly good hardware (myself included) would randomly get dropped out, only to come back dead (or worse, alive just before Onyxia respawned, resulting in more dead people if said person couldn’t take a dive in the lava fast enough). Last week, though, we finally overcame all of the garbage disconnects, excuses, and whatnot and made a corpse of Nefarian (again). Video of our first kill can be found here. Shadow priest POV. Also for whatever reason, Al’akir seems 100x easier on 10 man compared to 25.

Flirting with “FOTM”: If you’re looking for yours truly in the above video…look closer to the ground. That’s right, I was a goblin in that video. Feeling a bit bored, I checked out goblin animations and racials and decided to give it a go. Couple of days later, I started noticing a racial I was missing that was really starting to annoy me: Hardiness. Doesn’t sound like much, but I found myself in at least half a dozen instances of “if that stun wore off half a second sooner I could’ve gotten a heal off…” in the 3 days I was a good ol’ gobbie. That, plus I simply flat out started missing being an orc, heh. In fact, the experience has convinced me I should probably convert some of my alts to what I dub “the supreme Horde race”…but that’s an expensive endeavor. Cheaper than a weekend out on the town, I suppose, heh. I refer to goblin as FOTM because nearly half the Horde shaman on my server have race changed to goblin…and the whole feeling of “jumping on the bandwagon” had my skin crawling.

Elemental PVP, oh how I hate thee…: I’ve been moonlighting as resto for PVP for a fair amount of Cata so far. Elemental feels so pathetic for pvp right now that it’s simply frustrating to play. Quit my 2’s team in a fit of rage after losing several games in a row where I felt I could literally do nothing. Despite how frustrating ele PVP is, running around as resto right now reminds me of how god mode it once was late in BC (only surpassed by resto druids, but what didn’t they surpass then?). Rejoined the team, took some chill pills (simply a figure of speech; no drugs were taken during the queueing of arena) and just deal with it for now. Yes, I’m playing ele in 2s…fortunately my friend is a shadow priest, who has a fair amount of CC and peeling capability, which an ele MUST have if they want to do anything in arena now. The one game I went resto with my friend, we won…but it was a 20 minute ordeal vs an affliction lock/resto druid team. We’re not exactly patient with arena; we want games done in 5 mins or less, heh.

ARGH SO CLOSE: In the past 2 months I would slave away on weekends for various Call To Arms for BGs I needed achievements from, and now I stand 1 achievement away from the Battlemaster title I’ve coveted ever since seeing it in game: Arathi Basin Perfection. The infuriating part is I have this achievement on 2 of my alts, and I’m over 150 recorded AB victories on my shaman without a perfect win. I still say it’s a matter of when, not if…but damn, it’s irritating. Repeated efforts to form an organized group for it have fallen through due to folks not being online. Even without Battlemaster, I’ve managed to eek over the 12k achievement point mark, which felt pretty cool. Not sure if I’ll get to 13k, though! 😛

All for now…I’ll try to be a bit more prompt with updating this in the future, though, perhaps my once-a-week-or-two shenanigans, which I think is fair.

Fire totems: Oh how I love (to hate) thee. Initial raiding impressions

January 10, 2011 Leave a comment

The dust from the holiday shenanigans has settled down, playoff football is upon us, and many guilds such as mine are now kicking off raiding in Cataclysm. I’ve been splitting raiding time between resto and elemental, which doesn’t bother me whatsoever; If my switching to resto for a day means we start a raid on time, then I’m all for it, because I hate wasting time.

I actually find playing resto fun and enjoyable currently. It’s as if shaman have tools for healing any and all situations right now. The new “healing model” for Cataclysm has taken little adjusting to on my end, since my playstyle when healing already fit the framework Blizzard had planned for Cata healing. As far back as BC, I would always load up on MP5 (now spirit) on as many items as possible, for I am always afraid of going OOM. I preferred to gear for long fights, such as heroic LK during WotLK (a fight that could take upwards of 15 minutes for a kill). The resto shaman mastery, Deep Healing, works nicely in my opinion. It’s basically a form of crit that isn’t a chance; it’s somewhat more reliable, although I don’t know how exactly the game determines how much benefit your heals get on a target (something I may research on a slow work day, heh). I won’t advocate stacking mastery, mind you, but if you get some here and there on your gear, it’s not the end of the universe; worst case, you can reforge some mastery into haste/crit/spirit.

From an elemental standpoint, it hasn’t been too bad. In our 25 man runs, when I’ve been dps, I’m usually in the middle of the pack, leaning toward the top. In most cases, I’m within 10-15% of the top dps, which I find acceptable, since part of that can be attributed to level of play, aka me slacking. In non-gimmick fights, I’ve been averaging 15-16k. I suspect this number will go up in weeks to come due to not only acquiring gear, but better dps uptime due to knowing the mechanics of the fights.

One thing as elemental that’s been both a blessing and curse is our fire totems. It is a blessing that we are no longer relegated to having to be a “Totem of Wrath bot”, as I’ve seen it called (albeit with more suggestive language, heh). Now that we can consistently use dps totems instead of a buff totem, it’s pretty sweet…when the totems aren’t retarded. Searing Totem makes me want to strangle kittens at times. On many occasions when there is a target switch (aka one trash mob dead, on to the next one that’s right beside it), the totem won’t acquire the second target. I quickly learned to recall/redrop ST on the Omitron fight, because it’s insistence on hitting a shielded target caused us to wipe.

Then there’s our beloved Fire Elemental Totem. It’s a massive dps increase when compared to Searing Totem, but it would need to be since it’s a 5/10 minute cooldown (depending on whether it’s glyphed or not). FE, though, like it’s searing kin, has a mind of it’s own at times and will attack whatever it fancies, regardless of what mob has my flame shock on it. It also has a leash back in the event a mob gets too far away; this isn’t a big deal for searing totem, since it can simply be placed again. Not the case for FE, since it has a cooldown. FE also has a tendency to get insta-gibbed due to raid damage/mechanics, such as what happened to mine during Twin Dragons attempts in Bastion last night. I’m not sure what exactly gibbed it; there’s a pretty good possibility I plunked it down in a bad spot, or at a bad time, or both.

There’s an ongoing discussion of the fire totem matter in this Totemspot thread. There are a couple of ideas posted there that I find interesting, such as letting Unleash Flame, a spell seldom used as elemental, refresh or extend our flame shock’s DoT duration. A simple yet radical idea floating about is letting elemental shaman use the elemental totems (earth and fire) as permanent pets. The way I envision it, searing totem could be scrapped, thus relegating us to using Flametongue for the spell damage increase, then having the elemental function as a mobile searing totem. One downside is that it would lose it’s aoe DPS, but that spell could work akin to a mage’s blast wave, only without any knockback/daze (if they still have that). Otherwise the elemental turrets flame bolts at our target. The earth ele could simply function as a “tank” pet, which is pretty much what it does now.

Keep in mind the ideas posted here are 1. most likely not original, and 2. purely wishlisting, if you want to call it that. I’m not wishing for these things; if they are added, great, if not, no big deal. I honestly would never expect to have either of our elementals as permanent pets, even for just the elemental spec, since we would be treading dangerously toward being a warlock or hunter. I don’t see any harm in generating ideas, be they practical or ridiculous; any kind of idea could provide fuel for the proverbial fire that is the Blizzard think tank that conjures up the changes that DO take place.

Overall, I’m satisfied with my shaman experience in Cata, but that isn’t to say that it is perfect and is in need of no improvement. I’m seeing things, such as issues mentioned here, that could use some attention, but they aren’t game breaking issues at this point.

How to end an expansion on a high note

December 7, 2010 Leave a comment

As of about 8 hours ago, hordes and alliances of WoW players (seewhatIdidthere?) ventured forth to begin the quest(s) to 85 for the first time on live servers. I happened to log on at 6:45AM, about 4 hours after launch here stateside, and at least half of the 23 people on from my guild were already 81, with 2 being 82. I only had enough time to train for Illustrious Grand Master in all of my professions and pick up Archaeology, for I did not have today off of work. That’s ok, though, because I have Mondays off for the remainder of the year. 🙂

Yesterday, I managed to accomplish 2 goals I had set before Cataclysm officially befell us. Despite the fact I had told my friends I was not going to do any of the new quests in Kalimdor or Eastern Kingdoms until I could fly, I found that even on a mere epic ground mount I was able to blaze through quests at lightning speed. I managed to complete all but 2 zones worth of quests in Kalimdor, which put me at a nice even 10000 achievement points. Had there not been a reduction of points with the Shattering 2 weeks ago, I would’ve had this number cleared sooner. Of course, said reduction in points was due to several achievements converting to feats of strength. I would have gotten all of Kalimdor’s quests done and probably a fair portion of EK had I not decided to beat my head against the RNG wall that is fishing achievements; I managed a new sea turtle mount but that was the only achievement I managed out of a good 15-20 hours fishing over the past week and a half.

Oh, did I mention there were 2 goals? During the last 2 weeks, there has been a flurry of people/groups gunning for Herald of the Titans, where you basically defeat Algalon in 10 man Ulduar using the proper level gear from the time. A trio of guildies got in a group that started working on the achievement several weeks ago, and they managed to get the title this past Wednesday. I had messaged the leader of that group (not a guildie of mine) to pull me in if there was room, which there wasn’t. Friday, one of my Real ID friends messages me while I’m on an alt, stating one of my guild’s officers was looking for me. I don’t get messages like that unless it something with a degree of seriousness, so I put my serious face on and hopped over to my main. Turns out said officer was in another Herald group that I was unaware of, and that group had a healer that had quit/transferred/etc., and they wanted to know if I still had my gear set. Despite the fact my Herald set was tailor made for elemental, I managed to bastardize it enough to make a half decent resto set of it. We then proceeded to make a couple of pulls, one of which we got to 25%, before my officer and I had to jet out for more attempts on HLK 25 (which we did not get mainly due to the Internet Monster devouring random people’s connections). We came in last night and by 10 PM server (a mere 5 hours before Cata went live here), we came through with the title. Sadly, in my haste and excitement, I didn’t get a screenshot although we did take a group pic. Oops. 😛

After weeks of wiping on HLK 25, ending WotLK with Herald and 10k achievement points feels pretty good. Now it’s on to 85 and all of the new and exciting events/raids/etc. that Cata has to offer. I’m looking forward to hopping on later today after work with a couple of my buddies as we smash face through Hyjal/Vashj’ir (thinking we will run Hyjal first) and have a great time in doing so. As much as I’m a sucker for achievements and feats of strength, I’m more than happy to concede all of the realm first shenanigans. To those seeking them, though, good luck and have fun, and see everyone at 85!

Out with the Old and in with the New…Old…wait, what?

November 22, 2010 Leave a comment

So, here we are. Tomorrow brings patch 4.0.3a, and with it comes the Shattering, which is the event in which the lands of Azeroth are permanently rearranged by the reemergence of Deathwing. We will receive a Feat of Strength if we manage to be somewhere DW shows up to scorch by standing in the fire he leaves in his wake.

The Shattering brings about the end of mount farming for several prized mounts, most notably the raptor and tiger mounts from ZG, since ZG goes from being a raid instance to a leveling area. Sadly or luckily for me (depending on whether you see the glass half full or half empty), I’m 1 of 2 regarding those mounts, the one being the tiger (which is by far the more desired of the two Horde side). Yesterday I downed Mandokir for the last time (least as a raid boss) and came up empty handed. The raptor mount was the only thing I had left to acquire in ZG; I had fished up Gahz’whatever (forget his name), killed Hakkar, acquired the tiger mount, exalted with Zandalar, and picked up a Razzashi hatchling.

Another mount that I won’t be able to obtain: the Swift Horde Wolf from ToGC 10, via Tribute to Insanity. This one’s really my fault, because it could’ve been farmed for months now. ToGC, as I came to find out merely 2 weeks ago, is a total joke in ICC 25 gear. Sadly, no one wanted to bother farming the place until it was announced the mount would be unobtainable. Shame, really, because it’s the one mount I think I would ride around on rather than the tiger.

As much as I may find not having those mounts disappointing, it’s not the first time I missed out on a now-unobtainable mount. I was around during the flurry of groups farming ZA for Amani Warbears, yet I never did get in on a group to get one. Granted, in my defense, it was as if everyone and their brother had one by the time 3.0 came out, so the mount had lost some luster at the time. Now it’s actually somewhat rare to see one, at least compared to how back in the Shattrah days you couldn’t move 5 steps without tripping over one.

On a bright note, I’ve been chewing through achievements over the past week or so, and Saturday evening I managed to partake in one of the most luck-based and aggravating achievements in all of WoW: We Had It All Along *cough*, where we won Arathi Basin 1600-1590. I’ve had at least 2 close calls getting the achievement only to be foiled at the last minute (one of which was by our own team capping a node with < 20 seconds to win). With this achievement out of the way, the path to Battlemaster got about 10 times clearer for me; I still have to net perfect wins in AB and AV, but after that it's a matter of just winning BGs for the veteran achievements (and defending towers in AV, which with 50 wins to go should be no problem obtaining).

Highlight/lowlight: The AB achievement I acquired came with the company of friends, one of which obtained Battlemaster with said victory/achievement. Unfortunately, another friend of mine got DCed and could not get back in, so he had to sit and watch as we pulled the victory off. He handled it as a good sport; although he did later put in half a dozen tickets griping about the issue. I've noticed people randomly DCing and getting booted from BGs ever since 4.0, so perhaps it's the "working-as-intended-balanced-at-85" thing going on.

In coming days I will probably post my review/opinions on WotLK. For now, I think the following video would be appropriate for the upcoming Shattering:

Also, last but not least, set your hearth back to a faction capital city (Orgrimmar, Stormwind, etc.) today, else getting out of Dalaran will be a pain in the butt due to the portals being removed (unless, of course, you play or befriend a mage).

/cast reincarnation

October 25, 2010 Leave a comment

Oh no I didn’t…

After some RL shenanigans and talking to a friend about our WoW adventures, I’m going to give things another go…but with some changes. The key change is I am pretty much ditching any and all alts I’ve ever played. I was completely out of my mind with what I was trying to do; playing every single class at the highest level with all professions at my disposal was nothing short of insanity, the Insane title grind be damned. All the grinding on all those toons eventually took it’s toll on me, and it was showing, least to everyone but me.

So what character basket am I placing all of my eggs in? Shaman, of course. From vanilla up to now, it’s the one class I’ve enjoyed through thick and thin. That, plus I have more achievement points on my shaman than I do on all of my alts combined, heh. I can play 3 of the 4 roles in the game as a shaman, and the one that I can’t (tanking) is the least appealing of them all, anyhow; if I have an itch to relive my warrior days, enhance has that covered in it’s own cool shamanistic way.

All that said, I log on last night and had to spend 2-3 hours rebuilding my UI (I lucked out that macros are apparently stored server-side, or else my uninstall didn’t remove them despite the entire WoW folder on my PC being deleted) as well as retooling some of my gear, namely via reforging. Currently I’ve dropped crit in favor of spirit and mastery, but I’ll probably look at some ways to change some of the crit > spirit reforges into crit > mastery. I may also shave some haste off my trinkets in exchange for more mastery.

Spent some time firing at a target dummy and found I was rusty as all get-out. Currently looking into trying Power Auras and/or Event Horizon to help with keeping track of Lightning Shield charges and Lava Surge procs. I’m hoping Event Alert would do the trick, but I haven’t seen any posts to confirm/deny this. Addon requirements aside, I’m liking the new dynamics. Given time, I’m under the impression I’ll see a healthy gain in dps over what I was capable of pre-4.0. That said, I have zero numbers to back up that statement, ergo it’s merely a seat-of-the-pants feel, namely caused by “LOL 18k ES CRIT” and such reactions. I’m thinking I forgot to set up glyphs, too. Derp!

More to come as I start to regain my sobriety, because right now it’s as if I’m in some permanent state of drunk with how everything in game feels.

And for something a little different

September 9, 2010 2 comments

I haven’t done much notable stuff on beta (just got to 81 at one point last week), but I did pick up a rather snazzy achievement last night. Now I present Acheron’s first heroic Sindragosa 25 kill:

I did not record this; this work is courtesy of our shadow priest, Thaeron, so props to him for setting this up. If you are looking for yours truly, I’m the only orc shaman running around, usually off to the left whenever I a.) had Unchained Magic or b.) was running down to duck behind a frost tomb.

Of course, I die after Sindy goes down because everyone was being a goober going “YAY WE WIN!!1!1one” while I’m going “MMRMRRMRMRMRRMRRMRMRH”. That’s what I guess I sound like being encased in ice. o.o

Now we have options: We will work on Lk heroic some on Sunday, but starting next week, we will either start clearing all of heroic ICC to work on LK more, or we’ll treat ourselves to some faceroll achievements in order to obtain Icebound Vanquisher mounts. Either way, I’m happy.

Unrelated note, the little world event for the retaking of the Echo Isles is entertaining. Be a part of WoW history if you haven’t already!