Blackhoof got some extended working hours last night. (The wife didn’t feeling like playing.) So I returned to the marsh and recovered his body. Collected a few more spores sacs, rounding out to 20 again, and then I returned to Fahssn, the Sporeggar who is trying to protect their young by enlisting passersby. Turning those sacs in, and the Bog Giant tendrils as well, Fahssn indicated Blackhoof had pleased his race well enough that it was time to go visit them personally. Cowman in Mushroom Land. I checked out the quartermaster’s offerings, sold some of the garbage Blackhoof had been holding on to, and then set out for more adventure.
The first mission was to kill a wasp called Blacksting for a troll in Swamprat Post. Something about big stingers impressing the ladies. *What* was the troll talking about? Heh. That was an easy enough task since this named wasp wasn’t elite.
Next, while I was in that corner of the swamp, I turned to go visit the Lost Ones of Umbrafen (Shadow Swamp) Village. And slay a lot them. For a Broken back in the Cenarian Refuge. He’d do it himself, but he’s old and/or tired. (Slacker!) These Umbrafen Lost Ones were a bit of relief. I felt strong again fighting these. I pretty much cut a swath through their huts to where their leader resided. About this time two Night Elves show up. A Warrior and a Druid. I don’t make note of their levels but the Warrior is wearing his full Valor gear. We move in together, the Warrior and I, with the Druid hanging back in caster form. Kataru, both our targets apparently waited upstairs. The Warrior indicated that I should go first, (I had reached the house first. This guy was certainly polite!), so I did and he took out the Witchdoctor. Kataru is a rather easy kill. I sit down to drink some water and wait around so I could assist the Warrior when Kataru returned with another Witchdoctor. But then I saw the Druid was level 70, he was 62, they were in the same guild, and she was probably just healing him and not grouped with him to maximize his xp. I stood, waved, they waved, and made my way out. I was looking for a few more Witchdoctors when I saw a lonely looking Tauren woman sitting in one of the huts. Ah ha! A damsel in distress. Gentleman that I am, I ask if I could help her in any way. Of course I can. Escort her back to Cenarian Refuge. I’m actually done with my appointed task there so I agree. We make our way back to the road and only encounter two or three pair of Lost Ones trying to stop us. They die just as quickly as she helps too. We make our way back to the Refuge and she thanks me. There was even a reward for that, either a nice caster type necklace (what I should have taken, maybe) and a nice one-handed mace (what I did take). The mace had 48 DPS versus the 40 my axe that I was using had, an easy enough trade-off.
But, the title of this post alludes to something more than knocking out little quests. Let me get to that.
I figure I had all night, so why not try the Looking for Group tool? I haven’t heard good things about it, but what did I have to lose. I picked Hellfire Ramparts, and two of the three group quests I had left in Hellfire Peninsula. A Troll Mage joined my party almost immediately. Level 62. “Sup” he says. “Hey.” With me in Earthfury, we got some healing. With him we’ve got DPS and crowd control. Then Anaz, a Warrior, whispers me “Can you use a Fury Warrior?” “Do you have a shield?” “Of course.” So I invite him. Level 62 Orc Warrior. Things are looking up. This tool works. Then I’m whispered by a Paladin. (Old School Horde thinking: “WTF? Pally?”) Level 65 Blood Elf Paladin. “Kuljit said you could use some help?” I’m thinking tanking, and healing. “You bet.” I invite him. Now things are really looking up. A Shaman whispers me but I’m thinking two Shamans… maybe we’d best hold out for a priest. “Alright.” he says.
We’re individually working on stuff while we wait for our 5th. Then my friend Nachmahd logs on and asks “What’s up?” “Trip to Hellfire Ramparts. Want to go?” “Yep.” Alright, in the case of friends and guildmates I’ll make exceptions.
A level 62 Mage, a 62 Fury Warrior, a 65 Ret/Holy Paladin, a 63 Resto Shaman, and me, a level 62 Enhancement Shaman with some decent healing gear.
And it starts out well. We sheep for crowd control and generally melt faces. The Paladin topped the DPS at 300+. The Fury Warrior came next with +240 or so. The Mage was below that. I was doing a mix of healing and casting and Nachmahd stuck to healing. He had the Warrior and I had the Paladin as our charges. We worked our way through to the first boss, Watchkeeper Gargolmar. They call that a fight?
He dropped some blue mail leggings, socketed. No Hunters in our group, and nice for an Enhancement Shaman, but with +Int that a Restoration Shaman might consider. Nachmahd told me to take them since I’m Enhancement. “You sure? We can roll on it.” “Buy me a beer,” he whispers. “Sure.” Nice. My first socketed item.
But, bad news. The Mage has got to go. Roh roh. “Invite Doomrogg,” says Anaz. That was the Shaman who whispered me earlier. Hell. Why not. We’re doing pretty good.
No crowd control though. Two Enhancement Shamans (one with decent healing gear), a Resto Shaman, a Fury Warrior, and a Paladin. Do you think we quit? Nope.
It was sweet. We worked our way to Omor the Unscarred. This was an easy fight. And, in general, we weren’t missing crowd control at all making our way through the mobs. And Omor drops this nice Caster staff. No mages, no priests. Hmm. Well, I’ve seen the Crystalfire Staff before. It’s a nice looking staff. But I’ve got my Staff of Dominance still, from my Molten Core days, and that’s got a +55 Healing enchant on it. It’s still, I think, a slight improvement on the Crystalfire Staff, so I wasn’t going to need it. Doomrogg was Enhancement, so he shouldn’t have needed it if Nachmahd, fully Restoration, wanted it. (Nachmahd kept Anaz Earthshielded most of the time.) Doomrogg said he didn’t need it, and Nachmahd said he didn’t either (WHAT?!?!) and they started rolling on it. WTF? So I rolled on it, and won. Grats, Kadaj, the Paladin said, and the group moved on. Sheeyet. Nachmahd, my friend in real life, has been in back healing with a Cold Forged Hammer in one hand (which has some +Int and +Mana Regen) and his Immoveable Object in the other. “You need that. Take it.” I start running towards the group. Nachmahd turns around and loots it. It’s a wild upgrade for him if he’s going to be healing. Kadaj asked “Did Nachmahd loot that?” I said “Yeah, he should have needed that.” “Ah.”
So now we’ve gotten to the last bosses, Vazruden, the rider, and Nazan, the dragon.
Well, the Paladin knows what we need to do. He’s explained all the fights well. But we still wipe. Twice.
Three Shaman = three wipe recoveries. And a Fire Resistance Totem = Fire Resistance Aura. They don’t stack, but we can have complimentary stuff up.
Anyway, first time, Nachmahd is standing in flames and he’s trying to keep healing, but he’s burnt to death. I’m hopping around like a jumping bean and healing, but those bosses aren’t going down.
Oh, yeah, one thing I found funny. We’re standing in back. And I see that Nachmahd still has his Hammer and Shield in hand. I whisper him “Why don’t you have that staff equipped.” “I’m in defensive mode.” I’m taken a bit aback. “Huh? You aren’t being hit.” … “If you’re in back healing like this, go ahead and equip that staff. If you’re out soloing than the shield might be fine.” It takes a little bit but then that staff comes out. It’s a damn nice looking staff too. I love the stuff that’s got glowing auras all over it. The Staff of Dominance glows *and* includes the occasional lightning flash. The low rumble of thunder from a chain heal… this game rocks. (And now I’m wondering, as I’m writing this, where did he leave his Landslide Buckler? He’s still got that, right??)
Third fight. Vazruden drops like he’s been slipped some Rohypnol. And we’re working on Nazan. We’re avoiding the flames, but still… we lose the Warrior. We lose Nachmahd. We lose our Paladin. Roh roh. I see Doomrogg there, Nazan is really low on health, and then, booyah, he’s dead. The dragon is dead. Anyway, third times a charm. A defensive plate item and a defense necklace are in the chest. Both go to Anaz. But, hot damn, we did it. Hellfire Ramparts. 3 Shamans, Warrior, and a Paladin.
Later, recovering in Thrallmar, I comment to Nachmahd that he’s gotten a nice staff. And to keep the shield for soloing. “I’m a healer! I’m not soloing anymore.” Heh. Blackhoof saluted him and he logged off. Blackhoof rode back out to where Anaz was and helped him with some Ravagers, and then we started working on the Giant Collosii. After the 2nd dies (Warrior+Shaman. Not bad.) we start on a 3rd. I’ve got adds and I can’t heal as well, and he says “CRAP, I’ve got to go,” and he dies and I die. He never came back.
I return to Thrallmar and decided it was a good night. Nachmahd’s got a point. If you can party with someone, and you create some synergy with DPS+Healing, etc., do it.
And Shamans: If you’re Enhancement, carry some healing gear. And if you’re Restoration, carry some fighting gear. I’ve got like 7 points in Restoration, and all the rest in Enhancement. But my gear lets me heal real good. If you’re Elemental then your +mana regen and +spell/healing is going to work either way.