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Monthly Archives: November 2007

Heroics wrong, Heroics right. CC, crowd control, is king.

The guild I’m in has this litmus test for joining them in Karazhan.  See, they’ve already got ten that can clear Karazhan in two days.  But ten isn’t enough for the follow-on places like Gruul’s Lair.  So they need more folks.

But they don’t want to take just anyone that shows up with a wand or a shield.  They’re expecting a high degree of competence as well out of it’s potential raiders.  Assembly of ones gear set is a start.  Msaker has gotten 4 of the 5 pieces of the Dungeon 3 set, and the missing piece is already upgraded with a Karazhan replacement.  Trading out a few pieces he can achieved 142 Arcane Resist, the minimum they’d like us to have for The Curator fight.  The last hurdle was getting at least three Heroic keys, and then proving yourself in your role in each of them.

My first Heroic was to Mechanar.  We had a Hunter, Resto Shammy, and I forget who the other two were.  It took a little getting used to the harder hits, and the special abilities, of the otherwise easy enough trash mobs.  Punch #1.

My second Heroic was to Coilfang Reservoir.  To the Underbog.  That was disastrous.  We simply didn’t have the crowd control.  My second try in Coilfang was into the Steamvaults.  This was kind of on a lark since we brought along a Holy Priest for DPS.  And it worked.  I described this Heroic a few weeks ago.  Punch #2.

Heroic Auchindoun was my last ticket to punch.  That was tough.  The first time I tried Setthik Halls Heroic we were myself, a Protection Paladin, a Fury Warrior, a Resto Shammy, and a Hunter.  I don’t make the group, I simply sigh inwardly and march out with it.  “Hamburger Hill” anyone?  We got one boss, but Ikiss eluded us.

Last night, though, was the Heroic from Heaven.  I was tanking, a Rogue, Mage, Hunter, and Holy Priest invited me.  Four/five pulls can be nightmares.  Except when you can sap one, sheep another, shackle another, and trap another, heck, I’ve only got one to tank?  Cool.  Punch #3.

Heroics can be as painful as you let them be, or as easy as you can make them.  It wasn’t perfect, but we cleared the place, and the Rogue got on his main, a Druid, and we summoned the Raven God to kill as well.  And when you’re depositing Badges of Justice into the bank account, that’s what matters.

The group consisted of the Guild Master and his top officer’s.  Watching us go through the place, and sapping for CC, one of the officers realized “We need more Rogues in the guild.”  We do.  (The officer was playing one, but he’s got seven other 70′s, one of each class, and the Rogue wasn’t his main.)   Rogue’s sap.  That was kind of a forgotten CC that we quickly learned to love.

If you’re going to raid, or maybe just do Heroics, make sure your guild has enough folks to make viable groups the routine.  “Thunderbluff Steakhouse” makes for a nice concept guild, but Taurens can’t CC beyond traps. … While two Hunters, a Druid, a Shaman, (one of which is Restoration, and only one) and a Warrior might make a decent instance group, and could be the core of an all Tauren guild, this group will have some real challenges in a Heroic.  Or maybe I just like my heroics to go easy.

You know, with this patch coming out, I can show my alts a little love, and I know my 70′s have so much more yet to do, I’m in no hurry for the Expansion.

P.S. Have you noticed folks returning to WoW?  And this is long before the expansion is coming out.  I’m half expecting the old guild master of Dark Ministry to resurface, following his hiatus in the Shire, and /whisper a “Hey.” to me.

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2007 in Instances

 

R&R, then work

Blackoof and Droonda spent a quite afternoon fishing.  Both Shamans feel the need to cook well, and fish for the soup bowl.  Mmmm, lobster.

fishing.jpg

And there is nothing better than spending moments like these with a loved one.

And following their return to Booty Bay to fish up some rare delights over in the Eastern Kingdom, Msaker got the call in.  “Come tank Heroic Auchindoun.”  I’ve had no luck there.  But the group was good.  “Sure.”

finally.jpg

The group was pleased with my single target aggro holding.  Multi targets I’m still a little weak though.  However: Dead Raven God.

And about now that lobster, with some fine Kaldorian bubbly, would be good!

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2007 in Uncategorized

 

The cutest thing

The wife’s Gnome Warrior, the mightywinky.jpg

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2007 in Uncategorized

 

The man in the back said “Everyone attack”

So, the last couple nights I’ve been venturing into Karazhan.  Wednesday night we killed Moroes, last night the Maiden of Virtue and the Big Bad Wolf.

I’d started a post earlier, about Death by Add-ons.  “Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.”  What had happened?  I downloaded some new add-ons and went into Karazhan.  I think it was AuraMap that did it.  See, I’d pull, hear 4-5 seconds of dagger thrown sound and then the battle was all around me and my tanking target was nowhere to be found.  Or our Pally would pull a big group, and as soon as he hit Consecrate my machine would lock up.  With the Moroes trash mobs.  With The Maiden.  I’d charge her, and next thing I know I’m dead.  Death by lag.

Anyway, offending add-on deleted I was back in business.  This is our guild’s B-Team and my first time tanking the Maiden.  (The A-Team cleared Kara in two nights, seven hours, to include Nightbane.)  It took me a couple times to get the swing of the fight.  The rhythm of it.  Tank her, trinket up as much defense I could, Commanding Shout, keep an eye over my shoulder to the healers, see them stunned as Repentence hits, walk the Maiden to towards them, let her pulse break the stun, move her back, recieve more heals.  It’s easy once you get the motion down.

Then on to the Opera event.  The Big Bad Wolf.  I have done the Romeo and Juliette Opera twice.  Never the Big Bad Wolf.  We finally got him down.  I was turned into Red Riding Hood once and got one-shotted where I stood.  Next time I ran my little legs off.  Round and round and I was back!  And we killed him that round.  These instance fights have rhythm.  If you know the music and the beat, and you know how to move and when, it all becomes doable.

So what’s with the glam rock title here?  The ballroom fights got me to thinking, and this just came to mind.  Someone in back marking, the Pally pulling, and all hell breaks loose.

Ballroom Blitz – The Sweet 

Are you ready Steve? Uh-huh
Andy? Yeah
Mick? Okay
Alright fellows – let’s go!

Oh it’s been getting so hard
Living with the things you do to me
My dreams are getting so strange
I’d like to tell you everything I see

Oh and see a man at the back as a matter of fact
His eyes are as red as the sun
And the girl in the corner let no one ignore her
Cause she thinks she’s the passionate one

Oh Yeah! It was like lightning
Everybody was frightning
And the music was soothing
And they all started grooving

CHROUS
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah-Yeah-Yeah
And the man in the back said everyone attack
And it turned into a ballroom blitz
And the girl in the corner said boy I want to warn you
It’ll turn into a ballroom blitz
Ballroom blitz, ballroom blitz, ballroom blitz, ballroom blitz

Oh reaching out for something
Touching nothing’s all I ever do
Oh I softly call you over
When you appear there’s nothing left of you

And the man in the back is ready to crack
As he raises his hands to the sky
And the girl in the corner is everyone’s woman
She could kill you with a wink of her eye

Oh Yeah! It was electric
So prefectly hectic
And the band started leaving
Cause they all stopped breathing

CHORUS Repeat

Guitar Solo

Oh Yeah! It was like lightning
Everybody was frightning
And the music was soothing
And they all started grooving

CHORUS Repeat

It’s it’s a ballroom blitz
It’s it’s a ballroom blitz
It’s it’s a ballroom blitz
Yeah, it’s a ballroom blitz

You can see it, can’t you?  “Oh Yeah! It was like lightning, Everybody was frightning, And the music was soothing, And they all started grooving”  Those fights, they can be like dancing.

But, back to Phlebas

Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.
Bin gar keine Russin, stamm’ aus Litauen, echt deutsch.

-T.S. Eliot, The Wasteland

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2007 in Uncategorized

 

Travels

The wife got some travel brochures today while I was at work. She was so excited when I got home. We were going to go places!

Our first stop was Ironforge. Old Ironforge and the Hall of Thanes.

The old seat of power? Did they remove the throne to upstairs?

secretironforge.jpg

Then it was to the airport for a quick tour there. Those engineers. So clever. Let’s go!

secretairport.jpg

Catching a quick flight, we soon arrived at paradise. I’m looking forward to retirement, dear. You, me, a farm, a waterfall, a pond, and the mountains. Sunshine. Fresh air.  A view of Menethil Harbor.

secretfarm.jpg

No, before you ask, my dear visitor, I won’t tell you how we got there. You’ll have to find your own travel agent for the tour.

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2007 in Explorations

 

My tanking UI

msaker-ui-full.jpg

I can provide the full size image.  Just click the above thumbnail.

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2007 in Uncategorized

 

Exalted. And, New Shaman ability? Alas, no.

Second thing first.

One of the searches done that brought a visitor to my site here was “WoW shaman stealth ability”.  Yeah.  Ghost Wolf!  Except you’re not really that stealthed and you got your name and guild bobbing over your head like lights on an emergency vehicle.  No, the only “stealth” move I ever did in Ghost Wolf form on a PvP server way back was to race faster than they could run through Ashenvale.

Second, Exalted.

I am Exalted with one single faction.  Alterac Valley’s Frostwolf Clan.  On three characters.  That got me two Unstoppable Forces, three nice epic rings, three epic trinkets, three epic mounts, and three tabards, the one Alliance nicer than the two Horde.  That would be for Msaker, Blackhoof, and Arcarius.

Now Blackhoof and Arcarius are nowhere near Exalted with anyone else.  Msaker is at least Revered with 6 or 7 factions.

He’s really only got one to reach Exalted with as a Tank.  That’s with the Shatar for the shield. And that’s just three more Tempest Keep instance runs away.  Cool.

The Shatar Skyguard has an AP trinket at Exalted.  Meh.  But I’m halfway to Exalted with them on Msaker as well.

Blackhoof has two more factions to reach Exalted with, the Lower City, for the best one-handed Elemental Shaman weapon in the game, and the Skyguard, for their caster trinket, both epics.

Arcarius, he has no idea of what is out there to grab.  He’s that out of things.  (For the Horde!)  At 68 he’s grinding Fire Elementals in Blades Edge for Msaker’s smithing.  I figure he can save questing till 70 for all the gold that will generate.  Till then grind elementals till he dings 70.  Boring, yes, but I’ve got a t.v. next to the computer.

If our Druids were high enough level, we’d be worried about getting Exalted with the Cenarian Expedition for that two-handed mace.

I’d love to know the reasoning behind the choices of which factions offered what.  (There are no Feral Druid drops anywhere in the Coilfang Reservoir.  But you’ve got to reach Exalted with them for the mace.  Odd, no?)

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2007 in Uncategorized

 

Crazy for tanking. A crazy UI.

Well, I like to keep things simple, so this interface is pretty much what all my characters see, just different buttons in the bars. Since Msaker is my “Main” it’s got to be best for him.

msaker-ui-smallest.jpg

I use a lot of ACE addons. Bartender 3 for my action bars.

My hot keys, 1-6 are:

Taunt, Sunder, Shield Block, Revenge, Shield Slam, Devastate. Outboard from there are Taunt (the five D’s of Dodgeball!), Spell Reflect, Intervene Macro, Shield Wall, and Thrown.

Above the hot keys are
Intervene, Disarm, Shield Bash, Pummel, Battle Shout, Commanding Shout, Demoralizing Shout, Blood Rage, Challenging Shout, Mocking Blow, and Concussion.

Central to the screen is _meta_ Hud. It tells me in Red, and verbally, that I have Aggro. (What I want.) It puts up Sunders like a Rogues combo points. It will also show a target casting bar (in addition to X-Perl’s casting bar).

The data flow is from Scrolling Combat Text, Outgoing on the left, incoming on the right, effects and happenstances above.

The Omen aggro meter to the left, DPS meter on the right.

Immediately to the right of my Hud bars I’ve got the Four Big Buttons. They are Shield Bash to interrupt casters, Thunder Clap to establish aggro on multiple mobs, Spell Reflect because spells ignore Plate armor, my Charge in and switch to Defense Stance macro, and Last Stand. After Heroic Mechanar I put Two Big Buttons up. After last night’a Heroic Setthek Halls it’s grown to Four.

Trinket menu keeps those handy for use during a fight. (I need to employ those much more than I do.)

I wish it were a cleaner interface but I’ve gotten used to seeing all the info.

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2007 in Addons

 

Hakked.

The guild took 12-14 members to Zul’Gurub tonight. The 3 60-something’s we had along were raking in the loot.

Droonda had never seen Zul’Gurub. Tonight she saw every boss. And every boss was defeated. Including the big guy, Hakkar. This was also Msaker’s first raid into ZG. Previously only Blackhoof had regularly raided ZG, and Arcarius went a couple of times.

hakked.jpg

This got everyone in the mood for the soon to be Zul’Aman instance.  Bear mounts!

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2007 in Instances, Screenshots

 

New theme

Time for a cool change
I know that it’s time for a cool change
Now that my life is so prearranged
I know that it’s hard for a cool
Cool, cool change
-Little River Band

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2007 in Musings

 
 
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