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Monthly Archives: August 2008

One of those “Singular” moments.

I knew I was going to push for this this holiday weekend.  Voila: Flight!

This really, really is cool.  This is one of many highlights.

The Druid has to be one of the more fun classes to play.

Flightform.  There is no subsitute.  :)

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2008 in Druids

 

Denied grinding for levels is a loss. Druids: Wild. Xp

I play with my wife.  We do quests together.  Hey, that’s great.  There’s lots of quests.  And I enjoy it.  Right now, as Druids, it basically feels like we’ve hacked the game.  In bear form she takes hardly any damage tanking, and in cat form I’m cranking out dps like a dodge hemi does horses.  We can stealth past most trash and get right to the heart of the matter.  We can heal up after taking damage, and our buffs are among the best in the game.  And we’re close, real close, to flight form.  Upon which, playing the Druids is going to feel like downright cheating.  And, hey, don’t get me wrong, that’s great.

So great, in fact, that I wish I had a way of getting a few levels more quickly.  In the old days I would have ground it out.  Concentrating on easy mobs which yielded secondary benefits like cloth, or leather, drops, for the experience.

See, I need that in order to stay in-synch with the wife and our quests together, but still achieve flight form in, like, oh, now.  :)

If Nesignwary wanted tails, that would be great.  I could go and knock that out on my own.  Then when we played together, all the tails could be hers and it’d be done that much faster.  Benefit to me would be the XP I got for grinding out the drops.  As such I collected the Obsidian Beads from the Warmaul last night, the cargo boxes from the shattered caravan.  But I couldn’t go after the “kill x of y” quests because I wanted to do that with the wife.

And I can’t grind out a level on mobs like in the days of old.  I remember thinking I’d get the last couple of levels on my hunter by farming motes of fire in Blades Edge.  I gave my pet fire protection and set out on the task.  I fill a bag full of primals, well all the primals I needed anyway, and what seemed like a long time, amounted to pretty much nothing xp wise.  I was level 68.  I remained 68.

Oh, now that’s funny.  Do you see the symbol “xp” makes?

XP. 

xp.

It’s an emoticon!  :)  That’s what the game is saying, isn’t it.  Lol.  Xp.  (Dang, that amuses the heck out of me.)

Anyway, true, okay, easy level gain can’t be achieved anymore by grinding, only by questing.  And if you’re questing with a questing partner you aren’t going to become A being of indescribable power.

Plus side:  Druids can complete quests like nobody’s business.  And we’re Druids.

*And, is it just me or is Lacerate really as good as it feels?  Hanging around the Ring of Blood, hoping that maybe there’d be a group that could use my help (I did help a horde group out from the sidelines), I was playing “cat and mouse” with the local ogres.  Except rather than going cat form, like usual, I was going bear form.  And I was using Lacerate very often.  And then looking at the damage log, Lacerate dot’s really added up, amounting to the 2nd largest source of damage, behind the white hits.  Now they aren’t like combo points.  So I don’t build them up like a reserve to then blow with a flurry.  They’re like a sunder with benefits.  I’ll assume Mangle adds to the Lacerate’s dot effect.  And if the lovely Itarilde can tank now, and she can, this is going to really bump it up a notch for her.  Cool.

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2008 in Druids, Musings

 

Sets reflect the spice.

My raiders don’t have nearly enough bag space now.  And it’s because of all the gear.

Stormsoul has a very nice +healing set of gear.  (Yes, I know +spell power is coming.)  It’s mostly Karazhan and Serpentshrine Cavern epics.  He’s got that parked in the bank.

Stormsoul has a very nice set of melee dps gear.  Vanir’s fists of brutality, both the slow versions.  (I’ve learned something.)  More SSC than Kara, big lightning bolt throwing shoulders, +attack power and +crit gear, all of it epics.  That full set is taking up bag space, since I’m Elemental spec at the moment. And the off-hand is unuseable at the moment.

And then Stormsoul has the Elementalist’s set of gear.  The 3 pieces of Tier 5 we have access to so far, the helm from Kara still, the chest from Mount Hyjal trash.  (Since Vashj and Kael still elude us.)  It’s not a bad set.  I can two-shot the Wretched of Quel’Danas so it works for me.

Stormsoul as a Shaman has 3 full, and unique, sets of gear, one per spec choice available to him.  Add to that certain trade-out pieces, more +spell crit vs. +mana regen, depending on fight), and I’m carrying around a veritable depot of gear.

As a Fury Warrior I’ve been a little better off, from bag space savings standpoint.  I’ve got the DPS set (all purples).  I’ve got the tanking set (some blues).  And if I were serious about it I should have a pvp set with more resilience.  My DPS set has 3 pvp pieces in it, and I think if I get tokens off the Prince, Grull, and Magtheridon, I’d probably get the pvp pieces, and not the tier 4 pieces, since the resilience and stamina, built for pvp, allows for better off-tanking in that gear than the tier 4 armor.  (From what I’ve read about a so-called “Ripper” off-tanking technique. Dual wield, dps gear, devastate spam, the resilience and stamina protect you.)

So much gear.  Why?

There are 9, soon 10, classes in Warcraft. 

Deathknight, Paladin, Warrior, Shaman, Hunter, Druid, Rogue, Priest, Mage, and Warlocks.

But so many more playstyles.

In viable end-game roles, let’s say Deathknights have 2 playstyles (DPS, tank), Paladins 3 (heal, ret dps, tank), Warriors 2 (dps, tank), Shamans 3 (2xdps, heal), Hunters 2 (marksmen, beast masters), Druids 3 (feral, balance, heal), Rogues 2 (combat, subtlety), Priests 2 (heal, dps), Mages 2 (fire, frost), and Warlocks 2 (dps, demons).  That’s at least 24 different approaches to the game.  At least 24 different gear sets.  Wow that’s a lot of bag space.  Haris Pilton, here we come!

Shamans can heal Heroics.  They can top dps charts in raids as melee.  Or casters.  It used to be they were just healers, and off-healers at that.  Warriors can absorb the most damage in a raid encounter and also, the other Warrior! ;),  be at the top in the damage dealt.  Did the Warriors top the damage charts in Molten Core?  No way. 

All our sets are justs a reflection on the variety of playstyle available to us to now.  The fewer sets won’t change the spiciness though.  I’ll have 1 set with +spell power, and that’ll be cool.  And that’ll be a good thing since I need the bag space.  ;)  And, Hunters, come the expansion, get used to hearing “It’s got Mana (or Agility)?  It’s Shaman gear.”  :)

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2008 in Musings

 

Florida vacation pwned by Fay. Beta? Alltop.

Up my way in Georgia, it’s been kind of a dry summer.  When Fay rolled in we were thinking, “Great, the plants will be watered while we’re gone.”  Gone to visit family down in Florida.  But what’s good for our plants is not so good for us if we’re hoping for sunset walks on the beach.  No sun, no sunset, no sunset walks on the beach.  And we’re only here for a long weekend, so … glad it’s keeping our yard watered up north at least.  And family is here regardless of any bad weather.

And the wireless is pretty bad here at the hotel. Waiting out a rain shower and trying to get a little cash, I head to Quel’Danas with my hunter.  Send in my pet, run to berry to harvest, everything pauses, I wonder if a disconnect is imminent, pet dashes in, it’s at 1/3 health, mob is dead, someone else just looted my berry.  I’m like half there.

So I read a few blogs, clean up the blogroll a bit.

Folks are all talking about the beta.  I really wish I had a beta key.  But, then again, would I use it in all seriousness?  Would I spend all my time racing to the level cap?  No, probably not.  I’d try out the barbershop.  I’d go tame some fun looking pets.  I’d try crafting some gear and seeing how it compares against my current kit.  The cobalt plate armor looks cool, from what I’ve seen.  It’s just a shame it might not replace anything I’ve already got. And would it not be a crying shame if level 70 crafted gear, stuff available straight off from a trainer at the old maximum crafting level, replaces all your hard earned epics? It’d be a shame if it did, and it would be a shame if it didn’t, since it looks pretty cool.  But, anyway, time spent in the beta is time not spent in the “real” world.

And in the “real” world I’ve still got my Paladin to bring along, only 55 now.  My Druid is tantilizingly close to being Northrend-ready (level 66), with bank full of level 70 gear, 3 of which are epics. And it would really be great if folks needed my priest, level 44, as an instance healer.  I guess I should play her more in order to be available for that.  For at level 50 she could open up her tailoring and enchanting skillups again.  (Both are maxed now.)

My Horde-side raiding guild has shown itself wonderfully able, but at the point where summer slowed down progression due to attendance issues.  (Says the guy in Florida.)  This time around, though, we’ll all be together at the start of the expansion, and with the organization we’ve got, there’s going to be some great things coming out of them.  Warcrafter.net reports us, Grim Legion, as the #4 Horde guild in terms of progression.  Hard to believe, but I like the sound of it.

Oh, yeah, Matticus pointed out that my blog here is an offering over at Alltop.  Woot.  Thanks. It looks like a great concept and might just replace my own blog roll of links.

And that’s about it.  Back to weather watching.

P.S. Have I, cough, cough, already mentioned how much I’d love a Beta invite/key?

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2008 in Musings

 

The timeless look.

I snapped the photo that became the new header the other night in Orgrimmar.

We’d just farmed up the last of the primals required to craft the lovely Droonda a Storm Helm.  And there with her Shattered Sun Offense tabard, her couple of matching pieces of honored reputation pvp gear, and two fel edged battle axes that I also crafted for her, the ones that cross on your back, (yes, they’re too fast, but she’s an Orc and I could craft them) she was looking particuarly Ninja Orc Shaman Princess.

And Msaker, with his Wicked Edge of the Planes, and the Prince’s own Decapitator, the glowing PvP shoulders from Season 1, the same tabard, and that wickedly delightful helm of the Headless Horseman, that glowing green, maniacal laughing, helm…

The screenshot looked more washed out than what is posted above here.  Because what is posted above is basically fantasy art.  Everything is right, for me at least.  The mood, the feel, the flow.  That sinister glance of Msaker as he looks off to his left.  This is unedited by software by the way.

It’s kind of funny, but I can’t even tell if the graphics are out-of-date.  And I don’t care.  The graphics in LotRO are nice, but don’t really appeal to me.  The EQII graphics were the same.  They had that whole “Uncanny Valley” thing going for/against them. 

And nearly a year later I’ll be loath to replace that helm with Tier 4 (should The Prince ever do me that favor), or the PvP version (Season 1 via token hand-in at Quel’Danas).  The current Season 2 helm, horns, I don’t like.  Season 3, the brawlers “face mask” helm looks okay.

I don’t RP.  I wasn’t an Orc, left as an Orphan in a Tauren household, raised by Troll Warriors to be a fighting machine, to exact my revenge on … Warlocks for the destiny they made for my branch of the Orc race.  Or gnomes, because they’re short, but real.  I’m not seeking my grand destiny in the footsteps of Thrall, because, frankly, it’s a game, and my destiny ground to a standstill at 60, and has ground to a standstill again at 70, and will grind to a standstill at 80.  Kind of like Col Kurtz ground to a standstill out in the jungle.  And look what happened to him.

I’m not a numbers guy.  That is, I am, but not like a hardcore raider would have to be.  I’ve got nearly a 30% crit rate, and I’m working on it, and my Attack Power.  I’m not wearing Pally plate, for instance, because it looks sweet.  I’m casual enough about my numbers, that I’ll work on them, but not so I wind up looking like I scavanged through the bargain bins down behind the local clothing wholesaler.  Nor will I spend all my gold on the perfect epic gems for a piece of gear I should have replaced.  What did Fernando say?  “It’s better to look good than to feel good.  And I look marvelous!”

No, I’m just playing an Orc across from my wife, also an Orc, and we look good as Orcs, and that’s pretty much what matters when you’re playing in a fantasy world, isn’t it?

And I guess familiarity with what you’re seeing goes a LONG way in how well you like it compared to something else.

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2008 in Musings, Screenshots

 

My thoughts on Tanks and trends

I was reading WoW Insider and they had a recent article up that caught by interest.  It was about tanking in the Wrath of the Lich King.

Supposedly, any class that can tank, can tank the regular up-coming five-man content, equally well, without being a tanking spec, except perhaps the Resto Druids and the Holy Paladins.  So says someone from Blizzard.

Only once you get into Heroics and Raiding will an appropriate spec/talent build be required.  And then there’s still going to be flexibiliy in such that there will be no “preferred class” that will do the tanking.  Guilds will be able to pick what they like, not be forced to hire a specific class for the task of Main Tank.  That’s their hope.

Are the folks reporting this stuff from Blizzard drinking the same koolaide as the folks handling the Blizzcon tickets?  I mean, once you’re raiding “progression” content, you will have your tank so refined, so appropriately geared, specced to a criteria package NASA would commend as “overkill”, be working on swing timers, calculating rage refresh rates, uptime on shield block, agonizing over +block versus +defense, the player of that tank’s very breath will be accounted for in the threat generation rotations.  You don’t win by “running what you brung.”  You win by being 100% appropriate to the task, buffed to the maximum extent, with the right elixir and flask and food buffs on, buffed with the right drums of battle, gemmed right, enchanted right, geared right, etc., etc.,.

Hey, I’m all for a more “flexible” approach to tanking.  I enjoyed tanking.  Up to, but not including, my entry into the Heroics.  There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t consider going Prot mode again.  But it is, possibly, not quite the right time for me.  I am really excited about the news that in fact Prot Warriors are going to get a buff to their DPS in WotLK, meaning they’ll be more viable outside of the tanking job.  I want to be my wife’s Shaman’s hero again.

But I don’t think Blizzard can treat all tanks alike.  Prot Paladins handle stuff very different from Feral Druids and Prot Warriors.  And I’m sure the Death Knights will be a whole new animal.

But we’ve also seen indications of a “homogenization” going on in the game, haven’t we?  What things I see proposed for WotLK.  No more+Spell Damage and +Healing.  Now it’s just +Spell Power.  No more +Crit and +Spell Crit.  It’s just going to be +Crit for anything you do.

I’ve heard that Druids are a little worried that they’ll see more gear now appropriate for cat form rather than bear form.  I.e. Druids and Rogues in the same gear.  Just like the push to make +Agility figure into an Enhancement Shamans Attack Power.  Meaning Hunters and Shamans in the same gear.  So we’re going to see Caster Leather (Druids) and Melee Leather (Druids and Rogues).  Caster Mail (Shamans) and Physical Damage Mail (Shamans and Hunters).  Caster Plate (Paladins and Death Knights) and Physical Damage and Mitigation Plate (Paladins, Deathknights, Warriors).

The absurd end of the trend will be three stats:  1) How much damage to others you do (Rage, Mana, Power bar combined into one), 2) How much damage can you repair on others (Mana, but otherwise the same bar), and 3) how much damage you can absorb before dying. 

I might be missing the days of specialization.  And maybe I want a dazzling world where waves wash up on shores, and I can be dapper in my Haliscan outfit.  But then again maybe we need to be simpler in a more complex world.  Getting back to the basics if you will.

Anyway, just me rambling.  :)

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2008 in Musings

 

All our honor are belong to us.

I hate those mothers.  They have great concern for our welfare no doubt, that’s why I refer to them as *mothers* (when those mothers may just as easily be kindly hearted brothers, sisters, dads, layabouts, rascals, and/or scoundrals), that manage to tut, sigh, and shake their finger at people they feel should not be in a Battle Ground.

“Mother points at you.”  “Mother sighs at you.”

Hey, lady, all our honor belongs to all of us.

Yes, yes, you’ve PvP’d enough to be dual wielding gladiator maces.  You’re mostly stealthed so I have no idea what your gear level is.  I don’t care to target you and examine the rest of your gear.  I’m sure it’s on par with the weapons.  (And they aren’t arena weapons.  I see that.  Mini Ragnaros hammers.  Season 1 or 2?  And you “tut” me?)

Anyway, you see me, and my gear.  That happens to be because I’m buffing everyone before the gate goes up.  Marks of the Wild for everyone.  (With the likes of you around you’ll understand why I don’t spend money on reagents to buff you ingrates by the group.)  I’ll spend the entire wait buffing as many as I can.  (I use SmartBuff so it’s just a key press.)  I think I got everyone last night since I was done before the gate went up.  Leaving me time to read raid chat.

Other than your tutting, I do read the call to battle, and knowing my group, I go where I’m expected.  A couple of times I’m expected at the Relief Hut.  Where I wind up.  I do know enough to stay below the flag and try to capture it in the confusion.  I’m pretty good at that and do it often.

Other times, more seldom, I’m in the Galv and Towers group.  I know I can apply a mangle to Galv, and apply a dot, and I do have Tranquility to heal everyone, when I’m not just dropping HOTs on them individually.  I do pick up the odd enemy passers-by, curious about what Galv is up to.  Don’t crash the party!

I do keep my radar up, and yes, as you and I defended Tower Point (imagine my surprise to see you there with me, and not back in the cave being all critical), I pinged the map for approaching enemy, and imagine again my surprise as you followed me out and headed to the ping.  And didn’t we intercept that undead mage as he moved up the tower ramp?  I pounced him and bought a few seconds, and then he frost nova’d.  I broke that and continued the chase.  We weren’t the only defenders, and it certainly looked like there were a few more of them than just the mage, but in the furball we killed them all and the Tower went up in flames.  You kind of stayed quiet the whole time.  Is armchair time the time for criticism?

I now head to Frostwolf Keep where the Alliance proceed to yet another victory.  Greenclaw’s record in AV is a 72% win rate.  Not bad.  But don’t pin that 28% loss rate on me.  The suggestion that Alliance would win 100% if folks like me didn’t show up is ludicrous.  The AV level band *is* 61-70.  Take it up with Blizzard if you don’t like it.

If it truly was concern about my welfare, I’m going to be fine.  Another night like last night I’ll have acquired enough honor to be purchasing the season 2 gladiator dragonhide gloves.  It’ll go fine with my season 1 dragonhide helm, and my season 2 dragonhide shoulders.  And maybe before I hit the magical 70, maybe I’ll pick up the season 2 chest and legs.  Happily, being honored with Honor Hold and the Cenarian Expedition provide me with blue dragonhide pieces, so I’ve 3 epic, 2 rare pieces of decent gear when I ding 70, and double +resilience set bonuses isn’t a bad thing.  However, I will probably wait till I’m least 68 or 69 before going after the necessary Arathi Basin and Warsong Gulch marks.  Of course then I’ll be top of the heap in those bg’s.  Then, crossing fingers, maybe 39 more marks from Eye of the Storm and I can get me some boots too.

All that aside, remember, all our honor belongs to us.  Me and you, my concerned teammate.  Cheers, and may all your mace hits be crits and stuns.

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2008 in BGs/PvP

 

What I love about the Scryers.

I’ve decided that my Night Elf Druid loves the Scryers.

Why?  Many reasons.

1) They’re elves.  I’m an elf.  They’re stealing space ships and mana whereas we Night Elves are stealing dances in the dark forests.  We could learn from them.

2) I can drop from their elevator and not die.  I don’t think it’s me being in cat form when I land, but if it is, Druids rock.  Scryers is lower than Aldor though.

3) It’s a straight shot from the Scryer elevator past Adal to the Iron Forge portal.  I am constantly confused which direction to turn when I come off Aldor’s elevator.

4) The Trade vendors are on the Scryer side.  So is the rest of Terokkar.  Aldor get Ogres flinging poo down on top of them.  Well, they would if Ogres behaved like gorillas.  (Regardless, Ogre areas tend to be littered with “land mines.”)

5) No Eastern European accents.

6) Crit gear.

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2008 in Musings

 

Getting into the Spirit.

The Tabards appear to be free for playing.  Be in a battleground to the end and they’ll reward you with a tabard.  I’m not sure a win is even required.  Get into the Spirit of things.

The Spirits of Competition are said to be randomly awarded to winners.  Greenclaw was in a few winning AV’s, and checked and found one in his mailbox.  Msaker was in a single game tonight, and a win, in Eye of the Storm.  Both had presents waiting for them in the mail from The Committee.

I love the random doodads you can pick up here and there.

And, yes, sometimes I do get confused.  Are the Taurens the one’s I’m attacking or helping???

Sad, odd, note.  Horde side guildie comments in guild chat he hadn’t gotten a medal yet.  Well I ran into him outside of Vann’s earlier.  He was in the frontline of a Horde push that came too little, too late.  The group I was in was racing for a four minute win.  Something about an achievement??  Well, we didn’t make four minutes, but we did win.  Oh, yeah, he’s a Druid, and I was on my Night Elf Druid.  Ackward conversations at the water cooler, wouldn’t you say?  :)

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2008 in BGs/PvP

 

Hair to the throne, please.

Every now and then I check blog stats.  How much traffic is this site getting.  And today it’s seen a recent, and huge, spike.

And I was thinking to myself, “Que?”  Was this another WoW Insider mention?  Nope.  Folks digging the cute cats photo?  “And I want a picture of kittens on it.”  “War Kittens ?!”  “No, regular cute kittens.  Baby cats.”  Nope.

102 views today of my post titled “WotLK Hair styles”, and 25 of my original “WotLK Hairstyles.  #1 to be the Mohawk.”  Yesterday  it was 145, and 76 of those same posts.

It is absolutely hilarious.  Check out these searches:

Today

Search Views
wotlk hairstyles 31
wotlk hair styles 13
wotlk haircuts 9
wotlk new hairstyles 9
wotlk new hair 4
new wotlk haircuts 3
wotlk hair 3
wow wotlk haircut 3
wotlk hair cuts 3
wotlk haircut 2

Yesterday

Search Views
wotlk hairstyles 26
wotlk hair styles 20
wotlk haircuts 14
wotlk hair 10
wotlk new hair styles 9
wotlk new hair 6
prot warrior ui 6
new hairstyles wotlk 6
wotlk 4
wotlk hairstyle 4

All folks seem to care about is hair styles.  Too, too funny!

It seems like maybe Kinless Chronicles has become Fab Central?

Heck, in all honesty, they aren’t learning about Warrior PvP from me.  (They can use my links in the sidebar to research that though.)

Ah, I see I had six folks looking for a Prot Warrior UI post.

Somehow I’m thinking by doing another post like this I’m feeding the blog troll monster.  Kek.

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2008 in WotLK Hair Post

 
 
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