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Monthly Archives: March 2010

Lights! Camera! Ac…. wait.

Got the lights?  Mmm, maybe a few more.  Okay, enough?  Okay.  Lights!  Camera!  Uh, can we refocus a little here.  What?  The camera’s not quite right yet.  Oh.  Okay.  Tell me when you are ready.

That’s pretty much how I feel taking on the role of a tank with my Alliance Paladin.  I’m kind of a perfectionist and if I’m in charge of an instance run, and tanking it I would be, I want that run to be flawless.  I feel I need to know every instance, inside out, and every fight from every perspective.

Now I’ve tanked with him in the past.  I’ve geared up properly and tanked Utgarde Keep and the group even remarked “Yay, not a fail tank this time.”

And that was before I’d acquired 4 pieces of T9.

I’m getting good gear by running PUGs via LFD as Retribution.  I’ve got 4 pieces of the tier 9, so both set bonuses, I’ve got 540+ Defense, I even picked up the tanking sword from Heroic Pit of Saron last night.  But my health is a little low still, 31k, and I’m not sure how to correct that.   I can tweak some of the gems a bit, and then go from there.

Well, a few more days/weeks running PUGs as Ret and I’ll get the tokens needed for the proper trinkets, cloak, etc..  But then it might not still be 40k, and doesn’t every PUG demand their Tank have 40k or else he’s a failtank?  And who wants to be *that* failtank?

My Horde Paladin is level 69 now.  I tanked some of the early TBC instances, and did well.  But I didn’t want to get into Shadow Labs and worry about instructing an “AOE RULEZ” PUG on how to CC the classroom in SLabs.  I’m not sure how patient folks will be with me being careful.  So I stopped tanking in TBC at that point and just leveled up some.

So now at level 69 I could start tanking instances in WotLK.

“Wait,” you’re asking.  Don’t I already have a Heroics+ equipped Paladin tank?  Yeah, I’ve got the gear.  Just not the experience using it.  So my Horde Paladin is my training bike where I learn the ropes.  Once he’s running Heroics then I have an instance runner of each faction.

And at 69 I *could* start running instances like Utgarde Keep.  Except I’m not.  I have a full set of the crafted cobalt level 70 tanking gear, plus shield, in the bank.  Just a bit more xp and I can wear it.  I just feel wrong coming to a WotLK instance in TBC gear.  So I level up a bit more to 70 so I can wear that gear.  Except I won’t out-level the instance, there might be deaths, and that’s on me.

There was this movie where this one character practiced his entire life with a bow.  It took place in Japan (maybe The Last Samurai) and this bowman simply practiced.  His entire life.  And never shot the bow.  Simply trained to shoot it perfectly.  Something like loosing the arrow would be like losing his soul.  Finally, after a lifetime of practicing it, he did finally have an absolute need to shoot it and he did so and it flew true.  (Maybe it was Karate Kid.)  I guess I feel like that now with my Paladins facing the tanking role.  At some point it’s going to be good enough, and off to the races we go.  (15 second wait times for tanks will mean it’ll be non-stop action.)

I’d like to say “Perfection be damned, it’s just a game.”  But in a world of “end-game content” perfection is an expectation.  And the weeks spent learning a single boss in Molten Core has segued into todays kids needing absolute victory/perfection their first visit into the latest most bleeding edge content, or you failed.  Heroics is certainly not that.  But who brings “second best, good enough” to a match?

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2010 in Musings

 

Jewelcrafting with Cojones

And, yes, I mean huevos.

My Paladin is my jewelcrafter.  And I’m kind of funny about my professions where I work to get them well developed as early as possible.  I typically can make things I can’t yet wear or use with all my professions.

Jewelcrafting Milestone = Level 65.  And it’s a big one.  It’s the level that you can start running the Dalaran JC dailies.  The ALL IMPORTANT JC dailies.  See every day you complete the daily they toss you a token.  Two, or three, or ten, tokens gets you recipes for the “good stuff.”  A token will also get you a dragon gem that you cut into some of the really, really nice, JC-only, gems.  (Cooking and the Dalaran Cooking Awards works the same way.)

So, upon dinging level 65 I did what any professional does: Start begging for a ‘port to Dalaran.  (The wife’s horde mage isn’t level 80.)  A teleport is arranged via a kindly Troll who dropped from the LFD tool to help me out.

The JC “guild” initiation is delivering to the JC daily guy some gems.  Msaker’s been mining and collecting gems and ore for over a year.  I’ve got a couple in hand.  Initiation done and I’m in.  Now the dailies begin.

So, each daily sends you out to kill a particular kind of mob for a drop.  It could be Scourge (BT, Warsong Hold area just above the “moat”), Vrykul (BT, Kaskala), Revenants (DB, lake east of Wyrmrest Temple), Dark Iron Dwarves (HF, near New Agamand), or Protodrakes (HF, Ember Clutch).  And this being Northrend, i.e. Level 68+, and you have no business being here, i.e. Level 65, it’s not trivial.  These locations are where I found the lowest level mobs of that type to drop the daily item you’re after.  If I get lucky the mob’s Level 68 (orange).  Or it’s mostly 69-71.  If you aggro a 2nd mob you’re probably dead, or you can bubble/vanish/fd/fear/blink-iceblock/HOT/pwn.  (Warriors are s.o.l..  Thunderclap and run I suppose.)

As a Protection Paladin, with 11k health (putting those dragon gems to use already), I slowly grind them down and get my drop.  Sometimes it’s one mob, sometimes it’s a handful.  Good exp for killing them (2k+ each), and then turning the daily in (13k).  (2x heirlooms.)  I haven’t missed a daily.

But why offer a quest at 65 that most couldn’t do solo at 65?  In a location you can’t get to without help.  In a land where nobody else is going to give you the time of day.  (I suppose I could start the Dalaran cooking dailies.  But I’ve got several master cooks and fishermen, so why bother with that?)  And I can’t use my (already bought) Tome of Cold Weather Flying until level 68.

I appreciate having something to do while the wife catches up with me levelwise, and the early opportunity to start collecting, and spending, tokens.

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2010 in Crafting

 

Scaling

Many years ago I picked up and played The Elder Scrolls.  I don’t recall it having Arena appended so maybe I started the series with Daggerfall.  Then came Morrowind, which I tried.  When I met my wife she had played some Morrowind already as well.  When Oblivion came out I created a character and that was it.  The wife likes it but it seems there’s no computer good enough to play it in it’s fullest capacity with all bells and whistles engaged.

The thing with these games is the rats.  Not that you have to kill ten of them, of course you know you do, but that when you’re level 1, they’re level 1.  When you’re level 2, they’re level 2.  When you’re 10, they’re 10.  You never graduate from rats.  They go to the same kindergarten, junior high, prep school, and college that you do.  From what I’ve heard you can “beat” Oblivion at a very low level.  Because the entire world’s content levels up as you do.  Avoid leveling up and you can go beat the snot out of the final bosses who are still wearing diapers.

I don’t like that.  WoW’s got a bit of that.  You’ve got level 1, 2, and 3 boars in Shadowglen.  Then you’ve got boars in Westfall that are higher level.  Then you’ve got boars in the Blasted lands.  Then in Outlands.  Then in Northrend.  (Okay, they equipped them with horns finally.)  You think the boars in our reality are inherently more dangerous in Kazakhstan than they are in Kansas?

But the worst is Blizzard thinking of introducing Heroic versions of the Deadmines and Shadowfang Keep.

What is the point of that?

If you want a challenge then run those instances with a character of the appropriate level.  And in the appropriate gear for crying out loud.  Leave your heirlooms at home if you want a challenge.  Don’t have a character at the appropriate level anymore?  Create one.  It’s free and easy.

If you just want to get your revenge on Arugal for the crap all his son’s have pulled, then level up a bit more and go kick his butt personally.

But do we really need a Heroic version of these instances?  Are we missing them that much?  What, multiply health of the mobs by 100,000 and damage done by 1,000 and we’re good to go?

And, here’s the trend, you’re going to have to be in iLevel 355 gear to consider doing this.

It’s freaking Shadowfang Keep.  Everything else is left behind.  Leave these old instances alone and behind and move on.

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2010 in Musings

 
 
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