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Category Archives: Instances

“I’m not here to do damage. I’m here to live.”

That’s what Honorus tells the two warriors that have summoned him to the summoning stone outside of the Scarlet Monastery.

They’ve seen his little Knightly Longsword, and compared to the big axes on both their backs, they assume he’s not going to do much with it.

“My wife is a Mage. She’s the killer. I just live.”

And that little Knightly Longsword, with a fast fast 1.5 second swing, that gets enough hits in to let the healing from my Seal of Light flow.

We had a good enough romp into the Scarlet Monastery. We first visited the library, where I only needed to find a book, and kill Loksley the Houndsmaster. The two warriors, Night Elves on Jumping Jacks, were literally bouncing everywhere and ensuring we never had a dull moment, with full and double pulls the routine. One of them was level 34 and the other 39. We also had a Draenei Priest along, and a level 32 Druid. The Druid later left and we replaced him with another Night Elf, this time a Rogue. Well we worked our way mostly to Daon, but in the last room they managed to get all the groups and we wiped. Coming back we realized there’d been a repop behind us. Game over. Well, I’d gotten my book, and we’d killed Locksley, so now what?

So they decided to try the Graveyard. Turns out there is a rare spawn in there that carries a rare sword. (The rare spawn was there but I lost the need roll.)

But here is where this little Paladin shone. The warriors would go to both sides and bring back groups of ghosts. This is where my Consecration spell came in handy. Over and over, and I stayed at the top in DPS. Not bad for a little sword, or Pally survivability. And at nearly 1900 health, if I’m remembering right, I had more health than even the 39 Warrior.

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2007 in Instances, Paladins

 

Hellfire Ramparts through the eyes of a Beastmaster.

Last night was Arcarius’s turn into the Ramparts. So far I’ve taken an Enhancement Shaman on healing duty, and a Protection Warrior on tanking duty, so now I was going in as a Beastermaster Hunter on DPS* duty. (*I use “DPS” lightly because I achieve half of the numbers that BRK’s dwarf, Damh, gets. I removed my damage meters last night, but I might reinstall them. I’m not one that prints them out in chat, “WOOT! LOOK AT MY LEETNESS!”, but I do think knowing my relative contribution to the efforts (healing or damage) is important.)

Did I get sidetracked or what?? Anyway, using the Looking for Group tool I was relatively quickly matched up with a Mage (pink ponytailed fire meteor throwing mage), a 60 Arms Warrior (“No shield, I’m Arms. … By the way, I don’t have a shield.”), a 64 Druid (Feral/Balance), and a 65 Paladin, of talent spec unknown.

So, I’m yanked from Zangarmarsh and wind up outside the instance. The LFG tool, and the summoning stone thing, are wonderous. So much easier going instancing with these tools. Good job, Blizzard!

The Mage is the party leader and we simply start. No marking. The first two pulls are easy, and we start into the Ramparts, and on the first or second dog packs we wipe. Ouch. All except the Arms Warrior who’s managed to reach the exit. We recover and move on. That was our last wipe.

And I started by laying freezing traps, to immobilize one of a group, but the Paladin said he wanted to AoE them so just lay a frost trap. The Paladin had a shield and that worked pretty well. The Mage had a propensity for gaining aggro, but I’d jump to that as I could, sending in my new Ravager pet (loyalty level 2, noob) to protect her, and interrupt spell casting with Intimidation.

We got into a comfortable rhythym and that worked very well. The first boss was a joke. His first healer was melted, the second was grazing on grass, and he went down. The groups were easy enough, no challenges there. The demon boss was a cakewalk. The dragon was next.

Now, the dragon has wiped every party I’ve been in so far. And while Blackhoof has seen him killed, Msaker is missing that satisfaction. But this time, with this group, he dropped like he’d taken a whippit shot. His health dropped so fast I thought I was watching lame duck poll numbers. Flawless I thought.

That was a good run. I’m pretty pleased with that.

My new ravager… The former one, which I tamed for the Gore 8 ability, and the cool looks, was a green one with purple highlights. I named him Outlandish. He reached loyalty level 4 or so. But he wasn’t all that. So I dismissed him right outside the Cenarian Expedition and tamed a new ravager. This one is all purples, with red glowing eyes. I named him, or her rather, Darkense. (It seems I may have mispelled that. It should be Darckense. Ah, well, no loyalty loved or lost there. A new one will be tamed tonight and properly named.)

Anyway, I can be pretty oblique sometimes. Anyone want to speculate why Darckense is the most chillingly perfect name for a Ravager?

I mean, I wasn’t even really going there. I was looking for a good name, of a protaganist or so, and wound up spotting and settling on this one. And the reason behind it, and she’s a Ravager, is perfect to a T. (And the source is an incredibly excellent read as well. Don’t read too much background though, cause the spoiler is a Crying Game type twist. If you’re at all into the genre it’s one of my favorites.)

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2007 in Hunters, Instances

 

Transformation.

Msaker has been a Mortal Strike Warrior for some time now. In his 40′s he was Fury, dual wielding for leveling goodness, but upon getting into Alerac Valley, and getting his mitts on an Ice Barbed Spear, he was specced for Mortal Strikes because that was good for burst damage and that’s good in the Battlegrounds.

Yes, I had a shield, and I knew the basics of holding aggro, and I considered myself a “Tank.” But sword and a board don’t a tank make. Yes, I’d tanked Scholomance to good acclaim. But how was I going to stack up in the Outlands? Where, oddly, there are no Warriors tanking. (I see why, since Outlands is clearly Paladinlands with regards to plate gear.)

So, I stepped into the machine, journeyed to the Undercity, and became transformed. I am now a Tanking Warrior. Full Protection down to Devastate, some points in Fury for crit chance, and the rest of the points in Arms. I’m not sure if it’s a typical build, but for me, it seems to fit the requirement. (I am now putting points into Iron Will after being stunned over and over by the Orcs in the Blood Furnace. I can’t tank if I’m stunned.)

(Scene from the Blood Furnace. Yes, that is a Tabard of the Protector from the Dark Portal opening event.)

So, my first order of business of practice with the new build. Into the Armory wing of the Scarlet Monastery. I killed everything, including Herod, and then Thunderclapped his students. I never even paused. Into the Cathedral wing. I killed everything, looking for Scarlet gear for my wife’s Paladin, and even started into the Cathedral itself, pulling, and killing, two at a time. Again, without a worry. I don’t know if I can solo the Cathedral or not, but it looks awfully promising that I can. The build worked, and I’ve got my buttons set up decently.

So, test of fire, back to the Outlands for a real instance.

I didn’t have any quest there, not having done the Ramparts yet, but into the Blood Furnace we went. A Resto Shaman for healing, a lock, mage, and somebody. Woot. One death and we cleared the instance.


So, still full of energy, positive rage, and after dinner, I returned, and this time went into the Ramparts, Paladin, Mage, Warlock, and Rogue with me. No deaths until we hit the Dragon. Woot. And this Paladin, Protection specced, healed like a Priest. I see now why Holy Priests are furious. This guy was main healing, and handled it great.

Protection Warrior Tank. This is going to be an interesting career move.

P.S. Devastate feels a lot like a Rogue finishing move. My MetaHUD puts sunders up like combo points, and while you can Devastate with any number, the more sunders you have, the more damage you do. But, rather than get cleared, the sunders are refreshed! So it’s like finishing moves that you can do over and over. At least that’s what it felt like.

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2007 in Instances, Screenshots, Warriors

 

Just the two of us. Happier wearing, not singing, the Blues.

I see the crystal raindrops fall
And the beauty of it all
Is when the sun comes shining through
To make those rainbows in my mind
When I think of you some time
And I want to spend some time with you

Halcyon is level 20. An up-and-coming Paladin. Ready to serve the Sin’Dorei causes. One new mission was laid before her by her Paladin Trainer. To acquire the materials for the Blood Tempered Ranseur, the trade-mark weapon of the cadet Blood Elf Paladins.

There was a part to be retrieved from Deathholme, but we would save that for another night.

The other parts appear to be slightly more difficult in getting. But Halcyon has friends. Powerful friends. She knows 800 pounds of bovine intelligence: Blackhoof. And, well, in the old world a level 65 Enhancement Shaman is a force to be reckoned with. If you happen to be one of the beginning instances.

So, our first target was Shadowfang Keep. He met in the Undercity, she porting in from Silvermoon City, and I from Shattrath City. We both hopped bats to the Sepulcher, and ran to the Keep. Rawr. (Sorry, but you get to feeling like that when you revisit old instances, particularly ones that gave you problems.) We make our way down to the jail cells, whack, whack, turn the dogs to bone. We speak with Sparky, the Keep’s new (NEW?!?!) prisoner in the jail cells. He reveals the secret of where the ingot, the first material she needs, is to be found. In a box in the stables. I can’t kill him, pink skinned human, (URGES!) and oddly, I can’t lock the cell again. (Heh.) And then we speak with the Forsaken prisoner who gets us into the courtyard. And there I am unleashed rage, a Shaman on the warpath. I leave everything dead, and those already dead, they wind up deader. WOP WOP WOP WOP dead dead dead dead. Hooah! /flex. And there’s Sparky, in new skin. Furry skin. Thin skin. Paper thin. Aw. Poor Sparky.

Halcyon enters the stables, her path cleared before her like she was royalty. I wish I had some rose petals to dust the path before her with.

And I decide it’s just a minute or two more until we reach the ghostly Commander Springvale, so let’s pay him a visit. And we leave Springvale pushing up daisies and Halcyon loots him. The Commander’s Crest drops. (A nice, blue, level 23 Shield: [623 Armor, 13 Block, +6 Str, +3 Stam, +3 Spi]) She’s dinged 21 by now, and in 2 levels she’ll be able to use it. Nice. We shake the dog fur off our gear and make our way out and back to Tirisfal Glades.

The next step was the zeppelin flight to Orgrimmar, and into Ragefire Chasm. Halcyon happened to be on a quest there already, and the two tomes she needed quickly dropped. (What are Orc hooligans doing with reading material??) But the real goal was killing a named Orc and activating the orb behind him and summoning a demon. Demon summoned, and we’ve got his blood. Two materials acquired. When we departed the average intelligence, and beauty, of Orgrimmar’s populace plummeted. (Blood Elves have behaved themselves remarkably well on Kirin Tor. The feared nekkid belf dance parties on the mailbox outside the bank never materialized.)

Next stop was to make the trip into the Night Elf lands. We ran to the Crossroads, picked up the flightpoint, then turned north for the long jog to Splintertree Post. That flightpoint in hand, we veered west and travelled around Astranaar (“Hello you lop eared bastards! Get into the sun more you freaks!” /wave – Life on a PvE server isn’t all death and bloodshed!) to Zoram Strand. The last materials we’d get in the old world was the gem, and those drop quickly off the naga outside of the Blackfathom Deep’s entrance.

It was a long night. Halcyon and Blackhoof visited three world instances, on two continents. And Halcyon is just short one material, the insignia of the Blood Knight. That task will fall to her and Sunstriker when next they return to Deathholme and complete the last of the missions they have there.

Just the two of us
We can make it if we try
Just the two of us, just the two of us
Just the two of us
Building castles in the sky
Just the two of us, you and I

(Just the Two of Us, 1980, by Bill Withers.)

P.S. My wife *hates* pugs and enjoys it best when it’s just the two of us. And I love seeing her happy, wearing, not singing, the blues.

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2007 in Instances, Paladins, Quests

 

Running around Terokaar Forest. And back to Hellfire Peninsula and into the Blood Furnace.

Blackhoof, completing most all of the quests in Zangarmarsh, and dinging 64 in the process, graduated and moved to the forest around Shattrath City, Terokaar Forest.

Most all of the quests are easy enough to accomplish solo. Highlights include taking out the Firewing liaison in the Bonechewer Ruins. This wound up being the worst. I didn’t die as I returned to kill Vindicators and those Warlock types, and I managed to kill the liaison easily enough as well, but as I grabbed my last Vindicator, standing in the back of the compound on the wooden beams of the dam, I must have pulled the Vindicator and a mounted patrol. They beat the stuffing out of me. I ankh’d and tried again, carefully backing away. And a Peon appears and the two of them start beating me like egg whites, and I don’t make it. I come back and gleefully, no quest needed, slaughter that freaking peon, and the vindicator, and go collect my reward. As a Shaman none of the rewards mattered for that quest. Oh, well. The vendors will buy most anything.

The quests centered around the Cenarian Thicket were easy as well.

And a few quests took me to the Arakkoa sites where I slew more than a few of the feathered punks.

Dual wielding Grunt’s Waraxes from Thrallmar, buffed with Frostbrand, I was doing about 200-220 DPS if I remember right. That’s not too bad I guess. (Outland greens and blues at the moment.) Rank 1 Earthshock for spell interruption, and there was a whole lot of that going on in Terokaar.

The Cenarian Thicket quests took me to honored with the Cenarian Expedition. Woot. I returned and bought the Preserver’s Cudgel, a really nice one-handed mace that looks like a massive totem and has +105 Healing on it. My old Staff of Dominance is a two-hander which had +40 Spell/Healing, to which I added a +55 Healing enchant. The mace has +11 Intelligence versus the +37 of the staff. But, it’s a one-hander, so I can use the Landslide Buckler too. That too has +11 Intelligence, and +13 spells/damage. And the +3 mana/5s on the shield adds to the +5 mana/5s on the cudgel, and with +2428 armor, it’s a clear winning replacement. Less +Int, but adding mana regen, so it’s a great trade off.

And I was about to put it to the test.

Employing the Looking for Group tool I signed up for the Hellfire Citadel’s Blood Furnace. Within minutes we were assembled. All of us mid-60′s except the one guy we added, a level 70 Hunter.

The Warrior was level 66, and had run the Furnace for something like 30 times already. He just wanted one particular drop off The Maker. A set of plate gauntlets. I play a Warrior too so I know that this is 2nd piece of plate for the hands a warrior can get in the HP. So he was experience.

The Druid was level 61. He was in Molten Core Cenarian gear, and he was Resto, (Good for him!), and he healed like a madman.

We had a level 65, or so, Warlock.

The Hunter was level 70, and me, level 64 Shaman.

I signed up planning to heal, and I pretty much stayed in that gear for the run. That’d be full Earthfury + Landslide Buckler + Preserver’s Cudgel. +196 mana/5s and +395 Healing.

I was more the “Other tank” on this run, since the Druid did some spectacular healing. I did spot healing, but more importantly, I did my best to pull unintentional aggro off the Warlock and the Druid.

And this group made the place look simple. Three bosses here, The Maker, Brogguk the eye, and Keli’dan the Breaker. The trash mobs were easily handled. The Warlock kept his charm active, and/or his banishes, and we really only ran into difficulty once. That was when the Warrior ran past a group to grab another. We survived, but it was crazy hectic there for a bit.

Basically I kept Windfury and Strength of Earth Totems down. We really didn’t need to exercise more care. We ran the place, almost literally.


So well in fact, that when those gauntlets failed to drop the first time, we completed the instance and reset it, and tried again. Second time was a charm, and he at long last got his gauntlets.

I liked the Blood Furnace, and the story behind it. They made it very clear how the Fel Orcs came into being.

And Blackhoof dinged 65.

And, yes, I occasionally donned my Enhancement kit and tried DPSing. Sometimes 2nd on the DPS chart, occasionally touching the #1 spot.

When I first started dual wielding I was focusing on keep Windfury on the weapons. You know, Windfury Rank 4 on both. Ha! I got suckered. Because most self-respecting Shamans knew to keep different ranks so both have a chance to Proc. I started doing that and Windfury was proccing way more. SCT was just a spam of Windfury hits. Niiiiice. They said they’ve “fixed” that and I supposedly don’t get these “double” procs anymore (Why the hell should the buff on the 2nd weapon NOT proc??!), but it still “feels” good and productive.

But against anything with any armor, that’s not the best. Fire ignores armor, so Flametounge appeared to be a good buff. But what I found was Frostbrand was doing better DPS and as a bonus slowed the mobs down when they thought to run. And those Waraxes are 1.90 weapon speed, so reasonably fast. SCT was showing a good deal of Frostbrand spam too. SCT is just plain fun for a Shaman.

Next stop for Blackhoof will be to start on the quests down in the Bone Wastes. And with the Looking for Group tool, hopefully soon into Coilfang Reservoir.

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2007 in Instances, Shamans

 

Into, and out of, the Hellfire Ramparts. Looking for Group Tool works.

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.

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2007 in Instances, Shamans

 

Blackrock Depths.

The header graphic is appropriate. Last night we entered Blackrock Depths with a handful of quests in hand. Droonda, Msaker, Nachmahd, Senthris, and Azghul. All of Dark Ministry.

We did well. We wandered around a bit at the cells. Releasing prisoners but not knowing why or for what purpose. We got ourselves a Shadowforge key to the place. We killed a big giant reminiscent of a Fire Lord in Molten Core. Bael’Grum or something like that. Regardless of how the giant spells his name, he’s dead now, and we’ve gotten his essence.

Instancing at 60 … No more xp. At least in the Battlegrounds I can still progress. (If you can say having your clocks cleaned, over and over, by the Alliance, is progress.)

I must say, I played absolutely the worst Alterac Valley battle last night ever. The Alliance took, and defended Stonehearth Graveyard. And you know Alliance. They can defend a place with 3 to 5 that the entire Horde army can’t retake. Because that’s what happened. The Alliance captured every last thing in the game to capture… The tunnel was next. Good job Horde. I mean there was me, and me alone, looking for anyone else. And every point, and every point inbetween, there were small gangs of Alliance. I died a lot. “For the Horde.” Yeah, that’d be my death.

I’m am so very psyched about everything I’m reading about the Burning Crusade Expansion. How quest reward gear will quickly equal that of Molten Core and beyond. Yowza. This is incredible news for players not in, or able to join, a big raiding guild. I’m still working for Rank 7 (or 8) just to grab the title Legionnaire or something better than Guard, and I’m close enough to Exalted with Frostwolf to finish that and grab an epic shield to help me get going in the Outlands on a good footing.

(New format courtesy of Blogger’s new templates. I really like it. They’ve made the side bar management very easy. And publishing, and formatting are also very simple.)

P.S. I just created the moniker “Frostwolf Outriders” for that picture of Droonda and Msaker. Wow. So fitting. You’ve heard of the Warsong Outriders? Well, we’re Outriders for the Frostwolf. (In keeping with our backstory, and Thrall’s own life journey, and given we’re bound for the Outlands.)

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2006 in Instances

 

Tall, dark, and handsome. Short, bright, and perky. Yin and Yang. Arcarius and Winkydink. Alterac Valley goodness. Arathi Basin badness.

She thinks he’s handsome. At least that’s what little Winkydink, my wife’s Gnome Warrior, thinks of Arcarius, my Night Elf Hunter. In the Stormpike tabard, with an Ice Barbed Spear, I’ll let the little Gnome think what she will. (Gnomes have a bonus to their intellect stat, so who am I to argue?)

Msaker and Droonda were taking a break. Dreaming Orc dreams of Draenor, recovering from the battles of the week. So last night it was time for a little Alliance action. And when I say little I’m talking 3′ tall with green pony tails. Winkydink, my wife’s Gnome Warrior. Isn’t she the coolest little thing? (No, wait, that’s just a speck of dust in my eye. … Ah, got it.)

Tauren health bonus not included, all races produce pretty much identically capable Warriors. She’s reached level 20 all on her own because Warriors rock. Time for the Deadmines.

However, neither of us wanted another pick-up-group from hell experience with some guy “needing” loot for another character of his. Nuh, uh. Not us. So Arcarius decided to accompany young Ms. Winkydink to the Deadmines, and we’d go on our own.

If my level 45 Rogue can handle it solo, then a 51 Hunter should do fine. And we did. So much more effeciently than with a Rogue too. No wonder Hunters are the farmers choice for class.

Jaguarete came with us. She’s my Cat, a tamed jaguar from the Swamp of Sorrows. She’s level 50 and is trained to dash in and rip and bite the bad guys. She’s trained pretty good. And Arcarius is fully invested in the Beast Mastery talent tree so Jaguarete is a very capable partner in crime.

I do have a boar in the stables as well. A recently tamed armored pig from Razorfen Kraul. Only level 28 though and I’ll have to work on him. But his purpose will be to tank more than Jaguarete since boars have better armor and health than cats, just not the DPS. A real tank. The boar I named Parma. Which carries several meanings. If you are thinking “Parma Ham” very good. That’s one reading of it. But if you’re thinking “Small shield carried by Roman army skirmishers” you’re actually more right. Since the boar will become my shield, and tank, and charge in to engage my enemies first, he is literally my skirmisher with armor.

Anyway, this is not my first time in the Deadmines. I know when *I* open a door, there’s no back patrol heading our way. I know when *events* open a door then I know we’ll have a patrol behind us that we need to take care of before proceeding further.

Where my Rogue used vanish a few times, and lots of bandaids, Arcarius and Winkydink basically watched Jaguarete do all the work. I of course I had to off a few shots to claim the kills, and I worked a little on my Polearms skill. Winkydink charged in now and then so her armor didn’t rust up on her. Especially the big bosses. Mr. Smite: Here’s Gnome in your eye.

None of the bosses were tricky in the least. Smite was pulled clear back on the dock, so by the time he’d gotten off his stun and run back for better weapons, and returned, we were waiting for him again. Up the docks, Winkydink staying a little to the back and on the outboard side, we just cleared the place like janitors after hours. Van Cleef? Do you need to ask?

Well, he dropped his Chest Armor. What Rogues and Hunters might enjoy, Winkydink merely sighed. We did get two pieces of the Defias armor set to pass on to Ombria, her Night Elf Rogue character.

At the exit Winkydink and Arcarius bade their farewells to one another, and Arcarius hearthed to Ironforge and prepared to engage in the wars.

Queueing up for Alterac Valley, usually like a 40 minute wait (1 minute wait, average, for my Horde characters), I also queued up for Arathi Basin, this being AB weekend.

It’s absolutely pathetic. Alliance performance in Arathi Basin is embarrasing. On Msaker, in the 50-59 matches, Horde were undefeated. On reaching 60, he went once, and we won there too. It was tougher though. They got better gear, we got good gear too, but the Msaker has below average gear and suffers above average deaths. (Outlands, here I come!!)

But in the 50-59 matches, Alliance may as well just sit in Trollbane Hall and eat snacks. We start okay. … No, we don’t. We don’t really need 4 trying to cap the Stables flag. Honest. To watch 4 guys run to the stables and all 4 dismount and try to cap the flag… pathetic. Because that’s 3 that aren’t on the offensive to catch the next flag.

Two out of the three matches, I thought we started well. We get the Stables, boy, do we! The rest split into two groups and we take the Lumbermill and the Blacksmith. We got 3, let’s hold them. Nah. Defense is for wusses. (Ask the Horde about Defense in AV.) So, sitting on a victory, some folks ride off on their own. The mines (dead). The farm (dead). So the Horde are strategizing. Having some Horde characters of my own, I’m somewhat in synch with their thoughts. While the Horde watch us, the careful thinkers in their group, those studied up on Sun Tzu’s “Art of War” and von Clausewitz’s “On War” and Macchiavelli’s … you get the point, these Horde strategists are watching the Alliance and thinking “Damn, those guys are noobs. We’re losing in AV to these guys??” The PvP’ers amongst them are probaly thinking “ROFLCOPTERZ WTFBBQPWNED!!111!one!” and ride out and win the game. Third game they actually five capped us.

Alterac Valley, an altogether different story.

We ride out of our mine. We ride straight for Snowfall. Actually first match I’m there they’re all riding past. I ride up and capture it myself. It remains ours the rest of the match. I catch up with the group.

We then set about attacking Galv. First the Lieutenants outside, then Galv himself. We don’t bypass Galv. Ever. We attack him with pretty much our entire force.

Now think, do the Horde ever take out Balinda on their push north? Never. They leave her like it was an aside. An optional thing to do. When they’ve got five folks to spare, that when they do it. When they’re losing, they rush to grab these last few points of honor and rep.

Now the Alliance is quickly done with Galv and they take Iceblood. The whole groups takes Iceblood. By now most of the Horde has rode past and is at Stonehearth.

It’s at this point where the stragglers are cut down at the chokepoints. For the Alliance it’s as they’re riding south at Icewing Bunker. For the Horde it’s as they head north between Iceblood Graveyard and Tower. That’ll occupy an army for a while. My experience has been Horde will have a lot of people killing a few. Alliance will have a few killing a few. Where are the rest of the Alliance then? Glad you asked.

After Iceblood GY is captured…

Let me add something at this point. While we wait in the tunnel for the gate to open, “we” being Alliance in this case, two games of the three, some silly person yells in /bg chat, “IB!!!”. So, that is proof positive that Alliance employs strategery in this BG. Because that’s just what we do. We take IB.

So, after Iceblood is captured we ride south again. This time Frostwolf Graveyard is captured.

Oh, yeah, there appears to be no Horde defenders at all here. None. Not at Galv or IBGY or FWGY. Where are they all? Farming HK’s at the Icewing Bunker? That’s what I see playing as Horde.

After FWGY is taken we enter Frostwolf Keep. There are no NPC defenders that I can see. Either they number so few, or they’re taken out so fast. I, a level 51 Hunter, typically can ride from the FWGY to the bridge leading to the Frostwolf Relief Hut without worrying too much. If I’m taking arrows from the Towers I simply ride as far as I can. I help take out the FWRH guards and boom, phase 1 is done. Typically 15 minutes and the Alliance has taken the Relief Hut.

I have an addon which shows me who’s gotten what and the progress on it. We’ve taken most of the map, in 15 minutes. Does that sound familiar? It should if you’re Horde, and you’re in Battlegroup 7.

So now we simply wait for the FWRH to cap and we get to work. There aren’t a lot of Alliance with me in the Keep either. As Horde, it always seems everyone and their brother is assaulting Dun Baldar. As Alliance they just send a group down. The rest stay home defending.

On a good game, we pull Warlord’s one by one. And then we go and get Drek himself. Being a slighly reduced crew, we do die a bit. Drek’s a meat processer, and we’re sausage. But we respawn quickly from the RH and quickly rejoin the action.

Horde, on the other hand, are usally beating on Van in a solid mass.

On a bad game I’ve seen several Warlord’s come out, and when there’s two of them running around our little group, it gets ugly quick. BUT we manage to pull it off and continue.

Last game we had: a Warlord left, Horde defenders recalling to the Keep (Thank’s for the free HK’s off you by the way.), and Drek. We’re inside the Keep and it’s a flurry of activity. I’m just firing shot after shot, always tabbing for targets. If you’re a player, I particularly make sure to get you down.

In a race, Alliance wins. If Arcarius keeps going to AV I’m hoping I can get some PvP gear out of it. How bad can PvP gear be for a Hunter vs. the environment?

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2006 in BGs/PvP, Instances

 

Not bad. Not bad at all.

Took a bit of a vacation. Down Florida way. Beachside condo place. Small. No elite Sharks patrolling off shore. No murlocs even. Just some porpoises out there. Seemed so … safe.

Came back to find the new iteration of my guild downed Ragnaros. Twice! In a week! Wow. Not bad at all. That little shake up. A new guild name. A couple new faces, and wham, bam, we’re doing stuff we’ve never done. Our first and second Ragnaros take-downs.

Last night I joined them again and we raided Onyxia. She’s been giving us a few problems. We in fact had a new Warrior tanking for us. (“All those dots are driving me crazy! They keep bumping good debuffs off her.” “The Warlocks are singing your praises in the Warlock Channel.” :) Change isn’t bad.) Onyxia went down in 15 minutes. It’s been a while since I was there and they downed her. Maybe Blizzard toned her down a bit too?

Then, on the heals of that success, before we’d even left her lair, I made plans for AQ20. I needed to collect a little venom off Kurinaxx. Last two times we went, he’d been really tough. Last night, Onyxia went down, then Kurinaxx went down. I got my venom, and turned it in along with Venox’s, and collected my new 2-H Mace. Yowza. What more could we do?

We then arranged a 5-man group to Live Strat. 2 Shamans (I healing, the other melee and backup), 2 Mages (more sheep than an Arab wedding), and a warrior. Woot. Got the Archivist (and completing that quest for me), we got 3 Righteous Orbs, some odds and ends, and the other Shaman got the Crown of Tyranny he was after. That took like an hour. So easy in MC gear.

And Sunday Oddity took Droonda, his wife, to the Scarlet Monastery. She and another Shaman, Me, a Mage, and a Hunter. The other Shaman was off-tanking and meleeing, and Droonda, my wife, was playing the healer. She 35, the rest of us 40+. (Highest was the Hunter at 44.) I was pretty proud of her when the Shaman remarked “At least she’s not a noob.” Meaning she was playing real well. (It got slightly frantic a few times, nothing bad.) We cleared every part of SM, got all the bosses, collected all the books. We did good.

And I suspect my level 16 Night Elf Huntress has gained another PvP rank. (80 HK’s in one WSG on the Saturday I got back. And then a few more runs. Hunters are fun.)

It’s all good. Who needs an expansion to enjoy this game well after a year play time?!

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2006 in Instances

 

Druids to watch out for. Two wipes then a Paladin.

Wife and I were in Westfall. We wrapped up the Defias quests and escorted the Traitor to the Deadmines. We were ready to go after Van Cleef himself.

We ran back out to Moonbrook, she an 18 Druid, me a 19 Warrior. One of the group was a level 20 Druid. Rather, it was a level 20 cat. He’d joined us for the traitor and so, running alongside him, I asked how he liked the cat form. “Great! I love it!” Did he take the Feline Swiftness talent? “Huh?” “You know, run speed of 115% first point, 130% second point?” “Oh, where is that?”

We put the group together. A level 17 Priest, who did know his stuff, and a level 18 Rogue I believe.

As you are fully aware, level 20 Druids in cat form are immune to most forms of damage. As we zoned into the instance he runs ahead and aggro’s a mob of workers and 3 of the elites. He was not immune to any form of damage. And we weren’t either. We run back to our bodies. “I’m the Warrior, I’ll pull, I’ll tank.” That’s a reasonable request, isn’t it? I’ve got a shield, I’ve got a Priest, two druids, and a rogue behind me. Except the 20 cat runs to the right aggroing as he goes, the rogue shoots at something to left and I simply stand there in stunned disbelief. Hell, at that point it’s pretty much a Dance Off! for all the good resistence is going to do.

I message the priest “Take care.” and the wife and I simply leave the party, take the spirit rez, and fly up to Redridge. A warrior and a druid are pretty handy together and we clear out a few of the quests there. But then we decided to take another stab at the Deadmines.

I’m whispered by a guildie of the new guild we (Freewind, Itarilde, Greenclaw) are in. “Deadmines?” “Sure. Got room for 2?” “No, sorry, only one.” Well my wife, Itarilde, is aching to get back to Guild Wars so she says “Have fun.”

The guildie is a level 20 Warlock. With us were an 18 Druid, a 18 Priest, and a 17 Mage or so. The guildie was first time ever in the Deadmines. The Mage knew the place. The Priest didn’t say thing one. The Druid. … I wonder if you see where I’m going with this.

We zone in, the Druid changes to bear form and charges. He’s being beaten like pancake dough by a mob of defias stuff, he cries “Help” and I run back out of the instance with the others. We zone back in. “I’m the tank. Let me pull with my gun.” “Shut up” the druid says. “I’m doing DPS.” I run recap and in fact, tanking, I was #1 in damage output. The Warlock’s Succubus was #2. The druid was #3. Whatever. I’ve also /ignored him. I think he added “I want to hurry this up because I power grind.” Not being to hear his response I informed the group “This isn’t grinding, it’s an instance. Patient wins the day.” Or something to that effect.

And it goes well. I don’t get a lot of heals from the druid, but I pull the mobs, one or two at a time, and hold their attention tanking them. Very manageable for us. Before we get to Smite I’ve taken him off /ignore.

So far, so good. They get the adds, I pull Smite away from the boat and hold him. The adds dead we hurt Smite enough, and yada yada yada, Smite’s dead. Some sword drops. Nothing special. I simply greed it. It’s no upgrade. The druid is beside himself. Fourth time there and still no hammer for him. We work up the ramp and then we have our first blue item drop. It’s a one-handed sword. I ask if I can need it. Nobody objects. So I do. So does the Druid. He wins it. At this point I should have told my guildie “Kick him or I’m out of here.” But I’m new in the guild, there’s more depending on finishing this than the druid (who’s only there for loot anyway).

We continue on. The Warlock’s succubus manages to be given a target on an upper deck. Next thing we know there’s 20 defias around us. Most of us die except the mage who’s ran up and jumped on the big wheel. We rez and return, and the mage jumps down. We proceed up the and manage to be wiped by Greenskin. We return to the instance and it’s reset.

So we had this reckless Druid in catform, we had this Druid ninja looter, and we’re getting sloppy. The druid has no reason to remain, and we get the offer from a Paladin in the guild who’d come and help. The Druid won’t leave. “This is good xp” he says. But, at least he leaves, the Paladin joins us and we run up and get Van Cleef. (The place had respawned for the most part as well.)

The Cape of the Brotherhood dropped. Warlock, Priest, Mage, and Warrior there. (The Paladin is beyond that level.) They all greed it, and, nice guy that I am (I’m no Ninja Looter) I greed it too. The Mage came away with a nice +Agi & +Sta cloak. Wonder if I could have put it to better use and should I have needed it?

So, I turned in the head, got new mail leggings, and wondered how many runs to have the /random chance at getting the things I want by luck, and without the ninjas.

Druids in cat form are very viable. Like I already told you, my cat form Druid topped the damage charts on run by simply backstabbing mobs otherwise working on hunter pets. But a cat that thinks he’s Superman, lose him like he was a leper or something.

Ninja Looters? Give them the boot immediately. They’re only going to Ninja the next thing they want too.

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2006 in Instances, Warriors

 
 
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