Archive for the 'Dinaer' Category


No, its not Red Bull…


More Rogue Fun on the Epic Dagger Questline

Having completed the Cluster Clutch quest, I was taken to another stealth-sap-distract run leading to a solo combat, much like the one we all did previously in Gilneas City at the start of the questline. The new quest is Blood of the Betrayer and it takes place in Deadwind Pass.

First comment – I wanted to do it completely cold without reading any strats or guides.  In the end I had to look up a guide because I COULDN”T FIND THE ENTRANCE TO THE CELLAR.  The quest sends you to the town outside of Karazhan.  You’re phased, and the town is full of 85 elite mobs and wandering pats (just like Gilneas City was when we did the Assassinate Creed quest).  However, I had no idea where I was supposed to go.  I wandered around for almost a half hour before I gave in and looked up a guide online.

Next, the stealth part this time was significantly easier right up to the end.  That may be because of my experience from the first go-around, or it may be that the mobs weren’t as tightly packed.  It does get tricky in the hallway right before the mob you have to kill.

The fight itself was much like the Creed fight in Gilneas.  You’ll have to use all of your rogue abilities – kiting and bandaging, Recuperate, Stun, Blind, Cloak, Shiv, and even Expose Armor.  This time around, though, you’re given some assistance.  You get warnings like, “She’s casting Arcane Infused Armor!  Expose her Armor!” and they tell you what to do.  I’m not really sure if those warnings were from the game or from DBM, honestly.

Also, this time I went prepared.  When I killed Creed in Gilneas I wasn’t expecting how many times I would die figuring out the fight, and I ran out of consumables.  This time I went in loaded with food, potions, flasks, and bandages.  I had a Travelers Tundra Mammoth so I repaired before each attempt at the stealth run.

Once I got through the stealth part into the fight area, I did die 6 or 7 so times while learning the ins and outs of the fight, but managed to eke it out in the end before I was forced to repair and re-do the stealth run.  That’s much better than I did on Creed when I was forced to hearth out and repair TWICE before figuring it out.  When I did Creed, I tried it a bunch of times in Mutilate spec before I learned that Combat or Sub for Imp Recuperate was necessary.  This time I went in with my Combat spec from the start.

So, after a couple of hours of stealthing and about 45 minutes of fighting a dragon in a basement outside of Karazhan, I am now the proud owner of The Sleeper and The Dreamer.  I am 3/60 on the next collection quest, and that has a one-per-Dragon Soul boss drop rate.  That puts me at 57 DS boss kills to go.  For my guild, that’s probably 9-10 weeks.  I only hope we keep raiding for that long without losing our raid team to the end-of-expansion doldrums.


Slowly Getting There

As all rogues recall, Patch 4.3 was released in late November of 2011 with great fanfare.  With the release of the patch, came the questline to get the legendary daggers.

Every rogue worth his stealth did the opening steps of the questline in the first few days.  Then you had to get to Hagara and pickpocket her, then do the wonderful stealth run through Gilneas City.  A lot of us who play a rogue as our main had all of that done within a couple of weeks of the patch, and we had earned our first stage epic daggers – Fear and Vengeance.

Then came Cluster Clutch – the collecting quest in the Dragon Soul raid.  It cannot be completed in LFR so the rate that you finish this is based on how many bosses you can kill each week on normal or heroic difficulty.  This is where the hardcore raiders can pull ahead of the rest of the rogues.

At an average of about 6 Shadowy Gems per boss kill (assuming 10-man raids) this quest required you to be there for about 56 kills.

I’m happy to say that I completed this quest tonight.  It took me nearly three months.  My casual guild has not been doing full clears each week, so my progress has been steady but not rapid. In fact, we just got our first Deathwing kill on normal tonight, so it was a double-bonus for me.

I’m curious where other rogues are.  I think that a lot of them just got their first stage daggers and called it a success at that point, with no intention of moving on to later stages.  Then I think that many other rogues want to keep moving forward, but the mid-expansion lull may bring them to a halt as they have trouble forming raid groups.

This weekend I expect to do the next stealth run (near Karazhan) and hopefully get my next-stage daggers.

So, where are you in the questline?



I finally got around to transmogrifying my gear.

I really wasn’t in a hurry to do this.  I liked the Firelands/Dragon Soul gear and I didn’t feel a tremendous need to change its appearance.  Still, I figured that there was probably some room for improvement.

I originally thought I’d go with the standard rogue-ninja-all-in-black look.  I crafted a ‘mogging set based on the Nightscape pieces.  I added a few other items to fill out the set and and the change.  It was… dull.  Flat black with no flair and way too cliche.

So, back to the drawing board.  I have almost the full Bloodfang and Slayers sets in my bank, so I considered those.  I decided that I didn’t want to wear one of the tier sets, and that I needed something more interesting.  After thinking it over, I realized that I didn’t really like red as a rogue color.

After a lot of thinking and browsing armor pieces online, I decided to use a recolor of the Bloodfang set made up of individual pieces that drop throughout Karazhan.  It only took a few runs to get most of the pieces.  I have almost a complete set.  Here’s how I look right now:

I’m still missing a couple of matching pieces but the ones I have don’t look too terrible.

Here’s the rundown of what I have:

I’m missing the bracers, belt, and boots that drop in Karazhan.  More Kara clears for me!

I like the look.  Its dark, which is rogue-ish, but not black.  The shoulders are eye-catching but not excessive.  I like the way Illidan’s blindfold goes with the rest of the gear.

I have not yet done anything with my daggers.  That’s not too important to me.  Whatever daggers I have will primarily show the enchant effect so you don’t see much of the dagger, anyway.


Decisions, decision

I’m moving slowly in this tier of the expansion.  We’re still only 1/7 in Firelands.  I can’t bring myself to run heroics over and over.  As a result, my flow of Valor Points is slow as molasses.

I finally broke 2200 this week, so I can buy any piece of VP gear.  I’m debating between getting either the Dark Phoneix Tunic or the combination of the Morningstar Shard and the Necklace of Smoke Signals.

The combination of neck and thrown upgrades is a larger theoretical dps boost than the T12 chest alone.  However, if I spend my VP on those, then it will take forever to get enough points for a T12 piece.

In past expansions, this is always the direction I have gone.  As a result, I have never had a 4-piece bonus of a tier set.  Maybe this time I should go with the tier piece, just so I am one step toward the set.

Decisions, decisions…



The Loot Gods are Toying With Me

Last week we killed Shannox and I was lucky enough to score Feeding Frenzy, which was a nice upgrade to my main hand dagger.

This week we killed Shannox again.  He dropped Avool’s Incendiary Shanker… another slow main hand dagger.

What?  Two slow daggers from the same boss?

It turns out that Feeding Frenzy is a Shannox drop, while Avool’s is a shared drop from any of the bosses in Firelands.

So now I have two nearly identical slow daggers.  I’ll end up dropping a few thousand gold on a Landslide enchant for my Shanker and reforging my gear to squeeze out maybe a 20 dps theoretical improvement (essentially no change).  Maybe I’ll find a place where weapon-swapping is useful again.

I could complain about poor loot distribution by the designers, but it just happens that my guild has only one raiding rogue so I ended up with both daggers.  Its weird to gripe about getting raid loot.  I got two drops in two weeks, but it feels like the loot gods are taunting me.


A little venting to start my week

My guild has had a bit of a setback.  Maybe I’m opening myself to abuse here, but we’ve found ourselves wiping on Magmaw quite a lot.  Not even on heroic mode.  I mean Normal-mode, 10-man Magmaw.

I know that its a fight that its easy to screw up.  It only takes one person standing in the wrong place to wipe the raid.

Whenever a raid wipes, the first thing every raider should do is ask himself what he could have done better.  Reflect on how you could have positioned yourself better, or how you could have maximized your throughput better, or how you could have used cooldowns better.  We all try to analyze how we contributed to the wipe.  Here’s what is frustrating for me about Magmaw… and its not something I ever said during the raid.

Its an easy fight for melee dps, so the wipes are never my fault.

There – I admitted it, and I sound like a jerk.  I don’t want that statement to come off as me claiming that I am better than the other players.  Quite the contrary.  I feel like that fight is unusually demanding on ranged players and especially on healers while being exceptionally easy on melee dps.

All I have to do as melee dps is an uninterrupted rotation, then jump on his back and chain him, then dps the head.  Repeat.  Its almost impossible for me to make a mistake.  In fact, I would go out on a limb and say that there was nothing I could have done better on any of our attempts that would have improved the outcome.

So when we wipe once or twice, I shrug it off as “it happens”.  When we wipe 5-6 times I start to get frustrated.  Its annoying because those wipes are not of my doing.  There is no way I could have done anything to improve my performance or prevent the wipe.  After the wipe, I try not to say anything in chat or in vent because I don’t want them to think I am being critical, when their role is harder then mine.

I much prefer a fight where my role is as demanding as everyone else’s.  Then I can share in the difficulties and also in the triumphs.  Then I can use my skill to have a real effect on the outcome.  I hate it when an entire fight hinges on one person or on a single moment of error.

I’d be happy if I never saw Magmaw again.  Its an easy fight for me, but I dislike the fact that it gets me frustrated with my guild, which I love dearly.


For Comparison

I just looked back in my blog archives.  I published my “level 80″ post on December 22nd, 2008.  That is 39 days after the Wrath of the Lich King was released.

I finally reached level 85 last night, December 23rd, 2010.  That is 16 days after the release of the Cataclysm expansion.  Keeping in mind that this time around I had significant real life distractions, leveling in Cataclysm was really, really short.  And I am one of the last people I know to hit 85.


Getting There, Slowly

Its hard to believe it, with as much time as I spend in game, but I haven’t even reached level 84 yet.

Real Life has conspired to thwart me here.  I made a commitment to level with my wife when the expansion came out.  In an unfortunate bit of timing, she started a new job just days before Cataclysm, which has severely curtailed her game time.  As a result, I have spent many hours in game without her, and I’ve had to pursue activities that would not lead me to level up in her absence.

In our short snippets of play time we’ve worked through all of Mount Hyjal and Deepholm, putting us more than halfway through level 83.  Next up is Uldum.

What am I doing to keep busy if I can’t level?

  • Every day I do the cooking and fishing dailies on multiple characters.
  • I spend a lot of time crafting glyphs and netherweave bags and playing around in the auction house
  • I’ve been buying up cooking mats to get my guild to the Set the Oven to Cataclysmic achievement and unlock the first cooking feast.
  • I have tried to level my tradeskills, but I have not been able to completely level up all of them because I cannot access the vendors in Twilight Highlands yet.  I’ve gotten the easy ones – fishing, cooking, and first aid – done.  Also skinning.  Still working on leatherworking, inscription, tailoring, enchanting, mining, and engineering.
  • I have not gotten very far in archaeology.  For one, it was giving me XP and I was going to level ahead of my wife by doing it.  I even tried turning off XP gains to do it.  But – and I hate to say this because I know some people love it – its pretty dull.  I can only do it for a short while before I feel like I am wasting my time.  I’m not into pets and mounts so there is little draw for me.
  • I’ve worked on my paladin, getting him to 82 in Vashj’ir.  I don’t want him to be my first toon to the level cap, though.  Also, He is specced only into Prot and I’ve not had the guts to try tanking with him yet.  Leveling as prot has not been bad at all.

I do feel a little bothered in my current situation. Back in the Wrath release I also leveled slowly due to time constraints at the holidays.  However, leveling took longer in Wrath.  Despite my slow start, I was not that far behind my guildmates when I reached the level cap.

In Cataclysm, leveling was over in the blink of an eye, even for many casual players.  As I have plodded toward the level cap at a glacial pace, I know that I am falling behind.  Its an uncomfortable feeling, and another reason why I wish the leveling part of the game was a bit more robust.

Fortunately for me, I know that I’ll catch up quickly.  Thanks to having a large supply of gold, I’ll be able to buy up BoE items from the auction house and speed up the gearing process once I reach 85.

So, fair warning to any who come here looking for rogue advice.  Most of you will probably be raiding and doing heroics before me.  In previous expansions, I wrote raid guides for rogues that were pretty well-received.  I hope to get to that as soon as I can, but it may be a little while longer.  I won’t write a guide until I have done the fight myself, and that’s not going to happen for a couple of weeks yet.


Stonewrought Dam

I took the flight path from Menethil Harbor to Loch Modan just to get this screenshot.  I heard that the dam doesn’t fare well in Cataclysm, and I need to save the picture for all time.  Here’s why.


As a night elf first starting in WoW, I had leveled on Teldrassil, moving through Darnassus and then to Darkshore and Ashenvale.  Through reading online I had heard that the big gathering places were these distant cities called Ironforge and Stormwind.  I was curious.  Thus far, through the night elf leveling experience, everything I had seen was all trees and wilderness.

So I decided to make the trek to Ironforge to see what the talk was about.  I took the boat from Auburdine to Menethil Harbor.  I picked up the flight point at Menethil, but had no connecting points so I had to run.  I trotted across the Wetlands, fending off crocodiles, through the mountains, into Loch Modan, across Dun Morogh, and finally to the gates of Ironforge.

It totally blew me away.  Nothing in the level 1-20 night elf experience prepares you for the sight of the huge stone dwarf statue at the Ironforge entrance.  Once inside, I saw more people standing in front of the Ironforge auction house than I had ever seen in the entirely of the night elf zones.

That is a great statement of how well-planned the early leveling experience is.  I truly felt like a hick from out in the country entering the Big City for the first time.

And then my computer crashed.  But that’s not the point of the story.

I ran around, did the sightseeing thing, and then wanted to fly back to Wetlands.  So I picked up the flight point in Ironforge and flew back.  I did a few Wetlands quests and leveled up, and needed to visit a rogue trainer.  Time to fly back to Ironforge.

Now, when I first installed WoW, the computer I was using was pretty low-end.  Whenever I took a flight path somewhere, the graphics couldn’t keep up with the rapidly changing view.  So I would get what amounted to a slide show of my travel, as a still image would pop up onto my screen, stay there for a few seconds, and then another image would appear.

As I flew from Menethil to Ironforge, watching these still images flash on and off, only half paying attention, something caught my attention.  It looked like a huge face!  But then the image flashed away and I saw Loch Modan and then the mountains of Dun Morogh.

Curious, I went back to Menethil and took the flight again.

This time in my sequence of still images I got the full picture, and I was blown away.

From an in-game perspective, this was enormous.  It was an immensely different type of structure than anything on Teldrassil or in Darkshore.  Night Elves don’t do this kind of stonework.  Coming soon after my amazement at seeing the gates of Ironforge, I was bedazzled by the immensity of the dwarven construction.

From a game player’s perspective, I was awestruck.  Nothing I had seen in previous video games had prepared me for the detail and depth of the WoW experience.  Here was a dam that is never seen from the front except as a tourist attraction while flying on a gryphon, and yet it was a masterpiece of design.  I was so impressed with the effort put into the game by the artist at Blizzard.

I have never forgotten that moment.  No matter what the fate of the Stonewrought Dam, it will always be a huge part of my WoW experience.

Damn you, Dark Iron Dwarves.


Dinaer - 90 Assassination Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
Derence - 90 Prot/Ret Paladin (US - Sen'Jin)
Metius - 90 Shadow Priest (US - Sen'Jin)
Liebnitz - 90 Arcane Mage (US - Sen'Jin)
Fastad - 90 Subtlety Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
Darishin - 90 Resto/Balance Druid (US - Sen'Jin)
August 2014
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