Archive for September, 2008



15
Sep
08

The countdown is on…

Everyone is abuzz over the announced date for the Wrath expansion (11/13, if you’ve somehow missed it).

I’ve been keeping my eyes on the “now” until this point… worried about finishing up pre-WotLK goals. I’m not going to stop raiding. I’m not going to give up on “live” WoW. However, its time to start thinking about what is next.

#1… My main has his epic flyer, and I’m going to stop worrying about saving for an epic flyer for my other two toons. They won’t be able to fly in Northrend for a while anyway.

#2… time to start saving up gold. It will be nice to have some funds available to level crafting skills if gathering is difficult. Also, I have no doubt that the newest incarnations of the various potions and scrolls and such will be initially overpriced on the AH.  That said, there are a LOT of quests available in the Northrend starting zone, so gold will be coming in quickly.

#3… my latest alt (Shadow Priest) is level 61… I now have two months to get him to 70, in between raiding, playing the beta and leveling my professions.

#4… My professions are maxed out on my main (including Fishing and Cooking), but not yet on the other two.  Time to get them caught up.  Also, I will need to save up some mats for patterns I have that are still yellow or orange even though I am 375, so I can get some quick skill ups once I find the next trainer.  (for LW that means Drums of Panic, and the Primalstrike pieces if you are elemental LW)

#5… Badges of Justice. Will they become worthless? I thought about using all I have to buy epic gems, but it looks like WotLK jewelcrafters will very quickly get recipes for gems that are even better than the BC epics. Might as well use them all up, then. I have enough badges to get a marginal upgrade piece. Better than throwing the Badges out or finding them still sitting in my bag at level 80.

#6… After the latest wave of tweaks in the beta, I’m going to assume that the class abilities are at least close to where they will end up at release. Now I can finally try to get into playing beta (if the server can stay stable for a few hours).  I will try out a mutilate spec and maybe even a subtlety spec just to see how they play.

Those are just off the top of my head.

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11
Sep
08

Shield SLAM, not BASH

Last night I was in a heroic instance, trying to complete the quests from A’dal to get my “Champion of the Naaru” title.

We’ve pulled to the first boss, and its been slow going.  DPS is continually pulling the mobs off of the tank and getting one-shotted.  At first I suspect it is just because we outgear the tank.  But even when we are trying to be careful about threat, its a problem.

Now, I have never played a warrior, so there is not much that I know about the way they tank.  But I do know that Shield Slam is one of their high-threat attacks.  In between pulls I quickly pull open my Recount and look at the warrior’s attacks… no Shield Slams.

Trying to be diplomatic, I whisper to the tank that perhaps he should use Shield Slam more.  The tank responds that he has been using it every time it is up.  Hmmm.

We finish off the first boss and are pulling to the next when I suddenly get a vague memory from a past study of tanking abilities.  I pull up Recount again and scroll down… and there it is.  The tank has been using Shield Bash.

I very politely point out to the tank that perhaps he is mixing up his abilities.  There is a pause.  Then a whisper in return… “Wow, you’re right!  I’ve been using Shield Bash the whole time I’ve been tanking.”  That is –  not just today, but always.

Now this is a warrior who has main tanked Karazhan.  An experienced player.  This is not someone who bought their toon on eBay.  How can this happen?

Its easy for someone to shout “he’s a noob!” and be condescending without thinking about the cause of the problem.  Those names really sound a lot alike.  I think its a fairly easy mistake to make.  Also, this is not the first time that I have seen or heard of a warrior mixing up those abilities.

In the end, the tank was embarrassed but happy that I had pointed it out.  Since he was already able to MT raids, his tanking is only going to get better now.  I’m glad, because pointing out someone’s error is touchy and can easily be taken as an insult.

So if anyone is playing a warrior in the beta, maybe you can drop a comment or suggestion that the names might be changed so they are not so similar.

09
Sep
08

Guild merge & old friends come home

Its been a while coming, but our guild alliance has merged together into one guild.

This is (hopefully) going to be a smooth process. We have been raiding together for months so there are no DKP issues. We have spent lots of time together on vent and in raid chat so we already know each other pretty well. I think that a lot of issues that cause strife in guild mergers will not be a factor here.

Sunday evening, after the merge, our guild had 25 people online. For a non-raiding night, that’s awesome.

The only part of this that I feel bad about is the name. We decided that we were going to absorb them into our guild rather than disbanding both guilds and forming a new one.  I think that some of the members of the other guild might be a little disappointed.

The practical reason for this is that they are only bringing about 6-10 people into the merger, while we have around 20-30 or so that are active. If we disbanded with the intent of reforming, then I expect we would have lost some people in the transition either due to inattention or seizing the opportunity to jump to a different guild.

More personally to me, I want our guild to continue. Yes, we have a cheesy name (how many guilds are called The Dragons or some variation?). But this guild has been in continuous existence for over two years now, maybe more. I can trace guild members back to at least August ’06, well before I joined. Other guilds have come and gone. Great raiding guilds have blossomed and then burned out. The Dragons continue.

Not only has the merge bolstered our roster, but we have had a number of former members return to the fold. I think that, with the expansion coming, they are looking for a place to sit around and enjoy guild chat without the pressure of raiding during the week. The strength of our group is the camaraderie. We’re a fun bunch.

09
Sep
08

Hired help

My daughter is eleven years old. She plays WoW a bit. I severely restrict her time online, so she can’t play too much or get addicted in a way that is detrimental to her real social life. She has a level 19 shaman and a few other toons in the 10-19 level range.

During one play session, she didn’t have enough silver to train her new skills after leveling. She came to me and asked if I could send her toon some gold.

I thought to myself, “How can I get her to do something to actually earn the gold?”

I remembered that I had recently dropped engineering on my level 48 priest and picked up herbalism instead. I had been running around the low level areas trying to pick stuff and level the skill, but it was slow going. My herbalism was still around 160.

I told my daughter, “You sign onto my priest and run around the Wetlands picking herbs. Whatever herbs you pick, I will give you their auction value. And I will give you a bonus if you get my herbalism skill over 200.”

So she did. The wetlands mobs are 20 levels below the priest so there was no chance of dying. She spent about an hour or so running around. When she was done, my herbalism was at 205 and she had a bag full of herbs.

I sent the herbs to my auction mule, and started putting them up for sale. To my surprise, the herbs on my server have recently skyrocketed in price. As a result, my daughter’s work detail had been very profitable for her.

I ran to the mailbox and mailed her 75 gold. Whew. A nice days work for a level 19 shaman.

edit: She immediately blew most of the gold on AH green items and vanity pets.  Oh well.  Easy come, easy go.

08
Sep
08

What I learned in one weekend

This was an eventful weekend in my WoW-verse.  Things happened in my guild, and also in our progression.  I learned quite a bit…

  • Magtheridon is not so bad once the channelers are dead.  After that it is mostly tank and stab.  Yes, we finally killed that big slug, and with only two warlocks in the raid.  Our guild has now done all of the T4 content.  Guild goals will shift to SSC and TK, and finishing the last two bosses in ZA.
  • The falling rocks in Mag’s Lair hurt a lot.  One of our cube clickers died.  The next blast wave was coming.  I turned to run to the cube… and ran right into a falling rock zone.  It was somewhat surprising to see in my combat log that I was hit for over 65,000 physical damage!  Holy cow!  (I wish I had a  screenshot of the log, but I forgot to take one)
  • Mag drops a lot of loot, and much of it is not really great.  Gems, a bag, T4 chest, Mag’s head which gives a ring upon quest completion… when we opened up DKP bidding for the loot the response was underwhelming.  Very few people wanted to use DKP on them, because they were marginal upgrades.  I see why a lot of guilds kill Mag once just to say they did and never go back to him.

Other things that I have found out…

  • Lots of people want to see new content before the expansion.  Despite the fact that we just finished Magtheridon, we have a bunch of people who want to go wipe on trash in Black Temple and Mt Hyjal just to see it.
  • Lots of people want to see old content before the expansion.  We have people trying to set up guild runs to Onyxia, MC and ZG just to have fun.
  • Many “hardcore” raiders are becoming much more casual in the months leading up to WotLK.
  • Crafting patterns that drop in Black Temple and Mt Hyjal are more common on the AH now that more guilds are running them leading up to WotLK.
  • Many players are bored to death with dailies.

Now that I know we can kill Magtheridon, I intend to get my Champion of the Naaru title before the expansion.

There was more that happened this weekend, but I will save that for another post.

05
Sep
08

Goals before leaving Outland

The expansion may only be two months away. If the rumors are true, then I only have maybe eight weekends left to raid before moving to Northrend and leaving Outland behind.

Here are some things that I want to do before the expansion. They are not things that are necessary, like leveling professions or getting alts to 70 or anything like that. These are things that I’d like to do, because if I don’t do them before WotLK I probably never will.

  1. Kill Magtheridon. We have Gruul on farm but haven’t had any success on Mag.
  2. Get my “Champion of the Naaru” title.  In order to do this, I have to accomplish #1 on the list, as well.  But I still have to do heroic Shattered Halls and heroic Shadow Lab before killing Mag.
  3. Kill a T5 boss. We’ve been in TK and SSC each once. I’d like to get at least someone in my guild… anyone a piece of T5 gear.
  4. Get either the Dragonspine Trophy or the Shard of Contempt. I have coveted these items for a while but have not obtained either. Actually, I may come back to get those after the expansion if I don’t have them by November. If the gear reset in WotLK is not so dramatic, these items might still be worth having even up to the mid-70s.
  5. Try Arena. I don’t do PvP at all anymore. Battlegrounds make me want to punch my computer screen. I have not tried arena, though, and it seems like I should at least give it a shot before the chance goes away until level 80.
  6. Do a trash pull in Black Temple, Mt Hyjal, and Sunwell.  Even though we will certainly wipe, I just want to do it.  To this day I have never even set foot in Onyxia’s Lair, Molten Core, Blackwing Lair, or AQ40.  I’d like to at least see the inside of the current raid instances before moving on, even if I’m seeing it by corpse running.

I’m not sure if I have time to get all of that done.  We are short of warlocks right now, so getting more shots at Magtheridon is an iffy proposition.  We run heroic Mech regularly for easy badges, but getting groups for the harder heroics – Shattered Halls, Magister’s Terrace, Arcatraz – has never been easy.  And low attendance might hamper some of the raiding goals.

None of these is really necessary.   This are just things I would like for a feeling of accomplishment before going on to the next step.

02
Sep
08

Opportunity Knocks

My guild has yet to succumb to the pre-expansion doldrums. True, we have been a little short on our raids, but not dramatically so. At our best we only have 26-30 raiders, so it only takes 3-5 missing to cancel a raid. We have consistently had 20 show up, so even though we have not had a raid in a couple of weeks its not due to a sharp dropoff in attendance. I still feel good about the raid-readiness of the guild.

Here’s how I look at our guild going into the expansion. People talk about expansions as a gear reset. I think of this also as a progression reset.

My guild got into raiding very late. We didn’t kill Attumen until September ’07, a full eight months after BC was released. After that, we had a guild blow-up, endured several months of barely existing, restarted raiding, and have built ourself up to T4/ZA level. WoWJutsu ranks us at #70 on my server, currently.

So, 69 guilds are “more progressed” than us… until WotLK. Then we all start at zero.

Not only that, but out of those 69 guilds ranked above us, more than half of them have broken up and no longer exist.

Now, I’m not suggesting that we are going to be one of the top guilds on my server. For one thing, we are not that organized. Also, we are not likely to powerlevel ourselves to 80 to raid. Lastly, we don’t have a solid core of 25 dedicated people to get into the endgame.

BUT…

When we went into BC we had never raided. This time, going into WotLK, we do raid, and we are one of the oldest continuous guilds in existence on the server (founded in August ’06). We can get into raiding much earlier than we did in BC. Maybe not the 25-man stuff, but certainly the 10-man versions. Our name has been around for so long that we may find recruiting easier once guilds reshuffle post-expansion.

Its a whole new ballgame. We’re as ready as anyone for some of the opportunities presented by the expansion. We won’t be doing the 25-man Arthas kill, I expect, but give us any 10-man content and we’re good to go. We could be among the “raiding guilds” on our server. Wouldn’t that be neat?




Armory

Dinaer - 100 Assassination Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
Derence - 92 Prot/Ret Paladin (US - Sen'Jin)
Metius - 91 Shadow Priest (US - Sen'Jin)
Liebnitz - 100 Arcane Mage (US - Sen'Jin)
Fastad - 90 Subtlety Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
Darishin - 100 Resto/Balance Druid (US - Sen'Jin)
September 2008
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