Archive for October, 2014


A Test of Valor

One of the nice gestures that Blizzard made for us in the 6.0.2 pre-WoD patch is to remove the quest A Test of Valor.  That quest, part of the legendary cloak line, had us earning 3000 Valor Points.  This took a minimum of three weeks but for casual players took much longer.  The idea behind removing that was to make a last-minute push for your legendary cloak possible.

The Test of Valor quest was removed on October 14.  WoD drops on November 13.

Assuming that the lockouts will reset on Tuesday, November 12 as usual (leaving a two-day “week” with a new lockout before WoD) then we have 4 full lockouts and 1 abbreviated lockout to do the rest of the legendary cloak questline.

The biggest obstacle there is collecting the Secrets of the Empire.  You have to get 20. Now you’re squirming in the hands of the RNG gods.

There are 20 bosses you can kill each week to get Secrets.  In 4 weeks that is 80 chances, plus whatever you can do in the two-day “week” before WoD.  Thus you need to get roughly one Secret to drop per four boss kills.  (That is assuming you have the time to run 20 bosses each week).  That is not even considering the time you need for the steps that come after this quest.

That’s a little tight for me.  I’d hate to go through all this effort only to fall short due to random chance.  I really think that Blizzard should have extended the Gaze of the Black Prince buff all the way through WoD release.  Otherwise, removing the Test of Valor quest wasn’t as useful as they thought.

Edit: I was lucky and got 6 in my first week.  I’ve heard panicked complaints from others who only got 2 or 3.


Mists Raiding Recap

Amid all the talk that Blizzard is dumbing the game down, blah blah blah, I can say with certainty that raiding in Mists kicked our butts more than any raiding since Burning Crusade.

When I say that Mists raids were hard, the typical troll response I get is that my guild is “bad”.  Thing is, we’re the same people that raiding together since BC, and we weren’t bad before.

Just for comparison, here’s our raiding history.  In Burning Crusade we were just learning to raid, so we were way way behind the curve, and I didn’t include that here.  Once Wrath hit, we had a full team and were raiding right from the start.  Here’s how we did (10-man normal modes only – we never do heroic)

Wrath of the Lich King

Naxxramas:  Released October 2008, Cleared January 2009

Obsidian Sanctum:  Released  October 2008, Cleared December 2008

Eye of Eternity:  Released October 2008, Cleared March 2009

Trial of the Crusader:  Released August 2009, Cleared September 2009

Ulduar:  Released September 2009, Cleared March 2010

Icecrown Citadel:   Released December 2009, Cleared April 2010

Summary – for most of Wrath we were on schedule, finishing each tier (10-man) before the next tier was released.  We did get bogged down for a while in Ulduar – specifically on Yogg-Saron, which took us months


Bastion of Twilight:  Released December 2010 Cleared June 2011

Throne of the Four Winds:  Released December 2010, Cleared June 2011

Blackwing Descent:  Released December 2010, Cleared June 2011

Firelands:  Released June 2011, Cleared December 2011

Dragon Soul:  Released November 2011, Cleared March 2012

Summary – We were just a hair behind in this expansion.  For most raids, we cleared them up to the final boss and got stuck, then killed that boss as soon as the next tier was released and we got some gear upgrades.  We never gave up and never felt defeated.

Mists of Pandaria

Mogu’shan Vaults:  Released October 2012, Cleared February 2013

Heart of Fear:  Released October 2012, Cleared April 2013.  Stuck at Garalon for months.

Terrace of Endless Spring:  Released November 2012, Cleared April 2013

Throne of Thunder:  Released March 2013, Cleared: Never.  We got stuck on Horridon and our raiding collapsed after that.

Siege of Orgrimmar:  Released September 2013, Cleared July 2014 (flex only)

Summary – you can see how we hit a wall in this expansion.  We were way behind, never coming close to finishing a tier before the next tier was released.  We always needed LFR gear from a higher tier to clear the previous tier.

Since the raid team in Mists was essentially the same as the raid team in Wrath and Cata, it looks to me like the raids were just plain harder for us in Mists.  Either that or the particular mechanics in this expansion didn’t play to our playstyle, and we weren’t able to adjust.

I also feel like LFR hurt our raiding mojo.  Players stopped learning boss fight mechanics because in LFR you could ignore them.  There was little personal responsibility for damage avoidance and team play because LFR trained the players to overlook that.  Every time we showed up for a raid, the mechanics and roles had to be re-explained.  This was definitely laziness on the part of our players, but I put much of that on LFR.

I’m not sure if we’ll even be able to field a raid team in WoD.  Mists really left a sour taste with a lot of our players, and I would not be surprised if the “extended breaks” for some of our players at the end of Mists turned into full retirements.


That’s not an event (yet)

I guess I’m now becoming one of those “back in my day…” old codgers.

What I really want in a pre-launch event is a memory.  I don’t need an achievement or an epic loot drop.  I want to tell people years from now that I Was There When the Iron Horde Invaded.

When the Burning Crusade was about to drop, there was an event at the Dark Portal.  It turned into an all-out pvp-fest that even carebears like me jumped into.  I still talk about that.

When Wrath of the Lich King was approaching there was the infamous and awesome zombie invasion.  Other than the zombie plague, which people either loved or hated, there were undead spawning all around Azeroth.  There were rewards for continuing to pursue them – gear sets and items and the like.  It was an event that held your attention for days, if not weeks.

Cataclysm brought the liberation of Gnomeregan as well as continuing elemental invasions.  While this wasn’t as world-spanning and epic as the previous one, it did make you travel around a bit and held your attention for a while.  The events came in stages, leading to fighting Twilight Cultists and major cities being attacked.

Mists of Pandaria had almost nothing.  There was the Theramore scenario, and…

This was terribly disappointing.  Completely forgettable.

Now we arrive at the pre-launch for Warlords of Draenor.  This has a lot of potential – marauding bands of Iron Horde, appearances by the Warlords, conflict or cooperation between the Horde and Alliance. I am hoping that Blizzard heard the cries of its players from the MoP non-event and would opt to return to the epic launch events of before.

All we’ve gotten (so far) is a few quest hubs.  There isn’t anything epic about that (yet).  It felt just like questing anywhere else in the game.  The mobs were squishy and the travel was quick.  I finished the whole thing in less than an hour.

Sure, there is UBRS, but that doesn’t feel like a pre-launch event either.

I’m holding out hope that this “event” will have more stages as the month passes, and things will get more interesting and involved (and that means more than just additional quest hubs).

Don’t let me down, Blizzard.


What did I do on my last night pre-6.0?

I’ve been so busy, I have gone weeks without logging into WoW at all.  Finally, with two days until the pre-WoD patch, I found myself with some free time.  What did I do to pass that time?

I mostly took advantage of the last days of the Gaze of the Black Prince buff.  I figure that if I want to get the legendary cloak on any more alts before WoD, then I should use whatever advantage I have.  So I took my paladin out to Thunder Isle and spent about an hour getting his Black Prince rep from Honored to Exalted. I ran one LFR raid with him to get my last Sigils of Power.  That puts me at the Test of Valor stage of the questline.  Since that quest is being removed in two days, I’ll jump into the next step post-patch.

Then, feeling accomplished, I did the same thing with my shadow priest.  Brought him to Thunder Isle, spent an hour and a half going from Friendly to Exalted.  Then I ran Mogushan Vaults and got him most of his Sigils.  I’m still 3 Sigils of Power short of finishing that quest.

That means, for both of them, I’ll have about a month to:

  • Defeat the Sha of Fear in Terrace of Endless Spring to get the Chimera of Fear.
  • Win at Temple of Kotmogu and the Silvershard Mines
  • Collect 20 Secrets of the Empire from Throne of Thunder and Siege of Orgrimmar
  • Fight Nalak
  • Collect 12 Titan Runestones from Throne of Thunder and Siege of Orgrimmar
  • Do the Thunderforge scenario
  • Combat a Celestial and defeat his challenge
  • Defeat all four Celestials on Timeless Isle

I’m skeptical that this can be done in time for WoD, unless the buffed drop rate for Secrets and Runestones is extended.


My final act was to log out in Blasted Lands so that I can log in and see the invasion come tomorrow.  I have very fond memories of being at the Dark Portal for the Burning Crusade event, and I’m hoping this one is just as much fun.



I need a time-turner

Why is it that just as the pre-expansion patch is approaching, my life is so busy?  I’ve had less then an hour of playtime over the past week and I don’t see things getting better in the near future.

Of course, I’m going to make time once the patch hits.  That means I’ll be sacrificing sleep.  Hopefully my students will understand if I’m a bit grouchy and sleepy when I show up in the morning.


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)
October 2014
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