Archive for September, 2012

New

Posted in MoP with tags , , on September 27, 2012 by zarigar

Normally I hate expansions–hmm…maybe hate is the wrong word–I’m not comfortable with them because everything is so new and different and I don’t know where everything is. Plus everything is broken and I have different spells and I feel like I have to relearn the game.

Not so much this time, and I’m loving it. So far, it seems like all the potential issues were dealt with in the previous patch. So the roll-out was so much smoother than I anticipated.

When I first heard that this would be the panda expansion, I know my first thought was “meh” and “how silly.” Even with people talking themselves blue about how Pandaren were not a new concept to WoW and were not being stolen from Kung Fu Panda, it was hard to take the idea of it seriously.

Now that they’re here, I don’t see the Pandaren as intrusive or sillier looking than any other race. And what little I’ve seen of Pandaria (my apologies if that’s incorrect) I think it’s quite beautiful. I am very glad that I stayed out of beta and got to experience it as a finished product.

I played on both Horde and Alliance shamans yesterday and I like how different each storyline is. I was concerned having everyone start in one zone but so far I haven’t had any issues. If you play one side, and then the other, you do see elements in quests and stories. I haven’t even seen people of the other faction, though I probably just haven’t played far enough into it yet.

It actually took me a while to get Khiaren out of the start-off area into the first village, only because herbs kept sprouting up that I had to stop and pick. I guess I missed the mob of people, because I only ever saw a couple of other players out at the same time as me. So I kept picking Green Tea and I picked so much that their skill level turned green on me.

On the flip side, when I took Zarigar through, I was happily skinning and collecting leather. When my bags were full and I hearthed back to Org to put in my bank, I realized that I had never leveled up my professions to the Zen level.

>.<

Gah!

Thankfully skinning is a profession that levels itself up pretty quickly, but I was annoyed that I had wasted all that initial time. Oh well.

I have more rambling, but I have to stop for a meeting. I am pleased so far with how MoP turned out and I can’t wait to log back in and see some more.

The night before MoP

Posted in MoP with tags , , on September 25, 2012 by zarigar

*Don’t worry, there are no spoilers here.*

I always feel most productive when I’m leveling, and when MoP hit, I would once again have to work my way up. But, on the last night of Cata, I was on my alliance DK and could not get into the groove of questing. So I switched over and started working on her mining and JC; you know, the reason she was actually created.

It was kind of fun being around all the excitement of a pre-expansion. Even if trade chat was full of this convo:

when does MoP start?

I thought it started at midnight.

Midnight PST.

2 am server.

What time is that CST?

I didn’t get as far as I wanted in mining, thanks to my new pet peeve. Cross realm zones. God, that’s so annoying. There are people EVERYWHERE.

One thing that drove me away from questing was that there was always another person in my way. I was in Northrend, doing the most obscure quest, and there was another player. WTF. Go away.

I think this was Blizzard’s way of getting me back to realizing that for the next few weeks, there are always going to be people around. People killing your mobs and collecting your quest items. Grrr…

I had to come into work today, so I knew I wasn’t going to stay up excessively late (or early) but I wanted to be online when MoP transitioned over. I switched over to Khiaren and went out to Tol Barad to pick up some of those dailies and turn them in when everything switched over.

(Side note of amusement: my DK hit Exalted with the guild a little bit after Northrend. My shaman — who regularly raids with the guild — was still on Revered and my priest was still all the way back at Honored. I heart nerfs.)

It was around 11:53 pm and I was collecting magnetized scrap parts when Khiaren automatically got a quest requesting her presence in Stormwind. Omg, it’s starting. I finished the dailies I was doing and went to go turn them in.

It was funny how cleared out Tol Barad immediately got. It was probably the emptiest I’d seen it all night. (And when I turned in those dailies, I finally hit Exalted with Crits.) It was nice to see my XP go back up again.

Back to Stormwind to see what the King wanted, but I knew I wasn’t really going to go any farther than that. I know it’s going to be a cluster of people no matter when I start in, but I didn’t need to be part of the first wave of people.

It’s going to be busy the next few weeks and months and I was going to enjoy one last relaxing night. I played around with some of the panda models but haven’t committed to creating one yet. Tonight everything starts up again in earnest.

Good luck to everyone racing for server firsts and to those of you who haven’t been to sleep yet. You are the definition of hardcore. Why don’t you go ahead and work out the bugs before I get there, ok?

Random post #200

Posted in MoP, Random with tags , , , on September 19, 2012 by zarigar

WordPress says this is my 200th post so yay me. That saves me having to find a coherent title for my babbling train of thought.

So, scenarios. I’ve now done both Alliance and Horde side and they were ok. I’ve read a lot of uncomplimentary things about them, but not being a lore person, I wasn’t overly bothered by them. They were nice little diversions but nothing that I feel the need to play over and over or something I have to have every eligible toon do.

I liked the tabard reward better than the bomb thing. The white tabard looks nice with my priest who is mogged in mostly white gear. My poor dumpy little dwarf, though, looks like she is wearing a sports bra on the outside of her clothes thanks to the giant WWE belt she has on.

I did notice that there was a guild achievement for doing all the MoP scenarios in a guild group, and there were 7 total, so it looks like we will have at least 6 more of these throughout the next expansion. Hopefully the future ones will please more people.

Am I upset there isn’t more of big world event? Not really. I don’t think I did the save troll islands/retake Gnomer stuff when it was out. I remember being annoyed at all the zombie people infecting everyone. I can see how other people wanted one last big thing to transition from Cata to MoP.

Speaking of transitioning to MoP, I guess I should try to figure out how I’m going to work this. The number of active alts I have now has grown insane throughout Cata. Roughly 12 (?) or so that will want some degree of playtime. The bulk of time, though, will have to go to the two toons scheduled to raid.

Sidenote: for purpose of ease, my main will now and forever be Zarigar. He may not be my raider but he is my main. My raiders are not my mains even if they get to 90 first and have an ilevel 300 points higher than Zari.

I’m not too worried about leveling Khiaren, since she is dps specced and is on a normal server. She can quest and pick flowers and maybe do some dungeons and go AFK when I allot myself 6 minutes to eat dinner.

The one who is going to be more difficult is Jendora. A freaking healer on a freaking PvP server. Oy. This one is going to be interesting.

I see her healing a lot of dungeons. Doing instances all the way to 90, though, already sounds exhausting and tedious. I will have to cobble together an awful boomkin spec and Wrath spam my way through some quests, I think, to retain what’s left of my sanity. I know I will be fresh meat to any alliance players, but sometimes in the beginning of a new expansion the players put world PvP on hold for a while, so maybe that will hold true again this time.

If not, I will be running to my corpse a lot. >.< That there won’t be flying initially available may or may not help, but it will make collecting herbs for Inscription a little more difficult. (I’m that druid who steals your flowers and flies away!)

And now that I’m thinking about healing dungeons I guess it would help if I went and read up on some of them. Just so I know when people die to something avoidable and I have a legitimate reason to rage.

After my raiders are ready, then it will be Zari’s turn. After that, who knows? I just envision a line of alts saying “Is it my turn yet?”

Can I outsource my leveling?

Little blue warlock

Posted in Alt with tags , , , , on September 17, 2012 by zarigar

Zhari the little goblin warlock is cruising along; he got past level 50 this weekend, which means soon he will be ready for Outland. It seems weird because I just got my draenei DK on Winterhoof through Outland. I’ve pretty much been switching off between the two of them, taking turns leveling one while the other gets their rest XP.

I think it’s funny that these are the closing days of Cata and I’m finally getting my goblin leveled. I guess that means I won’t seriously work on any kind of panda until about 2014.

I actually have seen a lot of other goblins out there, which means there are other slacker people that also put off leveling a goblin. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

One group had a goblin priest and I kept getting confused about which one was me, since we were both rocking the heirlooms and looked identical. Wait a minute…I don’t have Prayer of Mending…

I am grateful to the person who noted that you could transmog heirloom gear; which is such a nice option. If you have helm, cloak, shoulders, weapon and chest piece, you’ve basically got your entire look set from level 1 until you start phasing out the heirlooms. And that’s boring.

The problem was that I didn’t have a lot of pieces that I kept to transmog. The AH is pretty dead and what stuff there is in there is ridiculously overpriced. I started Zhari’s look based on the hat he won as a random greed roll. I liked the witch-looking hat with the goblin ears poking through.

Yes, it covers his mohawk, but it wasn’t as glorious as Zarigar’s so it’s ok.

And, yes, I know it’s a lot of blues of varying hues.

Blues hues.

Hee.

Even the staff was mogged to one with shades of blue on it.

The cape is one that I bought from the troll quartermaster. So even though I covered up his little baby mohawk it’s like he’s got a piece of Zarigar with him still.

He’s probably got about a week of playtime left on him. Once MoP hits the focus will need to be on getting the raiding toons to 90 and doing what I need to do for them. Then we’ll see what happens with the little blue warlock.

Evil baby: WTB one soul

Posted in Alt with tags , , , on September 4, 2012 by zarigar

With yesterday being a holiday, I had planned to spend most of it working on my new DK JC over on Winterhoof. I was enjoying smashing things in the face and had decided to put off aggressive farming and profession leveling until I got faster flying. (Note to self: get out to Darkmoon Faire this week.)

I did want to see what the peeps at Shadow Rising were doing so I logged over to Drak. The very last toon on my character selection list is my baby warlock, the one I’ve mentioned in passing a few times but have never really done anything with. The lock would grow up to life tap himself to death or run into a group of mobs and hellfire himself to death or, worse, sit there and wand at things.

Really, I wanted nothing to do with him.

Ok, a big part of my dislike was all the spells you got at once and had to make work into a coherent rotation. With a mage, I knew that fire spells generally were for Fire Spec, arcane for Arcane, etc. With warlocks it seemed like they dumped a bunch of spells on you and said “work through it.” All the guides and posts I read said to level you must “Be Affliction, B-E Affliction.”

But I really wanted to be Destro. The problem was I couldn’t make Destro work. Not at that level anyway. The few instances he did he was bottom of the meters, very bottom if there was a Disc priest along.

So I wasn’t really feeling the lock love. He lived, though, since he was my only goblin and was that server’s alchemist. His alchemy was stalled at the point where he needed to level up more if he wanted to learn more recipes.

Also, I can’t kill something with a mohawk. Not as glorious as Zarigar’s mane, but he tries:

Lyssi had just written a post where she confesses her new love for Destro and I was curious. I logged in and was like “oh, yeah, I was so ashamed of this lock that he’d never been guilded.” Luckily Lyssi and Slice were on THEIR baby locks (between the three of us, all of our junior warlocks had names that started with a Z) and Lyssi was nice enough to let me in.

The first thing I noticed then was how empty my bars were. I went through my spellbook to make sure I wasn’t missing anything, and, no, everything I was supposed to have I did. Huh. Even I can handle a 3-spell rotation.

From there everything took off. I went from kind of hating my warlock (and really, all of them in general) to loving mine. I can even overlook the goofy animation where he casts Conflagrate and it looks like he’s pitching underhand as part of a slow-pitch softball league.

I was actually kind of sad when I had to stop and do some things I had set aside for my day off. But, as soon as I could, I was back. Moar dungeons! I went from level 18 to level 28. And I’m not at the bottom of the chart. I know meters aren’t everything, but it was annoying to be in heirlooms and still be at the bottom. Now, as long as there are no cheating holy pallies, I am near the top–with an easier rotation that makes sense.

So I have to give thumbs-up for the changes in warlocks. They went from a class I hate to one I love. I don’t know that I’ve had so much fun playing a “new” class before.

I know it will be a while before I am a full-fledged evil warlock. I was reminded of the goodness I still possess when Lyssi piped up in guild chat how she wished we got critter kill counts for running them over while mounted. My shock showed that I’m not quite that evil.

Yet.

After the patch

Posted in MoP with tags , , , , on September 3, 2012 by zarigar

Such a busy week. As much as I hate the mess patches make, I do like that it is our first glimpse of MoP and starts to draw people back to the game. Both guilds raided this week to try out our new specs.

Shadow Rising

SR went into DS on Wednesday, with a lot of things still broken. Since Jendora will be my MoP toon, that is who I brought along, even though it would put us at 3 healers. Prior to the patch, it was basically a 2-heal raid with them occasionally being crazy and trying to single heal parts of it.

I did make sure she had some major gylphs on. She’s missing a ton of the minor glyphs, so she can’t yet do anything fun like let people ride her. (Filthy!) The saddest part is she is actually a scribe. I may have to work on learning some new ones soon; the inflated AH prices are too ridiculous.

Getting back into druid healing was different and yet not really. Once Jendora had hit a certain gear point in the past, she because incredibly lazy. It would just be about throwing Rejuvs around and using Wild Growth whenever it was on cooldown. “Oh, tank only has 97% health? Rejuv plus Swiftmend now!”

Now I have to be much more aware of my mana. I can still hear Slice grumbling about our wimpy mana pools, but it does make healing much less passive than flinging out a Wild Growth and flipping over to Facebook real quickly. Spamming Wild Growth = bye mana. So now I have to learn when it would be better to use it and not just because there is some miniscule damage left to heal and I want to see green numbers fly.

Part of being lazy was that I had also given up on using cooldowns. I rarely used tree form and don’t even think Jendora was specced for additional healing when she was a tree. Innervate was rarely used; it was used primarily if a caster had just been battle rezzed and needed mana.

I have to devote a section to the new healing Wold Mushrooms, or, as I like to call them: Smurfs Village. Druids can set up to three mushrooms on the ground and then bloom them for AoE heals. It’s such a weird little mechanic, I don’t know if I like it or not. Setting each mushroom individually is such a pain, but using up all those GCDs does stop me from spamming Wild Growth, so there’s that I guess.

The healing from Smurfs Village is ok, but since it is “set it and forget it” I have to use it for those times when we are stacked together to get the most bang for it. (It did look nice on Ultraxion when I was stacking it with other heals.) Otherwise it does feel like a novelty spell, and when we get to content where we need 3 healers, I might just forgo it for more active healing.

Crits

Saturday was Crits’ turn to go into DS and time to bring in Khiaren and see what happened to shammys. I was already sad to lose my full-time totems and I was annoyed that I would have to learn which times to use the situational ones.

(Sidenote: this run included a cameo appearance by Arioch. It looked like we were going to run DS with less than 10 and she was on her DK anyway. I think she was going for an incognito, stealth approach…but maybe she should have changed her vent name to somethng besides Arioch then.)

Like a lot of other classes, I did notice a nice DPS boost, even though I didn’t feel totally comfortable at first. Outside of the totems, elemental didn’t change all that much. Lava Burst seems to proc so much more often now and in some of the fights that seemed like all I would cast for 5 full seconds.

I do love that they reduced the cooldown of Fire Elemental. At least one of my totems stuck around, and I can use it more often now.

The healing support changed a lot. Before it was cast Healing Rain when the healers need help. (Or, as Addoe likes to call it, “shaman tears.”) I used it, looked at my mana bar, and went “that’s not great.” Thankfully there are other options. Healing Totem has to be used situationally, but it seems to be stronger than its previous version. There’s also a new talent that is like a smart heal in that it converts damage done into healing targets that need it.

What was funny was that I seemed to have much fewer mana issues with my shaman than with my druid. The only time I saw huge dips in my mana pool was when I spammed Chain Lightning or when I used healing spells. This works for me, Blizz, please don’t wreck this. Go over there and mess with pallies. 😛

Overall I was pleased with both raiding experiences. Tuesday I did my usual “patch broke it all my add-ons I needs them the old way was better die Blizz” wailing. I’m not 100% comfortable with the changes yet, but I don’t feel it was the gloom and doom that I was ready for MoP to be.

Let’s see some pandas now.