Archive for Alts

What to do…what to do?

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags , , , , on October 6, 2010 by Randul the Dwarf

I don’t know if anyone reads this anymore, but if you are out there (you know who you are) I need help!  I have absolutely ZERO idea of what to do when Cataclysm drops.  Who am I going to level?  One thing I should make clear, I am leveling two characters concurrently.  This isn’t a desire thing, it’s a necessity thing.  I will level one character with my beautiful wife and one character solo when she isn’t playing.  Odds are my solo character will hit 85 first.

Options, they are many

I’ll take these in the order they hit 80, just for some semblance of neutrality.

Randul:  Randul is my tank/dps, in that order.  It doesn’t look like I’m going to be needed for tanking duty in Cataclysm raiding, but Randul is my “main”.  I’m not a HUGE fan of Warrior dps, but I could do it.  Honestly, if Randul gets leveled it will be as a tank when necessary and not for dps.  PVP is still a viable options though, since I have the most experience pvping with an Arms Warrior.

Kered:  Kered is my DPS/Tank.  I would most definitely level him first, if it weren’t for the pesky fact that Randul has always been my main character.  Randul is my achievement guy.  However, if I’m going to be dpsing, this is the character I want to do it on.  Right now, my raid role looks to be dps or…

Daenaran: The healer/dps.  The guild is somewhat short on healers at this point, so I may be required to level Dae just so we’ll be able to raid.  It really depends on how many raid groups we try to put together.  If we only do one, I probably won’t need to heal.  If we try to put two together, I most definitely will be.

Lastly, Calduin.  The last character to hit 80.  I leveled him partly because I was bored and partly because we needed someone who brought replenishment to the raid.  Well, I won’t be bored and in Cataclysm Survival Hunters will no longer bring replenishment, so the incentive just isn’t there at this point.

Any opinions out there?  Should I stick with history and level Randul first?  I CAN dps on him and he’ll always be available as a tank if needed.  Maybe I should start anew and level Kered first?  I like dpsing on him more, and he’d be available as a tank as well.  I know I will be leveling Dae, but what about the other project?  Randul or Kered?  Kered or Randul?  I just can’t decide.

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The Main Change

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags , , , , , on April 20, 2010 by Randul the Dwarf

Question:  At what point do I officially call it a main change?

Almost from the moment I started playing WoW my main has been Randul the Dwarf, Protection Warrior extraordinaire.  I’ve tanked my way through the game since about level 45, as Arms until 60 and then making the switch to Prot.

I literally tanked my way through Burning Crusade, leveling by instancing.  I took a small break for Wrath leveling to play Arms, but as soon as I hit 80 Protection became my main spec once again.  Up until now, there has been no doubt that Randul was my “main character.”

I’ve taken a moment to step back and reflect upon the last couple months of my WOW playtime.  Randul has been getting a little dusty.  Oh sure, I bust him out for the weekly each week, and I’ve tanked our secondary ICC run once, but for the most part he’s sitting around drinking.

Last month, Kered was front and center.  I was running in our progression raids as dps.  I was running randoms on Kered to get MOAR GEARZ.  For a few weeks, I had made the transition from primarily tank to primarily dps.

Then this month hit.  If your main is measured in time-played, my main for the past month has been Daenaran.  Anything I’m allowed to take him to, I do so.  I’ll still run the progression raid tonight on Kered, but any randoms or lower level raids will be done on Dae.

Has my main changed?  If someone came up and asked me what my main character was, I would answer Warrior without thinking.  If my guild runs an old school raid that Randul doesn’t have, he will be the first in line to go.  Should that go into consideration?

Bottom line:  If I had my choice of who to play tonight, it would be Daenaran, the Restoration Shaman.

Speaking of Dae, WOW did I have a stellar night last night!  I and four guildmates ran four Heroics last night.  Old Kingdom, Forge of Souls, Pit of Saron and Halls of Reflection.  The HoR run was hilarious.  Three of us got the achievement for the instance, the achievement for the heroic version of the instance and the achievement for beating the gauntlet within the time limit all at the same time.  Not bad for a bunch of alts.

I managed to snag four upgrades (including an emblem item) to iLevel 200 stuff I was packing.

Blackened Ghoul Skin Leggings from Pit of Saron

Oath of Empress Zoe from Halls of Reflection

Surgeon’s Needle from Pit of Saron

Talisman of Resurgence from Emblems of Triumph

Definitely a good night.  Pushed the ol’ Gearscore to over 4700.

Shammy Time!

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags , , , , on April 2, 2010 by Randul the Dwarf

I have to admit, I am having a LOT of fun on my Shaman.  So far I’ve only healed Heroics and a pair of easy raids, but it’s been different and fun.  The key word here is DIFFERENT!  I love my Warrior, but I ALWAYS tank on him.  I love my DK, but eventually I want to do something other than melee.  Apparently whack-a-mole suits me.

To this point, raid healing has been slightly frustrating and extremely easy.  Much easier than healing a Heroic in fact.  Frustrating because I’ll be winding up a heal on someone and they’ll get healed by someone else before my heal lands.  I don’t feel like I’m accomplishing much.  Granted, we haven’t done true healing assignments in the raids I’ve been in, so that is probably part of it.

Hopefully when I’m actually doing something relevant I’ll be given an assignment and be a little more useful.  To this point I’ve been mopping up raid heals as the third healer on a VoA10 (starting with Koralon) and a Naxx10 (Loetheb, Sapph & Kel).  I do feel like I did a little more on Sapphiron, but I didn’t help much on Kel until our second healer died in a …. red thingy that you are supposed to not stand in.

My gear is shooting up in quality.  Overnight (literally) I went from “Go do Naxx & OS10” to “Go do EoE10, Naxx25 & OS25.”  Yes, that’s low-level content, but I’m working my way up.  Tonight I’ll have enough emblems to buy a Triumph ring, so I’m pretty excited about that.

I do have some things I need to work on and tweak.  I’ve got my UI looking pretty slick, but I really need to work on Grid a bit to meet my standards.  It’s pretty much out of the box at this point.  That’s not good.  I’ll be posting a screenshot on Monday of my current UI.

I also need to work on my utility stuff.  I let my totems drop and didn’t put them back up on Loetheb.  I also forgot to Heroism.  Bad Shaman is bad.  Of course, my raid leader should be calling for it, but I’m also a raid leader so that’s no excuse.

Here’s the man in his current incarnation.  Yeah, I need to stick a few gems in there and I REALLY need to work on his professions, but I’m too busy right now having so much fun!  I think after I get that ring trinkets are next on my to-do list.

Till next time, enjoy the weekend and happy Easter!

As promised…80!

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags , , , , , on March 26, 2010 by Randul the Dwarf

I did it!  Last night around 9:00 p.m. Daenaran, my Shaman, became my third level 80 character.  It took 2 Halls of Stone runs, 1 Halls of Lightning, 1 Occulus and 2 ToCs to go from 79 to 80.  (I finally truly understand why my wife hates healing ToC, that Priestess Paletress is a …. mean mean lady)

Unfortunately, I can’t link his armory because his seems to be bugged out, but I’ve already upgraded quite a few pieces.  I think his gearscore at the end of the night was in the 2700’s, with a few pieces I still need to make myself.

Trying to decide between making the leatherworking mail pieces or keeping my blues.  I have some decently high level blues (upper 70’s) that have MP5 on them, which is a bit of a concern for me right now.  The leatherworking pieces have Int, Stam, Spell Power & Crit I believe.  Not sure if the upgrades are worth the Mp5.  Any opinions?

I also think I’m going to make myself a Titansteel Guardian, which also doesn’t have MP5, but has a ton of SP & crit.  Compared to my BoA mace, it’s a pretty solid upgrade I think.

So yeah, I finally hit 80 on Daenaran.  He was my first character on Malygos, but I never found the time to level him.  (To be fair, he was a new char while my other characters that came over to Maly were transfers.)  I’m ready to start healing those heroics and lower level raids.

To my guildies, I DO have the weekly!  So carry me through Anub’Rekhan please.

Getting to know…me!

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags , , , , , , , , on September 4, 2009 by Randul the Dwarf

As a quick little Friday post I thought I’d post the Armory of all of my characters, so you could see how I’ve progressed and what I’ve been doing.  I’ll also add some information here for those who can’t access the Armory at this time.

Randul the Dwarf (80 Dwarf Warrior)

Randul is my main character.  He is a level 80 Prot/Arms Dual-Specced Warrior.  His Arms spec is a 60/11/0 PVP/DPS spec and his Protection spec is a 5/8/58 Tanking spec.  Randul has cleared up through Hodir in 10-man Ulduar.  Randul was actually created after I made a Mage and a Hunter.  I made Randul to play with my wife’s Priest and it just clicked.

Kered (80 Human Death Knight)

Kered is what we’ll call my secondary main.  He is played nearly as much as Randul these days, if not more, but if I need to raid Randul is the go-to guy.  Kered is DW Frost DPS & Unholy Tank Dual-Specced.  His DW spec is 0/53/18 and his Tank spec is 9/8/54 (I can’t remember the exact build Armory is acting up for me).  Kered has tanked and DPS’d through Naxx10.  Kered was created just to see the DK starting area.  I transfered him to my current server when friends from my old server quit the game.  I ended up leveling him there and now he’s a big party of my gaming experience.

Daenaran (34 Draenei Shaman)

Daenaran is my primary alt.  He gets this title because Kered graduated to quasi-main status.  Daenaran is only 34, but he is my main project at this time.  Interestingly enough, he is lower than 3 of my other characters, but if I level any of them he’s the one.  He is leveling Enhancement at this time. I really want to level Dae because I would like to have a healer at endgame.  Wish me luck!

Tiamek (70 Gnome Rogue)

Tiamek used to be my secondary character right after Randul.  Kered put a stop to that.  It’s a little complicated how it turned out, but now Tiamek sits at level 70 waiting for…something.  Tiamek is an Assassination rogue, but he has basically no spec at this time.  That shows how much I’ve played him lately.  It’s sad that the main draw I have for leveling Tiamek is to get his Engineering up.

Calduin (72 Night Elf Hunter)

Calduin was on the way to becoming my next 80 after Kered, as I was leveling him in conjuction with my wife’s Hunter Frona.  However, now I am leveling Frona for her, so he is sitting around doing nothing.  He is currently a Beastmaster spec with a 51/11/0 (once again, I forgot the build) talent spread.  If I ever hit endgame with him I’ll likely dual-spec BM & Survival.  Calduin was my second Alliance character,  and actually turned into my main until Randul came along.

Kered (35 Human Mage) Different Server

Kered the Mage was my first Alliance character.  I switched from him when I created Calduin.  I never really looked back at him.  I enjoy the mage class, but as of now I don’t have the money to transfer him to my main server so there he sits.  Kered isa full Frost spec at this time.  Actually he’s untalented at this time, but if I allocated his talents he’d be Frost.

Kakascha (40 Tauran Shaman)

Kakascha was an experiment on a server a bunch of work folks play on.  Turns out I like Alliance better.  He was full Enhancement, for leveling.

Mulg (58 Tauren Death Knight)

Mulg was created during downtime on my primary server.  I talked about him a couple days ago when I talked about how awesome the DK starting area is.  I’ll play him off and on I suspect, he’s a cool character.  I level my DKs as blood.

Missing in action

I had a Paladin once, but now I can’t find him.  I also can’t even remember his name.  I think he was level 20.

Future Characters

I intend to make a Worgen Druid to see their starting area.  If my wife loves whatever character she makes I’ll probably level him until he A. hits endgame or B. hits the level my Shaman is at, at which point I’ll switch.

A Naxxramas Oddity

Posted in Raiding with tags , , , , , on May 19, 2009 by Randul the Dwarf

This weekend, our primary raid team was only going to be able to get together for one of our regularly scheduled raid nights, which meant only one night of Ulduar.  On the scheduled nights that we couldn’t get our Ulduar team together, we journeyed into Naxxramas for an “alt run”.

The Team

These runs weren’t a true alt run, in that some of our members only have one level 80 character so they had to go on their mains.  On our final night, we killed Gothik, 4-Horsemen, Sapph & Kel’Thuzad with the following team.

The mains:

  • Paladin Tank
  • Disc. Priest
  • Holy Priest
  • Rogue (left & was replaced by a shadow priest on KT)
  • Frost DPS Death Knight

The alts/undergeared:

  • Kered, my Death Knight in his tanking offspec
  • Holy Paladin
  • Rogue
  • Warlock
  • Warlock

The Oddity

This was easily our most successful Naxxramas run ever.  Half of this group was either on an undergeared alt or an undergeared main and we owned Naxxramas like we’ve never done with our primary raid group.  We got new records for time on nearly half of the fights.  Two of these folks had never even been through over half of the raid!

To what do I attribute this insanity?

A few of things.

  • Our Ulduar  DPSers more than offsetting our lower dpers. When we were last in Naxxramas with our main group of raiders, all of our DPS were between 2k & 2.5k damage per second.  With this group, while we brought three dps that were lower, our Ulduar raiders were pushing 3k DPS.
  • Kered’s tanking dps versus Randul’s tanking dps. Randul is a strong tank and I love playing him, but Kered consistently puts out two to four hundred more dps than Randul does when tanking.  That adds up.  (I have no intention of sidelining Randul for Kered.  I only tank on him because our guild has a grand total of two players who tank, so when we raid with alts I still have to tank.  Kered is my DPS character, not a tanking character)
  • Familiarity and strong raid leading. Yes, two of our raiders didn’t know most most of the fights, but those that did know the fights knew them backwards and forward.  Our Raid Leader also did a superb job of explaining the fights to the newer folks.

The Lesson

I have to admit, I was shocked at what was happening on this run.  We were knocking out bosses faster than ever before.  We one-shot Sapphiron and Kel’Thuzad’s second phase (we had a small hiccup with the add phase) with people who had never been there before.  Not only that, but our two newbies (I mean that affectionately as the folks who were new to the fights) stayed alive through both fights.

The lesson here, in my opinion, is that skill, paying attention and doing your job goes a long way toward balancing lack of gear and experience.  These alts aren’t quite ready for Ulduar yet, but they are getting there and I’m looking forward to taking them.

Congrats to Katrit and Rolanda on their first Naxxramas clear!

A Change of Pace

Posted in Death Knight, Raiding, Tanking with tags , , , , , , , on April 10, 2009 by Randul the Dwarf

Knowing that I am a Tank, most people would probably see the title of this post and assume I’ve switched to a DPS spec or a PVP spec, right?  In the words of Lee Corso, “Not so fast, my friend!”

Last night we started our weekly raid an evening early.  Easter weekend is going to complicate things, so we thought we’d spend Thursday and Friday raiding this week.  Some of us thought we’d do Malygos, others thought we’d do Naxx.

Personally, I voted for Malygos.  I had two reasons.  1) We have yet to kill Malygos and I’d like to clear all content (10-man) prior to Ulduar showing up.  2) I didn’t think we’d be able to do a full Naxx clear in two evenings when people had to work the next day.  (My wife works on Saturdays until noon)  MOST of our gear upgrades are going to come from Sapphiron and Kel’Thuzad, so if we don’t get a full clear we aren’t going to get a lot in the way of upgrades.

However, the guild voted a 50/50 split on what to do, so we put the decision in the hands of a coin and Naxxramas won.

When we took the vote, I happened to be on my Death Knight, Kered and I happened to be tanking specced.  Here comes the change of pace.  Instead of taking Randul back into Naxx with no hope of an upgrade, I asked if anyone had a problem with Kered off-tanking since Jamason, our other MT was in the raid that evening.  Kered is undergeared, but we are a good group and I am a good player so we decided it was alright.

When it was all said and done we cleared Plague Wing and Military wing in just over 2 hours.  I know that’s probably not a speed run for everyone, and honestly it isn’t even super great for us, but it was above-average.

After six bosses, Kered had 4 new pieces of gear.  Did I mention his only tanking epic prior to this run was the Titansteel Destroyer?  I would normally feel a little bad about getting all this loot, but it was just going to be disenchanted anyway.  The two end bosses for the wings both dropped DK, Rogue, Mage, Druid Tier Tokens.  As we have no druid and the rogue & mage in our raid already had both pieces, I gots me some Tier Tokens.

Kered was originally supposed to be my DPSer, but I certainly don’t mind tanking with him.  I like tanking and I’m good at it.  It’s definitely different though.  Here are my observations:

  • Mad DPS.  Kered, in fairly crappy gear, out-dps’d Randul’s tank dps by about 200-300 dps.  Randul usually hovers between 1000 – 1200.  Kered hovered between 1200-1500.  That makes a pretty big difference.  Trash goes down quicker, bosses go down quicker.
  • Spike damage.  Kered can take some serious damage spikes.  While my dps and aggro was high on Kered, I never felt quite as safe on him as I do on Randul.  I should keep in mind, however, that Kered doesn’t have the gear Randul has.
  • Cooldowns rule.  There were some close calls, especially on 4-Horsemen.  I was getting REALLY low when all of a sudden I’m hitting icebound fortitude and cruising back to full health.  It’s one of those situations where I KNOW I would have died without it.
  • Healer confusion.  Both my wife and the other priest we had in the raid last night commented on how it seemed I didn’t take hits for a LONG time.  Personally, I don’t really understand it, but I’ll take their word for it.  DK’s do concentrate on avoidance, but Kered’s avoidance is still lower than Randul’s.  A lucky string of avoidance I suppose.
  • Don’t be a Deathtard.  For the entire gauntlet after Noth, I was in Blood Presence.  For those keeping track, Frost Presence is the tanking presence because of improved Armor, Health & Threat.  Blood gave me more dps and extra healing.  Huzzah!

What’s in store for tonight and the future of Kered?  For the future, truthfully, I don’t know.  I’m still rolling main spec DPS.  I probably won’t change that for the time being.  That being said, I do have a level 70 Rogue and a level 68 Hunter just waiting to start working to 80.  How many DPS do I honestly need?

The fact of the matter is, our guild has two tanks and our raid has three.  Usually only two can make it on a given night, and I am the most dependable.  For the time being, I’ll be tanking in raids.  Whether or not that is Randul or Kered remains to be seen.  I had no trouble tanking the two easier wings of Naxx on Kered, so he might stick in there for a while just so tanking upgrades aren’t going to waste.

For tonight?  Once again, I don’t know.  Our Pally Tank also has a level 80 DK.  He’s better geared as DPS than I am, but I don’t know about his tank gear.  If he’d like to try to get some gear and tank Naxx tonight, I’d be happy to hop on Randul and let him off tank.  If he isn’t comfortable tanking on a class he’s never tanked on, I’ll probably roll with Kered again.

This is already a long post, so I’m going to wrap up with a quick recap of what pieces of gear Kered obtained last night.

A quick explanation.  I took the DPS Tier Shoulders because as of now, Kered is a DPS character.  He was just filling a tanking role last night.  I chose the Tanking Tier Chest because I had already looted the Chestguard of the Risen Soldier that night, which is a very good DPS chest.  Trying to stay flexible here.

That’s it for now.  Join me next week for Tank Fight of the Week: Grand Widow Faerlina.