Archive for World of Warcraft

New Patch = What?

Posted in Uncategorized, World of Warcraft with tags , , , , on October 15, 2010 by Randul the Dwarf

Patch 4.0.1 is out for World of Warcraft and it is…perplexing?  I’m not going to lie folks, this patch has me flustered.  I’ve played MMORPGs for twelve years, and this is the first time a patch or expansion has left me thinking…what the heck am I supposed to do now?

Part of the problem is a lack of addons.  That’s not truly Blizzard’s fault, it’s mine.  However, if the default UI/game could be customized to the way I like it, I wouldn’t need those addons.  It’s not that I can’t perform without grid and bartender, but when I’ve played the game with them for over a year, it’s disconcerting when they disappear.

Another issue I’m having is just the complete re-work of some of the ways classes work.  My DK is a mystery to me at this point.  I’ll adapt sure, but it’s a bit daunting to log onto a character when I know I have to relearn how he works.

Interestingly enough, a couple of my biggest issues stem from things that I’ve only recently truly gotten into again.  PVP.  Prior to patch 4.0.1 I was totally digging PVP.  I would go into the level 19 bracket of Warsong Gulch and have a great time on my baby Frost Mage.  Now…ugh…not so much.  Damage is out of control.  If I don’t see a rogue before he opens up on me, I die.  I was one-shot by a rogue the other day.  Let’s look at that again and measure the fun factor.

Step 1:  I am standing there.

Step 2:  I die.

Call me crazy, but that doesn’t sound like fun.  I’m not scrub in greys either, kids.

Allow me to list my gearz for you: (For time’s sake, I’ll just be listing Stamina since their damage to my health is the issue in question)

  • Thick Bronze Neclace – 3 Stamina
  • Exquisite Sunderseer Mantle – 5 Stamina & 51 Resilience
  • Spidersilk Drape –  4 Stamina
  • Tattered Dreadmist Robe – 10 Stamina + 100 Health enchant
  • Shimmering Bracers of Stamina – 3 Stamina + 1 Stamina enchant
  • Gold-Flecked Gloves – 9 Stamina
  • Jewel Encrusted Sash – 2 Stamina
  • Willow Pants of the Eagle – 3 Stamina
  • Spidersilk Boots – 8 Stamina
  • Heavy Copper Ring – 2 Stamina
  • Lavishly Jeweled Ring – No Stamina
  • Discerning Eye of the Beast x2 – No Stamina
  • Grand Staff of Jordan – 10 Stamina & 68 Resilience
  • Greater Magic Wand – No Stamina

As you can see, I’m not exactly poorly geared.  I have 60 Stamina on my gear.  That’s 600 HP just from the Stamina on my gear.  I’m also rocking 100 Health on my chest.  700 Health before you even factor in my base health.  I was one-shot.  That’s a problem folks, I don’t care what side you fall on, that’s a major issue that needs to be addressed.  If I got one-shot, someone who really is leveling through BGs (instead of just pvping for the fun of it like me) stands absolutely zero chance of lasting more than .5 seconds.

I’d like to see a damage reduction across the board.  They addressed max-level damage by buffing resilience, but how much resilience is there really in the low level BGs?  Not much.  I suppose I could get the BoA trinket for the Stamina on that.  That may be my only option if they don’t fix this situation soon.  Actually, I do have another option.  Make a rogue so I can one-shot people from stealth.  Sounds fun, amirite?

My last issue is something that came as a surprise that is my own fault.  I probably should have got on the Test Realm and checked into things, but I didn’t.  The method I have of attaining BoA items (such as the aforementioned trinket) was to use Stonekeepers Shards or emblems.  I cashed in all my emblems prior to the patch so I could get as many as possible, but I still lacked a few.  I was sitting on 40,000 honor on Kered hoping that would buy me the gun at least.  LOLNO!  My honor was reduced to around 1500, the gun costs 3500.  😦

I’m amazed that 40,000 honor isn’t worth a boa gun.  /sigh

Oh well, what are your thoughts on the patch?

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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.

Best Mage Guide Evar

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags , , , on October 5, 2010 by Randul the Dwarf

I’ve been playing my Mage Iciclez, a lot lately.  Yes, I named my Mage Iciclez.  Yes, she is a Frost Mage.  Yes, she is a female Gnome Frost Mage with cute little pink pigtails.    I did all of these things for a few reasons, but mostly because I think it’s funny.  Personally, I think it’s funnier to own someone in pvp with a little gnome girl with pigtails than it is with…well anything else really.

Anyway, I’ve been playing her a lot.  She’s currently level 16 and owning pretty hard in Warsong Gulch.  If you clicked on the Armory link you can see she has heirloom chest, shoulders, staff & one of the spell power trinkets.  (Still working on the other trinket)  So far, she’s a ton of fun and I’m in no hurry to level her.  I’m enjoying the low-level bgs brackets, and may even try to twink her a little bit.

I said all that to say this.  Playing a Mage again reminded me of a Mage guide I read a LONG time ago, when my Mage’s name was Kered and he was a he and he was a Human.

With quotes like, “They act like teenagers with their first chance to score, by blowing their mana all over the room in one big clumsy act of inept exuberance.” and “The sheep can’t attack but he can wander AND when wandering, his friends may very well notice him and say “hey…doesn’t that sheep look a lot like Uk’thor Crusher of Moons?”. Once they recognize Uk’thor or whatever his name is, they will remember what they learned in Monster 101 which is “Mages like to turn your buddies in to sheep” that or they just get curious when mutton wanders near them.”, how could anyone argue that this guide doesn’t rock?

It’s severely out of date, and will be even moreso after Patch 4.0.1 drops, but if you are extremely new to Mages or just looking for some Mage-related info with some humor and good writing thrown in, check it out.

http://wow.stratics.com/content/features/guides/mage/

Unbelievable

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags , , , on October 1, 2010 by Randul the Dwarf

Looks like Cataclysm is coming out on December 7, according to mmo-champion.  The funny thing about this is that we should have/could have seen this coming a long time ago.

People have been arguing like cats and dogs about when Cataclysm is going to drop.  Early November, late November, early December, late December even January has been tossed around as a possibility.

Check this excerpt from a post on The Wowhead Blog, which is quoting the Gnomeregan invasion page on the Blizzard site.

Speaking to a small conglomerate of various Alliance representatives, Mekkatorque pointed out that the time to strike is now. After all, Thermaplugg has eluded death for years to keep his reign over Gnomeregan; and with the fall of the Lich King, the last great threat to the citizens of Azeroth, the chance of any cataclysmic event taking place in the foreseeable future is “less than 12.7%,” Mekkatorque’s leading combat medical advisor Doc Cogspin purported.

As I said, unbelievable.  How we missed it is beyond me.  Not only has that been out there, but I remember reading it!  Nice one Blizzard!

Could they really have known at that time that they were going to release on December 7th?  Is it just a Pearl Harbor reference?  Conspiracy theorists unite…but not all in one place, they are watching.

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.

All Aboard the Failboat

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags , , , , , on April 16, 2010 by Randul the Dwarf

Captain:  Randul the Dwarf (actually it’d be Daenaran, but that’s just being picky)

I’m not perfect.  I do  stupid things from time to time.  I hear “failboat toot toot” in raids and vent pretty often.  More often than not it’s just me being absent minded or a minor oversight, but last night I joined the ranks of EPIC fail.

I was healing a random heroic (Utgarde Pinnacle) and for some reason a thought from a forum thread I read this past week fluttered through my mind.  The person was talking about an addon called Rankwatch to see which newbs were not using max ranks of their spells.  After reading that, I went home, went to the trainer and made sure that all of my spells were trained.  That’s my due diligence, right?

Apparently due diligence isn’t enough sometimes.  Sometimes the game just hates you and wants you to look like a total moron.  You see, there’s a bug out there with dual spec that even though you train the highest level of your spells and the game is SUPPOSED to put those max ranks on your action bars, things don’t always work out that way.

I’ve been level 80 and running heroics on Daenaran for a few weeks now.  I’ve been healing them for the most part, but doing a little bit of Elemental DPS from time to time.  I’ve run enough heroics to have four pieces of T9 gear and the iLevel 245 ring.  That’s a few emblems.

The entire time I’ve been doing this, I’ve been at about half power.  I can’t remember the exact ranks, but Healing Wave, Lesser Healing Wave, Chain Heal, Lightning Bolt, Flame Shock, Earth Shock and Chain Lightning were ALL at about half their possible ranks.

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……………………………….`=-,……………….,%`>–==“
…………………………………._\……….._,-%…….`\
……………………………..,< `.._|_,-&“…………….`\

I respecced out of Elemental dps because I thought I was terrible at it.  If you think not having max ranks of your primary spells makes you terrible, then you probably agree.  I would agree that I am a terrible player at this point, but I don’t know that I am a terrible Elemental Shaman.

The really sad thing about all this?  I was succeeding.  I didn’t typically have wipes on my runs and I was healing at about half my potential.  Last night when I finally made the change, I was practically giggling every time a heal would go off.  Going from 1k Lesser Healing Waves to 7k LHWs is a pretty big deal.

I’m just glad I noticed this before going into a raid where I was actually expected to carry my own weight.

The lesson here, ladies and gentlemen, is to log on tonight and look at your spells.  Not just at the trainer, but on your actionbars.  MAKE SURE you are using the max rank of those spells, because you don’t want to be like me.

Oh, and for anyone that’s curious how things are going with the Shaman, I’ve got him to about 4300 gearscore.  2 piece t9 Resto & 2 piece t9 Elemental.  Last night I managed to snag the neckpiece off of the last boss in Heroic Forge of Souls, so I’m coming along nicely.

A tribute to good writing

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags , , , , , , on April 9, 2010 by Randul the Dwarf

There are a lot of things going on right now in the world of World of Warcraft.  Class changes for Cataclysm are being previewed and information is flowing freely.  Part of me wants to write about some of those changes.

Another part of me wants to write about an article I saw on wow.com that is done RIGHT.  I have been critical of wow.com in the past, but Chase Christian did one little thing in his Combat 101 article that made me stop, take notice and pay tribute.

You can find the full article here.  It’s an introductory article on Combat Rogues.  Nothing really spectacular or groundbreaking about all that.  What I do love, however, is his intro.  I’ll quote it for you.

The assassination rogue sees the diplomat enter the dimly lit pub. He silently spikes a cup of wine with a toxic poison and hands it to the barkeep to send across the room. Upon receiving the drink, the diplomat quickly puts it down and decides to relieve himself before consuming his beverage. As he enters the bathroom, the subtlety rogue who has been waiting in the shadows for him begins to make his approach. Garrote wire in hand, the master of stealth is ready to end this man’s life quietly. Unfortunately, a bystander walks in at this very moment, forcing the shade back into stealth. The diplomat dries his hands on a soft towel and exits the room.

The combat rogue is standing in front of the diplomat. He grabs the noble’s fine silk shirt by the collar and throws him into a table surrounded by rough-looking men. Their drinks and food and dishes fill the otherwise silent bar with a raucous noise as they hit the ground. As the rogue approaches the table, the men rise from their seats and reach for their weapons.

Unfortunately for them, the agile rogue draws his tools faster. He then unleashes a barrage of stored adrenaline into his blood stream and begins smashing the bar’s patrons and the unconscious diplomat with a flurry of blows from two very heavy-looking maces. Moments later, he is the only one left standing amidst a pile of bodies. He kicks the door of the bar open and walks down the street into the night. He does not close the door.

Some wow.come authors try to be witty and clever in their intros.  Some just give a quick “who I am and what this article is about”, but in this article I feel like Mr. Christian went above and beyond.

First of all, this introduction is different.  You don’t see this style very much, especially in these types are articles.

Secondly, it really does convey the differences between the three specs of Rogues.  Assassination Rogues work with poisons, although in wow they are on weapons more often than in drinks.  Subtlety is all about being sneaky and attacking from the shadows.  Combat is all about being up in ya face.

I loved this intro and wanted to give this writer props.  Well done Chase Christian.  Keep up the good work.