Monday, October 31, 2011

Sunday Raiding - Heroic Rhyolith and Happy Hallow's End!

Our Heroic team got Rhyolith down yesterday - YAY!  They did it with 3 healers, so I'm assuming the dps pumped out some good dps.  However, they got bored of doing heroics and cleared the rest on normal last night.  Yawn!!!
Roshii got Dreadfire Drape and Shnaptim got Grips of the Raging Giant.  Oh and guess what dropped from Rag - Kog'un... AGAIN.  Lucky Voe.  But unlucky that he had made the Lightforged Elementium Hammer that day for 6k.

Ah, the last day of Hallow's End.  I hope everyone got their Feline Familiar.  I got the Wickerman and I have to say I wish it was a pet rather than an item which takes up a bank slot.  I have to say I like the look of it, but not that it doubles as a cooking fore since my Lil' Ragnaros does that.

And yet another year I don't have a Headless Horseman Mount.  I swear RNG hates me.

So I have to put one last screenshot from this year's Hallow's End to finish up the holiday.  I thought this was funny (Valley of Wisdom, Orgrimmar).

And here we are with our costumes.... will have to grab Lacrox alone later.

One of the things I enjoy about things like Candy Buckets is that it gives me the opportunity to snap some more pics of rares from the low level zones.  Or improve on the ones I already have:

Happy Hallow's End everyone!  And don't forget to brush your teeth :B

Shared Topic: More or Less Diversity?

This week's Shared Topic at BA is from TyphoonAndrew of Typhoon Andrew's Eye of the Storm:
Where is the line between Diversity and over specialisation? Or should the classes be homogenised?
This was a topic that I wanted to talk about, but may have lots of other healers saying WTF.

I read a lot of healer blogs and there is often a lot of complaining we don't have certain abilities.  Druids complain we have no mitigation type spells to reduce a tank's damage, or a threat reducing ability.   Paladins used to complain that they had no AOE spells (they do now though, with that OP discoball).  Shamans complain about the lack of HoTs.

But I actually LIKE being a Druid so that I have special abilities that nobody else has.  I like HoTs healing, I like being able to run while I heal.  Instant cast AOE heals woot!  I liked being the only character who could Battle Rez.  It made me feel special, a vital part of a raiding team.

So obviously, hots healing and movement are OP for big movement fights, so of course we have to take a small hit - hots heal for pissy amounts sometimes.  We can't do big heals very fast out of CD.  Our direct heals are slow.  That's the price we pay for our awesome running around ability.

And now Warlocks, DKs can Battle Rez.  So that means my special BRez ability and usefulness took another step down.  Because you can only use 1 per 10 man anyway, or 3 per 25.  "Oh we have a warlock and DK already, we can sit the druid out for another pally healer."  Bleh.  Not that I have that problem but I can imagine other people saying that.

I used to like how pallies were great at tank and single or dual target healing.  Now they can do massive AoE healing as well, I feel like they just jumped in and took my job away.  Not saying they couldn't do it before, but it was more challenging before - it could be done but pallies had to be quick on their feet (or kb/mouse) to do it.

Shamans had their own utility with nice chain healing and some fast heals.  But bloodlust was their golden child.  And giving bloodlust to hunters and mages?  That made it bad for shamans, because now their healing could be easily replaced with a dps and another healing class.  That is the essence of what I am trying to say - the special things your class had made you an invaluable addition to the raid.
But, as more people complained, Blizzard listened and changed things.

Now the healing classes feel a little bit homogeinised.  Now all healing classes can be substituted easily into a tank or raid healing role.  Hell you could have a raid of 10 druids and probably be able to do any boss fight.  Or a raid of 10 paladins.  Or a raid with 3 healers who were all the same class and spec.  The point is, I liked that each class was suitably unique and ALMOST defined to their role.

I can only talk from a Druid PoV so what I am saying is that I liked the difficulties that my class had.  I like the challenge of not having mitigation abilities because it made me heal that much harder, which in turn made the tank's job more challenging (as I would pull agro).  So the obvious symbiotic relationship that has is that the tank and raid has to take less damage, right?  Make the tank play better so that I play better.  Ok, so I don't have a big heal (LOH) - well keep hots up and time my CDs so I can do the top up someone who's gonna take a big hit with what I have.  So if I have difficulty on my own, team me up with a paladin or priest and we'll have a nice symbiotic relationship.

Now I noticed I am getting some mitigation type abilities.  I feel like Blizzard is saying to me "You have Paladin/Priest envy, so here you go, you can be more like them."  But it is a good ability and I am going to use it and it will make me a better healer, BUT is it more to help the lazier or weaker druid healer because they have difficulty keeping up their target?

And priests are getting a buff to Divine Hymn soon.  Holy priests were a challenge in Cataclysm, and now they want to be more like Druids.  Hmm.

So more diversity, more multiclassism!  Who wants to be all the same anyway right?

Guildie Guest Yuda - To Wing or not to Wing? (Priest specs post part 2)

To Wing or not to Wing?

The Atonement/Archangel or Non-atonement Discipline Priest Divide in Cataclysm 4.2

Hello Everyone, This is Yuda, I have been invited back for a second post on my humble opinions on whether a discipline priest should talent spec into atonement/archangel or not. Unfortunately, this is not a yes or no answer, otherwise there would be no debate. If you google this topic you will see varying opinions but you need to keep in mind what kind of content, gear level and even the specific healing role the author is healing.

To start I will go back to the basics for our non-priestly guildies. The Atonement/Archangel spec requires you to take 5 points into Evangelism, Archangel and Atonement. This is what each does...

Atonement - When you deal damage with Smite or Holy Fire, you instantly heal a nearby low health friendly target within 15 yards from the enemy target equal to a percentage of the damage dealt. If the Priest is healed through Atonement, the effect is reduced in half.

When you cast Smite, Holy Fire or Mind Flay you gain Evangelism. Stacks up to 5 times. Lasts for 20 sec.
Evangelism (Smite, Holy Fire)
Increases the damage done by your Smite, Holy Fire, and Penance spells by 4% and reduces the mana cost of those spells by 6%.
Consumes your Evangelism effects, causing an effect depending on what type of Evangelism effect is consumed:
Archangel (Evangelism)
Instantly restores 1% of your total mana and increases your healing done by 3% for each stack. Lasts for 18 sec. 30 sec cooldown.

So practically, Atonement is a ‘smart’ heal whereby you heal a low hp random target within 15 yards of the enemy target by casting Holy Fire or Smite. Each time you deal damage with HF or Smite, you gain a Evangelism buff up to 5 stacks that will reduce the mana cost of HF and Smite (essentially reducing the mana cost of heals through atonement). When you decide that the healing is becoming intense and want a healing buff you can pop Archangel (you get wings) and heal for 15% more (5 stacks of evangelism) for 18 seconds (30sec cooldown) while also getting some mana return. Sounds great doesn’t it! The first time i saw an Atonement Disc priest was in a heroic cata dungeon who was smiting his way to victory beating some of the lower dps’ers while also keeping the party healed. WoW! On my very first Firelands raid with Frostwolves I was Atonement/AA spec’ed and although our heal team did alright, I felt there were a few disadvantages with this playstyle:

  1. To heal via Atonement, you had to dps a hostile target. I personally use Vuhdo addon and have target of target panel ON so that i can one click the hostile target panel which is right next to say the Tank target panel. Switching targets while healing is intense is a bit distracting and you can get too comfortable with spamming Smite when the healing is easy.
  2. During intense damage or AOE damage, which there tend to be alot of in Firelands, Atonement healing is not enough and too random.
  3. While Critical damage on a hostile target does increase your heal via Atonement, it does not proc a shield (Divine Aegis) nor does it proc Inspiration (a physical damage reduction buff). It doesn’t proc Grace which is a 24% heal buff at 3 stacks.
  4. Remember that direct critical Heals now do 200% rather than 150%. Well, that doesn’t apply to Atonement since your critical damage is 150% not 200%.

I decided it was time to research what the pros do. I went on wowprogress website and looked up discipline priests from the top guilds and here is what I found:

Example of Non-atonement: Jhazrun of Dream Paragon

Example of Atonement: Xabok of Method Atonement

So as you can see BOTH specs are definitely viable in heroics. What’s even more interesting is that none of the Atonement spec’ed priests on the above list put points into Strength of Soul while everyone with non-atonement spec did.

Strength of Soul, SoS
When you heal a target with your Heal, Greater Heal or Flash Heal spell, the duration of the Weakened Soul debuff on the target is reduced by 4 sec.

SoS is a very strong tank healing talent that allows you to cast Power Word:Shield more often. Not a very useful talent for raid healing.

So let me put it to you that it is NOT a question of "Should I be Atonement/AA spec’ed or not" but rather a question of "Am I taking the role of main tank healing or raid healing"?

A non-atonement priest is better suited and more efficient at tank healing while an Atonement/AA priest can potentially be better at AOE/raid healing. I believe the main reason people spec for Atonement/AA is for the Archangel buff (refer to before) and NOT the Atonement healing. The idea is that you cast Holy Fire/Smite so that you get 5 stacks of evangelism and don’t let the buff fall off by occasionally casting another Holy Fire/Smite to refresh it. When you are required to ramp up your HPS or a massive AOE damage phase, you proc Archangel and gain 15% increase healing power (even better if you also cast Power Infusion to cast faster and reduce your mana cost). The difficulty is in keeping track of Evangelism buff, Archangel cooldown, and knowing when the massive AOE phase is coming. When properly executed, the burst healing power will out perform a non-atonement priest for group healing. It takes alot of ‘discipline’ to play an Atonement/AA priest!

So here is a link on how to play an atonement priest that you may like to read: How to play an atonement priest.

I also found a useful comment posted after this article:
Minstrel Aug 1st 2011 10:13PM
Just thought I'd mention this, a macro I've found useful for atonement specs:

/castsequence [@mouseovertarget,harm,exists,nodead][@focustarget,harm,exists,nodead] reset=10 Holy Fire, Smite, Smite, Smite, Smite, Smite;[@mouseover] Heal

It's a Clique binding for me, so if you use Healbot or Vuhdo, you'd macro it as one of your click bindings. It casts Holy Fire if it's off cooldown and Smite otherwise. It attempts to cast it on the target of your mouseover target, if it's a valid target for a harmful spell. If you have a focus target (like the tank) and he/she has a target that's a valid target for a harmful spell, it will cast on that. If neither is the case, it will default to casting Heal on your mouseover target so as not to waste the mouse click. Since I view smite healing to largely be the "do when there's not more intensive healing to be done" action, I felt it was an equivalent to Heal.

The main value of this, IMO, is that it no longer makes using combat spells feel like a "different mode." You can cast Holy Fire/Smite in the same way as you cast all your other using a click-combination on a raid frame (alternatively, you can put it on your action bar if you're a mouseover key presser). That makes "weaving in" your combat spells much more seamless. To me, anyway.

Yuda’s take on the optimal spec for a given type of raid /role

25 man
Tank healer- Discipline Non-atonement
Raid healer- Holy or Discipline Atonement/AA

10 man
Tank healer- Discipline Non-atonement
Raid healer- Discipline Atonement/AA
Mixed role (sometimes expected to tank heal) - Discipline Atonement/AA with SoS

Of course you can heal in whatever spec you enjoy. My message is when you’re choosing your talent points also think about what is expected of you in your healing role. Thanks for reading!

About the author: Yuda's first post "My Experience as a Healing Priest in Cataclysm", was initially longer with the atonement vs non atonement bit removed as Yuda wanted to see if people were interested in reading it or not.  In one day his post had a record number of hits for any post on my blog (though I still maintain that it was him viewing it at least 150 of those times).  So I'm pleased that he got the rest of the article to me with pretty pics this time :)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Melbourne visit - hanging with Roshii and Aza

Flew down to Melbourne late last night as Hyad had a conference and I got to hang out with Roshii and Aza.

Roshii had a birthday party in the morning to go to and Aza came as soon as he could, but it was Derby Day here in Melbourne (Spring Carnival is on) so it was pretty busy and there are lots of fancy dressed people around Flinders Station today.  Here are some pics from Myer's Derby Day Winners.

I tried to contact Beldarien but he wasn't answering his phone!  Az and I met up about 1130 and took a walk around and snacked on some yummy chips and mayo and then went back to find Roshii.  Az had never looked at his photo on the forums and I had an idea of what he looked like, so we decided to make a game of it and see if Roshii would see us first or if we would see him first.  He saw us first.

Az and I were already talking excitedly about WoW stuff, and it didn't take Roshii long to join in.  Imagine that, talking for 3-4 hours non stop about WoW stuff.  You wouldn't think it was possible would you!

Oh, managed to get in contact with Bel at about 230pm.  He sounded dreadful.  He was dreadfully hungover.  He said I forgot to tell him I was coming to Melbourne today (!!!).  I am sure I said it was this weekend.... anyway I let him go back to sleep.
We walked to our lunch destination which was Mrs Parma's, which specialises in beer and Parmagiana (apparently the most popular pub food here in Melbourne).  We ate our lunch and talked loudly the whole time until we were kicked out at 1615.  I had a nice time, and I think Az and Roshii did too.

And you know what? I FORGOT TO TAKE PICS! Doh!

Now QANTAS has grounded all flights, and I was due to fly out tomorrow.  I have managed to secure a Virgin Blue flight but this extraordinary action is getting amazing live coverage on the news.

Oh and Roshii's reputation with Navimie is increased by 10 after he said that I was younger looking than he expected!

Highlights of the Week from my Blogroll October 29, 2011

I'm posting a day early because I am not sure I'll be on tomorrow and I prefer to be early than "Better late than never!"

I really love good reads from the heart.  And though I think the post-Blizzcon posts are still coming this week, one of the things I read this week was Azeroth Apple's post about Corpsegrinder at Blizzcon.  I wondered why she said that, and I thought, is she a he?  And on further reading of her blog I came across her post (which I should say, his post) about a IMPORTANT! Personal Announcement.  Totally not WoW related, but an announcement about himself.  Took some guts to say that.  Hats off to Apple.  I have only visited Apple's site a few times, but never commented before (he was a Twisted Nether guest) so I didn't feel like I should comment on that post even though I was totally blown away (and I really admired what he said.  I just felt like it looked like I only read his blog to see that post).  Basically it was "coming out" post.

Kamalia wrote about what her toons are wearing this Hallow's end - I swear that Kamalia has such awesome ideas. Now I want a Watcher's Tunic.  It reminded me of one time where she had a post about what her bank looked like with all the clothes she had.  Check it out here.

So, Pandas huh? was the title of Big Bear Butt's post but it was on so much more than pandas.  In fact I liked it because it was another positive post about MoP, not another hate post.  Yes yes I know everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I like posts that make me happy and like things!  I like the fact that BBB likes Pandas, and was willing to give Pokewow a go, and this quote made me think:
I know I have never liked mini-games in games
And of course the first thing I thought of was that Plants vs Zombies mini game that gives you the Singing sunflower pet.  You know, because of that mini game, I have PvZ on my iPad now and I play it ALL THE TIME.  Bloody addictive if you ask me.  But an awesome mini game in WoW though.  I thought hey, I want more of these.  And my wish has been granted.

The other thing that this post inspired in me was somebody said "What a shame we don't have Pandaren Druids" and then it made me think.  So how COOL would it be if a giant Panda was the bear form?  But wait - they're already giant pandas.  So what would they look like as Bear form?  Perhaps they should be humanoid in bear form /giggle.  Or maybe just black and white bear form except fatter.  Oh, and the other thing I am looking forward to in MoP, would be to get that Monk's hat for my costume collection.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The quest for a Tauren/Orc Halloween costume

One of the bummy thing about being Tauren is that things which look good on humanoid type characters don't look as good on a Tauren.  All those sexy skimpy dresses and events where you get to dress up are usually a let down when it comes to putting it on a Tauren.  Shoes for example, never show properly because we have hooves.  In fact, female Tauren always look good in armour, fully covered, unlike almost every other race (with the exception of female orcs) who look good naked or scantily dressed.

So trying to find a Halloween Costume for Kirina's closet is difficult.  I have to stick to monstrous looking things unless I wear some sort of mask!  So this year, I decided to enter Kirina's closet's Halloween Costume competition, and here is my submission which I am quite proud of!

This is my Big bad wolf with Trick or Treat bag.  You can get this look too quite easily!

Helm: Embrace of the Lycan (Drop from ZF) Alternative - Wolfshead Helm (Leatherworking)
Chest: White Leather Jerkin (Leatherworking)
Hands: Snowhide Mitts
Legs: Snowhide Pants
Feet: Snowhide Hoof-Warmers (Tewah Chillmane in Taunkale Village, Borean Tundra sells the Snowhide set)
Mainhand: Big Bad Wolf's Paw (Karazhan - BBW Opera event)
   Alternatives Eskhandar's Right Claw (MC - Magmadar)
                       Mag'hari Fighting Claw (Weapon Vendors in Outlands)
Offhand: Lost bag of Whammies (ZG) or Khadgar's Knapsack (G'eras - Shattrath) or Furbolg Medicine Pouch (Gorn One-Eye - Felwood)

Roshii is the only Orc female toon I know, and we're trying to work on a Hallow's End costume for him to put on her, and since she has Warglaives what better than to dress as a demon hunter?

Just missing the Blindfold and it would be bloody awesome.
Helm: Cursed Vision of Sargeras
Chest: Buckled Harness (from vendors in Org)
Wrist: Damn, I forget what green I bought for Roshii to wear...
Legs: Kilt of Sewn Flesh (Meathook in Normal Culling of Stratholme)
Feet: Dress shoes (crafted tailoring)
Main and Offhand: Warglaives of Azzinoth (Illidan in Black Temple)

Trying to get an Engineer's costume for Huntinhk, so gotta keep farming that Gnomer.  Ugh!

WoW Roleplay Gear is a great place for costumes, and I'm using a lot of their ideas and costumes there for our Hallow's End costumes.

Azadelta and Lacrox have also put together costumes as well, and I'll edit this post with their costumes when I can find a time we can all get on together!

Instance cloth farming with benefits

I was late home yesterday because I was held up at work.  So I missed out on raid but we had a full complement of healers anyway, so I wasn't too fussed, except I did want to be in the heroic group.  Oh well, maybe next week.  Or maybe I'll be lucky and Shnaptim might do a no-show on Monday like he normally does....

So I decided to go do a Zandom.  Gasp!  I know, I don't like doing Zandoms but I thought what the hell, I might as well since I won't be getting my Valour points this week from raiding.  So it seemed like a good geared group, we were pulling and running like it was a Bear run.  And lucky me, not only did I get Bear-ly Made it, but I also won the roll on the Amani Battle Bear!  3 of those guys already had it, and the mount, so it was just me and one other person.  And I forgot to go back and loot all my damn cloth, I was so excited about finishing the instance and stuff and getting the bear.

But YAY!  I think that was totally worth missing raid for.

Navimie now on Twitter!

OK, I gave in and decided to give Twitter a go and join the blog community on Twitteroth.  And OMG is it busy!  I feel like I don't have the right etiquette on how to talk.  I thought maybe being on Twitter would reduce my need to blog about every WoW thought that popped into my head, as I remember a blogger I admire saying that people it's better to post occasionally but with substance, which is totally not how I post.  But then again, this is the DAILY Frostwolf :P

So I looked for all the bloggers I follow and added them.  And  they all added me as well.  And now I have more crazy things to waste my time on... and more blogs to read as well!

So now you can find me @Navimiedruid on Twitter.  And I will be off to read my Twitter Guide Book.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Highlights of the week from my blogroll October 23, 2011

Oops been so busy this week forgot to publish my highlights!

With Blizzcon on, it's hard to read anything else.  Lissanna at Restokin has been keeping me up to date with what's going on from a druid side of things, and being on MMO-Champion a lot to look at what people have been saying about the new expansion.

Other than that it's been a quiet week.  Hopefully next week will be more exciting.

Shared Topic - Mists of Pandaria

This week's Shared Topic at Blog Azeroth is a topic which no doubt people are probably tired of reading about (as it seems to be on everyone's blog) and that is Mists of Pandaria, the next expansion for World of Warcraft, revealed in Blizzcon.  Akabeko at Red Cow Rise put it forward and having read her post I thought I should write something as well, since I have been talking about it in game a little bit.

I first heard about it when I was in game.  I can't remember who told me about it but my first response to people saying "Hey, did you hear they're making Pandarens a race in the next expansion?" was "What, that old joke again?  Haven't they got a new joke?  I'm sure it's a joke."  This was because it was an April Fool Joke one year.

Anyway, but as the day went on, more and more people were talking about it so I decided to go see for myself, and it was true.

The first time they talked about Pandaren, years and years ago, I thought oh, they're ripping of Kung Fu Panda.  But I remember when I saw Kung Fu Panda, that I thought it ripped off a famous Japanese Manga/Anime, Ranma 1/2

So who doesn't know Kung Fu Panda? Po is the food loving, fat panda who loves Kung Fu and dreams of being a Kung Fu master.  He eventually becomes the Dragon Warrior through a hilarious training journey of unconventional means.

In Ranma 1/2, the story revolves around Ranma and his father Genma and other Kung Fu associates who visited cursed springs, where if you fall into a spring, the curse says you will take the form of whoever died in that spring when you are splashed with cold water.  Ranma falls into a spring where a young girl died, and Genma falls into a spring where a panda died.

But I digress.  Back to my reactions to Mists of Pandaria!

So when I found that they are making a new Panda race in the expansion, I thought, well I guess they need a Chinese stereotype character, to fit in with all the other races.  After all:
  • Humans seem to be American
  • Dwarves are Scottish
  • Trolls are Jamaican
  • Draenei are Indian or Romanian (accents are Romanian/Russian but they dance like Indians)
  • Tauren are Native American
  • Undeads are British or Londoners with all those Goth and punk looks
  • Worgen are British too but posh ones
  • Goblins speak like New York people but I think the are actually Ferengi (Star Trek)
  • Orcs are African American
  • Night Elves MAYBE Japanese (with their Zen type peace and those Shinto shrines everywhere)
  • Gnomes talk like midgits, like Mini-me
So I wonder if they will have Chinese accents?  More likely they will have speak in the Kung Fu master type accent that you see in the movies.  And I wonder if their lore will follow a lot of Chinese themes.  Anyway, I think that might appeal to a lot of people.  And being Kung Fu Panda based, look at their racials:

So there is no big bad villain in this expansion like in all the others so far (after all BC=Illidan, WotLK= Lich King/Arthas, Cataclysm=Deathwing).  I guess they ran out of Lore.  One of my guildies, Azadelta, said that they need to make a Warcraft 4 so they can have more Lore.  I am hoping that all the levelling for 85-90 is done in Pandaria so that we can learn some of the lore out there.

Monk is a new class too, unique to Pandarians.  Another hybrid class, with Kung Fu DPS and Drunken master tanking and spiritual healing.  Another leather class... great.

But what really excites me about the expansion is the Pet Battle System.  Now we can battle with our pets, Pokemon style!  I've always thought collecting pets was like Pokemon, and now Blizzard is catering to the collector types as not everyone is into end game raiding.  I think this is a great move (some would think it was pathetic but hey if you don't like it, don't battle with your pets!), and I know I will go out there hunting for new pets.  I am so going to be a POKEMON MASTER!!!  And get this, you can go out and catch rare pets now like in Pokemon - you battle them and then catch them.  I wonder if they supply you with a pokeball to put them in as well. 

A couple of new talents for druids have been put up - the one that I am most excited about is healing shrooms, which I think is a fantastic new talent which fits very nicely in with the boomkin boomshrooms talent.  The new talent trees look interesting - I look forward to relearning all my healing again.

I am not sure the expansion is what a lot of WoW players wanted.  It's made the game more cute and appeal more to the not so hard core people.  Maybe we will have an influx of younger players.  Maybe an influx of more casual players.  I am sure a few of my guildies may decide WoW is no longer the game that they fell in love with and choose to unsub.  However, that clever bit of marketing for Diablo3 may have altered that so people may be in the game for another year still.  Either way, I am looking forward to the 5.0 like every other expansion - but I will enjoy learning my druid again.  I just hope I still have that knack of rapid adaptability.

So what do you guys think of the next expansion?  Going to keep playing or give up and go play Diablo 3 or SW:TOR?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Guildie Guest Ayelena - 2 years of Playing WoW

After two years of playing this game I can say that I’m still hooked. It all started with me playing a Tauren Warrior on my son’s account. Getting to level 10+ and getting annoyed about how the NPC’s (not the creatures) would run away and I’d have to chase after them. I didn’t like that so much, so I then created a Gnome Rogue (because I loved playing a Halfling Rogue in Dungeons and Dragons). Another melee class, but this one comes with a ranged attack. As I was still trying the learn how to play the game I enjoyed this toon for a while, but again it became annoying with the NPC’s running away. I also got a chance to make a Death Knight as we bought Wrath of the Lich King and I liked this class. Especially now that I had a way to drag back the NPC who was running away. But it was becoming difficult for both my son and I to play on the one account. I had the game on the many PCs we have, but with only one account. I couldn’t get on all the time.

So it was at this time that I created my own WOW account (I was hooked) and I linked to my son’s battlenet account. Still exploring the different classes and using the Recruit a Friend (RAF), my son and I made a pair of Blood Elves, Ayelena & Jenkens were born. I found that I liked the versatility of the Warlock class and having a pet that added damage was great. We both levelled together for quite some time, but my son became bored with a Mage and then he created a Blood Elf Paladin (Corael). Using the RAF system I levelled his toon in front of another toon. They were watching us do this at the time and he called us both hackers until we told him it because of the RAF system, that I could level his toon. It was quite funny at the time. My son also likes to play on his first toon Skullwarrior, but it was Corael that he levelled to 80 then 85 first.

Now Ayelena had different partner, but one that could tank whilst I would DPS down the bad guy.
It was during this time that I found out about PvP and achievements. My first go at some PvP was the arena in Gadgetzan. I stumbled across the arena master and said yes. This then saw Ayelena teleported to the arena with a Rogue as my partner. I then proceeded to die very quickly every time I respawned in an arena. My partner must have thought “What a noob” and the opposition must have been thinking this is too easy. This experience has tainted my view on PvP, especially the arena, with me hating it to the point of never going back. I have never done any arena PvP since. I think it’s because I’m an old bugger and don’t have the reflexes to keep up with the younger folk. I do some battlegrounds from time to time, but it’s very annoying to die all the time and not get too many kills. I only do them only to get achievements.

Achievements are much more fun and I can say that I’m in the 10k points club (Currently 7th in the guild). Apart from doing quests, this was an aspect of the game that I liked and the rewards for some achievements were very good. Getting a new title or a mount made this more rewarding that the PvP side of the game.

With this game I also found out that if you want to do dungeons or raids, the best way was to be in a guild. I initially joined a guild that was full of female toons, but they did nothing together and so I left. Joining a few guilds along the way until I met up with the Frostwolves and finding a home for all my Horde toons.

Roaming around the world of Azeroth has some interesting highs and lows. Meeting up with some interesting NPCs and watching the world change with Cataclysm have been some of the highs. The lows are all the changes to the classes just to keep the PvPers happy.

Anyway, that’s about I have to say for now, so enjoy a few more pics I’ve taken from time to time.

About Ayelena: Ayelena joined us on Dath'remar, recruited through Mabaho's work forums, during WoTLK.  Ayelena loves achievements and mounts and pets - a true collector at heart.  He is often seen lurking online in the early hours of morning before work - what I affectionately refer to as "The breakfast club".

Friday, October 21, 2011

Thursday raiding - You can't do heroic 10 after attempting heroic 25

We split into 10s for heroics last night only to find... that when we tried to switch to heroic we were all locked out.  Thought it might have one of those boss pull bugs where you have to pull it then set it to heroic.  We tried that... but no luck.  So a wasted night with a good group, clearing everything on normal up to Ragnaros.
I was hoping that we could get some achievements done... but no luck with that either.  I was sulking for Shannox and Rhyolith but by the time we got to Majordomo I was feeling happier.  And after we killed Majordomo I saw the trinket that Roshii really wanted - The Hungerer.  Oh, and Flowform choker and Vanquisher shoulders dropped as well, both of which Shabadu took, so he's gearing up fast!

So I whispered Roshii saying how exciting, his trinket dropped.  No reply.  Hmph, so I thought he wasn't that excited because he got the Ragnaros one last week.  So I told Lushnek to give it to me as a joke (after making sure he did send a tell for it which he had), and then I received the item and DE'd some leather gloves from Rhyolith, so that it looked like I DE'd the trinket.

Hwired: "Did nobody want that?"
Navi: "No, I just DE'd it."
Roshii: "What??"
Navi: "Did you send a tell?  I thought nobody wanted it coz I got it."
Lushnek: "Oh shit, I sent it to the wrong person."
Roshii: "Omg... Navi..."

I had to pause for 2 seconds before I burst into laughter and told Roshii was joking, and I gave him the trinket.

Amongst all this, Voe disconnected.  He did send an offspec tell for the trinket but as soon as I received it he disconnected from game and from Vent.  Some of the group thought he emologged, but I knew he hadn't emologged... well I was 99% sure he hadn't emologged.

So here we are on Ragnaros, waiting for Voe to reappear, but he didn't.  So I asked Beauti if she wanted to try something challenging, and so we got Fleckso to come on his hunter Longbowflex and so she and I were going to try and 2 heal it.

Which we did!

So after feeling good about 2 healing it (after all, I did remember Glow writing about how you could 2 heal it and I said no way am I going to do that), I thought about what precedent I had started.  Allowing the DPS to get lazy on their dps so that we can 2 heal it?  So that means even more healers will be dropped out of raid, because if you need the DPS then why would you take a healer as offspec when their DPS would be lousy?  So I am not sure if I did a good thing there.  I guess this means that I have to make a stronger dps off spec so that I will definitely be taken for kills.

So guess what dropped?  You guessed it - Kog'un, Hammer of the Firelord.  Which is now in possession.  And the Protector Helm dropped so Fleckso got that - grats Longbowflex!  And the bow dropped, which was a DE.

So a disappointing raid night.  Another week with no heroics.  Next week, we are doing heroics on 10 man and we have learned our mistake.... no more attempts at 25 man heroic.   I can't believe that even when we didn't kill anything on 25 heroic that it still locked us out of a 10 man heroic.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wednesday raiding - 25 man normal FL plus some looks at H Shannox

We had a full group today for 25s, so we decided to do Beth'tilac, Alysrazor and Baleroc on normal.  And we had 2 people who had not done Firelands before - Fleeping has returned, and Ksret came as well.

Beth'tilac, Alysrazor and Baleroc all went down real smooth.  I was happy.  We have had some lousy Beth goes in 25s before and it was almost painful to watch.  This time, everything went mostly nice, no wipes, a couple of dumb deaths and silly things but all in all very satisfying.  Moopie was excited because he finally got a plate helm.

It was actually an evening full of hilarity.  There were a few memorable silly moments:
  • Fue asks Ksret "What spec are you?" and I automatically said "Ret".  Ksret is a mage /facepalm.  So after that everyone was making fun of me, talking about Disc Warlocks and the like.  He has ret in his name OK??? It confused me!  Geez I felt silly.
  • We were prepping everyone for Heroic Shannox and we had the markers positioned, everyone was buffed and flasked, and we pulled and started the fight.  Shannox was half health when Roshii said "Hey, I think we forgot to change it to heroic."  Doh.  So we called a wipe and started again.  We ended up not getting it, but we had some good goes.
  • Mages are silly.  The only people that died in Alysrazor were the mages.  All 3 of them.
  • My daughter was sitting on my lap for an hour of the raid, and she was happy to watch me play.  She likes moving me around and commenting about what I'm doing.  Push to talk was hit a few times during particularly funny comments she made:

    - "Mummy kill the eggs, you have to kill the eggs" (Alysrazor trash)
    - "Don't stand in the fire mummy" (Molten giants)
    - "Kill the Snakes, kill the snakes!" (Trash groups) - to which Hwired said "See, they are snakes!"
    - "Move closer mummy, move closer" to which I replied "I am not a melee healer, Erika"
    - "Can we stand in the blue circle mummy?" (Healing rain)

    I think the raid was quite amused with her comments.  Fue even found it funny.  Ampharos said we had a new raid leader.
So off to heroics tomorrow.  We are a tank short again, so I'm not sure what we are going to do for the second group.

Hallow's End 2011 - What's new and what's changed

Hallow's End has got to be one of the best holidays in the WoW year.  All the candy, the masks, the Headless Horseman, playing tricks on Alliance... there are just so many things to do!  And I love the decorations of course!

There are quite a few changes to Hallow's End this year.  The stinkbomb quest is rather fun - you get teleported to Stormwind on a Crone's broom and drop stinkbombs on Stormwind.  You can't get killed by alliance so that's pretty cool!

You no longer talk to the innkeepers to get your treats, you get them from the buckets.  Which means you will run out if you do all the candy buckets, but at least you can do a lot in one day.   And they now have a cool graphic when you eat candies too!

Pyroblast cinnamon balls - Makes you look hot
Soothing Spearmint candy - Makes you look cool
G.N.E.R.D.S. - Makes you look more intelligent
Chewy Fel Taffy - Makes you look wicked
And now you can buy all your masks from vendors now.  I only had one to go last year, but with Cataclysm they got 4 new masks so I was 5 short in total.  I ended up buying the ones I needed, but in hindsight, I should have done it AFTER I finished doing all the candy buckets!

Spoops, Chub, Darla, Farina and Orphan matron Nanee in UC are the vendors
(well Chub, Darla and Farina are)
And there are two new pets this year!  One is from one of the Hallow's End quest chains and the other is bought.  They are both really awesome!
The Feline Familiar costs 150 Tricky Treats (which you get from dailies and visiting candy buckets) and flies on a broom when you fly!

The Creepy Crate eats critters and follows you around and does flips.  It's a great companion, my daughter really likes it.  The quest chain had one interesting Harry Potter like bit where you follow the spiders back to Orgrimmar and talk to the person at the end.

You can also buy other kinds of masks which increase your agility (Murloc), intellect (Naga), stamina (Ogre) and strength (Vrykul) which stack on top of your flasks/food which I haven't bought yet, but people tell me are great!

And of course, Headless Horseman drops level 85 rings (ilvl 365) this year.  And maybe this year I'll be lucky and get a mount... but I wouldn't hold my breath.

So good luck achievement hunters and mount/pet collectors!  Gotta catch them all!