Sunday, October 9, 2016

Legion of love!

This morning I was reading a post on Blizzard Watch about act of kindness in wow. It struck a chord with me because I recently start to do some group content. But first let me tell you that yes, I wanted to post more (at the very least once a month) but I was enjoying Legion so much I didn't took any leisure time to write about it. But now I'm starting to feel like I can relax a bit. I will just tell you what happened since my last post then I will be back with my subject, the legion of love!

So I wasn't sure if I wanted to raid this expansion but I did as much as I could to be raid ready. My guild raid three times a week which is way more then I wants and anyway there at least once a week that I can't make it, so raiding wasn't even an issue. My guildmates are making good progress, doing mythic dungeon, including Court of stars and Arcwell right off the bat, clearing normal on first week and now are 5/7 heroics, so I'm happy for them. I remember when I was a fresh level 110 and they were already doing world quest and I was like: 
"WQ? What is that?"
"Oh it rewards phat lewt." 
"Bah I don't have time for that, I'm way too busy leveling profession and getting rich. Oh, is this BoE BiS? Because it's like 80k on the AH." 
My guildmates were like "Should you not keep it for yourself?" 
"Hell no, it's like 2 free month of wow!"

So anyway, I was one ilvl short of gear objective of 840 when the raid came out. I haven’t leveled a profession to max level yet since I had the good idea of dropping every gathering profession, so I had to begin anew (I was sure they were getting rid of the limits on gathering profession after WoD). I didn't level Inscription much since I was selling herbs at ludicrous price. Now most prices have dropped but things like gems, necklace enchants and the Sky Golem still have outrageous prices and I didn't had time to benefit from it since I have not leveled any alt yet. Next one in the list is my warrior who is enchanter and skinner then my paladin who is miner and blacksmith. So I just did they're artefacts and some entry level profession quest. 

Since then I've done a lot of world quest (which kept me busy, got good rewards and are actually fun), I've done tons of questing in Suramar which is my favorite zone so far.  At the beginning I had a hard time in that zone but now I'm fairly comfortable pretending I'm a nightborne, grappling and navigating around except for one elite part of the city which still is challenging. I have leveled and geared my followers (epic 830 which is a little low now that I have 850 mission), I got artefacts for all my druid specs and I managed to progress to the end of the Falanaar tunnel with my withered army, so I'm almost through solo content which leads me to group content and that's back to the subject of my post.

This expansion I feel like it's an expansion of love and I'll tell you why. First hint of that is the join scenario in Assault of the broken shore, two full raid, one horde and one alliance progressing together to rescue Tirion and his Argent dawn, boy he must have smiled when he saw us fighting together. Blizzard tried to convince Alliance that Horde betrayed them during that scenario but come on nobody bought that, Sylvanas blew her horn so the alliance had plenty of time to retreat and they would even had the time to rescue Wrynn since Fel Reaver 2.0 was one shot by the king. But hey, Greymane and Sylvannas they have a history so let them bicker but me I'm seeing the big picture. I fought both with horde and alliance during the invasions and they are all my bros (except forsaken, even my tauren had cold sweat when he visited Undercity). 

I've been playing WoW just before wrath came out so I'm used to competing for nodes and tagging as much mob as I can to complete quest. But this time even if I would want to be a jerk I wouldn't be able to. Mobs are shared within faction, rares, nodes and quest objectives are open to all. So I surprised myself stunning a mob attacking a horde player or helping another kill his mob instead of stealing his node. Hey why not, we are all bros, no? Playing in the world, I didn't see a single jerk, I thought to myself: "They must be all doing group contents or harassing low level on PvP server".

I eventually had to do some dungeons, I did normal when I could and heroics from time to time but everything went smoothly so I was thinking, it's too easy, that's why there is no drama. Then the Raid Finder came. People where talking shit, making lewd comments about Il-gynoth and such but except the random comment like "Oh half the raid is gonna die to this mechanic" (which in fact happened) or "Why DPS sucks so bad and why are they purposely standing in the fire" I didn't heard much negative stuff. One time we did Dragons of nightmare but some people where complaining that one of the tank was dumb and didn't understand the mechanics so they started a vote to kick that tank (even though we one shot the boss). I admit I voted yes but only so we could get over with it but anyway the vote didn't passed. People were like "Who cares, its raid finder, stop complaining". So I pinched myself and thought to myself I've witnessed a once in a lifetime anomaly.

And then this weekend I did my first mythic. I have two dungeons mythic only that I unlocked this week in Suramar and there is Karazan that is coming in the next patch that I absolutely wanna try so I wanted to get my feet wet. I had a mythic dungeon quest in Hall of valor so I read the adventure guide and queued for an heroic as quick practice (which took only 10 min as dps). It was tougher than I expected, I died at least once on thrash but no wipe and it was a painless run. Plus I realized it was the only dungeon I haven’t done in heroic because I got the Legion dungeon hero achievement. So I read the strategy thoroughly on wowhead, trying to find out which mechanic was different on mythic and how I could do better and I queued on group finder.

It took some time but I got accepted in a group and we managed to grab an healer and a tank while I was doing world quest waiting. When we got a group I realized I had to get to the portal, fortunately I was in Stormheim questing and our group leader was a warlock. We started and... wiped on thrash. Our healer apologized and our warrior tank said not to worry. We slowly progressed to the second boss, during that time I was on the low end of DPS and again I died on thrash. I was starting to worry and already I was like: "Oh well at least I tried, I'll try to hang around as much as I can before they kick me". We wiped a couple of time on second boss then the healer quit and said to get a better healer. Next healer we had was solid and we managed to get to the last boss. It went much smoother, I wasn't on the verge of dying every second so I had more time to concentrate on my DPS and I realized I didn't switch my trinket that's why I wasn't proccing (I had my agility trinkets). So I was climbing back to the top of the dps chart but we wiped on Odin like five time and the healer was showing signs of impatience, I think his friends were waiting for him, then he quit without a word. It took a couple of minutes, some healer declined and I thought it was game over. Meanwhile the tank and his DK bro were fooling around with toys and pretending to fight. Then a healer came and we managed to down the last boss. All that took two hours, I got no loot but I had fun and I learned a lot, not just about how to prepare (I had no flask, no food buff and the wrong trinket) or how to avoid certain mechanics but how people are nicer then what I was expecting from experience.

While I never doubted that we could triumph against the legion no matter what, I now think that if we all stand together, Horde and Alliance, and that if player continue to be nice, patient and helpful to each others, nothing would be able to stand against us, no legion, no old gods, no titans what's not or elementals horrors from outer space. Oh I hear you and I know what you are saying: there will be content drought, people will quit, wow will die, winter is coming and here will be sucks on top of sucks for everyone. But until then, dear reader, enjoy our legion of love!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Ding: Level 110!

I am so busy enjoying this expansion that I didn't update my status yet until now. Last week I reached level 110 after two days and about 20 hours of playing. I not only battled legion of enemies but I also had to contend with lack of sleep, real life aggro and DDOS attacks from evil hackers. By the way, DDoS means Distributed Denial of Service and means tons of computer sending superfluous request to a server so it is so busy it cannot handle legitimate request (like wow user who just want to log or whose toon is interacting with wow server).

The launch was super smooth and I was kind of wary because for Warlord of Draeonor I took a day off and couldn't play much because my server was a lagfest (I'm on full population server). When Legion was up I logged in and discovered that I couldn't skip the Broken Shore scenario. So I braced myself and go through it again. After this small prelude, I chose the guardian druid artefact. It was the first time doing it and it was rougher then I tought.

The first zone I did was Aszuna, I didn't had trouble surviving even when I was pulling as much adds as I could, especially when Incarnation: Guardian of Ursoc was off cooldown. I managed to hit level 102 after that zone and I went after the Scythe of Elune, the boomkin weapon. I tried out the spec with the dungeon Eye of Azshara. It was rough because everyone was new in it but we didn't wipe. One fight was close but I did some crazy kiting while the others were dead and managed to down king Deepbeard when he enraged (well, I just hit moonfire as fast as I could while running away in circle). 

The second zone I did was Valsharah and it's a beautiful zone, it fits very well with druid lore. The only thing is I thought it lacked demon (like most of the other zones), I mean I know they are devious and busy scheming behind curtains but where is the Legion army? After that zone it was late but I decided to venture into Stormheim, so I started the scenario and massive lag happens. I briefly thought I would be stuck in this scenario forever. Quest givers were not spawning and hearthstone wasn't working. I finally managed to finish the scenario after a couple of logging in and out. Lag was still going on so I went to bed.

The second day I did Stormheim then I finished with Highmountain. I was super tired and I found those two zones frustrating but really it was because I was rushing to level cap. Same lag happened during the evening but I had just reached the level cap so I call it a night. I was a little disapointed of the time it took me to reach the level cap but I managed to identify some of the things I could have done to improve. First, it would really have helped if I had done a dry run on the beta server because I lost time figuring out some quest, like a named mob that was underground, or just findind the inn in Thunder totem. Plus I was busy reading quest text to soak in all that new lore. Second, I had the Handy notes addon to find treasure and rare but I lost much time trying to get those hard to reach treasure or going out of my way to fight a rare, I should have focus more on quest. Oh well, live and learn.

After one week I still have tons of new content to see. Right now I just finished the druid campaign, I unlocked Suramar, I did some profession quest and I'm splurging on world quest and exploration. And I have yet to play on my alts.

Go and enjoy Legion!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Tonight is the night

So everybody is pretty excited because Legion is coming out tonight. I played a bunch this weekend and managed to level my warrior up to level 100 doing invasions. I checked out some Class Halls in the beta (they are all awesome but I think the rogue one is particularly fun). I also made last minute preparations.  I transmogged my toons so they look sharp when they arrive to Broken Isles. I got an appropriate weapon for my hunter who appears to have sold his gun and gone survival, a small mistake I corrected by doing the Broken shore scenario. I did Dragon Soul with my rogue to check out the new Outlaw spec. I also switched a couple of professions around since I ditched most of my gathering professions in Warlords.

Tomorrow I will level as much as I can. Since Cata I've always tried to level in one day but I never managed it. I'm a slow leveler: I read all the quests, I explore, I reflect about Alliance and Horde war strategies, I level profession and fight rares. Mostly I do the race to max level for fun because I don't plan to raid seriously this expansion. I've been away for so long I don't even know which guild I will be parking my main and toons. Some guild I was playing in are now deserted, others have become much more raid focused, I will see.

So I got my day off, my flasks, my potions, my snacks and my beverages ready. But there is one important question left: which class will I play at launch and which artefacts will I get first? It's not my DK this time. And the new artefacts gave me the incentive to try out new specs, I've changed my decision a couple of time, first retribution pally, then boomkin, then mage, then shaman. I had a blast trying a gnome hunter this weekend on the beta, I also messed around with rogue and warrior. With invasions even the toon I don't play much managed to gear up so it's not even a problem this time. 

But since I want to be semi-serious tomorrow with my rush to level 110, I'll play a class that I love and a spec that is familiar to me, the bear. I will probably do the dungeon quest that you get at the end of each zone but for your sake (and mine) I won't tank any of those and leave it to the professionals (who hopefully know what they are doing in those new dungeons). I'll switch to boomkin for those after I can get my second artefact. I've been Eye of Azshara once on the beta and it went pretty smoothly. There is some strategies with artefacts for leveling, the simplest one would be to use your main spec to level. But I've read that there is survival issues with some spec and I don't feel familiar enough with boomkin to learn as I level. So I will level my guardian artefact as I'm leveling and switch at max level.

Happy leveling in legion!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Back for legion

So a lot of things changed since my last post. I fought during the Siege of Orgrimmar, I obtained fel fire for my warlock, I got Shadowmourne, I conquered the Iron Horde in an alternate reality and last but not least my human death knight has faction changed to Horde!

Although at first I was pleased by the leveling experience in Warlord of Draenor and I was excited by the new garrison feature I burned out on World of Warcraft shortly after the release of Tanaan jungle. Let just say that the best souvenir I kept from that expansion was the nice pile of gold I managed to acquire.

I didn't think that I would resub to World of Warcraft but I was invited to the Beta and I was amazed at all the class lore that the new expansion has. The artefacts quests are short but fun and each class halls I have managed to unlock are beautifully stunning.  So I'm out of retirement to lead the people of Azeroth in the fight against the Legion. I might not take part in raiding aside from LFR but I intend to get a truckload of artefacts starting with the Scythe of Elune, the famed Ashbringer and the shard of Frostmourne. I currently have seven classes up to level 100 including a demon hunter, I have a warrior and a monk at level 90 and I have a boost that I will probably use on a shaman to get the iconic Doomhammer.

I've also tried out the class trial, which will be available as boost when the new expansion comes out. It's a mini tutorial that you have on your way to the Broken shore that teach you a basic rotation and a couple of key ability of the class. There is only one spec by class that you can use for the trial, for example, the spec for paladin is retribution. The talents are already chosen and the action bar is filled gradually. It's nicely done and get you up and running to jump into the action.

There much less ability to use in this expansion (around 15) and the rotation is simplified, which I think is for the best. I also tried out leveling a toon from 1 to 10 and its much smoother then what I remembered. Each class start with a default spec, for the druid that was feral, a spec I've rarely used (I've mainly leveled and raided as guardian). But it was much more fun and unique to quest as kitty then as a generic caster like it was before as a level 1. And the feral form is very useful to be familiar with regardless of the spec you choose. So I look forward to leveling a druid in the near future and I've planned to level in a couple of zones that are rich in night elf and druid lore, like Darkshore, Ashenvale, Feralas, Zangamarsh, Grizzly Hills and Mount Hyjal. I leveled in Teldrassil without experience heirloom (tough I kept my heirloom weapon, necklace and trinket) and I didn't outlevel the zone (although I skipped a couple of quest). It seems some time was dedicated to improve the leveling experience, which is nice for people who likes to level alt.

While I'm waiting for the expansion I've already decked out my paladin in full legion gear (very nice looking for transmog). I'm also planning to level my warrior and monk with the invasions. Since there is now six invasions every two hours and that I can beneficiate from Potion of Accelerated Learning, full heirloom and some rested XP I might be able to ding them to level 100 before next week without too much hassle.

Until next time enjoy your last week of Warlord of Draenor!

Update: I managed to level my monk from 91 to 100 last night and it was super fun. I got sweet gear and over 400 shards, enough to get me a pet, a cloak, a trinket and a BOA warglaive (other piece of equipment didn't have agility on them so I was kind of meh). Those invasions are action packed and there tons of neat stuff to see. I might have to try the siege engine with my warrior tough because the fight are a little rough for melee.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Warlock leveling

Another draft that I found in my blog, again that was during Mist of Pandaria:

"As a side project I'm leveling a warlock and I have a blast. I was motivated to try this class because I've seen one of my friend tackling the green fire quest at level 90 and it looked awesome. I was arguing with that same friend that leveling was too easy and that you always outleveled the zone before the story was finished and he said that it was because I was using heirloom. So I decided to level this alt without heirloom and without the guild XP bonus. I also decided to level only by questing and not queueing for dungeon or battleground, except if there is interesting lore in it. One of the only classic dungeon I've done was Ragefire chasm because it was revamped to reflect the change occurring in Org.

I've done the blood elf starting zone (1-5) then moved to the forsaken zone. Silverpine is an epic zone and it's fun to see the Forsaken side of the story, plus you get to save Sylvanas and piss Garrosh off. The zone story culminates in Silverfang dungeon. After this I moved to Hillsbrad wich has a very interesting storyline. The area moved from alliance to horde domination. You got to fight the Stormpike from Alterac Valley and help the Forsaken clean up after a chemical warfare on Southshore.

There is some group quest that are challenging like Yetimus and the Durnholde challenge. I managed to solo those group quest up to Bloodvenom before another questing warlock joined me. To solo Bloodvenom I stood on the ledge and if he killed my voidwalker I would drop down and try to kite him. There is also a hidden Plant vs Zombie minigame in the northwest corner of that zone. I found out that the best strategy in this game is to plant two rows of sunflower, one row of pea shooter and 2 rows of tentacles. For the final boss, I used pumpkin on cooldown and it was a piece of cake.

I am currently in my thirties and I've specced destruction as it looked like the most efficient spec to quest. But I can't wait to try Demonology spec in Outland where there is so much demons to tame.
I plan to quest in the adjacent zone up to Eastern Plaguelands then go to the Badlands, Burning steppes, Swamp of sorrows and quest near the portal before I go in Outland. I will surely quest in Outland because I like Hellfire and Zangamarsh zone. I will also do Hellfire rampart at least once, one of my favorite Outland dungeon, I can already hear the healer yelling "TANK PLEASE PULL MORE, MORE! I'll probably skip as much questing as I can in Wrath of the Lich King and Cataclysm so after Outland it will probably be a combination of heirloom, questing and dungeon queuing.

All in all, I like the warlock class and I feel like it's the evil ranged counterpart of the Death knight."

I had fun leveling this one, I stayed way past level 70 in Outland, completing almost every quest in Shadowmoon valley, which is chock full of sweet warlock lore. I also loved every bits of the Green fire quest. From farming the book in Isle of Thunder to the epic ending in Black Temple. The last fight in that chain quest was very hard, I did it in destruction spec and it must have taken me hours of tries and tons of consumables. Eventually I did it when I had more gear by burning him as fast as I could. After that, even when I had average DPS in Siege of Orgrimmar I felt like I was part of a very elite club shooting bolt of green fire.

I am legendary

When I logged back on my blog I noticed I had a couple of drafts that I didn't post back then, so here it is for your reading pleasure. It's in Pandaria so welcome back to memory lanes!

"Hello, I've been away all summer and couldn't play World of Warcraft but I'm back for patch 5.4. Last week I got the last Secrets of the empire token I needed for Wrathion legendary quest. I turned the quest and Wrathion told me to go kill Lei-Shen and take his heart. Duh, I had to do that wing again in raid finder after weekly reset.

The next part of the legendary quest was fun and challenging, I tried the melee dps challenge with my frost DK and got my ass handed to me. You have to kill the ooze pretty quickly using howling blast and blood boil because if they corner you while Wrathion cleave you or if he goes into mirror image while he oozes are still alive, it's game over. Even by talenting into Chillbains I couldn't do it.

I heard the tanking challenge was easier but the only tanking I've done in this expansion with this toon was Mogushan Vault on raid finder. By the way, Mogushan Vault was my favorite raid this expansion and I had tons of fun tanking the raid finder, especially the last encounter with the twins. I knew that raid rather well because I cleared it on normal difficulty with my hunter while it was current. 

For the tanking challenge I got help from Taoshi the rogue which I recruited in the Shado-pan. It took me couple of try but I finally did it. I used Army of the dead right at the start, I interrupted and taunted what I could, used Anti-magic barrier liberally and manage to down Deathwing before the spike phase where you have to position yourself between the spike and Wrathion.

All in all, it was fun and I'm finally catching up with the legendary quest, so when patch 5.4 comes out I can pick up the quest right there. From what I know it would involve killing stuff in Timeless Isle and fighting the Celestial as World boss. All things that I would have done anyway.

I might try to join a flexible raid group because I'd like to get my hands on the heirloom axe dropped by Garrosh. Since it scale to level 100 it would make leveling easier in the next expansion."

Update: I did join a flex group and we farmed Garrosh for months, and I got both his axe and an intellect staff for my warlock. Flex allowed to queue for the last wing and the group I had was super fast, so I had a blast farming Garrosh.

Monday, July 1, 2013

My strange pet battle addiction

I finally succumbed to pet battle. It all began when I did the achievement Raiding with leashes. I farmed the old raids for a couple of week but Chrominius wouldn't drop. I was tired of running Blackwing lair so I bought it on the AH. The problem is that he was level 15 and I couldn't learn him. So I decided to level a team.

I did the pet battle tamer quests and tried to collect as many different pets as I could. My team consisted of three rares: a black rat, an ash spiderling and Chrominius when I got access to it. Having a critter in my team wasn't the optimal choice tough because I was often faced against beast opponents.

A typical battle would be my spider attacking first: web, leech, poison, leech, web and so on, slowly draining my opponent health. My rat would then go, hopefully against another critter since he had an attack that was strong against his own kind. He would poison then stampede them wich leaves a powerful debuff on the ennemy that would double the damage of the following attacks. The only drawback was that to apply the debuff you had to do three round of swarm wich do rather weak damage. I tried to apply it just before dying, so my next pet could benefit from it. Chrominius was my secret weapon for two reason: he could apply the same debuff with Howl and he had a magic nuke that could do up to 2k damage but that would leave him powerless for three round, so I would use it as a finisher, hope it connects and cheese most of the fight with it.

I managed to beat all pet battle tamer up to Northrend but then they became too much to handle so I leveled my pets to 25 before coming back. After this I managed to beat every pet battle tamer including Chi in Pandaria. I then moved on to the achievement Pandaren Spirit Tamer and Fabled Pandaren tamer. But here was a couple of fights that I couldn't beat with my group composition, such as Ti'un the Wanderer and the Thundering pandaren spirit. So I decided to level different family of pet with a method called "Haul em up". This method consist of attacking with the pet you are leveling then switching with max level pet to finish the battle. As long as your pet can survive one round you can match him against way higher level pet then him and get bonus experiences due to difficulty.  I leveled an aquatic pet this way so I could add a healer to my team and a flying amber moth, who was strong against aquatic and resistant against beast. With these two new members I managed to beat all the spirit tamers and all the elite beasts.

With patch 5.3, there is a new achievement called Raiding with leashes II: Attunement edition. So it  it will give me a reason to visit Kara again. All those raids can be soloed including Kara chess event, the red riding hood and Lady Vashj. Mileage may vary depending on your class tough, good luck!