Friday, October 30, 2009

October 30, 2009

The last couple days I've played my PvE toons mostly, with a BG here and there on my warlock. Nothing earth shattering has happened, but I've still had some fun.

Moonkin Rep/Equipment Grind
It's funny how easily I can forget things. My priest was my first 80 ages ago. I vaguely remember doing the Hodir dailies religiously until I got the good shoulder enchant. I remember doing heroics upon heroics to get exalted with all the necessary factions. I remember running Naxx, OS and VoA over and over to get better gear. It was all so fresh, fun and exciting back then.

My second 80 was my mage. She's a scribe (inscription profession), so she can make her own shoulder enchants. Which means I've never done Hodir dailies on her. I think those giants still hate her. Other than Kirin Tor, I haven't focused on any faction's rep. Yeah, I've worn the tabards in heroics, but with no goal of getting their gear. I went right into Naxx with her and geared her up quickly. No need for that extra stuff.

My third 80 was my warlock. No focus at all on rep or gear. He has been and always will be my little work horse bank toon -- with some BG fun peppered in when I'm in the mood.

I'm now on my fourth 80 -- my Moonkin. I could have chosen to keep her as my flask making machine. But, some of my fellow guildmates just hit 80 on alts also. So, there's this renewed interest all around me in doing the whole rep/equipment grind on them. Being caught up in the wave of excitement, I opened the Hodir dailies last night. And so begins the grind. Ugh! a few things have changed since I went through this on my priest.
  1. ToC is now available for quick easy epics. Gone is the need to run Naxx and OS. It takes much of the pain out of the grind. But, it's kinda sad. I like Naxx and was looking forward to seeing how my moonkin did in there. PuGs will be hard to find. Perhaps we'll go in as a guild at some point, if we can get enough people interested. But, I'm skeptical about that.
  2. Relics of Ulduar are no longer soulbound. So, my other toons can send them to my druid for easy Hodir rep turn ins.
  3. The heroic daily now offers rep for Sons of Hodir as a reward.
  4. People have incentive to run daily heroics because of the Emblems of Triumph.
  5. People have little incentive to run non-daily heroics because of ToC. Yeah, I know this seems to contradict #4, but it actually makes sense. For most people on my server, the only heroic they run each day is the daily. That means it's very difficult to find people to run the other heroic dungeons.
  6. Many people have maxed out professions, so it's easier and cheaper now to buy (the mats for) crafted epics.
  7. It's difficult to find guides for pre-Naxx gear. (more about this below).
So, I guess I need to do this smartly. Instead of randomly wearing a tabard and grinding away, I should make some concrete goals. I did that with my priest. I had a list of all the Holy Priest pre-Naxx gear and where to get it. I methodically got most of it. I haven't done that since then with her. Since I only run Ulduar and ToC with her now, I just take what drops come. I honestly have no idea what drops are out there for me.

But on my druid, I don't have that luxury. I need to plan a little better. The problem is, I'm hard pressed to find a site that lists the pre-Naxx gear for moonkins. What I find now are all ToC 10 and Ulduar based lists. I'm sure if I look harder I'll find one. But, I do hate that what was once so easy is no a pain in the rear. Yeah, go ahead, say "cry me a river". I can take it. :-)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

October 28, 2009

Battlegrounds and My Warlock
Well...I found what I want to do with my warlock: Battlegrounds! In my last post I mentioned stepping into BGs to get the Hallowed title on my priest. Well, since then I've been spending most of my time in BGs on my warlock.

It all started when I had the hankering to do a BG, but I didn't want to log in with any of my known toons. So, I pulled out my poor neglected warlock and gave The Strand of Ancients a whirl. I've been having a great time in there ever since. I've tried every BG, but at this point SoA is my favorite.

I queued for the Wintergrasp battle for the first time last night. Woah! What a totally different experience! I hadn't read up on it, so I had no idea what I was doing. People started sharing quests (which later gave a ton of Honor Points!) and storming the keep. I just followed the biggest crowd...and boy am I glad I did. There is definitely safety in numbers.

I watched what others were doing and did the same thing. I attacked turrets and approaching enemy vehicles. Occasionally an enemy was near so I attacked them. I lasted several minutes into the fight without dying. So unlike Strand of Ancients. :)

Then, after the outer wall was breached, I just stood there and Tabbed and Dotted, Tabbed and Dotted. No one even paid attention to me. The HK rolled right on in and I just kept dotting everything in sight. I died once while standing there. I suppose I was the recipient of other peoples' tab/dot routine because there were no melee near me and I didn't see any spells, bullets or arrows come at me.

Then, the battle was over and we won. I turned in the quests, earning a lot more honor. I'm now at 29k. That was quite a jump after just one battle. Too bad it doesn't happen more often! :-)

Like my monthly Level Check, I thought I'd put some notes down about my initial thoughts about BGs and PvP. It'll be interesting to look back in a few months to see how much has changed.
  • I will never be good at pure PvP. I prefer predictability and order. Plus, I'll never have the gear or the experience that the other players have. Raiding is more my style.
  • I never expect to try out Arenas. That's pure PvP. I have no interest in putting myself through that stressful torture. :)
  • I like (some) BGs because you don't necessarily have to PvP in them.
  • Strand of Ancients, for example, is all about bashing down the gates and capturing the graveyards (or defending both) before the timer runs out. I've found myself drawn to that BG because, as an undergeared and inexperienced clothie, I can contribute quite a bit to the success of my team by getting in those tanks or in the cannons defending the gates.
  • I don't like rogues or death knights. :-( They murder me in two seconds flat.
  • I've learned to strategically place my Demonic Circle out of sight so I can pop to it if things get hairy. Like in Strand of Ancients, when defending the final gate, I can put it around the corner at the bottom of the steps. If I get swarmed, I click on the Teleport button repeatedly. If I'm lucky, it goes off before I'm dead and I am safe for a few moments.
  • I don't like rogues or death knights.
  • BGs are a perfect way of playing my warlock while staying anonymous. I stopped playing him regularly because my desire to stay anonymous on him makes it tough to find groups. I could sit for hours in LFG without getting a single invite. With BGs, I don't have to worry about that.
Below are some things I don't understand about PvP. If anyone reads this, please don't ridicule me for not knowing what are probably the most basic things about PvP. I realize all of these questions are probably answered on a gazillion sites on the Internet. Maybe next time I check in about my PvP/BG progress I will have found the answers to all of them.
  1. How do you actually earn an HK? At first I thought you had to either damage an enemy that eventually dies or heal an ally that eventually kills an enemy. But, on my warlock I'm getting HK notices all the time, even when I am not damaging anyone. Maybe it's a proximity thing? Maybe if I'm close to the death of an enemy, I get HK for it? Or maybe it's a combination of the two. If I damage an enemy and then he eventually dies, I get HK for it, even if I'm no where near him when he dies.? And I get HK for the death of an enemy that I am near even if I haven't damaged him in any way? Could that be it?
  2. What do the various HK notices mean? I see HK: Private, HK: Scout, HK Legoionnaire, etc. What does all that mean? My initial guess is that it relates to the pvp level of the enemy that has died. What I mean by that is that if someone is completely new to BGs and has no PvP gear at all (like me), when an enemy kills him he gets HK Scout (or something low-sounding). But if he kills someone who is fully decked out with PvP gear and has a ton of lifetime kills under his belts, he gest HK Legionnaire (or something high-sounding). (Already got my answer. These are carry overs from an old system of ranking. They used to mean something but they don't anymore. Blizzard has simply not removed the rank identification from the message.)
  3. Are all enemies worth the same amoung of honor? This is sort of a follow up to question #2. If my guess about the different types of HK notices is correct, does that mean I earn more honor for HK Legionnaire than I do for HK Scout? (Already got my answer. All enemies are worth the same amount of honor.)
  4. Are any BGs known for being better sources of Honor than others? I thought I was doing well having earned about 7k honor after a few hours of back to back BGs on Monday evening. Then I went to Stormwind to find out what I could buy, only to find out that I was less than 1/5th of the way to one item. Now, I'm not expecting to be fully PvP geared after only a few hours. So, don't misunderstand my concern. It's just that I'd like to maximize the limited amount of time I have. I played in SoA all weekend because it was its holiday. I assume that means you get more honor that way. (I better check that out.) But, in general, is there any BG that is best for honor grinding?
  5. Is Stormwind really the only place to spend honor points? As far as I can tell, that's the only option. And, if that's the case, the pickings are pretty slim. With raiding, people don't all end up with the same gear, necessarily. Sure, there are the tier items, but most people end up with whatever they're lucky enough to win the roll for. The variety is fairly large. But, with PVP, if the only things you can buy with honor are the items at the vendors in Stormwind, everyone ends up with the same equipment on. Or am I missing something?
  6. Are the marks from BGs like SoA good for anything? I can't find a vendor that takes them. And Wowhead doesn't list any. The Wintegrasp marks are currency for items at the WG vendor, along with Stone Keeper's Shards.
  7. Is there any behavior in BGs that is unacceptable? I know that going AFK is a reportable offense. But, what about things like camping a graveyard and slaughtering people as they get resurrected? Is it basically "all's fair in war"? I nearly quit a BG the other day because I couldn't do anything or earn any HK because I kept getting killed as soon as I resurrected. Although it was incredibly annoying to me, I suspect it's acceptable behavior. It might be seen as a valid tactic.
I'm sure I have other questions, but those are the most pressing. I have no idea how long I'll enjoy BGs. But, for now I'm having a great time.

Monday, October 26, 2009

October 26, 2009

After taking time away from the game the previous week, I returned with a vengeance at the end of this past one. I had Thursday and Friday off of work, and I spent much of the free time in WoW. Lots of stuff to report. The first of which is very exciting:

Hallowed Be Thy Name - Woo hoo! My first title! As I've expressed before, I usually don't get caught up in hype about anything. In fact, I actively avoid it. Seasonal events in WoW are no exception. My first reaction to them is annoyance -- they're an interruption to my normal routine. Plus, they're a time sink. Bah humbug!

Putting aside all thoughts of time sinks and annoyances, I told myself that I wouldn't have been doing anything else at that time anyway. So, early the first morning I ate my breakfast and had a cup of coffee and went out to get that Hallowed title. It took me nearly the entire day to do so. There were many many candy buckets to visit in the old world. Luckily, I had visited all of the necessary Outland buckets last year. I can't imagine how much longer it would have taken if I had to do those too.

I got many of the achievements last year. Those I had left to complete this year were:
I have to say, once I got into it, I had a lot of fun. There was an adrenaline rush as I got closer and closer to finishing each achievement. And the title was the best of all. At one point I thought I'd never get the G.N.E.R.D. Rage one, but my luck suddenly changed and bam! Another one down. (more about the PVP experience below)

I am very happy, excited and proud to have earned a title. Yeah, I know it's not as noteworthy as it would have been had I gotten it last year. But that doesn't matter to me. I don't care if it took me two Hallow's End seasons to get it. I got it! That's the important thing. :-)

PVP and Me
In order to get the Hallowed title, I had to venture into PVP. It was quite an interesting experience for me. The only other time I had gone into a battleground was right before the WotLK expansion. My mage was still frost and I was bored. I ran a couple Arathi Basins and walked away uninterested. I really don't like PVP. It's just not my thing. But, this time around it was interesting.

Priest -- The first time in I went on my priest as shadow, expecting to dot everyone in sight and get honor points as they died. I was murdered almost instantly every time the enemy got near. Even though I was hiding in crowds, my shadow form must have been why they picked me out of the crowd. That's why I began to panic, thinking I wasn't going to stay alive long enoug to get the G.N.E.R.D. Rage achievement.

But then I changed tactics. I switched back to Holy and healed my way through. That changed the experience completely. The "HK" broadcast started appearing all over the place and I had that achievement in no time. Healing in BGs rocks! lol I also got a few more achievements: Damage Control, 100 Honorable Kills, That Takes Class, The Grim Reaper, Know Thy Enemy Alterac Valley Victory, Everything Counts, Take a Chill Pill, Isle of Conquest Victory and Dinner Impossible. Phew! That's a lot of achievements. And the only one I actually purposefully got was the Dinner Impossible one. I'm so glad I had those feasts sitting around in my inventory still. :)

-- Realizing how easy it was to get the G.N.E.R.D. Rage achievement, I went back to the BGs with my druid this time. I switched to Resto and was prepared to count the HKs. Lesson number 1: If you're a tree, you're a target. After a few deaths and wasted candies, I decided to heal without switching to tree form. That did the trick. I still got killed many times, but I earned a lot of Honor points and the G.N.E.R.D. Rage achievement. (Though I don't have the patience to do all of the Hallowed achievements.) Like my priest, she earned That Takes Class, Know Thy Enemy and 100 Honorable Kills. She also got a few others: Strand of the Ancients Victory, Ancient Protector and Drop it Now.

Shaman -- Just for the heck of it, I went to a BG with my shaman. That was a waste of time. :-\ She's 31, making her pretty much the bottom of her bracket. And, I really don't know how to play her well since I rarely do so. Needless to say, I didn't even get the G.N.E.R.D. Rage achievement.

So...all in all, my PVP experience was interesting. Healing is very easy to do, especially on my well geared priest. I probably won't go back in there with my priest though since there is no equipment that I am interested in working towards. But, I might go back on my Druid. It seems pretty easy to get gear with PVP, especially since I get honor easily as a healer.

I do have to say, I wonder if people have addons that allow them to see which enemies have the lowest PVP rating or gear because I was quickly targeted every time I got near enemies. Even when I was in a crowd. Hmm...PVP will probably never be my thing, but at least I'm not afraid of it any more.

ToC 25
We tried to do ToC 25 on Friday night. We couldn't get past the Northrend Beasts. Then, we went back on Saturday night -- one shotted the Northrend Beasts and made it all the way to Anub'arak. We got overwhelmed by adds each time we attempted it. We finally called it without bringing him down. Oh least we got a lot further than the previous night. I also got a new robe in there: Flowing Vestments of Ascent. I realized my Spirit is way too high -- imagine that, a Priest complaining about too much Spirit. lol So, I re-enchanted and re-gemmed a few things.

ToC 10 Heroic (Trial of the Grand Crusader 10)
Last night we tried ToC 10 Heroic on 10-man progression run. Most of the guys in the run were not the normal progression team. I'm not sure if we're ever going to have that team again. (Things change so quickly in WoW.) The guys last night were new to the guild -- they had transferred from the Horde side. They had good gear and were very well versed in the fights. I am elated to say that we one shotted the Northrend Beasts! Woo hoo!!! We couldn't get past Jaraxxus though. Oh well, next time.

One odd thing to note. One of the new guys asked me if I used a voice changer. At first I didn't even understand the question. Then when I realized what he was implying, he said my voice sounded just like someone's they used to run with. Strange, eh? I'm not sure what to make of the whole thing.

Hallow's End Stuff
Let's see, in addition to getting the Hallowed title on my priest, I did several Headless Horseman runs with my mage guild. I got a couple of the rings for my druid: Wicked Witch's Band and The Horseman's Seal. Otherwise, the drops were too low quality for my mage and priest. They all got brooms, though. They're always fun to ride around on. :-)

That's about it, I suppose. A lot of fun in one week!

Monday, October 19, 2009

October 19, 2009

I didn't play a whole heck of a lot this weekend. My husband worked both days at ComicCon, which you would think would make for the perfect opportunity for me to get lost in the game. But, instead, I spent the majority of the time doing other things. I'm in one of those down-swings, where I'm avoiding logging in because of pressure to do things.

I'm not feeling inspired to raid, so I don't log on with my priest. And since my priest's guild knows my mage alt, I can't log in with her either. And, if I log in with my druid, my guildies will ask me to log on with my mage so we can raid and/or do the Hallow's End stuff. Vicious cycle. I really don't feel like playing my other alts, so I end up not playing at all.

Time away from the game is good.

But, I didn't go completely without playing.

Trial of the Crusader (25-man)
On Friday I went to ToC 25 with my priest's guild. We only wiped a couple times on the first two encounters. I got a nice new cloak which apparently is a BiS item. Woo hoo!

As expected, though, we had a hard time with the Champions encounter. We wiped numerous times and several people left. We finally called it. The officers had a meeting right afterward. I suspect they're angry at the number of people who bailed after a couple wipes. They called a guild meeting for the following day, which I didn't attend. (Another thing I felt I was obligated to do, so I didn't.)

Druid Leveling
On Saturday the only thing I did was level my druid for an hour and a half late at night. I told my guildmates that I was hiding from my other guild. I got her to lvl 79. I really wanted to get her to 80 this weekend. But, since Sunday was the beginning of Hallow's End, I knew I couldn't play her that day without my guildies asking me to switch to my mage.

Trial of the Champion (Regular)
After spending all of Sunday avoiding the game, I finally logged in late with my Warlock to do some dailies. Since no one knows who I am on my warlock, it's safe. (I'm so glad I've avoided revealing my identity on him...I have been tempted a few times, but days like yesterday are good reminders of how valuable it is to be anonymous on him.)

I hadn't even finished my dailies when I was invited to join a ToC regular group. I ran it twice with a group for which I was the top DPS. Surprising since I stopped gearing that toon soon after hitting 80 -- his gear score is in the low 3000s. Then that group split up and I joined another one. The druid tank in the second group was from the top guild on our server and his gear score was 5200+. Drool! Needless to say, I was the lowest DPS in that group. On that run, when I contributed the least, I won a wrist item! I feel kinda guilty, because he's really just my bank alt -- I never intend on gearing him much. But, not too guilty, since I was the only clothie in the group.

Horde Alt
Out of boredom, I switched to my horde server and did a couple things.

First, since I hadn't been on that server in so long, my lvl 26 BE Pally was still mount-less. So, i logged in with him and purchased the mount spell. I ran around a little in Silvermoon City, enjoying the speed.

Then I switched to my lvl 9 Orc Hunter. I decided I'd finally get him to lvl 10 so he could tame an animal. Just as I was going to go out and get some XP, I got caught up in the "put out the fires" event. When that was over and I got an achievement under my belt, I ran off to finish some quests. About a half hour later I was lvl 10 and had a tamed pet. I logged after that.

So, that's it. To some it might sound like a lot. But, considering how much I usually play, that was very minimal. We'll see if I play during the week. On the one hand, the break might do me good. It will also make my story for my disappearance more believable (like when one calls in a couple sick days in a row so it's more believable). But, I do know I'll be disappointed if I skip playing through the entirety of Hallow's End.

The torture I put myself through sometimes when I'm avoiding just doing whatever I want to do instead of what people expect me to.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Questing after 80?

Here's a random thought I had today. I wonder how many people continue to quest after hitting 80? I'll qualify the question by excluding quests that give rep for factions like Sons of Hodir.

(I apologize in advance to anyone reading this. This is going to be a stream of consciousness type of post. I'm not going to go back to organize it for clarity.)

This is coming up because, even though I haven't done a normal quest on them in months, my priest's and mage's bags still have many quest items in them. I got the necessary reputation a long time ago by doing dailies and running dungeons with a tabard on. Now all I do on them is dailies and raids.

Meanwhile, their quest logs are almost full, with only enough open spots for three dailies.

Will I ever go back and do those quests? When I consider doing so, I decide instead to switch to my druid. My thought is that, if I'm gonna do quests, I might as well get XP for doing them.

I realize some people might continue to quest after reaching all their rep goals because of the extra money in lieu of xp. But, money is really not an issue for me. Unless we wipe incessantly, when I raid I usually come out in the green for the day, not the red. Ah...I suppose plate wearers might have a different experience. I know they get hit with bigger repair bills than we clothies do. I can see how they might need to quest to offset the cost. they do dailies? Or do they continue to plod through all the undone non-daily quests?

Let's see, there are probably some pretty obvious reasons someone might continue to do quests.
  • Rep grind (finished on my toons)
  • Raise cash, beyond what can be raised by just doing dailies. (I make enough with dailies and raiding)
  • Follow the story lines (I care nothing about the story line -- quests are a means to an end for me, not a way to immerse myself in the story)
  • Achievements (if I ever get the Achievement bug, I might go back and do quests)
  • Get quest reward items (all my gear is better than what can be gotten through quests)
  • Experience fun/creative quests (I will admit that some of the quests are priceless. I might be missing out on entertainment by skipping some) I can see why others might continue to quest after 80. But, I doubt I will do so any time soon.

So...should I just drop all those quests to get rid of the quest items and free up the bag space? As I gather more and more Soulbound items that I keep for either sentimental reasons or possible use in the future...or even carrying a bag full of items for my dual spec...I'm running out of space. Yes, I can use a bank alt, and I do. But, honestly, do I really need to carry around all these quest items for months on end with no real intention of ever finishing the quests?

Yeah I life is so difficult. :-D

October 12, 2009

Another fun weekend...spent almost entirely in WoW -- our apartment's state of cleanliness makes that apparent. :-)

Independent Woman!
I've been humming the Destiny's Child song Independent Woman the last few days. Why? No...I'm not getting a divorce. Sheesh! :-) It's because I'm finally able to rely solely on my toons for my enchants, gems, flasks etc. Let's review:
  • Druid gathers flowers (Herbalism) and makes flasks (Alchemy - Elixir Mastery). Distributes them to alts. She also transmutes stones into the new raw epic stones and sends them to the priest for gem cutting.
  • Mage DEs all items (Enchanting) and makes vellum (Inscription). Then makes scrolls for enchants for alts.
  • Priest cuts gems (Jewelcrafting) for her alt sisters. She also mines ore (Mining), prospects it and send it to her druid sister for transmuting.
  • Warlock made bags (Tailor) for all his sisters. He just flies around on his carpet waiting for more bag-making needs.
I think that covers the items I've routinely spent money on. No more purchasing flasks -- Moonkin girl can make them. No more purchasing raw epic gems -- Priest and Mage ladies can use their Conquest badges to purchase them or have Moonkin transmute them.

Thank goodness I don't like Plate wearing classes. I'd have to level Blacksmithing. (Though my Pally is a blacksmith, so I'll be ready to do so if I ever decide to play her.) My druid might like some of the crafted leather gear, but I might be able to rely soley on drops. I don't plan on fully maximizing her gear. I just intend to use her for alchemy.

I'm an independent woman! Now I can make money on the AH selling flasks, not spend it. Woo hoo!

This past weekend had highs and lows when it came to raids. Let's start with the high:

On Friday night we went to Ulduar 25 and got some achievements: The Antechamber of Ulduar (25 player) and I Choose You, Stormcaller Brundir (25 player). The most exciting part of it was getting down Iron Council. We had already done the other two Antechamber bosses on previous runs. This was definitely a milestone. We ended Friday night on a high...very happy with our progress and our performance as a group.

Saturday night was a different story completely. Several of the people from Friday night's run were not on. So, we filled in with some guildies with less experience and some PuGs. Also, our two regular raid leaders weren't on so another officer took over. She did her best, but she didn't know the fights as well as the actual raid leaders. So, it took longer than normal to explain and set up each fight.

Anyway, to say the night was a disaster is an understatement. Friday night we were already gimped because a few of the core players weren't on. But we still made progress. The extra gimpness (new word) on Saturday night was our undoing. We couldn't get Hodir down. We couldn't get Thorim down. Though to be perfectly fair, we only tried Thorim once. After that wipe, people started leaving. I'm sure some of them had to leave because it was very late. But others probably left out of discouragement. I'm annoyed by those in the latter group. We're a guild focusing on progression. That means we have to try and try again until we get it right. Some people are impatient though. They want instant success and give up if they don't achieve it. Oh time we'll weed out those who are only with us for instant gratification.

Last night we went to Ulduar 10 for our core progression. Unfortunately, a few of the core team were still not on, so we had to fill spots with non-core guildies. We did well though. I got these achievements: Nerf Engineering (10 Player) and Nuked from Orbit (10 Player). I think others in the group got a few more that I already had. I've now completed 23 of the possible 63 achievements in 10-man Ulduar. Pretty fun!

Druid Leveling
My druid is now at lvl 76. I dropped the 5k to get her fast flying yesterday. Since she's going to be mostly dedicated to herb collecting and alchemy, it made sense. I'm hoping to earn that money back in short order either by selling flasks on the AH or at least by not buying any. Flasks were a huge weekly expense for me.

Nothing big to report about her. Did a couple instances, but still mostly herb collecting and doing quests.

I got new shoulders on my mage yesterday. I also got several gems for her using Conquest emblems to purchase Valor emblems to purchase Heroism emblems... So I should see a nice increase in her effectiveness. I didn't do anything exciting with her though, other than daily heroics.

I think that's it for what happened this weekend. Off to lunch!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Level Check

Death Knight
73 (+25)
Ret 24
(no talents)
Enhancement 31 (+2)
(no talents)

So this past month I clearly spent a lot of time on my Druid. The motivating factor was raising Alchemy to the point that I can (1) make Flasks of Frost Wyrm and (2) transmute the new epic gems. I've reached both goals. I'm sure I'll continue leveling her to 80, though, because I do want to get her into purples -- at lease ToC gear. Also, I'm seriously considering purchasing epic flying for her to make the gathering of herbs go more quickly. But we'll see.

I think the two levels on the Shaman were gained early in the month. I honestly can't remember the last time I played her, so it must have been the beginning of the month.

I thought I'd add in a goals section. I'm pasting in the goals I set for myself back in May of this year. Each time I do a Level Check I'll also track my progress with my goals:

✔ Level him to 80.
✔ Get into at least one raid.
✔ Get him to max Tailoring (well, not really achieved, but the carpet mount was the actual goal.
✔ Make a carpet mount.

Level her to 80.
Get into at least one raid.
Dual spec her boomkin/resto.

✔ Get a little further in Ulduar than I have so far (which is only past the first boss). (So far we got all the way to Yogg.)
Get turtle mount.
Get Giant Sewer Rat pet.


Max out Engineering.

Level her to ??. (not sure how high I feel like leveling her).

I had wanted to get her to exalted with Ironforge for the novelty of getting a ram mount. But now that I created the dwarf pally, there might be no incentive. I didn't really enjoy playing her that much.

Mage goals, I suppose. Just continue getting better gear. Her current Imba score is: 393.41.

If I level her at all, go resto at 80.

Death Knight
No real goal. Fun to play, but no real motivation to get to 80.

No goals. I don't like playing him. I would say "get him to max leatherworking", but that would require me to level him.

October 9, 2009

Last night I was all prepared to raid on my mage -- I was happily stocked up on all the Frost Wyrm flasks I had made on my druid. I had taken my Heroe's Frosftfire Shoulderpads out of the bank, since Rawr told me they would be better than the Mantle of Extensive Mind I was wearing. (More about Rawr below.) I was logged in a half hour early and sitting near the Ulduar summoning stone.

And nothing. The only other person ready to raid was my favorite Druid Healer/Tank. He and I stood next to the stone bemoaning the state of raiding affairs in our guild. We waited...waited...waited.

Then finally someone suggested we do the Heroic Daily...and off we went. Our eyes never looked toward Ulduar for the rest of the night.

Druid Leveling
After running the heroic on my mage, I switched to my druid to do some leveling and hunt down some herbs. I maxed out Alchemy! Woo hoo! Now I'm doing the Cardinal Ruby quest. Boy! These cooldowns on transmutes are annoying. I guess I understand that they're there to keep the economy from being flooded with transmuted items. But, to take 5 days to do this quest, ugh!

OK...I'll admit I think the transmute cooldown in general is a PITA. Screw the economy! I want to transmute my gems all at once! I have so many of them stocked up on my Priest. It's going to take forever to transmute them. Ah's not like I'm going anywhere. :)

Some guildies ran me through DTK and VH last night. I was definitely too low for the instances -- even with +hit buff food I was missing a lot. But, I'm not complaining. I got some XP, a couple achievements, and a couple blue items to wear when I reach the right level.

Rawr - How Have I Lived So Long Without You?
So...I discovered Rawr last night. Actually, I had seen references to it on various sites for a while. But I assumed it was a spreadsheet or something -- honestly, I didn't think about it much at all. Then, WoWInsider mentioned it in a column yesterday so I clicked on the link.

It's this great application that downloads the information for you toon (spec, gear, etc.) and allows you to experiment with different equipment, gems, enchants, buffs, etc. to see how they affect your dps, hps, or whatever.

One of the coolest options is the ability to "Optimize" your toon based on the equipment, gems and enchants you actually have available to you. It starts off knowing exactly what you have on. You can add the stuff that's in your bank or bags. Then click on Optimize...and about 30 seconds later you are presented with suggested changes. You can add specific goals too (e.g., a certain amount of mana regen, hit rating, etc.).

Like I said above, Rawr suggested I swap out the shoulders I was wearing on my mage -- supposedly the switch will increase my dps by around 300. I had placed the shoulders in the bank when I had 3 tier pieces on. The shoulders that I replaced it with increased my dps slightly without affecting the set bonus of the tier items. But, at some point, I swapped out another of the tier items, accepting the loss of the set bonus. But, it never dawned on me to consider putting the tier shoulders back on to retain the set bonus.

That's where Rawr comes in very handy. It helps you make gear choices that you might not consider or even see.

In the example of my shoulders, a comparison on wowhead of the two items would make me think that the Mantle of the Extensive Mind is better. It increases Int (3), Sta (3), MP5 (23), Haste (14), SP (9). The Heroe's shoulders increase Crit (48) and has a Yellow socket. For my simple mind, the former seems a better deal all around. But, after playing around with Rawr a little bit, I think I've figured out why the tier shoulders are better.
  • They have a socket -- and the new epic gems are more powerful than the previous ones.
  • 48 Crit is nothing to sneeze at. Perhaps it's worth more than 14 Haste?
  • The set bonus must add DPS. That is something I am unable (unwilling, actually) to figure out. (Though I think this is less of a factor than the others, since it still recommends these shoulders even when wearing them without a set bonus.)
Of course, I'm not taking Rawr's word for it. I'm going to see how I perform with this and other changes it has suggested. The people on Elitist Jerks support/encourage the use of Rawr, so if they trust in it, I should not dismiss it.

Oh my gosh! Another thing to fuel my WoW obsession! Now I'll spend precious work hours playing with Rawr. :-)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

October 7, 2009

Onyxia 10
Late (very late!) last night, after what was supposed to be the final run of the day -- the daily heroic -- my raid leader asked me to heal Ony 10. Since it was well past my bedtime, I seriously considered declining. But, something told me this might be a successful run. I was right! After 3 wipes, and a couple juggling around of tanks, we got the brood mother down! I got three things out of the experience:
The achievements were cool, but the head piece was the best thing of the night. It looks so cool. It resides behind the head (an effect I've wanted for ages) and looks like two horns coming out. I love it! The jury's out on whether or not it's actually better for me than the Tier piece I was wearing. It definitely raises my gear score, but I suspect I might have lost the set bonus by putting it on. I'll have to check it out again tonight when I get on.

Ulduar 10
I just recently got the Tier 8 Raid Chest piece on my mage. Since it's a tunic, it allows my pants to be seen. I love the look...away with the stodgy robes...and let me see those tight leather pants! the pants are not leather in the game mechanics, but they sure look like they are. They remind me of when I was a DM for Neverwinter Nights and I customized my DM toons' clothing. I almost always made skin tight black pants for them. But I digress...

When I logged into my mage last night I noticed I had enough emblems of conquest to get another item. So, I got the Sash of Potent Incantations. I got a belt buckle from a guildie and put a quick +16 Int gem into it (might change that later). Then off to Ulduar I went.

I was amazed at the increase in my dps! I was hitting 4.2k. I had been topping out before in the high 3ks, so passing 4k was exciting. Woo hoo! I was riding high all night. And, even though we quit at Kologarn, I wasn't upset. :)

Druid Leveling
I leveled alchemy on my druid last night, after passing some mats from my bank alt -- all those extra gems from prospecting on my priest are finally paying off. I am now at 446 Alchemy and I'm FINALLY creating Flasks of Frost Wyrms for myself. To hell with all you people who have profited from me buying them off the AH. No more! hehehe I'm also very glad I chose Elixir Mastery. I "created" 5 flasks, but the procs on my mastery netted me 10! In AH prices, I just saved roughly 320 gold. Yay!

Monday, October 5, 2009

October 5, 2009

Hmmm...lately it's been a week between each blog post. I wonder why. I guess partly because of how busy work has been lately. That definitely keeps me from writing. Dare I admit I only blog while at the office? I have better things to do when at home. :-)

Another reason has been my lack of time spent playing. Well, if you were to ask my husband, he would say I've been spending my usual amount of time playing. But, he's wrong. I've been playing less, he has just been sleeping more. Anyway...since I'm in a play downswing, my motivation to post has decreased as well.

With that said...

In my last post I recounted the brother-ruins-guild situation. Luckily we've bounced back. We don't have the items in the GB we used to have, but we have nearly all the members back.

I'm not sure where the guild is headed. I'm sensing that the raid leader has different ideas about what the guild stands for. He's really hard core about raiding and his default behavior is to criticize and ridicule people -- even before we've stepped foot into the instance. Some people might see this as a motivation tactic. I just find it annoying. I'm there to have fun, not to have some 18 year old egotistical bastard ridicule me for not moving out of Hologarn's eye beam quickly enough. Actually, luckily for me, I seem to be immune to his ridicule because I'm female, but that further annoys me.

Well, apparently, I'm not alone in this feeling. After a failed Onyxia run the other night, several of us were sitting around chatting on Vent about how things went down. I gathered from that conversation that some of the officers aren't too happy with the raid leader either. His is the type of personality that they were trying to get away from when they created the guild. Although we're a progression guild, we don't claim to aspire to the greatness of [insert names of top 3-5 raiding guilds on any given server].

I like this guild a lot...especially the GM and the officers. And the raid leader -- he knows what he's talking about. I'm hoping that he tempers his caustic attitude. Otherwise, I might be looking for another guild.

Of course, it might not be possible to find a guild that doesn't have someone like him. We'll see...

Ulduar (25-man)
I don't know what was up. Last week we went to Ulduar and did quite well. This week we couldn't even get past Kologarn. Holy eye beam, Batman! Some of our core raiders weren't with us, which surely played a part. But, still...

That set the tone for the weekend.

Onyxia (25-man)
Fail. :-( Poor connections, poor coordination, unwillingness to keep going at it. All of these contributed to a bad run.

ToC (10-man)
Fail. I wasn't on when they attempted it. They got saved, so they must have at least gotten down the Northrend Beasts. All I know is that those who were in the group didn't want to talk about the experience.

Fail on ToC 10-man? But we have it on farm!!??

Ulduar (10-man) Progression
We failed on our first few (four?) attempts to down Flame Leviathan with 4 towers up. So we finally downed 2 towers and killed that darned machine. Then, of course, I've already said many times that I'm not a fan of fights where you have to get into vehicles and play a style that you didn't "sign up" to play. Give me my spells and abilities and i'm good to go. Make me sit on a dragon or in a vehicle and forget it.

We did KT Hard mode. That's easy compared to Flame Leviathan.

Kologarn went down in one shot.

We tried doing Iron Council on hard mode. I think we made three attempts. On each one we made a crucial mistake. It's encouraging though. We clearly can do it. It's just a matter of not making stupid mistakes. :-)

We ended the night after Hodir.

Druid Leveling
My druid is now lvl 72. I love being able to fly in Storm Peaks and gather herbs in flight form. I swear it feels like cheating!