Thursday, July 24, 2014

Legendary, I See Your End Coming..

Ah, no more secrets to collect! I ran one more LFR this morning and killed Jin'rokh (who I haven't seen in quite some time) and grabbed my last secret. That was a long and tedious process. 2-4 secrets per LFR, meaning an easy 6-7 LFR that needed to be completed while under the Gaze buff.

Next came the Thunder Forge scenario, which as a destro warlock wasn't that hard. I simply had my voidwalker tank all the mobs, while I dps'd them down as quickly as possible. Considering there are shado-pan and then celestial guardians there to assist, these fights were just really tank & spank. I now have the lance and ready to fight Nalak. Glad I checked into this before starting the fight this morning??


According to King Wampa, it's not about killing Nalak (like I thought), but avoiding him for the minute it takes to charge the lance. I foresee using the portal to shoot myself out of LoS and the gateway to kite the add.

Next up, the runestone collection and having to suffer through Durumu's maze. I've managed to survive with my sanity by simply not queueing up for this since passing this zone. I do not look forward to it, but with only 4 LFRs providing drops, I need to maximize my collection rate. The (current) Prince buff is only until patch day, Tuesday. My hope most of the 21 bosses drop the runestones this week and I am done collecting!! (5000 timeless coins isn't anywhere as hard as 1 token per raid boss). It's the Celestial Blessing that looks to be the most difficult item coming up.

If you're looking for a guide, I am loving the Icy-Veins write up better than other's I've seen. Instead of a bunch of bullet points, it reads, so you can skim down and figure out where you are at.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

New PC Experience

Hey Dad! Come feel how powerful!
About 2 weeks ago now, the new PC arrived on my doorstep! When I got the phone call from my wife that it had arrived, I was told by several co-workers that I should really just head home early so I can get some play time in..

This awesome box arrived from Digital Storm exactly on schedule. In fact, I had contacted them and asked that it not deliver over the 4th of July weekend and they delayed it until Monday afterwards.

Contents:

  • Welcome packet with install media - Windows install disk, drivers, manuals, getting started flyer, cables
  • Computer

The PC was extremely well packed for the 200 mile delivery. My brother, who does deliveries, was worried about ordering off the Internet. When my PC arrived, it was packaged similar to their image on the Internet. A mini trampoline of sorts to absorb all the bumps from shipping. Inside the case, I found that they had shot the case full of foam packaging. Two thumb screws later and I removed the additional protection. Overall, it's a really good sign when you plug in the PC and it works perfectly.

Cherry MX Brown switch
Since my plan was to waterfall the old PC to my kids, I also bought a new keyboard and mouse. I invested in a Corsair Vengance K70 keyboard, which has "Cherry MX Brown" mechanical switches. This keyboard uses mechanical switches which have a very tactile feel and louder, audible click when typing on it. I liked the "brown" as they are advertised as a good mixed gamer/typing key. Friends have bought the 'blue' because it has an audible click like that old keyboard from my 286 days. The mouse has a wonder tactile feel to it, very smooth, very easy to use. Windows immediately recognized the mouse when I plugged it in, so I haven't installed the specific drivers. I hope to get this updated soon so I can start using all 8? of the buttons on this mouse. My only complaint, the mouse has blue LEDs, and the keyboard red. (UPDATE: This morning I found that this keyboard cannot handle SHIFT+SPACE. I use this combination while in PVP to both run (S) strafe and jump. /pout).

Performance-wise, the PC is awesome. Going from the Core2 Duo, to an i5 processor was an enormous performance jump. WoW is now running a good 60 fps in ultra everything mode. Sadly, I don't really see a difference in the game. Maybe the shadows are a little bit better defined? Shinier sparkle effects? Maybe... I have started playing the beta on the new PC. Over this next week I will try logging into the game on both the old and new machines and grab some screenshots.

In the meantime, Assassins Creed 4: Black Flag has been getting a lot of play time; soon Wolfenstein: New Order. I'd like to finish the Legendary quest line, but only during the Gaze of the Black Prince (now until 7/29/2014!!), 4 LFRs and only 2 drops was PAINFUL!! Only need 7 more secrets needed to complete Secrets of the First Empire...  Next Titan Runestones..

What happens when I unplug this?






Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Darn you Yikkan Izu!

Ok, I am still stuck on Yikkan Izu. I've taken to waiting the 13 minutes for Crystal of Insanity to reset, so about only 2 attempts each night.


  1. Apply all self buffs. - Insanity, Dark Intent, Crit food
  2. Grab some arena pots if I don't have some, like Brawler's Cunning.
  3. Summon voidwalker (or void lord).
  4. Zone in, summon major demon, typically Doomguard, but going to try Infernal for the AOE.
  5. Cast typically boss rotation, CoE, Immolate, Conflagerate, Incinerate... 
  6. Watch for Shriek, try to interrupt with Fear, Shadowfury, Howl of Terror
Best I've been able to achieve is about 25% health remaining. What happens is something like:

  • I use up all my interrupts, get hit by the Shriek and stunned for a few seconds. During this time, I am not healing with Soul Leech, so my vw dies. VW dies, everything aggro's me and I die. 
  • I get out of the stun quickly with Unbound Will. Resummon a new vw, only get overwhelmed with adds and die.
  • I AOE too many of the adds, boss enrages and I die. 



While researching, I see this guy doesn't seem to be hit by any of the shrieks. In his comments, he believes that it's due to his range. I am not so sure, there's 40 yard range on that ability. I can't imagine the arena is larger than 40 yards. Maybe a bug? Maybe if I put a Demonic Circle at the absolutely furthest point from him? That's got a 40 yard range.

Talent modifications I haven't tested, but plan on trying tonight...

  1. Grimoire of Service instead of Supremacy. UPDATE: this just creates 2 low life VW, they both die quickly.
  2. Harvest Life instead of Dark Regeneration - UPDATE: Harvest Life no longer does AOE. It's only a buff (which I though blizzard considered boring and wouldn't do).
  3. Also considering Mortal Coil instead of Shadow Fury
  4. How about Blood Horror?? Every baby bird will run away when they peck me?? Fight only lasts about a minute anyway!! - UPDATE: They must not melee hit, because they aren't flying away. 

If all else fails, maybe it's time to dust of Demonology again??

Monday, June 30, 2014

SSOTD: LFR Fail

Here's what happened last expansion. I never saw several of the fights because I can't manage to randomly get into a brand new LFR "Downfall" group. 


Oh Man! I can't WAIT!!

g'bye old friend
6 years ago, I purchased a refurbished HP M8307C from Fry's Electronics. This PC featuring a screaming Core 2 Quad 6600 processor was wonderful when I first go it. Over the years, I've added more RAM (upto 6GB), added several hard drives (now have 4TB storage) and replaced the video adapter after it burnt out.

Last Friday, after issues with performance and a very frustrated spouse, I plopped down the credit card. I bought the computer from Digital Storm, based on a friend's recommendation. I had been looking at an off-the-shelf HP or Dell from the local CostCo. He likes Digital Storm because they build specifically gaming machines. This means faster video adapters instead of the card built into the motherboard. Better cooling on the CPU so that it's easier to overclock it. A higher (600w) wattage power supply so that you can fully power the machine. Top it off, they don't have the high sticker price that would come from buying AlienWare (similar model is more $$ and has no SSD)

Based on this same friend's suggestion, I selected their Level 4 - Vanquish II. This model features the fastest Intel i5 processor, 8GB RAM, a 2GB NVidia GTX 770 video adapter, and a 128GB SSD boot drive. Instead of leaving it on continuously for fastest access, we should be able to turn it off each time and watch it instantly come on!

The HP still has a purpose, just not gaming. With all that storage inside, I plan to still keep it running as a camera repository. In fact, once I uninstall all my games off it, the machine will be a great kids PC. Webkins and Club Penguin don't need ultra resolution 80 fps!

Next week can't come fast enough.  ;-)

Friday, June 27, 2014

Post 601 - What Would You Do With a Beta Invite?

This morning I jump into my WoW reading list to see that Beta invites have gone out. Woo-hoo! It's drawing closer! This got me excited, hey, did I get one also? Look into my Battle.net associated mailbox and what do I find?
Well, that's awesome! I think...

With all the coverage from the open Alpha that's been streaming, constant flood of updates on WoWhead about this UI change and those new do-hickey accessory things, it's been a bit too much.

Am I excited about the new expansion? Sure. It sounds like a lot of great ideas are finally coming together. New character models, "player housing", etc. All fine and dandy.

Do I want to see it early? I think so. With Cataclysm, I explored the Goblin starting area and went all the way through the underwater Vashjir(?) quest line. Pandas I took it slower and played the Panda starting area up to a point. It changed quite a bit by the time I came back on Live. With all the Warlock changes, I had to try out all three specs, at least in the starting area and up the giant hill. It was exciting and new, but made playing that same content over again in Live, a bit boring. I don't care for questing, remember?


How about you? If Blizzard hands you an Beta invite to WoD, are you going to play? What aspects would you check out? What aspects would you avoid?

Warlock'n the Brawlers Guild!

Elkagorasa was getting a little bored waiting for his turn. Esha-this, druid-that. Just left this 'lock bored and frustrated. So frustrated that when he finally got his chance at the Brawler's, he blasted the Bruce, then Vian, Goredome and Vishas all within a few seconds. The only thing slowing down Elk was the line. Fight, win, requeue, wait for 2 other players, repeat.

2 days later, Elk ran back to the fight hall late at night and found no one else there. Empty! Hey Boss, get me a fight! Rank 2, done. Rank 3, done. Rank 4, done... The only fight that Elk had to do twice was Ixx because he stood in front of him and his Devastating Thrust.

Now he is up to Yikkan Izu. This evil bird has been the first real challenge. Sort of like the giant baby head in the Green Fire quest line, he spawn lots of adds ( 4 at a time) who do decent damage. Something I still haven't mastered on the other quest either..
This large crow thing has one annoying thing about him - adds. 4 of them are present at start, and he periodically summons more. You wish to kill those adds as soon as possible, since they do deal pretty high damage. But watch out - if Yikkan sees more then 5 of his fallen kin at once, he enrages, which almost means a game over. Therefore, always make sure if he won't go nuts before killing off the adds. (source)
 I believe he spawns new adds every 8 seconds so killing them is the priority. Or maybe just nuke him down as quickly as possible, firing off all the CDs (got like 5 self-heals if I use them) with food buff, potion, 2 minions, etc.. Elk's gotta win!

Elk is working on his legendary quest line and gathering those darn Secrets (got 7 out of 20). He queues up for 6 LFR raids, (all 3 ToT that grant secrets except for Durumu) and first 2 SoO plus Garrosh fight, then enters the arena for 30 minutes while the DPS queue ticks away. If he can get passed Yikkan, maybe it's time to try again at the Green fire quests..




Friday, June 20, 2014

Review: War Crimes by Christie Golden [No Spoilers]

I have just recently completed listening to the War Crimes audio edition. This book, as if you don't already know, takes place soon after the events that happened in Siege of Orgrimmar. King Wrynn has saved Garrosh's life and he now stands trial for his crimes against Azeroth.

To make this work you have to make two concessions:

  1. Horde and Alliance can openly talk. Blizzard has already established this part of the lore via the SoO ending cut scene, but I guess we've had this in all forms for awhile. We can both talk to the PandarianKirin Tor, and the Goblins. It's just player-to-player communication that doesn't work in-game. (We're just not worthy!)
  2. Just by being a leader of a race, you are now a pretty good litigator. Sure, you've had to deal with political in-fighting, this must  qualify you to defend or accuse in a court of law, er, celestial training facility. 

The story provides a lot of wonderful backstory to events leading up to and including the trial. All of the major players (Vol'jin, Anduin, Go'el, Jana, Sylvanas, Varian, Baine and Tyrande ) play active parts in the book, with the point of view bopping around between each person regularly, playing out like an episode of Law & Order. The story includes references from several quests, scenarios and raid events in the game. Which was a little confusing because I haven't finished all the quest zones and the legendary quest line, so I didn't always understand the reference until afterwards. Which probably didn't help that I kept envisioning Garrosh in an orange prison jumpsuit, slumped down in his chair, sulking the entire trial.

The audio edition is a little over 13 hours long. It was well acted with Scott Brick changing up the voices for each character. (click book cover to jump to Amazon and give the sample a listen). Very similar accents and style as those done in the game. With 40 something chapters and my short 15 minute commute to work, I was able to complete at least one chapter each direction without issue.

As with the Shattering, I enjoyed the story. If you enjoy the lore of Warcraft and would like to see how things tie together in the end for Garrosh, I would suggest listening (or reading, if you want to do your own voices! ). I am curious as to what will come alive in-game.

The one question for me that remains, does the book give away the villain of WoD? Only December will say for sure.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Druid Week 3 in Review

This week has been rather fruitful for my druid.

  1. Got another Burden of Eternity, so I converted a head token. Of course, then ... 
  2. Tanked phase 1 of Siege of Orgrimmar successfully, picking up 3 items, head, neck and trinket 2. No wipes and very few deaths and now only one item still left post-boost set (main hand). Sort of liking the look of the head piece, so not sure if I'll transmog it back to Rayne piece or keep it.
  3. Realized as a Blacksmith, I can make my own belt buckle. (doh!) No excuse now for not having one equipped. They're still selling for 500+ gold on my server, whereas the living steel sells for around 250-400 gold. Took about 4 hours, going through Klaxxi quest chain to reach Honored and pickup recipe. Having two alchemist (only one with recipe), I made the living steel as well. 60 Ghost Iron bars = 1 living steel bar. A stack of 20 ghost iron are selling for about 80g. So for about 250g I made myself a buckle. 
In the process of running around for the Klaxxi, Esha was killing elites (including 2 warbringers) in all the surrounding areas. Amazing how many elites there are when not that many people are exploring the areas. Got an interesting 'potion' of 300% xp bonus for toons under level 84. Does this mean it's time to level another alt? 

Also got the elusive blood soaked invitation, and started on trying out the fights. Basically it appears to be dueling vs npcs. You check-in with a guard asking to be added to fight list. Until your turn, you are a spectator and can watch the other players fight it out. When it's your turn, you're ported to the center of the arena and start the next fight. WoWhead's guide is rather good on each boss's special move. 

So far, I am on Goredome and keep getting caught in his Lumbering Charge. In bear form, I am right on top of him, so I can simply run through him as he 'casts', but it's only a 1 second cast, so I need to be on-it. Benefit, as a bear, I take a 500k hit, but doesn't always one-shot me. I've healed up enough (troll power!) to take the hit two more times. I believe DBM will announce these for me, so I'll have to make sure that specific extension is loaded.. 

Overall, made it to a 505 average ilevel. Tanking isn't as scary as I had thought it might be. Still have 9 iLevel 496 items and 1 post-boost i483 item. Hope to run zone 1 and 2 of SoO soon, so maybe one of the main-hand items will drop!! 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

oQueue to the Rescue

For the last 2 weeks, I've been having a lot of fun with the addon oQueue. If you haven't used this add-on before, it's something the helps breathe new life into the game.

What does it do? oQueue allows users from cross-domains find each other. Players can setup a request for other players, post it out there. Then players see that request popup, and request to be put on the wait list. If the event organizer loves you, they can send you a meeting invite and off you go!

This is the addon that Blizzard hopes their new Group Finder will replace. BUT will they go far enough?
Another central innovation in Warlords is our Group Finder feature, which will allow players to easily form and search for raid groups (among other activities) with players from their entire region. [...] For players who want to take the next step beyond Raid Finder, or who want to find a weekend run for their alt, or who just need a last-minute tenth member for their raid, Group Finder will make that process easier than ever before.
WoD Alpha Group finder via Wowhead
These last few days, oQueue has helped me find a party for a Heroic Scenarios (got a useless 516 neck), two celestials kills and hopefully later this week, Twinbraid. When I feel a bit more confident, I hope to start running Flex modes. People are advertising them as "FLEX 1" or "FLEX 4 Fresh".

Without access to the Alpha WoD build, (this may not even be available yet), I am tempted to say this isn't going to be as cool as oQueue's implementation. I still use 30+ addons to modify how my UI is laid out, AH support and raid warnings.. :)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Druid - Discovery Transmog

Spent about 2 hours yesterday gathering up items from the Discovery Transmog. The beauty of this set (especially if you haven't quested during leveling up) is that all the pieces drop from quests and not random drops off mobs. I've gotten 4 of 6 pieces so far and found a belt on the AH that I like (so far).

Head piece is from a single quest given by Rayne in Eastern Plaguelands. At 90, I could fly directly into the towers, drop the flower seeds and run back out.

The chest and shoulders are rewards from a short 5-quest chain near Rayne, starting at Carlin Redpath and ending at Chromie. The shoulders come from a mob kill which show how questing has changed since Vanilla. One player, one kill vs multi-players, shared kill. Had to wait for respawn on the wolf for about 45 seconds before I could get my own kill.

The pants required flying south from Orgrimmar down to Gadgetzan and finding Megs. She had 3 quests for me, then she moved to Lost Rigger Cove for Dead Man's Chest.

For the cape, someone mentioned using the Cape of the Black Baron (boss drop). Happily, I had the Inherited Cape of the Black Baron from leveling up, so I simply applied that. It does look nice.
heirloom

For feet, I need to go find Gus near Gadgetzan. He's got 2 quests for me, starting with I'm with Scorpid, ending with Gargantapid. (at least now I have the flight path). Sad thing about the feet and a troll is all you see is socks with toes cut out! :)
Before visiting hair salon!

Lastly, hands, standing near Gus, is Mazoga. He has a short chain of 4 quests to reach Secrets of the Oasis.

After putting it all together, Esha HAD to get her hair colored and styled. She had a blue ponytail and it looked ridiculous with that head piece. The Armory still has her the old way.. As of now she's sporting red dreadlocks and less pronounced tusks.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Week 2 - Slow down hun'

Last weekend, I ran a full Last Stand of Zandalari with Sinabun-Thrall, another guardian druid. I got a little over-anxious due to Sinabun's gear level and started running ahead pulling mobs back. AAGRRO!! Sin just laughed as I died a couple times and finally PST me saying "slow down hun..". It's then I really took those Pandarens to heart and 'slowed down..'. Bowing down, I let Sinabun dictate the pulls and how to run each fight.

  • Jin'rokh - I followed Salts video almost to a tee. Grabbing aggro each time Sinabun was hit by electro-smash. I never got wall tossed, so it was basically just stay out of the water. 
  • Horridon, line the dino perpendicular across each door in order. This put the DPS between the dino and the door to grab adds as they came out. 
  • Council, I tanked Mar'li and sometimes Sul until the stacks of Frost got too high on Sinabun. Then I grabbed Frost King for a few turns while they dropped. 

Where's the Cheese?
Still no drops. Oddly, still no achievement for completing. I never though to see if I could progress in ToT, maybe it's only once per account? After the raid, Sinabun and I chatted and got me thinking about those greens I was still sporting.

Go go go! AskMrRobot... be-boop. Initial review, there were absolutely no upgrades. I had to expand my filters on the site to accommodate post-boost availability. For example, AMR was assuming that I wasn't ready for any LFR, despite having a 493 gear score and could get into the first-wing of all 4 raids. So, some adjustments.

  1. Gear-Level - Pre-Raid - Turning this higher returned Normal mode raids. 
  2. LFR Gear - Tier 16 - Give me all tiers of LFR gear. It was set to None.
  3. Flex/Heroic/PVP/BOE - None - I don't see these options being immediately viable. PVP maybe, but tanking PVP has been painful experience. 
  4. World Boss - Four Celestials - I lowered this because I have 0 progress on my legendary. 
  5. Minimum iLevel - 483 - I won't see items lower than my current green gear as upgrades. I believe it was set to 476.
  6. Max/BiS/Scenario - no change. 
  7. Timeless Isle Items - 496 only - for initial pass, it was just more confusing seeing the BoE boosted gear.


Wonder Twin powers ACTIVATE - Flight Form!
Skimming through the upgrades available for my 3 green post-boost items, I found that I had roughly enough valor points to purchase a new pair of 522 pants or a 522 trinket from the Shadow Pan Assault. Fly down to the SPA garrison, grabbing flight paths as I go. Find NPC only to realize I am 200 valor short for the pants. Checking pockets, I found 11900 timeless coins (darn their small!).  Hop the taxi, fly all the way across panda-land and converted all of these coins to valor points (2x exchange rate ends today so I got 600 valor). Taxi all the way back, buy pants. Afterwards, I still have 600 valor left and could use 1200 to purchase the trinket. So I am considering running TI more tonight, in hopes of gathering up another 9000 coins. Doh, Heart of Valorous ended 9am PDT today. Ok, another 18,000 coins, or run a hundred dungeons.

5 TI back, 2 TI belts, 1 TI boot, 4 TI chest, 3 TI heads,
1 TI shoulder, 2 TI rings
With my pants happy, now I know what to use my first Burden of Eternity on. I have 4 Timeless chest tokens. Hoping RNG will drop me the BIS item for me..

Reading through Saga's blog comments, got me thinking about a transmog of my druid gear. Well, my priest had a roguish looking outfit and it appears there's a leather reskin of the Silver-Thread outfit she acquired. Sadly wowhead says it is no longer available.. :( On the other hand, I love the Sulfur Stave for a Troll Druid. (Shouldn't I be able to solo Naxx?) It has an awesome bat as the head piece. Maybe I can build a nice black outfit around that? Goth Troll Druid?!