Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Boosting the Alliance

You get standard edition?
Last Friday was payday, which meant, I pre-ordered Legion. It was a difficult decision because I really wanted to purchase the Deluxe edition and get the mount, but I stuck with the chipper chicken. The biggest perk of pre-ordering, personally, is the boost to 100. Friends/co-workers had been bugging me for quiet sometime to level up a toon so we could do 3s arenas. Being they're on a PVP realm, I thought this was a perfect way to not have to quest! :)


A few months ago, I started leveling a hunter. I figured this class would be an easy compliment to warlock DPS; ranged dps with a pet. What's not to love? Not to surprisingly, I loved the game play, now that I can shoot and run at the same time. Erlenmyer (yeah, misspelled) made it all the way to 27 using heirloom gear, plus any xp bonus available (wow token, dark moon fair, etc.). I was able to top the DPS meters when running those dungeons rather easily. Unfortunately, no amount of bonus XP was going to get me to 100 quickly. I still easily had 2-3 days worth of game play to get max level.

To the boost button! 

Instantly now Erl is a 100 beast master hunter. He's fully decked out in full ilevel 640 trailseeker mail gear. Garrison is already at level 3, and I have 3 buildings already built (storehouse level 2, leather working hut level 2 and garrison level 2). I have five 22 slot bags, 8 followers, 500g more and 500 garrison resources. My quest log has been cleared and now my only quests are to open Tannan jungle. No legendary quest. No proving grounds quest (which wouldn't really matter). Not even the starting quests for the Shadowmoon. With BOA Baleful tokens, I was able to send cross-realm eight tokens to my new hunter and quickly replace five of those items immediately (gloves, belt, legs, helm and shoulders).

First order, Timewalking! 

Here's a great opportunity to fill in those remaining slots! I'll queue up for a few dungeons and get some much needed 660 iLevel gear. Sadly, no timewalking the first 24-48 hours of boosting. "You need to be level 85 to run these dungeons". Really embarrassing considering it let me sit in queue for 20 minutes waiting, joined me to a random group, but wouldn't let me zone in. Instead, I decided to work on my legendary ring quests and start collecting PVP gear.

Proving grounds. 

Can you believe 1-shot bronze, 2 shot silver? A good portion, as I've found is all about the place, the place, the place, not the DPS. It took me two tries for silver because I hadn't researched what a hunter interrupt was. Hunters are quite a bit more moveable in their DPS and pet damage feels better than warlock.

This 8 minute long video includes the last fight of Bronze, then both my first and second attempts at Silver. I've edited it a little to speed up the failed attempt, and those dreadful moments where I've killed all the mobs and need to wait.

So, here's dilemma one. 

8 followers is not enough to seriously run the garrison. I can't really fight all the fights, so I pull up a guide on WowHead.com, 17 (Alliance) followers in 2 hours. Frustratingly, the first two followers require that you have done all the questing and opened up each of the phased zones. I can just see this happening with ALL the rest. I decided to come back to it a day later. Found just the first two followers are quest based and the rest you can simply encounter in the wild. I even braved horde territory on this pvp realm to pickup Dagg. Right in the middle of the horde starting area. I now have 21 followers and have to bench one!

Dilemma two. 

You gave me this fully built (level 3) garrison, but didn't give me the resources to complete my buildings. IIRC, when I hit 100 on my disc priest, I had enough resources stored up, that I could immediately build the 3 new plots (one small, medium and large) you get. So I've ran dungeons, did some of the Tanaan quests and now have enough resources, only to find out that I never needed them. Building all three shops required only 200 garrison resources. Sigh, they'll be done when I logon next time.

The Reason for Boosting is PVP.

Saturday night, I started running Ashran. This is my first real experience with this PVP zone, so it took some time to get used to it. IDC ran me around for about an hour, pointing out the basics. The primary requirement simply appears to be a good leader and responsive team.

yellow circle = mine entrance, red circle = event,
orange star = mini-boss (fight for you), blue is XR
  1. Start at the Crossroads (XR). This is where we typically wait for the next event. Buff up, sit in tents, etc. 
  2. There are 4 'events' that happen randomly. These will be announced zone wide. Watch chat for everyone saying meet at MQ, BR, AOA and ABG. (Form big X on map). These are the location acronyms for the locations. At each location you race against the other faction in some contest (elephant racing, protecting the wall, ghostbusting or rock hauling, By winning these events, your team will be rewarded a box of goodies, that can contain gear, and/or gold. 
  3. Each faction controls an end of the island. Horde to north, Alliance to the south. Right outside your base is a choke point, these are guarded by mini-bosses. Watch for VOL in chat. Killing the opposing teams boss grants both teams a buff (+health for defender and +artifacts for attacker).
  4. You can collect 'artifacts' from the dead. Artifacts are also lootable from you by the opposing team if you die. Back at your base, you can turn in your artifacts for honor points (1 fragment = 3 honor). 
  5. Quests. These reward both conquest points and sometimes gear. This gear is better (in some ways) than LFR gear, ilevel 700+ on those warmongering pieces. 
So far, just through a few hours in Ashran, I've managed to acquire 90% of a PVP set (still need one trinket, one ring and bracers). In fact, AMR is telling me five of these pieces are better than the i640 boost and i657/670 baleful gear that I own. 

This got me thinking, can I use AMR to pick my PVP set? I found on Noxxic a good stat prioritization for PVP BM Hunters in 6.2.3. This is quite a bit different than the AMR PVE priorities
  • PVP: Multistrike >= Agility > Versatility > Crit > Mastery > Haste
  • PVE: Agi > Haste (19.28%) >= Mastery >= Multi >= Crit >= Versatility
Unfortunately, I am not seeing any consideration for set bonuses, and I do think the 4-piece bonus for diminishing returns on CC is useful. Therefore, I may have to do this on my own. 

Observations - Aesthetic

Horde Inn
As a long term horde player, I've never really appreciated the alliance aesthetic. The human buildings are complex and interesting. Horde is simple. For example, horde in is like a giant Mickey Mouse head. Stairs lead up into the 'chin'. The mission planning table and shipyard (@ level 3) would be his eyes in the center room; the garrison planning table right ear, and relic room left ear. Flight path would be on his left shoulder and garrison resources pickup on right shoulder.

Alliance Inn
Alliance Inn is like traveling into a little maze. You enter the foyer, wave hi to the garrison mission character (Jones, SI5), run down the hall, make a left, run passed the vendor, make right into dinning area, jump over table and then run up a short flight of stairs to the garrison table. My shipyard is still only beginning, but I don't see where that table would even fit. If this was my house, I'd open up one of the windows in back and be able to run around to my fishing pond with a short flight out to the shipyard. Top it off, the alliance flight master is down the stairs and across a courtyard, whereas the horde flight master is right outside the front door (left shoulder?).

Now, while this could be very nice for RP, I don't find it as fun when all I really wanted to do was send followers out on a mission. 

(been working on this way too long - Save - publishing). 

Overall it's been a fun endeavor. I am happy to be getting back into arenas. We tried a few last weekend, died quickly each time. They both had a few alts to attempt running through, so we got to see what 3 dps (rogue, shadow priest, bm hunter), and 2:1 (frost mage, bm hunter & restro druid) looked like. The second combo was a bit tough as they are still leveling up gear on these toons. I couldn't shuffle around yet with my only one 100. Maybe before Legion?? 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Iron Dwarfs, Medium Rare (not solo, but strategy)

Late Saturday night, I logged on to run Ulduar with my druid (level 100). I thought her combination of healing, and tank would make her a cinch for completing getting Glory to the Ulduar raider. Upon entering the raid zone, a guildie pinged me and asked if they (husband and wife) could help out. They both had the achievement and would be able to help. Sure!

(Start - Zone in, check raid, 10-man, zone out, change raid to 25-man, zone in, talk to Brann, realized need to talk to Norgannon before!?!, zone out, reset raid, try again)

While they got ready, I started the tank fight. On my warlock, this was easy. I was able to DPS down the tank and move on quickly. Some reason, in bear and cat, I could not do take down Leviathan for orbit-uary. I ended up having to bring in 3 of the tanks and quickly hop between them. I ran out of ammo on the second, but the DOT took him down before I could jump to the third.

Iron Dwarf, Medium Rare

OK, we had 3 people for this. Me as guardian druid, completely naked (which isn't as bad as running BELF priest naked), plus hunter and healer fully dressed.  My job, aggro the Dark Rune Guardians. Hunter did cleanup everything else in background. Healer, well, just healed.
I found that the druid's faerie fire did a reliable (mapped to mouse button 4 for raiding), repeatable amount of damage. About 15% of the bar would decrease with each push. I could bring down the guardians down to about 1/3 health, then stop and wait for dragon to drop. The major trick being to do damage to them after Razorscale lands. So I'd kick off one more FF before her big breath. OK, honest, this got me 1 or 2 each time, UNTIL SHE ENRAGED. At this time, her damage goes up and she took down 13 in one strike. Timing-wise, this was right after I remembered to damage them on the ground, so maybe related?

Rest of bosses

Kologarn (Disarmed) was my last achievement and it really helped having 3 people. We each took one body part, then swapped to body when our arm was done. Freya was painful with her heals, when solo, easy with 2 DPS. Mimiron was impossible solo because I couldn't do enough damage to the head when fully tank mode. We even split the work, I took down Iron Assembly while the hunter took down Ignis (skipped earlier), by starting fight at roughly the same time.

Bonus, achievements are shared, so despite not pushing the big-red-button on mimiron (with all three us there), Glory to Ulduar Raider was earned!
(btw, I don't like the druid tier gear as much as priest)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Don't Knock It; Valor is Power


The outrage over 'Crystalized Fel for Valor' is palpable. Oh No! Casual players are now able to get a 790 ring! LFR players with MYTHIC LEVEL GEAR! Blizzard is making raiding pointless! They are catering to the casual! Unfortunately this attitude is self defeating and will only hurt players more over the next few months. Valor upgrades may be the only way players are able to participate.

Here are a two of the suggestions I've read.
  • You just need to do "all 8 mythic dungeons" (source) each week.
  • Just need to raid, it's 100% drop rate from Archimonde

1000 Valor is easy to get.

Sure, it's easy. I manage to get about 1000 valor each week on my priest while she is running the dungeon events and raiding for her legendary ring. At this time, she is averaging 685 level gear. All her valor points are going to fully maxing out the few 695 (empowered baleful) items and those world boss/shipyard to 715 items. I've spent 2500 valor in the last few weeks upgrading 5 different items.
LFR Hellfire Best In Slot Drops for Elkagorasa
My warlock, while a little better off gear-wise (i695), has a significantly harder time gathering 1000 valor. DPS queues are quiet a bit slower and for Mythic/LFR only his main hand/off hand can upgrade by replacing that timewalking staff. He's down to running Halls of Blood, kill Kazzak and hope for awesome drop from shipyard. 
Give you an idea what an ilevel 795 ring
looks like on 685 ilevel Priest.

Either way, spending 1250 (* 20) valor on a giant ring doesn't make sense. If I am truly going to run mythic dungeons, or normal raids, I need better gear all around, not a giant 795 ring, that doesn't match my 695 level chest piece.  

It's so easy, anyone can do it!? 

I belong to a guild, I am a social player, I know my spec(s), I do my research, I participate. Just by being a 'casual' player doesn't mean I am a noob. It doesn't mean that I am unaware, or unwilling to participate in raiding. I'd love to. (If you are raiding at 11PM PST and need a DPS/Healer/Tank pst me. ). (To me) Casual means family first. I have 3 kids (ages 13, 9 and 2). I help with homework, I run them to practice(s), I do the dishes, and run to the grocery store. If and when that is done and they are all tucked nicely into bed, THEN I get to play.
Crystallized Fel: 5 @ 89 Euros (or $97)

With that said, I do raid, but usually that's LFR due to the lack of dedicated players online at midnight - 1AM. I have managed about 4 times now to get into a normal raid and help out. All four days, we've never gotten to Archie. Last Sunday, we wiped 10-15 times on Mannoroth, the time before that, they were working on Xhul for all night. If not for LFR, I would have only seen the Archimonde fight on youtube.

What ARE you complaining about?

Do you have alts? Do you want to spend less than 20 weeks to upgrade your ring? Valor upgrades work for seasoned raiders as much as they do for casuals, like me. However you want to accomplish this, it's available to you to upgrade your mythic HFC raid gear from 735 to 745, or save and upgrade your ring by one level.  (Note: according to WowHead, you can even upgrade your Tome of Chaos!). I don't know about you, serious raider that you are, but I think 'free' gear upgrades are always a good thing.

Overall, this is the internet. The vocal minority are those complaining. There are probably (now) more casual gamers playing WoW than the serious, must raid 3 times a week crowd. According to WoWHead, only 22% (of the people using their add-on) have completed the 4th phase of the quest. Assuming everyone is using it, 1:5 people have the ring. I can imagine that an even smaller portion of people are playing enough to fully max out their ring in the next ~8 months.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Normal Mannoroth

Last night, I ran with a friend's guild on normal Mannoroth. I started with them playing with them as Elkagorasa doing dps, but he was ranking 9:11, even below both tanks.. (/sigh). Blame it on my average gear score being 10-15 points lower than everyone else. 

Half way through the night, I swapped to Eride and healed the fight a few times. We still never won the fight, best was 9% down before wipe.

To help me out, I have collected a few videos that give some strategies. 

Curse of doom, take damage and the curse will disappear. Run to pool in center.
DPS/Healer - Don't stand in front of boss.

Phase 4 - # of people in 'circle' [soaking damage during gaze] determine how big the pond will be. 
Save lust cooldowns at 35%

FatBoss changes the strategy where the raid group stands at the pillar and tanks are in middle. This way you don't need to manage the 'gaze'. People are already grouped together and simply grouped together.

Last video is from a Discipline Priest POV. It's nice because she also gives actual damage numbers for each boss activity, then steps through to show how her guild completed the phases.

Northrend Timewalking - Disc Priest

Had the most awesome experience last night running Northrend dungeons. I ran with a pug, which appeared to be 4 guildies (tank + 3 DPS) and me.

During the night, we ran through 4 different dungeons (1 of them twice). Out of all 4, we only had one full wipe and a 2-3 deaths.

  • Ahn'kahet - My least favorite of all the TW dungeons. Spiders that fear causing cascading pulls, large room with groups of wandering mobs (before Jedoga) that also cause cascading pulls.
  • Pit of Saron - Ran this one twice. Lots of wandering mobs in starting area, but biggest complaint was there is a mob that causes a stun. I'd get hit by this probably each fight. The first boss, likes to 'freeze' players so lots of dispels. 
  • The Nexus - Only real issue is the first boss (collection of Alliance frozen in mage ice blocks), is easy for tank to pull entire room. 
  • Utgarde Pinnacle - Our full wipe was in this dungeon. The trash right before King Ymiron. Tank pulled one too many of the groups and with LOS issues couldn't heal effectively. 
No drake dropped (that I saw), but I did get a two upgrades; healing cape and dps belt. The Iron Fleet Treasure Chest rewarded me a shiny DPS helm! 

My one suggestion for TW dungeons... Have all the TW token vendors appear each event cycle. There are upgrades that both my druid and priest could use, but they are sold from the other vendors.. cupri (possibly mid February, a full month away?)

Monday, January 4, 2016


(started this a few weeks ago, but got on back burner
I can't promise it will be a page turner!)

Twas the week before Winter Veil and all through the land, 
LFR RNG gave me nothing useful, just more gold in hand.
For the weekly event I even tried to run some BGs
but was unable to "Stay[ing] Alive" (by the BeeGees)

Twice, I ran along with a normal raid, 
but soon after I joined, no one else had stayed. 
We tried and wiped three times on a single boss,
then called it a night. Such a miserable loss.

Late to the party, so I'd call it a toss.
My priest has completed the next phase of her ring. 
Now she's collecting hundreds of fractured things.
Moving out of Highmaul, makes her heart sing!
One tablet down, still need 600 to bring.

Dressed in heirlooms, he's a fashionable twink.

During the (11th) Anniversary, I started a hunter.
He's a dwarf, and he's quite a punter.
His name is Erlenmyer, themed from Science.
He's my bank toon for when I play Alliance.

Speaking of heirlooms, Elk just had some luck.
After finding the spyglass, I sent out my ducks
on two guaranteed (100%) missions,
and got rings from For Hate's Sake and The Wave Mistress.
(can my hunter equip both?)

Grumpus, gave nothing
but spent 2000g on AH for gronnling.
Still haven't pre-ordered Legion
and Winston hasn't dropped for some reason.

Friday, November 20, 2015

November Means Normals, Healing, Oh and BlizzCon.

Dia's Nightmarish Leggings.
November has been a fun month for me.

Let me start off this post with this. These peculiar stretch pants are available in both male and female sizes, horde and alliance. Yes, it looks like you have two skeletal gnomes in your pants, trying to climb out, or maybe they're simply groping your legs and got stuck in the bandages. This has to be extremely uncomfortable for your toon to wear, especially while sitting down. That permanent scowl on my orc's face? Yeah, now you know why..

Where you ask? Well, Elkagorasa was invited to a Normal HFC raid. This group raids regularly Sunday nights (local time) at a reasonable hour! You know that ideal 8PM - Midnight PST. See my oldest daughter plays rec. soccer. Her team had a scrimmage the other night with a similar aged boys team. One of the boys on the opposing team happened to be a boy she went to school with back in Kindergarten (9y ago). His dad still plays WoW.

Overall, that first HFC run netted Elkagorasa 2 direct upgrades and the nice stretch pants of doom for an affliction set.

Some HFC LFR vs Normal boss differences.

1) During the first 'boss', Hellfire Assault, the bombs will do a electrical stun that makes your toon jitter and bob erratically.

2) Kormrok casts little foot rocks that slide into the goo. You must DPS them down before you reach the goo..

3)  High Council, Dia's reap actually drops a giant glyph on the ground that must be avoided.

BlizzCon. I didn't go. I didn't watch the virtual ticket. I watched the opening speech, but that's it. Sunday afterwards, I read through WoWhead's summary of the proceedings. So far, I am trying not to get excited about the next expansion; it's a good 10 months away from "Summer 2016". As we saw with WoD, nothing at Blizzcon is set-in-stone.
Destruction Warlock Artifact Weapon
I am torn about the artifact weapon idea. Yeah!, we all get something with a bunch of lore attached to it. But, like 'farming a boss', it's a bit odd that we ALL get some amazing weapon with the same bunch of lore attached to it. One time-traveling Delorean is amazing. Everyone driving a time machine makes it commonplace, might as well give us all a Prius and let us xmog it to whatever we want.

Sorry, you won't be able to xmog this weapon.

I still haven't pre-ordered it yet. I will. I am rather enamored with the felstalker. Here I am with with my felhunter pet, riding my felstalker, and if I could only get that darn fel-staff.. :) What more could a warlock want?

Riding my BIG fel-puppy; been feeding him well.

So, I've started thinking about the next character boost. Am I seriously considering a 4th level 100? Maybe. My alliance druid is rather lonely, so I was considering maybe boosting another hybrid, paladin specifically. On the other hand, I was thinking a dwarf hunter could be interesting. Get me a big bear pet and look like the guy in the cinematic.

My priest is working on her legendary. So far, she has about 30 of the abrogator stones for the first quest item. The hardest thing so far has been the 'kill Kairoz' scenario. As the 'healer' I had a really difficult time keeping all three alive. Mostly because I am well attuned to using Vudhu as my healing bar, and healing three npcs isn't an option. To fix this, I created three macros, and put them on my button bar.

/tar chromie
/cast heal

/tar khadgar
/cast heal

/tar resilient
/cast heal

This helped immensely as I could simply click a button to heal each. Then, I could throw a penance or power word: shield.

  • Phase 1 stand on top of Khadgar and let him do all dps. Do time volleyball, return to khadgar. He'll aoe down the little ads that come up.
  • Phase 2 move behind rock on right side (approximately 9pm). From here I could heal the 'tank' elemental and khadgar without any issues. 

Note: With Tanaan Jungle quests, getting the roughly 5000 apexis crystals took no time at all. I simply completed the opening quests for my shipyard and TJ outpost. After that, I needed to complete one of the quests from the table, like Throne in a group as healer. Do this a few more times, I can complete the 25 abrogator stone quest.

This just in... Hozen to be playable race..

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Oh Blizzard, Can You FIX My Toy Box?

So, as I now have flying on all my toons, I've started flying around to all of the various treasure locations in Draenor collecting toys whenever possible. In addition, I have 2 (of my 3 100s) that are now actively working to improve their garrison followers by sending them on tons of missions. This means they get all the nice drops, goodies and things from these missions. Sadly, I still get at least one Staff of something another about once a week.

See, the problem is that when I get these wonderful little treasures, I can't simply 'add' them to my Toy Box, (click to bind) as I have already collected this toy with my main. I can't simply throw it away, I have to D.E.L.E.T.E. it. I can't even sell it on the auction house as it's BOP. Blizzard, someone's broken my toys and I am grumpy.

I have some ideas to fix this.

  • If I click on a toy that I already have, cast it's effect on me, then consume it. 
  • OR If I get a new toy, popup a little 'achievement-like" notice, then simply drop it in my toy box. It could be even be a meta-achievement notice that tracks 'all the toys in (this expansion)'. 
While you're at it, could you also do this for mounts? I've recently logged into a few alts that still have the spectral pony in their mailboxes that I bought off the Blizz Store several YEARS ago. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

October News: Priest hits 100! Holidays, Holidays, and More Holidays! QQ about Valor!

Ah Fall is here. We've already had our Brewfest, Harvest fest and now Hallow's Eve! What a busy month. (Why did we have the harvest festival happen in October? US-Turkey day is late November. Blizzard are you planning to mess with my month? A little something post-BlizzCon, hmmm??) Let's see where can I begin?
Headless Horseman by LD Austin (click image for video)
Elkagorasa completed the ring quest chain, including killing Archimonde. He now has 2 (of 5?) statues set up in his garrison. Quest completed, I haven't stepped into a raid instance since. I still want to attempt a normal raid, but don't seem to have a lot of free time at night, so only quick stuff.

My priest has hit 100! That was actually quite a non-event. She finished the first few quests in Nagrand, opening her outpost there and DING! Oh, I wasn't even really expecting it. From there, I tried my luck at the proving grounds. ONE SHOT! Couldn't even queue for heroic dungeons until this week, but I could heal proving grounds just fine.. Go figure after the crazy # of tries for warlock DPS silver.
A bit more casual than Silver Thread Regalia

Getting back into healing hasn't been as hard as I envisioned (post nightmare patch 6.0 fail-fest). She's able to mostly keep the party alive. I do see that the other hybrids are helping out. I sort of got forced into healing when running Skyfall as shadow, and having the healer drop on the first trash. "Hey, priest can you heal?" Sure, just take it slow, my gear isn't very shiny.

She's now working on rounding out her gear. Already equipping 3 pieces of crafted gear, I had a fairly decent start. So, my warlock checked his bags, and found as many baleful gear tokens. Next PVP gear was immediately available, so she picked up shoulders (i670), wrists (i625) and legs (i670). This was through a combination of BG wins and honor purchases. Next came a little flying around in Nagrand to kill some bosses, but that didn't last. But overall, timewalking has been the best source of gear. With my first TW LK run, I picked up the 500 TW token quest. This allowed me to buy 6 updates! Bringing my overall gearscore up almost 50 points.

  1. Meteor Chaser's Raiment (675)
  2. Frozen Tear of Elune (675)
  3. Sundial of the Exiled (675) - currently reserved for shadow.
  4. The Egg of Moral Essence (675)
  5. Renewal of Life (675)
  6. Xintor's Expeditionary Boots (675)
Dropped: Frozen Scepter of Necromancy (660) in Gundrak. (it was during this dungeon that I realized I hadn't selected a level 100 talent!! Oops! ) 

Looking back at my talent spec, it's still designed for SoO atonement healing. Thinking I need to go something more like this (based on Icy-Veins post and some experience so far). I keep forgetting to trigger Power Infusion, so need to see why Vuduh isn't handling it. Macro it maybe? 

Next came approximately 50 kills on Headless Horseman to get the healer ring. Another 50 with the druid to (try to) get agility ring (which still hasn't won) and warlock, simply for chance to get mount. 

Next items to focus on replacing ... heirloom cloak, crafted pandaren belt and pandaren lfr off-hand. Now that her gear score is high enough, she is allowed to run LFR. Maybe this weekend she'll see Highmaul. If she ever gets the quest (maybe it's my quest log and hadn't seen it??), maybe go open Tanaan Jungle area. Flying around makes rares and treasure hunting painless. 

Speaking of Hallow's Eve, I was quite happy with the event's coordinator. She's helped my warlock deck out his garrison with pumpkins, the ghost summoning mystic, and supposedly a brew vendor? (who hasn't shown yet). I haven't ran any of the dailies on my non-dps toons yet. They're too busy timewalking and HH fighting.

Path 6.2.3 has promise. Valor (upgrades), cata timewalking and better Tanaan drops! I do love the new TW mount. Really curious as to what the actual drop rate will be for this guy. My guess is that he'll be terribly rare. My only complaint being that the valor upgrades are going to be 250 valor for 5 ilevel and it getting valor tokens will be slow.
  • Mythic Dungeon (Valor awarded with dungeon completion, once per dungeon per week) – 300 Valor Points
  • Complete the weekly Event quest from Seer Kazal (Pet Battle Event excluded) – 500 Valor Points
  • Heroic Dungeon (complete your first random Heroic of the day) – 100 Valor Points
  • Raid Finder wing (once per week per wing) – 150 Valor Points for Hellfire Citadel wings, 75 Valor Points for Highmaul and Blackrock Foundry wings

Monday, October 5, 2015

Feeling Lucky - September's Update

I ended the month of September by finishing off the legendary quest chain for Kahdgar. I now have my ring. It was a glorious time. I needed 3 more tomes, dropped into LFR Halls of Blood. Each of the three bosses dropped a tome. Lucky!? I now have my second statue in my garrison, following the 50,000 apexis crystal statue I put up all over the place.

I've completed my stable dailies and have all of the mounts. Rebuilt that building now as a War Mill so I can get more follower upgrades. I am now getting the level 675 garrison missions weekly and would LOVE to get one of the 'normal HFC' drops that these missions provide. Sadly, I only have 1 follower who even qualifies. So, most of the time my success rate is around 83-85%.

Speaking of HFC, I can agree with Grumpy about the lack of awesome gear drops. Oh, I've gotten some stuff, but then I've also gotten a lot of gold and those darn Intellect token "participation" trophy. Sadly, I keep getting the same drops over and over again. In fact, I now have 3 pairs of Felfume Pantaloons. What I really want, is a 4th piece of the lfr tier gear. I have shoulders in my bags now, but AMR keeps insisting that my current gear is better.

On the other hand, I think I'm finally geared enough to start pugging normal raids. /shrug. i686/681 equipped. Looking at the drops from Archimonde, I see that the 'fel sludge' only drops from in Normal -> and I think it would be awesome to start off Legion with a 750+ ring..

Completing Pathfinder was uneventful. I've only been back to Tannan a few times to work on questing since then. Oh, look, I could grind this ... queue popped!

Played some Witcher 3. Haven't gotten very far (about to meet the king). Friend suggested that since I haven't played 1 or 2, that I should pause and read some of the background. I've been exploring the Wiki a little and a BUNCH of videos on YouTube..

I am liking some of the mechanics. For example, if you hold down your left-shift while riding your horse, it will follow the road directly in front of you. Your horse WILL run people over, but nice for jaunting between towns. Double-tap to have your mount run 'faster', but your horse will soon get exhausted. This is a great for escaping those bad guys that could snare you.

Start of the month, I re-started leveling my priest. She's taking advantage of wearing 3 heirlooms full-time (cloak, shoulders and neck) and then swapping out her crafted items when turning in quests.. Combine potion, heirlooms, and DMF buff, it provides a really nice xp boost. She basically only 'opened' her Gorgrond (gladiator stadium(?)) outpost, and was ushered off to Talador. Being able to fly between quest givers has been REALLY nice. "We just closed the pass, effectively stopping the iron horde from entering this valley. Let's go check in with the Laughing Skull.." Up, up and away!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Post 701 - My 9 Year WoW Anniversary & Where I do a little reminiscing.

Joralin - my 1st toon - now sporting some heirloom gear.
Still level 12.
October 7, 2006 - 6 months after my second child is born, I accept a 10-day free play pass from a co-worker saying "You should play, we can go do ___ this and that together. They'll be launching a new expansion soon...". I logon that night, and he takes me through level 1 in the human starting area. On the 18th, I plop down the credit card, and start paying into my little bit of Blizzard.

About a week later, that human paladin stalls at level 12. My friends have gone and swapped servers and factions so I follow. Elkagorasa the warlock is born. It takes me almost a full year until I level up to 60. Dad with a 3 year old, 6 month old and just don't have enough time (or pull with my wife) to raid when my guild does. I'd LOVE to, but that doesn't happen for a few more years. In the meantime, I run dungeons with them (being dragged through vanilla content is more like it). My big achievement, running the warlock quest chain for my felsteed. I never got all the the 'materials' required for it, luckily a warlock in the guild helps out..

January 2007, Burning Crusade's launch 

I am now 10 more levels behind my friends. I have to level up the traditional means, questing.. Unfortunately, I didn't take the day off from work, so my co-workers all level their mains up through the starting area of BC. 

December 2007 - Felstead

October 2008 - In a pre-expansion patch to Wrath, Blizzard introduced us to the Achievement system. This scans our bags for odd items we've held onto and then gives us exciting points! Elkagorasa is immediately honored by having:

November 2008 - The Wrath of the Lich King arrives.

March 2009 - With Cataclysm, Blizzard announced the end of 'weapon skill'. Now you no longer needed to level up your 'wand' skill as a warlock, as you were already proficient at it. This helped in that you could easily swap to a new weapon you picked up. Unfortunately, back in Wrath, I took it on myself to level up the 4 main warlock weapons (dagger, sword, staff and wand) plus the unusual 'unarmed' weapon skill. As you can imagine, a clothy hitting with fists looks about like:

mage vs warlock in unarmed pvp
April 2009 - Elkagorasa.info is registered with GoDaddy.com for a hefty annual price of $6/year. I spin up this blog using what was formerly blogspot.com. The landscape for 'warlock bloggers', included such names as Nibuca, Fulguralis, Hydra and few others. It was a busy blog space with quite a few active raiders.

I work on leveling, and gearing up through 3.0 to 3.2. By TOC (3.2), I actually find myself getting into raids. I am able to squeeze in a hour here and there a few nights a month. I get a few pieces of 'normal' tier gear. My guild was able to get me up-to Arthas, but we only really got him down once or maybe twice.

The jousting in TOC pointed out how badly I need to upgrade my computer. I couldn't seem to win fights and when a friend watches me one time, he says I lag. The opponent charges me, then a second later I react. This encourages me to purchase some new parts, and I see a direct correlation to an increase in my DPS. It's amazing!

April 2010 - First year blogging. Over 100 posts on the blog. My 'anniversary' post is about getting into PVP in preparation for children's week. In Wrath, it wasn't impossible to get started using crafted PVP gear + building a small chest of gear using pvp tokens. Wintergrasp was active and you could get tokens just for showing up.

May 2010 - It's during this expansion, that I really started to make gold in game. Coming off BC, we transmutation alchemist would still proc extra gems. Using a couple addons, I found the right red DPS gem that everyone wanted, but not many people made. By the end of the expac, I had what seemed like a lot of gold, probably almost 25,000g.  Of course, then I spent it on the mammoth mount and the broken hilt.

The rest of the year, I am mixed between leveling my priest via the new dungeon finder (aka LFG tool), PVP with my warlock and exploring the Cataclysm beta.

December 2010 - Cataclysm happens.

Elk's on the midnight launch boat and there's no LAG!!
This is a happy moment for warlocks as we see our first major revamp of our class. We no longer have to maintain enormous bags of soul shards. Warlocks are now a pure resource DPS class that is able to generate and then use the resource as we fight. Honestly, I love this change. There was nothing more devastating that showing up for a dungeon or raid and not being able to summon a minion because "i don't have a soul shard"..

Free'd 24 bag slots of dead enemy souls!

This is the first time that I am feeling the pain of an expansion.  Goodbye raid tier gear, replacing quickly by questing greens. Sure, I was able to hold onto some of my gear until Hyjal, but it was still disheartening to replace my sword in Vash'jir. For example, while running the Cata beta, I found a weapon upgrade with epic stats, but the model was an old board. This was replaced with a shiny sword before release.

Before Cataclysm
After: Epic Board with Nail.
April 2011 - 2nd Anniversary Post - I've reached max level for the expansion, not yet into raiding, but burned out from DPS (queue wait times!), I revisit leveling my priest using heirlooms. Later that month, I was interviewed on the Twisting Nether Blogcast.

Look for the one without a nameplate.
During Cata, I actually make it to about a dozen guild raids. We work on the air raid, we work on that fiery one in the big mountain, sadly it dies before we ever get to the end boss.

October 2011 - Blizzard announces Mists of Pandaria and their attempt to keep subs, the Annual Pass. One of my co-workers made the trip down there and sends pictures from the event. Like many, it felt like a total surprise that they would go this route. New monk class sounded like a total rip-off of the Kung Fu Panda movies.

November 2011 - Last patch of Cataclysm introduced. Patch 4.3 brings about transmogrification. That's when I realize that I need to run some old raids in order to get the malefic helm for the 'warlock wings'. We organize a guild run, and happily they drop in the first pass. What I really, really wanted? to transmog my warlock weapon into Coren Direbrew's dagger (aka broken bottle). Sadly, Blizzard blocked that decision. Now I don't even carry a dagger or sword.

In addition, the Looking for Raid (or LFR) system was introduced. This works out well allowing my warlock to get into raids when it's best for me. Raid at midnight local time? OF COURSE!

April 2012 - Third Anniversary post - Like everyone who signed up for the annual pass, I explored, a little, the Mists beta. My next few posts dealt with my explorations of the panda starting area and the warlock class changes. I found the new resource model for warlocks a refreshing change. Now each build of warlocks has it's own resource.

For the rest of Cataclysm, I am either playing the beta, or playing our free copy of Diablo 3.

September 2012 - Mists of Pandaria is released.

Sadly, Pandas killed the guild. Membership was fairly active until about 5.1 Landfall. Soon after, my guild quickly started to disappear with only about 4 of us actively still playing.

April 2013 - Fourth Anniversary Post - Middle of Pandarian rep grind for Dominance Offensive. I am complaining about not able to find the next quest in a chain that was blatantly obvious when I looked for it in the right place.

Later on that month, I finally get the token to start the new Warlock Green Fire quest chain. This epic quest chain has you following the steps of two other warlocks and eventually fight them. Unfortunately, I could never get the spell rotation down quite right in order to down the final boss. Happily when I came back at level 100, it was much easier!

Minutes played per level 
April 2014 - Fifth Anniversary Post - I've started leveling a druid in anticipation of the 'boost'. As I level up to 60 (to take advantage of auto-max level profession boost for 60+ characters), I kept track of the amount of time each level I spent. This was enlightening in that how quickly it's going post-cataclysm revamp. While wearing full-heirloom gear with a few enchants, leveling from 0-15 took me no more than about an hour. When leveling my warlock, that took probably 2 weeks (but I also didn't know what I was doing 9 years ago...

June 2014 - I get into WOD Beta. (Post 601) Unlike the Mists beta, I didn't explore this one as much. I ran through some of the basics of the garrison building, but I don't want to spoil it, so I don't go much further.

July 2014 - Because of an inheritance I got, I was able to plop down almost $2000 (USD) on a brand new PC. This was a dramatic increase in my quality of game play. I finally replaced a 10 year old HP with something actually advertised as a gaming PC.

August 2014 - My first Legendary item acquired!

September 2014 - Start playing Alliance again. In the office, I find another WoW couple. They both play alliance and are heavy into PVP. They help me start off a new night-elf druid. Using heirloom gear that I was able to mail cross-realm, I start playing on a PVP realm. It's a major change of pace to play both alliance and have the constant threat of dying because my beloved orcs. 

November 2014 - Warlords of Draenor is released.

For a few weeks, 3 of my guildies/RL friends re-up their subscriptions and we start leveling up in WoD. I even manage to drag in a co-worker who joins us cross-realm! We make a perfect 5-man dungeon team. It was gloriously fun. Sadly, we soon get to Gorgrond and pick different outpost buildings and get different quests. He's now phased on his quests, and two of us are can't see him at all. The main driving player slowly disappears and never gets his main to 100. At the end of the 3-month sampler, it's back to just a few people in guild logging on again.

April 2015 - Sixth Anniversary Post - WoD 6.2 is announced and everyone is feeling content envy. 6.1 was a major drought as we didn't get any new dungeons, battlegrounds, raids or even a scenario. OK, there was a new raid, but it dropped earlier, so no one really associated it. Call it bad marketing Blizzard.

June 2015 - Blizzard announces that they are happy with current travel model. Players are more engaged while traveling on the ground and they don't plan on adding flying back to the game. The outrage is palpable. Personally, having spent $50 on Blizz store flying-mounts and having just finished running ICC for the Glory of the ICC Raider achievement, I was devastated. Did they REALLY think about the implications of a statement like "no flying in Warlords or any future expansion".
I sure hope the decision to drop flying completely for Draenor and beyond was not taken lightly.  It's not only a game-play mechanic, or 'quality of life' item (like no more soul shards), but also an integral part of the game from BC to Pandaria. In addition, there's the business perspective of real-money flying mount sales. I've heard, you are investigating changing that to gold also, but for many that's still WowTokens. Which, personally, only makes it feel more despicable.
About the same time, I made and published my first WoW howto video. I am planning to keep adding videos as we go into Legion. Maybe have to make a flashy intro sequence or actually use the mic and talk to you as I play. Or maybe not.. :) I personally prefer the game sounds.. Makes it easier to 'learn' from.

That brings us up to today. At this time, I am getting burned out with warlock dps again. I still need to run HFC for the last 6 Tomes of Chaos for my legendary ring. I am not sure if I'll run the quest chain again with any other toon.

I have started leveling my priest from 90 up; now at 96. She's running a shadow priest build and only sporting 2 full time pieces of heirloom gear (I do have an outfit containing 4 pieces that I'll swap into for turning in quests). I still play my horde druid, sometimes. She's currently sporting Highmaul LFR gear plus a piece or two of crafted leather. My alliance druid has just got into cata dungeons. Maybe some alliance feral druid pvp coming soon..

Blizzcon 2015 is a little over a month away. I am really hoping that there are some nice surprises in store for us, like a new beta released by EOY. If they do it right, we should have the next expac before the summer movie release.

Thanks for reading,

Elkagorasa the Casual

Elkagorasa just finished first
warlock quest chain for staff.

Here is my "Over 1,500 Readers" List..
Typically my posts get less than 100 readers, but the following posts have over 1500 readers, with 6 of them even exceeding 3000. My guess is that these posts were linked to someone much more visible than myself. :) Not bad considering this is a spare-time project. In chronological order: