Friday, July 14, 2017

Topic 21: What's in your backpack?

As my children start preparing for school starting up again in t-minus 30 days, I found this blog-topic keenly interesting..

My oldest is in high-school and has learned the fine-art of carrying around only what's absolutely necessary. That includes only a pencil or pen, and a notebook. My son who's just starting middle-school (i.e. 6th grade) I imagine that his backpack is going to be stuffed full and weighing in at 11kg (25lbs). My alt and my main fit into both of these categories. So, What's in my backpack??  (I am just glad you didn't ask What's in my bank!?).


As this site's namesake (and my former, but stil active main), I am a bit more sloppy with his bags. He has quest items that I don't know what quest they belong to any more. He has three different gear sets because I still haven't quite settled on a spec yet (affliction this month, destruction last month). Topping it off, his gear is often highly in flux, so he is often carrying a slightly lower ilevel or higher ilevel of a matching items in order to maximize output. Top it off, Elk is also an alchemist, cook and herbalist, so at any times has potions, cooked food and crafting supplies that he recently acquired. Often the mats land in the regent tab of the bank, but sometimes not. 


While also carrying around 3 (partial) sets of gear, her bags tend to be a little cleaner. She is quite a bit more brutal with emptying what she's carrying around. One bag dedicated to quest items (i.e. those darn class-hall items that require running a raid or dungeon instance). Backpack containing vendor fodder (grey items and soulbound below ilevel gear). Lastly, one to two stacks of stat food and those augment runes. Overall, there's nothing really hanging on too long in her bags. 

Handy Helpers

With the constant influx of items into their bags, it's quite a task to keep their bags sparkly clean and fresh. There are always items to be vendored, things to mailed to bank alts, and stuff that could be important to functioning later on. 

Ask Mr Robot

As I've stated before, I am an avid user of this service. Mr Robot takes my bag and bank content and churns out my best-in-bag items. From this I take this build and import it back into game where Mr Robot then creates gear builds using WoW's native closet option. Skimming my bags, I can see AMR Holy, AMR Retribution, or AMR Protection tags on all of my gear. This in turn, means that all gear NOT tagged, is up for sale. Sure, I take some consideration and don't delete anything that's within 5 ilevel of my current item, but with timewalking gear, and world quests still dropping 855 gear, it's an easy purge.
Mage Tier Gear


This add-on simply sells junk. It's configurable with some 'smart' options to auto-sell items when talking to valid vendors. I personally have some rather aggressive settings where it will sell all grey items, soulbound items that are too low for my current average ilevel and soulbound inappropriate gear (pally's really don't wear plaid). This is typically a life saver of an add-on. Mount up on my handy-dandy mammoth, talk to that repair vendor to both clean the bags and fix my stuff. Sadly this has bit me a few times. Class hall mount needs a crafted LW item, a "barding". I bought one off the AH only to have it sold when I next visited a vendor. Bought a second one, then realized what happened, and found it in my 'buy back' tab. You can teach SCRAP to not do this, but it requires training. It still auto-sells goblin gliders on me, but now that I have flying, that's more of an inconvenience... :(


While this may be a given, but I extensively use the bank for secondary storage. I absolutely love the 'regents' tab option and will often visit the bank to click that button to purge all crafting items. I am also putting all my possible upgrades in here for a short time. Mr Robot has a habit of not really liking the specs of a higher ilevel item, simply because it's badly spec'd out. For example, that 915 trinket that had lots of versatility when it wasn't popular, so I keep running the 855 item. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

LFR TOS - Wailing Halls - Tank POV

I went into this wing with no preview of the fights and survived. Luckily I had an experienced co-tank and DBM yelling at me at important moments, so we never wiped, but hmm. I was completely confused by the Sister's fight (#2 in this wing) until reading the wowhead description (linked by each boss). I'll keep updating the notes below as I learn more about each fight and clean-up comments that didn't make sense.

Wing 1 - Gates of Hell videos, icy veins links and prot paladin POV.

Demonic Inquisition  

Relatively easy fight. Little movement necessary. I picked up Artigan and pretty much stuck with him the entire encounter. We did little to 'coordinate stacks', but we did manage to avoid overlapping the confess. 

  1. keep Artigan faced away away from raid to avoid aoe damage.
  2. keep bosses separated.
  3. kite Artigan during bone saw to avoid additional stacks of torment
  4. attempt to coordinate stacks of torment (max 100) so don't confess at same time.
  5. Click CONFESS at 100% torment, tank the tormented soul after you confess
  6. collect remnants of hope - these are your 'key's to get back to other realm.

Sisters of the Moon

I really have no idea what was going on in this fight. I taunted when DBM announced, but it was saying so much, that I didn't really understand what else was going on. "Avoid the lines"? This seemed to come during Incorporeal shot when we were to stack. I never saw a button to purge things, so I assume it had to do with a ying-yang floor color dance? 

(Icy veins) (wowhead)
  1. Keep the boss in the middle of the encounter area to allow players to freely move around the room. LFR doesn't do enough damage to players so moving between light and dark is not important.
  2. Taunt swap on 5 stacks of lunar fire (DBM will tell you)
  3. pick up moontalon add during phase 2
  4. Stack during incorporeal shot (maybe)
  5. use astral purge to clear debuffs (i don't remember this button in LFR version)

Desolate Host

I took the corporeal side of this fight (don't click on the font of ghostliness). Fight was rather straightforward, but I may have missed things.. Basically, I picked up 3 adds, then kept them entertained for awhile, avoiding giant purple stripes appearing on the ground. 

  1. Corporeal realm tank - keep aggro on Engine of Souls as he casts bone shards on highest threat. 
  2. Corporeal realm - Boss casts tormented cries which put out large triangle of purple, I'd suggest start by facing the boss towards corners (away from spirit boss) and working out. The triangle causes silence (and a lot of damage) to those standing in it. They stick around for about 30-40 seconds, so you will have a few on ground.
  3. Turn (spirit realm) boss towards (corporeal realm) adds below 50% health to remove bone-armor buff. 
  4. Tank swap if miss 'crush minds' isn't interrupted. (also didn't see this, we stayed put entire fight)
  5. Run TO other player if affected by soulbind (cross realm)
  6. RAID: keep even spread of players across two realms.
  7. Corporeal tank - grab Desolate Hosts when spawns at phase 2. Doesn't happen in LFR.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

LFR TOS - Gates to Hell - Prot Pally POV

Last night, I ran the first wing of the Tomb of Sargeras raid on my Protection Paladin. We managed to one-shot all of the bosses. Thank you DBM for making me look like I knew what I was doing.. :) The only really questionable fight was Harjatan as fellow tank and I didn't use the damage soak on his 'unchecked rage' mechanic. oops!

Today, I found Krazitrain has posted short videos for the first three bosses.. Nice concise 1-2 minute long summaries each fight from a ranged DPS perspective. I've added my perspective as a prot paladin below.


(icy-veins guide)

DBM prompts you to do everything you need here. 
  1. Taunt when other tank is inflicted with Burning Armor. Run out of range if it's cast on you.
  2. Hide behind spikes when he cast Infernal Burn.
  3. Don't stand in bad stuff.


(icy-veins guide)

(My DBM was a little out of date, so this may have been fixed already, but I didn't remember a lot of alerts for this boss).
  1. Taunt at 5+ stacks of jagged abrasion. ('cuz sand in your armor HURTS!)
  2. Rotate boss towards raid when he casts Unchecked Rage.
  3. Grab adds.
We failed to spin him around, so my co-tank died a lot! 

Mistress Sassz'ine 
(icy-veins guide)

Movement heavy fight.

  1. Tanks swap on Burden of Pain (per DBM).
  2. Pickup adds (abyss stalkers that look like the Riddler's wyrm). Watch out for tank-swap mechanic from Burden of Pain.
  3. Dance around tornadoes, avoid stuff on ground especially the giant wave. 
My first run through..

Monday, May 8, 2017

May Update (Kara's End, Questing and Mythic + dungeons).

We've completed Karazhan, multiple times over now. Last week, we managed to work on killing the 40 spiders for Clearing out the Cobwebs (while helping our pugged DPS get the shard in Servant's quarters) for one player and I picked up Little Red's cape. Sadly, with Karazhan completed, I can see the end coming very soon. Our healer is getting harder and harder to keep engaged. He's way behind on the achievements required for flying. Since 7.2, he's having a harder time surviving during fights in both healer and tank spec (monk), so behind the curve on gear. Finally, he hasn't completed the Suramar quest chain, so Arcway is still locked out for him.

I've achieved flight! With that I bought my first WoW token as I saw the Vial of the Sands on sale for 98k gold (i.e. 2,000g less than I sold token for). I was a little frustrated by the token sale. I bet this is due to the changes in tokens, but it seemed overly complicated.

  1. Go to WoW store in-game, buy token using registered bank info.
  2. Wait for funds to clear, and Blizzard to approve purchase. Token will arrive in your in-game mailbox.
  3. Post token on in-game auction house at fixed rate and wait for someone to buy it. (could take 8-12 hours).
  4. Check mail regularly until token sells and hope that the mount is still there.

I bought the token on Sunday and I was able to purchase the mount on Tuesday. Definitely not the instant gratification that I was hoping for. Happily, I was able over the weekend to use it twice. Once to fly around the healer above, and second (out of novelty) to fly around our mage who has already earned his legion wings.

Currently working through two rather long quest chains (neither on Broken shores).I am a little over half-way through the Suramar Insurrection quest chain. Next step is to venture to Crimson Thicket and help Valtrois. At the same time, I have made major steps forward on my Balance of Power quest chain. Currently up to 'step 16: Presentation is Key'. If I time it right, I'll be running Nighthold for both quests at the same time.

We parked entire group here during fight.
In addition, I have only 4 mythic+ dungeons left for [Broken Isles Keymaster]. One of those I'd been avoiding was Vault of Wardens due to the second boss fight (Inquisitor Tormentorum). Last night, while working on artifact appearance quest, I was introduced to a cool trick. Once you engage the boss, run into one of the corner outlets with your back facing the door. He'll run off open a prison, then return to your party. The eyes will all be directly in front of you, always. IIRC, we parked in the doorway to Tormentorum's right. Worst case, picking the wrong side, as soon as you kill the boss, adds spawn immediately on top of your party.

Speaking of mythic plus dungeon changes Blizzard is suggesting, I don't think they really understand or maybe their not being clear. Blizz is proposing 1) get rid of depletion mechanic 2) reducing the number of loot boxes at end to always be one box.
... players tend to look for lower-level Keystones that they can easily stomp through, instead of higher-level Keystones that are appropriately challenging for their gear and skill. That, in turn, affects who they’re willing to invite.(ref)
TL;DR If  players can easily stomp through, their over geared, (i.e. not going to get an upgrade from the dungeon) hence only in it for artifact power and will keep running the same mythic+ dungeons they are over geared for. Players that are undergeared and need upgrades will no longer come to Mythic+ dungeons for upgrades, going for more reliable drops in normal pug raids.

Blizz, here's my situation. I am a casual player, often running with anywhere from 1 to 4 pugged slots. We're not voice chatting to plan fights. We're not even in the same guid, or realm. I am using that handy group finder tool to even get in a group. If I was running in a guild group, I'd be more open to taking the chance with a much higher level group. In the meantime. my plan each week is to run, one, maybe two mythic plus dungeons and get some gear upgrades (until I feel more comfortable).

I KNOW, I should be running a higher Mythic+ level with my prot paladin (ilevel 884) but I am a little nervous tanking an unforgiving pug. Checking WoWhead's guide, I really should be running Mythic+6/7 to possibly get a replacement trinket upgrade. This means running a complex dungeon, with a pug and affix.

Removing the depletion penalty makes wiping forgivable. Players might be more likely to experiment with someone else's high level key, in order to get that needed BIS upgrade. Decreasing the gear drops makes the likelihood that I'll ever surpass a 900 ilevel highly unlikely (without raiding). This is sort of like the proving grounds of Draenor, I won't do dungeons, instead opting for looking for spots in Normal raid groups that don't need AOTC.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Rumored Legion Patch 7.4: All For One

Now that we've finally taken down the Burning Legion in their home world (Legion patch 7.3). It's time to start working on taking care of some corrupted old gods. This isn't going to be easy, and we're going to have to work together. 

(cut scene) Dalaran - current time - the teleporter pad in the center of Dalaran has been destroyed and players can no longer access their pillars. Here Khadgar calls all players together and announces the defeat of the Burning Legion (cheers). He now needs us to join together as one to purge the last of the corruption. The crowd starts chanting "ALL FOR ONE! ALL FOR ONE!" (fade to black)


In patch 7.4 all factions will be destroyed. We've seen the death of too many leaders and thrown into disarray. Khadgar will be offered the role, but will pass on it so he can continue his role as Guardian. Illidan will be offered the role, but will also pass. Anduin will step forward as the leader of both the combined Horde and Alliance. 

Game Changes

This patch will include interface changes throughout the game. 

Neutral everything - We've already had all auction houses go neutral, with 7.4 we'll also see cities, flight masters and npcs convert to neutral. Horde, but you want your hearthstone set to Stormwind? That's OK! Best of all, you will be allowed to learn the same languages as the NPCs and be able to communicate across factions. 

Slow Down and Hang Ten
Horde, Alliance or Neutral? - No longer will Pandarian's need to choose a faction at the end of their quest chain. Instead they will simply be able to live their lives without taking sides. "Slow down" is the new mantra of all surfing pirate pandas.. 

In fact, there will no longer be a faction button on the character generator either. You will still start the questing in your 'race starting area' but once you reach 10, the taxi stand will allow you to fly to both horde and alliance cities. Want to have a sexy night elf, but like questing in Crossroads, no problem. 

Questing - As in Legion, there will no longer be a zone order. This opens up the Machete Order of Warcraft. Follow the quest chain as Anduin grows up. Create a different chain that follows Khadgar around. Kill Garrosh in Nagrand, then follow his dead zombie body into battle in Northren. The quests, dungeons and raids in each area will drop gear appropriate for your current level. 

Timewalking What? - LFG is about to get REALLY busy. Now that dungeons and raids no longer have levels, you can now queue for them anytime. You'll be able to pug groups for Vault of Wardens at 15 and The Stockades at 101. Oh, sorry no longer can you solo this legacy content. Ulduar is now a max level raid, every-time. 

Add caption
When? - You want to be at Blizzcon this year! You'll get to see the first dungeon runs where Tauren, Trolls, Draenei and Goblin are all working together to kill the yet unannounced end-boss. Grab your epic class mount and get ready, we're about to all go flying into battle!! If you haven't completed pathfinder by November, don't worry; most of the fighting will be done on other continents around Azeroth.

Not Ending PVP

Is this the end of PVP? No, of course not. Even though we're all in the same family now, it has never stopped siblings from fighting. In fact, this will only help PVP even more. Do you happen to play on a server unbalanced one faction over the other? As of 7.4 all PVP will be grouped by BG
rating, not faction. Each team will split down the middle so average team ratings are similar. There is only one slight negative impact. There will be some adjustment (fight red, not just s), but in the long run, it will make the PVP game play a lot more satisfying for everyone.

Expansion 8 not far behind. With 8 we see the end of the story. Azeroth is safe.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Karazhan 7 of 8

Over the last 2 weeks, we've made 2 attempts at Return to Karazhan. Two of our six are currently working to move into a new house, so we were short one DPS. We've brought along a non-guild friend, Shamwise, as our 3rd DPS.

As a rather casual player, I only ran Karazhan the raid, only once, but the rest of the party was enjoying the nostalgia of the entire run. "I love the music in this place (opera hall)." "Oh look you can talk to the big-bad wolf and get him to say "Run! little girl run!".

So far we've successfully downed 7 of the 8 bosses. Some of the bosses we've managed to one-shot, while other times, we died over and over to the trash. With the reset Tuesday (today), we'll have to start over again for a third time.

Attempt One: 

Start Friday, around 10PM local, complete Opera (westside story), Lots of  dancing, both by boss and team to avoid all the various spells they cast. So far, the corpse run is decent, but do-able. Maiden, easy. As long as you track that you have the dot, it's easy. Make sure your team drops the on the walls, not immediately under the boss. At end of fight we had no space to move. The crystal near Attumen is buried in spider-ville. Ouch. (Note portal at the spiders takes you back to side door where you entered). Couple attempts with Attumen, darn charging horses killing us each time. Now the corpse run is 5 minutes an attempt (down through opera, across ballroom down back stairs, around all the spiders). Last attempt, then we realize that killing Moroes opens up a shortcut. Go back and kill Moroes (one shot) and it's now 12:30AM, so bed.

We were never able to reconvene before Tuesday, so we never progressed any further.

Attempt Two: 

Wednesday, Opera is Belle and Beast, much easier, simply a tanking order. Can't remember, either close one-shot, or easy two shot. (I sort of remember us missing an interrupt and all dying). Instead of heading to Maiden, we go straight to Moroes.

Dancing with Attumen Chargers
Now we can take the shortcut to Attumen via backstairs, It took a few tries, but finally everyone learned to dodge the charging lines of horses. Unlike the Cordana lines of warriors, they don't criss-cross/overlap, instead the horses have a simpler split near the middle. If I found the split, I'd run through and behind. Only complication was when the line of horses started inside the round walls of the fight arena.

Day 2: Friday we subbed in one of our DPS. This created a bit of difficulty as she didn't have DBM installed and didn't get alerts on boss tactics. Didn't help that we also started this run later than normal (my toddler was just not tired). We re-killed Maiden and were able to kill Curator (and get the last crystal that he poops out). It took several attempts to get him down, Key being, tanking him down one side of the hall way while everyone else rand down the other side and ranged DPS taking out the volatile energy adds. Sadly the added DPS couldn't pickup all of the crystals. Yes to Opera and Maiden, no to Morose (and we didn't check on the final location in spider-ville).

Day 3: Coming back to Karazhan Monday night, we had high hopes. I knew from watching some strat videos that the last boss is a really tough dance, but didn't think Medivh or the mana devourer were going to be so difficult. Medivh is all about the interrupts. We ended up having to call out each interrupt ("i got it") so that we could stop as many as possible.

Mana devourer, I feel we just got lucky. Absorbing the mana balls ended killing everyone a number of times, with usually me left standing. The last fight, our warlock dropped a soulstone on me, and our shaman popped his personal battle-rez. We then managed to take him down.

So we finally reached Viz around 12:30AM. We 'just one more try'd until 1:15. Sadly we could never quite get over the hump of phase 3. The dance on phase 1 was easy. Phase 2, our lock would put up her portals and we'd fly to the boss, avoiding his shot. Phase 3, we'd aggro all the adds, but we'd die to the purple balls each time. I think we have a good idea of the fight. We need more dps on last round. We managed to get him down to 12-14% most every time.

Since then I've ran Kara with a pug one time and we made it all the way up to the mana wyrm. Medivh was a bit of a struggle (jump but don't move during eternal winter and flame wrea.. POW!). Our mage has made it all the way with another group. They cast BL/TW on phase 3 to DPS down boss quicker. (and managed to avoid the purple balls, i guess).

Our healer (and one DPS) return from a mid-winter vacation next week. Hopefully we'll get another full run in soon!

Now, I think it's time to queue for an Arcway/Court of Stars run. After the kara pug, I might be ready.


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Something's in the air, but it's not love.

Ah February. Love is in the air. Those heart shaped chocolates. The exchanging of sappy cards and trinkets. The endless grinding the apothecaries for a mount with an insanely low drop rate. Ah holidays..
So, Elkagorasa has been taking a bit of a holiday. He's gone back to Pandaria to do a little recreational activities. He started the adventure hanging out with Nate on his little floating town. Elk was already honored among the Anglers as being a decent fisherman. Getting exalted meant hanging out for 3 different adventures each day. These trips ranged from fishing up garbage (player competition), killing puffer fish, and collecting the clam meat. The 'worst' was fishing up a piranha from the rivers. The oddest was fist fighting a shark. (spam #3 on cooldown). Those goblins loved sending him to 'blow-up' things, but usually he would just DOT everything up and watch it die quickly. At hitting Revered, Elk picked up the Angler commendation, basically turning the Revered -> Exalted run into the same number of trips as Honored -> Revered.
Azure Water Strider acquired

After the two weeks, Elk was getting a little bored. Too much fishy smell, and those darn lizard men kept stealing his breakfast. So he moved in with the Shado-Pan down the coast (which at least have a tent for him to sleep in vs those anglers). Shado-pan live in the last leveling zone in Pandaria so Elk barely visited here. Even so, he's only been there one day and up 2k rep (or 6k/12k honored). Most fun quest so far required Elk to use a grappling hook to serpent surf between brainwashed flying serpents and bash their senses in. At first he was dropping back to ground each time, until he realized he could simply hop to the next serpent. Plan is to reach exalted and pickup both the onyx serpent and blue tiger. Only worry, Elk still is only friendly with the Golden Lotus (a former rep-gate faction), but I don't think I would have gotten this far if it was still an issue.

ElPlato is working hard. Now wearing average 860 gear on all three specs. (I do have to say that multispec gear is awesome Str <=> Int). Ret and Prot gear is about the same iLevel right now. Retribution is really powerful when running those world quests! Prot is fun when doing those warden dailies because she's virtually invincible (letting someone else burn them down). She's tanked 8 different mythic dungeons, some done more than once (Karazhan attunement for 6 people). Still haven't done either of the Suramar dungeons or Karazhan yet. At this point, everyone is attuned for Kara. We're just having a hard time coordinating three hours with everyone. It's a long enough dungeon, 8 bosses, that pugging the last 1-2 slots doesn't sound ideal. We are happy to hear that you don't need to all be on the same server/realm. We've pugged a number of mythic dungeons pulling DPS off the group finder tool. Friday night we even managed to grab an 890 shadow priest for a run of Mythic Halls of Valor. WoW that DPS was outrageous. (it probably doesn't hurt that the rest of the party has gone from 830 -> 860 also). We even picked up Surge Protector during the run! Yes, I am probably partially at fault. 10PM is hard for some of my guild to still be awake.

Bulwark of Azzinoth
Until we can coordinate the time, there's still plenty to do. Suramar. Probably the biggest max level questing zone we've had in a long time. ElPlato is down to the last 2 quest chains to get Good Suramaritin. Just picked up "A Growing Crisis" start last night after hitting 7000:21000 revered.  Once I complete these, I'll have officially completed Legion Pathfinder Part One (combined across both toons; ElPlato still needs to go back and complete the Val'sharah and Stormheim quests).

As ElPlato is a boosted toon, her wardrobe doesn't contain any of the early content quest items. Sure, she has the cosmetic items I picked up in my horde warlock garrison. She also has a few items from 1-40 as I leveled up, but nothing between then and now. This has me looking into old raids and dungeons for possible xmog items. So far, she's either solo'd or ran with a small guild group:
  • Siege of Orgrimmar - small group to help with Immerseus pools, otherwise that one fight would have taken an hour, two puddles at a time.. 
  • Terrace of Endless Spring - solo'd but couldn't for life of me complete Sha fight on Heroic. Changed at the last fight to normal and he dropped quickly. Kept dying due to some mechanic at the end.
  • Black Temple - Lots of running, but got that spiky bulwark from Illidan. IMHO, this goes nicely with the boulderfist armor set.
I've also poked my toe into Hellfire Citadel, but only the first 'boss'. I am looking to solo/small guild run it for the Glory of the Hellfire Raider mount. I'll update this (below) as we progress. Here's what I found on WoWhead and youtube for all 13 achievements:

  1. Nearly Indestructible - Burn down adds, don't let them get to gates, focus on tanks (no aggro table). I was able to solo everything in Ret., but couldn't deal with them when they came on the opposite side of arena. Prot had taunt, but dps was slow. Need second player to watch other ramp. 
  2. Waves Came Crashing Down All Around - burn down boss asap, avoid taking splash damage during fight.
  3. A Race Against Slime - Burn boss down - Per WoWhead comment - Awarded if you manage to kill Kilrogg Deadeye in under 5 mins, 15 seconds on Normal, Heroic or Mythic
  4. Pro Toss - Burn boss down - Per Espon360's comment - You can easily complete the Pro Toss achievement by assigning two people to pass the eye back and forth constantly, and then you'll proceed to Zerg everything else. Someone from Legion, commented, 'just don't pickup eye'.
  5. This Land Was Green and Good Until... - burn boss down. "I just completed this by zerging boss with 2 others (1 tank and 2 DPS total). We are all 860+ with drums of rage, flasks, and food."
  6. Non-Lethal Enforcer - burn boss down
  7. Echoes of Doomfire - burn boss down, don't kill last doomfire.
  8. Turning the Tide - complicated in that you need boss to aggro trash outside of arena. Bring giant robot around and when he fires canon he'll (supposedly) hit trash.
  9. Don't Fear the Reaper - AOE all three bosses down at same time.
  10. Get In My Belly!  - get sucked into boss, kill three fragments of crone, this will spawn the soul of crone. Kill her then boss. According to this comment, it looks like we'll need a druid or warlock(?) to run this one. 
  11. I'm a Soul Man - Karnhag has a great comment for soloing this achievement. This is a bit complex like Ulduar Iron Dwarves achievement. 
  12. You Gotta Keep 'em Separated - burn boss down. 
  13. Bad Manner(oth)  - see 24ToTen's comment. leave on summoner, engage boss, he'll curse someone, causing doom guard to spawn. Get both boss and doom guard to low health, then let boss kill doom guard.
Overall, it looks like 3 fights will be difficult to solo, Give a test run later this week and we can see how it goes. Hmm, besides the obvious achievement names, let's see how many I can find references to in pop culture.

Pro Toss - that's a gimme

The land was green and good..

Non-Lethal Enforcer - came up with this old Nintendo game..

Echos of Doomfire (Path 3.2 - wrath pre-release)

Turning the Tide

Don't Fear the Reaper

Get In My Belly!

I'm a soul man!

You Gotta Keep 'em Separated:

Bad Manners

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Karazhan or Bust! (Part 1)

This weekend, "What Bombs at Midnight" stepped into our first mythic level dungeons. We did remarkably well on each of them, which really surprised us due to our gear score at start was an average i-level of 830.

The Team:

Day 1: FridayDay 2: Sunday

With the intention of Karazhan attunement, we started with Khadgar's quest the [Edict of the God-King]. Edict has you run Halls of Valor on mythic difficulty. As we've found out, mythic (or as those leet players would like to call, mythic+0), is not that different than a heroic dungeon. As their 6 of us, we had to run the dungeon two times, swapping out DPS. Our first attempt on included 4 wipes on Hymdall due to learning the dragon-flame mechanic, and 6 wipes on Odyn to learn the stormforged obliterator mechanic.

The Day 2 run of Halls of Valor ended early (and 4 of us got no loot from the bosses), we decided to go through and run one of the three dungeons for part 2, [Uncovering Orders]. Being efficient, as we were already in Dalaran, we went into Violet Hold. The trash was rather straight-forward, nothing notable. The only noticable difference being they spawn a lot closer, causing some overlap with groups. One or two groups ran down while we were still cleaning up the previous. Because of this, I found it easier to tank everything on the 'floor' and not run up to the trash. The bosses appeared to be in 'heroic' form, nothing really special.
  1. Festerface - wiped about 3 times on this boss until I got the 'drag him to the nasty pools' mechanic down. On last attempt, I died to splash damage from the corrupted pools, but DarkFiber rogue tanked him. 
  2. Mindflayer Kaahrj- IIRC, we one-shotted him. Tank role: Don't stand in garbage. Interrupt spells. We'd call these out "used mine" and spread these out amongst the party.
  3. Malgath - also a one-shot - maybe two. Pickup trash and avoid stuff on ground. 
  4. Fel-Lord Betrug - Lucky, it appears to be the easier of the two options for last boss. Face him away from party, actively mitigate his big hits. We almost let DarkFiber die to the Execution event. 
Since, it was only a little after midnight, heads filled with optimism, we figured heck, why-not, run ONE MORE! Ah, Vault of Wardens. Top it off, it has a World Quest night (for easy solution see DaveRuiz comment). Noteable bosses..

Tirathon Saltheril - Just watch out for the chain. Got caught fighting boss then chain chopped me in half. 

Inquisitor Tormentorum - Inquisitive Stare mechanic. Requires you to be facing the 'orb' when it starts casting it's stare. If you're facing away, it will stun you. So I ended up run up to boss, and tanking his adds with my back against the cell wall. This way I could turn to face orb and still have adds. 

Cordana Felsong - sigh, died so many times, I must be running this fight naked? This fight is super heavy RNG dependent. She has a phase, every 20% health drop, were she summons ranks of legions that cross the room. These are 'only visible' when the player carrying the 'elunes light' shines on them. The one thing that we started to recognize was the arrow pattern. We could all start lining up and running to this spot. In mythic, you need to do this maze, 4 times in a row. So RNG may have the opening of one, edge up to the start of the second.. Bad timing and you're bounced off, over or just killed all together. Of course, the damage is AOE, so getting hit by them will usually cause a wipe. We did find, that jumping off the edge of the platform will sometimes reset the fight. This saved on repair bills when it was just DPS left alive up there.. 

See the hole! (source)
As Rys wasn't feeling well, well have to run those two dungeons again with her. Having to face Cordana's RNG is dreadful. 

Next up, Black Rook Hold. Hmm 2 prisons and a fortress. Reading through the strat guide, I don't think it will kill us. Most of the additional mythic items aren't (sounding) that more difficult. (Of course, Cordana's strat guide doesn't reflect how difficult the 4 ranks of legion are.. Team is anxious to run them early this week, with hopes to running Karazhan by the weekend. 

Overall, mythic dungeons have been a fun addition and everyone is happy. Game play has added enough difficult, that we just can't plow through the trash to the boss. We need to plan, CC and even pull rather slowly. It's obvious now why the 'same-server' requirement is there. This isn't something you can plow through without  good communication. Missing an interrupt is forgivable in normal and heroic, but at our gear level, it's deadly. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Too much good stuff

Return to Karazhan

About a month ago, my co-worker mentioned he wanted to try the Karazhan dungeon. He and his wife hadn't played since reaching 100 in Warlords. Of course, Karazhan is going to be Mythic only (WHY??) so to play you have a few requirements..
  1. 5-6 players so that we can run different mythics when someone is on vacation/sick, etc..
  2. Same realm/faction as I believe that we can't cross-realm queue for mythics. 
  3. Approximately 830-845 gearscore for everyone.
What does this mean?
  • New toon, alliance
  • New server
  • New guild
Alliance, because we have two additional co-workers that want to start running mythic dungeons. They are both alliance on a PVP server (remember my Hunter?) and already geared rather decently in PVP gear. So in order to bring them along, we all needed to play alliance. Easy enough, Requirement 2, we play on a PVE server. Not as easy, but still not impossible. 

Druid, Paladin, Shaman??

We have 6 players (two married couples (1&2, 3&4) and one other, plus me). 
  1. Vànní - Priest
  2. Darkfiberman - Rogue
  3. Rys - Warlock
  4. Vyrial - Monk
  5. Orlya - Mage
  6. ElPlato - Paladin
We found Rys was guild master of an existing, and level 25, alliance guild already. She'd been playing with their son and had a max level (100) warlock. Viral, O-really-ya and El Plato were created new. 

Pally humor?? Sort of wishing I named her "EllaPlato"

Little over a month (and $60) later, I now have a max level Draenei paladin on Kul Tiras. I boosted from approximately 36, as I was tired of running dungeons and wanted to get a hop on questing. I've managed to get 2 of the titan pilars (Azsuna and Val'shara), still working on Stormheim and Highmountain. I've done enough questing in Suramar to open the first flight path. I was happy that at 110, I could immediately turn in Kadghar's quest and start running world quests. I complete at least one faction's WQ set each week. I don't think I see all of them though. As I haven't opened up all the zones, my world quests seem to only appear in 'known' areas.

In the last week, we've started running heroic dungeons together. Possibly start looking into normal raid if we can pug the last few spots.. To help, I've linked to all the TL;DR videos posted by WoWAholics 101.

Meanwhile over on the Horde side 

Elkagorasa has been doing nicely on gear acquisition. He's ran a few LFR, and picked up some gear. He's sporting 840-844 gear. He keeps getting this helm model, so I am having fun with the rest of the outfit. This week, it's the Bug-gladiator? 

On my way to Pathfinder, I am revered with 1, honored with the other 4, and working on Nightfallen (but can't see it via armory page here at work. Looks like Valajar are not showing either.). Looking at the rewards on WowHead, Valajar, I am at least Honored as I have purchased the boat (which I thought was a toy, but it's on-use).  Loremaster with all but Suramar and just need to locate the alliance flight stops in Stormheim (Greywatch, Shield's Rest and Weeping Bluffs). All rather easy to complete with just a little PVP world quest..

Monday, November 7, 2016

BlizzCon Virtual Ticket #2

BlizzCon 2016

This is my second year purchasing the Virtual Ticket. I knew there was no big Warcraft announcement. In fact, I was more excited about the Overwatch announcement of Sombra than anything else. Unlike last year, the streaming performance was flawless. Maybe because I was simply streaming this on my work desktop :-O (and not a wifi attached laptop), maybe because Blizz has up'd the streaming quality.

My Biggest Complaints:

  1. Hard to Watch while Live. When it was playing Live (aka "Hall D") it was hard to pause and go back. I wanted to grab a screenshot of the warlock mount, going back 30 seconds, is virtually impossible on the live stream. Instead I spent 5 minutes, skipping back and forth approximately half an hour of  the video coverage looking for a 10 second video clip. Sigh.. With it paused, the video grey's out, making my screenie rather useless. A DVR-style 30-second rewind button would have been awesome! Bookmarks to each of the various segments ( Overwatch Q&A, What's new in Warcraft, etc.) instead of an 8 hour long video would have been awesome!
  2. Lots of interesting non-streaming content. I get that it's important that your site reflects the entire conference schedule, but what I'd absolutely love is a filter button up top that wouldn't have shown me the Art and Design or Blizzard Engineering sessions. As an IT engineer, I really was looking forward to peeks at the back-end of Blizzard's infrastructure and design. Then when the reminder popped on the BlizzCon app and I couldn't watch it?!?! 
  3. No Closing Ceremonies. I was really looking forward to sharing the Weird Al concert with my family. We've seen a number of his videos on Youtube, but I've never had the opportunity to see him perform 'live'. I planned to have everyone huddle around the big computer monitor (or hook laptop to TV in family room) and all jam. Sadly. Nope. Nothing. While I understand the performance issues with broadcasting the concert, I am still deeply saddened that I can't share this with my kids. 
Not in Video Archive?!?!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Still Alive

Whew! October 20th, finally completed my class-hall campaign!. I picked up the remaining 3 hall champions in one quick swoop. Nice.

With that, it took a little running normal dungeons, but I am now geared up enough to start running LFR. Not a lot of new mechanics to note. Panda Steve does a great job at summary. (see here).

I've also started running world quests (fka dailies). This format does have some nice benefits. You have time for grinding down 10 bad guys and grabbing their shoes? Or how about just killing 4 elites? Easy. You pick.This also creates a nice variety where you can mix it up each week.

Still have only the one max-level character. There's so much good stuff that I can't get around to restarting it all on a second or third character. Maybe after I finally get into Karazhan.

Source: Overking

Overwatch's RNG has been mixed bag on my loot box luck. I've purchased 22 loot boxes and (my son) won 2 of them via leveling. From these 24 boxes, we've found 3 4 of the skins (Junkenstein, Soldier 76, Rheinhardt and Hanzo) The one that we've really wanted is that for Reaper; love that pumpkin head.

Speaking of Halloween. I GOT THE MOUNT! Yeah, another broomstick!!.. Oh you thought I meant the horse-thingy??, Hate to tell you that doesn't still drop (especially if you're playing a warlock), I am fairly certain that only dropped for people back in Wrath.

Now, if you see Elkagorasa playing Overwatch before 10PM PST, that's probably my son. He's gotten pretty fond of both Rheinhardt (oh yeah, we got the ghostly skin) and/or Bastion. One time playing he got called out pretty badly for 'trolling'. I've told him he can't play my account, if he's simply camping in the corner. He needs to be front and center, especially as Rheinhardt. He's been very excited about the release of the newest hero, Sombra. It's pretty cool if Blizzard has been putting all of this together and not just some excited fan.

Topic 21: What's in your backpack?

As my children start preparing for school starting up again in t-minus 30 days, I found this blog-topic keenly interesting.. My oldest i...