Monday, August 14, 2017

Soapbox: Lazy Form of Raiding

Over the summer, I spent 2 weeks with my family (parents, brother's family and my family) on the beach in Maui. It was absolutely awesome, the beach, the sea turtles, Duke's for dinner, and those sunsets. It was nice taking time away from work, to simply be a tourist.

Source: (brother's) Instagram

Recently, Blizzard has stated that they used to think of LFR is raid "Tourist Mode". The players get to experience the entire raid without having all of the complication of the (could use voice chat) mechanics. With Tomb of Sargeras they've changed their design philosophy, rather dramatically. This can be seen in such fights as Desolate Host, where, the players never actually fight the Desolate Host, or Avatar where there's no meta-boss, Maiden.

This is a massive disservice to the casual/LFR crowd. As a self-declared casual player, I am now at a loss. I currently pugging normal Nighthold raids to help finish my Balance of Power artifact appearance quest. Between LFR edition, and current LFG "quick AP N-nighthold" runs, there's minimal differences. I am afraid that when I start pugging Normal Tomb, I am going to have killed the Engine of Souls and be looking for my loots.

Tomb of Sargeras LFR is like traveling to Maui and never seeing the beach. The palm trees are still there, but missing the honest to goodness reason for traveling to Hawaii. Blizzard, you're only making regular raiders hate LFR more. Not only will we assume we can avoid standing in the bad stuff to soak damage (due to sporting an mythic+ ilevel, i.e. higher than drops in LFR), but we won't know the entire boss fight because those essential pieces were missing. 

Monday, August 7, 2017

LFR TOS: Chamber of the Avatar - Wing 3

This is for the third wing of Tomb of Sargeras. For the other two wings:


As today, Monday, I haven't done this raid yet, so I don't know how complete DBM is.


Maiden of Vigilance (aka Guitar Maiden)
(wowhead)
  • Split raid into two sides of boss. (light or yellow and fel or green)
  • When infused with light or fel run to that color (yellow vs green) [place down raid marker]
  • Unstable soul - is because on wrong color with infusion. Doesn't do raid wide damage in lfr, stay on platform. 
  • Tanks should take hammer based on their infusion. Creation = light, obliteration = fel. Fel tank taunt immediately after hammer of creation. 
  • Phase 2 - boss teleports to other side. Run to her and take down her bulwark ( ie Karazhan's Maiden of Virtue). Can run down center line to avoid all orbs. 
  • Soak matching color orbs to match your infusion. Gives buff +10% damage +5% healing buff per stack up to 10 stacks. Players can stack when soaking orbs to share buff.

Just found Darkmech's videos, they're excellent (concise, good info), but many f-bombs, so be warned.



Another boss that has been severely nerfed in LFR. There is no 'maiden' in this fight, so you only need to deal with the 'avatar' mechanics. The hardest element of the fight, personally, was phase 2 and making sure the boss didn't 'eat' the entire platform before the DPS killed him off. I had a druid lead-tank it, dive into the lava seconds before he cast [desolate] and then swim back (or priest yank him back).
  1. Taunt on DBM
  2. Run out when he casts ruptured realities
  3. dodge giant spears that appear at boss. 
Phase 2: (fall through floor)
  1. Taunt on DBM
  2. Position in furthest corner possible for when he breaks big portion of floor.
  3. Can even jump in lava right before cast complete to move boss off platform. Taunt boss off tank in lava.










Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Topic 23: Why Do I Blog?


Everyone who has created a blog has done so for a reason. For all of you WoW bloggers out there, what was that reason? Why did you choose to put fingers to keys to write about a computer game? What type of posts do you like to write? Does your blog have a theme to it, or do you just wing it and write whatever you want? We’d love to know!

Blogging as a community
As I've stated in previous posts, WoW is all about the community. One of the most striking elements of the video game is the number of 'third party' contributors to the game. Sure there are the big companies that have large staffs of people posting about this game (as any game does, pcgamer, gamespot, wowhead, blizzwatch, etc.), but it's the bloggers that help it stand out. Us bloggers add life to a game that would probably otherwise die. We comment, we complain, we analyze, we deconstruct. If not for community like ours, we wouldn't have flying any longer in new content. Blizzard would have been able to save money not having to put tops on buildings, or clouds in the sky. Why bother, no one will see them?? 

Blogging as expression
what I envisioned my cousin's accommodations to look like.
Often in social situations, friends and family will discuss something interesting coming up in their lives. With these things, I'll suggest they start up a blog. Social media has turned the world into 140-character sound-bites, instant gratification youtube tidbits and or #IGotLikes facebook feeds. Blogging exposes people up to new ideas and allows them to be shared (for facebook likes even!?) with everyone. If not for bloggers, we would only have information that was good for the bottom-line, the fiscally responsible information; what the advertisers allow. For example, I have a cousin who after leaving one profession, decided to live in a village in the Philippines for a year, teaching ESL classes to the locals. Her blog, (which I cannot locate now) described her stay. She discussed things like how villagers would come through her 'house' and go fishing using the trapdoor there. Blogging allowed her to stay in contact with the family, posting updates in irregular updates, but hit a number of us at the same time. 

Blogging for the experience
As a techie, I've never been really strong writer. College, I struggled with my classes that included heavy writing requirements (english, history), while succeeding in the art, math, science, and computer classes. I started blogging to force myself to write more. This blog is my way of practicing writing informally, regularly. 

Blogging for me
Most importantly, blogging is for me. This blog is often a resource to come back to later on and review information. I'll spend the down time at work, researching (currently reading up on TOS LFR Wing 3) and post the strat as I found it. This helps that night as I go into TOS LFR Wing 3 and already know the fights. If my healer (as he's fond of doing) says he doesn't know the fights, I can then text him the URL to read before we start fight.
  • Theme: Casual Warcraft - I am NOT going to be posting about mythic raiding (unless it's about wanting my friendship moose). Heck, I am probably not going to be ranting about heroic raiding nerfs (unless it's soloing old content). My game play style, hence my blog, is going to covet workWarcraft-life balance, standing up for LFG/LFR, PUGS and making the game more supportive of parents playing after the kids are in bed. 
  • Topics: It will also cover topics that I find interesting. I love the more group aspects of this game. LFR/LFG, PVP BGs. 
  • On the other side, I also won't be posting game from non-warcraft games, strats to something else (unless it's about how it relates or complaining about the 'content drought').. 
  • Writing style: Casual. I don't plan many of my posts further ahead than the PEBKAC interface. Yes, I sit on some posts for a few days, adding tidbits here or reviewing items, but I don't have an outline or work flow. 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Topic 19: Picking a character name

Why not. I miss the old topic of the week. Topic 19 is to break down how you picked the names of your characters. I don't have that many, so, I am going to cheat a little here..


I have basically 2 naming processes, either:

They 'starts with E'

Elkagorasa - "Elk-A-Gore-Asa" Name that stuck with all these years. Here's how..
Eride - "Arrid-ay" After realizing that most raid/dungeon chat didn't something long to type "elka, um, elk, uh, e.." I opted for something really short for my third character, plus it pulls directly from my RL name.
Esha - Even shorter than Eride. Liked the name for a troll druid. Her alliance twin shares her name.
Erknea - "Ernie-ah" My cataclysm created goblin. I wanted something silly to go with a short-stature, "knee high" goblin. Ernie turned into Erknea.
Erlenmyer - alliance dwarf hunter - also misspelling of erlenmeyer (flask). All his hunter pets are science tools (scalpel, pipette, bunson).
Ellidari - "Elli-dari" -Is an obvious twist on Illidari. I thought having "Elli" as her name was fun.
ElPlato - "El Plato" - Influenced with my daughter taking spanish 1 in high school last year, so I while reviewing vocabulary with her. El plato is spanish for the plate or dish, because as a paladin she's wearing plate armor, obviously.
Elkor - wanted to chat with a character on Farstriders. Created a baby Elkagorasa twin on that realm.

The exceptions to the E rule are:
Joralin the First: Paladin and Commodities Trader

  • Joralin was character 1. I played him for about 2 weeks before moving to Malfurion.
  • Gisha is a misspelling of geisha, character 3. As a corolary to Elkagorasa (#2), I thought a female rogue would be a deadly name..
  • Drehded, ie 'dreaded', is my first troll and death knight. I wanted to capitalize on the trolls inclination to sound jamaican. 
  • Teddi is my first monk and I knew he'd be a pandaren, or a bear.. 
  • Tahihath, Maks and Dingo are all my son's toons. I believe he hit name generator until something stuck.
  • BarbGordon is, but of course, Bat Girl.



Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Topic 2: How has WoW changed/impacted your life?

Sorry Z and Cinder for necroing this old topic, but I just can't pass it up.. I think I can have fun with this.. So here goes

How has WoW changed my life?

I see Quest Givers! EVERYWHERE.
First off, I can't seem to go anywhere without seeing little yellow exclamation marks over peoples heads. They're everywhere!?! I am headed to the grocery store and the girl scouts are out front selling cookies. All I need to do to complete the quest is give 5G to buy a box and I get +10 Troop Girl Scouts rep and +10 Some_Parent_In_My_Town rep. Never know when that will eventually pay out, probably middle school.

Can't Touch This!

The crappy end-game content in other video games, keeps me coming back for more. During each WoW expansion there comes a lull. Friends are calling me to come play the latest co-op FPS and blow up some bad guys. For many, many games they have a great story, lots of lore, but absolutely die when it comes to end-game content. You've reached level 30 and completed the story, what now? Run the SEWERS AGAIN! Or pay to go kill world boss AGAIN?! WoW has made it impossible to really get into ( and stay playing) any other video games.

BioShock Infinite: Hook tool/weapon.
On the other hand, when I do have the opportunity to play a different game, I am often wow'd by the differences. Warcraft has that cartoonish feel to it that you don't really ever see with modern games. The visuals are such that it looks fairly similar to game play from vanilla. WoW has also stayed away from very dark themes. The blood splatter factor is really low and comically simple. Then you go play a game like BioShock Infinite and fight bad guys the blood splatter is real.

Its All About the Cheese!

After so many years of immersion into this world, I started seeing things as feats of strength. Look at that guy, he's standing on top of that car while it's driving down the road! [TEEN WOLF] Look at her wearing that high school mascot costume at the grocery store! [COSPLAY STAR] OMG, that family also has 3 kids and they're all fitting in that SMART car!! Meta achievement, kid lost another molar.

Gaming vocabulary has a way of mingling with RL. I really need to watch it when talking with non-gamer family and friends about not using gaming acronyms. "Going to grocery store. PST if you want anything." PST??!

? Go to grocery store, locate new dinner recipe and come home with only materials and no box of cookies. 

Deep Thoughts.
I started playing WoW about 6 months after my son was born. He has seen me playing video games for all his life. As he has gotten older, he's gone from Minecraft and Mario Kart to more 'adult' games that I currently play. While I am not about to let him play a FPS (quite yet), I am happy for him to play WoW. This game gives us stuff to talk about. Hey dad, I ran this dungeon today and got so-so loot. Or questions about how to make money in game. I believe it's playing games, and sharing that interest, that he's starting to watch other things I do. Work has me developing scripts for various processes, and he's now showing interest in the same  thing. He's picked up books at the library to learn to code video games, which I am really excited about.

A New Understanding

An important part of a happy marriage is a good understanding of each other. Communication, compromise and compassion. If I do not communicate with my wife that I plan to raid this Monday night, and have her compromise in my not doing the dishes until the next morning, she will not have compassion for my gaming night. :) We've had to re-learn this over many expansions (busy start to mid expansion to slow end of expansion).  This is part of the main reason, I don't start playing video games until after the family is in bed.

My friends (aka guild / raid group), who used to be more serious raiders, have also compromised to my more casual play style. They've (thankfully) adjusted their schedules to play starting at (or soon after) 10PM locally. LFR has come a long way to playing late at night, but nothing beats playing with RL friends (and then sharing the sleeplessness misery the next work-day).

That Odd Party Conversation Topic

Warcraft is that odd conversation topic that comes up at random times. I am really surprised when I find someone else that plays or has played Warcraft. In the office I often have a screen on my PC dedicated to Warcraft (blogging, youtube videos, wowhead). Outside the office, I don't sport anything as blatant, but still manage to find you out there. For example, I was at the Comcast store the other day working to renegotiate my service plan. While there, the sales(?) guy, Colby, asked me what I use my Internet for.. Oh, video games, working nights from home, streaming netflix, etc. That spawned a 10 minute conversation about what classes I enjoyed played, how I was liking the current expansion and so on. I get the feeling the guild may have a 'new recruit' soon, or at least, another player looking to run TW Black Temple with us.

WoW This Blog
unused concept header

Warcraft is ultimately the reason I work at this blog. I've got a few other places I post, but nothing with the creative flair and energy that I put into this blog. My original intention was to post the results of my research acquired while sitting in the office. (i.e. lunch break). Hey, I haven't seen this posted anywhere else, and I am working on it... As time went on, it grew from beyond mere novelty to labor of love. The community. The involvement. No other game that I've played has the enormous active community that WoW has. (Not that I really looked either). Now with subscription sites like WowHead involved and numerous, very prolific, YouTube streamers, there's infinitely more information from less people. Less 'homegrown' content, but I still feel that there's room for all our little warcraft blogs. I have that occasional 1000+ reader post, among my typically 50 reader posts.. ((Thanks for reading!!)) I hope you keep coming back. I promise, no ads and no (too far) off topic posts (As long as I play Warcraft, I'll post here).



Warcraft has been a part of my life for over 10 years and has impacted my life in ways that no other virtual content has. I've formed friendships over battlegrounds, shared excitement over a successful defeat of a boss and even had that watercooler moment discussing the changes from a patch. 

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!?).

Elkagorasa

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. 

ElPlato

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

Scrap

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... :(

Bank

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.
Wing 3 - Chamber of the Avatar

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.

Wing 2 - Wailing Halls
Wing 3 - Chamber of the Avatar

Goroth 

(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.

Harjatan 

(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)

Factions?

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. 

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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.


Music


Soapbox: Lazy Form of Raiding

Over the summer, I spent 2 weeks with my family (parents, brother's family and my family) on the beach in Maui. It was absolutely awe...