Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Pathfinder Progress

Over the weekend, I only had a couple hours to play. Mostly the kids are adjusting to summer vacation hours, so they're not getting in bed until rather late at night. This left me only about 2-3 hours a few days to play. :-|

I worked on my Draenor Pathfinder achievement prerequisites.

  • Securing Draenor: As of Friday, I had 3 remaining bonus objectives to complete. I grabbed the the scouting missions from my QM and queued them all up. The hardest, IMHO, was Shattrath Harbor. This zone had a number of 101-102 elites that would dismount me when trying to run out of there. I wanted to run as I was also working on my Explore Talador and treasures collection (64:100). 
  • Draenor Loremaster: I made no progress with the Arak storyline. ATM, I have only completed 3 of the storylines. I feel that when I complete these quests, the exploration will fall into place. 
  • Reputation: I realized that I hadn't opened up tier-3 on my trading post. This tier increases your reputation gains in Draenor by 20%! In order to purchase the tier-3 plans, you need to have Savage Friends achievement, i.e. exalted with 1 faction in Draenor. Looking at Elkagorasa's reputation, Frostwolf Orcs was already 4000:21000 revered and Arakkoa Outcasts also roughly 4000:2100 revered. I thought running through Manarok would be easy enough. It was, with my bodyguard and my voidwalker tanking. Was able to grind my rep up to 5400 in about an hour. (yuck). Reading Wowhead, some suggestions are farming the rare elites (400 rep each) by using the custom group finder and realm hopping. There appear to be a few more 'garrison support' quests that will give me rep, but I need to investigate.... Then, I realized that how dumb I was being.. Arakkoa + need to quest in Spires of Arak = free rep. As a bonus side-effect, I have found 20+ additional treasures, and a few included Arakkoa Outcasts reputation tokens. 

after 75% of  questing.

Timewalking Dungeon holiday boss snafu - I was disappointed queueing up for the Ahune boss fight, and finding myself thrown into the full timewalking Slave Pens. In addition, the party had just completed the ahune fight and was running to the next boss. Luckily I had picked up the quest to complete 5 TW dungeons. The trinket that dropped off the last boss wasn't helpful. Surprisingly, I did get an achievement for Heroic Slave Pens. I thought I had completed all heroic versions of these dungeons at level.. Guess not. At least, when I tried again later in the weekend, I went straight to Ahune, yeah Strength cape!.

Monday, June 15, 2015

A New Hope

After the compromise last week on no-flying ever again, I decided it was ok to restart the rep grinds for mounts. Flying out to Netherwing ledge reminded me of the Sha'tari Skyguard and their mountable rays. I remember hating working on this rep at level and had only made it to Friendly.

Over the weekend, I read through the guide "Nether Ray in a Day". This guide details all of the quests that are available for this faction. One commenter pointed out that you can technically you only need to do the repeatable quests (if you don't care about other faction reps).

So I flew up and started the grind. Some hints if you're just starting.

  1. Kill everything in the zone. Everything gives rep. (Ok, I don't know about the lizards, but they probably do too). I fly into a hub, and start spamming rain of fire over everything. The mobs give 10 rep, their little pets give 5, those fast orange birds give 10 rep and even the treants give 30 rep. 
  2. The skettis have a high likelihood of dropping Shadow Dust. Turn in the dust (for 150 rep each) to get Elixir of Shadows. (You want this, it adds more mobs at each stop!)
  3. With the Elixir of Shadows buff, you can see the Time-lost skettis. They have a high chance of dropping time-lost scrolls. Each 10 scrolls, you can summon one of the mini-bosses (100 rep each kill). 
  4. Turn in the tokens from killing all 4 for another 350 rep and a time-lost offering. 
  5. Use the time-lost offering to summon Terrok. Kill him for 500 rep. He's on a 15 minutes respawn timer, starting the moment you kill him. (I suggest you use the in-game stopwatch). 
I found the 'towers' had the best collection of mobs. Typically there would be one wandering sketti, plus 4-5 of the time-lost variety. Kill them, plus loot 2-3 time-lost scrolls. Rinse and repeat until I have 40+ scrolls, then visit 4 of the purple circles to summon each of the mini-bosses. Fly back to quest hub, turn in the 4 tokens, turn in all my dust, then repeat my rounds. Checking the Terrok circle to see if he's ready to respawn. In about an hour, I easily had about 5,000 rep. (About long enough for the DPS queue to pop!) 

Over the weekend, I put in a few hours, and burned through Friendly all the way to 7000 into Revered. Friday and Saturday using the DMF Whee buff, Sunday without. I imagine that I'll need about another 2 hours of repeating this process to reach Exalted.

Update: About 40 minutes - hour, local time midnight, server time 2am. Went from 6600 to 13370 rep doing 2 daily quests (escort, bombing run) plus two Terrok kills, and grinding out the materials for 2 more kills next time. Terrok is on a 15 min timer after last kill. So I triggered the stopwatch after each kill and made it for the next. Would have gotten a 3rd, but was late by 2 seconds.. :)

Update: Spent about 90 minutes this morning and finished this faction off. This included 3 Terrok kills (using the stopwatch). Had to compete with 2 other people for kills, but one was a level 70-ish warlock, so I took sympathy and helped with a little rain of fire over his kills.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Blizzard, Thanks for the Compromise..

Blizzard has made a (somewhat) reasonable compromise to the 'no-flying' decision. To open up flight in Draenor, you basically, need to have done everything on one character.
Mastering the Outdoor World
In an upcoming Public Test Realm build, we will be introducing a new meta-achievement called Draenor Pathfinder. You’ll earn this achievement in Patch 6.2 by mastering the outdoor environment of Draenor—exploring Draenor’s zones, collecting 100 treasures in Draenor (there's a 200 treasure achievement), completing the Draenor Loremaster and Securing Draenor achievements, and raising the three new Tanaan Jungle reputations to Revered. Initially, this achievement will award a rylak mount: the Soaring Skyterror, one of the native beasts that roam Draenor’s skies. Players will remain ground-bound on Draenor until a small follow-up patch (6.2.x), when all players who have earned Draenor Pathfinder on at least one character will unlock the ability to fly in Draenor on all their level 90+ characters. (Source)
Elkagorasa, my most played toon, is nowhere near completed with these requirements.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Quickie: Need repairs?

In a LFR, and desperately need repairs? Dungeon just wiped again? Take a second and

Friday, June 5, 2015

So, Blizzard, You Don't Like Flying (anymore)...

1) First epic flying mount 2) 50 mounts achievement 3) Long Strange Trip achievement

I totally understand your logic. 

In Warlords of Draenor, you've spent countless hours developing rewards and quests around never flying. Treasures hidden throughout the Nagrand that are only reachable via flight. Bosses hidden deep into level 100 zones that drop mounts, toys and epic gear. Having the option to helicopter into a zone, drop on the destination, then airlift out immediately bypassing all that design, glory and, well, basically all that work you've done.

But what about all the work I've done? I get the feeling you're planning to throw, my 20 flying mounts, all in the trash. Windrider is simply a cat mount with wings. Drake? Yeah, funky dinosaur. Red Flying Cloud is now a low hovering fog bank. That $25 sparkle pony I bought from the Blizzard store? Dumb wing-clipped pegasus!
Check out my $25 dumb wing-clipped pegasus mount

This got me thinking.. Why am I trying to solo Ulduar (for the wing clipped drake? or for the robot's head?)? Why am I bothering to grind Netherwing rep? When it's all completed, I am going to have mounts that are only useful in a few legacy zones, that I don't really have any intention of going back to. (I am sure, I will always have a way to go to Orgrimmar or Stormwind and test out my awesome new flying mount, but it's only going to take me between the AH and the bank. Yeah!! ) I will reach the 100-mount, Mountain o'Mounts achievement, which rewards yet another flying mount that I won't get to fly..

If you are serious Blizzard...

STOP SELLING FLYING MOUNTS IN YOUR STORE! It only gives new players a false sense of what is to come. This mount will only fly in a few zones, none are at not max level.

This doesn't count..

Put in some real mounted PVP. I am liking the mounted fighting in Nagrand via the garrison perk, but would like to see it go further. Maybe make the racing to various areas a requirement? Maybe something that would actually have me flying? An area that includes both? Grab bombs and drop them on racers for the opposing team?

Uber WoW?
Don't discount the mount. I worked to get each and every (non-faction) mount that I have. Make them still useful in the game, even I can't self-fly. How about taxi stations are replaced by hitching posts? I run to the post, click on it, and it spawns one of my own mounts? Sure it flies along a designated path to the next post or maybe even (like flight master) pick a destination, but randomly seeing my bloodbathed frostbrood vanquisher would be nice. If I visit a guildies garrison, I'd get use one of his random mounts!

Red Cloud Surf Board

Fix mounts in water.  When my ground mounts run through water, fix it so it's more realistic. For example, I have several mounts that are flying mounts, that are not animals. They fly because of some magic imbued into them. These mounts should not be tied to the same laws of physics as my animal/vehicle mounts. The flying carpet, hovering disk, mimiron's head, the pandaren kite, and nether ray's all for example should float above the water. Make it as if they are flying above the surface and not a submarine underneath. In addition, I feel that the ICC mounts, like the frostbrood vanquisher should be buffed with the DK 'frost walking on water'.

New Glory to the Ulduar Raider Mount!

Revamp those Raid and "Glory of the __ Raider" Rewards - A major aspect of the game for many people is going back to those glorious raids and farming the mounts that drop off the bosses and that are rewarded for the achievements. (There are 5 Elkagorasa has collected and 39 still un-collect) In the lull of trying to complete the silver proving grounds, I had my warlock running ICC and Ulduar to get the various mounts that drop. As I mentioned earlier, now that you are not going to allow my flying mounts to fly, I am seriously considering dropping this. Sure, Mimiron's head is cool, but it has a REALLY LOW drop rate ( > 2% chance). I could complete this raid 50 more times and it may drop.. If it does, I won't even be able to fly around my garrison in it.. What is 50 hours of my time worth??

Now, if I could cruise through Draenor in my very own Flame Leviathan (and sit 2 of my friends in the arsenal seats) that would be AWESOME!. Mimiron's head could include the bottom two layers when on land, and I could drive around in Mimiron's tank! Port to Orgrimmar, the head detaches and I fly around in just his head (tank body despawns until I land again).

Going Vanilla

There isn't a WoW player out there who isn't nostalgic about the game from days gone by. Oh how I miss the days when locks were OP and everyone invited you to their party. (Now we're just girl scouts, handing out free cookie samples. "Come get your free Thin Mints!") I so miss the days of having 52 skill points to spend, needing to grind mobs for soul shards (that didn't stack) and losing an entire bag slot to them. I miss having to travel to each and every dungeon/raid entrance after spamming some chat channel for hours looking for a healer and tank to only have the healer and/or tank drop after the first boss. Oh, wait, no I don't.

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. 

Don't just remove flying from the game (going forward). Make it personal. Why do all horde taxis still use the windrider? Make our mounts still useful. Let us use them in PVP, dungeons and raids. Bring about different achievement rewards that are fun and yet still useful. You have the models already for a number of awesome vehicles, yet we never get to drive off with them. Ulduar being the perfect example with 3 different vehicles available in the first boss fight. Finally, please help my flying carpet not be a rugmarine.. If you are going to take away flying, at least make existing travel more exciting

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Why did I complain about DPS Proving Grounds?? It's Easy!

It's finally over! Despite all my ranting and complaining, scheming and whining, I have managed to complete the DPS silver proving grounds. This time I invested $30 and purchased Wondershare's video editor, so the graphics quality is a ton better than the free Windows Movie Maker. 

The ah-ha moment for me was remembering that the Felhunter/Observer also had an interrupt. This allowed me to still run as destruction (not having to relearn demo) and have an instant cast, non-targeted interrupt. There's one typo in the video, that I am not sure I'll fix. At 6:03, I say, "move to 3", when it should say, "move to 6".

Round 1: (0:12) Cast Havoc on slayer, and focus down the guardian.
Round 2: (0:41) Cast rain of fire on vermin, then focus down slayer.
Round 3: (1:22) Move to 3 o'clock, cast havoc on amber weaver in center, focus down far slayer, then move to close slayer. When done (if time) setup portal facing center.
Round 4: (1:56) Move back to 6 o'clock, rain of fire on vermin, focus down amber weaver in back.
Round 5: (2:42) Cast rain of fire on vermin, then focus down mystic using pet's interrupt when starting to cast heals.
Round 6: (3:22) Cast havoc on guardian, focus and interrupt mystic, change focus to slayer, refresh havoc, cleanup guardian.
Round 7: (4:26) Cast havoc on amber weaver in back, focus and interrupt on mystic, aoe on vermin. When weaver down, change havoc to one guardian, focus on other guardian. (setup portal facing center).
Round 8: (5:26) Start at center of arena, cast havoc on amber weaver at 3 o'clock. Avoid glob by using portal. focus down mystic interrupting heals. Once near amber weaver and healer down, move to 6 o'clock (so slayer is los with amber weaver). Havoc slayer, focus remaining amber weaver.

Watching the video, you'll see me use a few macros.

WreakHavoc - This macro sets the focus to current target, then casts Havoc.
#show Havoc
/clearfocus [target=focus,dead][target=focus,noexists]
/focus [target=focus,noexists]
/cast [target=focus] Havoc
/clearfocus [mod:alt]

For CC, I use a similar macro for fear and banish.

EasyPortal - This macro allows me to put both setup portal and portal on same button.
/cast [mod:shift] Demonic Circle: Summon
/cast [nomod] Demonic Circle: Teleport

Friday, May 29, 2015

Destruction Silver Proving Grounds ... ALMOST?!

Trying my hand at video recording, I captured my latest run at doing the proving grounds. I am now regularly reaching fight 8:8. The 'ah-ha' moment was realizing that the Felhound and/or Observer have an interrupt.

Here is my 200dpi (yeah, it stinks badly) video of my last run, with notes for those who are still working at it. I'll record it again tonight (actually sort of excited about this) and hopefully work out all the bugs for that last fight.. As Grumpy Elf said, it's all about placement..

Flashback: WoW 1.0

A friend shared with me this article that details the WoW 1.0 beta and what we should be expecting.. Very exciting news!

WoW 2001 Computer Gaming

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Ideas to Revamp DPS Proving Grounds

As I sulk here in my tears, still not successfully completed with the silver proving grounds, I have started to wonder is it me? I mean, there are numerous complaints on the various forums of people that can't seem to break this through barrier. This simple little thing, has prevented me from moving on to bigger and brighter, dare I say it, legendary things.


The idea of the proving grounds is to replicate a raid environment to test how well you can deal with it. By passing a silver proving grounds, you should have proven ideally be a decent DPS. I should be able to be picked up by a pug for a normal raid and not wipe the group.

As a DPSing member of a raid group, my responsibilities are:
Damage Dealing : DPS - The role of DPS is to kill the monsters. This may sound simplistic, but it takes skill and know-how to dish out powerful damage without overwhelming the group's tank and causing the monsters to attack you.(source wowwiki)
  1. Kill the target(s). The tank keeps them off me and soaks up the majority of the damage, the healer makes sure we don't all die.
  2. Avoid the bad stuff. (I love the sound effect associated with the reverberations sent out by Kromog). By avoiding damage, I allow the healer to focus on keeping the tank alive. 
  3. Crowd control. Make sure the tank is not overwhelmed with incoming damage and they don't head over to the healer.
  4. Battle Rez. I have my soulstone and know how to use it. 
And that's it.

pew pew pew

So what's wrong with the proving grounds? I believe the proving grounds don't really test for DPS readiness. 

  • Requires Interrupts - The mystic, in the last three waves, absolutely needs to be interrupted. If not, it will heal the most damaged NPC. If you are not successful in the interrupt timing, the healer often heals himself. This doesn't sound so bad, but as a warlock I have only 2 possible options available to all builds.
    • Fear, this is a 1.7 second cast spell that causes the healer to 'stop casting' until you damage them again. Of course the second you cast another damaging spell, you break the fear and they can start casting heals again. 
    • Shadowfury is an instant cast spell, but it has a targeting reticule. Cast, target, stun. This is definitely faster than a 1 second fear, but there's issues. For example, if you're casting a long cast spell (incinerate at 1.7 seconds as well), you'll need to break the spell (aka move), and then cast shadowfury. This spell also has a 30 second cooldown, so if you don't get him down quick enough, his second heal may come up just as your 
      Same targeting reticule used for the Infernal cast.
    • If you spec demonology you have one additional option, your felguard's Axe Toss. Instant cast, plus with only a 30 second cooldown, this is perfect (if you don't mind playing demo). 
    • The Felhunter Spell lock work as well and maybe this is the key that I've missed all along. Since I don't PVP that much anymore, I have hardly used my minions abilities. 
  • Has a strict timer - Unlike both the tank and healer proving grounds, the DPS proving grounds has a strict timer. If you do not have all of the mobs down within that time limit, the proving grounds completely reset and you start over the entire series. You could be down to 10 health on the last mob and if he doesn't die before the timer hits 0, you have to start over again... and again.. 
Beat the timer or you'll be licked.
My suggestions:
  1. Make the proving grounds NPCs do player damage. Make the damage avoidable if I am doing my job correctly. 
  2. Turn the interrupt into a CC. Personally, an interrupt is the tank's or melee dps' job, not the ranged dps. We are standing back in the bleachers and throw our crits and dots. I am happy to CC an add, but you can't make me also responsible for making sure he dies before some arbitrary time limit. I envision certain adds simply being there to distract the player, like the Brawler's Guild fight against Blat. Once you kill the boss, all his adds simply disappear. 
  3. Remove the time limits. For most DPS, moving stops casting. Not casting, means no dps. No dps means that timer is running out, most of the time. 
How about you give me a tank and a healer and if either die, then it's game over.. Too many adds on tank, healer won't keep up. Give me a few adds (like the lava dude) that can damage me, so I have to demonstrate I won't stand in the fire. Give me a round where I have to CC someone, but the tank will be responsible for interrupting him if needed. Give me a room full of vermin, and have me AOE them all down or else the tank dies. Destro warlocks are great at AOE! Give me a giant boss who calls adds that need to be dealt with. Give me something that runs around all the time (within the arena) and I need to deal with movement to keep it under control.
 Is the idea, then, that you are supposed to swap from Destruction to Demonology and back depending on the situation? Is the idea that you play Affliction if you like dots and Destruction if you like nukes? Or do you just switch to whatever theoretically does 1% more DPS for the next fight? (Ghostcrawler - Blizzard)
I know that the current silver proving grounds model works. There are tons of people who have successfully completed them. I just feel that the DPS PG is unnecessarily difficult, preventing a good number of decent DPS from progressing on an entire segment of the game. It's Heroic dungeons and the associated daily quests from my tavern. It's the heirloom gear quests that would allow me to get free 1-100 heirloom piece upgrades. Most importantly it's the legendary quest chain, that while I completed it in MoP, I doubt I will have the opportunity in WoD.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Quickie: Horde Shadowmoon Flight Paths

Really quick, there are three flight paths available to the Horde that land in Shadowmoon Valley. Two (in south) of them you get sent to as Garrison missions.

I found the easy way to get the top flight path, is via the Shadowmoon Burial Ground dungeon. At the end you are offered a portal, which takes you outside the dungeon. Simply run up the road from there to the north flight path. This location is great if you are doing your stable dailies. The talbuk is close to here and so is Great Tusk.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Soloing Ulduar for Glory to Ulduar Raider Achieves

Last night, after I finished my dailies for the Netherwing, I decided to go run Ulduar for both the achievement mount and hopefully, Mimiron's head. 30 minutes of emptying bags, and turning in quest items, I finally show up at the entrance of Ulduar. I then spent the next 3 hours gathering achievements, until I had to give up for the day (2am local) and go get some sleep.

Let's start here.This quick 6 minute long video is based on running with a level 100 toon. This is extremely helpful in seeing the fights from that perspective before hand..
  1. Orbit-uary - This was easier than mention in the video. When your DPS is doing 1 million damage using the main (button 1) cannon, why use anything else. 
  2. Iron Dwarf, Medium Rare - I am at 8:25 dwarfs at the moment. It appears that the main technique is you have to do damage to the dwarf after the boss is pulled down. As a destro warlock, my technique was to splash a rain of fire over their mole machine. This would aggro them for me when they came running for my helpers. Then drag them around until they could get the harpoons activated again. Once active, position nearly infront of the boss and wait for him to breathe. His knockback did the most damage to me, 60-70k damage. So after a few rounds of this, I was almost dead. I repeated the fight 3 times. 
  3. Stokin' the Furnace - simple DPS race. 
  4. Heartbreaker - I was afraid of doing too much damage to the boss and pushing him passed the phase, so I stripped naked. DPS was noticably lower in that I really had to work at getting that heart down quickly.. 
  5. I choose you, steelbreaker - messed this one up. Supposed to kill steelbreaker last. I just dps'd who ever was closest to me. 
  6. Disarmed - Also messed up this one. Took too long between different parts. Should be able to AOE down the arms, then focus on body. Or maybe go a little slower and dps the arms down to 50%, body to 50% then go for it.. 
  7. Crazy Cat Lady - DPS race. 
  8. I Could Say That This Cache Was Rare - DPS Race
  9. Lose Your Illusion-  I am not sure if necessary, but I used a run speed buff to get to him. I don't think it would have mattered. 
  10. Knock, Knock, Knock on Wood - DPS Race, head straight for boss, focus on her, then aoe down trash. 
I still haven't attempted these achievements. Running around the raid last night was getting tedious and I was lost. I think I see where I messed up for Mimiron. I took the tram to the second location, thought I was coming up to Yogg so I ported back to the entrance area.. 
  1. Firefighter
  2. I Love the Smell of Saronite in the Morning
  3. One Light in the Darkness

Checking WoWHead (combined with using their addon), I see I can filter on all the achievements still outstanding within this raid. First off, search for "10-Player" returns only the achievements that can be earned on, well, 10-player mode. Second by right-clicking on the "Completion" column, I can filter it for "=0" or incomplete achievements.