Tuesday, September 25, 2018

WoW Idle Thoughts

At some point in the next patch, the Battle for Azeroth is going to change to the Battle for Azeroth. The faction war/race for claiming the lifeblood of the planet will flip into reviving the planet as we fight for its very existence. We'll use the power of friendship and cooperation, to hug the planet back to life.

Power of Friendship

I wanted to really like the warfronts. I had grand visions from Blizzcon 2017 slides. I imagined them like a PVE BG. Dynamic, interactive and always playable. Instead, I got frustration where I couldn't queue for them for a month (as Alliance) with no real way of knowing how long until I would participate.



When are ALL dungeons going to get a blue circle on the map? I shouldn't need to use an addon, or WoWhead to find an old dungeon when the same technology is available for later expac dungeons.

Speaking of dungeons, WOD Timewalking is now a thing. Since there were only 8 dungeons will all of them become part of the rotation? (all the rest only include 6).

What Mists of Pandaria raid would you like to see included as a TW raid? Mogu'shan Vaults? Throne of Thunder? Siege of Orgrimmar?

Need to finally give Uldir normal try. I've done practice mode first three bosses (aka lfr) twice now and feel good. No laser beams on the first boss.

Have been trying to level my crafting up as I go. Unfortunately, the recipe for recipe BOP mail boots (for example) requires 30 expulsom and 15 hydrocore. This will require a decent number of drops from dungeons. I think I have 3 hydrocore at the moment in my bags.

Pugs don't like me. BM Hunter, 347 ilevel and no one wanted me in their Mythic+2. Maybe Monday night is a dumb night for dps.

Pirate boat, that doesn't float but has a glow like Jaina's boat should explain everything. It rose from the deeps (hence the octopus on the front) and been enchanted to keep it up.


I pointed out 2 years ago, there are plenty of mounts that also should skim above the surface of the water, but don't. Why would Blizzard put one on the store for RL money all of the sudden? Nope, not going to happen, unless they want EA-itis. Personally, I was surprised they made the Blizzcon 2017 mount last year 2-rider. Now quit your whining, go get the rep to buy the water skeeter. Put that level 100 alt that you don't play anymore out there and do the fishing dailies.



I tried to tame Guarm in ToV the other night (solo). Sadly the two meta bosses need to be kept 35 apart. Hard to do that when my pet keeps aggroing everything. Frost trap? nope. Tar trap? nope. Simply kiting? Nope. Aggro off? Nope. Sigh. Maybe go try to tame the quest zone model.


I'd participate in more island invasions if I didn't need to go back to Boralus each time. Scenarios had their own queue back in Cata(?). I want that.

War resources seem so rare to get. I am always running less than 100. The Tortollan appear to be the only emissary that reward them. Maybe raids? Heroic dungeons?


Heritage armor, please make it not chop off my hair. The BELF model has the female hair cropped. I will likely xmog my helm if the armor removes her ponytail. The dwarf model better not shave his beard. The sample model looks good so far, but he looks (personally) ridiculous when his beard is gone.

Bee Xmog is coming along nicely. When I saw this (here), I got excited!  Then I realized it's probably for the taxi-stand in Stormguard.
Still waiting to be tempted by Blizzcon 2018 VT. Even better would be the chance to attend in person. Nor.Cal to Anaheim is about 400 miles away, but that's nothing compared to what others of you'll be traveling.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

August Update - 120 i304

Questing

It's hard to believe that it's been already three weeks into this new expansion. During this time, I've managed to complete enough of the questing to open up world quests. I've gone back to finish the Drustvar quest chain to completion, having killed the end-boss. Now on to Stormsong and Tiragarde.

The contract is coming in fairly nicely. I've been running with the Order of Ember's contract (note they don't expire, so don't buy hundreds of them like I did). I get 10 rep with each and every world quest (i think only in kul tiras, not zandalar wq). So on some quests completion, I am getting three different reps (tortollan, storms watch and order of embers). At the moment, I am 85% of the way through honored to revered with the faction. This is after completing this zone, and two emissary boxes, plus running a contract since hitting 120. I'll probably change to a 7th Legion contract soon (after revered with OoE) as the 7th Legion rep gates other content.


Warmode
Like many suggested, I did run the first week and half in warmode. This was rather painless and didn't require that much world pvp. A nice perk for simply playing on a pvp shard. Last week, while questing in Stormsong though, I had to disable the option. Kul Tiras isn't that big of a pvp server. So there were small groups of horde roaming Kul Tiras zones just killing everyone, with no real alliance resistance to keep them at bay. Since then, I've turned off warmode on my hunter. It IS really nice to run the Crusaders of Azeroth world quests and not have to worry about fighting horde toons. 

I BEE crazy!

I've tamed myself a bee hunter pet. Named him Beehave. I've tamed a battle pet, named her Beelieve (per my daughter's suggestion). Last night, I spent about an hour at the xmog ethereal and started working on a yellow and black transmog. ( I am torn between these shoulders I picked up this morning and ones I had in my bags that have a yellow horn on them). This is still a work in progress. The horde troll attire does fit the golden them fairly well.

Bee Myself (Horde edition).


Plan for the coming week(s):

  1. Finish questing in the remaining 2 zones. 
  2. World quest/emissary boxes to keep increasing reputation.
  3. Increase gear score by 1 more point (to 305) so that I can start running random Heroic dungeons. 
    1. My guildie mentioned that we could 'walk-on' to a few heroic dungeons, but would need a full group. 
    2. Maybe a few more normal dungeons to replace these <300 trinkets?? 
    3. Normal Uldir should open on this coming Tuesday. I'd like to be at least 315 by then, hoping to get a lot better gear by then. 
      1. Icy-veins
      2. Wowhead
  4. Start all over again with my warlock on horde side. He's still parked in Orgrimmar waiting to explore any new zones.
Bee Happy


Monday, August 13, 2018

Off Topic - Roblox: Mining Simulator

When not playing video games with his friends, my son asks me to play games with him all the time. Since we don't have 2 blizzard accounts, we've been playing other games. Our latest is the Roblox: Mining Simulator.


Roblox is a sandbox platform that you can use to build other games on top of. Roblox and the games are typically free but have many in-game purchasable items. Mining Simulator is a simple mining type game where you're objective is to get rich. Easy. You start off with a simple pickaxe and a small 10-slot backpack. There is a patch of dirt where you can mine down in 3D, there is a shop who sells equipment and a vendor who auto buys all ore in your bags. As you run back and forth between the mine and the auto-sell vendor, you will accumulate gold. Use the gold to buy a better tool and larger bags.

Perks:


  • Hats - Hats range in quality (common -> rare -> legendary). When worn, they will give you perks that include mining speed, ore (resale) value, and mining power(?). You can wear 3 hats at a time. All my hats currently have ore value and mining speed perks. There are other perks but meh, why would one want to jump? 
  • Pets - Pets also range in quality. You can have one pet out at a time. I am currently running with a piece of toast, who gives similar perks to my hats (mining speed and ore value).
  • Explosives - using dynamite, nuke, c4 can clear a large area of ore. If you want to spend some money on this game, the nuke is an awesome purchase. For about $5 you get a permanent tool that sticks around between rebirths.
  • Teleporter - set a spawn point and you can re-appear here while leveling. Mine -> sell -> teleport -> repeat.
  • Rebirth - A rebirth resets all of your equipment back to start (low level pickaxe and 10-slot backpack) and wipes your account of remaining gold. Rebirths cost 10 million gold times the rebirth count. So your first rebirth will be 10million, then 20million, etc.. The advantage though is that your ore value increases by your rebirth #. I am up to rebirth 17 so my ore value is 1.7X the value at the start. 


Starting your career in mining simulator (MS)


  1. Grab the quest. The new questing system in MS will start you off with some basic quests. In some zones, these give some rather ridiculous rewards (100 rebirth tokens for example).
  2. Mine until you fill bags or complete the quest. My suggestion is to find a hole someone else started and drop to the bottom. Ore value is better the lower your drop, plus a higher likelihood of minerals. If the elite miner is running passed the gold ore, grab it. 
  3. Complete quests to get your first pet. Pets as I said give perks. (see codes below)
  4. Sell immediately upon filling bags. The game offers an instant teleport to the vendor upon filling your bags.
  5. Upgrade your bags faster than your tools. 
  6. Rebirth as soon as you hit the milestones. That 10g dirt will be so much more valuable as 11g or even 20g dirt. If you can wait to rebirth after a mine collapse and you've dug a deep starting whole. 
  7. Move to new zone asap. Even the dirt sells for more in candy land than in the starting zone. The zones are gated by your number of rebirths. 


Hacks


  • Codes - There are a number of codes that you can enter that will grant you in-game perks. Most notably gold, pets, and hats. Yes, you don't 'really' have to start out with that 10-slot backpack when you can get codes for 50,000 gold. You also don't have to start with a 'common' pet or bland hat, when you can equip an awesome legendary pet or 3 nicer hats! I search out this wiki page each time for a complete (and moderated) list. Noting that the bolded entries require you to have played the game for 5 days. 
  • RBux items, rebirth items - these items are permanent. If you purchase the nuke for RBux or the scythe purchased with rebirth-tokens, you keep these items after a rebirth. My favorite thing is to fall into the deepest pit, then throw my nuke into dense ore locations. Then I auto-sell and repeat until I have about 5000gold, then buy a bigger backpack, then again at 50,000, 1million and so on. 
  • Stock up on cosmetics - One of the other items that stick around after a rebirth are pet and hat crates. Right before a rebirth, I've been going to the store, buying up cosmetic items until I am just above my rebirth cost. I now have 600 'omega hat crates' and almost the same number of pets. Hats are awesome (visual effects, perks) but they are both slow to open and completely RNG. There's like a 3% chance of getting an awesome (legendary?) hat out of an omega hat crate. After opening up 100 crates, I've managed to get 3 decent hats to wear. :-|  My son's advice, buy eggs before rebirth, then sell them all after rebirth. Instant gold in your hand. 

The first 1 billion gold.

  1. Equip 3 hats, equip ore-value pet. (see codes above)
  2. Find someone who's dug a deep-deep tunnel, mine ore. Ore = 1 bag slot per block, sand/dirt = hundreds of bag slots. Yes, the pickaxe is slow, but still effective with most ore. 
  3. When your bag is full, use the "SELL" option to portal back up to the vendor. 
  4. Run back to the same deep tunnel and repeat until you have about 58,000 gold. Purchase the Military Pack for 57,750 netting 300 bag slots. 
  5. Use the pickaxe until you've purchased the 1.2 million "medium canister" (4000 slots). Now purchase the best tool the money can buy. 
  6. Don't purchase too many upgrades because, at 10 million, I suggest doing a rebirth. This will cause you to lose all your gold, bags and tools you've purchased. 
    1. purchase cosmetic upgrades, especially eggs with your extra gold
    2. do rebirth after mine collapse and you've dug your own deep tunnel
    3. sell as many eggs to jumpstart your next rebirth with a new bag.



Sporting my 3 sets of wings.

Don't forget:


  • Level/Evolve your pet - If you get a pet you like, find out what they need to evolve. This (so far I've only reached 5 of 10), involves collecting ## ore. Most ore is found around the 100-150 block level. Upgraded pets provided increased rewards. 
  • R$ and Rebirth token purchases are permanent. As you can see, I have the nuke and the teleporter. 
    • The nuke has a much longer range than the pickaxe so I'll mine all the ore in reach, then just start tossing out the nuke in high-density ore areas. 
    • The teleporter is great for shortening that sell/mine loop. Mine down until bags full, place teleporter, sell, teleport back and click 'move' to remove it. 
  • "To Surface" - Almost as useful as the teleporter as it will put you 10 steps outside the mine. Sell -> to surface -> find hole. "To Surface" also places you right next to the quest giver in the zone. Use it when you've completed a quest for quick rewards. 


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The Warbringers

Battle for Azeroth is already looking to be a rather contentious expansion. Jaina, Sylvanas and even Queen Azshara are all getting videos to show a little of their backstories. These videos are intended to give their side of why they are involved in this 'battle'. I will give my thoughts on the videos (one still unreleased) and some background based on my experience. (Yes, this could mean spoilers if you haven't read Before the Storm (BtS) or seen Nobbel's summary here). With these videos, I liken these leader's actions to the seven deadly sins.






Jaina is wrath. 


She feels like the rest of the Alliance leaders are ignoring the recent deceit of the Horde. We saw this in her first outburst when Khadgar wanted to invite the Horde back to Dalaran. It's hinted at in BtS when she talks to Kalegos in that she's actively trying to deal 'things'.

Her video points to her supposedly naivete to the horde's brutish nature. Her father had warned her but she still ignored him. She raises her father's ship from the bottom of the ocean, then takes command of this ghost ship sailing it off to places unknown. We can only assume she plans to attack the Horde.



Jaina scares me. She has the will and the means to raise an army. Her wrath will very likely cause her to do something regretful. We can hope that Anduin's actions in Lorederon, or an expression of love from Kalecgo's will soften her rage.  (full "Daughter of the Sea" lyrics)
I heard, I heard, across a moonlit sea,
The old voice warning me,
"Beware, beware the Daughter of the Sea",
"Beware, beware..."...of me.

Some interesting references:



Sylvanas is envy. 

She was exposed to the powers of Azurite during the victory scene of the ABT raid. During the BtS, we learn that she has commissioned people to research azurite's abilities and potential for war. They make armor and a necklace, plus a few machines (as goblins and gnomes often do). They find azurite has healing possibilities including neutralizing poisons (when in raw liquid form) and healing wounds (when made into armor). [Note, liquid azurite is also eluded to by Gallywix be the primary ingredient in Kaja Cola. ] We never learn all of its abilities, but Sylvanas definitely has some ideas and plans.

She is faced with her own extinction. Undead are not immortal, but slowly rotting away. BtS presented us with a 'doctor' who repaired undead bodies that have been severely damaged (i.e. replacing blacksmith's arm with a new arm that will never get stronger). The only way she will continue to have people to rule over is if they continue to "make" more undead. In Legion, we see the quest chain where she attempts to enslave the Val'kyr leader. As we learned in the Undead starting zone, Sylvanas wants the Val'kyr to help(?) her raise more undead. This quest ends with Genn saying "...you took my son's future, and now: I've taken yours." In her eyes, the only means of keeping her undead is through azurite.

Nobbel presents the flashback as seen in Warcraft 3(?)

Sylvanas is desperately trying to save her people. Will this lead to Sylvanas turning into the next Garrosh? I don't think so. Garrosh was prideful. He didn't see anything wrong with what he was doing. We've seen that Sylvanas has some feelings for her undead (she did allow the Lorderon undead/human meetup). I believe that Sylvanas burnt the tree not out of malice, but strategically to end fighting the Alliance in Darkshore. Killing all hope of reclaiming the World Tree.




to be continued when Azshara is released. 


Azshara is vane.

What we know..
Queen Azshara - Beautiful, charismatic,
and persuasive in every way, she
controlled most of the Night Elf society.
  1. The former queen of night elves
  2. Used powerful magic to change/improve her appearance. Only those more powerful than her could see through the illusion. 
  3. As powerful as Sargeras, Kil'jaeden, and Archimonde
  4. Makes a minor appearance in Legion
  5. Considered herself a perfect mate for Sargeras
  6. Transformed into current form by old gods
  7. Worked with Sargeras to purge all imperfection from Azeroth.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Protection Paladin Mage Tower Woahs

How I feel about Highlord's Return.
I am STILL working on my protection paladin mage tower. I was actually really excited to hear that patch 8.0 did not drop today. No, it hasn't been super easy now that my weapon is overpowered. I am at roughly 70+ attempts, with 40 of those being in the last 3 days. I've read the guides, watched numerous videos, but I still can't seem to complete this challenge. (It would be my second completed)

At moment, I am running 946 item level and my artifact is overpowered to 136. I have the awesome Tyelca pants, but I don't have Sephuz's Secret like many guides suggest. This typically means that I have been not dying to health issues, but because of too many stacks of the aura (10 stacks hurt), flying off the platform or Velen not fighting off the horrors and dying. I've seen ~1% (i.e. 500k health on Kruul) ONCE! Your helper is released and does DPS the second phase and actually did 200k DPS after I died. Meaning, I was 300k health away from winning this challenge!! (*#&$ If I could have only hit the pally bubble before death. /sigh

I have progressed. My biggest improvements in gameplay have come from Darkmech's video. Now, the video itself is useful, but the biggest improvement came with his /focus macros. Yeah, stupid 'use this ability on /focus' type of macro.


Game preparation:
  • Macro for Judgement + Avenging Wrath
  • Macro for Avenger's Shield /focus
  • Macro for Hammer of Justice /focus
  • Macro for Rebuke /focus
  • Mapped Repentance to Q and HOJ macro to E
  • Rebuke macro is on mouse button 4
  • Taunt is currently on mouse button 5
  • DBM - Challenge mode addon is active
  • Weak Auras is running, but may not be triggering correctly. 



Scenario Preparation:
  • Flask of Countless Armies  - strength buff so extra dps
  • Defiled Augment Rune       - strength buff 
  • Bear Tartare                        - run speed buff when killing enemies
  • Set focus to Inquisitor        - macros and weak auras tend to trigger off /focus settings
Now the fight actually begins.
  1. Start fight with my macro for Judgement + Avenging Wrath then click Seraphim. may combine into a single macro. 
  2. DPS until 5-6 stacks of Aura.
  3. Take out the first eye that spawns. (run speed buff from food)
  4. Run down to Velen, and get ready for first horrors to spawn. 
  5. Bring them back to Inquisitor. More DPS after the stacks drop. 
  6. Continue loop until Kruul jumps down, then change focus to Kruul.
  7. My best attempt at Kruul had me simply kiting him around the platform until I had completely filled the entire platform with green gooey circles. Dying in a circle attempting to run towards one of Velen's orbs.
My issues:
  • I get too many stacks of Aura of Decay. 
  • I get knocked off the platform by an infernal. 
  • DBM is really noisy. I am not paying attention to the dozen or so alerts that are triggering and simply missing the casts. 
  • I don't think any of the weak aura's are working. I copied Darkmechs and tried a couple of ones off Wago.io.
  • If I make it to Kruul, I miss a Twisted Reflection cast and heal him back up (i.e. I've seen him at 80% health, when starts at 33%).
I've been keeping the frustration down, by only attempting this fight while using a defiled augment rune. When I run out, I stop for the night. I have been managing to acquire on average 12 runes one a toon each day. Now that I have one more week and my weapon is only getting stronger each day, this SHOULD get easier, right?? I'd really love to get the weak auras working. I may just delete all the auras I have already imported and try them again. Maybe the author put in character specific triggers? Maybe using spell names and not ids? 


How it typically ends.


Update: 7/11/2018 - Gear drop caused a re-roll of all my stats. I took this opportunity to shuffle in more haste stacking gear. This increased my DPS rather considerably.  (For those that use AMR, I swapped to "AGGRESSIVE" from (dungeon friendly) "CONSERVATIVE")

AMR Gearing Strategies

I am now getting the bosses to transition faster. I also changed my legendary Breastplate of the Golden Val'kyr for the Pillars of Inmost Light. Pilar's has a nice buff to the artifact weapon's ability "Eye of Tyr". I've also created a macro to apply a [Potion of Prolonged Power] when casting [Eye of Tyr]. I attempted the run about 8 more times with this configuration and got to Kruul most of the times, but also got killed before completing the challenge. I got killed by being knocked off enough times, that I decided to have my engineer make a few (hundred) Goblin Gliders. Shall I bind to the glider to "Z"??


The last issue remaining, the Weak Aura's are still not working. I noticed that the weak aura is in German so all the spell abilities and the trigger of zone information was not English or using spell #s. I've updated the WA copy, but it's still failing. If I get them working, I'll post them here. :)




Update 7/13/2018:

I got a number of the weak auras working. First was the [load] function on the group was tied to the zone name. Fixed that, then fix each aura by looking at the 'trigger' tab, searching up the spell, and replacing with the spell # (off WowHead) instead of the spell name. In many ways, using the Wowhead Prot Pally guide was easiest to find the exact spell (like drain life). This was most helpful with Aura of Decay. Seeing the stacks and then the stacks dropping was nice to maintain DPS.

And then this happened!
Last night it finally happened! I had only one defiled rune left to go. By now I am consistently getting Variss down and progressing to phase 2. I am finding if I don't kite Kruul, he doesn't jump, so not as much green stuff on the ground. I have been kicked off at least 6 times by infernal stomp so I am starting to reliably side-stepping it when it comes down. My biggest surprise was when it was over. I hadn't even realized how close I was when Kruul was moved to the center and stunned.



Final thoughts:

  • (try to) Save Avenger's Shield for Twisted Reflection. If you're glowing, you're healing Kruul. Die or go find a Velen ball to drop the debuff. 
  • Interrupt Annihilation as often as possible, and use damage mitigation when you can't. 
  • You can run through the blue bars that go across the screen. They were working like the waves that push back during the last boss of Arcway. 
  • Keymap goblin gliders for that 1:10 chance you'll get knocked off. You have about half a second to trigger the glider before you are too low to get back on the platform. 

WoW Idle Thoughts

At some point in the next patch, the Battle for Azeroth is going to change to the Battle for Azeroth . The faction war/race for claiming t...