Thursday, September 30, 2010

Changes to Lock Glyphs in Cataclysm

for HolyCow
I was looking at the Cataclysm Glyphs. With 9 total glyph 'slots', we're going to definitely get some breathing room. No longer forced to sell our Souls only to get a flying kilrogg. I don't know about you, but weren't you giddy with exhaustion that your demon enslaved FASTER. (He only lasts 1 MINUTE, every milisecond counts!) Seriously, having these 6 options and only get mediocre low-level glyphs, was, well sort of an insult. 35 glyph options and we all knew EXACTLY which ones you absolutely had to have.

~3 Minute preview of (a mage) New Glyph UI!



Coming soon, we'll get 34 glyph options (7 Minor, 14 Major and 13 Prime). Most of the Prime glyphs are existing Major (3.3) glyphs, so you'll need to move them around from your major slots to the Primes.

Prime glyphs aren't going to be exciting in a 'change up your rotation' style. We want primes to be unambiguous dps (etc.) increases so we figured they might as well be easy to understand rather than something so convoluted that everyone would just go to a fansite to see which 3 to pick.

The majors are more interesting, because they are either not dps increases at all, or dps increases in ways that are tricky to math out. We think players will debate and geek out more about which majors to use, and with the new glyph design, swapping them out once in awhile isn't very painful.

Minors are basically convenience or fun.
Here are the Glyph changes as of today:
Prime:
  • Chaos Bolt - moved to prime
  • Conflagrate - only reduces CD, consumes Immolate
  • Corruption - moved to prime
  • Bane of Agony - name change only
  • Felguard - only improves Legion Strike spell, not all damage
  • Haunt - moved to prime
  • Immolate - moved to prime
  • Imp - moved to prime
  • Incinerate - moved to prime
  • Metamorphosis - moved to prime
  • Lash of Pain (fka Quick Decay) now buffs Succubus
  • Shadowburn no CD if fails to kill target below 25% (instead of slowdown)
  • Unstable Affliction - moved to prime

Major:
  • Fear - target doesn't run around, but trembles in fear (10s cd)
  • Life Tap - reduce cd of spell, removes SP boost.
  • Soul Swap (fka Searing Pain) - leaves dots on source also, increases CD to 10s.
  • Shadow Bolt - reduce mana cost to 15% from 10% in 3.3
  • Soulstone - change in amount of health recovered.
  • Seduction (fka Succubus) - only name change
Minor:

So, what does this mean for Elk? In Wrath - Affliction build, he's running major glyphs of Haunt, Life Tap and Quick Decay. It appears that LT and Quick Decay are not going to have any spell power boosts, so I'll be swapping them out for something else.
  • Haunt - move to prime
  • Bane of Agony - add to prime
  • Quick Decay - out major -> Corruption - in prime
  • Life Tap - out major -> Soul Swap - in major -- this one looks promising, as my biggest complaint with Soul Swap was that the former target lived on and now lost dots, dying slower.
  • Fear - add to major - understand Cataclysm is going to need more CC, this is perfect!
  • Shadow Bolt - add to major 
For his Destruction (mostly PVP) build, he's currently running major glyphs of Chaos Bolt, Soul Link and Conflagerate. Soul Link stayed a major glyph, but the other two moved to Prime slots. Since the Immolate is now consumed even with the conflag glyph, it's primary benefit may be voided. I am considering picking up a alternate.
  • Chaos Bolt - move to prime
  • Conflagerate - out of major -> Imp - into prime
  • Incinerate - add to prime
  • Soul Link - add to major
  • Howl of Terror - add to major
  • Shadowflame - add to major
Overall, I am liking the Affliction glyph changes the best. Soul Swap needed this and adding a tremor function to Fear is wonderful. You can now safely use fear in close-quarters areas and not worry about aggroing the entire room; successfully moving the spell from PVP-only to PVE. Sorry to see Conflagerate getting 'nerfed' to an only CD reduction glyph. I guess you could roll with Imm, Conflag, inc inc inc, and repeat much quicker??

      Wednesday, September 29, 2010

      So You Want to Be an ICC Raider?

      Last night, we had a freshly minted 80 join the guild. This death knight reached max level by, (gasp) questing. The first emblem he acquired was last night after an invite to the weekly raid (Satharion), #1 thing to do when your ICC raid failed to go. Unfortunately, due to his leveling via questing, he was almost totally in quest greens. GearScore listed him at 1400.  He died promptly with the first fire wave.

      First step, get some badges, emblems, er, points.  
      1. PVP points - As I mentioned for Children's Week, doing the random battleground, and Wintergrasp regularly will get you a good start. PVP gear is often 'cheaper' (if you win regularly) and easier to obtain. Heck, for straight "GearScore", I will often equip some PVP pieces just because they have such nice +SP. If you do WG early enough in the week, you can also (typically) get into a VOA run to obtain class specific gear and 2 frost badges.
      2. Emblems of Triumph and Frost - Start running regular dungeons...
        • Daily RDF  - Quick, easy fire up the random dungeon finder. Do one, you get 2 frost (and ~6 Triumph). Do more you get 6 more Triumph, each. Triumph buy you 231/245 gear. Frost badges buy you 251/264 gear. 
        • Daily Holiday Boss - This week, Corin Direbrew. On top of 200 gear, he also drops 2 Frost. That means, this week you can be earning 28 frost badges for just 30 minutes of game time.
        • Weekly Raid - Once a week, kill one of the first bosses in a raid environment. Typically guilds will setup a small group to do this on normal mode. (5 frost)
      Note: With the currency changes coming with 4.0, how you pay and how much you pay will dramatically change.


      I got some currency, but what to buy? I believe I've covered these before, but these two resource sites are perfect for any freshly minted (max level) toon. Or even that seasoned raider, who is looking to improve their gear a tad bit more, but needs help finding that Best in Slot.
      1. LootRank - I personally like LootRank because it allows me to define the values I want to search on. For example, sites like GearWishList and MaxDPS weigh Warlock items with heavy HIT higher than those without. At this point in my warcraft career, I don't need no stinking HIT. I can review each item individually, but why? Really gotta watch out for healer gear when reviewing these items.

      2. Wow-Heroes - This is another site that started me blogging. I wanted to join a Naxx PUG, but was told my HIT was too low. What is HIT? I asked and a guildie pointed me here. This site takes your current gear and suggests gems and enchants for you. (Sure, it also provides a link to upgrades, but ends up defaulting to filtered Wowhead lists.) 

      Sure, but what about in-game help? Drops happen. How to know when you want to roll NEED, greed or simply disenchant. There are addons for that.
      1. My favorite gear review addon is Pawn. (download) This addon provides a raw-score based on various 'scales' that you defined. I actually use my LootRank scale as listed above. That way I get a similar score as what that site will. In addition, Pawn has a number of predefined scales that will automatically display based on your current builds. I see an affliction and destruction scale (dual spec'd for PVE and PVP build).
      2. RatingBuster (download) - is a simple alternative. No scales, just raw comparison of stats on current and new item. You'll need to determine which stat you most want and aim for it. For example, a Warlock picking up an item with +STR (just cuz you don't have it), would be silly.. :)
      Top Upgrades
      Going forward you should start seeing upgrades rather quickly. Triumph badges come aplenty when you run the dungeons. Look into incremental upgrades, to make running the dungeons easier. I particularly favor picking upgrades from the top of the LootRank Top Upgrades list, removing unavailable options (filtering raids, only 5-man). Once you get some high-end gear, invest in some enchants and gems for these items. You'll be really happy with what you see.

      I believe you'll want to shoot for approximately a 4,000 GearScore (or 2500 on Wow-heroes) to enter ICC.

        Tuesday, September 28, 2010

        Where Will You Be When Disaster Strikes?

        New Orgrimmar as viewed through Old
        As the rumored November 2nd release date looms, I have started thinking about my Day 1 in the new world. With any new release, the starting zones are going to be overloaded with all those people who are coming back, and seeing the areas for the first time. They are going to be flooding these zones, and if you remember Dalaran being laggy, imagine now Old World content being extra laggy (-2fps!!) So, my intent for day 1, will include those Shared Topic items, plus the following:
        1. Wake up in Orgrimmar. Everything Horde will be based in Orgrimmar. The level 80 quest hub starts right outside. The Flight trainer is there. The Reforging dude is right there. Like the leveling days, I'll probably park in the Inn.

          From the Inn, head up towards the Drag.
        2. Buy Azerothian Navigation - Take the new elevator right outside the Drag and run across the plateau and give her some gold. (200g exalted with Orgrimmar). Possibly another 4000g if you want a mastery in riding (which I think is code for 310% flying). 
        3. Reforge my gear - From the flight trainer, I'll drop back down the other elevator on the other side to the reforger. He's currently (in Beta) in the Enchanter building (other end of Drag).
        4. Train up Alchemy and Herbalism - Run across the street from the Enchanter trainer to Yelmak, then back up stairs to the Jandi for Herbalism.

          Bank and guild vendor are back in the Valley of Strength
        5. Pickup bag from bank -  Goodbye Shard bag. That's if I haven't already equipped it! I've also heard rumors that the shard bag will auto-convert into a 'comparable' sized bag. I doubt it will be a 28 slot bag.
        6. Check Guild vendor - I want to see how quickly we'll get that crazy Scorpion (Horde Guild) mount. Also curious what my current guild rep will be? Will it roll our current achievements and leveling into rep for the guild? 
        7. Pick up some rations - Going to need some higher level food and water for the questing zones.

        8. Get started on Vash'jir quest chain. Hop on flying mount and fly out to the new Dock outside Orgrimmar (map).Wondering if they added Unending breath back. It was gone for a few months in Beta.

        Still need to find new glyphs for my medium slots, figure I'll find a guildie who's leveling up to give me a few. Need to turn on Find Herbs again and maybe equip my herb bag as I'll be leveling up Alchemy again (and Cooking).

        Monday, September 27, 2010

        Should I solo or not go?

        Over the weekend, I was working on soloing the Steamvault. I was doing great, got two bosses down, finally found the keys to open up the third. When I mentioned what I was doing to a guildie, he suggested waiting until after Cataclysm drops.

        His reasoning is the Cataclysm Guild Perks. One of the items they state as a way to get Guild rep is by doing dungeons and raids with ~80% guild attendance. For example:
        Participating in a qualifying Guild Raid Boss Kills (Raid must be composed of 7/10 or 20/25 guild members)
        So, if this is correct, we could attack all the old world, BC and wrath dungeons and get the achievements (for completion and in Wrath, the specifics) and get a glut of guild rep. Would be nice... I am hung up on the word "Qualifying".. On the otherhand, I am still NOT even friendly with my beta guild and I've gotten 1.5 levels on Elk. No dungeons, no raids or PVP though, maybe that's why?..

        Sunday, September 26, 2010

        Cataclysm Strikes November 29th?

        Update: The date is slipping. According to Wow.com, the date was originally posted as November 23rd. This is just Amazon stating that the software was likely released to manufacturing. I guess, we'll see it, when we see it.

        Ok, again, I am basing my info on a pre-order date of my Amazon Cataclysm done back in April. I just got a confirmation letter from Amazon with an estimated ship date of November 29th.

        Hello from Amazon.com.

        We now have delivery date(s) for the order you placed on April 15 2010 (Order# ):

        "World of Warcraft: Cataclysm"


        Estimated arrival date: November 29 2010


        Of course, this information could still be speculation and actually be closer to the 11/2/2010 date from MMO-Champion.

        Friday, September 24, 2010

        All I Want from Blizzard...

        The last few months, I've been listening to TNB in my car to/from work. One of their "Final" questions, is to ask, "What one thing would you ask for from Blizzard?"

        When I started playing Warcraft, back in the day, one of the biggest perks for chosing a Warlock is the "Free" mount. Nope, I didn't need to pay some trainer and buy a mount, I earned it via an epic quest line (and a fair amount of gold). Then Blizzard, announced with BC, that we'd be allowed to FLY! Yes, fly around our world, no longer need to use the taxi system to get from one area to the next. On the tip of every warlock's (and pally's) tongue was, what will the mount look like?



        Unfortunately, Blizzard never implemented one. Nope. Sounding too much like my parents, or myself now, "maybe someday" (aka never).
        Sorry for the bad news, but unfortunately there are no current plans for giving class flying mounts to Paladins and Warlocks. But do not give up hope, because no-one knows what the future will bring… Maybe on some fine day in the future we will get to see Paladins and Warlocks soaring through the air on flying mounts that are only available to them :-) Source: Vaneras, Jan. 2007

        If I was to get one wish from Blizzard, it would be a epic, class-specific, flying mount. To make an excellent lock mount, (IMHO) it should be:
        • Black, fierce and on fire (see dreadsteed, and felsteed)
        • Not undead (no gargoyles or skeletal)
        • Demonic, love if it was pulled from the 'nether', not Wrath
        • Like to avoid it being dragon based. been there, done that.
        • Not so big that I can't fly through doorways.
        These are a few suggestions from around the blogosphere. I am not sure I am really in love with any of them.








        Like one forum poster said:
        We're more likely to get green fire, than a flying mount.


        A warlock can brood..

        Thursday, September 23, 2010

        I Can SOLO That!

        After our guild (achievement) run of ZG last night, it got me wondering about other Pre-Wrath dungeons and Raids. A year ago, Elk solo'd Hellfire Ramparts, but I haven't tried anything since then. In the last year, Elk went from i200 gear to mostly i251, learned more about stacking hit, enchanting correctly and some PVP experience.

        I'd love to finish off more of these other dungeons to get the Classic Raider and BC Raider achievements. My first problem is getting lost in these dungeons.

        What have you successfully soloed? What armor class? How many times did you die doing so?


        Here's the entire list, if you need some reminders...

        Dungeons:
        Raids

        Wednesday, September 22, 2010

        PowerAura #2 - Demonic Cicle

        Now, that my guild is fighting Sindragosa, and soon (I hope) Lich King, the Demonic Circle is playing an enormous part in my fight strategy. The first night we attempted the bone dragon, my lock closet kept timing out. Nothing worse, than dying due to the AOE, because your madly clicking "teleport" and there's nowhere to go to.

        What I have started looking for is a PowerAura to help out. I love that I have glowy, shiny reminders to tell me when something is available, missing or on CD. Over at MMO Champion, they've started a warlock guide for PowerAura's and this one is posted right on top. I've tried a variant Friday of this on my own, but couldn't get it to work, probably a typo in the creation or mix-up the coding. To simplify it, I've found code that I can import. Just need to update the reference in the first to the second and vice versa.

        I am not getting this to work, but I think it appears to be my relationship of the two auras. When I moved them to a different tab, one of the auras lit-up. Still working on this. 

        First:

        Version:st3.0.0E; gcd:bofalse; TimerInactiveDueToMulti:botrue; Active:bofalse; isSecondary:bofalse; g:nu1; thresholdinvert:bofalse; tooltipCheck:st; stacksLower:nu0; target:bofalse; InactiveDueToState:bofalse; beginSpin:bofalse; buffname:stDemonic Circle: Teleport; r:nu1; begin:nu0; x:nu-150; customname:st; groupany:botrue; isAlive:botrue; timerduration:nu0; spec1:botrue; bufftype:nu7; party:bofalse; focus:bofalse; raid:bofalse; texture:nu1; slot:nu66; alpha:nu0.10000000149012; aurastext:st; randomcolor:bofalse; owntex:botrue; isResting:nu0; duration:nu0; mine:bofalse; multiids:st; inVehicle:nu0; HideRequest:bofalse; sound:nu0; stacksOperator:st>=; realaura:nu1; threshold:nu50; off:bofalse; stacks:nu0; textaura:bofalse; b:nu1; wowtex:bofalse; groupOrSelf:bofalse; customsound:st; combat:nu0; anim1:nu1; optunitn:bofalse; inParty:nu0; ignoremaj:botrue; icon:stInterface\Icons\Spell_Shadow_DemonicCircleTeleport; aurastextfont:nu1; size:nu0.11999998986721; torsion:nu1; y:nu-470; customtex:bofalse; unitn:st; symetrie:nu0; speed:nu1; Debug:bofalse; anim2:nu0; Showing:bofalse; UseOldAnimations:bofalse; exact:bofalse; spec2:botrue; id:nu5; texmode:nu2; inverse:bofalse; ismounted:nu0; targetfriend:bofalse; inRaid:nu0; stance:nu10; finish:nu1; timer.InvertAuraBelow:nu0; timer.dual:bofalse; timer.HideLeadingZeros:bofalse; timer.h:nu1; timer.ShowOnAuraHide:botrue; timer.UpdatePing:bofalse; timer.Texture:stDefault; timer.enabled:botrue; timer.Showing:bofalse; timer.lastShownLarge:nu1; timer.DurationInfo:nu6629.33; timer.y:nu-300; timer.x:nu-96; timer.CustomDuration:nu0; timer.Transparent:botrue; timer.a:nu1; timer.HideRequest:botrue; timer.id:nu5; timer.cents:bofalse

        Second:

        Version:st3.0.0E; gcd:bofalse; b:nu1; anim1:nu1; g:nu1; optunitn:bofalse; ignoremaj:botrue; stacksLower:nu0; target:bofalse; icon:stInterface\Icons\Spell_Shadow_DemonicCircleS ummon; size:nu0.11999998986721; torsion:nu1; r:nu1; y:nu-470; x:nu-150; customname:st; groupany:botrue; isAlive:botrue; timerduration:nu0; unitn:st; bufftype:nu1; stacks:nu0; focus:bofalse; raid:bofalse; texture:nu1; alpha:nu0.75000005960464; aurastext:st; symetrie:nu0; owntex:botrue; isResting:nu0; duration:nu0; mine:bofalse; multiids:st; inVehicle:nu0; speed:nu1; anim2:nu0; stacksOperator:st>=; realaura:nu1; spec2:botrue; threshold:nu50; exact:bofalse; buffname:stDemonic Circle: Summon; textaura:bofalse; InactiveDueToState:bofalse; wowtex:bofalse; groupOrSelf:bofalse; customsound:st; combat:nu0; id:nu6; inParty:nu0; HideRequest:bofalse; Active:bofalse; aurastextfont:nu1; inRaid:nu0; tooltipCheck:st; customtex:bofalse; stance:nu10; isSecondary:bofalse; thresholdinvert:bofalse; spec1:botrue; Debug:bofalse; beginSpin:bofalse; Showing:bofalse; UseOldAnimations:bofalse; begin:nu0; off:bofalse; party:bofalse; texmode:nu2; inverse:bofalse; ismounted:nu0; targetfriend:bofalse; randomcolor:bofalse; sound:nu0; finish:nu1

        Tuesday, September 21, 2010

        Guild Perks - How They're Crucial to Making Gold

        Over at Just My Two Copper, Markco has posted a great review of the various Guild Perks that are coming in Cataclysm and how they will help you make MORE gold. If you haven't had a chance, this site is an excellent resource discussing gold making methods and tricks.
        Personally, I am excited about a few of these perks as they are directly going to replace benefits from BOA gear, and trinkets like the riding crop. Simply by joining a guild, you will (eventually) get all these perks. The rate at which your guild gets each perk is based on points, points you get from completing quests (and possibly more that I haven't seen). These points also add directly to your reputation with the guild. Better rep, better rewards you can purchase at the guild vendors.

        For a breakdown of all the various perks, check out this WowHead breakdown.

        Monday, September 20, 2010

        Everything I loved in the goblin starting area

        Instead of a long-winded exposé of the cool things that make up a goblin, Wow.Com linked to this excellent video. Think rockets and explosions! Not, well Queen's English and lah-dee-dah.

        Friday, September 17, 2010

        Those lesser minions revisited in Cataclysm

        Last year, I posted an article about those rarely used minions, the doomguard and infernal. Looking forward to Cataclysm, these dps monsters are going to get a lot more play, at least for some specs.

        As never played a Demo lock, I have hardly seen these two minions. CoD is one of those curses, mostly used in raiding, and until very recently, I was only pugging raids. When I did spawn a doomguard, it was totally a surprise and I didn't even enslave it. Do Demo locks have another means to summon one of them? The infernal actually saw more play. I liked to use it on the final two phases of the Black Knight. The AOE was wonderful of mopping up the scourge adds and typically the fight would end just as the infernal popped.

        In Cataclysm, that (ALL) changes. These two minions are now summon-able, no reagents necessary. Click, fire, new pet. Better yet, they don't override your existing pet, so you can have both! I was running an imp and doomguard in parts of Mt. Hyjal last night.

        Drawback? They're not (currently) destro friendly.
        The Doomguard will assist you by attacking the target which is afflicted by your Bane of Doom or Bane of Agony spell.
        I am not currently playing Affliction, so I don't have Bane of Agony buffed. I suppose I could put 2 points into Doom and Gloom (outside my current 0/8/31). In fact, I have been using Bane of Havoc against my primary target, but I guess it doesn't need to.. I could bind it to my /focus macro and put BoH on them. Ooo! 15% dmg on someone I just looked at momentarily.

        BRB, I gotta go find that 'lock trainer again. (get's busy changing around spell rotation again) "ooo the possibilities abound"
        • PVP, incoming alliance to my flag
        • Raiding, start of boss fight.. should be off CD before next boss.
        • Last boss in a 5-man dungeon
        • Questing on group quests, insta-tank

        Thursday, September 16, 2010

        Spend! Spend! SPEND!

        In the next two Warcraft patches your existing badges and PVP tokens and honor will be converted to the new Cataclysm currency, gold or Catacylsm Honor and Justice Points. This means that if you had been looking forward to that last piece of your pvp arena gear, or that last tier piece... it maybe in your best interest to get it before the PTR build goes live. 

        Here's some information on how each of the currencies will be converted in the next content patch. Keep in mind these values may change, and they can get a bit math heavy. Just know that our intent is to appropriately value each mark and provide a conversion we feel is fair.

        The following items are immediately converted to gold:
        • Emblem of Heroism = 5.5 gold each
        • Emblem of Valor = 5.5 gold each
        • Emblem of Conquest = 5.5 gold each
        • Badge of Justice = 1.833 gold each

        Your New Honor Points total will be the sum of the following amounts:
        • Old Honor * 0.024
        • Old Arena Points * 0.85
        • Battleground Mark of Honor * 2.976
        • Wintergrasp Mark of Honor * 19.08
        • Stone Keeper Shard * 1.6
        • Venture Coin * 3
        • Spirit Shard * 1
        Your Justice Points total will be equal to (Emblems of Triumph + Emblems of Frost ) * 2.75

        Again, the softcap for both Honor and Justice conversions is 4000 points. This means that if a character converts to above 4,000 points, it will not be possible for them to earn more until they fall below the 4,000 cap.

        A hardcap will be implemented in a following patch before Cataclysm's release. At that time, any excess points above 4,000 will be converted as follows:
        • Honor points above 4,000 are converted to gold at a rate of 35 silver per point of Honor.
        • Justice points above 4,000 are converted to gold at a rate of 2 gold per point of Justice.

        Wednesday, September 15, 2010

        Shared Topic: My Favorite ___ in Wrath.

        The idea of this shared topic is to discuss what I loved best, my absolute favorite, in Wrath of the Lich King. What comes to mind, over and over, is song from Mary Poppins (specifically the 30s from here).



        Dungeons were cool,
        Vehicles neat.
        Phasing was awesome,
        Questing, a treat.

        But the one thing, I really loved
        was raiding with friends.

        OK, not quite a great rhyme, but you get the point. Wrath is the first dungeon, where the planets have aligned and I have been able to raid, reliably for 3 hours a week. For two months, each Monday from 9PM local to almost midnight, we attack ICC. It was slow at first, but we are now down to the final 3 bosses.

        Tuesday, September 14, 2010

        Getting the leveling greens

        Elk with a (free-beta enhanced) race change.
        It always happens. In comes a new expansion, out goes all your epic purple gear for quest greens.

        At level 82, Deepholm opens up as an explorable area. Here, you are questing to 1) fix the damage Deathwing caused when escaping his prison 2) determine who may have helped him escape (twilight cohorts?). There appears to have been some conspiracy here, as one quest chain has you investigate mysterious deaths on an Alliance gunship. (just started this)

        So far, Elk has made it 2/3rd the way to 83. He has replaced:
        • i251 Tier-10 legs and shoulders
        • i232 neck
        • i245 wand (triumph badge wand)
        • i251 offhand and sword
        • i251 bracers
        • i264 belt. 
        One of the biggest changes that I am seeing is the dramatic amounts of stamina and intellect stacking on all the gear, just look at my health. In Wrath (5600 gs), I had 21,000 unbuffed. Not really worried about +hit during leveling, since all my mobs are within 1 level of me. Haste is staying on balance with Wrath; Crit is a bit low, but that may simply be my gear selection. (ref: Wow.com)

        Overall, the stat changes make gear selection easier (IMHO). I am currently working off: Int > Haste > Crit
        I am still trying to figure out this mastery score, but I think Blizzard is too.

        Monday, September 13, 2010

        Sorry to offend

        Just a few minutes ago, while working in Mt Hyjal, clearing dragonkin, I got a pst telling me that I was a #)(*@ RICHARD. All CAPS at that. Ouch! I was hurt, sorta. Best I could figure is this poor DK couldn't compete with my caster reach for tagging mobs. Sure, I ran around then let my minion beat them down. What else was is a lock to do when there's only 6 mobs, I need to kill 12 and there's 5 other people competing for resources? Mr. DK, every aff-lock has had this problem before, because our DOTs don't didn't tick immediately. I've lost mobs where I was first, but melee (aka you) was standing right there and hit it too. Sorry to offend, but what are you going to do when there are 15, 30 or 100 people all competing for those same mobs?

        In other news, I am still questing in Cata as destruction. I have respec'ed back into Improved Soul Fire, now that I found Soulburn makes it Instant Cast. The hard part is SB has an almost 45s CD (ATM).
        SB-SF, Bane of Agony, CoE, Corruption, Imm,Fel Fire, Conflag, Inc, CB

         The last patch brought some great UI improvements. First off, pieces of PowerAuras are visible. When Impowered Imp triggered, I saw this aura show up on my lock. (Edit: These UI updates are currently on the PTR servers for deployment, very very soon)


        Instant SF
        In addition, they have added spell specific actiavations, for example when something proc's. Here is Soul Fire's button around it after a SoulBurn. Personally, I love that this has been added to the game. I'd like make this configurable like that in PowerAuras. If so, I could configure things like Fel Armor falling off, or my Flask of Frost Wyrm needing refreshed.

        Friday, September 10, 2010

        I thought it was a joke, but here it is. (beta spoilers abound)

        Q: If 310% speed is becoming trainable, does that mean we'll be able to fly in Azeroth from the get-go?
        A: We have considered the concept of “Old Weather Flying.” Just kidding. More than likely, you’ll just be able to fly from the beginning. (source)

        "Old Weather Flying" has been implemented in Cataclysm. As exalted with Orgimmar, it cost me 200g. To this end, I suggest you finish your rep grind with Orgimmar before Cataclysm drops. Wow.com has this training at 250g.



        Elk finally got invited to a guild this afternoon. Working from home on Friday's does have perks. One of the cool guild perks this one has is it's own mount. It is currently selling for only a few silver, but that may change.


        ATM, I also cannot add it to my corral or ride it. A bugged bug?? I also see a guild pet armadillo. (/giggle).

        Oh, speaking of mounts, check out this one, yes it's an underwater mount, but darn cute. Imagine Elk on one!! Look like a Tauren on a Pally Pony. Yes, they do appear in more than the Goblin starting areas, see #2 found Vashjir.


        I had to laugh, when I saw this quest mount. It reminded me.. of well Austin Powers.


        So you don't have to go looking...



        So, the last goblin mount wasn't really there, but these are officially available in the Goblin "slums".

        go see cal


        Finally, you gotta love the troll warlock trainer. Ok the goblin warlock trainer constantly fighting with that other caster dps class is AWESOME. But this time the pet's get into it.

        Wednesday, September 8, 2010

        Zalazane's Fall Walk-thru

        Today, the Trolls have reclaimed their islands. This short little quest chain starts with a message in my mailbox and ends with me looking like a troll and rolling over Zalazane. It was a fun quest chain, but not an AQ sort of epic. I was really really looking forward to something that would take potentially weeks to complete. Do my little part and then with some big boss fight at the end.

        If you haven't already completed the quests, here's the basic run down. Reading the wowhead comments, I see people as low as 51 completing this quest chain, so, make sure to enjoy with all your alts. Read more to reveal quest chain spoilers.

        Tuesday, September 7, 2010

        Arena fail

        uuuuuhhh?
        Last night, Felruk and I ran another 10, obligatory fights in the rated Arenas. Unfortunately, that was another 7 losses and 3 wins. This isn't saying much, because 1 defaulted, 1 no-show and one, well, one member of the team disappeared, did 0 damage then reappeared when his spell/potion wore-off. I was curious if he was hoping we'd forfeit when we couldn't find him.
        • I think I need more practice
        • I think I was dying too quickly. 
        • I think we need a healer.
        • I think Felruk was sleepy and distracted (daughter sitting on his lap).
        Practice would make the spells come easier. I felt much better getting DOTs on my targets, but still.. I could do better. Now that I am running destruction again, my Fears are taking almost (seems like) a minute to cast. So long, that casting Fear is pointless if they are already attacking me. Howl is great, but it still has a 1s cast time. Shadowflame and Soulflame are great, but both have a long cooldown.

        Felruk has a pally alt. Maybe I can talk him into running a few with Baeloc. His pally does not have any PVP gear, so he'll be squishy, but still has ICC-10 raiding gear. Having a healer would both help us both last longer. Last longer, maybe get a bit more practice in, so we won't die so quickly.

        Felruk has a PVP set, but it's not enchanted or fully gemmed. I am considering purchasing these enchants for him and mailing them to him!

        At this point, Arena is a chance to get 250 arena points each week. I should have enough points to get the last Relentless piece of my set (trousers). Last Wednesday in ICC, I picked up the Frost Needle, which has a nice bit of hit on it. (Enchanted with +63 SP last night). I am replacing my Quel'delar with this for PVP to get my hit rating up. It appears I need to maintain about 100 hit for other level 80 players (seems low considering I typically run close to 350 for raiding).

        Monday, September 6, 2010

        Addon Review: The New WoW-Pro Quest Helper

        From the online Horde 21-30 guide
        I have long been a big fan of Jame's leveling guides over at WoW-Pro.com. These online guides helped Elk level fairly quickly and painlessly from 20 to 75. The guides were concise, with maps and locations to grind for quest items. (He specifically designed the guides to avoid grinding extra mobs to level.) At any time, you could find printed, dog-eared copies of these guides, sitting around my computer, with crossed out segments, and circles of what I still needed to complete. They were extremely helpful, but cumbersome. "Oh man, I skipped a line and missed that quest item, I need to run back..."

        My current questing status
        Earlier this week, the Wow-Pro team has released an add-on version of their leveling guide. I loaded up this add-on yesterday (off Curse, WoWMatrix hasn't added it yet) and was quickly impressed. Once, I updated my ACP Questing build to include LightHeaded, and TomTom, I was greeted with a simple interface for all my questing zones. Clicking on a zone, I see a count of my completed vs. total quests for each of these zones. Clicking on Terrokkar Forest, I see I have only 7 quests left. I open up this quest guide, and immediately, TomTom kicks in with distance and direction to the first quest giver.  Grab flying mount, complete quest, next in chain pops up, and repeat. I kill a giant spider and then I get the Terror of Terrokkar achievement. Thinking Loremaster, anyone??

        Coming up to quest NPC, with only 3 quests left in zone.


         My complaints:
        1. It doesn't map out EVERY quest, but those best suited to leveling. I am 13 quests away from the Nagrand Slam, but can't find the breadcrumb. I can see from WowHead, it's the GreatMother quest chain. I do have the last 2 "Against the Legion" quests left, maybe it will popup after I finish those.
        2. As a volunteer driven guide, there aren't guides for every zone. The two Outlands zones that I haven't done any questing in, Netherstorm and Shadowmoon Valley, neither have guides. Maybe I should volunteer?
        3. If I load a guide in the wrong zone, it maps out the location wrong for the quest giver. It didn't do this for everyzone; from Dalaran, it correctly said that the Barrens was several thousand yds away. Nagrand and Terrokkar it didn't. Should report bug to team.
         Overall, its a great addon for leveling. It's simple to use. It provides detailed maps, quest item pickup and when integrated with lightheaded, most all the info you'll need to level up and possibly finish loremaster.

        Friday, September 3, 2010

        Let it Loose!

        I would like to propose that we have fun! Let it loose. Quit worrying about gear scores and trainers for a few hours and simply go into the game to be silly, rude and even random().  Here's what I am thinking...

        Frat Party to the Panties Raid
        Grab as many of your friends, pick a 10-20 man raid (old world or BC) and complete it. Two requirements:
        1. you are totally smashed, pick your poison. healers cannot heal you if you are not.
        2. you end with less gear on that started. I suggest a rule where each class must remove an item based on what drops. Cloth shoulders, all priest, mage and warlocks must bag their shoulders. 
        Repeat raiding until all are naked (or only in non-stat clothes (i.e. seasonal clothes, pirate shirts or guild tabards ))

        Streak Dalaran
        Now that you are all (virtually) naked, streak around Dalaran (as a group). Make a few laps, whooping it up as noisily as possible. Invite those that join you for on a...
         
        Naked Progressive Party
        By now, hopefully, your party has grown (to 40 people!?) and you can head into slightly harder content. How about Molten Core (hot enough for ya')? Now equip the items that are appropriate that drop from the bosses. "Winner" is decided based on player with most gear on at end of raid.


        My intention is two-fold. Stop raiding ICC for a day or two and complete some old world raids. I ran a level 21 shaman through RFK last night and felt like it was no big accomplishment to simply dot everything watch it die in two clicks. meh. How about if the 15 level 22 razorbacks actually could, maybe hurt me? And secondly, have fun with friends. That's the point of the M in MMORPG, right?

        Thursday, September 2, 2010

        I wanna be Professor Putricide

        the master at work
        I want to be just like him. I want the ability to work in my alchemy lab, and discover new potions and elixirs. Not just your standard research, but I want to go out in the field and pull samples from enemy mobs. I want to create poison gases and fuming flasks that I can drop like hunter traps. I want CC type potions that I can throw at mobs and turn them into ooey gooey blue gooey goo. I want to sprinkle some elixir on my dead party members and turn them into Festergut (at least for a short time). I want my Mad Alchemist potion to sometimes turn me, visually, into an actual Mad Alchemist (ala Savory Deviate Delight).

        I don't want to be a grand master alchemist. I want to be a professor.

        Wednesday, September 1, 2010

        Sindragosa (10-man normal) First Impressions

        Last night, Order of Thought, made our first pass at Sindragosa. For half the group, this was old hat. Having it run it in 10/25 on their mains, this easy-mode 10 was cake. Unfortunately for the other 5 of us, this was a first encounter. I feel that 7 wipes were actually great for this fight, considering it is the second to last boss. At least one of those attempts she was below 10% health.

        Guess who's coming for dinner??


        This fight is all about the dance. You have phase one and the Unchained Magic, which reminds me of Tyrannous (in PoS) with his targeted damage (what you cast, hurts another raid member). Phase 2 reminds me of the fight against Garfrost, where you need to hide behind the object ("I got a rock") to avoid massive AoE damage.

        Here's what I learned in our 7 attempts on her Monday night. Let me first rehash her abilities:

        Ground phase:
        • Unchained Magic - 2 targeted people get a stacking Instability debuff = 2000 dmg x per stack when buff falls off. I was casting until I reach 4 stacks, then pausing for a sec. Didn't notice if I was taking damage each time it reached 0 stacks, or only when it fell off.
        • Icy Grip -> Blistering Cold  - summon, then AoE to 25yds. 

        Air Phase (starts @85%)
        • Ice tomb - randomly on 2 people and anyone within a few yards.
        • Ice spear - 4 times after ice tomb - in middle of field at bottom of stairs. Use ice tombs for LOS otherwise 15k to 20k dmg.
        Repeat Ground - Air transitions until:

        Final Phase (@35% health)
        • She's grounded from now on.
        • +Mystic Barriage(?) - Unrelenting damage that requires you to stand behind ice tombs to recover.
        • Ice tomb - every few seconds a new target. Must DPS down so that entire group doesn't get tombed.
        • Icy Grip -> Blistering Cold

        Warlock perspective:
        1. drop warlock portal, often. (dropped here) I died (at least) 3 times, sadly, because my portal disappeared and I was sitting there spamming teleport, instead of running, and got massively hit by blistering cold. When the portal WAS up, it was absolutely awesome. Grip, port and I was instantly back applying dots while my crew ran back up the stairs. Problem was that our fights were lasting over 6 minutes. I am thinking that I'll need to drop a new portal after each port or at least between phases. The times that I noticed my portal expired and I survived are because I ran any direction away from her. Then I ran back at the start of the air phase to the stairs.
        2. SS on Me? I was putting the SS on our druid healer, but thinking back, maybe it would have been better on myself. ("[raid] Tank: battle res Elk again..") I know it's selfish (/cackle), but the healer wasn't dying until the end of the fight. She's actually been in there a few dozen more times than myself.
        3. CoD on CD. We had a Unholy DK in the group, so I was using CoD, instead of CoE. This was funny, because it would explode right about the transition from air to ground, and I would hear my aggro alerts going off each time.Unfortunately this spell has a cast cooldown and I accidentally cast it on the ice tombs, locking myself out of casting it again on the boss for 30 seconds. I am thinking my Boned macro needs a Sindragosa version.
        4.  AoE on Ice Tomb - We are still learning the Phase 3 dance. right, left, right, left.. A few times, someone would wander too close to someone about to be tombed and get frozen also. Time to whip out that AoE and free both simultaneously.
        (place epic death screen shot here)


        We reset the raid, and will be starting over tonight. Last Wednesday we cleared 8 bosses, up to Valithra (leaving Putricide, Blood Queen, Sindragosa and LK for Monday).

        Woo-hoo! Now just hope my family life doesn't demand my attention tonight and I can attend!


        Additional References:

        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 yo...