Monday, November 25, 2013

Sparkle Pony Needs a Best Friend!

Now on the Blizzard store!



I think for the $5 (more) donation to Make-A-Wish (heck they helped BatKid), I'll probably just get the combo of both this mount and the new pet.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Why the LFR Animosity?

Reading the post by Karpa,
My point is I know a lot hate this feature but personally I am grateful for it. Sure I would love to raid with a guild again, but time is an issue lately and I don't want to fully commit. LFR is a nice feature for me overall. I am probably in the minority but just wanted to say anyway.
and I get what he says. Last night, I am healing on my Disc Priest, and we've wiped 3 times on Malkorok. Sure, the ranged dps aren't all jumping in the purple zones causing a lot of aoe damage, but no one ever explained this to the raid. Instead I see in chat comments like "UR all LFR tards" and "kick all &@*# low dps!". Really?!?

If people really hate this feature, I mean, so much to start calling names and cussing out the group, then why are they running it? Hmmm? As DPS, I queue up for all four SoO LFRs and can typically get into one fight within half an hour; sometimes even less. That means there are at least 24 other people with my same idea at this same time.



Like Karpa, I don't have a solid guild that has enough people to run raids. We did. Now, I sit with my 3 other guild compatriots, logging in regularly, chatting seldom, keeping our level 25 guild alive, but mostly only waving as we pass. LFR is all (the raiding) I got.

To me, it's as if the "casual" animosity of Wrath has morphed into LFR hate. Makes me want to say something like "Sorry dude, you're just to L33T for LFR, please leave.", but won't. Just adds to the rage.

/ignore haters.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Thoughts on Warlords Instant 90 Toon Option

One of the aspects of the upcoming expansion that Blizzard announced was allowing you to boost a single alt all the way to 90 instantly.

See, looking back, I've always envied the hybrid classes. First off, the DPS queue. Typically this can be anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour in order to get into phased content (i.e. dungeon / LFR). As a warlock, there is no option to flip to heals or tank in order to get into a faster queue. Second, questing. My disc priest hates questing because fighting mobs takes forever. Often she'll end the fight a full health, but cannot deal with multiple mobs. Sure, she could go shadow, but I just don't have the shadow groove (haven't played affliction in a LONG time), so it tends to be a lot of senseless dying and corpse runs.

Druid - Paladin - Monk (um, why doesn't Hearthstone have a Monk hero?).

  • Druid has fun advantages. First off, flight form. I'd suppose that this level 90 will have already completed the quests(?) necessary for flight form, swim form, prancing elk form! If nothing else than to have a toon who can level mining and herbalism to max level for me. I had started leveling up a troll druid in the Cata beta, but haven't played another one since. 
  • Paladin for plate armor. Nothing more wonderful than a tank who sounds like an actual tank on the battlefield. Clanking armor and wielding a hammer to smash faces. My pally made it to 15 and is sitting on Kul'turas. My friends started off Alliance then hopped to Horde on Malfurion after some drama. I followed and never looked back. 
  • Monk, hmm, fling beer kegs. Not high on my list of classes. My panda monk is still working on the starting zone of Panderia; just about to reach the pivotal horde or alliance quest. 

In patch 5.4, (according to WoWPopular.com), Retribution Paladin's are the most popular (hybrid) class, followed by Feral Druids. Looking at Cynwise's last class post, seems to match this data with 11.4% of max level toons being Paladins.


Does this make it a good choice for me? Not sure. I suppose I really need to see which toon I can get out of the starting areas.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

LFR Downfall DPS Guide

Downfall - last section of the Siege of Orgrimmar raid.

Siegecrafter Blackfuse
This boss is the 'get out of the ____' boss. You need to be ready to constantly move out of something before it smashes you. There is a conveyor belt that brings in new weapons. These get fired into the raid party and do various explosions (like a good goblin should).


  1. Bombs that crash down. Causes 'ripples' that come out in waves from boss. Watch for circle on ground and get out of it. Then watch as ripples (like the Terrace of Endless Spring 'Protectors' boss) of rock come off boss. Dance around ring.
  2. Saw blades - thrown from boss and will sit there and spin. Move!
  3. Magnets that draw you towards conveyor (wind of Lei Shen, run and instant cast).
  4. Ring of fire that expands. 
  5. Bombs that target you and then blow up. Target it and DPS.

If you can avoid all that, just dps boss!



Paragons of the Klaxxi

Garrosh Hellscream - IMHO, Garrosh is a fun fight. For a warlock, it's just stay out of the stuff on the ground and AOE adds. 

Twice during our fight, we ported to another location; both were heroic dungeons. During this, just run fast enough to keep up with tank and kill the mini-boss at the end. 

Lots of movement. Lots of things on the ground to run out of. 


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Blizzcon: Hearthstone Panel


From the Blizzcon Virtual Ticket, this was probably the most interesting panel to watch. The panel included a lot of development information about how they made the game and concepts going into it. Personally, the Elite Tauren Chieftain entrance was enough to sell me.

Here is my notes from the panel.

General:

  • Game developed from announcement to release within a single year. 
  • Blizzard change of pace. Using a small 'elite' team to develop game, only 15 people on dev team. 
  • "Focused" - Trying to get game released. PVP play only at first, add expansions to include new content.
  • Easy to start, "accessible for everyone"- Beginners should be able to read card and understand immediately what will happen. Card like Hellfire used as example in that it damages ALL cards. Now card text says "ALL" in caps to help explain.
  • Complex, "keep it deep" enough that layering card play makes for some interesting combinations. There could be valid reasons you want to destroy all your minions. Join a weak card and combine with another card to make an awesome deck. 
  • True to class - Cards (art, style, play) should mimic closely to WoW. Playing a warlock in WoW, should be similar in playing a warlock in Hearthstone. 
  • True to lore - Bring out cards and abilities directly from Warcraft lore. Ysera animation pulls card out of emerald dream.
  • Physical feel to game - cards have virtual weight, opening new decks is textured - like ripping open a new pack of cards.
  • Fast -Resource driven, makes game play faster, aka mobile friendly.
  • Fun! Make losing funner! 
  • (Planned) Open Beta in December. Later panelist said "You know Blizzard, that probably means January [2014]".

Upcoming patches:

  • Ranked play - now to have levels that you can achieve based on games won. Start with 'angry chicken' level. As you go up, your avatar will change. Level resets at end of each (1 month) season. Reach max level ranked play, get a new back for your cards. 
  • Golden Heroes - new abilities, new animations. Jaina appears to have a frost-bolt type ability. Need to win 500 ranked games with a specific hero to get.
  • New AWESOME entrances for cards - ETC card above, dinosaur minion will stomp onto play area. 

Future of Hearthstone:

  • Going mobile - Always planned as a mobile game to bring more players to Blizzard. Tablet version (aka iPad) looks to be available. Blizzard playing it internally as hard to beta test. Phone (iPhone and Android) available 2nd half next year. "Windows 8 touch available very soon afterwards." (don't know if that means Windows market place game, or full 8.1 release.)
  • Expansions - new cards.
  • Adventures! - Play against NPCs with a pre-made deck to achieve a certain objective. This reminded me of the tutorial that you start the game with. Get deck of cards when you have completed the quests. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

LFR Underhold DPS Guide

Malkorok - Easy fight, but healing works backwards. It's as if during the portion of fight your character has a Disc Priest Spirit Shell. You can't be healed, but healers maintain a shield on you. Phase 2 you can be healed, but it's only for 20 seconds.

Phase 1
  1. Avoid unnecessary damage.
  2. Hop into purple void zones to soak damage.
  3. Watch out for smash zone.
Phase 2, stack (for AOE heals) and attack. 


Spoils of Pandaria - A storehouse of various items from Panderia.  Opening crates releases the monsters within (mantid or mogu).

As ranged DPS, most we want to stay back and AOE. 
Hop into the red circles that drop on ground. 
If you get a bomb strapped to you, drop them away from the raid, before you blow up.


Thok the Bloodthirsty - Thok is a 10 story tall dinosaur (flashes back to Un'goro crater) and being stomped upon by that beast. Now, Thok is just a prisoner here. He's trapped in a zoo/jail surrounded by other animals from around Panderia. 

Place gateway so it reaches across corners. If Thok starts at 12 o'clock and is facing 6 o'clock, I like to set the gateway to go from 7 to 2 o'clock. There are jail cells at these two locations so the tank will be running between them to open the cells. All the DPS will need to stay in tow behind the boss and tank. 

Thok has a splash damage AOE as he walks around. You don't want to ever be right beneath him. 

If you stand in front of him, you have a high chance of Thok fixating on you. This means you are dinner and will chase you down (red laser beam focused on you..). Stay behind him or find a way to run faster than him. I've died to fixate more often than I care to admit (ok, twice out of 3 kills). 

So as you open each prison, kill the jailer who shows up. When that happens, they will start attacking Thok with their unique ability. It will also damage you, so stay out. 



Next: Downfall
Previous: Gates of Retribution

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Blizzcon: Warlords of Draenor Comments

Friday morning, I finally gave in and bought a Blizzcon Virtual Ticket. $40 seemed like a lot when initially looking at the line-up, but I've never done it before. So, sit down at work, and try to catch up on what's going on. Unfortunately to watch the live-stream, I can only watch on a laptop that isn't able to keep up. It keeps timing out on the download and .... is like wa...tching a...really ba...d stutter.  Bleh! Then I noticed that the downloader is trying to download a WoW update on this laptop. Oh! pause that.. Get it working early enough to watch the Hearthstone panel. Very interesting, but more on that later.

Warlocks Warlords of Draenor
The new expansion has been revealed. A bit of a time-travel piece where we go back to the start of the Orcs and prevent negative influence. Tell me, do you want spoilers (from the panel)??

  • New world, nice - sounds a lot like Northrend with a PVP zone.
  • Build a garrison - guess we got our 'housing' option. Is it going to be like Civ where we can make money while logged off.
  • Upgrade immediately to 90 - need clarification on this. Does this mean from 1? Or 80? Can I level 2 characters - one alliance, one horde? I am starting to think about what toon I'd boost to 90 immediately.
  • New characters models. About time.
  • Revamp old dungeons? Sounds a lot like Cata. It could be interesting, but no new content.
  • More scenarios, dungeons and raids. Yeah, well you better. :)
  • Level cap to 100. Guess this means I won't be running heroic dungeons before I finish all of the zones. MoP, I made it to Kunlai summit and stopped. Still haven't opened up any of the last 2 zones. Had a friend fly me into the Temple.
  • New class talents and ability bonuses?
  • Refined quest system. I like how Timeless Isle and Battlefield Barrens worked out.
I am not excited about a time-travel expansion. It 'could' be interesting IF for example, we start seeing changes in the current time-line. For example, if something the bad-guy does to the timeline excludes the Trolls from the Horde and they join the Alliance, or just never join any faction.

Updates:
Shattrath is a coastal city.
  1. More bag space - quest bags, collection closet (toys and heirlooms now go on a mount/pet type page).
  2. Dungeons every patch.
  3. Goodbye Flex Raiding, Hello Normal Flex Raiding. Removing separate 10 and 25 raids, making a single normal raid that flexibly adjusts for number of players.
Blizzcon "The Adventure Continues" Panel
  1. With regards to time travel, this expansion is set 35 years before Vanilla.
    off the beaten path, find treasure!
  2. Chance to revisit Draneii storyline, revisiting them from BC expansion. "Never got to explore story" New champion, Urul "Draneii Joan of Arc".
  3. Bring Thrall back to smash things with his hammer.
  4. Like Timeless Isles, reward exploration of the zone.
  5. Sounds like our entrance to 6.0 is when Dark Portal turns red, Iron Horde will start coming through.
  6. Q&A: Jungles at base of both Eastern Kingdoms and Panderia, are we just north of equator, and will be we be exploring in a future expansion. Answer, yes/no.

Friday, November 8, 2013

LFR Gates of Retribution DPS Guide

To follow-up on my last LFR SoO post, I thought I'd add my strategy for Gates of Retribution.

Galakras - Boss is a flying proto-drake off the shores of Orgrimmar. In order to get to him, you need to shoot him down. To shoot him down, you need to open the tower defenses on each side of him. The towers are locked/guarded, and  need to be opened by goblin engineers before you can access them (watch status bar top of screen). The best run of this fight I've seen, assigned "group-1" to attack the towers, but I've also seen volunteers taken (tank, healer and dps)

Tower group: Before the fight starts, I set up my gateway to that it goes from the staging area up the hillside of the first tower.
  1. Stay at staging area for (about) first 3 waves, until first mini-boss comes. 
  2. By now, the first tower (left side) should be opened. Watch for the announcement. 
  3. Drop your warlock portal at the base of the tower. 
  4. Run to top of the tower and join your tank at blowing away the team on top. Watch the edge as there's one npc who does a blow-back and tries to knock you off the tower. 
  5. Drop to your portal and run back to main fight. Usually about time for next mini-boss. 
  6. Repeat when next tower is opened. 

Non-Tower Group: If you stay behind, setup your gateway up the hillsides to one of the towers so that the tower team can use them. Otherwise, this is just a tank-and-spank fight.
  1. Don't stand in fire. 
  2. Let tank bring waves down to 'burn' area. 
  3. Kill waves. 


Iron Juggernaut - This boss is a giant metal scorpid. As a giant robot, it has robot abilities, drops bombs, spills oil, shoots fire, can send out a shockwave, and drills into the ground to cause ground ripples.
  1. Set out lock portal near boss to avoid running all the way back from shockwave ability (or stand in front of a fence).
  2. If at full health, hop on bombs that appear (vehicle mechanic) and absorb damage. My priest died, but lock was able to take damage and live. Can't remember if I could drain life in the air.
  3. Avoid things on ground.


Kor'Kron Dark Shaman - I hate this fight. First, you need to clear all the center of town (someone has a key to unlock Gamon). The tank will pull named elites from several of the buildings in town, who in turn grab a bunch of other mobs, and it's a big AOE fest. At least 25% of time, it's a raid wipe on the trash. Inside the Garrosh's throne room is a shaman and a mounted guardian. Between the two of them there's a lot of aoe damage. There are oozes that chase people down. There's tornados that throw you in the air and cause damage. There are poison clouds that you need to run from. Finally, there's directed fire damage shot out.
  1. Kill oozes
  2. Stay out of everything. 


Now run through town to the Drag and free Gamon. After Gamon, every LFR usually jumps down off the ledge directly to the entrance to Ragefire Chasm (now renovated for Garrosh).

General Nazgrim - This fight requires some LFR patience. Nazgrim has 3 stances,  battle, defensive and berzerker.
  • Attack him while he's in battle stance. 
  • Don't touch him in defensive stance. If you do damage him while defensive, he'll go into berzerk. 
  • If he goes into berzerk, you wipe. 
You can tell Nazgrim is in defensive stance 2 ways.
  1. Does his NPC have a shield equipped? This is not always obvious as the tanks have him faced away from the raid. 
  2. Under his portrait, he has a buff depending on his stance. If you hover over the tiny little icon, it says how much longer he's planning to be in this phase. 

Otherwise, kill the adds (shaman first as he heals Nazgrim). You can use CC abilities on the adds (my favorite is the stun from shadowfury against the assassains).



Next: The Underhold
Previous: Vale of Eternal Sorrows

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Is that Reddit Blizzcon banner hints of the WoW expansion?


Thrall in battle armor
or just a classic WoW screenie..


  • Time travel expansion? Marty McFly shows up with Doc in a giant goblin train and they try to fix the entire Garrosh incident. 
  • Thrall forced back into leadership by loyal Horde members? Battle armor to get Korkron followers back in line. 
  • Seat of Horde moves and Orgrimmar rebuilds. Alliance tries to infiltrate Horde while changing leadership? 
  • Burning Crusade finds ground in Outlands and we get to explore another continent there. 



Monday, November 4, 2013

Looking for a "Lock List" Refresh

Personally, I use my linked pages on the right sidebar as my WoW news feed; coming here first to see what other warlocks are doing. Unfortunately as of late, most of the 'lock bloggers that I've been following aren't posting regularly, if at all. In fact, my current top-5 contains a weekly podcast (which happens to have a lock), a retired WoW player who seldom posts and a link to WoW Insider.

Here are my current sources, filtered to the top-5 most recent posts.


I would like to add to this.

My Link List requirements :
  1. Minimal off-topic posts. While OT post are fine, non-Warlock posts are fine, I like to link to blogs that keep to WoW wherever possible. 
  2. G-rated!. I will not link to a website that doesn't keep it clean (no profanity, NSFW imagery, trash talk). This isn't the forums, ok?. 
  3. Ads Ok, but minimal. I understand the desire to re-coup costs via a blog, but when more than 50% of the page is an ad, you're just wasting my bandwidth.  
Send me links to other WOW blogs your read, my existing list is getting a little dry. 

Soapbox: Lazy Form of Raiding

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