Thursday, May 29, 2014

Azeroth Choppers 7 - voting begins

The two 'bikes' are up and available for voting. While I have already voted #TeamHorde, I thought I'd share my opinions.
Horde comments:
  • Nice 'Orc' look. Blood Elfs, sorry.
  • Another trike? Really?
  • On both, Horde and Alliance, like how brake/gas are fist weapons.
  • Some wood accents are nice, but I think the foot platform is a bit much.
  • It's so darn big, Tauren won't look ridiculous riding it. 
Alliance comments:
  • Has a shiny alliance feel, but..
  • Still think the layered plate looks buggish.
  • Lion on front shield isn't quite right. 
  • From video, the bike looks hard to steer.
  • I like the 'sword' front, but pulls a lot from the 'good guy' bike. Who said Alliance is the good guy?
  • Gnomish gear on bike seems out of place.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

IT: Stat Squish

Idle thought here..

As I level up this druid tank, my DPS that I see now at level 53, isn't that far off from what I'll see at level 90 post stat squish.

To give you an idea of what that would look like, here's a screen grab from running Sunken Temple. Instead of damage in the hundreds of thousands, you'll be looking at damage in the hundreds to thousands, and health pools being around the 2,000 instead of 400,000.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Week 1 - Guardian Druid Level 90

Been spending the last few days leveling up my gear from the boosted i483 green gear up to i496 Timeless Isles blue gear. This has been fairly interesting in that it has gotten substantially easier just dumping the quest greens. I only have 3 items still remaining, main hand (probably never be replaced without dungeon/lfr/valor points), legs, and a second trinket. I've also gone through and enchanted (via priest/enchanter) and purchased the gems that go for less than 200g each. That means, I still need enchants for weapon, belt buckle, leg armor and some how missed my wrist enchant?

Drops of gear has been rather good except for hands, legs and trinkets. As you can see from my bags (top 2 rows), I have 5 TI cloaks, 2 TI belts, 1 TI boot, 4 TI chest, 3 TI helms, 1 TI shoulder, and 2 TI rings, in addition to the single that I've converted to gear for each slot. The two rows of gear under that are all the items I've replaced (or not equipped). Still need to put guild tabard until Exalted, and got a ring drop, so I replaced one of the TI rings. I am holding on to at least one piece of each type gear, hoping the Burden of Eternities would just drop off every boss nowadays!!

Started looking at LFR. Interestingly, the options that are immediately open to me as a tank are odd. The starting raid for each of the 'options' is available to me. "You don't have the Achievement" for the others. I had totally anticipated having to run through ALL of them start to finish, before SoO would come available. I am guessing, that if I run Last Stand, I could bypass Dread Approach (hate the Dorumu fight).

Trying to find me a video guide on tanking in Mists. I would settle for a good Guardian Druid play-through of Guardians of Mogu'shan.

AC 6

Azeroth Choppers 6 brings about the two 'factions' scheming with the Blizz Art department to get their digital model started 'cuz they know they have a winner'. Am I wrong in restating that this is all a ploy and both are going to be in-game. One faction just may have to pay $25 to a worthy cause to get theirs?  (Enchanted Fey Dragon anyone?)

Am I excited about a matte colored mount? Not really. I like the idea of the red glistening like droplets of wet blood, the spikes sparkling like they're dappled with the wet tears of the Alliance, and the chains, doing whatever sparkly chains will do, rattle like the ghost of Christmas Past.  ;-)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Brown Ninja to Green Samari

Last night Esha traded in her brown heirloom gear for shiny greens. After reaching 61 on the weekend, I logged in last night to boost Esha to 90. Lot more painful than I originally envisioned.

First off, I decided on following Arielle's advice and respec professions into Blacksmithing and Alchemy before the boost. This required remembering how do I actually unlearn a profession. I knew it was blindingly obvious. First off went to trainer, no option to forget Leatherworking. No sprinkle-y powder of don't-need-that-anymore, no tome of forgetfulness. Looking closer at the UI, I see this greyed out little NO symbol. Oh yeah, that's it. 20 minutes wasted.

Next, Esha ran over to the reforger. I blindly followed the AMR suggestions, converting most everything to Hit or Expertise. She is now sitting at 5% Physical Hit and 11.7% MH Expertise. Unfortunately, AMR assumes that I did all the other optimizations and I am not considering doing any enchants on green i483 gear. I suppose my priest could whip out the cheaper ones and mail them over.. Ok... maybe I'll look at that.

Ran a dungeon. Ugh, Scholomance again. Really? Felt a bit awkward running a heroic dungeon again when I had ran the normal version about a week ago (at level). Had a warrior in the mix who kept pulling aggro, but hey, makes the healer's job easier.. :) Have to get out of the 'pull/kill everything' mentality, I don't need the kills for XP. It just felt clumsy playing last night, but ...

It didn't help that the boost wiped my talents. Yeah, "6 points to spend". I noticed this AFTER the dungeon. Went back to Arielle's post, agreeing with the talent changes, spec'd into Feline Swiftness (instead of Wild Charge), Ysera's Gift, Typhoon (instead of Faerie Swarm), Incarnation, Mighty Bash and Nature's Vigil. The two button mappings/ macros I created no longer worked.

Ended the night prowling around Timeless Isles. With i483 gear, I wasn't very indestructible. Level 92 elites could take me down quickly, 91s I had to mitigate with weaving in a typhoon then some heals. In tank mode, I did lousy DPS. One level 91 snake took a good 5-10 minutes to kill. So I ended up stealthing around, looting treasure boxes and trying to jump in when other people were taking down bosses. Managed to grab myself about 4 pieces of Timeless gear, but hoping to hold out for the token(?) to convert them to 530 gear..

Going forward I need to learn the raid tanking mechanics. If I need to solo a raid boss, shouldn't be an issue. Done that 100 times in dungeons from 15-61. Swapping tanks, swapping threat with another player, sounds like a pain. Or is it like the warrior who kept stealing it from me in Heroic Scholo?

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Woah! Leveling SLOWS!

As I anxiously dungeon my bear up in the levels, I am once again introduced to the complexity that was only found in Vanilla. The dungeon of the day is Blackrock Spire. This dungeon has 9 bosses in the 'upper' region and 5 more in the lower region. There are 7 different 'floors' to this map, with several shortcuts between each level. If I was a Blizzard level designer, this would be my masterpiece. I think this would be a perfect level for Warlords of Draenor (Orcs, Ogres, and Spiders Oh My!).

83 minutes at level 57!
Play time has reached a soaring 2100 minutes! (1 day 11hrs) to reach 57.99. Yeah, I am only 2000 xp from reaching druid flight form. I was so torn to just run one more dungeon, or maybe go fly out to the next zone and grind some beasts, but I decided to simply wait for next time I can run dungeons. Probably later this weekend.

Update:: Sunday night, logged in for about an hour. Of course, get BRS again, and ding 58 while clearing the trash in the entrance. About 1/2 way through our healer drops "sorry gtg". We re-queue, but keep moving on. Much slower. Dedicated healer never joins up, but with a shaman, paladin, and druid (me) we keep going. The pally takes up more of the healing, so no more wipes. Hour later, I am two bubbles from 59 and we finished lower BRS. Hearth back to Orgrimmar, flight form is unavailable, "Need Flight Master's License". Run up to bluff where Flight Master, to find FML costs 225g (got that), available at level 60. :( Ok, so no flying unless I want to run to Outlands. /cry

Now, what I was really surprised to see was my time played this level. 83 minutes completely blows away my previous times of approximately 35 minutes per level. Mathematically it averages out, but there is a spike coming along. My guess is that at 58, I'll start finding parties that can run BC dungeons and I'll start grabbing the expansion inflated XP from them. On the other hand, I ended up running, BRD 8!! times. By my last run, I was getting a measly 20 xp for some of those darn dwarves. Very possible no healer in the right levels to complete anything higher with me.

After playing a healer, I realize that I am very conscious of the healer. Do I have LOS of the healer after I gather up all these dwarves? Is the healer in the room with me before I pull these mobs? From playing a warlock, I like to gather up all the mobs into a single area, then stay put. This way my DPS can use their AOE spells and take down the entire crowd.

Speaking to you affliction warlock, please don't play with the succubus in a dungeon and let her keep seducing mobs, darn it... You're slowing us down!  Hunter, if you keep letting your dragonkin pet aggro mobs, I'll let him. Just make sure he stays alive, because they're coming for you next. Oh, sorry, guess we have to revive you (again)..

Found Rebirth today. Oh!, look I have a brez and a normal rez. Now have both on my button Wouldn't have been useful in  BRS today when the healer died, I was surrounded by mobs. Sorry. I have been reorganizing my button bar. In addition, I just mapped my mouse button4 to charge and mouse button5 to a FarieFire mouse over macro. I was thinking of putting Barkskin on a mouse wheel flip. and maybe berserk on mouse wheel down, but haven't done that yet.

Today's Azeroth Choppers had the Blizz teams come out to NY and check out the bikes. I loved Metzen's quote "for working with a company called Blizzard, I bet none of them have cold weather gear."

I got thinking about the Horde fenders, and thought they looked familiar. As I was grabbing the screen shots, I saw this. Hmm, spikes on red, ringed with another silver edged. 

Then, I thought they gave up on the tusk forks for the die-cut ones. Thought it a little odd they removed the spike at the end, but here are the new tusks. Will we only see the die-cut ones from the sides? Through the wheel? 

Add some tusk spikes, some fluffy boots, it will be Garrosh, riding a scorpid theme'd bike. Just need a skull license plate on the front (ala belt buckle).

Story idea, Garrosh escapes the prison and jumps on his own custom hog. Races to Nagrand as we know it now and frets. Varian on his Alliance bike, race after him. (Just need eagles on fenders?). Now both classes get bikes.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

SSOTD: Dagger Model

Gotta love the model for the Crushing Mass of McGowan that my druid has equipped. Yes, she did have the Deadly Kris equipped, but I changed that about a month ago now..

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Wildstar Impressions Continued

Over the weekend, I played with the Wildstar open beta. First off, I enjoyed the game. I played both a Dominion Cassian male and Exile Aurin girl up to about level 4 and 5. Combat is fun and lends itself to some nice combinations of fights and moves.

  • Focused combat system, as I said lends itself nicely to aoe fighting. I would run into an area, aggro multiple adds, then make sure they were all in front of me before releasing my large attacks. 
  • Profession specific quests are everywhere. My human was a spellslinger (aka buff-caster + gunslinger) with the Explorer profession. Randomly small profession quests would pop up prompting me to 'place this transponder' or fix this piece of tech way up high. "Jump Quests", I saw someone refer to them as. Easy enough to do, not easy to find the start point. My Exile was a Esper (dps caster) and a soldier profession. Her profession quests were assassinate this bad guy, or defend this base for __ minutes. 
  • Random (world) events and challenges- While running through one zone, I jumped up and hit an "environmental" butterfly. I was then immediately given a 'challenge' to capture 5 more butterflies. Little side challenges popped up like this a couple times in my 4 hours. It added a flavor to the game. 
  • UI - The UI was very clean, and minimalistic. This let the focus stick to the game play. When there was loot, a button would popup on the screen and clicking it would vaccuum all the loots from my aoe fest. Quests were easy to track and if you click on the quests, a huge "go that way" arrow would popup with distance to the objective. Another UI perk was the level perks button. After you leveled, a small button appears on the top of your screen, allowing you to review everything that you gained with the level-up. (which is also very cool). 
  • Awesome character editor - As you build the your character, you are able to manipulate down to the fine details of angle of nose, size and closeness of your eyes, and how broad your smile is. I tried to make Dominion Elkagorasa look as much like an Orc as possible, sadly no fang options available. Should have picked that ugly bug looking race... 
  • Shared and Phased starting areas - With the gathering quests or the do this at this spot quests, it was nicely phased. I didn't need to compete with the other players. With the kill quests, I could share the dps with others. It looked like I even got individual drops for killing, which was nice. 
  • UI - Mappings to commonly used keys didn't seem to exist. Now I didn't research this at all (it WAS midnight last night), but when hitting "C" for character, or "I" for Inventory, didn't work. I was forced to click on little buttons on the bottom bar in order to equip gear or check my bags. Minor inconvenience, but with all the key mappings automatically popping in my face (V to vacuum loot, C for communicator). Maybe it's B for bags and H for Hero?? Additionally, the mini-map on the screen was a tad bit confusing; especially in the intro area. It shows an arrow of your future game-play flow, not your quest objective. On both toons, I followed the mini-map arrow, not realizing I'd passed my quest objective about 30 seconds ago. Click quest, run back 500 meters. 
  • Intro experience - For both Dominion and Exiles the intro area (excluding cut scene) was almost identical. Ok, Dominion has a training segment in holodecks, where my Exile was already on planet by then. If you play Dominion first (as I did), you'll do the similar objectives as an Exile. Once on planet, the play was different (but again I chose the Explorer optional drop point, instead of the standard). 
  • Character model not actually reflect customizations. I can specifically point to the small pinpoint eyes I had put on my toon, then he has big bright eyes once it loads. Yes, this is a beta, so maybe just a bug to be fixed for the final release; less than a month away... Speaking of character builder, the current UI is confusing.
My overall impression is that while it's like WoW gameplay, is different enough to enjoy on it's own. It combines a number of the changes that we see now (aoe looting) and some coming with the next expansion (player housing). I'll probably try 2 more toons out to see what the variance is with the different professions and see if the starting area quests change at all. Now if I could only figure out how to grab in-game screenshots or where they drop.. 

Question that still remains. Can Exiled Humans talk in game to Dominion Humans? 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Azeroth Choppers 4

  1. Good to see that they actually got to play the game, even if it was on boosted 90's in a closed
  2. Wonder if they also provided mechanohogs or goblin trikes for everyone.. 
  3. The horde trike does have some awesome fender action going on. 
  4. The alliance bike, hmm, looks like a beetle riding for the gas tank at the moment.
  5. Found that Paul Jr is posting a lot of additional info to his facebook page, plus linking to the #AzerothChoppers hashtag that shows details from the builds.

Friday, May 9, 2014

RL Feats of Strength

After finally finishing off my Champion of the Horde achievements and what it meant to me to get these completed.

But honestly, we (gamers, parents, citizens of the world) face down and complete our own 'Feats of Strength' on a regular basis. I've decided to create a few of my own Feats.


Wear a tiara in public as an adult (for daughter's birthday is ok.).


Successfully cooked a holiday meal and no one comes down with food poisoning.

Meeting Impossible!

Eat a large burrito for lunch and then attend hour long meeting without a pit stop (or any embarrassing noises)!

I'm ApreSHE8ed!

Obtain (unsolicited) a Certificate of Appreciation from your kid's classroom.

Horde:1 Gym:0

Proudly display that you still play (not just subscribe to) World of Warcraft!


Ask for, or put an, extra scoop of sprinkles on your frozen dessert!

Long Timer

Stay with a single job for more than 5 years!

Aw, Schucks...

Marry your sweetheart!

How about you, what are some of your Feats of Strength

Monday, May 5, 2014

Leveling a Druid: What You Get When?

As I've been leveling my Druid to 60, I am constantly frustrated when I do ding a level, say, mid-fight, and all the 'Congrats! Now that you're __, you can now do ____." flies by.  This list will attempt to be a comprehensive list of those new items. I am mainly concerned with 0-60.

6: Learn cat form
8: Learn bear form
10: Pick specialization
10: First specialization spell

12/14: Second spec spell(s)
15: First talent slot
15: Dungeon: Deadmines
15: Dungeon: Ragefire Chasm
16: Learn travel form
16: Learn moonkin (balance spec) form
17: Dungeon: Wailing Caverns
18: Learn aquatic form
18: Dungeon: Shadowfang Keep
20: Apprentice Riding

22: Dungeon: The Stockade
22: Dungeon: Blackfathom Deeps
25: First glyph activated
26: Dungeon: Gnomeregan
28: Dungeon: Scarlet Halls
30: Second talent slot
30: Dungeon: Scarlet Monastery

32: Dungeon: Razorfen Kraul
36: Dungeon: Maraudon
37: Dungeon: Uldaman
40: Journeyman Riding
40: Dungeon: Scholomance

42: Dungeon: Razorfen Downs
44: Dungeon: Dire Maul
45: Third talent slot
46: Spec spell "Leader of the pack" passive
46: Dungeon: Zul'Farrak
48: Dungeon: Stratholme

50: Leather specialization starts
50: Second glyph activated
52: Dungeon: Sunken Temple
53: Dungeon: Blackrock Depths
56: Rebirth learned
57: Dungeon: Hellfire Citadel: Hellfire Ramparts
58: Learn flight form, now can fly Outlands, need FML in order to fly in Orgrimmar.
58: Dungeon: Blackrock Spire
60: Talent slots open up
60: Expert Riding (normal flying)
60: Flight Master's License (fly in vanilla)

68: Cold Weather Flying

70: Learn swift flight form
70: Artisan Riding (required for swift flight form)
75: Talent slots open up
75: Third glyph activated

80: Master Riding

90: Talent slots open up
90: Wisdom of the Four Winds (fly in Pandaria)

Sunday, May 4, 2014

My WildStar Beta Experience (so far)

Last weekend I was excited to see a key in my email inviting me to the WildStar beta. Sure, why not try it out before it goes on sale next month. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to start installing the binaries until after 10PM Sunday night. By the time I finally had everything installed it was after 11:30PM and the beta servers were shut down.

Checking back to the site later the week, I found good news. One more Wildstar beta weekend, then open beta until Grand Opening. Yeah!

I mean, sure, it looks interesting. The game has quite a sense of humor, with an anime look and feel. Add player housing, player created 'dungeons' (aka WarPlots) and some end-game raiding like content, it has some potential.


Unfortunately, my experience in the beta hasn't been any fun. I've tried about 4 times this weekend to play and my experience has been less than stellar. 

But, "No Realms Available"

I'll keep trying...

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Hmm, WoD World PVP Could Be Fun...

WoWJuJu just posted a screenshot from the WoD alpha. It looks like we'll be able to loot the dead bodies of the other players we kill. Now, this has the potential of being awesome. 

I can imagine a whole series of items that could be 'gathered' from Alliance players when they're killed, but I don't think Blizzard will take it far enough.. "Zone specific" items makes me think it will simply be 'quest rewards' sort of like how you can get insignias or  'supplies' from killing players/mobs in Alterac Valley. Here's my suggested items:
  1. Faction specific pets, mounts and recipes. If I kill an Alliance player, let me rip (or actually copy) a page from their cookbook and learn something new. 
  2. Random item from their backpack. Maybe I'd get a drop from the last Horde you killed, a pet you just captured, or a piece of your PVE raid set. Or maybe just a juicy apple. 
  3. How about a portion of your gold? 50% of it transfered to my account, where I will immediately hearth home and transfer it to my bank (alt), zone back in and hunt you down again!! 
  4. Body parts!! It would work like a Halloween mask, where if I kill a Night Elf, I can wear their face around for awhile!  (Or maybe like in Silence of the Lambs, I can make a full NE suit!) 
I am sure there would be other fun things that I am simply not thinking of.  Any ideas? 

Taming MOAR Pets

WFH means Work Warcraft From Home Monday was a work from home kind of day, so I worked on a little project of my own. I saw this on Twit...