Monday, January 25, 2016

Iron Dwarfs, Medium Rare (not solo, but strategy)

Late Saturday night, I logged on to run Ulduar with my druid (level 100). I thought her combination of healing, and tank would make her a cinch for completing getting Glory to the Ulduar raider. Upon entering the raid zone, a guildie pinged me and asked if they (husband and wife) could help out. They both had the achievement and would be able to help. Sure!

(Start - Zone in, check raid, 10-man, zone out, change raid to 25-man, zone in, talk to Brann, realized need to talk to Norgannon before!?!, zone out, reset raid, try again)

While they got ready, I started the tank fight. On my warlock, this was easy. I was able to DPS down the tank and move on quickly. Some reason, in bear and cat, I could not do take down Leviathan for orbit-uary. I ended up having to bring in 3 of the tanks and quickly hop between them. I ran out of ammo on the second, but the DOT took him down before I could jump to the third.

Iron Dwarf, Medium Rare

OK, we had 3 people for this. Me as guardian druid, completely naked (which isn't as bad as running BELF priest naked), plus hunter and healer fully dressed.  My job, aggro the Dark Rune Guardians. Hunter did cleanup everything else in background. Healer, well, just healed.
I found that the druid's faerie fire did a reliable (mapped to mouse button 4 for raiding), repeatable amount of damage. About 15% of the bar would decrease with each push. I could bring down the guardians down to about 1/3 health, then stop and wait for dragon to drop. The major trick being to do damage to them after Razorscale lands. So I'd kick off one more FF before her big breath. OK, honest, this got me 1 or 2 each time, UNTIL SHE ENRAGED. At this time, her damage goes up and she took down 13 in one strike. Timing-wise, this was right after I remembered to damage them on the ground, so maybe related?

Rest of bosses

Kologarn (Disarmed) was my last achievement and it really helped having 3 people. We each took one body part, then swapped to body when our arm was done. Freya was painful with her heals, when solo, easy with 2 DPS. Mimiron was impossible solo because I couldn't do enough damage to the head when fully tank mode. We even split the work, I took down Iron Assembly while the hunter took down Ignis (skipped earlier), by starting fight at roughly the same time.

Bonus, achievements are shared, so despite not pushing the big-red-button on mimiron (with all three us there), Glory to Ulduar Raider was earned!
(btw, I don't like the druid tier gear as much as priest)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Don't Knock It; Valor is Power


The outrage over 'Crystalized Fel for Valor' is palpable. Oh No! Casual players are now able to get a 790 ring! LFR players with MYTHIC LEVEL GEAR! Blizzard is making raiding pointless! They are catering to the casual! Unfortunately this attitude is self defeating and will only hurt players more over the next few months. Valor upgrades may be the only way players are able to participate.

Here are a two of the suggestions I've read.
  • You just need to do "all 8 mythic dungeons" (source) each week.
  • Just need to raid, it's 100% drop rate from Archimonde

1000 Valor is easy to get.

Sure, it's easy. I manage to get about 1000 valor each week on my priest while she is running the dungeon events and raiding for her legendary ring. At this time, she is averaging 685 level gear. All her valor points are going to fully maxing out the few 695 (empowered baleful) items and those world boss/shipyard to 715 items. I've spent 2500 valor in the last few weeks upgrading 5 different items.
LFR Hellfire Best In Slot Drops for Elkagorasa
My warlock, while a little better off gear-wise (i695), has a significantly harder time gathering 1000 valor. DPS queues are quiet a bit slower and for Mythic/LFR only his main hand/off hand can upgrade by replacing that timewalking staff. He's down to running Halls of Blood, kill Kazzak and hope for awesome drop from shipyard. 
Give you an idea what an ilevel 795 ring
looks like on 685 ilevel Priest.

Either way, spending 1250 (* 20) valor on a giant ring doesn't make sense. If I am truly going to run mythic dungeons, or normal raids, I need better gear all around, not a giant 795 ring, that doesn't match my 695 level chest piece.  

It's so easy, anyone can do it!? 

I belong to a guild, I am a social player, I know my spec(s), I do my research, I participate. Just by being a 'casual' player doesn't mean I am a noob. It doesn't mean that I am unaware, or unwilling to participate in raiding. I'd love to. (If you are raiding at 11PM PST and need a DPS/Healer/Tank pst me. ). (To me) Casual means family first. I have 3 kids (ages 13, 9 and 2). I help with homework, I run them to practice(s), I do the dishes, and run to the grocery store. If and when that is done and they are all tucked nicely into bed, THEN I get to play.
Crystallized Fel: 5 @ 89 Euros (or $97)

With that said, I do raid, but usually that's LFR due to the lack of dedicated players online at midnight - 1AM. I have managed about 4 times now to get into a normal raid and help out. All four days, we've never gotten to Archie. Last Sunday, we wiped 10-15 times on Mannoroth, the time before that, they were working on Xhul for all night. If not for LFR, I would have only seen the Archimonde fight on youtube.

What ARE you complaining about?

Do you have alts? Do you want to spend less than 20 weeks to upgrade your ring? Valor upgrades work for seasoned raiders as much as they do for casuals, like me. However you want to accomplish this, it's available to you to upgrade your mythic HFC raid gear from 735 to 745, or save and upgrade your ring by one level.  (Note: according to WowHead, you can even upgrade your Tome of Chaos!). I don't know about you, serious raider that you are, but I think 'free' gear upgrades are always a good thing.

Overall, this is the internet. The vocal minority are those complaining. There are probably (now) more casual gamers playing WoW than the serious, must raid 3 times a week crowd. According to WoWHead, only 22% (of the people using their add-on) have completed the 4th phase of the quest. Assuming everyone is using it, 1:5 people have the ring. I can imagine that an even smaller portion of people are playing enough to fully max out their ring in the next ~8 months.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Normal Mannoroth

Last night, I ran with a friend's guild on normal Mannoroth. I started with them playing with them as Elkagorasa doing dps, but he was ranking 9:11, even below both tanks.. (/sigh). Blame it on my average gear score being 10-15 points lower than everyone else. 

Half way through the night, I swapped to Eride and healed the fight a few times. We still never won the fight, best was 9% down before wipe.

To help me out, I have collected a few videos that give some strategies. 

Curse of doom, take damage and the curse will disappear. Run to pool in center.
DPS/Healer - Don't stand in front of boss.

Phase 4 - # of people in 'circle' [soaking damage during gaze] determine how big the pond will be. 
Save lust cooldowns at 35%

FatBoss changes the strategy where the raid group stands at the pillar and tanks are in middle. This way you don't need to manage the 'gaze'. People are already grouped together and simply grouped together.

Last video is from a Discipline Priest POV. It's nice because she also gives actual damage numbers for each boss activity, then steps through to show how her guild completed the phases.

Northrend Timewalking - Disc Priest

Had the most awesome experience last night running Northrend dungeons. I ran with a pug, which appeared to be 4 guildies (tank + 3 DPS) and me.

During the night, we ran through 4 different dungeons (1 of them twice). Out of all 4, we only had one full wipe and a 2-3 deaths.

  • Ahn'kahet - My least favorite of all the TW dungeons. Spiders that fear causing cascading pulls, large room with groups of wandering mobs (before Jedoga) that also cause cascading pulls.
  • Pit of Saron - Ran this one twice. Lots of wandering mobs in starting area, but biggest complaint was there is a mob that causes a stun. I'd get hit by this probably each fight. The first boss, likes to 'freeze' players so lots of dispels. 
  • The Nexus - Only real issue is the first boss (collection of Alliance frozen in mage ice blocks), is easy for tank to pull entire room. 
  • Utgarde Pinnacle - Our full wipe was in this dungeon. The trash right before King Ymiron. Tank pulled one too many of the groups and with LOS issues couldn't heal effectively. 
No drake dropped (that I saw), but I did get a two upgrades; healing cape and dps belt. The Iron Fleet Treasure Chest rewarded me a shiny DPS helm! 

My one suggestion for TW dungeons... Have all the TW token vendors appear each event cycle. There are upgrades that both my druid and priest could use, but they are sold from the other vendors.. cupri (possibly mid February, a full month away?)

Monday, January 4, 2016


(started this a few weeks ago, but got on back burner
I can't promise it will be a page turner!)

Twas the week before Winter Veil and all through the land, 
LFR RNG gave me nothing useful, just more gold in hand.
For the weekly event I even tried to run some BGs
but was unable to "Stay[ing] Alive" (by the BeeGees)

Twice, I ran along with a normal raid, 
but soon after I joined, no one else had stayed. 
We tried and wiped three times on a single boss,
then called it a night. Such a miserable loss.

Late to the party, so I'd call it a toss.
My priest has completed the next phase of her ring. 
Now she's collecting hundreds of fractured things.
Moving out of Highmaul, makes her heart sing!
One tablet down, still need 600 to bring.

Dressed in heirlooms, he's a fashionable twink.

During the (11th) Anniversary, I started a hunter.
He's a dwarf, and he's quite a punter.
His name is Erlenmyer, themed from Science.
He's my bank toon for when I play Alliance.

Speaking of heirlooms, Elk just had some luck.
After finding the spyglass, I sent out my ducks
on two guaranteed (100%) missions,
and got rings from For Hate's Sake and The Wave Mistress.
(can my hunter equip both?)

Grumpus, gave nothing
but spent 2000g on AH for gronnling.
Still haven't pre-ordered Legion
and Winston hasn't dropped for some reason.

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...