Nightmare Mode and something done for fun…

•May 29, 2012 • Leave a Comment

No real Warcraft news this week, though that may change shortly. A coworker asked for a Scroll of Resurrection, so I now have a shiny new Gryphon for my Worgen warrior. Plus, my roommate has been not so subtly hunting that I should get on and do something or other…I did lose most of my bank alt stock that was in his mailbox because I hadn’t been on him in over a month…oops. All the more reason to go out and kill all the things!

I think nightmare mode has bested me for the moment. Or rather it has bested my current strategy, which was fight only what you have to and push through. I’m being one-shotted by things that, while I know I should be running and dodging, sometimes you just can’t dodge. On such fights, I end up with the mob sitting on top of my respawn point to instantaneously kill me once again when I pop up. Might be level and gear, but I’m guessing it’s mostly gear, so I’ll be grounded back to Act 1 until I can get along better. I was about half way through Act 2, so it’s not too much of an upset.

Instead of getting too frustrated, I decided to do a couple other things just to say I did them. One of which was getting the timed run achievements. Depending on your level, it could be challenging or just ridiculously stupid. I did it on my 39 monk, focused mainly on decent aoe attacks just to get my spirit up to use on speed boosts to just get through the areas. Some areas still got pretty bogged down, though I could make reasonable guesses on where things would be and only utterly failed once or twice.

Things I can offer to help, if people actually need the help…
-Forget about the loot unless you have time to grab. I would do a quick snatch of gold and yellow gear, but that was about it.
-Skip the cutscenes. I think this is a no brainer, but hey, help is help. A lot of the dialog can be skipped through pretty quickly.
-Have a knowledge of the story quests before hand. That way you can already be on your way to where you need to go by the time you have the quest in your log.
-Skip the events and extra dungeons when you can. Sometimes you can’t and that’s fine, you just have to plan around them. Having a second person may help here, divide and conquer on things like searching for the shattered crown or stopping the cultist rituals.
-Remember the timed event at the end of Act 2. I didn’t and it nearly cost me the whole run. Even if you save all the people, it won’t skip forward, so make time for it.

The first three sections took almost the full time, I needed up finishing the second with only about a minute and a half to spare. I had some issues in the Oasis that cost me time, plus the before mentioned timed event at the end. Sometimes people need to just save themselves when evil is ripping their city apart! The last act only took about a half hour, taking the guess on where things would be worked out well there.

The prize for this meta-achievement? The wolf head sigil for your banner. I stole a friend’s idea and decked mine out in Frostwolf colors, ala Warcraft, for a bit. Not sure how long those colors will stay, I like my blacks and greys.

The other goofy thing I did was to make The Staff of Herding. If you font know, it unlocks a secret level after letting you speak with the ghost of the cow king. No, it’s not the mystical cow level, but it’s worth it for the laughs. You do need to have pretty much beaten the game to have access to the building materials, and it’s not cheap either, but it’s worth it.

I had the most issues with the Gibbering Gem, as it only drops off of one specific mob in one specific dungeon which may or may not spawn during a section of Act 3. I think I gained a level from there alone because the area is rather large where it could spawn, and the entire area is swarming with demons. For the others, the spawn points are always the same if you get the right map to work with.

Beyond that, I’ve started a demon hunter and a warrior to mess with, and a hardcore monk just to see how far I can get. I’m going to say somewhere in Act 2 unless I can do better than the sloppiness of my other runs through there. I’m beginning to think that it’s my least favorite act…


Kindness and the Gates of Hell…

•May 20, 2012 • Leave a Comment

A week ago Friday I was finally able to get the Twilight Drake from OS25. We had invited along an alt who didn’t normally run with us, and he had the winning roll, but gave it to me because he had just wanted the achievements. I think there were only two other people in line for it out of our usual group, but it is kinda fun just slaughtering lower level content every once in a while.

We didn’t go on to raid that night, and I signed over into the Beta because of my frustrations. This week I turned off my alarm and aunt bother getting on at all. Evidently, no one else did either. I think that’s probably the end of our raiding…of course something new and shiny came out this week.

Those who would care about it already know that things were rough Monday night heading into Tuesday morning, the 14th into the 15th. I was killing time watching the stream of the Blizzard Diablo 3 release party, while dealing with some bad install files that hadn’t been downloaded fully. Had that silly error that my digital copy wanted a disk, and I needed to convince it otherwise. It ended up being a quick fix, so no big worries there.

So, the clocks roll over, 1am locally, servers go live…and promptly pick and choose who gets to play. Within the first half hour I did manage to get to the character creation screen, but from there it was a constant stream of time-out errors until I got booted back to the starting screen.

There was a big argument that Blizzard had not set aside enough servers to deal with the load, which is true. However, that load will never be as heavy as it was at that moment. At no point during normal play will there be so many millions of people trying to get on all at the same time. Yes, they have had a few minor issues besides, but they have been fixed pretty damn quick.

As for release night, I turned off my state for a while, took a letter out to the mailbox at 2am, and generally tried not to concern myself with it too much. Much like the jump with every Warcraft expansion, there is that race to the end, the hardest difficulties, so on. The last I had checked, hard core guild Method was leading, having taken down Azmodan on Inferno difficulty. I imagine they will have it beat within a week of release.

I myself am sitting at the end of Act 1 on Nightmare difficulty. I am not the best, though it is nice to know that I can see what’s not working and tweek it until it does. I’m running solo until I have some friends catch up with me, some of these creatures are ridiculously hard…or rather their enchantments are. Electric Firechains…Teleporting Plague…and I haven’t even gotten up to my own personal hellbeast, those wasps that shoot the smaller wasps at you. Granted, if I was ranged, they wouldn’t be such a bother. When you roll a Monk though, it’s just something you have to deal with.

The story is great, and I don’t even have all of it yet. The over-arching one, yes, but there is so much more to it than that. The Templar is my favorite so far, after he gets over the killing Jondar obsession in the section that was featured in the Beta. Speaking of, best moment ever was the first time I moved beyond the Skeleton King. It’s like any road trip, you font feel like you’re going anywhere until you’ve gone past a certain point.

I think when I have a good day off to myself I will start on the timed run achievement, which is pretty much finishing each act in an hour or less. I know it won’t be easy, the randomness of some sections has gotten me frustrated, and the Scoundrel will not be accompanying me on that task. He’s an aggro magnet on steroids so far in Nightmare, at least for me he’s more often than not running off and shooting things that aren’t even in my sight. Being trampled by three normal, three magical, and one rare beast all at the same time is not my idea of a good time, moreso when he drags them back on my respawn point. No more treasure for him, that’s for sure.

All in all, I’m enjoying it even if it drives me nuts sometimes, the game I mean. I think I’ll be trying the Demon Hunter next, in beta that was my favorite ranged class right out of the gate. We shall see how it goes.

Bad Rolls and PvP…

•May 7, 2012 • Leave a Comment

We didn’t really raid this week, which is just reaffirming my notion that for every good week, we are going to suffer two or three bad. We just didn’t have people show, which in itself is pretty discouraging. So, we ran our weekly OS25 for the mount and called it for the night. Rolled a 30 and am still convinced that I will never see that mount. Anyway…

I finally scored another weapon for my warrior after a tank so nicely gave it over. He was gracious enough to ask if I really needed it, because he wanted it for off spec. As I was still using a blue weapon, that axe from the main Deepholm questline, yes, I needed it. Ended up running LFR afterwards and lost rolls on the ten or so items that dropped that I could have used. At least he’s geared to that point now, I can stop worrying about it.

The rest of this week was me grumbling about being bored. I am sufferings burn out, there’s only so much you can do on your own before it just becomes the same ol’ routine. I did some archaeology, only missing one pet and one mount from there, and a load of gear but I’m more about the mount and pet. Problem is that they are both Tol’vir so they are going to take forever to get. Wish the spawn rate was better out there.

I came face to face with my nemesis this week though, something I have been trying to avoid for a long time…the dreaded PvP. There’s that line, where groups are either on one side or the other, get irritated when they are in each others space, so on and so forth. I’m guilty of it most certainly, people in full PvP gear should not be expecting the world when doing PvE dungeons and raids. Those sets are obviously tuned for different things…Alright, I’ll forgive it in 5 mans, that’s about the only place they can get gear, but for raids it’s hard to swallow.

PvP is hard for me because I am not good at anticipating what other people are going to do, so my reaction time is not up where it should be. Don’t get me wrong, I have tried before. After all, I got the black war mounts and the frostwolf howler before you could buy them with honor. Used to be that you had to have marks from certain battlegrounds to get anything, and then honor on top of it. Now, I just have to swallow down my pride and jump in until I can get geared.

Surprisingly, I’m not doing too badly all things considered. If I come in at the first of the battle, I’m usually at least in the top half which is decent for having no resilience gear. The other reason for doing all this is achievement points. I’m less than 700 behind our guild leader, and I’m pretty sure I can make that up if I set myself to it. Might need all the luck in the world, but I’m not rolling on anything so I should be good to go! XD

Catching Up and the LFR Rebellion…

•April 28, 2012 • Leave a Comment

So a few weeks have gone by, and things seem to be getting a little better in some ways, and a tad more tedious in others. That’s life though, so we just have to roll with it.

We were mildly successful with raiding, still having the unbalanced issue going on that I end up changing out characters for so we have enough ranged to get Zon down. This week we actually had more people show up than we could take, so my roommate sat out and we journeyed forth…and actually got the first half done. I got new pants as well which, not as good as the trinket that seems not to exist, will do for a while.

We also seem to be sticking with running OS25 for the drake mount every week before heading into DS. About half of our group have it now, and I’ll confess that I’m not being a patient waiter. I don’t think I’ve rolled above a 10 for it try, so I’m sure I’ll be the last to get it. Of course, I made someone grumpy when the suggestion to being other guild members in got tossed around. Something similar happened when we were trying to get everyone the 10man version, and I had to wait even longer to get mine because whoever was new in the group or brought an alt into the group would win it every time. Yeah, me having a greedy moment, I’ve wanted the thing almost as much as I had wanted Raven Lord, and I’m still no closer to seeing it.

*mount rant over*

I have spent the last two weeks in rebellion of running LFR. This had become a big part of my days off, struggling with terrible groups as the week wore on because I’m up to running it on seven different characters. That will go up to eight shortly if I can get another weapon to drop for my warrior. So, that’s seven full raids that take forever to get into, and depending on the group, can take forever to finish as well. It was taking at least a full day to do, that would normally bleed over into the rest of the week if I wasn’t able to finish. To save my sanity, I went on strike. Last week I ended up playing a lot of Diablo 3 and Mists betas just for the hell of it. I enjoyed the Panda start zone, the story is rather well played out, and the monk is interesting. As for Diablo, I was thinking about going for the Over-Achiever achievement, but I kinda blew that idea this week. The server is getting shut off in a couple of days and I don’t get much play time on work days. For now I’m going to kick back and wait for the 15th to see what gets changed and how the story developes.

This week I kept mostly to my two Worgen on my home server, trying to get my warrior out of terrible heroics slump, and when that failed I bummed around on my mage for a while. Problem with the warrior is that his gear is decent enough to run the Twilight heroics, but his weapons were both 316 swords that I’ve been trying to replace for months. Let’s just say I got kicked from many a group because of it. Finally got an axe to drop, hoping I can get another or the mace to drop soon. Damn my luck sometimes…

As for next week, I haven’t a clue. I keep thinking I should work on my toons from the other server which might be a good getaway project for a while.

Mists Beta and the struggle for focus…

•April 17, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Thursday evening, I finally got an invite the the beta for Mists. My excitement was quickly floundered though, with both the 18 gig download and the fact that I could see nothing besides milling people when I logged on. There are so many people that enjoyable testing just isn’t possible with the amounts of people swarming and making choke points of everything. The only way I found the first quest giver was by the minimap icon, so at least we know that bit works.

So, thank you to all the whining little brats out there who wanted to play and not test, who wanted in right now because they read into a comment something that was never said, and who are now sitting in zones with no clue as to what to do or why Blizzard is so mean and won’t let them transfer their 85 Panda to a live server…

Hope you caught the sarcasm there.

Seriously though, adding so many people so quickly has just choked the system to the point where the server isn’t stable. It crashes regularly and lags to the point where you’re better off just turning it off. This is disappointing, I had wanted so much better…

Oh well, as for other things…The guild finally went back into DS after so many weeks of not having the people to do so. I took my rogue and my druid, switching when we needed the ranged dps for volleyball. Problem was yet again that people plan other things in the middle of raid time, so we maybe got an hour total to run. We started an hour late, then there was lag with people getting there, deciding which toons were coming, then the main tank had to drive across town…twice. considering who far we got for the night, I wish I could bottle what got them motivated to actually get a move on. If we could harness it, we would have Deathwing down in a couple weeks rather than in an expansion or two.

Not much more than that going on besides my pally running lfr and my warrior close to geared for the 378 dungeons. The work is never done!

Weekly stuff dump…

•March 31, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Another fairly unsuccessful raid night has come to a close. We didn’t even really raid, which is what I had worried about. People just didn’t show, and I have a feeling that is the end of that little adventure. We tried going back into ICC for a little bit, but didn’t get far. Then again, seven players taking on 25 man, just wasn’t enough dps to handle mechanics.

OS 25 man with three drakes went a lot smoother, so just maybe I will see the Twilight Drake some day. The rest of the night was just bouncing around, not doing much. I did kill Jadefang this morning and got the little companion pet, and ended up taming the spirit owl on my hunter. It was spur of the moment and I had to drop a pet I had, so my black fox was set free. I’ll have to go get another sometime soon, even if they don’t get used that much.

This week, Blizzard announced that they were sending out 200,000 beta invites to annual subscription members. Though that sound like a lot, I keep feeling like it’s just a drop in the bucket. That being said, I wasn’t one of the lucky ones, well, not as of this writing at least. I will keep crossing my fingers, the artwork for this thing is amazing.

News out of the Mists, and more Raid crap…

•March 26, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Most of this information is probably already well known, but eh, putting it down here gets it out of my head.

The press tour for Mists of Pandaria was a couple weeks ago and there was a mass of information that came out shortly after. Now the beta has begun, which has some people excited, and others entirely too pissed off. What’s the problem now? People assumed when they signed up for the annual pass, they would get immediate access to beta. Well, that’s not what they said, but there’s a big uproar anyway. Did I get an invite? No. Will I? Yes, eventually, though that could be a week before release. I’m not holding my breath, I have too many other things going on right now anyway.

Information you may or may not want to know…

Blizzard is expanding character slots to 11 per server. This means you don’t have to juggle toons to be able to fit in a new Monk.

There will be 7 new zones, this was previously 5. It also looks like there will be a lot of phasing as the storylines progress and on into the patches after release.

Garrosh Hellscream will be the final boss of the expansion, a corrupted version anyway. The final raid is currently set to be The Siege of Orgrimmar, with actions leading both sides to the battle for different reasons. What we know so far is that something is brewing in Hellfire Chasm, with fel orcs doing mysterious and nefarious things.

Druids will be getting quite a few graphical glyphs, Warlocks will be getting new looking pets.

Companion pets will be account wide, with mounts coming in a patch after release.

Scarlet Monastery and Scholomance will be the two old dungeons being rebooted for level 90 heroics. The four wings of the Monastery have been consolidated down to two.

Yadda yadda, so on and so forth. There is a lot of information coming out almost every day, lots of things going on, if you want to know more I’m sure you know where to look.

At what point, if any, should a semi-casual guild start taking raiding a little more seriously? I’ve been asking myself this all weekend after the blow up that happened during the Friday night raid. Let’s just say that my excitement of having taken down 5/8 in Dragon Soul was suitably tempered, then stomped on and tossed out a third story window.

We get to raid one night a week, maybe two to three hours if we are lucky. It had been a three week slog of keeping lockouts to get where we finally were. I did my homework, was ready to go take on Warmaster Blackhorn, only to be told we were going to start over. The reason was a valid one, there’s a lot of loot on those first four bosses and we have people who need more gear.

So, attitude tempered, I got online and ready…only to be told we wouldn’t be starting on time, main tank had other things to do. Alright, things come up, we deal with it. We finally get started, take down one boss, then fall into bad old habits all over again.

We only managed the one boss that night, that was it. The amount of distractions going on, the length of time between attempts, it just kept getting worse and worse until we finally called it. I signed off to get ready for work, irritated about the immaturity going on.

My roommate yells at me to let me know that our main rogue and hunter have both left the guild, feeling about the same frustrations I had been. I don’t really blame them, after all I think I’ve been voicing my irritation at constant failure on numerous occasions right here. Of course our guild leader and main tank is being decidedly passive-aggressive about the whole thing, and hasn’t said a word to me all weekend. Something about knowing where true loyalties lay and the difference between loyalty and friendship. I’m sorry, when you turn into a ship of clowns, loyalty has nothing to do with it.

Meanwhile, I was invited into a BWD run Saturday night by the two that had left the guild. I used to be in the guild that they joined, know the people there, and had a fairly enjoyable time helping them out. They’re just getting back into raiding, but they could very well catch up with my current guild if they keep pushing themselves. This was actually the guild I first started playing in, raiding in, and if I wasn’t so convinced of the time and effort I had put into my current guild, I probably would have jumped ship too.

This turned more into a rant than I was meaning it to. I’m still finding myself in a position where I know I could be in a better place, but am limited because of scheduling and time restraints. At least this other guild has offered my rogue the chance to continue into DS to work on his legendaries, once my friend is finished with his of course.