I was never really able to understand the chess event very well, but here is a pic of me doing it while leveling.
During the past couple weeks I’ve spent all of my WoW time leveling up my new paladin tank, Fontasy, and things are still going pretty smoothly. I’m not really in the mood to play my other 80 characters, so this is really working out well so far. As of early February he’s at level 47 and quickly climbing with about 2 days and 11 hours of play time logged. I should also note just for fun that most of this play time was spend while listening to Keith and the Girl.
I’m still leveling him exclusively via the LFD tool and so far it’s going good. I had an idea that I would never let him leave SW after level 15, but then I suppose I wouldn’t ever be able to buy any emblem gear at 80. I don’t usually take too well to the weird ideas people have about leveling their characters, but this one seemed a little intriguing to me. Oh wells. It won’t work.
After many hours of learning the ins and outs of tanking through trial and error, I’m starting to feel much more comfortable in my new role. The end game heroics still seem to be a little intimidating to me, but I’m sure I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. I’m also not too sure about how I’m going to go about gearing up for heroics, but I suppose I’ll figure that out later too. Having spent no time at all as a DPS paladin, I would be probably be just as unfit doing that as tanking undergeared.
Anyway, here’s a quick run-down of some of the instances that I ran last weekend. I didn’t take screenshots of the party chat arguments because it seems a little useless, but overall it was a good time.
I got into a couple groups for SM, but for the most part I had out-leveled and out-geared it. I think I queued up for it once or twice for some quick and easy XP when I was about to hit 46, but other than that I didn’t bother with it too much. Most of the runs were pretty good with the exception of one in particular that was a damn nightmare. One of the DPS just jumped around the mobs while the druid healer didn’t even bother to throw the smallest of HOTs on me. Right as I was about to port out and find a new group, someone pulled before I could and we got a huge number of pissed off people attacking us. Luckily I survived, no thanks to the healer, and dropped group. The icing on the cake was the clothie who pulled instantly asked for a rez as soon as the fight was finished.
Maraudon: Orange Crystals
This instance, unfortunately, was my bowl of “just right” porridge for the better part of a day and it got old pretty quickly. Almost every other instance seemed to be too high or too low for me so I was stuck running this one over and over. As a result of the lack of concentrated mobs, it also made for extremely slow leveling. To make matters even worse, the LFD tool calls the instances over after the second boss, at which point of course everyone leaves with the quickness.
After killing the first two bosses about 10 times or so, I finally got a group who decided to continue on and clear out the rest of the instance which was great. I was able to chain pull for more XP and even picked up some great gear upgrades for when I hit 48, including a new shield. I was also pretty surprised to find that there are some pretty cool bosses deep in the instance. I’m not sure why people get their LFD loot after the first boss, but it seems like Blizzard would want people to go a little deeper in before calling it quits.
During the one bad run that I had here there was a mage who was using only a staff to do damage and her warrior friend who was wearing cloth armor and using some ridiculous weapon that I can’t remember. Unless it’s an intentional run by a guild to use, say, only fish as weapons or something along those lines to add a further challenge, I didn’t find it the least bit amusing and nor did anybody else in the group. The two stupids stuck together and tried to defend their asshattery, but in the end the entire group was forced to disband because they both couldn’t be kicked. I still can’t really wrap my head around what would make someone do such a thing. It seems like part of it is intentionally wasting people’s time, but I feel like a larger part of it is just sheer ignorance.
Zoning into ZF was a huge breath of fresh air after being stuck in the caves of Maraudon all day. I hadn’t been there since I was leveling my priest so it was really good to revisit. I’m not too sure why, but I’ve always had a soft spot for that place. Despite being mostly the same, the mobs are fun to kill and there the last hydra boss is also cool to down. Although there weren’t really any gear upgrades, I noticed that the XP gains were tremendous compared to what I had been doing before. I also managed to pick up a couple quests from other people in the group that netted me about an entire level’s worth of XP, albeit after traveling around the world for an hour to do the turn-ins.
The Near Future:
I feel like I may want to dust off the priest soon in order to get emblems to buy the leather chest for my up and coming druid. I kind of got tired of playing the druid a little bit, but the goal of getting another heirloom piece might be worth running some more heroics.
Although I think I’m still done playing my mage for most part, I thought for awhile today about trying to get one of the rare whelps pets on him as a change of pace. Aside from another pet, it would actually be a pretty beneficial thing to do since I could send the leather to my druid to level leatherworking and also send the greens out to Fontasy to disenchant.
While almost all of my time in-game as of late has been spent tanking low level instances via the LFD tool, I noticed that I’ve picked up a few interesting habits recently that I never used to have. I find this interesting because for the most part I’ve always kind of chugged along and never thought too deeply about how I can improve my playing. Although I still won’t even stick my toes into the murky waters of theory crafting, I am doing a lot more to get a little more performance out of my gear.
Auction House Tanking Gear:
The first new habit I’ve picked up is to check the AH for gear upgrades for my tank after every ding. At this point gold isn’t really a problem and I figure if I can eek out just a little more armor here and there it’ll probably help out the group. While this may seem like a halfway normal practice for someone to do, it should be noted that in the past I never really cared too much for good gear while I leveled because, hey, I’m going to outgrow it as soon as possible if all goes well. As a tank now, it seems that I’m not just playing for myself now. I now have four other people to think about, especially the healer.
The other habit that I think I’m going to stick to is running the easier and quicker instances until I almost out-level them, and there are two reasons for this. The first is that since I’m a relatively new tank, if I can power through the mobs a little bit faster it might be a little easier on the healers should things get a little crazy. The other reason is speed. Lately I’ve been running Stockades repeatedly and can now steamroll through the place in about twenty minutes or so. There are often times where I only have an hour or so to play before work, so the quicker instances are much better suited. On the downside, I don’t really need anything that drops from those places when I’m a good five levels or so above every mob there.
Although I am using the dungeon finder, I decided not to use the random dungeon tool too often. The main reason for this is that, as previously written, I can continue to run the same instance over and over without getting thrown into one that is too low or too high for my level. It also works out pretty good in regards to time limitations. Not only are some places longer than others, (Deadmines and Gnomergan) but it also seems that the longer instances are plagued with people constantly dropping group which holds up the group as we have to escort the newcomers to where we’re at. Without using the random dungeons feature I’m able to knock out a quick instance in about 20 minutes and then take of other things if I need to.
Gems and Enchants:
Gemming and enchanting my gear is something that I’ve become obsessed with lately on my two level 80s, the holy priest and fire mage. I find this to be interesting because when I played the mage during TBC I never understood or gave two thoughts about how to further improve my gear. I think this was partly because I didn’t have much gold to pay for them and also because I didn’t follow the many WoW related websites and blogs that I read today.
Now however, I find myself instantly heading for the auction house as soon as I pick up a new piece of gear worth keeping and spending hundreds and hundreds of gold to buy the top notch gems and enchants. I even spent about 45 emblems to instantly reach exalted with Sons Of Hodir just for the shoulder enchants and don’t regret any of it.
To supplement the effect of getting some new gear every level on my tank, I’m also enchanting my gear when possible which helps a bit. I’ve been a little too lazy to do it just yet, but I’ve also been meaning to send some leather armor kits to the tank as well.
As always, thanks for reading Thoughts of Warcraft. Stay tuned for next post.
In a recent post I wrote about wanting to try my hand at tanking. Well, I did and it’s been a lot of fun so far.
I Tank Now:
The first thing I did ironically enough was delete my old level 22 human paladin. I hadn’t played him in over a year and I hated his name and look, so it’s wasn’t too difficult of a decision. Luckily I hadn’t bought too many bank slots so I didn’t sweat it too much. I then made a brand new dranei pally named Fontasy and loaded him up with four heirloom items, bags, and a bunch of gold. I plan on leveling him by only using the LFD tool. The name of course is from one of my favorite podcasts, The Best Show On WFMU, and it’s a reference to how they thought Gene Simmons would pronounce the word “fantasy.”
Because my top priority was to begin tanking instances as soon as possible, I instantly headed for Elwynn Forest because that’s where I’m most comfortable leveling quickly. Before I knew it I was level 10 and began putting talents into the prot spec. I leveled solely from quests until the very moment that I hit level 15 and then began my journey into the wonderful world of tanking. I decided that I wasn’t going to worry about any professions at first, but later decided to pick up enchanting just for the hell of it. The only bad thing about leveling up was that I had already had a paladin that was capable of tanking before creating Fontasy. Oh well. I know I’ll have more fun with this character than I ever would have on the old one.
The first instance I tried was Ragefire Chasm and I was surprisingly pretty nervous about it. I suppose I thought that tanking was some long lost secret that no one ever taught me. As you may know from previous posts, I tend to get that way until I get used to doing something, and this was no exception. I let everyone know that I’ve never tanked before and then pulled my first mob. At first I was very careful and only pulled one mob at a time to minimize my damage. Lucky for me, most of the mobs were very spread out which I thought was a nice introduction to learning how to tank. After a few RFC runs though I was charging right in and doing some chain pulls.
One thing that I found to be extremely surprising is that so many people pulled groups of mobs before I could, and effectively ruined my threat generation. I thought that it may have just been a low-level thing, but it turns out I saw it pretty consistently until I hit about level 25 or so. Make of it what you will, but the main culprit was always a hunter. And, for the record, you can’t rain Misdirection until you’re a level 70 hunter so they obviously weren’t trying to help me. What made things even stranger was that even after I and other members of the group warned them, they still continued pulling. The most extreme case of this was in Deadmines where the whole group decided to let the huntard tank a few mobs if that’s what they really wanted to do. They quickly died and ragequit and we continued on our merry way.
However, I can’t say that I’ve never done this before myself. There was a time during my first 5-man instance, Deadmines, where I pulled before the tank because I wanted to help out and didn’t understand threat mechanics. In my mind, I felt bad for letting the tank do all the work and simply wanted to help him out. At this point in time I had no concept whatsoever about what threat was. After getting yelled at a bit in chat I instantly fell back and played the role of a good DPS. What I’ve been seeing lately though just seems to be pure ignorance and unwillingness to cooperate.
Another one of my pet peeves as of late is rogues not doing anything in instances. It seems that every time I look over at the rogue as I’m in mid-fight, he’s just standing in the corner cloaked not attacking anything. In another case the rogue pulled groups of mobs before I could, which led to more of the problems that I mentioned before. I haven’t brought up recount yet to confirm their slacking, partly because I’m too busy and also because I wouldn’t really even know what good DPS at level 26 would look like. I will say however that it’s gotten pretty old already and gives new meaning to being carried through instances.
Well, thanks for reading the blog as always. I plan on running almost exclusively with this tank and I can’t wait to get him up to heroic level. I’m sure the learning process will be pretty interesting and should provide for some good stories, which I’ll of course relay here on Thoughts of Warcraft.
Until next time.
It’s been a little while since the last update so here’s what’s been going on lately in WoW and life for me.
The Big Trip To West Japan:
Over the Christmas break I took a trip to west Japan just like I did last year. We bought something called the Seishun Juhachi Kippu which I highly recommend. Basically it’s a ticket to ride the slow local trains all you want for five non-consecutive days, and it’s only about $100 which is great. We went to Nagoya, Osaka, Kobe, and Kyoto and spent about a week traveling. It was great fun and certainly something that I’ll remember for the rest of my life, however if it didn’t pan out I think I would have been pretty happy just to sit at home and play WoW for a week and relax.
Some of the stories from the trip are a little too wild to blog about, but let’s just say that a good time was had by all. Some highlights include crazy times at karaoke, eating miso katsu in Nagoya, and being covered in pigeons in a park.
Now for WoW stuff.
My priest, Truckspank, is now geared to the teeth from emblems and although I enjoy healing heroics a ton, there is now little to no incentive to continue doing so. I even spent about 40 emblems or so to get exalted with the Sons of Hodir for the shoulder enchants. One thing I like about that is that the enchants are BOA so I bought two and sent one off to my mage, Chipdipson. I suppose I could try to keep doing one heroic a day for the emblems of frost seeing as I’m only about 6 days away from getting a new cloak. I suppose I just don’t really care too much about it.
I guess I could convert some emblems down and get more heirloom chest pieces. Maybe I’ll give that a shot. So far most of my heirloom pieces are only from the Wintergrasp shards that drop from the bosses occasionally.
Despite the long wait to queue for dungeons as DPS, I’ve managed to get my mage pretty well geared up which is nice. There is still a lot of room for gear improvement, but in the interest of time management I think I’m just gonna let him sit for awhile. Although he’s a lot of fun to play, I’d have to say that I prefer to plays priests now. It may sound a little strange, but sometimes I feel more pressure to pay attention when I play a DPS classes which may be the result of having an overgeared priest. Usually I can just throw a couple heals out and just chill.
As for WoW in general, one problem that’s happened to me a few times now is instant boredom and overall lack of interest once I feel that my character is “maxed out” with gear. Sure there’s always raiding to do, but I’ve never really had the time to devout to that even on a very casual level. So I decided to level up on my alts and put my two 80s on hold for a little bit until whenever I feel like playing them again.
Lately I solely been playing my druid, Partydoctor, and getting him leveled up. He’s currently at about 38 and specced for healing so I can get into groups faster via the LFD tool. I had initially considered dual speccing him as DPS or a tank but I think I’m going to save the gold for later. I came to this conclusion for two reasons. The first being that queueing as DPS takes forever and the second being that it seems like leather tanking gear rarely drops. I’m also not too fond of the druid’s tanking mechanics. I’ve heard a lot of people complain about not being able to see your gear and the same animations and I think I’d agree with them.
So far healing as a druid is pretty fun, but vastly different from a priest. I think overall I still prefer the priest, but I have hope that druid healing will become more fun as I level up some new skills. I did however have to do a little bit of research to figure out how to maximize my spells. One mistake I made was I was trying to use Healing Touch (the really long cast heal) as a sort of flash heal when the tank was getting pretty low. The long cast time really makes this an almost useless spell so I glyphed for Regrowth and now use that as my spam healing spell. I’m also pretty excited about healing as a tree in level 80 PVP. It’s been quite a while since I’ve done any PVP so that should be fun.
I’ve also been thinking about tanking a lot lately and have decided to try it out on a paladin. I currently have a level 21 human paladin named Varlant that I hate for several reasons. The first reason is that I give all of my characters funny names that are inspired by podcasts. So far some of these include Chipdipson, Truckspank, Partydoctor, and Phillyboyroy. As you can see, the name Varlant really doesn’t mesh with the lighthearted vibe of my other characters. The second reason is the look of humans in game. For whatever reason I recently took a liking to draenai characters so I think I’m going to delete the level 21 and make a new draenai. The draenai racial healing buff can come in handy as well. With a bunch of heirloom gear to go around, I’m sure I can get a new character up to 21 in no time.
One problem however is that I really have no idea how to tank and it seems a little intimidating. I’m trying to read up on some basic strategies on blogs and hopefully it won’t be too bad. I figure that if I learned to heal pretty quickly, there shouldn’t be too much stopping me from learning how to be a badass tank. I’m mainly interested in tanking to get groups faster via LFD and to learn another aspect of the game.
Well that’s gonna do it for this post. Thanks for reading!
I recently found myself with about 600 stone keeper’s shards on my priest so I decided to buy the heirloom leather shoulders and caster mace and sent them off to my druid in training, Partydoctor. It’s a shame that there isn’t more stuff you can buy with the shards, but I suppose I’ll keep buying heirloom gear for the hell of it whenever I can. So far I have quite the collection: leather and cloth shoulders, sword, mace, haste trinket, and the bow.
So with this newly acquired gear I queued up for a random dungeon and got Razorfen Kraul which was pretty fun. I’ve run the instance a couple times before, but it still felt pretty new to me. It all went pretty well there with the exception of a couple crazy trash pulls. The extra loot reward at the end was also pretty good and I was able to get some blue gloves. I’m not sure if I’ll see it through, but I’d love to run all of the 5-man content from beginning to end on this character. We’ll see what happens.
I’m leveling the druid as a healer to find groups faster which seems to help cut the wait time down a bit. Perhaps it will become more fun as I level up, but so far I’m not really a fan of healing as a druid. At level 27 I pretty much have only three healing spells which feels limiting compared to the arsenal that I have while healing as a holy priest. I know a little bit about some of the later spells you get that can speed things up, but for now it seems pretty clunky and slow to me. Mana is also an issue as well. It seemed I went /oom after nearly every decent sized pull.
The second instance I was put in was Gnomergan. It was slow going from the beginning which was a real pain. The tank instantly dropped group upon seeing what instance it was so the other druid in the group tried his hand at tanking for a bit. We later got a tank but there was a lot of confusion as to what to do and where to go and he had a bit of a sour attitude. When we finally made it to the bottom area, the hunter’s pet aggroed most of the room which almost caused a wipe. After this happened, the tank apparently went afk for about 10 minutes at which point I left.
Although it was fun to run some lower level instances again, one thing I noticed was that there seemed to be a lot more drama over loot than usual. As where I’ve seen a lot of people drop group before rolling on loot in 5-man heroics, small fights ensued over gear that would probably only be used for but a couple levels. I can’t really understand it. Sure getting new gear helps, but I’ll remember whether I had a good or bad experience a lot longer than the name of that new piece of loot.
I’m still hopeful that druid healing will be fun eventually since it seems that most druids are fanatical about the HOTs. If I see the druid all the way to 80, I just hope that I can still remember how to heal as a holy priest.
As always, thanks for reading Thoughts of Warcraft. See ya next time. https://thoughtsofwarcraft.wordpress.com.
In Japan, Wednesday December 23 was a national holiday to celebrate the emperor’s birthday and as such I decided to use the free time to rest up and play some WoW while trying to get over a cold. For quite awhile now it seems, one of my favorite things to do is to run 5-mans, catch up on my favorite podcasts, and knock back a couple brews. In case you’re curious, some of my favorite podcasts of late are Uhh Yeah Dude, The Best Show On WFMU, and Stop Podcasting Yourself. The first two have kept me entertained for years and all three are highly recommended.
And now, on to WoW related matters:
Because of the constant need for healers, I was able to very quickly gear up my holy priest which is great. Sure, this cost hundreds of badges to do, but it was a lot of fun and honestly not too difficult to do overall. However, I now find myself all geared up with no real incentive to run more heroics. I suppose I get a little bit of reputation from one of the lesser known factions, but aside from an achievement for reaching exalted it’s not that big of a deal. I still really enjoy healing, but there’s just not much of a reason to do so anymore.
So with my priest all geared up I decided to get some emblems for my mage. As I mentioned before, he’s currently in mostly ilvl 200 stuff with a couple pieces from Naxx. Although I know what I’m doing when it comes to the instances, more often than not the LFG system grouped me up with people who didn’t, presumably because of my gear score. This involved many wipes, disconnects, and lost time. It really threw me for a loop considering that as a healer almost every run is amazingly quick and easy. I can only assume this is a result of gear score.
I trudged through it however because there wasn’t much else to do. I couldn’t go around it, had to go through it. Eventually I had enough badges to get the T9 gloves and pants, as well as the ilvl 245 DPS wand which is pretty cool. After picking up the new pieces, I instantly headed over to the auction house and spent a ton of gold on epic gems and enchants. One thing I noticed was that after I got this new gear, the other people I was randomly grouped up with seemed to be much better than before. No more wipes and runs were quick and easy again. Go figure.
Something I wasn’t used to however was the wait to queue up which sometimes took up to 15 minutes. While this might not be too bad compared to the pre-3.3 world, it felt like an eternity compared to my 2 second wait as a healer. So in the search for a way to kill time I decided to grind reputation to get the Frostsaber mount from the people near Everlook. From what I’ve heard this is one of the longest rep grinds in the game and I have to agree so far. Another added barrier is that the mobs you have to kill are pretty spread out and far away from the turn-in spot which further adds to the difficulty. But, it helped the wait go by and maybe eventually I can add the Frostsaber to my collection.
Now as for the previously mentioned wipes, I can’t really blame people too much as these things are bound to happen from time to time. We’ve all had to learn the game and sometimes it takes a wipe or two to do that. However, while on my mage I had a bad experience of a different kind while doing heroic Utgarde Keep. The group I was put into was made up of four people from a guild called Swift Retribution from the Cenarion Circle server. After many sub-par groups, I figured running with a guild would surely be a good thing since they know each other’s play style. We had one wipe right off the bat which wasn’t a big deal and then proceeded to tear through the instance at a decent pace.
We downed the first boss and things were going smoothly until I was unceremoniously kicked from the group in mid-fight of a trash pull before the second boss. There was no communication in party chat the entire instance, presumably because they were all using vent. There was also no explanation as to why I was kicked, and no good reason I could come up with myself. Before I knew it I was right back in the snowy hills of Everlook where I began completely stunned at what just took place.
Of course I understand the need to kick someone if they are under performing, but I was doing everything a good DPS should and there was no good reason for the kick. The main issue I have here is that it’s disrespectful of other people’s time. It took me at least 15 minutes to get into a group and I expected to complete the instance, get some badges, and be on my way. At the very least, some sort of explanation would have been nice. Had there been any explanation really I would have probably understood. It seems to me that from this experience, as a guild, Swift Retribution is really reinforcing the idea of PUGs as being an overall negative experience.
Sure, it’s only a game, but there are also people playing the game and I believe you owe them a little bit of decency just as you would in any other circumstance in the real world. Perhaps they did have a justifiable reason to kick me, but without communication it can leave a really bad taste in someone’s mouth, not to mention sully the reputation of your character, guild, etc.
That’s about it for now. I hope this post doesn’t come across as complaining or overly negative, I just wanted to chronicle what’s been happening as I play the game. Until next time, take care and happy new year!
As always, thanks for reading Thoughts of Warcraft. See ya next time. https://thoughtsofwarcraft.wordpress.com.
I still haven’t chosen a favorite dungeon out of the new Ice Crown Citadel 5-mans, but Halls of Reflection certainly is interesting. So far I’ve found all of the instances to be quite a challenge as well as a good opportunity to snag some new loot. Out of the three times that I’ve actually been inside HoR, two of them were under some odd circumstances.
The first time I entered the instance it was during a glitch where no mobs spawned at all. Even though I certainly wouldn’t count this as an attempt, I was still able to walk around and get a feel for the last section. Once we realized the glitch, our group decided to see if the gunship was there to get some free loot but we were thoroughly disappointed. Of course we were stuck with the 15 minute debuff, but that’s about it for that story.
I later joined up for a random dungeon and found a group who downed everything up until the gauntlet section at the end. They had told me that they wiped about 10 times so far which didn’t bode well for me, but I figured that I would give it a shot just to see how hard it was. Not surprisingly, I found it to be pretty damn hard. This being my first time there, I later assumed that the entire instance was only the last gauntlet section.
We started the event and I pretty much knew what to do. Once the ice walls came down it was fairly obvious that all we needed to do was not die until it came down. It also wasn’t long before I had to go into what I’m now affectionately referring to as “The Zone.” Although I’ve found that I can really force myself to get in “The Zone,” it’s a pretty cool feeling when it does happen. It’s a feeling akin to being on autopilot, where every decision you make is pure instinct based on past experience. Perhaps it’s like the tale of the mother who found the strength to lift a car off of her child. I don’t remember exactly what I was doing, but it was the right thing.
I healed like this for wave after wave of scourge until I finally died at what was literally the very last moment. This being my first time in HoR, I didn’t know if it was finished and considered it a wipe until I was able to roll on loot. It was quite exhilarating and I was able to get some good epics out of the deal too.
That group and I continued to run about four more heroics until the tank started acting odd and doing dumb wipe-causing pulls and high-jumps from bridges. It was then that I thanked them and excused myself from the group and queued up again, only to instantly find myself back with the same group. We all had a pretty good laugh about it and I decided that it must have been fate so we finished the instance.
Finally I was able to get a full clear of Halls of Reflection and it was a lot of fun. I even got some compliments on my healing which is always a nice feeling. There were a few close calls on account of the fact that I started playing not long after I woke up, but overall it was pretty good. However, I did find it a bit weird that almost the whole group had to spend most of the first section staring at a wall. Kinda strange considering that there was so much cool stuff to look at.
As for the final gauntlet, this group had it together and there really weren’t any close calls in the least. It was so smooth in fact that it made me wonder as to whether or the first had any business being there at all.
Stay tuned for more posts. There’s tons to talk about after 3.3 dropped! Thanks for reading.