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ab

So patch 3.2 is here and I’m pretty excited about the whole thing. One of the things that I’m most excited about is that I can now earn experience just by doing battlegrounds. For me this is a win-win-win situation. First and foremost, I really need a lot of time to learn how to raid heal and get used to the VuhDo add-on so BGs are perfect for doing so. Also, it’s not a total waste of time if I can level at the same time. And I also really like the immediacy of the it all. With one click I’m in queue and healing away in no time.

But, as I figured out today (I’m writing this on August 4th) things aren’t really what I was expecting. Being able to get a ton of mounts for cheap was great and nothing to scoff at, but what I was looking forward to the most, battleground experience, just wasn’t cutting it for me. I’m really getting tired of questing again and probably won’t quest on my priest for a long time, so aside from healing 5-man instances, I was really counting on this to get me through to level 80.

I figured out that at the end of a 20 minute Arathi Basin match that I had earned about 23,000 exp. Then, I calculated how much exp I needed to ding level 75, with about a quarter of the experience already there. That was about 1242000. So, it turns out that I would have to win Arathi Basin about 54 times, at about 20 minutes per game, just to level once.

I’m not sure if other people are gaining more or less experience that I am, but to me that seems like a hell of a lot less than what Blizz initially promised. I believe the official quote was something along the lines of: “Leveling in battlegrounds will be a little slower than questing.” Now judging by my above calculations, it would take about 18 hours to level. That’s way more than a little slower than questing.

On a side note, I’ve also been confused for a very long time now as to what exactly I’m supposed to do with some of these badges I keep earning. Some, like AV, AB, and WG have turn-ins for gear and mounts, but yet there is nothing to do with the Eye of the Storm badges, Isle of Conquest, and Strand of the Ancients. I’m semi-aware that I can turn in badges for more honor, but after amassing  a huge pile of badges more honor is the last thing that I need.

As for now, I suppose my plan is to keep running the BGs anyway while I sit in queue for 5-man groups. We’ll see how it goes.

Brad

For the faction my character is associated with!

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wow-warrior3

As stated in my last post, I kept trying to find groups to heal all last weekend on my priest, but to no avail. So after getting a little bored with my hunter I decided to play an old level 11 warrior that I made named Genki. Again, thanks to the heirloom items, he had a one-hand sword, a bow, and 10% exp bonus (albeit with cloth shoulders). After getting the basic ideas of healing under my belt and now only working out the many fine points, I’d also like to give tanking a try eventually and figured that I’d try it with a warrior.

I’m not sure why, but from what I’ve played of the warrior class, it just feels very clunky to me. I think I’m used to the quick-casting ranged abilities of mages, priests, and now hunters. In comparison, having to build up rage to do large scale attacks is a bit odd for me. Also, Heroic Strike seems to take forever to happen after I click it. So, I’m not really enjoying it too much, but I’ll probably keep it going until about level 20 and then see what I think about it then.

I’m leveling as protection in order to tank in dungeons to see if I’m any good at tanking. One of the toughest things that I’ve found about tanking so far is that there is no way to judge how much threat you can generate while soloing. I could be the best tank ever or the worst, there just doesn’t seem to be any way of knowing yet until I get into Deadmines I suppose. Either way, it should be interesting to see how it turns out and I’ll be sure to keep everyone posted about how it goes.

Brad

For the faction my character is associated with!

This past weekend I became really frustrated with not being able to find any 5-man groups going so I decided to try something a little different. I remember that I had a ton of Emblems Of Heroism on my main Mage that were just sitting there so I decided to turn them in for a one-hand sword and a bow…and committed to starting a hunter alt. Considering that I used so many emblems on the gear, I will probably eventually see this character to 80 as well.

I went with a Draenei just because I really like the look and the racial traits are also pretty usefull. The name, Scrafyscrifs, is one of my first characters to not have a podcast related name. Instead it comes from a video that I recently found on YouTube directed by Bob Odenkirk in which they create funny fake names. Oddly enough, my first priest that I leveled to 59 on the Horde side, Kleepklop, also comes from the Mr. Show quote, “Pour me another space-beer, Kleepklop.”

Right at level 1, I instantly sent him 20 gold, 4 Netherweave bags, and 3 heirlooms items and then headed straight for Stormwind since I’ve always really enjoyed leveling in that area. Of course it might not be a pure way to the play the game, but after doing it so many times before without any aid, it felt very cool to have a low-level character so loaded with great gear. At first I was a bit skeptical about how much the weapons would really help speed along the leveling process, but any doubts were gone very quickly.

Before I could even realize it I was rolling through levels pretty quickly and loving it. Something about firing off arrows was really relaxing. Then, at level 10, I did the questline for taming pets and the real fun began. I’ve played a warlock up to about level 11 or so in the past and of course I’ve had a ton of vanity pets, but something about taming an animal to have by your side was very different. As weird as it sounds, I felt a little bit of a connection for the pets and so far I have three.

The first pet I tamed was a wolf in Westfall. I named it “Grandpa” after one of the host’s dogs from the podcast Stop Podcasting Yourself, but for some reason I really didn’t like the feel of having the wolf. I later saw someone with a bear and figured I’d give that a shot after hearing that they might be good for tanking. I still haven’t named it yet, but so far it’s been the best out of all three that I’ve tamed. It seems to have a good amount of health and can get aggro very quickly. One bad part though is that it doesn’t seem to be able to AOE tank at all, but maybe it will later.

Right before logging off for the day I then tamed a spider was but I don’t think I’m really liking it very much. I’ll probably have to play around with it a bit more. I’m looking forward to trying out some different varieties of pets in the future but I’m not sure if I’ll go for the exotic pets since marksmanship seems to be a better dps spec. Either way, I’m really enjoying everything about the hunter class and it’s been a blast playing it. I’m currently at about level 20 or so and building up rest bonuses to make the process go by even faster.

Brad

For the faction my character is associated with!

002669 Two Colour Figure 70 Birthday Cake

Well it’s been quite sometime since my last post about getting to level 60 and a ton of stuff has happened, both in and out of game. I’ll most likely try to stretch out the stories throughout a couple blog posts. Overall, it’s been a lot of fun learning how to heal and Truckspank is quickly becoming my new main.

Even though I’m not really a fan of repeating the same old quests in Outland, the leveling process wasn’t so bad. I completed most of the Hellfire Peninsula quests and then made my way into Zangramarsh. That, combined with healing instances whenever I got the chance, got me to 68 pretty quickly. It actually went by incredibly quickly with my heirloom shoulders and some rest bonus.

I’m also holding out on getting the epic land and regular flying mounts until patch 3.2 hits. The gold difference is just far too much to not wait for it to hit. It kind of sucks now having to take forever to get around, but once I hit 80 I can just lay back and get summons from 5-mans and run BGs endlessly and that’ll be just fine with me.

Looking back on my 1-60 experience, one thing that was really surprising to me was the severe lack of people who were running instances at my level and in need of heals. Perhaps it’s because of my time difference, but I tended to join up with a group whenever I could and I would’ve really liked to see more content. I don’t however intend on turning off my exp gains to do so. Maybe on another alt, another time.

I’ve also been able to keep up with my professions fairly good as well, Herbalism and Alchemy. It’s really surprising to me because I usually don’t worry about what level my professions are but alchemy is fun and having the extra time bonus of 2 hours instead of one is pretty nice as well. My cooking level however is really lagging behind. My main strategy at the moment is to check the AH for cheap ingredients to go up a few levels whenever I can. I’m also considering just mailing back food from my main as needed.

I can’t seem to remember any other significant events to add right now as I’m a little tired, but keep coming back. There is a lot more to come.

Brad

For the faction my character is associated with!

Get it? Five men...

Get it? Five men… OK…. Moving on…

So in an earlier post I wrote about having trouble finding groups for the Hellfire Peninsula instances, but not long after writing that article, I was able to make quite a few runs through all of the dungeons in Hellfire and get some great healing practice through PUGs. I still, however, haven’t found a worthwhile guild yet to run 5-mans with, but hope to soon.

For the most part, the Hellfire Ramparts and Blood Furnace healing went pretty smoothly. They both kind of blend together in my mind, but they’re a quick and easy introduction to healing the Burning Crusade content. Ramparts went extreemely smoothly in almost every run I did which really surprised me. In fact the only close calls I really had was on Nazan, but this was most likely due to people standing in the badsauce and a slightly undergeared tank.

I’m still figuring out when and how to use the multitude of spells at my disposal and there’s nothing like a couple “Oh shit!” moments to speed up the process. Although this spell won’t really make or break an instance run in most cases, it’s also really nice to have Gift Of The Naaru as the Draenai racial. If the tank is taking a ton of damage and I have to also tend to the rest of the group at the same time, it’s a really nice HOT to throw on the tank to buy me a few more crucial seconds.

Vuhdo

At level 69 I ran a couple battlegrounds to get used to the key bindings of the VuhDo addon. Whenever I’m in 5-man instances I prefer to heal by using the F1-F5 targeting system so learning a new UI is really frustrating for me. For me, I just really like the feeling of seeing the picture of who I’m about to heal and then clicking the icon of the spell that I want to heal them with. Of course, I realize how neccesary these kind of addons are when healing any more than five people, but I don’t think I’ll ever use it in a 5-man instance.

Unfortunately I was only able to get into about 2 or 3 battlegrounds which sucked, but it was still a good time. I’m still doing a couple here and there at level 70, but the disparity in levels pretty much turns me into a walking target. However, even at my low level and arriving half-way through a fight, I’ve been able to almost top the healing charts. But, I’m really looking forward to the 3.2 patch changes where you can get exp through the battlegrounds. I intend to level to 80 by doing as much PVP as I can stand.

Brad

For the faction my character is associated with!

michael_jackson

Since I’ve been doing a ton of solo leveling lately on my new favorite priest, Truckspank, I almost completely forgot about one of my most hated aspects of World Of Warcraft…other players. As any regular readers of Thoughts Of Warcraft will know, this puts me in something of a tough spot because my favorite aspect of the game is the 5-man content, which of course means that I have to find four other people to go kill the big Internet dragon with.

Even though it’s usually not a constant nightmare, the bad times always seem to stick out more in my mind than some of the friendly people I’ve met and smooth instance runs I’ve done. In actuality, I’ve met a ton of really cool people through WoW, but what the hell, the anger probably makes for a better blog post.

While I was at about level 66 or so I was in Hellfire Peninsula questing so I could head out to Northrend asap and I got an invite for some instance and accepted. It was me (heals) and two other dps’ers so I said “Hey, what’s up” and waited to get a full group going. So far, so good.

Thriller

Now before I go further, I need to pause and say that this was the day that Michael Jackson died. Considering that I live in Japan now, I thought I had dodged a media-frenzy bullet, but was horribly mistaken. How did I find out?

Well I knew it was the day he died because I woke up to an IM from a friend in America telling me that he died, everyone on Twitter was talking about it, all of my friends on Facebook were talking about it, everyone on Digg was talking about it, people I work with were talking about it, and my students were talking about it. At this point I had just about enough and was trying to maintain my sanity, so on my walk home after work I was looking forward to a nice, relaxing couple hours of WoW before bed.

While waiting, the two dps were in party chat talking. What do you think they were talking about? Yup. The death of Michael Jackson. Had they both made it a quick conversation and agreed with my point of view that he was a creep all would’ve been well. But they asked my opinion and I responded with “That guy is a creep.” Nothing too bad there, and I most certainly didn’t get into details why I had that opinion in case one of the party members had virgin ears.

Bubbles

I was tired and angry that there was no escape that day from the whirlwind of people and their talking. Despite this, I didn’t go on AN ALL CAPS RANT IN PARTY CHAT. Just a simple sentence. “That guy is a creep.”

The group leader then threatened to kick me from the party, something that I believe to be far worse than actually kicking someone from party. Hey kid, don’t do me any damn favors. I don’t really need to run X instance to get the Super Epic Staff with you all that bad. Trust me, my life will go on. I’ll stay strong.

So, I said “Don’t worry. I’ll remove myself. Good day.” and that was that.

Bad joke in 5…4…3: I just wanted to heal the world of warcraft and make it a better place.

Brad

For the faction my character is associated with!

Take A Knee (2)

For the past two weeks, I haven’t been able to play a whole lot of WoW. Sure, I might get a couple hours in here and there, but I haven’t had much time to do any serious leveling. Work has been busy lately and when the weekend hits I try to get out a bit, so I’m really only playing an hour or so each day if that. However, with some large rest bonuses building up I was able to really make use of what little time I had to play which was nice.

Because I made the 50-58 climb whenever I found a couple free hours, I can’t really recall too many highlights aside from the occasional instance. I spent a pretty good amount of time in Un Goro Crater, then headed up to Felwood, and knocked out a couple quests in Winterspring before hitting 58. One tactic I found myself doing was turning in quite a few “travel here and talk to this guy” style quests, just to get some xp while doing other things around the apartment. Usually I would set course for a zone, make some food and email people, and then come back to WoW for the turn in. It worked out pretty good.

The whole time I’ve also been trying to keep my professions up to snuff which is a bit pricey. My first aid is really high and is actually very handy even as a healing class. After a fight I can just bandage up instead of healing and then going back into shadow form. I’ve also been trying to keep my Alchemy and Herbalism skills up which has been relatively easy. I did have to farm for herbs around Blasted Lands for a little while to get my skill up to the proper level for Outland. Speaking of Outland, I rushed there immediately after hitting 58.

Outland (2)

Despite being a healer amongst a ton of DKs in Hellfire Peninsula, I still haven’t managed to find any groups going for Ramps or Blood Furnace which kinda sucks. I’m really anxious to try my hand at healing some BC content so hopefully I can get in there soon. One thing I noticed was how good the quest reward gear was in Outland compared to my boss loot from vanilla WoW. Considering this, it’s a shame there isn’t more of an incentive to hit up the classic dungeons. I’ve never seen the majority of that content and I suppose I don’t expect to anytime soon.

I managed to get a group going for Stratholme which was a lot of fun since it was the first time I seen it outside of “Culling Of Stratholme” instance. We managed to get hung up on one of the bosses which was actually kind of fun. I can’t recall which boss it was and there doesn’t seem to be much information on her online but mid-fight she turns one of your team members against you. That itself wasn’t very hard to take care of, but I think everyone was pretty shocked that we encountered anything other than a simple tank and spank.

Well there is the update. I will try to make another post as soon as possible as soon as I do some cool stuff in game.

Brad

For the faction my character is associated with!

Petz

Here is a screen shot from when I got the Critter Gitter achievement on my mage, Chipdipson. I read online that this glacier was the easiest way to get the achievement so I went there after getting cold weather flying.

afk

I seem to be at something of a loss as to what to do about getting the PVP mounts. In most respects, getting the necessary badges is a good goal to work towards while having fun in PVP. However, Warsong Gulch is horrendous. I’m not going to go into the whole litany again, but in short it takes too damn long to finish a game. To add to the fail, people constantly leave and enter mid-game so there is a severe lack of team organization. To add to that, the chat is full of adolescents who know a few four letter words and are angry at the world…I’ll stop there.

So, I’ve decided to go to the dark side by going AFK. While I wouldn’t really do it or tolerate it from other players in other battlegrounds, somehow I can easily rationalize it in WG. It’s actually kind of nice. My go to strategy, surprisingly enough, is to try to defend the flag. Seems crazy right? As always, I’m the only person on defense and I’m wearing cloth so I go down quicker than a something something…prom joke. After that I sit dead for about two minutes and then release. Here is where it gets good. I just run ever so slightly outside of the rez area and move my character to the left or right every couple of seconds. Simple as that.

The icing on the cake here is the windowed mode. I’ve been love with it since I found out about it a couple weeks ago. I resize it to cover about a quarter of my screen and then I’m free to do whatever else I want to while I wait to collect my badges…of honor. Haha. Usually I use this time to call friends and family back in the U.S. on Skype. It’s a bit like Office Space. I’m on the phone talking, but it looks like I’m playing. I don’t know how many other people out there go AFK right off the bat, but Warsong Gulch is just too damn bad to do anything other than AFK.

As soon as I get all of the needed badges for the rest of the PVP mounts I don’t ever plan on going into Warsong Gulch again if I can help it. But for now, I’m sure my family and friends appreciate all of the phone calls.

Brad

For the faction my character is associated with!

heroic

I’m sure I’ve said it before in the blog, but I’m truly a fan of how Blizz implemented the heroic instances in the Wrath expansion. Between the reputation gains you get through wearing tabards, the badges, and of course the opportunity to get some new loot, I can pretty much knock out three birds with one stone. Furthermore, I usually don’t have the time or patience to do Naxx runs and still don’t know all of the encounters enough to PUG them, but of course 5-mans aren’t too bad.

If I had my choice, I would run Heroic 5-mans all of the time, but lately I’ve doing a lot of battlegrounds only because it’s easier to get a group going. Now that I’m in all purple and enchanted gear, with the exception of my wand, I can kick out some pretty high DPS and am really only doing the runs for badges, rep, and fun. With all of the great new changes that Blizz has made recently to the LFG system, I think another dimension should be added for people to find a group. Perhaps another set of boxes to click if you know the fights well, if you have good gear already, and also if you even have experience playing your class at all.

It’s a difficult subject to touch on. Perhaps the two most important people to have in a five man group are the tank and the healer and they can be tough to find sometimes. However, if you don’t know what you’re doing then it’s really a disservice to everyone else in regards to both time and patience. Of course people have to get experience somewhere, but I don’t think that heroic PUGs are the place to do it, especially when there are a few other options available.

heroic-fantasy

First, I would suggest doing guild runs on heroics. Here, your guildmates will be far more forgiving if you wipe than a group of people you don’t know. You might also be able to pick up some better gear as well. Second, I would suggest that they run the instance on regular until they can do it blindfolded. It sucks that sometimes DPS can half-ass things in an instance, but thats the way it is I guess. The whole group has to rely on whether or not the tank can hold aggro. For me it’s not a matter of being well geared or not, but just that the tank knows how to keep threat up enough so that the whole group doesn’t wipe.

I’m currently slowly leveling another priest up and he’s currently at about 38 or so. I’ve a had a little bit of healing experience before with my 58 horde priest, but I wouldn’t say I’m great at it…just decent. As a result, I’ll be damned if I get into a heroic before being fully confident in what I need to do. I’m not sure if it will work out well or not, but I’m planning on running quite a lot of PVP battlegrounds to get some basic skills up once I hit 80. It’s a very different environment than what you can find in 5-man instances, but nonetheless I can probably get some basic gear and get some healing skills under my belt.

It’s gotten to the point now where I get very hesitant to even put my name into the 5-man LFG queue, and when I do find a group that runs smoothly I want to play with them forever. Something must have happened recently because I never remember it being this tough before in Wrath PUG-ing, and in fact it was quite good most of the time. So much so that I think I read a number of articles on WoW Insider about it. But alas, something has changed. All I want to do is blow some shit up…

Brad

For the faction my character is associated with!

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