Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Juicy Bear Burger and Buzzard Bites.. Supersized!

As you may (or may not!) know, KoU does ZA on the weekends. We limit it to 2 hours and we do our best. We take three healers, five DPS and two tanks. (math are hard)

We've been able to consistently down Nalorakk, though without getting the first chest. And we've consistently not been able to down Akil'zun.

All that has changed!

This last weekend we took down Nalorakk and got the chest AND we got Akil'zun down, I believe with only two wipes.

It's all described in much better editorial detail than I'm posting here.

In other news, Owaru introduced me to reader.google.com and it's... wow, makes reading my blogs so much easier. Basically because I don't have to go to each individual site and see if there's anything new! It's all just right there! It's great. Some webcomics can also be put in there (not all, but LFG can be, and that's all that matters, right?) and I'm sure lots of other things can too.

Anyway, I'm sure sometime soon I'll go into another one of my massively long, boring posts about something like leveling or instancing or who knows what, but until then, cheerio! (It isn't just a cereal, it's a way of saying goodbye in England! I think?)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Netherspite down!

As those who follow the drama that is the Knights of Utopia, you may have noted that while we get Attumen to Prince on farm, the dragons continually give us issues.

Last night, after some shuffling of ranks, we hit Karazhan running with two PuGgers (one of whom isn't really a pugger, but rather a good friend returning!). We got a bit of a late start due to my being late home and us shuffling people around and finding our last few people... but we cleared Attumen to Prince AND Netherspite by 11:30pm.

Our lineup? Of this I was most proud. Kathe was tapped for Main Tank. It was my first time tanking Prince (not to mention the dragon). I was kind of nervous. We did the movable fight. Keeping my back to the wall while trying to move left during a bad infernal placement... sucks when you're a bear.

No really. It does. S-U-C-K-S!

Anyway... Morphos was our OT and spent his nontanking moments DPSing as a kitty cat. (The rationale behind him being OT/DPS and me being MT is that Morphos is a MUCH better DPSer than I am in kitty form, whereas in our tanking gear, I think we were ROUGHLY equivalent (health about the same, his dodge is higher). His gear is better, but...)

Morphos is an old guildy from way back in the day that left to have some RL time with his family. He's recently come back. Thus far, he has avoided our attempts to kidnap him and make him talk sexy to us... erm, I mean, come back to KoU, but that didn't stop him from saying, 'Sure, I'll come to Kara with you guys!' and talk sexy to us in Ventrilo.

He's got this accent... it's like Antonio Banderas, only I'm never going to really hear Antonio Banderas, but I can hear Morphos. *drool*

We pugged a shadow priest, Katsua (which is apparently not really her name, because I can't find it on wow-heroes!). From our guild pool, we took Leghumper and Harikin the mages, Absitively the warlock, Boon the holy paladin (he may or may not have respecced ret to pvp by the time you read this!), Shougeki the resto shaman, Neshura the hunter who was later traded for Wolfinme the hunter and Siiro the hunter.

Now, I hear you saying... where are your interrupts? What if you get Romulo and Julianne? What about Shade?!

We lucked out in Opera and got BBW. Which, by the way, I was the FIRST person Hooded. The tank... being the first person hooded. W. T. F. Luckily, I didn't die because I have awesome healers. But damn. It seems to happen to me every-single-time. I'm not sure if it's because there's a HoT or a Prayer of Mending that flips over or WHAT, but it's really annoying.

As for Shade.. we were all prepared to eat a Polymorph/Pyroblast. But we killed him before he got to that point. Our resto shaman shocked whenever he had a free moment (which wasn't often) and I feral charged (and possibly Morphos as well, not sure) whenever I could to interrupt something (almost always after dodging an arcane explosion. Got me to the boss faster). And we downed him before he drank. Not LONG before he drank, but before he drank. It was beautimous.

We did have a single wipe on Shade (someone accidentally moved during Flame Wreath) and one wipe on Netherspite (he got hit by the green beam once or twice as we were figuring out how to stand).

For Netherspite, the two tanks and the paladin stayed in for his banish phase. We had the others run to the windows so the tanks could easily avoid the netherbreath. This way, he didn't move around when he popped out of banish phase and we could more easily swap between green and red beams by simply running through the boss's belly. I had one scary moment when two pits opened up under my feet and I had barely an inch of room to try to dance in and out of the red beam in. But we prevailed! And he died. And it was glorious. (And seeing my life jump to 50k while in the red beam. Yummy.)

Go Knights of Utopia! Yay! Our first 'new guild' downing of Netherspite. :)

As for druid tanking... it's great fun. Unless your group doesn't let you actually HIT the mob first. That's not so much great fun. Then it's chasing after a mob that's running through your group. Silly DPSers.

The other fun thing to do while you're druid tanking? The nonelite group pulls in the room before Moroes? Yeah. Barkskin + Hurricane and then drop to bear form when your healer starts to scream, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING? OMG!". It's great. :)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Healing Made Easy (in MrT)

I've been through MrT as a DPS (warlock, for whom that instance sucks. Never have I seen so many humanoid mobs immune to seduce! Let's just make warlocks next to useless in there as a CC class!) and as a tank (Rawr). Each time, the healers have been a paladin or a shaman (iirc). No HoT's. No group heals (besides chain heal).

Last night we went in with Posolutely, Byouki, Isabeaux, Neshura and Kiljara.

The pulls before the first boss... it's damn hard to keep the AoEing clothies alive, even with shield and flash heal. So, no matter what type of healer you are, be prepared to lose someone if they're AoEing.

If you're an AoE'er, try to give the tank time to build some threat before you open up, and be prepared to die.

Otherwise, prayer of healing makes healing in MrT... surprisingly simple.

The AoE damage from the first boss... cake. Just start casting your prayer before the first wave of damage comes in, and you're just peachy keen and fine.

The energy boss... same deal. Prayer of Healing = Easy Mode.

Priestess Delrissa was a bit tougher, but again, made relatively easy since I could heal the multiple people taking damage from their assigned mobs and the 'mini-bosses' random aggro tables.

As for Kael'thas... Boon always complains that he can't keep everyone alive. He can't cast because he has to move. People are constantly taking damage. And he loses people.

Well, he sucks and I rule because Renew = Love. Our tank was all 'Don't heal me, K!', and I was all 'Don't tell me what to do, gnome! RENEW!'. And no one died.

I attribute it entirely to my skills, and it has nothing to do with the overpowered DPS or tank (or the nerf), since the first time we went through it was with overpowered DPS and tank and healer.

So, it's all me, naturally. Priest = Best Healer Evar.

No, really. I think they are. Don't get me wrong, each healing class has their benefits. Paladins = Great Single Target healers. Druids = HoT masters. Shaman = Multi-task much?. Priest = Best overall all-around healer.

You can feel free to disagree with me, (but that would make you silly and wrong! ;) and if you do, please don't hesitate to share!

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Kill List

( Thieved from Bremm, who apparently thieved it from Baby. ) (and also, indirectly I suppose, thieved from GoW)

If you don't play a healer, read no further! You cannot know the secret thoughts of the healers or else ...

If you DO play a healer (or you ignore my warnings and read anyway, you DPSing or Tanking warning-ignorer!) then you know what Bremm and myself mean when we say 'a kill list'. Or perhaps the way we should term it... the 'let die' list.

Every healer has their own way of prioritizing this list. Bremm outlines his list and how he creates it. I don't think I can MAKE a list that way, but I do have one. I don't consciously decide who is going to live and who is going to die, but anyone who plays a healer knows... the list is there.

Now, sometimes the list changes depending on what the person has done (ie: If Boon is your healer, never kill a small helpless critter while he is watching. Because you will die. Because he won't heal you. (caveat: he won't cause a wipe with your death, but if it's a matter of you dying and everyone else living... say hello to the floor!) ) (he doesn't do it to people he doesn't know, just to his friends!) (Boon really is a very good healer, honest!)... a real example being something GoW listed (read the post I listed of his and you will see what I mean). You will often let the people who play an important role but aren't doing their jobs very well die before you let a less important member of the raid, who is doing their job, die.

What do I mean? You have three DPS. A warlock, a rogue and a mage. The mage is supposed to keep something sheeped. But does not. In the course of events, everyone is taking damage from a big group of mobs. You're in combat. The rogue cannot sap. The warlock has her imp out. The only possible form of CC is the mage (and fear from the warlock). But the mage isn't sheeping. Despite their DPS (equitable or even possibly higher than the rogue or warlock), I'm more likely to let the mage die before I let the rogue or warlock die.

Other examples! Bremm lists on his list that classes who have an aggro dump (like soul shatter? That's not an aggro dump. It's on a 5 minute cooldown and only drops your aggro by 50%. So not a real aggro dump!) but aren't performing CC are the first ones to die.

Now, keep in mind that ANYONE can go through Bremm's list and disagree with just about every part of it (hopefully not by too much, but in the small details). I'm just picking one point that pertains to warlocks to illustrate my example.

I'm presuming that he's presuming your average group (not a raid, for which his list is likely VERY accurate for trash pulls : CC = Success). In your average group, there's a mixture of CC and DPS that is required for success. How much CC you need depends on the quality of your tank, the quality of your healer and the quality of your DPS. If you have high enough DPS with a good enough tank to hold aggro on multiple mobs, then you need little CC. If you have lower DPS, or a poor tank or a not so good healer, then CC becomes more vital. Or heck, you have good tanks, good DPS and good healers, but you're fighting Baal on Hell mode, you still need CC.

As you can see, there are a lot of variables that go into making your 'let die' list. Do you let the high DPS warlock who may not be crowd controlling at the moment but is doing 40% of the group's DPS die? Or do you let the trapping hunter whose feign death is on cooldown and whose trap was resisted die? If the warlock is burning the mobs down fast enough that the emergence of a loose mob into the otherwise organized orchestra of group play is negligible, I say keep the DPS up. If the warlock isn't making enough headway to necessitate keeping her alive in leiu of the hunter, whose traps are the only thing standing between a wipe and success? ... keep the warlock alive because MY GOD, it's a WARLOCK. Hello, you don't LET us die! Or we'll find where you live...


Obviously, the example above is fiction, since any warlock worth their salt is worth keeping alive over any class except possibly a mage (damn polymorph) despite our lack of mainstream crowd control.

But I've digressed (as I'm liable to do) from my original point.

The let die list. We all have them. How we organize our let die list varies on the group we're in, the instance we're in, the pull we're about to do, and the status of the fight.

If we're on the last mob in the group, then who cares who is a crowd control class over who is not a crowd control class. You want your DPS to live to kill the mob.

I blithely joked in a comment on Bremm's blog that sometimes the kill list is an inverse mirror of the DPS charts. You keep your top DPS alive, regardless of role, and allow the low running DPSers to drop out.

So, what all this boils down to is that we healers all know we have a list. We don't always say it. We may not even THINK we have a list. But we do.

People to keep alive and in the order to keep them alive in...
1: Warlocks
2: Tanks and Healers (equal priority. The tanks won't last long without a healer. The healers won't last long without a tank)
3: Almost everyone else
4: Paladins (Holy/Ret) - they can heal their own armor wearing selves!

Welcome to the Blogosphere! and other things

Babygorn, a mage on Alleria, has joined the Dark Side.

Welcome to the dark side, Baby. :)

*looks around stealthily*


Since they nerfed MrT, I haven't been in it. In fact, except to run it on normal a few times back when it opened, I haven't been anywhere NEAR it.

We went into Heroic MrT the other night. The lineup? Posolutely the gnome warrior, Tasogare the gnome ice mage, Boon the holy paladin, Gobblez the sword rogue and Kikidas the Goddess of Death and Destruction... erm. Kikidas, the dark pact/ruin warlock.

It... was nice. It was easy. It didn't seem like a heroic. It was easier than I remember REGULAR MrT being!

I got a nice pretty trinket and a new enchant. But it was almost anticlimatic! I was expecting death and destruction... not necessarily from me, either!

(Oh, and I got a badge upgrade, finally. I was sitting at 99 badges forever and just never went out and got that one more. Yay new pants!)

Then I went and we took Kava into heroic Slave Pens. Lots of leather drops! Nummy nummy. I work on upgrading Kava and Kiya so that they can be Kara ready! Soon... I will field a Kara run all by myself, multiboxing! (not)

One question that I have... is in a 5-man/heroic... how much hit rating do you need? Is it worth it to wear your 'trash set' that you'd wear in a raid, and only put on the hit rating set for the bosses? Kikidas has three sets. She has her 'top DPS' set - which maximizes my crit rating and my shadow damage, but has less than 100 hit rating, she has her 'hit rating' set - which puts her at 203 hit rating. And then she has her middle of the road set, which puts her somewhere around 130 hit rating and somewhere in the middle of the road in crit and damage.

I forget to swap around sometimes what I'm wearing. And it's really just three or four pieces of gear that I swap out between the various sets. But ... really, what's the line?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ammen Vale and the Road to Azure Watch

AKA: Levels 1 - 6 for the Draenei

General Information: PICK UP EVERYTHING. Equip any upgrades. Hopefully you'll get a bag. Sell everything (including your food and water at this level, you really don't need it) and never repair. Sell every time you're in town, even if it's two things. Or one thing. Sell it anyway.

Always log out in an inn if one is available.

Despite the thought that killing things = XP, XP = Levels, you really want to avoid just random killing for the sake of killing.. unless that floats your boat. In which case, have at it. Just tell me when you're going to be in town, so I can be somewhere else though, okay? Seriously, you earn more XP/Time through questing than through killing mobs. Killing mobs just to kill them, if they aren't related to your quest or quest objective, really serves no purpose but to slow you down.

Onto the Quests!
You Survived! This is more than merely a slap on the back. It's your first quest. He sends you to the Crash Site to talk to someone else. You should probably do this. Congratulations! You have earned XP! (The Crash Site, from where you spawn, is straight ahead. You can't miss it.. unless you're roleplaying a blind Draenei... MY EYES, OH BY THE NAARU, MY EYES! AAAAAHHH!)

There are two quests you should pick up immediately after finishing turning in your first line of quests. Replenishing the Healing Crystals (8 moth blood) and Volatile Mutations (kill 8 mutations). Immediately to the NW of the crash site are a variety of chunks of pretty glass in the ground. Fluttering around them are butterflies and creepy little mutants. You need 8 moth blood and need to kill 8 of the mutations.

Congratulations! You are level 2 by the time you kill 8 mobs. Ignore that lovely fact for a moment and continue killing until those two quests are complete. Trust me. Only after you have your 8 moth blood and have killed your 8 nasty snotmonsters, do you go turn in and level up.

Volatile Mutations leads to the quest What Must Be Done (gather 10 lasher parts). Curiously enough, right next to that, you see a new quest called Botanical Legwork (3 flowers). Pick up both of those. Turn in the Healing Crystal quest. This gives you the quest Urgent Delivery! (You gotta go into the Crash Site to deliver the crystals. It's hard. You may need a group for this.)... which then gives you the quest Rescue the Survivors! (Heal someone with your racial). Head out through the southern entrance of the crash site. If you're following my directions exactly, that's where you'd be anyway. So just do it and stop rolling your eyes.

Pick up the quests Spare Parts (Pick up 4 thingbobs) and Innoculation (Save 6 moonkin!). There is someone you can sell to right there as well. SELL. DO NOT REPAIR.

Go west to Ammen Field (red blotch on your map). Along the way, find and use your Gift of the Naaru to save a survivor. Just one. Ignore the rest. Kills your XP/Time! If they can't survive the way you survived, they don't deserve to live. It's Darwin's Law.

In the field of pretty red flowers, kill the lashers while you're making your way to collect three flowers. By the time you work your way to three flowers, you should hopefully be killing just enough lashers to complete the quest.

Congratulations! By your 18th mob, you're level 3!

Once you have your 10 parts and 3 flowers (and have saved some loser), go turn in. The reward for the Survivor quest gives you a 4 slot bag. Equip that puppy! Kiss it. Name it. Lavish it with praise. Bags = Success.

What Must Be Done leads to the quest Healing the Lake. Turn in the quest for Legwork and congratulations you are now level 4. Go level up, you mad leveler you!

Head out through the south part of the Crash Site. Go jump in the lake! No really, do it. There is a giant crystal in the water. (It's on the eastern side of the lake, should be directly south of the Crash Site) Neutralize that puppy! Then continue south to the Moonkin camps.

Again, in the interest of XP/Time, avoid killing Moonkin where possible. Sometimes it is possible. Sometimes, it is not. Just do your best. The yellow/tan colored Moonkin (Nestlewood Owlkin) are the ones you are looking for. The red/black moonkin are the ones you want to avoid. There is a path up the southeast of the camps. I have the best luck going up around there and in the cave and in the back camps. Pick up your emitters while you're running around.

Go back. Turn in. Two of the quests 'dead end'. Innoculation leads to Missing Scout. The Scout is to the southwest of the crash site. He's by the eastern path of the Shadow Ridge. He gives you the quest The Blood Elves. Kill 'zem all! (or just 10). You then get Blood Elf Spy. If you go up the east path, at the second left (right by the tents), go left. It'll curve up and to the right. You'll see Surveyor Candress (along with her lover, Blood Elf Scout.) Kill her. She drops Blood Elf Plans, unfortunately, only one drop per kill, so if you're in a group, you may have to kill her more than once. At this time, I usually hearth back to the starting point.

Turn in your quests, make sure you go out through the south door in the Crash Site. You should now see a quest called The Emitter (must do Spare Parts first), which then leads to the quest called Travel to Azure Watch. Turn in the plans. Turn in the spy information. And voila. You are now ready to leave the starting zone! You should be level 5 at least, or level 6, depending on how much extra you had to kill. This should take you about 45-50 minutes, depending on your class.

Take the road out to the southwest. You'll see a draenei on the path named Aeun. This is your obligatory 'deliver this to the inn because I'm a lazy S.O.B.' quest (Word from Azure Watch). Take it. Cross the river (Ammen Ford). Talk to the draenei right on the other side. She gives you a net and tells you to catch her some fish (Red Snapper - Very Tasty). Do this quest. Right now. Do it. Turn around and go catch her some fish! There is a fast respawn of the fishing nodes, so never get more than 'five' nodes away. Sometimes, a node will spawn an angry murloc. Kill it, for it has a fish on it. She then gives you the quest Find Acteon! and gives you a fishing pole. Incidentally, here is where you would learn how to fish.

If you follow the road onwards, you will come to Azure Watch.

And this is where I leave you. By this time, you are definately level 6. Azure Watch has most of the class trainers and a good portion of profession trainers. Hearth at the inn.

See you next time for the next installment of 'How K Quests'.
(PS: Feedback, please?)

So many ideas, so little ability!

Everywhere I turn, I read blogs of people who write lovely informative posts. PvP vs. PvE, Solo vs. Group, Class Roles, Theorycraft on spells, gear... they create excel worksheets and lists and quests and all sorts of schtuff.

My only claim to fame is that I have altisms and I level very fast without a guide (and without ever questing in STV). Boon has, in the past, suggested I write my own leveling guide. But that's already been done.

I don't have the organizational tools to be able to write a guide off the top of my head. I suppose I could level something up (again) and write a guide based off of my leveling. I'd have to do it on a new server. Which I suppose would be helpful, because this way it's all natural, no 'high level help', all me. All the time.

I may do that, if only because I've been forbidden to level the characters I currently have.

We'll see if I have the patience to do that.

Until then, everyone else keep writing the lovely informative posts. I'll keep clogging the internet with trashy opinion pieces!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Mini-Rant and Other Things

Two of the blogs that I read recently discussed the PvP/Badge/PvE Tier gear question. Namely: Is it right that people can PvP or Heroic their way into T5 and T6 equivalent gear?

Neither said it was out and out wrong and people in "welfare epix" should be stoned on sight. Both posted their opinions on it and asked what other people thought (or implied that they ask, since it's a public open to comments blog).

One wasn't as happy with it and was recounting how in the past PvPers were crying how people in T2 armor were owning BG's and the dearth of people willing to do heroics for gear or badges since they can grind their way through some BG's and honor to get gear.
The other was kind of equivocal about it and said how he thinks progression gear needs to be fixed so that newcomers to level 70 don't have to PvP to "catch up quickly" to their raidmates for the high end raid encounters.

Both of them had people saying rather nasty things to (and in one case, about) them.

Now, one is BBB and I'm sure everyone who reads me reads him and knows all about the issue.

The other is a newer (to me) feral druid blog I've encountered. The blog was well written. It wasn't inflammatory. It basically outlined the blogger's point of view on the issue and WHY they had that point of view.

That's what a blog is for. Now, some blogs cater to the theorycrafters. Some cater to the ... not-theorycrafters. But in the end, a blog is a personal place unless it's something like WoWInsider, where you should expect a certain level of writing and a certain level of information (facts, not opinion). But a personal blog is just that. Personal.

We make it public because that's the type of people we, as a society, are. We want to say our thoughts outloud and in most cases, hear your opinions on it.

If the person posted his thoughts about why he thought TRB's opinion wasn't well thought out... that's one thing. This person however, said that the blog was boring, sounded like something off of trade-chat and that maybe the blogger should consider stopping blogging all together.

Now, maybe he does think it's boring. Maybe the trade chat he frequents is more high-brow than the trade chat that I'm used to reading. But his response was very rude and highly uncalled for, IMNSHO.

If you find someone's blog boring... you don't tell them to shut up. You stop reading their blog. Problem solved! Just because YOU find the blog boring, doesn't mean that other people do. Doesn't mean the person blogging does. So, just wander away and go be rude to someone else, plzkthx.

Now, onto other things. Non-WoW related. Go cry somewhere else if you're going to complain that my warlock blog is delving into bear tanks and real life briefly.

Wii Fit is ... addicting. And kind of embarassing to realize how out of shape I really am! I've unlocked everything so far. I typically spend most of my time on the Yoga and Strength training, with the advanced step aerobics and hula hoop exercises and a random assortment of two or three balance games each day.

Today.. I did the shoulder stand. I wasn't exactly STRAIGHT... but I did it. And damn does that feel good to accomplish!

I need to work on getting the wiimote to register right for the tricep extension exercise -- I'll do it but it won't register that I did it! And the push-up and side-plank exercise... sometimes won't register that I just grunted and groaned my way through a knee's down but complete push-up. Which makes me feel unappreciated!

Back to WoW!
I took my rogue into Kara last night. She got three drops - a something I can't remember (I want to say a ring, but I can't find it right now), a cloak and her gloves. Three drops. Out of the whole damn place. Everything that dropped was cloth healing gear or mail or plate! Hate. you. Karazhan.

She was 5th out of 6 DPS. She was pushing around 450-500 DPS. The people above me are all people who are in mostly epics, compared to my blue-geared rogue. I meet the "minimum" requirements that my guild requires, so I didn't feel too bad about coming in, but I was well aware that I wasn't as much of a help. I did however... live through Prince. The other rogue... did not. GO ME!

Boon wants to get his tank Fyzzgig up there, so expect more ret paladin stuff (yay, Kvasira!) to follow.

Plans for Kikidas are to try to figure out did I really DE my Spellstrike Hood, or is it just hiding from me? I can't find it anywhere, and I'm such an armor-hog (you should see my bank), I can't imagine that I DE'd it, but I can't find it anywhere! She's also going into ZA now so maybe I'll get something new and shiny! It's progression ZA, but ZA nontheless.

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July!