Tuesday, December 18, 2007

preheroic gearfest

As inspired by BBBB, here's a listing of my current gear and what I'm working towards. I'm starting to think that I'm ready to try a heroic dungeon or two...

Head: [Stylin' Purple Hat] (crafted BOE leatherworking)

Neck: [Brooch of Heightened Potential] (Blackheart the Inciter, Shadow Labyrinth)

Shoulders: [The Dreamer's Shoulderpads]

Back: [Spell-slinger's Protector] (quest: Bring Me The Egg! in Nagrand)

Chest: [Living Crystal Breastplate] (crafted BOP leatherworking)

Wrists: [Clefthoof Bracers of Intellect]

Hands: [Expedition Gloves of the Invoker]

Waist: [Eighty Silver Links] (quest: Murkblood Leaders..., Zangarmarsh)

Legs: [Haramad's Leggings of the Third Coin] (quest: Undercutting the Competition, Mana Tombs)

Feet: [Grim Boots of the Invoker] (world drop)

Ring 1: [Dreamcrystal Band] (Ogri'la)

Ring 2: [Band of Dominion] (a present for hitting 70)

Trinket 1: [Ancient Crystal Talisman] (quest: A Spirit Ally?, Zangarmarsh)

Trinket 2: [Charm of Alacrity] (quest: Voidwalkers Gone Wild, Hellfire Peninsula)

Weapon: [The Essence Focuser]

Off-Hand: [Draenei Crystal Rod of the Invoker]

Idol: [Idol of the Moon]

At the present time, I'm leveling my leatherworking skill so I can make the Windhawk Set ([Windhawk Hauberk], [Windhawk Bracers], [Windhawk Belt]). Beyond that, I don't know. [Badge of Justice] rewards, I suppose. I'm not ready for Kara, clearly, but I'm over 6k health and 7k mana unbuffed. Seems good enough for heroics, right?

At any rate, comments and suggestions would be appreciated.

Incidentally, if you play a druid (or are interested in playing one) and aren't reading BBBB's blog, what's wrong with you? Get thee thence, posthaste!

Monday, December 3, 2007

key weekend

I had a moderately busy weekend in-game and ended up with a few nice new pieces of gear, as well as [Restored Apprentice's Key]. Woot!

Saturday night I was screwing around, PvPing a little, and trying to figure out what I was going to do when the scheduled raid fell through, because not quite enough people showed up. Guild chat was full of people looking for something to do, so I suggested, "We could help Wara get his Kara key," not actually expecting people to be interested. Almost before I knew what was happening, I found myself in a *fantastic* group, plowing into the Shadow Labyrinth. The balance seemed a little odd, but it worked out really well...we had three druids (representing all three branches of the talent tree), a mage, and a shadow priest. The fights weren't too bad, actually, although the fears from Ambassador Hellmaw were a serious pain in the ass and lead to my only death of the instance. For a guy who usually dies frequently, I was very pleased with my ability to stay alive. :) The gear drops weren't particularly useful for me, but I did get the [Brooch of Heightened Potential] from Blackheart the Inciter. "TIME FOR FUN!" Heh. After downing Murmur we swapped in another guildie who also needed the key fragment, grabbed it, then danced around for a bit.

Flushed with triumph and feeling only moderately tired (it was pushing midnight at this point back in reality), we pressed onwards to the second fragment. By this point we had lost our druid healer to PvP and our shadow priest had dropped out, so we were left with two druids and two mages. Not a good group to actually clear the Steamvault, so we decided to just run to the key. After an initial aggro (and subsequent death), I was able to stealth myself through the field of nagas to the pool where the second key fragment lies. Our other druid had the bright idea of giving the mages run speed potions, so between their invisibility and some quick running, they were also able to make it through unscathed. Well, relatively unscathed. Hurray! The second guardian was a piece of cake and we celebrated getting the second key fragment. By this point I was exhausted and called it a night.

Last night we make a quick run into the Arcatraz to pick up the third and final key fragment. Our group last night consisted of a warrior tank, myself and the resto druid from the previous night, and the two mages from the second key frag run. Arcatraz is pretty tough, man! Or maybe I'm just still undergeared and undertalented. We did reasonably well, though, wiping only once after an accidental aggro of a beholder-looking-thing. A death watcher, I guess it was. Before getting the key fragment, we took out Zereketh the Unbound, which was one hell of a fight. I think I acquitted myself well, battle rezing our healer when she went down about two-thirds of the way into the fight and keeping myself alive to spam moonfire at the very end when both our healer and at least one of the mages went down. /flex. He dropped the [Idol of Feral Shadows] which I walked away with. Hurray! We got ourselves resurrected and healed, then beat the snot out of the third guardian and picked up the third key fragment. Before logging I turned in the quest, so now I have the Restored Apprentice's Key in my hot little hooves.

Tonight (tentatively), we're going back in to to help Thrall escape from Durnholde Keep and to help Medivh open the Dark Portal. That means that by late tonight I may be able to enter Karazhan! W00t! Not that I'm actually ready for Kara, of course...my gear is still pretty indecent, although it is improving. I may even be able to consider heroic instances sometime soon...

Friday, November 30, 2007

memory lane

In a recent guild forum post, Zal reminded me of when she ran me through WC, back when I was but a wee lad. I actually don't remember that run specifically, but I do remember the night we went through RFK. I was...mid-20's, I think. Zal was working on her hunter alt who was quite a bit further advanced, maybe into her late 30's by then. We and a few other guildies tore through the keep and, as I recall, I did pretty good dps in cat form, maybe even as high as second among the group. Oh, but then she was like, "Hey! Let's go into RFD!"

Wara hits for 0. Miss. Miss. Crit for 2. Block. Dodge. Miss. Hit for 1. And so on, through the rest of the night. Heh...I was a little bit underpowered for that dungeon. I did get a sweet dagger, though, one of my first-ever blues, [Coldrage Dagger]. It took me a few weeks until I was able to actually use it, of course, but it was freaking sweet.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

wasting money

Remember the other day, when I was rambling on about having too much money? Yeah...I figured out a good way to spend it all. Drop alchemy and level leatherworking. Yeah, baby! Way to make rash, poorly-thought-out decisions, Wara! Okay, okay, so it's somewhat thought out, and I have a plan. Wara himself is going to maintain alchemy and level up leatherworking, mostly so I can continue making super mana/health pots for myself and friends, and so I can make myself the Windhawk Armor. At the same time, I'm going to take advantage of the XP nerf and start working on my next toon who will be both an herbalist and a skinner. Since that will take some time (and I'm impatient), most of my leather feedstock is going to come from the AH. Not cheap.

I did find a nice leatherworking guide, though, which should help me move efficiently up through the ranks.

I blew some more money at the AH on my gear, too. I bought [The Dreamer's Shoulderpads] which are a nice improvement over what I had before. Not epic, but nice. Since I'm primarily using my one-handed mace now, I also picked up an [Archmage Orb of the Invoker] for a little more +int and spell crit than the fish was giving me. Not that I dislike the fish, mind you, but this seems a little more...helpful.

Okay, enough spending. Time to go make this money back and make myself even more hawesome than I already am. Well, after I'm done with work. And TA-ing that biochem exam. Fine. Laters.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I just don't know what to do with myself

One day as a level 70 and I just don't know what to do! Rather, I don't know where to begin. There's so much that I want to do (raid Kara, fight the trolls in Zul'Aman, battle my way through SSC and TK, then help take down the Black Temple) but I need to make sure my foundation is solid before I start trying to build on top of it. But there's so much to do, where should I begin?

I started last night in Thunder Bluff, having completed my available training the night before. So, I hit the auction house and treated myself to a few goodies. I bought [The Essence Focuser], which seems like a nice melee/casting weapon, especially if I put a +22 int enchantment on it; [Idol of the Moon], which I realize isn't the best idol around, but it'll do more for me and my playstyle than [Idol of the Wild], considering I don't even *have* Mangle; and the [Ace of Lunacy], which was a total splurge but it was on sale for a lower price than I've ever seen an ace (only about 120 g). I now have the Ace, Two, and Four, so I'm on my way to [Darkmoon Card: Madness]. Woot!

Other than that, I spent the rest of the night dicking around, chatting, and killing a few mobs. I turned in the remainder of my completed quests, so I can someday make back that gold I just spent, and did the daily cooking quest. I chose the [Barrel of Fish], but didn't get a recipe. Maybe because I'm not maxed out on my cooking? I did get an [Enormous Barbed Gill Trout] for my off-hand, though. Heh.

So now what? Gear and my Kara key, I guess. I've been debating with myself about my balance spec, but I think I'm going to keep it the same for now. I like being able to kill most things on my own and do some damage in instances, yet still be able to pop into caster form for an emergency heal when needed. The other option I'm considering is going fully resto, which seems like it would be more useful for the rest of the guild but probably not quite as much fun for me individually.

I'm researching which gear I should go for now. There's not a balance dungeon set, but I was reading yesterday about a Stormrage Raiment look-alike set that looks pretty hot. I'll probably start trying to collect the Moonglade Raiment at the same time, for its +heal bonuses. With either of those sets I should be geared appropriately for heroics and will then start thinking seriously about Kara. I can work on my key at the same time as I work on my gear so that when I'm ready, I'll be ready.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sunday, November 25, 2007

antepenultimate ding

I hit 68 last night and, after today's playing, am only a few bars away from 69. Can I tell you how much I love the druid flight form? It makes life *so* much easier.

Going to bed now. More tomorrow, probably.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

getting close now

Ding 67! Hurray! I've spent the past couple of days clearing most of the solo-able quests in both Nagrand and Terokkar Forest which has brought me lots of experience, money, and vend-/auction-ables (more moneys, really). The gold differential is really just stupid. Stupid-crazy, not stupid-not smart, that is. Not ten levels ago it was a significant achievement to make 10 gold in a day. Now, give me an hour -- maybe -- and I'll have that for you. Training is more expensive, too, but it hardly even matters, the gold is so plentiful. Earlier this week I went back and trained all of the available animal-form spells that I have been neglecting since, oh, two months ago, and still have almost 200 gold in the bank. Not that I'm complaining, of course, just observing. I should be saving for my next riding training, but instead I'm giving it away. There's a younger member of our guild (someone's young-teen brother) who just hit 40 and I'm going to give him at least half of his first mount, depending on how much I've saved. How nice is it to be able to do that? I remember how cool it was when Zal did the same thing for me, so it's really gratifying to be able to pass that along.

Since I'm down to the elite quests for my current zones (and because I'm too lazy to scare up a group to go finish them), I'm pressing onwards towards Shadowmoon Valley and Blade's Edge Mountains. I had breadcrumb quests leading me both places, but have found myself in SMV more. What a serious change in atmosphere that is, after spending a lot of time in Nagrand! Holy crap, man. Or perhaps unholy. Evil Things are Afoot in that zone. The loots are nice, though. I've picked up four or five greens worth six gold as well as [Recipe: Fel Strength Elixir]. Yay!

Friday, November 16, 2007

ding 65 (and 64)

Too much playing, too little blogging. Okay, so I'm not actually too upset about that trade. I dinged 65 last night and apparently missed posting when I hit 64. So be it. I've been playing in bite-sized chunks this week, so I haven't had the chance to run any more instances. I think that's going to be my goal for the weekend, to run a couple of instances. Underbog and Slave Pens, maybe? Or maybe Mana Tombs again. That was pretty sweet the last time.

After a couple weeks of saving money, I've spent almost all of it again. This weekend I finally made enough to get my epic riding mount training (woot!) and am now cruising around on my [Swift Brewfest Ram]. Totally cool. Also, I blew a decent chunk of change buying [Braxxis' Staff of Slumber], a bitchin' tank weapon. Eventually I plan to get [Earthwarden], but for now it's very nice.

My questing has been alternating between Terokkar Forest and Nagrand...a couple hours in one place, a couple hours in the other. Very cool. For a few relatively easy quests last night, I picked up [Melia's Lustrous Crown] and [Eighty Silver Links], decent upgrades to what I had previously.

I'm building up a nice reputation among the Outlanders. As of last night, I'm at least friendly with most of the major factions I've encountered (Thrallmar, Sporeggar, The Consortium, The Scryers, and now The Mag'har, as well as honored with the Cenarion Expdition). The Aldor aren't big fans, but screw them.

Oh, hell! I just realized that I can get the key for heroic Coilfang Reservoir instances now! Hells, yeah! I'm going to die so many times this weekend!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Mana Tombs Run #1

I ran Mana Tombs yesterday for the first time with some guildies in hopes of getting better gear. The run was really a bonus for my day...I had been spending some of my holiday morning playing and was getting ready to log out when a guild member noted that there were two 64's and a 66 online, so "let's run them through something." Nice. It was a moderately successful run...the loot didn't drop and I died about fifteen thousand times, but I always enjoy seeing a new dungeon for the first time. I did get some nice pieces of gear from the quests. Plus, next time I won't be so clueless (and will have found some shadow-resistance gear!).

Our starting group consisted of a 70 shaman (mainly healing), a 70 warrior, two other druids (66 feral and 64 feral/balance), and me (64 boomkin). Not an ideal group -- having three druids hurt all of our chances to get each drop -- but good enough. Off we went, plowing through the initial trash and making our way to Pandemonius without much trouble. The 66 feral druid was acting as our tank and held him against the wall nicely while the rest of us pounded away. I was a little slow to recognize that when he goes all ghostly he's going to reflect my spells back at me, but figured it out in time to not hurt myself too badly. He dropped [Creepjacker] which nobody really needed, but that's the fun of random drops, right?

Onward we pressed to Tavarok, wiping one time when we pulled too many trash mobs at once. Fun. At some point on our way to Tavarok, our warrior swapped to his mage toon which helped with the rest of the instance. We pushed through the rest of the trash (dropping some boots which would have been lovely, except that I already had [Grim Boots of the Invoker]) and spanked Tavarok without *too* much trouble. I honestly don't remember what he dropped, but again it wasn't anything useful for me.

The rest of the trash didn't pose a great deal of difficulty, although I did die a few times when we pulled too many, but we managed to avoid complete wipes. Apparently I can pull quite a bit of aggro if I'm not careful. I'm decently armored against physical damage but have about no shadow resistance, resulting in many of my deaths. I staved off a few with timely self-heals or pots, but most of the times I died so fast I honestly wasn't sure what hit me. Phooey.

Nexus-Prince Shaffar was a pretty easy kill. I think I did a decent job dropping the Ethereal Beacons as they appeared and put a decent hurt on Shaffar myself. Yet again, the loot he dropped wasn't useful, but there you go. We burned through the escort quest at the end with relative ease and were done after about two hours.

I turned in the two Consortium quests and picked up [Haramad's Leggings of the Third Coin] and the [Cryo-mitts], as well as almost enough rep to bring me to friendly. I need to learn about sockets, now that I have pants that accept jewels. Fun!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

ding 63

I hit 63 last night, helping protect the Sporeggar young'uns from a slew of Bog Lords and the like. It was actually quite fun...the mobs were all 62-64 and dropped some nice loot. I picked up about 30 [Unidentified Plant Parts] to turn in for Cenarion Expedition rep as well as almost 20 [Mote of Life]. Not bad.

I've had a nice few days financially, too. I haven't had to spend a lot of money on repairs lately (/flex) and am almost to 400 gold. No, really almost. As of this morning I had something like 399 gold, 40 silver, and a few copper. Plus I'm not spending money much at all at the Auction House, so that helps. The gear from the quests has been nice (and useful!) enough that I don't feel like I could be doing significantly better in other threads. Hurray!

Now I just need to figure out where to spend that new talent point...

Monday, November 5, 2007

ding 62

At some point this weekend -- Saturday night, I think -- I hit 62! Woo! And actually, as of this writing, I'm about halfway to 63. Hurray!

I improved a couple of my professions, too, which is exciting. I'm now maxed out on herbalism (390/375, with the +15 cow bonus), so I can now pick epic flowers out of my nose, as one of my guildies put it. Heh. I also finally did the artisan fishing quest, so I can get that going up again. I'm jonesing for a [Mr. Pinchy]. I also broke the 300 gold mark, so I'm getting close to that epic mount. Then I can start saving for my flying mount! Yay!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

crappy quest

Who designs this sort of quest? I mean, really. "So here's the idea: you have to walk around with this demonic dog, right. And then you have to kill these ubiquitous hellboars, okay? But here's the kicker...the dog *eats* the hellboar corpse, then takes a crap! And the player has to dig through it, to get an item! Hilarious!" Sheesh.

Nothing exciting to report from yesterday. I'm trying to make it a point to not log out without more money than I logged in with. If that makes sense. No net losses. Between the quests and the stuff I can vendor, I think I can do that daily.

Okay, off to lab meeting. More questing tonight!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

ding 61

I hit 61 last night in Hellfire Peninsula. Woot. I spent the point on Omen of Clarity, which seems to have a bad reputation that I don't understand. I guess that as a pure resto build, you aren't going to be doing a lot of melee attacks, but for me it seems great.

The Hellfire Peninsula quests are still yellow and red, so my plan is to continue banging around in there. I might start cruising into Zangarmarsh as well, to start building that Cenarion Expedition rep up. [Earthwarden] ftw!

I just about broke even with money last night. I bought 20 [Thorium Bar]s and a few [Arcane Crystal]s for my transmutes which set me back about 30g, but I did manage to make much of that up. I think I ended up down 10g for the night, so I'm not too upset about that.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

first primal!

I made my first primal last night which was just terribly exciting. I was killing voidwalkers for a couple of quests and about every other one would drop a [Mote of Shadow]. It didn't take this subgenius too long to realize he could combine them into a [Primal Shadow]. Hot, right?

I'm also making a decent amount of money right now. Not compared to what I'll do after hitting 70, I've heard, but far better than what I've been doing previously. Between the four or five quests I turned in yesterday and the stuff I was able to sell, I'm up over 100g. That's net for the day, too, because I'm fully repaired and stocked up on food and water. Hurray!

My plan for the rest of the week is to keep banging on the Hellfire Peninsula quests. They're all still yellow (or red) and haven't gotten exceptionally difficult yet. Maybe I can even hit up the Citadel this weekend? Get a little Ramparts action going? That'd be sweet.

Monday, October 29, 2007

ding 60

I hit 60 this weekend while adventuring in Outland. I'm finding the leveling there much easier than the past 10 levels or so, or at least I'm having more fun doing it. There are spots that are tough, certainly, and some areas are ridiculously crowded with mobs, but it seems to fit my play style well, for whatever that's worth. There's actually only been one quest that I've found frustrating...I must have died three or four times trying to burn that last building. Bastards.

Hitting 60 opens up some new opportunities, of course. I'm working to save money for my epic mount training. I have a friend who has offered to loan me the balance once I hit 300 gold, but I'm a while off from that. Money's coming easier, but 540 gold is still a lot of money. I have a [Swift Brewfest Ram] already from the Brewfest event so at least I don't have to spend the money on a mount as well as the training.

I also chose a faction in Shattrath City over the weekend. I chose to align with the Scryers...the gear available from them seemed more useful for a moonkin like myself, plus they have an alchemy recipe available. I'm pretty indifferent to the blood elves overall -- I actually find them a little too pretty for my taste -- but whatever. At least the women are hot, right? Heh.

panzerkin ftw

This video was shared on my guild forum this past weekend. All I can say is, "Holy Crap!" If you haven't seen it (or don't want to spend the 15 minutes watching it), it's a moonkin tanking The Prince, Maulgar, and Gruul. Simply beautiful. I'm completely inspired.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Popup Testing

This is a test post to make sure my mouseover popups work. Thanks to BBB for the code. Code originally written by Okoloth at the Armory Musings blog.

Wara's current staff: [The Staff of Twin Worlds]

First Post

Hello, world! A little introductory material to start off the blog. My intention is to use this to chronicle my alternative life in Azeroth (and Outland) as Waradwen, a tauren druid on Arathor. My "real life" blog, Sciencemonkey, has become overrun lately with WoW-related crap and I want to use this space to organize my writings a little better.

At the time of this writing, Wara is level 59 and has recently ventured to Outland. I'm an alchemist (309/375 skill) and an herbalist (328/390). I'm primarily balance spec-ed, spending most of my time running around as a moonkin. I like the ability to play multiple roles in a group, though, so I've got a few points in resto for healing talents.

I'm a member of Slack Attack and am looking forward to the ever-approaching day that I'll get to go raiding with them. Afaik, we've (they've) cleared Kara and downed Gruul and have those two dungeons on farming status. The next goal seems to be the Lurker in SSC but there has also been some runs at the Void Reaver in TK.

Enough background. On to the fighting!