Thursday, January 31, 2008

body check to the ego

Can I tell you how much I stunk last night in heroic Black Morass? Holy crap. There were BBQed chicken feathers all OVER that swamp. Oi.

So last night I hopped online hoping to get some healing practice in, but again couldn't find a group. However, a guildie wanted to run heroic Black Morass for the daily and I said I'd respec and bring my boomkin. I've done regular BM a couple of times before and have run a few heroics, so I figured I'd be fine. I played like a complete spaz. I managed to (almost singlehandedly) wipe us two of the three runs. The first time through, I sat to eat and drink too close to the first big boss and got my ass stomped, leading to an eventual wipe. The second run through I did essentially the same thing, running towards a normal wave boss ahead of the tank who had stopped for a moment to bandage or something and I didn't notice. They brought me back after getting that Rift Lord down, but from then on we were behind and eventually lost Medivh. The third (and final) attempt we actually did pretty well and made it to the final boss with Medivh's shield intact. Unfortunately we all were in combat after killing the final Rift Lord and couldn't eat and drink before we took on Aeonus. We let Medivh's shield fall to about 8% before we engaged and started okay, but our healer grabbed aggro almost immediately and went down (and my battle rez was on cooldown, so I couldn't bring him back). I tried to heal the best I could in my DPS gear, but it wasn't enough and we eventually wiped. We might have been able to finish the third attempt but I borked up my Chrono-beacon. The times I had run the instance before, we used it to help control the adds. Apparently everybody else knew to drop the beacon next to the portal. *sigh* We were all exhausted by this point, so I logged off after the third attempt and stumbled down to the couch to watch TV with my wife who had just come home, thoroughly down on my game-playing abilities.

Oh well. You live and learn, right? Next time through, I'll know better. Feh. Gotta get some better DPS gear.

After last night, I'm reevaulating my healing experiment. I'm now leaning towards staying as a boomkin and farming some good healing gear prior to fully switching. Maybe I'll heal lower-level Outland instances, but not the 70s.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

annoying night

It's nights like last night that are going to make me respec back to balance post-haste and turn a deaf ear to your pleas for healers.

Last night I logged on a little before 7, with a good few hours before raid time. My wife was out for the evening, so I had hoped to run an instance (or two, if we could squeeze it in) and /flex my mad healing skillz. I hopped on guild chat and greeted everybody (like I try to do every time), then asked if anybody was looking for a healer. No response. "No problem," I tell myself, "I'll just go kill those last few naga and get my [Tiny Spore Bat] while I wait."

I go through my next-to-last iteration of Now That We're Still Friends... and ask again if anybody is interested in running anything. I'd rather not PUG it for my first run as a healzor since about level 23 and figured I could find a guild run of something. Anything. This time, a guy currently running Bot responds and says he'd like to do any of the TK instances for the rep. "Hurray," I thought, and suggest Mech. Both the balance shoulders that I covet and the other half of the Arcatraz key are in Mech, so this seems like a good solution. He goes back to finishing the last boss in Bot and I go try to hurriedly finish the naga off.

A few minutes later they're done and he's putting together his group. I announce on guild chat something like, "I need to turn in this quest and I'm ready," and hurriedly go run to the Sporeggar quartermaster to get my goods. New pet in hand (well, backpack), I whisper him and ask if he's gotten the group ready yet and he replies, "Yeah. We're already running. =/ Forgot you were interested. =(" Jerk.

I'll give this experiment a week, then I'm back to balance. Boomkin is so freaking much fun that I'm pained to have left it, but am willing to sacrifice a little to help my guild. Maybe they don't need more healers and I can go back.

As nobody else wanted to run anything in the hour or so prior to the raid, I swapped over to my hunter and tried to get the feel of him again. Having a pet cat is hella fun. I need to figure out how to better set up my UI for him, 'cause it's a mess right now. Buttons all over for all the different traps, poor organization of my hotbar, etc. I screwed around a little in the southern Barrens, doing the Razormane quests down there but mostly getting reestablished on how to play hunter, dinged a level, hit the trainer and called it a night. One week, I say, then back to the glory that is Boomkin.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

blogroll and a new idol

At last! A blogroll! Time to start linking back to the people who help me waste time at work...I mean, give me inspiration and instruction regarding this fantastic game we play. Heh.

Also, I'd like to take a moment to direct your attention to my new drood idol, Tallyswift: The Swiss Army Cow. Here's a druid who seriously gets it. Plus, she's raiding Hyjal and the Black Temple. And what a fantastically appropriate nickname, too, the Swiss Army Cow. Maybe I can convince my guildies to start calling me the Leatherman? Maybe not. You can't really give yourself a nickname, huh?

Monday, January 28, 2008

respecing resto

I finally couldn't stand the self-imposed guilt this past weekend and respeced to resto. Nobody in the guild actually asked me to (or even implied that I should), but how long can I keep ignoring the pleas for healers? I'm viewing this as a fun experiment. Maybe I'll hate it. Maybe I'll stink. And maybe I'll be really helpful and useful for raids. We'll see.

Boy oh boy do I need some new gear, though. I've been sort of collecting healing gear and have some okay greens, but that's about it. I've got a decent healy mace ([The Essence Focuser]) and offhand ([Archmage Orb of the Invoker]), and some of my gear has +healing, but... Time for new gear. Gathering the Moonglade Raiment will give me good practice in learning just how to heal, too.

Plus, respecing to resto lets me use my new battlecry, stolen from the druid forums on Blog Azeroth, "Tree is 4 FITE!"

screenshot-y goodness + alts

So here's that screenshot showing off how nice the [Skywitch's Drape] coordinates with our current guild tabard. I still like the looks of the [Spell-Slinger's Protector] best, but this isn't too terrible.


I'd like to also take some time to introduce you to my current horde (sorry) of alts. I realized over the weekend that Wara's done with almost all of his solo content (at least for the moment), so I'm going to decide who's coming up next. Recommendations?

First, my eldest alt, Waradwock. He's a 25 Tauren hunter with Echeyakee as a pet. I love his look and am having fun with the pet, but I don't think I can do the Tauren storyline immediately again. There's just so much more to explore, right?


Next comes Morningwar (sense a theme in my names?), a 13 Orc warrior. I'd like to learn how to be able to tank with Wara but don't want to, you know, learn at level 70. Seems like that'd be frustrating. I do like the bloodlust and violence available through Orcs and warriors, so this seemed like a really nice combination.


Last on Arathor is Waradwenne, a level 8 Blood Elf mage. A girl, of course, 'cause I think male belfs look hella-stupid. New story, new lore, new gameplay (and fun pew pew!) but I also started a Belf warlock on another server to play with some other friends (Waradin, on Steamwheedle Cartel), so there could be a lot of repetition.


So there's the family. No Forsaken, but not for any particular reason. No rogues, no pallys, no shamans. I'm not terribly interested in learning another hybrid class at the moment. I think I'll bring 'em all up to at least 20 (or maybe 30) to decide. Nobody fits quite as well as Wara yet, but maybe that'll come with time. Lots of fun stuff to explore! Maybe I'll even try those pinko Alliance at some point, too...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

blog azeroth

Like so many of my friends and compatriots, I have signed up for Blog Azeroth. Thanks to all involved for setting up such a nice-looking resource!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

grinding rep, gaining idols

I spent my time online this weekend finishing a few long quest lines and improving my reputation with a couple of factions. As of the end of yesterday, I'm only missing the [Flamewrought Key] to get into heroic dungeons. Woo-hoo! I know, I's pretty silly that Thrallmar is my lowest rep, but there you go. Another Citadel run should get me up there. I'm gunning for that [Ivory Idol of the Moongoddess] from Shattered Halls, so that sounds like a good way to get both goals done.

Speaking of Idols, I finished the long quest line in Shadowmoon Valley and got my [Idol of the Avenger]! Woot! It was really an easy quest line but took some time due to its length. Driving a Fel Reaver was totally worthwhile, too. After dancing around for a bit after getting my idol, I did a little googling for idol-swapping macros and found a couple that work nicely. If anybody's interested, I can post the code that I'm using, but it's pretty simple and easily accessible if you look around. The two I'm using now swap in the [Idol of the Moon] for each moonfire cast and my new [Idol of the Avenger] for each wrath cast. I don't have good numbers, sadly, but qualitatively I feel my damage is up quite a bit. Wrath was hitting for about 800-900, I think, and criting for 1800-ish.

I'm now revered among both the Mag'har and Sporeggar after this weekend's grinding. The Sporeggar grind was easy but fairly time-consuming. I kept repeating the Now That We're Still Friends... quest line, killing hundreds of naga. It took me about 15 minutes per iteration for 750 rep, which really isn't too bad. I went from honored to revered in an afternoon and think I can push my way to exalted by this weekend. And you know what that means, right? [Tiny Spore Bat]! I'll be able to give my Wolpertinger a rest for a bit. The cutest pet I've seen so far is Peanut, who I hope to be able to grab next Children's Week, but the Spore Bat is pretty sweet.

Along with the Mag'har rep came some new gear. I bought a pair of [Tempest Leggings] -- which I now need to gem and imbue with spellthread -- and the [Band of Ancestral Spirits]. The ring was a frill and probably isn't worth the money, but oh well. I've already described how much of a spendthrift I shouldn't come as a surprise.

My goals for this week are to finally finish a few more questlines. I've been trying to fire up interest in the guild for the Gorefiend quests without much success, so I'll just have to pug it, I guess. I also want to finally finish the Ogri'la attunement quests (yay, more dailies!) and...something else. I can't remember now. Finish my own Arcatraz key, maybe.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Friday, January 18, 2008

skywitch Wara

I took a few days off from "serious" playing to spend some time with my wife, but was back at it last night. Guess who has four paws, chicken wings, and is revered among the Skyguard? This guy! Okay, so revered is not as exciting as I had hoped (I somehow, mistakenly thought the [Airman's Ribbon of Gallantry] was available at revered, not exalted) but I love that the NPCs around the Skyguard camps now comment when I walk by. "The skies are safe when Waradwen's around!" Hee. I did pick up the [Skywitch's Drape], but that was more for the looks than the stats. It was essentially a wash with the other cape I was wearing but you have to admit it looks pretty hawt with our pink guild tabards. Well, maybe you don't have to admit that now, but you will when I get a screenshot up later today. :-D

More later. I need to actually get some work done today.

Monday, January 14, 2008

threatening wara

A short report and a quick question to my tens of readers. First, I want to say that Delos's boss spell rotation worked really well for me this weekend, especially the long fight variant. In fact, it probably worked too well. I ran a bunch of dungeons this weekend (and partial dungeons for Kara key runs) and kept stealing threat (or nearly stealing it) from our tank. Whoops. I did really nice amounts of damage and didn't have too much mana trouble. A few pots, an occasional innervate (but mostly I had that available for our healer), but overall very manageable. Woo-hoo!

My question is actually related to the previous paragraph. My guild officially uses KTM for threat management but there has been a recent desire to switch to Omen. I've been experimenting with Omen but had a persistent problem this past weekend. For some reason, it was seriously overinflating our mage's threat, or possibly not reducing it correctly. It seemed to work well with the tank which is what I'm mostly concerned about, but it was a little odd and I kept fixating on it rather than paying attention to the tank. Is this just me? Is there a new version of Omen that I haven't found? I should probably just ignore it, huh?

Enough for now. Type to you later.

Friday, January 11, 2008

I've got the Master's Key

So off to Kara I go! Hurray!

A group of guildies and I ran the Black Morass last night and I finished making my Kara key! That was quite a fun instance, too, almost non-stop fighting for the entire time. The worst part of the instance was when I screwed up our first attempt by getting too close to Medvih, starting the fight too soon. Not a huge deal, we just ran out and reset the instance, but it made me feel kinda dumb. Oh well.

I got some nice loot yesterday in addition to the key, so I passed on all of the shards from the boss drops (nothing useful to any of us). I got [Pattern: Stylin' Jungle Hat] from the instance. To celebrate my key, I went to the AH and bought myself [The Bringer of Death] which totally rocks (thanks again for the suggestion, Urthona!). Lastly, while farming the Ethereals, I picked up the [Enigmatic Cloak of Magic] from an Ethereum Prison. Something of a lateral move...I lose some spell crit and intelligence but pick up some stamina and arcane resistance.

In crafting news, I've got half of the [Primal Air]s for my Windhawk kit. Woot! I'm too impatient to farm the elementals myself, so I'm farming them from the AH. Seems to work well enough. I need to get working on those [Primal Nether]s now.

Anybody want to run something?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

druish goodness from around the web

What else to do on patch day, other than highlight some druid and boomkin goodness from the past few days?

First, two nice posts from Laser Chicken (even if he is an Alliance pinkie):
- A clever idea to boost DPS and threat in Kara, particularly for Moroes.
- Also, Delos shares some good advice on spell rotations for PVE DPS. I'm all over that boss rotation...

Second, WOW Insider has a lovely boomkin UI. I haven't tried much UI customization but maybe I'll give this one a whirl.

And lastly (but not leastly), the most awesomest druid video I've seen in months.

You can tell it's authentic, 'cause his hotbar is full of moonfire. :-D

spendthrift Wara

I have the worst time saving money in WoW. I suspect it's the combination of gold being like Monopoly money and the fact that I like to buy cool, potentially useless stuff. Take last night for example...

I had managed to save up just over 600g through farming and running a bunch of quests. Not bad, right? Certainly as much money as I have ever had in my grubby little hooves at any one point in time. Rather than saving that money or even using it to buy mats for my Windhawk garb, I blow most of it on [Pattern: Windscale Hood] at the AH. The hood itself ([Windscale Hood]) isn't even that much of an upgrade over the [Druidic Helmet of Second Sight] that I'm hoping to get in the next couple of days (one more Gorefiend quest to do). But it's epic. And I can make it myself. Alas, Wara. Bind your money to your hand.

In other news, I'm getting to the point where my quest log is full of Dungeon and Group quests which is rather bittersweet. I love being able to run around and do stuff for myself on my own schedule (and many of the "group" quests I've been able to solo). Now I need to start relying more heavily on others. It's a good thing I'm in a kick-ass guild, eh? :-D

Monday, January 7, 2008

epic weekend

So guess who's got two thumbs and epic bracers? That's right...this guy! I've previously written about my desire to make the Windhawk set of armor and have been spending much of my online time farming the mats (or making money, so I can farm at the AH). The most difficult pieces are going to be the [Primal Nether]s, and I need three for the entire set. But, but then last night I had an epiphany...I didn't need one nether for each piece. I could make the bracers without a nether and I had enough materials to make the bracers. Hurray! I present to you my newest, coolest pieces of kit: the [Windhawk Bracers]. Woo!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

my first heroic

Last night I ran heroic Sethekk Halls with a group from the guild, to help another druid finish his epic flight form quest. I had been on for a few minutes trying to farm primal airs for my Windhawk set when he started asking for another druid to help, but I was nervous about running a heroic so I mostly ignored his call. When he whispered and asked me specifically, though, I explained my anxiety then decided, "What the hell," and joined the group. Good decision!

The five of us were me (boomkin), two mages for ultra-uber DPS, a feral druid tank, and a healer on her first heroic (in fairness, an alt healer of a raider running her first heroic as a healer so it's not like she didn't know what was going on). This ended up being a really good group, with lots of CC and plenty of firepower. Plus, Bora's a really good tank and leader, so that made things *so* much easier.

We had a few little stumbles (FYI, the Ravenguards on heroic can't be sheeped...whoops) but overall the run went pretty smoothly. We had a bad strategy on the first boss and wiped but fixed that pretty quickly for the second time. He spawns these elemental adds and we tried to just ignore them and burn the boss quickly, but that wasn't such a good idea. We survived the first wave of adds but died as soon as the second wave spawned. The second time around we just burned down the elementals as soon as they spawned, and that seemed to work pretty well. They weren't elites, I don't think, so they didn't put up much of a fight.

The Raven boos, Anzu, wasn't a bad fight at all. For those of you not familiar with the fight, there are three statues that can be brought to life by a druid's HoT and give really nice buffs while they're up. My job: keep them up. At Bora's suggestion, I tried writing macros for each of the three but couldn't get the syntax quite right for whatever reason. The macro would target the right statue, but then wouldn't cast Rejuvenation. I'll have to figure that out sometime later. What I did last night, though, was to use my essentially-unused second hotbar for each of the targeting macros and the rejuv. Much of the fight for me was hitting 1, 5, 2, 5, 3, 5, repeat. :-) That's not entirely true, but it's pretty close.

Flushed with success after taking down Anzu, we progressed to the third boss. This fight was much harder but we got him on the first try. I say we, but I actually had little to do with the fight. One of the mages and I went down after the first arcane explosion (I think our pillar was defective) but the remaining three were able to take him down. Amazingly. These raiders are pretty good, I tell you what. I knew Bora wasn't going to be able to battle rez me during the fight, so I tried to run back in. Sadly, this didn't work. I got stuck at the entrance and it wouldn't let me "zone in while an encounter [was] in progress." Or something like that. Oh well.

We got some nice loots for the run. Three [Badges of Justice], hurray! My first badges! As the only leatherworker, I got [Pattern: Stylin' Crimson Hat] and [Pattern: Shadow Armor Kit]. Nice. I also picked up the [Sethekk Oracle Cloak], a slight upgrade, and a [Large Prismatic Shard] from a disenchanted drop. Not bad at all.

I logged off about an hour after I had intended to, full of excitement and confidence. I survived a heroic. I was helpful and brought some useful skills to the group. I'm still not ready for Kara, but I think I will start running heroics on a regular basis. All in all, a really good night.