Thursday, April 24, 2008

OPP: the second P is for Purple Poxers

The missing P is a typo.

Another week, another dungeon down. Last night the Purple Poxers tore up Razorfang Kraul, making us an undefeated 5-0 against dungeons this season. As is becoming usual, we had no deaths. We did, however, break a sweat at one point when we aggroed an entire room of level 26 and 27 elites, but even they couldn't bring us down (although Daxe ran out of mana towards the very end). Let's see some of the highlights!

Here we are, about to take out the first boss of the instance, Aggem Thorncurse.

And here he is, 30 seconds later, dead.

Next? Why it's boss number 2, Death Speaker Jargba. It's hard to tell in this picture, but I'm dancing on his corpse, to avenge the bullying he and his thugs used to do to poor Cait.

Another boss...

This was just after killing the giant pig boss. Somebody skinned him before I could grab the picture, but you can see the hole where he used to be.

Oh! Look who makes an appearance! The Blind Hunter!

You should've stayed home, man.

And the last boss, about to go down.

Here's the most frustrating part of this instance. Although we were clearing it handily, we were still too low a level to do some of the quests! Srsly!

Ah, our most difficult fight. See all of the mobs in this room? We're about to be attacked by them all. (Plus, isn't that a nice shot of Daxe's rear? Meow!)

Of course, we survived. Them? Not so much.

After tearing through the escort quest and discovering that the tuber collection quest was bugged (it wouldn't let any of us open the tubers! Maybe we were too low a level, eh?), we decided to try to get Harisan the nice helm that the second boss drops. No luck the second kill, but on the third? Jackpot!

Time to hearth and do some training!

See you guys next week, when we start reclaiming Gnomeregan from the troggs!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

warrior woes

Leveling a warrior is tough, man! Little Rotaan is up to level 14 and it has been tough slogging so far. I'm getting better at pulling single mobs away from a group (hurray for cheap guns!) but still have trouble when I get swarmed by more than about three comparable-level mobs. Oh well. Practice, practice, practice, I suppose. Or as a guildie recommended, I need to go to another zone and try some green-level quests for the time being.

Monday, April 21, 2008

in which our hero blathers on...

...about his new main guild, Kiss My Murlock.

You guys are seriously awesome. Congrats on the first ever full clear of Kara! I wish I could have been around more this weekend but I'm so proud of you. I hear the drums calling us from ZA and I'm looking forward to spending more time with you guys.

...about his new alliance alt and associated guild.

I'm a total follower sometimes and have joined BBB and Cassieann's new guild, Sidhe Devils, on Kael'thas. Having always rolled Horde, I've been feeling an itch to explore the Alliance side of the game. I've recently learned about how important the social aspects of the game are to me, so when I read the announcement it really scratched my itch nicely. I've rolled a dwarf warrior named Rotaan (there's a story, naturally, but probably not one worth sharing). It's really odd talking in guild chat and seeing this "other," non-Wara-prefixed name speaking in my voice. I'm starting to get used to it, but it's still a little disconcerting. "Who is this guy, and why is he saying what I'm saying?"

So far, I'm really enjoying the dwarf story. I like the snowy wilderness that we start in and I think Ironforge is really cool. I'm totally lost, still, but have gotten good about flipping between the map and where I'm running. QuestHelper has been a blessing, too.

A few more words about the guild, before I forget. It's awesome. I'm still a little starstruck when BBB or Cassieann are on but they've been nothing but kind and friendly and funny. In fact, BBB made one of the worst puns I've heard in a long time the other day. There's another guild member with the exact same first name as me (a rarity, at least in these parts) and the same first half of his last name, and we were chatting about how to translate our names. "Hegge" roughly translates to "rocky" and I thought that "stad" roughly translated to "land" -- so my last name would mean rocky land, which is quite appropriate for the town we came from -- but my alter ego informed me that "stad" actually means "city" from the old Norwegian. So, rocky city. After which BBB interjects, "Philadelphia." Huh? Oh. Rocky city. Not rocky, Rocky. /golfclap, sir. You win this round, but I'll get you yet.

There are also a bunch of Poxers in the guild and I'm having a blast spending time with them. One of my regrets about the way the Pox Arcanum project is going is that we've become a little insular in our groups and we don't get a chance to spend a lot of time with the other groups. I know it's mostly due to the innate difficulties with scheduling but it make me a little sad. And now, here's a chance to hang out with them! Hurray!

...about the new dailies.

Honestly, I'm split. I like the diversity of the dailies and really like that there are some that benefit gatherers and fishermen, rather than just kill-10-of-these-dudes, but they're not very stimulating. Especially when you do them day after day after day. Consequently, I'm not. I'm doing enough of them to keep me supplied for raids and keep all of my armor sets well-repaired, but that's about it. If there's a little extra I might try to upgrade a gem or two, but I'm not doing enough dailies for there to be much extra.

My typical routine is to do the Outland quests three or four days a week, then go to the Isle of QQ once or twice a week. This seems to work okay. The Outland dailies are enough to meet my monetary demands easily, so the rest is gravy. I tend to do the Nether Residue quest by skinning clefthoofs in Nagrand, so I've built up a few nice stacks of Thick Clefthoof Leather and Heavy Knothide Leather which will be useful for either myself or other crafters.

As for the Isle, phooey. I do them occasionally, but find them very boring. I'm not in a huge hurry to build my Shattered Sun rep but am already at Revered, even with my casual play. I picked up [K'iru's Presage] to replace my current healy mace ([The Essence Focuser]) and love the [Naaru Rations], but otherwise...*shrug*.

...about his gear.

Nothing terribly exciting to report. I grabbed an [Ember Skyfire Diamond] for my beautiful new helmet. I also got my bracers enchanted (Greater Intellect) and have the mats for most of what else I want.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

belated weekend update, continued: Saturday

Saturday's Kara run almost, *almost* didn't go off, and not because we were short a healer. You won't believe me when I say it, but we were short DPS. DPS! Everybody wants to DPS! Fortunately we were able to find a priest from another guild (the guild leader, in fact) and we were off, just a little bit late.

First stop, Prince. Trash clearing went very smoothly and after a few minutes of stratigizing, we were good. In we go to Netherspace, position an imp at a certain mystical spot (not sure why, actually), and after his next patrol we were off. As soon as the tank started running to his position I noticed that one of my group-mates, another DPS-er, disappeared. D'oh! I assumed that the raid leader was going to call off the attempt, but he didn't and we hit Prince hard. The tank did an amazing job holding Prince and we poured on the damage. The infernals fell fortuitously and we got that bastard down to 2%. Two percent! With only nine of us! Unfortunately, his axes went nuts about then and chopped us all down. We ran back, found another DPS to replace the still-missing guy, and tried again, twice. During the second attempt the infernals fell almost directly on top of us each time, and we had some bad falls the third attempt. By that time we were getting fatigued, I think, so we decided to go back to the other targets, then maybe come back at the end of the night.

Next: Netherspite. This was a pretty straight-forward fight. I got assigned the blue beam for half of a round which was pretty cool. I didn't see the giga-crits for uber damage that I was led to believe I would see, but maybe I missed them. It was hard keeping track of what was hitting where and when. I really need to get WoWWebStats running so I can go back and figure out how to improve. I know I need to get better about using and swapping my trinkets, but I'm sure there's other ways to improve my damage output.

Next up, dragon number 2: Nightbane. What an amazingly fun fight! There was so much going on that I didn't get many screenshots until the end, which I'll share with you when I get home. It's a nice picture of me, dead, watching the last 1% of Nightbane's health drain out. It seems to be a recurring theme for me in boss fights, that I die just before the very end of the fight. What a pain. All that time I'm lying there, dead, I know I could be pumping out more Starfires. Hell, even Moonfires at that point. Why conserve mana when the boss is at 2%? I die so freaking fast, though, that I hardly even notice before I'm dead. Hmm. In loot news, Llanion finally got his [Stonebough Jerkin], so grats to him!

By this point we're all fired up and full of ourselves, so we race back upstairs to try Prince again. This time the fight is almost a piece of cake. We get reasonably-placed elemental drops (that is, we didn't get the two elementals that surrounded the tank, like in an earlier fight), and we blast through Phase 3 before the axes do too much damage. Hurray! Prince is dead! So here comes the minor drama.

[Helm of the Fallen Defender] drops. We had been joking all run that this would drop, so our tank could get his Tier 4 helm. I had forgotten that this could represent *my* Tier 4 helm, too. There's two other druids, me, and our warrior tank who could use it. Two of the druids pass immediately; they're happy with their current helms and the drops they've already gotten this run. And I'm torn. Two things are clear to me. 1) We only go as far as our tank takes us; if he's undergeared, we don't go far. 2) I want that helm. By guild loot rules, it's mine. I'm a main, he's on an alt. He's got an epic helm already -- one of the ones crafted from engineering, I think -- and I'm in a blue. A decent blue, to be sure, but this would be a significant upgrade. And I'm now torn. Can I take this drop, knowing how rare tank drops have been in the past? Who am I? I'm new to the guild. The tank has been in the guild for a long time, and is actually one of the acting GLs while the regular GLs are on a hiatus. Nobody else wants to venture an opinion. I keep trying to convince the tank to roll for the helm. That seems reasonable to me. We've both got a claim to the drop and it represents an upgrade for both of us. What would you do if you couldn't decide between two druids? You'd roll, right? He keeps refusing to roll and eventually gives in, citing the loot rules. He's on an alt, I'm on a main. So now I've got this awesome helm and feel absurdly guilty. Am I a loot whore? I sure hope not. I'll probably feel guilty until he ends up getting it, assuming he does.

That wraps up the adventures for Saturday night. When I got back to Kara there was an announcement that somebody had just defeated Kael'thas (the real one, not the Sunwell one) and so there was a buff to Sha'tar rep and damage done in Tempest Keep. I tried to organize a Bot run but we couldn't find a tank. After asking around for a little while and getting no takers, I realized how late it was and decided to turn in. A waste of the buff, but I really didn't want to PuG a tank. DPS I could possibly tolerate, but not a tank. It just seems like a recipe for frustration.

/cast Rebirth (Rank 6)

Breaking news! It's a banner week in the world of moonkin blogs! Two of my favorite blogs, the main two blogs that led me into the joys of the boomkin, are back on the scene!

First back was Confessions of a Part-Time Panzerkin, which was very exciting in and of itself. This is the first blog I found that described how to think about being a Panzerkin, an experiment I'm still itching to try. Plus, he's got the coolest blog tag I've seen in a long while. "Holds Aggro. Will Travel. Wire Panzerkin, Shattrath City." Awesome.

And today, joy of joys!, Laser Chicken is back! Delos was extremely helpful in my late-60's and learning the game post-70, so it's quite a thrill to see that he's back. Plus he's got a new ley-deh friend who is also a WoW blogger. He may never see the light of day again, poor guy.

If you don't read either of these blogs, I'm going to smack you over the head I'd recommend that you start. Now!

Um, part two of my overly-detailed review of the weekend's adventures will come in a little bit. I know I promised it to you yesterday, but, well, yeah. That's how I am. :-)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

belated weekend update: Friday

The guild I'm in is relatively small (but growing!) so we just have one Kara run per week, with a couple of people swapping toons depending on the fight. Consequently, we break it up into three parts: a Wednesday run for the lower bosses (Attumen, Moroes, Maiden and possibly the beast boss or Opera, depending on how the group is feeling); a Friday run for the first half of the upper bosses (Opera, Curator, Shade, and Chess); and a Saturday run for the big boys (Nightbane, Netherspite, Prince, and Illhoof). Because of Pox Arcanum coolness, I can't run with the group on Wednesday, but I've gotten to run probably three of the last four Fridays. The couple of Saturday runs I was scheduled for didn't go off for want of a healer.

Friday: Kara (Opera through Chess)

The Wednesday run had gone according to plan, so Opera was first up. Romulo and Julienne. Hella-fun. The first two phases were cake. We had a few problems with interrupting Julienne's heals on the third phase (she kept resisting, apparently!), but eventually got them both down. Hurray! I died once, I think, but got battle rezed and was able to get back into the fight.

Next up, Curator, which was a harder fight this time than the first time I did it, for whatever reason. I guess we had less DPS on the sparks (whatever they're actually called), so I ended up using Moonfire more than I might have otherwise liked and was essentially out of mana for the last bit of the fight. I actually kept getting aggro from the sparks, so I even melee-ed (if that's a word) them a little, to build up some minor mana. It's my inner panzerkin wanting to come out, I think.

Shade. Shade was probably the most straight-forward and easiest fight of the night. Everybody was awesome about not moving during the flame wreath (and I remembered the lesson learned from my first fight, that battle rez counts as moving, so I was patient and fought the urge to rez one of our healers until the flame wreath was gone) and I could actually see the blizzards easier, so no worries there. We took him out mere moments after the polymorph phase.

Last was Chess, which was pretty unremarkable. I still don't quite get it -- it feels very random to me -- but it's a nice break after a night of fighting.

In summary, a very fun night in the tower. I think I died twice during the whole night, so that's not too bad, and we one-shot all of the bosses. Well, I guess technically we two-shot Opera, because we did the somebody-get-naked-and-find-out-what-it-is thing, but we dropped them the first time we were actually all there. No loots for me I forgot! From Shade, I got [Boots of the Infernal Coven]. I also got eight Badges which are nothing to sneeze at.

After Kara, a few of us were still sufficiently awake to run another dungeon, so we went to Old Hillsbrad. Former healer turned jack-of-all-trades Llanion has figured out a pretty sweet build for himself that allows him to heal in Kara, DPS as necessary, and learn to panzerkin, so he wanted to test his skills on a moderately challenging instance. It went pretty well, to be honest. I stole aggro from him a few times (unintentionally, I swear, Llan!) but overall it went very smoothly. I even got the [Ravenwing Pauldrons] for my healing set which look hella-awesome.

Next post: Saturday's unbelievably fun destruction of the upper bosses, including the Prince.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

awesomest kara run yet

I'll post more details later, but I wanted to share a picture and some quick news with y'all. Last night KMM went into upper Kara and took out Nightbane, Netherspite, and Prince. We one-shot the dragons which was hella-sweet. Prince was a little more...interesting. We got him, though, and he dropped the [Helm of the Fallen Defender] token which I got! I tried to force one of our tanks (who is also the co-GL but was on an alt) to roll for it, but he muttered something about looting rules and alts versus mains and I ended up with it. What a swell guy. Seriously. This whole guild is really awesome and I'm having a really good time playing with them.

Enough sap. I raced back to Shattrath to exchange the token for the [Antlers of Malorne] and there was much rejoicing! And not only because that fugly blue thing can now rest in the bank for a while...

On the left I'm wearing my new regular shoulders (the [Wyrmhide Spaulders]) and on the right I'm wearing my new healing shoulders, the [Ravenwing Pauldrons].

Oh, and before I forget! After the boss kills last night I had enough badges to buy the [Idol of the Unseen Moon]. I probably should have saved up for the trinket but, as I've said before, I'm a serious spendthrift. Only one green remaining!

Friday, April 11, 2008


How many groups of five players do you know of that can run SFK three times in three hours, killing all of the bosses and the vast majority of the trash? I can name one, myself, the Purple Poxers.

We took last week off due to some personal stuff but came back last night with a vengance. As the others have already mentioned, we did get together on Tuesday night for some class-quest festivities, which was a lot of fun but not quite the same fun as tearing down an instance has become. There was a lot of running around which doesn't do this orc's feet much good at all. Not all of us have those hooves, Madja. :-)

But last night was pure Purple Poxing pleasure. I went in with hopes of getting through SFK about one and a half times. I figured we would clear it in a few hours, then get to the second boss before our three hours were up. Man, was I wrong. We started about 7 eastern and killed Arugal a little after 8. And a little after 9. And just before 10. Three full runs in three hours. [Feline Mantle]s for all of the casters. Thrice sharded [Odo's Ley Staff]. A [Bloody Apron] for me (my first blue! and I even won the roll! Nevermind that nobody else rolled...). A [Belt of Arugal] for me (legitimately won on a roll!) and for Mr. Ess (I think, or did Daxe get the second? I don't remember). Some nice tanking stuff ([Rift Bracers] and [Fenrus' Hide]). And lots of [Mutton Chop]s. We must look like an 1880's barbershop quintet, given all the mutton chops we're sporting.

We had a slightly rough start, when I accidentally pulled the first few mobs after ridding the world of a plague-ridden Black Rat. Apparently they took offense, but we handled them easily. In fact, all three runs were fast and smooth. No wipes; in fact, I don't think we had any deaths at all. Harisan's tanking was superb and consecrate made short work of multiple-mob pulls. In fact, I think the most difficult part was targeting the next mob to fall, we were killing them so quickly.

We did the first two runs with my lovely pyromaniacal imp, then I thought I'd let my newly acquired succubus get some practice. She did reasonably well, but I don't think she did as much damage as the imp did. She'll be more useful when I get a few more levels and can train seduction and provide a little CC. Until then, we'll let Ababis bring the high heat, I think.

The plan for next week is to stick our heads underneath the water and plumb the Blackfathom Deeps. Skimming through the loots, I'm not sure that this is an instance we'll want to farm, but we may want the extra experience from a second run. And then we'll be off to the Kraul and Gnomer!

On a more personal note, I'd just like to say publicly how much fun I'm having with this group and this experiment. Ess, you're a very clever lady for coming up with this idea. I think I'm actually having more fun than I imagined that I could, when we first started organizing the groups. We've got a great group of people who are simultaneously serious about wanting to play well and blitheringly silly, which makes being online with them a treat. Pox nights are totally full of win.

Others' views:



Ess (when's Mr. Ess going to start blogging anwyay, Madj?)

Monday, April 7, 2008

weekend update: MrT, fishing

So much fun this past weekend, so little blogging. Whoops. :-D

I took Friday night off as Mrs. Wara didn't have to work at the hospital overnight, and we saw a movie. 21. Pretty fun. Not great, but worthwhile. I never did like the main character...actually, I largely disliked him. Impossibly good MCAT score and you can't figure out how to get a loan for med school? Really? Dumbass.

Saturday night was supposed to be a return to the raiding, but it sadly didn't materialize. The guild had an awesome Friday run and downed Prince, so we were faced with Illhoof, Netherspite, and Nightbane. Tough fights. Additionally, I think that the guild currently stands at having downed 11/12 Kara bosses, with only Illhoof remaining, so I was really excited about the chance to be involved in a guild-first kill. Unfortunately, we were a healer short and the GL called the raid. So what to do with nine raiders on a Saturday night? Why, let's go take a peek at Magister's Terrace.

Holy crap is that ever a hard instance! Our group was a warrior tank, me (boomkin DPS), a hunter, a rogue, and a resto druid for heals, all heroic- and Kara-equipped, and we got our asses handed to us. Hard. In about two hours we got through two bosses and wiped about five times. All of our wipes were on trash. The bosses were pretty quick and fun fights -- at least the two that we saw -- but the trash pulls were seriously hard. I actually had a really good was almost nice to be challenged that much. Almost. I got to off-tank on a few pulls (panzerkin ftw!) and was able to prevent a couple of wipes after our healer went down by either getting him rezed and innervated or by taking over healing duties.

I spent Sunday relaxing and recovering from Saturday's violence. I was up early Sunday morning, so I ripped through about ten dailies and blew a bunch of money on the AH. All I need now is the seven and I'll have my [Lunacy Deck] completed. I'm also stocked up on raid consumables ([Flask of Blinding Light], [Superior Wizard Oil]) for another couple of weeks, which is nice.

Sunday evening I spent some time leveling my fishing and was rewarded with a [Weather-Beaten Journal] on my last cast of the day. Seriously, my last one. I had been fishing for about and hour, had more than a full stack of [Zangarian Sporefish] (to make into my new favorite buff food, [Blackened Sporefish]) and was going to call it a night, but had another two minutes on my lure. "Here, there's some Steam Pump Flotsam...let's go try that..." Woo hoo! Now all the schools of fish show up as little yellow dots on my minimap, so I won't have to fly all around the lake to find the next Sporefish School. Very nice.

I also picked up one new piece of gear this weekend. I grabbed the [Wyrmhide Spaulders] from the Cenarion Expedition, a slight improvement over my [Dreamer's Shoulderpads]. Hurray for more stamina and intelligence! Plus, the new shoulders look like turtle shells, which amuses me greatly. One of these days I'll get around to farming Capacitus for the [Lunar-Claw Pauldrons] (or maybe we'll get into Gruul's Lair and I'll get those lovely [Pauldrons of Malorne]? Hmm?)