Friday, 29 January 2010

All Rogued Out

I've been playing my rogue solidly for the past 2 years now, always trying to push that extra little bit of dps out, which to a competitive person like myself is awesome. I've played all three speccs and have currently been Mutilate since Naxx-10 AND IT'S GETTING SO FUCKING BORING.

I'm not even kidding, I'm bored. So very, very, bored. I'm stick of jabbing my finger on the Mutilate button, sick of having to Envenom if at 4CP, Rupture if at 3. Sick of randomly pressing Hunger for blood every minute and sick and bloody tired of having to vanish and do it all over again. It's not even challenging anymore. So, in the spirit of being bored out of my mind, I've turned to my alts.

Nalria, part time tank, part time fury warrior is now no longer claiming benefits but still working on the side. She's become a full time fury warrior. The gear is crap and definitly needs work, the specc is good and I'm learning a new rotation, it's breathed new life into the mess that is melee plus, it fits me more. Being of square build in the life away from keyboard, if I was to happen myself in a fight to the death with a choice of weapons, I would grab the two biggest, heaviest, meanest motherfuckers available and whirlwind my way through. I'd probably die horrifically but still, I'd look super cool in the process.

I've also been playing my shaman more, he's still stuck at level 77 (and a half!) but I'm staying in the LFG tool a little longer to go in as Enhancement instead of Resto and it's so much fun! I have so much to do, I have different things for different situations, I can pewpew lazors when Maelstrom weapon proccs, or help the healer out if the fight has been raging for a while and they're low on mana by tossing some instant chain heals around my fellow facerollers. It's all good fun and has spurned me on to level my shaman to 80!

On the alliance side, I've been running around spreading diseases. Not in THAT way, you dirty bugger you. I've been playing my Deathtard. Which is a nice change of pace, granted it's still rotation based but it's more loose, I dont have a set rotation, depending on the situation I can spend my runes differently depending on which way I want to beat the living shit out of whatever I'm currently killing.

I was wondering why I was having more fun, I mean, I'm still face deep in melee, I'm still basically doing the same thing - dps'ing while avoiding flames/blades of death but I'm liking it more. I dont actually have any combat weapons, I'm missing a big, nasty main hand weapon with which to bring the pain and that's limited me to Mutilate for a long time now. I have one cooldown, which I use almost off the bat and has a 3 minute cooldown and it's not exactly the most exciting either - 100% guarenteed crit, oh wow, fun...not. With the other classes, I have options; On the warrior, I can pop Death wish and start pwning things really hard while having to avoid the flames/blades of death even more because they'll poon me twice as hard due to the extra damage I'll take. On the shaman, I can summon two wolves of awesome and just rip shit up. I have to manage my mana with Shamanistic Rage and I have the wonderful joy of making everyone fucking massive with the push of one button, I'm talking about the oh so awesome Bloodlust. On the deathtard, I have the option to get my ghoul out for the lads, summon an extra weapon for 12 seconds to deal punishment to the unfortunate soul that happens to be against me and I can make myself hysterical. No, not dramatically "OMGOMGOMGOMG" hysterical. I'm talking about Hysteria, which just pwns. Both the mob I'm killing and myself...

It's probably the main reason I've been playing my 3 foot cannon more and more, there's so many cooldowns in Arcane, it's damned fun.

I'm hoping my love for the stealthed kind will return after a little rest but in the meantime, you'll find me smashing faces with a different kind of weapon to daggers.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Jakkru and Ercles most excellent adventure

So the other day, I was pottering around on my shaman, doing a bit of mining and questing when Ercles of the Barrens chat, yes, that is his offical title (look in the blogroll, his blawg is there, good stuff!) asks me "Do you want to see what's under Orgrimmar?"

Now, that's not a question you can easily go "No thanks, I'd rather mine and quest instead" too. It's a question where you go "OMFG YES!" While logging in your rogue so fast you actually realise you haven't given a reply but instead created a character called "gyes" I'm a fan of glitches in Warcraft, because sometimes they have cool stuff involved. Sometimes they look cool and other times they're funny for a little bit but then really annoying.

So there we are, Jakkru and Erc's mage (mis-fat-nachos) who's name I cannot actually spell but means something fancy in latin, about to set off on an epic adventure.

So, we meet up in Orgrimmar and head to the Valley of Honour (or as it's known in game, the Valley of Americanisms). I should have really screenshotted how we did it, but instead I shall use my epic paint skills!

So yeah, while Ercles was faffing around for 15 minutes trying to jump over the wall, I was doing a bit of exploring.

The large crater behind me is actually Ragefire Chasm. You can jump down and you get shoved right into the middle of RFC but with little blue bits sticking out which you can jump back out of and you're back under Orgrimmar. You can see the distinctive entrance behind me, you can run up to it and there's little inlets where the large wooden planks are in the tunnel leading in and out of Orgrimmar.

The proof that Erc actually made it! Standing under the Valley of Spirits, near the entrance that bridges over the Ashenvale/Durotar river.

We then moved onto Silvermoon City, where Erc said we'd be mingling with rockstars.

While we were running around, Erc was telling me about an addon which he's been using to make his video's (check his blog!) documenting Azeroth before it gets torn apart. Apparently he's seen what's under Hyjal and other places and there's vast expanses of the game that aren't even used!

I remember when I first started playing World of Warcraft, I thought the starting area was pretty much it. It was huge. Durotar was the biggest place on the planet, to my noobish Orc warrior brain. I didn't have a clue there was an entire other land across the swirly water! When I finally got used to the size of Azeroth, which took around 50 odd levels to do, out came TBC and then Lich King after that. The game keeps growing and growing and for that Blizzard, I cannot thank you enough. Offering new, exciting places to explore (or hate, depending on experiences there). I just cant believe there's stuff they dont use! I really think Blizzard should allow access to the top of Silvermoon, for this single reason:

Look at it, the effort that's gone into making it, amazing. The same could be said for the other areas, like those underneath Mount Hyjal. Seems a waste not to let people interact with those places more and more, considering the time and money spent. Maybe in the future, who knows but for now Blizzard, keep it coming and I dont know about you lot but I'm definitly looking forward to the changes coming in Cataclysm!

All aboard the failboat!

So I've been seeing all these posts about people's terrible experiences using the new LFG system and I was preparing to write a little "I've not found it that bad, true there's been a few dicks but they've been bareable etc" until earlier this week.

As usual, I was doing a daily normal on my level 77 shaman, I'd ticked the healer box and as per-ususal I was in a group as soon as you could say some quote from old-skool batman films. The instance was Gun'drak, not bad. Nice and fast and some decent loot knocking around.

So, as I usually do when healing, I spot the guy who's the tank, it's usually the one with the shield or the larger health pool. In this case it was a death knight, which was cool. I slap my earth shield on, set my totems up to support the casters as the DK had imp. Icy Talons and let everyone know I'm ready.

What happened next, can only be described as fail. The DK runs into the middle of the first room, pulling all 9 snakes and the boss. For 5 seconds, he didn't take any damage. Then for 2 and a half he did. Dead tank. Dead melee dps, dead warlock then dead me.

"omfg shit heler" is the cry from the retribution paladin.

"ffs" from a fury warrior, who actually proved for the rest of the instance that the only three phrases he knew where "ffs" "gogogo" and "sorry bb"

"???/" from the warlock

and all the tank could say, "sorry lol thought i was on my main"

Turns out his main is a paladin tank with eleventybillion health who looks like he's body popping when tanking mobs because he has that much avoidance.

So, we get back in and the "omfg"-adin decides he's going to go holy. I didn't mind, if he thought he could do better then let him try and I love to dps. So, we buff up and in charges out tank, this time only grabbing the first 3 snakes. 5 seconds, 6, 7, dead tank.

Turns out the healers idea of "going holy" was to wear a shield, a spellpower mace and to put on the heirloom cloth shoulders, he didn't even change specc.

And thus ended the grouping with the tank, ???/ and ffs-or. Leaving me with omfg-din. We'd been in there for 5 minutes, I wasn't leaving without my 2 badges, 30k XP and 20 something gold. I stuck us back in the LFG as two dps and within 15 minutes three other people came and restored my faith in humanity, even if it was just a tiny bit.

Now, one experience isn't that bad for me to start ranting and raving, sometimes shit happens but what happened two days ago on my Mage really did show the ugly side to the LFG.

I needed 5 more badges for my T9 helm, so I could get my T10 shoulder and keep the 4 set bonus. I'd done the daily already and was going to go for one more heroic before Icecrown, which was later that evening. I popped myself in the LFG system, grabbed a drink of water and I was in.

Ever heard the saying "It's like waiting for a bus then 3 come along at once?" It was like that, but with epic, epic fail. Not only did I try and do a random heroic, I tried to do it 8 times. And 8 times I failed. Either the tank sucked, the dps were terribad or the healer turned out to have the IQ of a carrot, all the time Italian was flying left right and fucking centre.

In the end, some guildies took pity on me, and we did a heroic in 15 minutes. I got my T10 later that night, kept my 4 set T9 bonus and got a kick arse staff off Festergut aswell. Which perked me up, a little.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

The List

After running through Karazhan for shits and giggles on my level 76 shaman the other night, I got to thinking about how awesome it used to be, back in the day. I remembered all the things what had made is so damned good.

While I was healing a Shadow priest that had stated "Fuck it, I'll tank Nightbane!" after our Tank disconnected I was thinking about some of the other places I'd raided and started to put them into a little list. That little list looks a little something like this:

1 - Ulduar
2 - Zul'Aman
3 - Serpentshrine Cavern
4 - Karazhan
5 - Icecrown Citadel

I only got Warcraft about 2 months before TBC, so didn't get to see any of the endgame content from Vanilla, which is a shame because I had a look during TBC and they looked damned awesome.

So yeah, let me explain my reasoning behind that little list, some of the choices you might agree with others you might not.

Icecrown Citadel
It's in 5th place because so far, it's pretty damned good. It's restored my faith in Blizzard's abilities to make a challenging raid for both 10 and 25 people and the bosses mechanics are difficult yet do-able. Downing Deathbringer Saurfang on my Gnome mage brought back the same feelings I had when I first downed Prince in Karazhan. You knew you'd accomplished something. Having a feeling like that 4 bosses into a raid makes me happy and then attempting a boss that announces he's "Done a nasty poo-poo!" makes me have high hopes for the rest of the place!

My first ever raid, and still it remains one of my favourites. It was a massive challenge back in the day and a guild that had Curator on farm where considered to be close to god. It introduced me to hard hitting bosses, all with different tactics which made the instances and herocis I'd done so far like a day at the beach.

Serpentshrine Cavern
Setting foot into a 25 man raid after only doing 10 mans was a huge step up, both in organisation and difficulty. The first trash pull, I still remember every mage in the raid yelling "STOP HITTING THE DAMNED SHEEPS" over Ventrilo. Lurker below was the first boss we attempted in there and I crapped myself the first time he popped out to thank us for all the fish.

Blizzard kept true to form after Karazhan and released this place. Trolls are awesome. Trolls that turn into animals and try and stumpfuck you? Even more awesome. The loot looked stupidly cool and the bosses voices are so far the best in the game. Not to mention, it was a proper challenge, with the tactics taking time to learn, with having often a night of wiping to finally crack the tactics to a boss. This was the last raid where people in guild chat used to cheer us on because after we'd finally downed Zul'jin, they quickly nerfed most of TBC and everything became stupidly easy, mainly due to boss nerfs and easier access to high level gear but I still went to this place, because it was a brilliant raid.

Blizzard's promise of awesome-sauce on awesome-loaf with awesome-filling. The first day it came out, I had my reservations, lag and bugs made it impossible but a week after I realised they'd kept true. It visually looks stunning, it's absolutley MASSIVE and the bosses are so well designed that they're still a challenge even in some of the best gear in game so far. Yogg-Saron doing his mind-link-thingy on two people, then casting skull-over-head on one of them leads to two men screaming like little girls on vent; "WHAT DO WE DO?!" "I HAVE NO IDEA!" "AAAAAH!" "HOLD MEEE!" and watching a resilient Resto shaman keep himself alive for 6 minutes after a wipe on Yogg-Saron is something in itself...

For me. A good raid is somewhere, even though you've had it on farm for months, you can enjoy going back to. My top 5 are just that and I'd love Blizzard to recreate some older raids (especially the Vanilla ones which I'm totally gutted I missed) for max level, maybe my top 5 would change if that were to happen, who knows. Hopefully with the new expansion coming out, I'll have a few more raids to consider, might even make it to a top 10 one day!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Looking for Levels

A little discussion on Ventrilo last night got me thinking. On my dual-specced, Resto/Enhancement shaman I have not done a quest since level 72 and am currently well into level 75. I've been, of course, abusing this new random dungeon system. Can you blame me? If I sign up as a healer I'm in within minutes, usually in a good group and usually done in less than 30 minutes of so. It's a less boring and easier way to get that precious XP and a good way for me to practice my healing.

Now, with Cataclysm on the end of everyone's tongue at the moment (speaking of which, check out Ercles' little video he's stuck on his blog, very good!) it got me thinking, are people going to actually quest? I mean, those that want to be level 85 in like, a day, will be questing like mad but if you think about it. Every level 80 will want to check the new instances out, they'll want to take a looksie and when they find out that there's a good amount of XP involved they might just stop question, which would be a damned shame cuz I'm pretty sure there's going to be some AWESOME questlines.

I for one plan on questing my little heart out, I loved the Lich King quests (except for some reason, I hate Howling Fjord and love Borean Tundra). The chains where epic, I mean, dressing up as a Ghoul to get back at the Troll that tricked you in Drak'tharon Keep? AWESOME! Wrathgate (both cutscene and the fight for the undercity) AWESOME! The stupidly long, stupidly good Sons of Hodir quest chain? AWWWWWWWESOME! You can see where I'm getting at?

I've got pretty high hopes for Cataclysm, even if I still think a Tauren paladin is wrong. Only time will tell I 'spose.