Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Heroic Azjol-Nerub

Last night, after the raids and before Violet Hold, Kuan and Viljo went into heroic Azjol-Nerub. I thought it would be faster than it was, but we had a hard time with the last boss, Anub'arak. With all his adds he is a bitch on heroic.

But we got him after a couple of tries, and he dropped the Rod of the Fallen Monarch, and Viljo won the roll. I felt bad that Valrauko didn't get it, but it was too nice pass on, even if Viljo had gotten the Stone-Worn Footwraps from the first boss.

a familiar obsession

I haven't mentioned it much since the expansion dropped, but last night Kuanchichi hit 395 2handed Axes, which makes him 395+ in all weapon skills. He's already maxxed in unbuffed Defense.

Now with 3.0, there are achievements for maxxing Unarmed, as well as 4 separate weapons. I will probably still follow the pattern I always do, try to take everything to 399 (max - 1) and then max them all in turn. Starting with Unarmed. If Kuan's bags are full (and they often are) and only the 2H weapons are below 399, I'll have him equip a fist weapon.

This is for outdoor questing of course. In dungeons and raids he'll wear his caster weapon... of course I'll stabby stabby with it if the mobs get close!

25 Man Raiding

Last night Kuan and Viljo logged in, after a horrendous queue. The queue wouldn't have been quite so terrible if I hadn't kept disconnecting about 75% of the way through it. Three times! Augh!

Anyway once Viljo was finally on he got a whisper from our friend Xstal, who is the alt of Jataka, the healer from the first ever heroic we finished. Anyway Xstal wanted to know if we wanted to come to 25man Vault of Archavon. I said sure, and it turned out to be a complete pug. But that was fine, because we still managed to one-shot the boss.

The loot that dropped was quite nice. Including the Valorous Frostfire Leggings! Another mage won the roll for them, but then the loot master messed up and passed them to Viljo anyway. So, much as it pains me, I have these lovely legs in the bank waiting for the GMs to deal with my ticket to move them to that other mage. Ah well it would be more annoying to look at them and know they should have gone to someone else.

Anyway after we did that we moved on to 25man Obsidian Sanctum. That went quite well actually, though neither of us got any loot, we did get nice badges from both instances.

It seems that both of the heroic (25 man) versions were easier than their 10 man counterparts. The bosses have more hp on 25man, and they do more damage, but all the raid buffs really help.

Raid Frames

Pre-BC, I used CTRA for my raid frames. They were displayed across the top of my screen, all raid members sorted by class.

Once Burning Crusade dropped I started using the native UI raid frames. They're a little bigger, and with Paladin in there my top got a little squeezed, but I made it work. Thus I was able to ditch CTmod entirely after a while.

But with Lich King, we have ten classes. It just doesn't work. Clara says use Grid for raid frames, and I'm fielding comments from friends to not use xPerl and to try sraidframes. But I don't want to re-memorize where all the tank raid frames are every damn raid. So I guess I'll try sraidframes, although I think they will not solve the real estate problem.


Defenseless is Kuanchichi and Viljo's most recent achievement. It is very specific!
Defeat Cyanigosa in The Violet Hold without using Defense Control Crystals and with Prison Seal Integrity at 100% while in Heroic Difficulty.

I suppose that would be a more significant achievement if I actually had known there were Defense Control Crystals to use, and under what conditions they ought to be used.

I guess Clara knew. But our party just treated it like Black Morass...

Monday, December 29, 2008

Frost Resist Gear

I've been doing a little bit of reading about Naxx. Just to figure out the bosses and such. And it looks like there is no resist gear needed, except for the second to last boss, Sapphiron. He needs a bunch of frost resist gear.

The cloth resist gear is the Glacial Robe, Glacial Slippers, and Glacial Waistband. And the mail resist gear is Icy Scale Chestguard, Icy Scale Boots, and Icy Scale Belt.

Each of these sets will give a total of 287 frost resist, if not gemmed for frost resist. Since, at 80, you only need 415 resistance to be capped against a mob 3 levels above you, which is the level of bosses, the missing 128 resist can be made up by Shaman totem or Pally aura.

There is also a Titanium Frostguard Ring, which can add another 68 frost resist, if some more mixing and matching is desired.

And even though there is an achievement for doing the Sapphiron fight with less than 100 frost resist on each person I think that will come a while after the boss has been killed with frost resist a couple of times. So I'll start looking in to the mats for these and seeing how expensive it is to buy the mats and find a crafter as opposed to just buying the gear off the AH.

Nexus and Azjol-nerub

Last night, as DraNgNon posted, Eeyan and Telt got to 72. After they leveled, and trained they went with a couple of friends to Nexus and Azjol-Nerub. It was a lot of fun to actually get them leveled and then to do some instancing. I always forget just how much fun it is to heal when I'm questing. Questing is fun, but to be honest Eeyan is a colossal bad ass, and really doesn't need Telt trailing along behind him. He's just nice, and lets her tag along.

The one downer about the Nexus run was that the tank was a druid who respecced out of boomkin. So he wanted caster stuff, too. This is cool, but I was kind of annoyed when he passed on a nice caster offhand and then got huffy when I was going to need it. I guess that is just a reminder to me to always get loot rules straightened out at the start.

It was a lot of fun to instance with Eeyan and Telt again :D

Lest I neglect Eeyan

Well, I have been neglecting him.

Eeyan's now in <Red Army>, which is really a guild of alts for Xstal and Siazi and friends, I think.

They invited me on a whim, becuase they wanted me to run heroics with them with Kuan and I said no, I promised Clara we'd get Eeyan and Telt up to 72 this evening. They thought about that and logged in their alts too.

Now Eeyan and Telt are 72, have the questing achievement for Howling Fjord, and moreover have run Nexus and Azjol-Nerub. Wheeee...

Friday, December 26, 2008

Teach a penguin to fish

Viljo and Kuanchichi got the Critter Gitter achievement tonight. Kuan took this situation as a teaching opportunity.

Viljo's first lvl 80 heroic

Yesterday we ended up playing a lot of Wow, off and on. Mostly goofing about and going the Winter Veil things. But we did decide to do the daily Heroic quest, which was in the Old Kingdom. Viljo assembled a PUG to get it done - us, two pallies, and a Tauren warrior tank.

There were a couple wipes, but all in all it went quite smoothly. The tank cracked 31K health after buffs which is crazy. Heroic has an extra boss; I noticed that Heroic Nexus does too. I wonder if they all do. But anyhow. Best of all, Kuan got a new hat! His T4 hat, which he's been wearing for well over a year, is finally replaced with [Brood Plague Helmet] which dropped off the first boss. I hit Need. I almost never hit Need.

Ever since WotLK dropped last month, I was expecting that Kuan's hat would be the first thing I'd upgrade. So it's been quite a surprise to me that Kuan actually hit 80 and still wears the T4 hat. So very happy to have that replaced and upgraded. It's such a big upgrade I equipped it even without the enchant and gems. I note that the enchant and gems were more than 200 gold, so even a drop in a PUG run isn't terribly free.

...too bad T4 gear can't be vendored. Someday soon I will type DELETE in the window for it all...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Kuanchichi is now doing his 3+ weeks' probationary period in <Thwarted Destiny>, a small guild that raids Hawaii-time, which means it's good for my schedule.

The guild leader, Kelrain, invited me in and said let's see how you fit. Then I got pulled into Heroic Nexus, then 10-man Obsidian Sanctuary (including Viljo as a pug), then Archavon (including Viljo as a pug). The Obsidian fight was funny. The tank explained the first drake fight... and didn't realize his mike was off. Big wipe. It was pretty easy once that was cleared up. Viljo won loots in both 10-mans: [Circle of Arcane Streams] and [Hateful Gladiator's Silk Raiment].

I note there was another Ele Shaman in these groups. (He got the T7 gloves of Sartharion.) Kuan was about 140-160 dps behind him in the meters. I'm still adjusting to cast sequence and Kuan remains undergeared, so I don't feel too bad.

At the end of it, we have Christmas, and Kuan has 11 [Emblem of Heroism] and some nice achievements, and Viljo has two pieces of lvl 80 epic loot...

...I was dumb and took no screenshots. Anyhow, Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


So I got Ikoli past 175 Inscription last night. This is quite a thing, since I'm not actually buying any herbs. I am draining herbs from both my and Clara's reserves. But, why not? What are they for anyhow?

Tylara, on the other hand, is still mired with a need for mithrils to finish the Armorsmithing quests. But she's like 236 Blacksmithing now. Again, I'm not buying any metal. It's all too expensive. I should be selling it!!!

Red Winter Clothes

As an addendum to last night's PvP fun, I note that Telt and Kuan took a side trip to Ironforge. You see Teltanara is a tailor, and the goblins only sell the pattern for Green Winter Clothes in Orgrimnar. This means that the pattern for Red Winter Clothes is only sold in Ironforge. As usual it was quite easy, with Kuan along, to get into Ironforge. Getting out, however, required a few deaths.

Anyway Telt can now make Red Winter Clothes. At some point soon I shall have to do so. Then she can wear them with her Crimson Felt Hat. Mailbox dancing here comes Telt! I'll be sure to post pics. :D

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Strand of the Ancients

Kuanchichi and Viljo restarted their former Monday night PvP tradition. PvP on Monday night is kind of nice. You can intersperse it with a few daily quests and it's all good.

Well we tried out the battle ground that is new for Wrath of the Lich King, Strand of the Ancients. Kuan had been in it once before, but Viljo never had so I was hopelessly confused at first.

Basically the battle ground has two phases. You either defend or attack. It seems that Horde defends first and Alliance attacks first, but I can't tell if that is just the random luck of the draw for us last night. Anyway there are 6 gates, which you have to get through with vehicles and bombs, and you have to defend the gates with turrets.

Viljo has craptacular health so I found the best place for him when attacking was in one of the tanks. On defense, I had less of a clue what do to, but I'll try to get one of the turrets next time.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Kuanchichi and Viljo are 80! They both got to level 80 last night at the beginning of normal Oculus. Which they were running again with a tank we pugged in the other night, Ryegrin. Who apparently knows Babzy IRL.

Side note: Ryegrin is only 78 right now and was still able to tank Oculus just fine. The normal instances are very nerfed, and they have boosted tank threat generation a lot.

Anyway now Kuan and Viljo are both 80. And have each spent a crap ton of gold on upgrades to spells. I didn't keep track of how much it cost Viljo to train at 80, but for Kuan, DraNgNon said it was 317g.

Oh and they each got a chest upgrade from Oculus. Viljo replaced his Scarlet Sin'dorei Robes with Vestments of the Scholar from the last boss. And Kuanchichi replaced his Chestguard of Relentless Storms with Runic Cage Chestpiece from the first boss. It's quite strange to replace purples with blues, but I guess that is part of the leveling process.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Kuan's reputation plan

This is my plan for reputations and why. Of course I want them all exalted but with this championing thing I gotta focus on one at a time first.

rep - level until I switch to next - why
Kirin Tor - revered - head enchant
Ebon Hold - honored - cloak
Wyrmrest - exalted - gloves
Argent Crusade - exalted - that damned achievement
Horde Expedition (i.e. no champion tabard) - exalted - becuase he's Horde

and continued Kalu'ak dailies until I can get that fishing pole.

...then whatever. Unless I find out one of these also has recipes he can use but I haven't noted any.

the Oculus

Kuan and Viljo ran the Oculus tonight! It was a confusing mass of fun, as we did it in a pug where only one guy had run it before, and then only once.

I had been noticing that Kuan's hit percentage was decreasing after our run of Culling a couple nights ago. I swapped some of his gems for gems with +hit to see if they made a difference. They seemed to; but Oculus fights are broken up by flying on a drake form platform to platform, so the meters are somewhat useless.

But another exciting thing is the ring! One of the Oculus first quest rewards is a direct, onspec upgrade: [Ring of Temerity]. I immediately equipped it in place of [Ring of Unrelenting Storms], which I vendored after I got out of the instance.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Kuan has gquit Darkfall

I bitched a little too hard in guild chat about my dps issues and got told to shut it by all the officers. All I was trying to do was get a WWS to a Patchwerk fight they'd done already. When one turned around and told me he was sick of my self-esteem issues being in guild chat, I gquit.

Ah well. It's not like Kuan is viable for raiding, or like my schedule over the next couple months will accommodate it, so I might was well be guildless a while. I'll probably shove him back into Ancestor Cult for a while.

new thrown weapon


Last night we ran the Culling of Stratholme instance in Caverns of Time with guildies. During the instance they ding'd 79, too. The instance was pretty confusing and was the first challenge really; we wiped 3 or 4 times, mostly becuase we did not stick together, once becuase we didn't wait for tank to build any threat on the final boss. Anyhow I always thought that Arthas chose to cull Stratholme becuase he was sure it was plagued... in his head. Not becuase half of it was already turned to Scourge.

Like Old Hillsbrad, this is an instance where they convert everyone to human. Viljo is so very funny with his human bald pate.

The quest giver for this instance is our old friend Chromie. Very important we maintain this moment of inflection, she tells us. Very important not to mess with the timelines.

Wait a minute. Isn't that what Chromie is all about? Messing with the timelines in Lordaeron? Becuase of poor Cap'n Redpath? Wth?

Anyhow, it remained fun, and I was somewhat reassured to see that in an instance where the elites didn't fall over within 20 seconds Kuan did put out 1000+ dps. After running Utgarde Pinnacle the night before and only seeing ~850 dps I was very depressed.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Bound to happen

So Kuan has been carrying around the [Mazthoril Honor Shield], one of the original Badge of Justice awards, since, well, 29 Oct 2007.

Tonight he just got [Ritualistic Shield] as a quest reward that is an upgrade for everything on the badged one but stamina. And I bet a lot of that can be subbed in with an enchant.

Here's a pic of it. I am utterly fascinated at the detail they spent on the wood grain on the inside of the shield. I mean really, shouldn't they spend that sort of effort on perhaps making the ropes on the ships and blimps three dimensional...? More people look at those, than on the inside of a green quest reward shield.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Figureprint of Viljo

Calvin is the excellent! Calvin is the awesome!
Calvin gave me a Figure Print for my birthday!

I chose to get a print of Viljo:

Isn't Viljo awesome!? Here is a pic with me too. Note the giant grin. :D

Personal Quests

Last night we decided that we needed to do some Personal Quests with Kuan and Viljo. We had been feeling stressed from life and WoW and needed to take a break from questing in Zul'drak. We'd been trying to do a daily or two at the beginning of every evening anyway, so we just extended that a bit. We also decided that we were over not being 400 cooking and having no use for all those silly Dalaran Cooking Awards.

Kuan started out at 396 cooking, and Viljo started out at 393 cooking. And they both had only green recipes left, except for one yellow one that took about 8 pieces of meat. So we figured that it would be faster to skillup with the green recipes that only took one piece of meat.

Kuan and Viljo defended Wyrmrest Temple, and then helped the Kalu'ak. While they did this Kuan fished out every single fishing node we saw. Then we realized we weren't that far from revered with the Kalu'ak, so we went to Kamagua and did some quests there for the walrus people. More fishing and a few quests for the Taunka at Winterhoof Camp and we've finally got enough meat that both Viljo and Kuan are now 400 cooking. I think we even ended up with enough meat that Kuan is 402 and Viljo is 401.

Because of all the fishing there was enough herring to make some Haunted Herring. So the only "emotion food" left is the Tasty Cupcake.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Explorers

Kuanchichi and Viljo got to level 77 last night. And with level 77 comes Cold Weather Flying. Which, as far as I can tell, is basically the trainer telling you to keep your wyvern's wings warm.

So anyway, we can fly! Yay flying! This means that we can run around and map everything with out having to deal with pesky terrain and pesky mobs. Well, except for all the flying elite dragons everywhere. But those were actually not all that hard to avoid.

Now, after having mapped all of Northrend Kuan and Viljo have the world mapped! It was so nice to get that last map point and have 3 different achievements pop up, one for the zone, one for Northrend, and one for the World!

Then we got mail from Brann Bronzebeard. He was all proud of us for exploring the world. And because he was so proud of us he gave us the ugliest tabard known to troll-kind! Trust a dwarf to mess that up.

But still we have mapped the world, and we have the title "the Explorer."

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Riding a Giant

***This is a spoiler for any reader not yet quested in Zul'Drak***

Last night, determined to get Kuan and Viljo to 77, we took them into Zul'Drak. We had a choice of quests in front of us: Ebon Hold rep or Argent Crusade. Since our trolls are more partial to AC we spent most of the time on those.

While poking around we came across a Storm Giant imprisoned by the Scourge. He set off this whole quest chain to get him out, much to the dubiousness of the Argent Crusade dudes whose help we enlist. Once out, he's mad, and will gladly let the character ride on his head as he wreaks his vengeance. They did this with the new "vehicle" implementation that is throughout the WotLK.

So there are two reasons I'm posting about this event. Well, three. First of all, riding the giant was fun, but ooo boy the camera angles vs what the game thinks is a movement obstacle was annoying.

Second of all, it was bugged. As far as I can tell, opening the quest log stunned my giant, disabling all control keys as he stands there like a drunk dwarf until he's killed. And, it takes a lot to kill him. Exiting the game and logging back in did not rectify the situation. I spent like half an hour or more trying every button on my screen to move, attack, dismount, anything. I haven't ever been so frustrated. This happened twice, and I even disabled addons the second time. All in all I spent almost an hour sitting on a stunned giant.

Third of all is a bit more game-philosphical. Quite naturally it would be disruptive if there were lots of players on top of giants stomping around Zul'Drak and killing all those mobs everyone else is painstakingly farming for whatever other quests. So Blizzard phases the giant into some elsewhen the rest of the players are not. However, they also take out all the other NPCs. So the giant can be ridden about causing mayhem and destruction with no care other than for his own healthbar.

I think this would have been better done if they had somehow incorporated the other NPCs to this scenario. The Argent Crusade dude was dubious of the giant; maybe somehow make the quest fail if your giant stomps him. I'm not really sure. But seems to me it would have been a bit more of a challenge (mysterious stun notwithstanding) if care for the peeps on your side was incorporated into the event.

Friday, December 5, 2008

two unrelated things

We haven't gotten a lot of playing in this week; real life has seriously interfered. But we did take the time last night to key Mornara and Ikoli for Scholomance. Mornara decided not to bother clearing to pull Araj. I'm not entirely sure if our dying was the result of Ikoli being shitty as a healer, Mornara not quite mastering all the mad DK DPS/tanky skillz, or if it's just a plain mistake to take on Araj and his entire courtyard all at once with a 59 DK and a 55 priest.

Meanwhile it's not a lot of effort to progress on the screenshots, a few a day, and so I have. I came across this one from Nov 2006 and really liked it. Probably this image and the implied subtext is how Clara and I think of our mains all the time, for all they've been played together for 2 years since.

Oh, and, these are still the mounts we use.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

LK Instances

Last week, we ran a bunch of instances, both on Viljo and Kuan and Eeyan and Teltanara.

Viljo and Kuan ran Violet Hold. Perhaps they are still used to Heroics? Perhaps they are still over-geared, since they are still in all their raiding gear? Perhaps Violet Hold on Normal is really easy? Either way Violet Hold seems like a very easy version of Black Morass with little running around. Viljo did get a nice neck upgrade, replacing Loop of Cursed Bones from Zul'jin with Pendant of Shadow Beams from the first boss in Violet Hold. Doing this had the happy coincidence of getting both Kuan and Viljo the Keymaster Achievement.

Teltanara and Eeyan got a chance to run Utgarde Keep. We went with a guildie's alt warrior. It went pretty well, despite the tank wearing greens and not having played as a tank all that often. The only time anyone died was when there was a damamge shield up on a few of the mobs and they resisted the tank, and went to kill a couple of the dps. Other than that no deaths, even with the crazy AOE damage on the last boss. For that last boss fight I was very glad that I had changed Telt's spec to be CoH. I think all I did for that 2nd phase was spam COH and toss out PoM. But we managed to all live.

Both of these instances were really pretty. Especially Utgarde Keep, the new fire animation in there was really nice looking. And the boss fights were quite amusing.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Screenshot Tags

This entry will always be under construction.

Picasaweb seems to have a limitation right now; it only automagically collates the top 10 tags used in one's photos.

That makes it less useful for organizing my screenshots than I wanted. BAH.

Anyhow to address the deficiency for now here is a permapost with the tags so far.

By Horde Character:

By Alliance Character (yes, we tried out Alliance for a time):

Guild Shots:

Knights that say NI

Azuremyst Isle
Dustwallow Marsh
Stonetalon Mountains
Thunder Bluff
Un'goro Crater
Eastern Kingdoms:
Arathi Highlands
Blasted Lands
Deadwind Pass
Dun Morogh
Eastern Plaguelands
Eversong Woods
Elwynn Forest
Hillsbrad Foothills
Isle of Quel'danas
Searing Gorge
Silvermoon City
Silverpine Forest
Stranglethorn Vale
Tirisfal Glades
Western Plaguelands
Caverns of Time
Shatterspear Village
Veiled Sea
the Bulwark
Chillwind Point
Dark Portal
Deeprun Tram
Great Sea
Black Morass
Hyjal Summit
Old Hillsbrad Foothills
Onyxia's Lair
Razorfen Downs
Warsong Gulch
Wailing Caverns
Blackrock Depths
Blackrock Spire
Blackwing Lair
Temple of Atal'Hakkar
Blade's Edge Mountains
Hellfire Peninsula
Shadowmoon Valley
Terokkar Forest
Borean Tundra
Howling Fjord
Netherwing Ledge
Black Temple
Gruul's Lair
Hellfire Ramparts
Magtheridon's Lair
Serpentshrine Cavern
Sethekk Halls
Shadow Labyrinth
Shattered Halls
Slave Pens
Tempest Keep
character select
common carrier

By Event:
Opening of Ahn'Qiraj
Sylvanas sings
Demoniac Scryer
Hellscream's Redemption
Tauren Chieftains
Scourge Invasion

By Situation:
animal form
new mount
quest text

Progress on 3 fronts

Yesterday, after Kuan got his 250 Fish and Call to Arms achievements, Kuan and Viljo hit 76! ...and, they are still in Grizzly Hills. I'm grimly convinced they will not have gotten out of the southern coastal zones until they can fly.

Once they are 77 questing will pause, for Kuan anyhow, as he goes after Explorer title. The World Must Be Mapped!!!

After that we did a little swapping. Tylara and Kairon hadn't finished the Kalaran chain in Searing Gorge so we decided to get that done. (My intention was then to get the Burning Steppes flightpoint, and turn in the Molt, but I got distracted.) Now, I've done this quest chain with every toon big enough to do it. That is, Kuan, Eeyan, Tris, Vhaas, Ikoli. Clara has too. They've clearly nerfed it, the Twilight Cultists dropping symbol of Ragnaros are now low-level-40's non-elites; the guard towers no longer have elite Dark Iron Sentries; lame. But we were struck also that some of the mechanics have changed. It's a quest to grab the staff. It's a quest to open the chest.

Moreover, the quest is sarcastic.

I don't remember it saying that.

...Anyhow. After that we decided to play Ikoli and Mornara and finish getting the Scholo key. But that got interrupted by guildies wanting to run Utgarde Keep with alts, so out came Eeyan and Telt as that was next on their agenda. The first room is very cool, with the fire animation at the forges. It appears however that my screenshots failed and I forgot to get one when we paused to swap out a party member.

Also, as an observation, lots of people in guild at 80 now, including at least 3 Death Knights. And Wrath hasn't even been out for 3 weeks. I'm noticing folks starting to complain of being bored. Maybe they should have taken the time to read the quest text and enjoy the game. Then again, we are, and swapping alts, and clearing lowbie stuff, and we are still already 76.