Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ikoli respec

Well, it's not a perfect EJ build, but level 74 Ikoli isn't raiding yet either.,Oapeq-,9767

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Item level blows

Check this out. Note the item level difference:

[Ancient Draenei Arcane Relic]
[Vengeance of the Illidari]

Which one should I dump from Ikoli's bags, since I just realized she's sitting on both.

Red Protodrake

I know DraNgNon already posted about Glory of the Hero. I still have spiffy screen shots, so I'm going to post them anyway.

And the obligatory pics of us on the drakes:

And Viljo flying on the drake:

Glory of the Hero

Viljo and Kuanchichi persuaded Ariyn, Grizloch, and Tildem to get teh Zombiefest! achievement just now.

We all know what that means.

letter from Alexstraza

Yes, kids, that's the [Reins of the Red Proto-Drake] attached to that message. Kuan and Viljo subsequently paraded around for admirers at Krasus' Landing.

This will be Kuan's new default flying mount. The drake isn't nearly as awkward as the proto-drake taxis are.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Old Kingdom

Mornara and Ikoli did another random dungeon last night. Mornara is 74 and Ikoli is 73, so I was expecting to get Nexus or Utgarde Keep. Possibly they would get Azjol-Nerub, since they are in the level range for that too.

Since Mornara and Ikoli queue as tank and healer the wait time for them is anywhere from 5 to ten seconds. Imagine my surprise when not AN, but Old Kingdom pops up as our random. I believe that the 79 mage and 76 warrior skewed our average group level up enough that we got bumped to OK in stead of AN.

The run went ok. I'm not going to say it was smooth. I felt very rushed the entire time by the level 73 shaman who insisted on running ahead of me and occasionally pulling for me. I was usually waiting for Ikoli's mana. I didn't give in to this temptation, but I was very tempted not to taunt off of that shaman.

The 79 mage was a bit of a challenge for my nascent tanking skills, but that was just due to level difference. The mage was actually polite about aggro, and I think it was only where there was some heavy aoe that he pulled aggro.

Herald Volajz, the last boss, was actually not too bad as a tank. As Mornara it really doesn't phase me when there are 4 mobs beating on me. And at normal difficulty I can kill them pretty easily.

I'm still really enjoying the random dungeon finder tool. It's a great way to get some expereince tanking before I feel like I have to know what I'm doing. And the extra xp and badges are pretty sweet too.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Dos and Don'ts of Pugging

In the usual case I'm a fan of the new LFD system. The algorithms do a good job of gear matching. And finding a group quickly is allowing more runs to happen faster. However, while most of my experiences have been positive I've run into a couple of ridiculous and annoying situations. Therefore I've compiled a list of suggestions.

DO: Take a few minutes at the start of the instance to drop some buffs.
Everyone should do what party and self buffs they have. Mages and warlocks should drop a table or fel toilet (healthstone thingy, but I swear it makes the same noise as a toilet tank refilling). Part of this should be making sure that everyone knows who the tank and healer are. Various classes and specs have buffs that are best used on a specific role. For example you really want the hunter and rogue putting their threat stuff on the tank.

DON'T: Go charging off as soon as you've got the buffs you need.
Having just buffed everyone and dropped a table Viljo would like a moment or two to drink.
Having just buffed everyone and healed their damage, Teltanara really needs a moment to drink. I know, Mr Uber-Leet-Pally-Tank, you're at full health, and you want this run to go fast. But trust me it'll go a lot faster if I don't have to rez the dps warrior because you were out of range and I couldn't catch up in time to heal both you and him before one of you took a dirt nap.

DO: Be polite to the other people in the run.
Give a polite greeting to everyone. Or at least don't be a giant flaming dickwad. I'm not expecting to be best buds with the random people from another server, but I do expect not to have to deal with rudeness. I'm here to heal or dps or tank, not put up with your crap.

DO: Wait for the tank to get aggro.
You may be annoyed at not being the top on the damage meter, but let me assure you you'll only get farther down if you die three seconds into the fight because you didn't let the tank get aggro. And by not letting the tank get aggro you're increasing the risk that the other dps and the healer will pull aggro as the tank runs around like a chicken with his/her head cut off trying to grab the mobs you yanked before they eat someone else's face.

DON'T: Ninja loot and then drop group.
Be reasonable with the loot. If something is a upgrade, need it. I'm glad you're gear is now better. If it's a frost orb or a Winter Hat and everyone has clicked greed, then you should click greed as well. If instead you wait to be sure that everyone clicks greed and then you click need, loot and drop group. Well, you're a ninja and I hate you.

DON'T: Try to level up some weapon skill.
I'm running this instance for rep and badges and maybe a piece of offspec loot. I'm not running it to help you get that last point in unarmed skill. Equip your goddam weapons. Next time my holy priest does more damage than anyone I will vote kick their ass.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ho ho ho.

As you can see, Kuanchichi the Jungle Troll is overjoyed at Winter's Veil festivities and merrymaking.

Last night Kuan and Viljo got the PvP achievement for Winter's Veil. We also got Let's Get This Done as a nice side effect. That only left one achievement to go, which Kuan got this afternoon!

Hmm, looks like he's not too thrilled with how fruitcake tastes either. Just like me.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

New Shield!

Darkfall down'd Marrowgar again. He drops this kickass shield, which Kuan really wants to replace [Aegis of Damnation].

Of course, he didn't drop it for Darkfall. Disappointed once again, I pouted. And then, Darkfall announced a 2 week moratorium on 25man raids because people didn't want to deal with new content over the holidays.

So, Rahlenti pushed for a brief Ulduar 10 and we killed Ignis for the new "weekly" raid and I convinced everyone to down XT too. Yay, [Pulsing Spell] shield for Kuan! it's only been ... how long ... ? This is only Kuan's 4th shield upgrade since the badged level 70 shield.

Next up, 50 [Emblems of Frost] and that fabulous cloak.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

PUGing it

I've tried out the new LFG system a bit. I have mixed feelings so far.

On one hand it's pretty speedy about finding groups. No whispering back and forth, no trying to find out what spec someone is. Just queue and, when everyone is set, off you go. Since there is the whole battle group to pick from you're more likely to actually find a tank and healer in a reasonable amount of time.

On the other hand, well, it's a PUG. A full on pickup group with people you'll never see again. Or at least you'll never control if you see them again. You may group with them in a BG or in another random dungeon.

So both of these situations has led to a little bit of bad behavior from everyone involved. I can see the start of a battle group instancing culture forming, but it's hard to tell so far how it will turn out. I've done random groups with Viljo and Telt so far and have had good luck to have decent tanks and dps and healers. Generally any issues come from over-eager or careless dps pulling aggro on the wrong thing.

I haven't run into any loot ninjas. And I like the new auto-disenchant option. There really was nothing more annoying for Telt than having to remember to DE and distribute shards at the end. Invariable someone forgot and hearthed out so I would have to chase them down in Dal or elsewhere.

The runs I've been on have been quite speedy and mostly wipe free. There are always a few deaths (see earlier mention of over-eager dps), but mostly things have been wipe free. The only exception was an AN run where it took 5 tries to get the Watch Him Die achieve. It would have been less if the group had listened to Viljo tell them how to do it before they tried a couple of other strategies...

The other odd thing about most of these runs is the absolute silence from most people. There is a tiny bit of strategy, but mostly people are just silently chain-pulling the entire instance. Even when I've said something I usually don't get a response. I can't tell if that is the other server's culture coming through or people being nervous about not looking like a fool.

So in general I have positive things to say about the new LFG system. Time will tell if Hyjal and the Whirlwind battle group gets a good instanceing culture, but so far things seem pretty good.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Random observations

I've not jumped all over the game in the last 3 days since the patch dropped, mostly because of work. But I've played some and here is what I have experienced and learned. Most but not all of it is patch related.

Northrend Inscription Research actually stops working, once you've learned all the glyphs you can use at level. Imagine my surprise to find out that now Ikoli is 73 it starts working again. So I've resumed building Ikoli's ... Inscription Resume.

• There are a lot of changes in Icecrown that aren't really part of the Citadel. A shrine, for example, has been added with Blood-Queen Lana'thel talking about a broken blade (Tolkein is rolling over in his grave). This is related to the new 5 mans in a way we shall soon discover; she is also a boss in Icecrown Citadel in the part not yet unlocked.

• Speaking of the new 5 mans, Sylvanas is the quest giver. Blizzard is clearly using a new voice actress for her; the difference grates on the ears since they did not replace her normal emotes.

• Timear is boring now and gives no quests. His stuff is replaced with random dailies you access from LFG. His achieve is now a Feat of Strength.

• Proof of Demise is now a weekly raid "...Must Die!" quest. Yes now I'm echoing the patch notes. The first one is Ignis. We will make sure to do these with Eeyan and Telt. That achievement is also a Feat of Strength. As far as I can tell there is no achieve for all the "...Must Die!" quests, which I interpret to mean they are leaving it open ended and will assign them in weekly server updates.

• The first boss in Icecrown Citadel, which has been acronym'd to ICC, is Marrowgar. New art - awesome. Old tactics - he's basically an uncomplicated combination of Leotheras, Patch and Najentus. We down'd him our first time in there, the second try ...after we got past the strategy writeups and realized what we were seeing.

• It appears that tabard rep now applies to all four Horde Expedition factions. I know, "tabard rep" is a misnomer as those reputation gains are what you get when you wear anything but a faction tabard. Anyhow Kuan & Viljo's Taunka and Hand of Vengeance rep shot up when they went into a 5man.

• ditto for some, but not all, of the Tourney dailies.

Forge of Souls was a straight shot. I would rate it easy. But Kuan healed in a pug our first (and thus far only) time through, and he had to work for it; we had a few deaths and a wipe even. So some might dispute my "easy" rating. Honestly though, you're supposed to be struggling through an instance.

• Forge of Souls is pretty. Blizz continues to rock the art with the undead instances. I loved Stratholme in "vanilla" for all the detailed art, and I love this.

• The pug was cross-server! I hate pugs in some sense. The above screenshot is everything wrong with the pugs, as well as illustrating a lot of what I've typed in this entry. Notice the pug-badness even is contagious to me, there I was the healer, idle and targeted on Viljo. The lock is not targeted on the skull and has pulled a mob with AOE damage into the casters. etc.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Go forth with confidence

The "Fall of the Lich King" patch is today! Servers are down, but that means now is the time to download it and get it launched, before everyone else is busy trying to sort it.

Somehow I don't think there'll be raiding tonight.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Troll should be on ravasaur

It's pretty neat how his eyes match Ikoli's shoulders.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Since Saturday night things have been pretty spiffy in Azeroth for Kuanchichi and Viljo.

Saturday night while bopping around on alts we noticed Ahngusbeaf, the bear-tank, asking for two more dps to run heroics. Viljo and Kuan have done a lot of achieves with Ahngus and so I suggested Heroic Occulus and the timed achieve, Make it Count. Ahngus and the other two members of the group said sure and we proceeded to smash through 5 heroics, getting just about every achieve.

Acheives that Kuan and Viljo didn't already have included: Split Personality (AOE for the win) and Lodi Dodi we Loves the Skadi. We failed to get On The Rocks in UK, and I'm not really sure why. Viljo was the only one who got the debuff, and I didn't Iceblock out of it or see anyone targeting the ice cube.

The last instance of the evening, we tried H Gun'drak. I figured that we were all a bit too sleepy and didn't have enough interrupts to get Less-Rabi. But we'd at least try for it. But then wonder of wonders, we got it! The rat bastard died without turning into a mammoth! Woo! We finished up the instance and managed to get Share the Love for the tank and another dps who needed it. After 6 heroics and a whole crapton of achievements we called it a night.

Sunday night, with a totally different group, Kuan and Viljo got Amber Void in Occulus. It really is a much slower fight without the Amber drakes, but totally doable.

Tuesday we went into Azjol-Nerub and got Watch Him Die. That achieve is a huge pain. We managed to kill Krik-whats-his-butt, but his adds took us all out. Still counted so I'm pleased. :D

The only achievements that Kuan and Viljo have left for Glory of the Hero are On the Rocks and Zombiefest.