Friday, April 20, 2012

New Blogger Management UI

Well, I had a couple of half finished posts that I was going to finish up and schedule tonight. However, Blogger updated their ui, which messed up the formatting of all of those posts. Quite frankly the new UI is too ugly to deal with right now. Any posts I make would be (is) too grumpy. So the finishing touches for the Dragon Soul boss dialogue posts will have to wait until tomorrow at least.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Baradin Hold: Alizabal Dialogue

With the 4.3 patch a new boss was added to Baradin Hold. Her name is Alizabal, and she hates. She's not particular in what she hates. Though most of it is directed at the raid, since we're right that and easy to hate on.

Alizabal yells: How I HATE this place. My captors may be long-dead, but don't think I won't take it all out of you miserable treasure-hunters.

The hate starts before you even get to her.

Alizabal shares a model with Mother Sharazz and Dalliah the Doomsayer.

Alizabal yells: I hate adventurers.
Alizabal yells: My hate will consume you!
Alizabal yells: I hate armor.

Alizabal puts a nasty damage spell on one of the non-tanks. If everyone isn't grouped up to split the damage that person is going to die horribly.

Alizabal yells: I hate martyrs.

She also requires a tank swap due to frequently skewering the current tank to the ground with one of her swords.

Alizabal yells: I hate standing still.

Alizabal does a whirlwind effect similar to Bonestorm from Lord Marrowgar

Alizabal yells: Feel my hatred!
Alizabal yells: I hate you all!

Alizabal yells: I hate... every one of you...

Almost, I feel a little bad for her. She hates everything so much. Bah, who am I kidding, she drops purples: kill her!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I hate Ragnaros

I hate Ragnaros. He sucks the fun out of everything. And makes what had been a nice weekend end on a very sour note.

Let me back up. This weekend had been going pretty well WoW-wise.

Mornara and Kuan got their arenas done Saturday night. We had some excellent wins and each managed to get enough points to buy a new piece of gear. There were no humiliating defeats, and one excellent close fought match with one of our guildies and a friend of his. (Which reminds me I should check out a blood pvp spec.)

We got all of our 85s through a heroic or two. It's rather amusing to mix and match them so that we have at least one tank or healer in every group. Khyrie, my resto druid, is just barely qualified for heroics and I'm still learning all of her buttons and healer CDs. So it can get a little hairy while I remember what button will save the day. It was still a pretty good set of runs.

Our little bank guild side business is raking in modest profits. We've got a decent glyph business going and I'm emptying out a bunch of space in prep for Mists. It's enough money and then some to provide profession items and mount money for alts.

We had a Fireland run scheduled for Sunday night. Last week's run had gone so well I was looking forward to it. And indeed we smashed through all of the first 6 bosses. We had our boomkin extraordinaire there to get his staff items, so we didn't try for Bucket List. However, we did get Death From Above again and a few people were missing Share the Pain, which we just got incidentally. We even played around with Majordomo Staghelm and kept him in scorpion form for 43 stacks. It was hilarious, and he died so fast.

But then... then the fun was over: it was time to kill Ragnaros.

I don't like the Ragnaros fight in Firelands. It's recycled and not all that interesting. It is also one of those fights where if someone makes a small mistake it's unrecoverable. Most of the mistakes end up being about letting a son get through. Either through confusion about who was on what, or because someone got themselves killed and even with DS gear you still have to be on your toes to get the sons dead before they explode the raid.

As we got to Ragnaros both DraNgNon and I started to stress out. My stress was not reduced by one of our mages being a total nub and not knowing the fight or his class all that well. Nor was it reduced by the other mage being a smartass when I tried to give out instructions for the son assignments.

We had 45 minutes left when we got to Rag and we weren't able to kill him before we ran out of time for the night even though we did a few extra pulls. If we'd gotten to Madness with that much time, with the same group, it would have been a cakewalk. I really hate Ragnaros.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Raid Achievements!

This past Sunday and Tuesday were good nights for a few raid achievements.

Sunday we raided into Firelands. Our most progressed staff person was out on vacation, so instead of trying to kill everything asap for quest items we went for some of the more time consuming achievements. Bucket List and Death From Above.

Bucket List took a lot of clearing. Fortunately our group was pretty solid so it was just a matter of getting everything out of the way. It was a pretty fun achieve to do. I always take Riplimb so I can spam Chains of Ice if there isn't a trap handy. Kuanchichi ended up with the skull marker and, since DraNgNon knew where to go, ended up being the person that the Shannox tank followed around. It worked like a charm.

Death From Above took us a bit to work the strategy out for. I had to call for several wipes because we'd have a drone or two die in the second phase. But once we figured out the plan for how much and when to kill drones it was a very smooth kill.

Tuesday, we did Dragon Soul. I can't tell if it's general end of expansion burnout or everyone logging on to the beta, but we were just barely able to field a 10man raid. We tried for heroic Morchok and were very very close, but we were ultimately stymied by a number of disconnects. If you don't have 5 people to soak the stomp it's practically impossible to get everyone healed up to survive the crystal and next stomp.

However, all that practice on heroic Morchok made it very easy to get Don't Stand So Close to Me

That also happened to be our 50th raid boss kill since the guild achieves for raiding were added in. So double achieve!

I really love guild achievements, and Darkfall is now up to 1690 points.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Hour of Twilight

It's old news now, but with the 4.3 patch there were three new heroic dungeons released. They all have to do with retrieving the Dragon Soul and getting it to Wyrmrest Temple for use against Deathwing. Hour of Twilight is the third dungeon in the set. You're there to help Thrall make his way to Wyrmrest with the Dragon Soul.

Of course, this is no simple task. He can't fly there, because there are far too many black and twilight dragons patrolling and attacking the temple. His plan to sneak in with a small escort force (you) is discovered and quickly turns into a set of battles to reach the temple safely.

Thrall says: Alexstraza's drakes will pick us up on the other side of this abandoned excavation site. Check your weapons this place stinks of an ambush.
Let me know when you are ready to proceed.


Thrall says: Heroes, we have the Dragon Soul. The Aspects await us within Wyrmrest. Hurry - come with me!
Arcurion yells: Shaman! The Dragon Soul is not yours. Give it up and you may yet walk away with your life.

Side note: these screen shots are from the first time I ran this. So when Thrall was all "Lets move out" I hopped into my mechano-hog and was ready to hightail it to the temple. A guildie warlock who was with Kuan and Mornara hopped into the side car with me. Neither of us were pleased when the first set of ice elementals appeared.

Thrall says: What magic is this?
Thrall says: Look out!
Arcurion yells: Destroy them all, but bring the Shaman to me!
Thrall says: Hurry - we must keep moving.

Thrall says: Take a moment to catch your breath before we move on.
Arcurion yells: You will go nowhere, Shaman.

Thrall says: Show yourself!
Arcurion yells: You're a fool if you think to take your place as the Aspect of Earth, Shaman!
Arcurion yells: You're a mere mortal. It is time you died like one.

Twilight forces begin to appear around the canyon's edges.
Thrall says: We're surrounded - dispatch the ascendant while I keep the ambushers at bay.
Arcurion begins to freeze Thrall in a block of ice.
Arcurion yells: The Shaman is mine, focus on his companions!
Thrall yells: You've almost got him! Og'nor ka Lok'tar - Now we finish this!
Arcurion yells: The Hour of Twilight falls - the end of all things - you cannot stop it. You are nothing. NOTHING!

Arcurion yells: Nothing! Nothing...

After Arcurion is dead Thrall shatters the ice wall he'd put up and we continue on towards the bones giant protodrake bones. Thrall goes wolfie and slowly runs there. I fondly remember helping Thrall break out of Old Hillsbrad. And I was really pleased with how fast he moved then. It felt less like a dumb escort quest and more like a running battle. Sadly, it seems that since becoming the world shaman Thrall has forgotten how to run. He kind of skips along in some sort of hold-my-dress-up-with-one-hand gait. It makes me want to yell at him every time I'm in this dungeon.

Asira Dawnslayer

Anyway, once Thrall makes his way to the abandoned excavation the party must fight off a bunch of ambushes and attacks. I'm a big fan of the buff totem he puts down. And though he still has that ridiculous run, Thrall is quite proactive about moving on to the next group to fight. We finally clear the area and get to the location where the red drakes are supposed to meet us for our final flight to the tower.

Of course there is a bit of a hitch:

Thrall says: Up there, above us!
Asira Dawnslayer yells: Where do you think you're going, little lizard?
Thrall says: An assassin! Quickly, ready yourselves for battle!
Asira Dawnslayer yells: ...and with that out of the way, you and your flock of fumbling friends are next on my list. Mmm, I thought you'd never get here!

Asira Dawnslayer yells: Now you see me...
Asira Dawnslayer yells: You're much... better... than I thought...

Thrall says: Well done. Let us see to our friend...
Thrall resurrects the slain red drake
Thrall says: The rest of the drakes should be here shortly. I'll fly on ahead; catch up when you can.

And then Thrall, who KNOWS that the whole place is crawling with dragons and Twilight's Hammer ambushers, flys off. Leaving us, his guards, in the dust (well snow) behind him.

Archbishop Benedictus

Life Warden whispers: Look there! It looks as though the Twilight Cultists have brought the Old Gods and their corruptoin to Wyrmrest. Hold on tight!
Twilight Drake yells: Death to all who oppose us!
Twilight Drake yells: Death to all who oppose us!

And then the poor red drake you're riding is shot out from under you. You land right next to Thrall, who also had his drake killed out from under him. Fortunately you're all on the section of the Path of the Titans just north of Wyrmrest Temple. You've just got to fight through a whole bunch of Old God minions and get to the base of the temple.

However, even once you get to the temple you're not done. Archbishop Benedictus greets you at the door and helps seal the entryway behind you to keep out the Old God minions.

Archbishop Benedictus says: Get inside, quickly! I'll hold them off!
Archbishop Benedictus says: And now, Shaman, you will give the Dragon Soul to ME.
Thrall says: I will NOT, Archbishop. It will never be yours.
Archbishop Benedictus says: I suppose it has to be this way, then. If only you'd seen what I've seen. THEN you'd understand.
THrall says: You were a figurehead of the Light, Benedictus. How could you betray your own people?
Archbishop Benedictus says: There is no good. No evil. No Light. There is only POWER!

I'm not sure if he's got a gnarly neck beard or if that is the collar of his robes. Either way: scary power mad archbishop!

Archbishop Benedictus says: We serve the world's TRUE masters! When their rule begins, we will share in their glory!
Archbishop Benedictus yells: And YOU! We will FEAST on your ashes! Now, DIE!

Archbishop Benedictus yells: The Light will consume you!
Archbishop Benedictus yells: Witness my POWER!

Thrall helps out with the fight to start with, giving players a buff and helping remove some of Benedictus' abilities. However, once Benedictus takes some damage he goes all Twilight. Thrall gets stunned and locked into a Twilight Prison and you're on your own for the second phase.

Archbishop Benedictus yells: Drown in Shadow!
Archbishop Benedictus yells: I looked into the eyes of The Dragon, and despaired...

And now the Dragon Soul has safely reached Wyrmrest. Things are set up for the Dragon Soul raid to begin.

Monday, April 2, 2012


So Mists of Pandaria is officially in beta and has been for a couple of weeks now. There are many announcements about new and exciting panda-stuff. We finally get to see the female Pandaren model. There are new battlegrounds. Apparently there will be an Orgrimmar raid. There will even be an eleventh character slot for everyone.

As usual with the end of an expansion, I have mixed feelings about all of this stuff. Usually that is because I'm still working on getting the end of the previous expansion wrapped up. In fact, in all previous expansions I didn't kill the end boss until months or possibly years later. It's nice that Deathwing is dead by my hand already.

I'm not excited about playing a Panda. Oh, I'll roll one up to see the starting area. But I'm not seeing myself leveling a new panda to anything resembling a high level. Frankly I've never been really interested in them, they always seemed like an in-joke tossed in because Samwise Didier has a nickname of Panda. I like my orc, bloodelf, and trolls far to much to play some sort of lame joke character. I'm also rather disappointed by how the female Pandaren look. I'm not surprised, but I am sad. It would have been nice if Blizzard kept the Panda females just as chubby as the males.

I am intrigued by the new monk class. I wish it had been Demon Hunter instead but I'll try a Monk out. Unless the play style is super awesome I'm not seeing myself switch away from Morn and her awesome Death Knight-ness.

New character slots is an excellent idea. Only one per server seems a little bit lame, but at least it is something. And I am excited about new types of BGs. Of course, I'm super excited about the new zones and story we'll get for Pandaria. I have some vague hope that we won't get a new level of professions, but then again they aren't outpacing weapon skills anymore because we no longer have weapon skills... So I'm sure there will be a new level of professions with all new mats to farm and JC tokens to grind.

I'm not pleased about the Orgrimmar raid. I'm a displeased that it was revealed immediately that Garrosh would go down. I do try to stay away from next expansion spoilers. But since it's been pretty well publicized that Garrosh is going to be a final raid boss I don't feel too bad about it.

But, what could make the Horde turn against Garrosh?

Sorry Alliance people, but I'm pretty sure that the Alliance is already quite happy to kill Garrosh. Varian has a huge grudge against him dating back to the cutscene from the Ulduar release, and that was only made worse in TOC. Then Cata pretty much sealed the deal with the various invasions.

For Horde we have a bunch of different players with various grudges.

Vol'jin: Has outright said he'd kill Garrosh. Near the end of the Troll starting area you see a replay of a conversation that Vol'jin and Garrosh had after Cairne's death. That's when you see that Vol'jin promised to wait until everyone saw that Garrosh is a failure and then kill him.

Thrall: Is angry at how Garrosh is leading the Horde. As part of helping Aggra get his elemental bits back into one body you see that he's conflicted and angry at how Garrosh has handled things. However, he relinquished the mantle of Warchief to become World Shaman. And especially now that the Dragon Aspects are mortal and used up their power I think his duty as World Shaman is even more important.

Baine: Garrosh killed his father! Ok, Magratha poisoned the weapon, but Garrosh stuck the killing blow.

Sylvanas: She's a bit of a stretch. I'm sure she'd be happy to see Garrosh out of the way. However, aside from him calling her a bitch and restricting the use of plague I don't see any specific grudge. Oh she'd be happy to join a Garrosh-hunting party, but at current I don't think she'd lead it.

Zaela: As Horde you help Zaela kill the (fel orc) leader of the Dragonmaw and establish her as Dragonmaw warchief. She is absolutely overjoyed to welcome "orcs of pure blood" and to get rid of the fel tainted Overlord Mor'ghor. Garrosh meets her right after she's executed Mor'ghor and they seem to hit it off. I was hoping that she and Garrosh would get it on. Two proud warrior leader types: it seemed like it'd be an excellent match. And maybe that would help mellow Garrosh out. But if Garrosh gets himself fel tainted I can only see her leading the charge to annihilate him. She's been under the thumb of a fel orc before, and isn't going to stand for that again.

Saurfang: In Borean Tundra you watch as Saurfang cautions Garrosh about attacking too much and leaving no defense. He promises to kill Garrosh him self if Garrosh takes the Horde on a genocidal path like that.

So, thinking about all of that I think that the most plausible story going forward would be for Garrosh to get himself fel tainted somehow. Shadow Council interference, maybe some Old God influence, or even just straight up drinking demon blood. It is about time for the Burning Legion and Kil'Jaeden to stick their noses back into Azeroth. Willfully and with open eyes Garrosh gets himself fel tainted, even though he really should know better after his father's mistake. Maybe he thinks it's the only way to defeat the Alliance or save the Horde or who knows what went on in his roid rage skull. Rades thinks it could be a completely dishonorable act that makes Garrosh think he has no choice but to accept some really horrible help.

But when the rest of the Horde found out that he'd been drinking demon blood all hell would break loose.
Zaela says "We want only orcs of pure blood here! Get your fel tainted ass out of bed, I mean out of the Horde!"
Baine chimes in "My name is Baine Bloodhoof. You killed my father. Prepare to die."
Sylvanas would be ready, "No one calls the Banshee Queen a bitch!"
Thrall says "I did not ask for this! I will not let you ruin the Horde!"
Saurfang speaks "Garrosh your day has come!"
And after Garrosh was defeated but not dead Vol'jin would appear from the shadows and shoot Garrosh. One swift shot and Garrosh falls to the ground with a pool of his own blood growing around him.

Now as silly as the above dialogue is I don't actually have any objection to Garrosh being replaced as leader of the Horde. I didn't want him as Warchief to start with! I never wanted Thrall to step down from Warchief and do his shaman thing, but even so there were many better choices for Warchief that Garrosh. Abasik Kampfire for one, but Cairne or Vol'jin would each have made an excellent Warchief.

I guess my main beef with Garrosh being ousted as leader of the Horde is that the Alliance is going to get to kill him. Both DraNgNon and I have a pretty fierce faction pride. We play Horde characters. We both do city defense whenever we see the Alliance attacking. Despite my desire to see the story from both sides I have been unable to get an Alliance toon past level 64. I just can't stand the Alliance quests in Outland and their story in Northrend doesn't seem all that interesting either. But now the Alliance is going to get to kill our Warchief?!? He may be a piss poor excuse for a Warchief, and make terrible tactical decisions (like losing the entire Horde Airfleet in the attack on Twilight Highlands), but he is still the Warchief of the Horde!

Quests from the Son

After we cleared Dragon Soul in one evening last Tuesday, we had to think of what to do on Thursday. So Clara assembled an alt run of Dragon Soul. She brought Viljo, and I brought Eeyan. Viljo cleaned up btw and now has his 4pc t13 now. I don't have that on any character...

However Eeyan still hadn't figured out how to get to Hiram Creed and kill him, so there were no [Elementium Gem Clusters] for us. I was sad, and feeling a bit inadequate. So I respec'd Eeyan's never-ever-used Multilate spec to Subtlety, and it took me 15 minutes to get to him. Go me! Then Eeyan died on 5 attempts and ran out of food, and I realized he had the wrong glyphs; I had been so excited about the get-to-him part of the quest I hadn't considered the "assassinate him" part. Oops. I was busy, so I logged him out right there for a couple days and sent him glyphs and food.

Last night, I logged him back on to find another rogue rezzing in the opposite corner! I grabbed the food out of the mail, and we both brought Creed down. Success!

Eeyan flew back to Ravenholdt to report his success to Wrathion, Blackwing's son. Wrathion might be uncorrupted, but as a black dragon he still is a class-A Asshole. And angry. But his character design is almost as interesting as Nozdormu's.

Wrathion was pretty pleased with Eeyan for downing Hiram Creed. Eeyan now has the entirely awesome "stage 1" daggars, [Fear] and [Vengeance]. And, a quest for 333 Elementium Gem Clusters. Hopefully there will be a lot more alt runs of Dragon Soul in Darkfall's future.

The daggars look spiffy. I dropped Landslide on both of them. I don't have to feel "a bit inadequate" anymore.

Now I just need to get Eeyan some matching boots and he will look as put together as the rest of my level 85s. Somehow I wasn't that worried about it until he got those daggars.