Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pet Battle Update

Fang the Worg Pup, Ember the Phoenix Hatchling, and Clever Girl the Fossilized Hatchling make up my main battling team. They are all level 13. As I contemplated before, I ended up benching my Spirit of Competition and bringing my Phoenix Hatchling on to my pet battle team. Between captures and random faffing about I have various other pets at random levels. I'm trying to get a secondary team picked out, but it's really hard when the vast majority of cute pets are all beasts.


My pet team is making its way through the Kalimdor zones. I've beaten all the trainers up through Southern Barrens. I've got the quests to go defeat the separate trainers in both Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms. However, I'm not quite ready to actually go head to head with those trainers. I think I could beat the one with the lowest level pets, but that is the only one.

While I level my pets I've been doing my best to catch every available pet in a zone. It took me a while to get the phoenix caught up to the rest of the team so I've gotten a pretty good set of rare pets.

The only pet I've failed utterly to capture is the Giraffe Calf in Southern Barrens. It can spawn anywhere in Southern Barrens, but is very very rare. So rare, in fact, that despite leveling my team from 10 to 13 in Southern Barrens I've not seen even a single one.


When I had all three pets at level 12 I tried another pvp pet battle. It was rough but Clever Girl and Ember will still alive at the end of it. Fang unfortunately has no heals, so while he can shield himself, he can't regain any health.


I actually only have one addon that I use for the pet battles. Pet Theory gives you better sorting options, but most importantly it'll show you the quality of the pet you're currently fighting. It will also add the highest quality of the pet you have captured to your minimap and to the pet tooltip during battle. And it shows quality colored borders for the pets in your journal.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

mounts, why are they so hard.

Ever since 5.0 came out, I have been trying to mange the mounts properly. In 4.x, what I had done was set up this macro for riding mounts. I mostly wanted Kuan on raptors, with some exceptions (Zulian Tiger, Qiraji Battle tank), and on drakes. To get that in a macro, I just used the order in which they appear in the mount list:

/run if IsMounted() then Dismount() return end local t={5,8,9,16,20,21,31,43,46,47,48,52,52,55,60,61} CallCompanion("MOUNT",t[random(#t)])

to save buttons, I wanted flying and Vashj'ir on the same macro:

/run if not IsMounted() then local t={4,13,15,30,37,38,39,42,42,56,61}; local mapid={610, 614, 615}; for z,n in ipairs(mapid) do if (n==GetCurrentMapAreaID() and IsSwimming()) then t={1} end end CallCompanion("MOUNT",t[random(#t)]) end

I used the IDs becuase the names popped it way past 255 char limit on macro.  Note the above macros are for Kuan, but only the value of t changes for Eeyan.

However with 5.0, this doesn't work.  Blizzard combined the mounts - shifting the IDs - and moreover, reorders the mounts based on zone, instead of keeping them in a consistent ascii order.  ...I found it pretty distressing to have Kuan tumble off the edge of the top of Orgrimmar, becuase he's really on a Purple Skeletal Warhorse instead of a Rusted Iron Proto-drake.

it turns out there aren't actually, a lot of addons with this kind of functionality: randomly select from a user-selected subset of all mounts based on character!  they are all about auto selecting this and that based on zone and flying and whatnot, which I really just don't need.  I finally found Yay Mounts (creative name, I know), but while it could be keybound, it had no macro - and I've discovered I am seriously used to clicking a button, for mounting - keybindings are for battle, right...

anyhow now Yay Mounts lets you put /click YayMountsButton in a macro, so I'm going to do that.  for ground-only there's a /click YayMountsButton2 - but the '2' button doesn't handle dismounting right, so the macro has to be:

/click [nomounted] YayMountsButton2

now I just have to set it up all properly for all my characters.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


Mornara and Kuanchichi took a little bit of time to Trick or Treat in Pandaria last weekend.

And then Morn took some time to eat all the candy! NOM NOM NOM!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Stone Dogs and Feng and Sha

Last night was a pretty good raiding night. Darkfall killed the Stone dogs and Feng the Accursed in Mogu'Shan Vaults. We also had the good luck to have Sha of Anger alive in Kun-Lai Summit without a raid already forming to kill him.

Or raid on Tuesday had been mostly a bust. We'd killed the Stone Dogs for the first time last week. But that was a comp without the annoying Jasper Guardian. This week we had Cobalt, Amethyst, and Jasper, so there was a lot of crap on the floor to dodge while still staying near your chain buddy. Anyway Tuesday we'd made some progress on killing them while dancing around with the chains, but unfortunately we ran out of time before we actually killed them.

Last night we got back in there and on our second pull we squeaked out a win. A few late deaths meant that a second after the dogs enraged the entire raid but the monk healer was taking dirt naps. Between dots and the time it took for the dogs to run over to him, the monk had just enough of a chance to Touch of Death them. It was ridiculously epic.

We collected loot and headed onwards to Feng. We'd worked the kinks out of the first two phases last week, but were having trouble with the transition from second to third phase. Specifically we were headed into phase three with many stacks of draw flame on Feng and it just wasn't possible to live through that plus Arcane Velocity, or Resonance for that matter. We'd come up with a strategy tweak before end of raid last week, that I'd change the times I put down Nullification Barrier so that we'd not get stacks of evilness from the last draw flame before the phase change. However we'd not had a chance to really put that into effect before we had to end for the evening.

Last night we still had our excellent setup for the first two phases. We blasted through them, and found that the new strategy for dealing with draw flame worked white well. And then we had a Resonance right after a Velocity, and the raid dropped dead. So we had a couple of tries where we worked out making sure that the resonance didn't kill us while keeping close enough together for Velocity. A boss location change plus everyone turning on their range tracker and a little bit of everyone being aware and then the boss was dead!

And extra plus good was that Kuanchichi won the roll on a fabulous helmet from the Stone dogs and Mornara got an extra loot roll win of some lovely tanking wrists from Feng.

After I made everyone line up for the boss death screenshot of Feng we exited Mogu'Shan Vaults and flew around Kun-Lai Summit for a bit. Fortunately the Sha of Anger was up, and no one else was forming a raid to kill him. I promoted everyone to raid assist and through advertising in Org, Shrine of Two Moons, Valley of 4 Winds, and in Kun-Lai itself we managed to fill the raid. We even pulled in several guildies who hadn't been in the raid. With 12 or so Darkfall people in on the kill we got the Guild achieve for killing him!

Sadly he dropped nothing but gold for me, but I'm ok with a lovely guild achieve!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Sha of Repetitive Dailies

Mornara and Kuanchichi have been level 90 for a bit now. We are doing our best to get them geared up. This involves a fair amount of heroics. We got the achieve for completing all Pandaria dungeon heroics the other night. I rather like the Pandaria heroics, but that is a post for another day.

Gearing up also involves a ridiculously large number of dailies. Klaxxi, Tiller, and Golden Lotus are all necessary and add up to a pretty large number of dailies. I wouldn't mind if there were optional routes to the necessary rep. In the case of the tillers you technically can just plant and harvest your crops, but at 55 rep per crop that's a long, slow way to get more veggies for feasts. In the case of Golden Lotus getting to revered is required before you can start on the Shadow-pan rep grind.

With Golden Lotus you have a mixed blessing. As you gain more rep with them more daily hubs unlock. However Blizzard learned the wrong lesson from Molten Front and the DK starter quests. So you can't do the new dailies until you've slogged through the older sets of dailies for the day.

I was complaining about this to a friend I often chat with at work about tanky stuff. I opined that by the time I finally managed to get enough dailies done with Golden Lotus and then Shadow-Pan the rep gear I was able to buy would not be all that useful.

anyway, that's just the sha of despair talking
or maybe the sha of boredom
sha of repetitive dailies

sha of repetitive dailies
a lesser form of the sha of boredom
or maybe greater form?

the true form, imo
final phase
heroic mode only


Ah yes, the Sha of Repetitive Dailies. A fearsome and vile Sha. Be on guard!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

DIAF Hackers

My lovely plans for a relaxing morning drinking tea, eating scones, and either fishing or pet battling have been ruined. Entirely ruined. As of writing this the servers have been down for three hours. Initially, it was rolling restarts. Then it was the auth servers not being up. Now it appears that Blizzard is trying to fix a hack.

Why yes, that is some asshat killing everyone in Stormwind. No, I'm not linking to the various websites where the hackers are discussing and describing their hacks. I will note that this hack has been around for roughly three weeks, but Blizzard has neglected to fix it until now.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Pet Battles!

The other day I wanted to try out the pet battles. I looked through my pets to pick a roster.

First pet would definitely be my Worg Pup. I love the worg pup so much! Other than Dragon Kite, it's the pet that Morn has out most often.

Second pet? Ohhh, Spirit of Competition!

Third pet? Hmmm, I don't know! I have too many pets! Too many doubles and triples, and OMG there are 7 Sinister Squashlings, and 5 Peanuts, and 6 Horde Balloons, and 12 extra snakes?!


I spent the next 45 minutes sorting my pet tab of 219 pets. I took out all the doubles and mailed them off. Some of them I mailed to Kuanchichi, since I was pretty sure that DraNgNon didn't have a few of them. But most of them I mailed to Nivki, my banker alt. She can sell them or just get rid of them. By the time I was done I only had 116 pets in my tab.

Of the pets that I had left I spent another fifteen minutes picking out two favorites in every pet family.

I finally ended up with my third pet fighter being the fossilized hatchling. But I am also leveling the phoenix hatchling as a fourth, and the sea pony as my fifth battler.

I then embarked on the various pet battle quests. Both personal and quest log. For the quest log I ended up fighting my way through to the master pet trainer in Desolace. I'm now ready to be sent to Southern Barrens. Personal quest wise, I captured a whole lot of pets. There are so many cute ones. I think the cutest one I've caught so far is the Darkshore Cub, but the Rabid Nut Varmint and Stone Armadillo are up there too. I've only been mildly obsessive with the captures. I will continue on when I've got a green quality pet caught, though I prefer to wait for the blue quality.

Once I had a feel for it I tried a PvP pet battle. It turns out that, when you're not fighting wild critters a couple of levels below you, it's a lot harder to win. Also your opponent having the same number of pets as you is not nearly so one sided... Anyway, the PvP pet battle didn't go well. I need to reconsider my line up and how their abilities interact. I'm strongly considering swapping in the phoenix instead of the spirit of competition.

Now, I just need to come up with some names for my pets.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Level 90 & Pandaria First Impressions

Mornara and Kuanchichi hit level 90 last night. I'm sure we could have reached max level faster, but between work having annual reviews due two days after MoP launched and generally taking our time it was last night when we got there.

I have been having a fabulous time romping about. I'm really enjoying the story and art of Pandaria. The zones are beautiful and each has it's own feel. Honestly, the zones remind me more of Wrath than Cata. The Cata zones and story lines weren't bad, but they were nowhere near as awesome as the art and story of Wrath. Cata was also very strictly on rails.

We've also been taking a rather meandering path through the zones. We don't have any of the zone achieves for quest completion or exploration yet. Instead we've been following where the interesting bits of the story take us. It's made things a lot more interesting to have choices about where to go. The only exception is Jade Forest. The first third of Jade Forest is very tightly scripted. The interaction of the story between Horde and Alliance is tightly coupled, which makes for a great story. However there were a couple of quests I'd have preferred to have skipped.

There are several general quality of questing improvements that have appeared in Pandaria. These have helped make the quests even better than they already were.

One major improvement that I really like is the increased amount of voice acting. Several of the quest NPCs have their own voices and emotes and actually talk to you as part of the quest. This really helped make the section of Jade Forest that was on rails a lot more pleasant. In general, this also gives the world a more life-like feel. Not every orc has the same voice and emotes.

There are also a lot more cut scenes. Fortunately these cut scenes are actually quite well done. I still get mad when I think how a lot of the cut scenes in Uldum made your character act in ways that, for me, were totally out of character. (Morn is NOT going to cower just because some annoying hitler-wannabe goblin is pointing a rocket launcher at her. She is going to pop CDs, take the hit, and then come out swinging.) But the cut scenes so far in Pandaria just show you what is happening. You can choose how your character reacts to the events, the cutscene just gave you the event or some backstory with a really pretty view.

Phasing is also used to great effect. With all the events that happen there is a lot of phasing and There are several very well executed cut scenes that let phasing be put in without the cumbersome need to exit the area. I'm also quite impressed by the individual phase that every single character gets for their farm. It's your very own little section of Pandaria.

The drop rate and spawn rate of crafting materials is through the roof. Morn and Kuan are both fully maxxed on both their primary professions and First Aid. Ikoli and Viljo are maxxed on a primary profession each. Telt and Eeyan are well on their way with their crafting professions, too.

In general I am a lot more pleased with Pandaria than I'd expected after the dumb way that the Theramore scenario was introduced.