Saturday, December 21, 2013

Mr. Pinchy

Just over a week ago I was spending a bit of quality time in Outland. I've been working, off and on, on getting Morn the last bits of rep she needs from the Skyguard and Ogri'la. While I was in Skettis I figured it wouldn't hurt to do a bit of fishing. I usually fish at least one or two Highland Mixed Schools, just in the off chance that I'll fish up Mr. Pinchy.

Apparently this was my lucky day. I did catch Mr. Pinchy!

My first wish gave me the Magical Crawdad battle pet!

My second and third wishes gave me Benevolent Mr. Pinchy as a level 70 guardian. Sadly Benevolent Mr. Pinchy can't keep up when I go through portals or fly anywhere, but still impressive looking.

It took me a couple of tries to get a name that would actually stick. Blizz pops a "Mature Language" error when you try to use any variation of Mr. in a name. However, Pinchy is allowed.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Women of Draenor??

With the announcement of the new Warlords of Draenor Expansion there is a lot of excitement and also a fair amount of shrieking. I'm hearing shrieks of joy about character models and garrisons and the change to toys and heirlooms. But right now the shrieks seem to be about gender equality and they are not joyful in the least.

If you follow the Warlords of Draenor link, you'll come to a lovely informative page. It's got a trailer and news and maps and art. The expansion looks like it'll be awesome.

Looking at that page you see it is full of Orcs. This makes sense. Garrosh has gone back in time and stopped the Orcs from drinking Manoroth's blood, and given them a tech boost. So the Orcs have formed the Iron Horde and are now rampaging across Draenor with the the intent of bursting into Azeroth and rampaging there too. So we get Iron Horde orcs as baddies.

However, that page is very male dominated. All the orcs on that page and all the humans are male. There are a few shots of a female draenei. But no orc women or human women or any other women. And a large number of people are full of unhappy shrieking about this.

Now as Big Bear Butt points out, this is Blizz's story. They can write it however they want to. And they do! That's fine. We the players are only entitled to enjoy the story as it is.


Blizz doesn't always get their own story right, as the existence of the Wildhammer Fact Checker proves. They sometimes need some help to be reminded about all the info that their giant universe has. And I think they need to be reminded that Orc society is matriarchal. As any Horde player saw in Nagrand, Greatmother Geyah was the one in charge at Garadar. Yes there are warchiefs, but the actual town and village is controlled by the women. The warchief is just there to be in control the wars. (Unless you get craziness like Garrosh...)

So where is Geyah? Or Draka for that matter? If Durotan is around then Draka should be too. And as Anne Stickney puts it so much more eloquently than I can Where is Aggra?

I hope that all of the female orcs (and some non-orcs too!) show up sooner rather than later, but the fact that they aren't on the main Warlords of Draenor page doesn't give me a lot of hope as to the magnitude of their role in the story.

Yes, it's Blizz's story and they can tell it however they want. But it'll be a better and more interesting story if it isn't merely a boys clubhouse.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Warlords of Draenor

Blizzcon has come and gone with a whole lot of new things announced. I'm actually pretty excited about the next WoW Expansion. There are a lot of things to look forward to.

I have to admit that the thing I'm most looking forward to is the updated character models. The Vanilla and BC races are currently looking a bit tired. It wasn't so bad before, but when comparing an orc or troll to the pandaren is it painfully obvious that there needs to be more polygons for the original races.

The next most exciting thing I saw announced is the changes to raiding. Blizzard has finally entirely caved in and the flex model is going to be here to stay. Current flex will become the new normal. Current normal will become the new heroic, and current heroic will go up to a fixed size of 20 people and be called Mythic. I am overjoyed at both the extension of flex to two gradations of raiding and at the fact that the single raid size Blizz settled on is 20 people. I think that fits perfectly with the 10-25 flexible sizes of the other raids. It basically means that if you're going after Mythic raiding you'll take your entire roster into the flexible Normal level raids.

Something that entirely surprised me about the new WoW announcements was the Garrison. I think the comment I saw that best describes it is that Blizzard decided that Player Housing was boring, so instead they went with a Player TOWN. A full on walled town that you build and populate. This has some seriously awesome potential, especially since you can actually invite your friends to visit. The party or raid leader can allow a full 40 man raid into their Garrison. If I were into RP I'd be dancing for joy about that. I am looking forward to gathering followers and sending them on missions.

The one thing I'm a bit dubious about is the storyline itself. Yes, yes, Garrosh escapes before his trial, and travels into the past to stop his Daddy from drinking Mannoroth's blood. He also gives the orcs a big technology boost, and thus the Iron Horde is formed. I just am dubious about why we try to fight the Iron Horde after Garrosh has mucked about with the past. My rampant speculation is that this is the expansion that we see Nozdormu turn into Murozond.

See, if Nozdormu were still fully and truly on our side he'd help by sending a strike team back in time before Garrosh corrupted the timeline. Maybe he can't stop Garrosh from breaking free, but an assassin team waiting for him to appear in Draenor past would put a stop to his machinations.

We know that in the future Nozdormu turns into Murozond. And we know that Murozond still has the ability to control time. (See events in the End Time dungeon.) So clearly either Noz is holding out on us currently, or he's about to go bat-shit crazy and try to disrupt the time stream in some twisted effort to get his time controlling powers back. Either way I suspect that we'll see an end boss of some raid that is Nozdormu/Murozond.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Taran Zhu and Sunwalker Dezco Dialogue

The following dialogue happened on the terrace of Shrine of Two Moons after patch 5.3. Taran Zhu, was understandably peeved with Garrosh's actions of digging up the Vale of Eternal Blossoms.

Taran Zhu says: Tauren! What have your people done? You have dredged open a scar within our sacred Vale!
Sunwalker Dezco says: Lord Zhu, please understand - the orc "Warchief" who ordered the deed no longer speaks for the whole of the Horde. Many voices are rising up against him.
Taran Zhu says: Your politics are no concern of mine. Your Horde has disrespected the sanctity of this place. You are no longer welcome here - leave at once!
Sunwalker Dezco says: Give us time, Lord Zhu. Give us the opportunity to bring Hellscream to justice.

Taran Zhu says: Sunwalker, I respect your people. You have aided us in our campaign against the Sha and the Thunder King. Othewise I would've already ordered the Shado-Pan to purge this entire shrine. But my patience is at an end. The Horde must leave.
Sunwalker Dezco says: Please. Give us time to make this right.
Taran Zhu stares grimly into the distance.
Taran Zhu says: Very well. You have until season's end. No longer.
Taran Zhu says: We pandaren are no strangers to dealing with tyrants. The coming battle will try your souls. May the celestials guide your actions.

I'm almost sad that Dezco persuaded Taran Zhu not to kick the Horde out of the Vale. It would have sparked fighting if he had tried, but perhaps the heart wouldn't have been found.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Throne of Thunder: Lei Shen Dialogue

Once you fight your way through the Throne of Thunder the last boss you face will be Lei Shen the Thunder King himself. He's on a platform channeling lightning into the four conduits at the corners.

To get to that platform you need to use the Displacement Pad. Of course, as soon as you get near it Lei Shen is all peeved with you.

Lei Shen yells: You! You have earned my ire. I will make an example of you, such that all who look upon my might will tremble and submit.

Regardless of Lei Shen's ire we all displace over to his platform.

Lei Shen yells: I am Lei Shen, slayer of kings and gods. You have made a grave mistake.

Once you start the fight Lei Shen is, of course, full of bluster about how he's going to wipe the floor with you.

Lei Shen yells: Submit!

During the first phase the AoE that Lei Shen will use is Thunderstruck.

Lei Shen yells: Kneel!
Lei Shen yells: Die!
Lei Shen yells: You would challenge me in my own sanctum? Witness your folly!

The first phase lasts until you bring him down to 65% health. He'll attempt to Decapitate the tank he is is on periodically. So swap tanks and run away. Once he gets to 65% health he'll move to the center of the room and use all the abilities from each conduit.

Lei Shen yells: Bah! I will crush you myself. Let us see how you fare against Lightning.
Lei Shen yells: Kneel before me!

If you manage to survive the intermission, Lei Shen will burn one conduit out and then come after you again in a repeat of the first phase.

Lei Shen yells: My judgement is final.

Lei Shen yells: Unworthy.

When someone dies Lei Shen is rather rude and judgemental.

Lei Shen yells: My power cannot be contained!
Lei Shen yells: Lightning, seek my foes!

Lightning Whip isn't too terrible, just don't stand in the bad, and you'll be fine.

Lei Shen yells: No! You are UNWORTHY! I... AM... THE THUNDER KING!

After the second intermission and subsequent destruction of a second conduit, you've only got half the room to work with. Hopefully you've actually got a contiguous half of the room, or the last phase will be rough. Regardless Lei Shen is rather angry and a bit desperate at this point.

Lei Shen yells: Wind, heed my call!
Lei Shen yells: Lightning, seek my foes!
Lei Shen yells: I sought only to finish... the work of the Gods...

In the last phase he'll try to blow you off the platform with Violent Gale Winds. If you fail to fall to your death he will use Lightning Whip and Thunderstruck to try to destroy the raid.

Once you've defeated him Lei Shen will basically say he was just trying to do the right thing. I don't believe him, but it was a pretty epic fight.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Rivendare's DeathCharger

Being a Death Knight has a few advantages. Being an unstoppable juggernaut of death is all well and good, but in this case having Death Gate made it a lot more efficient to run Stratholm dead side over and over.

Friday, October 18, 2013

How not to be an Asshole Tank: LFR Version

It has now been a full expansion plus the preceding raid tier (Dragon Soul) that we have had access to LFR. Generally I am not a fan of LFR. I prefer normals or the spiffy new flex. I want to raid with my guildies, who are skilled and fun to raid with. However, the Wrathion legendary quests have required some LFR and I have done some in general for gear and valor points. When I zone into any instance I have a few expectations. No matter if it is a scenario, a 5man dungeon, or a raid, I expect that the people there have made some sort of effort to learn and equip their class. I still have these expectations in LFR, though my standards are a bit lower.

Wear appropriate gear. If you are a tank that gear is likely to have some combo of mastery, dodge, and parry. With haste for pallies and crit for bears and monks.

Make sure that the gear you will be wearing is gemmed and enchanted. It doesn't have to be perfectly optimally enchanted; some of the weapon enchants are expensive, and this is just LFR we are talking about. But you really, really need to have gems in all your sockets.

Check your reforges (in combination with your gems) and try to get the correct amount of the right stats. Ask Mr Robot is helpful for this, as well as several auto reforge addons. If you don't like Mr Robot's stat weights at least use something else to make sure you're hit/expertise capped.

The important thing (and what sparked this post) is that when you queue for LFR you're signing up to be there until the last boss of the wing is dead. Right now in Siege of Orgrimmar the queue is tank blocked. So if a tank queues and then drops after one or two bosses the rest of the raid is left sitting there twiddling their thumbs waiting and waiting for another tank. When you click that tank check box you're saying you'll be there for the wing. You're not saying that you'll flake after the first boss doesn't drop the loot you want.

I thought that the above expectations weren't excessive, but my experiences in LFR recently have proven me wrong. The dearth of tanks in LFR seems to be caused by a large number of tanks randomly dropping after a single boss or a single wipe. Some of them left the raid after being embarrassed when they were called out for dying too easily and it was pointed out they had no gems or enchants. In the five LFR I've run over the past two weeks I've not completed a single one with the same two tanks that it was started with.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Bear Kyrie

Over the past few days I've swapped one of Khyrie's specs from cat to bear. She kept her other spec as resto so she now has dual specs of healer and tank. If I wasn't already used to questing in the world as a tank from Mornara it could be problematic but between that and usually running around with one of DraNgNon's toons it shouldn't be an issue.

Khyrie's old cat spec was handy for dailies and a bit of questing, but I have come to realize that I am just not a fan of playing melee characters. Of course, I used to say that about anything other than playing mage, so we will see if that stays true in the future.

Anyway, over the weekend I did a bit of reading on the Elitist Jerks druid forums. And in an unsurprising turn of events the gear for bears and cats is pretty similar, so all the cat gear I'd been picking up from Timeless Isle stood Khyrie in good stead when she went bear. I did have to swap a bunch of gems and enchants and reforge pretty much anything. Because I'd only been doing dailies as a cat I'd kept that gear with only enough hit to deal with a level 92 mob, not a level 93 boss.

I also had to get a whole bunch of glyphs from Ikoli. With four druid specs I'd been slacking and hadn't picked up all of the bear glyphs. Of course once I had them all I needed to figure out what to actually use. Khyrie currently has some actual bear glyphs, but I am not sure if there aren't better ones for her. And I'm sure that I'll want to swap them out on a fight by fight basis if I ever take her into a normal mode raid.

Once I had glyphs and gear and talents sorted out I set up Khyrie's ability bars for bear. I've tried to keep the same sort of abilities in the same place as I have it for Morn's blood spec. Of course it can't be an exact mapping, but I have her basic single target attacks on my left hand, aoe and interrupts and debuffs on the right, and CDs on the left hand shift. My hope was that even if I wasn't sure about what abilities to use when I went into a dungeon I'd still hit roughly the right thing just by muscle memory flailing.

So then Khyrie was set up to bear tank. I'd even visited the barber shop to keep from being Christmas Bear. It was time, time to actually queue up for a heroic. I made DraNgNon bring Kuan along, just in case Khyrie totally was squishy or unable to hold aggro.

I ended up doing two instances as bear, one with Kuan healing and one with Ikoli healing. It wasn't too bad. I will say that it is a whole different kettle of fish to tank when you're outgeared by 30 or more ilvls. This is not an issue for Morn, but it was difficult to figure out the correct sequence while struggling to hold aggro against some well geared dps. At least their gear kept them from dying when I failed to have enough taunts or aggro to keep the mobs on me.

Despite a bit of initial grumpyness I had a pretty good time bear tanking. The basic bear tools seem to be pretty decent. I don't feel familiar enough with them yet to really compare bear vs. DK. However, I'm sure that familiarity and some comparisons will come with more tanking. I'm also sure that DraNgNon will drag me into a LFR. It should be amusing to have Tylara and Khyrie tanking together.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sandbox Tiger

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Unborn Valkyr!

I was wandering around doing pet battles while I ate breakfast this morning and on a whim I decided to take a short break from leveling up Chi-chi to check if there was an Unborn Valkyr in Northrend. I had stationed Kairon, my level 74 hunter, out in the back of beyond of Storm Peaks. And just like with the Minfernal I log him in occasionally and see if there is a Valkyr spawned.

Imagine my surprise when I checked this morning and there was an actual Unborn Valkyr sitting there waiting for me. I was so worried that it would cast Unholy Ascension and kill itself before I had a chance to actually trap it.

Fortunately my fears were unfounded and the Terrible Turnip captured it!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Sumprush Rodent

I spent some time killing Alliance soldiers for fun and profit down in Krasarang the other night. I had twin goals: reclaim two bag slots and get a Sumprush Rodent. Being able to gather and then aoe on that beach by the Alliance fort is really handy. It took a lot less time than I was expecting to get the last 750 Alliance Insignias that I needed.

Even better the second pet I fought was blue:

Monday, September 30, 2013

Celestial Tournament: Week Three

The third week the first round of Celestial Tamers are: Blingtron 4000, Wise Mari, and Shademaster Kiryn.

Wise Mari
{Crow, Mechanical Pandaren Dragonling, Eternal Strider}
The crow is faster than Wise Mari's first pet so lead off with Alpha Strike. Second round Call Darkness, third round Nocturnal Strike. Alpha Strike until Wise Mari's first pet dies then swap to your Pandaren Dragonling. Decoy and then Flame Breath until you kill the second pet. Bring in your Strider then Pump, Water Jet, Heal, and then just Pump until you win.

Blingtron 4000
{Sea Pony, Electrified Razortooth, Fel Flame}
Start out with your Sea Pony, or any water strider pet. Pump, water jet, and pump, and the first of Bling's pets will be dead. Swap to your Razortooth, or any other elemental pet with beast attacks. Bleed, Blood in the Water, Water Jet, refresh Bleed, the second pet will die pretty fast. When Bling's last pet (Lil'Bling) comes out put up bleed, and hit Blood in the Water if it's up again, then Water Jet until your pet dies. Swap to your Fel Flame and toast Lil'Bling until he is dead. I had a nice combo of Immolate, Conflagrate and then Burn to fill in until I needed to refresh Immolate or Conflagrate was off cooldown.

Shademaster Kiryn
{Flayer Youngling, Terrible Turnip, Amber Moth}
At first I tried an undead pet against Kiryn's first pet, however that stupid yeti has a critter attack so that failed miserably. I swapped over to the Flayer Youngling so that it would take less damage from the Yeti's main attack. Just kick every time it is up and hit Blitz otherwise. Once the yeti is dead switch in your Terrible Turnip, change the weather to sunshine, and then Tidal Wave to make sure the Turrets die. Leech Seed if you have a chance, but only if you won't take an extra round of turret damage. When your Turnip dies swap in the Flayer to finish the second pet and to whittle down the third pet as much as possible. Kick and deflection are pretty nice against the third pet. Finish off with your moth, cocoon is handy vs the prowled attack from Kiryn's wolf.

{Corefire Imp, Silkbead Snail, Festival Lantern}
I changed up my Chi-Chi team this week as well. I got a snail leveled up and used that instead of the previous Vicidius Globule. Ooze Touch and Acidic Goo are pretty much all you need, but Dive is good to use when Chi-Chi has his dodge ability up. So still lead off with the Corefire Imp with Immolation and wild magic, but then bring in the Snail for Acidic Goo and Ooze Touch. Because critters take less elemental damage I never even needed to bring in the Festival Lantern at all this week. If I level up another snail or two I'll swap my Chi-Chi team to be entirely snails.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Random Shrine of Two Moons Screenshot

Of course he sells meat:

Monday, September 23, 2013

Celestial Tournament: Second Week

Work has been kicking my ass lately so I've been a bit WoW deprived this week. Hence I didn't get to look at this week's Celestial Tournament until Friday. This week's trainers are Wrathion, Taran Zhu, and Chen Stormstout.

Chen Stormstout
{Robo Chicken, Kun-lai Runt, Chuck}
Robo Chicken will handily take out Chen's first pet, a beast. Once that is dead keep your Robo Chicken in until it gets put to sleep. Only then swap the Kun-lai Run in. Proceed to have your Runt Mangle and Rampage until Chen's critter is dead. Then swap in Chuck; Bleed then Blood in the Water, and Surge until the alemental is dead.

{Turtle, Anubisath Idol, Peddlefeet}
Wrathion of course has a team full of dragons. His first dragon is undead with lots of small elemental attacks. Send in the turtle first to Shell Shield and then wear down Wrathion's first pet with Powerball. After that swap in the Anubisath Idol, and put up Stoneskin to take care of the remaining dots. Then just Crush until dead. Bring Peddlefeet in and fill Wrathion's last pet full of arrows.

Taran Zhu
{Ghostly Skull, Fossilized Hatchling, Giant Bone Spider}
Taran Zhu has a team of all monks, so I have lined up an all undead team to take them out. Lead off with the Ghostly Skull and hit Taran Zhu's first monk with Ghostly Bite. It'll stun your Skull, but the monk will take that turn to feign death and swap out anyway. Shadow Slash until your Ghostly Skull dies and then use Unholy Ascension. The timing of this is a bit tricky because the second monk doesn't use blind on CD, so do your best to actually get Ascension to hit. You can still win if it doesn't. Bring in the Fossilized Hatchling second for Bonestorm. Again try to time your abilities so that you use Ancient Blessing when blinded and not Bonestorm. Interleave Bone Bite while waiting for Bonestorm CD. This should take out the first and second monk pets and seriously whittle down the third of Taran Zhu's monks. When your Hatchling dies bring in the Spider and Bone Bite again until you win.

{Pandaren Water Spirit, Chrominius, Hopling}
Because of Wrathion's dragon team I needed to swap out a few humanoids from my Yu'la team. I kept the Hopling, but lead with the Pandaren Water Spirit, and Chrominius. Send in the Water Spirit first, put down Geyser and Whirlpool, then swap to Chrominius for Howl and Surge. The timing should work out so that you are swapping in Chrominius as Yu'la is in the air, and your howl should go out in time to have Geyser and Whirlpool hit for full damage, as well as Surge. If that doesn't kill Yu'la the Hopling can finish things off.

I also tried out winning the Celestial Tournament with a character different from last week. The coins are bind on account so that won't affect anything. I was hoping to get the Rainy Day quest again, but no such luck.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Timeless Isle: Celestial Tournament

Friday night when we first got to the Timeless Isle I picked up the Celestial Tournament quest, but I knew that I didn't have time to fight seven different master pet tamers. Not when Kuan and Morn were ready to run around and explore all the things. I did take a moment or two while DraNgNon was afk to look at Lil Tommy Newcomer.

Yeah. He only has one pet... one pet that is fucking OONDASTA. So that was painful sucker punch, but he succumbed to a heavy hitting mecanical team. Lightning storm plus double ion cannon for the win.

{Sunreaver Construct, Darkmoon Tonk, Tranquil Mechanical Yeti}

Sunday I had breakfast and then sat down for the Celestial Tournament. I set up seven different dummy teams, and embarked upon my path of pet destruction. The basic format of the Celestial tournament is that you fight three Master Tamers and then four children of the celestials. You also can't heal your pets outside of a battle. Fortunately your character is also off in a solo scenario so you don't have masses of people watching to see how you do.

I've written up a guide of my teams I used for each tamer and all the celestials, but it uses a lot of rare pets. If anyone reading this is actually trying the celestial tournament look at the abilities I've used and swap in similar pets.

I have to admit that this is the closest I've come while playing WoW to taking my laptop and smashing it against the table while screaming in rage and fury. I had to pause and log out a few times just to keep from losing my shit. These master tamers are hard. Individually each fight is roughly as difficult as some of the harder Pandaren Masters, but the fact that you can't rez pets in between adds a whole new level of difficulty. Choosing teams so that you have enough strong pets for each tamer and celestial is a tricky balancing act. Any bad rng means you need to start the entire thing over again.

Celestial Tournament Guide

The first three tamers rotate in and out. This week they were Lorewalker Cho, Dr. Ion Goldbloom. and Sully "The Pickle".

Lorewalker Cho
{Legs, Fel Flame, Minfernal}
Cast Focus Beams twice and then Mana Surge, Legs will die before he gets another ability off, but the owl will be dead. Bring in the Fel Flame and go to town with Flamebreath and Conflagrate. If your Fel Flame lasts long enough dot up Cho's third pet. Bring in the Minfernal and immediately hit Meteor Strike, you really need to avoid the big hits when the Cho's dragon is buffed. Then just smash away with Crush until you win.

Dr. Ion Goldblom
{Netherspace Abyssal, Pocket Reaver, Emerald Protodrake}
For some reason I had a lot of trouble with this tamer. I think I could benefit from swapping the Emerald protodrake for another pet that had dragonkin attacks but wasn't vulnerable to magic or humanoid damage. Anyway I sent the abyssal in, and hit immolate, dotted the enemy pet, meteor, and then swapped out, which synced with the flyer feigning death. Pocket reaver comes in and punches the second pet (beast) until it is dead. Keep punching until your reaver dies. This will take out the beast and the flyer unless you're super unlucky. Swap the protodrake in and flame the 3rd pet until it's dead.

Sully the Pickle
{Jungle Grub, Calico Cat, Gilded Moth}
A snail would have been really nice here, but I made do with a Jungle Grub. Acidic Goo, then Burrow, then Gnaw. Refresh Acidic Goo on the rabbit and hold out as long as you can to let the Haunted debuff fall off. With the Calico Cat just Pounce on the rabbit as much as you can. Use Prowl if the rabbit burrows. Bring your moth in for the otter, which will lead off with a dodge attack to don't use Cocoon until after that has been cast.

Once you defeat the initial three tamers you get to face off against the children of the Celestials.

{Dragon Kite, Darkmoon Zeppelin, Tranquil Mechanical Yeti}
Xu-fu is Xuen's child. He's an adorable lil white tiger, who will devour pets if he kills them and get an absolutely huge heal. I went with a team that was similar to what I use for Greyhoof in Valley of Four winds. I opened up with Dragon Kite's Lightning Storm. Quickly swapped in the Zeppelin and put up Decoy, then pounded away with missile. Swap the Zeppelin out just before you think it will die. Tranquil Mechanical Yeti can punch Xu-fu as much as needed until you can finish him off with Ion Cannon.

{Sunreaver Construct, Clockwork Gnome, Darkmoon Tonk}
Zao hits hard and will heal half his health with wish if you don't kill him soon enough. Just like Xu-fu I opened up with lightning storm, then swapped in Clockwork Gnome to lay down turrets and punch him in the face. When the gnome died I used the Darkmoon Tonk's lovely combo of Shock and Awe and then Ion Cannon to finish Zao off.

{Kun-lai Runt, Hopling, Anubisath Idol}
Yu'la child of Yu'lon was a cute little jade dragon. I went with an all humanoid team to take her out. I chose humanoids with stuns and abilities that hit hard, like Crush. Yu'la's shield mitigates a lot of damage and he also flies up to entirely avoid a fair amount of damage. Fortunately he is pretty slow do you can get some nice stuns off with your hopling. Deflect the liftoff when using your idol, restart the fight if your Kun-lai Runt doesn't freeze Yu'la to start with.

{Corefire Imp, Vicidous Globule, Festival Lantern}
I had the most trouble with Chi-chi. I've found that the magic pets I have seem to have low health. So it felt difficult to do enough damage before my pets died. And the usual magic family ability of not taking a single big hit is thwarted by Chi-chi's multi-hit attack. I eventually went in with Corefire Imp for Immolate and Wild magic. Then swapped to Vicidious Globule and used Expunge every time it was up. Then tried to finish off with the Festival Lantern's Flash and Light. If rng had been particularly unkind I could bring back the Corefire Imp for a last hit or two. Just watch the cooldown of Chi-chi's dodge ability; don't waste an ability with a CD when it is up.

At least once you beat the Celestial Tournament for the first time you immediately have enough coins to get a pet.

Saturday, September 14, 2013


I'm a bit delayed posting this, but about three weeks ago I finally caught a Minfernal and got the Zookeeper title. My months of stationing Kairon in Felwood finally paid off. Just before I logged out one Saturday night Kairon did a fly over of the fel pools. There on a hill slightly to the east of the southern most pool was a lovely Minfernal just hanging out, waiting for my Terrible Turnip.

It was a green quality, but I got a Flawless Magic Battlestone the next day.

I think this means that the only battle pets I have left to capture are the Sumprush Rodent and the Unborn Valkyr. Looks like it's time for Kairon to camp out over Northrend.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Why Niuzao is an Ox, anyhow.

Clara posted a great picture of Niuzao and said he was her favorite Celestial in the game, he was the god of tanking.  I wanted to follow up on that a little.

The Pandaria Celestials don't quite match the Chinese ones.  Yes, there's a Vermilion Bird in the south, and the Azure Dragon in the East, but White Tiger is in the West, and in the North, is the Black Tortoise.  For a while we puzzled over how Blizzard came up with a Black Ox to replace the Tortoise, although doing so made sense since there were already turtles all over the continent and it would be boring.

But I figured it out last month, after quite a bit of websurfing*.  the Black Tortoise Celestial is Xuan Wu, or Pak Tai - the god of martial arts - yes, yes, those are all wikipedia links - and the legend is conflated, or possibly the same (as an cultural outsider I am not sure really) as that of Xuan Tian Shang Di.  and I tripped across this reference to how he came to be a god, citing an analysis ofthe 1602 "folk novel" Beiyouji (Journey to the North) by Yu Xiangdou and summarizing the novel:

The novel describes Xuan Tian Shang Di as going through four mortal reincarnations in the course of the story, at least three of which are as princes of nations (9-10). He is shown, through the use of a mirror, that his original identity was the Jade Emperor, and told that he can either work towards becoming an Immortal or become an ox in his next reincarnation.

so.  Kudos to Blizzard for actually not being totally random in replacing the Tortoise with an Ox.  Makes me really wonder just how much they are paying their research people though.  English references to the work Beiyouji outside of scholarly work are hard to get.  I haven't found an English translation of it either, and while I haven't looked hard, I did poke around more than just searching

*as to why I did all this websurfing, at first it was not becuase of wow, but becuase I also got sucked into the Journey to Wudang novels and I like to get my mythology from closer to the source.  but I quickly realized what reading tied into Pandaria and wanted to share.

somewhat related:  here are some pictures of the temple to Xuan Wu at Wudang - what a great comparison to the Pandaria art in the game.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Random Monk Screenshot

Sucan, my lowbie monk, was up in Peak of Serenity doing his daily quest for extra XP. This was the panda I challenged that day.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Friday, August 30, 2013

Pro Pet Mob

The other night I went out and leveled a few more battle pets. Just enough to get the Pro Pet Mob achieve.

Why yes, I do have seventy-five level 25 battle pets! No, no, that's not crazy at all, totally reasonable to have that many fully leveled battle pets.

What I need to do now is sort my favorite pets. I originally went through and marked as favorite all the pets I thought were cool and that I wanted to level. Then after leveling a bunch and running into nasty Grand Master Tamers I picked out a bunch more pets that I liked and had strong family based attacks, so I could actually win versus Grand Master Tamers.

I also have been marking as favorite those pets that I want to level. Which I think I will continue to do, as it's a good way to keep track of the pets I have started to level. However I do need to go through and purge a lot of my level 25 favorites. I really don't need to have 60+ level 25 pets. Especially since I do not use the vast majority of them in either my tamer beating teams or my PvP teams.

With this achievement down I think that I'm pretty close to complete with Pet Battle achieves. The only Pet Battle achieves I have left are capturing the fucking Minfernal, winning many PvP pet battles, and winning 5 PvP battles without having any pet die.

Well close until the next patch, at any rate...

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Niuzao the Black Ox

My favorite Pandaren Celestial is Niuzao the Black Ox. He's basially the Celsetial of tanking.

He's even got Death Knight eyes!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

the esteemed shaman, Kuanchichi

The achieves for Archeology in the Mists of Pandaria expansion aren't really nearly as interesting as they were for, well, everything else in the game.  Basically they consist of: collect 5, then 20, of everything in Pandaria.

But there are two other collect achieves as well:  The Seat of Knowledge, and (added with a patch 5.2) History of the Mantid.  They involve collecting pristine artifacts, and are conceptual follow ons to the achieve It Belongs in a Museum...

A Pristine Artifact - which is Pandaria only - regardless of what it is, is a quest item, and always pops the same quest text:

This artifact has been restored to a remarkably excellent condition.  Perhaps you will put it on display at the Seat of Knowledge, so that lorewalkers and archaeologists can study it.

This is awesome!  When looking at the archaeology pane, there are all these items, and little descriptions, and you're left wondering, what does that actually look like?   Well, with a pristine, you find out, because despite the mild "perhaps" in there, the quest objective is very emphatic and there's no perhaps about it:  PUT THE ARTIFACT ON DISPLAY.  To complete the quest, you must CLEAR THE CLUTTER AND PUT THE ARTIFACT ON DISPLAY.  Seems that they don't want any dithering from people taking the word "perhaps" too literally.

Kuan has yet to get the achieves for all the Pristine items, but he has quite a few of them on display.  This screenshot captures the quest, to the right is a Pandaren game board that's on display, and below is Clara teasing me in guild chat about working on Archaeology, which for some unfathomable reason she thinks is more boring than Pet Battles.

Once an item is on display, you get to see what it actually looks like, and also it shows the same text you'd get in a mouseover in the Archaeology profession pane, with an added attribution:  donated by the esteemed shaman, Kuanchichi!  Here's Kuan (in his PVP gear, btw) looking at Edicts of the Thunder King.  To his right is clutter, and right of that is the Twin Stein set.

I love it!  the esteemed shaman, Kuanchichi.  I love it so much...!

Darkspear Rebellion: Orgrimmar

Orgrimmar is not a friendly place right now if you're not an orc. In fact Garrosh has made it a mighty uncomfortable place for anyone but the Kor'kron.

Gamon is getting pushed around.

But outside of Org is even worse.

The Darkspear are preparing for the assault, but any of them that got caught by Garrosh are facing the firing squad.

Garrosh is also being a dick to the goblins too. Really not that smart to piss off the people who have explosives.

I'm pretty disappointed to see Zaela outside Org. I really would expect her to not be on Garrosh's side as soon as she sees him with Sha affects.

Morn will be happy to go bitch slap Garrosh, but it's a bit sad to see the state the Org is in these days.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Morn's New Transmog

For a while now I've had Mornara in the Valorous Scourgeborne gear. It's the gear from Naxx25, and the black armor with red accents looks pretty good. I haven't always been happy with matching weapons, but she currently has a polearm, which only allows a limited selection anyway.

The set I'd really like her transmogged to is the Scourgelord set from ICC10. The set pieces are from ICC10, but the matching boots and belt are from ICC10 heroic. I have the set pieces, but if she ever got the belt or boots from ICC10H I never kept them. Because I am on the Shadowfrost shard quest I just can't make myself run ICC10H. If I have a group that can do that we can also run ICC25 and I'll get shards. So I was resigned to not being able to wear that set due to mismatch boots, and also a lack of reasonably matching polearm.

But then Kuan and Morn were romping through Molten Core, and Shadowstrike dropped. A polearm! And it had two options, one of them had to be decent looking. In fact, it looked good with the Scourgelord gear that I did have.

So I looked more closely at for the Scourgelord set. Specifically more closely at their comments. They list out a few pieces of gear that could reasonably replace the matching belt and boots. Fortunately I already had the Deathforge Girdle that would go reasonably well, but it did require a quick romp through the Botanica to get the Obsidian Clodstompers.

As an aside, I remember those boots from BC. Viljo was friends with ISD the undead warrior, and ISD was SO HAPPY when he got those boots to drop from H Botanica.

Now Mornara is transmogged to look quite spiffy. The boots don't quite match from the sides but the front and back of them is a remarkably similar color of purple to the Scourgelord gear.

Shadowstrike doesn't have any strong purple accents, but I think it would be too monochromatic if it did. The green goes with her skin quite well.

I do love the just slightly asymetrical shoulders.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Honorary Brewmaster's Keg

Kuan and Morn have been working on achievements here and there. We are currently first and second ranked in Darkfall. (Edit from draNgNon:  Morn is first if you count account-wide achievements, Kuan is first if you count per-character.)  I generally work on Pet Battles while Kuan focuses more on Archaeology. However we work together on scenarios and dungeon achieves. Recently we finished the last few scenario achieves for the Pub Crawl meta. The reward for this was yet another thing to take up bag space: the Honorary Brewmaster Keg.

It actually looks pretty cool, and, amazingly, goes with Morn's Scourgeborne transmog.

Kuan balances his keg on his shield, which looks a little unbalanced.  Here he is consulting with Brewmaster Roland in Shrine of Two Moons about care and keeping of his brewmaster keg.

The last achieve we needed was Monkey See, Monkey Kill. It was a bit annoying to have to rerun until we got all of the different bosses, but not hard just time consuming.

Once you get the meta achieve Mama Stormstout sends you a congratulatory mail.

Thanks for all your hard work crafting some of the finest brews we've ever had!

As a token of our appreciation, the other brewmasters and I have decided to give you this Honorary Brewmaster Keg.


-Mama Stormstout

Battle for Sen'jin, and Kuan's UI

so I realized a couple days ago I haven't really put any pics into the little rotating slideshow on the left of the blog layout, and set about to find some likely candidates.  I've been slacking on the screenshots lately, it seems.

That said, I found this great screenshot of Kuanchichi and Mornara defending Sen'jin Village as part of the Darkspear Rebellion storyline.  or, it would be great, if 40% of Kuan's screen area wasn't covered in stuff.

(FWIW the two gaps at the bottom get focus target and tooltips, respectively.)  I've been thinking the two chat windows need to be moved, and thus the buttons rearranged, for a while.  Seeing this screenshot makes me think I need a change even more.

Anyhow I think the screenshot is still cool.  Mornara is holding them back while Kuanchichi zaps them all with Chain Lightning from the center of his totems. just can't see all of "them" becuase of the buttons...

Friday, August 23, 2013

Farmer Nishi

For a lot of the Master Tamers in Pandaria I have preset teams. These teams I try to set up so that two level 25 pets can carry a smaller pet and get it a big chunk of XP while I still get the sack of pet supplies.

However, Farmer Nishi is so easy that I only bring one level 25 pet. That way I can bring two really low level pets. It's the same amount of XP split between them, but for many of the other Grand Master Tamers the lowbie pet needs to be able to survive a hit of 600+ and so you can only bring medium sized pets. The way I do it I can easily bring a level 3 or 4 pet, or a level 2 if it's a magic pet, to fight Farmer Nishi.

The key to my strategy is the Sea Pony, but any water strider type pet would do. I set the Sea Pony up with Tidal Wave, Cleansing Rain, and Pump. The key is to realize that Farmer Nishi has one super lame pet and two pets that can be hard to kill. Fortunately Farmer Nishi puts the Sunflower (lame pet) out first. All that pet ever does is cast Sunlight, and self heal.

I start the fight leading off with one of the baby pets and then swap to the second, making sure each of them tries to hit the sunflower. Fortunately it doesn't matter if they hit or miss, as long as they try, they'll still get XP. They I swap in the Sea Pony and go with Cleansing Rain, Pump and then Tidal Wave. Keep hitting Tidal Wave until Cleansing Rain is off CD and then use that again. Then recommence with Tidal Wave. When there are 2 turns left on the counter for the rainy weather do another Cleansing Rain. After that just keep going with the Tidal Wave and recast Cleansing Rain at 2 turns left. You'll wear down the back pets well before the front pet dies. Once both of the backline pets are dead cast pump a second time to finish off the front pet.

A few things to note.

Sunlight will hit for roughly 170 on most pets, but your Cleansing Rain doesn't heal for quite that much, so bring a pet with at least 200hp. If you bring a mechanical pet make sure it has more health; it will take extra damage from Sunlight.

My Sea Pony is slower than Farmer Nishi's sunflower so that means that I recast Rain on the same turn and right after sunlight. If you have a water strider that is faster than the sunflower you will want to wait another round to cast rain, so your weather doesn't get overwritten.

Ahead of the Curve: Lei Shen

Last night Darkfall killed Lei Shen for the first time! We had killed the first 11 bosses last week, and then saved the lockout to work on him this week. We decided to save the lock when we thought the patch might be next week. I and several others really wanted the Ahead of the Curve Achieve.

Of course when we all got Ahead of the Curve, Darkfall got the guild achieve for killing everything in Throne of Thunder:

As I knew it would be the hard part of this fight was the intermissions. Of course, there were some ridiculous wipes early on to Fusion Slash punting you a lot farther in Normal than it does in LFR. But aside from that and a people learning how far away they need to be from Thunderstruck all the learning and work in the fight came from the intermissions.

We eventually went with putting both tanks together and having a mistweaver monk and warlock together for each of the two person quadrants. One three person quadrant was holy priest and two ranged, while the last quadrant was 2 shamans and a dps warrior. It was dicey at times, but that setup managed to keep us all alive through the first intermission.

We squeaked through the second intermission with two deaths right at the end, but fortunately had a battle rez to get one dps back up. The third phase was a mess of wind blowing us every which way while we all tried to dodge Lightning Whip, and pretty much everyone yelling "Die Die DIE!" as the last few percent of his health ticked down.

Once you kill him it's pretty neat how the whole room is burned out.