Saturday, January 26, 2013

We know what you really look like

We are running out of room to store unopened lockboxes, so Eeyan and Teltanara are gaining their Pandaria experiences in Townlong Steppes now.

Townlong is on the other side of the Great Wall, and thus doesn't have a lot of rest, mailboxes, or flight points.  But it does have gear that really is solidly upgrades from Dragon Soul.  Practically speaking, that means we sometimes have to let the gear show off what it really looks like.

I'm not sure if she looks like a refugee from the Darkmoon Faire or an escapee from Hellfire.

I will point out that this picture shows the difference in polygons between Wow's pants and shoulders.  It's really tragic.  Blizzard should fix that.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Dragon Soul: Spine of Deathwing Dialogue

After you save the ship from Blackhorn and his drakes you parachute onto Deathwing's back and blast more armor plates off of him. This apparently will give Thrall a clear enough shot to be able to hit the non-armored part with a blast from the Dragon Soul.

The fight starts out pretty nicely with a cinematic. It's pretty spiffy the first time you see it, and I am happy to watch it in full when we go back for an fun night raid of DS, but the cinematic can get quite annoying when you're learning the fight. Especially when you're learning the heroic fight, where one missed dispell results in instant death for the raid. Of course those wipes were some of the most hilarious ever. Anyway, start the fight, get a cinematic of parachuting on to the dragon's back, which flows pretty smoothly into the whole raid parachuting onto the dragon.

Sky Captain Swayze yells: The plates! He's coming apart! Tear up the plates and we've got a shot at bringing him down!
Sky Captain Swayze yells: Don't worry about me. Stop the Destroyer! Enshu-falah-nah, dorini.

You land, and immediately need to kill three of the four corruption tentacles. Two of which seem to have grasped Swayze and Ke'anu. I don't know what Swayze is saying, but it goes pretty well with his Westfall Redneck personality. Anyway, once you kill the tentacles he flies off and as far as I know is never seen or heard from again.

Once on Deathwing's back, you're now in one of the most boring, yet burst dps stringent, fights of any raid I can remember. The raid needs to blast three separate plates off of Deathwing's back. The only difference in each of these three plate removals is the increasing number of corrupted bloods that spawn as the fight progresses. Deathwing doesn't even have any sort of new emotes as you move through the fight; he just recycles the same set of four phrases.

Deathwing yells: You are less than dust, fit only to be brushed from my back.

Deathwing yells: Cling while you can, "heroes." You and your world are doomed.
Deathwing yells: Your tenacity is admirable, but pointless. You ride into the jaws of the apocalypse.

Deathwing yells: Your efforts are insignificant. I carry you to your deaths.

Deathwing yells: Ha! I had not realized you fools were still there.

When you get the final plate blasted off of his back you get treated to another cut scene. Thrall has apparently been paying attention to your fight. (Though not helping!) Once that last plate is gone he fires up the Dragon Soul and manages to peg the big angry dragon with it. Fortunately your raid somehow manages to jump out of the way in time and parachute to land on the rocks around the Maelstrom. Once down you get the Cache of the Aspects to loot.

Thrall yells: It is done, at last the Destroyer has met his end. Now, we can begin to heal our world.
Alexstraza yells: You have accomplished the imposible, succeeded where all Azeroth feared you would fail.
Alexstraza yells: Before you is the Cache of the Aspects. Take from it what you will, for you have more than earned the right.
Nozdormu yells: ...although, you may want to hurry.

I was super proud of the raid when we killed this guy, both on regular and heroic. Between the amalgamations, corrupted blood, rolling him, and the very strict dps check on the Burning Tendons it was an excellent triumph of coordination when he was defeated.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Dragon Soul: Blackhorn Dialogue

Once you defeat Ultraxion you've got to chase off after Deathwing. Thrall may have hit him with the Dragon Soul, but it was only enough to break one of the armor plates on his back. It wasn't enough to do serious damage to him. And if he makes it back to the Maelstrom and through to Deepholm he'll get that repaired quite easily.

Sky Captain Swayze says: Welcome aboard the Skyfire. You ready to chase down the end of the world?
<Player> responds: We are the Horde. We are always ready.
(Booyah! Horde! /roar)

So off you go on the Alliance gunship. Deathwing, bastard that he is, destroyed the Horde gunship so everyone piles on to the Alliance gunship to follow Deathwing before he reaches the Maelstrom.

The sixth boss in Dragon Soul is Warmaster Blackhorn. He's a Tauren Warrior who flys in on his trusty twilight drake, Goriona. He is accompanied by a variety of twilight drakes, Vrykul dragonriders, and a few goblin sappers. He is here to delay and destroy the gunship so that the Aspects can't use the Dragon Soul again before Deathwing makes it to the Maelstrom.

Sky Captain Swayze says: We're catching up to the dragon! I think I can make him out through the cloud cover!
<Player> responds: Bring us in closer!

And that starts the boss fight! Blackhorn swoops in and destroys the Skyfire's engines.

Sky Captain Swayze yells: All ahead full. Everything depends on our speed! We can't let the Destroyer get away!
Warmaster Blackhorn yells: Hah! I was hoping you'd make it this far. You'd best be ready for a real fight.
Blackhorn rides Goriona around to set all four engines on fire.
Sky Captain Swayze yells: Our engines are damaged! We're sitting ducks up here!
Warmaster Blackhorn yells: You won't get near the Master. Dragonriders, attack!
Sky Captain Swayze yells: All hands to battle stations; get those monsters away from the ship!

Swayze's voice and accent kind of drives me insane. It's excellent voice acting, he definitely has both confidence and a sort of unbridled panic that I'd imagine I'd also have if a dragon had set fire to my airship. I call him a Westfall Redneck whenever I can.

For the first phase of the fight Blackhorn sits on his drake and bombards the boat with a big Twilight Onslaught every now and then. Everyone needs to stand in that big purple swirly to make sure the damage is spread out between the group. The tank holding the cleaving melee add, if it's not dead, should make sure that the cleaves are pointed away from the rest of the raid.

Meanwhile ranged will burn the crap out of the drakes, and melee will take care of the Vrykul who drop to the deck. Everyone has to swap and stun/slow/kill sappers as they show up. The smaller drakes are dropping little purple swirlies constantly. Everyone has to stand in as many of those little purple swirlies as they can. For normal that means making sure that you're at full health. For heroic that means having a buddy, and not standing in one more than every fifteen seconds or the nasty debuff they put on you will slaughter you.

Warmaster Blackhorn yells: Goriona! Give them hell!

Second phase starts when the last of the six twilight drakes dies. At that point the melee mop up any remaining Vrykul adds and kill the last sapper that appears. The ranged will do their best to hurt Goriona until she flies off (or lands in heroic). Everyone will be dodging the fire that Goriona drops and the cone of damage that Blackhorn does. Meanwhile one tank will pick up Blackhorn himself and keep him close to the center of the boat. The tanks will swap off every two stacks of the nasty armor reducing debuff.

Heroic mode has Goriona land on the deck and need to be tanked. This slightly complicates the tanking as the two tanks will need to be speedy with the taunt. Also in heroic there is a nasty debuff. This needs to be healed off, but will aoe the raid for the amount of healing it absorbs. So it needs to be gradually healed off.

Apparently I have never actually managed to get a shot of Blackhorn dropping to the deck. Even now I'm too busy trying to taunt him before he eats a healer. But if I'd managed to get a shot, as he hopped off his dragon, he'd say:

Warmaster Blackhorn yells: Looks like I'm doing this myself. Good!

Warmaster Blackhorn yells: How's THIS?

Warmaster Blackhorn yells: Well... done, heh. But I wonder if you're good enough... to best him.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Dragon Soul Fun Run

Darkfall's Monday fun run was a quick jaunt into Dragon Soul. I'd originally planned on killing it all on Heroic, however we only had 7 people, so we went for a few achieves instead.

We had only five 90s in our raid, the other two being an 85 DK and Eeyan at 87. Despite this we handily stomped the raid. We did have two wipes, but honestly those were all in the course of trying to get achieves. I called for a wipe to try to get Holding Hands on Hagara, but I think you need a full raid of 10 people for that to work. We also had a wipe on Ultraxion when there was confusion about who was taking the second hit from Hour of Twilight. If we'd not been going for Minutes to Midnight I'd just have been hit by all of them. Honestly I had enough health and CDs to do that in Cata, and now in Mists it is really just silly how easy it is to deal with Ultraxion.

It was fun to see those fights again. I rewatched and enjoyed all the cut scenes.

My ulterior motive in running Dragon Soul was to get Eeyan more Elementium Gem Clusters. Eeyan now has 23 out of the necessary 60. So at 8 per run we only need 5 more runs, and then Daggers!

Also this fun run reminded me that I never did post the dialog from the last three bosses of Dragon Soul. I stopped at Ultraxion. I have all of the screen shots necessary, I just need to crop and post them. I'll try to get that done and posted sometime soon.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Another Pet Battle Update

I'm continuing my Pet Battle rampage. I have six different pets up to level 25. I've beaten the master tamers through Northrend. I'm up to 339 unique pets. This week I've been obsessing about it a little bit more than usual. You see, the Darkmoon Faire has a daily pet battle. For a ticket you can challenge Jeremy Feasel. He's got a Darkmoon tonk, a Darkmoon monkey, and a magical Darkmoon Eye. You may have noticed a Darkmoon theme, here are the Darkmoon Faire. Anyway the first time I fought him he soundly thrashed my pets. It was sad, but I'd managed to get exactly the wrong pets in the perfectly wrong order. So every pet of his had extra damage against my pets. At least it was over fast...

Anyway, this abortive fight reinforced the value of matching the pet to the battle. I'd already noticed that as I leveled up the master tamers were getting tougher, but this really drove home the need to pick the correct team for the fight. So over last weekend I went from four level 25 pets to six, with another two at 20 and 22. I've also got a whole bunch of pets sitting around level 10 waiting for their turn to level up.

Once I had a reasonable team it was a pretty easy fight, actually. Clockwork Gnome, Phoenix Hatchling, and Dragon Kite cleaned up handily. Regrettably for the days I've beaten the Darkmoon master tamer I've not gotten anything impressive in my pet supplies reward sack. There is a chance that you get the Darkmoon Eye, but I've been unlucky so far.

In addition to acquiring pets via battling I'm getting a few via other methods. A week or three ago I saw someone advertising the Mechanical Pandaren Dragonling in Trade Chat. I quickly snapped one up, and that little guy is now level eleven.

I've also gotten a couple of the Pandaren Spirits. Our Enh/Resto shaman is big into the pet battles. He had a few extra Pandaren Spirits. Apparently they are not selling at all well in the AH currently. So he offered to guildies. I expressed interest to he gave me the air and fire spirit. To thank him I made him a Jade Owl and a Sapphire Cub, which I was surprised to note he'd not actually gotten yet. In return he gave me a water spirit he'd gotten earlier. I'm not sure what to get him in return this time. I'll have to figure out something.

Kuan and Mornara have also taken a jaunt into Molten Core. Magmadar was kind enough to drop a Corefire Imp for Mornara. I amused myself by pretending for a moment that she was a warlock with an imp again. If I remembered her imp's name I would rename that sucker in a second. Possibly I need to trawl through the archives here to find that.

For Christmas I received several pets from the Blizzard store. I was happy to get the Cinder Kitten and donate to Sandy Relief. I also picked up Lil'Ragnaros, Moonkin Hatchling, Cenarion Hatchling, and Soul of the Aspects.

I'm so far most amused by my Moonkin Hatchling. You get both a tauren and night elf hatchling. I named the Horde version Earthen after the Boomkin of the same name in Darkfall. Earthen the hatchling is now level 25, and I've been dutifully reporting his leveling progress to the original Earthen. Though I didn't report all the times that I got him killed before I figured out the right team to fight the Darkmoon master tamer...

Friday, January 11, 2013

Will and Zor'lok down!

Last night Darkfall had an excellent raid. We'd killed the first five bosses in Mogu'Shan Vaults on Tuesday, and even had a bit of time left over for attempts on Will of the Emperor. So last night my plan was to kill Will and then head over to Heart of Fear and kill Imperial Vizier Zor'Lok.

The Will of the Emperor kill went pretty well. We changed up when we hit lust because that fight is so long. Having it twice was pretty sweet. I also got my act together and was a lot better at dodging the Devastating Combos. I'm still in need of practice, but I'm now getting far more strikes to use than I am getting smashed. And that really helps, given just how hard hit the tanks are in that encounter.

Imperial Vizier Zor'lok was a pain to kill. We'd worked on him before Christmas and almost killed him then. So I wasn't actually all that worried about getting him dead. No, the pain was that he bugged (hah!) out. We had a wipe on the third platform, and he kept his two mind controlled people and just stood there. They tried to get out of the MC by logging in and out and I tried kicking them from the raid. Nothing worked until I reset the whole instance. So we had to clear that trash twice; fortunately it's not horrible trash merely annoying.

After my pain and learning with dodging Devastating Combos on Will it was amusing to see people having trouble with the Attenuation on Zor'lok. Both are pretty clearly telegraphed, but still tricky to dodge if you get behind a little bit or don't see the telegraph soon enough.