Friday, July 26, 2013

Jade Serpent Statue

The Jade Serpent makes me more than a little sad. She is old and tired and ready to be reborn into another body.

There is even a nice new body almost ready for her.

Yu'lon says: A little more jade - the jade you helped to acquire - and it will be finished.
Yu'lon says: With my last breath, I will transfer my life essence into the statue, and a new guardian will be born.
Yu'lon says: Do not be saddened. The cycle is clear - it neither begins nor ends with me.
Yu'lon says: Someday, you may also be called upon to defend all that is dear to you.
Yu'lon says: When that day comes, seek the light and wonder of this world, and fight.
Yu'lon says: We live together, or we die together. All of Pandaria is connected.
Yu'lon says: I grow weary. I must rest now.
Yu'lon says: Good-bye, little one. I will see you soon enough.

But then the Horde and Alliance make trouble. They destroy the almost complete statue and release the Sha of Doubt.

Poor Jade Serpent, she has to wait to be reborn. And poor Jade Forest, it's rather sha infested now.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Run TK for more pets, and possible Ashes of Alar.
Run SSC for pets.
Run Karazhan for more pets.
Vengeful Pet Brawler: total of 50 pvp pet battles won with level 25 pets.
Capture godsdamned Minfernal, the ONLY pet I'm missing for Zookeeper title.
Catch Stunted Yeti, Sumprush Rodent, and Unborn Valkyr. The only other battle pets I am missing.

Progress on Wrathion's legendary quest: need more Secrets of the Empire.
More ICC25, only have 9/50 Shadowfrost shards.
Complete the missing heroic dungeon achieves to get the Red Cloudserpent mount.
Various scenario achieves.
Get a weapon that isn't a polearm. Lack of good polearms is cramping my transmog style...

More LFR, need better gear.
More H Scenarios.
Exalted with August Celestials: farming and quests. Then buy recipe and make giant bags.
Check what other reps are needed for tailoring and enchanting.

More LFR, for better gear.
TK and SSC for T5 gear.
Start planting Songbells: need Spirits of Harmony.

Get some better gear, so I can get into LFR.
Figure out how to fire mage again.

Currently level 40, level up more.
Check what armor and jewelry can be made for him now he is 40.
More profession levels, particularly primary professions, but also cooking and first aid. NOT fishing or archaeology

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Lich King's Heart

A while ago I took Mornara to finish up the quests in Icecrown. She had only done about half of them. Amonh other quests she was missing the really neat quest line with Arthas' heart.

There were a lot of fun vehicle quests where you got to see Arthas' journey to become the Lich King. He slaughters his soldiers and brings them back as minions. He binds Sindragosa into undeath. You even get to fight Illidan as Arthas.

But it all culminates when you discover that Arthas has moved his crystallized heart and is preparing a ceremony to destroy it and thus remove his last human weakness. Of course you let Tirion know and he organizes some paladins to interrupt the ceremony. However Arthas is ready for this too:

The Lich King says: I call your bluff. You're a paladin after all. Your obsessoin with redemption goes beyond the inane.
The Lich King says: You surely wouldn't destroy humanity's only chance to redeem it's most wayward son. You'd sooner die!
Highlord Tirion Fordring says: The heart... the last remaining vestige of your humanity. I had to stop it from being destroyed. I had to see for myself. And at last I'm sure...
Highlord Tirion Fordring says: Only shadow from the past remain. There's nothing left to redeem!
Tirion does his smashing leaping thing and strikes Arthas' crystallized heart with The Ashbringer. And then promptly falls over from backlash.
The Lich King yells: Arrrrgggggggggh!!!!
Disguised Crusader yells: Tirion's down! Defend him with your lives!
The Lich King yells: You... will pay for that, old man. Slay them all!
Knights of the Ebon Blade to the rescue. Koltira, Mograine, and assorted DKs run in to save the pallies.
Koltira Deathweaver yells: Take courage, crusaders. You do not fight alone!
Highlord Darion Mograine says: Quick, through the portal! He won't stay down for long.

It's nice to see the DKs rescue Tirion holyier-than-thou Fordring for once. I am not all that much of a fan of the utter dehumanizing of Arthas. As we see in his death scene he still is the prince who never really grew up and tried to do too much. Not that I have any sympathy for him, it just seems laying it on too thick that even Tirion is all "There is no hope for his soul. Make him dead!"

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Merciless Pet Brawler

This weekend I messed around a bit more with my PvP Pet Battle teams. I had a nice relaxing Saturday morning eating scones and drinking Chai and slaughtering other peoples pets.

The first team I got working well was Anubisath Idol with Clockwork Gnome and Mr Bigglesworth. The Idol negates almost all periodic damage with Sandstorm, and both the Gnome and Mr Bigglesworth have a pretty strong delayed hit. I also set up Idol to use rupture, which hits pretty hard and has a chance to stun. If the other team had a bunch of small hits, poison or turret or whatnot then Sandstorm almost entirely negated it.

The second team I had good luck with was the opposite of the first one. I had my corefire imp, Clockwork Gnome, and Lil'Ragnaros. The basic idea here was to make sure that the corefire imp kept up wild magic (+70 damage to every attack) on the current enemy pet, And then just pile on the dots. It worked, but if my imp died I was a bit stuck. Still fun to see turret and immolation just melt an opponent while wild magic was up though. I do need to do a bit more experimentation with my third pet on that team though. Lil'Ragnaros can be pretty strong, but I think that Ghaz'rooki might fit in better.

Between these two teams and a bunch of others that I tried out I finished up ten PvP wins with a level 25 team. Not only did I get an achieve but I also finished the Pet Brawlers quest. The quest reward bag sadly didn't have any sort of flawless Battlestone, but I did get a Pet Treat, which was really nice for getting another 4 pets to 25 in the next hour.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Fun with Friends!

Once again Darkfall is racking up the guild achieves:

One hundred scenarios as a guild is pretty excellent. A lot of these are completed after Heroic Scenarios came out. Because you can't just queue randomly for a H scenario I see, almost every evening, at least one if not two or three heroic scenario groups forming up.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Stormstout Brewery Hilarity

Stormstout Brewery is often hilarious, but can be a pain. The painful part is based on the hoplings before the second boss. However, the hilarious part is almost entirely due to the Ancestral Brewmasters.

The Ancestral Brewmasters are panda ghosts that hang around in the main brewery. You'll pass by at least four groups of them on the walkways outside, plus a big crowd inside on the lower floor under Yan-Zhu the uncasked.

The Ancestral Brewmasters hang around in the area between the second and third boss. They are in the brewery proper and they heckle you as you go by.

Ancestral Brewmaster says: Whatzit... are they... what are they doin' to our alementals?
Ancestral Brewmaster yells: Hey... hey YOU! Those are OUR flying... beer monsters?

The first set of them whine at you as you kill the trash right after Hopitalus.

The next set of them are standing around inside before you go up to the final boss room. After you kill the set of four adds inside and head out to the ramp you pass some ghostly brewmasters that always make fun of the group. They have a large set of hilarious catchphrases. I'm sure I haven't gotten all of them but here are a bunch.

Ancestral Brewmaster says: Pay up, they made it through those alementals!
Ancestral Brewmaster says: Double or nothing on the next group?

Ancestral Brewmaster says: Do you think that we can return to life after death?
Ancestral Brewmaster says: Sure! That last group did about thirty times!

Ancestral Brewmaster says: You Know, I really envy these guys!
Ancestral Brewmaster says: Why's that?
Ancestral Brewmaster says: Because they get to spend so much time with that foxy spirit healer!

Ancestral Brewmaster says: This view is terrible!
Ancestral Brewmaster says: What, are you having trouble seeing the fight?
Ancestral Brewmaster says: No, I can see it perfectly!

Ancestral Brewmaster says: I think that driud had the hots for me!

Ancestral Brewmaster says: That last paladin offered me eternal salvation!
Ancestral Brewmaster says: What'd you say?
Ancestral Brewmaster says: Kings, please.

Ancestral Brewmaster says: I, wonder if there's anything this healer isn't good at?
Ancestral Brewmaster says: Sure! Choosing which group to be in!

Ancestral Brewmaster says: I liked that last group!
Ancestral Brewmaster says: What'd you like about it?
Ancestral Brewmaster says: I thought it was the last group!

Ancestral Brewmaster says: Why didn't that mage put intellect on his weapon?
Ancestral Brewmaster says: Because he didn't want it to be smarter than he was!

Ancestral Brewmaster says: This group is awful!
Ancestral Brewmaster says: Terrible!
Ancestral Brewmaster says: Disgusting!
Ancestral Brewmaster says: See you here tomorrow?
Ancestral Brewmaster says: Absolutely!

I love these Ancestral Brewmasters. They just crack me up every time I run Stormstout Brewery.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Durumu and Primordius Dead!

This week we didn't extend our lockout. Instead we just blasted through the first five bosses on Tuesday. Due to a couple of turtle kicking issues we spent a little too much time on Tortos and didn't have time to get to Ji-Kun. So when Thursday came around we had all that annoying trash before Ji-Kun to clear. It was actually hilarious. There were more than a few butt aggros, but we did make it to Ji-Kun. The big bird died quite speedily again.

Then we moved on to Durumu. Last week we'd had time to do a few pulls on him. Just enough to get horribly murdered by the colored lights. Fortunately this week after a few messups with red beams we actually pulled out a kill. It was rather epic because for the last 10% of his health both of our dedicated healers were dead. The hybrid classes made it work by tossing just enough heals out that the raid lived and the boss died.

After Durumu was dead we moved on to Primordius. First Saurok Gollum was actually pretty easy. If we'd not had both me and the other tank lag out and DC during the fight, as well as the monk healer I really think we would have one shot him. As it was we had a 20 minute unplanned bio break as three people (who live near each other) all had their internet crap out. Fortunately they managed to get back online and we just slaughtered Primordius.

As I said before I am really surprised and impressed how fast we're killing bosses now that we're past Horridon. This is the second week in a row where we've killed two new bosses. And while I think that Darkfall is awesome I also am absolutely convinced that Horridon sucks dirty donkey balls.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Guild achieves

Darkfall has gotten a few guild achieves lately.

The other night I realized that we hadn't killed Nalak or Oondasta with enough guildies in the same raid. So when I saw a Nalak run forming up before our ToT run I had everyone run out to hit him. With tag to faction, it's rather trivial to get the guild achieve for killing him.

A few days later we did the same thing with Oondasta. Since Oon isn't near ToT it was a pain to get 8 people online and out there. We managed it with a few alts and a small bit of dualboxing.

I'm not sure when we managed to get the Master Pandaria Crafter. I had no idea we were so close on that one. Clearly several people have been cranking out the epics.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Morn's Short Vacation

Set just before the Mists of Pandaria expansion.

The world was saved. Deathwing and his minions were no longer a threat. Maybe it was time for a nice relaxing vacation. Possibly some good old Goblin-bought debauchery in Booty Bay or Bilgewater Harbor. Maybe a nice camping trip to Grizzly Hills or Nagrand. Perhaps a trip to that exclusive hot springs spa in Southern Feralas.


Mornara knocked back the last gulp of Bash Ale. She had vague memories of drinking fruitier things before she was turned, but since becoming a Death Knight she'd preferred ale and harder drinks. The sweet stuff just didn't taste good, and it took more to give her a buzz. Her side trip, though far out of the way, had been an excellent plan. The smart ogres up on their crystal plateau made excellent beer.

The bobber on her fishing pole splooshed as it was pulled under. She hastily set down the empty ale bottle and reeled in her fish. She pulled a lavascale catfish off the hook and dumped it in the bucket. The bucket contained a whole lot of catfish, but not as many mudfish as she'd like.

Morn popped open another Bash Ale and leaned back against a tree. The weather in Uldum was hot, but being on the river let her cool off whenever necessary. And since she was near the military encampment she didn't have to worry too much about the crocolisks. The semi-regular army patrols were enough to keep this section of riverbank clear. And the recruits trying to patrol in formation were an excellent source of entertainment.

So far this had been a nice break. Mornara wiggled her bare toes in the river. She'd only told a few people in the guild where she was headed, and they had strict instructions not to bother her unless Sargeras himself rose from the dead and attacked Azeroth. She'd lived in her armor for far too long while they all fought to kill Deathwing. It was fabulous to not have all that magic-infused metal weighing her down.

Perhaps tomorrow she'd take some time and dig up a few of the archaeology sites here in Uldum. Being able to assemble something interesting would be fun and after the last three days of fishing and lazing about by the river her feet were starting to become permanently wrinkled. A little time in the desert would dry her out, both from the river and the alcohol. Mornara grinned and swigged more of her ale.


The next morning, Mornara finished strapping the last of her armor on and slung her axe across her back. The past days without its weight had been pleasant, but she felt better with it close to hand. She sniffed, the hot desert air had aired out her armor. The last whiffs of blood, slime, and char had finally faded.

Morn strode out of her tent away from the formation and drilling grounds. The camp commander here had enough trouble keeping the newer recruits in formation, she didn't want to add to his problems by having her drake land where it would be distracting.

At the landing area she grabbed the saddle and whistled for her drake. She shielded her eyes as it landed amid swirls of sand and dust. Once the drake's wings were folded Mornara heaved the saddle up onto its shoulders. The saddle wasn't particularly heavy for her, but its bulk did require a plethora of curses as she wrestled it into place and fastened all the straps. A quick double check on all the straps and then Morn vaulted into the saddle and the drake leaped into the sky.

The drake flew over the river and past the dam. The sun hadn't had a chance to heat things up yet so the drake had to work harder to gain altitude. Once high enough, Mornara signaled for a gentle glide toward the first dig site marked on her map.


Mornara had sifted through two dig sites that morning. Now she was relaxing under a palm tree at a tiny oasis. Her drake was performing double duty as backrest and watchdog, just in case the hyenas she had chased off earlier decided to come back.

She absently sipped at the last of her cactus cider; a bowl of lavascale minestrone already having been eaten. Mornara was idly toying with several fragments of Tol'vir archaeological finds. She wasn't sure, but she thought with a few more fragments she might be able to piece together a staff.

Mornara's lazy afternoon was interrupted as a whisper came in. She growled, "I distinctly remember threatening serious maiming to anyone who interrupted my vacation and - "

Her grumbles were cut off by the other person, whose breathless words tumbled over each other at a pitch higher than normal.

Mornara's jaw dropped open, and then she surged to her feet, cider forgotten, yelling, "... Garrosh did WHAT to Theramore?!"


This pic is from a Nalak kill that Kuan and Morn both participated in. It was a full raid and Nalak's health just melted away the dps was so high.

I'm posting this for posterity so that next time someone is unhappy with dps I can point to this post and the above pic.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Continuing Challenge Modes

I posted earlier about Kuan and Morn's Jade Serpent Temple challenge mode run. Since then we've done a few other challenge modes.

Tuesday night we took almost the same group into Stormstout Brewery. We'd swapped the dps DK out for a warlock. We managed to get bronze in there, too. Our sticking point was Hopitalus and his terrible hoppy and boppy adds. Pro tip: save a hammer from the gauntlet for the first wave of hopper adds. Their explosion really hurts on challenge. If you don't have a hammer, make sure everybody has a CD or two or you're gonna fall over dead. We also had a bit of a slowdown on last boss. We needed to be more on top of the adds that the boss spawned. Once I started putting up kill order marks they died speedily but before that there were too many of them too fast and the healed too much. It was a long fight. We were pretty handily inside the bronze timer and I think that without the wipes on Hopitalus we'd be able to get silver without too much trouble.

Wednesday we met up again, but swapped out warlock dps for boomchicken dps. The daily challenge quest was for Shado-Pan Monastery. We had previously tried that and utterly failed to not die horribly on the Sha of Violence. So I was a bit nervous about doing this challenge mode. There were a couple of wipes, but overall it was relatively smooth. The only boss we didn't one-shot was Gu Cloudstrike, the first guy. The lightning clouds his serpent puts down are pretty much instantly fatal, regrettably their warning mark is just slightly smaller then the deadly electricity. We honestly had more trouble with the packs of sha trash between the second and third bosses. They were just brutal. I honestly feel like I had more time to react before death with the first boss lightning clouds than with that sha trash. We pretty handily ended the run with a bronze rating.

Thursday after raid we were back to our original group from Temple of the Jade Serpent. Morn (blood DK), Kuan (ele shaman), Saruke (hunter), Expendable (monk heals), and Smokeydeath (frost DK). The daily challenge mode was Mogu'shan Palace. The hardest part of the run was the first couple of packs of trash. The whirlwind was pretty rough, but with some judicious stuns and a small sacrifice of DKs we got them dead. After that the rest of the instance was actually pretty reasonable. We had no wipes on any of the bosses. Gekkan was annoying with all his adds, but with frog, trap, and evil acupuncture we managed to keep them manageable. Xin was not all that different from heroic; just don't stand in the bad and he's dead eventually. Mogu'shan Palace has very tight timers, so we got the bronze but didn't have all that much time to spare.

Friday night the challenge daily quest was Gate of the Setting Sun. We swapped in a different warlock, and headed over there. The first boss again gave us the most trouble. We didn't realize at first that she will explode all bombs at 70% and 40%. Possibly she does that on heroic, too, but if so it's never been enough of an issue that I noticed. Once we were prepared for that it wasn't that bad a fight. A lot of the trash in there was pretty brutal, especially the packs before the first boss with all the bombs dropping from above at the same time. The other bosses weren't all that bad, though. We ended up with a bronze rating, with some time to spare.

I'm looking forward to doing more challenge modes. They remind me of Magister's terrace and heroics at the start of Wrath and Cata. It's nice to have the challenge and it's really a good test of how well you know every single ability your class and spec has. Getting a good rating really requires you to have a thorough knowledge of what you can do and how that will interact with the rest of your group. I think that silver is pretty attainable with just better coordination and knowing the instances. Gold though, gold will be a real achievement to get, but we'll get there eventually.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Megaera and Ji-Kun Dead

Last week after we killed Tortos I realized that this week would end up being a really short week, what with Fourth of July wiping out any raid on Thursday night. So I let everyone know that we'd be extending the raid lockout, and working on Megaera. I generally only like to extend raid lockouts for really special occasions. We're mostly de'ing the loot from Jin'rokh, but losing the chance to get hand tokens from Troll Council would kind of suck. However, with such a short raid week I figured it would be worth it.

The strategy for Megaera is almost the same for normal mode as for LFR. The only addition is that the heads out on the water spit crap at the non-tanks so they need to avoid things. We didn't kill the frost head at all so we only had to deal with cinders and acid bomb. There were a few snafus with the acid bomb. I tried to call it out, but a lot of the time my screen is entirely filled with hydra breath. But once the raid got used to moving out of it we had a pretty fast kill.

After Megaera we moved on to Ji-Kun. Amazingly we killed the giant bird thing on the second pull. I was quite frankly shocked and give most of the credit to our fabulous nest team. They were super awesome, and we had at most one baby bird trying to attack us. We also had some fabulous healing from the healer who didn't go with the away team. He managed to keep all seven of the rest of us alive through quills and all the crap on the ground.

Morn even won the leg token that dropped from Ji-Kun.

After Ji-Kun we had time to clear up to Durumu and do a few pulls on him. We need to work on the light beams coordination.

My conclusion from the night's work is that Horridon is a giant cock block. Tortos is too, but not nearly as bad as Horridon. I mean that fight took us weeks to master, with more than 50 wipes. But Megaera dies in 5 or 6 pulls and we kill Ji-Kun on our second try? That's not anything other than Horridon being a bastard.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

PvP Pet Battles

I've got more than 40 pets at level 25. This is a big enough number that I feel like I could field a reasonable pvp pet team. The problem of course is finding a team to field.

I've been doing a bunch of experimentation with my pets and battle teams. Thus far I've lost about at least two thirds of my matches. I've had some random wins with a few experimental teams that happened to run up against a team that they were perfectly set to trounce. I've also had some really epic wins just squeaking out a win with perfect ability timing. Most of my losses have been close, and I have either made a bad choice in pet ability or gotten a miss at just the wrong time. I did manage to get the win ten pvp pet battles achieve, but still need a few more wins before I complete the win ten with a level 25 team.

My most consistent wins have been with my lil'ragnaros, phoenix hatchling, and crow. Lil'rag can line up some really strong hits by setting the enemy pet on fire and then smacking them really hard, bonus damage for hitting them while on fire. The phonix hatchling does the same but with slightly less starting hp. And the crow is there to take out any aquatic pets with a really strong combo of Darkness and Nocturnal strike. The weakest link here is the phoenix hatchling.

I've also tried some random teams but haven't been super happy with anything. I did run up against a brutal combo that included a Zandalari raptor and the clockwork gnome. The combo of Black Claw and Turret just annihilated one pet before I even realized what was going on.

One strategy that I saw successfully used was to get a team of pets with long CD big hits and just rotate them in and out. This worked best when they were delayed so that several would hit at once. Mr Bigglesworth worked pretty well for this, as well as any aquatic pet with their whirlpool or geyser ability. The geyser is slightly better since it stuns, and that can potentially stop an attack on your pet.

I also got trounced by a three moth team. That was brutal with no magic pets on my team, but would have been cake otherwise. I may have to try it out myself. I also want to get a three frog team and see if I can't frog kiss someone to death.

I need to form a team with a bunch of avoid abilities. Possibly the Anubisath Idol, a rabbit, and something that can burrow or dive. That might be a good counter to the teams that have a few gigantic hits. Maybe I can put my baby fawn in there to provide heals. I'll have to try that soon.