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.

Draenic Pale Ale

"You feel a little tipsy from the [Draenic Pale Ale]."

Apparently, Eeyan is a bit more drastically affected by it than most denizens of Azeroth.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Dragon Soul: Madness of Deathwing Dialogue

You'd think that after being drilled through the CHEST with the Dragon Soul Deathwing would be dead. Sadly, you'd be wrong. Deathwing's front half emerges from the Maelstrom and if you don't stop him he'll beat up the Aspects.

Deathwing yells: You have done NOTHING. I will tear your world apart.

He rears up from the Maelstrom and puts one limb on each of the platforms. Forelegs in the two center ones and wings on the two side ones. They aren't really limbs anymore, more like big loopy tentacles. In fact, it seems that drilling him through the chest just made him harder to kill. The armor wasn't only there to defend him, but also to keep his Old God infected self from going all tentacle monster.

Depending on what order you deal with each limb you'll get a different set of talking from each dragon. Well you'll get the same set of talking on each platform with a slight flavor difference for each dragon aspect. On every platform Deathwing will start out by trying to assault with a giant tentacle the aspect of that platform. You need to kill the assault tentacle, then kill the elementium bolt, kill some blood, kill little tentacles that sprout from his limb twice, and then finally kill the big limb tentacle. Then you can move on to the next platform and repeat that whole shebang, but without the buff that the previous platform's aspect was giving you. With four platforms, it's a bit repetitive, and a pretty long fight.

Ysera yells: I will bring you closer to the Emerald Dream. Seek safety there when the fight becomes too intense.

Nozdormu yells: I will slow the Destroyer's attacks when I can.

Deathwing yells: Your armor means nothing, your faith even less.

Kalecgos yells: The Destroyer is gathering all his might for a blow that will split the world. Attack him, now! We must stop the final Cataclysm!

Deathwing yells: The sea will swallow your smoldering remains.
Ysera yells: Deathwing is conjuring the final Cataclysm; even the Emerald Dream trembles. If we are to stop the spell, we must attack him together.
Alexstraza yells: I will cleans whatever corruption I can; my fire will not harm you.

Once you beat down all Deathwing's limbs his head will fall forward. You can only hit it from Ysera's platform, which is where you originally parachuted down. The raid has a few small tentacles and some nasty Elementium Terrors to kill. Other than that just burn the big dragon head. If you're on heroic then every time he loses 5% of his health he'll also spawn some bloods that need to be killed before they reach and heal him.


Thrall yells: Press the attack, heroes.
Thrall yells: Don't give up! We are counting on you to push Deathwing back.

Ysera yells: Such rage I have never seen...
Thrall yells: Only you can give us our opening!

Kalecgos yells: Is he... coming apart?
Thrall yells: These champions are our only hope for exposing Deathwing's weakness. Together, we can prevail.

Once you finally kill Deathwing you can get one of several dialogues. The different remaining aspects each can say something when they use the Dragon Soul to kill Deathwing for good this time.

Thrall yells: Aspects! Aid the heroes as best you can.
Nozdormu yells: It is time. I will expend everything to bind every thread here, now, around the Dragon Soul. What comes to pass will NEVER be undone.

Kalecgos yells: I will realign the flow of mana and fill the Dragon Soul with all my arcane might.

Alexstraza yells: Excellent work. The fire of my heart glows with a brilliant purity unmatched; every spark of it I will channel into the Dragon Soul.

Now that the Dragon Soul has all the Aspects' power bound into it Thrall can use it to explode Deathwing into nothingness. And then you get the sappy cutscene with Aggra being preggers and suddenly it being the players jobs to stop all the bad shit that happens to Azeroth. I really wonder about the dragon aspects sometimes. What did they think that we were doing just then?

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Pet Battle Quests

Once I got all those pet teams set up I considered that since they were already set up it wouldn't be too bad to set up even more teams. They were all named so I wouldn't forget what they were for. And as long as I kept naming teams it would continue to be manageable.

I decided to follow the advice at Press 5 to Capture about some close and easy to beat Master Tamers. For a while now I've been doing the Farmer Nishi daily pet battle quest. Its a nice chunk of pet XP and a chance at some sort of flawless battlestone. I added in teams for the Thundering Pandaren Spirit, Grand Master Aki, and the Beasts of Fable: Book 2. I have a carried pet to get XP for Thundering, Aki, and Lucky Yi, of the Beasts of Fable. But Greyhoof and Skitterer Xi hit too hard and give too little XP to make it worth it to carry a baby pet.

I also figured out a good third PvP pet team. I already had the big hits team with rocket and sandstorm. I also had the many dots that hit like trucks team, with turret and wild magic. I added a third team of lil'ragnaros and phoenix hatchling to set things on fire and then hit them really hard because they were burning, with a flying pet to take out any troublesome aquatic pets that showed up.

Then I just rotated through those three battle teams and absolutely cleaned up in the PvP battles. I ended up winning something like eight PvP pet battles in a row with level 25 pets. I'm not going to deny that I had a lot of luck on my side. There were at least two battles where my last pet standing dodged an attack that should have killed it and then managed to slaughter the other pet just in time to not get killed next round. There were also a few fights were a single pet of mine slaughtered their whole team. I wasn't surprised when the single victorious pet was my Anubisath Idol, but I was impressed when my phoenix hatchling laid the smack down on another team all by itself. I also feel kinda bad for the team that put up lightning storm when I had my clockwork gnome turret and corefire imp wild magic team out.

I could be imagining things, but I think it helps that I have three separate battle teams with different philosophies for each of them. You don't see who you are fighting, but you can see and recognize their pets. I ran into a couple of the same opposing teams, but they never fought one of my teams more than once. It's good when the enemy can't scout you effectively.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Iron Qon and Twin Consorts dead

Darkfall had a nice week of raiding this week. We are kind of in the middle of changing up our raid nights. So we had a raid on Wednesday from 10 to midnight server. We kept our usual times on Tuesday and Thursday, but the raid didn't actually start up until 9:30 because of various people being late. Regrettably DraNgNon and I were some of those people on Thursday.

Anway, on Tuesday we smashed through the first seven bosses. Morn won Bo-Ris, Horror in the Night from a coin when we killed Horridon. Sadly Durumu didn't drop his awesome tanking ring, either generally or when I used a coin.

Wednesday I was expecting to pick up after Durumu and kill all the things so that we'd get some tries on Iron Qon. We did handily kill Primordius, but then we had a series of annoying wipes on Dark Animus. We didn't have the same group as when we first killed it so the new person had to learn the fight. Apparently both the new person and old people had trouble with the concept of don't dps the adds until it is your turn. I was boggling a bit, though I will say that no one made the same mistake twice. We did kill Animus in time to get a pull or two in on Iron Qon, so we had a chance to see the wind phase, and lament the lack of a warlock for portals. Morn was lucky enough to be top on EP/GP when the Dark Animus dropped the DK chest token.

Thursday we came in and kicked ass.

Iron Qon we had a miraculous kill on our third or fourth pull of the night. I was expecting a long slow wipe when both healers went down near the start of the wind phase. I used Raise Ally on the first one to die, but could only be sad when the other one died moments later. However, in the spirit of learning the fight we kept going. It really seems to be the case that once you're through the wind phase it's not so bad a fight. I admit that the last phase was a bit hairy. If we'd not had two shaman and a druid to cast off spec heals we'd have died horribly during Qon's ground pounding. I'm pretty sure that we just squeaked out a kill before the next round of AoE that would have wiped us all.

Twin Consorts was pretty trivial. The fight is quite similar to LFR, just with harder hitting abilities and slightly more crap to avoid. Our dps warrior was detailed to run the patterns, mostly because he'd tried it a few times on LFR and also had heroic leap to get into position quickly without running through all the aoe. It actually took us two tries to kill her. The first time we pulled while our frost DK was offline with router issues. Despite that we almost killed them before the berserk, but there was a little bit of confusion about what was happening in the dusk phase. Once our frost DK got his router back in order we came back and handily collected loot.

Then we had a bit of time left over to work on Lei Shen. We had two or three pulls on him. As I was expecting we can use a bit of work on the phases, but mostly we have them down. The hard part of course is the intermissions. Needing to have two platforms that only have two people on them is rough. We'll get him next week though.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Ruben Holen

One thing I like about the Shrine of Two Moons is the NPCs inhabiting it. It's not a big space, but it is packed full of interesting NPCs.

One of those is a goblin named Ruben Holen. Ruben rides a Lorewalker cloud platform up, down, and around the library that is next to the bank. Given that his title is "The Bookworm" I love the detail that he's on a Lorewalker mount.

He'll even talk to you about how many excellent books there are available.

Ruben Holen:
These Pandaren are sittin' on a treasure trove. They even got books in here about vrykul. I mean the vrykul! Come on! How could they possibly have encountered them?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Dark Animus Dead

Last Thursday night Darkfall headed into Throne of Thunder. Tuesday the raid had killed the first half of the bosses; everything including Ji-Kun. Thursday night we blasted through and handily killed both Durumu and Primordius. Then we cleared trash and went on to work on Dark Animus.

We hadn't actually pulled him at all previously. We'd killed Primordius, but run out of raid time before we got to Animus. Despite not having pulled Dark Animus at all we had time to kill him and then have a try on Iron Quon as well.

Dark Animus is a pretty fun fight. The hardest part was just getting the coordination down for all the annoying small animus golems. Those things barely tap you if there is one but practically smash you flat if there are two.

We pursued the strategy of getting the broken Large Animus filled first, with eachthe tanks' two little animus. Meanwhile the third large golem on the other side of the room was getting filled with two other small animus from melee. As soon as both my small animus were dead I grabbed one and brought it near a massive to be killed. That massive was brought to the center of the room and the remaining small animus were brought to it to be killed one at a time. Then the massive was fully filled up from broken small one before a broken small animus next to dark animus was punched and the Dark Animus was brought to life. The only mildly tricky part after we'd gotten through the initial grabbing of small animus was making sure everyone was ready for Interrupting Jolt.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Mourning Glory

Once item that I carry in my bags is the Mourning Glory.

It makes the sting of a wipe just a little less painful if I can see a pretty yellow flower blooming on my corpse.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Pet Battle Team OCD

A while ago I started going a bit OCD with the BattlePetTeams. It's a really handy addon that lets you set up preset teams. You can select the pets and their abilities and use them on multiple characters. I set up a whole lot of teams for leveling and fighting the master pet tamers on each continent.

But then I forgot what all the teams were for.

So over the past couple of weeks I've been naming all the teams that I remember. I got down from twenty-ish random unnamed teams to about 5 named teams. One for killing the Darkmoon master tamer's team, three for leveling pets, and a fifth for fighting Farmer Nishi every day in Valley of Four Winds.

Then I decided that I wanted to have teams for my PvP efforts. So I've got my two actually successful PvP battle teams set up in their named teams. And I've also got a couple of trial teams where I'm trying out combos of pets and abilities to see what works or, most often, what dies horribly.

I've also got a bunch of teams for characters to quickly swap to when they are in cities or out questing or whatnot. I've got a lowbie city team, which is made of all pets below level 5 and swaps out pets speedily as they level past getting XP from critters in the capital cities. I've got a medium XP team, with pets that are all level 10-ish, so that characters wandering in the wild can get xp when they run into a pet they can fight. I've got a medium leveling team, which has a couple or 25s and a pet between 11 and 19 who is there for the XP when I've got a character in Outland or Northrend.

I've also got a pet team that I call Minfernal Net. It consists of a pet between 4 and 10, my Kun-lai Runt, and the Terrible Turnip. Whatever character is in Felwood has this team out. The lowbie pet and Kun-lai Runt are there to kill whatever random pet I run across. The Terrible Turnip is there only in case I ever actually see a Minfernal, so that Weakening Blow doesn't accidentally kill it.

I'm sure I'll set up even more pet battle teams, but at least if I name them I'll remember what to use them for.