Monday, September 22, 2008

Long time, no Gruul!

For the first time since the start of this year, my guild managed to gather enough people to go to Gruul’s Lair. It was an entertaining evening filled with new experiences for many, entertaining wipes and gleeful success.

At the start there was only 21 people there, whilst we “taught” the inexperienced how to work the High King and his minions.

We managed to polish our performance by the 5th try, by which point there was 24 people in the group.

The mage-tank managed to perfect his attacks and I assisted on the priest whos heals kept getting off in previous fights due to his greater shield not coming down in time to interrupt the prayer of healing.

After a brief scuffle, he went down, then onto the warlock who dropped like a sack of murlocs. We then went onto Krosh. About 10 seconds into the fight the shield came off the mage-tank, and then didn’t re-apply to Krosh for some 10-15 seconds after… I managed to gain enough aggro and with my modest 11.2k health, (14.5k on the primary mage tank!) got that shield back and managed to hold him until he was down.. After this it was a walk in the park. Take down the remaining add and then spank Mulgar himself. By this point, with two tanks with over 200k aggro each… it was all out DPS mayhem. Fun times!

Gruul was a bit easier, but harder at the same time.

The first two attempts we got unlucky with the shatters – I only got hit once on each attempt – both times whilst landed among 5 or more other players… Insta-gib. The first try we barely scratched him to 80%, the second try 10%.

The Third try was to be our final attempt as we had been here for over three hours by this point!

Wham Bam, thank you maam! Gruul was down and most of the raid was still alive. Fantastic effort by everyone.

The magus blade dropped – which I already had, a Two handed hunter/dps warrior axe (which sparked some insanity…) and Two sets of pants. (Odd collection he carries on him!)

Screenshots ensued, and everyone went to bed.

Now… The entertainment on the Axe? Ill tell you about it.

We have a rule in the guild – one that I am sure most guilds will have: Primary spec people get priority, if no one needs a piece of gear for their primary spec, people may roll for off-spec. Sounds fair right?

Well, two hunters and a holy paladin wanted that Axe. By these standards, the hunters are rolling for primary (their only spec really…) spec, and the holy paladin for – I suspect – Retribution, which is off-spec.

Pally rolls with the hunters, pally wins. Pally doesn’t get loot. Pally screams were a bunch of ninjas with stupid rules, quits the guild and starts whispering everyone in the raid that he wont work with such a stupid guild.

On Teamspeak, we simply laughed at his stupidity (as he quit the raid in a huff and missed rolling on his pally pants) and selfishness, put him on ignore and enjoiyed the fact we seem to be able to whittle out the muppets quite quickly. (He was a fairly new recruit, but being a social guild most players interact on a regular basis, know each other quite well, and most have met in real life – so we shed no tears when a player of this caliber appears and disappears in one run that reveals their true colours.)


Hunter selected!

I decided to bite the bullet and spend some time on my Draenei hunter (Telvanya) this weekend to see if I could get into playing her again. Good news! It worked! This unfortunately means my Dwarven hunter is cast into the nether along with a million other alts of Christmas past...

But anyhoo! To start with, I looked at Clarence, my ravager… stroked my beard… and put him in the stables. He was going into retirement - at least for a while.

I took a trip to Stranglethorn Vale and grabbed myself a Shadowmaw Panther 4 levels below me. Learned prowl (yes, I know its useless for PvE!) I looked at King Bangalash longingly, but he was a couple of levels above me and untamable... but he suited Telvanya perfectly!

For the time being I decided to get myself something a little closer to my level… I tamed Bag’thera who was only one level below me, and scooted off for some questing and a Maraudon run (boosted of course!) I now have a backlog of level 46-48 blue mail items and a shiny new BM rifle that are all waiting for me to leve up.

I continued to quest in Tanaris and The Hinterlands after this run, hit 44, went back and grabbed King Bangalash (Who was 43. Doh!) I continued to quest and play around with this lil fella, who is now a filly, called Nimmy (Named after my dog due to my wife playing with her when I asked what I should name my pet).

I went out and made sure I was up to date on pet abilities for the level:

Bite 6, Claw6, Dash2 and Growl 5, and now Nimmy makes a fantastic pet. Our DPS is through the roof, and she is easily able to tank 3 or 4 of the same level with mend pet and a bit of target swapping on the go. We can handle more, but it involves trapping, kiting and fearing.

My proudest moment so far with her was an accidental pull at Skulk Rock in The hinterlands where I pulled two level 48 Jade Oozes and a 48 Wolf – with Telvanya and Nimmy being levels 44 and 45, this seemed like a bit much but with some chain trapping and fearing (thankfully I left an abandoned frost trap from a previous fight!) we managed to take them down and both
ended with full health, albheit zero mana (even after a pot)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Velky's back, and here comes WAR.

Hey there! … What do you mean its been two weeks?
Oh, ok. I guess it has!

Well, there are reasons for that. Firstly, some family issues sucked up a lot of my time last week, and I also spent 5 days solid attending a training course at work. This was followed up by going to a guild meet up on the weekend, and some hard core work catching up that had to be done over the course of this week… But I’m free enough to make an update now! So… I will make several, to break up the wall of text crit.

Warhammer online is here! And… well, to be honest… Im not all that bothered. I don’t know why, but even with my history with Warhammer fantasy and 40k tabletop gaming, I just didn’t get caught up in the hype machine for this game. I don’t really have the available finances to go out and buy the game, and if I did, I suspect I would need to upgrade my PC first!

My mother bought it, and is visiting next week and bringing it with her, so I will get a look at the game then with luck! My favourite part of any MMORPG is the “newbie” feeling – the start of a new game tends to be the most memorable and depending on the level of addiction it forms, will determine how much of your time may be invested into it in the future.

I must admit, the more I learn of this game, the more it appeals. Im not really a PVP junkie, although I must admit Planetside is one of my longest running MMO games, and Eve brought about some extreme adrenaline rushes, especially when you spot the local pirate corp warping into your zone and the warp scrambles start coming…

What? Oh yes, Im digressing.

I am looking forward to getting in and giving this game a blast, and I fancy going something silly – so a greenskin is a must… possibly a squig herder. Nothing like squashing the enemy with a giant space-hopper!

Ill report on it once I have given it a shot, but I don’t see me leaving WoW – I like the PVE content too much, have roots too far buried and am more interested in Wrath than WAR.


Character Dilemmas

I don’t know about anyone else, but now that Wrath’s release date has been officially announced, I find myself in a bit of a quandary. I have many alts who I would like to be at 70 before it hits, but I can’t decide whom to set my sights on.

I have anumber of characters who I alternate between, depending on my mood. Here is a list in priority order:
  • Priest
  • 2 Hunters (Choice of one.)
  • Warrior
  • Druid

Priority 1 lies with my Priest, Asterra, as she is on the last leg to 70. With the release of the upcoming patch, I believe the outlands will be a breeze to level through, so letting her sit could be beneficial, but I have a deal with the wife. She is going to play her mage first in the expansion, and ill play my priest.

"Why?" I hear you ask?

Well, since we levelled from 0-60 and 60-70 primarily as a Duo, she always been her on her druid healing and me on a DPS class doing the bulk of the damage. The roles are going to swap, so to speak. It should be interesting. I really like my priest, but I do hate the inability to do some of the things I can do as a mage… Namely AOE grind a bunch of angry pissed off mobs who are rooted or snared as I bounce about giving them face fulls of critical arcane explosions.

*grins at the thought*

My next priority is one of my hunters. I really like the changes they have made to hunters, and I am really keen to get one up – just for the play value, Im not bothered about raiding etc with him/her at the high end as I will have a priest mage and a rogue waiting by the time he/she is leveled.

I have a Draenei female hunter, level 41. She was a group leveling effort back when TBC was released, and fell by the wayside as I got into raiding with my mage, pvp with my rogue and leveling Asterra. She is 275 leatherworking and skinning about the same level, and her cooking is maxed for her level. I even ground her fishing to over 100.

The problem with this hunter is I have hit a pit. Around 40 I tend to lose interest in characters, and since I stopped playing her, I have lost the bond with her pet (A Ravager called Clarence.), and looking at her gear it clicks “Huntard” – I totally didn’t know what I was gearing for when leveling this character. Two proc on hit weapons… and a bow with no stats. (Epic it may be, but having less than 1.5k health and mana at that level means I out of mana fast, and if I screw up with the aggro, I often have to run. Fast!

Due to feeling she is “broken” (Needing re-geared, and I want a new pet but am at a level whereit would be a bad idea to change unless I want to level a pet I like) I rolled a Dwarven hunter, alaBig Red Kitty. This fella is loads of fun. He uses a boar called Rasher and I find the boar to be more fun than the ravager, charge is immense! The problem here is that he is level 16, and has zero tradeskills. I set myself a leveling challenge to just get through the levels as fast as possible, so left tradeskills as something to come back to later… although I have decided im going to train skinning since I want him to leatherwork, and cook as it’s a pain to back-track.

Every time I log in with the Draenei I think “Dwarf is more fun”

Every time I log with the Dwarf I think “Draenei is a couple of days work ahead, and has tradeskills ground to the appropriate level… Argh! It’s doing my head in. I think I have to do a couple of instances with the Draenei to get her new gear, find her a new pet (thinking King Bangalash at 43/44 when I can tame him.) and see what I think… but then that is even more work and with that time I could have hit Stranglethorn Vale with my hunter, which is a trade skill + leveling power-zone for a hunter.

I guess the biggest concern is:

A) time investment for new hunter

B) cost of getting up those trade skills

C) I’m going to hit the same pit at 40. the pet has the same abilities, and there is not going be a new gore skill till level 50-odd.

Following these up, I have my Warrior and Druid, who are both on the wayside for now. I really like tanking with my mothers warrior, so want to have my own character that is capable of it – and this char who was a 29 twink can easily level up fast, but I want to get them hunter pets… too many characters, too little time.

I fear the draw of WAR…Must resist…

To top it all off, Im still wanting to do some progressive raiding with my mage... We have 3 zuluman bosses on farm now, as well as Kara (apart from Netherspite as the guild has a very defeatist attitude when it comes to this chap.) Why, why why Wrath! Why... so close, so tempting, but so much to do!

Take it easy out there!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Blog stylings + updates.

Guidelines from the nether!

So,I have been reading the Twisted Nether blogging guides… After perusing their guide, along with some from other bloggers I realize that I am not particularly happy with the current layout and content of my posts, how I structure them, and my update rate. I have therefore decided; the time for change is now!

Layout Improvements:

From now on I aim to provide:

· Better formatting,
· Easier to read content (I.e less of these brackets explaining things mid sentence!)
· Cleaner lay out.

If you catch my old posts before I go back and purge them with an improved format, you will notice that I tend to suffer from what can only be described as “wall of textitus” no images, no hyper-links and poorly formatted due to rush 20 minute lunchtime postings I shall continue to update as such, but with the improved formatting and attempt to add what imagery and links I can from home!


I have been all over the place with regards to posting dates. I never had a set update schedule, and at this point in time, I don’t see me having one, although I shall endeavor to post on something semi-interesting at least once per week. I am not as creative as I would like to think, and don’t want to post on every random thing that pops into my head. In addition I have not got much free time between work, family and actually playing the dang game to make a tightly packed update schedule.

Random Quote:

"Time for fun!" -Blackheart the Inciter

Cos that’s the way I roll baby.
Your happy go lucky bloggish Scotsman.

Mage macros to live by, die by and pwn by.

Until I started attending raiding and participating in heroics, I didn’t really use many macros. Sure, I had the standard issue /target x macro for hunting those elusive mobs from my days in Azeroth – but that was about it.

So I hear you ask, – what macros would I recommend? Well, here is my top list, that I have. (Disclaimer: I am a macro nubbin so these macros may or may not need tweaking before they work… all are based one macros that I stole from another blog - the name eludes me at the moment but I think it might have been Critical QQ)

/Stopcasting is added as the first command line in each macro as this ensures that you are not doing anything else that might prevent all the macro executing correctly.

/use Name of trinket 1 – this will activate the named trinket if it is equipped – if you have two trinkets that do not share a global cooldown, say, scryers bloodgem and Pendant of the violet Eye, you can add /use Name of trinket 2 in the next line to activate the second trinket.

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Frosting the night away:
Spec: Deep frost

For this one you want access to your water elemental. The idea here is that you pop your Icy Veins, trinket and summon your Water Elemental. This allows for a short period of burst-pew-pew and is fantastic for trying to get those high damage shatter combos off with the ranged frost nova.

#Showtooltip summon water elemental
/cast icy veins
/use name of trinket1
/cast summon water elemental

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POM PYRO: – the fun way
Spec: Arcane-fire.

Probably the most common damage macro out there, to perform this little trick you want enough talents in arcane and fire to get Presence of Mind and Pyroblast. Various combinations of arcane or fire talent distribution will get you this and will both bring their own benefits and play style. This particular macro assumes you have gone primarily down the arcane tree for Arcane Power. (Deep arcane produces some amazing crits from this.) This macro again sets you up for some serious Pew-Pew as you have your trinket and arcane power running for follow up casts. The biggest downside is you generally have to wait for the tank to have a good 7 or 8k aggro on top of you to ensure you don’t turn into a gooey mess on your team mates. I have hit for over 7k crits with only 900 +spell damage in a raid situation – add on top the 40% dot if you took ignite – that’s almost 10k damage in one global cooldown.

#Showtooltip Pyroblast
/cast Arcane Power
/use Name of trinket 1
/cast presence of mind
/cast pyroblast

Sit back, and watch the pain.

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Spec: Arcane

This macro simply allows you to instant-cast your polymorph spell, although I would personally recommend using the Polymorph Focus Macro below and just manually activating Presence of Mind.

#showtooltip Polymorph
/cast presence of mind
/cast polymorph

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Spec: Arcane-Frost

This is my current fling. This macro will activate Arcane Power, Icy Veins, Trinkets AND Presence of mind, and fling out an instant frostbolt (sub with any other spell you would like to insta-cast) The opening frostbolt and the followups regularly hit for an excess of 5k damage, which is tasty! You have your trinkets, arcane power and Icy Veins flowing for their duration meaning you enter a state I shall call RFHDwtfomgasm (Rapid Fire, High Damage, WTF, OMGasm) I easily get 1200-1500 sustained dps over this duration – excellent burst damage for boss fights or when you just have to say NO! (Impressive coming from someone with only badge gear, Kara gear and heroic gear.)

#Showtooltip frostbolt
/cast Arcane Power
/cast presence of mind
/cast icy veins
/use Trinket1
/cast frostbolt

Then make them suffer!

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Spec: Arcane

This macro sets a focus target and casts your polymorph at it. You can clear the focus by holding shift when you cast (or when the target dies or goes out of range) - this will clear or retarget the macro. This is a great macro that means you dont have to search for that sheep when its about to break. Great when used in conjunction with Xpearl unit frames as you get a window for your focus that you can keep track of the targets condition and poly duration. It can be tricky to get the hang of at first. Quick target changes, or the fact that hitting the button more than once resets the cast bar is irritating but you adapt.

#showtooltip polymorph
/clearfocus [modifier:shift]
/focus [target=focus,noexists];[target=focus,dead]
/clearfocus [target=focus,help]
/cast [target=focus,exists,harm]polymorph;polymorph