Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Thing is...

I really like 3.1. REALLY Love the Argent Tournament, the new Fishing Dailies and the changes most people won't be raving about. The new content does seem to have been more considered than previously. Things that make me happy include:

  • The FP to Winterspring, and the Summoning Stone inside the Keep. That wasn't always there, right? With the new fishing daily in there it makes life so much easier, though I suspect this will become a camp point for the opposition over time. Fishing rods at the ready!
  • Chilled meats now have a chance to drop from ANY mob. I've been getting them from worms, mammoths and rhinos. Very useful for alts when doing the Cookery/Holdir/Tournament dailies.
  • The quest tracking I discovered on the PTR really is fantastic. It's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination (certain quest items don't show even when required for a quest if they are part of a chain of actions you need to complete) but the difference it makes to questing is significant. It's also fabulous that quests now automatically appear when picked up.
  • The amount of money I make simply by doing the Argent Tournament stuff. I've already paid back M's Dual Spec, and am well on the way to providing one for someone else. The jousting is a bit of a faff for Idiot Girl on some days, and I've not yet been able to defeat anyone in the Grand Melee quest :( Never mind, I can kiss frogs until the cows come home...
  • The stuff in the Fishing Daily bags. I specifically point at the grey items (like the Battered Jungle Hat) which Blizz have clearly included for Bank Alt Pimpage. My vanity banker and the Guild banker both have one now, and very smart they look too. I really don't care how many New Age Paintings I get either: at 25g a throw, it's still a good living. Plus it's also good levelling: Druid's up to 200 and Lock's close to 225 now, just on the Dailies. It does take a while though, and considering the chaos offshore yesterday for the Severed hand quest I think I'll stick to fishing inland with those two until I get their skills up a bit.
  • The new Books of Glyph Mastery. Lots of people on my server are not best pleased about this change: books are being sold for what people consider profiteering amounts... well they're right, of course. People all make money in their own way. However, the drop rate is pretty good if you're in 80 territory. A bit of patience... I've had two drop as a result of my work in Storm Peaks and Icecrown (plus one from a mate). As a result as of yesterday I was still the only person who was selling Glyph of Nourish on my server. I've done a very steady trade as a result: I refuse to sell them at the three figure prices most people seem to favour. As a result I finally have Inscription paying for itself.
  • The new Raid Boss in Wintergrasp. No turning up without a brain in 10 man any more. Hooray!
Talking of which, M has the 10 man achievement. I'm guessing it's gonna be a few weeks before anyone's PuGGing him successfully in 25 man...

W got her first piece of badge gear last night, the very useful Ward of the Violet Citadel, which means I only need to upgrade three more items to be in all 80 gear. The Hat of Wintry Doom was my last crafted item which means it's boots, wand and trinket that remain to be replaced. It's a slow process, but we'll get there eventually!

Now if you'll excuse me it's off to get one step closer to P of Ironforge...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Three Down...

After the Deconstructinator... the road to Ulduar is clear!

It is often noted that this game, like it or not, is a lot to do with luck. Last night we proved that it has very little to do with luck and pretty much everything to do with the people you take. That whole 'bring the player, not the class' adage works pretty well, when all is said and done.

We didn't have two of our players from Sunday: we lost shaman totems and a druid's Leader of the Pack. We gained a Death Knight's fairly awesome dps (nearly 4k in the XT-002 fight) and another DK's superlative tanking, and we one-shotted him with less than 10 seconds to spare to the Enrage. We gained an achievement. We lost two people in the fight, but people went the extra mile, from the Druid healer who moonfire spammed her way through the heart phase to the Pally tank who dealt with the adds. EVERYONE contributed in their own way to the kill, and it happened so fast I still can't quite believe we did it. Gief achievement to convince me!

Ooh look, we did!

After that we decided on Razorscale. We refined our tactic from Thursday (when we wiped horribly), got our mage to start the Event and braced ourselves for the Dark Irons... who never came. No mole machines, no chain lightning... just blue flame balls from above until we got her to 50%, she landed... and we killed her with 2 people standing. Yes it may be an assist, but we'll take the kill thanks very much as it means our hunter got the fourth best pair of gloves currently in game for his class and a priest grabbed a pretty damn fine trinket.

We ventured inside next (Ignis can wait) and took a look at both the Assembly of Iron and Kologarn who, on our first (not very serious) try was taken to 72%. I reckon he'll be the way we go initially as the Iron Council looks like a far more techinically complex fight.

All in all it was a fantastic night. Snacks and respect to the Guild, who yet again showed that it's nothing to do with the classes and EVERYTHING to do with the players... especially if they're DK's :D

Seriously: Good Job Guys!

It's In the Trees, It's Coming...

I'll discuss the Ulduar strangeness in a moment, but first I want to mention summat that made me stop and and think on WoW Insider this morning. It is being suggested in some quarters that Ulduar might be a Guild breaker. As the article says 'Ulduar seems to be where the rubber meets the road with casual raiding. If there's a guild out there who has a few lesser raiders carried along by a few high-level veterans, Ulduar's likely to cause some friction.'

I think, if I'm honest, it all boils down to whether people are prepared to move out of their comfort zones to make progress. Naxx was quite a challenge for the casual raider, but it was well documented. Ulduar is still pretty much unknown territory. However casual you might be there is a point, at least where I stand, where you have to decide whether raid progress is actually what you want from the Game. More importantly it's whether your Guild is prepared to accomodate your point of view if you decide not to raid when the vast majority of people are happy to do so. It's part of the constantly-evolving process that IS this game. Choices, decisions, whether you do X or Y when you log, how important gear and progression in whatever enviornment you find yourself in... all of these can be easily accomodated in this virtual world, assuming that the people who run your Guild are prepared to be flexible and communicate with you as to what is needed and what is expected.

I'm in the process of writing a Mission Statement for the Guild, along with our Officers. It may seem to some a bit pointless, but experience has proved with the people we have that if you communicate with them in an honest and forthright manner there are fewer issues, and confusion is far easier to avoid. So, if we tell people exactly what we'd like to see happen, it should make what we do a lot clearer to everybody. I suspect if I were twenty years younger I would be accused of being 'far too emo' about the whole thing but it works. I would like to think if anyone has a problem in Guild we hear about it and try and sort it by that person coming forward and saying something publically. It doesn't always work, of course, but the fact we're about to celebrate our fourth anniversary on the Server makes me think we must be doing something right.

ANY new development in game has the potential to be a Guild breaker. If the people in the Guild aren't talking or don't understand each other, that's as dangerous as a Boss that wipes you for two weeks straight with no progress. It's all down in the end to communication. Dueg's GM shouldn't have been talking to his Guild in the instance, he should have been talking to them BEFORE they went in. This should have been the topic of discussion after the first run. The more you can make people aware, as quickly as possible, the more chance you have that people will actually grasp the importance of the situation. If all else fails of course, you'll just have to take people in and let them see for themselves.

If they're not prepared, they'll find out soon enough.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

And He's DOWN!

Raidgroup: 3 - Ulduar: 0.

I would post you the Achievement for the Deconstructinator, but the server was just reset.

More tomorrow!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Not Quite Enough

So, here is my damage from last night's foray into Ulduar. The 4% is how far we got the X002 Deconstructinator to before he enraged and owned our asses.

I died fifteen times. It was hugely frustrating but at the same time immensely satisfying to be making up our own strategy again for the first time. I have absolutely NO idea how you would be able to do this in 10 man Naxx gear (as has been said is possible by Mr G. Crawler this weekend) unless those people are infinitely better players than I am, because I was at my limit. The entire two and a bit hours, and it STILL wasn't enough :(

Looking at my numbers, and considering what everyone else was outputting, I surmise I'm about 500dps short. So, last night I made some changes:

I have repecced to 57/0/14, which gives me the Master Shapeshifter buff (+4% damage) and Omen of Clarity (chance of free cast) I've put three points in Celestial Focus (+3% spell haste) and removed Dreamstate, instead throwing a point into Intensity (17% of mana regen continues while casting) I have found a combination of gear that lifts me above 1850 damage, but (sadly) is gonna need Snapper Extreme (+30 hit) to push me to cap, so I lose the extra spell damage but gain 400 health.

Will it be enough? I'll let you know on Tuesday when we go back to try and make it 2/14 in Ulduar.

In other news...

Yes, that's W's Lock spells there. The new dailies at the Tournament (plus the Sons quests) were enough to get her almost to 80, the last couple of bars happened in a Halls of Lightning. She's still wearing the vast majority of her 70 gear but can still pull enough dps for Heroics. Next step is to actually get her into some :p

So, that's three of the family levelled. I have NO idea who I'm going to do next...