maandag 19 maart 2018

Pilot Balloon

The Dutch word is  'Proefballon' which translates to Pilot Balloon according to Google Translate, or, 'to put out a feeler'. That's what Blizzard seems to be doing with these Q&A's. Says something that may seem controversial, and see how the community reacts, well, there where some reactions.

I read a lot of them, and I saw a lot of videos on it, although I am still waiting on Tallisin & Evitel, but to quote them, it was a shit-storm. The biggest continuing thread on the official forums was started by someone who is against it, who basically said: You Abused it, now loose it.

And if you haven't  seen the Q&A, and aren't into following vlogs and/or blogs, I am talking about the current Personal Loot versus Master Loot discussion. And it seems to be going down the same road it was with Nostalrius. A very Black and White discussion.

And all this about a little question in an Q&A, which was shadily answered, and pointed towards split raiding and tier-sets...  so let me get a few thoughts in, because so many, either pro or against, are so much generalizing stuff, that it feels so wrong.

First of, all the guilds I ever been in where done with ML, but none was Loot Council. There seems to be this generalization that ML=LC. And although I think think Master-loot is the best loot-system to help any guild, I do see the pitfalls of it. And a lot of the negatives about ML seem to make the assumption that ML=LC.

Master-loot is the system for Raid-groups with at least 80% from one guild to manually distribute loot themselves. This can be done with several systems, ONE of them is Loot Council, but there are many others, most known are Dragon Kill Points, Gold Dragon Kill Points and Effort Points/Gear Points.. more commonly known DKP, GDKP and EP/GP. So please stop using ML=LC... it is not true.

And although I am not a fan of the DKP system, I am in Innovation, where we use a Blind-bid DKP system. What I don't like about it is another blog, maybe, but I knew beforehand this was the system, and it is a system to make sure the Raid grows in power, not the individual. Most Master-loot systems are.

I also see a lot of assumptions that only Mythic Raiding Guilds us Master-loot, by both non-organised raiders and by mythic raiders, this is also not true. Innovation is a Heroic Progression Guild. We aim to clear Heroic every tier, and will see what happens after that. Getting into Mythic is a little bit harder, you need a steady 20 people in the raid, and maybe you actually need to class-stack? But that is a discussion about if you can be a heroic progression raider.. this was about loot-systems.

Basically, any organisation wants to control how it grows, and a guild is no different. Master-loot for any guild is better because it helps the raid, not the individual. And any system with even more RNG is basically worse.

Most comments that are against ML seem to be from players who had a bad experience with it, mostly because they where on trial. And by default, for a long time, trial members have less right on loot than non-trials. That is the idea behind it, a trial period is there to see if a player fits into the guild, and if it doesn't work, the raid doesn't want to loose to much.

Now Innovation actually does allow trials to bid on stuff. They just have no DKP to start with, so they have to do a few raids to get some DKP, although in my experience, most Trials will be getting loot within one raid-week (I did, way back in Cata), And this system, how we distribute loot, is accessible to all on the forums of Innovation. So you know what you signed up for.

What a lot of people seem to forget, is that Guilds want make sure the Raid-group gets stronger, and that is the reason behind all the loot-systems, to make sure the group gets stronger, and how do you do that? Innovation does it by giving DKP for every raid you attend, so gear has a higher chance to end up with players that have a higher attendance, because that will let the power of the raid grow.

The problem with Personal Loot is that it doesn't let the raid grow, but the individual. Especially how it works now, where trading is only allowed when the Ilvl is lower (or the same??), not taking in account if the item is actually better or worse for a player, looking at you trinkets.

And although the raid will be better of in the first few weeks, because PL does give more loot, after that, players will get duplicates, or the RNG hates you, and you will never see that trinket. Although Mathematically seen, after enough raids, everyone will have their stuff, but how many? And does that help progression?

There is also a very bad thing about PL that already happens in LFR. The whispering/begging for gear. Now I know this seems to be opposite about what I said about Guild-raids. But I was talking about them as one being. The players are still Individuals.


Let that be clear, I want Mardah to have all the sockets and forged stuff... but because I am in a guild, I will not be to sad to see it go to a guildie. But, if I have it in my bags, and it is better for me, I will want to keep it. Because I am an individual...  not a group. There was this comment somewhere, as long as it isn't in your bag, it isn't yours.

I am actually afraid allowing only Personal Loot will actually create more drama, because how would a guild deal with gear that is already in someones bag? At the moment, that is up to the player in Innovation with BoE's. and Luckily a lot of them are given up for bid, if the drop is not needed by the player.

In the end, at least for me, and Innovation, Master Loot combined with Blind-DKP works. Why should that be changed? Does it hurt you if we do it that way? And if you don't like our rules, then do not join, find somewhere else to play, no harm done.

So, yes Blizzard, this Pilot Balloon did generate a lot of discussion, But if you got any wiser...  no idea. But I won't like it, even more RNG in a RNG-World.

zondag 18 maart 2018

Lessons of Space-Time

 Well.. that didn't take long, after some invasions, emmisary-quests and LFR's I bought a shoulder-token on the Vindicaar  and BINGO, hunt completed, maybe to soon. I do like shoulders with Eyes on it.

Lorinthe is timely-wimey....

Other stuff I am doing these days includes some low level levelling without heirlooms. Taking advantage of more character slots and allied races, I am just hitting stuff. No rush with them, no need to get them to end-content, I already have enough to do there, if I like to do it.

My Lightforged Paladin reached 58 and Northrend todays, which makes me wonder. If I am not mistaken, lvl 58-60 may have the most dungeons available, all the vanilla ones, 2 from Outland, and 2 from Northrend, all dropping loot on the same Ilvl, I may actually freeze XP... is that still possible?

[It seems level 80 has the most different dungeons available, 4 more than level 60]

Kyaria in Northrend, before the new gear drops.

vrijdag 16 maart 2018

A Brief History of Time

The world got a lot less smarter this week.

Some Neil once said that everybody is made of Stardust... 
he forget that some are actually made of stars.

And now I am determined to get at least one Legendary...

Lorinthe, Destruction Warlock, wants some Shoulders.....

After last post, I went to Germany for a week, and when I returned Innovation had cleared up to Aggramar, and I joined in for the Sunday Madness. After the Coven-kill we did extend lockout for a day at least, so we had some tries on it before I went on vacation, and I clearly remember that I was in the mindset that a kill was near, we just needed to handle the CC a little bit better.

I also found out that rooting an already rooted add removes root.. when did I miss that memo??

After 2 hours of pulling, Aggramar went down. The fight isn't that much different than on Normal, except for the CC on adds, and I didn't found it very challenging, we had 18 pulls on him before the kill.

Mardah ground hugging during Aggramar Kill

After Aggramar, we poked Argus... and got a below 50%-wipe as our first result, not that bad, one more pull later, the raidnght ended, and we got the message from our Guildleader.

Lockout will be extended untill Argus is down.

Oh boy...

So for the next few raidnights we threw everyting at Argus. And we found out that the fight itself is strangely build up.

Firts you have Phase 1, big black zones of dead that overlap on timer and it took some time before we got it under control. Getting a spot of death on you while cone of death is being cast can make things ineterstin, while also trying to get the buff on you, and hoping it was not placed in zone of death, and praying people didn't run to early for cone of death. In the end it was decided that getting the buff was not important. Just make sure you survive the death-stuff.

Phase 2 is..well.. not exciting. Dont's stand in lines of death. If you have a small orb over your head, move away, if you have Big Ball run to the entrance...and pray that the glowing tank reaches you fast enough. So, yeah, this phase didn't gave us much trouble.

Phase 3, the dudes are here. This gave us a little bit more trouble. We first went for the empowered dudes, and ignoring the others. But that also meant no interrupts where cast... so that idea was quickly abonded. Next tactic was focus one dude, until dude is dead, than focus other dude. Which dude you had to focus was determined by the dudes vulnerability.

For me that was (facing entrance) first to the left (arcane) and second to the right (nature). This worked very well...except the few times we forgot to interrupt... onto the last phase...


The last phase was madness. The orbs over your head re-appeared, but this time, no saving when you had the big one. You die... luckily there was a tree that could rez some people, but while death, better collect orbs, so we do more damage.

Than the much swirlies, and standing in swirlies means death... but we didn't want you to die to swirlies, because rez-tree had a limit on rezzes.. so stay out of swirlies. And than suddenly the tank died.. what is actually what is supposed to happen... phewww...

Big Spheres of Growing Zones of Death incoming... every time 1 more...

That one was the killer, we had several below 5% wipes because of this, well actually because we had lost to many before... this was truly a 'through wiping, we learn' ability, but...  there was one problem.

We could execute all phases well, and than we suddenly had a below 5%-wipe because we couldn't handle 7 spheres... we even had a 0.2% wipe... so there was this fear that we would have a lot more of these wipes... but we lucked out... just before 21:00, within one week after downing Aggramar, and having suffered 33 wipes (9 less than on Coven),  Argus fell over.

Innovation lines up for the Kill-pic

vrijdag 23 februari 2018

Navigating White Spots and Old Men...

Last Tuesday, Innovation downed the Coven of Shivarra after 43 wipes.. the fight where Mass Entanglement really shines, every druid here makes the fight a lot easier just by that single L60 talent.

This was our third or fourth evening on them, and this was a typical fight for this blog, through wiping, you learn. Except for the more damage which is expected between Normal and Heroic, there is only one ability extra that was a problem, Storm of Darkness.

This ability basically kills you if you stay in it for more than 4 seconds, and it covers the whole arena...except for some randomly placed white circles, randomly being the culprit here. 

You still have the be spread out for lightning-dudes which means hugging sides of that white circle, and then there are the fire-dudes, slicing the arena in pizza-slices.. and if you happen to be in a slice where that randomly spawning white circle doesn't spawn..well..

But those two abilities where not the biggest problem we faced, it didn't took long for us to figure out how to handle Lightning dudes, and somehow we didn't loose to many on fire dudes... the maze layed down by the old men walking though, combined with white circles... that took a while.

In the end the officers layed down a CC-order, including me mass entangling a group of mass-gripped old men. And after that is was only a some more pulls to get this in our thick heads....

Innovation downs the ladies.
For this fight I heavily tweaked my talents and gear. Adds where going down fast enough, so I actually went for a maximum-boss damage build. My guides told me to use the Double-Moonfire shoulders, but we had a tactic where the bosses most of the time didn't switched place, something with one not doing actual damage to the tank, so a DPS with taunt tanked that one. So the shoulders where not that handy.

I did try the Bracers of free Stuff, but the extra RNG didn't really worked for me on this fight. In the end I found the combination of the Extra Talent Ring and the Double Full Moon cape the best combi for this fight. The ring for cheaper Starfalls, and the cape for even more Astral Power generation..which I needed because I also went for a Talent that I hadn't really used .. ever...

Stellar Flare

Yes, even moar Dots, but the extra Dot on both bosses, combined with cheaper Starfall... well, max boss damage. The effect was that besides the four moon spells, and the three free Lunar Strikes from Warrior of Elune, I was Dotting and Starfalling, hardcasting Solar Wrath or Lunar Strike..almost no time for it, but this strange setup did pay of it seems.

Also: Moonkin Growling in Tankchannel when Ladies where not tanked in Starfall Range  :)

So, now we are on our next target, Aggramar, where CC is again a thing we need to control, and 16 wipes in, we already are in the phase where we just need to get into the groove, so I think we will not need that many wipes on Aggramar.

Innovation readies the War Mammoth for the Titan

dinsdag 20 februari 2018


XII killing the Loot Below long ago in SCC with Gowron the Maintankadin

This is the oldest picture I seem to have from World of Warcraft, it was actually published on this blog waaaaay back in 2008. It was taken on a computer I no longer have, and all screenshots I took on it are gone to the eternal hunting grounds. I was not even using hotkeys back then... it would take a Blue Dragon named Malygos, a year later, for me to embrace hotkeys.

Last few days I have been frantically searching for my oldest screenshot on one of the 5 Drives lying behind my current Laptop. 2 HDD, 2 SSD and a Mac-thingie have been studied, and I couldn't get a screenie older as 2009, a long time after the above screenshot, so yes, my blog is doing it's job of being my back up for stuff I do and write in World of Warcraft.

So.. why was I doing that now....  because today is the 20th of February 2018, and 10 years ago, the 20th of February 2008, I wrote my first Blogpost, an introduction of who I was, and what I was doing. It took another 2 months for my second post, but after that I started writing a lot for a few years, settling down to a very slow pace now.

This is my 384th post on this blog. And it has been a long road, from first joining XII, where I was in 2008 to now in Innovation in 2018. But I am still raiding, still levelling all the alts, and still enjoying this game ... for the most part.

Tonight, for example, we do something I really enjoy, wiping on a Boss... learning, tweaking and cursing... tonight our goal is the Coven of Shivarra.. where we already had 50-something wipes... white safe spots are random... we already reached enrage last week, so I guess it is only a matter of time now...

And to end this blog..that screenshot I found from 2009...  it is Mardah, in Wrath-PvP gear I think..

-the road goes on, ever on.


vrijdag 9 februari 2018

10 Months

Ten Months it has been, Innovation just downed Gul'Dan, and we where ready for the next challenge. But that was ten Months ago.. so where have I been, what happened to blogging?

The answer is that I got a little bit tired of it all. After we downed Gul'Dan I basically stopped doing WQ's,  stopped gathering Artifact Power... even alting was not something I wanted to do. Hoping for good artifacts, more AP-farming, more WQ's... I just felt bored with it.

Not that I stopped playing. I still did the mission-table, I still raided, Innovation is now wiping on Coven, so I did play, but nothing else made me play the game. Yes, I know, there a lot of things to do in WoW, but nothing really pulled me into play, except raiding.

Well..not except raiding, I also levelled a lot of my characters to 110, mostly through invasions. And I levelled some new characters without the use of heirlooms to different levels. But for the most part, I went into a only-raid-modus. And play other games. Funny thing that Blizzards puts so much effort in keeping us playing Legion..and that it backfired with me. Never had this before, not even in the ICC-summer.

Kil'Jaeden during Moonkin Festival
So, no play means no blog, after playing, I just didn't wanted to do WoW, not play, not write. So why this blog?  Well.. something happened last week... something with more characer slots on a realm. Which means I can level again on Argent Dawn, as a member of Innovation. So having a guildchat for my alts seems important. And I am levelling a Lightforged Paladin, while having a Void Elf Warlock as second toon ready. And playing means writing.

Ending this small update.. let's have some random thoughts about Legion:

-I still hate Titanforging, I once said that raids shouldn't drop stuff with different Ilvls, and Titanforging makes it worse, so much worse that I can almost except warforging to be good now...

-I do not like Mythic+ that much. I like to have a relaxed time while playing, and having a timer doesn't really help that feeling.

-I do not think Tierset-bonus are a problem, I think Blizzard made them a problem with adding an extra piece and having sooo much Legendaries, and are using that excuse to end them.

-Legendaries should be legendary.. and not a dissapointment when you get them.. I am looking at you
Cinidaria... Getting a Legendary which is not really good is more disappointing than rewarding.

-Arcano Crystals.... having a Trinket which is good for a tier or two is nice...  but this trinket just... well..  is BiS till halfway Antorus...even when not Titanforged... Titanforged it just trumps all.. which makes it NOT dropping on a boss that only spawns every 8?? weeks is not only disappointing, but also frustrating... and still disappointing if it finally drops..and it is not Titanforged..

-Wax and Wane... So this artifact talent, which is the left one on the concordance-set, was very weak when it debuted. So the Boomkins said, can you change it, and you change it to do more damage, and the Boomkins say: If you change it like that.. we are going to Moonfire-spam down the line... and you then nerf it because we are MF-spamming down the line... well.. maybe listen better?

-BfA seems bland for Balance right now.. but Alpha is Alpha. I just hope we are not going into this 'It will be fine'-feeling again like last Alpha/Beta

-Antorus is an interesting raid.. atm I have 4 different gear-sets for Balance... I even started to use a new legendary for Coven I never used before..more Moons!

-I like the new levelling-system, I do sometimes have problems with quests still being level-dependant.

-I am almost liking the fact that weapons cannot titanforge anymore in BfA, and only warforge.. while I still don't really like the whole forge system,,,, just to make sure: I do not like Titanforging, and every one that defends it is part of this ...well..  that probably needs a seperate blog before I continue..../stop

What you see when the game bugs and teleports you dead to Killies Platform before clearing Trash

dinsdag 11 april 2017

Mission Accomplished

Mardah scouting the Nighthold on a flying disk

With the new abilities and powers from patch 7.2, what happened was logical of course, most of us are no throwing two non-shit-legendaries and at least 2 tier pieces, if not 4, against the fights.

But this strory is still a little different than what we do normally, it all started some days before the patch. We had four bosses left, Tichondrius, Star Augur, Elisande and of course, Gul'dan. We had been working on Tichondrius a little bit, but the week before the patch, our leaders steered us towards Star Augur.

This fight had the reputation of being we killed him in 3 or 4 pulls. After the patch dropped we cleared heroic again, and also took down Tichondrius. Next Target was Elisande, which went down after only 4 wipes, and then, Evallyn our GM basically said, no other bosses till Gul'dan.

So, with a few try-put pokes on Tuesday, the lockout was extended, and we went in on on Thursday, where Gul'dan gave us an old evening of wiping on a Boss, 12 times he defeated us that night. So, Sunday-evening we went in again..with one twitch for me... I was designated healer for the night.

Tuesday's Tanks, Moreor and Illistra

Innovation has a problem with healers at the moment, luckily both me, and Synthea the Shadow-priest are keeping our Healing Set a little up to date. Synthea healed Thursday, now it was my turn. So I studied a little more on how to tree.

I experimented somewhat on the first pulls, the choice was between more potent Efflorescences, that is the mushroom-AoE, or more potent Wild Growths. I didn't feel the AoE was helping much, to often Gul'dan was pulled out of shroom-range, so I decided to go for more powerful Wild Growths, by going for Soul of the Forest and Prosperity.

Our first pull was almost the last, it all looked good, till 10%, that was the moment everything went awry. The next two pulss where very short, and short, wipe-calls due to to many deaths. Pull 4 went perfect, but the 10% mark was again a problem. So we went into a break with lots of discussion adn soul searching.

I think most of us really got it in their head that we really didn't want any souls in the well, whatever happened, get rid of the souls, and with the help of an extra healer in the person of Kristenveldt, we pulled again.

After 3 minutes, one of our tanks needed a battle rez, but still, that was the first death, there would not be a death for another 6 and a half minute, so we could save up our rezzes. At 9.48 into the fight, I either didn't noticed I had the debuff, or someone else dumped a big fiery patch under me, which I was a little late to realize..GET OUT OF THE late, I got rezzed. A minute later, a tank got one, but..still, the souls didn't really got time to gather, a healer went down..I think he got a brez, not sure.. Kitty didn't get a much to do, run into the souls, run away with fire, big black patch of death, A demon hunter hit the dirt..than serenity... we survived another gathering of souls.. one more than the last pulls... push push, MOONFIRE!, heal more..what is happening...

After 19 wipes, 11 minutes and 55 seconds, our screens flared up with the Ahead of the Curve achievement
Guild-first picture by Evallyn