So, in a few weeks the Horde will unleash their warriors on the city of the sea-nation Theramore, thereby destroying the city and making a certain mage very angry.
I still remember the first time I was in Theramore. It was on my first character, a dwarf hunter, and he had a quest to go to somewhere else. Mind you, I had only seen the dwarf-route, and I may have visited Stormwind with the Tram. And now I had this quest that wanted me to go to Ashenvale? Where was that. Luckily I already found out that there was a boat from Menethil to a place called Theramore on the other side of the ocean.
Of course, my level 20-something hunter died horrible in the marshes trying to get to the barrens, but well... it was exploring.
I always found Theramore a little strange, as in, why not do more with it. They have a huge dock...but only one boat goes there. A city with a lot of terrain.. where is the Theramore auction house? I did find a banker... but no idea if he has been there all the time.
For those of you who haven't been there lately... Theramore now has a second gate, which is the start of a very straight road through the marsh connecting some old quest-hubs neatily to each other.
Just over the bridge, I spotted something new, of things to come. And it was not easily missed, with the whole beam shining down. This lady, one of the Dragonkin, is mostly known for doing the most useless thing in Dalaran. During Wrath and Cata, she stood in the Tower, and if you talked to her, she teleported you to the Caverns of Time... which was really needed...especially because she was standing right in front of a portal with the same function. But now she is in Theramore..... what will her function be there?
Theramore it self is a little questhub... not many though. There is some struggle with deserters, and there was a questline concerning King Wrynn...which is now ended abruptly. Alliance however did get a questline where they met up with a legendary man... Nat Pagle.
Now... back then (:p), till patch 2.3 orso, Nat Pagle was the one who could learn you how to fish above skill 225 (iirc). No problem..if you played Alliance. Now if you where playing Horde, which I did when I reached that level of fishing, you had no idea where he was.... and you had to fight your way through the Marsh to get there. But alas, here he is... doing his part in defending Theramore against the creatures of old.
Alas, Theramore will fall... (which is actually interesting, because it is now actually deep into Alliance territory, instead of being out on the edge...) So long, and lets see how it looks in a couple of weeks (The Fall of Theramore starts 18 september or something like that)
...and on a different note.... Innovation finally managed to grasp the tentacles and took down Zonnoz, making us a 25man guild with 6/8 heroic.. and I am 2 or 3 bosses away from flying a dragon above Stormwind....
So, World of Warcraft, which has been a large part of my life the last 5 years, and probably will be for the foreseeable future. How did I roll into this, and what did I do?
I am actually a quite old warcraft-player. (yes, besides age). I clearly remember playing Warcraft: Orcs and Humans way back in the 90's. When I was still studying that is. Because the follow-ups were released when I already was working, I didn't know them that well. I did try Warcraft2 I remember, but no idea what I thought about it.
I know I was actually playing the civilization-games a lot (or Birth of the Federation). Turn-based strategy games. I did try some RPG-games, but non of those actually stuck with me.
Now fast forward to halfway the first decennium of this millennium. There where some large things going on in my personal life. One of which was getting a job with more time to do other stuff.
Now, I heard of this World of Warcraft-game. One of my best friends (Kemwer/Gunho) was playing it, and I sometimes watched it. I clearly remember him doing something called 'tanking' on a character shaped as a female cow. (He was playing a Tauren female warrior in SFK I later learned).
So, somewhere in my first vacation as 'Teacher', I got myself one of those try-10-days-for-free thingies, and I went to Azeroth. And I made a dwarf hunter (with a bear-pet called Ursa)....
...and well... I completely forgot about Civ that week, so at the end, I signed up for the real deal (including The Burning Crusade), and made a Blood Elf Paladin on the server Ghostlands called Gowron.
Now this was way before the Zulaman-patch, so yes, I did it uphill in the snow. No mount till level 40, and the level 60 mount was still pretty expensive. I actually got that mount on lvl64 (with the quest).
I levelled quite slowly, looking at current levelling-speeds. I remember hitting level 70 somewhere late august, that's around 5 months. I met a lot of people, was in a guild, co-founded another guild (retribution) and killed Prince somewhere end december/beginning januar.
After a little break I joined a guild Gunho was playing in, called XII. And well... most of the first 100 posts on this blog are about XII. I became Maintankadin, Raidleader, Recruiting-officer and DKP-officer.... which ofcourse was too much.
I had a nice time in XII, even meeting up with the GM who lived in slovenia or something. At the beginning of 2009 I had some problems IRL and with some in XII. So I tried out for Blood and Tears, then the best guild on Ghostland, and they accepted me. BaT and me didn't click though. I left, and played a little around on the server Khadgar with a druid called Mardah.
Although I returned for a short while to XII, doing some stuff in Ulduar and Sarth3D, I actually think I had enough of hardcore-raiding. And when the culling happened, well, I went on to do other stuff.
I levelled Mardah some more, and brought her to Argent Dawn to join Gunho, who was playing there. Not much happened. Somewhere on this blog there are probably more stories. In Januar 2010 another thing happened, Single Abstract Noun.
SAN was formed by Tam, to make a guild for bloggers, and readers, and everyone else. We had a lot of fun those months, now remember this was the ICC-summer. ICC was the Endraid for almost a year, so people got bored, and SAN was exactly what most of us needed. In the end we even did some raids in SAN, but with the start of Cataclysm, SAN was empty.
When Cata started, I started with Gowron, now also on Argent Dawn and in SAN. I reached level 85 fairly quickly, but I disliked (and still do for prot) the Holy Power system. So, instead of getting Gowron raid-ready, I turned to Mardah... but what would I do if she hits 85?
The answer came in the raiding-community Gunho was in. I already saw some raids in ICC over his shoulder, and well, any guild that keeps him in for over a year, is probably a good one. So an application was fired at the Inno-site, and I was accepted as Boomkin.
And I liked it in Innovation, not the fastest guild, but I had, and still have fun there, some drama sometimes, some hard words, but always solved. And I even went to the guildmeet of Innovation this year, which was hosted by the healing-officer Kris.
And here I am now... well almost... considering that I am writing this in the home of Kris, where I have been the last 6 weeks....
....the road goes ever, ever on.... but watch out for little fury bears.
One week till patch 5.0, a month till new expansion... I am not prepared.
I do have a notion of how to spec.... but not yet sure about rotations. And where to put all those new spells? Maybe time to redo my UI? I have been playing with this UI for 2 years now.
I should probably find some stuff about reputations, and which I should work on first, you now, the regular things you do before an expansion, but well... I have been a little distracted the last few weeks.. well a little, call it a lot, something to do with falling in love and stuff.
And for those who don't know, well, she is sort of on the picture below :p. Being not in my own country, but with my laptop, we signed up for sunday's raid. Innovation was on Ultraxion-heroic. And I promptly died the first try because of lag, and some 'how-did-this-al-go-again?'-confusion. Some lag-wipe later, we downed him, and went on to Blackhorn.
Now, Blackhorn was not beaten yet on heroic, but apparantly in our vacation they did try it. So, just having a bad Ultraxion-experience, our fearless leader Eva said: 'We'll give Blackhorn Heroic one try, so everyone experiences what is going on, and then move on to normal.'
...well... apparantly one try was all we needed, going 5/8 Heroic now.
On another note, some guildmembers of mine have posted a sort-of what-did-I-do-in-WoW on our guildpage, maybe I should do that...although I may have to spend three posts about it :p
Diablo III took a lot of players elsewhere, I am not hooked though, looks nice and all, but there's something missing, don't know what though...
Now, in WoW, Innovation has managed to kill Heroic Morchok-25, yes, 25 man, finally we can do that again, much more fun then 10's.
But I actually (hence the title) wanted to share my thoughts on balance in MoP..... boring.
Above are our core-abilities. Missing in action is Insect Swarm, which according to a 'blues' somewhere is being reconsidered. But with this tool box our core-rotation is going to be:
Moonfire-Starfire till Solar-Sunfire-Wrath till Lunar, with Starsurges and Starfall cast on CD.
Now look at our current rotation:
Insect Swarm-Moonfire-Starfire till Solar-Insect Swarm-Sunfire-Wrath till you have below 16 solar power left-decide if it's better to recast IS/SF, or can you reach lunar with current dot's, probably not, what is the boss going to do the next 30 seconds?, ok, casting it-wrath till lunar-Starfall if off CD-apply IS/MF when IS/SF are falling off-Starfall if off CD-Starfire-Starfall if off CD-oh wait, less than 25 lunar energy left, can I wait with re-applying dot's till solar, or will they fall of too soon, ponder ok, maybe I just can make it-Starfall if off CD-cast wrath till solar-damn IS/MF fell off,shit-continue casting wrath.... and of course cast Starsurge on CD
[core-rotation does not include treants,shrooms etcetera]
So.... we get a lot less to think about, which for some players may be a god-send, but I actually like to plan ahead, and that will be lost. We do get some more cooldowns outside the base-rotation to manage. That is great, but doesn't actually change our core-rotation. On most fights it will probably mean hit it when ready, or wait till a certain phase, just like we tend to use shrooms and treants (and possible trinkets) now.
It seems Balance will get a lot easier to play, and I don't think I like that.
Yes, I am in the Beta, I got the invite about a week ago, but..well.
You have to know that I am actually playing on a MacBookPro, one that's about 5 years old, so probably one of the first. And it was running OSX 10.5.8. Apparantly that will not work, so a quick visit to the Apple-store, and snow-leopard 10.6.3 was on his way...which is on a DVD, why not just downloadable?
Wednesday I received the DVD, only to find out that I had a little problem with my DVD-player, it didn't work.... CD's no problem, but DVD's.... and after sifting through a few apple-forums, a broken MacBook DVD-player is actually standard, what? Luckily I could lend a portable DVD-driver from my work.
So, Sunday-mornin I went to the disc-world...rrr... Pandarian-starting area. I made a monk, and because it was early, not many other Panda's around, only about 300 I guess. I think the starting area is almost finished. I didn't encounter any bugs, although some cinematics where missing. At level 10 I specced Brewmaster (Tank), to see how that worked.
Not that I played any dungeons, but the Brewmaster has an ability where you have to target the area to give (up to three NPC's) a debuff/buff for you. It feels a little bit wobbily as tank, trying to put a circle on the ground while also turning the camera around to see if everything goes well around you.
I am now one of the people waiting to actually get a lvl85 on the server. It was not possible to do that for a few days, but yesterday I got Mardah and Mariandel on the Pending list. I also would like to have a lvl85 premade Panda, because I have no intention of levelling anything on Beta... so...waiting.
So, they want to introduce a new roll system to the LFR, and maybe to other boss-drops. My first thoughts after slimming the different explanations, and there where a few, is...really? This is your solution to the current need-all-LFR's?
But, first, let's look at the info I gathered, and still remember (and most is of a blue post on the us-forums).
Bosses will not drop loot. OK! Let's get that clear. Currently bosses drop loot. In 25 there are 5 items that drop of their so-called lootlist. Why Morchok has two necklaces, I don't know, but that's how it works. Boss dead, system rolls 5 times on the loot-table, and you can loot 5 thingies from him.
With the new system, bosses don't actually drop loot. What happens is that every player makes a 'hidden' roll. For simplicity, let's make it a 1-100 roll. On a high enough roll (say 90+), the system is gonna check if there is an item on the lootlist you can use.
If yes, and there is only one, you get it. If there are two (or more) the system gives you one randomly. If there is nothing on the lootlist that you can use, you get some gold.
So, everyone will be rolling for himself, like using a slot-machine. And that determines if you get a reward for killing the boss. Now.... that seems nice and all, no more people ninja-ing something from you, but.... there are some things I am questioning... both positive and negative I think.
First of, the phrase 'you can use'. They, as in Blizzard, stated that it means something your current spec can use. Current spec is the catchphrase here. Also, no more trading LFR-stuff in Raid. So say goodbye to getting offspec stuff in LFR. Which is exactly what was said. If you want off-spec dps-gear as a tank, que as dps.
I don't know, but, euhm, Mardah hasn't seen LFR in weeks. Her boomkin-set doesn't need anything from there anymore, and I think I have only one 384-item left. Now, my guild is blooming with trees, so after winning two extra tier-pieces, I think I have enough tree-gear, to heal on the one occasion I maybe asked in 3 months..... Most of my guildies are running LFR for off-spec gear, which is what I do on my multitude of alts. That's the reason my shammy is Elemental atm, instead of Enhancement.
With this system, I'll see Raiders quitting LFR after two weeks, and trust me, LFR is full of people who hit random buttons, so there will be much more wipes if the slightly better geared, much better players don't show up anymore.
And no, I am not going into an M&S discussion, but if I, as a good player with barely-372 gear, ends up 4th on the damage-meter.... well....
Where was I, oh yeah, Second, there was some news about farming up a thingie to make your roll be an always win. ???? Why don't they just give us the loot then? Farm up thingie, use thingie, get loot. especially usefull if you know there's only one thing on the loot-table for you. I see some abuse here.
Third, and this is a fun fact. It is now possible that everyone in the raids get an item.... or no one at all :p
And last (I think). They say they might implement this in other raids/dungeons. Dungeons is the same discussion above I think. But... in raids?
I don't know.... but that's for the far future I hope.
So... after the trainingsession, we took 3 or 4 pokes at Heroic Morchok before he fell down, and nobody took a screenie :(, which is probably a little hard, because, and I quote our GM, one was in Stormwind and the other in Ironforge....
But, I actually wanted to tell you another story.... about my road to a legendary...which probably completes around patch 5.2 orso.
Be warned, spoilers ahead.
I am telling this by pictures...yada yada, says more then a thousand words, yada..badoom..
Here we are killing of Volcanus, so I can get my branch of Nordrassil. As you can, maybe, see through al the clutter, I am a big Treant with lots of aggro. Yes, tanking boss in tree-form, how cool is that. I still miss the ol' Tree-form, so this was very nice.
Also, you can see my UI nicely, although I have no idea why Healbot is active, normally it is not. I have enough information flying around already.
After you have gotten the branch, you get a 2 hour title, and flowers at your feet, damn hippy-trees.... oh, and see that hatchling, it dances the moonkindance when you target it with /dance, very funny.
After flying to the Amber Ledge to talk to Kalecgos, which by the way, I had to find out on the interwebs, because the quest-text was not that clear, Tarecgosa transported me towards the Nexus. Some story about her being the prime-candidate to follow up Maelcgos, who we killed ages ago it seems. But.....
...she had to be captured. With me lying besides her in the snow, luckily Kalecgos showed up to safe me and infuse me with the essence of the now-almost-dead Tarecgosa, and he asked me to find 1000 cinders in the Firelands...great....
And after those 1000 cinders, I have to collect more stuff, so, probably 15 more clears of FL needed I guess.... well... at least I am exalted with the Avengers of Hyjal now.
Two pulls it took sunday, two pulls after 5 wipes last tuesday.... and the first time we got past platform 4... and we did it, we cleared Dragon Soul pre-nerf, surprising our GuildLeader who was expecting some evening full of wipes....
What remains are the pictures.....
But (apart from T7 which was EZ-mode mostly) this is the first time I cleared a raiding-tier before it ended, or it was nerfed..... Ok it is on normal, but that's what we were aiming for. Time for Heroic DS.... I don't know, we'll see...
So, It's now raid-start-time, and I have no idea If I am going to be picked. I know we killed 'lower' DragonSoul last Thursday because I was there, so Ultraxion is next.
Before me I see some of my guildies (I am sitting on the keg). One of our druid-healers (kris), and our DK-tank Morrie. Cisse is sitting besides me, both in flight form btw.
Our OP-almost legendary-wearing-dragonrogue is swearing at our forums, probably they ate his post. And we are al just waiting for the pickups. Calendar shows 15 sign-ins.... blaagh, so no 25...again,we could really use some extra people (hint, hint).
Ah, some people seem to be in DS now, with 17 people online.... still waiting to see what happens. Although normally speaking, I was there last thursday, so I probably be...ooh..invite, last one in it seems.
So, time to get my pre-raid-black coffee, and get my zen-thing going to start, laters :)
And to give some idea's what we have been doing lately with some 10man normals:
After 17 wipes, on the last pull of 2011
..and after the first raidweek in 2012 (only 3 wipes to our surprise).
Some things to consider. We may accept more druids, but alas, we have a lot of them.... same goes a little bit for Melee and Tanks, although a Tankadin (the irony, considering my past :p) may be considered.
Oh, and somewhere in the vacation-weeks, we did a little raid to Firelands, and one-shotted Staghelm Heroic??? No idea how that happened though.... too much christmas-stuffing probably...
To many ideas in my head, I probably should just hit publish on some of them.
Things running around:
1. Tell something about my luck in LFR's considering gear...NOT
2. Make a non-WoW-related post about Twillight Imperium
3. I am playing Orcs & Humans atm :)
4. Tell something about Innovation...
- Last pull of 2011 (number 18), and Blackhorn down.
- Second (?) Boss-pull of 2012, Staghelm-Heroic down.
- Innovation is looking for ranged DPS (non-druid), because skyrim/swtor has claimed a lot of people, and we have problems getting 25 together :(