Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Home is where the heart is. . .

Maybe I'm just not that inherently social. Maybe I just inherently dislike people. I have had a hard time finding people to run with on a consistant basis on Azuremyst. There are a few people from that server than I enjoy talking to quite a bit, but with level differences it more feels like them running me through things than a group effort. Even if I was to get to 80, raids would still be an issue (not that I've even decided I want to run them). My solution is one that I came up with some time ago, partially dismissed, but now seems my best option.

Quest, craft, and muck around on PvE, run 1 character through instance content on PvP.

In my absence, MAS has had some issues and although I really enjoy spending time on Azuremyst, the time I have most had fun with in instances was spent on Daggerspine, on my very first character ever (even if he does look like he's about 17 lol).

It's easier to focus on 1 server's worth of alts, but really thinking about it, all I really need on my horde pally is to swap out my enchanting with mining (and I can auction off all those mats I was saving). Since all the wrath gear is BoE, I can send ore over to my orc. Tempered saronite ftw!

So in short, we'll see how this playing on 2 servers thing goes. I guess it's no harder than playing multiple alts, just play one till you burn off rested XP, then put them away.

Friday, March 27, 2009

I need some of whatever they gave those trolls. . .

So last night, I got home from work pretty darn tired but in between talking to some friends online and watching the Pitt vs Xavier game (Xavier is in cincinnati for those who don't know, they're kind of semi a rival of my alma mater), I managed to put in some time leveling my mage. (I am burning off rested XP per Krizzly's instructions lol)

So can anyone answer why the NPC trolls got super soldier roids, but PC trolls still look like NBA players? I had seen the new beefier trolls, I thought maybe newly created trolls would get the troll roids too, negative. I was almost tempted to roll up one of the super soldier trolls (I think a beefy scary long armed green guy dual wielding 2h axes would be scary, nevermind I have a low 60's orc warrior already), but the non-beefy version didn't appeal to me.

I almost feel like a Wow-racist. I have not a single troll, undead, gnome, or dwarf.

I was thinking of designing a banner for my site. I think I'm going to do something like the no smoking sign, but instead of a cigarette in the middle, it's a gnome warrior. In order to make this more "authentic" I rolled a gnome warrior. I named him Oxiemoron (the y spelling was taken on that server).

I feel like the guy laughing at his own jokes that no one else gets. At least it's funny to me.

Goals for this weekend: 38 on the mage, 45 with warrior, 66-67 with DK

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tag!! I'm it!!

So there is a general meme going around blogdom where you brag about getting the award, thank who tagged you, then tag 7 blogs to award, as read-worthy, then give 1o pieces of information about yourself. The 7 blogs you tagged then repeat the process. (This almost reminds me of the 25 things meme on facebook, but 10 is a lot easier).

I was tagged by One Among Many - A fellow ohioan, home of a pretty expansive blog list who has posted some rather hilarious and memorable blog posts (my favorite was help naming her pets). For some reason she thinks I have a gnome warrior, I don't :-P

Speaking of gnome warriors, bonus oxymoron of the day - A gnome with Titan's grip, think about it. . .

The hard part is tagging 7 blogs that havent been tagged before (if I've re-tagged anyone, sorry, my memory is bad, I've had many head injuries)

1. Player vs Developer - I dunno if he'll do it, but his blog is a gem, I really enjoy it

2. Critical QQ - See above, original huh?

3. Kaliope's crafting blog - A wealth of crafting info, this was actually the first wow blog I ever found, and her site Crafter's Tome is a favorite on my computer at home

4. Holy Shock - My old GM, coworker, and healbot supreme, he caught the blog bug too.

5. Honor's Code - We maintankadins have to stick together. . .I'll admit he's better than I am at it

6. Just my 2 copper - Good blog about making money in wow, without the rambling and ranting of the goblin.

7. Tobold's Blog - Yes, everyone has heard of him, and I highly doubt he has even looked at my blog, but I don't think anyone else has tagged him. . .

So again, my 7 of people that werent tagged (because I don't want to have to pick a real 7 favorite blogs, come on, thats not fair lol)

Next, 10 things you may not know about me:
1. Although I live in ohio, I am a HUGE New York Rangers fan. I have 2 Gretzky jerseys from when he played in NY (the statue of liberty jersey is my fav jersey ever).

2. Although I have never broken a bone, I have torn my hamstring, my rotator cuff, and had 6 concussions all either martial arts or weight lifting related.

3. I am right handed, but I play the guitar and guitar games left handed. I have very little control over the ring and pinky of my left hand, but picking is just fine.

4. My degree is in criminal justice, I have never nor will I ever work in that field, I did it to avoid calculus and chemistry.

5. I am a table-top gamer as well, although less now then when I was in college my fav game currently is west end games D6 Star Wars

6. I've always had a thing for Cammy from Street Fighter, finding a short blonde with the body to pull that outfit off is a challenge, I am /fail so far.

7. I am hopelessly addicted to the Kroger version of Diet Mountain Dew called diet citrus drop, I go through almost a 2 liter a day at work.

8. I trained as a pro wrestler for a while, not as a line of work, but just because I thought it was fun. For the record, my finisher was a michinoku driver.

9. I am a pretty good cook and I'm addicted to food network. I make the world's best chicken alfredo.

10. I would be unable to function without Zyrtec-D and advair. I have athsma and I'm allergic to cats, and I live with 5 cats.

Those are my 10 facts, I've enjoyed reading everyone else's :)

Shout outs to my peeps!

There are a lot of bloggers I feel like I know, Krizzlybear, the guys at WTFspaghetti, Darraxus, Gnomeageddon, Larissa, etc.

What I feel bad about is that there are people that I have known and played with for some time, and I had NO IDEA they had blogs. I'll be taking it upon myself to read their stuff, and adding their links to "blogs I read", and I can definately tell you, no matter your level, they will have something for you. . .

Code Red - Ed was one of the first players to join the guild who was not an employee (or spouse of an employee) from our old work. She's a good player and has a lot of experience as a hunter and is gaining experience as a ret paladin (even if she doesn't remember the "good old days" as a paladin lol)

Suicidal Healer - Someone who loves alts just as much if not more than me, Eus is one of the people I miss the most on Daggerspine. Her main is a Holy paladin, but much like me, she plays a little bit of everything, so I'm sure her blog with have some of that flavor.

Check them out, I'm sure it will be goodness. And there will be an update to come on my in-game activities. In short, hit 74 on pally, nexus mostly successful, got the blues. Got Kirin Tor tabard, on my way to 75. DK stuck at 65, mage is at 36 but rested and ready to go, warrior at 45 and shammy at 21.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Pushing to 80, /fail along the way. . .

Leveling on PvE is a completely different, relaxing, fun experience. My biggest annoyances come in the form of getting to ore nodes too late and finding someone mining them, or getting to an area and finding all the quest mobs dead. I can live with that. As I mentioned to someone in game the other day "I'm prot, I don't die". I am about 2/3 of the way to level 74, and I have to say, this is the most fun I have had in the game ever. Yes, I'm lacking a tailor (mage is only 36, burning up rested XP on pally has been my priority), so bag space has been an issue at times, but all in all, it has been my best experience in the game. I am really excited to get to level 74 because I have a few pieces of the tempered saronite set ready to go and the blue crafted 1h sword in my bank (and it is a beauty). I will have almost a full set of blue tanking gear, provided I can get a Nexus run in, which leads to my next point. . .

I have been trying to run Nexus for most of the weekend. I hit 72 a few days ago, hit 73 on saturday. A lot of people run Nexus at 70, it is an intro-level WotLK dungeon. I've gotten numerous whispers asking if I could heal it, to which I always reply "no, I'm a tank." I FINALLY got into a group to run it last night around midnight. EPIC FAIL. I had a bad feeling running anything with 2 deathtards and a fury warrior as DPS, but I figured I'm desperate, I'll give it a shot. Almost 4g in repairs and no boss kills later, I left the group and went to bed. That wasn't even the worst part of the run. One of the death-n00bs fell onto a ledge in the vortex area, the healer fell with him, and a good 20 mins was wasted with them whining about being stuck. While I agree that was poor game design, we kept telling them just to strip down, jump off, and run back in, how hard is that? It looks like I am going to have to rely on charity from some 80's to just run me through to get this stupid gear, is it too much to ask for some tank and spank fights? I don't even mind adds, but when my screen gets all bright and I have nothing to click on, I have no idea whats going on.

Anyways, that really was more of a minor annoyance than anything. As other players aren't trying to kill me, and most of the gear will be obsolete within 3-5 levels anyways, I don't need instance gear. I definately want it, and the shoulders look better than the ones I'm wearing, oh well, we shall see how that goes.

On the crafting front, I hit 400 blacksmithing on the weekend, and it's everything I always hoped blacksmithing would be. Not only can I make viable tanking gear for myself (not just green stuff, but blue stuff too), even the green gear sells, and everything sells for more than mats! Adding to my considerable giddiness, they did a much better job tiering things so I'm not having to make 27k of one item just to get to the next tier.

On other characters, I have leveled my warrior a little bit, re-specc'd him fury, can't wait to get titan's grip, it looks like a lot of fun. I did just remember, I forgot to do inscription research yesterday, oh well. My mage is coming along nicely, been leveling with rested XP. I really love mages, hands down my fav caster in the game, the easy transportation is an added bonus. My DK is 65 and has the adamantite set waiting at 66-67 and some ragesteel shoulders at 70. I can't wait to run him through northrend mining and skinning everything in sight. Lastly my lonely shammy. I am picking up more tricks to playing the shammy and I regret not giving them more of a chance sooner. I look forward to getting him to Outlands and crafting the badass purple LW set. Although I love pallys (it doesn't get more epic fantasy than a knight in armor smiting demons and undead), shamen (shamans?) have a unique flavor and a lot of tools at their disposal. In short, so many characters, so little time. They'll all be there eventually.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dark moon faire and misc stuff. . .

I wouldn't really call the darkmoon faire seasonal content, but it is some of my favorite not always there content in Wow. One of the things I like most about the calendar add on that blizz did with the recent patch was that I can see when the faire is and in what area (I love the faire, but I didn't even like running/flying to thunderbluff when I was playing horde).

I don't know why I like the faire so much. I don't really do any of the quests, all I do is run to the "exotic goods" vendor and see what they're selling and buy what I want/can afford. I think what I like most about the faire is that it just feels fun. Before the faire starts, you can see people setting up for it, and there is this anticipation. Again, I don't really do anything at the faire, I just like walking around and being a tourist.

In other news and notes, I hit level 35 with my mage yesterday meaning I'm able to knock out all the pre-TBC tailoring stuff. I am sure most of you know farming spots for cloth, but just in case(these are in my experience the best spots):
Wool - Stormwind stockades or upper level trolls in ghostlands
Silk - Scarlet Monastery
Mageweave - Southern furbolgs camp in felwood
Runecloth - Blackrock Depths
Netherweave - Hellfire ramparts/Orcs in hellfire

I've leveled Tailoring on a few different characters and never really had to buy cloth. Obviously, most of you won't need this, but I thought I'd include it just in case. I've never farmed frostweave, so I wouldn't know any good spots for that.

I've been having a great time leveling my mage, I've even been running him on non-rested experience. It's a priority to get him at least to 58 as fast as possible just so I can make netherweave bags. I have an entire bank full of cloth and I could use the extra storage space on alts (and since I want to level tailoring anyways, I don't see the point of spending 10g per bag). Then it'll be time to start farming mats for the spellfire set.

So tonight, its cloth farming and messing with my Orc warrior. I want to see how a fury build works out. I've specc'd him arms basically since the patch hit so I've never tried out Titan's Grip. If it works out, I'll re-spec my draenei warrior.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dual specs, instance runs, loot rolls and sleepwalker. . .

I've been doing a lot of thinking about a number of things lately. First of all, dual specs are coming, in some form or another in the not so distant future. As someone with a paladin main, I stand to benefit greatly from them (every group needs a tank and a healer, being able to do either in a few minutes will be nice). There are a few other classes that I think will benefit more than the rest:

Druid - Again, tank to heals almost at the drop of a hat. Obviously gear needs will be different as well.

Shaman - Resto is a premium healing build, Elemental is strong with DPS and can off heal but lacks a lot of the tricks from resto. Guess what? Now you get both, and with the added benefit of probably almost identical gear. Shammies ftw (there you go doctor)!

Warrior - while it is true that arms and fury are both CAPABLE of tanking regular instances and prot can solo and PvP, switching from double 2-handed weapons to sword and shield is pure win (or single 2 hander for you arms lovers)

Priest - It is accepted shadow is the best for DPS, but you can't heal in shadowform. Now you can off spec as holy or discipline and much like the shammy, wear pretty much the same gear for healing or DPS.

Not to say other classes have no use for dual spec, but it is most useful for switching roles, do you really need two seperate DPS builds?

Onto the next topic, instance runs. I came to a conclusion today. Tanking regular instances is expensive (in terms of repair bills), time consuming, and there isnt really any gear to rationalize it (rep if you're wearing a tabard, but thats about it). The only reason to run them goes back to a previous post: practice. Have to practice the "easy" mode so you can run heroics. Now everytime I run a normal mode instance, that Iverson quote will be running through my head.

Another facet of dual specs will be the inevitable squabbles over loot. As I don't really play DPS classes as much(I love my non-paladins, but I try to get by on quest/crafted gear), if tank gear comes up, its mine, if a stray DK rolls on it, I'll kick him in the middle of the instance. Dual specs make it a little tricky, what if your off spec is tank but you're not tanking (or heals and you're not healing)? Well, my solution is if the person performing that role doesn't want it, you can have it, but the person performing the role gets first shot at it. If your off-spec is DPS, thats kind of a tough shake, then again, people performing the more important roles shouldn't get priority on everything. It is probably fair to state the mail and lower gear that is good for heals is DPS gear too and while that is somewhat of a gray area, if you're not healing in the instance and you're not tanking, you're rolling with the DPS anyways.

On a non-wow related note, I downloaded sleepwalker by Megadeth last night for Rock Band. Can't play it. That song is so freaking hard! I will admit, I have problems with triplets and things like that because although I am right handed, I play guitar games and real guitar left handed. I can't fret at all with my left hand. I can pick ok, but really fast rhythm gives me problems. So anyways, long story short, I downloaded a song that I cannot currently play lol I doubt I will ever be able to play "speed metal" IRL, its not exactly a horrible limitation and I can still get through most everything in the game on expert, but damn, I do love some Megadeth.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Weekend update - Bad heals = FAIL

Interesting weekend in the Fish household. We both got sick, me towards the end of last week, Kim over the weekend, so things were less than totally great over that time frame. I was able to engage in my two favorite hobbies though: lots of Wow, and some hockey on sunday.

Hockey was ok but we ended up losing in a shootout. The other team (who I used to play for) scored some freakish goals (one deflected off the goalie, then the crossbar, then in), ended up tying the game with a minute or so left in the third period and won in the shootout. It was a good game, we were missing our best shooter (his son plays on a traveling team so he couldn't make it), but I love our team and when everyone plays hard and it's close, the losing doesn't bother me.

My Wow weekend was pretty jam packed. I leveled my alliance pally to 70 (yay for 2 70's being the same class lol) and got my blacksmithing to 350. I switched my warrior to engineering and inscription. My mage hit level 33 so he could equip a lot of the goodies I had crafted/saved up for him and he's got a lil over 70 spellpower (which is pretty fun at that level). I messed around on the DK a lil bit, finished out hellfire.

Both the highlight and lowlight (I don't know if thats a word, but its appropriate) of the weekend was a sunday night run of Utgarde Keep. Now, I have run this instance quite a few times on my other paladin, so I know the fights. I got invited to tank it in a PuG and thought "well, free XP, if nothing else I'll get quest gear, they have a healer, how bad could it be?". I did insist that we fill out the group with a DPS who could heal. Since the last boss silences fairly frequently, even if I avoid dark smash (which I was able to, thank you strafe and deadly boss), being without heals will get me and then the rest of the group, killed. The healer, a holy paladin who I have run with before who shall remain nameless, said we didn't need backup heals, he wouldn't get silenced, we were fine. The best healer I know in the game gets silenced in that fight, I was skeptical so I held ground and invited a shammy who had cast water walking on me to help me out in some of the borean tundra quests. Major shout outs to Totina. She (well, I'm assuming she was a she, the character was female) had a number of alts, her shammy was 68 and she was pure Win. She was super effective switching between DPS and off heals, I'm glad I invited her, but back to the run. I try not to make UK too difficult, I mark skull for tank, DK gets assigned to neutralize casters. All the healer has to do is keep me up. Now my alliance pally isn't exactly wearing Kara or raid gear, but I had over 10k HP and about 13k armor and I have no problems with aggro. There were a few times the DK grabbed aggro, I do occasionally have probs clicking on the right mobs to attack but by an large, I held aggro and none of the DPS was taking damage. Well, except when our heals let me die, repeatedly. . .mostly to trash mobs (although three times on bosses).

It was tremendously frustrating for a few reasons reasons. First off, he made it sound like we wouldn't need off heals on the last boss. Guess what, we did, glad we brought Totina. Secondly there were two times when he would run off in front of the group to the next group of mobs, I would throw my shield, move to the mobs and start gathering aggro, get no heals and promptly die. I figure if you run off in front of the group, you're ready to go. Guess not. Lastly for some unknown reason, he tried kiting the last boss through the instance, killing the entire group when we ran back to regroup and saw a boss just wandering through the instance. Has anyone ever tried this tactic successfully? He said he has, it seems like a lot of pointless work. Avoid dark smash, have a backup healer keep the tank up when primary gets silenced, try to use mainly ranged DPS, its not that hard.

Well, I did win a roll on a pair of the leather bracers, got the two pieces of blue quest gear and the unnamed pally gave me a blue tanking belt that was better than the cobalt belt. We cleared the boss, I got about 200k XP but overall it was a mess.

Monday, March 2, 2009

We're talking about practice. . .

For those of you not familiar with one of the greatest quotes of our generation:
What does this have to do with Wow? I am quite fond of comparing instance runs to sports, I think the analogy fits quite well: a team of individuals working together to accomplish a goal, all with their own strengths and weaknesses. So how does the quote fit into Wow? How many players think they're Iverson? How many think they don't need practice and can be ready for any run at any time? For the rest of us who could use some seasoning, there is a great way to learn the game: Pugs.

Pugs (or Pick up groups if you didnt know that already) are a common way for people to run instances when they don't know enough people (or have enough online) to fill all the roles for the content they want to run. A lot of players avoid them because you get such a wide variety of players, but I say pugs are absolutely the best practice you can get in the game.

To make another comparison, I play goalie in hockey, it is one of the most in demand positions, the one that if you don't have one, you generally can't play. As such, I am constantly gettting calls from our rink to play for teams whose goalies can't play. I play almost every game like that I can. Why? First, its good practice, more reps will make me a better player. Second, playing with different types of teams give me different experiences: strong offensive teams may give up more breakaways while strong defensive teams may force long shots with rebounds. Lastly, they need someone to play, if they didn't, the rink wouldn't be calling me. Almost the same statements could be made about pugs.

Some of you probably don't need the practice, its not the game you die for, we're talking about practice. For the rest of us, take a long look at pugs as a way to improve your own skills. Who knows, you may even make a friend or two and get a few gear drops in the process. They may invite you back for more runs. It may suck horribly and you may never want to run with them again. No matter what, its good practice.

Holyfish, Champion of Stormwind

As a wow player, I have a reasonable amount of skill. I love to AoE and I can level pretty well when I set my mind to it. The things that I lack are focus on a character and motivation to level. With news of some of the 3.1 goodies, both have been taken care of.

I never saw any tangible benefit to charging to the level cap, and as most of the people I know play on a PvP server, it was just too frustrating to level through ally infestation. I have since started playing primarily on a PvE server where that isnt an issue and the need to reach the level cap has started to be cultivated. I want the stormwind tabard.

Humans are my favorite race in the game, bar none, and its not just because I happen to be one lol. Ten percent extra rep is nothing to sneeze at and humans just look the best in my opinion. I have to have a nice looking beard on my guys, humans fit the bill. Also, from the time I first set foot in it, I have loved stormwind. It may not be the easiest to find things in (a distinction I believe belongs to Undercity), but it is by far the best looking.

I may never get the suneater (maybe I can convince my new guildies to run heroic mechanar a bunch, I still want it because it just looks awesome), I can definately get a stormwind tabard (so I can look just like the stormwind guards).

I had a whole big post planned about what I did this weekend but its basically hit 68, should be 70 next weekend (which makes first 2 70s the same class lol), hit 350 blacksmithing and did a few levels with the mage. It took a lot more work than it sounds like.