Archive for November, 2008

Wooo, look at the time!  Has it really been that long since my last update?  Well I have a pretty good excuse.  Ladies and gentlemen, it is my very great pleasure to present to you, Calli The Seeker, level 80 Frost Mage, Northrend Dungeonmaster, Exalted with the Kirin Tor!

Yes, I'm awesome

Yes, I'm awesome

It’s been a hell of a ride.  By now most if not all of you reading this should have a toon levelled to 80 already.  I actually took the week off work when the expansion was released and went into Northrend like I was out for revenge.  In retrospect I probably shouldn’t have followed the herd and started in the  Borean Tundra, hereafter referred to as the Boring Tundra because if the shoe fits, wear it.  Yes, it was a bit laggy, yes it was crowded, yes there were too many people and not enough quest mobs and yes, I wish I’d been an engineer so I could also have made a fortune ripping people off over Overcharged Capacitors (Overcharged, geddit?  Blizz MUST have seen that one coming) but it was fun all the same.  For the first two hours.  After the novelty wore off and general chat had been given time to sap your will to live, all the factors mentioned above sort of combined to begin making the Northrend experience something you endured rather than enjoyed.  I began actively looking forward to the moment I hit that magical quest number, got the Boring Tundra achievement and could just get the hell out, not because I wanted to see what came next, although I did, but more to just get the hell out of the Tundra!

Pirates > Ninjas
While we’re on the subject, a lot of people were complaining very loudly and at great length about the constant ninja’ing that was going on, whether that be of quest mobs, ores, herbs, whatever.  Ok, first of all, this is going to happen when you have so many players packed into an area with a limited amount of resources.  Secondly, there are those who subscribe to the policy that “It’s not yours until it’s in your bag”.  Let’s just make this clear so we’re all singing from the same hymnsheet, this philosophy is nothing other than an attempt to justify being an arsehole.  Pure and simple.  Someone’s killing a mob right next to an ore vein and you run in, dismount, and grab the ore without asking if the guy killing the mob wants it?  You’re an arsehole.  You see a Warlock DoT up a target and you blink in, hit it with an Ice Lance before Corruption has a chance to tick, tag the mob, then kite it until the damage from the DoT makes it switch aggro to the Lock and forces him to kill it for you?   You sir, are an asshat.  End of story.  You are a hat for the use of wearing by asses.  Discussion over.

Now I expect this sort of stuff to happen, due to the sheer number of people crammed into the starting areas.  With that many people jammed together you’re going to get an equally high proportion of dickwads in close proximity to everyone.  But what amazes me is when I wander into a quest area and see 4 other people all competing with each other for a limited number of kills, it never ceases to boggle my mind that I always seem to be the first one to suggest grouping up.  You can almost see the gears turning in the minds of the others present as they digest this novel new idea.  “You mean, co-operate instead of compete?  Well it’s a wild and crazy idea but what the heck, it might just work, we’ll give it a try!”

To their credit, Blizzard have certainly learned a lot from their experience with Hellfire Peninsula in Burning Crusade and wherever a single boss-type mob is required to be killed to finish a quest and there are likely to be upwards of a bazillion players wanting to kill him, they’ve made quest completion dependent on a drop from the mob that anyone can loot!  So it really doesn’t matter if there are six paladins, four mages and a shaman spamming the spawn point with every flavour of aoe in the book, let the greedy assholes kill him, and you get the drop anyway.

On those rare occasions where an actual kill is required and where the scumbags who are camping the spawn refuse your offer to group (because that’s what assholes do) or where they’re the opposite faction, turned up after you’d already been waiting patiently and immediately start to spam aoe, here’s a tip to ensure justice is done.  Press V, and get an instant attack ready.  You’ve done everything a decent human being could do to try to get people to co-operate, now it’s fair to show them that being a prick doesn’t always pay off.  AoE doesn’t drench an area in damage, it’s either limited by the global cooldown or it has a tick once every second or three. An instant attack, however, is an instant attack.  When mobs spawn, you see their healthbar long before you see the actual mob, which is why you pressed V to see enemy healthbars.  So the second you see that healthbar, fire off your instant attack, then do nothing.  You’ve tagged the boss with an instant, low damage attack, then he fully spawns into an aoe shitstorm of epic proportions at which point you lose aggro, and the spawn-camping, non-cooperative asshole brigade gets to kill him for you.  Some may call it hypocrisy, but they’re the assholes who do this sort of stuff and think they’re funny and I don’t particularly care what they think.  I call it justice.

As a final word on the whole asshole/ninja subject, I’ll close by saying that I believe the rampant assholery that prevaded the Boring Tundra was actually a good thing.  “NOES!” I hear you cry, well let me explain.  At the very least, it served to get all the dickwads out in the open where you could identify them and get them added to your ignore list early.  You know..  before you were level 80 and looking for a last dps class to fill out your instance group and one of these clowns joins your group, or even worse, fills out a guild application.  See?  No matter how lousy the situation on the surface, there’s always an upside.

Meanwhile, 300 feet above Crystalsong Forest…
Of course, being a mage I headed straight for Star’s Rest in Dragonblight the very instant I dinged level 71 to do my Dalaran “attunement” quest and get access to the greatest and most wonderful city in Azeroth well before anyone else.  And let me tell you, my guildmates were well and truly sick of my spamming /g with how awesome Dalaran was.  I think Dalaran is just Blizzard’s way of saying sorry to mages for The Burning Crusade.  I must have spent two hours just wandering around squealing with glee at every new sight and linking the stuff the vendors were selling, buying myself the Armoured Brown War Bear, doing the cooking daily ages before anyone else, fishing in the fountain and the sewers, etc.  For a few blissful hours I actually had Dalaran almost entirely to myself, then someone figured out the Battleground queue “exploit” and the peace and quiet was over.  There were warlocks in Dalaran!  Warlocks! Pfft..

Dalaran.  Warlocks out!

Dalaran. Warlocks out!

But we have the last laugh.  If you’re a mage and you ask one of the Dalaran citizens (not guards, citizens!  Dalaran is a city of magi, we have no need of such mundane things as guards!  Pfft!) for directions to a class trainer, he or she will quite happily point you in the direction of the mage trainers.  If you’re not a mage and you ask you’ll also be given a flag to follow on your minimap…. to the portals to Azeroth’s other, lesser capitals.

Ha!  Muahah!  MUAHAHAHAHHAHAHA!!!  Thank you, Blizzard, really, from the bottom of my heart!  Thank you!

There’s Vikings in Them Thar Hills!
After getting the Boring Tundra quest achievement I decided to head over to Howling Fjord to complete all the starter quests there too.  Now this may just be a matter of personal preference, it may just be because to get to the Fjord you have to fly first from Ironforge to Menethil Harbour and so the Fjord wasn’t as crowded, but I VASTLY preferred the Fjord to the Tundra.  The Howling Fjord is where my “ZOMG!” experience of the Northrend zones began, and pretty much continued as I wandered into each and every zone afterwards.  Sure, Coldarra in the Tundra was quite spectacular, but the rest of the zone was really a bit “meh”.  It is a tundra after all.

Coldarra, Borean Tundra.  Ok..  that's pretty cool.

Coldarra, Borean Tundra.

The Fjord on the other hand, is..  well..   it’s a fjord!  It’s got spectacular hardwired into its’ genetic code even before Blizzard go to work on it.  The character models for the Vrykul…  wow. I just wish the base player character models looked that good.  The questing in the Tundra was of an equally high standard, but the amount of asshats crammed into the area and the general “meh” factor of the scenery robbed it of any lasting virtue for me.  The Fjord on the other hand was relatively free of players, looked amazing and was just more of a fun experience for me.  You also got to surf across the fjord on a burning harpoon and if that’s not awesome, nothing is.



Well, maybe surfing on a crocolisk beats it.  What?  Yes you heard me, surfing on a CROCOLISK!


Croc surfing. Seriously

You get to surf on the back of that particular reptile in the Sholazar Basin, which is where you meet up once more with the world famous Hemet Nesingwary and once again aid him in his mission to exterminate the wildlife of Azeroth and turn it into something useful like a nice handbag or umbrella holder.  Practical people, the Dwarves.  Sholazar Basin is what you wish Stranglethorn Vale had looked like.  Let me take this opportunity to remind you that Wrath of the Lich King looks simply stunning, something you appreciate more once you hit level 77 and get access to Cold Weather Flying training and can once again take to the skies.  Storm Peaks in particular is quite simply breathtaking seen from the air, and that has nothing to do with the cold.

Speaking of flying mounts, feast your eyes on this little beauty…

Funko-Electric Carpet Ride

Funko-Electric Carpet Ride

Available only to tailors, I give you the Magnificent Flying Carpet.  Requiring a tailoring level of 425 to make, it never fails to drop jaws and ensures you are bombarded with whispers demanding to know where you got it.  It’s waaaaaaay cooler than any other form of transport, but no Feral druids!  They shed on the carpet and it takes an age to get it clean.

I’ll just leave you with one word of warning, be very careful when it comes to drinking stuff you find in the Underbelly of Dalaran, you never know what those mages have thrown away…

lol wut?

lol wut?



Posted: 7 November, 2008 in Raiding
Tags: , , ,

First of all, apologies for the lack of updates recently, I blame Blizzard for giving us the Achievement system in the last patch.  Like the true obsessive-compulsive I am, I’ve been farming those achievements like a thing possessed.  One achievement in particular I never thought I’d see this side of level 80, but I did in fact gain it just before the last server reset.  Outland Raider.

Yes that’s right, I completed the achievement that meant I’d completed all Outland raid content, which is a roundabout way of saying:



Let’s just bask in the glory of the screenshot for a minute.

Okay, okay, he’s been nerfed.  Yes we live in an age where we clear Kara in an hour and PuGs run Black Temple.  I don’t care.  He’s dead, we’re not.  Har Har Har!

Last week was the first time I got past Felmyst in Sunwell, and having seen the remaining bossfights, I have to admit I can’t quite see why all the hardcore raiding guilds rave about how well designed Sunwell is.  Let’s look at them all one by one.

This guy can still be moderately tricky even after the patch, as it’s not about dps and all about co-ordination and not standing in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Post-patch the major problem that raids will face with the Kalecgos fight is NOT killing him.  Since he has to die at the same time as Sathrovar the Corruptor and they both exist in different dimensions, communication is the key.  Still, it’s a fun fight and I have to admit, quite well designed, despite some annoying “issues” like the portal spawn times that can make an already tricky fight frustrating.  The importance of smart decursing isn’t nearly as paramount, since they both die too quickly now for the Curses to mount up to anything significant.

Pre-patch, Brutallus was a brick wall for raids who hadn’t been farming Black Temple for months.  He’s your typical dps check, and without all the shiny BT gear, your raid most likely would have to min/max group composition to scratch out every last bit of dps before they hit his enrage timer, as we had to do.  And it’s here that my major gripe with the whole Sunwell boss fight design emerges.  Each fight practically required a new raid group to succeed.  Kalecgos required 4 decursers, Brutallus required the best dps you could field (cya mages, thanks for turning up), Felmyst required at least three priests, etc, etc…  Thankfully, post-patch you no longer have to min/max groups and can take whoever are the best players rather than who works best in a particular group because of what class they are, because buffs and synergies are now mostly raid-wide.  Result?  Brutallus dead in 3 minutes 11 seconds.

Ah, Felmyst.  I hated Felmyst for two reasons.  Firstly, we never managed to get past her pre-patch.  Secondly, I always had to switch to Aluriel and respec shadow for Felmyst, because of the boss encounter’s design requiring smart Mass Dispelling and our lack of sufficient numbers of Priests.  All of which was frustrating because Felmyst drops a staff that Calli badly wanted and we never managed to kill her anyway.  Felmyst is incredibly annoying due to a number of reasons, but the most annoying has to be the Deep Breaths.  This isn’t like Onyxia’s Deep Breath, which is survivable, oh no.  If you get caught in Felmyst’s Deep breath you get Mind Controlled and your raid has to kill you.  End. Of.  Story.  What makes it even more annoying is that she can breathe in any one of three locations and the warning of where she’s going to breathe looks almost the same for all three locations.  Oh yes, Felmyst is FUN!  Not.  She will most likely be the new brick wall in Sunwell even after the patch for the simple reason of Deep Breath prediction.  You cannot zerg Felmyst they way you can Brutallus, you must be paying attention at ALL times and know exactly what to do.  All the time.  Of course, not being able to zerg her is not a Bad Thing, it’s good that even after the nerf patch there are still raid bosses that can hand you your own arse on a plate if you take them for granted.

Eredar Twins
If you make it this far, congratulations.  Now take a look at your raid and identify anyone who has any lag or latency issues.  Once you’ve identified them, remove them from your raid.  Seriously.  Blizzard designed an entire fight around killing anyone who lags even slightly, and worse, having them take the rest of the raid with them.  If you get targeted with Conflagration, GET THE F**K AWAY FROM THE RAID!  If you don’t, you wipe.  If you lag, you wipe.  If you have any latency at all, you wipe.  If you finish your current spellcast, you wipe.  And just to add insult to injury, you can also be stunned at any time, including just before you get a Conflagrate, and wipe.  Apart from that one small issue, it’s a pretty good fight, and any raid that can down Felmyst should have the co-ordination and dps to kill them.  And they drop phat lewt.  Oh yes, these are the first of the bosses that drop the Tier 6+ gear, and very pretty it is too.

I now totally understand why pre-patch M’uru was considered a brick wall learning curve.  The good news is that now, he isn’t.  You will need at least two players who can either purge or dispel, or your raid will wipe, of course.  Thankfully this isn’t such a stringent pass/fail requirement as earlier bosses had, but the boss himself used to be so tough that raid composition was the least of your worries.  He is now by no means a pushover, but any raid who downed Brutallus or Felmyst pre-patch should have what it takes to put him on his arse post-patch, and do it on their first night of trying him.  The biggest challenge is dealing with the hordes of adds he spawns, and not just killing them, but killing them in a smart way so as to mitigate the danger to the raid when M’uru dies and Entropius spawns.  Again, it requires a smart raid, not a mindless zerg, but if you got this far, you can do it.  And the loot will last you until level 80, which is always a nice incentive.

The Big Man himself.  Take the complexity of all the previous Sunwell boss fights, add the importance of not standing in fire (because it’s hot!), remove the “you must have x number of y class” bullshit that went with earlier bosses, add some “LOOK MA, I’M A DRAGON!” rofls and you have the Kil’jaeden fight.  Much like M’uru, you absolutely definitely cannot just waltz in here and zerg it, and your raid leader will spend hours banging his face into his keyboard in frustration because idiots are not staying away from people with Fire Bloom/running into other people when they have Fire Bloom/failing to get into the Shield of the Blue in time/not moving away from Armageddon in time (because it’s HOT!) etc, etc…  But each failed attempt will teach you something new and you will improve.  With luck, your raid will have enough dps after the patch (as we did) to zerg him to some extent by getting him to 55% fast enough to miss the second Darkness, which helps immensely, but no matter how you do it, killing Kil’jaeden is still a hell of an accomplishment. The fight is utter chaos and I have nothing but respect for any guild that downed him before the patch.  But killing him after the patch is no mean feat either.  If you can do it, and if you can even get to him you’ve got the raid who can do it, well done!  You completed World of Warcraft!  Now go grind Sporegarr rep or something, Rash of the Itch King is only three working days away!