Darkside of the Toons

Finally!

So, quite some time ago I picked up the Shield of Impenetrable Darkness during a Laid Back Raid.  I had always meant to make an outfit for it, complimenting it with the Crystal Spire of Karabor.  Today was to be that day.  All I needed was the legs and gloves and I was set.  Husband of Ysera’s Daughter happened to be on and made me some Vicious Ornate Pyrium Legguards and Boots.  I then hit the JP vendor for a set of Bladebreaker Gauntlets and was good to go.  Or, rather, I thought I was.  I realized I still needed the Wailing Nightbane Pauldrons from The Unforgiven in Stratholme.  Fortunately it only took killing him twice to get them.

However, you’ll notice in the picture Saintvache isn’t sporting a Mace.  That’s because of a very annoying transmog limitation.  You see, you cannot put a Main Hand item over a One Hand item that you’re holding in your main hand.  So, that idea went out the window (no 85 Maces on the AH either at the time).  So, his tanking look remains the same as it’s been for the past six months.  Instead, I took his healing gear and knowing he was holding a sword grabbed The Turning Tide from his bank.  The other pieces of the outfit are Bogslayer Breastplate, Gilded Thorium Cloak (which dropped last night during a Kara run with Ratshag, Helke, and a few more), Vicious Pyrium Belt, and Heroic Skullcap.  I used the Argent Crusade Tabard to cap it off.  Made him just a hint less of a Death Knight.  And yes, as I pointed out to Arvash this morning, in pure ass-backwardness my tank outfit is light and my healing outfit is dark.

Now I no sooner finished that and switched over to Larfleeze to see what the Runetotem Auction House had for me to discover (cheap Primordial Rubies was the answer), when I came across my first Jeweled Onyx Panther in-game.  Brezell barely sat still long enough for me to get the shot, but you can see it alright.  That’s what happens when you take the four colours and merge them.  So you’re looking at about 100-125 thousand gold there.  Sexy, but I like the four others better.  Speaking of which, I still haven’t seen a green one in-game.

Bye Bye January

The first month of the year is gone in a few short hours (or possibly it’s already gone in your part of the world) and if there’s one way to summarize it, that would be WHERE DID MY IMMUNE SYSTEM GO?!?!  Seriously, I was sick every day this month.  Some were better than others (the strep throat phase suckethed horribly), but on the whole I’ve had some variation of a viral infection or flu since New Year’s Day.  Ugh.

That out of the way, I present a random post of random thoughts as it relates to our wonderful World (of Warcraft).  For starters, I hate the idea of Hoarders, but this Machinima always cracks me up.  It’s definitely the Troll.  Plus, if you know any players like this I can guarantee you Void Storage has done nothing to help this situation.

  • I finally landed Horrux’s pants on the Auction House last night. I’ve needed Brutish Legguards for over a month.  I decided to check the Undermine Journal before I went to bed and then logged on like a madman.  This would be the fifth time I’ve seen them only to login and they’re gone.  Alas, I still need the gloves, but now that it’s the only piece of gear I’m missing for his outfit, I may look for other options.
  • Mount Hyjal is absurdly slow without a flying mount.  That’s right, Liouxpold still doesn’t have one.  I haven’t bothered visiting the Cenarion Expedition in quite some time.  Part of me thinks this weekend might be a great opportunity to go farm crazy.  No, I won’t just buy him a bird.
  • Still debating whether or not I want the Elder title for Tumunzahar.  I got it on Siori when it was introduced, mainly because I had this notion as guild leader she needed it first (and I succeeded in that area).  I like Starcaller on Tum but if Blizzard allows for mixed titles in the future, Elder Starcaller actually has a ring to it.
  • Leveling with guild perks and even ONE BoA is ridiculously faster than doing it vanilla style.  That’s a no-brainer, but The 2012 is teaching me that rather quickly. 
  • Love Warrior tanking and Druid tanking, and quickly coming around to Paladin tanking.  Yet, I look at both my Blood Death Knights and just cringe at the idea.
  • On the flip side, I love Priest healing, find Shaman healing easy, and am just now starting to level a Resto Druid…Holy Paladin will probably come later.
  • No, I don’t dual-spec much.  By much, I mean one toon has it. 
  • I used to hate Cooking.  Now, the daily grants an absurd amount of xp that you’d be a fool not to learn it.
  • Visiting the replica vendors in Netherstorm was a bad idea.  Some of the items for sale out there are amazing.  At the same time, I’m not sure how the level 60 gear works.  I’m guessing you have to get it with honor first, and that allows you to buy the replica version for ‘Mogging. 
  • Yes, Blizzard, that’s still incredibly fail to do to the player base.
  • I finally got Formula: Enchant Chest – Greater Stats, though it was off my Auction House and for a mint.  Yet, I still haven’t decided whether to learn it or try and sell it.  Hard to say if I’d get my money back or more, though it’s the only time I’ve ever seen the formula in four years.
  • Speaking of Formulas, I keep meaning to check whether Crusader drops anymore or not.  I have one in my bank, so it’s worth looking into.
  • I really need to take Tumunzahar in to kill visit Malygos, as it’s the only Wrath raid (pre-Icecrown) he never did. 
  • I also need to get rolling on getting Siori the legendary daggers.  I think I need to sweet talk a couple people about getting in on a raid for the sap fight.  
  • I should finish up some of the other posts that are sitting in the pipeline.  So many ideas, so little time.  
  • I hope that when I get home, patching WoW on a Linux system is easy.
     

Friday Top 5: My WoW 2011

The top 5 is a day late this week. Replaced the Hard Drive in my laptop only to discover the set of backup discs I made…well, one was deemed “blank” so I’m on a full restoration of my system. Whee….anyway, 2011 was an interesting year for me in terms of the game, which included a fairly lengthy break at the beginning of the year, some guild members leaving and some new ones joining. So what were the five things I will remember most as we head into a near year?

5. Choppers For Everyone
This is something I debated on for quite some time before finally pulling the trigger…four days before I needed them. I decided to give each officer in the guild a Mekgineer’s Chopper for Christmas. Finding someone able to do it for me was surprisingly quick. They even refused to be tipped! He agreed to the vendor mats price, and I’d supply the rest. No big deal since an auction player like myself has plenty. Except for Titansteel. I farmed the crap out of that every night after work, whether it was Titanium or Saronite (which I transmuted). I got lucky when someone listed a stack of 12 for incredibly cheap (the exact amount you need for the bike).  I had all 5 bikes with a full day to spare (one for Tumunzahar).  I wrapped them and sent them on the 23rd, with the idea being they would login on Christmas Eve and discover them.  Well, one officer decided to log on that night.  He was floored. They all were..and they were worth every penny and then some.  Now I just have to coordinate a sweet group shot.  In the meantime, here’s Tum on his. 

4. Tanking
For those of you who do it, you’re probably laughing that I consider this an accomplishment.  The thing is, I tanked a bit on my Death Knight but only with guild members, but otherwise it was the one role I wasn’t comfortable with.  People say there is pressure healing, but I always thought it was the tanking that required the most effort.  I saw it as this daunting task that I wanted no part of…and then I started doing it with my Warrior.  I love it.  I’m no expert by any stretch, but I’m getting the hang of it and I really do enjoy it.  Perhaps it’s the class (and one I hated for a long time as well) but I’m confident enough in it that I’ll queue for randoms and deal with complete strangers.  Now if non-tanks would just realize they’re dps…

3. Ulduar
You can say it’s cheating to go in and clear the place at level 85 and I completely agree with you. But, when I agreed to go a couple weeks ago it wasn’t for the achievements and what have you…it was simply because I really wanted to see the place.  Sure, I’d been Pugged to heal a few spots here and there but had never been further than the one fellow who becomes a bridge for you.  I have to say the place was as epic as I had hoped.  Not in the combat necessarily, but just in the vastness and feel and overall scope.  It made my character feel so small and that’s a feeling I miss in much of the game.

2. Joining The Bloggers
Oh sure, I’ve been blogging for some time around these parts but only to about a dozen regular readers. Most of them, bless their hearts, were friends, family, and guildmates. But once I started commenting on other blogs, participating in some community activities, and actually joining Blog Azeroth, my site took off. Not to the levels of some of my fellow digital scribes, but enough that I was overwhelmed with the attention. The recent months have made me very happy to be part of such an awesome community. Special thanks to Amerence and Saz for helping to get me involved.

1. Transmogrification
There’s probably no surprise that this came in at the top simply because of what the Top 5 has consisted of for the better part of the time since 4.3 launched. I love it, I love what I’m seeing, and it’s always at the forefront of my WoW gaming now. It was a feature I desperately wanted, and got, and I’m happily among those making the most of it (if only I could finish some of the stuff I’m working on and sharing it with you awesome people!).

What about you?  Is there any particular memories from this past year that stand out for you in World of Warcraft?

Kicking In The Door To Utgarde Keep

Wednesday was a good day to be a Dwarven Death Knight. My favourite tank, and yours (if you played him), hit 68. After turning in a few quests, that meant Goodbye Outland, Hello Northrend!

Flint005

Fireflint boarded the boat and hit the Howling Fjorde. Within a couple of kills he had his first gear upgrade (Of The Champion), and then there was just one thing to do -plant Ingvar on his Vrykul backside.

The run was a successful one (not just because I’ve now got a shiny axe waiting for me at 70), but I say that with hesitation. My group consisted of a 78 Hunter, 80 Paladin, 80 Feral Druid, and 80 Hunter. They could have quiet easily cleared the place without me. This was not, as you might think, a case of me getting carried. These are friends that were willing to come along and show patience as I tried to truly run the show as a tank for the third time since I rolled Flint.

Granted, there’s no way I could keep up with four people who were 10 levels (or more) above me, but I did manage to hold my own in some cases. I needed to get a feel for getting aggro and keeping it. Some cases I did well, and others they just couldn’t hold back.

Based on this scenario, the group had all good things to say about how I performed. I feel if I can establish aggro with a group that much more powerful than me, I should be ok with a proper group. Of course, with a proper group, there’s no way I could’ve attempted that run.

Since I’m getting into territory where we have some guildies in the low 70’s, I can see more appropriate grouping and that’s where I will really see where I’m at.

From The Ashes Of A Guild Run

Recently one of our Warriors asked me if I would join her and a Mage in an instance run so that she could learn to tank. She’s always been spec’d for it, but has gotten to 74 simply through questing with said Mage. I agreed and when she then tossed lead to me, I realized this was a ship that needed to be righted.

First thing I did was give lead back and point out this was her group, not mine. She also needed to learn how to mark. Since this was a lesson, we weren’t going to be cracking Northrend heads. We were destined for something a bit easier: Outland.

After we bounced through Crypts, with a Tankadin healing (her husband or this wouldn’t have happened), I convinced my fiancee to bring her Hunter and we’d go beat on Kael’Thas in his Terrace. This turned out to be one of my worst ideas ever.

The Warrior, learned well. She didn’t always mark saps and sheep, but she was getting the hang of it. She also did a decent job of building and holding aggro, even with my Rogue being six levels higher. However, we wiped three times. There is a simple explanation for each wipe:

-on Kael’Thas, I forgot he does Flamestrike. The Warrior and I dropped like a sack of bricks from not paying attention to it.

-in the courtyard, the Warrior walked right in and aggro’d 4 full mob groups. We were simply outnumbered.

In the other case, and several other near wipes, we have our Mage to thank for that. She casts Blizzard every chance she can. Doesn’t matter if it’s one mob or four, or the start or end of a battle. The term “elite” is lost on her and she is an aggro magnet. I tried telling her to stop and she simply says “who, me? I’m innocent.”

It made matters worse because the tank felt she was doing a bad job because she couldn’t hold the aggro. I explained that while she needed a higher defense rating (387 at time of run) and less crit, she was otherwise pretty good. She was a tank wearing dps, but the run was about getting a feel for how to do things. I explained to her that her tanking wasn’t that bad, but the Mage has no idea how to dps in an instance (God forbid a raid). Until she could learn (or listen), she would always draw aggro off the tank.

The good news, is that we did take down Kael’Thas on our second try. The even better news, was the drop he left behind that I snagged high roll on:

Phoenix

This was the one pet I wanted for Siori, and the fact that I got it made up for an otherwise painful experience.

I’m No Sherman

So, in building up Fireflint as a tank, I’ve learned one thing: keeping aggro is much harder than avoiding aggro. With my main being a Rogue, I always made a point of keeping threat on the tank. Tricks Of The Trade is wonderful for that. Knowing to stop attacking on occasion also helps.

As a Death Knight tank, however, I find that keeping threat on me is a bit trickier. I’m sure it will just take practice and knowledge on my part, and convincing the other Death Knights in my party that they need to turn off Frost Aura.