Castle Nathria Normal cleared

Ha, did forget to post that on Jan 8th we actually killed Sire Denathrius on Normal.

Sire Denathrius down, bad angle

Since then we’ve not officially progressed, we killed 3/10 Hc that week and this week we also did 10/10 + 3/10 with quite a few wipes on Lady Darkvein Heroic (25 or so) without getting her down.

I’m at iLvl 205 but my weapons are still 200 + 184, but my damage is slowly improving, I seem to be getting better at Fury.

My roster of toons now has 7 at Level 60, with 5 having completed the Covenant campaign already (Night Fae Warrior, Necrolord Shaman, Venthyr Paladin and Demon Hunter, and Kyrian Hunter) and the Night Fae Rogue at 21, so one week away as I didn’t feel like grinding dungeons for another renown drop. The Night Fae Warlock has just started the campaign and I’ve not yet started to level any other characters, just the Death Knight (and my Horde main) has finished the Maw intro quest (for professions in Oribos) and everything else on Horde is untouched.

I’ve been running quite a few old dungeons for transmog these last 2-3 weeks, mostly Molten Core, Blackwing Lair, Blackwing Depths, Bastion of Twilight, Firelands, and Trial of the Crusader, but also a little Serpentshrine Cavern, The Eye, Icecrown Citadel, and Nighthold. I already managed to finish 2-3 sets where only 1-2 pieces were missing so this should be able to be ramped down soonish. I also parked a few 50 alts just in front of the instance for the next resets.

Fourth raid week finished

This was an atypical week because of New Year’s Eve (and the lack of celebrations) and because of Timewalking and Ulduar. So we only planned to raid on the 1st and 3rd (Fri/Sun) but added an excursion to Ulduar on Saturday. To cut a long story short, XT seemed really weirdly scaled, people were dying left and right on the trash on the way and nobody remembered it being that hard. The rest was a mix of overtuned and undertuned. We took a little longer than our normal raid hours but managed to clear it without real problems. Cat Lady’s adds can still oneshot tanks on pull though.

Castle Nathria went pretty good, 9 bosses down on the first night (just 2 wipes on Sludgefist) and 3 bosses down on Heroic on the second night (3 wipes on Huntsman, 4 on Destroyer), and a good third try (26%) on Xy’mox. No Denathrius tries this week though.

Interestingly we hardly got any weapon drops (one of the main reasons we went there) but I got 3 iLvl 200 items, not too bad. Nearly as many as in 4 weeks of Castle Nathria. I’m at iLvl 197 now, but with 184/180 weapons (finally managed to get Sorrowbane tonight). Ninja edit: 2h later I also got Sorrowbane on the Paladin, it’s a huge upgrade from my 158 weapon – apparently the server was dead enough on a Tuesday night. Glad we have a public holiday tomorrow 😛

Demon Hunter is 60 now, Warlock is 59 and mid-Revendreth, and the Paladin hit 60 yesterday and can do Heroics today, just as Demon Hunter and Hunter can, but I only queued on the Paladin. Retri feels so much better than Fury, I regret not going with the Paladin, but we already have 3 raiding Retri Paladins and I’m often the only Warrior. At least they all like my Battle Shout.

2020 in review

It’s the last day of the year and so it’s review time again!

What a year. I don’t think I need to go into specifics but let’s say my gaming time was exorbitant in comparison to other years, but so were my expenses.

What I played a lot:

  • EVE Online
  • World of Warcraft – Retail
  • SW: TOR

Other things I played:

  • Diablo 3
  • Forgotten Anne
  • Anno 1404
  • Stellaris
  • Borderlands 3
  • The Cycle

Gaming expenses in 2020:

  • SW:TOR: 5x 13 EUR = 65 EUR for subscriptions
  • WoW: 214 EUR, of which 79 go in the 2021 bucket
    • 4x 36 EUR = 144 EUR for 4x a 3 month subscription
    • 1x 40 EUR for the Shadowlands expansion
    • 1x 66 EUR for the 6 month subscription that comes with the transmog set
  • EVE Online: 897 EUR, of which ~179 go to the 2021 bucket
    • 1x 20 EUR for a character transfer
    • 120 EUR for several packs
    • 36 EUR for Skill Extractors
    • 212 EUR for PLEX
    • 8x 49 EUR for 8x a 3 month subscription incl 3 MCT
    • 3x 39 EUR for 3x a 3 month subscription
  • Humble: 8 EUR for Forgotten Anne
  • GOG: 0 EUR
  • Steam: 4 EUR for Renowned Explorers + 10 EUR for Stellaris
  • Epic: 0 EUR

And the usual stats:

  • Amount of MMOs played: 3
  • Amount of MMO subscriptions months paid: 5 (SWTOR)+12 (WOW) + 33 (EVE, but really only 20 for this year) = 37 / 50
  • Amount of games purchased: 3
  • Amount of MMO expansions purchased: 1
  • Amount of money for ingame/services stuff: 120 + 36 + 212 = 368 EUR
  • Amount of games I got for free and played a lot: 0
  • Amount of games I got for free and didn’t play: too many
  • Amount of games I bought and then didn’t play: 1 (Renowned Explorers)

So for both EVE and WoW I have paid subscriptions far into the next year, so I’ll separate those out. Sure, I spent it this year but it’s a subscription for 2021 and it’s such a huge chunk that I want to jot down both numbers.

Also: why so many? So I was subscribed to WoW for the whole year, that’s 12. I was subscribed to SWTOR from June through October, that’s 5. And in March/April I came back to EVE in full swing and first transferred my old NullSec alt to a second account, and basically ran three accounts for 3/4 of the year. That’s also why I burnt out a little and didn’t really play EVE since Shadowlands launched, but I plan to return in January.

So yes, it looks even worse than when I did a preliminary tally a while ago, 1234 EUR, at 102.83 EUR per month. Separating out the 2021 pre-payments, I get to 976 EUR, at 81.34 EUR per month. Still the highest amount ever and unlikely to be topped. Then again, 100 EUR for basically ALL your spare time entertainment per month is still a really good deal.

The only thing I can say in my defense is that all these budgets for the year 2020 were not exhausted at all or kept at the bare minimum:

  • vacation – not zero, but a single very short trip by train + bike with a few nights in a hotel
  • public transport and bike repairs – close to zero
  • going out for drinks – zero
  • going out for lunch/dinner – a few times in the summer when we could sit outside, with a table for ourselves
  • ordering stuff online – surprisingly, despite spending all the time at home I did order a lot less stuff at Amazon or elsewhere

Also I really planned to buy Horizon: Zero Dawn when it came out for PC in August, and buy that new graphics card I had postponed buying last November when I replaced my PC. And I’d been trying to get my hands on a 3060 Ti or 3070 for 2 weeks (for a reasonable price), but to no avail. I didn’t buy a new because I spent all my time playing EVE in August, and then transitioned to WoW and Shadowlands. And now I’m changing the wording of this paragraph as I had indeed managed to order a 3070 on Dec 28th and was eagerly awaiting it being shipped today on the 31st, but it didn’t happen.

So in the end I have a guilty conscience but realistically I guess I shouldn’t – a few nights out a month would easily cost more than these gaming expenses I’m making such a fuzz about.

There’s such a huge list of games I got for free in 2020 and didn’t play, but I’m actually interested in these, it’s just (as always) the thing about freeing some gaming time from the thing I am giving 100% at the moment, usually an MMO.

  • Prison Architect
  • My Time at Portia (I actually played someone else’s copy for an hour or two when it launched)
  • Darkest Dungeon
  • Cities: Skylines (hey, I bought this one a while ago)
  • Tyranny
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • ARK
  • GTA V
  • Assassins Creed Syndicate
Happy New Year!

Third raid week finished

Due to the holidays we had originally planned to only raid one day this week, Sunday. But when the question was posed if people would be up for a second night on Monday, most said yes. So I also changed my plans and attended.

Sunday went pretty well (one wipe on Huntsman, two wipes on Council before our first kill), then two wipes on Sludgefist. Monday was really interesting, Sludgefist died on the third pull, then we oneshot Generals. On to Sire Denathrius, who turned out to be not such a pushover, five wipes and only in the last try we managed to get to phase 2. With only 45 minutes left we went to Shriekwing Heroic and called it an early night after a bit of a messy kill on first try.

So this puts us at 9/10 Normal and 1/10 Heroic. Denathrius will take some time I guess, and then it’s off to continue Heroic. Huntsman and Devourer should be doable I heard.

My gearing problem still exists, although I’m at 191 after last night, still a bit low after 21 normal bosses and 2 Heroic bosses, in my opinion. I’m wearing 2 items > 200 (from the Great Vault + Mythic quest) and 5 iLvl 200 ones (one from the Great Vault, one from a guildie who didn’t need them), so that’s a whopping 3 items from 23 raid boss kills, I think that’s too low and you can certainly not call that “farming gear”. Also another week I will finish with 2 blue items (Gloves + Offhand), but I have to admit I did zero Mythic 5mans this week. It also doesn’t help that when I get a drop it’s for a slot I don’t need (got a ring from a guildie and gave away another one with bad stats, thus I zeroed them out in the calculation above).

For the alts, the Hunter is Level 60 and the Demon Hunter is 57 (still don’t like Threads of Fate), and because I finally have a leveling partner again, the Warlock hit 56 last night and is nearly done with Maldraxxus.

Second Raid Week Finished

This week we raided 3 nights again, Shriekwing, Xy’mox and Sun King on normal on the first night, including 1, 1, and 3 wipes, then 3 wipes on Council. Second night was Huntsman, Destroyer and Lady, with 1, 2, and 3 wipes – for some bosses actually worse than in week one, and on day 3 we killed Shriekwing on Heroic after 9 wipes and then wiped on Council 7 times without a kill, but one was looking pretty good. Next week there will probably be only one raid because of Christmas, so we’ll see what that will bring.

I did some more M+ (but not many), still only +2 and +3 – I’m warming up to it but it’s stressful.

My drop luck isn’t improving, on the 3 bosses in LFR I got an item that was the 187 version of the 200 item I have. I got 187 boots from an M2 (+3 ilvl) and one single 2o0 drop from those 3+6+1 raid bosses in LFR/normal/hc. At least the 4 mythics weekly was good to me, 213 trinket, even if it’s not a great one – and my 2 200 picks in the Vault also weren’t great, but at least I have shoulders now, but still 2 blues. Item level 188 isn’t really great for the amount of M0, M+ and raid bosses I’ve done.

The Shammy is at iLvl 163 and happily healing Heroics already (since I could queue at 155), maybe I’ll manage to try healing some M0 next week.

Finally, I managed to do Layer 5 of Torghast twice, both times as Protection, Layer 6 was a shitty draw and I only tried it once. Maybe doable.

First Raid Week Finished

Second raid post this week, yay. As I wrote here, we got 3 bosses in Castle Nathria down on Friday (can’t even say “the first three” because the numbering is weird this tier), went back on Sunday to wipe on Kael’thas for 3h (14x), then on Monday we took down Lady Inerva Darkvein on the first try, then wiped once on Artificer Xy’mox before a kill and then continued to wipe on Kael’thas for a bit (4x) until we got that done as well. Just enough time for a single try on Council. Very good first week, even if it was Normal only. Also we didn’t notice anything about the supposed “bosses dropping too much loot”, I was happy to get one item.

I only noticed after that first night that I still had the wrong (leveling) spec and switched around some stuff, but I’m not sure if my damage improved a lot. Today we should’ve gotten a +5% damage buff for Fury Warriors, this should help a bit as well. Also going to have a look at the Great Vault now, which should have 2 items for me to choose from.

Finally I needed a break from group activities last night and did some Torghast, this time as Protection. It was so easy compared to Fury it’s not even fun. Bit slow though, but I managed to do Layer 3 and Layer 4 without a single death.

In other news, my Ele/Resto Shammy is also Level 60, need to do some normal dungeons for gear or heroics with the guild, and maybe tank some more Heroics until I feel able to do Mythic.

Ready for Raiding

I hadn’t raided since MoP but this expansion (actually at the end of BfA) I formed the plan to raid again. Sadly my old home, my Horde guild had been dead for years, but the Alliance guild I’d been having an alt in for over 10 years is alive and kicking and they were raiding Normal and Heroic modes every expansion, as far as I know. So this time around I wanted to join for real.

So I actually wanted to give 100% and did all my preparation. Got my legendary legs on Thursday, got to item level 179-180, enchanted most of my stuff, got weapon oil, stat food, and flasks sorted and read up on tactics. Even finished half of the grind to be able to craft Shadestones for the new Cauldron.

My drop luck wasn’t the greatest, my off hand sword dropped on dungeon number 29 (Heroic Necrotic Wake and the main hand dropped the same day on dungeon number 30 (Mythic 0 Necrotic Wake), not counting normal dungeons, and since then I accumulated a few more 184 epics, but not nearly enough.

Before the raid I managed to get to this number of dungeon clears (Hc +M0): De Other Side 1+1, Halls of Atonement 3+2, Mists of Tirna Scithe 7+2, Plaguefall 0+3, Sanguine Depths 0+1, Spires of Ascension 0+3, Necrotic Wake 8+3, Theater of Pain 0+2, so 19 + 17, with 17 of 24 possible M0 clears, but I didn’t complain once I got my 2 weapons.

And last night on Friday we actually did it. We went to Castle Nathria and raided. No big deal for them, but for me it was. I was kinda surprised we oneshot Shriekwing. Then we killed Huntsman Altimor on the second try. Then we went to the Hungering Destroyer and brought him down on the third fourth try. Lady Inerva Darkvein proved to be a tough cookie though and after 7 wipes we called it a night, but I think we had her below 10% once already, so I’m confident there. This week has 2 more raid nights so I’m eager to see what will happen. I even got a single drop, a massive upgrade. Actually a lot more than I had hoped. Three bosses down on the first night, one close, and I only made one mistake, sadly a single misclick that nearly wiped the raid :/

One thing I wasn’t so happy about was my damage, I guess I need to really fix something with my rotation and active time on the boss, this seems a lot harder than playing the Rogue, despite the kinda good mobility.

The army of alts in Shadowlands

So while I had the plan to only focus on my main and not do a lot of alting… I found that I needed a little EVE break and when playing so much on my main, doing daily callings, adventures, dungeons.. I need some diversion and I had some time, so I did start to level a few alts.

Most importantly, it’s also Darkmoon Faire this week, and to unlock the new profession tier you need to do the Maw intro quest. And that already pushes you to 51 if you were rested (never forget, once a new expansion is live, log in all your max-level toons once to start accumulating rested XP again). So my Hunter and Shaman finished Bastion already (both 53 now), the Paladin, Rogue and Death Knight have done the Maw intro quest (all 51 now), and on my Demon Hunter I wanted to try the “Threads of Fate” thing that lets you skip the main story, pick a covenant and level how you like. She’s 54 now and I have finished Revendreth (I picked Venthyr) but it’s not as enjoyable as I had hoped, so I guess I won’t do that again in the foreseeable future. The Hunter was actually just a little diversion when I needed a break, the DH was mostly the same, but I might pick the Shaman as my main alt, we don’t have too many of those and I could try healing again – not a fan of Holy Paladins otherwise I would’ve chosen my Paladin as main alt.

So I’m actually actively ignoring my Horde toons now – and also the Priest, Mage, Warlock, Monk, and Druid on Alliance – none of them have crafting professions, and only the Druid has 2 main professions at all. Casters and Monk, so yeah, my priorities in what constitutes fun classes is pretty clear (although Warlock isn’t so bad), but Mage and Priest rank at the bottom and Monk ranks as the worst Melee class.

Today was Sunday and because I didn’t want to run my 13 Horde + other server alts through the Maw intro, so I just hopped over to DMF on them quickly and grabbed some old profession points where needed. Quick win and not too much time wasted.

And finally I did what I had postponed for a long, long time. I’ve never been happy with my Male Pandaren Druid, so I changed him to a Female Pandaren today (thank you Blizzard for finally making this a gold cost) and then I also changed my Undead Death Knight to be Female because I’d never been 100% happy with him either, and the new transmog options are pretty awesome. And my Mage is already a Male Undead, so what’s the point in having two of them if I’m not a big fan?

Undead Death Knight at Darkmoon Faire
Pandaren Monk

Slow gear upgrades

As my original plan for Shadowlands was to raid again after all these years, I’m not completely sure how much effort is needed so maybe I’m erring on the side of too much preparation, but I guess it won’t hurt as long as I don’t burn out before the raid even unlocks.

The first week of the expansion is wrapping up and I reached max level, I did quite a few heroics and joined 2 nights of Mythic 0 with the guild (missed one). The problem is that my iLevel is still really bad, 3 slots with 184 Mythic 0 gear, one extra piece on the same slot, having replaced 3 171 items in these slots and really bad weapons – so I guess see myself running Mists of Tirna Scithe and Necrotic Wake every day until I have at least 2 171 2 hand weapons and replace at least some of my 5 other sub-171 slots. For the amount of heroics I ran this week the yield seems bad, but maybe I’m complaining too much and all my guildies just ran even more of them.

As was expected, damage isn’t really great at the moment, but there are several factors, low item level, no enchants, Fury doesn’t seem to be in a great place overall at the moment compared to other classes and specs, and also the player hasn’t actually tried to do top DPS in many years, so I’m pretty sure my rotation isn’t optimal and I’m missing things. I plan to setup at least 2 more WeakAuras, but I think my cooldown usage might actually be better than years ago, where I forget them a lot.

At least I did my callings (Emissary quest successor) every day since hitting 60, did at least collect parts of the Soul Ash from Torghast, and did some other things I was supposed to do in the first week. I even tried to get Sorrrowbane, but that quest is really annoying as you have one shot every time the WQ is up and even if you do everything correctly you can still be unlucky and have other people grab the items before you.

Shadowlands, a few days in

So yes, I’ve been playing a lot of WoW this week, ignoring the launch night but getting in the minute I stopped working all other days. I got to 60 on Thursday, then continued with the main story and chose a covenant, yesterday (Friday) I did some dungeons, first a random normal, then a few normal ones in a guild group and then a Heroic, which went fine. My iLevel is now 152 (started at ~145 before the dungeons) some of the 4 guildies were already in the 150 range.

Arboreal Gulper mount from Ardenweald

Overall, I’m loving the expansion so far. I liked all 4 zones overall and had a lot of fun with the story lines. Some were better than others, but overall really happy. My main gripe is that I can’t mount in parts of Oribos and at the Heart of the Forest, so not too bad overall. Again there are quite a few mechanics that are new to this expansion, although some are just old ones with a twist. I also just ran my Demon Hunter through the Maw intro quest line, I think I could use a 2nd Herbalist right now, one that I can just park in one of the 4 zones.

Here’s a complete rundown how long I needed to level, apparently I was slow. But I read every single quest completely without rushing (except a 5min stint where dinner was ready and I absolutely had to finish this for fear of being logged out in the wrong spot :/).

511:20
521:20
531:20
541:18
551:18
561:40
571:45
581:45
592:01
601:33
Levels from 50 to 60 in hours

Not 100% sure they add up to 15h 15mins, but I only had exact screenshots for most of them, so could be off a minute or three here and there.