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Welcome to Battle Stance

When I started this blog 9.5 years ago I didn’t know yet if I would stick to it. Time and again I debated whether a domain made sense or not. Now I decided it’s time to do the jump and not wait until the 10 years are full, so here it is. Battle Stance, formerly known as Armagon Live. The content won’t change, the history is fully imported, just the URL is different. I guess I’ll have to tweak some of the CSS because I’m not yet 100% happy with the theme. Happy reading.

Seventeen and eighteen

Last tuesday I dinged for the 17th time – my Blood Elf Retri Paladin and last night for the 18th time – my Gnome Sub Rogue. Paladin was kinda smooth, relaxing, and easy again, the Rogue was stressful and died a lot. Really not sure if it’s me or the class this expansion. But it’s my only Gnome and I wanted the heritage armor.

Immolation & Sin’dorei gear mix very well
Too cheap to transmog yet, need Benthic gear first.

So now I have the heritage armor for Blood Elves, Tauren, Gnomes, and Dwarves. Getting my 120 Worgen Druid to Exalted is probably next, as the Goblin is 86 and on the wrong server and the Allied Race chars all still way below that level.

It’s been 10 years

10 years ago I posted for the first time on this blog (back at the URL it had for 9.5 years).

I was still studying (but already working part-time) and in my spare time I was mostly playing WoW (in that years-long stretch where I didn’t play a lot of other games, sometimes none at all). Wrath of the Lich King was the current expansion and I was raiding. The Crusader’s Coliseum and Onyxia’s Lair had been released in the months before and Icecrown Citadel would hit live 2 months later. I posted about my latest Level 80 char (a shaman) that would go on to be the only toon that ever would see me healing heroic raid content.

I would stop blogging after 6 months for a 3 year hiatus. I’m not sure why, maybe because working full time changed something. I’m pretty sure I didn’t play and raid less. Then the blog would go on with a post every 1 or 2 weeks on average (with a few bursts of activity) from 2014 to 2018, when I cranked up the posts just before Blaugust and apparently I was more active since then – averaging more than one post per week. Not very prolific, but I’m not trying to build an audience here. Thanks to all of you who did and do read from time to time.

  • 2009: 12 posts
  • 2010: 8 posts
  • 2011: 0 posts
  • 2012: 0 posts
  • 2013: 5 posts
  • 2014: 28 posts
  • 2015: 43 posts
  • 2016: 23 posts
  • 2017: 24 posts
  • 2018: 84 posts
  • 2019: 80 posts so far

Argus, we have a problem

As I had finished up the Broken Shore rep to Revered a few days ago I wanted to take a look at Argus and maybe progress far enough into the quest line so I could do the gated emissary quest that popped up today. There are 2 Allied Races to be unlocked after all

So off to the Exodar I went, got myself ported to the Vindicaar and then… I somehow misclicked and was in Dalaran again. Now how to get there again? Relog to Alliance, ask the guild: “There’s a portal near the Dalaran flight master.” Nope, no portal. Checking the internet: there really should be a portal. Also, if you manage to not hand in the first quest there you’re out of luck and have no portal – I’m not the first one with this problem. Great. I didn’t want to abandon the quest for fear of something going wrong. Do I have to go back to the Exodar? To Orgrimmar? Dalaran? No idea how the original quest was called and where I got it. Risky.

So I don’t have a lot of BattleNet friends in general, and nearly all my former Horde guildies have stopped playing or started new toons that I didn’t have on my friends list, but I was lucky. One guy who wasn’t even in my last (actually current, but dead) Horde guild and with whom I’ve kept in touch over the years – and he has a Warlock at 120! So I sent a tell around noon and waited. I was in luck as he came back to the Blizzard app a few hours later, logged in the Warlock, had actually gone to Argus before on that toon and was willing to summon me. Now we just needed to find 2 people who could also go there and click. To my dismay (and surprise) I only saw 10 people in Dalaran in the 5 minutes I spent asking in general and then whispering every single one of them. Nobody even answered. OK, maybe some didn’t see it or were afk. He was more lucky in Argus and could actually recruit 2 people to summon me there. I handed in my quest and set my Hearthstone to there. Haven’t checked yet if I have the portal in Dalaran now, but I hope so.

Level 40 dungeons – Guild edition

Last night the guild gathered together to tackle the Armory and Cathedral wing of Scarlet Monastery, and maybe Razorfen Downs.

We’re still short one Rogue who has to catch up over 10 levels by now – so we might just move him to the alt group, because even those have surpassed him already, but he said his internet connection is finally fixed and he will come back.

Gladly we have another warm body, a feral druid, who has no caught up with us well. The original plan last week was to go at 38, but for scheduling reasons we had postponed to this Friday and surprisingly we had 5 people in the right specs, all at the same level (a first).

  • Warrior tank with 31 points in Arms
  • Shaman who uses shocks more than heals
  • Mage with water vendor spec
  • Troll Hunter with a very beautiful hairdo
  • Feral Druid

I’ll never be able to tell an interesting story about an overall uneventful dungeon run like Wilhelm can, so I won’t even try. Armory was quick and easy but people used to retail were a little confused that there was only one boss at the end. Also my explanation of what could go wrong with the whirling and the adds was unneeded as Herod went down without a problem. He dropped a Ravager – nice, but only a sidegrade for my Whirlwind Axe I guess.

Next up was the Cathedral. Being cautious I mostly pulled stuff around a corner both at the start of the courtyard and at the cathedral entrance and thus we didn’t have a single runner, add, or tricky situation. I even remembered to find Fairbanks and he dropped a cloth shoulder upgrade.

Again calling out the tactics for Mograine and Whitemane proved to be useless, they went down very very quickly. Sadly we didn’t get a Chapeau or the shield, but the Scarlet Leggings were a huge upgrade for me, despite being Mail and not Plate and our Shaman was happy with a Hand of Righteousness.

Level 40 and a Mage means portals, so luckily we could get to Undercity quickly, hand in our quest (new Main Hand Sword for me), take a portal to Orgrimmar and fly to Camp Taurajo. Just that Camp Mojache in Feralas also starts with “Camp” so our Hunter and Druid flew there instead. Only that our Druid noticed it right away and could fix the error in the Crossroads while the Hunter was making fun of him… until noticing too late he had made the same error.

Once all were there we did the Ambassador quest and the kill quest outside the instance, then made our way to the iconic entrance which of course forgot to take a screenshot of. But I had forgotten it but the moment I saw the big board head I remembered. Well done, WoW zone designers.

Razorfen Downs isn’t as 100% straightforward as the earlier dungeons, with the escort quest having you backtrack, the gong we had forgotten and nearly ignored, the detour to the hill with the skeletons. Would love to see a stream of a group who had never done this and not read up on anything. The bosses and groups didn’t really put up a real fight until we came to the final spiraling hill. Most of the mobs being undead and the instance counting as inside we had no sheep and no roots, only a 10s ice trap. So it was mostly charging in and burning down 1 or 2 as fast as possible and maybe not taunt off every single mob but let the group offtank one. Some of those groups really hurt, the only close calls were the last group before the last boss – it looked big, it was big, it hurt. And while doing it I remembered it being that way, but we made it without deaths. Finally the last boss – burning him down seems to be better than trying to handle all the adds.

Overall I’m equal part surprised and amazed that we made it this far. WoW Classic launched on August 27th, 2019 and six and a half weeks later we managed to do every dungeon we were supposed to do (skipped Deadmines and Stockade, but did a few of the early ones twice) – with largely the same group of four people, with the fifth slot sometimes filled by 2 more people.

This is also the first time I’m in a true Friends & Family guild made up 100% of people who are couples, have known each other for 10+ years online or offline, or work together. Sometimes multiple of those apply. We’re only 9 people – but we originally had only planned to be exactly 5. Apparently I’ve had to wait 13 years for this to happen that the majority of people plays on my server and I don’t have to chase them down somewhere, visit for a week, and let that toon wither. Too bad I couldn’t grab a few more, but this is a German server and having played on EU for so long, all my ex-guildies have of course chosen an EU one. Also it’s been so long that I wouldn’t say I’m close to more than one or two, so it’s only a minor letdown to not have them here.

Broken Isles Pathfinder, Part 2

After a few days of Broken Shore dailies (did I count? The blog says nothing, so I guess 1-2 weeks?) I hit Revered with the Armies of Legionfall last night and can now finally fly in Legion content.

As I didn’t play a lot during Legion and WoD that still leaves me with those 2 expansions where I didn’t hit Exalted with most (or any) factions, so I guess there’s still some WQ grinding to do, as I want to at least catch up my Rogue. Also the Argussian thing is still missing and afaik I need Exalted with the Armies for one of the two Allied Races I am missing. Never gets boring. Well, it could, but now that I can fly it should be easy to do some more WQs in the Broken Isles and Broken Shore. Slow and steady.

Professions, Professions, Professions

Sometimes I have a plan and then I’m kinda set on following it through. Darkmoon Faire starts tomorrow and so I was checking all the toons’ profession levels and see if there are some checkpoints I can pass and then grab the 5 free points in a harder stretch. Also I’ve been bad with leveling cooking this expansion. And fishing. And some of the professions in general.

So now it’s 2 am and I managed to get some stuff done:

  • 45 Fishing on 5 Alliance toons, for a total of 99 points
  • 35-45 Fishing on 9 Horde toons, for a total of 117 points
  • 50 Cooking on 5 Alliance toons (from 5x 31-32)
  • a ton of Horde toons to 50 or nearly 50 Cooking
  • 150 Kul Tiran Tailoring
  • 100 Draenor Engineering
  • 100 Draenor Inscription, last Draenor prof missing
  • 100 Kul Tiran Jewelcrafting, from mostly spare mats

But this was kinda relaxing and only took a few hours. I had enough time for a few WQs as well.

About Rogues and other classes in BfA

Although I did skip a few expansions in regards to playing “a lot”, I’ve been playing WoW on and off (more on) since 2006.

BfA is the first expansion (or maybe I’m misremembering) where I don’t enjoy playing Rogue as much as I did, both of them feel kinda weak. My other Outlaw Rogue in Legion doesn’t feel really strong either. Assassination was a bit better in BfA, and it totally rocks from Level 20 to 70 (Mag’har Orc).

Sure, maybe I’m just bad at soloing with an Outlaw Rogue, but some of the other classes feel just so much stronger, all the way from 110 to 120 – until totally overgearing quest mobs, that is, because you should be able to do most WQs in 360+ gear, anyway.

  1. Retribution Paladin – I guess I could say this was my BfA main, as I mostly played Alliance (and only later dragged my Orc Rogue through everything) – awesome damage and survivability – 10/10
  2. Fury Warrior – played 2 of those, both immensely fun and even with not so great gear I didn’t feel weak at any point – 8/10
  3. Havoc Demon Hunter – still feels as overpowered as when Legion launched, good damage even with semi-good gear, and if you use your cooldowns – bam – 9/10
  4. Druid
    • Balance – suprisingly strong, but maybe because I usually suck at casters – 7/10
    • Feral Druid – a little underpowered at 110, ramping up greatly until destroying everything in level gear at 118-119 – 8/10
  5. Elemental Shaman – played 2 of these again, was a bit disappointed with the performance. Not really squishy, but unless the procs are right, stuff dies not very fast 6-7/10
  6. Demo Warlock – not so roflstomp as in some expansions, but smooth leveling in general – 7/10
  7. Windwalker Monk – had a lot of fun playing this in Legion, was a bit painful in BfA, but not overly bad – 6/10
  8. Undead DK – was ok. Not my favorite class, squishy at times, but it worked 6/10
  9. Beastmaster Hunter – oh wow, was I surprised by this one, I kinda flew through the levels – 10/10
  10. Frost Mage – I don’t like Mages, this didn’t really work fine – 5/10
  11. Priest
    1. Shadow – gave up at 112 and went Disc – 2/10
    2. Disc – a lot better but I wouldn’t exactly call it fun – 4/10
  12. Rogue
    1. Assassination – could be more fun, but still fun – 7/10
    2. Outlaw – didn’t really enjoy this very much – 6/10

Level 3x dungeons – Guild edition, with bonus rant

Not sure why I’m even worse at posting about these than I am usual to comment in a timely manner.

The dungeon group met up again on Sunday the 22nd to do Razorfen Kraul at Level 30. Our Rogue sadly wasn’t caught up again, had major internet problems, and didn’t have time anyway, so we 4manned again.

There’s actually not much to say – it worked fine and was a little boring, not even a wipe. It doesn’t make sense to go in before 30 if you want to do all the available quests and if you go in at 30 then 4manning it is no problem. Weird.

Because we were done so quickly we looked up what’s next and made a little error in our judgement here. Gnomeregan didn’t sound interesting enough so we went to Scarlet Monastery and did the Graveyard and the 20 Hearts quest in front of it – also no problems, and asking in /1 and LFG again yielded no DPS to join us.

As I’m only writing this only now, I’ll save the hassle to do a 2nd post and just continue – the magic of procrastination.

Last Friday we met again at Level 34+ to do the Library wing of Scarlet Monastery, again it was 4 of us (we do have a 6th guild member at Level by now, a Feral Druid, but he was unavailable as well) and nobody wanted to join. (What’s wrong with this server, no single DPS to be found for dungeon runs). The pulls seem to get a little harder, I messed up one or two, but thanks to a boar pet and a Mage with sheep we survived pretty easily, despite our Shaman Healer being in DPS gear. Unfortunately our Mage forgot to do the Level 38 labeled Mage pre-quest for the Mage quest to the Library, so we might be back.

Again this wasn’t really enough content for a scheduled evening so we decided to check out Gnomeregan and noticed we were indeed a bit too high level, with 2 of us being 36 already (and finally a pickup Feral Druid DPS, also 36) – but at least it was easy. OK, too easy – we need to find some challenge…

Having never really played much Alliance pre-Cata, I fortunately at least had done it for rep on my Level 100 Gnome recently and had run it a few time as a random on my Allied Races, so at least one person mostly knew the way. It was pretty uneventful.

If overall this sounds pretty unexcited, that’s probably because it is. Sure, it’s fun to play with friends and Classic is fine, but there are quite a few things that annoy me a bit

  • Classic isn’t hard, it’s just slow and tedious
  • Classic is slow and tedious
  • When it launched I had a ton of time and brought both my “solo alt” and my “group main” to 20, then 29 at the same time, with the solo alt being higher. Since then I didn’t have as much time (mostly not at the same time as my duo partner) and am now on the slow end of the group. Personal problem, but annoying nevertheless.
  • We planned a 5 person group and had 5 people – then one bailed out completely but got replaced by a reliable new member, but our 5th didn’t ever manage to catch up. Next run isn’t scheduled yet but even we only do 2-3 levels per week it becomes harder and harder to catch up
  • Alting wasn’t really fun in Vanilla and it’s not really in Classic – imho. I have my alt Rogue (because it’s clearly the best class, no matter the expansion :P) but I’m hesitant to even level a third one to 10. I really love the QoL improvements for altoholics in later expansions.
  • Finally, tanking isn’t really fun to me. Maybe I was hoping for it to be not so bad as I had feared, and I’m the last person to need easy gogogo rush and just charge into a group, thunderclap and keep it forever like in the last expansions. I learned to Warrior tank in TBC and worked my way up from 5mans to 25man alt raids (mostly OT, not MT, but still) – I know how to work for my aggro. But in classic I’m just 100% rage starved all the time. Maybe my group is too trigger happy, maybe I’m doing it wrong – but it’s simply not a lot of fun to wait for enough rage for a single skill most of the time. Also everything resists taunts. Leveling as Arms isn’t much better, but at least Rage is not a problem.