WoW

My Raiding History, Part 3: Wrath of the Lich King

The last post ended on a more positive note than it had started. Raiding was going fine and in November 2008 Wrath of the Lich King, WoW’s second expansion launched after 22 months and we were really eager for the new stuff. It’s a bit of a shame that I didn’t blog already back then (this doesn’t count). As with the launch of The Burning Crusade, I was still studying and working at the same time.

I faintly remember that it was supposed to launch at midnight and I’m also pretty sure I started to level my Warrior in Borean Tundra and was quite ahead of the curve, but not really rushing it, so I went to bed after a few hours and not pulling an all-nighter. This would be the first expansion where I was leveling 2 characters at the same time, the warrior and my Rogue Main. Anyway, back to raiding. We cleared Naxxramas, The Obsidian Sanctum, The Eye, Ulduar and Trial of the Crusader, at least as far as I remember. Heroic raids weren’t a thing yet, but there were hard modes. While I’d say WotLK was raiding at a high level for me there are not a lot of distinct memories of the early raids. I know we struggled a bit with 10man vs 25man because we were more than 10 but not exactly 25, I think we ran 2 10man groups at times, sometimes with well-geared alts standing in. It was also the time where I nearly managed to get one of each class to max level (2 missing at 73+78). It was also a time where I managed to raid on all 3 roles, DPS, Tank, and Healer. Naxxramas was ok, Ulduar was really fun (except Yogg-Saron) and Trial of the Crusader wasn’t so great.

So far I left out the grand finale of WotLK raiding, Ice Crown Citadel, which came into the game roughly a year after the expansion had launched, in December 2009. This coincides with another guild change, but I’m also a little hazy on the details. Again it was a re-form of most of the old folks of the guild we had raided with since TBC. It might be that was some disagreement, it might be that we wanted to focus on a mostly static 10 man group in the upcoming instance. The only thing I can tell for certain is that all my characters went to the new guild in January 2010.

I loved Ice Crown Citadel, I think it might be my favorite raid instance ever. I DPSed, I tanked, I healed. All the fights were kinda fun and doable. Well, ok, Sindragosa was hard, but we did it. Also there was the final fight, The Lich King himself. We had chased him all over Northrend, seen him in cutscenes in quests, 5mans, and raids, taunting us. And boy did we take long to take him down on 10man. It was the classic “no single mistake allowed” fight. When one person died we could as well wipe if we didn’t need to practice this exact phase anyway. I don’t know how long we wiped, or how often. I just know that up until that day that was the biggest achievement we got.

In early 2014 I would come back to level a Dwarf Shaman on a German server to do a locked-xp-at-80 Algalon run, I wrote about it: one, two, three.

It’s Blapril and this is post number 17.

The great speedup

Yeah, the +100% Rep buff (for certain stuff) is live and the +100% XP buff is also live.

I managed to get the Zandalari Retri Pally from 60 to 85 in record time, Outland this time – first Zangarmarsh, then a little bit of Garadar, Terrokar, and Shadowmoon. Now Hyjal from 80 to 85, maybe till 90.

Because of the rep buff I also started doing emissary quests again, ~25 from Sunday till Tuesday, and 4 Legion ones. My Alliance Pally and Horde Rogue have nearly everything from BfA up until Nazjatar/Mechagon at Exalted, but there’s a few things I really want to get done, just for completeness.

  • BfA prio 1: 12k Rustbolt on the Orc Rogue (to Exalted)
  • BfA prio 2: 7k Tortollan on Night Elf Warrior (to Exalted) (last one)
  • BfA prio 3: 4k Order of Embers on Night Elf Demon Hunter (to Exalted)
  • BfA prio 3: 7k Tortollan on Night Elf Demon Hunter (to Exalted) (last one)
  • Legion prio 3: 11k Court of Farondis on Orc Shammy (to Exalted) (last one)
  • Legion maybe: an emissary or two per Legion faction on the Night Elf Demon Hunter (to Exalted)
  • BfA maybe: doing an emissary here or there on Troll Warrior and Orc Shammy (to Exalted)
  • BfA maybe: the 2-3 missing ones on Alliance Rogue
  • BfA maybe: some Uldum Accord + the other new faction on Orc Rogue
  • unlikely: 50k rep on Worgen Druid
  • likely: 2x from Honored to Revered on Dwarf Shammy
  • likely: 6k Zandalari + 3k Voldunai on Blood Elf Warlock
  • likely: 1k Honorbound on the Undead Mage
  • likely: 3k Voldunai on the Blood Elf Paladin
  • unlikely: playing the Pandaren Monk
  • unlikely: playing the Blood Elf Priest
  • unlikely: playing the Undead Death Knight
  • unlikely: playing the Orc Hunter
  • unlikely: playing the Tauren Druid
  • unlikely: playing the Blood Elf Demon Hunter
  • unlikely: playing the Mag’har Orc Rogue
  • unlikely: playing the Dwarf Hunter
  • unlikely: playing or equipping the Kul Tiran Mage

Also leveling priorities have shifted a bit:

  • Draenei DK to 120 because I want her to reach max level
  • Zandalari Pally to 90 because it’s fun
  • Dark Iron Dwarf Monk to 110 for Heritage firt and foremost
  • burn some rested XP on Nightborne Priest + Highmountain Warrior to not waste it
  • Void Elf Rogue is a bit lower prio for now
  • still not playing the Worgen Priest, ugh Priests…
  • still waiting for Mechagnomes to unlock for a Warlock
  • at the very end is starting a Vulpera or Lightforged Draenei

Does that sound a bit much? Maybe, between all the EVE, but it’s not like I have anything better to do…

It’s Blapril and this is post number 15.

That was… fast

Until today I had thought that the +100% XP buff in WoW Retail would last until Sunday/Monday, but this morning I read it will stay until Shadowlands launches. Interesting development.

I tried to speedrun a bit today and I’m really amazed. 3h for 80-90 in Pandaria and then a little over 3h for 90-100 in Draenor.

Also I dinged 120 on the Kul Tiran Mage on Friday or Thursday. And I got Stormsong Valley done on the DK, making her 113. The goal is coming closer, but this buff is a little too much. Yes, I wanted to get some toons to max level before the next expansion comes out, but this is a bit of a joke now. Apparently I had gimped myself by running mostly dungeons and not doing quests, this is *so* fast with War Mode on.

  • Draenei Death Knight – 113
  • Dark Iron Dwarf Monk – 100
  • Void Elf Rogue – 49
  • Worgen Priest – still 73

Didn’t touch the 3 Horde this time.

On Monday we’re supposed to be getting a huge buff to reputation gains, maybe that will motivate me to finish the Mechagon grind and unlock the Mechagnomes so I can finally start an Alliance Warlock. 5 toons left, 119 + 7 + 10 + 47 levels. And when I get bored I have the Rogue and the 3 Horde chars.

It’s Blapril and this is post number 13.

Noblegarden, 2020 Edition

One of the WoW achievements I’d been proudest of was the completion of all the World Events, “What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been”. Yeah, that’s an old one, here’s a screenshot

Protodrake!

It’s been nearly 11 years since I finished this, with the Noblegarden event, and since then I mostly ignored the world events, sometimes adding achievements I’d missed or which were added later. Also Halloween for the Horseman drops, of course (I have the mount, got it in 2010). I’m not completely sure when they put it in but I guess it I got it “relatively” soon after the achievements came, but not sure if it was in the first rotation it was possible to be done.

This year I noticed there were indeed a few things missing, 2 pets and 1 toy. So I went to Razor Hill and got on the egg hunt, one round after the other, until I had my 550 eggs and now this is done. Quite a throwback to more than 10 years ago.

The fancy pants animation of this is not suitable for my Rogue.

Also I’m missing a few achievement in the “World events” category, but if I leave out Brawler’s Guild and the “new” Darkmoon Faire ones, there’s only like 3 of them.

It’s Blapril and this is post number 12.

Leveling spree

The long Easter Weekend (Fri-Mon) here gave me the first break longer than a weekend since… not sure, New Year’s week I guess? and some well-needed rest.

The +100% XP buff in WoW retail is still rolling (until the 20th or so I heard) and on the one hand I feel a little pressured to make the most of it while it’s running, but on the other hand I actually have a goal and want to achieve it. So I did make some good progress. And had some fun on the way.

  • Kul Tiran Human Mage – 115
  • Draenei Death Knight – 110
  • Dark Iron Dwarf Monk – 75
  • Nightborne Priest – 70
  • Zandalari Troll Paladin – 60
  • Highmountain Tauren Warrior – 61
  • Void Elf Rogue – 46 (yes, it’s the fifth Rogue, don’t judge me)

So back to my goal, one of each class and faction at 120, that means these are missing:

  • Alliance Mage – nearly there
  • Alliance Death Knight – just BfA left
  • Alliance Monk – 45 levels
  • Alliance Priest – stuck at 73
  • Alliance Warlock – completely missing, stalled until Mechagnomes unlocked

Shadowlands is in the Alpha, so maybe I should focus on that Monk while the XP buff lasts, then when it ends try to unlock Mechagnomes and get that started. Not sure about the Priest, as I’m leveling one on Horde side right now… And I still didn’t start a Lightforged Draenei and Vulpera… Also for this goal, the “useless 120s” category meanwhile consists of a Gnome Rogue, a Mag’har Rogue, and a Goblin Warrior. Precious time that could have been spent on leveling the aforementioned toons, but there were Heritage armor sets to be unlocked…

Celebrating some milestones made me reevaluate some transmogs I had, and while I didn’t hate them, I thought after 40 levels it was time for something new:

I love the Priest transmog on my Nightborne, so I’m keeping that. Also the Monk one is still fun to look at and the only problem with the Rogue’s is that I keep replacing the boots I want because they’re not Heirlooms.

It’s Blapril and this is post number 10.

My Raiding History, Part 2: The Burning Crusade

The last post ended with our first full clear and the tail end of Vanilla WoW. The Burning Crusade, WoW’s first expansion launched on January 9th 2007, if Wowpedia is to be trusted. We had our guild, the band of ex-battleground players and the raiding game was to be changed in a major way. Before it was 40mans (that we didn’t do) and 20mans (that we did), and now suddenly there should be 10 man Karazhan and then 25 man mini raid instances, Gruul’s Lair and Magtheridon’s Lair. As we had raided together with another guild the logistics of 10 man dungeons shouldn’t be as much of a problem as it would be for larger guilds, who suddenly needed like 8 good tanks and 8-10 good healers out of 40.

But first things first. The attunement quests in Vanilla were mostly tedious, but even with bad players(us) the MC attunement could be done easily if you coordinated a group. In TBC, getting the key to Karazhan was quite a bit more challenging, as the Heroic versions of the dungeons proved to be a lot harder than all the Vanilla 60 dungeons. We didn’t have major problems, but there were some occasions (Heroic Black Morass for example) where we simply had to retry a run after getting a few pieces of gear more or switch the composition of the group. Nothing drastic, but it still took a while to get 15 or so people the key to Karazhan. Then we started raiding and for some reason everything went horrible. We killed Hakkar, we still had all the same people, and while we hadn’t carried them, the people from the other guilds weren’t our star players, they were average, so it’s not like we had lost our best players. Still, progress was damn slow, people were fed up that we had 15 for a 10 man dungeon, and so on.

Now the details get a bit murky in my head, so I don’t know if we ever managed to kill Gruul and Magtheridon in this group, but I’m reasonably sure we killed Karazhan’s last boss, Prince Malchezaar, after too many wipes and too much time. Along the way we had already lost a few people who were fed up with the group, which was a shame after over a year. At some point we got an influx of 2-3 players that came together, this had improved our raiding a little but the tone and morale was at an all time low and that’s when we had guild drama for the very first time. It ended with our guild leader and the new people and 3-4 others (so 7-8, half of the active raiders) simply leaving, that must have been in the summer/autumn of 2007. With the exception of one of the latter ones I haven’t spoken to any of them since because most of them publicly laid blame on about half of the rest of us who remained, mostly on raid performance. I still don’t know what I have to think about this, because they also took two of our worst players with them (which we sometimes asked to be benched for a particularly hard fight, instead of just telling them they can’t raid at all or kick them – I know this is also not very nice, but we wanted to progress AND let them be part of raiding, especially some of the leavers had in the past argued for demoting them to purely social…) – anyway, with just a few of us left at some point I disbanded the guild as I, as one of the remaining 2-3 officers had taken over guild leadership for this sorry pile of rubble. That kinda sucked.

Most of us took a break from the game over the summer (at least a few weeks) and in autumn I applied to one of the non-hardcore guilds on my server and even raided with them twice before there also was some internal conflict, but they solved it like adults. The current guild was a very old one and the guild leader didn’t want things to change or give up leadership, but also didn’t want to raid, not even casually – so most of the raiders left (on friendly terms), to form a raid guild with a defined purpose (but put most of the active remaining players on their friends list).

Of course I joined them because I was here to raid, after all. Everything worked out nicely, and after a while I brought most of the remaining people from my old guild (that had failed in Karazhan) on board and unsurprisingly it worked out just fine with them raiding and they weren’t bad at all. We still weren’t hardcore, we still weren’t fast – but with the slowly improving gear we actually managed to clear Tempest Keep, Serpentshrine Cavern, The Battle for Mount Hyjal, and even The Black Temple (just not Sunwell Plateau, but that’s ok).

The Burning Crusade is also the expansion where I stocked up on alts, even up to leading alt raids to Gruul and Magtheridon on my Prot Warrior, and clearing Karazhan in alt groups also didn’t seem to be a challenge anymore – I think I even healed on my Druid on our first kill (or just while learning) of Archimonde. Nerf HoTs.

And while raiding in Vanilla was fun, Hakkar was the only memory I actively still hold, whereas for TBC there are a lot of memories. The moment Malchezaar still went down, when we cleared SSC, when we cleared TK, the Archimonde fight, and most of Black Temple (which was my favorite instance in that expansion), being on main interrupt duty on Reliquary of Souls, and when our raid leader called the Illidary Council “the superbowl of not standing in things”. And being a main tank in alt raids, of course. Also I don’t remember if I was an officer in this guild. Certainly not at the start, maybe in the end. Not that it matters a lot.

To this day I am confused how Karazhan could go so badly for this original group where 20 man had been fine and the others raided successfully without us, and we did without them…

It’s Blapril and this is post number 9.

WoW Classic dungeon group is alive

I didn’t have anything to say about WoW Classic since late October last year (wow, 5 and a half months have passed) because I didn’t play but recently the group wanted to continue (for the most part) and so we scheduled not one, but two runs. And we actually started and finished them, amazing!

First, on Saturday I think, we set out to go to Uldaman with our original group, yours truly as a Warrior tank, then a Resto Shaman, Frost Mage, and a Hunter. We grabbed a pickup Shadow Priest and went to the Badlands. Of course nobody had really looked up how the quests work or set foot into this instance in its Vanilla WoW form for 8-10 years, but at least I remembered the bosses from my alt leveling in retail.

So of course we promptly forgot to go to the Dwarves, but noticed at Ironaya, so we went back. Then we didn’t notice we already had the shaft and just skipped Ironaya. Then we went to the Ancient Stone Keeper as planned, then to Grimlok by accident, mistook it for the way to Archaedes. Then we wiped, ran back in, didn’t do Ironaya again because the Hunter had feigned near Grimlok. Then we did Stalgann, then we tried Archaedes and wiped. Then we ran in again, actually did Ironaya, and killed Archaedes on the second try. Not sure if I forgot a boss now, Revelosh doesn’t really count anyway. And then we noticed that we had hardly finished any quests because they’re nearly all outside. So we ran out and did the quests, here and there, left and right. Until we had the mushrooms for most people at least half an hour was gone and we called it a day. I don’t think we’ll be back for Necklace Recovery part 2. We haven’t decided yet how and when to continue, probably Zul’Farrak at 47-48.

On Sunday we grabbed the second group (Warrior Tank, Resto Druid, Affliction Warlock and another Warlock), needed quite a while to get a pickup (Hunter) and did Wailing Caverns. Everything went kind of fine, but it is one of the starter instances and in about an hour we had cleared it without any wipes or deaths. Just those quests again… We ran out of the instance because several people still needed Serpentbloom and a lot of Deviate Hides, and the grog. So we needed another hour until we had all the quests done, killing everything outside of the instance, going in circles. Most of us reached Level 22 and we’d be meeting again at Level 24+ for Shadowfang Keep, probably on Friday or on the weekend.

I had a lot of fun, but I kinda hate leveling in classic. It’s just SO slow and inconvenient compared to retail. Bags are too small, you have to run so far and it’s just not enjoyable. So in this group like in the other it will probably be more of “enjoy an instance or two and then slog through 2-3 levels as a duo until the fun starts again”.

Once again I suck at screenshots, I thought I had made some, but apparently I didn’t.

It’s Blapril and this is post number 6.

My Raiding History, Part 1: Vanilla WoW

Shintar wrote a really cool blog post about her raiding history and I thought that would be a good topic, so here it goes.

When I started playing WoW (which is a story for another day) I had only played Ragnarok Online, an MMORPG that doesn’t have the concept of Raids. So anyway, I leveled along with my girlfriend, starting in summer 2005 and finally reaching level 60 in late spring 2006. We didn’t know a lot of people on the server, basically just one friend from university, and he had stopped playing already by then, because he had already been 60 when we started and got bored. So we leveled as a duo (Rogue + Prot Warrior) and also did some PvP. On a PvE server that meant battlegrounds. So we played, and because we did that a lot in the 50-59 bracket at some point she was approached by a guild if she wanted to join. Apparently Prot Warriors made decent flag carriers in Warsong Gulch and were also kinda hard to take down when guarding a flag in Arathi Basin. So she joined and after a bit I joined as well. We got to 60 and did mostly battlegrounds, every day. At some point we got to rank 11, got our mounts… and then a few things happened. We’d been playing from my room and I moved out, and because of the horrible honor system in vanilla and this one week offline we stopped progressing and also didn’t want to continue to fight our way back up, so rank 12 was kinda not a goal anymore.

At the same time some people in the guild who had only ever done PvP, just like we did, wanted to have a look at the 20 man raids, and so our guild leader (who had raided before, either on another character or maybe even on Alliance) took us to Lower Blackrock Spire for “training”. Yes, some of us hadn’t even done all the 60s 5 man dungeons like Stratholme, Dire Maul, Scholomance. The result was kind of hilarious. I don’t remember everything, but I’m pretty sure you could still enter LBRS with 10 people, so were probably 8-10 and I think we made it through, but it wasn’t pretty. And yes, some of us probably hadn’t run a 5man in a while (I remember doing a few UBRS runs for the dagger that never dropped and one other Rogue in our guild had 2 of them…)

So because not everything was hopeless we started to do Zul’Gurub and AQ20. I don’t remember the specifics, but for some reason there was a falling out between the guild leader and nearly everyone else and because he didn’t step down, 90% of the people left and reformed the guild under another name, with the same officers, and a few more, including us two. We continued to raid weekly now together with another small guild whenever we got the numbers, but it wasn’t easy. At some point we had the luck (still feels a bit like cheating) that our (new) guild leader somehow got hold of a friend’s fully Tier 2 equipped Protection Warrior, and suddenly we had a really well-geared Main Tank and I’m pretty sure that helped us a lot. Although in the end, ZG gear wasn’t so much worse than Tier 1, so we had 1 person out of 20 who was a full gear tier ahead…

First kill of Hakkar in Zul’Gurub

We downed Hakkar after a while and that was the first of those moments where everyone’s just screaming on voice comms because you finally managed to clear the instance after working hard on the last boss. I don’t even remember if we cleared AQ20. We did 1 or 2 nights in MC, but as we were only 20 we needed some other folks and the overhead of keeping DKP for this made us stop very soon, also The Burning Crusade was drawing near… But we still clearly felt like the underdogs – we were late to the party, but it was basically still the same PvP guild that had decided to try PvE and it had worked out. I don’t care if Blackwing Lair was a lot harder (I really have no clue, I can only assume it was), but we were kinda happy the way it went.

It’s Blapril and this is post number 4.

I got carried away

So I did have my Mag’har Heritage Armor at 110 but I didn’t want to let the Rogue sit idle at just 110 so I pushed for 120, that gave me #21.

Mag’har Rogue back to the original transmog I started with

Then I took up the Goblin Warrior and pushed him through BfA, just got my Heirloom armor as he was already exalted, that gave me #22.

Goblin Warrior with Heritage Armor

So what’s missing in terms of Heritage armor now?

  • Non-Allied Races: all done that are ingame, woohoo
  • Nightborne – Level 63, 47 to go
  • Zandalari – Level 54, 57 to go
  • Highmountain – Level 49, 61 to go
  • Kul Tiran – 100, 10 to go
  • Dark Iron – 63, 47 to go
  • Void Elf – 32 – 78 to go
  • Vulpera – not started yet
  • Mechagnome – not unlocked yet

WoW and the experience bonus

So apparently there’s a +100% XP bonus live now, I’m absolutely not complaing, but it kinda shakes up my status updates. So I’m gonna post a last summary of levels, even though I already took advantage of this a bit. Honestly can’t say how much, but I think it wasn’t more than a few levels. I did play a lot today, so the numbers will be skewed from now on. (I use Blizzard WoW API to generate a daily report of my char’s levels and so I have a list of easily clickable links to the armory)

  • Mag’har Orc Rogue at 110
  • Nightborne Priest at 56
  • Zandalari Paladin at 48
  • Highmountain Tauren Warrior at 46
  • Draenei Death Knight at 87ish
  • Kul Tiran Mage at 97ish
  • Dark Iron Monk at 53
  • Void Elf Rogue at 24
  • Goblin Warrior at 102ish