WoW

Vault of the Incarnates – week 4

On Sunday we managed to clear all of Normal in 2h (ok, maybe it was 2h and 10 minutes) for the first time, so Tuesday was all set for Heroic. Eranog was either one-shot or we had one wipe as we need to work on positioning, Terros needed a few tries to get the cooldown usage and spike positioning down but I wouldn’t say it was hard. I was very pessimistic about Council because our tries on Normal were complete madness with everyone running around like headless chicken, but people seemed to get a grip quickly. I think our best try was like 5%, so definitely doable, but unfortunately we ran out of time there, would’ve been nice – but we got 2 bosses on Heroic for the chest, that might help. Also 2nd week of catalyst today, that should hopefully push most people to the tier set bonus at 4 pieces, but we might be a tad overgeared again already. The loot is iLvl 402 and people like me at 390 are kinda at or above Normal level and some of us are at 400 or 402 already.

Also while I had bought a WoW token already a week ago, I did resubscribe for 6 months last night before the raid, because I actually had only a few hours left and might have been disconnected mid raid. I do hope it wasn’t a bad choice and I’ll stop playing again in a bit, but then you only pay for 5 months, I was subscribed for 10 or so months last year, I like the game, so why not. As I’ve seen in the past, with this guild raidlogging and just doing 5h per week is totally fine, if it comes to that – and I “only” brought 7 toons to 70 and have not started an Evoker, so while I’m already paying attention to not burn out on the gear grind in this first raid tier, just collecting a few pieces and actually just playing the game at max level on a few classes has been fun. Our gear threshold for raiding normal was 370 and I beat that with 3 chars (1 more at 369ish) and now I still could choose one of 4 above 380, but the other 3 are between 344 and 368 and I’m not actively hunting gear, or rep. Just doing a WQ here and there and as many weeklies as I’m having fun doing. Anyway, there is lots to do and I haven’t even touched any of the Horde toons, but of course my Orc Rogue must at least get to max level.

Vault of the Incarnates – Week 3

Sunday was a quick thing, we killed the first 7 bosses, then went to Heroic for the first and finished just on time, so Tuesday was fully reserved for Raszageth. Unfortunately one of our healers was MIA and two people on the same connection had massive problems (another healer), so I had to jump in. Didn’t show a great performance (how do I raid heal on Shaman in DF again?) but in the end on the typical “LAST TRY!” we did it with a reasonably clean kill. Week two would have been nice, but at least most of the other bosses went down quickly without a wipe. Let’s see what the Great Vault brings today and how good a normal reclear will go. It was fun though.

Vault of the Incarnates – Week 2

Nothing groundbreaking. This week we started on Eranog Heroic, then switched to Normal and did 5 bosses, with one wipe on the Kurog rekill, then on Tuesday we killed Kurog quickly and then needed a few tries for Diurna. That took a bit, so in the end we only managed to get in 2 or so tries at Raszageth. M+ went fine with a +11 (non-timed) on the Shammy and another +11 we barely missed on the Warrior.

Not only addons, but a whole UI

Oh boy, so much for my good intentions to go lighter on addons and WeakAuras – with starting to raid and playing a few more classes a lot of small things have crept in and some things have proven to be just too damn convenient, but I’m in the progress of consolidating more things and make it uniform across characters, so I guess the fresh start wasn’t a bad idea after all.

Default view of the 2023 UI (click to enlarge)
Mounted view of the 2023 UI (click to enlarge)

And now for the annotated view:

Annoted version of the 2023 UI
  1. Bazooka hold all minimap icons, most important ones on the right side
  2. Default buff display, not 100% happy as it overflows in raids
  3. SexyMap in the most basic configuration possible, incl. coords and time though
  4. two 3×4 action bars for mounts, professions, and clicked spells, e.g. Warlock summons
  5. Combat Log. Yes it could be behind the chats, but I like the symmetry and actually use it
  6. Details damage meter, usually hidden when not in an instance, unless I forgot, Shift-#
  7. After using some of Luxthos’ Class WeakAuras in Shadowlands, now it’s Afenar‘s set
  8. While healing M+ the default party frames annoyed me so much, back to PitBull (since Friday)
  9. Bartender is gone, these are the default bars, 3 rows with 12 buttons each
  10. Prat for the Chat window
  11. Tama’s Dragonflight helper, it looks like a lot but it’s only displayed when dragonriding, it’s a weekly todo list and some timers for the Community Feast, Keep, and Primal Storms

Vault of the Incarnates – Week 1

We’re finally back to raiding!

Sunday saw us downing Eranog, Terros, The Primal Council, and Dathea, then Tuesday it was Sennarth, Kurog, and Eranog Heroic and finishing 10 minutes early. So we’re 6/8 and 1/8 now after a very late week 1. and more like 3:45h and not 4.

Sunday had a record-breaking attendance of 27 people or so, Tuesday had only 23, but still. Overall the raid seems fun but my numbers as Enhancement feel SO bad. I have parses for 6 bosses and only two green (iLvl %) parses, the rest are grey. One week in and I’m not sure if I shouldn’t just switch back to Warrior…

Ah well, but maybe start at the beginning – we had set an iLvl of 370 as being allowed to raid, and because the raid drops 385 to 402 gear I was not overly enthusiastic to go above and beyond to grind out gear in the 370 to 385 bracket that could be replaced in the raid easily, it’s normal after all, so I was planning on us progressing at an ok-ish pace. So in my post 2 weeks ago I had the Warrior ready, so probably around 375 and the Shaman at 365, so if I wouldn’t make it I had the Warrior to fall back on. At the day of the raid I had the Warrior at 386, the Shaman at 377, the Warlock at 370, and the Rogue at 369, so just shy of being able to tag along. Did I again waste some time gearing alts? Yes. Do I regret it? No, not at all – I was in “waiting for raid” mode for 2 weeks, I had some days off, I got the chance to play 2 other classes, and most importantly, I was not in the mood of actually grinding my way to 390ish. It was fun on the Warrior but I’m still re-learning Enhancement after about 8 years away from the spec.

Let’s see how next week will work out, we have two more bosses to do after all.

Small steps in Dragonflight

So, Dragonflight is… ok, I guess? Something feels a little odd, but I can’t put my finger on it. I leveled 3 chars to 70, one is ready to raid (we’ll probably only start on Jan 8th though), and the second one should be there shortly. I ran a few M+ (it was fine, and fun), but I’m not really excited. It’s fun but I’m not blown away, but maybe I’m just not in a real WoW hype mode right now. I want to raid but for some reason we put it off until after the holidays. Also still unsure if I’m going Fury or Enhancement, that’s why I want to get the Shaman to around iLvl 370 in the next 10 days.

As I have one each of Plate, Mail, and Cloth – I’m now pondering to use my last prepaid character transfer on my Human Rogue (the only Alliance char on my original Vanilla server, whereas my other Alliance toons were on it’s connected sister realm, from where I transferred most of them off now anyway…) to my current server. I do have a Gnome Rogue there (who is also kind of old) but I like this Human Rogue. Maybe I should just do it and then level her, it’s not like I’m planning to really play on the other server a lot anyway.

While I am totally still trying to avoid to redo the slight burnout I had from Shadowlands launch, I have spent some time on my Warlock, but not excessively trying to gear her (no more gear treadmills for me this time, thank you very much) – but I guess if you want to play at max level, you kinda have to do a little with WQs and farming rares and so on. Leveling is relatively quick and fun though, so maybe getting that fourth armor proficiency class up is actually good enough. I don’t crave leveling more toons right now, but I just can’t not have a Rogue.

Addons in Dragonflight

Back in June last year I thought about my (maybe excessive) list of addons – no, I didn’t count, but because of the complete Default UI revamp in Dragonflight I actually started fresh. Made a backup of my WTF folder and my Addons, then deleted everything. Of course it was clear from the start that I don’t want to play with zero addons, but the list should be a lot smaller now, so let’s have a look.

  • Prio 1: UI and the absolute basics
    • BugSack
    • Bagnon + BagBrother
    • Prat
    • SexyMap
    • WeakAuras
  • Prio 2: Raiding and still very important
    • BigWigs (not yet installed, but will grab it for raids)
    • Details (Damage Meter)
    • HandyNotes
    • Masque
    • Quartz (replaced by WeakAuras on some toons/specs)
    • Scrap
  • Prio 3: I’d hate to lose this
    • Altoholic
    • Bazooka
    • TomTom
    • WorldQuestTracker (the default UI for WQs is just bad for a quick look, so many clicks)
  • Prio 4: Not strictly necessary
    • Astral Keys

So that list is quite a bit shorter already. The big addons I eliminated (for now) are PitBull Unit Frames, Bartender 4, MoveAnything, Mapster and several “Mission Table” addons. I use a WeakAura instead of 2-3 XP display addons, I got rid of some StatBlocks

Stuff I probably need to add again are BigWigs (as mentioned above), SimulationCraft, and MythicDungeonTools/MythicRaidTools or whatever they are called

The small things I am missing at the moment are Examiner and SavedInstances. I’ve managed to level just fine with the default UI, but a few things are impossible to move, which isn’t so bad, but on the other also aggravating because we were nearly there. I did not need MoveAnything or PitBull or Bartender, but maybe I need one or several of them now after all because it’s only “nearly there” and not completely fine. Then again maybe my take is from a (even if only a little) competitive point of view, with Heroic raiding and M+ on the horizon, it was perfectly fine for leveling and Mythic 0.

So far I’ve also not grabbed an excessive amount of WeakAuras, but some things are simply so small and nice, or provide everything for a spec/class in a nice package. Guess I’ll ramp up a few there as well.

Overall: Nicely done Blizzard, this should cut down the amount of “basically mandatory” addons for basic tasks like moving Action Bars or Unit frames a lot for the baseline player doing Quests and Instances.

The road to 70 and first impressions

While I wasn’t (and am not) really *enthusiastic* about Dragonflight, I’m having fun. Took my time to level, went for a little bit of gear (still pondering to run a few M0 tonight before the reset), started leveling an alt, also got that one to 70 last night.
Either I’ve missed it or we don’t have a plan about raiding yet (as in, when does it start, how to prepare) so everything is chill and I’m certainly not repeating the manic prep grind that I had when Shadowlands launched.

Been taking a week off EVE and just played as much (or as little) WoW as I wanted. I like it.

Apparently everyone was quicker than I was but here are my numbers, including reading all the quests, doing as many Dragonriding courses as I felt like (only did Gold after hitting 70 though, and need to work through the Advanced courses now). Dragonriding is pretty fun.

  • 60-61: ???
  • 61-62: 1:14h
  • 62-63: 1:30h
  • 63-64: 2:00h
  • 64-65: 2:00h
  • 65-66: 1:13h
  • 66-67: 1:42h
  • 67-68: 1:54h
  • 68-69: 1:44h
  • 69-70: 2:00h

That’s about 16h, my alt (with a spec I have no clue about) took around 17h despite not reading quest text. Guess I am slow.

Dragonflight launched

So I did buy the Dragonflight expansion on the day before the launch to get the preorder pet, but I didn’t log in at midnight to play.

Today is the end of the 2nd evening after launch and I just dinged 65 on my Warrior. 1:15h to 2h per level and Dragonriding is fun!

I’m still not really in hype mode, but I’m leveling at an enjoyable pace – but I mean I spent around 8h on the first two nights, so it seems to be good, right?

We’ll see how this evolves, sub is running out in 1-2 days but I have a WoW token prepared already. Maybe I just need some time to get back into the groove.

Also while I’m not a fan of Twitch drops, just leaving it on in the background for 4h for a mount, while stupid, is nothing I’d refuse just out of principle. I got it, I redeemed it, now I just need to find out how I will get it.

The end of Shadowlands

I’d nearly forgotten that there was a prepatch/launch event, if I hadn’t been pinged via WhatsApp to help with an achievement and thus logged in.

Not that levels mean anything anymore, but this is the final tally of 36 Level 60 chars:

  • Rogue x5
  • Warrior x4
  • Paladin x4
  • Hunter x4
  • Warlock x3
  • Death Knight x3
  • Priest x3
  • Shaman x2
  • Druid x2
  • Monk x2
  • Demon Hunter x2
  • Mage x2

Renown 80 on 17 of them, and I think I maxed out every profession at least once.

All that is left now is grabbing a few transmogs. And actually buying the expansion – not very hyped up at the moment, I have to say.