WoW

Taking a beating again

Apparently we were a tank short last night so I got asked if I’d do it again. And it seems to help if you have an officer friend who trusts you, but then again it was only normal, but more like: people knew I was tanking Heroic Nathria progression, and it wasn’t as if I had begged to tank.

Gear in Shadowlands is really, really weird. At first my 213 items were selected for best damage, as we progressed in the tier on Heroic and I was tanking more, some enchants were switched. Now all my 226 SoD gear is pure dps again and so I just swapped out two two-hand weapons to 1h + shield and the trinkets. My 226 DPS gear is still a lot better than my few pieces of 213 tanking gear. I’m not complaining, but it’s a little weird.

Anyway, nothing bad happened, I didn’t mess up, we killed 7 bosses, I think we had no wipes. Might have managed 8 but the start was a little slower than usual and we were missing some key players. I know I made a few errors but I noticed and it wasn’t major, so for once I’m actually happy with my performance there and my fear that I was a big part of the problem why we didn’t kill Heroic Sire was alleviated a little. I basically never feared for my life, even with tank busters, in my 225 ilvl gear (maybe a tad overgeared, but not overly so) compared to my 217ish on the 220 iLvl boss in the 213 instance. But mechanically the fights do seem to be a bit easier than Nathria. A taunt here or there, some mitigation at times, and a lot of (easy) positioning. No running through mirrors at least.

I still hope we have our 2nd tank back on Tuesday as I really need to work on my dps numbers and I’m currently basically only raidlogging and doing 15mins of dailies, with all the EVE stuff happening.

It’s Blaugust again and this is post number 7.

What were they thinking?

I don’t actually rant a lot about random single mechanics, but this irks me every day when I do dailies in Korthia (in WoW 9.1).

So there’s this NPC, Popo, who is running across a third of the map, in (I think) 3 places a few very easy mobs spawn, then at the final destination a Rare is spawned from a portal. First of all, this whole thing has upsides and downsides. Upside: You see Popo spawn and move on the map, so you know “aha, a Rare at destination X in 1 or 2 minutes”, that’s fine. Just that most of the people (me included) ignore Popo on the way, so there’s always one or two poor souls who kill the mobs on the way, the rest is finishing up what they are doing or simply waiting at the portal. Lazy.

But that’s not the point. The mob that spawns, Wild Worldcracker, has a few boring abilities and one really annoying one. It does some sort of scream that will silence you for a full 20 seconds. And for a few weeks I was thinking “what a stupid mechanic”, you can’t kick it, I think you can knock the mob away or stun to interrupt it, but not 100% sure about the stun. So it’s always a little “am I lucky or will stand there for 20 seconds, doing nothing. Who thinks this is a fun mechanic?”.

At some point I went to Wowhead to look it up. I’m quoting the top-rated comment here:

If you just got CC’ed and can’t cast or attack, you must find a feared reflection of yourself (like the Kul’tharok soul separation mechanic in the Theater of Pain dungeon). The reflection is static (it does not move like the dungeon mechanic). Of course, with a lot of people around the mob on the first days of the patch, it’s harder to see the reflection.

Has this encounter designer EVER done a World Boss in WoW before thinking up something so stupid? For ranged, it’s some sort of amount of people with spell effects and looking for a grey? shade on grey ground in Korthia, maybe it’s doable.

For the melee it’s… a de-facto invisible shade in a huge ball of spell effects and 20-40 people in one ball around the boss. This is not a 20 man raid with coordinated people, this is a rare spawn, not even a world boss. It’s full nuke until it’s dead. Everyone hitting every button that lights up the surrounding.

Since I read this comment I’ve been trying to find my shade. A few days ago I seem to have run into it by chance because my silence was broken after 3s, on all the other occasions since looking for it, I have not seen it a single time. Yes, I do play Melee.

Yes, it’s nitpicking, but it’s the single most stupid thing I’ve seen in Korthia so far.

It’s Blaugust again and this is post number 5.

Sanctum of Domination, 4 weeks in

What I wanted to do: Write a post about our third week of raiding (on the 27th or 28th).

What I didn’t do: write the post.

Anyway, in week 2 we were 8/10 and in week 3 we recleared either 6 or 7 bosses on Sunday, I think it was only 6 because Painsmith was a bit painful that week. But on Tuesday we managed to get Kel’Thuzard down, bringing us to 9/10 Normal. And of course I didn’t write down our rank.

Starting this post on Sunday of week 4, after the raid, we actually downed Sylvanas (can’t say killed because the fight ends at 50%) with our extended ID and I have to say… it was a bit meh actually.

When I watched the tactics videos it looked at least a little epic and/or a lot going on, but we had a first try with getting into P3 already, but wiping quickly. Then a good 2nd try where we wiped at 50.3% (a classic), then we had a bugged try #3 which I won’t count, because she teleported away in Phase 2 and cast Ruin before the bridge was there, so either nobody or nobody except a Hunter could’ve interrupted that. And then we won in try 4 (or 3), which was a bit messy and she did raze the 4th platform but we had enough cooldowns to nuke it. Very anti-climactic. Then our RL got a half-done id and we did Guardian and Fatescribe, then our 2 hours were up already.

I even forgot to take a kill shot. But it was only normal and no one bothered anyway.

Now raider.io says we’re world rank ~10700 or ~10300, no idea how you can have a different rating for “Sylvanas” and “10/10 Normal SoD” (I just noticed I misread the numbers, need to update the other post) and realm ~170. My old guild seems to be 8/10 now, for World ~13200 and realm ~25.

Kinda interested what we will do on Tuesday, if there will be another id for bosses 1-6 or if we will just do Kel’Thuzad, I’m guessing the former.

So we went in, wiped a bit on Kel’Thuzad in the old ID, then cleared bosses 1-5 without any problems and then after the 2h were up officially ended the raid, but everyone who had a few more minutes could stay for Painsmith. Around 13 of 20 did and we killed him again on the second try. Not bad, considering we had like 3-4 people who hadn’t done him as there was quite a bit of achievement spam. First week where we cleared everything I guess, even if in a very weird order. Boss #10, #7, #8, #9, #1-6.

It’s Blaugust again and this is post number 2.

Chill professions leveling


Blaugust has started, but many people have written extensive Day-1 posts with lists and info, so I’m pointing towards Belghast’s blog post and will continue with the normal stuff.

I was pointed to this Fishing & Cooking guide for TBC Classic and I’ve been doing that for a bit today because my left arm hurts and didn’t want to play “properly” today before the raid

The first 90 minutes in, I got Fishing at 170 and Cooking at 150.

Another 90 minutes in I’m at 225 Fishing and 225 Cooking.

Totally not a staged shot in Un’Goro

Already been to Gadgetzan (a little earlier than the guide) and finished the Cooking quest, then it’s off to find Nat Pagle’s four quest fish, so now the progress will probably a lot slower, but it’s only 75 each left in Azeroth.

Another 90 minutes in it’s 255 Fishing and 255 Cooking, perfectly timed. Already in Feralas, this should be the final stretch, let’s see if 30 minutes are enough to have a round 5 hours.

And of course it took another 90 minutes to get to 300 Fishing and 290 Cooking, so off to Silithus for Sandworm Meat because I don’t feel like going to the Eastern Plaguelands now.

Too bad, the first 4.5h were kinda relaxing, watching stuff on YouTube, listening to podcasts, and so on and then the “final stretch” was kinda tedious.

It’s Blaugust again and this is post number 1.

Sanctum of Domination, 2 weeks in

Second week of raiding has come to a close yesterday, and we’re 8/10 Normal. Not great overall (~9700 world rank[*] according to raider.io), but I am 100% happy with this result and my decision to transfer and raid with the other guild.
It’s not that my old Alliance guild had any major problems (and they’re 6/10 Normal as well, which is ~12300 world rank[*]), but everything feels a little better suited to my needs so far. Not so much hemming and hawing, just proper analysis of what’s wrong, people being assigned jobs and doing them. My old guild did 3 days of 3 hours per week, now it’s 2 days of 2 hours, but people are focused. No idea how it will work out when there’s actual tedious wiping involved, but we’ll see. So first week 5 bosses in 2h, then 8 bosses in 4h. I really can’t complain.

Having forsaken M+ completely in 9.0.5 I got into this raid as one of the lower geared people with my 216/217ish iLvl I’ve gotten to nearly escape the bottom third with my 220 now. I’m not one to brag or fret a lot about damage meters, but I simply don’t want to be in last place, and even with up to 7 iLvl less I wasn’t. I’m most happy when I am in the middle of the pack.

I also did my first M+ since 9.0.5 hit (a +10 DoS, 15 minutes over time) and I think I hate the new mechanic with the powers even more than Spiteful. First of all I was on a timer while deciding which power to take, and then the first boss seemed a lot harder than anything else, so it got progressively easier. Why?

But in the name of gear I will probably try to get one in per week from now on, and maybe set a loose goal of timing them all at +10, for the gear upgrades and the achievement. I don’t think +15 is worth it or feasible if you kinda hate doing them. There was a really short time in 9.0 when I enjoyed them because they were new, and with the right people. Yes, I’d say I was being carried a little, but having no prior experience it was more like learning in the correct environment. I did my interrupts and damage, and they told me the tactics and routes. After all you’re probably not supposed to get it right the first time. We’ll see if this works again.

As long as we’re doing normal I don’t see much point upgrading all my 213 gear to 220 in Korthia (did my MH weapon which I have since replaced, got a 226 2hander both weeks), but if we’re stalling a little longer and I don’t get gear quite so easily, I might fill a slot or three. Also on the one hand the Korthia dailies are mostly short and nice, but the 2 assaults per week are a little meh already in week 2 or 3. I get it, one is fine to get your weekly bar filled up, but if you put these into your weekly routine.. why two of them?

Overall impression of 9.1? I like the dailies, Korthia isn’t bad, the raid is nice but looks boring, I hate everything with anima powers, be it Torghast or the Tarragrue, or M+. Not convinced yet that there are new Legendary powers and that I maybe have to craft another one. And I’m not a fan of the story so far, it’s kinda dull. The game I’ve been playing a lot for 8 months now.. new patch comes out, I blitz through the story bits and they are meh (except the one big reveal, ok). Contrast this to FFXIV, where I come back after 2 years, play for 1 day and instantly love the story again.

[*]: I think it’s kind of meaningless to measure this directly, once you leave the top 500 or top 1000, but I like it as an indicator of “how many guilds are raiding this tier” and “how many of them cleared normal and heroic” after a while, I think this is the first time I write it down. Also we’re ~165th on our realm with 8/10 and my old raid guild is in the top 20 with 6/10 – just shows how dead that server is (also 60 guilds with at least 1 Mythic kill versus 2) 🙁

Leveling in Shadowlands, part 2

So I had some time today and managed to get the Paladin to 50 and do the Maw intro.

Of course I chose this transmog

Here’s the overview from the last post again, with /played:

  • Level 10: created, Allied Race
  • Level 15: ~1h
  • Level 20: 1h 51min = 50min
  • Level 25: 2h 38min = 50min
  • Level 30: 3h 44min = 66min
  • Level 35: 5h 13min = 89min
  • Level 40: 6h 42min = 89min
  • Level 45: 8h 39min = 117min
  • Level 50: 10h 54min = 135min

So there is a bit of a decline, until Level 30 I’ll round this to an hour (pretty sure I could’ve saved those 6 minutes somewhere), then it’s two times 90 minutes and then, when BfA is actually the old “current” content, it slows down a bit. 2 hours and even 2:15 for the last stretch. Still so much quicker than anything I’ve ever seen, but my prediction of the final time being around 8h was quite off. Extrapolating is hard 😉

So for now she’s parked in Oribos, having learnt the Shadowlands professions, and now it’s time for rested XP I think. I already got like 8 of those Korthian Armaments that can provide Level 200 gear, and I felt it was wasted on the Rogue who already did the whole Covenent campaign and had gear ranging from 160 to 187, with a few upgrades from Korthia, so I guess I’ll put those to good use once she reaches 60.

Also I managed to screenshot a few of the levels in between, so here’s another list:

  • Level 31: 33 min (I guess learning to fly took a while)
  • Level 35: 18min
  • Level 36+37: ~13.5min each
  • Level 38: 23min
  • Level 39: 18min
  • Level 41: 24min
  • Level 45: 28min
  • Level 46: 23min
  • Level 47: 20min
  • Level 48: 35min
  • Level 49: 30min
  • Level 50: 28min

Leveling in Shadowlands

Because I’m on the new server and don’t have a lot of alts and because I was still missing a Lightforged Draenei, I started a Paladin. This should be the last missing Heritage Armor that’s currently ingame.

This time I actually managed to jot down my leveling times, because with the recent changes I was actually interested how long you need to play to get to Level 50/Shadowlands. I thought it was probably not very long, especially when going the BfA route.

  • Level 10: created, Allied Race
  • Level 15: ~1h
  • Level 20: 1h 51min = 50min
  • Level 25: 2h 38min = 50min
  • Level 30: 3h 44min = 66min

So, that’s below 1h per 5 levels as of now, and I only did Tiragarde Sound. I took up Mining around Level 20, and now at Level 30 I made a trip to Stormwind to learn Flying and do some transmogging. So maybe I lost 10 minutes there and am back to 1h per 5 levels. There has been no noticeable amount of rested XP involved, but I’m not actually too fussed about this. I do logout in the inn when I can, but we’ll see how long I actually logout between play sessions, I did Level 15 on the first day and Level 30 today.

The retail dungeon group chars are 57 right now and we decided to have one more night to play with them, with the goal to reach 60, but if we don’t, we’ll probably stop anyway. There’s 9.1 stuff to do (3 of 4 people), there’s TBC Classic (3 of 4 people, but different ones) and there’s pen & paper Shadowrun (4 of 4 people), so time is a bit short for this project, that’s why want to end it deliberately before it gets forgotten.

TBC: Blood Furnace

The Classic group met up again yesterday and we started by riding to the Blood Furnace and getting a 61 pickup Mage. I was tanking and it all seemed to go wrong, everyone got aggro left and right, it was struggle, and it wasn’t a lot of fun. The run felt slow, but we made it through with either no deaths or one ankh (damn those Enhancement Shamans) until the last boss, where everyone had forgotten the AoE mechanic. We handed in our quests and looked for another PUG for a second run. It was a little weird, there was another tank+healer duo looking for 3 DPS for Blood Furnace in LFG and a few more groups that were mostly looking for DPS. Then I saw this “LF healer and 3 DPS for BF”, so.. well, a single tank? I invited him and equipped my fancy Polearm from Ramparts and off we went. The 61 Warrior was in mostly MC Epics. It started pretty much ok, pulling a lot faster (surely not his first run) and he was holding aggro just fine. There were a few sketchy pulls and at some point we wiped due to a double pull. The he was repeatedly asking for Windfury, which was kinda cool for my Arms Warrior but our Shammy said he wasn’t a fan and he also died twice more to overaggro. But we finished the instance without further wipes and the tank went on his way. So while I was pretty happy about the tank, my group wasn’t. They said they greatly prefer slower pulls and a slower instance rum and not wiping over quicker completion with deaths. I guess I agree so next time we’ll be searching for primarily a DPS and only if we can’t get one trying to get a tank, but usually this is not a problem anyway. So it seems despite tanking feeling bad it at least wasn’t so horrible that they prefer to pug a tank who might ignore their mana. I’m reasonably confident I can believe them and they’re not saying it to be nice. But damn, those Windfury two-hand execute crits, I’m gonna miss them…

After that we circled Umbrafen Lake for around 90 minutes, knocking all adjacent quests except the Naga Claws, then handed in (to end up at 63.25) and wanted to call it a night, but after porting to Orgrimmar ended up doing various things like professions while chatting along. I used up some of my Thorium, then crafted an Arcanite Rod with the Arcanite someone had just transmuted, then flew to Gadgetzan, bought the Imperial Plate Bracers recipe, used up all my remaining Thorium, then we plundered the AH of all cheap-ish Thorium, I smelted it with my 52 Rogue (yay, 251 -> 281 Mining for free), then finished up the grind to Blacksmithing 300 on the Warrior, and our Shaman then promptly disenchanting them again. So I just need to go to Thrallmar to learn the new Recipes now and start using the Fel Iron we collected. A pretty good synergy of Professions in our small group.

Now if only I’d remember to make some screenshots…

TBC Classic stuff

The second Thursday with the group was uneventful, we played a little less and only managed to get around two thirds of a level, wiped on Arazzius once (too many adds) and I don’t think we did a lot, just some long ass quests like the zeppelin parts, and the bussards, all in a group of four.

Last Thursday we did a few quests until we were all 61, then went into Hellfire Ramparts. The single dungeon quest says 62, that’s why we waited. And because we hadn’t done an instance in over a year, so were probably a bit rusty. And I read that Wilhelm’s group had some problems as well. We pugged a 5th and it went kinda fine. I only have like 13 points in Protection at the moment (should be enough) but I lost aggro a lot, mostly to the 2 Enhancement Shamans, but also sometimes due to bad pulls. I’m not 100% sure, but I think we didn’t wipe. Or only once. Our pugged Shammy left and we grabbed another player, I think it was an Ele Shaman this time, who wouldn’t have pulled aggro if he hadn’t opened with Chain Lightning every time – so yeah, just the second run already went much smoother, despite us being the same level and the pug being 61 and not 63 like the first one. The XP was pretty nice. After the two runs we finished Hellfire Peninsula and all dinged 62, then moved on to Zangarmarsh. It’s not going super fast, but we already made 4 levels in 3 evenings, can’t complain.

Next week: Blood Furnace, probably also twice.

And I really need to start doing the Thorium stretch of my Blacksmithing before next Thursday…

My Feral Druid dinged 66 yesterday and her Hunter partner is 67, everything in Nagrand went fine, except the Ring of Blood. We had a group of 5, 3 Hunters and me healing, but no real tank. But two others out of group, it was quite the chaos and for some reasons not everyone got all the quests, maybe also due to 4 groups spam-clicking to start their quests. In the end we had 3 rounds finished, some of our party members only 1, the 2 outside the group had everything besides the last one, then we wiped and stopped. Quite the mess, I’m not trying this again without a proper healer and tank (which I can do at least). Tusker and the pre-quests were no problem, we also haven’t tried Durn yet. Even Gurok worked fine with just the two of us, so Chowar will probably work as well (I already killed him at 65 with another 70 Druid).

The Rogue is still sitting at 51 and after my leveling spree I’m not really in the mood right now, the typical “where do I go?”, probably Felwood. But the thought of doing Hellfire Peninsula for the third time makes me procrastinate hard, even though I decided I wanted to get her to 60 in Azeroth…

WoW 9.1 is here

The long wait is over, 9.1 is here. I guess I am legally (or just morally) obliged to repeat that 9.0 has been the longest content drought after a WoW expansion release, but here it is, live last Wednesday for us Europeans.

Originally I wasn’t enthusiastic, I had watched a few videos by the usual suspects on YouTube about the patch, and especially some of the “this is what you should do in week 1” ground my gears. Not that the people said or wrote it, of course, simply the notion that to prepare for raiding there is a bucket list of things to do, with a defined time frame nonetheless. I hate that.

But, oh, raiding. I lamented the fact that we didn’t kill Sire Denathrius on Heroic after all and that I was annoyed how so many people jumped ship and we had to look that we got 10 together in the end. Well, I may have made it worse, but I transferred my main to another server and I’m gonna raid with the Twisting Corridors team this Tier. Interestingly this Night Elf Warrior started her life on my original vanilla server (not sure when exactly, probably 2010), to be transferred off to this German server in 2013 or 2014, staying until at least 2016 and ending up on the realm connected to my original server (where I had all my Alliance toons meanwhile) in 2019. And now back to the same German server in the summer of 2021. What a ride. Anyway, the guild only raids 2 days a week, and managed to kill Sire on Heroic, I also did raid with them for a week a while ago and it was fun, and the raid days suit me better, so win-win-win, I hope.

So, 9.1. The raid isn’t live yet and I’m only tentatively excited about it, we’ll see how it feels on normal. I was totally not enthusiastic about having to do new dailies in Korthia, in the videos it looked just as bleak as the Maw and I hated the Maw. But, to my surprise, they are kinda quick and I didn’t mind doing them at all every day, same with the weeklies (and Korthia is just this little bit less bleak). Also I was surprised how fast my 216 iLvl Fury Warrior smashes through enemies there, but I guess on a scale from 170ish to 230, 216 is kinda nice and I wasn’t prepared for this, having gone into Shadowlands only with relatively badly equipped toons. Later I also tried Korthia with my iLvl 200 Ele Shaman and it was quite a bit harder, but still doable.

Ah well, we’ll see. On the new server I only have my Warrior and my Sub Rogue for now, I’m thinking of transferring the Shaman as well as long as it’s only 17.50€ instead of 25€, but that should be enough. But of course I’d already been planning what race/class combos I might start to level here, guess I can’t escape the Altoholism…

The Retail Dungeon Group is on hold this week, because 3/4 are busy with new stuff and 1/4 is unexcited about Retail, so doesn’t mind. Classic updates maybe tomorrow…