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

Walk like the Blackrock Clan

Didn’t play a whole lot this week, mostly for work reasons, but a bit of progress was made.

Mag’har Heritage Armor (Blackrock), not the best choice for a Rogue
  • Mag’har Orc Rogue is 110 (+5), Legion was a blast (and quick) as usual
  • Goblin Warrior is 100 (+4), starting Legion now
  • Kul Tiran Mage is 95 (+5)
  • Draenei DK is 85 (+5)
  • the 3 lowbie Horde chars got +2 level each

Doesn’t sound like “hardly” played but maybe my queues were shorter and from 90 on everything seems to go really quick anyway. Mage and Warrior are Prio 1 right now.

As I wrote I unlocked the Void Elves and Lightforged and of course I played around in the character creation screen and actually created a Male Void Elf Rogue, with no real intention to start playing… yet. So I chose Wetlands as my starting point, actually took the tram, enjoyed the scenery, flew back to Thelsamar, and logged out. Today while waiting for dinner to simmer in the pot I queued for a random (craving that Rogue gameplay…) and then it happened. I used stealth and noticed what I hadn’t noticed before: the male Void Elf stealth walking animation is so horrible that I simply cannot stand that… I finished the instance and rerolled Female Void Elf. And then I rerolled her again because the pony tail was wobbling very weirdly in stealth. I mean, that’s what every sensible person would do, right? Bit of a shame though, I really wanted a second male Rogue, I have 3 female ones already…

First time I chose a mustache, but the universe said nope
Going for more of a leisurely look this time

Now if only I had Heirlooms in the Feet, Waist, Bracers, and Hands slot to keep it all hidden, probably gonna have to re-transmog with every upgrade… Also I’m sorely missing a reddish blouse that goes with Bard’s Boots and Trousers.

Gotta catch them all

So today I finally finished the Argus campaign and unlocked the last 2 remaining (old) Allied Races, Void Elves and Lightforged Draenei, yay. The Void Elf recruitment quest was nice and short and a little boring, whereas the Lightforged one was nice and short and really odd… but funny.

I actually don’t have any immediate plans here. The only class I’m missing on Alliance side is a Warlock, and I wanted to make a Mechagnome one – but I’ve not unlocked them, the real last remaining Allied Race. Because I’m lazy and not especially fond of the Rustbolt quests….

In Heritage Armor news there was some progress in the last two weeks – managed to get the Druid to Exalted and now I have the Worgen armor (thanks for the tip with Botanica and Mechanar in the comments, Pallais, that was really quick).

The Goblin Warrior got to 96 (from 86), Nightborne Priest is 52 (49), Zandalari Pally is 45 (40), Highmountain Warrior is 40 (36), Kul Tiran Mage is 90 (84), Dark Iron Monk is 47 (41) and the Mag’har Rogue is 105 (96) and maybe I’ll make it to 110 next week. Bonus: Draenei DK is 80 (74) – there’s always something to do with 8 rested XP bars and – which is kind of atypical – watching a lot of YouTube in the background right now.

I didn’t really play a lot of other things the last weeks though, just a little EVE. I’m kinda curious about Wolcen, but I just got back into the WoW groove and as long as I’m having fun in pursuing my goals… I’m really bad at focusing at several games at once, I know…

Heritage armor status update

Wrote about this in October and July, but about the the full picture only in May, and so this is a consolidated update:

  • Horde
    • Blood Elf – DONE
    • Tauren – DONE
    • GoblinExalted: 86 Warrior
    • Orc (not ingame) – Exalted: 120 Rogue, 120 Shaman, 120 Hunter
    • Troll (not ingame) – Exalted : 120 Warrior
    • Undead (not ingame) – Revered: 120 Mage (-18600), Honored: 102 DK (-30100)
    • Mag’har – Level 96
    • Nightborne – Level 49
    • Zandalari – Level 40
    • Highmountain – Level 36
    • Vulpera – Unlocked, no character yet
  • Both
    • Pandaren (not ingame) – ???
  • Alliance
    • Dwarf – DONE
    • Gnome – DONE
    • Worgen – Friendly: 120 Druid (-38938)
    • Human (not ingame) – Exalted: 120 Rogue
    • Night Elf (not ingame) – Exalted: 120 Warrior, Friendly: 120 DH (-38000)
    • Draenei (not ingame) – Friendly: 74 DK (-36500)
    • Kul Tiran – Level 84
    • Dark Iron – Level 41
    • Lightforged – nearly unlocked
    • Void Elf – not unlocked yet
    • Mechagnome – not unlocked yet

So the concrete goals are:

  • Mag’har Rogue – 14 levels – yes, actively working on it
  • Kul Tiran Mage – 26 levels – yes, prio 2
  • Goblin Warrior – 34 levels – maybe…
  • Worgen Druid – a lot of rep – maybe…
  • Nightborne Priest – 61 levels – probably, just did a few dungeon runs again
  • Zandalari Paladin – 70 levels – probably, but more slowly
  • Highmountain Warrior – 74 levels – meh
  • Dark Iron Monk – 69 levels – meh

I just started running some 1-2 dungeons per day when fully rested on all the Allied toons this week, but it’s tedious. Also I had a really long break of over 2 months. Rogue is fun and no problem, Mage is coming along ok but it’s slowing down and it’s simply not much fun. Can’t wait for 110 there. Undecided if I’m up for this massive rep grind on the Druid.

A quick look at WoW’s 8.3

After a ~7 week break I logged in again to WoW, sent my toons on ship missions (*yawn*) and also finished the Vulpera Allied Race quest line, it was fun. As I’m not yet Exalted with the Rustbolt Resistance (*yawn again*) no Mechagnome Warlock in my near future.

I also wanted to take a look at the 8.3 content and as a non-raider I’m a little disappointed. Cutscene, go to Magni, do a meh zone quest where I can’t solo the elite mobs in a good way as a Rogue, fill up the bar slowly, go to Magni, go to next zone, log out because meh.

Today I logged in, got distracted and didn’t even start the zone event in the second zone, but I guess I will at some point, this week.

Also I’m a bit burnt out on leveling alts, so no progress since November, and no #21 120 in sight. But I’m really ok with that. 20 is a nice number, I got all the classes to max level this time, I had a ton of fun, so why force it now?

Right now I’m happy playing 30-60mins of Borderlands 3 at least every second day. Although a friend was a bit surprised why I am playing it if I don’t really like looter shooters. Even more so when I said I’m playing it mostly for the story and the world. But we’ll see, maybe coop will happen.

Ding #20, all Horde done

Blood Elf Demon Hunter in ugly Benthic gear

Totally forgot to post this, on Friday I managed to get my Horde Demon Hunter (boo, another Blood Elf) to 120, which makes it toon #20, but more importantly: the last missing Horde class.

Bet I screenshotted this already a few times

Again I kinda forsake the gear grind, just got her a set of Benthic gear, did the Nazjatar starter quests and then got 2 half-decent rings and trinkets and a 2nd weapon. iLvl 386 after ~3h at 120. I don’t really plan to do much more, would rather focus on my other DH which is already decked out a lot better

This is the first toon where I jotted down the times for each level:

  • at ding 110: 6:04
  • 111: 19 minutes
  • 112: 30 minutes
  • 113: 31 minutes
  • 114: 51 minutes
  • 115: 36 minutes
  • 116: 41 minutes
  • 117: 41 minutes
  • 118: 46 minutes,
  • 119: 37 minutes, doing the 3 strongholds for the war campaign
  • 120: 49 minutes and quite a few deaths despite 10% spillover from last one
  • total: 6h 22 minutes, mostly rested and 100% uptime on the +15% anniversary buff

So yes, it’s a Demon Hunter that starts at Level 98, but iLvl 386 after 12,5h of playtime is a little ridiculous. 6h for Legion, 6h for BfA.