January in review and raiding

So it has come, the last day of January and the end of my prolonged vacation between two jobs, starting a new one in ~9h (maybe I should really go to bed).

We killed the Council of Blood Heroic on Friday, today we did a full normal clear and got a few tries in on Sludgefist, 50% only though. But that’s 7 bosses on Heroic, so 2 213 choices in the vault on Wednesday, I just need to get my one +10 Mythic key done. I have a Sanguine Depths one and it’s a horrible week, maybe lower than +10 will do, we’ll see.

Council of Blood Heroic down

As it’s back to a normal work schedule my gaming time will greatly suffer, but I’m happy with the final tally, 10 weeks after the expansion launched: 8 characters at Level 60, 5x Renown 28, 2x Renown 24+. Sure, I could’ve done some other things as well but WoW was fun and I needed to play a few classes to decide on a main alt. I think it’s Protection Paladin, but Resto Shaman isn’t out of the picture yet. DPS Demon Hunter feels odd this time, had the least fun playing that one. Assassination Rogue is fine and mostly fun, Shadow Priest is surprisingly fun. BM Hunter is ok, as usual. Marksman feels really weird, basically like a caster with that Aimed Shot. Still unsure about Warlock. Demo is ok but not great and I haven’t really tried Affliction yet.

There are no immediate plans to level any others, but I did start on my Orc Rogue and put my Draenei DK through the Maw for professions. Druid is the FOTM class and some people love it, but I don’t feel a big draw. Windwalker Monk seems a little OP but I don’t really like playing Monk. And Mages… I’ll never get how people can like and play Mages proficiently.

Also I’m still on the fence how alt-friendly Shadowlands really is. It’s quite easy to get to ~190-195 iLevel with the Covenant gear, even though Raid Finder is only 187. But then it gets hard really fast as you’re basically forced to PvP to do high Mythic+ keys. Heroics are a joke this time. You probably ding 60 at item level 130-140, so either you spend a little time doing the covenant campaign until you can queue for Heroics at 155 or do a few normals from 144 on and hope for drops (or buy a few BoE blues) . But the moment you are at chapter 3-5 with the campaign and have a little anima spare you can upgrade stuff to 177 or more and then you’ll only need 2 trinkets, 2 rings, and a necklace from Heroics or Raid Finder (unlocks at 170 iLevel), because you also get a weapon token (187) for finishing your campaign. I mean, that’s fine per se, but Heroics are completely useless now – they weren’t at the start because the campaign was time-gated, now you only get your renown up fast enough, so maybe if you are gated on the campaign on a certain day/week it might make sense to run a few. There is some rep gear at decent item levels (I think one 200 piece per faction) but when not grinding it out, my main was decked out in 200s from raids and the Great Vault (and M+) long before I hit Exalted.

That are the alt-friendly aspects. The unfriendly ones are The Maw, where you need to grind your rep again and Torghast, where you needed to unlock the layers separately on every character, but that’s supposed to be changed this Wednesday. Getting the 1250 Soul Ash per Legendary shouldn’t be the problem for the alts, depending on their spec. Also it seems to be so much easier with two people than solo. Or maybe Warrior was just a really bad pick at the start before the nerfs.

Raid update, week 7

The seventh week of Shadowlands raiding concluded and we’ve actually managed to get to 6/10 Heroic, with a quick first night of a full clear and Huntsman on Heroic, a second night with two first kills, Xy’mox and Sun King, and a third night with another first kill, Lady Inerva Darkvein.

Wanted to post that on Tuesday night and forgot. So today I dinged 60 on my 8th character, a Worgen Shadow Priest. As much as I hated leveling him back then from level 90ish to 112 and speced Disc in early BfA, as much fun it was now. We’ll see if and how much of the covenant campaign I’ll get done until Sunday because then it’s back to work and my playtime will decrease sharply again.

Castle Nathria Normal cleared

Ha, did forget to post that on Jan 8th we actually killed Sire Denathrius on Normal.

Sire Denathrius down, bad angle

Since then we’ve not officially progressed, we killed 3/10 Hc that week and this week we also did 10/10 + 3/10 with quite a few wipes on Lady Darkvein Heroic (25 or so) without getting her down.

I’m at iLvl 205 but my weapons are still 200 + 184, but my damage is slowly improving, I seem to be getting better at Fury.

My roster of toons now has 7 at Level 60, with 5 having completed the Covenant campaign already (Night Fae Warrior, Necrolord Shaman, Venthyr Paladin and Demon Hunter, and Kyrian Hunter) and the Night Fae Rogue at 21, so one week away as I didn’t feel like grinding dungeons for another renown drop. The Night Fae Warlock has just started the campaign and I’ve not yet started to level any other characters, just the Death Knight (and my Horde main) has finished the Maw intro quest (for professions in Oribos) and everything else on Horde is untouched.

I’ve been running quite a few old dungeons for transmog these last 2-3 weeks, mostly Molten Core, Blackwing Lair, Blackwing Depths, Bastion of Twilight, Firelands, and Trial of the Crusader, but also a little Serpentshrine Cavern, The Eye, Icecrown Citadel, and Nighthold. I already managed to finish 2-3 sets where only 1-2 pieces were missing so this should be able to be ramped down soonish. I also parked a few 50 alts just in front of the instance for the next resets.

Fourth raid week finished

This was an atypical week because of New Year’s Eve (and the lack of celebrations) and because of Timewalking and Ulduar. So we only planned to raid on the 1st and 3rd (Fri/Sun) but added an excursion to Ulduar on Saturday. To cut a long story short, XT seemed really weirdly scaled, people were dying left and right on the trash on the way and nobody remembered it being that hard. The rest was a mix of overtuned and undertuned. We took a little longer than our normal raid hours but managed to clear it without real problems. Cat Lady’s adds can still oneshot tanks on pull though.

Castle Nathria went pretty good, 9 bosses down on the first night (just 2 wipes on Sludgefist) and 3 bosses down on Heroic on the second night (3 wipes on Huntsman, 4 on Destroyer), and a good third try (26%) on Xy’mox. No Denathrius tries this week though.

Interestingly we hardly got any weapon drops (one of the main reasons we went there) but I got 3 iLvl 200 items, not too bad. Nearly as many as in 4 weeks of Castle Nathria. I’m at iLvl 197 now, but with 184/180 weapons (finally managed to get Sorrowbane tonight). Ninja edit: 2h later I also got Sorrowbane on the Paladin, it’s a huge upgrade from my 158 weapon – apparently the server was dead enough on a Tuesday night. Glad we have a public holiday tomorrow 😛

Demon Hunter is 60 now, Warlock is 59 and mid-Revendreth, and the Paladin hit 60 yesterday and can do Heroics today, just as Demon Hunter and Hunter can, but I only queued on the Paladin. Retri feels so much better than Fury, I regret not going with the Paladin, but we already have 3 raiding Retri Paladins and I’m often the only Warrior. At least they all like my Battle Shout.

Third raid week finished

Due to the holidays we had originally planned to only raid one day this week, Sunday. But when the question was posed if people would be up for a second night on Monday, most said yes. So I also changed my plans and attended.

Sunday went pretty well (one wipe on Huntsman, two wipes on Council before our first kill), then two wipes on Sludgefist. Monday was really interesting, Sludgefist died on the third pull, then we oneshot Generals. On to Sire Denathrius, who turned out to be not such a pushover, five wipes and only in the last try we managed to get to phase 2. With only 45 minutes left we went to Shriekwing Heroic and called it an early night after a bit of a messy kill on first try.

So this puts us at 9/10 Normal and 1/10 Heroic. Denathrius will take some time I guess, and then it’s off to continue Heroic. Huntsman and Devourer should be doable I heard.

My gearing problem still exists, although I’m at 191 after last night, still a bit low after 21 normal bosses and 2 Heroic bosses, in my opinion. I’m wearing 2 items > 200 (from the Great Vault + Mythic quest) and 5 iLvl 200 ones (one from the Great Vault, one from a guildie who didn’t need them), so that’s a whopping 3 items from 23 raid boss kills, I think that’s too low and you can certainly not call that “farming gear”. Also another week I will finish with 2 blue items (Gloves + Offhand), but I have to admit I did zero Mythic 5mans this week. It also doesn’t help that when I get a drop it’s for a slot I don’t need (got a ring from a guildie and gave away another one with bad stats, thus I zeroed them out in the calculation above).

For the alts, the Hunter is Level 60 and the Demon Hunter is 57 (still don’t like Threads of Fate), and because I finally have a leveling partner again, the Warlock hit 56 last night and is nearly done with Maldraxxus.

Second Raid Week Finished

This week we raided 3 nights again, Shriekwing, Xy’mox and Sun King on normal on the first night, including 1, 1, and 3 wipes, then 3 wipes on Council. Second night was Huntsman, Destroyer and Lady, with 1, 2, and 3 wipes – for some bosses actually worse than in week one, and on day 3 we killed Shriekwing on Heroic after 9 wipes and then wiped on Council 7 times without a kill, but one was looking pretty good. Next week there will probably be only one raid because of Christmas, so we’ll see what that will bring.

I did some more M+ (but not many), still only +2 and +3 – I’m warming up to it but it’s stressful.

My drop luck isn’t improving, on the 3 bosses in LFR I got an item that was the 187 version of the 200 item I have. I got 187 boots from an M2 (+3 ilvl) and one single 2o0 drop from those 3+6+1 raid bosses in LFR/normal/hc. At least the 4 mythics weekly was good to me, 213 trinket, even if it’s not a great one – and my 2 200 picks in the Vault also weren’t great, but at least I have shoulders now, but still 2 blues. Item level 188 isn’t really great for the amount of M0, M+ and raid bosses I’ve done.

The Shammy is at iLvl 163 and happily healing Heroics already (since I could queue at 155), maybe I’ll manage to try healing some M0 next week.

Finally, I managed to do Layer 5 of Torghast twice, both times as Protection, Layer 6 was a shitty draw and I only tried it once. Maybe doable.

First Raid Week Finished

Second raid post this week, yay. As I wrote here, we got 3 bosses in Castle Nathria down on Friday (can’t even say “the first three” because the numbering is weird this tier), went back on Sunday to wipe on Kael’thas for 3h (14x), then on Monday we took down Lady Inerva Darkvein on the first try, then wiped once on Artificer Xy’mox before a kill and then continued to wipe on Kael’thas for a bit (4x) until we got that done as well. Just enough time for a single try on Council. Very good first week, even if it was Normal only. Also we didn’t notice anything about the supposed “bosses dropping too much loot”, I was happy to get one item.

I only noticed after that first night that I still had the wrong (leveling) spec and switched around some stuff, but I’m not sure if my damage improved a lot. Today we should’ve gotten a +5% damage buff for Fury Warriors, this should help a bit as well. Also going to have a look at the Great Vault now, which should have 2 items for me to choose from.

Finally I needed a break from group activities last night and did some Torghast, this time as Protection. It was so easy compared to Fury it’s not even fun. Bit slow though, but I managed to do Layer 3 and Layer 4 without a single death.

In other news, my Ele/Resto Shammy is also Level 60, need to do some normal dungeons for gear or heroics with the guild, and maybe tank some more Heroics until I feel able to do Mythic.

Ready for Raiding

I hadn’t raided since MoP but this expansion (actually at the end of BfA) I formed the plan to raid again. Sadly my old home, my Horde guild had been dead for years, but the Alliance guild I’d been having an alt in for over 10 years is alive and kicking and they were raiding Normal and Heroic modes every expansion, as far as I know. So this time around I wanted to join for real.

So I actually wanted to give 100% and did all my preparation. Got my legendary legs on Thursday, got to item level 179-180, enchanted most of my stuff, got weapon oil, stat food, and flasks sorted and read up on tactics. Even finished half of the grind to be able to craft Shadestones for the new Cauldron.

My drop luck wasn’t the greatest, my off hand sword dropped on dungeon number 29 (Heroic Necrotic Wake and the main hand dropped the same day on dungeon number 30 (Mythic 0 Necrotic Wake), not counting normal dungeons, and since then I accumulated a few more 184 epics, but not nearly enough.

Before the raid I managed to get to this number of dungeon clears (Hc +M0): De Other Side 1+1, Halls of Atonement 3+2, Mists of Tirna Scithe 7+2, Plaguefall 0+3, Sanguine Depths 0+1, Spires of Ascension 0+3, Necrotic Wake 8+3, Theater of Pain 0+2, so 19 + 17, with 17 of 24 possible M0 clears, but I didn’t complain once I got my 2 weapons.

And last night on Friday we actually did it. We went to Castle Nathria and raided. No big deal for them, but for me it was. I was kinda surprised we oneshot Shriekwing. Then we killed Huntsman Altimor on the second try. Then we went to the Hungering Destroyer and brought him down on the third fourth try. Lady Inerva Darkvein proved to be a tough cookie though and after 7 wipes we called it a night, but I think we had her below 10% once already, so I’m confident there. This week has 2 more raid nights so I’m eager to see what will happen. I even got a single drop, a massive upgrade. Actually a lot more than I had hoped. Three bosses down on the first night, one close, and I only made one mistake, sadly a single misclick that nearly wiped the raid :/

One thing I wasn’t so happy about was my damage, I guess I need to really fix something with my rotation and active time on the boss, this seems a lot harder than playing the Rogue, despite the kinda good mobility.

The army of alts in Shadowlands

So while I had the plan to only focus on my main and not do a lot of alting… I found that I needed a little EVE break and when playing so much on my main, doing daily callings, adventures, dungeons.. I need some diversion and I had some time, so I did start to level a few alts.

Most importantly, it’s also Darkmoon Faire this week, and to unlock the new profession tier you need to do the Maw intro quest. And that already pushes you to 51 if you were rested (never forget, once a new expansion is live, log in all your max-level toons once to start accumulating rested XP again). So my Hunter and Shaman finished Bastion already (both 53 now), the Paladin, Rogue and Death Knight have done the Maw intro quest (all 51 now), and on my Demon Hunter I wanted to try the “Threads of Fate” thing that lets you skip the main story, pick a covenant and level how you like. She’s 54 now and I have finished Revendreth (I picked Venthyr) but it’s not as enjoyable as I had hoped, so I guess I won’t do that again in the foreseeable future. The Hunter was actually just a little diversion when I needed a break, the DH was mostly the same, but I might pick the Shaman as my main alt, we don’t have too many of those and I could try healing again – not a fan of Holy Paladins otherwise I would’ve chosen my Paladin as main alt.

So I’m actually actively ignoring my Horde toons now – and also the Priest, Mage, Warlock, Monk, and Druid on Alliance – none of them have crafting professions, and only the Druid has 2 main professions at all. Casters and Monk, so yeah, my priorities in what constitutes fun classes is pretty clear (although Warlock isn’t so bad), but Mage and Priest rank at the bottom and Monk ranks as the worst Melee class.

Today was Sunday and because I didn’t want to run my 13 Horde + other server alts through the Maw intro, so I just hopped over to DMF on them quickly and grabbed some old profession points where needed. Quick win and not too much time wasted.

And finally I did what I had postponed for a long, long time. I’ve never been happy with my Male Pandaren Druid, so I changed him to a Female Pandaren today (thank you Blizzard for finally making this a gold cost) and then I also changed my Undead Death Knight to be Female because I’d never been 100% happy with him either, and the new transmog options are pretty awesome. And my Mage is already a Male Undead, so what’s the point in having two of them if I’m not a big fan?

Undead Death Knight at Darkmoon Faire
Pandaren Monk

Slow gear upgrades

As my original plan for Shadowlands was to raid again after all these years, I’m not completely sure how much effort is needed so maybe I’m erring on the side of too much preparation, but I guess it won’t hurt as long as I don’t burn out before the raid even unlocks.

The first week of the expansion is wrapping up and I reached max level, I did quite a few heroics and joined 2 nights of Mythic 0 with the guild (missed one). The problem is that my iLevel is still really bad, 3 slots with 184 Mythic 0 gear, one extra piece on the same slot, having replaced 3 171 items in these slots and really bad weapons – so I guess see myself running Mists of Tirna Scithe and Necrotic Wake every day until I have at least 2 171 2 hand weapons and replace at least some of my 5 other sub-171 slots. For the amount of heroics I ran this week the yield seems bad, but maybe I’m complaining too much and all my guildies just ran even more of them.

As was expected, damage isn’t really great at the moment, but there are several factors, low item level, no enchants, Fury doesn’t seem to be in a great place overall at the moment compared to other classes and specs, and also the player hasn’t actually tried to do top DPS in many years, so I’m pretty sure my rotation isn’t optimal and I’m missing things. I plan to setup at least 2 more WeakAuras, but I think my cooldown usage might actually be better than years ago, where I forget them a lot.

At least I did my callings (Emissary quest successor) every day since hitting 60, did at least collect parts of the Soul Ash from Torghast, and did some other things I was supposed to do in the first week. I even tried to get Sorrrowbane, but that quest is really annoying as you have one shot every time the WQ is up and even if you do everything correctly you can still be unlucky and have other people grab the items before you.