WoW adventures, expected and unexpected

When the dungeon group met again on Saturday we first chatted for a bit and it actually looks like we can meet again in real life for the first time soon, with 3 out of 4 being vaccinated and 3 of 4 being stuck at home anyway (which should limit the infection risk quite a lot). Then we pushed on through Kun-Lai and actually managed to get to Level 48 and had enough time left to go through the Maw. Surprisingly quick, I might add, if you have the mount and just destroy everything with 4 people. We decided to do the campaign story and not Threads of Fate and then parted ways to catch up on a few percent of XP, pick some flowers, and meet up again in Bastion next week.
But we also kinda agreed to try out TBC Classic, where 3 of us had given up already in 2019 and the spring 2020 revival also didn’t really last long, but our fifth member had spoken up and I guess we’re in now. We have one planned boost on a new character, one “sick of leveling Resto Shaman, will boost 46 to 58”, one “I will level this Mage from 46 to 58” and me originally planning to boost a new Druid, but now maybe keeping the Warrior. The Mage/Warrior duo with the new talents and the supposed? XP changes blasted through the levels on the long weekend to just over 50 and last night we managed a whole level despite not being well-rested anymore and also not playing the whole evening. Hopefully we can make it. If we don’t, I can still boost a Druid as my main, if we do then I have a week to decide which class to play.

Expansion goals

Just hit 60 on my Dark Iron Dwarf Monk, that’s all classes at 60 (plus one extra Rogue, of course). 9 are at Renown 40 + campaign done, 3 are at 35/34/24 + campaign done, the last one is at Renown 5 and has just started the campaign.

So far, so good – not sure it’s worth grinding out those missing Renown levels, but at least that last campaign for the Monk must be done. And she needs 170 gear, then I’m happy with that, I guess. No real plans for Horde, but I ran the Orc Shammy through the Maw, collected the dungeon quests, chose a Covenant, and healed a HoA. We’ll see, but in my current bad mood I don’t think I’ll go for “every class at 60, per faction” this time.

But I’ve been trying to do 1 random dungeon on the 2 3x toons, Warrior and Priest, when I have time and am in the mood, still 2x ~27 levels until Heritage Armor. I’ve left Northrend on both now, though. Priest will do BfA as Shadow and Warrior will start MoP, so I can tank the MoP dungeons with the dungeon quest XP, tanking BfA with only half your skills feels horrible, and everything dies sooo slowly. Scaling isn’t always the true answer to everything it seems

And there are the 8 levels for the Vulpera DK (the dungeon group had to pause this week due to scheduling conflicts), but hopefully we’ll continue next Saturday and manage to power through to 48. Then it’s only the Lightforged Draenei that’s missing.

Oh, and I really wonder when Blizzard will finally fix the transmog bug that shows your old look in the character select window, grr.

Dark Iron Dwarf Monk at 60

Enough?

Reading more posts and talking to more people we seem to be the only guild unable to kill Sire Heroic, and I’m getting increasingly cranky.

Naithin talks about 76 wipes, Rohan mentions a rekill, my friends from the dungeon group had somewhere between 50 and 70 I think (and they only raid ~5-6h per week and we had a lead on them for a month I guess).

I need to doublecheck with one of my guildies who has an addon that keeps track, but I’m pretty sure we’re over 200 wipes. I haven’t missed a single raid (3 nights per week) since about December 12th, so that’s around our 65th evening (give or take 2 cancelled for christmas and 2-3 cancelled the last weeks due to low numbers) this coming Friday and I’m actually fed up. I just want to finish this tier and have a break. But most of all I wonder what’s going on in people’s heads if they stay until 9/10 Hc and then leave. Not single players (it can happen), but we went from 25-30 during normal to 8-12 now. Also I would understand people stopping after the normal Sire kill, that’s fair – but we had about 10 people stopping during Sire Hc progression or just after Generals Hc. I don’t get it…

WoW alts and goals

Raiding has taken a big hit, since we’d been sitting at 9/10 Heroic for so long that a lot of people stopped logging in, either playing other games, giving up, or.. I don’t know. But we had problems getting even 10 people together for a few weeks now, and apparently we suck at 10 player raiding in this composition although I wouldn’t have said that we lost our better 5-10 players, I’d say we lost a few good ones and a few less good ones and the ones still logging in are decidedly solid in the middle to upper end, but it doesn’t help.

On the upside we finally did some alt runs, so I now have a normal Denathrius kill on both my Paladin (as Retri) and on my Shaman (as Resto). Healing is no joke on some bosses but we did it without major problems in one night.

Not much to do at the high end without the raid, and I stopped doing M+ as well, so there’s leveling alts. Both my Balance Druid and Unholy DK have finished their campaign and sit at ~170 iLvl (haven’t done LFR yet), the Mage is currently Renown-gated at 19 and 7 of 9 Chapters of the campaign done, so next week probably. So I started leveling my last Alliance class, the Monk. She’s 53 now and has just finished Bastion, doing Threads of Fate again with mostly normal quests and only some quick World Quests. No progress on Horde side but maybe I’m in the mood to pick up the ~30 Warrior and Priest again.

Maldraxxi Plate Armor actually looks nice on DKs
Maldraxxi Plate Armor actually looks nice on DKs

Eighty million

Another milestone, 80 million skill points on my main. Last milestone in February.

Skill category             Points     No. of skills
===================================================
Spaceship Command         20,713,077  60 *
Drones                     8,859,375  18
Gunnery                    8,765,560  34 *
Navigation                 7,327,839  13 *
Engineering                6,842,040  15 *
Missiles                   6,518,514  21 *
Fleet Support              3,656,894  12 *
Shields                    3,198,119  12 *
Targeting                  2,575,530   8 *
Armor                      2,547,805  11
Electronic Systems         2,224,395  12 *
Subsystems                 1,312,530  16 *
Scanning                   1,191,530   7
Resource Processing        1,039,545  15 *
Neural Enhancement           745,347   5
Rigging                      679,060  10
Science                      502,275  13 *
Social                       434,510   6
Planet Management            394,040   4
Trade                        359,530   8
Production                   276,743   4
Structure Management          24,040   1 *
Corporation Management           250

* = changes since last time

Skills at Level 5:    93 (+13)
Skills at Level 4:   123 (+9)
Skills at Level 3:    57 (-4)
Skills at Level 2:     2 (0)
Skills at Level 1:    31 (-3)
Skills at Level 0:     4 (-4)

I guess the big changes are that I completed our FAX and Dread skill plans (Caldari for now and damn you, JDC V) and could apply for our cap group. In reality I should probably train those T2 guns the Phoenix I bought is fitted with… but on the other hand my Dread alt is still in training and I’m not keen on losing this one, with the recent spike in prices, I was happy enough to get one for the old price after the update had landed… Other than that I guess the majority of the 10m came from JDC, and Fleet Support skills (yay, I can boost now), some T3C subsystem skills, finishing up some of our Doctrines and slowly working my way to being able to fly all combat subcaps.

80m is an important point for silly reasons (skill injectors only give the original 500k back if you are under 5m skill points, 400k under 50m, 300k under 80m, and only 150k after 80m), so I took the opportunity and a bit of disposable income and bumped myself over the hump, I think from 77.x to 80.x and didn’t spend it, so that’s why I’m only posting this now, with 80m actually spent. I’m not a huge fan of skill injectors, but they’re a reality and now I used some for the second time and don’t plan to in the future (unless I become filthy rich, which I seriously doubt :P). It sucks a little because now my main alt isn’t exactly 40m behind anymore, so maybe I’ll ninja edit those stats in here in a month to keep track.

The best Fortizar
Skill category             Points     No. of skills
===================================================
Spaceship Command         15,316,772  53 *
Gunnery                   6,110,380   34 *
Engineering               4,233,570   13
Missiles                  3,917,985   19 *
Drones                    2,562,742   18 *
Navigation                1,622,590    9
Electronic Systems        1,481,570    8
Targeting                   951,765    7
Armor                       933,255   10
Shields                     833,805   10
Fleet Support               527,530    2 *
Neural Enhancement          527,530    4
Rigging                     508,024   10
Science                     483,690    4 *
Subsystems                  426,040   16 *
Planet Management           394,040    4
Scanning                    184,000    7 *
Resource Processing          24,250    4 *
Structure Management         24,000    1 *
Social                       23,072    4
Trade                        11,079    4

Skills at Level 5:    53 (+13)
Skills at Level 4:    74 (+18)
Skills at Level 3:    81 (+5)
Skills at Level 2:    12 (-1)
Skills at Level 1:    15 (0)
Skills at Level 0:     8 (-20)

WoW Classic and The Burning Crusade

It’s been quite a while since I last posted about WoW Classic, April 2020, over a year ago and after that quick adventure we stopped again.

But the news is out that in just 3-4 weeks there will be WoW TBC Classic with their “you can choose either version per character” plan. The problem is… do I know what I want to choose? Will I even play either version?

As with Classic, my memories are surprisingly fresh and again I’m claiming to not have the problem of rose-tinted glasses. I know what was good and what was bad, I know what was fun and what I didn’t like. The attunement chain was annoyingly long, my Karazhan experience was horrible because our guild didn’t really click there (or maybe we simply sucked). I dread all the rep grinds that I didn’t mind doing back then (even on multiple chars), but the point is.. I’ve been there, I’ve done that.

But even more important is the choice of character, so what is available right now?

  • 45 Tauren Warrior, of the failed instance group, Arms and Tanking as Arms
  • 35 Undead Assassination Rogue, played solo
  • 24 Affliction? Warlock
  • 13 BM Hunter

If I was 60 and had acquired some gear, it would be easy. That character would probably stay in Classic. If I was close to 60 and it wasn’t a Rogue, I’d be going into TBC. But my Vanilla Main was a Rogue (+ Druid Alt), that’s why I chose a Warrior main and didn’t roll a Druid. In TBC still Rogue Main but I also played Druid, Warlock, and Warrior a lot. So if I’d be looking to redo some sort of TBC experience, Rogue and Warrior would be out I think, same as every pure DPS class, so what do we have left?

  • Shaman – one of my staple classes, maybe not a bad choice with 2 diff. DPS specs
  • Priest – not sure if SP was good in TBC, but not sure I like Priest healing either
  • Paladin – Blood Elves again… but Heal+DPS+Tank
  • Druid – one of my alts in TBC (2nd to ding 70, iirc) but versatile enough to give it a shot

So yeah, recently my thinking has always been going like “If I really want to focus on one char and not a bunch of alts, it must be able to do at least 2 roles”, which was a lot harder in the older expansions. No DK, Monk, DH (hey, notice a pattern?) and Horde Paladins/Alliance Shamans only from TBC on.

So yeah. Warrior in TBC is uninteresting, Rogue only as a solo alt. Warlock is too low and I also had that already (Frozen Shadoweave was reall nice though) and a 13 Hunter also isn’t really worth mentioning. So maybe no copying over to TBC. I think we won’t be able to use the Level 58 character boost for Blood Elves, so I guess my choices would be Shaman or Druid, with a preference for Druid.

Or maybe skip TBC outright. Maybe I’ll ask the dungeon group again but we’re still lacking a fifth, even if we four agree to do something there.

WoW group, week 3

While I wrote about the inception of the group, I already missed last week, but we did play. First week was 10-16 with initial setup and starting Jade Forest, the second week was 16-28 and mopping up most of Jade Forest, and doing 2 or 3 instances.

Today we finished the north half of Jade Forest and only once we got down to the horrible set of 4 “solo scenario” quests (after having done the first 2-3 quicker ones) we skipped the zone and went on to the Valley of the Four Winds and knocking out the east and south half of the map. Then we queued for a random dungeon and got the Sotmstout Brewery first, then Siege of Niuzao Temple, which means we’re only missing Gate of the Setting Sun of the 6 Pandaria dungeons now I think.

We encountered the first of the “you need to not fly but ride on the ground to finish the quest” bugs we all love and while I was completely surprised how few problems we actually had with keeping 4 people’s quest completion in sync, today was worse than the last 2 times.

At level 31 we made a quick trip to Orgrimmar to learn flying, just as we did at Level 20 for fast mounts, but other than that it’s been pretty much speedy leveling while only stopping to pick a flower once in a while. In the end we got to Level 36 and ~50%, usually ending with the people missing some XP to go pick a few flowers to get to the same percentage. Probably not needed but at least we can be reasonably sure to avoid any “I can’t get that quest” and it’s only 5 minutes at the end of the evening anyway.

I know the first evening sounded pretty slow with only 6 levels gained, but the intro isn’t really quick and we had to prepare and actually didn’t play the full 4h. The second night I was surprised we got 12 levels, and today’s 8 was a little less than I had hoped but we’ll see how it will scale. Not that we’re hell-bent to powerlevel, just trying to not waste time.

Anyway, it’s a fun diversion to have a static group again and doing a weekly thing.

I just need to get some screenshots next time…

Server move

It’s been a little over 2 years since I moved the blog off of wordpress.com and on to host it myself. Everything has been running smoothly, but I had to upgrade a few things and so if you can read this post it’s being served from the new server. Please shout at me in the comments or on Twitter or Discord if you notice anything off or not working.

A few boring technical details:

  • Hoster: still scaleway.com, but from a START1-XS instance to a STARDUST1-S, as the former was discontinued
  • Domain: still namecheap.com
  • OS: From Debian Stretch to Ubuntu Focal (I know I’m late)
  • PHP: From 7.0.33 to 8.0.3
  • WordPress: still the latest version, this had been upgraded regularly
  • Theme: still Astra

A new group forms

Having completed the Twisting Corridors we were looking for another Saturday night activity for the merry band of adventurers.

After a little discussion, thinking about getting a group of 50s to max level and some other ideas that didn’t meet a quorum we simply decided to start a new group of characters and level them to 50 for the Heritage Armor, because all 4 had at least one allied race that was lacking that achievement and so we brainstormed a group composition and landed on this:

  • Vulpera Shaman, Ele/Resto
  • Vulpera Mage
  • Nightborne Shadow Priest
  • Vulpera Blood Death Knight, me

So that’s a composition we can easily run instances with, otherwise we could’ve probably gotten by without a tank, but it’s a lot easier this way. I would’ve preferred Druid but I already have a Zandalari Paladin with the armor and Troll was too boring, thus Vulpera – the others were a lot quicker in their decisions but also less restrained.

We weren’t sure where or how we’d start but apparently Allied Race chars all start at level 10 and we just needed to get to Orgrimmar, grab the Chromie quest and make our way to Pandaria. Sorting guild invites, gold, bags, and other stuff took a while – but we managed to get to around Level 16 and run a first instance as well. Let’s see how this will work out in the long run.

Back to leveling for a bit

Not really enthusiastic about endgame grinds in WoW at the moment, so I dusted off my Death Knight who was sitting at 52/53 in Bastion, switched to Threads of Fate and pushed her to 58 now with dungeons and quests. Out of rested XP or I would’ve continued there I guess. My Druid is still sitting at 154 iLvl and I don’t want to spend time grinding dungeons and I also don’t want to spend gold on upgrades from the AH, guess I’m not enjoying the spec enough.

I stopped going for the Void Elf Heritage set a while ago (didn’t make it to 110 in time, so now the goal was 50) at Level 44, so I was at 150% rested XP and pushed through 3-4 dungeons and Spires of Arakk the last 2 days, hitting Level 50 an hour ago. Not that I particularly like the Ren’dorei set on a Rogue, but I wanted to get this done and now I can shelve her again. This was actually the last Allied Race on the Alliance side, except the Lightforged Draenei where I still haven’t started a character or decided on the class. Paladin or Hunter, maybe. Very much maybe.

Purple = good

With all the Alliance alts I leveled due to being active in the guild, I’ve quite surpassed the Horde ones. Highmountain Tauren and Nightborne still at 27, Vulpera at 13, only Zandalari and Mag’har finished at 45+50.

Maybe I should actually start Mage or Monk, or at least run one of them through the Maw intro and then see if I feel like leveling slowly, but realistically it’s either fast or not at all…