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Dual Spec

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I only shelled out the money for dual spec on my mage so far and I decided to keep my main spec as Frostfire (as I’ve been for the past few months) and take an Arcane raiding spec as my second.  I think I just don’t have the arcana mojo though (or maybe it could just be that I’m geared incorrectly), because doesn’t just eat my mana like a mofo – which I expected – but it also is shelling out consistently less damage and dps on target dummies.  It seems like it might be a good non-aoe trash spec because of the large amount of instants and just the general lack of a 3 second cast (damn you frostfire bolt!  damn you to hell!).  To be fair, I didn’t buy glyphs for this spec yet, so maybe that’s where the 600 dps difference lies, but I doubt it…  I also won’t find out for awhile because glyphs have become so overpriced since the patch.  😮

If you’d like to check out the spec, check out my armory.  And don’t mind the gear…  I have been spending a lot of time with the dummies shuffling around stuff for arcane, so I might be wearing some weird combos.

On a minor note: last night we tried the new boss in vault (no longer lolvault) and actually failed.  But I was able to complete my T7/7.5 set with drops from Archavon and Sartherion.  We had some issues with the firewall glitching, but we were able to do that eventually.

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Written by Mariana

April 18, 2009 at 3:23 pm

Yogg Saron downed in both 25 and 10 man Ulduar

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The guild Legacy has downed Yogg Saron for a world 3rd kill.  What’s difference about this is that they’ve made the world 1st video of it.  Click this for the link over to warcraftmovies.com

The 10 man version of yogg saron is also dead.  Looks like it only took a few days to complete all of the “easy mode” bosses, and there are some guilds already working on the hard modes.  Hodir and Freya have been downed on their hard modes, no doubt someone is trying to kill Algalon before the first raid reset.  Good luck to them!

And to everyone else, good luck to you in Ulduar.  Sadly, I haven’t been able to log on since the patch came out, but I think this weekend will see my priest getting a few more levels.

If you’re in the northeast US, enjoy the weather today!

~Nick Fox

Patch 3.1 hits live servers TODAY! (4/14/09)

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I won’t be able to write the detailed post I’d like to due to real life time crunches affecting me today, but the wordpress community should know that Patch 3.1, Secrets of Ulduar is hitting live realms today.  There will be an extended Tuesday downtime to put the patch all together and serve it up.  hopefully it does not turn into an all day lag and disconnect fest, but deep down we know it probably will.

With this patch comes Ulduar, the new 10 and 25 man raid instance, the Argent Tournament held in Icecrown Glacier, Duel Specs, revamped LFG interface, and really a lot more.  I am kind of hoping the Argent Tournament hangs around for awhile, as I really want to get the mount, tabard, shirt, and pet of my favorite horde city, Silvermoon.  That adds up to 205 champion seals, and my priest is only level 75.  I won’t be able to play until Saturday, so I still need 5 levels and enough time to get 205 seals…It is going to be close >.>

So anyway, I’ll let the offical Secrets of Ulduar trailer do the rest of the talking for me.  Watch it a few times and it will be like you read one of my overly long posts!

~Nick Fox

PS – Why does Varian, Thrall, and Garrosh look so terrible in the face?

Written by Nick

April 14, 2009 at 2:04 pm

You Lack Discipline!

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I hope everyone knows that title as a classic Arnold Schwarzenegger meme, and if you don’t, you know it is now!  ….Go look it up, kiddos.  ANYWAY.  I’ve been up to a lot recently, thus my lack of posting.  I decided to switch mains, away from my elemental shaman and towards my new priest, Vellem.  Vellem is now a level 72 Discipline priest, quickly leveling up to 80.

Vellem

I knew I wanted to heal with my priest…Resto shaman got boring in TBC, and I am really starting to hate Taurens and their hugeness and ugly hooves.  The gear on them also looks bad.  Have you seen a Tauren in level 80 blues and purples that arent tier sets?  Really ugly.  The caster shield from Mexxna doesn’t help either, with its primary color scheme and shiny center.  Taurens also sit on drake mounts as if they’re about to fall off, which annoys me after flying around for awhile.

All this led up to my eventual switch back to priest.  My first level 70 in TBC was an undead priest, and I healed up to ZA with that character as holy.  It is an undead…and the reason I switched from that character to the shaman was because of how badly the gear looked on undead.  I’m sorry, but if I spend weeks farming for an item, or get some lucky drop in an instance, I want to see all of it, not just part of it, and my bones for the rest.  Must every item I get have custom holes cut out for my arms and back hump?  Just cover that back hump with a cloak, I dont need to rip it so I can see 4 vertabre when I hobble around. /rant

So as you can see from the picture, I rolled a Blood Elf, and leveled all the way back up to 70, and now beyond.  The gear, while sometimes has a stupid model, looks great on the Blood Elf.  No bones are showing, my shoes completely cover my feet, and im not overly huge so nothing is streatched out.

I decided to go discipline this time around.  I’ve been reading about priests and have seen that discipline are really good single target healers.  Their shields can soak up a lot of damage, and their crits can apply a new shield, Divine Ageis (if specc’ed for it, which you really should be).  Discipline priests gear/gem more for Spell Power, Crit, Haste, and Intellect, since both the increased mana pool and increased crit chance are both great.  Discipline priests also benefit most from actually health points regained, as opposed to overhealing.  We have talents in our tree that regenerate mana back for each health point returned to the target via our heals, so if we are actually restoring health to say, the main tank, we will get mana back.  Holy has a similar talent that works the exact opposite.  Serendipity, which is far down the Holy tree, regenerates mana back to the priest for each point of overhealing done.

There has been some hatin’ on Discipline priests, saying that if a priest wants to heal they should go Holy, but I think most of those people are misinformed.  Holy priests are better for multi-target/group healing, but they lose on their single target abilities.  Priests are unique in that they are the only class with two completely different healing trees to work with.  It is almost like having a holy paladin and resto shaman at a whim.  Once I get to 80 and start doing heroics/intro raids, I’ll write about how end game Discipline is.  So far, for both soloing/questing and 5-man dungeoneering, Discipline is really working out great.  It is definately a spec that cannot compensate for the rest of the group if they suck, but when the whole group is doing the right thing, this spec really shines.

Here is a link to my leveling spec. I am currently filling out Spirit Tap in the Shadow tree to help me regenerate mana faster while soloing.  Otherwise, work down the Holy tree as you move from 72-80.

Action Shot

~Nick Fox

Quick Update

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Quick because it’s late and I’m sleepy!

1. I got the Loremaster of Kalimdor achievement.  It was the pits, I did more than half of both the AQ and tier .5 quest lines.  Ouch!  I envy the people on wowhead who say that they did this and had quests to spare (and have really no idea how that is even possible).

2. I’m working on the Outland loremaster-related achievements now and they are much easier.  I only have Shadowmoon Valley left.  🙂

3. Mini rant: don’t ask me to link my professions then ask me if I have certain recipes.  Especially if you don’t know what something is called.  Websites related to wow exist so you can look this stuff up.  And even if you don’t want to look it up online, take the time to scroll through my profession that look for yourself.  That’s not my job, it’s yours!

4. Mage is still fun, I’m still frostfire specced.  We joined a new guild called War Council and they’re all nice.  I’ve been running Naxx and pulling about 2.5k dps in general and between 3-3.5k on bosses.  Woohoo!  Not many gear upgrades out there for me anymore, I guess I’ll just have to wait for Blizzard to add more raiding content.

Written by Mariana

April 10, 2009 at 7:37 am

Wrath of the Bitch King… Or How I Came to Hate World of Warcraft’s Second Expansion

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I should have known something was wrong when I first saw the cinematic trailer for Wrath of the Lich King.  My first response: “Where the hell is the catch phrase?”  My second response: “There was not enough epic dragon roaring.”  It’s not that I hate how much talking the Lich King’s dad (the narrator) does, but damn!  Where is my “YOU ARE NOT PREPARED!“?

But it was okay, I let it go.  I let myself get excited for the expansion.  I went to the local mall for the midnight opening and even had a funny moment singing numetal in the car on the way back around 1am.  Installed the expansion.  Played a little that night.  Wasn’t really impressed with Howling Fjord, but I just accepted that as stemming from my dislike of forest-y zones in WoW.

It’s been a few months now and I still don’t like this expansion, especially when I compare it with The Burning Crusade.  First let me say a couple things that I like about the playing now, so I don’t sound like a complete psycho bitch:

1. Reputation grinding is less painful now with the Tabard system.

2. Heroics are easily pug-able and they are the correct difficulty.  There was nothing more irritating in TBC than the fact that you needed Karazhan+ gear in order to run heroics.  The rewards in WotLK heroics adequately prepare players for the first tier of raiding.

3. The phasing stuff allows for more interesting questing and more inclusion of lore.

Okay now that I sound fair and balanced (haha), let me complain about what sucks:

1. There are not enough aliens.  I love aliens and demons and I remember being totally amazed by new models in TBC like those weird ravagers.  A slightly reworked model of a wolf I saw in Silverpine Forest?  Not so impressive.

2. The zones all look the same.  In WotLK you can choose between a snowy zone (Dragonblight and Storm Peaks), a foresty zone (Howling Fjord and Grizzly Hills), or an lichy zone (Zul’Drak or Icecrown).  I know a lot of people hated the transitions between zones in Outland, and I admit that it seemed a little implausible that you could go from Hellfire Peninsula to Zangarmarsh in a few short steps, but at least I wasn’t bored to death!  And just an aside: I don’t play with game music on very often, and I blame the viking soundtrack in Northrend.

3. Dalaran sucks unless you have an awesome computer.  If you have an awesome computer, Dalaran still sucks, just a little less.  Making Dalaran such a clusterfuck (for lack of a better term) was a really bad move on Blizzard’s part.  I’m not even going to complain about feeling like I’m in a more glowy Stormwind when I’m there, because I can deal with that.  But why couldn’t the game designers make the city just 1.5 or 2 times its size right now so that I’m not having to load 100 characters every time I go over there?  When I first heard about this city, I was excited because people told me that Alliance and Horde would have their own separated areas.  This could have been much more present, I feel like we are barely separated at all, which just adds to my lag.

4. The gear is ugly and repetitive.  I’ve made posts about this in the past.  It’s enough to say that there are not enough unique models for gear, especially when you’re leveling.

5. The gear reset was too soft.  I will preface this point by acknowledging that 90% of people will disagree with me on this.  I loved when I stepped into Outland and suddenly the quest greens were better than the blues and purples I had been working so hard on before.  It was fun to replace all of your stuff, even if it was very colorful and admitedly a little ugly.  The feeling of being in a new world was totally awesome.  Arco (my hunter) came into Northrend wearing a mixture of gear from Zul’Aman, Hyjal, Black Temple, and some crafted items.  I did not get to replace one piece of gear on her until level 77, if I remember correctly (I might have replaced a trinket at 75, not sure).  Even Eau (my mage), who was wearing mostly crafted and Karazhan gear, didn’t really get to replace items until 73 or 74.  I know that some people are very attached to their tier gear that they worked so hard towards, blah blah blah.  I can only agree with those sentiments if I’m staying the same area.  If I got a whole new expansion, I want gear that looks good and new and fun in the first few levels!

6. The expansion was released with too few raids.  Let’s be honest: Blizzard didn’t even make a raid for the release of WotLK, they retooled a raid (Naxxramas) they had already made for vanilla WoW.  The other raids currently in the game are only encounters (Malygos, Vault, and Sartherion).  People had Naxx on farm within the first week of the expansion.  Within a month, less hardcore players were pugging both 10 and 25-man Naxx.  I was in a 25-man Naxx pug last night that had no trouble downing any of the bosses, even though many of the players were there for the first time.  I am not complaining about Naxx being too easy – Kara was frustrating and broke up a lot of the more casual guilds in early TBC that couldn’t get past Moroes or Curator – I’m just saying that, if Naxx is going to be this easy, there needs to be something else to move on to.  I know that Ulduar is coming out soon, and it’ll be interesting to see how well they tool the difficulty and gear jump.  A lot of people that aren’t in raiding guilds have been pugging Naxx 25-man and will (in theory) be geared for Ulduar.  Are we expecting to see a lot of Ulduar pugs too?  If so, is Blizzard coming out with new content soon after Ulduar?  I feel like they could have delayed the release of this expansion a few months and included a more fleshed out raiding environment.  In TBC, we started off the expansion with Karazhan, Gruul’s Lair, Magtheridon’s Lair, Serpentshrine Cavern, and Tempest Keep –  and people weren’t even progressing past Kara and Gruul’s that quickly!  Blizzard needed to realize that by making the entry-level raiding easier, they would need more content.

7. The achievement system is an excuse to make less raiding content.  This point also requires a preface: I like individual player-based achievements.  I like doing Loremaster because it shows me quests and zones that I had skipped.  What I don’t like is that people seem to think that Blizzard’s lack of content is excusable by the large amount of achievements associated with heroics and raids.  First of all, achievements are predictable.  I was joking around today with Nick that if there had been achievements for Kara, there would have been one to kill Curator without killing any sparks, or to kill Moroes and all of this guests within 5 seconds of each other.  This doesn’t bother me that much, but it is kind of annoying.  What bothers me more is that Blizzard is trying to just recycle content and make it seem newer and more challenging by just adding some small reward, like achievement points that get you nothing but bragging rights.  They are encouraging people to do content in the most stupidly difficult way for the same gear rewards (the exception to this is Sartherion with 1, 2, or 3 drakes up).  A solution to this would be to maybe make certain raid encounters “unlock” once people have done certain achievements, but even then I wouldn’t like it because it’s just giving a new name to attunements.

8. There are too many dailies.  Again, I am not interested in doing the same unchallenging and boring content over and over again.  There were too many dailies in TBC too, so this is just a general gripe with all of WoW.  Dailies are unecessary!  There I said it!  Once you have your flight skill, you don’t really need that much gold anymore.  Blizzard added so many money sinks into this game (like super expensive mounts, pets, spells) that people are focusing more on doing some rotation of the same 50 quests in order to get a toy train set.  I already do that in real life – I save money to buy things that are actually real.  Do I need to spend hours earning and saving virtual money so that I can have a mammoth in a game?  I don’t think so.  You’d be better off not doing dailies and working a part time job in real life.  Then you can buy your own real life mammoth and pile your low level friends on it.

9. Arena rewards are too good.  I don’t know that much about Arena or PvP, but why the hell would you ever give PvPers the first frost wyrm?!  Enough said.

Will Ulduar have a more “offical” preview?

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Anyone who played from the begining of The Burning Crusade should remember the awesome video previews of Black Temple, Zul’Aman, and Sunwell.  They told a story and really got into some of the lore of the respective raid instance.  I am kind of ‘meh’ on the video preview we have gotten for Ulduar so far.  The music is pretty epic, and I’m hoping that is one of the new music files added for the raid instance, but I want more story.  How about Norganonn (sp) telling the story of the Titans locking up Ulduar to contain the ancient evil creeping up from the ground.  Or Thorim talking about how much revenge he needs to wreck upon those who corrupted his brother Loken.  Give us some more story Blizzard…we know Ulduar looks awesome, and sounds awesome…but don’t make us tell the story ourselves.  I want to know why I have to subdue Hodir* and the other temple guardians of Storm Peaks and why we have to go kill Yogg-Saron.  I mean, maybe being mind-controlled by him forever has its benefits?  I NEED YOU TO TELL ME IT DOESNT BLIZZARD!

Here’s to hoping for another, more substantial video preview…

~Nick

* I say subdue for a reason…Hodir has been up on the PTR from last night and he actually warps away in the end…maybe to help in a future fight?

Written by Nick

February 28, 2009 at 1:33 am