Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Baby Girl and the Sunwell

We had a baby girl on Easter which is why nothing has happened here. Longest break from WoW I've had in a while too, and it was quite nice. She's a gorgeous dark haired little beauty.

We returned home with our new little baby Tuesday afternoon - so I didn't have to wait for the maintenance to be completed. I logged in, installed the patch, and got a quest to go speak with somebody on a boat at the Sunwell offensive. I must say I like the changes to Shattrath. It is definitely a more interesting place now - and I like the Sunwell Tabard! Hopefully I'll be able to get one.

The biggest thing I learned from my first excursion on the Isle was that our server has a ridiculously wide gap in the numbers of alliance players versus the number of horde players. Alliance-side Dragonmaw tops our Battlegroup in Arenas, and our top raiding guilds are quite a bit further than the Horde counterparts. But when there are 40 lvl 70 Horde running around an area where there are 10 lvl 70 Alliance... you will be ganked.

I was able to see some of Magister's Terrace - and I barely made it into the instance because of the mass of horde hanging around the summoning stone.

So. So far I think what I've seen is very cool (although nothing that new if you've played through the Blood Elf starting zones!) - but it's a somewhat small area for the number of lvl 70s running through!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Rogues are FUN!

As I've mentioned a couple of times, I've been playing my rogue Katryona a lot lately due to some slow times with where I'm at on Tigersoul right now. Basically it's hard to get my guild together for instances to get us into Kara. However we did Slabs last night and got the first key fragment for a bunch of our members. We would have done more too, but I had to go. Having sick family is no fun.

But Rogues ARE fun. Oh yah... the title already says that. Well I'll even say it again, again! Rogues are FUN!!

I love the ability to sneak around and kill things quite quickly. I thought I wouldn't survive long, and there are times I don't survive long enough sure - but with all my evasion and escape techniques, I live a LOT more than I die.

It's silly, but one of my absolute favorite places to be as a Rogue is surrounded by lots of pick pocketable humanoids. Sap-pickpocket, sap-pickpocket, Mwahahahahaaa! Do it some more!! With subtlety talents, unless I am attempting more then 2 levels higher than me they rarely resist unless I'm positioned weird. And then I Vanish and keep on going.

I have gone entirely subtlety so far. I LOVE it. In fact, both the lvl 70 rogues in my guild are Hemo/Shadowstep builds (can you tell we are a non-raiding guild on a pvp server?) but they've chosen slightly different emphasis's that somehow seem to work well for them. I don't understand not taking Cheat Death though. I LOVE that one. For a while I think I'm going to try putting all points into Subtlety just for fun. I'll respec to something more useful closer to 70.

Before I get to 60 I need to complete all the Sunken Temple quests and finish the AV quests. Sadly the last AV quest I have is the one where all you have to do is Defeat Drek'thar. I've done about 10 AVs (and got some NICE xp from those quests too!!) and my HK's went from 20 (all world-kills usually helping other allies in trouble or revenge on gankers) to over 300. AV is fun. Strange that in the 51-60 bracket I haven't won yet...

Now for some linkage!
There are some really good Rogue Blogs out there that have helped me a lot. - Sure sure Doomilias talks about poo a lot, but he also has some really really good tips on playing rogues. All his early posts are Mutilate-centric, but he has tried out some of the others as well. Also has the best Nerfs ever. Picked me some up for the wife and kids just yesterday! Oh and for me too. - Valenna blogs about a multitude of topics, but my favorite so far is her pre-Kara Rogue gear guide. I'm looking forward to using it, or start picking some of those items up when I get to Outlands SOON!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Common Courtesy

Too often people are greedy jerks on the internet - especially in online games. Anonymity, much like being part of a huge mob, turns people into major idiots.

Now in MMORPGs, there are terms for such people; Loot Whores, Ninjas, Greedy SOBs, you get the picture.

Now this person I grouped with wasn't exactly one of those, not quite... but what they did was definitely inconsiderate. A guild member who I helped get attuned to Ogri'la the other day needed help with one of the group quests in Ogri'la. Guardian of the Monument

Party setup was as follows, Me the Feral Tank, Guildmate BM Hunter (party leader with lag problems to boot), Arms/Fury Warrior, Holy Pally Healer, Combat Rogue. Of the 5 members, 3 were on the quest, and those 3 were also not the most geared 70s out there. The Warrior, like me, had his Netherwing and Nether Ray mounts, and more Epic gear than me (Mostly PvP, but on a PvP server that's what you NEED). So basically he and I were helping these people new to Ogri'la.

So we get to the big Simon Says marker and I start directing people where they need to be and asking who wanted to use their shards to activate the Guardian, when the Warrior dismounts and activates it before anybody was ready. So the Simon Says game doesn't go properly because people weren't ready, and the Guardian comes. Now I'm not sure if the fight is harder if you mess up the Simon Says part, but this guardian really isn't that hard either way. Just WHY did the guy start the event before anyybody was ready? The Guardian goes down, and hey, nice! A blue Apexis Crystal! Everybody Greeds because this is a pick up group for the most part, but wait a minute - Why did the Warrior NEED it?? I'm a little annoyed but just get past it and we all head back to the Skyguard base so those who needed to could turn in the quest.

Wait a minute what's this? Why is this Warrior now walking on the ground on his dragon with me on autofollow?? I should have been mean and played a trick on him. I considered it... but I'm too nice.

Suddenly he comes back and says "Follow" and flies north to the Fel Cannon place and then says "If you provide the Shards to summon Need the blue crystal everybody else pass" Huh? Now in general that's not a bad idea - but when you've already Needed a blue crystal without telling anybody this "rule" and you also don't even give anybody else the OPTION to use their shards to summon... that's crap. If you want this to work - at least do a /roll on who uses their shards to summon and basically get the blue crystal. His method was rude and greedy, and not a good example to these new-to-Ogri'la 70s.

I am not Exalted with Ogri'la yet - I haven't done their quests for a while because I haven't needed to - I was going for Skyguard rep as Ogri'la doesn't have anything I really want (other than their Tabard, since I somewhat collect those). I still have close to 800 Apexis Shards in my bags, no idea how many I have in my bank. The Warrior claimed to have over 4k. It costs 35 to summon the Guardians. I thought the way he went about it was lame and inconsiderate.

Flu Season?!?

Yeah my family has been wiped out for almost a week by the worst sicknesses we've seen in a long time.

No fun.

Even worse - my wife is over 38 weeks pregnant... so we could be having this baby ANYTIME!! (the only reason that is "worse" is because of the sickness - we are excited for this baby)

I did play a lot, so I'll hopefully have plenty to write about before I am gone again for the baby. We have 2 boys now, so we're excited to be (possibly) finishing with a girl!

I'm looking forward to the new patch content because Tigersoul is bored with doing the same things over and over again. A rant on other annoyances forthcoming. :)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Ogri'la Attunement for everyone!!

Last night we got a bunch of our new 70s (and some of the older ones) "Attuned" to Ogri'la.

I would have rather been getting us Keyed for Kara, even though that may be obsolete VERY soon. I still want it done.

Anyway, the Big Bear Butt Blogger has some excellent guides on Daily quests, but this one here on becoming Neutral with Ogri'la is very useful.

I have killed all of the slobbering sons of Gruul; Slaag, Maggoc, and Grulloc, but when I initially did their quests (1, 2, 3) I was lucky enough to tag along with a horde group killing the three so I didn't have to fight at all. Unfortunately I didn't know that I could also tag along for the last two parts, Grim(oire) Business, and Into the Soulgrinder.

Last night I tanked them all and Slaag was the hardest part. He has some cone shaped acid breat that comes out and knocks you back quite a bit - so the best thing to do is have all the non-tanks inside while you tank him in the doorway, with your back to the wall so you don't get knocked back much. We wiped the first time because we had no idea what was going on. Other than that, these guys are all pretty tough - but easy with a good group.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Netherwing Drake and more!

Yesterday, or was it the day before yesterday...?

Argh! I hate you Daylight Savings!!

Actually I am mad at Daylight Savings Time (DST) because it has messed up my Arena schedule. My partners in doing PvP (and doing it badly, but we are improving!) are in Australia... in fact in one of the states of Australia that DOESN'T have DST, so they come online an hour later now, which makes it difficult to get the 10 Arena matches done... especially when we are starting late anyway. So instead we tried to raid Thunder Bluff with 3 people... a 62 Druid that yelled in Stormwind trying to start it all... a 70 rogue (guildmate and Arena partner) and myself. More on that later.

Most exciting news of the night - I can finally stop using that Silver Nether Ray, which just makes me nauseous now bouncing up and down like that, and have gotten myself a Black Netherwing Dragon! Okay, so technically it's "Onyx" but whatever. I think if you were to look at the Netherwing Market, over 80% is Onyx. The only one I would even consider getting is the Cobalt, but it's not as cool as the Onyx.

So here we are - pictures of the gloriousness - oh and you can see my new shoulders I talked about as well! (Thankfully... no visible flowers - at least I don't think so)

So there you have it. Definitely cool - because Dragons, are definitely awesome.

So back to the Thunder Bluff raid. We didn't have much time - my partner and I were considering trying to get our Arenas in (only an hour and a half left 'til rollover and 2v2 queues are horrid), when somebody yells they are starting a stealth raid of Druids and Rogues to Thunder Bluff and we're meeting in Theramore. So we decide that sounds fun. On the flight to Menethil I ask my rogue friend, "So... how many people do you think will be there?" He says..."3" And he was right. We probably should have spent the time helping a guildie in the Blood Furnaces, but we were already on our way when they asked, so we had fun making horde run around trying to find us.

One thing I don't understand... when we attacked NPCs in Thunder Bluff, Bluffwatchers, the lvl 65 guards popped out of nowhere and started beating on us, and as soon as we get one of them down, another shows up. I'm pretty sure this doesn't happen in Stormwind when it gets raided. Am I wrong? Or is this a Horde only effect? Interesting.

Visiting Thunder Bluff brought back some good memories. TB is quite confusing at first - but once you get to know it - I think it's one of my favorite cities.

And finally - if you are going to "stealth raid" an enemy city - you should probably do a couple of things:
a) get some of your own guildies to come with you and don't expect people to come if you just yell in a major city
b) be a level or 5 higher than the basic city guards so you can sneak by them
c) 3 people isn't a raid
d) Enjoy it no matter what - because the confusion of the opposing forces really can be a funny thing to watch! Stealth FTW! (I still wish Catform had vanish...)

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Gear To The Rescue!!

What do you do to get yourself out of a funk?

Go shopping of course!!

So Tigersoul has been in a bit of a rut - but started to come out of it a bit when the strongest members of the guild decided it was time to get attuned. A little late sure, but it has gotten us running instances which is a very good thing. My guildmates aren't the best players in the world - but we just GET each other, and we work very well together. Group quests and instances fall before our might! Arena teams quake... although mostly that's just laughter... but anyway.

I had 1311 Arena points and for some reason I didn't think it was enough to get anything I wanted. I may have been saving up for later as well, but in the end - I decided I needed to spend ALL but 7 of those points and pick up the Merciless Gladiator's Dragonhide Spaulders, which I've always thought looked very cool, and have some very nice stats on them. Currently they replace the shoulders in both my tanking and DPS slots. DPS/PVP set is now at just over 250 resilience. Not bad. We'll see how it works out in Arenas this week.

So I logged into WoW today, got to the character select screen and admired my new Shoulders when I noticed something. WAaa-hay-hay-hayyyy-t a minute...?!?! Are those FLOWERS that occasionally bloom on my shoulders?! Holy moly way to ruin a really cool look, lol.

I was talking to my friend Helstrike about it - she has the same shoulders, but the resto version - and we think that each spec needs a different animation. Flowers popping out is GREAT for a Resto Druid. But a Feral or Balance druid?? Come on! I'm tough! MANLY! RAWR!! Give me some CLAWS or SPIKES or SNAKES or something. And my Boomkin friends need little explosions or lightning popping out of those babies! Yeah, THAT's the ticket!

Anyway - helping my guildies (and myself) get closer to Kara, my new shoulders, and non-PUG instances have basically gotten Tiger out of his rut. I think it also helps that Katryona is in need of some Rested XP.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Back To The Roots

What was your first character? Not the one you started on your friends account to check out the game and you got to level 5 before deciding you wanted to get this game for yourself. No and not the one you started when you got the game thinking you really wanted to be a Paladin because they get swords, plate armor AND healing (woot!) but got tired of at level 13 and a half. I mean the first REAL MAIN character that you played and loved - proudly newbying your way around Azeroth enjoying the views.

My first main was Bullfist, an Enhancement Tauren Shaman on the US Thrall PvE server. I started on that server because a coworker (who was actually my supervisor at that time) had recently started WoW on that server. Before WoW I played Final Fantasy XI and had to quit twice. That game was a lot of fun, and I have some good memories from it. Enough time had passed that I was wanting to play a MMORPG, so I convinced my wife to let me try WoW and I've enjoyed it since.

Last night I logged onto Tigersoul and tried to do some Dailies to make some cash. After being ganged up on by roving gangs of Horde (never can take me one on one the wimps) I got really tired of it. It seems lately that I really only enjoy playing Tiger when I'm helping a guildie or grouping with my guild - like when we did Ramps and Old Hillsbrad. So I decided to play Soulfist, my Draino Shaman for a while, and thought about Bullfist.

It's been a LONG time since I logged into Bullfist. I logged in, looked at my talents and thought to myself "HOLY COW! Zero points in any tree??" and fixed that putting everything into Enhancement. I guess some major changes were made to the Shaman Talents a few patches back (It's been since April of last year that I really played this char) so mine had been wiped clean. Right after finishing that (taking Dual-Wield and Advanced Dual-Wield only to realize I only had one 1-handed weapon on me, DOH) a blood elf rode up to me and said "I'll give you 10g if you help me with a quest." "What quest?" "The Mind's Eye"

"Oh sure I'll help with that, it's easy since the ogres aren't elite anymore" So a Belf Hunter and Cow Shammy ride off to the Ogres cave and take care of business. Wow I am rusty. It seems that Tauren move a bit slower than other races, or seem to. Anyway, I run out of mana REAL fast, and with only 1 weapon don't hit hard enough, but it was still easy. The blood elf had earlier given me the 10g, but really, as I don't plan on playing this char too much, after we finished, I opened a trade with him and gave him 30g, told him why, and he said "Wow, I went from broke (I guess that 10g to finish this quest with him was all he had) to rich thanks a lot!" and went on to say that he was glad to see not all WoW players are a bunch of jerks. New player - maybe now he'll stick around for a while.

Oh... I also found out that my old guild fell apart sometime ago and as the highest ranking officer - I ended up Guild Master. So now I have leadership of 3 Guilds... HA!

Finally, I would like to thank Mini Snickers and Twix for pulling me out of my lack-of-sleep-induced coma enough that my coworkers made me go home and rest to recover. If there is anything coherent or useful here... it's their fault entirely.

I specialize in incoherent uselessness. Sugar is the elixir of life. I missed my Mt. Dew this morning and I haven't recovered from that yet. Being sick stinks. Oh well it was nice to get off work early.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Ramblings of the WoW and Non-WoW Sort

Sorry for the lack of posting lately.

Kids are sick and it finally caught up with me as well. Seems like there is a lot of that going around, and then people slam up a lot of amazing posts that I barely have time to read!

On top of that I've got a possible job change going on at work that is distressing because the only reason I'd take this job is more money. Tough decisions.

For the past week or so I've also been obsessed with my Rogue Katryona - leveled her from 24 to 42 in the past little bit, and it's been fun! I've learned that while my PvP skills (regular SouthShore vs. Tarren Mill world-type pvp I mean!) are passable as a Feral druid - I need some SERIOUS work as a rogue. I should probably take her into some BGs.

One of my favorite things to do as a rogue is sap and pickpocket every humanoid possible. So I went subtlety. Some say that's not a good leveling spec but DANG! It's fun and I kill fairly quickly and survive very very well. My Talent choices might be a little strange though... any thoughts from Rogue-specialists out there?

My guild is finally starting to instance together. We "4-manned" Durnholde in the Caverns of Time - 70 Druid, 70 Rogue, 69 Paladin, 66 Druid. It was a lot of fun! For some reason my favorite fights are the ones where there are so many mobs attacking that a wipe seems imminent, then somehow, that amazing druid tank busts his way through and keeps aggro on all of them and nobody dies. Yes, it is MUCH easier to do in a lvl 66ish Caverns of Time instance, but I've had it happen in Heroic SLabs too (although unfortunately, that time 2 or 3 people died before we were safe... but it was still fun!)

Once we get more 70s and a few of us get the key - we should be about ready to get some Kara going by the beginning of next patch! When nobody else is doing Kara anymore! Can I hear a big fat "WOOT!?"

Now all I need is the 3rd fragment from Arcatraz and the Black Morass Event and I'll be good to go.