Better late than never

23 February 2010 § Leave a comment

As you probably noticed, I didn’t manage to get anything up during maintenance – nor during the following week, or the one after… The reason is quite simple: I found myself with a lot of free time, so I caught up with playing – and ended up with no time for blogging. See, blogging is normally something I do when I have a short break in my work day, or while I’m cooking something or waiting for something: in other words when I have about 10 minutes free. Ten minutes is too short a time to log in and do anything meaningful – and there’s only so much surfing on the internet I can do. So, ironically, when I have a lot of free time, I end up blogging less, because I’m playing more.

Enough with the intro, let’s get on with some updating. First things first: we got Sindragosa down. We cleared the whole instance last week, then extended the lockout so that we could start straight with Sindragosa. The fight is an interesting twist on the traditional dragon fights – in fact, it is actually not that dissimilar to Sapphiron in many ways, but the addition of the Frost Tomb mechanic makes it unique enough. The slightly annoying thing about it is that the really hard part is phase 3, which triggers when Sindragosa goes below 35% health. That means there’s a LONG setup time: for a long time, we had periods of 6 mins of relatively boring fight to get to the meaty part. Add to that the fact that during those 6 mins there’s a ton of things that can go wrong stupidly and kill one or another of your raiders, and you have a lot of time wasted before you can actually learn. I hope to actually put up a post about Sindragosa impressions.

This also means we got to see the Lich King: in fact, we spent a full day on him. So far, I really like the fight: it is extremely unforgiving of mistakes, in a way that is reminiscent of Algalon. We got as far as phase 2, managing (once) to kill the Val’kyr before it took off with her hapless victim. We are probably going to extend the lockout this week again, to be able to work on him more. If I had to be completely honest, I doubt we will manage to get him this week: I feel we’re still very far from having everything under control. If that’s the case, I also wouldn’t want our raiders to get burned out on the fight before its time – so it may be better to reclear this week, even if that means spending less time on the LK, and then extending it next week. I guess we’ll discuss it a bit and then decide.

In other raid news, our resto druid, Marjoram, decided to take a WoW break – it’s always a pity when one of our raiders needs to leave us for real life reasons, but of course it’s completely understandable and I wish him the best of luck for everything. The good news is that two days before Jarbel, the dps warrior who raided Ulduar with us, had let us know he was ready to come back into full time raiding. Jarbel is one of my favourite WoW people: we started raiding in June 2004, when he was an officer in Hand of the Forsaken and I was a fresh 60 priest. He took some breaks, switched mains (from warlock to holy priest to dps warrior) but he’s really a great guy, so I’m quite happy to have him back. So, our line up now is: Pally tank, DK tank, Disc priest (me), Holy/shadow priest x2, Resto/Enhancement Shaman, Enh Shaman, Ele Shaman, Aff Warlock, DPS Warrior, Rogue (and I suck at rogues, so I actually don’t know anything about Killetheth’s spec – as far as I’m concerned he’s specced into ZOMG LOTSA DAMAGE).

This week I’ve also taken a hard look at my alts, and made sure their gear was in good shape. I now have six 80s, most of them with dual specs, some with a modicum of pvp gear – so I’m trying to keep something ridiculous like 12 gear sets up to date, gemmed, enchanted etc. I think it’s no surprise when I sometimes realise I have completely forgotten to upgrade one piece or another of the various 12 sets (like upgrading pvp sets, or using emblems to upgrade secondary spec sets, etc.).Thegood news is that this week I managed to do Vault10, Vault25, and the weekly raid quest with all of my toons – which means the badges have started flowing!

Torjin, my mage, got into an ICC10 raid with some guildies. We killed Festergut and tried Rotface, so it was an ok run. It started pretty badly, with a lot of disorganisation, and a fairly unpleasant raid leader (the type that accuses the other raiders for all wipes without looking at his own performance). Irons and Malicent, the two guildies who are regulars in that run, are awesome, so I managed to blank out the raid leader and focus on doing my job. I got a nice upgrade, a haste helm, which helped me in the ongoing quest to get Torjin’s hit rating down. It is now finally down to 6% from gear, which is 12% with talents – which means I FINALLY need to swap pieces in for bosses. Torjin is also trying to complete the Loremaster achievement, and I’m seriously running out of Kalimdor quests… I’m finally happy about his dps: he won’t be topping charts, but he does well enough that I can confidently offer him as a replacement dps for various friends’ run.

Parocles, the shaman, finally replaced his horrid Naxx10 boots (with the crafted Ulduar boots, which are still a decent upgrade) and Naxx25 belt (with the Frost Emblem belt). I also managed to get him the Love’s Fool achievement, so he’s still on track for the violet proto-drake (I need to start doing elders, though). He also came in for Lady Deathstrike for the ICC10 run Torjin was in, given we had only one DK as physical damage. My dps on Parocles is still a lot lower than it should be – but it’s geting better. The problem here is my gameplay: I’ve never played FPS games, and I’m still a keyboard turner – that is barely acceptable as a healer or a ranged dps, but a serious drawback for a melee dps, imho. I’m getting better, now doing a mix of mouse and keyboard movements – Parocles is really my experiment and an attempt to challenge myself to play a bit differently and better, so again, I’m quite happy with how that’s working out.

Alteria, my paladin tank, mostly improved her healing set: emblem shoulders and T9 helm, and now her set is decent. I’ve been musing about switching to using her for my 10man healing, given how much better paladins scaled instead of Disc priests – but I’ll only do that if I really have to. No matter how much I love my alts, Tsark is and always will be my main, and that will change only if I realise that Holy paladins really ARE that much more powerful and could help us get through the content a lot better.

Kleraton, my boomkin/resto druid, is the alt that saw the least action – and thus the least upgrades. For the boomkin set, I’m a bit loath to break the 2T8/2T9 set up I have now. I think I’m gonna wait until 2T10, which should happen in a couple of weeks, unless I get lucky with Vault drops. On the resto side, the 4T9 will stay with me for a long long time. I also went to ICC with him too, and scored a pair of haste legs – I may switch around my resto pieces and get them to work for the resto set. I really like resto healing, but I feel I need a lot more practice with him with both specs – the boomkin spec in particular I need to get more used to, as I still miss too many eclipse procs (I’m seriously thinking about power auras)

Gramlor, my latest 80, got T10 gloves in Vault10, and then the T10 shoulders from emblems – making it my first character with any T10 and the first with a T10 set bonus to boot. Ironic that it had to be my latest 80, but hey, that’s the nature of the RNG loot from vault. Also, remember when I said that sometimes I don’t check the gear sets of my characters and thus it gets completely out of whack? Gramlor had 19% hit from gear when I started this week…. Now he’s down to a more manageable 11%

Finally, to conclude this latest update on all my toons (which people probably don’t care too much about…), I’m happy to report that my new laptop is working a LOT better than my old one. So maybe I can manage to improve a bit my situational awareness by actually, you know, SEEING the ground shit, and not just guessing where it is based on the three weird pixels moving over there. On the other hand, no more “sorry, didn’t see the void zone” excuse for me…

Star people

23 October 2009 § 1 Comment

Tsark 091022 - Algalon killshotA couple of months after we first saw him, and with a raid that is 50% different, yesterday we managed to take down Algalon. Great timing, I must say – my raiding group has gone through some pretty disappointing raids in the last couple of weeks, so hopefully this will be a great morale booster. In typical fashion, we managed to do it on the very last pull of the night (we had 4 mins left on the Algalon timer), and with two raiders replaced just before we started Algalon pulls – one of which is actually only a friend, who had never even seen the room before.

On a side note, Tsark finally has a neat title – “of the Nightfall” is now too inflationed, I missed out on “Champion of Ulduar”, so I had to use “the Diplomat” for the last couple of weeks (which, admittedly, suits Tsark’s personality very well).

On a second side note, yeah I know I said I won’t turn this into a blog glorifying my raid group – but it’s my blog. So I can change my mind. So there.

On a third side note, wow our group sucks at posing for screenshots.

For the Horde!

30 September 2009 § 2 Comments

Tsark090930 - Horde Wolf small
I’m not gonna turn this into a blog about my raiding group more than it has to be, but some news just need to be shared. Tonight, we went in ToGC aiming to get Tribute to Mad Skills (45 attempts left) – and we ended up with a Tribute to Insanity (all 50 attempts left). To top it all off, the raid decided to give the Horde Wolf to me (well, after I pointed out that I was 2 mounts away from the achievement, but that’s just minor prodding, right? Right?). So in conclusion:
1. ToC still sucks, even when you complete all the hard modes in 3 weeks total
2. My group, on the other hand, rocks
3. Algalon needs to stop playing hard to get and just fall dead.

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