Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Scarlet Monestary Graveyard

This was my random instance _5_ times in a row last night.  I pretty much hit the spectrum of players, too.

First group with a chain pulling / charging warrior (was awesome, we finished it before the 15 minute debuff even wore off).  Second was a real gem. 

We zone in, and get rolling.  I start following the warrior who just runs forward and proceeds to tank stuff.  Meanwhile the paladin just starts dealing on the warrior.  "Dude, wtf are you doing man?"

I'm confused, since he seems to be tanking just fine.

"Dude, wtf man, you are prot?  Omg I can't believe this, you are such a noob!"

I ask what the problem is, and the pally mentions that he is supposed to be tanking, and that the warrior was tagged as a DPS for the instance.  I check recount, and the warrior is just below me for DPS.  I point this out, but they seem to not notice.

The pally keeps going on about how much of a failure the warrior is, and how he and I are what are wrong with the new random instance LFG system.

We get to the crypt, and the paladin proceeds to run to the bottom, without killing anything, then finally drops a consecration.  Once the boss was down, they then turn to name calling, while attempting to troll me, and claim that I must be one of those 40 year old losers living in my mom's basement, and get my kicks by picking fights on the internet.

I point out that they were the ones that started a fight, but if they had such a bad grouping experience with me, they could put me on ignore so as not to have to group with me again.  They disband from the group, and I followed suit.

This, dear reader, is exactly the kind of humor I was looking for in the random dungeon LFG system.  Random people being complete fuckwads for no apparent reason.

The other three times I ran it after this were all good fast runs.  One of them the druid tank decided he didn't want to tank, and asked me to.  Told him I couldn't (have my -30% threat talent now), but it doesn't really matter, so he went cat form and we just blazed through the remainder of the instance.  It's a shame none of these runs count toward my pug or 'the Patient' title though.

I did hit level 31 on the shaman in all of that, however.

Additionally, I fired up a second banker to handle my JC work.  I figure I can use that banker to buy the titanium with while buying and selling gems to ensure that I don't sink too much money into the project at one time.  I bought 5 stacks of titanium on my main banker and prospected them.  It gained me 19 titanium powder, and 6 epic gems.  That is an overall net loss, even after the gems were cut and sold.  Thus, I will likely do that once per week or so, and simply buy raw gems to cut the rest of the time to fund the titanium purchases.

I am, however, still above 20kg, so things are still not doing too bad.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Level 30!

So, I hit level 30 on the shaman this weekend, mostly through BG runs.  Hooray Windfury!  Of course, using a 3.8 speed Axe, I rarely get to see the graphic, since it will generally 1 shot whatever it is I'm trying to kill at the time, so I don't even get the animation.  My target just falls over in a very anti-climatic way.

That said, the holidays are here, so play time is at a minimum.  I haven't raided since I last wrote about our lack of attendance on progression nights.  Thus why my shaman has been seeing the majority of the playtime.

I have, however, kept up an inventory of enchants so far, the most popular of which are Crusader selling for ~300g, Blood Draining going for 800-1000g, Blade Ward selling for 6-700g, +8 stats to chest selling for 75g (a 200% profit) and Enchant Weapon - Greater Potency selling for 60g (also a 200% profit).

Finally, reselling Arrows and Bullets continues to be a booming business.

After buying mats to replenish my inventory on the AH, my banker is sitting at just over 20kg.  Still a long way off of the gold cap, but progress is still being made.  I may start to recycle some of the cash from enchanting into Jewelcrafting so I can buy some of the more profitable recipes.  The problem with this, is there are always so few raw epic gems on the AH, that I could only get a few at a time, so it may not have a very solid ROI, and I may be better off simply concentrating on Enchanting for making money right now, and do JC right once Cataclysm comes out.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Aversion to Progression

So, this is something that I have observed lately, and find it baffling.

People who like to call themselves the hard core raider, don't actually like to do progression fights.  Oh, they love seeing new content, they just don't want to have to work with a steady group of people on learning said fights.  They would much rather the encounter be nice and smooth, without a learning curve, and get angry if any mistakes are made.

Myself, I love the challenge.  Our first two Heartbreaker (25) kills, were post enrage, with me healing wildly, popping all my CDs to keep people alive for that last 100k damage to tick and get the kill.  Those kills were damn exciting, and a lot of fun.  Our third kill was finally pre-enrage, with 24 people left alive at the end of it.  The fight was no where near as fun, since it was no where near as challenging once everyone knew what to do and where to go. 

Now we are progressing into ICC25.  Our first raid night, we ended up having to sit a couple of people, simply because we had such a turn out.  Everyone wanted to see the new content.  We downed Marrowgar after a few of the new people got used to the mechanics, then moved on to Lady Deathwhisper.  This was as far as they made it last week during my move. We wiped a few times as people were again getting used to the mechanics of the fight, and learning to CC the MC'd target's not kill them (I took to cycloning them, as it kept them out of the mix, and prevented people from killing them).

Next we move onto the Gunship Loot Machine, and one shot that, although a bit sloppily.  The sloppiness was to be expected, since a number of people hadn't even seen the encounter yet.  We move to Saurfang, but only have about 30 minutes left in raid at this point.  We get three attempts in and try to change things up a bit with what we learn from each attempt.  There was a little progression in the attempts here, but ultimately we ended up with Saurfang still up. 

That was Wednesday.  Yesterday, we log in at raid time, and there are 17 people online, we end up having to pug 8 people, and even have to do free roll for loot.  Worse yet, there is no way we are taking 8 PuGs to ICC25, as it would simply be an exercise in futility.  Thus, we find ourselves in 25ToC, and proceed to one shot all the encounters, in a truely boring and Farm like matter.

The point of all that is I find it interesting that people who pride themselves on being raiders, will come to the nights that easy fights are going to occur, and suddenly have shit to do on the real progression nights.  These are the same people who will constantly guild jump.  As soon as a brick wall is hit, an actual challenge for the guild, they will jump to another guild that has the encounter on farm.  I can see the logic in jumping guilds if your current one is full of slackers that can't get their shit together.  I don't see the point in missing out on the guild first kills, just so you can have an easier time in getting your purple pixels.

What about you?  Do you find the joy of the game in getting the gear upgrades? Or in the challenge of the raid, and the thrill of the close kills?

As a side note, I finally got Vezax hard mode done on 10 man, and got my Rusted Proto-drake on Ditto.  Now to get the drake on Becoming, and the Algalon key for Ditto.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

ICC and Algalon

So, I finally got to raid last night.

We did ICC10 and put in our hour on Algalon.  I healed ICC10 on Becoming, along side a Holy Priest.  Overall the instance wasn't too bad.  I didn't do it last week, so I can't comment on the change to Marrowgar's tank damage at all.  That said, the fight wasn't hard at all, and we easily one shot it.

Next up, Lady Deathwhisper.  We went with the strat that has all DPS switching to the adds, to blow them up quick, and allow more DPS (people) on the boss when adds weren't up.  I'm not sure how many add waves we had while we were draining her shield, however, it didn't seem like too many.  I'm looking forward to trying the 25 man version of this fight tonight, since it adds the MC and a few other neat tricks that should make it a touch more interesting.  That said, for last night, we had a pretty easy one shot of her as well.

We move on to the Gunship Battle.  While this seems neat in theory, overall it was just a little silly, with not much to it.  DPS ship, mage spawns, jump over, heal, heal, heal, jump back, rinse / repeat.  I did end up dying just before the last jump over.  I got a battle rez, and it unequipped my jet pack.  I tried to jump over again, and it was too late, as the tank over there was dead, but so was the mage and the rest of the away team had made it back.

Finally, we reach Saurfang.  A neat intro to the fight to start off, though annoying that you have to go through it each time you start the encounter.

When we started out, we were just going at things like we normally do.  That being healing assignments of "all healers, heal everyone who needs it".  This was made worse by having two raid healing spec'd healers.  So, the first couple of attempts went great until the first mark went out.  Once it did healing went from boring to OMG WTF IS HAPPENING!

We tried switching roles around a bit, with me on DPS, our pally tank going heals, and the bear solo tanking it.  It did not end well.

Back to original roles, I switch back to resto spec, and we work out actual healing assignments, with me on the Marked targets, and the priest on the tanks.  We trigger the start, and the priest notices that she has the Mark debuff on, I look up and so do I.  We all run back to the boat and reset the fight, and the debuff fades properly.

We attempt again, and it goes well.  We ended up with 1 mark out (on me), no one died, and we got the kill.

After that we moved over to Algalon.  Since that fight wouldn't happen without a real tank healer, I logged into Ditto to tank heal.  We picked up Unbroken by not repairing during FL without any towers, killed Razorscale for the daily.  On XT we accidentally triggered Hardmode, but downed it without any issues.  As an aside, I got to use the new Divine Sacrifice, and it was nice.  Incoming damage to myself was noticeable but very healable.

It is then that our priest says that she all of a sudden isn't feeling well, so needs to go, because she won't be able to make it through an hour of Algalon attempts.  I end up switching to Becoming to raid heal, while our Pally tank switches to heals, and one of our Warrior DPS switches to tanking.   We had a couple of rocky attempts at the beginning of the fight, and our best attempt was barely about half way past the first Big Bang.  Our DPS was on target to enter Phase two just after the second Big Bang, but people kept getting hit by Cosmic Smash, or our star killer would kill one while it was standing over two people, and call it out after it already died.

Hopefully we can get a steady group for this, as I wouldn't mind getting the fight done, even though we do overgear it by an insane amount by now.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

XT PuG x2

As I mentioned, I have been in the process of moving, so my play time is limited.  Thus I have yet to step into ICC (fiending for the action though), or any raid for the past week and a half or so.

That said, I don't want to fall too far behind in gathering the Emblems of Frost on either Ditto (paladin) or Becoming (druid).  Thus I found myself in two different PuGs for the weekly raid, which happened to be XT-002 in Ulduar. 

While running around on Becoming, someone was looking for more for the weekly.  I tell them I can either heal or DPS, they invite me.  After 10 minutes or so, the group is all formed up and ready to go.  We pile into our vehicles, I drove for a guild mate that happened to be in the same PuG, figuring I at least have the best chance for survival if they are driving. 

This is the first time I had ever done Flame Leviathan with no towers active, and wow.  What a joke that fight was.  He didn't even finish a second pursuit phase, and our Demo was the first one to be pursued.  So, FL down, we move on to XT.  Fight went great, was almost ended up activating hard mode, and likely would have if some of the DPS hadn't backed off.  That said, we did chain the heart phases, and ended up getting the speed kill achievement.

Later on, my girlfriend was around, and I got into another PuG to finish the weekly on Ditto.  This one was less stellar, but with similar results.

We get the group going, and I hop in a Demo to drive, with her gunning for me.  We get going, and I check my health vs the other Demo.  1.39m vs 958k.  Oh well.  We ended up downing it nonetheless, and in about the same amount of time.

We then move to XT, and the DPS was sloooow.  We ended up with my girlfriend and some random DK doing 5kdps each, and the rest of the DPS doing ~1.8-2k dps.  All the while, they were largely ignoring the bomb bots, so I ended up running around, and doing my uber Holy Shock -> Exorcism ->  Judgement -> Holy Shock -> "Hope it's dead" dps rotation on them, all while still healing 3x as much as the other healer.

Overall, the kills were clean and fast, so I will likely stick with pugging the weekly raid quest, since it appears even a group of scrubs can down XT.

No shaman action to speak of from last night.

On the AH / Gold Cap side of things, I'm up to 17k with ~80 auctions out standing.  Blade Ward continues to sell well, though there has been some competition finally joining me, so that may slow a little bit.  Even with the competition, though, the enchant scrolls are still selling for ~800g each.  Blood Draining is selling well also, however, sells for only about 600g.  I will likely start looking at the other gear enchants shortly, and try to keep a constant inventory of the more profitable enchants on the AH.  Currently, I just make sure I have one of each of the weapon enchants up, and that's about it.  I think keeping a steady number of enchants on the AH should help my profits quite a bit. 

Gems are of course selling well with all the new gear coming available. 

Finally, the Iceblade Arrows and Shatter rounds continue to sell for way more than they should, thanks to people who can't pay attention to some simple numbers.  That said, I am sure that each person only falls for this once, so it will likely only keep up for so long.  I will continue doing it until I don't come to a mailbox full of sales, however, as I make about 800% profit by doing so.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Gnomer and the AH

So, this weekend, I gave the random queue a shot again, and pulled Gnomeregan.  There were two different groups I had for this instance.  The first was terrible, the second was a rockstar group.  So, I'll concentrate on the first here :)

I zone in, and am patiently waiting for others to arrive.  I adjust some gear, set my totems up (soooo can not wait for the 1 button for 4 totems thing at level 30), and am still waiting for people to show up, when poof, in comes a hunter.  Ok.  Seems like people are just slow going.

Then I check the minimap, and notice the other three are already running ahead.  Apparently this was a group where a couple people dropped out.  No biggy, I run up to the rest of the group, and start smashing faces.  We get to the tunnel with the stairs down to the cleaning room, and the 'tank' charges past it to the next mob.  Ok, so I figure they may be new, and need some help figuring out where to go.  I help kill the one they are on, and inform them the way to go is back through the previous doorway.

They summarily ignore me, and charge up on the floating gear thing in the middle of the top platform.  I figure they are after the chest that spawns up there, which seems silly, but hey, perhaps they need some gear out of it, so we keep killing stuff up there.

Once everything is dead, everyone starts jumping down.  But not in the proper place to jump down.  No, instead they jump down in the spot that allows you to survive with like 5HP.  Fun.

So I end up healing the tank and myself, since the healer got eaten right away, and the druid missed the jump as did the hunter, so they just went splat.

We finally finish killing the mobs that were there when we had dropped, so I start res'ing people.  As soon as I res the priest, the warrior charges something else.  Since I didn't get put into combat, I just keep res'ing people, since at this point, I don't particularly care if the warrior gets smashed, since he's the reason we are in this predicament anyway.

After the druid and hunter were res'd, we caught up with the warrior, and were able to save him from being a floor decoration.  We kill Viscious Fallout, and he drops the Hydrocane.  The druid asks if he can need it since it is a big upgrade for him.  Now note.  This is a weapon with 26.x dps on it, and a breath underwater while equipped ability on it.  In otherwords, it's terrible for a druid, since they can already breath underwater, and ideally shouldn't be meleeing with a staff anyway, and one with any sort of caster or dps stats would work much better for them.

Whatever, I don't need it so doesn't matter to me either way, I pass, he gets the staff.

The warrior charges another mob, in the complete opposite direction of where we need to go.  We follow, I ask him where he is going.  He informs us that he is looking for the named boss down there (you know, the one we already killed?).  We remind him that we just killed it, and he starts to follow.  He then asks ( and I wish I had screen shotted this, I'll have to do that more often) "So who is the tank here anyway, I seem to be taking a lot of damage".

If the earlier part of the run didn't let me know how the rest of it was going to go, this certainly did.

A bit after that I hear "Hey, where is the hunters pet?", shortly followed by an alarm-o-bot and his 15 friends. As expected, we wipe.  The warrior, priest and myself all release and start to run back.  We zone in, and wouldn't you know it, the mobs at the beginning have respawned.  The warrior leaves the group.  The priest and I figure we'll start to clear some stuff while we wait on the others.

"Hey, can you res me?"

I look at my group frames, lo-and-behold, the hunter and druid are still laying on the ground, dead.

... Are you serious man? We all died, why would you expect a res?

The priest then left the group, and I figured I would follow suit.  Let them find their own res.

On the upside, after a couple of battle grounds, I joined another Gnomeregan group, and it was awesome.  Shaman healer, actually coordinated totems, and a warrior tank that started off saying "I don't want to spend an hour doing this place, so I'm going to be pulling so long as the shaman has mana".  Very smooth group.  The shaman went AFK once, I healed in the mean time.  Then I had to go afk, and just put the shaman on follow.

This experience highlights one thing.  We often say that a group is made or carried by a healer or a tank.  Truth is, the whole group needs to be at least reasonably decent (read: not retarded), or they can easily make an otherwise smooth run, a complete wipefest.

In other news, with the release of ICC, comes a new round of people needing to enchant weapons, gem gear, etc.  To say it another way its $$$$$ time.  In addition to the standard Blade Ward / Blood Draining enchants, and Runed / Bold Cardinal Rubies (among others, not worth listing them all out here), I have also started to take advantage of those who can't pay attention to simple details.

For instance, buying the Iceblade Arrows and Shatter Rounds that are in the AH in stacks of 1000, then relisting them for ~9x as much, in stacks of 100.  People buy them up, thinking they are getting a killer deal, because they can't be bothered to look at how many are being sold in that stack.  So I buy a stack for 35-50g, and sell it for 350g.  I then take that profit and buy the mats for a Blade Ward and flip it for 800g.

I think I may make a real attempt to reach the gold cap.

Friday, December 11, 2009

RFD Random PuG

I'm in the process of moving to a new house right now, and was able to get my computer setup, but unable to login until long after the guild was into ICC (and didn't have the time to raid anyway).  I decided instead I'd do a bit of banking and then hopped on my shaman, Cerdle.

At first I was going to try my way through some battle grounds, even though I'm still only level 26, to get some leveling experience via some alternate methods.  I then remembered the Random Dungeon option in LFG, and figured I would give that a shot too.  So, I queued for WSG, AB, and a Random Dungeon to see which one I would get an invite to first.

About 3 minutes later, I get a window popping up, asking if I'd like to join a group, I click that I do, and it lets me know that we are still needing a tank and healer.  I figure there is no way in hell we will get a ... Oh look, a tank, now we need a healer, no one levels as a heale...  Then a big window comes up asking if I'd like to enter the instance.  I click that I do, and it ports me to the entrance of RFK, a place I've only been to when I farmed Corpsemaker for my warrior twink some years ago.

We end up with a Holy Priest 'healing' though ended up using Holy Fire more than anything else (mainly because the healing was pretty light), a Holy Pally "DPS'ing", basically standing in melee, swinging a hammer, judging wisdom (which my Enhancement shaman liked the extra mana from it), and using Aura Mastery on cooldown for some reason.  Finally we had a 30 warrior tanking, and the last DPS was a hunter.

Everyone was somewhat slow getting going, as they tried to figure out what role they were to play, get buffs out there, etc.  [I will note, that everyone in the group was from a different server, so the cross server LFG is a definite boon.  I would also guess that instancing may become more popular at the lower levels as the system catches on, since it will be easier (read: possible) to find a group.]

However, the warrior finally started to get bored, and just charged into the first pull.  I ran behind them, dropped my totems, and started swinging away.  We were tentative in killing everything at first, then started to pick up pace a bit.  After we rounded the first bend to the right, we weren't really sure where to go.  Personally, while leveling previous toons, I never really went to RFD, simply because it was far, and I didn't have any quests for it.  Thankfully, someone else in the group knew where to go, so we followed their lead.

Overall it was a fairly smooth run.  We had one point where a bunch of adds decided to agro from up on a ledge, and bring hell down upon us, however, the priest warrior and I were able to live through it. 

We then killed the 'final boss' of the place, who was just some dude chilling out in a hut, and I got a blue necklace from the random dungeon award bag.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I'm no blogger

As is evidenced by that fact that I've had 4 posts since um, some month that starts with a J I think, I'm not much of a blogger.  I don't generally have time to come up with new, pre-prepared content that no one has written about already.  Sure I could offer perspective on it, but there are already a ton of those out there already.

So, I may change the scope of this blog and see where it goes.  The new LFG tool has just been released with the 3.3 patch.  For those of you who play WoW and have been living under a rock for the past week or so, this is a new, better tool for finding a PUG, and even goes cross realm, so all reports I've read so far have said that it finds a group generally within a few minutes.

That said, I will be doing the random dungeon for my Emblems of Frost as much as possible, and have always had... interesting luck with PUGs and the LFG tool.   This shall be the new focus of this blog I think.

That, and leveling my shaman via BGs.