Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'Tis the season...

Winter's Veil has arrived again, and half of Azeroth is searching for Metzen the reindeer. Meanwhile, in the real world, Christmas is closing in fast as well. It's a busy time for the retail sector, coincidentally the sector I'm working in, and it's overtime galore.

This hasn't stopped me from playing though, and I managed to get some nice upgrades in the ast few days. I got to make the Vengeance Bindings and Spiked Titansteel Helm, gathered enough rep and emblems for the boots and neck I wanted, and even got the legs from heroic Utgarde Keep a few days ago. I tried Oculus and Halls of Lightning as well, got the cape from Volkhan in HoL, but wasn't able to down the final boss in both heroics unfortunately. I'll try again later, as I really need their drops. That, and it's just fun to do.

I'm halfway into honored with Sons of Hodir as well, and it's going quite fast. I have 5 dailies now, giving a total of about 1600 rep a day I believe. Not too bad, especially since they're fun to do as well (killing the wyrm, anyone?).

Having said that, I might take a break from writing until the holiday season is over. I'm completely packed with work and other plans the next two weeks, so I wonder if I even have the time to play. This time is about being around your loved ones anyway, so it's not too strange to spend some extra time with them. WoW will still be there when I return.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thirteen in a dozen

I mentioned this a few times in guild chat, and the trend seems to continue all the way into heroics: gear that looks the same.

While leveling up, you come across a lot of quests that give you new gear (as usual), and while the stats may be very different, that's pretty much where the differences end. I've noticed in my travels that there are about three different plate shoulder models, and about three different color schemes with each model. And that's about it. The result is that every plate wearer will look about the same, especially since Paladins share gear with Warriors and now also Death Knights.

That's only part of the problem though. At the moment the guilds arsenal of lvl 80s isn't too high yet, so you end up with a lot of the same groups for heroics. On several occasions I've been in the "2-warrior, 3-paladin" setup, which makes loot all the more interesting. Pretty much all the gear I want is also high on the list of the other DPS in the group. I did heroic Utgarde Keep today, for instance, and all three of us wanted the plate legs that the final boss drops. Same goes for Ebon Blade rep grinding (boots), Halls of Lightning heroic (axe) and so on.

This got me thinking, and worrying: will all the plate melee DPS end up looking the same? We're all aiming for the same gear since it's obviously the best. There is less customization than there was in Burning Crusade, as I feel it. And even if you do stray to another piece of gear, you'll still look the same anyway. I, for one, know I won't feel unique if there's 6 others running around in exactly the same gear as me in a 25 man. And let's face it, we all want to be unique.

Apart from that, it also annoys me that there's so many people rolling for the same stuff. It may be a tad selfish, but it takes the fun out if you're competing with all the other DPS for the same gear. I can't say "hey, look at this item" since 4 others will say "got that 2 weeks ago, man you're late", and again, I don't want people to be exactly like me (or me exactly like them). This "thirteen in a dozen" thing isn't really fun.

Although I guess you won't notice it at some point when there's more people ready for heroics. At least then there will be a good balance between melee and ranged dps again.

Anyway, here's the list I promised. The things I'm going for:

Head: Spiked Titansteel Helm
Neck: Pendant of the Outcast Hero
Shoulders: Spaulders of the Giant Lords (ideally, but will probably settle with Mantle of Volkan)
Chest: Breastplate of Undeath
Back: Cloak of Bloodied Waters (or Shroud of Reverberation)
Waist: Flame-Bathed Steel Girdle
Hands: Gauntlets of Dragon Wrath (quite hard, but no alternative found yet)
Wrist: Vengeance Bindings
Legs: Staggering Legplates
Feet: Death-Inured Sabatons
Rings: Hemorrhaging Circle + Mobius Band
Trinkets: Mirror of Truth + Sphere of Red Dragon's Blood
Weapon: Colossal Skull-Clad Cleaver
Libram: Venture Co. Libram of Retribution + Libram of Divine Judgement (depending on situation)

These are all relatively easy items to get, in my opinion. A few heroics for both gear and emblems, some blacksmithing, a bit of rep grinding and you're set. Of course there's better out there, but the question is: is it worth it? At some point you'll go into Naxxramas and replace all that gear. It's not worth it to spend a few thousand gold on that one cape which you will replace in 10-man Naxx anyway.

On another note, Utgarde Pinnacle is pure evil on heroic. I've tried to clear it with a good geared group on several occasions, and even though we slaughter the first two bosses, that Skadi crushes us every time with his gauntlet. It could be me, but I'm not supposed to die after 1 hit from a trash mob + 1 tick from his ice breath, that's just rediculous. It doesn't help that the trash traps you in nets either. We Paladins may have Hand of Freedom, but that's not quick enough to get out of the ice breath in time. I don't care how much our tank wants that sword from King Ymiron, I'm not going there anymore...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Going heroic

Wih the level cap hit again, it's back to the gearing up to get better. I've been using Atlasloot to list all the DPS plate gear and then compare them through Wowhead to make up a "wanted" list. So far I've hardly replaced any gear, and I'm wondering why. I think I still have to change my mindset a bit when it comes to stats. I feel I'm losing out on too much other stats like agility and intellect, even though I know that intellect will be gone anyway. The lack of agility still bugs me, nothing on the Tier armor even. And it does have haste rating, which is now unimportant.

Anyway, I did some heroics to get some gear together, but no luck as of yet. I did get better legs and a better weapon, but not the things I wanted. I'll use them, but it's all in-between armor, really. Maybe it's lucky I didn't get anything yet, I checked MaxDPS today and changed a few items on my list already. Turns out I forgot crafted items, mainly the helmet and bracers. Time to go mining and get that blacksmithing up! I'm going for Spiked Titansteel Helm and Vengeance Bindings, and quite honestly it's rediculous how cheap the mats are for such quality items. The frozen orb is the hardest part, and that's only a lucky roll in a heroic away (or a few badges, if you're really unlucky).

While I didn't get any items from heroics, at least I got some rep. I've been wearing the Ebon Blade tabard for a while now, and I'm halfway into revered. Only 8k rep to go until I can get those epic boots! Combined with the 1500 rep you can get each day from the Ebon Blade dailys it shouldn't take too long for me to get them. And as soon as I've got that helm made, I can buy their head enchant and not worry about that slot for a long time.

On another note: I finally got my epic flyer! I had to save up from Zul'Drak all the way through Icecrown to Storm Peaks, but I finally got the 5k together for the skill, and even a few hundred gold for the flyer itself. I was left with 9g afterwards, but I'm already up to 1k again, so I can pay repair bills again.

The guild as a whole is leveling quite nicely. I was one of the first to hit 80, but now there's more people getting up there, making it easier to do heroics too. All the lvl 80's are eager to do heroics, and I only have to ask to get a few positive reponses already. The healers and tanks have the busiest jobs at the moment, since we don't have as many of those at higher levels yet. It's fun to see the tug-o-war between two teams needing a healer, and I bet they like the attention themselves as well.

I'll post the gear list here later. I'm interested to see what people think of the list, and if they possibly have other ideas.