Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tagged

It's been going 'round and 'round for about a week now I think, the screenshot meme. The digital chain letter for screenshots, with the usual "years of bad luck" threat if you don't pass it on, and so forth. Well, okay, not that. This particular chain letter asks the recipients for the sixth screenshot in their sixth screenshot folder. It kinda reminded me of Iron Maiden's "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son", but that could just be me.

It caught my attention during my regular read up at Banana Shoulders, and quite unexpectedly saw it end up at MY little 'ere blog. Go figure. Anyway, since I only have like three sub-folders in my screenshots folder (all WoW, by the way), I'll just take the sixth one in my main folder:




This one was made not too long ago. Five of us decided to do a bit of retroraiding and went into Karazhan. I ended up tanking in my Ret gear, we had a freshly dinged lvl 80 healer and a Death Knight alt who we "boosted" through. Yes, it was easy, but also very fun. It brought back memories of all the Karazhan raids, and was more a nostalgia run than anything else I like to think. This particular screenshot was taken just after clearing the Chess event, which actually requires some strategy with only half a raid. Challenging but fun!

And one more, see if you can guess where this one was made. Shouldn't be too hard:



Seeing as I haven't manifested myself in the immense blogging community yet(!), I haven't got too many people to pass this on to. I'll forward it to my good friend and guildie Thrashalot and see what he can dig up.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Constructs Deconstructed

With a full clear of Naxxramas last week, it was up to this weeks teams to keep the momentum. I don't know what the friday team did, but we, the saturday team, did very well last night.

Our raid leader decided to go for the Construct Quarter first instead of Spider Wing, which was a very welcome change. We've been starting on Spider Wing week after week, and by now I've seen all the ins and outs there. If only my upgrades would drop from Faerlina and Maexxna, but that's another story.

Anyway, Construct Quarter. We headed in there, and immediately it seemed apparent that this would be a good night. The trash was falling quicker than usual, so much that a raid member actually SAID it in Vent. A few people jinxed it, hoping that would be the end of it (I knocked it off on my wooden desk as an extra precaution, it's a Dutch thing I think). On to Patchwerk, and we were in business. The standard routine: let tanks take aggro, then go all out and have fun. I devised a way to start nuking early: cast Salvation on yourself, and then Avenging Wrath + nuking. This will prevent overaggroing even in the earliest stages of the fight, since Salvation eats away a significant portion of your threat. It hasn't failed me so far, who knows it might be of some use for you Pallies who read this.

With Patchwerk down we headed for Grobbulus, the real troublemaker of the Quarter. Melee was assigned to the adds, a slightly odd choice if you ask me, but fair enough. Usually, the Grobbulus fight is very hectic, but oddly enough that wasn't the case this time. I got an early nuke off Grobb, and kept switching from him to the slimes from that point on, slipping in an exorcism to the bad boy every now and then. After a bit more than a full circle he went face-down on the floor, and amazingly I was still alive. More amazingly, I was at full health. MORE amazingly, everyone was still alive! Cheers went up to signify a very good fight, from me especially since I've never seen him flat on his face before.

Gluth up next, a completely new fight for me. We went in, had one of our holy paladins kite the zombies around, assisted by the frost traps of our hunter. I was able to focus on Gluth himself, getting a general feel of the fight. The kiter was unable to keep all the adds busy though, and too many were devoured each time. We had to admit defeat, and suited up for another attempt. With a good idea of the fight now, I volunteered to kite the zombies, with the previous kiter free to heal again (and focus a bit on me, lol). It went better this time, but there was still a slight lack of coordination, and the zombies were all over the place and the fight in chaos. At 35% we had to admit defeat once again, but we would not be bested. Third time's a charm, as they say, so we tried again. This time, everything just went perfect. The frost traps were laid down perfectly (kudos to the hunter, it was absolutely spot on), our warlocks voidwalker picked up all the strays and directed them back to me, and I kept running around, keeping them busy. During the feeding round all the zombies were so close together that a massive AoE nuke took them all down at once, and no zombies ever saw the inside of Gluth's maw. He went down without a problem this time, and it was off to Thaddius.

The two pre-bosses at Thaddius went down pretty fast, TOO fast even. One went down way faster than the other, so some of us had to go back to auto-attacks to slow down the DPS and let the other one catch up. With the two down, though, we jumped to Thaddius and started the polarity fight. I stayed back a bit, afraid I might be too close to opposite polarities (being a melee fighter), but Thads hit box was big enough, so it wasn't a problem. With a four stack of polarity damage increase I started nuking Thaddius with all I had, and he went down pretty fast.

Our hunter had to go after Thaddius, but we managed to find a replacement and cleared the Spider Wing after that without any problems. Of course my drops wouldn't show up on the loot table, leaving me to get them yet another week.

Upcoming tuesday will be the follow-up run, with Military Quarter and Plague Quarter yet to go. Both shouldn't be a problem, so I'm hoping to see Sapphiron at least. Fingers crossed!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sarth1D

Just a quick post on updates this week so far.

First off, I've been doing all the quests in Northrend and Outland for the Loremaster achievements. Northrend is done, but Outland is bugging me, BEM in particular. I only need one more quest there, and I can't find any more! I even did and redid the Ogri'la quests, which helped a bit, but not enough. There's supposed to be 128 quests in total there, 50 for Horde and 78 for both factions. Give or take a few, of course, but it should be well enough to get the mere 86 quests you need. Ah well, I'll get it sooner or later.

Another thing of this week is OS 10. We got kind of bored with fighting Sartharion on his own, so we decided to leave one drake alive tonight, Tenebron to be exact. Our DPS was well high enough, but it still proved quite a challenge, mainly to get the coordination and tactics right. It took 5-6 tries, but eventually we got the two drakes down, and we left the Obsidian Sanctum with pride. We'll try to keep this momentum going, and eventually leave two drakes a live once we have gotten used to the Sarth1D fight.

There might be a Naxxramas coming up this weekend, but it all depends if I get picked for the team. I'll try to get into Naxx 25 as well, most likely by pugging it. I feel I'm ready for it, but it's hard to get 25 people online at the same time for an extended period of time, so the guild isn't doing 25 man content yet.

Apart from that there's not much to do at the moment. I can level my fishing and cooking (I should, really), I can grind rep and quests for Loremaster / Seeker / 25 Tabards, and I can collect holy gear for the set I'm getting together. But not much on the DPS front. I might just spend a bit more time on my Death Knight again, venture back into the RP server. That's been fun so far, although it takes a bit of adjusting. The atmosphere is slightly different than I'm used to, although it won't be a problem in time. I've also had the pleasure of running into Firelight, and we had a quick chat before he had to go again. I'm looking forward to seeing him around more often, perhaps partying with him on some occasion, although it'd be a while before I'd be ready for any content he's mastering with his guild right now.

Oh well, all in due time!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

On Dual Speccing

A link on the WoW Launcher caught my attention today, posting some conclusive information on the long awaited and long debated Dual Specs. A person named Nethaera managed to get an interview out of Ghostcrawler, where he reveals some interesting things about the upcoming feature.

Some snippets:

Nethaera: What is dual speccing?
Ghostcrawler: Dual speccing is the ability to save two separate talent specs, glyphs, and action bars.

Nethaera: How will you be able to set up a dual spec?
Ghostcrawler: Players will be able to visit their trainer and pay a one-time fee to be able to use it.

Nethaera: How do you switch between specs?
Ghostcrawler: Players will be able to switch between their talent specs by visiting any Lexicon of Power provided they’ve paid for the ability to have a secondary spec.

Nethaera: Is there a way for players to choose their talents without them being saved? Currently, once you spend your talent point, it’s spent unless you pay the respec cost again.
Ghostcrawler: With the dual spec feature, we are going to allow players who respec to configure all their talents before they get saved.

[Source: WoW Interview]


Pretty neat. Not only do you have the ability to switch between entire specs, but you can also glyph yourself accordingly, and even the action bars will be saved! And no more planning ahead on your talent tree. Fiddle with it all you like, and as soon as you're happy with the end result, save it and that's your spec.

I can see the Dual Specs opening up a lot of possibilities without unbalancing the game. It has little to no effect on PvP, a spec is a spec after all, and you can't change it mid-battle anyway. PvE can only benefit from it, allowing that DPS to switch to a healing spec because the fight needs an extra healer.

I've been messing around with Holy lately, getting a gear set together in case I might be needed as a healer. As soon as the Dual Specs come out, I might just get Holy as my second spec. What combination would any of you take?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Fall of Naxxramas

I wasn't there unfortunately, but that doesn't make the victory less sweet. On tuesday night, 10 February 2009 by Earthen years, Kel'thuzad has been beaten senseless, slapped silly and violated in the pursuit of "phat lewtz". This is the first full clear of Naxxramas for Samsara, so we were all very excited when the achievements sprang up in guild chat. Now, if we can keep this up, we might be ready to move up to the big boys soon!

My love for 25-mans has been rekindled since last sunday, when I joined OS heroic. My last post was about that, but oddly enough the evening didn't end there. Late at night, a won Wintergrasp match led us into heroic VoA, and then split up into two teams for normal VoA afterwards. Archavon is, of course, quite a pushover, assuming everyone follows the basic tactics and stay off the stairs and out of any AoE he does. And most people still run blindly after Archie when he jumps and creates his AoE smoke. Yes folks, it's apparently a very hard fight. I can only imagine how those people will ever do fights like Grobbulus, Anub'Rekahn or, God forbid, Heigan.

Anyway, before I get off track here, we did manage to get him down easily, and one of the drops was this: Valorous Redemption Gauntlets! I rolled, two other pallies in the group rolled less than me. A guildie Paladin and good friend of mine rolled and rolled higher. Earlier in the day, though, we were talking about gear on Vent, and I happened to mention that I really needed some new gloves since mine were still from a Northrend quest reward some time ago. And next thing you know, he shouts "WAIT" to the loot master, and cancels his roll in favor of me. I couldn't thank him enough! Heroic T7! The loot master was unable to loot Archavon, as he was bugged again, but the next day I found it in the mail, and instantly put an extra socket in it, filled the sockets and slapped on the best enchant possible at this point. This one will last for a while!

And the guildie Paladin? I owe his alts a lifetime supply of boosts through TBC instances now...

On tuesday night we had our own Naxxramas follow-up run (a different group than the ones that cleared it that same night), and did pretty well. We left the Four Horsemen on our first night, so we went back to get them down this time. Due to a lack of self-healing capable ranged dps I was nominated to tank one of the ranged Riders in the back. I anticipated this, so I already brought along my (quite decent) healing set and put it on. The switches were a bit messy in the back, as the marks kept stacking at irregular intervals, but me and the Holy Paladin easily outhealed everything Blaumaux and Zeliek could throw at us, and up front everything went smoothly as well. The Riders went down on the first try, with everyone still alive and the spirits high.

After having cleared the Military Wing, it was time for the next one. Lately we've been focusing a lot on Construct, since Grobbulus has been giving us a hard time and we wanted practice. Plague had been greatly ignored lately, though, so me and several others voted to go there. We cleared through the trash and got Noth down easily, as we've grown used to doing. The real challenge was Heigan! Ever since the patch that fixed the "safe corner" we haven't done Heigan, so it was crucial that everyone got the dance down to perfection. It took a few tries, but eventually everyone got a feel for the four lava areas, and at the 6th try we got him down. By then everyone was getting fed up with Heigan, so everyone was overjoyed when he fell face-down on the cold stone. That definitely was the biggest achievement of the night! After Heigan, Loatheb was easy cake, and after a quick detour via Patchwerk we called it a night and a successful raid.

I was pretty pleased with myself that night. I've been carrying a mediocre weapon around for a long time, hoping that Maexxna might drop her Wraith Spear for me, but I haven't had the luck as of yet. I decided it was time for something new though, so I spent the night before farming mats for the Titansteel Destroyer and hogging all the titansteel cooldowns from my guildies. Being the good guys and girls that they all are, they managed to get me enough titansteel to craft the mace just before the Naxx run on tuesday, and the effects were noticeable. 2.8k dps on Loatheb, and at Patchwerk (the "dps check") I got up to 3k dps even. Seeing as I usually hovered around 2k overall dps and 2.4k on the aforementioned bosses, I was pretty pleased to see the significant increase. DPS isn't everything, of course, but it's nice to know that you're not keeping the raid from progressing because you're falling behind. As soon as the Wraith Spear drops from Maexxna in future raids (or, dare I dream, Death's Bite one day...) I'll gladly upgrade again, but until then I'm quite happy with my face smasher.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Besting the Black Dragonflight

By now a lot of people have already seen, defeated and farmed Sartharion. However, I've never been able to do so because real life interefered with the guilds OS raiding times. I managed to join last night though, and it was fun.

Sarth3D is still a bit ambitious, so we just took the three drakes down and went for Sartharion himself. The fight itself is fairly straightforward, and you only have to watch out for the lava walls that he spawns every now and then. We managed to get him down first try, so with a few more tries we can start upping the stakes and leave one drake alive.

Naxx came after that, where we cleared Spider Wing and Military Wing in one night, all except the Four Horsemen. We started a bit late, so we only managed to get one try before we had to call it for the night. Still, it was a very good run in all, and we had a lot of fun.

After last nights Sartharion, I got invited for a pugged OS heroic tonight, and happily came along. It took a few tries, but we got him down, and again it was very fun. The DPS meter went up, and in the end it stuck at fourth place around 2850, so I was pretty satisfied.

The Naxx follow up is coming up tuesday, so we'll see how that goes. I'm looking forward to it!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sods Law

I've been running heroic Drak'Tharon Keep for a while now, hoping to get the Breastplate of Undeath, but I was never lucky.

Yesterday morning I had finally saved up 80 emblems, and went to the vendor to trade them in for my T7 chest, which I immediately gemmed and enchanted.

A guild run was short on one DPS for heroic DtK, and I offered to tag along.

Guess what Novos the Summoner dropped...