Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Loot drama, across the universe...

Only rolling onward, because we can't find reverse!

In a recent, not-guild planned raid, one of the Warlocks won 3 out of 4 cloth caster epics, and was apparently close to winning the 4th. Now this seems to be cause for complaint, with all manner of odd and wonderful loot systems being proposed to "rectify" this error.

So what are the sides to this story? Generally we hope people are sensible when it comes to loot, and that they are not really just here for the whoring. Why a sensible person might be magnanimous and actually not roll for their 4th epic of the night, and give someone else a chance. They might consider that by taking all the items themselves they a) have a big-ass enchanting/gemming bill all of a sudden and b) the raid is only getting stronger when they attend a raid, which may not be on every run.

The other side is of course why the complaint? By virtue of the Warlock getting 3 upgrades, they won't be rolling on those items again or equivalent ones, so others will get their chance next time. Is it really that bad to have to wait a few weeks for some phat epics, that we need to moan and complain about it? We are not a progression guild, and from what I've read, the raids in the game are just plain easy, so until patch 3.1 brings an actually hard raid encounter, the epics are just fairy dust on the cake.

Hopefully some sensibleness on the part of the rollers and those who loose the rolls will prevail.

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Merry Winter Veil everyone!

Kam lurks under the Winter Veil tree. The presents arrive. Kam strikes! Kam grabs a Crashin' Thrashin' car thingy and snatches several minutes during the day to crash up other peoples cars, while being interrupted by family members wondering where I've gone...

Bad lag does not make for a good car crashing experience. You need to press 1 to do the crash special when another car is directly in front of yours, within a small distance. Your car will leap forward and crash up anything in its path. Unless the lag means the car you thought was in front is actually far off to the side. You could also camp with your car under the tree, waiting for someone to drive in front of it. A most dishonourable tactic. Wink.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

So sorry, Deino

Yes, Kam found the letter Lieutenant Ta'zinni was carrying. It started the quest A Letter for Home which is why you, Deino, have the letter.

We may have skimped on some of the details of how Kam got the letter. This quest makes me feel a little guilty. So sorry Deino.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Winter Veil Work complete (almost)

Kam the achieving Shaman has now finished all of the Winter Veil achievements with the exception of Crashin' & Thrashin', because like all good boys he has to wait until christmas day to open his presents.

With a Little Helper from My Friends was in the end pretty easy. The horde were attacking Lake Wintergrasp, so when the game started, Kam got gnomed up and hopped through the portal to Wintergrasp. He then jumped into someone's vehicle, which proceeded to run over around a hundred Alliance defenders - result! If you loose the gnome buff (due to deathage) then you can hearth back to Dalaran, grab another costume and portal to Wintergrasp again.

Let It Snow was ok, however Blizzard's choice for the Draenei was a little annoying. What's the number one most popular Draenei class from what I see in Dalaran... is it Priest like the achievement needs? Or maybe some sort of class the Alliance couldn't play until TBC and can only play as Draenei, like Shaman? Hmm I wonder. Luckily I spotted a Draenei Priest in the bank and snowflaked he was.

Bros. Before Ho Ho Ho's required a fair amount of work. Not from flying around, no. Not from spotting the Bro's we needed to mistletoe, no. No. It was the need to get to level 77 which was the work. Once dinged, Cold Weather Flying was a merely large amount of gold away and a quest was right there at Krasus Landing which took Kam to the airship where the final slippery Brother Keltan was. On the plus side, Kam can now fly. Woot!

See you under the Winter Veil tree on the 25th!

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Me like long hard trips

Yakra over at Mirror Shield has a post up about What a Long, Strange, (Hard) Trip It Will Be to complete all of the seasonal achievements, with his thoughts on the difficulty of each achievement.

Kam too is on this utterly insane grind, trying to get each one done as it appears, or, in the case of Brewfest, getting as much done as possible. My take on it is:

  • Merrymaker. Agreed this is quite easy, however there are complications for the Horde. The first is that to mistletoe Brother Keltan, you need to be level 77, or try some crazy tactics. Secondly With a Little Helper from My Friends is tricky; AblazeTheMage reports that basically AV is full of gnomes trying to hide behind each other, so I reckon by waiting till the end of Winter Veil there may be less people trying for it... people to hide behind.

    Also Wintergrasp looks like a good idea; Horde get a tenacity buff so our gnomes are hard to kill, and Shaman can hearth back to Dalaran every 15 minutes, get re-gnomed, then take the portal back. Finally the hat is a 100% drop off the Magus in Nexus - we farmed it on Tuesday by resetting the instance 5 times, so everyone got one.

    I think this is manageable in the time given.

  • To Honor One's Elders. The dungeons which need to be visited to talk to the Elders is the problem with this one. However, I have a cunning plan...

    Which is to reuse someone else's completed heroic instance, which should be clear of trash, and wander in there to talk to the Elder. In our guild a lot of heroics are run every night, so chances are someone will have done one or several of the instances on the list.

    I think this one is also manageable in the 3 weeks it runs.

  • For The Children. The PvP element of this event should be ok to do, where you need HKs of players with their orphans out, and to capture various BG objectives with your orphan out. Again hopefully later on in the event there will be less people around competing for captures... which means two runs, one early on to get HKs on players with orphans, then late in the event to grab BG objectives with your orphan out. However a lot of BG grinding will be required for this.

    Daily Chores will be impossible if you cannot login once per day for a few minutes, and the event only lasts for one week.

    This one is tricky; its only 1 week so is quite likely to be impossible for Kam to get all the achievements, unless he gets really lucky in a BG.

  • Brewfest. Kam got his mount last year, and is drinking the monthly ales, so basically he needs to grind more tickets to get the set of brewfest clothes next October. If you didn't get into the club and a got a piece of brewfest clothing in 2008, next year it will be a pain because you have a whole load of tickets to grind, and will have to wait another year to drink all the ales.

    This one is definitely achievable in 2009 for Kam.

  • Fool For Love. Personally I'm dreading this one the most, the tactic Warcraft Pets has to grind for Peddlefeet will not work after patch 3.0.8, so unless Blizzard up the drop rate, this achievement will be extremely hard to obtain. There is hope, because during Hallows End they added the Squashling and headpiece required to the trick-or-treat drops, so Kam was able to get them just by trick or treating a lot. I hope they up the rate of Peddlefeet drops from the gifts.

    This event will also need a hell of a lot of Gifts Of Adoration for the peddlefeet, love candy, rose petals, picnic basket, silver arrows, etc. Mmm the grind. This event is more troublesome because it only usually lasts a week.

    I don't think Kam will manage this achievement in 2009 due to the short length of the event and the sheer amount of hourly things once needs to do to grab all the various items required.

In conclusion, it's best not to look ahead at these seasonal achievements too much, otherwise it may depress you. Best concentrate on the current or upcoming one and take them one at a time ;)

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Further problems achieving

So Brother Keltan needs to be mistletoed for Bros. Before Ho Ho Ho's. The only complication is that he is on an Airship in a high level zone.

Thus far four ways have presented themselves. One is to be level 77 and have cold weather, and just fly onto the airship. The second is to pick up Preparations for War from Dalaran, which takes you to the airship, although it requires ... level 77.

The third is to follow the Wowhead comments on the achievement which involves dying on a ledge in icecrown where the airship passes, so you can res on the ship. Reportedly done at level 72.

The last method is to follow the Wowhead comments on Brother Keltan and use an Underbelly Elixir to turn into a wasp, then fly out of the sewer through the Dalaran exit and head for Icecrown. Again this can be done at any level.

Which one will Kam try? He is just level 76 so I could potentially get him to 77 before the end of Winter Veil. Or we could try one of the other, more cunning suggestions... they sound like fun.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Merry Winter's Veil

Tis the season to achieve things. I've already posted Kam's guide to the Winter Veil achievements and I'm sure there are others out there.

Kam's progress on the to do list was good; he now has 2 pieces of the winter clothing made for Tis the Season, and we finally unlocked those Ogrila dailies for Fa-la-la-la-Ogri'la.

This morning Wowhead has the locations of the Red Winter Hat which thankfully range in level:

So hopefully I can convince someone to come along to The Nexus for a quick bash at Telestra. The only other fly in the ointment is that we don't know if the gnome buff for With a Little Helper from My Friends fades upon death, which will make getting 50 HKs while disguised very tricky.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Tauren on a chicken!

From MMO Champion:

World of Warcraft PTR Patch 3.0.8

Racial restrictions on mounts have now been lifted. Night elves on mechanostrider? Tauren on raptor? You’re not seeing things.

Hell yes. Plus there are some nice buffs to Elemental Shamans, and the Magma and Searing Totems generate no threat (can you say A-O-E?). Of course these are all subject to change, but I hope that Taurens can ride any mount. Vary niice.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Enhancement: Mace vs Dagger

Weighing in at 84.8 dps, in the green corner we have the Soldier's Spiked Mace. This 2.6 speed mace was rewarded to Kam for Cutting Off the Source and has done good service, despite being slightly rusty.

Weighing in at 106.6 dps, in the blue corner we have the Blade of Nadox. This 1.6 speed dagger dropped from Elder Nadox in Ahn'kahet: The Old Kingdom last night, and was taken to see if fast daggers with flametongue are an alternative to slow with windfury.

The dagger has the advantage in DPS, while the mace fights back with a slower speed. Let the fight commence!

Ok, well let the simulations begin anyway. The dagger with FT didn't feel any worse than the mace, but it didn't seem to feel any better either. As a learning exercise I grabbed EnhSim, fed Kam's stats and buffs in, then ran a combat simulation for 20,000 simulated hours with the dagger equipped to see what average DPS it thought would result. The attack rotation was the standard I use; Stormstrike, Earthshock, Lava Lash, repeat, using a full stack of Maelstrom Weapon whenever it is up to throw out a lightning bolt. I then swapped in the mace, changed the stats around and reran the simulation. The results were:

NameImbueAverage DPS
Blade of NadoxFlametongue844
Blade of NadoxWindfury788
Soldier's Spiked MaceWindfury856
Soldier's Spiked MaceFlametongue869

So yeah, the dagger despite being having higher DPS and being a blue item, is not as good as Kam's trusty 2.6 speed green mace in the simulation, which confirms my "feelings" about it. What is also odd is the simulation shows that using FT on the mace should be marginally better than WF. I might try this, but applying WF on both weapons is very quick and easy, whereas I find doing WF on one and FT on the other a right faff. Me not like faffing.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Train new spells? Let's read books instead

Kam finally dinged 74 on Saturday after a good questing run. Unfortunately he's not been to Orgrimmar to learn whatever new stuff has become available - will it be a new Totem, or maybe a new rank of Water Breathing? Oooo! Thus far the selection from the trainer has been utterly underwhelming.

While faffing around Dalaran doing the cooking daily, Kam spotted the tome of The Schools of Arcane Magic - Abjuration lying on the floor of the Dalaran Visitor Center. Being the good citizen he is, he announced this on the Dalaran General chat channel, then wandered off to hand in the daily. Never has the Visitor Center had so many visitors.

If you spot a book, by all means read it, but please announce it on general too. The books only stay for 3 minutes after being read and any number of people can read them. Now Kam is 1/8 of the way towards the Higher Learning achievement, and hopefully some other players are closer to their goals too.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Am I riding a druid?

In this barely believable picture, we have one tauren shaman on a Armored Brown Bear and one tauren druid in bear form. The mount makes all the same noises the druid does, the roar sounds the same. It is also a bear.

However we can clearly see the difference here; the druid has horns - the mount has crazy goggles (like it has an engineering helm on), the druid's claws appear sharper, the mount is bigger.

So let's have no more claiming we are riding around on druids. Even if it is fun. Even if we claim we've captured one, blunted its claws, put silly goggles on it and fed it some growth elixir. Definitely not.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

You were doing what? Where?

Although Kam should have been mercilessly grinding to 80 in preparation for the crazed hardcore raiding season, instead he chose to spend last night unlocking a nice rep grind. Must be Sons for the shoulder inscriptions right? No? Maybe Knights of the Ebon Blade for the head enchant? No. Instead in a group consisting of a feral druid and elemental shaman, plus mage and paladin for the 5 man bit, Kam finally unlocked his Ogri'la dailies.

But why? Apart from the 19k XP each quest gave, there is the small matter of the Fa-la-la-la-Ogri'la achievement, which requires the Ogri'la stuff to be unlocked. Kam also has the winter boots and chest made, so all that is needed for the Winter's Veil achievement is probably to get to a decent level so Kam can get the hat. Last year these hats dropped in level 70 instances, so extrapolating they will drop in level 80 instances, which may require Kam to be close to 80. Which he isn't currently.

Finally my hunter got a proper portal to dalaran from Mr Ganymede, so when I can get on, I can do 2 lots of cooking dailies. One for the awards to buy recipes, the other I use the award to buy spices.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Slacking around Dalaran, jus' cookin'

Taking the advice of Kaliope's WoW Crafting Blog, Kam started on his cooking dailies as soon as he could. Using a "ghetto portal" to Dalaran, Kam hit the Horde bar and grabbed the quest from Awilo Lon'gomba. Unfortunately whenever I log in the first thing to do is check what the cooking daily is; Cheese for Glowergold is particularly easy, as it doesn't involve any cooking at all. This doesn't actually leave any time to do any real quests. Kam is now grinding on Snapper Extreme - the 40 hit rating buff will be very handy come raiding time, for someone or another.

Once I can track down a slippery level 74+ mage, I'll portal my level 70 hunter to Dalaran to participate in the daily cooking, thus doubling my Northern Spices earning power.

Other levelling-delaying activities included standing on the shores of the Borean Tundra for several hours over the weekend, fishing away. Partly following El's Extreme Anglin' guide to cooking and fishing in Northrend, Kam now has enough raw materials to cook Snapper Extreme ad infinitum. He just needs more Northern Spices is all. Now where was that level 74 mage...
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