Saturday, 31 January 2009

Finally, a use for Sentry Totem!

When one is hanging around Dalaran for books for Higher Learning and you only have 2 or 3 books left, the Sentry Totem comes into its own! Dropping it in front of a book spawn location leaves our searching Shaman free to sit next another one, or run between 2 locations instead of 3. Once you find "trash" books at a few locations, the number which need checking rapidly diminish and the good old Sentry Totem will let you AFK next to one spawn point and monitor another one, running between the two every 5 minutes when Sentry expires.

This is the only use I've found for Sentry Totem thus far, and now I wish it lasted more than 5 minutes.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Finally! An alternative to /roll

One of my guildies pointed me to this awesome t-shirt. Which got me thinking. I now propose a new loot system, forget DKP and Suicide Kings (we have), welcome Rock Paper Scissors Spock Lizard!

[Raid] [RaidLeader]: rpssl need on [Avengers Helm of Sillyness]
[Kam] whispers: paper
[Ablaze] whispers: spock
[Medrare] whispers: lizard!
[Raid] [RaidLeader]: 3
[Raid] [RaidLeader]: 2
[Raid] [RaidLeader]: 1
[Raid] [RaidLeader]: Lizard poisons Spock, Paper disproves Spock, Lizard eats Paper. Grats Medrare!

Players whisper their roll to the loot master, who then decides who wins, or calls a tie. Plus we get to really confuse the hell out of the loot master. Oh yes.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Elders of the Northrend Dungeons vague walkthrough

Why do they hang out in dungeons? Why don't the inhabitants spot them and kick them back to Moonglade? Anyway, last night Kam hit some instances in the Elder Brethren Elder Grinding Group to try to finish Elders of the Dungeons.

Stealing from our guild forums (credit to AblazeTheMage for this stuff), with some refinements from last night, here is the Northrend list in the order we did it:

  • Elder Yurauk in Halls of Stone (Storm Peaks) - halfway through Krystallus' room.

    Zone in, go straight forward down the corridor, in the 1st round room, go up the right hand stairs. Then cut the corner turning right into the tiny shardling wing, go forward and the Elder is before Krystallus.

    Time: one of the quickest, 0 bosses needed.

  • Elder Ohanzee in Gundrak (Zul'Drak) - in Eck's room.

    Gundrak needs to be on heroic. Go in via entrance furthest from the meeting stone, down the stairs and clear the trash in the first room. Engage the Mammoth boss and kill him. A secret passage will open up (the boss starts off looking right toward it). Go through the passage, clear the trash to Eck's room. You don't need to kill Eck, you can sneak round to the right in Eck's room and talk to the Elder without engaging him.

    Time: fairly quick, 1 heroic boss to kill.

  • Elder Kilias in Drak'theron Keep (Zul'Drak) - just before King Dred

    Drak'tharon is quite linear so just go through it, take down the 1st and 2nd bosses, fight through to King Dred's pen. The Elder is just inside his pen so you may need to kill 1 dinosaur and watch out for Dred patrolling into range.

    Time: reasonable, 2 bosses to kill.

  • Elder Chogan'gada in Utgarde Pinnacle (Howling Fjord) - just after Skadi.

    Fight to the 1st boss and kill her. Fight onward but don't activate the boss in the room with the frozen animals, you can skip that fight. Fight to Skaldi. Defeat Skaldi in the gauntlet fight, then continue onward down the broken stairs and the Elder is right at the bottom of the stairs, underneath them.

    Time: depends on the gauntlet, reasonable, 2 bosses to kill.

  • Elder Jarten in Utgarde Keep (Howling Fjord) - in the second room after the first boss.

    Fight to the first iceblock boss, kill him, then fight up the mining tunnels to the first room with a staircase. The Elder is on the left up some stairs which lead to a dead end.

    Time: quick, this is a level 70 instance. 1 boss to kill.

  • Elder Nurgen in Azjol'Nerub (Dragonblight) - in the puddle room you drop into after Hadronox.

    Azjol is linear so follow the instance, kill the 1st boss then zerg the Hadranox encounter, kill Hadranox and drop down the huge drop which ends in the water pool. The Elder is stood by the pool. Don't cast Water Walking on anyone before they jump, they won't thank you for it. Mwuhahaha!

    Once you fall down you are stuck in the instance, so hearthstone out here (or ghetto hearth if yours is on cooldown).

    Time: average, 2 bosses to clear. Plus you have to wait for Hadranox to come up before you can kill him. We got bored and went down to get him, dealing with the hundreds of adds as we went.

  • Elder Igasho in Nexus (Borean Tundra) - just before the tree boss.

    Enter The Nexus, turn right and enter the area with the respawning mini-treelings. Work round to the tree boss. The Elder is just before the boss so can be talked to without engaging the boss.

    Time: quick, no bosses.

You can of course swap UK and UP if you wish, or do them in reverse. We managed the lot in 2 and a half hours. Good luck!

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Almost there...

Riding around Azeroth on a land mount to visit Elders is not fun. Flying is way better. So when I say that I'm almost there, I mean Kam has done the really grindy part of the Elder achievement where he has ridden around most of the flippin' zones on a slow-poke land mount and hit the few low level instances.

Next up is the comparative joy of flying around Northrend and hitting some Wrath instances!

A special thanks to all the Alliance who stood around and watched Kam talk to the Elder in Ironforge, then kindly allowed him to hearthstone out. We weren't trying to cause any trouble, honestly.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

The Oracles: easiest rep grind ever?

During the madness of the Lunar Festival grind, Kam has been keeping an eye on the Oracles dailies with the intention of completing Savior of the Oracles. Despite only doing a few days worth of dailies Kam currently stands at honoured 9600/12000, so a few more runs and Kam will be revered. WoWWiki estimates 8 days to revered from unlocking the faction grind.

If your aim is the Oracle Talisman of Ablution then this grind is still something, but if all you're after is pets (like me), getting to Revered seems very easy. Plus most of the quests are quite interesting, featuring vehicles or becoming very powerful and smashing puppy men into the ground.

So currently The Oracles gets Kam's award for Easiest Rep Grind Ever. The Kalu'ak was far more grindy. Oh, and the saviour achievement is also a nice bonus along the way.

Image from WoWWiki.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Kam's guide to Honouring One's Elders

The Lunar Festival starts on Sunday 14th February and ends on the 7th of March. Kam will be there attempting to get the To Honor One's Elders achievement. Let's take a look at what's involved.

Elders of Eastern Kingdoms
Elders of Kalimdor
Elders of Northrend
Easy enough, just ride around talking to Elders. Getting around Northrend will be harder the further away from 80 you are (stating the obvious). WoWWiki has a really good walk through for Azeroth including instances.

Elders of the Dungeons
For the old world dungeons this will just be a few trips inside. There are some Wrath instances which won't be soloable (maybe if you can stealth):
Elder Nurgen in Azjol-Nerub
Elder Jarten in Utgarde Keep
Elder Ohanzee in Gundrak
Elder Chogan'gada in Utgarde Pinnacle
Elder Igasho in The Nexus
Elder Kilias in Drak'Theron
Elder Yurauk in the Halls of Stone

My cunning tactic is to reuse heroic instances which have been cleared. As far as I know the trash doesn't respawn and the instances are saved for the day, so if any of the above instances are done, Kam could in theory get into them to talk to the Elder. I think this requires whoever cleared the instance to be the party leader; when you step into the instance in their party, you get into their cleared instance.

Failing that an in-guild Elder visiting party might need arranging. This is the trickiest part of the achievement because of the time required, if you have to go in PUGs and clear all the instances. Happily the Dungeon Finder will help with this.

Here is a walkthrough I put together on a recent trip.

Elders of the Alliance
For Horde this will be tricky, especially due to the City Defender achievement encouraging players to defend. A quest turn-in macro has been posted in the comments on Wowhead which should help a lot - you need to right click the Elder to open up the dialog, then hit the macro key to run the macro.

Elders of the Horde
Easy for Kam. Same applies as above for Alliance ;-)

50 Coins of Ancestry
There were 50 Elders on Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms so this one will happen when visiting Elders for the other achievements.

The Rocket's Red Glare
Frenzied Firecracker
Easy, the rockets and firecrackers are sold in the capital cities with no supply restrictions.

Elune's Blessing
You have to complete the quest Elune's Blessing, given in Moonglade. This looks ok because there should be enough PUG raids to Omen, plus he shouldn't be too hard. Unless Blizzard buff him! According to comments on Wowhead, you just need to stand in the aura of the dead Omen, so even if another raid or faction have killed him you can get this done. Joining whatever raid is formed in Moonglade is the most sensible approach, so there should only be 1 raid going per faction, or lurking around for the kill if the opposing faction are raiding him.

Lunar Festival Finery
Easy, only need 5 coins to buy a piece of clothing. Kam already has the achievement because we had to spend those coins on something!

Working toward Ambassador
According to WoWWiki, each quest at an Elder gives +75 reputation to all faction cities - there are 100 Elders so that's 7500 reputation toward Ambassador of the Horde or Ambassador of the Alliance, which is very good.

Tour Guide
I followed the Lunar Festival Tour Guide this year and it was very good. It covers all the Elders in classic Azeroth, Northrend and has good instructions on the Elders in the classic instances.

In conclusion the only tricky part of this achievement is the Wrath dungeon visits. The other issue is that, according to the in game calendar, the Love Is In The Air festival starts on the 7th of February, just before the Lunar Festival starts. So late February is going to be busy for achievement seekers.

Image courtesy of Blizzard.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Nowhere close to being a Chef

With patch 3.0.8 come the opportunity to get the Hail to the Chef achievement. Most of the sub-achievements are ok to do, with the exception of The Northrend Gourmet.

The Northrend Gourmet requires you to cook 45 Northrend recipes, for which you need to learn all 45 (of course). 25 of these must be purchased for 3 Dalaran Cooking Awards each, obtained by doing the Dalaran cooking dailies. Thus you will need to do 75 cooking dailies maximum for all these recipes. I say maximum because sometimes you get a bonus Dalaran Cooking Award, and Mustard Dogs! gives 2 awards. So doing the dailies to get the required tokens is quite a feat.

However, one of the Northrend recipes required is Fish Feast which requires cooking 450 to make. Cooking 450 is difficult to get and generally needs you to cook a lot of Small or Great feasts which in themselves aren't that useful. Think grind.

So the Chef title is definitely given to dedicated cooks and I salute those who have got it (grats Sephrenia). Kam is at cooking 434 and currently I don't have the will to grind up to 450, so for now the Chef title is on hold. I just hope that the raid-buff food he cooks will continue to give skill points and he'll get to 450 eventually.

Image courtesy of IMDB.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

R-e-s-p-e-c (there is no T)

With patch 3.0.8 came a free respec for shamans. By which I mean elemental shamans may be glad to get all their talent points refunded so they can play with the new stuff, but my enhancement spec was working just fine thank you very much.

Luckily all that happened was Mental Quickness and Static Shock swapped places, so spending the points was quite easy.

Another bonus was more achievements, specifically a new feat of strength for killing Prince Mirkblood and getting his vampire pet way back when we were all still doing Karazhan. Ah good old Karazhan how I miss you.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Enhancement BoE and crafted upgrades

After the post at World of Matticus, and Kam putting in around 1500 dps maximum last Naxxramas visit, I felt some upgrades were needed.

The following scored highly on my current enhancement scale. They are craftable BoE stuff so I can get them from guild crafters.

Titanium Impact Choker. I'll probably stick a hit gem in the socket as Kam is very under the hit cap (200 currently vs the cap of 367 iirc).

Ice Striker's Cloak. Kam's current cloak has 31 hit rating, whereas this has none, but is better otherwise.

Giantmaim Legguards. No hit rating but my current ones don't have any either.

Titanium Impact Band. This is a pretty nice ring, with a hit gem in it. But not as nice as...

Ring of Scarlet Shadows. Second only to this one in the places I can go, this blue ring is awesome. A big wodge of hit rating, a socket I can put a hit gem in, crit and AP the only problem here is that it is Unique-Equipped, otherwise I'd get two!

Titansteel Bonecrusher. Well obviously I want Kel'Thuzad's Reach but for now the Bonecrusher is very close.

Now one thing that is odd is that with these crafted items, the equivalent spellpower ones seem to score higher, for instance the Titanium Impact Band is lower than Titanium Spellshock Ring. I guess because I am using Flametongue and shocks, spell power is useful. Still, I steadfastly refuse to grab spellpower items so am stubbornly getting the melee ones instead.

Also the spellpower weapons such as Titansteel Guardian rate higher because of their stats. But again I'm not taking spell power weapons. It would be interesting to equip an epic spellpower weapon to test the DPS difference, if I got one off-spec for my healing set.

Other crafted gear Kam is currently wearing includes:
Swiftarrow Helm
Razorstrike Breastplate
Eaglebane Bracers
Leggings of Visceral Strikes
Along with BoE drops of:
Spored Tendrils Spaulders
Belt of Tasseled Lanterns
Boots of the Terrestrial Guardian

My off hand could do with some upgrading too, I have an eye on Pride but before I get the required 50 emblems I'll probably pick up the Crimson Cranium Crusher or Unholy Persuader. Confusingly the scale seems to suggest that Kam's current dagger is better than the Persuader by 170 points, but when I ran an Enhsim with the values for the Unholy Persuader put in, Kam gets 30 extra DPS with the Persuader. Most odd, but I trust the sim rather than the scales it generates. When Kam gets a different, slow off hand, I shall do some dummy tests to see if the dagger really is better as the scale claims. This is without even thinking about dual wielding the Brunnhildar Axe with FB/FT. Ye gods.

In conclusion I'd say deciding on a weapon upgrade is difficult, but at least the rest of Kam's gear can be upgraded without (too much) confusion.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Soloed: A Hero's Burden

In order to do dailies for The Oracles faction, one must complete a long and fun quest chain for both Frenzyheart and The Oracles, cumulating in A Hero's Burden. This group quest requires you to kill an elite Lich who will summon two adds at 30%, the twist being that one is a Frenzyheart and one an Oracle - the one you don't kill will help you with the Lich and then offer a quest to become aligned with their faction.

So lacking a group Kam tried it alone. The Lich does frost bolts, so a frost resistance totem was the first order of business. He is also elite, so the Earth Elemental seemed a good idea. I saved the wolves for when the adds came, they could offtank one in a pinch I thought.

A bad pull was the first mistake. Usually happy to run across half the zone to aggro something, this time Earl the Earth Elemental sat still and refused to engage. Sigh. So desperately trying to kill the Lich, I summoned the wolves to help with some heals. Finally I kited the lich onto Earl and some tankage happened. The lich was annoyingly immune to Earthshock - it wouldn't interrupt his frostbolts at all. In hindsight I should have used Grounding Totem to absorb some of those bolts. He also had a habit of freezing Kam to the ground and backing off out of melee range, but this was a great opportunity to self-heal.

The Earth Elemental lasted until the Lich was at 30%, then he died. No problem. At 30% mr undead turns into an Ice Cube Of Shame* (tm) and summons the aforementioned adds. Now I'd used the wolves already, so a Fire Elemental was called to deal with the gurloc while Kam went to kill off the puppy. In hindsight maybe I should have used Hex on the gurloc... hindsight is a wonderful thing really. Anyhow the fire elemental doesn't do enough damage to kill the gurloc, so he is an adequate off-tank for this bit. The puppy is a ranged type so keeps on running off to get range, which is quite annoying for a melee DPS type like Kam, but eventually he was nuked down and killed.

Finally the gurloc add became friendly, mr Lich came out of his Ice Cube Of Shame and Kam tanked him. Well ok, frantically kept himself alive with LHW while the friendly gurloc DPSed the Lich down. Hurrah! The Lich was killed and the quest was soloed. Kam is now honoured with The Oracles and can get to grinding to Revered for the egg.

* The Ice Cube Of Shame is thus called because, in Karazhan runs of old, you could tell which Mage had overthreated and pulled aggro because they would suddenly become an Ice Cube. It's really obvious guys, you ain't foolin' no one.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Kam in Kara... Naxxramas

Thursday was raid night, so Kam went along to Naxxramas as run-in-and-out melee DPS. With the green weapons, pastel mixture of blue and green gear and little clue, off we went into the Arachnid quarter.

Anub'Rekhan was fairly ok, Kam mainly stood behind him and did some hitting. When the crypt guard thing appeared the DPS were meant to switch onto it, but we were also meant to stay spread out so the spike things Anub shoots didn't hit more than one person. Sadly the off tank was positioning the add near to Anub, so I couldn't move onto it without getting in line with some squishie cloth type or another. So I just sat on Anub instead. We did try the kite tactic when the cloud thing happened, but the healers got confused and died or the tank died, so we reverted to tank-and-spank instead, which worked well.

Anub dropped Knife of Incision which scored far higher on my enhancement scale than Kam's crusty 90 dps green weapon, so it was equipped. And Kam's DPS jumped by around 100. Still, I did feel dirty using an offhand dagger with flametongue.

Grand Widow Faerlina. Yes, due to some confusion the add which dispels her frenzy died too soon, so a wipe happened and Kam ended up dead in front of the lady. Second time we got it right and she bit the dust. Kam's role was to stand behind Faerlina and do some DPS, nothing too exciting. The reward was the Rusted-Link Spiked Gauntlets, a proper upgrade! Got to get those gloves gemmed and enchanted.

I didn't want this to turn into an Incompetent Warrior style post, but on our next boss Mrs Maexxna, some shaman was meant to be keeping the Poison curing totem up and Nature resistance. Now unfortunately said shaman got confused and thought Mana Spring was in a different school to Poison Cleansing, so put up mana spring after poison cleansing, resulting in the poor main tank getting the nasty poison on him and dying. Some staring at the floor was done, all corpse-like.

Second time Kam got it right and we had poison cleansing, natural resistance and some standing behind the big spider swinging weapons wildly - resulting in one dead spider.

Finally the raid went to have a look at Patchwerk, because he is a "simple tank and spank". Sadly the off tank wasn' quite hard enough so Kam once again ended the encounter lying face down on the floor. Still, Kam got the spider wing achievement, some loot and emblems for his efforts, so it was a good run overall.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Heroically going forth to find bugs

Tuesday night was the first Lich King heroic Kam had attempted, luckily it was Drak'Tharon Keep so he could do the two quests he had for it.

Currently Kam is specced as Enhancement and, because there are quite a few healers in the guild, will be staying that way until the dual spec thing comes in, when I can reacquaint myself with the healing ways. Of course that means there is much healing gear to be collected through quests until then. But anyways...

The run went fairly well. Given my inexperience with melee DPS in groups, Kam managed to die on Novos the Summoner, but still got the achievement for killing it. Many deaths were had on the void circles at the beginning too. Maybe I need to turn down the scrolling combat text so some of the actual floor is visible over the spam?

On the final boss I managed to taunt the boss off the tank while transformed, so Kam was soundly flattened, and was dead when the boss died. Not released mind, just lying there enjoying the fight. But when The Prophet Tharon'ja died, Kam didn't get the achievement for killing it, so didn't get Heroic: Drak'Tharon Keep or the normal one. Ouch. Apparently this has happened before for other guildies, but I raised a ticket anyway in hope. Unfortunately it seems GMs can't fiddle with achievements, so they suggested I redo the kill and I should get the achievement. Helpful.

Kam also got to hex things on this run, which was great fun. I almost felt like a mage, what with the turning mobs into critters, having to get in range for the pull, and shouting out when the mob became unhexed. Unfortunately with the 45 second cooldown, once the mob is out it cannot be rehexed immediately, so it's more a fire-and-forget type spell.

Finally I'd like to curse Drakuru for leading Kam astray and make a promise that Kam will be back to get him in Zul'Drak.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Ding 80, grats say Rhonin

While working on the opening quests for Knights of the Ebon Blade, Kam hit 80. The achievement came up so there was no need to announce it in guild chat, much grats were received.

Then the next day a most curious mail appeared, from none other than Rhonin himself. Having followed the events in War of the Ancients and Day of the Dragon, this was pretty cool. He was right too, although the journey to 80 was no minor feat, the true battle of gearing up, running heroics and besting the raid content still lies ahead.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

At least somebody likes Kam

With great grinding comes great reward - one Mastercraft Kalu'ak Fishing Pole and one cute little Pengu. Having started on the Kalu'ak dailies at level 71, Kam has become very familiar with rescuing (or kidnapping) puppies, collecting boxes and getting da seal lovin' goin' down (mon). Although Kam's Nat Pagle Extreme Angler FC-5000 with a line from the STV competition had the same +fishing, it wasn't epic. And purple is what it's all about right? It's a bonus that Pengu is such a nice little pet, he makes a cute noise when you click him and I actually prefer him to Stinker.

My only tip for this rep grind is to get started early and don't dwell too much on the fact that you could be grinding for actual gear, rather than fishing trinkets. Oh, that and water riding & walking is really useful when trying to catch tasty reef fish.

Friday, 2 January 2009

Resto gear guides for Heroics and Naxxramas

Happy new year peoples. Now Kam is almost 80 I've started to look for big lists of Resto loot to go seek. Here is what I've found thus far.

Chain Heal Rises as Circle of Healing Falls has an interesting discussion about stats for haste and mp5 to shoot for (350-400 haste & 550 mp5 in combat).

This Healer Wrath rep post from World of Matticus has more to add to my old Shaman rep post. This one covers all healers, so is an interesting read to keep informed of what the other healing lot are after.

Mana Tide - To-do List for the Level 80 Resto Shaman is a nice list of specs, glyphs, reputation loot and BoE stuff.

Way Of The Totem: Rep rewards: Filling your gear gaps has more rep item discussion, but you can never get enough, right?

The Egg and I is a discussion of where to spend those badgers, erm I mean emblems, from Way Of The Totem.

Gear Choices Pt. I - Gearing up for Naxx is the list from Shields Up!

Healing With Hooves is a blog I've just discovered, but they have a good 3 part guide to Resto gear part 1 part 2 part 3.

Now all I need is similar lists for Enhancement and Elemental. Me, collect 3 sets of gear? Why I've not done that since... ok, since the end of TBC.
© 2008, 2009 FlameShock. All Rights Reserved.