Friday, 25 September 2009

I could say that this mount was rare...

But yesterday everyone at Krasus' landing seemed to have one! Still, I am glad the crazy seasonal achievements grind is finally over. Apart from the Pilgrim's Bounty. And any alts I might decide to try the meta-meta for.

For interest, here is the mail I got the beast in. Apparently Alexstrasza can't spell!

Good luck out there achievement hunters!

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Trial of the Cursed Crusader & Patch 3.2.2

Last night I got into the Trial of the Crusader run, Kam's first ever. With a group mixed from experienced ToTCers and people new to the place (including me), I was excited and ever hopeful of success, and being the only melee DPS in there, hopeful of some epics! And now this morning I see we've been hit with a new content patch with the dreaded Onyxia once gain overpowered.

Trial of the ChampionCrusader
Beware this contains spoilers for the events in ToTC.

The Beasts was a fun fight with lots of running around after Snobolds (and thus bugger all DPS), confusion over which Worm was which, then Kam was picked twice for a charge from the big Yeti, both of which he avoided! Suck it Mr Yeti :P I had read and re-read this Beasts guide from Shamen on Ramen which proved helpful. Those Beasts also dropped a nice neck piece which was a big score for me.

Lord Jaraxxus was a nice fight, if only because a Gnome died. I actually got something to do by being on interrupt duty for Fel Fireball, I could easily use Wind Shear to interrupt this every time. Pretty simple for melee this one, just stand and attack, occasionally running out when I got the flames, and crank those big DPS numbers.

The Faction Champions was predictably chaotic, especially for a PvE guild on a PvE server, and we eventually succeeded by killing their highest DPS first, the annoying hunter. Who can fire at point blank range, something my old hunter could never do. Despite getting them down in normal mode pre-nerf, I welcome the nerf bat as this encounter seemed to be the hardest one on the night, mostly because like, I don't do Arena, keep your PvP out of my PvE, etc etc ;) I did enjoy the heated banter between Varian and Garrosh however, it was pretty cool to see them arguing!

The Twin Val'kyr appeared complex on WoWWiki but was actually quite straightforward, and the Anub'arak fight was very cool, especially the start of the fight when the Lich King himself appears and drops us down to our doom in the depths of Icecrown. Fancy building the Coliseum on his land... epic fail! The giant bug was nice enough to drop the Frostblade Hatchet which I snapped up. Finally I can rid myself of the old Pride off hand, plus the axe looks bad-ass, which never hurts while posing around Orgrimmar. Erm, I mean doing srs bizns on mah auctions. Now I want two! I still have Aledar's Battlestar but the Tankard O'Terror is only looking like a slight tiny upgrade, so I may pass on that one.

I must admit, despite being a short raid and mostly in the same bloody room, I really enjoyed the atmosphere of Trial of the Crusader. There is almost a storyline which flows from encounter to encounter - fight the beasts you feed via dailies, a bungled summon, upholding the pride of the Horde by fighting the Alliance Champions, facing off against the "final" Val'kyr, then foil the Lich King's attempts to kill you all.


I would post patch notes and commentary on 3.2.2, but it looks like Windfury, Big Hit Box and Shaman on Ramen have it covered. Possible Enhancement rotation changes and the Glyph of Flame Shock being good are the headlines, along with a buffed Totem of Quaking Earth.

Having Soloed Onyxia recently I am really looking forward to facing a more dangerous version. I just hope the guild don't get fed up of me requesting Berserking mats if I win yet more weaponry.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Farming Deviate Hatchlings

The daily heroic was Occulus so rather than die lots on a vehicle fight, I chose to go try to farm up a Deviate Hatchling in Wailing Caverns. The accepted tactic is to clear the first room of raptors, loot and hope for the pet drop, run out and reset.

This was going a little slowly, so remembering that mobs in instances don't loose aggro over distances, I tried body pulling a few then killing them. For this I used Thunderstorm from my (new) Elemental off-spec. Run through some raptors, stand still so they catch you up, hit Thunderstorm = dead raptors.

This was going so well I thought I'd see how many raptors could be killed at once. The answer is the entire first room of raptors, plus assorted oozes and some Druids of the Claw who joined in the party. The only problem is it takes ages to loot all the corpses! Sadly for enhancers this doesn't work with the Magma Totem, because you need to damage to mobs to be able to loot them. Have fun!

Thursday, 17 September 2009

What's the going rate for the daily heroic these days?

Clearly when another Warlock in the guild gets a higher WoW-Heroes score than you, desperate measures are required to keep those Emblems of Triumph coming in.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Death to Onyxia!

After the news that she was going level 80 in 3.2.2, I thought I would try to kill Onyxia soon. Kam was already almost done on the UBRS key chain, so I pressed ahead with the Horde quests and finally got keyed for Onyxia.

Having stepped into the lair of the dragon, I followed this sage advice and 10 minutes later managed a solo kill on Onyxia. Bing achievement and future Feat of Strength, not hard at all. I can recommend the quest chain to all Horde-side lore monkeys, it is pretty cool, and having Thrall fawn all over you for killing her is ace.

In other utterly unrelated news Kam is pretty much done farming Heroics for Emblems of Conquest, except for these tasty legs. Then my mind will turn to whether its worth waiting for the 4 piece Tier 8 bonus, or going straight for 2pcT8 2pcT9. Given the recent change on the PTR, I shall be investing in a Totem of Quaking Earth first anyway.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Aledar's Battlestar in which slot?

I was lucky enough to get Aledar's Battlestar from Trial of the Champion last night, got it gemmed and enchanted up with Berserking. This thing is awesome, with hit, attack power, a socket and more DPS than anything from Naxxramas 10. Best of all it is one handed and not unique, which leads to me wondering which slot I should put it in.

In Kam's main hand we have Kel'Thuzad's Reach, taken from the man's cold, dead, boney Lich fingers. In Kam's off hand we have Pride bought with those retro Emblems of Heroism.

Simulation time!
To solve this, I turned to Enhsim (hey look is just out!) and the usual rotations etc, this time I put Ghost Wolves in as a priority. I also exported two configs directly out of WoW using ShockAndAwe - one with the Battlestar in Kam's main hand, one with it in the off-hand slot. See Integrating EnhSim, Shock and Awe, and Pawn on for more details about the whole process. The results were:

Battlestar in the Off Hand: 3137 dps
Battlestar in the Main Hand: 3152 dps

So those figures are pretty close actually, and my messing up in a raid may well make them equivalent. I think I might go spend some time on a target dummy to double-check. So what are the pros and cons?

Replace Main Hand
Pro: Hit rating. With the 50 hit from Pride and the hit on Battlestar, I could dump my Malygos necklace for the superior Ancient Pendant of Arathor, and still be spell hit capped. This would also make it easy to upgrade to Wailing Night (a no hit item for another no hit item).
Pro: Better simulated DPS overall.
Con: Upgrading the better item (Reach vs Pride) feels wrong.

Replace Off Hand
Pro: Upgrading the lower level item first. I could keep my tasty Kel'thuzad's Reach.
Pro: Like it or not, WoW Heroes scores are creeping into use in the guild to judge who is ready for a particular encounter. Replacing Pride would result in an overall score increase. Probably. Although if I could start using Arathor's Pendant it might not!
Con: Worse simulated DPS.
Con: I would loose 50 hit rating and be unable to start using a better neck piece, without expensive re-gemming.

No clear winner on this one, other than get another Aledar's Battlestar. I think I will be playing around with using it in both slots, swapping gear in and out, for a while before I make a final decision. I am heavily leaning toward replacing KT's Reach, WoW Heroes score be damned!
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