Argus PTR: Expectations and Reality

7.3. PTR is opened, and screenshots and datamined information are all over the web.

First of all, Argus. As expected – and no one believed me – the planet is a black rock wreck with fel green puddles all over the place. Yes, it’s Legion’s forge, and it can’t look otherwise. There won’t be any well-preserved fauna and/or flora, there will be nothing except Legion-warped terrain. NOTHING.

And WTF did you expect?!

Still, the demon ranks are completely reworked – and it’s the only chance to invoke life into the old same range of imps, moarg, felguards we’ve been fighting ever since 2007. Just look at this creature:

models14.jpg

But I really want the expansion to be over. Because Blizzard was feeding us with fel green non-stop since Tanaan Jungle patch in Draenor, and I’m really tired of it by now. We’ll be bathing in fel for at least a year since now.

Second, the means of travel. Draenei built a cool spaceship which (with Illidan’s keystone) would jump between demon worlds – that would be replayable daily content, spread on endless chunks of black rock/fel green splinters of planets.

Third, the new raid’s last boss is claimed to be… Argus. The titan of the planet. I don’t know whether he’s corrupted – we shall see. My guesses could be that Legion somehow taps into his powers of the sleeping titan (like Azeroth is a girl who still sleeps), so in the raid we would need to end this. Maybe we fight his dreams or something like that. Anyways, I think we beat the shit out of his head (because that’s how you heal corruption in video games, WoW no exception). Then he awakes, clean, shatters Argus-Planet and kills Sargeras. That makes perfect sense.

The list of raid bosses is no-names, except Varimathras:

Varimathras-Legion

He was present ever since W3 – Frozen Throne. A badass model, I like it as much as Tichondrius.

All in all I expect an excellent story with huge amounts of lore thrown at us about titans and draenei past. But I’m not very eager about playing in sad and boring terrains of Legion terramorphing, especially the repeatable content. Broken Shore took me only what it needed to get achievements. I hate it, and I never want to back there whatever the world quest awards are.

LFR: Never Start As a Healer

Tomb-First-Wing-Achievement

It’s the first day when common mortals are allowed to Tomb of Sargeras!

I had spare 40 minutes before going to work, and I queued as a healer due to shorter queues.

Aurinko the Holy Priest didn’t experience too much trouble there. The worst moments were at the trash mobs I guess. I noticed how people failed to follow certain mechanics at the bosses and died, but it was a complete mystery what these mechanics were because I was focused on health bars!

There was a pretty bad moment at Har’jatan in the very end when things just went south, both tanks were dead simultaneously and in an instant. Battle rez took our group some time, but we pulled it off.

There were no wipes, the worst case was 3 or 4 group members dead by the end of encounter.

As for loot – I got a trinket with a healer’s bonus from the last boss :)

As for bosses or raid environment… now here we go with the name of the post. I’ve pretty much missed everything about lore and environments, about how raid mechanics work (it seems I caught every whirling blade at the Naga lady boss). I guess there were some murlocs and jellyfish. Because I was staring at health bars! :)

Not making that mistake again. My first entrance into any raid must always be a ranged dps. It gives you an opportunity to gawp at a raid design, focus on the boss and trash mobs to see who they are and what they do. Once you learn the mechanics – mostly AVOIDING mechanics by heart, your healers will perform it easily and with only a slightest glance at the environs.

Doing the raid again today – on ranged dps, melee dps, and who knows – maybe even tanking. And so I’ll be writing my traditional “A Peep into [Raid Wing]” post tomorrow :)

P.S. The loot proved once again that on your first run you usually get trinkets, rings or necks. Since the second run there’s more chance to get capes, belts and wrists, and only then major tier items start to drop.

Z and Cinder’s Blog Challenge: A Day in the Life of Your Toon

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Topic 20 for Z and Cinder’s Blog Challenge is a Day in the Life of Your Toon.

My actual gameplay is not about one toon, but all of them, so…

…Anibell’s steed is impatient in Gilneas quarters. It’s way past nine in the morning, and Aurinko, the gnome priest, is late as always.

– You’re gonna walk on your own legs all alone next time, – mutters paladin, and starts as Aurinko elegantly levitates down to the horse’s back.

– Morning! What are we up to today? – cheers Aurinko.

Anibell restrains herself from complaining and rides to Krasus’ Landing. The two of them are late again. The meeting has already started.

– …and kicked their asses! – Bons tells hoarsely, scratching fresh scars across her cheek. – I’ve piled vrykul skulls so high you could shit at the Halls of Valor from the top of them bones. And what did the bloody bastards say? Oh, but you haven’t proven yourself to Odyn good enough yet. Come again in a week. I’ll prove something to his balls the next time I see him!

The warrior gnome fiercely kicks a sack in front of her. It clanks and reeks of sewers.

– What the onions is that? – Faerella, the goblin warlock pinches her nose.

– That? That is some effing pieces of effing naga designs that the effing Serpentshrine “guests” forgot there in the effing dump. Thought I could use some.

– You’d better wash ’em first, sister, – Paitsu the monk muses, sipping on green tea. – Right, what we’re gonna do today?

Micromantica raises up a roll of paper.

– So, Team Valar’jar – including me, of course – worked well for the renowned warriors of Odyn yesterday.

– Kick his ass, – mutters Bons.

– Ahem. Yes, we will have to prove ourselves to Odyn again until he says us where he hid his drake…

– Or we can kick his ass until he does, – adds Bons.

– …but Team Valar’jar is free for today. Mend your wounds, for tonight is the highlight of team….

Ten heads frozen in anticipation.

– …Team Val’sharah! Congrats, Helu! Take our dear goblins with you, and we’ll be waiting for your results.

The tauren druid and the three goblins bump their heads as they assemble over the task list. Then they look up, visibly happy.

– Pfft! – Schlitzchen the shaman waves the paper above her head. – Is that all? So, all they want is a pinch of grass, a pebble and a pair of elixirs for tonight?

– There’s also a fiendish satyr to slay, – reminds Hexen, playing with her knife, but clearly not looking upset with the fact.

– Girls, I’ll carry you, – says Helu hastily, while looking at Bons who slowly turns red. Tauren turns into an owl, grabs the goblins by the collars and swooshes in Azsuna’s direction.

-…ck! – brings the wind from under Dalaran. – I can’t brew those elixirs without my equipment I  left in the city!…

Bons walks straight to Micromantica, stops in front of mage’s face nose to nose, and is silent, turning from pink to scarlet to dangerously violet.

– I know, – says Micromantica wearily.

– Yes, you know! You were there with us yesterday! Granted, you’re not a bookworm, climbing rocks and kicking asses and looking in the face of danger like the rest of us three! But why the hell we were assigned to the effing fjords and cliffs with millions of those bearded sons of a… when someone is spending their time in elven beaches like Azsuna and in fairy forests like Val’sharah? They collect effing herb, while we’ve chopped out a population of a small town yesterday. With these very hands!

– You know what? – says Paitsu. – Look around, we’re three left here. Anibell, Melaris, Aurinko and Backston are already gone to have a drink. I suggest we join them.

– Like I could have said “no”, – grumbles Bons. – Mark you, if next time Odyn doesn’t give me this dragon, I quit! I’m not playing this game anymore! And to think of it… we are competing with goblins on who will earn the faction appraisal and the secret mounts first! Is it true that all of them are having a try tonight?

Paitsu looks around and produces some shiny tokens from her sleeves.

– They won’t. Just by accident, I’ve not only forgotten to give them these Val’sharah druid signs my troops brought, but I also happened to “borrow” some of their own. Wanna keep them?

– Like I’m going to Val’sharah, – says Bons, glances around and hides the precious shiny tokens in her belt. – By the way, where’s Mindebad?

– Ah, she’s become perfect on emissary visit guessing. She slipped a note she’ll spend this sunny day in her coffin. Sends her regards.

Trivia: Mog Runs, Paragon Chests and More

Today’s trivia will be a quick barrage with the thoughts and achievements.

Midsummer: got the toy for 500 blossoms! Now I need 350 for the new pet, and the holiday will be completed again.

Carried out lots of transmog loot from Emerald Nightmare and The Nighthold. I’ll continue running these raids to get the full sets. So far I’ve collected sets for Warlock, Demon Hunter and Hunter. More toons now lack just one piece.

I’m setting off for the older raid transmog runs. This will be one of my major things to while away time. A perfect thing for lulls. Reliving the older epic battles and all, while also getting new good looks options.

Razorgore was nerfed! Now you pop those eggs in Blackwing Lair in an instant, so the encounter became a stroll in the promenade.

Yogg-Saron was nerfed! Now all this insanity business will not one-shot you. The counter comes back to 100 if you happen to reach zero, so the fight is perfectly safe now.

I went through the Deathwing’s spine, and it was the first time that I’ve managed to complete the encounter solo! Now it’s gonna be on farm – I need the last drake from Deathwing to complete two achievements.

Did some other raid runs too.

Throne-of-Thunder

Hexen had a business lunch with a gnome in her Order Hall. If you sit and take your time, you’ll notice how a waiter comes to your table, there’s interaction going. These things make the world so live.

Hexen-Lunch-In-rogue-Order-Hall

Got 5 more paragon chests from different emissaries – no mount luck yet. Although Micromantica reached her first paragon chest with Legionfall, and the felbat pet dropped!

Legionfall-Pet

Legionfall has no mount for paragon chests, so now I’m not missing anything. The other toons would get Exalted through tokens for Exalted’s sake, and I may as well abandon the faction.

I’ve combined a cool transmog set for Melaris which I called the Pale Death:

Melaris-Demon-Hunter-Transmog

So, my nearest plans for the week are:

  • Transmog collecting from current and older raids
  • Lazy emissary chests farming on my schedule of 4 toons/day
  • Trying the first LFR wing of the Tomb
  • Getting the last pet from Midsummer vendors.

How’s your week?

Concordance!

So, have you got your Concordance yet?

By now I have it on four toons. Those would be Micromantica (Frost), Mindebad (Frost), Backston (Marksmanship) and Faerella (Affliction) – in other words, those classes largely focused on one spec for me.

There was no special grind. Just LFR, emissary questing and order hall missions.

Now when I’m getting Concordance on one spec, I would switch to play the other specs and boost them to 52 as well. After that? I stop worrying about Artifact Power at all. This would be the end of the line. I would focus on gold probably.

Reaching this level of artifact power makes me try even the specs which I’m uncomfortable with. And once I learn and master – they suddenly become comfortable and cool.

Micromantica is now a badass firestarter. Not exactly a new and an exciting spec for me, but it’s fun in raids by all means.

Mindebad spent two days reading guides and tweaking talents, but I’m so into Unholy now that it gives me shivers! I’ve even combined a brand new cool transmog for my now Plague Knight:

Mindebad-Unholy-Death-Knight

I’ve also checked out the model sets for plate robes and skirts (quite a rare occasion in plate armor company), and I found that Heart of Fear offers very cool outfits :) My next destination during the coming weekend.

Legion is not only alt friendly, it’s spec friendly as well.

Trivia: Anticipation

With Tomb of Sargeras out yesterday, I can’t yet put my nose into it until the next week (because LFR).

As much as I’m anticipating the new raid environment, I’m not being lazy. I have lots of things to do. And here’s what happens:

  1. My toons are now diligent about carrying sacks full of loot from both Emerald Nightmare and The Nighthold. I’m starting to finish my Nighthold model sets, and the rest of toons are lacking just 1 to 3 pieces.
  2. I’m exploring the role that I’ve largely ignored before: HEALING, and on every available class now. I got the general idea of every healing spec aside discipline priest, and I’m running the raids as a healer with big pleasure. It’s strangely relaxing compared to tanks or even dps. Maybe I’m gonna even try healing Tomb of Sargeras. On top of all, the queues for healers are smaller.
  3. Midsummer holiday is up, and there are four new achievements with bonfires: added in Draenor and Broken Isles. Got them quickly, and earned 150 flame flowers in process. I rummaged through the holiday goods list, and I saw that I lack one pet and one toy. So I’ll be getting them during weekend.
  4. New Archaeology project is up this week, and although I have an artifact appearance for the 8 solves, I’m heading to the bigger achievement. So one more thing to do on weekend.
  5. My reputation race is on, and Team Valar’jar/Highmountain (Micromantica, Aurinko, Bons, Paitsu) was the first to obtain a faction mount from bonus chest! Aurinko won a Highmountain moose.

Highmountain-Moose-Mount

  • Now I can safely ignore Highmountain emissary days – I just got myself a weekend from world quests :) The same is gonna happen with other factions.

Kil’Jaeden Death Cinematic: Your Thoughts?

*Spoiler alert

On the first day Kil’Jaeden was defeated, and the raid cinematic leaked to the internet. As a LFR raider and a lore addict I won’t be able to wait until August 8, when I see it with my own eyes, so I decided to watch it tonight.

Here it is.

The encounter happens at the Legion ship and in Twisting Nether, so it’s quite enough to make the kill final (like Archimonde).

What is interesting is that Kil’Jaeden, unlike his bro Archie, saw all the Legion business as the only option. He corrupted many worlds, committed all the atrocities and followed the fallen titan only because he never believed that defeating Sargeras was possible. He just picked the winning side – as he thought it was. But in Broken Shore cinematic he was already in big doubt.

And now, before his death he tells Velen that he was envious of the Prophet’s gift, faith and vision. He’s sorry that he couldn’t see many paths as Velen did.

And it’s slightly different reason why he chased draenei so maniacally. This was not in favor of serving Sargeras. If you remember, he put aside his Legion duties to chase them. It was brother love that moved him, and it was the betrayed love. And there’s no hate stronger than the one transformed from love.

So now, dying, he sees that mortals are quite capable of defeating Legion and Sargeras. That total destruction is not the only option. And that heel-to-face turn is not surprising, if you consider his history.

The other big thing in the cinematic is Illidan’s gambit. Not at all surprising: he always makes an unexpected and rushing move for what he thinks is best. Sadly, all his moves always end in failures.

Anyways, it could work this time. He dragged Argus from the galaxy far-far away and turned it into Azeroth satellite, judging by its size on screenshots and in cinematic ending.

A brilliant move – to some extent. The planet is where the high ranks and most armies of Legion reside, and also its forge. So it’s gonna be very convenient to strike at it, hanging nearby than inventing some spaceships or means to rip a fabric of reality and send armies far away from home. And as we presumably closed the rift in Tomb of Sargeras (did we? All the pillars thing should have worked), it’s not the endless demon armies now. They can’t summon them like they did before!

On the other hand, it works both ways. The Legion’s major stronghold is at our doorstep, and the armies would be vast, albeit without reinforcements. And what’s with the “kill them in Twisting Nether” thing? And what’s with Sargeras himself? Is he at Argus too? Won’t he slice Azeroth in half if he is?

It seems that we can take out their major forge and base camp now, but will it end all the demon thing and Legion’s generals?

We shall see.