I Bathe in Blood

Mindebad

My previously unplayed spec mastering continues, and the recent acquisition is Blood spec of Death Knights.

It’s interesting how Death Knights never work for me on the first try. It required five DK characters to start a proper Death Knight toon until I got the idea and reveled in Frost.

Mastering Unholy a month ago was easy though – after a single LFR wing I’m as effective and confident as Frost, although I still don’t like pets.

Now, Blood.

Blood was a disaster with me whenever I tried it. People claimed that a DK tank should survive by itself in group content and even without healers. People post videos of DKs running current content raids SOLO.

What really happened: I was dying even to not-so-hard elite mobs in Legion. So when other of my tanks wouldn’t even sweat or suffer more than 5% health bar chips, DK would… die and die again. So I had to kill those hard mobs in Frost eventually.

It was a hard nut to crack, and a challenge. It intrigued me and itched my nerves, so I’ve rolled up my sleeves… and learned to play it.

The secret was easy. Other tanks have distinction between offensive and defensive abilities. I even assign the offense into 1-5 keys, and defense goes into mouse-clickable bar located over bags and game menus. With DK, it’s not.

It’s blended.

The core defensive abilities of DK are also offensive, so what I needed to learn is to HOLD myself from pressing the attack keys on cooldown like I do with other tanks. This small management did the trick: my dear brutal Mindebad is unbreakable like she should.

I have no urge to run group content as a tank for the time being, but the utility of cracking the hardest WQ boss solo is now available to the undead Gnome as well.

Woo-hoo!

P.S. The artifact weapon is one of my most favorite.

Damn the Warcraft Chronicles!

I’m finishing the second volume which I got from Amazon on the release day. The reading is amazing, this is what the proper WoW books should be like.

I openly despise Golden and company’s feeble attempts to create some Blizzard-related “literature”. It’s a pure graphomaniac stuff, and in its best examples it may not be used as an asswipe straightaway, but after a while nevertheless. The language is awful, the very same plots from the games are boring and dull, and the most interesting lore characters which are supposed to become even more alive – well, they’re nothing more than plastic dummies. In fact, the only benefit of this “literature” was the lack of any other alternative for WoW and SC related reading. So, with Chronicles released, this benefit is also gone.

I think the Warcraft Chronicles are the best auxiliary material possible. It’s a very cool reading per se, but it also covers huge lore lacunae there were. I’m all into the book now, and there are only two regrets about the whole business:

  • There will be only one more tome
  • We’ll have to wait for it until the next year

The final question is: why the title – “Damn the Warcraft Chronicles”?

The answer is so me. First I’ve tried and then created a male orc warrior. I don’t know when and how I’m gonna play it with my arms full of different Legion things, but I did :)

Relaxed… Grind?

Reputations

Yeah, right. When I was talking about a relaxed gameplay, I have underestimated the power of set goals.

So, what was meant to be the occasional emissary runs while waiting for LFR queues actually transformed into a reputation marathon. Grab an alt, do 4 quests, turn in, switch to another, never wait for raid to pop. I feel the urge of completing emissary on every alt now, and I barely have time even for raid runs.

The situation is worse as we are strongly required to be exalted with factions: the bonus rep after exalted in 7.2. will grant some cool rewards – including the very nice faction mounts drop chance. Besides you would have Legionfall to work on.

So, I’m all into emissary gameplay.

It is needless to say that reputations are a straightforward game: once you start working on them, you would rapidly come to finish in a course of few weeks. And yet it’s a bit disturbing as it’s kind of obligatory to me today.

Mostly I’m a little over Revered border with factions, so it’s a long way to go yet.

Things To Do

1/ Archaeology

I’ve included Archaeology projects into my activities. They take 2-3 hours to complete per week, yet I must plan several sessions not to do them in one sit in the last moment. I have dug out three big items toward the achievement.

The good thing about Archaeology nowadays is that pristine objects would come naturally. While solving the bigger pattern I get 2 or 3 pristines on the way.

2/ Fishing

You won’t believe it, but I’ve visited the fishing island for the very first time in expansion this weekend. I’ve got the general idea, so I’m gonna be working on getting a fishing artifact if I have a spare time. I have only four rare fish caught out of an arm long achievement list, so it’s not gonna be too fast.

3/ Other Professions

I’ve somehow got my eye on professions. I would pay attention to opening my crafting list and see if I have enough mats for leveling items. Heck, I’m even bothering with trading mats between toons! And Aurinko and Melaris are running Draenor Garrisons to level Mining / Mining and Herbalism on daily basis. Aurinko is actually almost done there with her 685 skill level, Melaris is somewhere at “Pandaria” skill between 550-600.

My professions would most likely to be leveled to an end via Darkmoon quests, and still I give them a boost when possible.

4/ Raids

I’m not exactly ignoring the LFR, but I’m not as frantic about it now as it was in Draenor times (it was a grinding madness driven by the Ring quests). Playing a single random wing appeared to be more enjoyable than queuing for all four – which then came in one long streak to leave me exhausted. So I’ve stopped worrying about them at least. If I feel so, I’m queuing for a wing or two, and that’s it.

I have finished the Valar’jar quests for every armor type which gave me full sets of Normal raid appearances. What happened to cloth armor – giving me a full LFR model set in addition to Normal appearances – never happened again with other armor types. I wonder what it was? So I have EN and ToV for transmog farming, but it’s not urgent.

5/ AP and Traits

I’m slowly starting to get 36th trait for my weapons. My goal before 7.2. is 35 traits per each spec on every alt, and I’m almost there.

Not Really Waiting for 7.2. 

With all these projects running I would gladly spend an extra month in current content.

Patch 7.2. Expectations, Rep Grind and The Nighthold

Patch 7.2. will presumably dawn on us very-very soon, and here are the signs:

  • PvP season comes to an end. I know nothing about PvP, but a season end usually indicates new patch.
  • Blizzard posted big previews of the new dungeon and the new activities on the Broken Shore
  • Finally, all my alts got a quest for some Broken Shore follower mission, and 3 or 4 more were available after I did it.

Granted that PvP season lasts for at least two weeks more, I foretell the patch coming at the beginning – middle of April.

This gives my alts some time to run more raids for gear up and transmog and come as close to finishing the current reputations as possible. Although it still won’t be enough.

I’m totally eager to see the new lore and the new activities, but the content is very hasty nowadays.

Reputation Grind

Well, in Legion it’s not exactly a grind. Enjoyable and fast 4-world-quest streaks for emissaries provide lots of useful stuff, and by choice. You don’t have to run the quests you don’t like: you can always wait for easier ones for three days.

My toons are good with Nightfallen, and Micromantica is good with every faction, so it’s a relief too. Still I have work to do:

Reputation-chart
The number color codes are:

  • Orange – Friendly
  • Green – Honored
  • Blue – Revered
  • Violet – Exalted and Good

Italic (cursive) is current emissary to complete. For example: Anibell smashed the brains out of dangerous creatures in the morning, so her Wardens number is in normal font.

Alt Management!!

The Nighthold

Mayluna ran the full LFR yesterday, and she got the tier chest along with several items.

Is it me, or the loot has a pattern? I’ve noticed that on your very first LFR run in certain raid you would get mostly rings and trinkets and necks. On your second and third run you have increased drop chance for capes and belts. Since the third run the tier slots start to get covered.

I’m not sure if it’s true, but I’ve noticed this pattern since Draenor.

Melaris and Her Tattoos

I mogged the chest to expose all the intricate Illidari tattoo designs…

Melaris-Designs

Blizzard artists didn’t draw all those tattoos to be covered under gear, did they?

Trivia: Routines and Legendaries

It’s the first weekend of my routined, relaxed gameplay. Let’s see.

Timewalking

Didn’t bother this week except a single run. Then an idea dawned on me on Sunday night: I could buy 500 rep tokens! I still have Shao Hao and Shado-Pan assault long from completion on Micromantica. So, granted that tokens are account-bound, I may need to run the Pandaria dungeons next time. Meanwhile I would spend the tokens I’ve already got. By the way, these two reputations are my last to fill the whole rep achievement bar:

Reputations

World Quests

Yeah: routines! I’ve picked up the pace.

  • The important thing is not to try and do the emissary for every toon.
  • The important thing is not to get tired or exhaust yourself.
  • The important thing is to do only emissaries, not every quest available.
  • The important thing is to pick a toon you want to play at the moment.

You wait for raid, you run emissary quests. You have half an hour, you run emissary quests. It’s easy and enjoyable. Just don’t think of them as of obligatory things. You’re not in a hurry, you’ll be there Exalted.

And like with Nightfallen, once you start doing emissary quests, the reputations are completed in no time. The speed of leveling reputations is actually frightening. Well, if you don’t expect them to be done in three days and then fall into despair,

My chart has color codes for reputation numbers: orange for friendly, green for honored, blue for revered. And my chart is very quickly becoming blue nowadays.

The Nighthold

Yes, it’s on farm. People are still struggling with Gul’dan – which requires several wipes – but all in all the rest of the raid is completed pretty smoothly.

The full runs are very exhausting, and the real reasons for this are Botanist and Elisande. Their encounters are easy, i don’t even remember a single wipe, and player deaths are very very rare. It’s just they are ridiculously long and tiresome. After Athenaeum wing I don’t even feel like doing anything else and need a break.

I hope we have at least two or three months for this raid – it would be nice to get 7.2. not earlier than May. I’m constantly feeling whipped by Blizzard to run and run during this expansion – like a horse at an obstacle race. I don’t have any time for extra activities. Yes, I have many alts, but my time’s got to be compensated with not running any freaking dungeons which other people do. I’m not happy with patch delivering speed this time.

Legendaries

I don’t get the overall madness with shinies. The player obsession with them seems like… religious. Legendary this, legendary that, let’s run a thousand mythics a week to get them! And you barely could wear 2 by now.

I’m not excited with them – at all. You can’t wear many. You can’t collect all, and it’s useless if you did – you can’t wear everything. It doesn’t even alter you ilvl for more than 1-2 points. And they are not really suited for all specs – which means you should wear a heap of replaceable items. It’s partly justified with tank – heal – dps roles, but when my warlock gets a shiny where she doesn’t benefit in two other specs? And the whole random thing – these shinies don’t even feel earned.

All of my toons have one or two. Most of them came either from emissary chests, some off LFRs. But do I care about shinies? Not a tiny bit I don’t. We are powerful in the field and smash the mobs, we provide decent contribution in LFR.

I guess shinies in their current state are more of an annoyance than profit. I’m not excited about them, and if tomorrow they would suddenly be replaced by current LFR items – I would just shrug and say “OK”.

Melaris Plays RTS

Melaris the Demon Hunter is farming Lunarfall mine and herb garden daily to level her professions. Suddenly she decided to make her Garrison cosy. And she ordered a construction!

Melaris

All the construction sites active, it looked like you’ve ordered bildings in Warcraft II or Warcraft III :)

Transmog

Bons has discovered cool options for Fury Warriors I’ve never thought of. You could have some real fun when dual-wielding – and fighting – with staves and spears!

Cavalry

Bons-3

Footman of N’zoth

Bons-2

Popsicle Enforcer

Bons-1

It was quite a night :)

 

Relaxation

My toon chart has been updated with few more columns, and these are: reputations.

My next goal is reaching Exalted with all the Legion factions for every toon. There are several important points about it:

  • World quests are endgame. Anyways I have nothing else to do while in LFR queues, so why not complete some?
  • There won’t be any grinding, and this is to avoid burning out and fatigue. For instance, if there’s a Kirin Tor emissary, I don’t have to run it with every toon – just those who I’m playing at the moment. In a relaxed mode. We’re not in a hurry.
  • If I did a quest towards emissary 3-4 WQ streak, I would better finish it.

And of course transmog and gear-up raid runs would be my playing session focus. Yes, we’re on farming train now. Star Augur Etraeus was killed in the morning with a single tank while DPS (including me) performed a stunningly accurate job of keeping the add away and burning it down.

So, it’s world quests and LFR runs for me with a droplets of Archaeology projects and slow, slow profession leveling. There’s no hurry, no rush. Total relaxation.

Tip of the day: be kind and open emissary chests only in the spec you want your items for. Paitsu is leveling Sheilun the healing staff to 35 now, so she applied an emissary token and then opened an emissary chest. Boom! It’s her first legendary, and it’s for Mistweaver with a healing bonus. Which I don’t play!

Gul’Down! A Peep into Betrayer’s Rise

– For the Alliance!
(c) King Varian Wrynn

Yeah!

Gul'dan_Nighthold

Two gnomes of mine has finally put an end to the bastard – and in different roles. Micromantica the Mage went as a pioneer – ranged DPS is probably the best way to explore the unknown encounters, and Aurinko the Priest followed – as a healer (!)

It was awesome.

I liked the encounter very much. There’s no trash, just pure boss fight. The mechanics are totally understandable, the encounter depends much on your actions so you feel your contribution, but at the same time are not too punishing if a single person fails to follow. It’s forgiving for single mistakes, but relies much on your work as a group. That’s how all encounters should be.

On my first try we have wiped only once. As soon as we’ve understood that the eyes are extremely dangerous and aren’t just your common trash mobs for cleave and AoE, Gul’dan’s ass was kicked easy and fast. I also switched from my playful Fire spec of 32 traits to the monstrous and glorious Ice of 35 traits on our second pull.

On my second try I went as a healer! I think I performed really well, and it was hardcore. We killed him at 3 stacks – so this was our fourth try. It required the initiate tanks and half of raid to leave in dismay, and new members came on the second try.

I don’t understand it: people learn try by try – especially if it’s the very first day – and they become better. Also every next try adds up 5% to damage and healing – so it becomes easier and easier. But people think “we’re gonna leave and queue for another group which could probably be better”. What a ridiculous hope to find a radical difference in random! What’s worse, these people keep telling that LFR is awful and hopeless.

Experience is the opposite: you should stay in the group to try and try – I’ve never left an LFR group out of despair (and I’m an LFR-only raider since Pandaria). And we always killed a boss – normally the winning tries are so smooth that barely a single player is dead by the end of encounter. So yes, stay, try, learn and educate others, and there will be success. Or how do you think people farm the bosses after? They do learn. 

Anyways, Gul’dan healing experience is pretty intense. The try before last was hardcore, only two of us healers left alive, and we did the impossible saves of tanks, ourselves and DPS guys. We were too short of living DPS guys to succeed, but it was cool. The last and winning try was smooth: as people learnt to kill the eyes, I didn’t even sweat.

The reward was identical: non-tier boots. Gul’dan owes us many, many pants.

Lore

Yes, the plot and outcome are perfectly logical and all, but I’m not an Illidan’s fanboy and returning him from the “dead” in Legion was a bad idea in the first place. I hope he sacrifices himself on Argus (like encapsulating Sargeras inside himself so that we could fight him) and dies for reals. He’s an anti-hero with a heavy overweight on anti- and I really want him to be punished for everything he’s done. This sort of character cannot be left living in peace in the woods or sent roaming the other worlds to “fight evil” – we saw how it plays out in Illidan’s case. So please just burn like a moth – and we’re good.

What’s important is that I put an end to Gul’dan with my own very hands – I’ve been dreaming of it since Draenor. The Warcraft movie didn’t alter my attitude much if only added more hate towards him, but Broken Shore cinematic was the main reason I’ve anticipated this encounter. Blizzard really succeeded in growing such a great villain out of funny old man we freed during Draenor’s starting scenario.

The Nightfallen storyline ends well though. I won’t be spoiling it for those who haven’t completed the storyline yet, but it’s so nice and it gives you a perfect feeling that all your Suramar efforts were worth it. And it also gives you a manasaber mount which goes in the cellar of achievement numbers.

All in all, I liked how the chapter ended. I’ve seen the lore. I’ve experienced the story. Now it’s time for relaxed farm: we have professions to level and reputations to get.

And yes, Gul’dan owes us pants.