Operation: Mechagon

I’m out of the game for 3 days already. My laptop is showing me the black screen – it shut down on Sunday just while being idle on and no programs running. The repair guys say it must be something with the videochip, and I’m getting it back not earlier than tomorrow. Hopefully it gets fixed by then, because tomorrow we have a new LFR online :)

Before that, I had some quality Mechagon time – I’ve decided to resolve the mythic dungeon for lore and environment sakes! As with Siege of Boralus, I started a group myself, because my 394 ilvl was too low to get accepted by any PUGs, and I also wanted a toxic-free run.

With several in-and-outs from realm hoppers, the group was assembled. What we had in our line-up:

  • Protection Paladin
  • Holy Priest
  • Marksmanship Hunter
  • Outlaw Rogue
  • Subtlety Rogue (me)

As you see, the group was almost devoid of class benefits. We had no combat rez, no BL/warp, no warrior battle shout, no mage intellect buff – only a stamina buff from priest. And yet we succeded :)

Mechagon

It’s been a raid alright, nothing compared to common dungeon runs. Took us approximately three hours to complete the dungeon. I’ve got what I wanted: the group was toxic-free, persistent, eager to discuss and correct tactics, and no one left in the middle.

Not only bosses, but trash was the problem too. It’s not possible to just AoE them to dust. In harder packs where even Sap is impossible (because they wisely have detectors in their ranks) we used priest’s mind control so that they killed one of their guys before coming at us :) We targeted mobs, and sometimes even focused on taking out one or two mobs so that we had to deal with fewer numbers after wipe.

Trouble also was, we had our repairs only in the first part, because the second dungeon half is underground, and no mounts are allowed there. No one had Jeeves or anything on them! With six bosses down, our tank went to auction house to get us some scrolls of battle shout, some BL drums, and some repair hammers.

Well, onto bosses.

King Gobbamak is a big trogg which summons hordes of smaller ones. The key thing in the fight is to let tesla coils deal with the adds, while everyone else pummels the big one. I’ve spent the fight biting the dust – the first add pack meleed me in a matter of seconds. Nevertheless, the others coped with the boss on our first try.

Gunker is a big piece of slime elemental. The mechanics were quite simple: there are clean bots that deal with the slime puddles, so all you have to do is to run around always within their friendly clean circles and nuke the boss. Once it turns you or a clean bot into a blob of slime, just nuke the blob to set it free. Piece of cake.

Trixie Tazer and Naeno Megacrash are a couple of gnomes at Bondo’s Yard area. Trixie is trying to taze you (well, all bosses are what it says on cover), while the other one is trying to rush at you using different machines. Interrupt small tazes, hide in a cloud from mega-taze, and dodge whatever the other gnome is trying to launch at you. They must go down at the same time, because the survivor gets an insane damage boost. The encounter was executed as perfect as possible: we only had a 50k health difference, so the second one went down 5 seconds after the first one. Also our healer praised us for taze interrupts – he told us that he spent two hours on this boss a day before because people failed this simple task.

HK-8 Aerial Oppression Unit gave us some very hard time. First, the Tank Buster mob does what it says on the cover: it will smash the tank to zero health in a matter of sceonds. There’s actually nothing that can be done here. The tank should make heavy use of any mitigation and defensive abilities he has. The others must do their best to avoid any damage and heal themselves as hard as they can to let healer focus on tank and tank only. Once a Tank Buster is down, the Oppression Unit will cast a wiping ray on the main fighting area, so everyone should climb to north or south platform, pass through the gauntlet of three trap types, and shut down a charging station. Once it’s done, the Unit will crash and take excessive damage, so this is the time where you return back asap and DPS it like hell. Then it launches back up, and phases repeat until the boss is dead.

It was hell of a ride. There’s a lot of legwork – trouble one. Trouble two, which caused us three first wipes, Tank Buster kept killing the tank. You can’t even outrun it, not even with paladin’s Divine Steed. Only when we managed to avoid ALL damage and let healer focus on tank healing only we made it to phase two.

Phase two is a fucking arcade, and I’m excessively bad at arcades :) I never got to any station no matter how hard I tried. In the end of all I just quit trying to get to the station upstairs, let the others handle it, and waited at a safe space on the platform, ready to rush and plant as much damage as I could to the boss. On our winning try we got one casualty (a tank!) by the second platform, but we managed to nuke the boss down on the second phase change.

Into Mechagon itself we go!

Tussle Tonks boss is a playground where mechagnomes test their machines – a Robodrome. They drive two machines against you – Pummeler and Gnomercy. Pummeler is a walkingrobot that is intended to keep the tank busy, while others deal with Gnomercy. Gnomercy is a racing tank with the most nasty ability: venting flames. God forbid you stay in front of it, because you’re toast. It also vents flames to the back and the sides, a heavy raid-wide AoE you can’t effectively avoid, and it must be healed using cooldowns. We had three wipes on it, but we managed to take out Gnomercy on fourth try. I got roasted though and spent the rest of the encounter on the floor, but the battle was actually won once Gnomercy was down. Dead, I gave the advice to lead Pummeler to hammers which destroy its armor, people did, and we were victorious.

K.U.-J.0. the mechanical dog lives in a junk sorting area. The boss has two notable mechanics: explosive leaps (just spread out) and his own version of venting flames. The latter will one-shot you, so it’s aligned with junk cubes that a sorting mechagnome drops on the field. Everybody must hide behind a cube once venting flames starts. The cube then turns red, and you should hide behind the other next time.

We had two wipes, but only to the fact that the encounter was a bit bugged. Some cubes appeared to be invisible (?!) so we didn’t see where to run. Just in case, on our third try we kept an eye on trash-dropping mobs to guess where the cubes are. Luckily we didn’t need it, all cubes were seen, and K.U.-J.0. was easily defeated.

Machinist’s Garden was resolved on our first try. It was surprisingly easy: the goal is to just dodge stuff and kill rare adds before they become dangerous. We didn’t even sweat, everything was so easy to avoid. A nice break before the last one.

King Mechagon is a three-phase and a complex fight. During the first phase he’s attacking you on a flying unit. Dodge stuff, and once he targets anyone with giga-zap, make sure it hits only the targeted person. Hint: you have a little time after the phase, so make use of it to restore healer mana or raid health.

For the second phase, he jumps into a big stationary robot on the edge of platform and doesn’t go anywhere – much like Helya in the dungeon. The trickiest mechanic is yet again giga-zap. It does the very same: a heavy one-target damage, but it targets 3 players one-by-one. To deal with it: first, make sure giga-zap doesn’t hit extra targets. We picked the right side: if you’re targeted, run there, and all others run to the left side or stay in the center. Second, your healer and yourself must make sure that the targeted player is healed to full health before zap, because a half-damaged one will most likely kick the bucket. As a healer, you don’t need to restore the zapped ones immediately: priority are the targeted players before zap.

If you survived this long enough, the robot will get destroyed, and King Mechagon himself will join the fight with funny 398k health. He has no mechanics, so just nuke :) When he arrived, we had only tank and one dps standing, and it was quite enough.

Loot, listen to Prince Erazmin, Gazlowe and Overspark talking, give in quest, get the achievement!

=========

I liked the dungeon very much – the ambience is so great (albeit half of a dungeon happens in a well-known open Mechagon area). It’s the ultimate gnome content we’ve been waiting for for so long, with all the little and big gadgets, quirkiness, tinkering up to eleven. We get the remaining melodies from the soundtrack preview which add up to the experience.

I had 5 raid tokens for extra loot on me, and I used them all. Yes, you can do that in Mechagon :) I’ve won a great share of items, and my ilvl went up from 394 to 404 – now Pins has the best ilvl from all alts!

One more positive thing is that I’m now adamant about the raid difficulties. Surely the run was fun, but it was as close to harder-than-LFR raid experiences as possible.

By the end of the dungeon and the third hour I was totally exhausted from constant concentration, from constant attempt to maximize my dps performance and execute the encounter mechanics at my best with zero tolerance to my own mistakes. It’s been a walkthrough alright – no more, no less.

I have absolutely no desire to return here on other alts, or repeat the experience with Pins while this dungeon is current content. And now I’m 100% sure that Normal or Heroic raiding is not my thing. LFR, with 30-45 minutes for three bosses, is.

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Got the Crimson Tidestallion!

Crimson-Tidestallion

…and it’s an absolute beauty. There are a couple more recolors – Fabious and a dark version for PvP badges, but I think this is the best one.

Switching to War Mode worked like a clock: upon my return from Stormwind the Tidestallion immediately appeared in the vendor stocks. So, a quick trade with murlocs, and it’s mine :) Tip for you all: check murloc vendor goods on a daily basis both with WM off and WM on.

It’s an underwater-only mount (which could have been guessed). My underwater choice is still with Margoss’ fish, because I like how smoothly it swims. The seahorses are a bit bumpy.

Yet it’s an achievement, and the one that goes in Nazjatar meta. Check!

P.S. Now I need some insane amount of Chain Ignitercoils to craft Mechagon’s mounts. Worst drop so far.

Eternal Palace Final Cinematic

*spoiler alert

Obviously I cannot wait with lore until Azshara hits my LFR difficulty in August, so I got to see the final cinematic for the raid.

There, my prediction was correct :) During the encounter we are bound to use our accumulated azerite power exactly where Azshara wants us to use it. That sets in motion the jail consoles, and with titan blood activating it, we set N’Zoth free.

It is interesting that he does not abandon his servant, nor it was the last time we saw Azshara. Unleashed, he resurrects her immediately and drags her away into the depths.

It is also interesting that he does not try to kill us. A wise move, as he has obviously seen what we are capable of and hopes to corrupt everyone he can. People who have slain a Titan can’t be dismissed like that. To be fair, he has a history of corrupting even Deathwing, the Earth Warder, so his hopes are not in vain.

And yet the cinematic left us with more questions than answers. What N’Zoth is gonna do now that he’s free? What is Azshara’s fate? Fraternizing with another faction is awesome, but when will they make a move against Sylvanas? And where on Azeroth is Sylvanas with her “plan”? How do we heal Azeroth?

Compare to Legion. In the Nighthold we had an utmost satisfaction of chasing Gul’dan in the corner and finishing him for reals, also Illidan returned to take the matter in his hands. Tomb cinematic has hung us Argus above our heads. We got a glimpse of a destroyed planet, and we knew we will go there – besides, we sealed the Tomb demon channel. Antorus ended up with putting a sword in the planet – we knew that we will have to do something about it, also Sargeras was secured in jail, resolving a long arc.

We see nothing of the kind in Eternal Palace. Naga are not defeated – hell knows how many more are there in the depths, and Azshara is alive and well. So we were just played pawns and achieved nothing. This is almost tantalizing. Surely suspense is a great stuff, but Blizzard is currently going too far with that. So far we’re left with all questions and no answers.

Uncertainty is what’s killing me most about the expansion, otherwise I’m good with it.

Tricky Murlocs!

Today, the Crimson Stallion mount is (was?) on sale from murlocs.

To buy the mount you need a secret ingredient which you cannot trade during common murloc trading game. It is obtained from Murloco cavern event in the middle of Nazjatar for 666 gold, and unlike other murloc items does not disappear the day after.

The event is simple: you need to camp the cavern until naga spawn there. Kill them two guardians, you will get few waves of three and a “boss” – all easily soloable. When you kill naga, Murloco is released from the cage, and you can use him as a vendor for 5 minutes, then he disappears.

The trick is that the event has an unknown respawn timer – and a very long one, several hours. I did as advised by Wowhead folks and hopped through realms until nagas spawned (on my 5th try). The much desired taco is mine! Btw, you can’t stock them – you can hold only one at the time.

When I returned to the murlocs, I started trading… only to find later that Crimson Stallion disappeared from the trade and got replaced by another item! It was not a reset thing, because I saw him first half an hour after reset.

Lurking more, I discovered one interesting thing: this mount availability might be phased. So, the phase in my case may have been triggered by joining multiple groups in search of Murloco. Imagine that :)

Rumors are, it depends on War Mode. I will try to turn it on in the evening and see the vendor table again. If not, it’s joining multiple groups again until it procs – because it’s definitely available until next morning.

Don’t be daft as myself – get your taco in advance, and check for the stallion availability in both war mode on and off daily :)

All the Small Things

Apart from the flight euphoria, there are lots of things processing in my camp.

I’ve played through the Horde’s version of the Baine storyline. It is all the same as the Alliance’s one, except for briefings. As always, you may choose to inform Nathanos about your trip in advance, or skip it. Even if Schlitzchen considers Thrall her mentor (according to my character lore, he was the one who set her on her shamanistic ways during the Kezan flight), I talked to Nathanos to see what he’s doing after the shipwreck. Nathanos has no camp, he’s just pressed against a random cliff in the middle of Nazjatar. He thanks us and tells to play along.

Interesting enough, during your fortress journey you must talk to a dark ranger and duel her for a skill test before battles to come, while Thrall and Saurfang sneak past them. After you defeat her, you are then bound to whisper her about traitor infiltration. So it’s the player which picks Sylvanas’ side who sets the final trap in motion.

From now on, only Melaris the Demon Hunter will choose the Sylvanas/Nathanos options in the upcoming war campaign quests. She has no principles, no reflections of good and bad, she follows the current lead for now (and she will dismiss Sylvanas with a shrug after revolution). My goblins are good-hearted and definitely don’t want to kneel before an unstable warchief, while both mag’har are all about honor.

Upon reaching 6000 rep with your followers (it’s in a quest), you are let into the third and final Nazjatar storyline chapter. You seek for a Javelin of Suramar – a spear which will break the Tidestone shield. The questline was pretty easy, the spear was in possession of a random Azshara’s general. But yet again, Azshara had no intention to hide it – she wants us in the palace.

It is interesting how Horde and Alliance bump into each other on the way to the palace. They come to common terms almost in an instant and fight together to the entrance. No really, only Sylvanas wants this war :)

After dispatching the Tidestone Guardian (she’ll be the first Palace boss, am I right?) Thalyssra and Jaina join their might over Tidestone and break the barrier into the depths and into the palace. This earns you a lore achievement and an extra much appreciated flight point in the north by the raid entrance. Also there’s a final quest – kill Azshara in the raid. I’m doing it in August.

Revered is a huge step, and yet it’s exactly the equator. Friendly+Honored+Revered make it 3000+6000+12000 = 21000, so same path has to be walked through towards Exalted. I think I will eventually hit both factions on all alts – we have all the time for that.

In Nazjatar I’m crossing out the yellow/introduction quests on alts, and have already started doing some world quests with them. Frankly there’s not much time for that – reputations are a patch-long project.

I really need to gear up my alts. As Micromantica swooshes away the chitterspine crab or naga parties of five, the mail-clad Jagda Shaman just keeps dying to ridiculous groups of two-three.

On Mechagon front I’m 3 quests (3 days) away from building a Mechanospider :) That should be fun! All in all I’m accumulating achievement requirements naturally so far, it’s not the time to get picky. We’ll see into it after Exalted.

Apparently there’s no Mechagon emissary? I’m seeing the second Waveblade Ankoan, and it means that the rotation cycle is complete.

The best way to camp Rustfeather is without joining a group. This way the loot won’t be shared.

If you have an option to tinker a time-travel item, go for it! It’s a couple more quests daily even without Chromie.

The one thing I completely forgot about is that now you can transmog everything but pants to be invisible! I welcome this change at large. For me the items that we must lose are hands and wrists. Way too often I’ve picked the most revealing options – opened palms are much required.

Well, this was Gnomecore’s news so far :) Stay tuned!

Into the Skies!

Mechagon was super fast to level up reputation – I hit in on Saturday, and Nazjatar took a bit longer. I’ve logged out on Sunday evening with 10925/12000 – so I presumed it’s an extra day or two.

Well hey, conveniently an Ankoan emissary popped up today! It was actually a funny mood rollercoaster this morning :)

First it was “Yay, I’m flying before I have to leave for work!”

Second, I’ve rushed into the world quests, and while on my third, lazily destroying a giant worm with a hydra, I’ve looked up the fourth one… and it was jellyfish jumping! I went all: Hell noooooooooo! Sad, I’ve finished with the giant worm, and an emissary text popped up! My spirits skyrocketed again, because I’ve remembered that the fourth one was an enchanting work order which I already did!

Pathfinder-2-achievement

I left the tavern and went up, up, up! No more face crawling through the naga and highborne ghosts :)

Nazjatar-Zin-Azshari

I’ve always wanted to see the hole in the sea from high above – nah, did not happen. You bump into the ceiling – Azshara won’t let you fly away from here (it also explains about the lore: you can’t deliver reinforcements by sea and/or air). But at least you can check out the shipwreck and even sit on the Horde ships:

Nazjatar-Shipwreck

Next spot was Mechagon: Pins waved her goat goodbye and soared the skies on a gryphon:

Mechagon-Junkwatt

Mechagon is not your happy ground for flying. You need to check out for air defence – as presumed, they will hunt you if you come too close. 10 stacks, and you’re toast. To drop them, you need to land – the stacks will immediately reset.

Afterwards I’ve just made a quick tour around several major sites – for a Visit Kul Tiras/Visit Zandalar instagram (btw, where’s instagram in WoW? As long as we have selfie camera).

Proudmoore Keep

Boralus

Dazar’Alor

Dazar-Alor

Norwington Estate

Norwington-Estate

Uldir

Uldir

Waycrest Manor

Waycrest-Manor

Temple of Sethraliss

Sethraliss-Temple

I’m not waving away flight master’s whistle – for longer distances I may still want to use it to cut 1/3 of a zone travel and use taxi for overcontinent flights. Still, mobs hunting you on the way, ravines, slopes and detours are gone, and there are so much more sights to see from the height! Also the world quest paradigm may significantly change as you will pick OTHERS due to travel issues.

Flights are a bliss – well, who would argue with that?

Murloc Trading Game

A new day brings new wonders :)

It’s hard to miss this murloc with a quest – it’s located right in one of the central straight roads connecting east to west:

Nazjatar-map.jpg

His quest is a simple escort: you can mount up and just ride at full speed to your home base.

After that, the murloc settles by the announcement board in the middle of the settlement, and brings four friends with him. Three are also stationary, and the fourth runs in circles around the area. Another quest that they have is purchasing an item from each of them (so you learn where they are), giving them to first murloc, and this is it. This is it? Wrong!

Here comes the trading murloc game!

This is how it works.

On a daily basis the first murloc will have a different valuable item of purple quality.

All other murlocs have four murloc-related goods to purchase: of white, green, blue and purple quality.

Whites you can buy for small gold, greens you buy with whites, blues you buy with greens, and purples you buy with blues – you get the idea.

The trick is: you buy whites from one murloc, but purchase greens with them from another. Say, you purchase whites from the 1st, go to the 2nd to buy greens, then go to the 3rd to buy blues, then go to the 4th to make a purple purchase. The major murloc will require 3 different blue items for an ultimate reward. So, this it the trade, and the whole game is about a little math and mix/match :)

Tip on the game: you can’t stock the items – the duration is just 1 day, so they will disappear tomorrow. So don’t buy too many – you just need the exact amount to perform current purchase.

My small game yesterday has brought me a bag of goods with some value: I believe it was some manapearls or something like that.

Alright, now when we get the idea, let’s throw in some point of interest. A certain benthic cape – it has “Azshari” something in its name and it says about murlocs in the description – will allow you to see not one, but TWO possible purple purchases from the major murloc every day. And one of those hidden items maybe a red seahorse mount! Which also goes into Nazjatar meta-achievement.

My plan from now on: spending all manapearls on benthic capes until I get this secret one. Another fun thing to do in Nazjatar :)