Healing the Third Wing

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The third wing of Antorus, being the most brutal nowadays due to its deadly mechanics and people still figuring out what to do with them, was a big trouble for my DPS runs. But not so much for a healer.

Schlitzchen the Shaman entered Antorus yesterday, expecting to have some real trouble. And she didn’t.

The thing here are these very same deadly mechanics :) Kin’Garoth’s death ray, Coven’s ‘torment’ issues give no troubles for a healer… at all. And it’s very simple: either people follow the mechanics, and you have no worries, or they don’t follow them, and die in an instant, so there’s nothing you could really do :)

There are only two things that require a healer’s attention. First, when Kin’graroth empowers its robots, there’s a massive AoE to the raid, but for a shaman it’s just healing rain pool under melee camp, and a healing totem by the platform entrance to help when they come out from the platform. I managed to keep track on all the death rays, so I was on guard during the fight and didn’t die, except for the last 5 seconds, when he unloaded all his might right into my face, and I miscalculated the direction. So I followed the ray and died – and a pair of seconds from that did the boss.

Second, it’s Aman’thul ghosts, but it’s just the time when you sport your most potent cooldowns, and the rest depends on whether DPS guys manage to focus on the certain ghost, or they fail, and we all die.

Varimathras is a piece of cake – apparently for every role.

I can’t stop admiring how the very same boss experience is different for each of the four roles (tanks, healers, melee DPS and ranged DPS). So if you haven’t tried it, you may do :) The very same boss that you hate could be your favorite in another role.

Next: tanking.

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Antorus: A Peep into Hope’s End

Coven

The third wing of Antorus is finally somewhat interesting considering encounters. It’s the wing that I actually LIKE – the first one among all.

The Kin’garoth fight is excellent for DPS as they have really much to do. You start using your movement abilities to reach the adds quickly. You need to avoid lots of different stuff – and the death ray was already christened a “crab slicer”, “crabs” being a pejorative nickname for players who apparently have crab claws instead of hands, thus poor skills. I confess that I’m somewhat of a crab considering death ray – when it’s turned on upon your head, you see nothing, and I normally start running in the wrong direction to cross the ray, so I die :) Nevertheless, the encounter is so cool, and it’s a challenge. And there’s a glorious factory explosion when you’re done here!

Then we finally step into the main Antorus building. I like the idea of a torture chamber with shivarra overlooking you from the ceiling, although the infamous nathrezim Varimathras is a dummy. Once people learn they must pile up in a tight pack, you just ignore everything else except your DPS and lazy movements 10 yards away from time to time. Yet this rest is very needed before the next – and the hardest yet – encounter with the Coven.

Coven of Shivarra is one of the most complex fights I’ve seen in a long time – even Gul’dan was way easier with all his phases. You have to remember every mechanics – and they are plenty, and they all could bring doom to your raid group. You need a perfect DPS coordination, you need to execute your moving across the battlefield with care and precision, and I find it extremely awesome that putting your control abilities in clever use is vital for survival – not only you, but the whole raid. In short, personal responsibility is king here, and this is the type of fights that I like most.

My rate list of encounters from most liked to most hated is this now:

  • Coven
  • Kin’garoth
  • Hasabel
  • Imonar
  • Worldbreaker
  • Varimathras
  • Felhounds
  • High Command
  • Eonar

Eager to see the last wing next week.

Legion Catch-Up in January 2018

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Hooray! I’m back from New Year vacation, and it’s time to resume blogging and gaming :) And the first topic I would talk of is catching up in Legion with a new toon.

My dwarf fire mage, started in the middle of December, has leveled al the way through from 1 to 110. As usual, it was my normal leveling: mostly doing questlines, running available dungeons once, leveling her professions on the way – at least First Aid, Cooking and her main combo of Alchemy-Herbalism.

A couple of days ago she hit 100 – and rushed into Legion content. With Legion, she performed every zone questing in full, running the four respective dungeons once for Pillars of creation and Alchemy quests. That’s where she dinged 110!

She also did a part of mage campaign available and unlocked her 3rd relic. Her followers now are at miserable 104-106, so there’s much to do yet here. And still, considering catching up…

When you hit 110, you immediately get the maximum artifact knowledge. This means that upon your very first artifact power item after 110 you get this:

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“You have enough AP to learn 111 new abilities”.

This, and with some Suramar questing which grants some awful amount of most powerful AP tokens, has brought her weapon to… 66.

Not even some of my properly leveled toons have as much on their main weapons!

Considering armor, she has got 5 cloth tokens which was enough to get her to the very first raid – Emerald Nightmare. And she ran EN – ToV – The Nighthold, getting enough ilvl to enter the next raid upon finishing the first one. I got the first Legendary (not the best one, but 1000 lvl which is important for ilvl) from Odyn. The quick entrance to Broken Shore granted her 400 shards to exchange for a token and get over 850.

Now she has only one wing to complete from The Nighthold, and with her current ilvl 857 it may well be enough to reach Tomb of Sargeras.

Upon reaching 850 she also got an access to Argus. So, with world quests and veiled argunite available… I guess I’ll be running Antorus LFR of 890 access level in no time.

The first day of Legion was Azsuna, Val’sharah and Highmountain along with obtaining artifact weapons and class campaign.

The second day of Legion was Stormheim, enter Suramar and 3 raids which brought me to Antorus.

Guys. No other expansion made catching up that fast. This is amazing :)

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Trivia: Argus Campaign

Revising my Argus campaign progress as the 4th week on Argus hits us.

Alors,

Argus

Legend

  • Violet – Exalted & counting
  • Blue – Revered
  • Green – Honored
  • Orange – Friendly
  • VJ, DW, FR, NF, AL, AR – Valarjar, Dreamweavers, Farondis, Nightfallen, Army of Light, Argussian Reach
  • Tomb – creatures to kill for completing LFR mogging set
  • Vc – Vindicaar, completing the quest for the last vessel perk
  • Or – completing a small quest for Orunaar to unlock the missions for follower gear

Paragon Reputations

I resumed doing the emissary quests. 3 tries yesterday and today – no luck.

Argus Reputations

Obviously Micromantica is a flagship, already at Revered with the Army of Light and halfway to Revered with Argussian Reach.

I’m not doing every Argus quest or emissary on my alts. I have at least half a year to do that, so I don’t even bother :) Grab a toon you’d like to play, do some quests for fun, empower yourself and advance in gear, AP, reputations, be happy :)

All in all Argus world quests seem like a huge improvement over Broken Shore. Most notably, they are 60% kill an elite – and that’s what players like to do. Moreover, it drives you towards the elite killing achievements. Me likey.

Dungeon

The dungeon is enjoyable. Not very long – although I hate the amounts of thrash after the first boss. Killing naaru is mere pleasure – I mean, the encounter is the simplest.

I got lots of transmog upon completing the quest, and I don’t think I’m gonna scrap the rest. A single run per toon is quite enough. The rest could be left for the next expansion. Anyways, I don’t like these light-infused mogging sets, brown and yellow. Capes maybe :)

Argus Progress

I’ve driven my toons through almost every questline up to and through completing the new dungeon.

What I have left considering quests is completing the small Vindicaar quest chain to open the last (fourth) vessel perk.

Upon completing the major quests my toons got from 890 ilvl to roughly 910. With collecting the veiled argunite, they’re gonna reach 915-920 very soon, and I guess it’s more than enough for Antorus raid.

I’m carefully doing every weekly world boss invasion – I don’t wanna miss any on my way to the achievement.

Tomb Transmog

I did the boss runs on Melaris and Anibell,  and Melaris won herself shoulders. Now it’s just Har’jatan boots for her and shoulders for Anibell left.

The others should get their gear from trash mobs – I think it’s gonna be leisure runs in my free time. The best chances are: wings 1 and 2 until the last boss, trash before the Maiden and trash before Kil’Jaeden. It’s cool that bosses would pop now, and you don’t even have to struggle the last ones, so it’s a proper farm.

Summary

Sandbox it is :) And a cool one. I think I like it more than Tanaan or Thunder Isle.

The Next Expansion After Legion – Expectations

So, Blizzcon is almost here, and by all means we will get insights about the new World of Warcraft expansion. Let’s discuss our expectations about it :)

Warcraft-ships

Setting

First and foremost, it’s most likely gonna be a sea expansion focused largely on Alliance/Horde clash – and with an ultimate enemy of N’Zoth/Void.

The clues are these:

  1. Jaina holds a super grudge against the Horde – and she was not idle, most probably returning to Kul Tiras kingdom and rallying the forces. Boom – here’s your Alliance faction and base of operations. Jaina’s always there, she’s not idle, she’ll play a significant role.
  2. The Horde has a mad, conquerous warchief now, who’s ready for anything to win herself some space. She’s most likely to make allies with Zandalari – after all, trolls don’t have a leader now, so this thread may be explored. Zandalar islands is the Horde’s base of operations.
  3. Anduin stopped whining, and took his father’s sword. His peaceful times are over, yet Legion was not his fight. What’s he preparing himself for, believing that the Horde abandoned Varian to death?
  4. We also have Genn Greymane who would rip the Horde’s throats as soon as he has a chance, and now he’s a father figure to Anduin.
  5. See the Blizzcon presents for virtual ticket: it’s Alliance/Horde air battleship mounts. Isn’t that a hint for ?
  6. Vindicaar vessel’s travel technology happens in space… but don’t you think it will perfectly fit the isles and traveling between them? Don’t you think we just need a different map – a sea map, and we’re good? So, Vindicaar is a preview of your new garrison – your admiral ship. Which could be leveled and geared I guess.
  7. Blizzard couldn’t help and throw in the Void forces even at Legion’s home planet. If we go to the seas, it’s gonna be N’Zoth in the end – because whenever else?

All in all it looks very much like Pandaria expansion, with brutal clashes between factions and an ultimate common enemy in the end.

Race Focus

Legion in whole was exploring four races in vast scales.

We’ve got overfed with vrykul – more than they actually deserve. We’ve got a look at a rich community of moose Tauren tribes at Highmountain.

Then there were elves, elves and elves of every kind possible: warden elves, demon hunter elves, ghost elves, corrupted ghost elves and corrupted Nightmare elves, druid elves, rebel elves and nazi elves – and there was also elves we brought with us who also got a spot in the highlight. The amount of elves and elf stories was really diverse and would be enough to please even the most demanding elf fan. And in Argus we plunged deep in draenei history.

What I would like of the next expansion is obviously returning back to the roots.

So, for the Alliance, I definitely need human (Anduin and Jaina) centered story. Alliance must also rely heavily on dwarf and gnome technology of ship/submarine building – in fact, all the process of construction, exploration and all should be supervised by Dun Morogh guys. Gnomes and dwarves got their spotlight in… WotLK last time. You know, their titan origins. They deserve much attention – finally.

For the Horde, I could think of Goblins working hard to match the Alliance tinkering. And of course the Undead – as Sylvanas was forgotten for good since the first week in Broken Isles. Now she would return. If Zandalar would become Horde’s allies and base of operations, we must expect heavy troll lore – as far as we know, trolls have not selected their chief after Vol’jin’s demise. It’s Zul-Again, yes, but trolls are always interesting.

Summary

My expectations are:

  • Setting: Azeroth’s unexplored islands in the seas
  • Garrison: Battleship, with Vindicaar’s travel-type between the isles
  • Storyline: Alliance/Horde clash over the seas and islands
  • Ultimate enemy: the Old Gods
  • Climax: N’Zoth raid
  • New factions: Kul Tiras (Alliance) / Zandalari (Horde)
  • Major lore characters: Anduin Wrynn, Jaina Proudmoore, Sylvanas Windrunner, Genn Greymane, Gallywix, Gelbin Mekkatorque – for the clash. Alleria Windrunner, Magni Bronzebeard – for the Old Gods climax.

For me it would be the best expansion ever. Gnome/Dwarf/Goblin tinkering, discovering and exploring the new lands – beautiful lands and seashores, back to Azeroth from some other planets, and focus on Jaina – my favorite character.

What are your thoughts? :)

Jaina

Argus: Week 3

So… supposedly you’ve already played the campaign to the end and finished the dungeon :) If not yet, spoiler alert!

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As with previous parts of the campaign, week 3 consists of 2 equal parts, almost unrelated to each other.

Part I: The Whining of a Geezer

The first part is the end of our trip to the past of draenei civilization and Velen’s issues. Although flashbacks were interesting enough – to see the events with our own eyes, I’ve got a bit tired of Velen’s whining throughout Argus campaign. Hopefully it’s gonna be the last we see of him for a long time.

The quests were boring: kill 12-15, visit three spots, and the worst thing is that it is repeated twice in a row. Then there is a satisfying encounter with Talgath, but it could touch the nerve more if we felt for Velen. By the time of encounter, I was so tired of the geezer’s whining that I was like: let’s get over with.

Strange thing: it seemed to me that they didn’t put an audio file in the scene of Talgath’s death. Velen makes a big silent pause before killing him – as if waiting for Talgath to speak, then after execution he tells us that Talgath unwillingly revealed the whereabouts of the Crest before death. But he didn’t! He was silent! Even stranger, Velen actually learned where the Crest is from flashback with Talgath and Kil’Jaeden a minute ago… That’s something really wrong happening. Grandpa needs a rest )

Thank gods, we go with Alleria further on.

Part II: The Void Adventures

Part 2 introduces us the threat of the Void. It’s definitely a preview of the new foe, as only lazy players don’t know yet that we’re done with the Legion once and for all next year.

Let’s say I liked the animation of the portals and corrupted Broken Draenei – it’s really awesome. All the pitch dark and stars, and tentacles. What is not awesome is the ethereals, wearing the same color palette as Suramar elves. Too bleak to my liking. If they’re gonna be soldiers of the Void, I’d prefer the Burning Crusade’s version of ethereals.

The story felt so out of place to me. Yes, the naaru in her dark period lures the void emissaries, it’s understandable. But surely not to Argus, the Legion’s homeworld! Let me remind you that Legion is still full in power, it still has endless armies of demons… and the Void are their ultimate enemies. Not Azeroth. The Void. In fact, they should have raided and burnt this area to the ground at the first hint of void emissaries. It’s Legion who should have been fighting them – not us. But no traces of the Legion.

Then there’s this blah-blah of duality of Light and Dark, Alleria finishes her learning with her mentor’s guidance, and becomes the Void Windrunner. Little is known of why she went to study void powers in the first place… Oh well.

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Anyways, we got the Crest, and Velen turns our vessel in a beautiful… well, it’s definitely worth more now in goblin black market. Still, it didn’t make its move after upgrade – it didn’t breach the Antorus gate! Velen just left it as that and went to sleep. For two weeks – suck it.

The dungeon was moderately nice and surprisingly easy. I pioneered with Baisa the Hunter – wiped once at the third boss, because we didn’t kill all the trash before pull. Well, in fact, we assumed the boss was also the trash! See? They need to do something with ethereals and their colors. And I tanked it today with Anibell the Paladin. No worries at all. Bosses just popped, we downed each of them in less than minute. Trash is annoying – but only by quantity, not trouble. Of course it’s gonna be a quest run for every toon, and I’m done with it.

So, Argus campaign is complete now. I moderately liked the plot, the best parts being all of the Quoram quest chain, and also a living colossus cannon in the beginning. Everything could be worse considering it’s damn Argus :)

This week I will finish it on the rest of my toons, and routines begin again :) Dailies, dailies, dailies…

 

Argus: Week 2

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*Spoiler alert: the post is mostly dedicated to the second part of storyline. 

The second part is available now, and is roughly divided in two parts.

First, we storm the Legion’s fortress. We assemble an ultimate doom weapon during our first part, actually a tank, and then grind the Legion’s defenders to dust along with their commander.

The epic thing was Legion’s marine – a fallen titan Aggramar – who chased us away. There’s some stunning moment of glory during a small cinematic, and all Twitter is full of shots, because this angle fits for character portraits like nothing else. I’m glad I’m gonna see the event with 11 more classes :)

Speaking about classes, I went with my rogue as a storyline pioneer, and it appeared to be the best strategy if you’re leading multiple alts. Rogue is capable of exploring the unknown terrain and paths without attracting extra attention, so when other alts would follow its path it’s gonna be way easier. Works for druids in feline form too I guess :)

The most interesting moment in the first part was when we were sent to slay a couple of shivarras. One of them says a perfect phrase, like “Dudes, you don’t understand! We must fight the void, or it devours us all, it’s the only way”. It was like: wow. It sounded perfectly normal and sensible! Not your normal Legion talk like “You will all burn”. Could they just start with talking to us about their purpose rather than trying to scorch us like maniacs? :)

The second part is about collecting a crown of the three dudes: Archie, KJ and Velen. I just like the plots when something whole is assembled out of several parts, it’s my favorite thing in any game, movie, or anything else, so I enjoyed it very much. The introduction to Mac’Aree was pretty boring, as I know the draenei history and this is how I imagined it all to happen, so no revelations here. The next thing where we obtained a piece from Archimonde was awesome! I particularly enjoyed the riddles, fighting with eredar version of Archimonde, and the voice of the sentinel robot… sounded very-very familiar, who’s the voice actor? It couldn’t be Cumberbatch, but it was very alike him or Alan Rickman…

Then they sent me to Legion “invasions”. I landed at some elvish platforms, lit by moonlight. It appeared to be easy enough, in fact, it seems you may not even participate and just stand in the corner after entering the portal – but it’s boring. It’s a fun thing to do, I’m gonna run them when I have a chance. The only thing is: could they make invasion portals somewhere closer to the main roads?

And I finished the first part of Argus questline (of the last week) for all alts. As expected, for shaman it was pain incarnate. I don’t care about PvP balance, it should be NOT that squishy. Running with 10% health and eating after every fight is not fun at all. I died and died in Elemental, then I switched to Enhancement which fixed things a little, but not much.