It’s Mayday

The weekend of Labor Day was devoted to many-many things.

Karazhan!

WoWScrnShot_043017_172247

WoWScrnShot_043017_172248

Micromantica went to visit Karazhan!

She had a pair of quests there: covering the bag-making for Tailoring, and getting a toy.

Bags are useless, because they are worse than Draenor’s, still I got this covered. Now I need to learn only the legendary craft recipe, and my Legion tailoring list will be complete – if not for 3-star ranks.

The toy is precious. It’s a cube which you can launch and watch every Legion cinematic – much like your Draenei/Troll historian for Draenor cinematics in your Garrison. It’s awesome that it pops on demand, you don’t have to go anywhere to relive the memories. The starting quest item drops from Chronomatic Anomaly in The Nighthold with great chance.

The dungeon itself went nice. I went with two different PuGs, and we’ve blasted through all the bosses. We even earned an extra achievement on our way. There was a pair of delays: of course I wanted to see the pictures from Medivh past! Even if I know his story well. And then I got lost a bit, because people ran forward. Still, the PuG was nice, and they even returned for me once. And there also was a strange thing when we got to figure out that spider web is actually a stair you could climb, so this time two of us were confused and lost: it was like a portal leads to a dead end.

Reputation Grind

On weekends I manage to clear the emissary lists on all toons, and with flights it’s a mere pleasure. My goal is Exalted with every faction, and I’m on a finishing line now. I’m not working on Legionfall now, because I want to get its rep through weekly plot quests.

Rep-grind-may-2017

  • Cyan is Revered
  • Blue is Honored
  • Green is Friendly

And I’m already starting to hit Exalted.

Hidden Appearances

WoWScrnShot_043017_115231

Backston suddenly discovered that she could simply buy a raven crossbow hidden thing for her Marksmanship! All you need is just Revered with Farondis.

Mayluna hit Exalted with Dreamweavers, and bought a hidden appearance for Balance… although it apparently requires a second element which I will have to grind at Darkheart Thicket ever since.

Raids

Yeah, so I finally went for LFR after my big pause. Ran The Nighthold on a pair of toons – Backston got two tier pieces, woop! And I also went for Emerald Nightmare to grind the mogging – no luck. It’s not that I didn’t get any loot – I didn’t get the loot that I wanted.

Maximillian!

WoWScrnShot_043017_141029

Yeah, so Anibell quickly finished the Un’Goro questline for Maximillian of Northshire, and upon return to Dalaran she got a letter from him.

The questline is easy enough and pretty hilarious. Yet again it’s Don Quixote thing. Only this time he doesn’t mistake dinosaurs for dragons, but rather crabs and murlocs for demons.

WoWScrnShot_043017_143129

WoWScrnShot_043017_143131

It’s at least understandable, but then he mistakes a goblin in a Dalaran tavern for his dame, so she had to hide from him under mask. I felt sorry for him. So when he became my follower, he was immediately sent into Light Hope’s Asylum for Tragically Insane. No adventures for him.

Older Things

On one evening Micromantica soloed every Mythic dungeon in Draenor and got achievements. It’s very easy nowadays, and you just burn down that cannon on the train with your normal dps. Mark you, I found the lack of content a bit discouraging, but I liked Draenor very much. It’s nice to get back.

It’s time to do heroic runs now and get the achievements.

Yes, it’s most probably my favorite dungeon.

WoWScrnShot_043017_175210

WoWScrnShot_043017_175908

WoWScrnShot_043017_175909

WoWScrnShot_043017_175914

WoWScrnShot_043017_175917

Advertisements

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.

The Nighthold: A Peep into Arcing Aqueducts

A what?..

chronomatic-anomaly

Obviously I ran the first LFR wing yesterday – Arcing Aqueducts.

To do so, I sent Microfury, my warlock, who has recently rediscovered the joys of Affliction spec and thus needed to test them in raid environment.

It went pretty chaotic.

We wiped at Skorpyron once because tanks were dead in an instant, and after battle rezzes too. I presume it’s a tank related fight, because when they didn’t die, no one did. I think they’ve quietly read the tactics after wipe and nailed it flawlessly on our second try.

Chronomatic Anomaly is the greatest mystery ever. As a ranged DPS, I didn’t notice any difficulties in the encounter. It was plain boring. 4 or 5 guys including me were bound on the adds. The Nightwell did some very strange things. There were these blue arcane spheres you can’t avoid which did like 2-3% damage to my cloth armor. I mean, I – warlock – heal myself many more times as that during my rotation. And there were some golden spheres with a mysterious meaning. I tried to avoid them and catch them, and nothing happened. Like nothing at all. I wasn’t damaged, I didn’t get buffs or debuffs, nothing happened if the sphere just landed on the floor. What’s this about?

The encounter was long enough (due to we’re not overgeared) – and very boring.

Trilliax was not a challenge either, but it was fun. I liked jumping at the cleanbots or whatever they are!

Loot gods of the first wing were generous as much as slippers for my warlock which was a nice upgrade and a mogging slot covered :)

In whole I didn’t feel very immersed by this wing. By now the bosses seem pretty artificial considering lore, and boring at their mechanics. What is worse, the music is not unique, it’s a calm Suramar melody, and how in the world is it supposed to correspond the gravity of the moment?  I don’t know when they started doing so, but putting normal soundtrack into raids and dungeons is ruining the experience at a large scale.

microfury-warlock-order-hall

World Quest Aftermath & Gear

This World Quest week has really boosted my toons. Now when I caught some breath, the aftermath is huge.

  • Almost all have 5 followers at 850, ready to cope with all the threats.
  • It means that I also find them often on hold, waiting for Artifact Power missions to pop- which doesn’t happen every day.
  • My toons’ Artifact Knowledge range is between 11 and 18. Well, you can’t actually do anything about it, just fuel the research and wait. It will take at least month to make it from 18 to the final 25 – it’s 5 day research at the current stage.
  • All of my toons have at least 19 artifact weapon traits, the highest score being 29.

Finally, almost every toon is now ready for running LFRs. I think I’m gonna be back on Pandaria/Draenor-style tracks: LFR becoming a focus of gameplay. Take the toon you feel like playing tonight, go queue with it, simple. What’s awesome, is that you have world quests and Suramar to do while waiting for raids.

As I told previously, with all the rewards I just don’t see raids as a gear-up source. Chests from emissaries and world quests themselves are much more rewarding for less effort – even if we talk about LFR! But I want to fill my mogging collection, so I run raids, and ilvl would come as a bonus.

Trials of Valor system is exactly what I’ve been talking about previously. You need to run few cooldowns of the raid, and you get a full set of mogging gear – it’s guaranteed. That’s an excellent system, and I wish it would be developed. You work to get your mogging, and it’s not a random drop, but you could get your gear somewhere else if you don’t feel like raiding.

Speaking of gear: I’ve performed world boss kills for every toon and for three weeks in a row. Gear drop rate by my stats is exactly 25%: I got 3 items for 12 toons every week.

Routines, finally routines :)

bons-valarjar

Bons is ready to tank Trials of Valor

A Peep Into Emerald Nightmare – Darkbough

The first wing of Emerald Nightmare went live in LFR yesterday, and my main met the item level requirements to pay a visit.

emerald_nightmare

Raid Design 

The raid itself is very beautiful. These shades of red color are really an innovation within WoW. It’s so rich, colorful, and at the same time corresponds the intended dread of corruption. I was impressed THIS much only at Dread Wastes in Pandaria – you know, when you take a first look at the skies… Oily, oozing black and white sha colors were also new and intimidating.

Yellowish fel green and ‘proper’ fireland fires have grown pretty old: we’re being fed by it throughout the expansions. This red feels pretty fresh – considering we are doomed for Fel Green by expansion storyline.

Most of all I liked the floors in the middle room: those batches of small nightmare tumors/pimples are something I stopped to take a closer look at. They are amazing. I want my personal nightmare puddle in Class Order Hall now where I can plant those. And pop them for fun :)

I like the ‘apocalypse’ themes where a familiar landscape goes bad – and then it heals. Haven’t seen the healing yet, but a look at disrupted Thunder Bluff was awesome. Didn’t feel anything about Un’Goro – I didn’t recognize the place even if I’ve been in every corner of the zone. The highlight of Un’Goro is a small volcano and tar pits among the jungle. I couldn’t recall an important tree there in the open world, so I’ve no idea where this was happening.

Bosses

The encounters were pretty simple. Well, Highmaul’s first wing was easy as well. Although bosses of EN didn’t seem like utter trash mobs (Butcher…) – the fights were long enough.

I think that people are so experienced in different mechanics that it’s very easy for them to overcome most of the boss abilities.

Draenor has trained us to kill adds, and people now switch to adds by instinct. We were not overrun by them ever. We were trained to step out of the bad, and people stepped out of the bad. We are keen dragon slayers, and so we fight dragon hitting in her side scales, never at a tail or in front of any breaths. When we catch a debuff, a small peep in the journal is sufficient to cope with it: whether you bring it in the raid or out of it.

Il’gynoth wiped us, but just once. Exactly half of the raid didn’t step out of the room, so we deliberately lay down, and our next try was flawless since we knew what to do.

All the other times we were almost at full health, and everyone performed well and behaved correctly.

I confess I have some encounters in previous expansions where I still don’t understand a bit of mechanics or fail to follow it – even if I ran them dozens of times with many alts. Here in EN everything was clear yet, I felt total control of my actions.

The bosses as EN bosses are beautifully designed. They do feel like foes, they are dangerous by plot, and they totally fit the storyline. You are motivated to kill them, and that’s important.

People

Now, that surprised me most. I expected bitching, I expected pompous assholes, I expected wipes for just being silly, blaming and all that. You know, LFR.

The raid was perfectly polite and behaved like humans. I could blame it for excellent run through – people tend to explode after failures after all. But no. There wasn’t a single bad word after our wipe at Il’gynoth.

Moreover, after every boss people actually SHARED their loot to the others. I mean: WHAT? People asked if someone needs their item. My own luck was 5+5+5 gold, but… After the first boss someone – I didn’t even manage to read the name – just walked to me without a word and gave me the loot ring. It was ilvl 850, while I boasted a pair of 800 and 805, so it was a great improvement. To say I was surprised is to say nothing.

What’s going on?

Epic Marathon

My WoW experience recently has become a severe grinding routine. Reason is: alts.

Blast_Furnace

I’m deep in the middle of my epic ring quest for alts now. In fact, I would have been expressing hypocritical issues if I told that I have nothing to do.

As we don’t know when Tanaan and Hellfire will come to life, I’m mad about trying to fulfill cooldowns for Blackrock LFRs for 10 of my alts and come prepared for the next Ring/Raid stage. I don’t focus on loot, cause it drops here and then. In fact, most of my 10 alts already have at least 4-piece bonus sets which grant you upgrades. Also I don’t know what will be the requirements for Hellfire LFRs, but if it’s 650-655, then I’m good and done.

The runes keep dropping, so that’s my main progress focus that I keep tracking. I even made this small Wordpad file where I put down the numbers xD It’s convenient among 10 alts, as you see who falls behind and who is heading to the top, so you pick the one who needs to go raid sooner.

As of now, my alts’ rune collections are between 135 and 575 of required 900. That leads us to at least 4-5 weeks of my path to the glory. And only THEN I will have “nothing to do” ;)

The thing is: when I login with a toon, I instantly queue up for all BRF raids. There are few things at Garrison that need 5-10 minutes, and when I’m done, I don’t go anywhere. If I’m lucky, I get into a raid even before reaching Salvage Yard, and then it’s a raiding snowball for 2 hours. Then I just logout and login with the next toon. Pretty intense. And I don’t even manage to fulfill all cooldown for all toons in one week.

But let’s face it: if it were for my main only, it would have been 2 hours of raiding in a week, and I would have nothing to do anything else.

Conclusion: with 10 alts it’s intense now. Currently I’m really good cause I have raids to do. With 1 main – Draenor is a content disaster and absense of flights don’t add up to leave Garrison and explore the world.

Fix that.