Beggars in My LFR

Shoulders

I know that most of my readers are full-time raiders, which rarely use LFR, and yet this is a major problem to me that I’d like to talk about.

Leading my 12-toon roster via LFR means facing the trouble of beggars. After any loot item you get, you’ll receive a shower of whispers asking – and sometimes demanding! you for your drop.

I can’t specify strong enough how this pisses me off. According to my observations, the beggars of this sort are 99% inadequate people. There’s no “hello”, there’s no looking up my gear profile to see if the item would be an improvement to myself (and sometimes it’s so obvious, me running with an 860 or 880, when the drop is 915), there’s poking me with whispers even if there’s a boss fight rolling, and I’m healing/tanking like mad. And there’s a single reply-short way to direct insults.

Hell, they sometimes even try to prove me that I don’t need an item – although it could be better for my stats, or I need it to swap legendary gear. I would never explain it to them.

Normally I’m putting an item on a roll if I don’t need it – and this is the only way anyone could get it from me. Whispering beggars have no chance, even if they roll afterwards. I’d better vendor a piece than give it to a beggar.

I have grown to either ignore the beggars or reply in a very harsh manner. Beggars deserve no explanation, no replies, no nothing. Not on my watch.  And they could bathe in their frustration as much as they want.

But you know, sometimes you just want to give an item for a beggar. Because he spent his time to write a polite and nice request – you actually see that’s a nice person talking, so you just want to do a favor. Happens in 1% of cases. And even so, it’s gonna be a roll first.

Like I said, 99% of “need shoulders?” – go to hell.

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Antorus: A Peep into Light’s Breach

Worldbreaker

Hooray! So, the first wing is here, and I was lucky to queue and enter before work.

Mistakes learnt, my first entrance was with a ranged DPS  – my gnome hunter Baisa – to get the general idea of the environment.

Trash was quite fine – not too much, not too little. We had no troubles except for the last pack. Some demon dropped a burning soul or whatever debuff, and I kept running with big circle around me which just kept exploding and applying to me again. I have no clue what has to be done to get rid of it. Both of my hunter’s saves just prolonged the agony, and I dropped dead.

Now to bosses :)

Garothi Worldbreaker – went down easily. There’s no trouble with understanding the mechanics, and it’s not punishing in LFR if a group doesn’t discuss which weapon to destroy first. I went with annihilating cannon, but apparently those who killed the other one managed to do it first. Oh well.

I wish it were some second boss, and its mechanics were a bit more punishing, it’s an interesting encounter. We had no deaths at all.

Also I liked his mechanical sounds… Could we have a space opera mmorpg from Blizzard please?

Felhounds – we had no troubles as well, although we had a pair of our first casualties there (for reasons I don’t know yet). There was some void thing which kept dragging me and which I quickly learnt to avoid as much as I can – an annoying stuff. The other thing was the fire felhound’s charge. I don’t understand why there were three or more beams on the ground as it charges in one direction. Also there were some mechanics described in the journal where we must either run into other group members or run away from them upon debuffs – haven’t seen that at all. Or was it these void zones?

The question I have for my future tanking is whether there’s a tank swap. I will keep track on my next dps runs and check the tanks then.

The third boss – and the last that I’ve seen – was the elevator. As I said, I was killed by a debuff, and when I arrived to the elevator (which I presumed was near the platform like in Blackrock raid, not on it), and obviously got crushed by it. My second run didn’t get me to the council boss soon enough before the encounter started, so I spent it by the last teleport, unable to go there. I still had a coin toss though.

The bosses are simple yet – which may or may not be a good thing. Well, why not – we had some really troubling bosses at The Nighthold and Tomb, so expansion-wide Antorus may equalize the general difficulty.

My loot from 5 tries (2 bosses and 3 coins) was a trinket. Now I have an extra confirmation of the drop odds: your first raid runs bring you necklaces, rings and trinkets, on your second run you start to get capes and wrists, and only then there’s proper gear chance. We’ll see.

I also don’t see any value in the loot ilvl. It’s 915, and my toons are already suited up in 910 from Argus veiled argunite (with some of gear procced at the range of 920-945), so it’s but a small addition. So basically I’m going for transmog sets there. Could they have made it at least 920?

I don’t know why people think the raid is beautiful. For me it’s ugly as fuck, all the same fel platforms and brimstone rocks. There’s nothing new, surprising or majestic about it.

Also I hated the thing that you have to run all the way from the raid entrance – even if it was the third boss encounter. I was a victim of it, not managing to get to the third encounter after my death, and I foresee multiple players left behind in LFR – because who cares about a pair of extra dps when you want to pull?

The lore is fine, I like how there’s the Army of Light fighting with all their might, and it’s at the same time justified why they’re not unleashing hell on bosses – they keep the multiple and endless armies away from us :)

I don’t know about the other wings, but judging by Light’s Breach it’s not gonna be my favorite expansion raid. Fel’s boring, and I don’t feel like I’m doing anything cool – just your another prolongation of Antoran Wastes.

Meh.

It’s Mayday

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

Karazhan!

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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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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Gul’Down! A Peep into Betrayer’s Rise

– For the Alliance!
(c) King Varian Wrynn

Yeah!

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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.

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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 :)

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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.

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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?