Time for Transmog: Night Elves

Yesterday I posted about the transmogs for my three cloth wearing classes (there will eventually be more of those, but not until the new toons hit 90).  Today I will talk about the night elves, for me this is my hunter, Troutwort, and my druid, Sibelius.  Sibelius is wearing a matching set while Troutwort’s was completely crafted of low level quest items, dungeon gear from LK, and some other pieces that matched really well that I forgot I had.  I’ll start with Sibelius.

Sibelius:

screenshot_103

Sibelius is sporting the Stormrage Recolour.  He’s a Balance Druid and this set pulls both arcane elements in with its color motif while the patterns suggest nature.  This is perfect for a balance druid.  I looked at the original, but the greens and browns were too natural for a balance druid, in my opinion.  Druids though don’t usually get to show off their outfits, but fortunately I have the glyph that allows me to be in caster form rather than moonkin form.  Nothing against the giant owl, it’s just that I want to show off this outfit.   The hardest part of this set wasn’t collecting the pieces, that was fairly easy.  The hard part was the weapon.  Finding something both natural and arcane was the goal here.  Eventually after what seemed like hours of searching I found one and fortunately hadn’t done the quest yet, so I could still get it!  Yay!  I think the whole thing comes together nicely, even if some people in the guild said it was ugly or that it’s purple.  It’s not purple!  LOL

Head:  Moon-Crown Antlers
Shoulders:  Lunar-Claw Pauldrons
Chest:  Starry Robes of the Crescent
Back:  Perfectly Balanced Cape
Gloves:  Grips of the Lunar Eclipse
Belt:  Moonrage Girdle
Feet:  Stormrage Boots
Weapon:  Staff of Draconic Pacification

Troutwort:

screenshot_104

Troutwort’s transmogrification is by far my most favorite of all my toons.  I think partly because I made it up on my own, but also because it really came together nicely.  The interesting thing about wearing mail is that items under level 40 designed for warriors or paladins can be used in your final transmog, so you have access to stuff you wouldn’t have picked up while leveling.  Of course though, Trout leveled up so long ago that all the quests reset with Cataclysm and it didn’t matter.  I commented over on Bocat’s blog that I usually start with the shoulders and build the outfit around that.  I did exactly that in this case.  Some shoulders can be very overwhelming…I’m looking at you Windrunner’s Spaulders.  So I wanted to make sure they weren’t too big on a night elf.  I spent way too long looking for the right stuff.  But I picked something out…back in 2011, apparently.  I stuck to most of the original form, but there were a few minor tweaks.  Overall, I’m very satisfied.  I particularly like that it looks like mail, on almost every piece in this set there is the chainmail/scale look–I think that’s important.  I like him helm-free as well, I don’t think a hunter would wear a helm to hinder his good hearing.  Finally the crossbow fit in surprisingly nicely and sort of looks like he’s mounted a trophy kill on his weapon.

Head:  none
Shoulders:  Chillwind Pauldrons
Chest:  Chestguard of Bravery
Back:  Shroud of Reverberation
Gloves:  Gleaning Gloves
Belt:  Banded Girdle
Pants:  Abandoned Leggings (just who abandoned them?!?)
Feet:  Boneshard Boots
Weapon:  Amanitar Skullbow

More transmogs soon!  I’ve got the paladin and shaman yet…and the rogue, but he’s not finished so too bad…his items come from Naxx-10, which I can’t solo, so it’ll be awhile.

Petless Pet Classes

I can’t remember where I read it, but I seemed to recall that the warlock talent tree was bringing back Sacrifice Demon. Those of us that have been around long enough remember a time in BC when there was a spell with such a name that would grant the warlock a power buff in lieu of having a demon. I remember using this on my warlock (Kittykat) during raids since it seemed the pets would die far too often. It was a nice change of pace. I could play my spell caster without the worry of pet positioning and management. It was nice.

If in Mists of Pandaria this ability is brought back and I can go without a demon pet, I’m guessing that there will be a spec that I pick up that allows me to do so. Demonology for when I want a pet and affliction or destruction for when I don’t. This adds a new element to game play for those warlocks that never want a pet.

Naturally this train of thought led me to the petless hunter concept…basically an archer. I’ll be the first to say that pets are great for having during leveling and running around in Azeroth, but when it comes to dungeons, I’d just as soon sacrifice my pet and play the role of the archer pew pewing from the back. Allowing survival and marksman hunters to drop the pet for a buff doesn’t seem game breaking if you’re going to do it for warlocks.

Now there will be the argument that the pet is what makes the hunter class. But this would introduce a new flavor to the hunter that isn’t available without making a Ranger or Archer class. Also it wouldn’t have to be a “Sacrifice Pet” like the warlock, but perhaps an Aspect of the Pet. Make it an aspect where your souls bind and you gain characteristics from your chosen pet. This would allow you to turn it on quickly like when a warlock sacrifices, but would also allow you to turn it back on by changing aspects and calling your pet again. Since the hunters have the system of aspects in place, it would be a nice way to weave this into the game. It could even be a buff simply by pet type not pet family; like a cunning, ferocity, and tenacity buff rather than a bear, wolf, or kitty buff. That way they don’t have to balance out so many buffs.

I know this is not going to happen in MoP, but given how we see Warlocks work without pets, I’d like to see them expand this to hunters too. I love some of my pets, but when it comes to a dungeon, I still feel pretty forced to certain pet families for buffs instead of the pets that I want (I heard this will be different in MoP too) but if I could just Aspect of the Pet with my ferocity pet and not worry about using the pet I should rather than the pet I want or for taking crap for using the pet I want rather than the pet I should, it would greatly improve the quality of my huntering.

The Need for Moggin

When Blizzard announced in patch 4.3 that they would introduce the transmogrification that would allow you to change the look of your gear into anything else (well almost anything) I was so happy.  I had been collecting gear over the years and hanging onto it, just because it looked cool.  Elgar and Sousa had outfits almost immediately and Sibelius got his and Rossini whipped one up based on some new shoulder he found.  I still have two disasters left though.  And boy, are they disasters.

After reading some other blogs I decided this weekend that I should finally get the WoW Model Viewer to help save me some time when picking out outfits, especially if I didn’t want tier sets.  Elgar, Sibelius, and Sousa all have Tier sets.  Rossini’s is an original design and I wanted to get something more original for the next ones.

So here’s what I was looking at that needed a fix.  Troutwort the hunter and Schubert the mage.

Troutwort

Schubert

Could it get much worse?  I’m not going to accept that challenge.  I’m sure it can.  But as you can see…they look like bags of skittles.  Mind you that I don’t raid and that I don’t think Troutwort can even get into the HoT instances, but still something must be done.  So I played around with the model viewers and here’s what I came up with.  The next projects will be getting all this gear.  I’ll make a gear list later if anyone is interested, but I’m too tired tonight.  So here they are in their future new and improved forms.

Troutwort - Future

Schubert - Future

As you can see we’ve got themes now and considerable improvements!!  For Troutwort, the chest and pants are matching quest rewards from lower levels quests in Thousand Needles and Tanaris.  The other items are mixed bag though, the gloves and shoulders do not come from that leveling set.  Schubert had a similar scenario where the shoulders and chest are matching leveling set but the other items come from all over.  I chose simple weapons for both of them, Troutwort is shown holding his bow and his polearm.  That staff Schubert has is the Dwarven Medic Staff which is a green mid-20s staff.  That might be the hardest part to get!

My strategy for Troutwort’s outfit was to find shoulders first and build from there, since often shoulders are the worst part to deal with.  For Schubert though since the robes are far more important, I picked the robes out first.  I didn’t recall seeing robes like that before.  Though he’s mostly a frost mage, this set looks more arcane, but still, I like the blues and greys of it.  The purple accents allow for some flexibility as well…the cloak for Schubert was actually the biggest challenge…though gloves were no walk in the park and I’m still not sure I’m sold on the ones he has.

Playing with the model viewer really made it much easier to do transmogging plans.  There are lots of items in the game and it’s hard to know what goes together.  The only thing about the model viewer is it also has a few things that you can no longer get in the game, so I got teased MANY times with things that looked cool only to find out they don’t exist anymore.  For anyone who enjoys transmogging, I do suggest getting the model viewer.  You can upload your existing characters which really helps make sure the outfit you pick will look good on your character.

Now with these plans, I have new goals to add to the list of things to do before Pandaria.

The 2011 Character Review

I’m probably a few days late on this post, but I thought I’d do a summary of how my characters performed and how their journey was in 2011.  As Cataclysm was released just before 2011, it was interesting to see how they adapted to the changes and how they did.  So without further ado…

Rossini
Rossini hit level 85 a week or two into 2011.  As a member of a successful raiding group in late LK, Rossini was a priority so that I could hit raiding in Cataclysm.  However, it was evident that it wasn’t going to happen.  I was severely lagging behind everyone else and hadn’t done any heroics.  It was clear Rossini was not going to be an early Cataclysm raider.  Also, pushing hard to level is not my style, and soon after 85, Rossini was burned out.  He maxed out professions pretty quickly, but heroics and dungeons burned him out and unfortunately I would soon avoid logging in on him.  Warlock isn’t my ideal class anyways.  He did however sub in for raiding and got Nefarian, Cho’gall, and Al’akir killed.  This was about where his play time ended.  Other than holidays and disenchanting things, Rossini’s highlights ended around the time Firelands was released.

Elgar
With the addition of archaeology and a desire to avoid leveling zones shortly after expansions, Elgar leveled to 85 using archaeology XP.  This was bad as he didn’t have any gear, but through questing he got to the point where he was “up to speed”.  Keeping disc as a primary spec, he eventually tried his hand at healing.  The first dungeon was a disaster and depressed and scared Elgar then relied on shadow for nearly all activities after that.  I dislike shadow, but wasn’t left with much choice.  Elgar leveled his professions, but then too, was shelved due to general dislike of the condition of priests.  With Firelands, gear was a little easier to obtain, and Elgar went to a non-smite spec.  This changed everything, healing was feasible for him again and soon heroics were no challenge.  As a result, Elgar ended 2011 as a confident healer and with the highest gear score of any of my toons!  Elgar also is rocking his transmogrified priest T5.  He’s again a favorite toon.  I will always have a place for the priest class.

Troutwort and Schubert
These two had about the same story, leveling up, geared enough to do heroics, struggled with crafting professions (Trout is still not max level) and didn’t see much play time.  They still have a long way to go, but nothing bad about either one.  Trout is better for DPS than Schubert because I keep Schubert as frost…and though I love that little gnome, I know my refusal to make him “spec of the patch” will keep me limited.  Nothing special for either one in 2011.

Sousa
Sousa had the biggest changes, though Elgar was spooked away from healing, Sousa thought to give it a shot.  Leveling as enhancement, his “primary” spec, I collected healing gear as it became available from quests and from extras in dungeons.  After collecting enough gear, I started to heal normals to get a feel for it.  I still remember having a heal crit for 52k in my crappy gear and just about falling over dead.  Elgar couldn’t pull off numbers like that!  Then 76k heals from Sousa and I had found my healer.  Sousa quickly became the toon I felt most confident on.  Sousa had a good run, heroics, keeping up with both resto and enhance gear, I grew to really love the shaman.  I did 6/7 in Firelands with Sousa thanks to the great guild group, and had some good luck on mounts with him.  Only once Elgar got more confidence did Sousa lose his place as the favorite/most geared toon.

Sibelius
The druid is a similar story to Troutwort and Schubert, though his professions struggled even more, as I had a max level enchanter, making it to max for enchanting hasn’t been a priority.  Boomkin spec was okay, but for DPS casting, I like the mage better, and though he regained a healing spec, I still don’t care for the HoT-style healing of the druid.  It’s not my style.  Though he hit level 85, Sibelius cannot do heroics and is least accomplished of the level 85s.

Floy
The little gnome DK was a project to push to 85 once I realized all we were missing for the Classy Gnome achievement is a gnome DK.  However, after hitting level 80, Grom hit level 85 on his gnome DK and so she stopped being a project.  She did get her blacksmithing up to 450 which puts her ready to tackle Cataclysm.

Haydn
The dwarf rogue made a push with Cataclysm.  As a way to see lower level zones, Haydn spent much time pushing through zones.  Hitting 2011 around level 35 or so, he ended 2011 at level 70.  He’s a fun diversion from the normal and I found that I did enjoy the rogue more than I thought I would.  New quests probably really helped.  Now that they have nerfed XP required for levels 70 to 80 he might get a little play time, I don’t care for Northrend much anymore, so it’s harder for me to level there than in Outlands…I know, I’m the only one that feels this way.

Mouret
2011 was a HUGE year for the worgen warrior Mouret, mostly because he didn’t exist in 2010.  Ha!  Another class that I always struggled to get into, the new leveling experience and having a hunter friend to level with made the warrior far more tolerable and he wins for most levels earned in 2011, going from level 1 to level 53.  Only slowed by waiting to play with my friend, he’s been a huge success and a good experience to see other things.  In 2012, he’ll try some tanking.

Kalinnikov
Last and least: the dwarf paladin.  The last play time in 2011, less than low level alts on another account I have.  Kalinnikov gained 0 levels in 2011.  Still stuck at level 80, he hasn’t seen any of the new zones.  I should run some of the quests and then get him into some dungeons and learn to tank again, but it hasn’t happened.  I have my toons organized by what level they are…I fear that poor Kalinnikov will one day, be last on the list.  I’m sorry Repgrind, I do not have the enthusiasm to level paladins like you do.

So that’s the summary!  It was a busy year and yet, I feel like 2011 in WoW didn’t accomplish much.  Since patch 4.3 my play time has increased and again I feel interested in WoW.  I’m looking forward to MoP and feel that for me, now, it’s just a matter of getting everyone ready for that point.  The guild changed a bit in 2011 too and though we hit Level 25 pretty close to as soon as we could, we lost some good people, that I will miss, to groups that raided more.  However, the spirit of Crits and Giggles has not changed, we picked up some awesome new players and I look forward to experiencing more and more of the game with them.

About Time

This weekend something crazy happened.

Something that I’m sure some people believed would NEVER happen.

It was Saturday afternoon, and there was a pressing timeline due to a wedding.

But in a frantic flurry of arrows, Troutwort, the GM of Crits and Giggles, hit level 85.

It is the 5th toon of mine to make level 85 now, with several more just waiting in the wings, but it’s significant since Trout is the actual GM of the guild, so at least Crits now has a max level GM.  Ha!  He probably won’t get too much more play time, but he should do some dailies at least, I mean, I should get him to at least Honored with the Guild!  LOL

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Finally!

It seems amazing that Troutwort, the GM of Crits and Giggles, has finally gotten some playtime in Cataclysm.  He did Mt. Hyjal, though I don’t think completely…maybe?  I can’t remember, and then went on to Deepholm because he’ll need it.

Anyways, having a GM of the guild that is only neutral with the guild is a little embarrassing.  Especially when the guild makes a lot of money completing dungeon and raid achievements and mucho cash through the Cash Flow guild perk.  Basic donations to the guild have all but stopped since those implementations and we have more guild than ever.  We never required people to give money to the guild bank, so it was just something people did to be nice, but now we don’t really need it and we’ve up the allowance of repairs from guild funds.

So back to the point, Troutwort, neutral with the guild and the guild has more than enough to get the 7th guild tab.  So I felt obligated to level up to a point where I would get friendly with the guild.  And I did just last night!  So I took 9000g our of the bank and purchased the 7th tab. 

It made a huge impact on the organization of the guild bank, which was LOOSELY organized prior mostly by tabs which contained either gear, crafting materials, or consumables.  But now we’ve organized it further, breaking out tabs like herbalism/alchemy and giving gems and enchants their own tab since they were both scattered all over previously.  We combined all gear to one tab instead of breaking out gear <80 and cataclysm gear.  That saved lots of space too allowing us to break out some of the other profession things and keep them more organized with more space between them to give them all a cleaner look.  It looks much better now.  I wish the tabs were in a different order, but I did arrangement based on which stuff I’d have to move the least.  It’s annoying to move things between tabs in the guild bank.

Troutwort is now level 83.  He’s done just two dungeons I think, but managed to get the drake mount from Vortex Pinnacle, at least I think that’s what it’s called.  His DPS is okay and only getting better now that he has a better weapon, what he does need though is better pets or at least a pet respec.  His solo pet is still the bear but for DPS I use either the cat or wasp.  I might need to look into some others.  I suppose I better do some research on the pet families again, it’s been so long since I looked at pet information.

Also, I’m still running mostly marksman, I love it.  He’s always been marksman, like ALWAYS and so it’s very fun.  Mostly I used the pet as a meat shield, hence running solo with tenacity pets.  When I do rarely go into BM spec, I use a ferocity pet.  It’s good times.  But as usual, Trout will mostly just round out my completion of classes and professions.  Speaking of which, does leather seem really annoying to get in Cata??  Hyjal was mostly humanoids, as is deepholm, there are a few times I kill neutral deer or whatever to skin, but man, just seems like not as much is skinnable as I thought there might be.  Oh well for now.

The 4.1

Okay, so today is probably the patch, I am limited to what I can view from work, so I just assume it is going to happen and/or is happening.

I am not going to comment on every little update, but I thought I’d comment on some of the changes that will most directly impact me. 

Elgar – Priest
Elgar is interested in a few things this patch, and number 1 is the additions to Archaeology.  Seven new rare items have been added to the game and there is also less of a chance of getting a dig site for a race you already have all the rares for.  Which means no more endlessly digging up fossils for nothing.  Though they added more fossil rares, so still…fossils.  He he.

None of the changes to the priest class are all that glorious for disc priests, they made it so that you can only remove magic from yourself, but absolution that both disc and holy get make it operate as normal again, so it really only affects shadow priests ability to cleanse others.  Holy Fire now works with Evangelism (yay), nothing big there.  Durations of PW:Shield was reduced to 15 seconds, but Divine Aegis goes up to 15 seconds.  I’m not sure how I feel about this.  There have been times where PW:Shield did last more than 15 seconds, but they are really making it somewhat of an “Oh shit!” button to absorb rather than before where I really felt it was preventative.  We’ll see how this works out…less chaining of shields that is for sure…so I’m not REALLY thrilled about it.

Rossini – Warlock
Dark Intent kinda gets a nerf when placed on other damage dealers but still has the same effect on healers…but really you should have been putting it on your Resto druids anyways.  Seed of Corruption and Rain of Fire have more damage, which is on par with most AOE getting a buff. 

The big change is that Soulstone is a battle rez now, which has pros and cons.  The pro is I don’t have to worry about if it just fell off during a boss fight, but the con is that I have to remember I have a battle rez now if someone drops during combat.  Also we can’t count on it for quick wipe recovery.  I will have to see how this works, I’m not sure I fully understand it.

No real changes to demonology.

Schubert – Mage
Schubert is frost spec primarily, though he has a fire spec too.  So Frostbolt, which is his main spell, getting a 10% damage increase is awesome.  AOE damage from Blizzard is also increased which will be nice too since it basically does like no damage now.  Ha!  Ice lance is getting a nice buff too when used with Fingers of Frost which happens quite a bit if Deep Freeze is on cooldown.

Frost Armor is redesigned and is kinda interesting at least for PvP, it has a slowing effect for attack speed and now works on ranged attacks, I assume this means hunters.  So that must be to counter hunters, who I think already hate frost mages, in PvP.  It will also grant mana regen if glyphed, so for long fights switching armor types during movement phases will help regen mana too.  Good times!

Haydn – Rogue
I only use Haydn occasionally as he’s level 61 and working through Outlands, but he’s spec’d subtlety and so being in stealth is critical.  So the changes to stealth in this patch seem awesome.  First, the cooldown of stealth was reduced from 10 to 4 seconds.  This means when you’re out questing there is no downtime between mobs.  I know it seems like there shouldn’t be, but most combat times take about 4 seconds with a subtlety rogue.  Secondly, the cooldown is reduced by the subtlety tree even further, so there is NO cooldown on stealth. 

Now you see me, now you don’t!

Also, the talent that reduces the cooldown on stealth also increases the stealth movement speed.  I will actually walk/run faster when stealthed, than normal!  CRAZY, but awesome.  I’m excited about that.

And lastly…

Troutwort – Hunter
A few big changes for all hunters:

1)  Tamed pets now match your level – yay!
2)  Happiness system is gone, no more feeding pets – double yay!
3)  Glyph of Mend Pet (that used to give happiness) now makes your pet bigger smaller – okay, not so excited, but I get it.  I will have to get rid of this, I like big pets.

So those things are just kinda novelty things, but makes pet management and taming a little bit nicer for all of those that like to have a variety of pets. 

And that is my little summary.  I guess there’s some new dungeons or something, but meh.  Account bound items are now battle.net bound which is fun for alts on different servers and such.  Yay!  Also there is a new guild recruiting system, I’ll have to set that up tonight too.  We have a pretty attractive guild (I mean good-looking) so naturally people want to join us.  😉

Happy Tuesday!