FINALLY!

Patch 4.3 has revived my interested in Cataclysm.  For a couple reasons:

1) Transmogrification means I don’t have to have Elgar running around in hobo’s pajamas anymore!  This feature, while strictly aesthetic, is very fun.

2) Finally there is a dungeon that I am excited about!!  One of my complaints that I’ve mentioned before is that Cataclysm really lacked any dungeons that I thought were “fun”.  There are dungeons that I don’t complain about when I get them, like Throne of Tides, but Halls of Origination…ugh.  End Time, however, is my new favorite instance and not just because Jaina Proudmore is in it.  This instance was SO much fun!  We got Tyrande and Sylvanas in our instance.  Tyrande didn’t seem to hit too hard, but SO much movement!  I had to dodge a million things on the ground and flying at me that it was worse than frogger in Naxx.  It was fun though and I was able to manage. 

Sylvanas was a little harder as the DPS had to break us out of the zombie ring, but after we understood it better we didn’t have a problem.

The best fight though and possibly the best fight IN THE ENTIRE GAME is the final boss, Muzumu.  Okay, I don’t remember his name, but he’s AWESOME.  You’re fighting in the bronze dragonshrine and since bronze = time, there’s some really cool time effects that happen during the fight!  5 times through the fight Nordzumu (seriously, I’m bad with names) helps you by sending you back in time to where you were and how healed and full of mana you were when you started the fight.  The screen goes all black and white and your toon runs backwards to where you started and all your cooldowns reset!  It’s AMAZING!!!   I had so much fun on this fight.  And the concept is genius.  Though next time I’ll pay more attention to where I was when the fight starts because I was out of range from the tank so I had to run back to him every time that time reset.

But honestly, thank you Blizzard for coming up with creative ideas and continuing to make this game fun!  The End Time instance is one that I look forward to doing over and over (plus, I want Jaina’s staff–PG-13!!!!) 

End Time – Best Instance in WoW.

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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!

What’s a Patch?

Normally I’m all up ons with the patch notes.  This patch 4.0.6(??) has kinda snuck up on me as I can’t view the notes from work and I am not always spending time at home looking at the notes.  I better start doing it.  I am hoping that the patch rolls out tomorrow.  I have been catching tidbits of the notes as time goes on though.

I heard about the big buff to the absorption of PW:Shield, which is much needed.  Currently my shield breaks when fighting one normal quest mob, since they hit for ~3000 or so it seems like maybe the shield absorbs 12 to 15 thousand.  That doesn’t seem like much.  I would think that since I’m spec’d into shields it should be able to withstand damage from normal quest mobs much better.  Now granted, I don’t have any real numbers on this, all I know is that I used to be able to keep the shield up through all my smiting and now that is not the case.  They seem…weak.  So the big buff of 200+% more absorption is welcomed. 

But there are a few other patch things that I just found out that I wasn’t aware of, one of them is that archaeological completed finds will be bumped in price, so those things that sold for 5 silver will sell for 1 gold and things that sell for 10g currently may sell for as much as 350g coming up!  That’s awesome.  Sorta.  I wished I had read this sooner than this weekend so that I could have saved some of my junk.  Elgar is still currently sitting on about 500g of items from just the weekend, so that will be nice.  He’s still after he staff from the dwarves, but managed to finish up the dwarf and orc achievements as well as the staff (Seven Scepters) achievements for archaeology.  I sorta wish all those archaeology achievements were rolled into some meta achievement like they have for fishing or cooking, but no such thing.  Apparently there will also be archaeological crates that can be fished up from floating wreckage and will contain archaeological keystones (dwarven rune, highborne scrolls, etc.).  That’s pretty cool too!

The guild also completed the Critter Killer guild achievement for killing 50000 critters.  Apparently we’re just mean like that.  This unlocked the Armadillo Pup pet for us!  However, it’s currently only available at exalted with the guild.  The patch will reduce the requirement level to revered making it much more available to people.  We’re pretty excited about that opportunity!  I know I was killing critters all over the place, and even after we got the achievement I still felt myself using holy nova and hellfire to capture groups of them.  Poor things.

Another change will be that you don’t have to discover the instances anymore to get them on random dungeon finder.  This will make queueing up for a random more enticing to me.  Sure I know, just go find them, but bleh.  Getting to the ones in Uldum would require that starting questline and Rossini just hasn’t done it.  I’ve been too busy with other things.  I thought I would like the idea of finding the instances, but mostly I just find it annoying now.

Elgar also managed to find a pool of bloodsail wreckage in STV to complete the Scavenger achievement, putting him one step closer to “Salty” the big ones there will be winning the fishing tournament and fishing up all those annoying fountain coins.  That will be a project for much later.

The current projects for Elgar is to level alchemy.  He got the pattern for the drake mount from his canopic jar so now he needs to level that up.  So I’ll be working on collecting herbs with him because that mount will be caught after by friends and guildmates and even the auction house.

Perhaps the patch will be tomorrow and Elgar and empty his bags and bank of Archaeology crap.  If not, I might have to work on someone else until he has bag space for his hobbies.

Worgen, WORgen, WORGEN!

Okay, the “a” in Patch 4.0.3a stands for Awesome.  This is the best patch I’ve ever witnessed in WoW.  Better than the patch that gave me penance.  Better than the patch that gave be PW:Barrier.  Better than demonology form.  Better than hunter pet changes.  I was totally impressed with this patch.  So where to start…

I had to do my mentoring last night, but at age 16, he’s more interested in looking for used cars on Craigslist, so I took this opportunity to load up my WoW and start a gnome priest on a different server than Winterhoof since I have no more slots there.  The gnome starting area was totally impressive and VERY fun.  You’re basically a gnome left behind and trying to get out of Gnomeregan and then you get cleaned up and off into Dun Morough.  At level 3 I got a staff reward with +1 intellect.  I was like what is this?!?!  Awesome.  I only did the quests up to Kharanos.  Then took on another project.

Human hunter.  Sure, there were like 100 million of us.  But I was curious about the starting area for humans since I had played there with lots of toons.  So I’m getting the first quests and I’m like, WTF, Blackrock Orcs in Elwynn forest?!?!  Then, holy crap!  The vineyards are burned down?!?  I had to put out some fires and slay more orcs.  I was really sad about it and at the same time excited.  I remember the Defias in that vineyard, collecting grapes.  But, out with the old, in with the new!  I only again ran to Goldshire, saw there was a flight path there now, and headed out to get serious.

So I logged onto the priest Elgar.  For whatever reason I had to respec him, though I honestly didn’t notice any talent changes in Disc tree.  So I had for whatever reason, left him in Westfall.  I looked around the encampment there, checked the map for new flight paths, grabbed them, then after seeing 7 flight paths in EPL, decided I would just get all the FP later, when I could fly.  But I was halfway to the FP in Darkshire, so I thought I’d just pick it up quick.  So I run over there, and I’m like, what’s this lady tauren doing here?  THAT’S NOT A LADY TAUREN!  It’s a WORGEN!!!  AND SHE HAS A QUEST!!  (I swear, I almost pee’d my pants right there).  So I did her quest.  “Your reputation with Gilneas has increased by 275.”  O.o  o.O  O.o  What?!?!?  I open the reputation tab SO fast.  Sure enough, neutral.  There were a few other Worgen standing around, so I thought, they must have quests…but I get I have to do the chain to get them.  I flew to Darkshire and picked up every quest I could.  It was awesome.  Then I had to help Tobias, who was a human, but when his undead brother taunted him, he turned into this Worgen and they started fighting!  I grabbed a screenshot before he disappeared.

So I keep doing the quests.  One of the epic questlines in Duskwood before was the whole Abercrombie and Stitches questline.  Basically you run around collecting all this stuff for this guy, but in the end he makes an abomination that would lumber towards the town killing the guards along the way.  But now, Abercrombie is not way in the middle of nowhere, he’s just outside of town, making the access to the quests much easier.  So I get to the end, take the letter to the Mayor, who tells me something like “What have you done?!?” and then gives me the quest to kill Stitches.  He used to come lumbering down the road, so that’s what I’m expecting.  When I come out of the town hall, I see this: 

Of course, again, I’m freaking out in excitement!  So I quickly smite Stitches then run back in and all returns to normal.  By this time, I had the quests all opened up so that I could return back to the other end of Duskwood and maybe have some more quests with the Worgen.  There were several there and I quickly ran around in excitement doing them, just glad I didn’t have to kill 30 skeletons and run back to the other end of town only to get a quest to go back, kill 30 more and collect rot blossoms.  Ha!  God, this place used to suck.  So anyways, I have to capture this one Worgen, and when I bring him back, Jitters is holding him and he breaks free, grabbing Jitters (the crabcake loving friend) by the throat, holding him up, yelling at him that it’s his fault!  I’m expecting to see the end of Jitters, who I sorta have grown attached to after making him so many “crab” cakes.

All in all, I ended up getting something like 4k rep with Gilneas which put me at Friendly.  I was totally shocked!  The best part of whole experience was getting the new BEST item in the game.  [John’s Stylish Robes] I’ll add a link later.  Since I won the Best Dressed award in our recent guild “Grammys” I was totally excited to see that Blizzard put in a quest reward just for me.  Now, to find a matching hat, belt and gloves….

So after all this, I went to Stormwind, ran around a bit and that’s it.  I have SO much more to see yet.  I’ll get to it all, but just for those of you that are curious, the Gilneas Quartermaster can currently be found in Darnassus by the flight master.  The Tabard is pretty awesome.  Someone in our guild got to Honored with them just by doing the quests in Elwynn, Westfall, Redridge, and Duskwood.  Just keep that in mind that when you get Alliance rep, you’re getting Gilneas too.

The 4.0

I know I’m a little late getting to the party to comment on the Patch 4.0 which shifted our characters into new heroes by losing some skills, gaining others, and changing the rest.  It was a wild ride for many people.

Inspired by a post over at The Wayward Initiative, I decided to give my own comments on the patch, how I dealt with things and what I thought about the changes that went into effect.

As far as interface changes, Blizzard again made some awesome interface changes and really provided some things that people always wanted anyways.  The list of professions for the guild has proven more than handy and even the default raid interface is totally acceptable for me…though I’m the king of few add-ons.  As a GM too, the guild ranks and ability to add the requirement of authenticator to the ranks is awesome.  Being able to remove ranks from the middle of the ranks too is nice as well.  We had too many so I did that right away.  Requiring authenticators was already something we did for guild bank access, but I won’t mind not having to have people pull out their Core Hounds.

But on to the real changes with some of my classes…

Priest
Discipline – Elgar has been disc since patch 3.0 before wrath, I love it, I will always love it.  Bubbles are amazing.  Anyways, patch 4.0 brought some really cool things to disc and I really love it now.  #1  Atonement—smite now heals and it procs divine aegis!  It’s epically awesome to be doing damage, crit, heal, and bubble all in one spell.  Seriously?  How epic is that?  Then on top of that, you get a buff that you can cash in to get 3% more healing per stack AND the animation is wings!!  I just about peed myself from excitement.  The difficulty now of course is working in smites at the appropriate times because I find myself wanting to smite, but I don’t want to end up forgetting to heal.  He he!  But the spec is awesome now.  I really feel viable and capable.  What’s more awesome than being in a bubble?  Being in a bigger bubble!  PW: Barrier on a 3 minute cooldown is awesome.  I have been getting in a rotation of using it often since it’s a relatively short cooldown.  

Shadow – While I haven’t really spent much time playing as shadow other than a few dailies, it’s really fun.  It seems a bit easier than I remember and now with Mind Flay to 40 yards I don’t feel the need to be all up close and personal with the things I’m fighting.  And the little dark images that appear and run to kill my enemies?  AWESOME, especially awesome when you use your Gnomeregan trinket to look like a little dark gnome.  I’ll get some more play time on this soon, but so far it’s fun.

Hunter Marksmanship
Trout is still marksmanship and overall the damage just feels low.  I’m not seeing big numbers like I used to and I’m in better gear than before…figure that one out?  But I do like the focus changes, dislike losing volley, but the hit anything multishot is nice, and the pet changes are pretty fun for the most part.  It’s nice to be able to get a buff from the pet.  I will try it out more as time goes on, but I think at least the focus change was awesome.  

Mage
Frost – Schubert has a tendency to go frost.  And he really likes it, and now everything seems to proc all the time and he’s like crazy mad frost slinging gnome!  It’s pretty cool.  The damage from frost is definitely up from before.  The pet being able to freeze anytime and add to that a talent to make cone of cold freeze targets in place makes me keeping everything frozen all the time it seems.  That means super crits from ice lance and before you know it, everything has frozen to death.  

Fire – The fire spec seems like it can pump out some serious AOE damage.  They might be king now with the free flamestrikes, the targeted blast nova and such.  Though I haven’t tried it in combat yet (frost is too much fun) I will have to run some heroics on it to see how crazy I can get.  I better keep ice block handy.

WarlockDemonology
The demonology warlock changes are awesome and really gave a sense of rotation now and in my opinion shifted the play a little more towards destruction.  Immolate is able to be kept up all the time without recast thanks to Hand of Guldan, which is fun on it’s own because not only does it refresh immolate, but it adds a root and stun!  Good times!!  Felguard lost his taunt, but gained BLADESTORM and the new guardian demons are pretty awesome as well.  Either way, I feel like I have a better understanding of spell priority now than I did when it was a mess before.  Hellfire can be cast on the move and does 30% more damage, we’re still kinda this mix in the middle, but it’s very fun.  If you’ve never tried out this spec, I suggest you at least take it for leveling, because it’s awesome.  

Okay, this is already a massive post, and again without pictures.  So I apologize.  I just keep forgetting to send them to myself.  I’ll stop here though and leave out my feelings on the Druid, Shaman, and Paladin, they haven’t gotten much play yet anyways, so I’ll get back to them eventually.  

In summary, I felt like all my spell casters really got some fun tools, got their toolbars cleaned up and are very fun to play.  The hunter should be getting a damage buff per the up coming patches, but they just feel a little weak.  I am continually looking forward to the further changes over the next coming weeks and just one month from this weekend, we’ll all be scurrying about working towards our journey to 85.

Snowed In!

Winter in Wisconsin is…brutal to say the least. We got over 18 inches of snow last night and today was a snow day!  Which is great for the day after a patch.  Last night many people were getting locked in dungeons and otherwise just having not so much good times as to be expected after a big patch. 

I just did dailies to avoid most of the craziness. 

Today though I got to try out some of the new features!  There are really two things that really stand out as awesome in my mind.  One is the new quest/map combo thing.  It’s awesome.  Never being a fan of many add-ons, I never have used a quest helper or whatever the other ones might be called were.  So this new system is pretty nice because it kinda reminds me of quests that I might have picked up once but never got around to finishing.  Awesome.  Nothing but props to Blizzard there!

But the best system, hands down is the new LFG.  Now it might be because it’s just after patch and everyone is finishing up getting their badges or is after their free badges of frost or whatever, but the system has been so smooth.  The BEST feature of it is that it measures gear.  Now I have sworn up and down the board before that I hate gear scores, etc.  But this system makes sure that when I select random dungeon, or random heroic, that it’s not going to put me in something I’m not ready for.  A rogue in our guild just dinged 80 and it wouldn’t let us LFG for H ToC because of his gear, it said so plain as day!  It was kinda a neat feature.  We did it anyways.  😛  But it ensures that even though you might want to do something it won’t always let you if you’ll be dead weight of sorts.

I sadly got rolled into Oculus on my second random roic.  He he, I’ve only been in there a few times as it’s generally everyone’s least favorite, but we did well and it all worked out.  I have to give props to Blizz on this system.

I also used it on a level 48 alt.  AWESOME!  For all those dungeons you love but never get to do?  Well, it didn’t take more than 10-15 minutes and the group was ready to go.  Off to Sunken Temple.  It was the most fun I’ve had in a long time!  The reward bag was full of a special blue quality item that was specific to whatever class and spec you are!  The mage, priest and druid all got appropriate spell casting gear while the tank got a piece with high stamina and I got some nice boots that had 15 strength and stamina on them for DPS.  Awesome. 

Aside from all that, the warlock demonology buffs are amazing.  I might still not be pulling as much DPS as the other guys, but my Soul Fires now crit for over 10k and I’m still in half or more than half blues!  It’s quite fun.  I’m looking forward to trying out more.

Haven’t done the new dungeon yet, but it’s not going anywhere, so I’ll get there.

The Great Patch Debate

Tonight talk of the patch came up in guild chat.  Nothing too serious, but someone complaining about the new badge system and how people will again be able to run heroics and get gear that is on par or just one set behind those who are raiding.  They were upset over “free epics”.

Okay, so maybe it’s just me, but I don’t care what kind of epics are at the end of the rainbow, doing the same dungeons over and over and over on 3+ level 80s so they can all get gear…boo.  So I don’t do it.  Maybe others do, but it seems like lots of work to me.  I tried to propose to this person that the patch has more to offer than just new gear, and isn’t the experience of raiding the real reason to go and the loot is just a special side effect?

They they complained that yes, the patch has more than gear, it has nerfs too.  I think I was talking to Mr. Negativity.  I then joked that if you play a non-favored class and especially a non-favored spec, you’ll always get buffs in the patches *cough cough* frost mages and demonology warlocks.  Now I’m not saying play a class or spec that you don’t like so that you always get buffs.  That’s not why I picked frost mage, I just liked playing it better – though I’m really enjoying fire since the dual spec. 

Patches are always dicey like that, though I can’t think of a patch where I was upset about it.  Well except when they nerfed penance.  But mostly I’ve been excited about the patches because there’s new content, new loot, new talents, new everything!  Even a nerf isn’t always bad, I sometimes want to say hey DKs, it’s not that you’re so awesome at DK, it’s that they made them too powerful over the other classes, so stop crying that you’re being put on par with the others.  He he. 

I’m still looking forward to the next patch, and to expansions.  Though there’s a lot more to do yet!  Speaking of which, I’ll never get Rossini to 79 by typing here instead of playing!

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