Saturday, September 28, 2013

Celestial Tournament: Triad 3 - Blingtron 4000, Shademaster Kiryn, Wise Mari

The final triad was this week!  And what I didn't realise was that you don't have to defeat them all at once to get Master of the Masters, as I got the achievement whilst trying out my various teams to figure out what worked best.

Blingtron 4000

The team I used to beat Blingtron
Spawn of G'nathus: Swallow You Whole, Lightning Shield, Thunderbolt
Cinder Kitten: Rend, Immolate, Scorched Earth
Corehound Pup: Thrash, Howl, Burn

Au is an elemental who has a charge attack so I start with Lightning Shield, then Thunderbolt and then Swallow you Whole until Au dies.  Sometimes Spawn dies as well but usually Au's health has gone down enough that Cinder Kitten can kill it on the next turn wtth a Scorched Earth.

Banks is a critter who will usually start with Make It Rain (coin drop multi turn attack) and then Uncanny Luck and heals itself with Buried Treasure.  With Scorched Earth up, I just Rend Banks till it dies, and if I can, refresh Scorched Earth before Cinder Kitten dies.

Lil' B is annoying because of the Extra Plating reducing the damage taken and also has a heal with the Blingtron Gift Package (when it misses).  But with the Scorched Earth doing elemental damage and Core hound Pup using Howl and Burn, it should finish it off easily!

Good substitutes
Spawn of G'nathus - Electrified Razortooth or a high health Emperor Crab.
Cinder Kitten - Molten Hatchling
Corehound Pup - Dark Phoenix Hatchling, Phoenix Hatchling, Pandaren Fire Spirit

Yuuna's team: Electrified Razortooth, Cinder Kitten, Corehound Pup

Shademaster Kiryn

The team I used to beat Shademaster Kiryn
Crawling Claw: Agony, Death Grip, Curse of Doom
Water Waveling: Ice Lance, Frost Nova, Tidal Wave
Robo-Chick: Batter, Overtune, Wind-Up

Nairn is a humanoid that has an attack named after itself that is strong against undead.  He always starts with Call of Winter (Blizzard).  So I start with a Curse of Doom then Agony then Death Grip which will bring Summer (Beast) into play.  I swap into Robo Chick and Wind-Up and then Overtune, and use Wind-Up again because Summer will use dodge after that. Then I use Batter until either Robo-Chickis dead or Summer.  Then I swap in Water Waveling. The Curse of Doom and Agony would have been ticking on Nairn and killing him in the back row so he should die after another attack (which I usually use Ice lance since it's still a Blizzard and will do double damage).  Stormoen will start with Lightning Storm which will remove the Blizzard so I use Ice Lance and then Stormoen's next attack will be Build Turret. I use Tidal Wave to get rid of the Turrett, then Frost Nova and Ice Lance to get rid of it. Crawling Claw is still alive, so if Water Waveling dies, then Agony and Death Grip should get rid of Stormoen.

Good Substitutes
Crawling Claw - Restless Shadeling
Water Waveling - Terrible Turnip
Robo-Chick - Personal World Destroyer

Yuuna's team: Crawling Claw, Fiendish Imp, Lava Crab

Wise Mari

The team I used to beat Wise Mari
Amber Moth: Slicing Wind, Cocoon Strike, Moth Dust
Clockwork Gnome: Metal Fist, Blitz, Build Turret
Oily Slimeling: Absorb, Corrosion, Acidic Goo

Wise Mari was not too hard, my Amber moth was a showstopper as usual and took down two by itself with lucky avoids and big hits.  I used my clockwork gnome against Spirus, the magic pet, which seemed to work well with turret and punch to get through its one turn avoids.  I had the Oily slimeling ready to go and I start with Acidic Goo, Absorb then Corrosion and Absorb till one of the other debuffs drops off and then refresh it.

Yuuna's team: Chi-chi, Scourged whelpling, Oily Slimeling

Friday, September 27, 2013

Raiding - Muddling our way through the Sha of Pride.

We've seen the Sha of Pride on Flex and LFR, and we wondered how that would translate into normal raid. It turns out it's not that different, just hits a little harder in certain places.

Collecting pride is bad, and taking damage from stuff gives you pride, so that's bad.  So the whole fight was about not getting hit by bad stuff so YOU don't turn into a bad prideful little Sha.  It sorta isn't that bad turning into the prideful Sha because when the raid wipes, you're the only one who doesn't get a repair bill at the end, as Raked found out a few times.

So, first we had to make sure we didn't stand in the big black purple holes.  Yeah, I failed at that on the first pull.  Nice one, Navi.  Aza repeatedly told us NOT TO STAND IN BLACK HOLES.

We also had to let people out of their prisons quickly.  People get trapped on either side of the room in the prisons, so the tanks do one and everyone on the other side does the other.  They take a lot of damage in those prisons.  Moo's turn here - he repeatedly told us TO RUN FASTER TO THE PRISONS.

The other thing was the Mark of Arrogance.  I didn't realise what it was at first, as it never showed up on healbot for dispelling and people died to it ticking for a lot.  Once that was pointed out, I added it manually to healbot, and we were happily dispelling before we realised that every single dispel we did loaded us up with 5 Pride. Which was why healing was easy because nobody really takes any damage except when there are Bursts of Pride which do a big damage which needs topping up and the adds in the later stage when it goes crazy and people go splat. What you're SUPPOSED to do, is have the healer who has a buff called Gift of the Titans, which makes you immune to gaining pride.  So they are the ones dispelling BUT dispels are on a cooldown so while you're waiting for the cd to be up, you have to heal the other people with the Mark of Arrogance (which ticks for a lot!) until they can be dispelled.   Annoying especially if those people get stuck in prisons!  After that, healing started to become a bit more intense, though not stressful until the end.

One thing I couldn't seem to get see was my Projection.  When your pride is high, your projection spawns not far from you and you have to run to it.  It has an arrow on its head.  I couldn't see mine and I am sure I caused lots of raid damage because of my projection out there somewhere.  The next time I do this fight, I will look out for it specifically.

There's an add at the back of the room, Manifestation of Pride, that pops up every now and then, but it's not very exciting.  If the DPS interrupt it enough, it doesn't do much damage and it didn't need to be tanked.

As we hit 30% the boss clears all Pride so by then the healers started dispelling all Marks knowing our pride would be cleared.  Then the healing gets intense.

No more Marks go out but a ton of adds do and everyone starts stacking pride A LOT.  This is the DPS bit because pride starts going up HEAPS and if you don't kill the Sha fast enough, people get overcome and become annoying (RAKED!!!).

Raked made the comment that the fight was pretty boring from the tank end, all the action was happening down at the other end, where we were all stacked up.  KyXyn died twice to what we thought was Burst of Pride but it might have been from a projection, but after 2 deaths to whatever it was, it didn't happen again.  I guess that wasn't exciting enough for them :P

Taloski kicked our asses on healing in his undergeared state, even Efflorescence wasn't enough to overcome that awesome AoE paladin holy goodness.  My healing looked a bit pathetic, but I was pleased that all 3 healers did reasonably well (Lush's efflo healed for way more than mine!  Damned crit chicken gear!)

Raked had to go at 10pm, so we were lucky we managed to kill it just after 10, so with only 1 hour and 15 minutes of raiding we had a new boss kill!

Tanks: Kyjenn, Raked ~ DPS: Souglyy, Luxy, Aza, Sev, Moo ~ Heals: Navi, Lush, Tal
Lush got the Tier chest and Moo got Greaves of Sublime Superiority.  It was an awesome finish to the night - first wing cleared!  Here we are sitting around Gorehowl - there really isn't anything to take a picture with.  Grats Frostwolves!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Raiding - Norushen DPS test passed phew!

We were one over for raid so Sabre sat out.  That's a bum!  Poor Sabre, I shall make it up to him somehow!

Raked turned up and so we had KyXyn and Raked tanking - Asys was playing his alts but available to raid. Lush and Taloski were my healers and we had both locks, Souglyy, Moo and Luxy.  Moo was sick so he didn't go to class which was great, because then he could raid.

I had a few stuff ups last night, so I'm glad we still managed to kill things despite my noobishness.  On Immerseus I usually displacer beast through the spray so I don't get hit, but obviously my angling was a bit off - I displacered directly INTO the boss.  Splat.  But after one wipe, we got it down and Raked walked off with Hood of Blackened Tears and Taloski got Seal of Eternal Sorrow.  Lush rolled himself the same ring so all healers there now had it.

Trash dropped another leather item for Raked, and he got Siid's Silent Stranglers again (the same thing dropped in Flex).

Then we did Council and my stuff up there was that I forgot to assign dispels. We also forget to ask Souglyy to get her attack speed pet out. So we wiped it up and did it again and it all went good this time, and Luxy got Sabatons of Defilement.  Raked managed to roll himself some new shoes - Stonetoe's Tormented Treads.

Then onto Norushen. I wasn't feeling very confident!  Lush had been doing a little bit of DPS, but when Souglyy told me that Gutsy said healers should be doing some DPS, I told him to do some proper DPS and he tried to DPS at the beginning.  Ideally it would be after he was cleansed but he probably would need to help out with healing a bit by then. After a few 4% wipes, on our last attempt of the night we managed to get it down but it was SOOOO messy!

More agility leather dropped! Raked got Robes of the Blackened Watcher and boy has he been kitted out now!  Grats Frostwolves!

I guess now we have to work on the 4th boss (Sha of Pride...boy is healing going to be stressful then!).  Tal has upped his healing and Lush just got 2 upgrades so hopefully we will have a good night - though maybe Bish will turn up!

Achievements, pets and rares this week

As I mentioned earlier this week, I spent a lot of time in Proving Grounds, and netted some tank achievements Proving Yourself: Bronze Tank, and healer achievements, Proving Yourself: Bronze Healer, Proving Yourself: Silver Healer, Proving Yourself: Gold Healer, Proving Yourself: Endless Healer (Wave 10) and Proving Yourself: Endless (Wave 20) in Healing. I am totally addicted and obsessed with Proving Grounds and determined to get that 30 waves!  Aza has done bronze of tank, heal and DPS, and I was confused.  I asked him how he did the healing one and he said he just killed every single add before they could take damage.  Hilarious!  Also, he was surprised that I don't cc.  To tell you the truth, it didn't even occur to me!  I shall try later.  LOL taking pics of the achievement on screen is hopeless - you can't read it!  It could be bronze anything!

Finishing the first wing of Siege/Vale of Eternal Blossoms also netted us the achievement.

And of course I mentioned earlier this week we got our silver in Scarlet Monastery.

I totally forgot last week that I had captured all of the new pretty moths on the Timeless Isle.  Lucky me got all rares too!

Cymre gave me a Death Adder Hatchling!  It drops from the Imperial Python, thanks heaps Cym! :)

 And another fun kite to play with!

 And I got myself a Bonkers at last.  Yay!

I am cross with myself for not having a pic of Garnia when KyXyn and I were the only ones there, I hit it before I took a picture!  KyXyn decided to help and we sorta made up a picture to PRETEND that I had taken one...

Here are some of the other rares I took pics of during the week.  Early in the morning is best - I can actually get NON COMBAT pics!

This is hard to get a good pic.  He's sitting right on the edge of the courtyard and there's all these rocks in the way!

How annoying, Rock Moss's name is in the ceiling!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Raiding - Guild LFR Saturday, Flex on Sunday and what should we do on Monday?

We decided to have a small guild group go into LFR for comfort and safety in numbers and Saturday seemed to be the only day that people could get together.  Kyjenn, Lushnek, Moopie, McTacky, myself, Asys, Lacrox and Sev set off to do LFR and I think it went rather well - Frostwolves provided 5 of the healers for that raid!  We had a funny moment on The Fallen Protectors because the only people left standing at the end of that raid were Frostwolves + one other person.  I wish I'd taken a pic of that!  At least we got the first wing cleared.  Silly me won a kitty ring on the first boss because I forgot to change my loot spec.

Flex raid on Sunday went well, I thought!  We had a smaller group (I wondered where everyone went - a lot of people who turned up the previous week didn't come) and that actually made it a bit easier for Norushen. Zeirah also asked if she could come and I was delighted!  She had experience doing all the bosses on normal, so having her around to ask questions and strats for was awesome.  We eventually got the first wing down (when everyone stopped standing in the bad for Sha of Pride!), and only got to have a little peek at the second before we had to go.  Zeirah asked if she could come again next week - and I was thrilled!  Her healing is so much better than mine, I was inspired to try more Soul of the Forest after that.  I was pleased to get a Tier chest piece!

Raid on Monday had us stuck on Norushen though, with the DPS check holding us back.  It reminded me of Ultraxion, back in Dragon Soul days.  Voros came along because we didn't have the numbers, but Moo managed to come on early and he logged in and Voros stepped out.  We weren't that close, and wiped at our best attempt with 6% or something left, so it seems we still have a bit of a ways to go in terms of DPS. Asys tanked with Kyxyn (I think Raked fell asleep again!) and Sabre was at work, and Bish wasn't around, nor was Lacrox.  Taloski stepped in to heal and Lush healed with me as well.

I think that it's probably in our best interest to do more Flex on Monday - since we're at a DPS block we might as well!  What does that mean for those who had completed flex already - will they want to turn up and raid or would they just sit out because they had already done it?  Perhaps I should encourage people to turn up for guild flex by awarding EP for it... but I'd have to think about that - do I really need more guild admin work? Certainly not!

Flex raiding - widening the gap between the good and the average players

I was talking to Stubborn and talking about raiding in the new patch.  I mentioned that we were on a DPS wall with Norushen and that's partly a gear thing, but you see that with new raid content.

He proceeded to tell me about a "secret raid" where only certain people were invited to a raid and not others and they attempted to get a kill in.  At first, I thought it sounded a bit selfish, but if it wasn't a raid night then it was probably ok - and if it was Flex raid, then it's probably also ok as you can still do the same raid with your guild - doing it once doesn't lock you out from doing it again, but you just can't get any loot.

Which is what brings me to talk about flex raiding.  I still stand by the fact that flex is awesome because we can play with everyone as well as learn new fights in an environment that is easier than standard progression 10 man but with all the achievement benefits, and we can also use flex to gear up our casual base to be subs for our main raids.

However, it may mean that your own raiders may go do flex raiding with someone else.  For us, we are not that progressive or excellent - we still haven't done the 2nd wing of flex, nor killed anything in there yet - but we do it at our pace.  I think it's great that you can take people for flex from realID, but does that mean that all your best players will get taken away to go play somewhere else leaving the alts behind to play in your own guild runs?

Flex has also created a semi social divide amongst raiders - not from my guild, but for Stubborn - where you can clearly delineate who is good and who is not, and then the better players think they're too good for the less than outstanding players and go do Flex with someone else.  The best players from different raid teams may decided to go form their own Flex group and clear the content, leaving behind those that weren't deeemed to be as good, which can be detrimental to the morale of a smaller, less hard core raiding guild.  So the good players go on to get better by getting the better gear by clearing more in Flex, creating a greater divide between the good and average player.

So where Flex seemed to be the saviour for the smaller raid team with difficulties forming a 10, two 10s or a 25 man, I could see that there is the potential for there to be even further fracturing of a raid team with the better players leaving to go play with people more their skill and gear level.

Am I worried about that with my own guild?  Not really.  Last Sunday, our top two DPS, Aza and Souglyy didn't come to flex but had done it earlier in the week with their friends in other guilds who had cleared further in flex than we had.  Neither came to guild flex raid scheduled on Sunday, but also neither was online either, so it doesn't surprise me that they wanted to get their flex run in if they had other plans.  Luxy had also done flex with other friends but she still came to flex with us.  Fortunately we have enough of a casual base to get our raid to still run, and with BTag friends coming in to help as well it buffs us up even more.

But for those guilds out there who have not got such a solid guild community, flex may herald the doom of their raiding, or lead to further strain to an already strained raid team.  So what is the solution?

For those who flex raid with those other than their guild, helping out with your own guild's flex team with geared alts would be a good contribution.  Not only would your alts get gear, but you can help boost numbers too.  Just don't take your overwhelmingly undergeared toon to be carried and drag the team down even more!  For those who are worried about getting left behind and the better geared raid members aren't showing up for guild flex because they're going somewhere else - PuGs are an option, or even better, bringing in other friends to help with your numbers.  Surely other people have alts that are partially geared, especially with all this free epics being thrown around on the Timeless Isle.  Or, you too can go find some friends to flex with as well!  However, if you want your guild to survive then you need to make sure you still play as a guild, so turn up to your scheduled flex and main raids still!

Why I love Proving Grounds - Healing, tank and DPS

One of the things that I was looking forward to with patch 5.4 was Proving Grounds.  I thought the idea of Brawler's Guild was awesome, but it was made for damage dealers, and I'm a healer/tank.  However, with Proving Grounds, I can do MY spec - healing - AND I can do it with nobody watching!  I used to worry when doing Brawler's that people could watch me and I was scared they'd laugh at me because I was doing such poor damage or standing in bad, but with Proving Grounds, I can do it all by myself and make mistakes and nobody will ever know!

Naturally, when there are achievements involved, that makes it even more enticing.  So this week I went in there looking for achievements, and seeing what kind of healer I was.

When you talk to Trial Master Roton, you will be teleported into your solo scenario, and you can get healthstones, reforge, buy some cheap food (+200 to various stats but no really good ones like spirit) as well as Tomes of the Clear Mind.  It's a good place to practice your healing if you want to try out a new spec.

As they are tests of your ability and not your gear, your gear is scaled down, like in Challenge Modes, to 463.  This is rather cool because it means everyone is on the same playing field and it gives you a better idea of how you compare to others for your skill level.  Things like hit and expertise remain the same as your current gear, but all the good stats for a healer (haste, mastery) are all scaled down so now you end up underneath the haste break points, if you want to do it seriously.

The Bronze one is your standard entry level.  If you have any experience with healing, then Bronze healing is easy.  For those who don't heal, it's really good practice for healing to get the hang of a pretend 5 man.

You are the healer in a 5 man group of Pandaren
Oto the Protector (Prot Warrior)
Ki the Assassin (Assassination Rogue)
Sooli the Survivalist (Survival Hunter)
Kavan the Arcanist (Arcane Mage)

They do bad stuff like stand in fires but not for very long, and also need dispels.  As a druid, you can use symbiosis on them and get their abilities, but I didn't really find any of them useful - maybe the iceblock to get rid of the debuff on myself (but you don't need to worry about that on Bronze).

In Bronze there are 5 waves.  In Silver, there are 8 waves.  In Gold, there are 10.  And Endless, well... it can go on until you've had enough!

I did Bronze and Silver reasonably easily (I've been a healer for at least 7 years in WoW now on the SAME class LOL) - Silver was a bit hairy towards the end, but nothing that a tranquility can't fix.  There were new adds throwing fire stuff around that hit the ground.  However, my first look at Gold was really hard - I was out of mana by round 5 and I realised that I should do something about that.

I hadn't been eating any buff food or flasks, so just starting up on that helped a lot.  Also, I hadn't looked closely at my gear.  Legendary procs don't work, so having the legendary meta in your helm is no good.  Fortunately for me, I had somehow forgotten to use my legendary meta and had been raiding with a normal meta in my helm, so that was fine for challenge modes and proving grounds.  The cloak doesn't proc as well, but I wasn't so fussed about that since the stats on the cloak are still very nice.

I decided to push haste and reforged and regemmed a whole heap to also try Soul of the Forest for raid.  I was worried about using it because I'm pretty wasteful with mana in raids, and SotF eats mana up.  What better way than to try in Proving Grounds?

So scaled down, my haste was now tolerable and I took Soul of the Forest with Nature's Vigil, and Glyph of Efflorescence, Rejuvenation and Regrowth.  I might take Healing Touch instead because I am not using much nourish here. Efflorescence on your mushroom out ALL the time is just awesome on mana!

Genesis seems to be pretty pathetic at 463, so for the same mana I think I'd rather use a regrowth or a healing touch to top someone up.

So, I was finally ready.  With my flasks and watching my mana, I managed to take Gold down easier than without all the good stuff.  There were a few different things - double magic debuffs for one which meant you had to prioritise the dispel and let the other person take it.  The big add hit harder.

Now onto Endless.

I feel so frustrated because I'm so close to reaching the title (30 rounds of Endless) but I keep stuffing up in round 27 by not using tranquility fast enough and OOMing myself.  I should have remembered that - waves 7-8 are heavy and I used tranquility each time!  I tried later at night, but I did worse than before so I think I was tired.  During the day with the kids around talking to me, asking me to wipe their bottoms after doing poos in the bathroom and asking me to "Mummy come look at this!" did nothing for my concentration!  My best score was 2750 and though I was personally very proud of it, I wanted to get MORE! I want that title!

I tried the damage one in tank spec but my damage is a little bit short.  Maybe if I ate some food it would be faster!  The adds just stand there and don't do anything, so without vengeance to buff up my damage I wasn't going to get much damage out.

Then I tried the tank one which involved me protecting a mistweave monk and taunting adds off her and killing them.  I managed to do Bronze, but I was a bit slow for silver, so I shall try that again some time.  Boy was I glad I didn't have to subject any REAL people to my crappy tanking.

So if you have some time to kill and want to test yourself, or try to improve yourself, I highly recommend Proving Grounds.  You can do it yourself, with nobody watching, and the only person you have to beat?  Is yourself!

(oh and of course, WowProgress and GuildOx has world and realm rankings for Proving Grounds Endless - it boggles me that number one in the WORLD has done over ONE HUNDRED rounds of Endless Healer.... damned OP monks!)

Challenge Mode Noobs - Scarlet Monastery blues turn silver

Scarlet Monastery has been a thorn in our side for months.  With our group composition we had been unable to get down a time in silver, even if we had perfect execution of the patrol in the corridor just after the first boss.

That corridor holds a lot of memories of our noobishness
  • A shivarra charging off at our beautifully cc'd mobs to bring the non aggroed mobs from the end of the corridor.
  • "Who broke my cc!!"
  • "Who forgot to cc??"
  • "Sigh... reset it?"
  • Standing too close and pulling
We have had a consistent group for a while now. Arv, Luxy, myself, Lushnek, Sev and now Voros have kept our group consistent and fortunately they can all stay up past midnight, even till 1 am at times.  Sev had computer issues so we I sent Voros a tweet, and he got on about a minute or two later.  I thought he'd read my tweet, but he had actually been watching a movie and logged on after his movie.  He noticed the tweet about 15 minutes later.

Arv let Lush tank, and went ret (and then apologised for his DPS, which I didn't know was good or bad) and off we went. And in typical CMN fashion, we wiped on the corridor... even though we had managed to cc our mobs, Lush's chi burst pulled the back mobs.  Damn.  Off we went to reset.  Unfortunately Lush reset it as Arv was trying to get out and Arv got stuck on loading screen and was unable to login for a few minutes.

The next pull, Lush died on the first pack.  Whoops. Another reset.  This time Luxy ran in as Lush was resetting it and SHE couldn't login for a few minutes!

On our next attempt things went a little smoother.  There were a couple of deaths, which we battle rezzed but we were doing good for time.  We ran into the cathedral itself with seconds left on the gold timer, which meant we were doing good for time.  We even pulled two extra Scarlet Vindicators who were patrolling in the cathedral (that Lush thought was pulled by totems or my mushroom before he realised it was his Ox) and then we rushed through the adds and I was drinking every opportunity to try to get to full before we pulled Durand and High Inquisitor Whitemane.  Each time we missed a mind control I cringed - all of them could interrupt but on vent I could hear them all saying almost in unison "My interrupt is on cooldown!"  I even took Heart of the Wild to try to help DPS (though I couldn't really help as I was busy healing).  Thank goodness for Glyph of Efflorescence - I think I'm finally getting the hang of it.

And we made it! Just under 90 seconds left on the timer!

Cheers went all round!  Voros hadn't done it as many times but he could see the pack was an issue, but for the rest of us... it was a huge relief.

"We never have to do this again!" said Luxy.
"Good riddance SM!" I said.
"But what about Gold?" said Voros.

There was a collective groan.  I don't even want to THINK about gold.  I don't think I"m skilled enough to be able to do it (I'd probably have to just DPS it and do the occasional heal or something).

Since we were on such a high, we thought we'd take a look at that OTHER monastery, the last one that Arv, Luxy and I needed to complete our silvers.  But we were a bit tired, and since we were melee heavy it was pretty unfriendly!  We actually didn't even finish the run as Lush was getting a bit spacey and tired so he had to log.  Luxy was relieved, because she was tired too, but she didn't want to be the one to look like the flake, so she was pleased that Lush spoke up first!

LOL, well, one to go!  I wonder how long we will be spending on THAT one - we never did find Shado-pan Monastery that easy!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Navispam: Katherinne from WoW is in the Details

I haven't had much luck lately with finding people, I kept missing them!  And of course, with the move to Saurfang, taking over GM, and patch 5.4, that was busy!

It has been some months, but Katherinne from WoW in the Details said she would love it if I visited.  She has a rather cool blog, taking pics of all the little details in WoW, such as flowers, decorations, props, herbs and little background stuff you never knew existed.

I'd managed to pop over a few times but she wasn't there, and so we played ping pong game mail and twitter for a bit and then one day we finally crossed paths!

She was in a raid, so I just chatted to her for a bit and went back to my main to do stuff and wait till she'd finished.  When it was done she came to Darnassus to meet me.

Convert to Raid is that giant massive alliance guild (like the Horde AIE on Earthen Ring) and it is hard because in such a big guild, nobody really knows anyone else, it seems, when I ask about guild members.  It took us a few goes to get a screenie as we kept getting photobombed by accidental drivers by.

Katherinne likes her Gryphon and fawn the best, of her pets and mounts.  I asked her if, like me, she was all squee about Bossy Pally doing a shoutout about us on her blog (brought to my attention by Arvash - since he got a shoutout as well)

I asked her about what gave her the idea for her blog, and she said that she really liked NPC references (who doesn't? All the best people do! :D) and then she had this idea and it was an original idea - she wanted to write something but she wasn't much of a theorycrafter or class expert and even heavy on achievements, and she quite enjoyed taking pictures - a very natural evolution of an idea for a blog!  If you haven't looked at her blog, she does like to take pics of those little things in WoW - I am sure the designers of backgrounds are glad SOMEONE is paying attention!  Some examples:


And there's plenty more on her blog, so if you love looking at little pics of random details, go and check her out.  Thanks for letting me navispam you, Katherinne!  And hopefully I'll catch up with you at Blizzcon :D

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Mataoka and Navimie's Friday Fished-up-Wish Fables : Salandria

We're up to our usual mischief once again! These may not be true 'fables' but all is fair in love and alliteration. Fridays will find our blog filled with the stories behind the coins fished from the fountains, and sewers, of Dalaran. Be careful what you wish for, dear readers!

Tears rolled down Salandria's cheeks as she  waved goodbye to the powerful tauren warrior who grinned at her and blew her a big kiss.  It had been the best week ever!  She had dreamed of leaving the orphanage and seeing the world - she didn't know that the world was so BIG!

Matron Mercy put a gentle hand on her shoulder.  "Come inside, Salandria, and have some dinner.  You've had a busy time!  You must be hungry."

Salandria wiped her eyes with the back of her hand and sniffed loudly.  "Yes, Matron.  I suppose I am a bit hungry."  Fresh Dalaran bread with some slices of Mag'har mild cheese tasted so plain compared to the exotic fare she had sampled on her travels with her Tauren sponsor.  Hch'uu had given her some Marsh Lichen to try when she had visited her - it was a typical Sporeggar dish - and it was the first time Salandria had ever had a mushroom to eat, and it had been delicious!

During dinner she had been bombarded with questions about her travels.  One of the blood elf boys, Valithar, had complained loudly to Matron Mercy.

"Why did the GIRLS get to go this year?  Why did Dornaa and Salandria get to go and we didn't?"  A few of the other boys started to shout their agreement.

Matron Mercy held up her hand for quiet.  "Do you remember what I said?  The children that have worked the hardest at their studies, and demonstrated responsible and mature behaviour over this past year will be the ones selected for the special outing for Children's week.  We were lucky we had patrons who were willing to take everyone out, because we're not lucky like that every year."  She smiled down at Valithar, patiently.  "Study hard, Valithar and it might be YOU next year."

As Salandria lay in bed that night, her eyes gazing at the bunk above her long after the lights had gone out, she recalled what the Bronze Dragon, Zaladormu, had said, when she had visited the Caverns of Time.
WAIT! This girl has done nothing, and will not be held accountable for what she might do, or fail to do, in the future. Go in peace, child.
What was she going to do?  What was she going to become?  The dragons could see the future, and see the past.  Was she going to be powerful?  A hero?  How cool would it be to be the most powerful mage or warlock in the world, maybe even more powerful than Rhonin!  She closed her little fingers around the souvenir of her week of adventures, a toy dragon from the Caverns of Time, and ran her finger along its spines.  She couldn't wait to grow up!

Other coins in the series
Squire Rowe

Celestial Tournament: Triad 2 - Taren Zhu, Wrathion and Chen Stormstout

This week's Triad was different, so a whole new lot of teams to try out!  I had a lot of hit and miss attempts but eventually settled on some teams, which are not WONDERFUL, but they did the job.  I'll update them when I get to battle them again.

Pics borrowed from Tamer Liopleurodon as placemarkers since I forgot to take pics this week :(  Will fix that next time this triad pops up!

Taren Zhu

The team I used to beat Taren Zhu was
Darkmoon Rabbit: - Huge Sharp Teeth, Dodge, Burrow
Amber Moth: Slicing wind, Cocoon Strike, Moth Dust
Amethyst Spiderling: Poison Spit, Brittle Webbing, Leech life

Three Pandaren monks, are you kidding me?  And they're damned fast too!  The combo I found good for this was a double Jungle Grub

Jungle Grub: Consume, Sticky Goo, Burrow
Crawling Claw: Agony, Death Grip, Curse of Doom
Jungle Grub: Consume, Sticky Goo, Leap

Start with a burrow because the first attack by Yen will be a Comeback, then a Blackout Kick.  So I get hit by Comeback, miss the Blackout kick and then hit him when I come back up.  I use consume then the Goo and then consume until he is dead.  Li will be up next, and I switch to Crawling Claw.  I do a Curse of Doom then an Agony and then Death Grip Bolo in.  By then I can probably do one Agony or two before I die, and then I use the last Jungle Grub to finish off, because Li in the background will die from Agony and Curse of Doom.  I use alternating Leap and Consume to get Bolo down.

Lord of Lordaeron can be substituted for Crawling Claw.

Other combinations I've seen recommended (but haven't tried)
Yuuna: Unborn Val'kyr, Crawling Claw, Giant Bone Spider
Liopleurodon: Scourged Whelpling, Mr Grubbs, Restless Shadeling


The team I used to beat Wrathion was
Black Lamb: Chew, Comeback, Stampede
Kun Lai Runt: TakedownFrost shockDeep Freeze
Sporeling Sprout: Charge, Creeping Fungus, Crouch

Gotta love those names, right? I think they're great!  I ended up using my Black Lamb against Cindy who only just managed to live before I got my humanoids to take over on the other dragons.  Can't go wrong with Kun Lai Runt, really, though I think the Runt is best saved till last so that when I use Deep Freeze, the pet doesn't swap out.  And to tell you the truth, I used Sporeling Sprout because the poor guy doesn't get to see much pet battle action as I don't use him much!  At least he got to have a play here!

I've also used a rabbit instead of a Black Lamb with Stampede and Scratch with great success!

Other combinations I've seen recommended (but haven't tried)
Quintessence: Tree Frog, Feral Vermling, Peddlefeet
Yuuna: Scourged Whelpling x2
Liopleurodon: Any cricket, Anubisath Idol, Gregarious Grell

Chen Stormstout

The team I used to beat Chen
Imperial Moth: Slicing WindCocoon StrikeMoth Dust
Amethyst Spider: Poison SpitBrittle WebbingLeech life
Emperor Crab: Surge, Healing Wave, Whirlpool

It would probably be better using a mechanical, but I didn't have that many left in my arsenal as I have them saved up for the children of the celestials.  I used the moth because it was faster than Tonsa and I could try to avoid some of those headbutts, and maybe get a lucky Moth dust off.  Chirps has an annoying sleep, but if you can get your poison spit and Brittle Webbing off you should be ok.  My Emperor crab survived JUST, because Brewly does Inebriate which makes you miss.  So annoying when Whirlpool misses!

Other combinations I've seen recommended (but haven't tried)
Yuuna: Lil Bling, Stunted Direhorn, Aqua Strider
Liopleurodon: Clockwork Rocket Bot, Panther Cub, Eternal Strider
Cymre: Son of Animus, Stunted Direhorn, Sea Pony

Minipost: Lucky Jade Warbringers

The other night, we had not just one but THREE mounts drop in a night! Dahakha had joined in for some mount farming and an Amber Direhorn dropped - he won the roll and I think Xyn was cursing his luck that he didn't managed to win the roll.  Soon after, a Jade one dropped so Xyn won that and then another Jade so Dah got 2 mounts in one night!  Talk about luck!  Never seen such a lucky haul :)  Now we all have one!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Celestial Tournament: Beating the Children of the Celestials - Zao, Xu-Fu, Yu'la and Chi-Chi

Now these children of the Pandaren aspects are hard, as you fully expect legendary pets to be.  But, as you get settled into a team routine, they become easier, but finding the right mix and match can be hard!  So here are the combinations I used and am comfortable with, though remember even if you have a few unlucky misses you might have to start again.

I've tried to put easily obtainable pets into my combinations so everyone can make a team - but if there are any that are hard to get then I've got some suggestions from other people's teams.


The Team I used to beat Yu'la
Gregarious Grell: Punch, Phase Shift, Cauterise

Of all the celestials, I found this fight the easiest.  I only used one pet in my team to fight it - Gregarious Grell. I put Flayer Youngling and Anubisath Idol in as backups but I never had to use them.  Because Yu'la is so slow, you can get your ability in before Yu'la casts hers.  Every time Yu'la did a Lift-Off, I used Phase Shift, so that attack was essentially neutralised.  Yu'la's Emerald presence blocks a lot of attacks so having Punch was useful, and though slow, eventually Yu'la was whittled down.  Cauterise I used as often as I could as the Jade Breath does hurt but can be healed and is also NOT a 100% hit.

If you don't have a Grell (which is a TCG Card pet,but you can get it on the AH) then another good option from Liopleurodon is
Feral Vermling: Crush, Sticky Goo, Backflip
Hopling: Crush, Sticky Goo, Backflip
Anubisath Idol: Crush, Stoneskin, Deflection


The Team I used to beat Chi-Chi
Unborn Val'kyr: Shadow Shock, Curse of Doom, Haunt or Unholy Ascension
Rapana Whelk: Ooze Touch, Shell Shield, Dive
Silkbead Snail: Ooze Touch, Shell Shield, Dive

I had a terrible time with Chi-Chi.  I tried all sorts of combinations of dragon and magic pets to no avail. However Luxy came up with a solution that she'd read somewhere that I thought was brilliant and surprising! She used an Unborn Val'kyr with 2 snails - and like her, I said "Snails? Really?"  The difference is that I use my Rapana Whelk A LOT, whereas she never uses hers at all, so I'm not surprised that snails can be awesome.  Haunt is a really cool ability, it looks like you're dead but you're doing damage whilst doing so and that gave plenty of time for the Snails to kill Chi-Chi with their Ooze touch.  Chi-Chi doesn't heal, so that helps and its dodge attack (Ethereal) often comes at a time you want to use a big attack, so that is pretty annoying.

If you haven't got an UnbornVal'kyr yet, then a reasonable substitute is
Ghostly Skull: Death Coil, Spectral Strike, Unholy Ascension


The Teams I used to beat Zao
Team 1:
Dragon Kite or Wild Golden Hatchling: Tail Swipe, Call Lightning, Lift-Off
Landro's Lil XT: Zap, Heartbroken, XE-321 Bombot
Netherspace Abyssal: Immolation, Explode, Meteor Strike
Team 2:
Pandaren Water Spirit: Water Jet, Whirlpool, Geyser
Alpine Foxling: Bite, Howl, Leap

The second team is a bettter combination, I think, and more reliable. Zao has Wish, which heals for a craptonne but it requires two turns.  If you can do the big damage quickly then you have time to get him down.  I used the water spirit's geyser then whirlpool and then cast one water jet before I died.  Then Alpine Foxling came out and did Howl and so Zao took double damage from Geyser and Whirlpool and I finished it off with 2 bites. Phew!  Didn't even need the third pet!


The Team I used to beat Xu-Fu (also used for Lil Oondasta)
Tranquil Mechanical Yeti: Metal Fist, Call Lightning, Ion Cannon
Clockwork Gnome: Metal Fist, Blitz, Build Turret
Menagerie Custodian: Zap, Shock and Awe, Ion Cannon

Xu-Fu's Feed does a big heal, and when he turns it to moonlight, the heals are bigger, and Spirit Claws hits harder.  He usually casts moonlights first, so I cast Call Lightning to cancel that. When my Yeti is only going to get one more hit in, I use Ion Cannon.  Then out comes Clockwork Gnome building Turrets to add that little extra damage from the extra hits in Lightning and if I'm lucky, I can get 2 turrets built if Xu-Fu misses one of his hits.  But most of the time, I have one, and I use metal fist until my Gnome dies.  This is where it gets into a bit of luck.  If Shock and Awe misses, Xu-Fu might get a heal off and I may not have enough health to live through to get another zap and an Ion Cannon off.  If the Ion Cannon doesn't finish off Xu-Fu (and by this time, the Call Lightning has worn off) then it's the end of the game and I have to reset.

One combination that I've seen someone else use and want to try is
Zandalari Anklerender: Hunting Party, Primal Cry, Black Claw
Zandalari Kneebiter: Hunting Party, Black Claw, Leap
Zandalari Footslasher: Hunting Party, Leap, Exposed wounds

I tried this and it failed!  I tried multiple times, but I couldn't figure it out, because each thing would get 2 shot!  However, I finally figured out HOW to make this combination work.  First you need to Primal Cry (so that your raptors would always go first), then Exposed Wounds, and that baby raptor would die.  The next raptor would do Black Claw and Hunting Party and then it would die.  By now Xu-Fu has got the double damage debuff from one hunting party application.  The last raptor comes out and does Hunting party and Xu-Fu dies!

Any different team suggestions?  Would love to hear from you so I can try them out!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Achievements, rares and pets last week

I've been so busy it's been hard to make a post about those achievements that come rolling in with new patch!

I forgot to take a picture of the Bronze Proving Grounds (Healer).  But I made it to silver!  I think I might need a little more spirit or regen for Gold... or at least some half decent mana efficiency!

Fortunately this wasn't too hard.  I did it with Lush before shutdown on Tuesday and I tried very hard not to cheat!  But I gave in and looked at hints to where the first one was.  I've put the solutions to the riddle here but made the pics really small so if you don't want to see, you can't! (Obviously, click on the pic for the big version)
First clue
Second Clue
Click everything!  At least this was easy.

I actually had difficulty finding enough moss covered treasure chests!  I found all the other ones, but yay, I got it eventually.  I did cheat - I looked at the map from MMO champion.

I needed help with this.  Lush took me around to pick up the things I needed and now I have even MORE useless junk in my bags that I didn't know that I needed!

Rare pandaren artifacts are lying around, but they're not a once off thing, you can find them more than once! I've found the same one twice now.  Hopefully will find one of the others soon!

The Isle is full of rares!  I don't like combat pics of rares, so trying to get a pic when nobody was in combat with it was REALLY hard!  These two were taken in combat but they're so huge that you can hardly see all those pesky players DPSing these rares!  Will get better pics one day!

The end bosses from the Golden Lotus dailies for the achievement One Many Army (which used to be random) have now become rares.

And I've only managed to get two new pets - both gifts!  Lil Bling from Luxy, and Azure crane chick from Souglyy.  I'm not very good at finding new pets - isn't it weird how the things you want never drop (pets) and things you don't really NEED drop (mounts).