Archive for February, 2011

A few guesses about 4.1

Posted in Miscellanea with tags , on February 26, 2011 by Aeliel

Mostly fed by digging through Wowhead’s list of 4.1 additions so far.

  • The Hallow’s End event is getting reworked to the “new model” of seasonal events (dailies get you tokens which you use to buy items).
  • The Children’s Week event might be getting the same treatment, too.
  • There’s definitely going to be Firelands dailies.
  • Hydra pets for hunters! (But then, that’s pretty well known and all over the place already, so it’s not really that much of a guess. There are other changes to pet models and new tamables as well – a good summary of the changes to hunter pets can be found on the Petopia forums.)
  • The method of obtaining the Winterspring Frostsaber mount is going to be changed to dailies, matching the method of obtaining the Venomhide Ravasaur mount. (And about bloody time, too – that repgrind was absolutely godawful. It makes me wonder, though, what will happen to the reputation faction… if it simply disappears, Alliance will have one less faction than Horde due to the existence of Tranquillien.)
  • Nightsaber Cub: TCG reward. Panther Cub: at this point I’ve no idea – it’s a white item, so the odds of it being a ZG drop are a bit low. Winterspring Cub: sold in Everlook. I wonder how much gold I’ll make reselling the latter on the AH… probably a fair amount, especially considering the luck I’ve had with Highland Pomegranates (and those are, at least in Orgrimmar, sold just a few yards from an AH).
  • There’s going to be a raid encounter in the Firelands involving Fandral Staghelm. (Please oh please let us kill the bastard…)
  • There’s going to be a raid encounter in the Firelands involving Alysra, the green dragon who (supposedly) transported Fandral Staghelm to a safe location in Moonglade. Whether it’s the same encounter as the above or a separate one, I’ve no idea.
  • There might be an event of some sort involving Anachronos. Boss fight, perhaps.

I’m curious to see how right I am as the PTR progresses.

4.1 reaction post

Posted in Achievements, Miscellanea, Mounts and pets with tags , , , on February 24, 2011 by Aeliel


4.1 official patchnotes are out, plus unofficial datamined extras courtesy of MMO-Champion as usual.

Let’s see.

The Gurubashi Tribe Persists

Originally a 20-player dungeon released in patch 1.7, Zul’Gurub will once again open its gates, featuring updated lore, all-new encounters, achievements, and improved loot! Zul’Gurub is now a level-85 five-player Heroic difficulty dungeon. To provide a new tier above the current Cataclysm dungeons, players can expect to find epic-quality item level 353 loot. The minimum average item level to enter this Heroic dungeon is 346.

I saw this coming. This and Zul’Aman both. It made no sense to have the place just as an outdoor questing area – visited for just a couple of quests, seriously now – and waste all that space. Plus the quests referring to Zul’Gurub left very blatantly obvious dangling plot threads.

The Return of Zul’Aman

Ever a player favorite, the level-70 ten-player dungeon of Zul’Aman is being reintroduced as a level-85 Heroic five-player dungeon. Zul’Aman will join Zul’Gurub in a new Dungeon Finder tier of Heroic dungeons, providing epic-quality item level 353 loot. The minimum average item level to enter this Heroic dungeon is also 346. While Zul’Aman will be more of a throwback to the original dungeon featuring many of the same encounters, players can expect to find some updated gameplay mechanics, as well as new environment textures and lighting.

What will happen to the old Zul’Aman? It can’t possibly stay there – it would require having a separate entrance for the raid and for the dungeon (or alternatively, for the dungeon not to have an in-world entrance, which… doesn’t work terribly well, since it would prevent any revisiting of the content once you outlevel it in the dungeon finder).

So here’s my questions:

  1. The Amani Dragonhawks (and the hatchlings that spawn during the boss encounters) just got a new model in 4.0.6. They’re currently tamable by level 70+ hunters. What happens to them? They’ll either become extinct as a lvl70 mob, and therefore tamable only by level 85 hunters who can enter the 5-man instance, or the model will be added somewhere else. Personally, I’d prefer the latter, but either way I’m glad I went and tamed the dragonhawk on my goblin hunter shortly after 4.0.6 hit.
  2. What happens to Mojo? Random drop from bosses or trash in the new 5-man instance is my guess; either way, if you care about the pet at all, considering Blizzard’s penchant for removing things I’d say go get it now. I’d guess that just about any class can solo the place at level 85.

Additionally, if there’s anything at all you want from the current version of Zul’Aman – because it’s pretty, for roleplay gear, whatever else, go get it now. I’d wager most of the models aren’t going to remain in the loot from the 5-man version (there’s just too much of it, plus Blizzard loves new item models).

(One notable item from Zul’Aman which is likely to just go extinct: Tiny Voodoo Mask. They might make a lvl85 version of it and add it as an extra random boss drop for funsies, but I’m not holding my breath.)

We’re pleased to announce that new versions of the rare raptor, tiger, and bear mounts will be available, while the old versions of these mounts will remain unique to those who already have them.  We’ll reveal more about how these updated mounts can be obtained in the future.

Most likely a 1% drop from the raptor, tiger and bear bosses. Either that or a reward from an extra chest (or drop from an extra boss) that’s only available if you make the run in less than 45 minutes or whatever.

My thoughts about these can be summed up with “yay, another mount I will never see drop at level, will go back and solo farm when I outlevel and/or outgear it and will still never see it drop“. Why yes, I’m still bitter about farming the original ZG tiger and raptor mounts since I was level 70 and having nothing to show for it. Hisssssssss.

(Speaking of which, I ought to go kill Skadi, so the blue protodrake can keep not dropping.)

All non-damaging interrupts off the global cooldown will now always hit the target. This includes Pummel, Shield Bash, Kick, Mind Freeze, Rebuke, Skull Bash, Counterspell, Wind Shear, Solar Beam, Silencing Shot, and related player pet abilities.

[cue resounding cheers from anybody for whom hit is not particularly valuable – tanks, healers, and certain DPS specs]

About bloody time.

Death Knight

Blood of the North (passive) now permanently converts both Blood Runes into Death Runes. There is no longer any proc interaction with Blood Strike required to activate Death Runes.

This might change the frost death knight rotation around quite a bit. I wonder if there’ll even be any point at all in having Blood Strike on my bars anymore. We’ll see.

Hunter

Tame Beast now tames pets to match the hunter’s level, rather than 5 levels below.

It’s currently three, not five (gosh, Blizzard, you know your own game so well), but it’s hard to stay grouchy for a decent change. Yay, no more having to level pets up after taming them. (Although it’s not nearly as bad as it was in vanilla. Don’t talk to me about hunters in vanilla.)

Paladin

Word of Glory now has a 20-second cooldown.

My tankadin alt is sadfacing. On the other hand, I can’t repress my unholy glee at this. Yay, no more “ffs healer just DPS I don’t need you I’m a paladin I can self heal lol” idiots in dungeons.

Priest

Power Word: Shield duration has been reduced to 15 seconds, down from 30.

…just when I was really starting to enjoy playing my disc priest. :| “Oh hey guys, you know that spell of yours that we buff throughout the tree? You’re really not meant to use it. Here, have a duration nerf. Go spec holy now.” Sigh.

The changes to Dispel Magic, on the other hand, I saw coming from a mile away. Doesn’t affect me, since I don’t play shadow; to be honest it smells like a PVP nerf more than anything (in any instance run there’ll be somebody – your healer – who can cleanse magic effects off your party; in PVP, not necessarily).

Rogue

Recuperate base effect now heals 3% per tick, up from 2%.
Stealth base cooldown has been reduced to 4 seconds, down from 10, and the movement penalty from being in Stealth has been removed.

Oh yes, please buff rogues. They’re so underpowered and downtrodden. Especially in PVP. (Also, where’s the cooldown reduction and movement penalty removal for druid stealth? Such love you show to my class, Blizzard, thank you so much.)

I’m bitter. Don’t mind me.

[– Official patch notes end here –]

Map

FirelandsDailies

Ahahaha I saw this coming. Hell, I can’t say I mind, though. I was just yesterday lamenting to myself that I’m running out of dailies to do on my main – I’m pretty much just doing the cooking daily and Lol Tol Barad right now, and I have almost enough commendations to buy the drake, which is the last non-gear item I’m missing from them. I might keep going and buy myself a trinket or something, not sure yet. We’ll see.

Beryl Fire Hawk Summons and dismisses a rideable Beryl Fire Hawk. This is a flying mount. 1.5 sec cast
Crimson Fire Hawk Summons and dismisses a rideable Crimson Fire Hawk. This is a flying mount. 1.5 sec cast
Flameward Hippogryph Summons and dismisses a rideable Flameward Hippogryph mount. This is a flying mount. 1.5 sec cast

And these will probably be from the Firelands dailies. Just you watch. I started thinking and changed my mind. Hippogryph from the Fireland dailies; the pair of Fire Hawks will be from raiding – one for the Glory achievement, one a random drop, perhaps.

Petting Zoo Collect 100 unique companion pets.
Menagerie Collect 125 unique companion pets.

*is on 142* Yay, free achievement points.

I’m guessing (hoping!) the Nightsaber and Winterspring cubs are rewards for these two achievements; the Panther Cub I’m guessing is a random drop from the 5-man Zul’Gurub, possibly from the end boss (much like the Phoenix Hatchling in Magister’s Terrace).

The Nightsaber Cub has turned out to be a TCG reward (much like the Savage Raptor and Amani Dragonhawk mounts, as well as the Fool’s Gold and War Party Hitching Post – but those I’d guessed). Still holding out hope for the other pair of cubs, but at this rate they’ll probably end up being Blizzard Store purchases or something.

Agility epics from leatherworking (both mail and leather) are finally getting sockets. Hurrah. Maybe I’ll bother crafting them for myself now, both for my main and for my hunter (after all, I do want to get the ilvl to run 5-man ZG and ZA on the hunter as soon as possible).

And they seem to be (re)buffing bear!Mangle and Maul, while slightly nerfing Thrash. Wonder if that’s intended or just a tooltip slip.

Uh

Posted in Miscellanea with tags , , on February 24, 2011 by Aeliel

I’m probably going to hell for this, but the new Ragnaros model?

Well uh, the way his armor is set up reminds me of how certain armor ends up looking on female characters. (Black Mageweave Leggings, for instance.) Complete with tabard worn over the whole ensemble in a futile attempt to preserve some modesty.

It does not help matters that the look of his chestpiece reminds me of the Black Embersilk Gown.

Somehow I don’t think this was the effect Blizzard intended.

He feels pretty, oh so pretty?

There is no loot

Posted in Miscellanea, Mounts and pets with tags , on February 21, 2011 by Aeliel

I didn’t want the mount (not that I would’ve objected if it had dropped, but I didn’t want it), I didn’t want the gas mask or the rose or the thing that makes other people /cry. All I wanted was the Toxic Wasteling.

I was going to farm it last year, back when it was still farmable – but then I ended up not playing for the vast majority of the event. Yeah, yeah, my own fault there. Still.

Alieth got his a few days into the event. He got a second today. Me? Rose and mask early on, and then “There is no loot.”

Yeah, I have a Disgusting Oozeling, but it’s not the same. :(

Gold from silver: Dry Yeast and Noble Hops

Posted in Gold making, Professions with tags , , on February 18, 2011 by Aeliel

Shortly before patch 4.0.6 hit, I read a post on Kaliope’s Crafting weblog (which I keep meaning to link from the sidebar) about the introduction of a cooking goodie bag, randomly containing Cocoa Beans, Noble Hops and Dry Yeast. The bags would then become the only source of these cooking reagents, which prior to 4.0.6 were freely available in unlimited quantities from the same vendors which sold recipes for tokens.

So I went and stocked up, since I really hate having to buy crafting materials with limited tokens. Bought two stacks of each. Now I’m wishing I’d bought more.

See, the cooking bag is apparently bugged at the moment. It’s theoretically meant to be on a rotation; right now, the only bag showing up on the vendors is the one containing only Cocoa Beans.

Which means I sold my stockpile of Dry Yeast and Noble Hops for quite a lot of gold. If you also stocked up on them before the patch, I’d sell them now, before the bug is fixed. By the time they get around to fixing it, you’ll probably have spare tokens to buy the bag with if you desperately need them (I know I will – I’m just missing 6 3-token recipes, which means another two weeks of doing the daily with some moderate luck with 2-token quests).

On a side note, two other cooking-related vendor items that may sell are Tropical Sunfruits and Highland Pomegranates. I had spares after using them in recipes to obtain The Cataclysmic Gourmet, since they’re sold in stacks of five, so I figured I’d toss them at the AH just in case – and they sold. For 10g each. (Each stack of five is ~2g or so from a vendor, not counting reputation discounts and the like.) It’s worth a try – even if they don’t sell, you’ve not lost a huge upfront investment.

Further two-manning adventures: Malygos 10

Posted in Undermanning with tags on February 15, 2011 by Aeliel

Took us two wipes to figure out a workable strategy – the third pull was a kill.

Alieth was elemental and our primary source of DPS in the first two phases, tossing heals on me when necessary (Malygos still puts out a fairly respectable amount of damage). He also did his best to get sparks down and overlap them as much as possible – on our winning attempt, we killed all sparks before they reached Malygos and, as a result, we went into phase 3 with 5 minutes left on the berserk timer.

In phase 3, I focused on DPSing Malygos and keeping the stacks of Engulf in Flames going (I had 26 stacks by the end of it), and Alieth focused on keeping both of us healed. We had about 30 seconds to spare on the berserk timer when we killed him.

Small addendum: two-manning Kalecgos

Posted in Undermanning with tags on February 14, 2011 by Aeliel

Yes, the first boss of Sunwell Plateau. Another non-pure two-manning, since due to game mechanics we brought the hunter alt along again.

I pulled him and tanked him with my main. My hunter was the first one to get ported; I tanked Sathrovarr with my turtle until Alieth got ported. Once the hunter got ported out, I taunted Kalecgos off my main with the turtle so that my main would get ported in.

From there, lather rinse repeat (matching inside DPS to outside DPS) until dead. A bit of a pushover, really.

Brutallus is another story. Ow ow ow. Our best attempt was leaving my main elsewhere and tanking him with the hunter’s turtle, since (for whatever reason) Meteor Slash does not seem to affect pets (as in – the debuff doesn’t get applied; I didn’t check if the turtle was taking the initial damage or not). I used 2T5 and was able to keep the turtle alive pretty well. (Note: you have to DPS Brutallus from the side, as if you stand in front of him, even at max range, you’ll eat Meteor Slash.)

The only issue at this point will be dealing with the enrage timer; Alieth was elemental, but he got pretty quickly threat-capped. We’re thinking of trying Alieth as resto and helping keep the turtle up, and me mostly just autoattacking on my main and going all out on the hunter. We’ll see how that works out.

Two-manning Black Temple

Posted in Undermanning with tags on February 14, 2011 by Aeliel

(Alternate title for this post: “Goddamnit Reliquary ow ow ow”. You’ll see why.)

I and Alieth like undermanning content. I don’t really know why – I guess there’s something fun about the challenge of killing bosses that used to be difficult way back when. Back in the good TBC days, when Alieth was still playing his priest, we 3-manned all of Molten Core plus Razorgore in Blackwing Lair with a guildie of his. (Link goes to the post I made about it on a LiveJournal community. Looking at my old user interface is making me feel all nostalgic.)

So we’ve two-manned almost everything vanilla back at level 80 (except Viscidus, due to game mechanics; we also three-manned BWL to get my hunter alt a Chromaggus), everything at the Tier4 level, almost everything at the Tier5 level (with the exception of Vashj because of game mechanics, and we couldn’t be bothered trying Void Reaver or Solarian). Time to move on to Tier6 content!

Hyjal is mostly a pushover. Alieth gets to stay in his elemental offspec and pew pew for most of it, with the exception of Rage Winterchill (because Death and Decay, tooltip be damned, scales with your health and/or level and ticks very hard – so you do need a healer to compensate for that; and you need to move out of it very quickly, or you’re going to die) and Archimonde, where game mechanics have him alternatively running in fear and flying in the air – and therefore the passive healing from Healing Stream Totem, plus Earth Shield and Riptide, are quite useful. We’ve done it twice now, and will probably do it just one last time (for Alieth to cap out his Scale of Sands rep) and then stop.

Black Temple is a different story – to the point that it’s not a “pure” two-manning, because I had to get my hunter alt in for us to be able to kill some of the bosses. (I have two accounts. One has my main, plus my prot paladin and disc priest alts, both of which were leveled using heirlooms; the other account, for which I never could be bothered buying heirlooms despite having multiple 80+ characters on it, has all my DPS alts. This makes it incredibly easy to run my little alts through dungeons or hard quests with my main.)

Just for reference, in case people read this in the future and are wondering about our gear:

  • Alieth is very epically well-geared (364 average ilvl).
  • Aeliel, my main, is heroic-geared (347 average ilvl courtesy of the 359 epic PVP polearm, which was such a ridiculously huge upgrade over my 333 blue staff it’s not even funny – one of these days a heroic will spit out a PVE upgrade, but what can you do)
  • Problem, my hunter alt, is also mostly heroic-geared (340 average ilvl, since she’s still got a couple 333s and a lone 318 trinket).

Since this is getting long, I’ll tuck boss information in the extended entry.

Continue reading

Wishful thinking: Need Before Greed

Posted in Alts, Miscellanea, PuG business with tags on February 13, 2011 by Aeliel

(This post brought to you by 5-man PuGs.)

I wish two changes were made to the Need Before Greed system that is used for rolls in random 5-man dungeons:

  1. You can only needroll profession patterns (BoP or not) if you currently have that profession and you have the skill necessary to learn it. There could be a 10-point leeway (so for instance, you can needroll profession patterns that require up to 350 skill to learn if you’re currently at 340), to avoid people missing out if they’re not that far from being able to learn it.
  2. If you needroll a BoE item, it automatically becomes soulbound and may not be traded (or may only be traded to other group members who rolled need). This allows people who genuinely need the item to get it, but people who simply want to throw it at the AH won’t be able to unless they’ve won it on a greedroll. A warning pop-up (“Need-rolling this item will bind it to you”) should be implemented so people aren’t taken unawares by the change.

Hell, even just the latter would make me really happy. I’m sick of people needrolling BoE blues and epics – especially the world drops –  when they have better already, won’t equip it and obviously just want to sell it on the AH.

The little disc priest who could

Posted in Alts, Healing with tags , , , on February 7, 2011 by Aeliel

Meet Truthful, the little project who’s been occupying most of my spare time.

I’ve been wanting to level a priest for a while. I had originally created Truthful as a draenei, back when I was playing mainly alliance-side, but got bored of playing her around level 22 or so, when I left the draenei area. The random dungeon finder didn’t exist back then, soloing was painfully slow and the quests were making me want to punch something. So I stopped. (That character’s still on my old alliance server – I don’t have the heart to ever delete old characters… my server list is insanely cluttered as a result.)

Now, with the questing changes in the old world and everything, I thought it might be a good time to give the priest class another shot, so I recreated her as a blood elf. I had grand plans of questing my way through the old world, but then I looked at the talent trees and decided to try being a smite-build disc healer, and… let’s just say I did 15-70 pretty much entirely through instances, with the notable exception of 40-45 (I was sick and tired of the idiots in the RDF, and I wanted to try the new Felwood).

Anybody who’s ever interacted with me ingame for longer than a few days will tell you one thing: I don’t like healing. I really, really don’t like healing. I was pressured to do it throughout vanilla, even though all I really wanted was to tank. I still occasionally tanked despite the pressure, and the moment TBC hit, I specced full feral and never looked back.

How that meshes with being a healer priest… not terribly well. Healing can be fun under the right conditions, especially smite-healing; if everybody plays well, runs are fast and smooth and I don’t have to just tunnel-vision Grid.

On the other hand, when things go pearshaped, being a healer turns me into a raging, frothing “oh god stop being stupid this shouldn’t be hard” monster much, much faster than being a tank or a DPS. I have seriously lost count of the amount of times I called people idiots.

For your entertainment, here’s a quick list of what the RDF has thrown at me so far. Numbers aren’t fully exact, because I didn’t really keep track, but they’re close enough. Continue reading