Good time to come back to the game?

Even though most of the details about how to gear up are neatly put together here, I wanted to write a post since a couple of people have asked me about the game lately.

First, Mists was bad for alts. It was extremely difficult to play a alt during the start of this expansion but they have gradually made things easier for alts. Also while the story was very engaging for your first character the quests really did not bring anything new the second time around so there was tons of burnout. So if you leveled during the start and kind of got tired of dailies, it is the perfect time to catch up.

The story has moved forward and in a week or two you can catch up not just gear wise but story wise as well. Domination front and then the Thunder isle will not just take the story further but it will gear you up quite a bit. Also the barrens are a good catch up but there is only a week left before patch. Also a note is that the battlefield barrens is going away forever after the patch drops, so if you want the title and the pet this is the last chance to get it.

If you are thinking of coming back to the game I would suggest that you get your 90 and start domination front and then the thunder isle. You will quickly catch up with the story and be able to gear up. I would also suggest you hoard all the Justice Points and Valor Points until after the patch in a couple of weeks. Once you have gone through that content you can jump into LFR and finish up your gearing. I might be running some older raids next week prior to patch so people that just came back and have not seen it in anything other than LFR can get the experience.

A couple of key things to keep in mind is the introduction of coins in the game. There are now coins that you collect to turn into tokens that give you extra rolls in the current raid. Also the old coins give you extra rolls on the old raids. It can feel like another gate, but for all content it is truly a quick way to catch up. There is also a new loot scenario that will fill up your coins quickly so you can do the old LFR and get tons of loot pretty quickly(see this guide for more details on that). You get one key to that loot scenario minimum every week, if you are lucky you can sometimes get more.

So TLDR get ready to go kill Garrosh!
Garrosh Must DIE

Team A vs Team B mentality

Something that people misunderstand about this game is that to accomplish a lot of goals there are both controlled and random factors. You can get lucky and gear up a toon in a week (my Bear was unreal when it came to drops of his healing set, but in week 4 of trying to get him tanking gear he is still barely able to do normal raid encounters.)

The part that can be controlled, your rotation, your rep gear, your reforging, enchanting and gemming means a lot. It means the difference between 60K and 100K DPS. Same gear in the hands of someone with a perfect rotation and maximized stats and there is that huge gap.

Our guild has never and will never be hardcore, however the game did shift some of what used to be heroic content to now normal level content. Normals are now LFR in many respects.

Right now we are thinking of progressing through ToT and this does not mean that you have to do it or will be pushed to do it in any way. If you want to play at current level, yes there are simple requirements as to what the math has to be. However, if you are not interested or feel that you should be at that level we are going to continue to run the previous raid and progress through that as well.

I remember in ICC when the whole “gearscore” now “iLvL” started to come up, and it was true, unless you had a certain level of gear AoE effects from the Putricide wing would pretty much one shot you. Nothing to do with your capability at all, the boss abilities just would eat your health up. A lot of people did not progress to EoE and it was partly because there was a boss ability that unless you had 18K health you would simply just die in that Whirlwind, and if you were lucky to have druid healer it could save you but not guarantee it.

ToT is similar to this weird gear gating that happens at time. Horridon, the second boss requires not only a lot of DPS, but tons of gear for tanking and healing… dispels, and disease and just a mess. If a group was doing heroics the last tiers, it feels like a cakewalk, but if people simply did not finish the last tier they will be kind of behind.

I write this so that nobody feels pressure to raid at that level, we will do ToT and complete it with everyone that wants to, that is the goal… but be patient, let me take a group through it first and continue to work as a guild to gear up and get the numbers needed to the level it will work. If you don’t get to a ToT group when we are doing new bosses, don’t feel left out, or team A vs team B, simply realize that we are all in the same team and downing bosses to keep moving means that we will all get there. Just ask the guys that killed the LK with me… we took 6 different groups through that fight when it was out, I hope we can do the same thing in ToT. Just have patience and think of this as a team effort.

Getting Stuck Again

Cata was a horrible expansion. I could spend the whole post just letting you know how much I hated it for various reasons… but it would be a short sighted. Cata was a growing pain that the game had to go through to put in new systems that will take it to the next level. It is amazing that Blizzard can do as much as they do with such a small group of people. Today the pre-expansion pack is hitting and I could not be more excited about it.

I have been playing on the horde side on a server that is like nothing I have ever experienced before. It is small but its nice. People are polite, it almost feels like one big guild. Very impressed with Baelgun. The only problem is that I am still not used to being horde and I love my alliance toons. I also have a guild to run in Whisperwind… and we are recruiting all people!

Things got really quite after our rogue completed his Fangs of the Father. I need to get better at predicting what milestones are coming to make sure another carrot is waiting. We went from a barely able to clear current content group of people to a heroic capable bunch. Not quite able to complete it yet, but close, very close.

I had a lot of decisions to make this time around. From a close guild to us wanting us to merge and form a 25 man progression guild, to just hanging back and becoming an LFR only type of player. Lets not forget to mention PvP which I still plan to do quite a bit of. I decided that our identity as a guild is something that people love and want to continue to be a part of. I am still getting used to the whole Benevolent Dictator type of GM I have become.

I am thinking of switching gears again and concentrating on mounts this expansion. Meaning completing the raiding metas for the current tier as our goal. Maybe even going one goal is a new boss, the next is the meta for another we have on farm. I really enjoy keeping people motivated and things going.

I am also going to have to make some hard decisions about performance when it comes to raiding. I keep on having to fill roles that I don’t want to play because nobody else does. I really need to make sure that this expansion I get people to stick to a toon as a priority, including myself. We need to push, we should have alt raids, but our mains need to be our mains and it needs to be an agreed upon endeavor.

The biggest pitfalls to our raiding last time around was gearing too many alts. We did so because we wanted the flexibility to bring alts in to replace people… in the end it ended up being that once someone stopped playing or rage quit a raid we were left with not just one hole but two big ones.

So as we start this new expansion and look forward to see who will be the ultimate monk, we will concentrate on raiding and achievements. I think it will be fun. I also think that going back and getting the past titles and achievements will have its place. I like being able to have our non raiders taste the cool-aid. This time around though, I am not going to make anyone drink it and they will have to bring their own glass!

End of an Expansion

At the end of BC I was super excited. Achievements were all the rage and I was super excited when my talent tree was redone because I could do a respec for free. My raiding was minimal and most dungeons were done. I was a member in a guild and not a GM. The whole frozen theme was exciting because I had played WCIII.

By the end of wrath I had become a GM. The end of the expansion marked for us the end of ICC… but we still loved going there, getting more people their kingslayer, still going in there for trinkets. We raided pretty much until the week before Cata hit.

Now we are in a new server, done with normal modes and even a heroic. Everyone seems tired of raiding and most of us continue to play to make sure people get their legendaries.

I am not sure if it is the fact that we are better now and conquering the normal mode feels like a completion to some (we had a tank quit the day he got kingslayer back in the day…) or simply that this expansion just took the air out of playing the actual game for most people.

I have always hated questing and by association leveling. I level mostly via PvP and dungeons. I don’t have a desire to take a toon from 0-90… even though I do want a Panda Monk. Am I finally WoW unstuck?

I still enjoy raiding and would love to go back and complete heroic modes in Firelands, but most people want to either play an alt and do the latest and greatest thing. Only those still completing quests in there are really interested, and it seems that everyone runs for the hills when we bring my ever hated raid up.

We have a healthy level of membership right now, but it keeps us at about 15 people logged during prime time but not the same people. I think we are actually hovering around 30 people that play with us… but it makes it hard to plan for MoP. Do we stay 10, do we prepare for 25 just in case that becomes more fun?

I thought I hated 25s after ICC, but 10 has just as many issues. Less people does not mean more issues, it just means that they are amplified. Someone does not show up in a key role, your raid crumbles. 25 seems more forgiving in that sense.

I am almost ready to rate Cata, and for all the good it brought, it also made the bad shine even brighter. I am not done with WoW just yet, but I do think that Pandaland will make or break the game.

I am almost more excited about Diablo than MoP… but that could change as MoP gets closer.

I called Garrosh!

Yeap, I cannot remember where but I know I mentioned that I wanted to kill him. Apparently Blizzard listened and he will be a baddie that I get to kill… Can we say Legendary?

Having killed Deahtwing and working on Legendaries has made raiding less of a focus and given room to alts for my guildies and PvP for me. I still suck a PvP but I have been fun with my tank build and being a flag carrier. 2s and 3s are still about 50/50 depending on the composition.

In the coming weeks we are going to continue to farm DS regular to complete our Legendaries and probably introduce a lot more fun runs like we have been having going through previous tiers. There are still more achievements that we need to get.

Dig the Female panderian and all the scenery I have seen leaked. I am very excited about everything I am hearing so far. It looks like tons of fun are coming and probably sooner rather than later. Diablo 3 its not just soon anymore but May 15!

This will be a great gaming year!

And then there were Six!

I was tagged by Martha to play in the Sixth Challenge started by Gnomeaggedon of Armaggedon’s Coming!

So the challenge rules say:

1.Go into your image folder
2.Open the sixth sub-folder and choose the sixth image.
3.Publish the image! (and a few words wouldn’t hurt, though I dare say I couldn’t stop a blogger from adding a few words of their own).
4.Challenge six new bloggers.
5.Link to them.

But I am not one to play by the rules… so lets see what I can come up with. I really don’t have subfolder for my WoW pictures, they just all stay there in the same place. I might have to start doing some sorting because it is getting pretty huge.

Here is the Sixth picture!

Reloaded Guild Meeting

That was from our last guild meeting. It is inside of a little bar you just have to find :)

As soon as the meeting ended we started a bar fight and found out that you CAN puke while you are turned into a bunny. Fun times!

Now six people to challenge…

Kesith
Cymre
MD Gibbons
Keyel
Liore
and Grumpy

The Raider Code

Thinking about how to differentiate raiders I remembered the Geek Code and looked to see if there was one for raiders and could not find one so I figured I could come up with my own. It might simplify things for people recruiting to take a quick glance at the type of raiders the person is looking at.

Here is the Raid Code.

-N+/-H+ Difficulty Mode
-N Looking to just see some fights
N Don’t have to complete Normal but would like to try
N+ Looking to complete normal Mode
-H some hardmodes
H most hardmodes
H+ have to complete

-A+ Achievements
-A Not interested
A Don’t mind doing some
A+ Want the mount

10w-500w Wipe threshold
How many times are you willing to wipe before a boss dies

Dr Dk Pa Pr Rg Wr Wl Ma Sm Hn Wl Wr – Class you raid with (HTD) Roles willing/competent at a raid level – Spec if not obvious

1h-10h
Hours willing/able to raid a day

1d-7d
Days willing/able to raid a week

Brag – Latest Raid completed achieved while current content

My Raidercode
-H A 100w Pr(H)D Wr(T) 4h 2d DS-8/8N

I have a dream!

Ever since the LFR was announced I have been salivating at the opportunity to run a raid with some of my real life friends that I have never had a chance to raid with. Now that dream is close to a reality because Blizzard will soon implement cross-realm raiding. See, I was late to the WoW party. Most of my FPS friends played WoW from the beginning and some had way more hardcore raiding experience than I did. They are spread over many servers and I have always wondered what it would be like to run a raid with all of them together.

Furthermore, what about running a raid with all of the WoW bloggers I read?

While there is the little caviat of me not having a horde character… which might have to be fixed by me rolling a DK and gearing them up. All of my alliance brothers and I could get together and do an awesome Firelands 25 or an LFR together in the not too distant future!

So my dream is to be raiding with people all over the world of warcraft! I cannot wait for this feature to come out.

I hate you Blizzard

Just as I was starting to reach the conclusion that there is just not enough content to keep me interested and engaged since the firelands are kind of underwhelming in my opinion, Blizzard drops a couple of huge bombs this week that totally get me super interested back in the game.

The first one is that the feature that I have been using very moderately because I did not want to get sucked into it and then have to pay for it (the cross realm party system) just got “released” and it is still free. What is even more interesting is that they are not shying away from the idea that raids could be in the future.

The other feature that is going to be released is the ability to wear cosmetic armor rather than what you currently have on… this is really cool, this could really help me clean up my bank, this could change the way we look at the game.

Since my tanks are already pretty geared I have not been bothered with bringing up my next one… but now with the hotfix that threat is now 500% of damage… well… it makes tanking that much more appealing. I can concentrate on movement and cooldowns now.

And last but not least… it seems that 4.3 is going to bring the raid where I can kill deathwing… as uninterested as I have been about it… this might make me just stay playing until I can complete that and kill that pesky dragon for turning me into a ball of fire while I was leveling an alt in the highlands… dam you blizzard, dam you

Carried by Mango

I dislike DK’s. Like Cubby I think they are awesome farming toons, but since they were one of the best tanks in WotLK I decided to finally take one to cap. He has been mining and BS for a while and I get him a level every time I log into him rested.

I am getting pretty decent at tanking on him, and I enjoy that they are pretty easy to play but you have a batman size toolbelt to play them. Most of the randoms I play with him are quick en enjoyable. I also go and PvP with him when I do log on him.

After a dungeon and a horrible WG I decided to mine and do one more random, and Mangofruit from Maelstrom ques up as a healer. I was first a little concerned that he was in Shadowform, but since he was 80 I figured he was just going to have some fun. Oh no… he pretty much wanted to power through every dungeon we did. 49% of the DPS and all the heals later I got 1.5 levels and almost to 80. Anubis (a hunter that also stuck with us) is trying to get me killed right now since I put myself on follow while I wrote this! lol

So, thank you MANGO! It has been a nice fun run away from Cata heroics! Thanks for the fun!