Hotfixes of Note

Hotfixes were applied this morning, but I wanted to note a few specific ones.

No More Vashjir Dig Sites!
“Vashj’ir dig sites no longer unlock for players. They felt too punishing without additional benefits compared to low-level sites, and were much more difficult to obtain artifacts in due to the way Vashj’ir navigation works.”

I can imagine that was quite a pain in the butt and a couple of guildies commented on it.

 

Inscription Supplies No Longer Limited!
“The following reagents no longer have limits and are now available from Una Kobuna and Casandra Downs in unlimited quantities: Deathwing Scale Fragment, Scavenged Dragon Horn, Bleached Jawbone, Silver Charm Bracelet, and Preserved Ogre Eye. ”

I was quite pleased about that because getting hold of the mats was near impossible at times unless you were willing to fork out a fortune on the Auction House.

 

New Ramkahen Daily
“Players are now granted 250 Ramkahen reputation after completing the daily quest “Fire From the Sky”.

Wish I’d had this on my main to help grind that rep!  Before now we’ve only had the pygmy daily and the tabard of course.

 

Groupers Fixed
“The Luxscale Grouper’s Grouper Bite debuff now has a 5-second duration and will no longer sometimes get stuck on characters.”

This actually killed my main because the debuff got applied and would not go away – no matter what.  So I had my tank pool health sucked away.  Most annoying and one of the many reasons I vowed not to quest through that zone again.

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T10 Set Bonuses Mean Nothing at 85.

I’ve seen so many people lately hanging onto all their ICC gear… even the 251 4 set because “I don’t want to give up my set bonus”.

Drop them.  What you’d be sacrificing to keep the set bonus is far too much in the way of stats.

Seriously, I started replacing most of my main’s gear at level 83 in Deepholm, replace more in Uldum and pretty much the rest of it, save the Ashen Verdict ring in Twilight Highlands.  The couple of alts I’ve taken through the first 15-20 Hyjal quests have replaced 3-4 pieces of their gear IN THE FIRST ZONE.

I know it’s a hard thing to realize, especially if you haven’t been through a gear reset before [and each reset is also slightly different – in Wrath upper end BC epics would take you into the first raid], but refusing to replace gear simply for an old tier set bonus only gimps you and consequently your heroic groups/raids.

A tank keeping their t10 4 piece bonus doesn’t have the health or the mitigation to take the beatings of instances.

A healer keeping their t10 4 set doesn’t have the mana or the mana regen to do their job.

a dps keeping their 4 set doesn’t have the dps to do their job.

I’m not saying to upgrade to whatever piece – but compare stats and upgrade accordingly.  Don’t worry too overly much about perfectly balancing stats till 85 [hit/expertise/agility/crit] – just make sure you have enough to do your job – aka don’t run around with zero hit rating.  If you keep an old piece, choose to do it and know why you are.  For example, for my hubby’s ret offspec, he’s still using the 245 hit trinket simply because most of the offspec gear he’s managed to get his hands on is devoid of hit rating and he hasn’t managed a current hit trinket yet.  He knows it needs to be replaced and is just waiting on the right trinket to drop.

Does it feel wrong to replace epics with greens?  Yeah, a bit… but it won’t be too long till we’re replacing those greens with blues and epics.  Isn’t it better to have a stat jump than shiny purples?

Stonecore Heroic…

The hubby and I hit 85 on the 11th [his birthday incidently].  And tried our first heroic night before last…  Um… ouch.  We didn’t get past the first trash pack in Halls of Origination Heroic.  Seriously PAINFUL.

Anyway, after some reconsideration, I’ll be doing the lion’s share of heroic tanking for guild groups [I refuse to tank for any pugs right now – I value my sanity too much].  I’ve got slightly better gear in my tanking set, plus hubby going ret as a paladin will give us a Repentance and a Rebuke for CC and Interrupts.  So we queued up for a random tonight as a guild group and got Stonecore Heroic [the one instance I have not practiced tanking on any mode].

Stonecore turned out to be doable… it took a lot of patience and 2 hours of our time.  Trash packs were cc’d as much as possible [usually 3 of the 4 mobs got CC’d just to make life easy] and one at a time is right efficient.

Corborus is a the first boss and he looks like a string of tires – he’s a worm thing.  The biggest things about him are to kill the pink crystals as soon as they pop [they increase damage taken if they hit you] and to not get hit by him in his underground phase [like Anubarak in ToC].  It took us a couple wipes to get the dance down [plus we had a few unlucky moments as the effect of his one-shot from underground seems to be wider than the visual ground marker].  We finally downed him and died from his crystal creatures… but he was down!

Slabhide is a dragon [with no tail swipe amazingly].  You have to run a gauntlet to get to him, staying out of the shadows of the falling stalactites.  Stay out of his lava effect and stay out of shadows on the boss fight to avoid falling things… duck behind the stalactites when he casts the crystal storm and you take no damage, otherwise you die.  It again only took us a couple wipes to down him.

Ozruk is a PAIN.  On heroic mode, he’s the biggest challenge I’ve had to deal with as a tank in a long time.  In one sense, I love it.  The feeling of finally downing him was amazing!  But the tank has to be on their toes [as does everyone] or it’s wipe!  He does a Ground Slam frontal cone attack that the tank MUST dodge completely out of every time or they are one-shot.  He’ll also paralyze the group temporarily [if you’ve damaged him during his bulwark/spike shield phases and have a dot on you then you’ll be popped right out of paralysis.  IMMEDIATELY after paralysis he casts a shatter that will do 150k damage to everyone in 15 yards… so you have to run away.  As a tank the fight is a constant, dodge right, run in, get paralyzed, run away, run back, dodge right, run in, get paralyzed, run away… till someone dies lol.  It’s constant motion and will be a nightmare on pugs.

High Priestess Azli is relatively easy compared to the other bosses.  You stay out of purple crap and dust cloud things and kite the non-elite adds over the purple stuff to make it disappear.  The only bad part was that after suffering all that wonderful agony and frustration of figuring out the fights [oh yes, fun, but intense] she fell through her platform and we couldn’t get the loot off of her.  We filed a ticket but don’t really expect anything to be done.

The only thing I’m going to advise here…  don’t just assume you can pop into heroics because you’re 85.  Even when you have the gearscore for them… don’t assume you can do them.  There is nothing like a group of kingslayers getting their faces smashed into the ground on the first trash pack of a heroic.  Crowd control [CC] is essential.  Interrupts are essential.  Caution is essential.  Consider heroics in Cata to be comparable to the difficulty of raids in LK at LEAST.  These aren’t your Wrath heroics.  And if you can’t dance… you’re going to be eating a lot of floor.

There is no just auto-piloting and going AFK through these dungeons.  The heroic tonight required as much attention as our first Lich King kill and to be honest… felt just as good when we finished it.

How to Help Yourself Help Yourself

We’ve all done it and we’ve all complained about others doing it…  We’ve all asked that obvious question that totally indicated we hadn’t read the quest text.  There’s an influx of this kind of QQ on general chat in the new zones right now and several of my guildies have complained about it… [I always need a good reminder of why it’s a good idea to leave general chat anyway].  Well, here are three steps to helping yourself if you happen to catch yourself about to commit this evil sin!

1.  Nope, I’m not sending you to quest text yet.  Instead, hit the map key [M].  Now choose the quest you’re doing on the right hand side and then look at your map again and mouse over the dot, wherever it was placed.  It should show how many whatsits you need to kill or how many thingamabobs you need to pick up, as well as the location of said mobs/drops/pick ups.  I’m one that doesn’t often read the quest text in full, so if things aren’t obvious I’ll do this.

2. Quest text.  ‘Nuff said.  Well, okay… here’s more.  Earlier I was doing a bunch of quests in a cave.  And I got to the final one and it was to take out the big boss… Well, I didn’t want to go all the way to the back of the cave only to find he was on the surface… Blizz sometimes likes to pull that on ya!  But I also didn’t want to waste time trying to find him on the surface if he was in the cave.  So I popped up my quest text and lo and behold, my eyes hit the phrase “deeper in the cavern”… so I stayed in the cave and boom… done.

3. Wowhead dot com.  It’s a wonderful site!  Truly!
a. I was doing a quest earlier that required you to press 4 pillars in a certain order.  Now with 4 pillars [none repeating], that leaves 24 possible combinations.  Who wants to waste their time with that?  Well, I hit wowhead and sure enough – in the comments it lists the combination I need and done!

b. Last night hubby and I were doing a quest in Deepholm that requires us to pick up some rum and a rope off of a ship.  Well we ran around a bit, couldn’t find it.  Rechecked the map, read the quest text to the letter… nothing.  So I hit wowhead and sure enough… Johnny Awesome had posted 2 hours before saying that the quest was bugged… and OrkustehAwesome an hour before.  Odds were good it was bugged for me, so.. no more wasted time and I moved on.

c. I was doing yet another quest in Mt Hyjal on an alt and I got to a mob I was supposed to kill and then loot a drop from a box… except every time I tried to loot the box it failed.  And I had people in general chat QQing about it being broken.  So, I naturally hit wowhead.  According to the latest two comments, logging out, deleting your cache and then logging back in would fix it.  So I did… and it did.  I was off into the next quest hub while the same people were still sitting in general and crying about it.

See… now you can help yourself help yourself!

Cataclysmic Preparations…

Well it’ll be here in a few short hours!   My husband has decided to go pick up our copies tonight at midnight and to start them installing right before we go to bed.  So, if by some miracle the server DO come up on time and STAY up, I’ll be able to play some tomorrow.

Bucket List
I completed most of my pre-cata bucket list and in fact made several successive short lists after the main one, which I completed as well.  The only thing not done at the moment is to get my Tauren Paladin to 60 [she’s 58 – close enough].

In Game Preparations
I’m actually writing this entry as my tailor turns a metric ton of netherweave into bolts for easier storage [and to make initial bags for the alts I’ll make].  But suffice to say, I’ve gone through each toon’s bank twice at least.  I’ve turned all the pygmy oil into guru’s elixirs [great for EVERY toon to use to level].  I’ve vendored a bunch of stuff that didn’t sell and I still have quite a few auctions left up [we’ll see how they do].  I’ve got bags and a few odds and ends ready for my female worgen.  I’m as ready as I can really be.

Goals for Tuesday:
1. Log into each 80 to trigger rested to start accumulating.  For my main it won’t be much before I start leveling her with the hubby tomorrow night but eh…
2. Buy every 60 plus toon Azerothian flying.  I even have parked a few of them near the trainer so I can get that done easily.
3. Create my worgen and goblin toons, attempt to get at least the worgen out of the starting zone in the morning whilst the server load and competition is lighter.
4. Level and gear my main as soon as hubby gets home.

Out of Game Preparations:
I’ve been cleaning the house extra as well as catching the laundry up to the last piece of clothing [I usually have one load sitting around].  We’ll be going to the grocery store this evening to get our weekly shopping done and we’ll spend a bit of the evening doing a bit more cleaning.  A little extra now won’t hurt and despite the fact that my son will have the living room trashed again an hour after he gets up… eh…

The hubby isn’t taking time off work [though he technically has a day that he could] so we’re not going to be the first to 85 by any means, but we’ll get there in short order anyway we figure.

Best Advice I Can Give:
Patience is a virtue you should learn/relearn.  Cynwise said it all better than I can.  But what it boils down to [in the words of Cynwise] is “Enjoy the wonder of the new world. Don’t be in a rush to become jaded.”

Of Controversies and Things…

I’ve seen the blogosphere in discussion about some of the Shattering changes – mainly the ease of leveling and the portal removal and felt like giving my own take on a lot of it.

I’m going to clarify first that I’ve played WoW since vanilla, not to beat anyone over the head because I consider myself superior as a result[I don’t], but to give a background of where my opinion is coming from.  I played in Vanilla and started raiding in Burning Crusade and am now a raid leader in Lich King.  The guild is a very different place from where it started [I’ve been in one guild for most of the time I’ve played] and it’s evolved to become better.  I’ve been most glad to be able to have my alts in one place – a medium/large guild with lots of activity.  I’ve been happy not to guild hop and to eliminate most of the drama.  That is my story – rather unusual to be in one guild so long, but otherwise fairly boring I suppose lol.

Ease of Leveling:
I’m digging this new ease of leveling in the vanilla zones.  I love alts.  In fact, I MUST have one in the leveling process at ALL times, even if they sit relatively untouched for months… I have to have that toon I can call my “In Progress Project”.   Come Cataclysm, I suppose having that project won’t be that big of a deal for months to come, between my army of 80s and the worgen and goblin I plan to roll.  I leveled the hard way and to be honest, I rather enjoy this new content where I look up and ‘oh I leveled again, let me keep questing because I love all this new… oh I leveled again”.  It’s going to take me 3 toons per faction [presuming I can stick with a horde toon ever] at least to experience it all… and that’s going to take a while given the xpac is about to hit.  I have my main to be concerned with first and then any alts I care to fuss with.

To be quite honest, I think half the reason it’s so EASY is because it’s so interesting and new that you don’t sit there and fret about “4 more bars to level”… or well, I don’t.  With them adding more and more expansions and more and more levels to traverse, they have to make it easier anyway…  especially since they fancy the idea of drawing in new customers.  I mean, let’s face it… for a lot of people the end game IS the game and for those who prefer the leveling process?  This is a chance to experience new classes and new factions etc rather than plod along on a single toon.  You can now easily level solely via instancing or via questing or a combo.  You can even turn OFF the experience if you so desire.  There are so many options!

Portal Removal
I’m going to flat out state in the interest of giving background – the portal removal doesn’t really affect me.  I zerg-leveled a nelf mage on a second account to 42 to gain the ability to port my toons and others to the 4 major cities plus Theramore and then had the mage on my main account port her to Dalaran to sit and be my banker etc.  Most of my alts are still set with hearthstones to Dalaran, though my main has moved to Stormwind just for the ease of grinding the cooking and fishing dailies.

That said, I see both sides of the portal removal.  I know they want people to move to the major cities [which mainly just crowds Stormwind rather than Dalaran tbh… it doesn’t spread it out as much as I suspect they’d like].   I also enjoyed the ease of getting around so quickly and efficiently without having to rely on a second account/random mages/boats/zepplins/flight paths.

Then again, we’ll be taking flight in Azeroth in less than a week… and personally I think all this debate will mostly vanish.  It’s going to be a whole lot more efficient to just fly A to B on your mount in most cases than to go find a flight point, hop on it and follow it’s windy inefficient path to the next destination.

Anyway, time will tell 🙂