Preparing for raiding and how to make your healer love you in early heroic dungeons

In between pet battles and garrisons and missions (that’s a whole mini game in itself), I’ve been throwing Z into a ton of heroic dungeons for gear. Our guild starts raiding again on the 3rd and we’ve been asked to get our ilvl up to around the 635 mark to make sure our gear won’t be a check to getting through normals. So atm I’ve got my little DK picking flowers in Talador so Z can make them into pigment for her inscription cd which can make 620 trinkets and a weapon. My Dk has an average ilvl of 528 and is absolutely burning through the mobs there, I really like DKs. My shaman is questing her way through to Nagrand because that’s where so many of the skinnable mobs live so she can get there and live in a skinner’s paradise collecting leather making Z some trendy looking crafted gear.

So in addition to Z having a full complement of staff working for her, she’s had to brave the heroic dungeon ques. Now with a shiny helm from Molton Core and Khadager trusting me with the second stage of his legendary ring, it’s not as hard as it was in the very early days of 610 ilvl but even with a fair amount of gear there’s not always a lot of room for error. If abilities aren’t interrupted or the fights drag out my mana is gone and there’s no getting it back. Though I did forget just how little druids can run on, at times I feel completely oom and I can get enough clear casting procs (mana free regrowths) or squeeze out another few rejuvenations and we can continue on.

The best runs happen when tanks allow/call for CC and everyone is on interrupt duty. I’ve had a few runs where it has been stated that they don’t want to waste time on CC. When faced with the “MoP mentality”, runs can be a nightmare.

CC in dgns

CC is lovely to see

It’s only going to get easier as everyone gears up but at the moment with our low gear levels, little things like interrupts and cc go a long way to making a smooth run.

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Hanos, Manos and Fatos

Today’s daily quest at the pet menagerie was against Hanos, Manos and Fatos, three little magic pets.

I used a mechanical dragonling, clockwork gnome and a levelling pet. Though the levelling pet can’t be too low as the pets can use an aoe attack that hits your backline pets, so make sure your leveller is high enough to handle a few hits.

 Hanos team

I opened with the Mechanical dragonling, and used decoy at the start. I then used Breath until Hanos was low enough that a Thunderbolt would kill the him and put a bit of damage on the back row pets. The dragonling was strong enough to kill 2 of the 3 pets he faced.

hanos team 1

I swapped the leveller in on the third pet and then out again for the clockwork gnome, Fatos was strong against the gnome but he was far down enough in health from the thunderbolt that a turret and a few metal fists killed him long before my gnome got too low in health.

Draenor Safari and the elusive Shadow Sporebat

The new expansion has bought a ton of new pets with it and I’ve been running around making sure I catch and find as many as possible. Some of the new wild pets are super common but some are a lot trickier to find.

I was left last night with only one pet left to catch, the Shadow Sporebat. According to Wowhead it spawns around Khadager’s tower in Talador. When I got there last night, I couldn’t see a single battle pet icon on my map. I wandered up and down the valley for a bit and then realised I could venture all the way out onto the open sea (Azure Water Strider mount is amazing for this) and over to Taanaan Jungle. After screenshotting some pretty shots and teasing my guildies about there being tons of daily quests here and that I could see Grommosh (I finally let them know I was teasing) I headed back.

Taanaan Jungle

Still no spawns..I asked my battle friends if they had any luck finding one of these pets and checked out wowhead again. Wowhead comments indicated it could possibly be after midnight server time while  Dragon and Luxy both mentioned they thought it was a very early morning spawn. I stayed online until after 12 but couldn’t see any pets spawning so set my alarm for super early the next day so I could be up and online before sunrise. I found out from watching blizzcon that each server’s sunrise, sunset and night are timed to coincide with the day/night cycle based on server local time)

At 5.45am I jumped on to see if there was anything but after running up and down the valley I still couldn’t see any paw icons on my map.  I ran back up the top to the tower and all of a sudden, a paw came up on my map! There was a single solitary shadow sporebat in the whole zone.  I captured it and while it’s grey I luckily managed to pick up a flawless flying stone a few days ago. I’ll wait to see if the spawns increase, if not I’ll stone the one I have.

 Shadow Sporebat shadow sporebat1

I also got the Royal peacock as a reward for getting all the wild pets in Draenor, which is one really special looking pet.

shadow sporebat2

First Pet Menagerie Kill

 

Once I levelled up my Garrison to Level 3, the Pet Menagerie became available with the first pet battle daily for me to complete. It wasn’t as bad as I expected. I faced off against Blingtron 4999b, Protectron 011803, and Protectron 022481.

First Pet Menagerie

These 3 are all  mechanical pets with an odd debuff that caused them to take damage as if they were a critter, this meant that the standard elemental against mechanical was not going to work as the elemental attacks were weak. In addition, the pets are strong against beast attacks which are typically used against critters.

To beat this team I went for mechanical pets that had critter attacks.

  • first pet menagerie pets

 

100

level 100

Despite the queues on Barth (and pretty much everywhere really) Z hit level 100 in a pretty reasonable fashion. I had decided at the start of the expansion that I would quest my way to 100 and finish each zone in turn so I could see all the stories as I went. I rushed to 90 in MOP and it wasn’t until I went back and did loremaster months later that I got a good understanding of the zones and the npcs I had been seeing every day for months.

Hordies start in Frostfire Ridge which is quite orc heavy, it was pretty cool to see the little nomadic tribes the Orcs lived in and Frostfire Ridge is quite a pretty zone even if it is mostly just snow.

Frostfire Ridge

The quests were quite interesting, it was pretty cool to see Thrall meet his father, Durotan and his mother Draka, who is absolutely beautiful.

Draka

I decided to skip a lot of the bonus objectives after Frostfire as I didn’t want to outlevel the zones so that’s something I’ll have to go back and finish off. My favourite zone was definitely Spires of Arak. Before questing in there my impression of Arakkoa were of noisy screeching birds from Outland but the story line in this zone gave a really good insight into them and they have such  personality.

Nagrand was the last quest zone and I hit 100 about half way through but I decided to make sure I finished the quests in there. The final ending to the zone was really amazing but since there are people haven’t finished the quest yet, I’m don’t want to spoil it by revealing too much. I thought the ending though was really well done and gave really good closure to the ending of MoP. If you’ve read War Crimes, it was a great follow-up to that story.

Exploring around the top of Nagrand I came across a really beautiful Lagoon. It has a stacking debuff that is put on  you so beware if you spend too much time there, but its worth going up there for a look.

nagrand lagoon 2

Horde don’t get to quest in Shadowmoon Valley which is a real shame as this is a beautiful zone. I popped over there to find the battlepet tamer to battle and spent quite a bit of time exploring. I have plans to level an alliance alt through Draenor so that I can see the other perspective and I’m really looking forward to seeing the quests in this zone.

Shadowmoon Valley

Once you have cleared all the quests in a zone you can buy a map from Ashran that shows you all the treasures in the zone that you may have missed. Even with the icons marked on your map some can be really tricky to find with jumping puzzles to be completed.

Cinder found a really good short story,  Hellscream,  on wowhead that fills in the missing time between the end of MoP/War Crimes and where we are now. I’d definitely recommend having a quick read of it.

So now Z’s 100,  the decisions over what to do next loom. Gear, garrisons, pets, followers, there is so much to keep occupied and that’s without even thinking about alts.

As one of those with little patience

This

que

 

Is making me seriously consider transferring off. There is not a single toon I want to spend time levelling that I can access.

The practicalities though

- Is the money spent worth being able to spend my limited wow time (now I’m working) playing

- Will I be able to transfer back in a fortnight so I can raid with my team or will I be facing the possibility of a still-locked realm and be stuck without a raid team

Given my battlenet last night was full of people saying Yay! in after 6hours of wait time etc etc, I don’t have high hopes of being able to access Z any time soon today.

 

 

—-

After digging around on the forums I found some interesting posts

We ran into a few other issues, including a distributed denial of service attack, that resulted in increased latency.

To help correct for this and other issues, we’ve temporarily lowered maximum realm populations. This means there will be high queue times experienced on high-population realms.

We’re continuing to work toward greater realm stability and address the service issues impacting latency. Our current biggest hurdle is the concentration of players in specific areas and zones, and an unexpected effect of that concentration on the realm stability. We’re continuing to maintain a lowered realm population cap to help with the stability, which is resulting in increased queue times.Bashiok 13/11/14

 

Wonder what the “other issues” were and how temporary the lowered caps are going to be. DDOS or the threat of may be around for quite a while.

 

 

 

An unexpected start to Draenor

All day at work yesterday my excitement levels were building, unfortunately noone there are wow players (as far as I know) so I didn’t really have anyone to share it with there. Luckily I was really busy and the day flew. Then at leaving time I found there was some major traffic delays and the 10 minute trip just  to get to the freeway blew out to over 40mins alone; I was getting decidedly worried I was going to not be home in time.

Once finally home, I logged in to find something that had never even crossed my mind; Barthilas was full and I was 1335th in que. The expected wait times were frustrating, swinging between 20mins and 836mins, I decided to ignore the times and just watch my position in que. 2hours later I was in! Yay time to go. My amazing bf had decided on his own accord to wait for me to get in so we could both see the starting quests together.

One upside of the enforced wait was that the mass of people had mostly cleared and we had the starting quest scenario (for lack of a better word) area to ourself. And it is beautiful; if this is a taste of things to come in Draenor we are going to be in for a visual and verbal treat – the scenery details and voice acting were amazing.

Dp

Gul'dan

Look at his detailing, right down to his pointy little toenails (looks like he’s singing in an opera though!)

Everything was going great until we got to the final section on the docks ready to head off to Frostfire Ridge when everything stopped; we got a loading screen and then dumped back on the docks with the mysterious message “Transfer Aborted: instance not found”, I had an extra yellow message telling me some nonsense about cross realm issues. After trying a few times, we dropped group and that’s when we realised I could get to Draenor proper but my bf couldn’t. A quick look at my friends list where a number are Saurfangians and I realised no one there was in Draenor. We waited a bit to see if it could come up; I ran my Shaman through the starting section again (OMG are Elemental Shamans fun or what, I want a resto druid with an ele shaman off-spec…. that’s a whole other post though) and since Saurfang still wasn’t going anywhere we headed off for an early(ish) night.

I see today Saurfang is up, yay!, so Draenor here we come!

Final Quest in Pandaria

I’ve been finishing up a lot of Pandaria Achievements and one that has been catching my eye was the Savior of Stoneplow so I decided to go and finish it, and I am so glad I did. It was the perfect quest to bow out of Pandaria on.

To be eligible to have this quest offered to you, you must have completed the Valley of the Four Winds and Krasarang Wilds quest achievements. I found a npc called Emmi at Stormstout Brewery had the quest for me though the forums mentioned there are a few quest givers that you could pick the quest up from.

Stoneplow

Once you head on down to Stoneplow you get a cut scene that shows a massive bug breaking through the wall with a smaller bug army with him.

stoneplow 1

And just as everyone in Stoneplow is about to give up hope and wants to flee, tons of notable Pandaran Npcs like Chen Stormstout, the Halfhill Tillers  and Miss Fanny  turn up to save the day with you.

 

stoneplow 2

You have a few little quests where you run around and destroy some of the bugs, give beer to keep up the spirits of the defenders and joining in with some Shadopan Students to dispatch the bug commanders. For the final quest, Miss Fanny catapults you towards the colossus bug and you are sucked into its belly and must fight your way out.

stoneplow 3

When you finally emerge the Pandaran realise that they are ready to finally stand on their own.

This was a great quest to finish on, seeing all the npcs that have been around throughout my adventures  all in the one place was like a fantastic goodbye party.

Day 14 – This upsets you; 20 days of blogging

Day 14 – This upsets you

What really really annoys me is people who seem to think that content is so trivial that they can breeze through it, expecting to be carried and making things much harder for other people, particularly for people who try.

This is most noticeable in lfr. The mentality of it’s lfr, it’ll be fine, 24 other people can carry my lowbie along, seems to be most prevalent here.

I took my mage into an lfr tonight, normally I avoid lfr like the plague, unless there is a healer bag on offer, but as my mage is my rep mage and there is rep to be gotten from ToT for the Shado-pan assault I thought I’d give it one last go through before I’ll have to go back at 100.

Big Big Mistake

Tank 1

Seems to believe that a 420 head, 410 and 372 green weapons make him suitable tanking material.

day 14 also inconsiderate

Tank 2

Believes that his 483 boosted gear is also suitable. Nicely transmogged does make up for lack of stats.

Day 14 people who are inconsiderate

Lfr was a disaster, the tanks died as soon as a mob looked at them sideways and ended up in me leaving in disgust.

Wasting other people’s time by expecting to be carried though content is what really upsets me.

Squee – two drakes closer to the Emerald Drake

I can’t believe the luck of my little shaman tonight. While waiting for a lfr que (there was a healer bag on offer so I qued her up to see what goodies it might have) I decided to take her through Onyxia’s Lair while waiting. I almost didn’t go in since I thought the que would be very fast but after a few pet battles outside and no que pop I headed in. Boy was I glad I did.

 

Onyxia's Drake

Then I decided to pop on over to the Eye of Eternity – not only am I hunting the Azure drake in there but there is a couple of nice transmog pieces that could drop. No transmog this week but there was a pretty Azure drake inside the loot gem.

 

Azure Drake

Now I’ve only got the Blazing Drake from Dragon Soul to complete the achievement Awake the Drakes.

I can’t get over the lucky of my little Shaman. If I could make her go buy me a lottery ticket I would!