Scroll of Storytelling

The Feast of Winterveil started today and there are quite a few toys that can be obtained form the Stolen Presents, a daily quest reward which means I’ll be trying to do this daily on a few toons.

After opening up Z’s stolen present today, I noticed something new; a Scroll of Storytelling which alters your perception for a short while.

scroll of storytelling3

Everything looks amazing for the time it’s up.

scroll of storytelling2 scroll of storytelling1

It would be nice if this was a toy though so all my toons could enjoy it. I’m going to have fun with it finding some really pretty spots to use it in.

A few more bosses

Sunday was a guild run and we managed to get a couple more heroic bosses down.

The Butcher

The Butcher

Tectus Tectus H

I posted in the forums about doing another day and a few people were interested in coming along on Monday. Tonight we ended up with 9 guildies and 2 pugs, a priest healer and dps Shaman.  It was a good group which was a relief because it’s always a bit nerve wracking to pull in pugs.

Thor, our monk tank, was leading the strat and he had us stand against a wall all stacked up, only really moving to avoid fire or pulverize swirls. Klor, our hunter, would disengage away when Shield Charge came out, leaving the rest of us to be able to stand in place and our 2nd tank, Osprey (who is normally dps but is a really good tank) would move the whirlwind boss away from us. The first couple of attempts we had a lot of fiery deaths and a few wild shield charges as it really doesn’t take a great deal of movement away from the group to be classified as ranged and a target for the charge. But we worked it out pretty quickly and he went down.

Ko’ragh

Twins H

Two of the guildies got gear and our pug healer got a pretty neck so it was really good. We had a few attempts on Ko’ragh but then our non-guild healer had to leave as it was 5.30am at his place. We ended up calling it there.

The extra progression was really welcome and all the guildies who came said they would definitely like to keep coming so hopefully that means we can raid 3 nights a week. The raid team is actually quite good but I really feel we need at least 3 nights to be able to move through the bosses relatively fast. I find that while I’m really excited about downing bosses it’s really hard not to constantly compare where I am in progress with my bf who I raided with though MoP. After we left our old guild he went to Saurfang and joined a guild over there (at my prompting because I was planning on moving Z to that realm as well). He’s already cleared full heroic and is on mythic progression. While I’m happy for him, I have to admit there’s a pretty strong green-eyed monster in me which is making it really difficult at well. If anyone has any advice on how to get over the envy and be content with where they are.. I’m all ears.

Brackenspore

On our last official week of 3 nights a week, we managed to kill heroic Brackenspore. It took a few attempts as the green managed to overwhelm us quite a few times until we dropped down to 4 healer and let one of the heals handle the flamethrowers leaving a dedicated dps free to do their dpsing. Then we got it down. It took quite a mindshift to really focus on healing up the mushrooms that spawn and to leave the raid alone a fair bit while keeping the mushrooms up. The healing output from the living mushroom is huge and by focusing all the healers on it, we could keep it alive for a fair while.

 

Brackenspore H

Sunday, we will be working on Tectus. As of next week though the raid officially goes to 2 nights a week. I’ve posted on the guild forums to see who else in interested in running a 3rd or even 4th night since the raid scales and we don’t need the full 20 odd members in there. A few people are quite interested but I’m not sure if we’ll have enough players in the right roles to fill the ranks. The other option I guess is to find another team that raids on the nights my guild doesn’t raid so I can get my fill of raiding. Oh well I guess that’s something to think about after Sunday.

Normal Highmaul cleared

It seems that the importance of not standing in mines really was listened to and tonight was a quick run through the first 6 bosses; though we did the first one twice (once on heroic and again on normal). When we got to the Imperator we tried a slightly different strat compared to last week. This time he was tanked in the middle and all the ranged dps and healers moved as a group around him, moving to the left each time a mine was dropped. It worked really well and it only took a pull or two and he went down. Such a massive difference to the previous raid night. Avoiding the damage is so important on that fight.

Imp z and cinder

 Imp deadline guild

Mana is still really tight despite being lucky enough to get a few upgrades through loot drops and extra rolls.  I’m pretty much drinking a channeled mana pot each fight. On Imperator I found the best time to drink is in the first transition. If I time it just right I can sit and drink my mana pot just before the transition finishes and go back into the fight with full mana again, it makes it so much easier.

I also changed my glyphs around a little and swapped out the Glyph of rejuvenation which makes my healing touch cast faster if I’m running 3 x rejuvs on people with the glyph that makes shapeshiting mana free. I find I’m often shifting in and out of cat form to blink around the place or into bear form to cast stampeding roar and this way I can do the form changes without any effect on my mana. With mana so tight as it is I can’t always guarantee I’ll always have 3 rejuvs up at the same time I want to cast a HT, and  even if I did I’m finding people aren’t dropping that fast that a slightly faster HT is necessary. It’s a glyph I’ll be prepared to change in and out, but at the moment it’s working well.

Tomorrow night is the last of our extra raid nights, giving us 2 more nights this week to work on bosses. We’re going to start on Brackenspore and see how we go from there.

Raiding and managing expectations

On Sunday we headed back into Highmaul to face off against Ko’ragh and Imperator Mar’gok. Ko’ragh is yet another pretty intensive movement fight with periods of high raid damage. He has a few abilities that require a lot of management. He puts a debuff on a tank that requires the tank to run away and drop little explosions around him. He also likes to  chose a player and charge to them and place a suppression field at their location, if you are slow moving  away from him you will take some nasty avoidable damage and if you are still in the suppression field, you will be silenced as well. These fields are really important for the adds that spawn, if the adds are not killed in the field, there is raid wide aoe damage.

He also has a number of debuffs that he places on the raid as a whole; one requires you to spread out to avoid extra damage when the debuff expires and one reduces the effectiveness  of healing on the raid so there’s usually a fair bit of damage to heal up once that expires.  He also has the fun mechanic of requiring a rotating roster of player to go and stack their nullification barrier, with heavy damage taken by them while they do so. Once they can stack their barrier, they can intercept arcane balls that fall from the sky which do lots of raid damage if not intercepted properly He also likes to spawn a few balls of frost around the place that do aoe damage and a slow to anyone near them. After a few false starts, not getting the barrier stacked properly so being unable to intercept balls we did get him down.

Ko'ragh

This meant we moved onto Imperator Mar’gok with a fairly sizeable chunk of raiding time to work on him. But… this boss gave us a lot of trouble, in fact a lot more than what I was expecting and it was both frustrating and disappointing to end the night/raid week without a clear of Highmaul.

The major problem I feel we were facing was simply the sheer amount of avoidable damage that just wasn’t avoided. As part of the fight the boss throws out mines that, if triggered by a player stepping onto them, do a really high amount of raid aoe. So much so that by the time we were making it to the final phase, pretty much every healer was too low on mana to be able to sustain through the last bit. Towards the end of the night, there were periods where the mines were left alone and you could start to see that there were actually periods, really brief periods but they were there, of quite low damage allowing healers to regen a bit. But when you have periods where every mine in a row is triggered, there is just too much damage going out.

I have to admit to being really frustrated about this because given how easily we moved through both heroic Kargath and the rest of the raid I didn’t forsee any of the normal bosses giving us any trouble. If normal is a stumbling block, I have concerns about what is to come especially when I think about the fact there is 2 other levels above this level and this is really just the entry level for this tier.

I also didn’t realise just how I would feel about the reduced raiding schedule, by the time I had enough of the culture of my last raiding guild and took a break,  I really thought I would enjoy less time in a raid however,  only  doing 3 nights in Highmaul this week didn’t feel like nearly enough.

While I knew that we were only going in 3 nights, I didn’t actually realise that my internal expectation was that we should be  going back in every night until the bosses are cleared. Next week the normal raid schedule of only 2 nights a week begins again and to be perfectly frank I’m not sure if I’m going to enjoy that or find it too limiting. Last night I spent the majority of my evening pugging into the last boss but unfortunately, with the nature of the majority of pugs it wasn’t great. I did find a really nice group made up predominately of Barthilas players but they were still on Kor’gath and despite a few early attempts looking really positive for clearing him and getting progression on Mar’gok, it didn’t happen.

I know this is a case of me being a really negative Nancy way too early in the raiding schedule but I have to admit the feeling of walking away from the raid in the first week without a clear was quite disappointing. Tonight is scheduled to have a restart at 12am my time so hopefully there might a chance of finding a group squeezing in another night of raiding before reset. It’s not even about the loot that he might be hiding in his pockets, though it would be nice, I just want the completion of that boss so I have a nice tidy 7/7N and can move onto the next level.

Stepping into Highmaul – Take 2

Raiding Night Take 1

Our first night in Highmaul was very short-lived. Our team got in and managed to get Kargath down and then the lag fun and games started. Cinder posted about it here. Pretty much it was a write off for a raid night and we all resigned ourselves to not getting much done and instead coming back the next night.

Raiding Night Take 2

Kargath

The servers were much more stable the 2nd night and things went a lot smoother. Since Kargath had been  an easy run, we decided to try him on heroic. He was a little more difficult but not very and he went down really quickly. It was pretty exciting seeing all the shiny purple loot that dropped.

The Butcher

We decided to give The Butcher a go on heroic but we came to a halt there because he hit berserk with a fairly sizeable chunk of health left, not close enough to keep beating our heads against him so we flicked it back to normal and kept going. Once  on normal this fight was pretty easy, the damage levels were really reduced, I’m not even sure if I got a chance to pop Tranquility. It was quite surprising the damage difference, hopefully with a full raids worth of gear under us, next week will be a heroic kill for him.

I completely forgot about taking photos of him, so Cinder and I decided that we would try to remember to take photos of the next bosses together.

Tectus

This guy took out half the raid almost first go with his little spikes of badness but second time around we were all much more aware of our feet and he didn’t seem to be too much of a problem. To be honest I spent so much of this fight running around I wasn’t really paying too much attention. If I wasn’t running away from a red gas that was chasing me, I was running away from spikes that were about to pop out of the ground. It did seem to end rather abruptly to me, I’m sure there were still lots of adds up when we got the achievement and the fight ended so I’ll need to pay more attention to the fight next week.

Tectus

Brackenspore

This fight was really fun, we did have a very early wipe because we didn’t realise just how much the Flame thrower guys have to be on top of burning away the creeping moss that covers the ground and the whole raid really quickly was covered in moss with no where to stand. Part of this fight includes healing up two beneficial mushrooms that pop up throughout the fight. The green one, Living Spore, does a raidwide heal to anyone in 20yards of it when it is healed to full.

It was absolutely fantastic when the blue rejuvenating mushroom came out. Healing this to full gives  a really big increase to mana regen and haste; so while it was up I could spam regrowth constantly. The amount of healing that could be put out during this phase actually seemed really strong in comparison to the amount of damage that was going out.

Brackenspore

Twin Ogron

In my mind, this was probably the most painful of all the bosses faced; it‘s a really movement intensive fight with lots of raid aoe damage. The twins, Pol and Phemos do different abilities based on their energy and most of the abilities require you to run away from something. There are rocks that fall from the roof in 3 waves; each wave of rocks has an increasing range of aoe damage from where the rocks lands – 3 yards, then 8 yards then raid wide. Phemos casts whirlwind which does damage to anyone around him.

And the most fun was when the twins throw their axes onto the ground which spawns moving lines of fire from them. Almost like a maze. Trying to pick a safe place to stand or to run to was very tricky at times. I’m not really looking forward to that fight on heroic I must admit.

Twin Ogron

 We called it after that boss as we reached the end of our raid night so on Sunday we head back in and face the last two bosses; Ko’ragh and Imperator Mar’gok.

I got a couple of pieces of loot in the raid, pretty bracers and new boots. The boots actually popped up with avoidance on them, which is a tertiary stat that helps to reduce a little aoe damage. With my level 3 War Mill I get a seal of tempered fate automatically just from talking to the npc in the mill each week. There are a ton of other options to get the other 2 seals; honor, gold, apexis crystals and I think garrison resources. I went with 500g and 1000 crystals for my other two but I’ll probably find a non gold method in the future though it does make a nice and fast option, if I don’t feel like farming up any mats, I can just buy my seals.

 This is actually the first time I’ve been raiding from the start of when a raid tier is released; I started playing in cata so by the time I got to 85 and actually understood what the heck raids actually were, firelands had been out for a few months and at the start of MOP I was in a guild that didn’t want anyone to raid until every member of the old cata team was ready to raid which ended up being quite a few weeks after MV released. I have to say raiding so early is  actually pretty fun. I can’t wait to see the rest of the bosses and to work through the different difficulties.

Elekk Plushie

I’ve been tossing up whether to use my Hexweave cloth to make  a crafted cloak for Z or to make the Elekk Plushie. However, the decision became much easier when I realised that there are no crafted cloaks with spirit and as Z has a warforged cloak with spirit on it ( I’m not sure what mana regen will be like so going into the early days of raiding, I’d like all my pieces which can have spirit on it to have spirit on it; this desire for spirit may change once I actually get into raiding and I see how it actually is),  I decided to go with some other pieces of crafted gear (neck and lw item) and use my cloth for the pet.

Elekk

This little pet is super cute and has a few achievements associated with it. The first is  Overstuffed where you have to level it to 25 which isn’t super difficult however due to the attacks (or lack of) of the plushie it requires every battle to be done with only 2 pets.

The plushie bases its attacks on imaginary attacks and basically has no offensive or defensive ability. The attack I love the most is Rawr where the plushie imagines it is a real Elekk.

Elekk Rawr

The second achievement is much more challenging. An awfully big adventure requires  you to carry your Elekk pet through a number of pet battles with  a huge amount of Tamers, some of whom are going to be quite difficult to win with only 2 pets.

I’m really looking forward to the challenge of this, though I already can see there’s going to be a few tantrums behind the scenes as I work out just how to best some of the more challenging tamers.

 

Playing the follower game, choosing who to deactivate

Ahh the tough decisions… I have too many minions and not enough slots for them all, I’m a long way from upgrading my barracks to level 3 which would allow me to have 25 minions so at the moment I’m stuck with only being allowed to have 20 active.

I was having a tough time deciding who to keep active so I went through their abilities and sorting out what type of abilities each follower had made it a bit easier to choose. Some of my minions are epic and they have 2 abilities each,the green and blue ones only have 1 ability.

Counter-Ability Active Inactive
Wild Aggression 3
Powerful Spell 4 2
Deadly Minions 2
Minion Swarms 3
Danger Zones 4 2
Massive Strike 3 1
Magic Debuff 2 1
Timed Battle 4
Group Damage 2

I realised from the list above that I could easily afford to deactivate some followers from each of the groups that had 4 active followers and reactivate Una, the magic debuff minion. I also should try to hunt down some followers with the deadly minions and group damage abilities  to make a more balanced team.

 

 

Enchanting hotfix changes

With the changes that came in the November 25th hotfix:

Rare (blue) quality items now have a greatly increased chance to disenchant into Draenic Dust instead of a Small Luminous Shard. Additionally, characters with the Enchanting profession should receive more Draenic Dust while disenchanting an item.
[Still in testing] Mark of Blackrock now requires 3 Temporal Crystals (down from 15) and 5 Scorcerous Earth (down from 10).
[Still in testing] Mark of Shadowmoon now requires 3 Temporal Crystals (down from 15) and 5 Scorcerous Fire (down from 10). Patch Notes

It’s made me decide to definitely down my enchanting hut on Z now and funnel all my greens over to my enchanting profession toon. While I had always intended to do so I had been holding off as the convenience of being able to disenchant Z’s stuff without changing toons was really nice. However, if enchanting toons have a greater chance to receive more dust than a non enchanting toon who is disenchanting via the garrison hut, there’s no way I’ll disenchant greens on Z.  I’ll just have to keep vendoring the blues like I’ve been doing before the nifty little hut came into play.

I’m thinking for the small building a salvage yard is definitely a cool thing to add in, the change to get more gear to increase my followers ilvl is very attractive.

The changes that might be coming for the weapon enchants is really welcome, I’ll definitely be holding off doing any enchants for it until as close as possible to raid starts just in case I can take advantage of the reduced mat requirements.