Tentacles vanquished, again

Its been an interesting week. We went from this

yogg04to

yogg01to

yogg02(have to love NPCs who whisper abuse)

to

yogg03

I’m the sleeping white puppy at the front cuddled up with the spring rabbit (dinner). All in all, its a completely awesome fight, especially when all the pieces fall into place and people stop taking it in turns to do stupid things randomly. A slight feeling of sadness though, two weeks worth of raids and thats all the easily accessable bosses down plus one fragment thingie to summon the final one. Was hoping the new content would last slightly longer than that, but got hardmodes, alts and the tournament to play around with so won’t be getting bored just yet.

I’m holding out for a hero

Or my random reflections on the patch.

I’m really enjoying Ulduar, for the first time we have challenging content this expansion. However I can’t help thinking its a bit too easy. We are now 5 bosses down in two nights, techinically one because all we did the first night was get stuck in random places. Having the floor disappear on you in Ulduar was one thing, seeing yourself fall through Dalaran another entirely.

vortex01

So that lead to

vortex021

See the teenage mutant ninja turtles and their ratty master. The end of that particular journey was a graveyard in Crystalsong Forest from which all had to take res sickness. Fun fun fun.

However when I compare our Ulduar progress to that in MC, BWL, Naxx the first time around, AQ 40 and even TBC content, we never just walked in and killed that many bosses on the first few nights. I realise that partly why they  implemented hardmodes, but call me picky, but I want harder fights with different mechanics rather than doing the same fights in a slightly different way.

XT-002 Deconstructor adds a whole new meaning to tank and spank fights. By the time we killed him, I never wanted to hear his annoyingly whiney voice again. Next week, I’m doing it with the sound off.

Divine Hymn is awesome. Ignoring the Flame Leviathan, all the other four bosses we did last night require massive amounts of aoe healing at points, cue the fabulous Divine Hymn. Prayer of Healing also being castable on any party is rather sweet, given the amount of raid damage that Ulduar seems to favour (a slightly easier Sunwell mark 2 perhaps).

All in all, I’m pretty taken with Ulduar. From a  visual perspective, I like the differences between the areas we have seen so far. None of this depressingly similar look for the whole instance a la Molten Core. The first fight was completely different to anything I’ve done so far and whilst I thought I hated vehicle fights (still hate Malygos) it turned out to be really good fun. The other fights required huge amounts of aoe healing and movement which help add an extra level of excitement to them (for me at least, I tend to dislike fights like Patchwerk where its as simple as stand there and heal X til the boss dies).

The Argent Tournament = my second new favourite thing (the first obviously being Ulduar now that the server has stopped trying to slaughter us wholesale everytime we enter).  Perhaps it appeals to my hopeless romantic side, after all as a small child I loved reading about knights in shining armour and tales of daring do .

romantic01

Have to admit I’m glad it is a neutral zone though (slight hint of cowardice which doesn’t sit with the whole knight thing I know) but especially on my priest I prefer doing dailies knowing I can’t be slaughtered by players.

It seems that we aren’t the other Northrend inhabitents wishing to fight the good fight.

romantic02

The penguins are amassing their forces too.

Enjoying the fishing dailies, although fishing in River’s Heart alongside three quarters of the servers level 80s is a bit scary, both sides eyeing each other up. What would happen if there was blood in the water I hate to think. Speaking of which, for the blood frenzy one, other people’s blood pools are trackable with the fish finder and they last a while so you can share.

Over all, I can’t really think of any negatives.

The countdown continues

With less than a week to go to E Day, my excitement is starting to get the better of me. 
Why you may ask?
  1. Penguin mini pets
  2. The culling of Stratholme instance: Strat has always been one of my favourite instances, I love the colours, the burning buildings, the sadness of the zone. All the little details hidden away, the burning orphanage, the plague rats swarm when you hit the gates and of course all the mini bosses, so Im really looking forward to being able to see the place before it was put to the torch.
  3. New quests: Having leveled 4 alliance toons to 70 and mulitple low level alts up the high 50s, im really looking forward to some new quests and killing some new mobs.
  4. Flying carpet mounts. If Im being honest its the only reason Im keeping tailoring on my priests.
  5. Multi person mounts. My sense of direction sucks. I regularly get lost and have been ganked afk flying into mountains more than once, so the thought of a multi person mount that I can leap on and go afk makes my heartbeat happily. Its also making the Gnomeling positively gleeful, no more waiting around for me whilst I get lost or fall of follow when I get stuck on something.

6.  A new class. I have already deleted a bank alt so I can make my shiney new deathknight. Based on the changes to the racials, 2 percent avoidance and shadowmeld being usable in combat in particular, my deathknight is going to definately going to be an nelf. I already have a dark whelping mini pet for her and a bit of a back story (RP is beginning to interest me more and more). Also it turns out that Nelf deathknights can have that wonderful dark shade of pink hair that Morogrim has… to be honest, I was sold even before the racial changes.
Whilst I dont want to spoil anything for anyone, I would definately say even if you dont ever intend playing any other toon than your current main, take the couple of hours to run through the deathknight starter quests. Its well worth the time and the effort.

Destination: Delightful Dalaran (part 1)

Ive been delibrately avoiding writing about the beta, but I just cant help myself in this case. This post has been writing its self in my head over tbe last couple of days. I love Dalaran. When I was a little girl I used to love hanging out in the Lighting Department of our local Department Store, I thought it was fairyland, all that brightly coloured glass and the balls of light. My first thought when I saw Dalaran took me straight back back to being 5 years old again, staring up at the light in wonder.
Unlike Shattrah, it feels like a proper city. Cobbled streets, wizards wandering the streets chatting to each other, or standing on the street quarters gossiping. The majority of NPCs all have names which helps create the atmosphere, Bitty Frostflinger the cute little gnome mage chatting away animatedly or Goldlily Gleamingfell, the artic blonde bloodelf watching passers by reservedly.
Ok, its a cross between Disneyland and the Arabian Nights mixed with a healthy dose of Harry Potter, Kitsch only just begins to cover it, but its fun. The shops have a European boutique feel, you name it, someone in Dalaran will sell it to you. From fetish bandage outfits and nurse uniforms, cupcakes and fetch balls for our pets, its all there just waiting to be bought. Yep, ive bought it all. Each store is decorated in a manner benefiting its contents, making each one a beautiful jewel on its own. You can spend hours just wandering around looking at things, drinking in the view. Spend sometime in the greenhouse watching the flowers grow at your feet, a testament to the power of the herbalists, or maybe pop into the Sisters Sorcerous and watch as Badluck (the family cat) slinks around, one moment hes perched on the counter watching for shoplifters, the next hes curled up in the corner fast asleep and snoring.

This year’s Winterveil shopping will be a pleasure with all these tempting presents at our finger tips. There is something for everyone in Dalaran.
  1. Cupcakes to cheer up the emo boomkin
  2. Paperplanes to throw at the slacking dps when the raidleader isnt looking
  3. Cake or more likely strong alcohol to buy said raidleader to creep back into their goodbooks when they spot the plane throwing shenanigans
  4. A toyshop selling toys for the rogues in your life (of course im not implying anything negative about the average age of a rogue)
I admit to not liking Shattrah when I first saw it, i didnt like sharing space with the Horde, after all I play on a pvp server and hearthstoning to the same Inn as the guy you just made take res sickness can be a tad embarressing. That said, almost 2 years later, Ive got used to having massive taurens sat on my battlemasters and turning a blind eye to the male bloodelf paladin dancing on the mailbox. Thus I was a bit surprised when I discovered that in Dalaran there are separate Alliance and Horde zones. Ok there are two other Inns, that arent faction specific, but the principle itself in a neutral sanctary town just seems a bit odd to me. Its not as if we can start fighting after too much tequila, no alliance hero is going to start throwing punches in the centre town if he thinks that orc looked at his girl funny, it just isnt possible. So why the divide?

Goodbye to Priest Racials

Blizzard have finally given up on trying to balance the priest racials and are removing them. Im in two minds about this really.

In an upcoming build all Priest racials have been retired, except the following:
- Desperate Prayer – This is now the 11-point talent in Holy, Holy Nova is now a base ability. Cooldown also reduced to 30 seconds.
- Devouring Plague – Now a base ability. Cooldown reduced to 30 seconds, mana cost greatly reduced.
- Symbol of Hope – Now a base ability. Now restores 5% base mana every 2 seconds for 8 seconds to your party. Renamed “Hymn of Hope.”

While this change does reduce the “uniqueness” of different Priests, we feel game balance as a whole will benefit. Note: These new “racials” are not racials, they are trainable to all Priests.

Its scary that the developers feel we need desparate prayer on a 30 second cooldown however, especially if they arent scaling its healing down.

I liked the variety between priests, even if my own toons didnt always have the best ones.

However Blizzard did take 3 decent racials to apply equally.

  1. An extra form of dps is always good, that form of dps fitting in with your major magic schools and healing you into the bargain is not to be sneezed at.
  2. Holy Nova is a bit too gimicky to be a talent, especially since downranking has been removed, so making it baseline is a buff, especially since its been replaced with something useful.
  3. Self heals on short cooldowns that dont need mana are a wonderful thing, up there with whiskers on kittens and raindrops on roses.
  4. Hymn of Hope is another reason to take a priest to a raid, abeit a weak one. Plus an extra method of regen is always welcome especially given the potion nerf and the removal of downranking.

All in all, I think its positive, but ill miss the Starshard graphics, huge arcane arrows following your target around was pure win.

No more shadowmeld & drinking

My precious precious shadowmeld nerfed….

The Times They Are A-Changin’

Blizzard announced last night that they are making changes to the racials and already there are pages and pages of threads crying, complaining and demanding.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.

Bob Dylan

It seems that Bob Dylan was spot on. Personally Im in two minds about the whole thing, yes its Blizzard’s game and they reserve the right to chance what they want when they want, but they must be aware that certain people roled certain class/race combinations with race in mind.

We daren’t go a-hunting

Up the airy mountain,
Down the rushy glen,
We daren’t go a-hunting
For fear of little men;

William Allingham

Ok I admit, my hunter hasnt got beyond lv 30 because im scared of gnomes… although gnomes are scary, its because im lazy. That said, ive been eyeing the forthcoming hunter changes with interest, especially the pet related ones (im a sucker for pets).

  1. Being able to have 5 pets up from the 3 we can currently have.
  2. Pets actually having their own talent trees and the trees being defined clearly into tanking, dps etc
  3. All pet families having focus dumps
  4. All pets getting a unique family skill (Although this is a bit of a double edged sword but ill come to that later)

My first thought when i read about the changes was “oooh, i can finally go back to having a wolf”, after all ive always been a dog person and in Vanilla WoW my little hunter had a black worg from Shadowfang keep (one of those with a fast attack speed). I even picked out a worg on Petopia, one of the new white ones coming in the expansion. Then i got my Beta key and discovered them in the wild. Whilst one was biting on me, i realised that i didnt actually like them.

Dispatches from the Frozen Wastes

The cold snows of Northrend are much more my thing than the Outlands were. In fact ive been pretty much blown away by the scenary so far.

Because im that kind of person, even before i got my beta key i had been working on a plan for launch and so naturally as soon as i was patched and ready to go, i put the plan into practise.

I logged my priest and excitedly portaled Stormwind, ive had a harbour fetish ever since i was a little girl and checking out SW’s new virtual one was top of the list. Even though i still cant quite figure out how the water gets from the sea to the canals, i was impressed. The port is huge, adding to the feeling of a huge military mission heading north. I rode around for a bit, taking it all in and then i spotted a flightmaster… yes thats right, you can take an airtour of the harbour. Ive been around 5 times now.

Another day, another beta patch

I havent really been able to test much yet, but here are my highlights of todays patch.

  1. Nature’s Grasp is now a trainable spell and all ranks have been changed to 100% chance on getting struck. This coupled with the fact that roots are useable indoors is lovely. Its always been at least one point ive had to find before. Yes, i know its not a pve spell, but its so handy on trash in outdoor instances like ZA/MH and well you cant avoid pvp on a pvp server now can you.
  2. *New Spell* Wind Shock: Instantly blasts the target with a gust of wind, causing no damage but lowering your threat, making the enemy less likely to attack you, and interrupts spellcasting and prevents any spell in that school from being cast for 2 sec. Blizzard made on good on their promise of a cheap interupt to replace the fact that we couldnt use rank 1 earthshock anymore. Its still on the global cooldown and shares the same cooldown as all other shocks but as a resto shaman, im primarily interested in being able to interupt and thats all.
  3. New rank of Water Shield at 76. 100mp5 plus 400 mana when you crit or take damage should help out balance our mana now that we cant downrank.
  4. Glyph of Levitate — Your Levitate spell no longer requires a reagent. Yay, ive jumped off too many things only to realise too late …… EEK NO LIGHT FEATHERS.
  5. Cooking: Critter Bites, Use Throw a critter bite to a critter to control it. I forsee endless fun chasing people around with squirrels. Definately a reason to level cooking.
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