Faction Champions

It seems I’m in the minority here but I love this fight. Its fast paced, chaotic and requires more than hanging around not standing in the fire and healing other people. Is it a PvP encounter, no in my opinion.

  • Taunt works.
  • Fade works.
  • Shadowmeld works even when the rogue is in your face.
  • There is zero team work. So the dps warrior gets our resto druid into execute range and then wanders off to bully a warlock at full health. Random aggro is random. These NPCs need a little more bloodlust.
  • Tanked: In fact Prot warriors are wonderful here. Shockwave, shield slam dispelling hots and such like, annoying interupts/spell kicks.

Whilst I suspect the Heroic version will be a tad more challenging, the normal version makes even Battleground PvP look like a complex mix of tactics and awesome fighting.

What I do find interesting however, is the argument currently taking place on Blizzard’s own forums about whether PvP and PvE require different skill sets. My own personal take on that is no. Skills that serve you well in PvE will also help you succeed in PvP and vice versa.

Basically you can sum up the Faction Champions PvP abilities by looking at their hunter, Ruj’kah and his fearsome pet cat called …………………………… “cat”. Says it all really, bet he moonlights in Azshara farming Azure Whelpings with lots of other hunters who haven’t bothered to name their trusty companions.

Legendary Whine

I see the melee dps are getting a new shiny legendary in Icecrown… bet it comes 100 percent whole and isn’t scattered carelessly in tiny bits throughout the entire instance.

Yes, bitter whine is bitter. But if I have another week of Ulduar with 1, yes 1 shard despite doing all the hardmodes I will cry. I’m gonna be locked up in there with Freya going slightly mad til the next expansion at this rate.

Utgarde Pinnacle

This is definately one of my favourite WotLK instances.

  • Slightly gothic, very dirty and cobweb filled castle, check.
  • Zombie attendents including awesome ones who turn into wolves, check.
  • Sexy Vrykul women, check
  • Appearance of the Lich King (what self respecting castle would be without him), check


Besides I love the principle of it. We invade the castle of the King whose wife we already slaughtered. Do we stop off and fill our bags with his gold supplies or steal some ancient statue thats propping a door open. Of course not, we rampage our way through the ancient corridors kicking up dust and killing his servants (can’t help wondering why the undead servants don’t displace the cobwebs.. maybe the dust is allergic to them). Since you get to leave through the treasure room I suppose it makes sense to slaughter first, loot afterwards when no survivors can see you sneaking out with your swag bag.

In the past we had tried to 2 man this before but always got stuck in the Trophy Room (wonder how the King feels about only having one worm in his cabinet) or if we skipped that, we got stuck on Skadi. However given our previous success in instances previously too hard for us like Heroic: the Culling of Stratholme we were somewhat confident (arrogant?).

Our strategies go something like this:

Yes, I’m assuming you are a priest and from my experience Discipline is best – bigger stronger shields and penance with prayer of mending added in make up the bulk of the healing.

Trash: On the early mobs you can use mindcontrol. I tend to go for the Seers for a couple of reasons. Their chain lightning/lightning spells are annoying plus their heal is somewhat large (wtb really).


It is however best to let your pet tank charge in first just incase you get any resists.

Svala Sorrowgrave:


(I find it fascinating that the Lich King manifests himself in a variety of different sizes from the gigantic as illustrated here to the rather more mundane human sized version, yet his armour always fits.)

She of the totally wonderful name, here we go for brute force rather than anything subtle. Standing close together to make sure prayer of mending bounces when she makes the braziers burst into flames. I keep shields up on us at all times and when I get sacrifriced the Gnomeling kills one with direct attacks (nothing like doing all the stuff you aren’t supposed to :D). The sword descends and I leap from the altar spam healing myself. Rinse and repeat your way to a badge of conquest really.

The Undead trash can be shackled, depends what type of tank you have (or whether you can train them out of aoeing everything).

The Trophy room:

trophyroomThe longboat is a lovely touch I always think and probably the best trophy in the whole room, although the pyscho teddybear has to be worth a mention.

The only one of the four mini mini bosses that really presented a problem was the worm… (weird really, we aren’t phased by two, but one gets us all scared). We fight them in their room (having tried various locations all over the castle) and I basically hide out of los so we only have to deal with one poisoned target. I would recommend wearing some extra stamina gear however because of Gortok Palehoof’s nasty withering roar. I was down to 6k health when he died.


The gauntlet is annoying to say the least. However once we have grounded him I stay close enough for prayer of mending in case I get the poisoned spear. You just have to be ready to run if he targets you with whirlwind.

King Ymiron himself:

king01Another example of a leader who allows his minions to be pulled back and slaughtered in front of his face, although in his case I tend to be charitable and suppose he is blind with grief.

  • The spirit strike: You just have to heal through it
  • The spirit burst: Prayer of mending and shields pretty much take care of that
  • The spirit orb: Run away
  • The spirit adds: Tank picks them up and you just ignore them

Finally loot and try not to look surprised when the pet tank picks up the red sword of courage 8 months and 3 tiers of content too late.

Burn Baby Burn

Although I have zero interest in ever playing a death knight, I love doing the quest chains.

And the flames leapt higher

And the flames leapt higher

Primarily because of the beautiful but somewhat deadly scenary.

Have a break, have a Kit Kat

Still no instance servers for anything other than raids unless you are willing to run backwards and forwards for up to hours on end. Unfortunately bouncing doesnt seem to help at all and the movement ends up giving me motion sickness, so I’ve shelved that idea for the time being. The new flavour of the month battleground is the Isle of Conquest which I already find disappointng, partly because despite it having such epic possibilities the tactic on Misery EU at least is simple:

The majority of both sides rush the hangar. The one with the most healers/superior firepower wins and gets on their airship. Defending is for sissies and the bored guy up a tower semi afk  reading porn. The side that got the airship plants bombs til gate explodes, meanwhile the opposing side are off having a picnic somewhere not interfering because thats not cricket. The gatedown side then kill the boss. This usually takes 8 to 10 minutes and completely avoids the point of a battleground, i.e. Player versus Player. Its only remaining plus point is that the Alliance boss is the totally awesome High Commander Halford Wyrmbane, he of the 7th Legion previously found hanging out in Dragonblight. Although given his speech:

Through the valleys and peaks of Mount Hyjal, across the shifting sands of Silithus, against the Legion’s dread armies – we have fought. We are the nameless, faceless, sons and daughters of the Alliance. By the Light and by the might of the Alliance, the first strike belongs to us and the last strike is all that our enemies see.

We are 7th Legion

given when you talk to him in Dragonblight its pretty disappointing that his Keep seems to be made of paper and that he goes down like a stone even when faced with the puniest of enemies.

Alterac Valley is now comprised of 32 people not lv 80 and 8 stupid/insane lv 80s trying to carry them to victory (Ok, thats data based on one battleground, but why let accuracy stand in the way of a good bitch). Which I have to admit I find a bit offensive. Don’t get me wrong, I help guildmates out with boosting instance runs (at least I did when we could get the servers) and I’ll help people with elite quests if I’m passing etc, but I really dislike the principle of having to work four times as hard in a battleground to carry people I don’t know through level.

Which brings me to the title of this post. Am I quiting, of course not. I’m far too addicted, plus my GM would hunt me down and slaughter me. So, in order to take my mind off annoying battlegrounds and unavailable instance servers I decided to make a new druid. Now I already have two sitting at lv 51 and 71 respectively, one horde and one alliance. However neither are on my current server and in this particular case, its more about the journey than the destination, starting at lv 1 made the most sense (to me at least).

So Thalia was born. Which give me one last thing to moan about, Heirloom items. Ok, so Thalia was born with a silver spoon in her mouth, lucky her. But what about people who don’t have the luxury of a main with badges to spare on that particular server? WoW by its a very nature will never been balanced at the top, those with the most time to spend will always have better gear faster than the rest. However I feel pretty strongily that the getting to that level cap part should always be fairly balanced. However it seems like Blizzard are doing the complete opposite. On the one hand they are trying to level the playing field at 80 by making epics and raid content more accessible, yet they unbalance at it lower levels by making it easier and faster to level successive characters on the same server.

thaliaCan’t help thinking the new bearform looks rather dumb, rather like a circus bear all dressed up for other’s amusement rather than some fearsome force of nature.

Anyway thats the all the negative energy purged from my mind (for this week) at least. I intend to write some much less whiny posts encompassing stuff like my 5 favourite underused NPCs, the joys of low level battlegrounds without twinks (on Thalia) and possibly some useful stuff about raiding as a priest (but probably not), oh and more screenshots, lots more screenshots of random shiny stuff.

Of hatchlings, Ironbound and Oracle

Minor bragging first of all.

Our dpsers stopped taking a bath in the water bomb and we got Firefighter down which led to this:


A bit of whining. Its impossible to get an instance for any Vanilla content at the moment, even at 3.45am so my planed post on another of my favourite old world instances will have to wait until they either upgrade their servers or kick some Horde off it.

Finally, what is it with people sending dragons and orphans through the mail service. Perhaps more importantly which is worse? cramming a small scared but curious orphan into a padded envelope or squishing up a rather large and fire breathing dragon into one. I’m tending toward the orphan because we already know Brann is slightly crazy but what on earth was the matron thinking.

Oh and Oracle hatchling > all. Even though he has fangs, what looks like someone else’s bones as a facial decoration and a tendency to eat bugs between meals.

Poisoned Chalice

When the patch was released one of the things I was most excited about was experience from battlegrounds. Finally an alternative to grinding the same quests/mobs. So after raid on Wednesday, I logged my hunter who was half way through lv 79 (I hate Icecrown so had got stuck) and rushed off to Alterac Valley. My first thought was how awesome is this, 20k per tower, 20k for Galvanger as I powered my way through level doing the stuff I enjoy. However shortly after hitting 80 myself I realised something. AV in my battlegroup at least is now full of people in the 71-76 level range. Now I don’t blame them, personally I would much rather pvp my way to the level cap on alts, picking up resilience gear as I go but its impacting on AV in a number of ways.

  1. From my perspective at least as a hunter, AV now feels a bit like bullying. I wouldn’t dismount in Northrend to kill a lv 71 questing yet I’m chasing them half way across AV (you get sweet crits though <3).
  2. By defending our bunkers the way I’ve always done, we are stopping people from gaining experience which feels a little like griefing. In one of my last games last night, a little bloodelf paladin ended up /crying at me when I took back Stonehearth Bunker for the 11th time. Yes, we would have won even if I let him have the bunker but it felt a bit like I just killed his robo chicken escort quest just seconds away from the hand in point.
  3. The games have doubled in length primarily because instead of being a team of 95 percent 80s, 5 percent everything else. We seem to be looking at 50/50 if not more in favour of the low levels. Now the PvE aspect of the game becomes much harder when half your team can’t hit Drek.

I really think a small change to the Alterac Valley brackets would improve game play for everyone. Make it 71-79 and add a separate bracket for 80 just like they have for the Isle of Conquest. That way everyone can have fun playing against semi equal opponents. I don’t enter battlegrounds to 2 shot clothies, if I wanted to do that I’d be lurking in the Borean Tundra looking for baby questers minding their own business. Its just too extreme to mix people in 213 ┬áplus epics with people wearing 138 item lev greens.

Ding dong the witch is dead!

Or rather in this case, rescued from the evil influences of a tentacled monster. Finally people stopped lounging in sunbeams, blowing up plants just as Freya cast ground tremor and chasing each other about with nature’s fury.

knock01This was turning into my white whale so to say I’m glad its done… well that would be an understatement.

Springs life anew

So there we were, banging or rather knocking our heads against Freya plus three when something occurred to me. Why does Freya in the flesh so to speak bear no resemblence what so ever to her avatar? (yep, its amazing what occurs to me whilst I’m face down in a garden). Freya herself always reminds me of some homicidal soccer mom in a twinset and pearls.

The Avatar of Freya on the other hand is a completely different ball game.

freya01I would love to be able to make a character who looks like that. Raw, powerful and sexy despite being green. Although I suppose if I looked the Freya throwing plants around Ulduar, I would prefer to manifest myself as something a little more interesting.

Edit: Just after I finished this, I was flicking through my blogroll trying to find a way to stay awake to raid time and I found this. I agree completely, I love the look of the Vrykul and if I can’t have a druid that looks like the Avatar of Freya, I would settle for the rather angry lady below.

vrykul01Strong looking women who look like they could actually lift most of the two handed weapons ingame appeal more to me than most of the female characters currently available. Plus I love exploring their houses, how can we slaughter a race that has so many books scatttered around their dwellings and makes wholesome carrot stews. Its time the humans return to their roots and embrace the nearest Vrykul.