The Stuff of Nightmares

I’m not sure which is worse. This

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or this

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Either way, I might be having nightmares tonight.

 

I got the Fal’dorei egg whilst doing my Withered Army Training tonight. On a unrelated note it seemed so much easier than previously, Mr Harpy kindly suggested that perhaps I’d just learnt to play but I’m erring more towards “they must have nerfed it”.

Heroic Efforts, Good Luck Raptors and “that” hit of Adrenaline

Running Black Rook Hold last night I finally figured out what stops me running dungeons like “normal” people. It’s not the healing aspect which is why I can heal in pvp with zero problems (other than I attract Horde like ladybirds to marigolds) and it’s not even the fear of falling to avoid standing in fire during combat. It’s stuff like this:

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Brings me out in a cold sweat every time.

We’re now 5 dungeons down of the 8 available to us. If I had to rank them in order of my favourites it would go something like this:

  • Halls of Valor
  • Maw of Souls
  • Black Rook Hold (too much trash)
  • Eye of Azshara

The scoring criteria takes looks, easiness (for doing with 2 people) and general feel into account.

I can’t really place Darkheart Thicket because I haven’t done it on Normal, just on Heroic. With hindsight, it probably wasn’t the smartest Heroic to pick for running with just two people and it took us a couple of goes to figure out how we would deal with the nightmare/paranoia overlaps on the final boss. A paranoid tank and a silenced healer really doesn’t work well especially when there is only the souvenir raptor left undebuffed.

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That feeling when the Shade of Xavius finally bit the dust was the same hit of adrenaline I used to get when raiding, that feeling which physically effects you with shaking hands. I could potentially get addicted to it again. I don’t mean raiding per se, but perhaps Karazhan isn’t the impossible dream I thought it was.

Slightly insanely the plan is now to see if we can finish running the other three dungeons we’re missing and before trying to complete everything on Heroic. Then perhaps this weekend actually branch out into playing with player controlled characters rather than just the souvenir raptor (awesome as he is).

A Learning Curve

I learnt several things yesterday. The first of those things is that I’m a terrible Mistweaver Monk.

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I hadn’t really played her since the pre-patch which brought so many changes but either I haven’t properly looked through her spell book and am missing half a dozen useful spells or I’m doing something very wrong. I got my artifact and am only level 99 but it felt way harder than doing any of the three Priest artifact weapon chains.

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Secondly I discovered there is a real dust problem in Dalaran. Having acquired the weapon, I felt my Monk needed a change of hair colour to match her outfit so wandered off to the Barbers. Having accidentally clicked on the rug, I came out to discover an infestation of bunnies running around.
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Then when sitting down to take a screenshot of said bunny, I noticed a floating Pepe hanging around next to me.

All in all, a rather lucky day made perhaps even more important by the fact that it was World Suicide Prevention Day yesterday and that it’s nothing short of a miracle that I’m still here to write about the joy of something so insignificant as finding a little orange bird in a video game. I know I’ve talked about depression before but one thing I haven’t admitted is that my postnatal depression almost killed me. I remember those feelings of emptiness, of believing that my son wasn’t real and the despair… I could have drowned whole continents. Yet whenever I tried to seek help I was dismissed, patronised or told that there was something fundamentally wrong with me because of the “unnatural” feelings I had. In the end, I reached a point where I felt not only was my life pointless but that I was already blighting my son’s. Killing myself before I did him any more harm seemed the only logical solution.

My life was saved by the kindness of a passing stranger* and so I’d like to pass that on, please if you’re feeling depressed and that you don’t see any point going on, talk to someone. The one lesson I’ve learned in all this madness is that the way we see ourselves is very often warped and twisted like a fairground mirror and that to get a true picture, we need to see ourselves through someone else’s eyes.

*(and also the amazing support of Mr Harpy who never gave up on me)

Squatters Rights

As part of my Class Hall chain, I was invited to Light’s Hope Chapel. The “Class Hall” envy set in approximately three seconds after arrival.

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It seems that Priests are just like vampires, once across the threshold, we’re virtually impossible to get rid of.

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Snow and her Moonkin/Feral Druid experiment pet creature are staying put and from my Underbelly experiences, it’s going to take a lot of Paladins to evict her.

Zen and the Art of Dungeoning

So far I’ve run two Legion dungeons. Both were fairly easy runs, a couple of wipes in the Eye of Azshara to Serpentrix and a gentle wander through the Halls of Valor with zero casualties. In particular I really enjoyed the latter, the look of the dungeon, the boss mechanics and the variation in bosses.  In theory, there shouldn’t be an issue but there is. You see those two dungeon runs weren’t done with 5 people, they were done with 2.

It happens every expansion, I level and then I hit a wall of what to do next. The obvious answer is dungeon but I can’t. Even thinking about queuing up has me going into “worst healer EU” mode mentally which then swiftly becomes a self fulling prophecy. I get too many physical symptoms of anxiety to play to a “proper” standard (my words, not anyone else’s).

Doing this was easy, doing it with 3 more players seems impossible.

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With Legion it seems the problem is bigger than ever. You can’t do your Class Hall mission with dungeoning, you can’t level professions without dungeoning and then of course there is the revamped Karazhan heading our way. I would love to see it but the mountain it would take for me to get there in this expansion seems too high, too steep and with far too many feral goats hanging off it’s sides.

I was under the mis-impression that Blizzard had realised that there are many ways to play and that all those ways are valid, yet it seems that those lessons haven’t been learnt from the PvP fiascos of the Legendary cloak and Children’s Week. Yes, the dungeons are (in my limited experience) lovely looking and have lots of interesting mechanics and I can understand why the designers are rightly proud of them but forcing people who want to meander through the game into running them or hitting a wall seems as unfair as making people who want to progress their profession quests get blown up in the Underbelly because they either don’t know the “Guard for hire” system exists or they don’t get back fast enough to buy a new one before the timer runs out.
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Where I go from here, I don’t know. I’d like to say I’d wake up one morning and think well if I can do it with 2 people, adding another 3 to the mix should surely make it go faster and if one of them stands in the fire…”so what!” but the honest answer is likely the same thing will happen this time as has happened before, I play for a bit, end up with a log of dungeon quests and quit.

Aludane Whitecloud and the Dalaran “Airport tax” conspiracy

I entered Legion not caring that we wouldn’t be able to fly until some nebulous point in the future. I really didn’t mind that my flying mounts, especially the Drakes would be left languishing in their stables but then something caught my eye and suddenly not being able to fly began to rankle.

It’s all the fault of this gentleman here:

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Yep, the Dalaran Flight Master has a right little racket going on…he’s charging us for using our own flying mounts.

At the moment the only mount capable of flight I have marked as a favourite in my mount list is my Ironbound Proto-drake. Feel free to guess which mount Mr Whitecloud always sends me flying away from Dalaran in…if you need a clue it’s a Protodrake of a distinctly Ironbound variety.

 

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Further testing suggests that if you have multiple flying mounts marked as favourites, your leaving Dalaran flight will pick at random from those. If like Mr Harpy, you don’t have any favourite flying mounts, the game will just select one of the flying mounts from your collection.

On the one hand, it’s great to use the mounts that you might not be using at the moment. On the other, it’s a bit cheeky to charge us for the privilege.

To add a mount to your favourite list, you just open your Mount collection up and then right click on the mount you want to favourite.

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A Weapon for All Seasons – The Three Priest Artifacts

I’m now level 105 and possessor of all three Artifact weapons available to Priests. My experiences of the quests might be slightly different to most Priests as I did all three quest chains as Holy but if I had to rate them, it would be as follows.

The easiest by far was Shadow. No annoying NPCs standing in burning floors, demon goop or anything else dangerous to their health. I also liked the outdoors element of the chain, where you could group up with other Priests if you wanted/needed. In fact, I think this was my favourite over all quest, even the dreadful “Scottish” accent of the Dwarf couldn’t ruin it. I love the snarky evil talking blade, it’s a shame it’s not a staff though or that it can’t be transmogrified into one as I’d love to use the Anathema skin.

Priest Specific spells needed: 1 – mass dispel although Holy Nova worked just as well at killing them.
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Next on my list would be the Discipline artifact. Again I liked the fact that I could group up with another Priest on the outdoor elements and that it wasn’t all purely instanced. I’m possibly also slightly biased by the fact that my experience with the Beta was a lot harder (Thanks Azuregos…who clearly hadn’t forgiven me for killing him once a week for 18 months in vanilla and did nothing to help me during the middle part of the quest) than it was on live. I’m guessing if you are actually playing Discipline, you do the end part of the quest with a bit more finesse than my Holy Priest did but if it works, it works right?

Priest Specific spells used: 2 – levitate and mind control
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Finally Holy, the first quest I completed and my least favourite of the lot. I hate Jace Darkweaver with a passion and sincerely hope if I ever have to group up with him again, he’s learnt to stay out of the fire by then. I think that’s a big part of my issue with the chain, how I can I be a hero if I need a motley bunch of minions to carry me to my artifact quest. Yes, I’m a healer and group part of play is a huge part of that but the Protection Warrior artifact weapon doesn’t exactly have you tanking for a party, the way that the Holy Priest quest has you healing people. I think that made it a bit bland compared to some of the other artifact quests I’ve done, for example the Assassination Rogue one.

Priest Specific spells used: 2 – levitate (because I could) and resurrection
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All in all a lot of fun and provided a good break from questing/doing profession based things.

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Totally Unnecessary Picture of Snow hanging with Azuregos