Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Ay ay ay. The wireless just doesn't cut it.

No WoW until I can get a better connection. Heidelberg is nice though.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

From my hotel room.

I'm in the middle of a move. Heading overseas with the Government. I have not stopped raiding yet though. Last night, Blackwing Lair, we took down Razorgore, Vael, the Broodlord, and Firemaw. What a night.

Funny thing is this isn't really any more difficult than Zul'Gurub is. It's just a matter of strategy and experience and gear.

And, yes, at least 40 committed raiders helps. Guild matters.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Hit's keep on a coming.

Broodlord, and now Firemaw down. Woot.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Two Dragons and some Owls.

I was finally fortunate enough to be with my guild as we brought down Razorgore again.

As a Shaman, the trick to this fight: Keep an Earthbind Totem down where they tell you. Typically on the corner of the inner checkerboard. Then stay back in your corner near the walls and keep a Tranquil Air Totem down. If you are going to heal someone, you can only heal somebody who is going to kill the thing they are fighting. Heal that Mage or Rogue who is going to kill one of the Orc Mages in there. Don't heal the Priest! Because if you get healing aggro you're probably dead. Priests can fade. Shamans can't. ALWAYS keep your Earthbind Totem down. Tranquil Air really appears to help. Heal in a way to stay alive.

That's what I did. Lived to tell about it.

Then off we went to Vael's room. This fight was still tough. Kicked our butts a few times I can assure you. And then I tried something different. I was always putting heals on my party. I'm not in a Tank's party so didn't worry so much as them. We take a steady stream of damage from Vael so I was spending a lot of time healing party mates. I occasionally threw a heal on a tank or a random person. Remember: Mana cannot run out. Vael takes good care of you. He even apologizes to the last person he kills. "Your death is just another failure of mine," he says.

Yes. That is Vael dead below us. We did it! We killed Vael! Said to be the 2nd toughest Boss in Blackwing Lair. Yowza.

Here's what I did different on that last fight. I kind of ignored my party a bit. About half way through the fight I stopped concentrating as much on the party as on the current Main Tank. Lesser Healing Wave is a fast, and substantial, heal. Tank after tank was to go down, but that is planned on. I was healing them all. And then we have our last Tank standing. This is a new guildmate. He is wearing a full set of Tier 0.5 gear. The Heroism set I think it's called. And I'm healing him. And healing him, and I'm watching Vael's percent still dropping. 6. 5. 4. And I'm thinking "Don't say anything, don't jinx this." 3. 2. And I'm thinking "WHAT the hell?!!" And then Vael is moving around more and the new Warrior is out there and I move in and I keep this guy in sight like he's the only thing that matters. And he is the only thing that matters. 1. So close! So close! And then ZERO!!!1!one!!! We'd done it! Our first Vael kill. I knelt down next to his massive head and prayed that his spirit return to a better place.

And, now, for something completely different:

My wife and I created two Tauren Hunters. We do this sometimes, create new hunters, and then go find unique pets. For two level 11 Tauren Hunters what would be something pretty difficult to get? That's right. Owls from Teldrassil. But where there's a will, there's a way.

Here we are, outside of Dolanar, ready to go tame some Owls. I know we must have freaked a few elves out. When we finally found our prey, two level 9 Strigid Hunters, we had a small audience. As we finished taming both of them they applauded, mounted, and rode off. And we hearthstoned back to Bloodhoof Village in Mulgore.

"Need More Cowbell" is the guild we made. Too good a guild name not to have it.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Three Dog Night.

Actually, quite the opposite.

Last night Darkhoof when to Onyxia's Lair, where the guild downed Onyxia. Then we regrouped and went to Zul'Gurub, where the guild downed Hakkar in two and half hours. Following that he fought a few battles in Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin.

Downing Onyxia is expected. We've been doing that since our 2nd or 3rd visit to her lair, not counting the week Blizzard made her invincible. We brought a guest Warrior along so they could forge their Quel'Serrar sword. We've been bringing guests along for the last couple of raids. Other guilds charge like 500 Gold for the privilege to go to the Lair with them and get the sword made. We don't want money and are just happy to help strengthen the Horde side. This is obviously a boon to the Warrior in a small guild that wants the Quel made but his guild can't down Onyxia to get it. With his Quel he'll be able to better tank, their gear will be improved and soon enough they will be downing Onyxia too.

Moving on to Zul'Gurub, downing Hakkar in just under two and half hours was a first for me. I was also trying my hand at DPSing for a change as well. Typically in that amount of time we've reached, maybe, three of the bosses. But last night we meant business. And we just mowed the place down. Not one wipe, and five or six dead tops at the boss fights. I was doing a mix of healing and fighting, befitting my new talent build. And when the Runed Bloodstained Hauberk dropped, I got to bid on it and I won! That replaces my Earthfury Vestments with some proper fighting gear. Here is my profile by the way. Oh, yes, when the Seal of Jin dropped, since I am an Enhancement Shaman I got to roll on it. I won that too.

Then, hot on the heals of getting back my Sergeant Honor Rank by doing some AB last week (just two nights), I reentered Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin and put my new stuff to use. A guild warrior was there, he with his new Zinrock, Destroyer of Worlds, loot from the same ZG run, boys and their toys, and a guild priest. Win or lose, it was fun. And we were up against some hardcore BG/PvPers. A guild known by name for it. It was incredible to be rocking their world when a Mark of the Chosen fires, a Crusader Enhant fires, Flurry is on, and Windfury procs.

It's hard to play a 20 alt when you can have so much fun with a level 60 character still.

P.S. The new alliance race. I like it. I was thinking I was going to have to play a Blood Elf. But now I'm thinking, I've got Elves. I have got to play a Draenei. It's like a Tauren, but less beastly. (More space alien than cow.)

Friday, May 5, 2006

Good lord, what's gotten into the wife?

I get my usual afternoon call from her yesterday. Against her better judgement she's made another character. An Orc Warrior she's named Kruel. He's already level 6 or so when we speak. By the time I get home she's already done the level 10 Warrior quest. And when I go help the guild get Thunderfury : Blessed Blade of the Windseeker for a guildmate she goes to Warsong Gulch! (Yowza!)

We get the Thunderfury sword easily enough. Thunderan is certainly no Ragnaros. We expected far worse. One of the easier fights in Silithus is you ask me.

And my wife plays her 2nd WSG without me.

A week or so ago we did a guild thing in the 20-29 WSG level. She with her 25 Druid, me on my 28 Druid. Reaction to the first moment: UTTER CHAOS! I tell her it takes some getting used to. 2nd match and she's gleefully clawing clothies. And dying, but also getting her HK's.

Last night, as a level 10 Orc Warrior, she joins WSG. She was having good fun in the middle ground. I suggested to her at 10 she'd do best just hamstringing as many as she can.

Her 3rd match, to get the 3rd token, I join her with my level 10 Priest, Mortiangelo.

I have noticed: When I play Alliance, the Horde dominate with good tactics, twinks, and Shamans. When I play Horde, the Alliance dominate with tactics and twinks.

So, we go to the middle ground and I'm doing my best to Shadow Word: Pain and bubble her and other Warriors.

Then comes the comment from the peanut gallery. "You should be 16 to be in WSG." Amused, I reply "I'm older than 16. No worries." "Lvl 16 noob." :) I love it. Before I can respond someone else jumps in. "Shut up and let them play." Hey, thanks man. I don't remember your name, but thanks. I add "WSG is 10-19, no?" That's ignored.

So, Ginsing of Kirin Tor, here's what I'd like to tell you. "Ginsing, STFU." There. That's about it. Oh, yeah, you're on my /ignore list.

Yeah, we could be 16. And the wife is already level 12 now! Woot! And this time around, we've done so many alts, she wants to grind out the levels. She doesn't want to leave Mortiangelo too far behind, he's 11 now, so I suggested she get her 30 Mage caught up to my 33 Warrior. I e-mailed her a Mage Guide to Grinding.

And, Ginsing, my Night Elf 18 Hunter is making a macro to "/target Ginsing". Hope to see you online, in the Gulch, where you go down.

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Vaelastrasz to 6%. Lots of mana to throw around.

So, there I was. With 39 other people looking at the sleeping Dragon.

Vaelastrasz the Corrupted, sworn enemy of Nefarian. They encountered him last Friday when they first brought Razorgore down. I wasn't there for that. I was here for this.

I was in the Main Tanks group. Told where to stand. We check the totems range. Check.

The fight starts with everyone blasted. The Tank is hooboy taking damage fast. So I drop my totems and back off. I throw a heal. "I've got to manage my mana," I'm thinking to myself. I'm a Shaman and every fight in my life has involved managing mana. The Main Tank drops and then a new Tank comes into action and I'm told I'm on fire. "Okay. What do you need to me to do." "Run to the left." I look to the left and see the crowd. "WHAT do you want me to do?!" "Run to the left."

Ever been the bomb in the Baron Geddon fight in MC? You don't run TOWARDS the group. You run away. To explode by yourself, preferably in a confined space to limit how high you're thrown.

"Run to the left." Run to the group?? I die where I stood. The raid quickly dies around me. I never seen 40 people die that fast. Vael? He's tough.

Running back I clarify things. I'm supposed to run to the back where Vael's tail is. Then I die. Ah. That's easy.

And managing mana? In a Vael fight? What a noob. Vael gives you all the mana/energy/rage that you could ever need. To fight him. Just mash the spells keys, healing, everything. He's tough but lets you do your worst when trying to kill him. He's not a bad creature. He's been corrupted and in his heart hates the fact that he's got to kill you.

Alright, third try that night we got him down to 6%. That's not bad. It's only our 2nd visit to Vael.

Monday, May 1, 2006

ZOMG. Four hours, twentyseven minutes.

Yow. I attended my guilds MC run on Sunday. We started at 6pm. They've downed Rag twice now. Was I going to be there for the threepeat? You betcha.

As you know I've respecced. I'm an 0/28/23 talent build Shaman. I've got Improved Rockbiter *and* Improved Windfury *and* Improved Lesser Healing Wave *and* Nature's Swiftness. (Oh, and Flurry too.)

I was a little worried about how my healing would be. Being all Resto before (but for 2-handed weapons) 0/11/40, I figured that the build had a little to do with things. As the New Yorkers would say, Forgedaboudit. I'll get to that.

We started at 6pm, and it was wham, bam, moving on ma'am. It was a little disorientating at first. I was not put with the Main Tank's group. (Perhaps my upcoming departure, or perhaps the respec?) I was in with two Warriors, a Rogue, and a Druid. Not tanks, so they got the Strength Totem, and the Windfury Totem, and I dropped the Fire Resist Totem when we were fighting fire stuff, and the Healing Stream Totem when we weren't. And I was healing. Everyone.

I pretty much got my bearings as we closed in on Lucifron. And then we got Magmadar. With my respec I actually sold my Twig of the World Tree 2-handed mace when I got my Doomulus Prime at the Cenarian Hold. And off Magmadar, at the threat of it being DE'd (since I want the hammer that you get with parts off Rag!!) I bid on, and won, the Earthshaker. I've been reading up on it. I'm of the understanding it will rock! Woot.

And so we careened on. Gehennas. The Baron. Shazzrah. Then on up to Sulfuron. Then down to Golemag. And at last to Domo. We were plowing through MC at a record pace. No wipes. Hardly any deaths. (What's gotten into us?!)

Along the way a trash mob dropped the Earthfury Bracers. Only two Shamans didn't have it, one of them me, and the other passed so I could get them. 7/8 Earthfury, missing only the legguards, and for legs I'm wearing the Salamander Scale Leggings which have much better +Healing and FR than the EF.

And then we get to the big guy. Ragnaros himself. We lined ourselves up, and I somehow get knocked back from the spot where I shouldn't get knocked back from, twice into the lava and I die. I'm thinking "Oh, crap." But, NO, IT CAN'T BE! Rag is at 16, then 6, then 3, 2, ... 1! What the hell? What did they do? Rag went down like ... he died real quick.

The pic's a little small. But it shows Rag, dead. See the little bars on the right hand side? On the Healing Meter? The pink bar = Shaman. That's me. On the top of the Healing Charts, Four hours, twentyseven minutes, a MC Full Clear, and I, your humble Shaman, top the Healing Charts. The white lines are the Priests, the orange lines the Druids. Wowza. My first Ragnaros kill. And my healing continues to kick butt.

Ah. The Happy Shaman. Decked out in Earthfury, his Staff of Dominance enchanted with +55 Healing. Earthshaker in a backpack. Ragnaros dead in the background.