Thursday, December 24, 2009

Something about a boat and ToGC 10 again

Tuesday night we went and did a quick run through our weekly raids. We had OS as the raid of the week, we finished that quickly then moved on to ICC 10.

ICC10 we raced through, but slowed down to try and get the "I'm on a boat" achievment. After 2 wipes we had it down and completed it successfully, but didn't get the achievment for some reason, hopefully was just a glitched or someone double jumped on the enemy boat and didn't know it.

Last week we did ToGC10 with only five wipes, we set our sites on the zero wipes achievment. We had a couple of tense moments but timely battle rezzes and general OP got us through and we completed ToGC10 without any wipes.

Next week who knows what we'll try, maybe another attempt at the boat achievment maybe ToGC "dedicated insanity" where we can't be wearing anything over iLevel 232.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

ToGC 10 - Progression

The 10 man guild I'm in, while we went into ICC 10 last week and should be back there tonight, we also have ToGC10 in our sights.

Last week we did ICC10 on Tuesday to get our guild name listed for progression. On Wednesday we went to ToGC10 and got our first Anub kill, I don't know if other guildies had done it, but this was my first try with my paladin. I think we had 39 attempts left when he died, not too bad and everyone was happy to have the achievement. Last night we went in again, with "A Tribute to Insanity" as our goal, we missed it by 5 wipes. This still meant a new achievement, we got "A Tribute to Mad Skill" for downing him with at least 45 attempts left.

Two of our wipes came on Northrend Beasts, we had some mistakes that I attribute to rustyness. One wipe on Jaraxus someone stood in fire. The next wipe was on Anub and it was my fault. I had forgotten to put up nameplates so I could see if either of the adds were casting. I missed a cast and the add ran out and one-shotted a shaman dps. We might have recovered from this since he was a shaman, but later in the fight, when I was thinking he was going for another submerge phase, I took the adds to an ice patch farther away from Anub because the previous submerge phase Anub first ran right into my ice patch. The problem with this was he wasn't going to submerge, he was going into leeching swarm and I needed to be closer to the MT to make the paladin healing work. The next attempt before the first submerge phase I took the adds to a patch that was a little distance from Anub, and the first kiter brought Anub straight to my patch where I died and the priest healer died immediately, wipe number five.

On attempt number six, with 45 tries remaining we put it all together again. I decided I would not try any fancy manuevering, I would put the adds next to Anub and count on everyone else to take Anub away. We got through it, with 45 attempts remaining. The tribute chest had 4 trophies, a crusader orb and Lothar's Edge that the deathknight was salivating over. Anub dropped the tank shield Bulwark of the Royal Guard, I gave that up to the warrior tank since I had won a tank neck item, Endurance of the Infernal , earlier from Jarraxus. I won a trophy and was able to get my second piece of T9.5 gear to get my two piece set bonus.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The fourth boss, Deathbringer Saurfang, was a bit of a pain

The main mechanic of the fight are his bloodpoints. He has a bar that gets filled up as certain things happen. If someone is hit by his blood nova, which is a range attack that explodes in a 12 yard range then he gains 2 blood points. He summons 2 blood beasts, or 5 in 25 man. Remember the shambling blob things after the chess event in Karazhan? When these hit someone he gains 3 blood points, so they get kited and killed when they spawn. Saurfang places boiling blood on people, he gains 1 blood point per tick of that. He puts a rune of blood on a tank, this is a debuff that falls off after 20 seconds, the other tank needs to taunt him when his partner gets the debuff or Saurfang gains 1 blood point per time he hits the tank while he has the debuff.

Hopefully now you understand where he gets his bloodpoints from, now the fun part. Each time he reaches 100 bloodpoints he puts a "Mark of the Fallen Champion" on a random raid member. This mark does about 3k damage to it's target every time a tank is hit, it is non-dispellable, persists through death and for each tick it give 1 blood point to Saurfang. Any time someone dies with the "Mark of the Fallen Champion" Saurfang regenerates 5% of his health. This make battle rezzing anyone questionable because chances are that person will die again shortly and give Saurfang another 5% health. What the marks do is essentially create a soft enrage, the speed at which Saurfang gains blood points increases each time he reaches 100 blood points because of the Mark.

During our early attempts we had problems with me pulling the beasts back to me due to AE threat, we had people battle rezzed and re-dying to the Marks of the Champion, we had some people die to the beasts when they were kiting. In the end we ended up having our third healer go in boomkin form and DPS especially at the beginning, I also worked hard to not generate any AE threat to keep from pulling the beasts to me when they spawned. He died to much whooping and hollering and dropped two tank pieces. I allowed the main tank to choose first as he had put the guild together and I had won the 10man tank trinket in TOC10 last week.

Friday, December 11, 2009

We fought four new raid bosses on Tuesday and an old boss made a return

The ten man guild that I recently joined made our first attempt on ICC10 on tuesday, we fought all four raid bosses and had to deal with the return of the lagmonster/instancedropper.

For the first three bosses, Lord Marrowgar, Lady Deathwhisper and the Icecrown Gunship Battle, we had relatively little trouble. We wiped once each on Marrowgar and Deathwhisper before figuring out a decent strategy and getting the boss down. On the gunship I caused our first wipe by starting the event early, I need to learn to read the text I want to click before I click it. Deathbringer Saurfang was a challenge on an entirely different level, after quite a few tries we beat him.

Lord Marrowgar
Is a giant floating skeleton thing with a sharp spinning axe. Marrowgar is a fairly simple fight, most of the responsibility is on the DPSers shoulders. Both tanks have to be in front of him to divide saberlash and keep him pointed away from the rest of the raid. The DPS has to dps until he uses "Bone Spike Graveyard" on a random non-tank. When this happens everyone has to dps the spike that has impaled one of the raid members or that person will die. Additionally Marrogar does a Bone Storm, which is basically him spinning around with his axe out chasing random people, of course we all get out of the way and wait until he is done with that. After the first try we got all our DPS to realize the importance of the bone spike and the boss was killed.

Lady Deathwhisper
A winged female vampire, she starts out inside a magic bubble like some sort of museum exhibit, throwing frost bolts, shadow bolts, death and decay and using dominate mind in the 25man version. For the whole fight she stands in one place, she does not need a tank. Shortly after the fight starts she has adds come out of two possible sides of the room, 3 at a time in the 10man version. They usually make a bee-line for the healers who have been healing up the raid damage, it is up to the tanks to pick these adds up and then the DPS switches to kill them. Once she is out of mana you can actually hit her and do damage to her health. Once we got the add aggro figured out and had the raid move to have the boss between them and the adds we downed her. Pretty simple fight.

Icecrown Gunship Battle
I talked to the wrong person to get the rocket pack, instead I started the event prematurely. Before you knew it our ship was off and everything was in chaos and nobody remembered what we discussed about this fight earlier. Our second attempt of the event our main tank thought he had to stay on the enemy ship the whole time, but soon found that the enemy captain started to hit too hard. On our ship it was my job to tank the adds that ported in, while keeping out of incoming rockets. It was a bit hectic but manageable. For our third try our main tank just rocket jumped to the enemy ship when the frost mage made his appearance, killed him and rocket jumped back. Third "boss" down.

My report on the fourth boss will follow later today or within the next couple of days.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A new chapter in my raiding life is set to start this week

After being turned down by my old raiding guild, they went on to have a breakdown of sorts and "take a break" from raiding. Since that announcement was made many of the raiders there have moved on to guilds that were still accepting the challenge of raiding.

My wife and I made a point of finding pug raids, getting an idea of what was out there and what was available to us. We had one invitation to a guild, but I didn't think the fit was quite right. They were trying to do 25mans but still had to pug a majority of their raiders. It seemed like they weren't quite able to make that last step and take down Anub with any consistency.

We had also fallen in with another regular pug group, her with her other holy priest, me with my mage that lives in a casual guild. This raid was able to breeze through regular ToC25, and it seemed like there was more consistency with the raiders that showed up ( success breeding success ). I found out later that the pug raid lead had run a large guild on another server for a while, he liked raiding but had grown tired of the work of running the guild. He moved to the Garona server where he tells me, "There is a large alliance population to draw raiders from".

So anyway, I tried for a couple of weeks in a row to get my paladin tank into the "good" raid so that I could gear up my main in similar gear to my mage alt. About two weeks ago I accomplished this feat, it seems that one of the tanks had let the raid leader know that he was not going to make it, enter Frostbeard. I was informed that I was tanking that night with the raid leader, I let him know that I was looking forward to it. Jump forward to 30 minutes before raid time, I was on my alt doing some dailies or something so my wife gets a whisper. "Do you think that Frostbeard could bring his mage instead of his tank?" I was disappointed to say the least, and with a sad face I turned to my wife, "But I wanted to finally tank with a good group again." So my wife responded that she didn't think I was interested in bringing my mage and was really looking forward to tanking. She heard back that he thought the tank had a number of alts and he'd get him to take a dps.


So we went on to rip though ToC25, unfortunately for the raid leader the tank trinket dropped and I won the roll. Then the raid leader grabbed me, the top healers and DPS and tore through Toc10 as well.

After running the 10 man, he told me and the wife that he was starting up a 10man guild for ICC but he already had three healers. He knew we were a package deal and if he didn't already have three healers he'd invite us both to the little guild. My wife told me to just go anyway and I was considering it, but about 30 minutes later he said that he got one of the healers to switch to a DPS alt and would we like to join them.

So now Frostbeard is the second tank in a 10man guild that the guild leader is planning on taking through all of the heroic modes and achievements. I'm really looking forward to it, hopefully he'll pug a few 25man raids as well to reap some of the 25man rewards as well.

Monday, November 2, 2009

My old guild has responded and...

Well they turned me down, I wasn't given a reason but I can assume one of the following:
1) They already have enough Prot Pallies.
2) When I left the game before I just sorta dropped out, I honestly didn't give enough warning.
3) They don't want to be forced into taking me or my wife in order to get the other one.

I'm not sure why, and I'm honestly not too worried about it.

I've thrown myself into trying to raid with pugs, but it seems like there's an over-abundance of tanks lately. It's seemed easier to find a pug raid for my mage than it has for my tank, so he's been able to gear up better than my main.

Recently I've started playing my DPS warrior again, when I've finished what raids for the week. He had been leveled from 71 to 80 without going into instances. I'm sure you can imagine how poor his gear is as well as how poorly I can play him. I can usually maintain skill with 2 or 3 characters, but after that it falls off a little bit. My current talents lie in Prot Pally, Arcane Mage and Holy Priest. Anything else I play is just a button mash fest hoping to put out reasonable DPS.

Friday, October 16, 2009

I had a good night raiding two nights ago

I finally got a chance to see ToC 25, I had done ToC 10 last week. I really hate being a newb on an encounter when I'm one of the tanks. When I'm in this position I have a whole raid ( 9 or 24 other people ) depending on me to know what to do and how to handle it, without the benefit of failing a couple of times with the raid. Luckily both times (10 and 25) I ran into a nice pug of mostly guildies that were willing to suffer along with my questions and misunderstandings. In the 10 man we had some issues, I think I may have been the source of them, but then we went on to one-shot the rest of the raid. In the 25 man we had a few little things along the way but for the most part it was painless.

Luckily I have a pocket priest who is my social director as well as raid healer support. She is willing to go out there and find the pug raids or put together the heroic instance runs while I am a quiet little tank.

Between the two raids I managed to pull together a few pieces of higher level raid gear as well as emblems of triumph that I was able to use to upgrade. I am getting closer to being more properly geared for the current end game, now I'm just waiting to hear a yes or no from my old guild renamed.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A small update

It's gone dark here, mostly I think because I don't have much to say and partially because there aren't very many people listening here.

Well news for those who do listen here.

I have given in and have gone back to WoW.

It doesn't help that the love of my life never left and she has managed to pull me back in. First it was "I need a tank, can you play on my other account and tank for me?". It sort of grew from there. So I'm back in with both of my accounts, I've been busy trying to get my gear back in order and waiting for my application to be approved by the new guild that my old guild has become. It's been fun, and addictive and back to a grind. I don't like being guildless and playing russian roulette with pug raids, but it's all I have on the raiding scene at the moment. So that's what I've been doing at nights and weekends and work is work, which is good because if work wasn't work, then I'd probably be out of work.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Back to my other reason for this blog, D&D

WoTC ( Wizard's of the Coast ) for those of you not into p&p RPGs, has unveiled their new forum/blog/wiki/everything else website here I linked from there to here, hoping to find some new readers and to keep my thoughts centralized.

What I have seen so far over there is:
They have kept the old forums together - Good thing
They have added blogs for every one of their users - Probably a good thing as once the newness dies down the serious bloggers will keep bubbling to the top.
They have added a wiki - Probably good, will depend on an active community which it seems they have.
They have added Groups - Seems like something useful, I think I will try and use it for my current gaming group.

It seems like a worthwhile though un-necessary change. Previously Wizards had a forum system and this will still be the core of their site. There will probably be some community stars that will rise to the top and provide insight, information and materials of worth in their blogs and groups, but the most important information will still be found in the forums.

Hopefully I'll have more to say once I've had a better chance to look around the new site.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Surviving in a new world...

The Fallen Earth NDA has been lifted, this means I can make some comments on the game I was beta testing.

Fallen earth is a standard quest/xp grind MMO with an interesting story to be discovered as you adventure. It is set in the Southwestern United States following the downfall of society.

Your attributes are raised by 1 point when you level and can be increased as you wish with attribute points. Your attributes are used to calculate the max lvl of your skills, in addition you can use APs to raised the max level. The only way you can raise the actual value of your skills is through use. So if you want to get good at cooking it's time to start putting together some of that grilled tainted goat and get your skill up. The crafting areas you get are: Armorcraft, Ballistics, Cooking, Geology, Medicine, Mutagenics, Nature, Science and Weaponry.

The equipment and abilities you can use are limited by the amount of skill you have in a particular area. For example, a light crossbow is not usable until your skill in rifle has exceeded 21, the mutation "patch 2" is not available until your alpha mutation skill is over 15, etc. If you have ever played Asheron's call you will get the idea, its a skill based system, and I expect that it will have issues with minmaxing just like Asheron's call. I did not get a character very far into the game, so I can't comment on how much of a problem it is with the game in it's current state.

What I did see was very interesting. You gain xp for completing missions, killing monsters, gathering resources and crafting items. The game is very crafter friendly, it seems like you could probably level up completely by gathering and crafting, though some defensive skills might be handy when that mutated chicken is guarding the old barrels you want to look through. Crafting takes time in the game, from 2 minutes for small things to 15 minutes for more complicated things like a gun. I believe some of the higher level items took even longer, I seem to recall someone saying that crafting an item took 6 hours. The nice thing is that your character can be crafting items while you are not logged in, as long as you have something in your crafting queue when you log out you can get something done while you're sleeping. Another nice thing about the crafting system is that nearly anything in the game is craftable, chances are the clothes you're wearing and the ammo you're using will all be made by you or your clanmate crafter. I saw some items drop from human mobs, but by that time I was already wearing something better that I crafted myself. I felt like I was a survivor taking what I could scrounge up and making use of it. I really liked what was done with the gathering/crafting system.

My highest level character was 9th lvl. I know it doesn't sound like much but that was a decent amount of play time, not the first 9 levels in 60 minutes or less you get from WoW. I think I probably took about 20 hours of play time to reach that level. Luckily there is quite a bit to do in that level range, the newbie town you start in can easily get you through the first 5 levels and after that you will be visiting many other scattered town and enclaves. You have a chance to "train" a horse by crafting it before you get to 5th level, with a horse the long distances that really help make this game immersive. Early on you are also started down a quest path to gather parts for an ATV to get you zipping around the post-apocolyptic waste.

I still haven't decided if I liked the game enough to buy it and subscribe, I can't decide if it's really ready for release yet.

I know I didn't cover everything about the game, it really is quite extensive. I will keep posting thoughts as I have them and I will answer any questions people might have.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

How should I improve my descriptive vocabulary?

Ok, I'm trying to improve my DMing. I want to be able to come up with descriptive words at the right time that convey the right feelings for the areas my players are in. In an effort to add these words to my vocabulary I have spent some time searching for words, hopefully in list format so that I have many to choose from. I am not sure what words I will need though, I have started with a couple and have provided those below, but what other words should I find synonyms for? Where do other DMs find their words and inspiration?

For instance, I know there's a number of words for a mausoleum:
boneyardcharnelcharnel house
churchyardcity of the deadcrypt
marbleownmemorial parkmortuary
potter's fieldresting placesepulcher
tombvaultfunerary grounds
God's Acreboot hillcatacomb

I have looked up words for castle but what else should I be looking for?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Anything New?

Haven't posted in a bit.

Reason 1 - We skipped a week of gaming, our host had something come up so we did not have a place to play and we would have been short of our 3/4 quorum.

Reason 2 - Other than not having a game session to talk about, I haven't had much else I wanted to talk about.

So I have decided to ramble a bit before I continue preparing for another session of D&D this week.

Regarding D&D
I have started using more and more a program called Masterplan. This is an application specifically designed for 4th edition, though with the extensibility that is supposed to be built into the app, I suppose it could be adapted for any game system.

Masterplan is designed around libraries, which are collections of objects. These include monsters, map tiles, templates, traps and skill challenges. Each object has its own editor, specifically designed to capture the information that is important for the object you are creating. The only object that doesn't have an editor is the map tiles, instead these are imported images of the WoTC Dungeon Tile products. You can find these images elsewhere on the net, or I suppose you could scan them yourself if you own the tiles like I do. The image in my previous post is a screen capture of a map I made using the tiles, though I planned the dungeon out with my tiles beforehand so that I knew I wasn't using duplicates.

The main work area of Masterplan is the Workspace. In here we can create plot points and join them together in decision tree format. I have used it to this point just to organize my thoughts and prepare for the near future, it would probably make more sense to break down each mini adventure into plot points and keep them seperate. I'm still trying to decide how this will work best for me. I'll try and give some more feedback regarding my experiences as time goes by, but in the meantime, go check it out for yourself at

Monday, August 3, 2009

A simple dungeon

This is the map of the last dungeon my players have run through. As I mentioned earlier this is the first time in 4th edition that I had to put together some encounters and map out some dungeons. In earlier editions of the game there was less need to make an encounter challenging via character mobility. In most cases you had a fighter type standing in front of the rest of the players, creating a "log jam" at a doorway allowing the less armored members to pew pew at the baddies while he held them off being healed by his cleric.

In 4th edition they have emphasized the mobility of the characters and their opponents. Most if not all player classes have abilities that allow them to move opposing monsters as do some of the monsters. The players could just turtle up in a hallway if they wished, though as I'm writing this I suppose a little discouragement by an "area effect" attack could have ended that, though their warlock tries to do this as well by bunching the monsters and dropping his one AE attack on them .

I referred to this dungeon in my previous post. The first area where the players grouped up in the entrance stairway and tried to reduce the amount of attacks they took at any one time is in the upper right hand side of the map. Then they went down the stairs and fought a demon and some gnolls in the lower tomb area. This was where the new player dumped the oil filled brazier. In the upper left side of that room you see a trap door that leads down into some natural caves.

The players decided to go down into the caves, the warlock being all pessimistic and assuming he was going to fall when attempting to climb down, suggested they go down prior to their short rest after combat so that he could recover from the fall. The players used a rope that was spiked into the tunnel wall, As fate would have it the warlock did fall as foretold with a roll of a 1, the other characters made it down successfully. Before the characters started their rest, which I would have interrupted with a gnoll attack, they found some of the gnolls around a corner and a fight ensued.

I had designed this fight as two encounter fight, shortly before they would finish off the first encounter I was going to have one of the monsters call out that they were being attacked. I also hoped the fight was going to be a bit more mobile, I had made the area fairly huge and I had put various ways for the combatants to move around and flank. I had also included some Shadar-Kai, these shadowy humanoids have short teleport movement power that added some chaos to the fight. In the end the characters prevailed ( as they should ) and we ended it there. I have yet to find out if they thought the encounter was interesting and if they felt challenged.

For any D&D 4th edition players that may wander by, here are the two encounters that they ran into in the last room:
6 - Gnoll Raiders ( a minion variety that I created )
1 - Evistro AKA "Carnage Demon"
2 - Gnoll Huntmasters

The second encounter in the caverns was:
1 - Shadar Kai Witch
1 - Shador Kai Gloomblade
6 - Gnoll Raiders ( a minion variety that I created )

Friday, July 17, 2009

A D&D update.

We played last night. Our new player is actually new to our area as well. He said he's played RPGs in the past and has enjoyed playing/GMing Deadlands and may run a short campaign for us in the future, woot! I might get to be a player.

One other nice thing is that I think our new player will add some thought and analysis to the situations and story. In the one combat we were able to finish last night, he thought to use a brazier bowl filled with burning oil. He dumped it over on a monster doing some damage to it and also created a terrain hazard for a couple of rounds in a patch of burning oil. I had planned on having the monster use a similar tactic if the other characters happened to get closer together.

I hope this inspires the other players to see some of the terrain as tools to be used in an encounter as well. I think that I may be to blame for the lack of "outside the box" thinking of the existing players. I feel that I haven't put enough of these types of challenges into my game up till now. I'll be trying to add the extra elements to an encounter going forward instead of the somewhat stale room(s) with monsters.

This current dungeon is the first that I am putting together for 4th edition, up till now I had used the "Keep on the Shadowfell" module. Since this module was the first published by WoTC for 4th edition I think that it is very basic and was more designed to introduce the system and some simple combat scenarios. My first room in this dungeon was a fairly basic affair with an attached room that allowed me to add some additional monsters part way through the combat. I didn't forsee the players deciding to clump up in the entrance hall though so it was another static combat encounter. What I did with the second room was ensure that they would have to deal with monsters coming from two directions, as well as adding some additional props.

Next week they will get a chance to meet with my latest creation which should add some movement challenges as well as throwing a second combat immediately following the first. I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What's going on here?..

Not much because...

There's not much going on with my RPG game. We've had a drought in gaming due to one of the player's job as well as his vacation. Two good things this week. We are finally going to play we're still not sure if my recently absent player is going to make it. We have found a new player to add to the group, he's just someone we picked up at We figured we had been playing with 3 players up to now, we can continue minus the "vacationer" this week.

I'm pretty excited about this, I have a story to tell and hopefully a new player will add some more focus and insight to the group. I'll let you know how it goes.

On the MMO side I've still been playing City of Heroes, though the boredom factor is coming up again. It is a nice game with some great mechanics, but it get repetitive fairly quickly. I've also been Beta testing another MMO, I can't say what it is, but it seems like it may be a little more on the hardcore side. Crafting is a major part of the game and supposedly the best items are going to be player created. I've only barely scratched the surface so far, I originally got distracted by Ulduar and then I got distracted by CoH but I'm poking around a the game a little more now.

Monday, June 15, 2009


One of the 4th edition campaigns I am running started with the first module for this editions, H1-Keep on the Shadowfell. Since I started with this module and have a few maps in the DM's guide I decided to continue using the maps and locations provided, I have re-created the map provided in the DM's guide Soon to be posted here. I did add my own twist with an overarching storyline that is supposed to get the characters involved.

Edit: Here is a link to the map that I made from the one provided in the DM's Guide.
Winterhaven and surroundings

You see a couple of centuries ago an oracle just spouted out an epic, as oracles sometimes do. In the epic it was described that the royal family was destined to be the end of Orcus, or at least banish him for a millenia. That epic lists out where the hero is expected to go, what he is expected to use and how he is supposed to end Orcus' reign.

Here are some stanzas that the players have already discovered:

From the past, the future's written
Of the blood of ancient kings
They shall be Orcus' destroyer
Through powerful prismatic rings

In their path, shadows fallen
His death, black and painful fated
By his master, unlife granted
until his soul's hunger sated

Mountain's protectors have the answer
To travel the path of glory
Forged by their ancestral spirit
A ring begins the blood's story

Before ancient Shadow's Pillars
Beneath the shadow darkened sun
With heartening strikes on Orcus
The cleansing war has begun

Bright now is their shadowed future
Strengthened by the coming sun
Fear and horror reduced to nothing
In the end the battle is won

Part of the story is a mercenary company that was hired to guard the royal family until the prophecy came to pass. Red Mithril stayed with the family wherever they went, unfortunately There was an incident at the Keep on the Shadowfell that broke up the mercenary company and scattered the few remaining members of the family.

Assuming the characters find all the information they need, what do you think the chances are that the campaign will go as expected?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Didja notice?

I was re-arranging my blog today. I wanted to keep my blog related items up top but also wanted to make my amazon links more visible.

I started thinking about two things.
1. Do any of my readers ( like 3 of them ) know the 20 year history I have with the name Laslo? and...
2. Why do I have D&D amazon links on my blog page if I haven't really talked about it?

I'll start with #1, but in doing so I'll delve a little deeper into my past and my adolescence. When I was in 8th grade, about 30 years ago ( go ahead, do the math ), we were required to have homework or something to read for half of our lunch period. I was fortunate enough to sit across the table from someone who had already been introduced to D&D. He usually had the "Monster Manual" with him and allowed me to peruse the book during our "study" time. The images and the statistics listed for the imaginary creatures intrigued me, it was so stimulating to my imagination that I had to learn more. I got to know another classmate, who was also into the gaming scene, both roleplaying as well as strategy games. I still call him my friend, and we get together once in a while with our wives and other couples. Him, another friend and I stumbled into the roleplaying world of "Basic Dungeons and Dragons" not knowing exactly what we were doing other than playing make-believe.

Years went by, we tried many different roleplaying games. Fantasy Games Unlimited had quite a few games that were unique and interesting. Aftermath, Daredevils, Villains and Vigilantes and Bushido were FGU products we played. We played some Champions, Car Wars, and of course AD&D.

On to college, I was strangely enough assigned to room with a gamer and learned that my college campus has an RPG club that met every week. All it really did was provide a place to meet without having to deal with pededstrians stopping by to ask "What're you doing?". It was in that group, my first character with that group that Laslo was born. The system was a mixture of AD&D and some very well done homebrew rules. Spells were "invented" by the player by combining words to make the spell effect and every character started with a social status background to help determine their place in the world.

Laslo started with mediocre stats and a horrendous social status. I rolled a 1 on a 20 sided die. This didn't make me a bastard child, this didn't make me a slave, this made me the bastard child of a slave. That's right, Laslo's mother had been a slave in the middle-eastern style city of Kaylith and his father was some northern mercenary who just passed through. So by combining the traits of these two fictional characters, Laslo was a blond haired, well tanned short street urchin who grew up thieving from the plentiful merchants of Kaylith. He went on to have many adventures in many places and became one of my favorite characters.

As far as #2? Maybe I'll cover that next time, I'm DMing a 4th edition campaign that I run on a weekly basis that started in the area that is provided in the DM's guide and the first module. I can talk a little bit about it, but my players haven't really gotten into the meat of the campaign yet so I will have to be careful about what I discuss.

Monday, June 8, 2009

No more WoW

I have been quiet here for a while.

I apologize for not providing the promised follow up to our awesome raiding weekend, but I lost interest.

I have basically quit WoW cold turkey, the few times I have logged on was because my wife was in need of some gems cut and once because she wanted some DPS for a pug raid and asked that I log on my mage. What I have been doing with my time has been playing City of Heroes.

I had played this game when it first came out, kept my account going for about 3 months before I grew bored with the repetitive nature of the game.

At the time, if you completed a mission with a group that was the same as a mission in your list, you did not get credit for completing it unless it was YOUR mission that was completed. This was a serious sore spot. Well Cryptic/NCSoft fixed that, now if you complete a mission with a group that you have in your mission list you will be asked if you would like to complete your mission as well. This was a nice simple fix that could have kept me playing way back when I started.

Another issue that was addressed was difficulty. CoX ( City of Heroes/Villains ) is a class based game, depending on which role you chose to file you are allowed to choose from certain power sets and you get a certain size health pool. As in most MMOs different roles have different damage output versus survivability. If you are a tanker you can take a lot of punishment but dishing it out is a little tougher. If you are a blaster (ranged DPS) you can deal a lot of damage, but have to be careful of letting your foes get too close. A defender ( healer/buffer ) can keep themselves alive a bit longer, but have a hard time arresting ( killing ) anything. This led to having some classes very reliant on grouping and others able to easily plow through missions. Now in CoX you can choose your difficulty from among 5 different settings, you start out at level 1 and can go up to level 5. This was definitely a much needed improvement.

There have been many updates and additions since I last played on a regular basis, maybe I will spend some more time at a later date describing more changes.

Monday, May 4, 2009

I went to two raids since my last post.

The first raid we fought and defeated Auriaya then we went back and beat up Ignis.

Auriaya was fun, still a bit nerfed ( yeah, I noticed ). Our plan was to take down her four adds then focus on her. We had three people assigned to AE her kittens that pop in to see what's happening but leave the defender alone. We knew that during the AE the defender takes some damage, so I have to help deal with it. Once it gets to about about five to ten percent, it is my job to taunt the thing out of the group and stun it. Well that didn't quite work right, I did taunt, I did stun but it didn't want to come to me on the taunt. Instead the AE dpsed him down in the raid group, luckily everyone was quick enough to move out of the area before they died. The defender came back only one time before Auriaya died. One other thing we didn't do was move out of line-of-sight of the defender's death spot. I would have expected at least a couple of people to be feared through the void zone, but I don't think one person died to that thing. In the end it all worked out and we got our first progression kill of the evening.

So with Auriaya dead, we went back to the beginning to see Ignis. First of all his trash is challenging ( I don't know what it was like pre-nerf ), and took some strategy. There are patrols at the bottom of the ramp leading to Ignis, these need to be handled one group at a time. There are Molten Colossus(es/i) that get tanked apart. If I remember correctly, they explode when they die. There are also Magma Ragers, they throw out a tornado of fire that we need to avoid. To make these guys easier we had a hunter kite one of them far away from the raid, only feigning once the first one was dead.

This was the first time I had seen Ignis, and I had only read up on him a little bit. It took us six tries, and I think I was the reason we had to do two of those. Once I figured out the adds and we had a second tank ( Karthis ) helping, it became like a dance where everything just started to come together.

We also went a took a quick look at Hodir with the last minutes left to the raid. His trash was challenging, though not as bad as Ignis'. Merely another learning curve. Hodir of course thrashed us after the quick description by the raid leader.

Tomorrow I'll post about Sunday's raid, we did well then too. More progression, let's keep it going.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Post nerf experiences

Well I went back into Uldaur again. As I said in my comments on Karthis' blog ( see the link to the right ) in response to other people's comments, I was going to wait and see what the nerfs looked like. I also made a silent promise to Jacemora to experience it first. Here are my observations on the changes.

First noticable nerf:
XT-002 - The tantrums were noticably shorter, did they NEED to be? I don't know I would have to hear from my healers on that. I know that I really didn't have a lot of problems in tanking its adds. I have also done this fight now on my undergeared mage, in it's old form I would have had to count on my healers during the tantrum, now not so much. The enrage time is noticably longer as well, having DBM tell you one minute to enrage though makes that one more obvious.

Razorscale - I don't know if any of the nerfs are obvious, but then again I think we had this fight down already.

Auriaya - We cleared the instance up to here and got one shot before the end of raid time. We got her considerably farther than ever before. It's hard to tell if its the nerfs or just us understanding the fight a little better, though in support of my previous post I choose the former :)

I was also able to learn two new fights ( to me at least ):
Iron Council - we three shot this fight. The first wipe was attributable to me, I wasn't quite ready for the runes that were put under the bosses and didn't react quick enough. The second wipe was one of the other tanks not seeing a rune under the boss he was tanking. All in all a pretty simple fight, we got the "Heroic: I Choose You, Stormcaller Brundir achievment.

Kologarn - we two shot this, I don't remember what caused the first wipe. Another simple fight for me anyway, I just had to pick up the adds from the right arm and DPS a little bit when the adds were gone. It again seemed to be a pretty simple fight. I have also done this now with my mage. From this side of things I had to pay a little more attention to the lasers, I didn't pay much attention to them while I was tanking adds on my paladin.

Hopefully a few guildies or any other readers will post their thoughts about the changes to these fights.

I still stand by my position that they should have waited another month before "tuning" these fights down. Stay tuned for my comments on the next round of nerfs that you know have to be coming.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ooh now I have something to write about.

With Ulduar's release I think you could tell by some of my earlier posts that I was very happy to finally be challenged by the game again. I thought that finally Blizzard realized their mistake with Naxx and was going to give the skilled raiders ( and they don't have to be hardcore ) what they were looking for.

Now I assumed after a bit of time, perhaps 2 months prior to the next raid instance release, they would start making the encounters easier and allow some of the less capable people to raid further into Ulduar.

But alas, this is not the case. As posted in this thread Blizzard will start the nerfing early and apparently often. Why just in my previous blog I was complaining about Auriaya, but in the end I hope you got the impression that it was a challenge I enjoyed and embraced and obviously would be going back for more beatings until we overcame the challenge.

According to this thread http://forums.worldofwarcraft.comthread.html?topicId=16473764809&sid=1 the first five bosses and the one that I'm pretty sure we'll beat this week are still too hard. What? We are by no means a "Hardcore" guild, we raid for nine hours a week. Eighteen hours of learning to beat five bosses, is that hard? We by no means expected to skate on through, saving the world from Yogg-Saron in the matter of two weeks of raiding. What we got was what most of my guild expected, a steady challenge of progression through a difficult raid instance.

Why is Blizzard doing this? Were they losing people from the game because they couldn't get through Ulduar? Hell, I've recently gone into Naxx with my alts and there are still people who can't do the fights there. Naxx is more than enough challenge for that group of raiders.

I don't know what Blizzard is thinking, or if they are thinking. I have already canceled my account, it ends in June. At this point I don't know if I will be reactivating it, I was planning on doing that, but now I'm happy I didn't. If the nerfs continue as hard as they have I know I won't.

Blizzard, please slow down on the nerfs, the really casual players will get there eventually. Most of them still need to figure out Naxx.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Ulduar - Auriaya

What a b?*#%h.

This is the way the fight goes, from what I can tell.

Pull her and her posse of panthers.
- On the pull ANYONE in line of sight to the cats get pounced on, I didn't look at the damage, all I know is that I as a plate wearer cannot stand up against all four of her cats at the same time.
- If you gain aggro on the cats from a distance, even if it's not on the pull, they pounce.

Let's assume we do the pull correctly and we get her cats to come to us without pouncing ( we did this by having a hunter MD trap aggro to the main tank who was standing around a corner). Next we have to get the cats divided up among the three add tanks we had for this pull. Now I'm a paladin tank, when I do trash ( which I consider these to be ) I use consecrate. When I did that I got all 4 cats to come take a swipe at me first. THIS HURTS A LOT!!!!

So I started off by avenger shielding along with my bubble-wall, this seemed to work fairly well most of the time. The druid off tank could taunt his extra kitty off me that I hit with my shield.

Let's assume we got the pull down, we have the adds separated out and the tanks are doing well, eventually the 4 adds from the pull die and we have a normal tank and spank, right?


Now we deal with the boss, She has this nice AE fear ability called terrifying screech along with a cone attack called sonic screech that is divided among all the people it hits. Ok, we can deal with this, stand in front of her unless you've been feared.

Next she brings out a helper, the feral defender he has 9 lives and has a stacking buff feral essence, that can be applied for each life he has left. If he's killed he leaves behind a void zone, that hurts a lot. If he's killed all 9 times this is considered the hard mode since there will be nine void zones scattered around your fight area. Ok, so we don't kill him, just tank him right? I agree, just tanking him would be the best solution, only he's not tankable, he drops aggro like a hot potato. So instead of being tanked the feral defender jumps around picking people at random to swipe for 4 to 5k damage.

We didn't win the fight, instead we learned and tried different strategies. I'm thinking we will be defeating Auriaya next week, probably on Sunday.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Pally tank wishlist from the first 6 bosses in Ulduar:

Here is my current Gear:
Valorous Redemption Faceguard
Boundless Ambition
Valorous Redemption Shoulderguards
Platinum Mesh Cloak
Valorous Redemption Breastplate
Bindings of the Hapless Prey
Valorous Redemption Handguards
Ablative Chitin Girdle
Valorous Redemption Legguards
Sabatons of Endurance
Sand-Worn Band
Signet of the Earthshaker
Essence of Gossamer
Repelling Charge
Last Laugh
Wall of Terror

Here are some of the items that I am looking for out of Ulduar
Flame Leviathan
Mimiron's Inferno Couplings-These are a definite upgrade over what I am currently wearing, my Bindings of the Hapless Prey can be relegated to my block set.
The Leviathan's Coil-is a better tanking ring Signet of the Earthshaker due to the avoidance, again the signet can go into my block set bag.
Titanguard-This is a very minor upgrade, once tanks who have a genuine interest in it have a chance I may consider taking it.

Dragonslayer's Brace-once these drop to me I completely replace Bindings of the Hapless Prey

Ignis the Furnacemaster
Chared Saronite Greaves-Definitely an upgrade, I give up expertise for hit.
Heart of Iron-Yes Please.
Plans: Indestructible Plate Girdle-More avoidance, definitely a win.

Shoulderplates of the Deconstructor Definitely an upgrade and as a plus it moves me one step away from power ranger.
Signet of the Earthshaker-I've already gotten this one, as mentioned earlier it will become a piece of my block set.

Assembly of Iron
Handguards of the Enclave-A block set upgrade and sidegrade for single tanking. If I needed my current gauntlets to keep a T7.5 set bonus I easily would.
Plans: Indestructible Plate Girdle-See my comment above

Kologarn- Cache of Living Stone
Necklace of Unerring Mettle-A sidegrade for single tanking, useful for a block set.
Saronite Plated Legguards-Definitely an upgrade, I think you've caught onto my dislike for block for my main tanking set.

Platinum Band of the Aesir
Cloak of the Makers-The Platinum Mesh Cloak's big brother, easy choice.
Unbreakable Chestguard-Since the Paldin T7.5 Set piece is basically the lower iLvl version of this I would have to consider it.
Plans: Spiked Deathgdealers- A better piece than Chared Saronite Greaves, we get 2 gem slots to make up for 25 stamina ( win! ) and more avoidance instead of the hit.

So that's what I'm looking for in gear. I will probably find a way to keep my 2pc T7.5 set for a while until I get a chance to see some T8. I will be praying for those blacksmith recipes each time I go, I'm betting some will even be a money maker.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A new week in Ulduar.

This time we did Flame Leviathan with the tower of storms up. The tower of storms gives Flame Leviathan an ability called Thorim's Hammer as well as an additional 50% health. It took two tries, but we had a few new people who hadn't seen what the fight is like and the boss had more health so all things considered a nice progression kill for us. He dropped "Mechanist's Bindings","Steamcaller's Totem" and "Freya's Choker of Warding" as well as 2 emblems of conquest.

After Flame Leviathan we paid Razorscale a visit, I was interested in seeing how the changes were going to affect our strats. The mole machine placement ended up making me be a more aggressive tank, this was a bad thing. When we had the trash tanked closer together it made it more difficult on the melee DPS whose first responsiblity was to take down the watchers. After getting the message I corrected what I was doing and the trash seemed to die quicker and safer. Another problem that was caused by the tanks ( probably mostly me ) was the range in which we were kiting Razorscale. Apparently the tank was moving too far and making it difficult on the healers to stay in range and keep the tank alive. Our third attempt went wonderfully well, we got things right and we had everyone alive, which was different from the first kill where we only had a resto shaman left standing. Razorscale dropped "Razorscale Shoulderguards", "Saronite Mesh Legguards" and "Collar of the Wyrmhunter" for us.

Then we move onto the whiny brat that is XT-002. I had shared what info I had on the trash with the raid, we promptly one shotted the trash. This time I was given the opportunity to MT the crybaby. Everything seemed to be going well but then during the tantrum I got pounded a little too hard and failed to put up one of my cooldowns and died. I found out later that one of the new healers wasn't quite prepared to the extra damage and had taken his attention off of me for a second to help heal the raid. The second attempt went a lot better, we got him to skip his second tantrum due to damage. Unfortunately we had an issue with the scrapbots reaching him and lost the pummeler tank which caused a wipe. The pummeler tank was a warrior and said he had problems grabbing them, so we switched him back to tanking XT and me back to picking up pummelers. Third time was a charm and XT died once again. XT-002 dropped "Twisted Visage", "Mantle of Wavering Calm" and "Signet of the Earthshaker" for us, I received the tanking ring.

So in one evening we conquered the same Ulduar bosses that we did all of last week. Unfortunately work has claimed my evening time on Friday so I will not be able to attend the next boss fights, hopefully Que Sera Sera kicks but though.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ulduar as a priest

Ok, I got my first shot at Ulduar on my priest last night with a group of people that have an organized cross-guild raiding group. The group is a lot of people I've run with before and most of them are pretty good. My wife runs with them as well since her guild isn't the 25-man raiding type guild.

For Flame Leviathan I got a chance to ride a motorcycle. It's a pretty basic little vehicle, but fun to zip around. They did this fight on normal mode, so no hard mode experience for me yet.

Since they haven't seen them before they skipped Razorscale and Ignis and went straight for XT-002. One addition to the instance was the trash in his room. On either side of the doors, right in front of the scrap piles are a group of robots. I didn't take good notes, but I believe what we had were two compactorbots, three scavengerbots and two repairbots on both sides.

The Compactorbots were cc-able by root and cyclone. I don't think our hunters tried to trap, I think they were immune to sheep and they were definitely immune to fear. These bots picked someone, apparently at random, and lept on them doing damage then did an AE attack before leaping back to their aggro target. If a clothie got hit by two of these at the same time there was a decent chance they were going to die.

The Repairbots were nasty up close, they did a 23k kick to tanks that tried to tank them. During the fight they hang back and put matrix shields over their friends which reduce damage and healed the target. We found that they were fearable, I'm not sure about other CC so we had the warlocks and priests keep them feared. If one of their shields got put over another bot, just move the bot out of the shield.

The Scavengerbots were nasty in general. Their worst ability is their sawblades. They throw sawblades as random targets, the blades put a stacking dot on the target. Apparently some people saw damage ticking at 5k per second at times. These were our primary kill targets.
We eventually figured out what the mobs did and after that it was easy. As I've said before, it felt great being challenged and overcoming that challenge. Keep it coming Blizzard.

XT-002 on the other hand was not beaten by us tonight. I've seen him get dropped before, but this group hadn't, at least not in 25-man. As a group we made some progress, the problem with the attempts in my opinion was the way the corner adds were handled. The first two tries they put a single DPS for each corner, the mage was able to handle them well with her frost nova and AE them down before they reached the boss, unfortunately we only had one mage. The other corners, especially the close one allowed their scrapbots to reach XT002 and of course it healed the boss.

So an ok night of raiding, I got to see a fight from the healing side of things that I had seen before from the tank side of things. I got to see the trash before people in the guild did, so we can have a little less pain when we see it the first time.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Fun night last night, 2 progression kills for Que Sera Sera.

Razorscale -
We took a page from Matticus and broke up the raid into 2 teams plus a tank/healer in the middle. Me, pallytank, on the right side, Allucard a DK tank on the left side and our warrior tank Demonhunters in the middle picking up the sentinels and picking up Razorscale when she landed. Melee DPS/interrupters were assigned to take down the caster adds. The two sides worked really well and after one wipe she went down with a single shaman standing. I think the next kill will be even smoother now that everyone has seen the fight all the way through.

XT-002 Deconstructor -
What a strange boss. I'll let you experience it yourself to see what I mean. The strangeness isn't in the mechanics of the fight though, those are pretty standard. The jist is that the boss gets tanked, every 25% his heart falls out to be beaten upon. Shortly after that, his friends show up from the junk piles in the corners of the room. His friends consist of scrap bots, bomb bots and pummelers. Scrap bots heal him if they get too close, bomb bots explode for 20k damage and the pummelers just have to be tanked. Seemingly at random through this he has a tantrum where he pounds the ground in frustration and causes raid wide damage of 120% of the raid's health. Remember that during this you have the main tank and add tank still being hit by what they are tanking. Also added in is the bomb, XT-002 about every 15 seconds ( a guess ) picks someone to be a light bomb or a gravity bomb. When the light bomb goes off it does damage to the people near them, when the gravity bomb ticks for 3500 damage and when it goes off it pulls people near the bomb to them.

My role in this fight was to pick up the pummelers, so I was able to wade into the fight for the first 25% and contribute with my measly prot damage until the heart was on the ground and I had to pick up my adds. The pummelers can spawn from any of the 4 corners and there can be 0, 1 or 2 of them each time the heart drops. There were times that a druid off tank picked one up for me and delivered him because I didn't see him spawn, but I think I got better as I went.

We wiped probably about 10 times, I don't count or take screen shots of each attempt like Karthis :) We tried some different positioning, we tried multiple add tanks, we tried bunching people up to be easier for more healers to get bomb people, we tried spread all around.. it seemed we had an endless number of strats. What ended up working was tanking him in front of his stairs with the raid fanned around him. Certain people were assigned to kill the incoming adds and the dps was advised to stick on the heart a little longer so they could do more damage to the boss, but then had to turn and take down the adds quickly.

I feel pretty good about this past week, three Ulduar progression kills and the new Archavon boss in three raid nights. Finally some challenge and again I think everyone had a lot of fun with the challenge. Hopefully we'll have some more progression this week.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Friday night raiding

No Ulduar on Friday, group makeup and internet issues stopped us. But we did get a chance to see the new boss in Vault of Archavon. Here is another hard boss, it's obvious that most of the guild was in need of a challenge.

Emalon the Stormwatcher is a step up from Archavon. He hits hard and hits the raid. This encounter also requires the DPS to be strong and quick. Emalon has 3 abilities: Chain Lightning, Lightning Nova and some empower his minions thing.

The damage you take from Lighning nova is based on your proximity to the boss.

Chain lightning will jump to many targets and the more it hits, the greater the damage.

And when he empowers his minion that is the test for the raid's DPS. The minion will start stacking this buff and once it reaches 10 stacks in 20 seconds it explodes doing 30k damage to the raid, chances are that will kill most, if not all, of the raiders.

So the strat is: DPS Emalon until he empowers a minion at which time all DPS switches to the minion to kill it before the buff stacks high enough to explode. Once the minion dies the add tank then picks up the newly spawned add while the DPS goes back to Emalon. In between that process people need to move away from Emalon when he begins to Lightning nova, this helps the healers some. If you are point blank, right on Emalon, his nova does 15k damage, not too bad if you're a tank with 35k + HP.

Sounds simple right, well there's some positioning involved so that the add tank doesn't take too much damage from the lightning nova but otherwise it's a matter of timely healing and quick reacting DPS. Someone during the raid said that basically we needed 50k DPS on the minion to stop him from exploding including the time it takes to switch targets.

After wiping about 4 times everyone got it down and Emalon joined his element in a puff of smoke. The raid had an excellent time and I know I enjoyed the challenge of learning the new fight, I know there were others that felt the same way as well.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ulduar: First Look

We only got about 2 hours last night before the instance servers flaked out and we were unable to continue our wipe-fest. The Flame Leviathan.... easy, somewhat interesting. I'm not sure what the hard modes are going to be like but the heroic normal mode was cake.

Following the Leviathan it was decided to take a stab at Razorscale. We wiped each of the 6 times we tried, switching up tank placement and CC assignment as we went. We made progress in my opinion and I liked finally being challenged.

This was my first look at any of the fights in there, a couple of people did some fights in the 10man version on patch night.

Now off to the guild website to discuss our attempts and see what changes we can make.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Whoops.. I stepped away from my blog for a while, actually forgot about it entirely. I'm still trying to get into this "something to say every other day" thing.

Well, Ulduar is out. And with some tentative steps I re-enter the raiding scene. I had taken a much needed break from raiding and a the game as well.

Since we got married a little over 2 years ago we've been making payments on 2 houses, we lived in my house until recently when we moved into my wife's house. So my house was sitting vacant, being kept company by my furniture and dishes and other things we didn't need where we moved to.

We were planning on taking our time and clearing it out in stages, deciding what to do with what and eventually emptying the house and probably renting it. Well along comes an opportunity, a friend of one of the neighbors was interested in renting a house nearby and my neighbor had noticed that we weren't around too much. With the chance to get a renter to defray the costs of owning a second unoccupied house, we decided to become landlords a little early than planned. What this meant is we had to quickly move all of these things we didn't have a place for, so we ended up with a full garage and a living room full of boxes to root through and figure out what was garbage and what deserved some precious space. This has been my 3 weeks away from the game, rapid emptying of a house, doing some required maintenance and categorizing a lot of junk I acquired over the years. There are still boxes there and we're making a point of getting through a few of them a day, but there are other things taking my attention as well.

So hopefully I'll have a report tomorrow, regarding my first night back and tanking in Ulduar.

Monday, April 13, 2009

It may seem obvious but...

Listing of obvious tanking tips

1 - In General
  • Keep what you're tanking in front of you, you cannot parry, dodge, block what is not in front of you. ( I've had to teach people this when I'm playing my alts )
  • Get crits off your hit table, this means defense 535 in heroics and 540 in raids.
2 - In a group
  • Make sure your group knows what you're hitting first - I put a skull on my main target
  • Don't pull until your healer is ready, my healer is usually my wife and she's at the point now where her mana regen lets her be always ready
  • Make sure your healer is ready, nothing suck worse than seeing your health go down and down and then die, only to find out your healer when afk to get a drink.
3 - In a raid
  • Communicate with your other tanks, make sure everyone knows who's doing what.
  • Make sure you know your role, if you have a question ask the raid-leader. If you're the raid-leader make sure everyone else knows what they're doing.
  • Use your consumables, usually a tanking flask like Flask of Stoneblood or Flask of Fortification if you're still a little low on defense. Use food, if you're lucky or can make it yourself you can get a Fish Feast.

I'm sure I can come up with more, but these are some of the things on my mind now.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Well here's a rant of mine....

I assume others around the game have said this, I know that 25th November did but...

The new expansion is too easy.

I liked what they ended up doing with BC where they would have the leading edge of content to be a bit more challenging, then once the next tier of content came out they would re-adjust the earlier content. It allowed those who needed it to have a sense of accomplishment and those who just wanted to see new things their chance to see it a little later.

I've basically got one character well geared and I have no reason to play him except for 25 man raids and dailys. I'm expecting my hunter will go the same way, though a bit slower as he's not my raider and will not be getting the naxx25 level gear as quickly.

Once thing that I am also finding that once someone hits level 80 they are not necessarily ready for heroics, even though most think it is their Blizzard given right to jump into a heroic at first ding. I am also seeing similar things with Naxx, just because you're 80 does not mean you're ready. I know I wasn't uncrittable when I hit 80, I still needed to pick up a few blacksmithing epics as well as a decent tanking weapon.

I think it was patch 2.3 that they reduced the requirements for heroics to honored with the faction rather than revered. I can understand why people who were playing alts really like this change, but it also allowed people who were not geared enough or experienced enough for heroics to enter the LFG pool for them.

Which is more frustrating? Finding a group that is just not ready for a heroic and wipe constantly, or having to get your alt geared through instancing and maybe having to run a few more times for the rep to get into the heroic?

I prefer the latter.

Let me know what you think.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A second character to 80

Well I just got my hunter to 80 on Friday evening, kinda exciting.

On Saturday my wife got me included as a package deal with her into a pug run on Sartharion. I won the T7.5 gloves after being 80 for less than a day :)... don't hate me because I'm lucky.

It seems like if I want to get stuff quickly I'm better off playing my hunter, on Sunday after running a few heroics and the PUG raid I have acquired 4 Valorous Emblems, 24 Heroic Emblems and 1 piece of T7, not bad for a first day.

Since my hunter isn't my raiding character I'm not expecting him to see much raiding action for the guild, so hopefully I'll be able to find some pug 25mans along the way. I still like playing him though, it's a nice change of pace from tanking.