Molten Core? Molten Bore more like…

So, last night we at the Ravens had a retro gaming night. Having
never really got our act together enough to conquer Zul’Aman prior to the
expansion we decided to go back there and give it a thorough shoeing.


Success took us just over two hours with three bosses on the
timer. Leafy has some nice pics and a more detailed story here


At that point we were at a loose end and decided that as most
of us had never seen molten core, we would take a little jaunt there just for
the scenery.


And what a let down it was. Obviously I am a bit spoiled now
with how pretty WotLK looks, but please, it looks no different from several of
the other old instances. Was this really the pinnacle of achievement back in
the good old days?


I am hugely grateful that I never got into the forty man
raiding scene. Not only does it look ugly and all too familiar, but the mobs seem
to be just plonked down randomly. I think I would have stabbed my eyes out in
frustration many times over if I had had to put up with this for as long as
people say it took, let alone having to repeat it over and over. Why would
anyone put themselves through that?

New Beginnings

So, it’s been a very long time since I’ve written anything
here. I’ve been much more involved in playing than writing and a lot has
happened in the intervening months.

We had a bit of guild drama that ended up with several members leaving to
become more raid oriented.


3.01 arrived and things got a bit silly as our Karazhan runs
switched from taking two nights to something like two hours.

I experienced a bit of burnout, mitigated somewhat by the new games that came
out later in the year. War hammer was especially helpful as a kind of MMO lemon
sorbet to clean the palate for Wrath.

Right now my tank, Gradjo, is a hairs breadth from 80 with many others in the
guild being there way before me. He’s taken over as my main as previously he
was always the character that I got to play most. I’ve managed to get 440 blacksmithing
as well and so access to the epic patterns. *yum*.

I’m not sure which direction I’m going to take with this, I certainly toyed
with the idea of having one of each of the tanks and seeing the differences
involved in each one. That’s certainly a more viable option with the new
expansion as there is so much kit generalisation to play with and having one
set does not preclude the other.


Tanking also became quite a bit more fun in 3.01, especially
as a warrior, as they ditched a lot of the base threat in their moves and increased
the damage instead. Finally you can get a handle on how the tank is doing beyond,
‘have I pulled aggro?’.


It’s certainly not unknown for me to feature heavily in any
damage meters when I’m tanking now. This also makes the switch from OT to DPS
and visa versa much more of an option these days.


I’m going to endeavour to make at least one post a week from
now on as I do enjoy the scribbling when I finally manage to sit down and do


A few more pictures in here to spice things up a bit certainly
wouldn’t hurt as this has been a rather academic affair so far.

WotLK Itemisation – Boomkin

One of the things that has got me really excited about the
new expansion is the change from +healing/+damage to +spellpower.


One of my many alts is a Boomkin called Ashilandra and the
road to 70 was very rocky indeed. Whilst playing the class is great fun and I
did decent damage, I continually had to wear cloth items to get and spell
damage on them. It seemed, as far as Blizzard were concerned, that if you wore
leather, you were either a melee dps/tank or a healer :o (


This problem only got worse when I got to Karazhan where the
number of drops aimed specifically at a Boomkin was three. The two tier pieces
and a rather lacklustre pair of bracers from Attumen.


Sure, there are the rings, necklace, cloak, weapon etc that
every spell dps class will want, but where is the rest of my armour?!


Practically the only way to improve was to hit the
battlegrounds, and for me, that way lay madness.


Maybe I should be whining as it is only one spec out of 27.
Yet, I see +healing plate in there, only one class for that…


Anyways, by changing to spell power it means both balance
and restoration druids get to roll on the same kit and maybe I’ll finally start
playing Ashilandra again.

State of play

So, it’s a long, long time since I posted anything here.
Real Life (TM) got in the way somewhat and I couldn’t decide on what to post

Here’s a brief update before I post on anything of note

I’ve levelled up my mage to 70, making six of the nine classes completed now,
with two others getting close.

I am having problems with the Hunter though as he’s on the Horde side and all
the others are Alliance
Whenever I play Ashtang I get very bored very quickly. Some of that is that I
find the Hunter class a bit too easy to play, but the rest is probably due to
the fact that the Horde side of our guild is rarely visited by anyone and I
miss the social side of things.

So from out of retirement and AH dalliance comes Vickers my one time twink and
part of ‘The Regiment’.
The regiment was a brief experiment by our guild to see if a group of dwarf
hunters can dominate Warsong Gulch that never really got off the ground.
Dominate it we did, but it was very short lived as none of us really enjoy the
PvP thing that much.


In an attempt to get the full set I’ve also got going on a
Gnome Warlock by the name of Balopius. He’s only just getting started though. I
wonder if I can get them all to 70 before wrath hits.


I’m splitting my time between Balopius and Vickers and some
wrath beta action after I was kindly given a spare key. I’ll post more on that

All clear on the Karazhan front

I should probably add to the previous post that this was the second run in a two part clear attempt that I organised.

Our first half took out most of the bosses that prevent progress. Moroes, Opera (Oz yet again!), Curator, Aran (for the teleport). We also managed Illhoof and Chess that night.

last night, we had a few late shows so gave Attumen a bit of a shoeing while we waited. Nightbane quickly followed, sending us then to Netherpsite as previously mentioned.

With only the Prince and Maiden remaining we decided to say hello to the big bad before going back to the start for her good self.

Just as we found out about the nice safe zones in the Prince’s room, Blizzard went and took the damn things out…*sigh*

So, we had to do this the hard way. First time had us with some very unlucky infernal positional and we wiped. On the second time, it all seemed to work rather well and he went down like a victim. I won the lovely hat token for Gradjo, being my first ever piece of T4 kit on any of my characters.

After that, the Maiden didn’t stand much of a chance to be honest.

The Ravens have finally cleared Kara!

Congratulations to everyone that helped in both parts of the run

Netherspite Down

Nightbane Dead.JPG

So, we finally got the old git

Netherspite had been our last hold out and was getting to be a bit of a thorn in the Ravens collective sides. After a few quick attempts he fell. Only the second time I’d been there at all, similarly for most of the others

Congratulations to Aberas, Andromache, Kezzle, Monarch, Priscilla, Psia, Rivelinho, Sprockette and Valkarn. I was there as Gradjo.

Gruul a go go

So, we ventured into Gruul’s Lair last night for the first time as a guild and, we got an absolute shoeing.

We were a tad let down by some late cancellations and only ended up with 20 warm bodies for the run, and three of those were not on vent.

Basically we didn’t have enough healers and tanks (familiar story anyone?). I switched to one of my less played alts and was in healer mode whilst attempting to raid lead at the same time. Despite almost everyone behaving incredibly well throughout, I do now understand what the ‘herding cats’ analogy is all about.

Our first pull ended up with a number of deaths as overconfidence and a bit of bad positioning meant that some of the squishies got some cleave lovin’ from the brute.

The second pull ended similarly, but still no wipes as yet, so all good. Our second track through went much better and we managed the trash with no deaths at all (can you tell there are some wipes coming up?).

With the late dropouts we were a healer and a tank down, and then we heard that out pally healer was currently stuck on the M1 meaning things were really interesting.

So, after three wipes and one half wipe we learnt two things.

1: You need two healers on the High King Maulgar tank or there is absolutely no point in trying.

2: Yes Psia, they really do have a big aggro radius ;o)

At that point one of our rogues, Rivelinho, agreed to switch to his priest alt and we had another stab at it, with much better results. All the ‘learning the pull’ we’d done in the previous few attempts showed and the bad guys ended up where they were supposed to be and we could concentrate on learning the rest of the fight.

Unfortunately we ended up with a loose felpuppy that ate the HKM tank and then Andro got unlucky with the timing and got hit with a Krosh fireball just as the spellsteal faded.

At that point, despite the giggling over vent as we ran for the exit yet again, we decided to call it a night and finish on a relatively up note. I didn’t make it of course, but I will always insist on trying to heal people as I run… doh!

I think we learned a lot that night, the 25 man stuff is not really that much harder than Kara, except the need for extra people. None of the adds hit particularly hard and were all manageable. Maulgar himself was about as tough as any of the later Kara bosses in terms of damage, but two healers could manage that.

A few more people in the guild or just being able to muster everyone at once and I think we’d be able to give it another shot

Still, it’s all good, as one of us said on the night, “We now have the trash mobs on farm”. ;o)

And, at the end of the day, we all had a damn good laugh while visiting new content.

Next stop, the Black Temple, Ravens tourism styleee

One to go…

So, we had a guild first last night.

We downed old Illhoof for the first time. I was warrioring as Gradjo, but not really helping much as the Paladin was tanking him and most of the imps. It was my job to hoover up any imps that got out of hand and went walkabout.

Congratulations to everyone who was there (I’ll post a pic when I remember).Leafy nabbed the two healery items from him, Mender’s Heart Ring and the Cord of Nature’s Sustenance so a nice upgrade there.

That leaves us with only Netherspite left to kill to get the full set. Go Ravens!

Different Perspectives

I’m a great advocate of alts (as you can probably tell from
my choice of blog). The main reason for me shouting this from the rooftops
though is that I don’t think you really understand how all the different bits
of WoW work unless you experience them for yourself.

As the saying would have it, “Before you criticise someone,
walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticise them, you’ll be a mile
away and have their shoes!” ;)

I just don’t think someone can understand the processes
involved in playing a tank/healer/dps/whatever unless they have actually tried
to do it themselves. It’s not the only reason I play a lot of different
characters (but I’ll get to the other reasons at another point), but it is one
of the most important in my mind.

When tanking, I’ve had dps shout at me saying “Generate more
threat!”. That’s despite them being in purples and me in a mixture of greens/blues
and me having no rage.

I’ve had tanks moan about dying when I’m healing, despite
having run ahead of the group to pull when I have zero mana and am drinking at
the time. Then again, I’ve also died in a fight after a ready check having
received no heals whatsoever in the ten odd seconds it took the mob to kill me.

And, I’ve had healers moan about pulling aggro when the
fight is half a minute old and the single mob we’re fighting has no sunders on
it whatsoever.

If you know how the other classes operate, a lot of these
issues seem to go away. Other members of our guild who’ve played a tank have
realise there is an awful lot of button mashing that goes on to be able to
survive some of the encounters and generate enough threat so as not to severely
hamstring the dps via  threat caps

Those who’ve played dps know that balancing their crowd
control duties whilst putting out decent damage can be tricky. As can threat
management whilst killing the bad guys in a timely manner.

Those who’ve played healers realise it’s tough to keep the
tank up when everyone else in the world is pulling aggro and/or getting hit by
the mobs cleave or AoE.

So, I advocate trying at least one of each of the holy
trinity (tank/heal/dps) to get a feel for the stresses and strains of all the
different facets of the game. At least that way you’ll appreciate how good some
of the others in your guild are at playing their classes. And how bad… ;)

Roll an alt today! It may make you better at playing your