Friday, November 30, 2012

Yeah, I kinda forgot to mention about hitting 90

You know, I normally reread my last post before making a new one. Shouldn't have skipped that step with the last one. I thought I had made a "yay 90, here's what's I'm doing" post, but I hadn't. So here you go!

Lyl's 90. And I would like to thank the anon comments on the leveling post, they were completely right about my screwing up the priority system. My damage has gone up by about 4k since I took their advice. I still feel low in heroics, but I suspect that's more because I'm in groups with people who out-gear me. I don't really like the "dot all the mobs" flavor of trash damage, but I can live with it. Or at least I can live with SW:P all the things.

Gearing-wise, I hit the AH, picked up pvp blues, and was ready to hit heroics. I've done pretty well gear-wise, and it looks like my sticking point's trinkets. I miss the JCing trinkets from Cat.  I am gearing through heroics, not dailies, for the most part, and taking my time. I even *gasp* managed to get Archaeology to Mists levels.

I'm dealing with quite a bit in RL right now (another health problem has decided to show up), so I'm working on this "no pressure in wow" idea. I miss raiding, I would like to get back to it, but I'm not going to stress out about getting there. It will happen eventually, and in the meantime I can enjoy the scenery.

And here's some for you to enjoy too!

The Dailies Problem

As soon as Lyl hit 90, it felt like a quest explosion. Suddenly there were all these exclamation points  for all these factions and it was overwhelming and confusing (even though I was expecting it). I have managed to figure some things out, like I'm going to be gearing mostly through heroics and I must get exalted with the cloud serpents so I can have baby serpent pets, but it got me thinking on how I might do things slightly differently....

I'd make some factions available earlier. I loved running the walrus dailies while leveling, they're a good chunk of XP plus a nice rep bonus. Having run some of the Tillers dailies, I can see why they're not available till 90, but the Anglers ones could be. Heck, you could make the Tillers "grow this thing" and "go kill weeds" ones available at 86 without causing much in the way of problems.

Since I haven't done much in the way of faction dailies yet (Loremasters, Tillers, Cloud Serpents, Anglers, and um, the central ones (shado-pan?)), I don't have a great sense of them other than "wow, way overwhelming". Lyl got to 90 having done all of Jade Forest and Krasarang Forest, a good chunk of Valley and Kun-Lai Summit, and bits of Dread Wastes, and barely touching Townlong. So I still have a ton of content to go through before touching dailies, scenarios, dungeon-running, pet battling, and alt-leveling and at first blush it feels like too much.

Of course, 6 months down the line Blizz doesn't want us complaining about lack of content. I get that, really, I do. But a ton of dailies, well, that feels like a job or chore. It may not be a REQUIRED thing, but it does feel to me like something I should be doing. Not something I want to do (except for the baby serpent quests and the Anglers), not something I think is fun or enjoyable, but like a chore. I don't play games to do chores, and while it is certainly one way to extend content, it ranks among my most disliked. I never did most of the Argent Tournament or the Firelands stuff because I don't want to do chores in game. I'll occasionally do them, maybe while I'm waiting for a queue or just in the mood, but I hate the expectation of them and the feeling of requirement.

Yeah, not a dailies fan. At all. I'm having more fun running heroics (even though I have no idea WTF most of the time) while wearing a Dragonmaw tabard. Yup, the Cat tabards still work in Mists dungeons, so if you're not exalted with all of them and are running dungeons anyway, might as well take advantage, right?

Anyway, here's a couple of pictures of happier things, since this game does have great bits, right?
Adorable. I want all of them! Yup, my motivation for getting to exalted with the Cloud Serpents is not the mounts, but the pets.

And while Lyl's gotten a bunch of achieves of late, this is one of the ones I'm proudest of. Leveling fishing is still time-consuming (and annoying if I'm not in the right mood), but I really like how it feels much more useful this expansion. Now if I just got XP for it so I could level toons that way....

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Still leveling and discouraged about it

Whelp, Lyl hit 89 tonight. I keep hearing how painful 89-90 is, and I just hope it isn't as bad as 88-89.  I seem to have run into a "WOW, it takes FOREVER to kill things" problem. I'm not sure if it's a) because I still have some DS gear (mostly heroic), b) Shadow's dots are a bit underpowered, c) I'm shadowing wrong (my spell priorities are at the end), or d) all the mobs I've been trying to kill are tuned for level 90 damage. Probably some combo thereof.

I have decided I loathe Townlong, mostly because of the Shado-Pan go kill bugs quests. Those screamers are incredibly annoying as shadow, and if I get more than one mob, well, let's just say that I died at least 10 times getting those two quests done. I know I probably will have to go back at some point for a rep grind, but that entire zone's being ignored till 90, for sanity's sake.

I did get to help kill the Sha of Anger. I mostly smited, wondered where the heck my mana went, and avoided bad ground things. It did make me happy to get through the entire fight without dying once, especially since I had no idea what was going on. Good to know my healing skills haven't atrophied, and it's also good to know that I'm probably going to have to have a lot of spirit for healing.

In other stuff, I've gotten both Eiunn and Kesala their farms....
(back view of Eiunn because I love her hair!)

and some of you are wondering who the heck Kesala is. Well, remember this DK? My slightly brain-damaged toon, Llonya?

I wanted to play a melee toon, realized my only horde option was either Eiunn's enhancement spec (fun but I have no earthly idea what I'm doing) or my level 5 monk, and shelled out for a faction change (plus I needed an enchanter and really didn't want to level one). Now my blue space goat with the unpronounceable name is now a blue tauren (she looks really awesome, I just don't have a screencap) and I had a ton of fun doing the unlocking quests in Jade Forest.

The problem I'm having right now isn't the slow XP from 89-90, it's the slow killing. It just feels painful on Lyl. I'm having to recast shadow word: pain and vampiric embrace two to three times a fight (on one regular mob), so my combats are lasting 40-60 secs. That just feels awful, especially since I can switch over to Eiunn or Kesala and stuff dies so much quicker. If any more experienced priests want to offer suggestions, please, feel free.

Atm I'm casting both dots, shielding myself, then Mind Flaying like it's going out of style till a dot falls off or something procs. I throw devouring plague when I have 3 orbs, mind blasting with procs, and using Mindbender whenever possible. Mindbender's really helping with damage, btw, if you haven't tried him yet.

So, that's where I am. The goal is to get Lyl raid-ready by the end of the month (though I may or may not have a raid spot at that time, nor am I expecting my guild to drop someone to hand one to me), and then probably level whoever and play more with pet battles. I may try Kesala as a blood tank for a bit, since I've been having a blast running around as frost. I do need to sit down (probably Thurs) and figure out factions/dailies and where to unlock them. I think I've started Shado-Pan and the bug people in Dread Wastes, plus the Tillers. I know there's one faction that you have to get to revered to unlock a bunch of others, but if that one's in Townlong it'll just wait a while. I'd much rather wrap up the Loremaster achieve in the Wilds (because I'm two quest hubs away and one's already partly done), have fun randomly discovering and killing (or dying to) rares, and leveling fishing.

Oh, and can you see what's wrong in this screencap? Cracks me up every time I see it.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Now this, this is awesome!

As a long-time gamer, I'm used to the default male protagonist. I really don't like it, but I've learned to cope, just like I've learned to cope with over-sexualization of females and sexism in general.  In fact, the default male protagonist is one of the reasons I love games like Baldur's Gate (and can't wait for the new version) because I can be female or male. I love RPGs that don't make me explore a male character. I may choose to explore one (I've played male in tabletop before and had fun, and also have one planned out for the next campaign I'm in), but I LOVE the choice. In my book, feminism is about the freedom to choose, for both men and women.  Gender stereotyping hurts everyone.

So, this, this is all sorts of awesome in my book. A dad figured out how to gender-change Link so that "as you might imagine I’m not having my daughter growing up thinking girls don’t get to be the hero and rescue their little brothers." That's something I wish I'd had growing up, and I think it's a wonderful thing to do. Here's his blog post on how to do it, and please, pass it on. Flip All the Pronouns.

I know this isn't a WoW thing, but it is a gaming thing, and it's something I hope to see more of in the future. But, since this is a wow blog, here, have a screenshot featuring my newest favorite Wow character, Ken-Ken. Anyone who's for butt-punching sadness is pretty damn cool. I wish I'd been able to screenshot his entire dialogue. If anyone has a transcript, let me know, and if not, when Eiunn gets there I'll damn well make one.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Aura Addon Ideas

This is another in my very occasional series of posts of semi-useful things. Today, I thought discussing ideas for using such addons as Power Auras Classic or Weak Auras might be useful. If you're curious about what I've been up to in WoW (and in general), that'll be after the useful bit.

So, aura addons. They can do so many things that it can be very overwhelming. Here's a few ideas...

1) Resource alerts. One of my most used auras was Lyl's "hey, half mana!" one. It gave me a heads up and let me start thinking about cooldowns without being obtrusive. You could easily do this for health, mana, energy, or whatever.

2) Cooldowns. Especially good for short cooldowns in combat (and yes, you can make auras that are only active in combat, or raid, or when flagged for pvp...)

3) Debuffs/Buffs. Trinkets, time warp, diseases, other power increases/decreases. I had one for when my wolf howled (and gave my hunter an attack power boost)

4) Combos. How about having a "ACK!" alert when your health drops below a certain point and your self-healing button is available to hit? Your healers will appreciate it.

5) HOT/DOT timing.

6) Proc alerts. Combustion, shadow word: death, devouring plague, all that sort of thing.

And if that's not enough, many excellent aura packages can be found on the web. Even if you don't use all of them, they can give you some ideas. I generally start out with a premade package, then tinker with it and make it my own.

Anyway, this is what I've been up to...

1) Race-changed my shaman from goblin to panda. I never liked her as a goblin, and look, her hair streaks match her eyes! I'm hoping she'll be more appealing to me to play now, since I like shaman, I just don't like being short.

2) Rolled a belf monk and a panda mage, and tried some pet battles. I love the monk, but low-level mage is PAINFUL. Frostfire bolt has an almost 3 sec casting time, it's really slow and boring. Needless to say, the mage will be going away. 

3) Leveled Lyl. She's almost done with Jade Forest (a couple of orchard quests and the drag food monastery quest to go for the loremaster achieve in the zone). I did get bored with the zone after a while, but I do have to admit that some of the story lines were great. After one, I wanted to renounce both Horde and Alliance and go be an honorary panda instead.

 4) Got a ridiculously stupid hat. Good stats though.

 5) Took a huge amount of screencaps. Gotta hand it to Blizz, the Jade Forest is gorgeous. I'll be uploading my screencaps (unfiltered) via picasa, and I'll post a link (bear in mind that unfiltered means every screencap including the automated ones)

 6) Killed an elite with guildie help (and that's where the stupid hat came from)

7) Started working on both the Tillers and getting cooking maxed.

8) Ran brewery. Had no idea what was going on.

9) Maxed mining. JCing is pretty close, but leveling only via research is rather slow.
 And generally ran around, fished a lot, and had relaxed fun. I've gotten bitten by the bug again, so I'm hoping to get Lyl max level and ready to raid by the end of the month.