Five WoW accounts, one keyboard broadcaster and me.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Headless Horseman

Die he shall! Again! And again! And some more! Why does the bastard not cough up his mount for me already! Every day I go and visit the Scarlet Monastery graveyard for another chance to try my luck. So far, my luck has been rotten. I got loads of Squashlings, cloth helms and a bunch of swords, but did not get to see a single mount. I understand it is the lowest dropchance item of the lot, but I really want it! For this week, I have been doing 13 attempts by myself per day, using the tankadin and three sets of four chars to summon and dps. I also did another 3-6 attempts per day with the kind help of guild mates.

A guild mate of mine and and the half dozen other people on my server that I saw on the mount clearly show that it does drop - just not for me! Ah well. Tomorrow will be the last chance to get one, Hallows End is over at 4:00am on Sunday.

Besides my obsession with the Horseman's mount and keeping up my tries in ZG, I have been rather busy raiding with my guild in Black Temple and doing all the ZA's that the dungeon lockout timers allow for a chance of getting rid of my engineering tank headpiece. I do have engineering on my warrior tank Ivl as well, but I want to drop it on my tankadin.

The Hunter and Druid team is now on the edge of level 65/66 since the last weekend. That is just enough to give me four additional summons of the Horseman per day. My last real leveling action on them has been to complete the Hemet Nersingway chain in Nagrand and upgrade the Hunter's weapons with the quest reward.

My first exotic pet was the white core hound from Azuremyst Isle, but the constant screen bouncing was just too annoying, so I set out to tame Silithids in Silithus instead. I am really enjoying the Silithids as pets. I like their animations and looks. Silithids are cunning pets, making them all-round pets with a couple of abilities that are neat in PvP. Such as netting enemies - something the spider family non-exotic pets can do as well, and increasing their damage output if they or their target is low on health. I look forward to pushing the hunters some more on the weekend.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

DingDingDing - You have reached level 60!

As promised by Blizzard, the granting of levels earned within the RAF scheme is now working again. My druid Ægis and my fifth shaman Æteam are now 15% away from level 61! Yay!

To complete my personal RAF project, I now need to transfer these two chars to my main account, and two druids from the RAF accounts to two of my secondary accounts. Unfortunately, the paid character transfer is down for maintainance at the moment. According to an announcement on the 'Website and Forum' section of Blizzard's EU forums normal service is expected to resume tomorrow. Yay again!

For leveling, I will group the Shaman with the Moonkin Druids and the Druid with the Beastmaster Hunters. The Shaman is going to be elemental to help with the lovely caster totems, while the Druid is going to be Resto instead of the target purpose feral tanking, to supply the hunter group with heals and resses. There is a handy tool to consider group and raid buffs supplied by different classes and specs provided by MMO-Champion.

Funny side-note. After having an instant level 60, it cost me 925g to buy 75 and 150 riding skill, a fast mount and all spells at the trainer. The Trainer alone took 225g.

Monday, October 20, 2008

RAF goodness and patch 3.0.2

The WoW 3.0.2 patch that hit the servers last Wednesday has such a wide range of changes that I won't even try to touch upon them. I am very happy with the changes for my tankadin. While Wednesday was a bit too shaky to raid, Thursday it was on. My guild went back to the Black Temple and we were giggling at the fast pace and the sudden power boost we received. The upgrade in DPS combined with the -30% HP nerf for the mobs makes the dungeon fly by. Before the patch, my guild was at MH 5/5 BT 5/9 and our best shot at RoS, the 6th BT boss was getting to the 3rd of three phases. Including a 40 minute server downtime and a late start, we dropped five bosses we already had conquered and one-shotted the RoS in two hours flat. Then, on Sunday, we killed Mother Shahraz and the Illidari Council and thereby not only gained six T6 tokens, but also access to Illidan himself. Being out of time, we left him for the following week. In a nutshell, for my guild this is a chance to see a number of encounters that we had not gotten to yet and great fun. I like it!

I also had a giggle with exotic pets on my hunters. I tamed the white core hound on Azuremyst Isle for them. Being fed up with the bouncing and the hounds stopping to use their breath before they tear into mobs, I shelved them and got myself Silithids from Silithus instead. These beasties nail down mobs with webs for four seconds. There are next to no mobs outside instances that live longer than four seconds against my four hunters. And for those, I can still use the net on a rotation. Good times ahead!

But there is not only sunshine. Elemental shamans have not been buffed like other classes. The new damage spell requires level 75, lightning damage has been nerfed a bit with reference to other classes debuffs now affecting and increasing the shaman damage in raids. Which is great for PvE, but for PvP it just means a flat damage reduction. Of course this is a temporary situation between the 3.0 patch and the expansion, so no need to get too worked up about it! =]

Also, the arena system is FUBAR at the moment. I don't even mean the retribution pallies being temporarily overpowered to a silly extend, I am sure that even without changes that would be ok at 80. My first arena after the patch saw one of my four chars unable to enter. Then lag in the arena that was sufficient to make it pure guesswork. Then both teams lost points. I decided then and there that I can spent my time this week in a better way then doing arena.

The most annoying thing after the patch for me was that all of my many characters required some time spent on the talents, keybinds and macros. Besides my main I made the Druid, Hunter and Shaman quads combat ready.

The Druids were level 50 when the patch hit. I pushed them to 60 over the weekend, using different zones past 50 to avoid doing the exact same quests as I hit with the Hunters recently. From Un-goro I went to Felwood, then Winterspring. With only a quarter level to go I headed over to the Eastern Plaguelands to hand in a bunch of quests from Winterspring there. Ding 60 for another four 60s!

Then, when I brought the Druids to Ironforge to use the accrued RAF levels to boost my fifth Shaman and the fifth Druid to 60, I was up for some frustration. I had read already about this, but was still disappointed to see it confirmed. Instead of being able to grant 29 levels, the Druids were only able to grant 5 levels. Blizzard lost the data regarding the granting levels earned in the patch, leaving me with only the levels earned after the patch to grant. This is a bit of a bummer, because my plan was to level the Druids and the Hunters from level 60 to level 70 together with one of these two chars before the expansion is available. While there were no news on this from Blizzard, and already a "sorry, deal with it" post from the US community managers, yesterday Blizzard announced that this issue will be fixed with the weekly maintainance. That gives me a warm fuzzy feeling and the confidence that I can resume my original plan and shrug off the little delay in timeline. =]

Monday, October 13, 2008

Leveling Ðøøm

After the Nightelf starting zones Disneyland and Disney World, I could not stomach their 3rd zone Eurodisney anymore. I share the take that Gianna Masetti, creator of 'The Noob' webcomic has on elves: "Elves are slender and beautiful as well as annoying. They live in forests where they molest small animals and play boring music all night long.", quoted from Episode 2 of currently 324. A recommended fun read - unless you have never played an MMO. =]

I continued to the Wetlands, zipped through the kill quests in Duskwood to hit 30. Then entered Stranglethorn. When I had only collection quests and a few level 40 quests left, I went to Theramore for a spell, then back to STV to hit 40. Now I am in Tanaris at level 43. I am quite happy with my pace so far. My 10 RAF days plus the 30 days you get with the WoW box will last till November 5th, so I am well ahead of the payment enrage timer.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


With the four goat riders at level 60, I reached the halfway milestone for my RAF project. This gives me two times 29 levels to grant. Once I finished the RAF project by leveling another four chars, I will have the same again for a total of 58 levels to grant for each veteran account.

This is an important part of my plan. The fifth Æteam and my only druid were stuck close to level 20 on my main account. Leveling a single char feels like slow motion after being used to the killing power of the boxing team. When I raid with just one char, the pace is fast. But solo play on a single char is just underwhelming.

To take advantage of the level granting, I deleted the two lowbie characters on the main account and recreated one of them on each veteran account used in the RAF project and played them a bit until they were close to, but not yet at level 3. After granting the first 29 levels, they are at level 31. With the second 29 levels granted, they will be at level 60, with only minimal XP to go till level 61.

One decision I had to make, was what class between balance druids and gnome mages I should pick for my next RAF group. Among my current level 70 chars, there is one mage. I have another one at 60 from vanilla WoW times. One of the level 20+ chars was my only druid ever. Considering this, druids are the choice to make. However, the idea of having four female gnomes with pink bobtails bounce through BGs spamming Arcane Explosion has a certain appeal as well. On the other hand, druids have a bunch of things they can spec for and having five druids to play with, I could do interesting things with stealth.

I choose druids. They are now level 10. To make things a bit smoother flowing, I got them a [Simple Black Dress] enchanted with 6mp5. This chest is level 37, so it can take BC-enchants. I also got them vendor bought white bracers and boots enchanted with +7int and minor speed respectively and tux pants with +25dmg+15sta. I was not very imaginative with names. Meet Ðøøm, Ðoøm, Ðøom and Ðøðm.

Monday, October 6, 2008

1652 rating - Guardian Ring is mine!

After playing three late games we won 9, 8 and 17 points respectively, bumping my personal rating to 1652. A quick trip to Stormwind later, I bought and equipped the [Guardian's Band of Dominance] on my four Shaman. This replaces the
[Violet Signet of the Archmage] and bumps my resilience to 440. /dances the happy dance.

The four Goatmen of Nuking

Less than two weeks after starting the hunter team and with just over two days /played I hit my target of level 60. With the x3 RAF XP bonus, the leveling was surprisingly easy. By just doing the quests that I remembered and was willing to go for, I usually outleveled zones pretty quickly.

I quested in Dun Morgoth, Loch Modan, Duskwood, the Wetlands, Arathi, Stranglethrone, Theramore, Tanaris, Un-goro and in the Plaguelands. I went for training only every 10 levels or when I was out of ammo. The killing power made things go really quickly, allowing me to plow through the zones and not even flinch from the devilsaurs in Un-goro. The only time I entered an instance was to get the armor plated boars in Razorfen Kraul. No boosting, no instances.

Now I need to do it again to have enough levels to grant for two chars. =] I am still debating what I will go for. Either four gnome mages or a bunch of druids. Druids would make more sense to round out my character selection, but I like the idea of four female gnomes with pink bobtails bouncing through battlegrounds while spamming arcane explosion. We'll see. =]