Thursday, 4 June 2009

It Looks Like We Made it to the End

That was brilliant.
We ran Halls of Stone, normal. As planned: the party summoned, I got the XP for exploration, I dinged. Awesome.

The party was Astrantia (Druid Healer), Spore (Druid Tank), Otoritakeo (Hunter DPS), Hunterette (Hunter DPS) and - of course - me. All Elunatics (thanks guild :).

The first run took around 45 minutes, and was pretty straightforward with no surprises or wipes.
At the end, recount was showing a dps of 657.

I went away, specced and glyphed for the first time - which felt good - and then returned to HoS. At this point - literally at the entrance to the instance - the server went down. A few frantic minutes of desperately trying to reconnect later, we're all back and ready to roll. Phew.
I specced Survival. For the record, I played Survival before it was cool :)
I like the traps. I reckon there's been a lapse in trapping since the changes in WotLK - I'm going to make them the focus of my spec (I didn't at the time). Let's see - I'll need Entrapment so it'll be worth getting the Frost Trap glyph, and the talent for extra crit against trapped beasties.
Bernard chose Ferocity spec, mainly because he hasn't worked out how to transform into another type of pet. Bernard is now fast, like a good wasp should be :)

The second run took about the same as the first. Again, for the record - there were no gear changes, no differences other than speccing and glyphs (all 'Major' - when they say minor they really mean it, don't they?).
At the end, recount tells me I did 1113 dps.

I make that a 70% increase in dps, not even having any experience at mashing the keys for Survival - and there are so many more keys. I really need to sort out my action bars! My 'rotation' just got 10 times more complex.

A few Talent-specific comments:
- I haven't had a chance to see what difference Black Arrow actually makes, and I hate that it shares CD with the traps - it seems so wrong!
- Is there any point having Arcane Shot on my bar when I've got Explosive Shot? I'll have to investigate. Aside from fire resistant mobs it seems like ES would be better every time.
- I don't remember Aimed Shot coming up as often as it is. Did that change?
- I know it must have been proccing quite a bit, but I never once managed to catch Lock and Load in time to fire off the extra shots! I remember it being more obvious before. I need one of the addons that kicks me when it procs.

After the second run was complete, I went Dual-spec. After over half a year Untalented, I felt the 1000g to have two sets was well worth it :)

Partly, I wanted to try Beast Mastery, which I've never used before. I didn't get much chance to test it out, but so far it seems a bit hands off for my style - I like to get more involved. I'm told BM is great for soloing, so I guess I can pull it out when the going gets tough. Given that having talents meant the going just got 70% easier, I'm thinking that might be limited to soloing lower-level instances. We'll see - I haven't written it off just yet. Though if I'm going to have Beast Mastery, I think it's time to get an exotic pet to go with it :)
I really like the caterpillar-looking worms in the Tundra, so I'm hoping there's a level 80 version of those to save training.

Whatever else happens, it feels great to have finally made it - to be able to bring something to raids rather than just filling a space; to take down mobs in almost half the time; to need less downtime between mobs; to easily chain trap; to not need to hold my traps in reserve in case of respawns (I can now take the first mob down before I handle the respawn, without dying in-between); to see Bernard get to the mob when I send him, not some time later.

It's all good.

Level: 80
Location: Halls of Stone
Theme: The Prodigy - Breathe
dps/ap/crit/hit: 1113/2041/15.35%/199

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

The End is Nigh

I haven't reported for a few levels, and yes, they were important levels. I haven't felt like there was anything much to say as regards any of it - well, anything that I haven't already said before. Different locations, same hard slog.
More than anything it's become a hard slog to the end, more a test of my endurance and will-power than anything else. At around 10 hours a level (more in many cases, and oddly only 8 and 6(!) in the cases of 78-79 and 79-80) 70-80 alone has been around 100 hours.

After over half a year of this, I'm literally at the finish line - I haven't crossed it, I'm saving that for tomorrow night.
I'm both savouring the anticipation and putting off the end.
The plan is this: I will ding, I will run an instance, I will finally (and for the first time) use my Talent Points, I will rerun the instance with the same party.
Then, with all pomp and majesty (what a bizarre phrase) I'll report back, here.
And it will all be over, completed.
I know it's just a game, but I have to admit to having mixed feelings about finishing; I feel elated at reaching the zenith of this task, achieving the final goal; I feel a little sad at reaching journey's end.
On the whole though I feel good about it. Lith will finally get to play with all the 80s that are forever having fun running instances; she'll be able to get reputation (and a mount that fits through doors); she'll be able to put out actual dps, rather than appearing just above the healers (actually there have been dps below her, but for their sake we'll pretend she was last).
I haven't decided what I'll do with the blog - I'll no longer be untalented (I heard that laughing, you, go and sit in the corner, now face the wall) so I don't know if it would make sense to continue with any more posts. I suppose there will still be opportunities to show progress and talk about differences between untalented and, well, talented, from the point of view of someone that really knows the hard way. So it's not quite over yet, just the hard part.

I'd like to thank those in the Elunatics that have been a major source of support throughout, particularly Astrantia, Otoritakeo, Hamek and Emmit, plus Ameliorata and Gwynce on the US servers (I hope they don't mind the mention :)
I'm hoping the first four (Astrantia et al) will be able to help me on both my final and inaugural run tomorrow :)
(final as untalented, then first as talented).
For those wanting to know, I'm going survival. I can't believe how much it's changed since I was playing my other hunter with talents. It's going to be fun relearning :)
For the record, Astrantia, no healer comes close, and Oto, no hunter either, you know your stuff.
Ham and Emm, you're just funny, but you can kind of play too :)
Am and Gwynce; thanks for everything, it's a shame it's not possible to transfer between US and European servers :)

Level: 79.9999999999 recurring (seriously, one kill and I ding).
Location: Dalaran
Theme: I think I've used it before, but - Life on Mars - it's the best track ever written.
dps etc.: tomorrow, for comparison before and after.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Or Down You Fall

That was a pretty good level. I've now got the quest-completion achievements for both the Fjord and the Tundra (130 quests in each). I have to admit I'm pretty pleased with that as I normally wouldn't get those achievements - but then I don't normally struggle so much with the following areas and have to come back and finish up :)

Last night I got the Foldragon Hold cut-scene and, hey, that's pretty good - okay so the graphics are basically better rendered versions of the in-game ones, but the camera work, story and audio made it.
I had no idea there was a scene there so it took me by surprise when my screen went blank at the beginning!
Also, the Undercity run with Wrynn was entertaining once I got used to being basically invincible :) The only issue I had with it was the bit where he runs off and Jaina doesn't - I stayed with her - thinking I was making some kind of choice - only to find nothing happening and almost missing the action I should have been following.

On a more untalented note, I'm finding the gap between what I would be and what I am to be growing rapidly - more so than at any other point during the game.

To explain:

For every level you gain, you get a certain amount of improvement from inherent addition to your stats (Agi, Mana etc.), and then on top of that you get a TP (Talent Point) which you'll generally use to add a couple of percent to some stat either on yourself, your equipment, your pet or your skills. Glyphs seem more designed to change play style by shifting stats around (reduce something here, add it there) or increasing something inconsequential (area covered by frost trap, for example) - so I won't worry about those. Pet TPs also make a difference, so that's another couple of percent here and there that I'm losing out on.

Obviously when I was level 10, it was a tiny difference. 1 TP. Something like 1% difference in one stat. Now - 66 TPs later - I'm missing out on at least 66% (to say that's a rough estimate is a misunderestimation, it's practically made up). But I think now that the value of each TP is greater than at lower levels. One of them there spreadsheets for calculating these things might be in order, so I can experiment and see how much 'real world' difference they make numerically.

Level: 75
Location: Dragonblight
Theme: KT Tunstall - Hold On
hit/crit/dps/ap: 104/14.09%/~800/1649 (dps includes damage from riding a dragon around dragonblight, so somewhat meaningless).

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Pet slaying!

Thanks to my guild I got to run SSC for the first time. It was fun :)
Anyway, while I was there I noticed that Quest Helper was recommending that I slay someone's pet wolf for the Fibrous Worg Meat (0/10). Personally, I think it's hilarious!
The wolf next to it wasn't the right type, no drops from that one!
For the record, I'm off the bottom of the recount window. Being level 74 with no talent does not good DPS make :)

Oh, and Bernard (my wasp) is currently 71. I can't wait for him to catch me up!

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

The Levellers

I got Blacksting, ain't it pretty? :)

Sadly though I was getting Blacksting with the expectation of being able to bust Archie out of the stables while out and about, then I eventually discover that "Call Stabled Pet" is a level 80 skill. Bah.

I've been levelling Bernard up, he's still 3 levels below me and I'm not far from 75 myself.

This has been a much more entertaining level. As levelling was proving incredibly slow I headed back to the Fjord to complete more quests there. This was a very good idea, and made levelling both more rapid and more enjoyable - I think to some extent it was Bernard being level 68 when I tamed him that did it.

After struggling with 'level appropriate' content, I had a few Fjord and Borean Tundra group quests which of course involved killing Elites. I thought I'd struggle with them, especially as Bernard was still 69 or 70 at the time. First there was Jonah Sterling (70 Elite), he wasn't too bad, then Hozzer (71 Elite), more difficult but got a bit low on mana towards the end. I was pleased I managed to solo them.
Heading across to the Tundra there's Ned, the Lord of Rhinos, a level 72 Elite on a non-elite 71 Rhino called Lunchbox. Having googled I now know I'm not alone in this, but seconds after killing Lunchbox and Ned jumping down to fight, Ned respawns right on top of me with another Ned on his back. Both confusing and alarming. We killed Ned 1, then we ran. If I had vast reserves of mana I may have been able to take him again, but I was down to very little.
Then, Harold Lane, also 72 Elite, we took him out and were home in time for tea.

So I feel quite chuffed at that.

Thanks to Trenn for helping out on most of the Gjalerbron quests, particularly Glacion - that was one 71 Elite I didn't have much chance with, though I was lower level at the time and so was Bernard.

Tonight we (The Elunatics) ran Maggy and Gruuls, so I got those achievements and died a lot. I really need to practice instances :)
It was a good night, everyone had fun, and there was much loot.

Level: 74
Location: Air-borne between Dalaran and Nexus (Dalaran corrupted my sound and I had to log out).
Theme: It's impossible to tell, Dalaran killed my sound!
ap/crit/hit/dps: 1746/14.87%/89/600+ (dps from raid, so doesn't really count)

Thursday, 16 April 2009

There's Something About Northrend

Well I made 73, got Kill Shot, and it's all good.
I'm currently installing the patch and want to test out 3.1 - but mostly vicariously as most of the interesting changes are end-game content or talent changes :)
That said, I am considering testing out 'call pet', so I may yet head to Zangar to fetch Blacksting :)

It's been a bit of an uneventful level, right now I'm really really looking forward to 80!
I do like some of the things they've done with Northrend, riding on the back of the horse, the silly harpoon surfing and the like - I'm just finding it a lot slower than 60-70 pre-wrath.

This level I spent a lot of time levelling my cooking skill, I figure it'll be useful when I get to 80 to be able to make buff foods. Mmm, food.

Short entry this time. I'll let you know if I grab Blacksting :)

Level: 73
Location: Northrend
Theme: Theme from annoying kids TV programme.
ap/dps/crit: This patch is taking a very long time, I'll check when I get the chance.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

The Trouble with Travel

The 3.1.0 patch is downloading, release can't be far away!
I think dual-spec is the most eagerly awaited change in it, though I'm finding it hard to justify 1000 gold for dual-spec untalented. Still, it'd be funny - well it'd amuse me, so ner.

I've finally gone to Dalaran, made it my home and got the flight point. This follows having to travel from the middle of Northrend to the Ring of Blood to help Hammydin out. I may have been low on the dps chart, but I'd like to think that the 20 minute wait while I travelled was worth it, and that they couldn't have done it without me ;)

Level 71-72 was still not quick - around 10 hours - but it certainly felt a lot quicker :)
I'm now expecting the rest up to 80 to be on the order of 10 hours each, getting longer towards 80.

I need to go to the hunter trainer as I keep forgetting again. I should have already had Kill Shot at 71. I'm looking forward to getting it - as it has the "only useable under 20% health" clause it's more than just another shot for the rotation so it should help make kills a bit more interesting (and hopefully faster!).

In other news, I've been on a Nexus run with my guild (The Elunatics, and thanks!) and you can see how much difference that made to my stats above. I replaced 4 items on just one run and significantly upped all of my stats! Curiously, Armour and Intellect gained most.

Level: 72
Location: Dalaran
Theme: Carl Douglas - Kung Fu Fighting
dps/hit/crit/ap: 365/44/17.35%/1525

Sunday, 15 March 2009

A møøse once bit my sister...

Weeeelll, it's been a while, but I haven't been slacking.
No no, I have indeed been getting my mining up to Northrend levels, followed by the most tediously long level in history ever.
It took around 16 hours of running about Kalimdor to get my mining up (Engineering didn't fare so well and I'm not caring right now). 16 hours. It's so dull.
Following that I ran off to Fizzcrank to finish the quest chains there and around there (occasionally mining the occasional node I might happen to find, don't you know). It took something like 16 hours of that to get to 71. So approximately 32 hours of tedious - I'm just glad I had a guild to talk to and keep me sane. Thanks go to the Elunatics for this valuable service (not that most of them know it, but that's nothing new, they help anyway :).
I figure the extended levelling time was due to me trying to do quests of an overly high level, having done most of the lower-level quests between 68-70.
So I've moved to the Fjords, which are sadly lacking in møøses.
I have to say it's really helped, basically doing quests intended for 68-70 rather than 71-72. They go much quicker and give just as much XP!

Level: 71
Location: Westguard
Theme: Bauhaus - Bela Lugosi's dead
dps/crit/hit/ap: 320/17.49%/38/1319

Sunday, 15 February 2009

A mile in these shoes

Wow! I can't believe I finally made 70! :)
It's such a relief to have got there, and at 8 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, 14 seconds I easily beat the 9 days target I'd set myself.
After the Ziggurat quests I travelled out towards Fizzcrank, stopping on the way to do all of the quarry quests. I quite liked them, only... it's not that the respawn rate is too high there, it's that there's no delay between respawn and selecting a target so you don't get the chance to avoid aggroing when they do, and they often appear in batches - I died several times and there was nothing I could have done about it.

I always find the mechanicals entertaining - it's that the gnomish comedy engineering always comes across in them, in the idle animations as well as during battle. To cap it all off I got to fly back in one of those ace flying machines from the FP in Fizzcrank! :)

Obviously this (70) is by no means the end, but it's an excellent milestone :)

Now I'm going to spend some time catching up on mining and engineering - apart from anything else I've just spent some time doing the Fizzcrank quests and wishing I could dissect the mechanicals.

Level: 70
/played: 8 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, 14 seconds
Location: Fizzcrank
Theme: The Prodigy - Breathe
dps/ap/crit/hit: 284/1112/17.53%/28

All Ice in Vain

I'm very much enjoying Borean Tundra.
The Tundra area and En'kilah in particular have provided massive upgrades with relatively little effort. Whilst most are upgrades in the form of crit/AP - and in many cases also a reduction in Agility - I did get Death Knight's Anguish and the sheer DPS upgrade of Fury of the Raging Dragon. The former is an interesting one, difficult to quantify the results after only a few uses, but I did get my crit up to over 25% in one fight, impressive when you consider that's nearly +10% crit. It does seem to proc reasonably frequently too - it would be particularly useful for a hunter with talents that benefit from crit. The new gun is around +30 dps according to the tooltip I get in the character sheet - also it looks ace; I mean, that's one interesting looking gun.
If those are the greens I can't wait to get the blues and purples! :)

So I made 69. Whoah - I'm less than one level from 70 and in an area awarding more XP per mob/quest than previously. 70! The last level took around 3.25 hours, nearly half the time of the previous levels even though I knew what to do and where to go for the previous.
At this rate I'm mere hours from 70, even though I've never before done any of the quests in this area. Sure they're harder but they pay better too!

Thanks to Kristalene for the En'kilah/Ziggurat quest chain and Chosen for the final quest in the chain. You both made it fun, not to mention a lot quicker and in the case of the final quest, possible :)

Level: 69
/played: 8 days, 3 hours, 3 minutes
Location: Un'upe Village
Theme: Tori Amos - Cornflake Girl
dps/ap/crit/hit: 320/1134/18.25%/28

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Northrend Ho!

Great! I've reached 68 and headed straight for the Borean Tundra, stopping only to train skills and buy 3*+16 Agi gems for my chest.
With 2 levels to go I'm still a few hours short of 8 days /played so I'm not worried about making 70 inside the time I've set myself (9 days).
I've got the void axe quest reward from the Ring of Blood quest and I have to say I really like the glowy effect, it was great to have the team to do it :)
I headed for Bladespire and did a few of the quests around there before heading back to Nagrand to finish off. I like the ogres, they seem to be good targets and I could get through them pretty quickly - that said, 'kill 30' still takes time :)
I enjoyed the last few quests in Nagrand and narrowly avoided having to go all the way to Area 52. Not that I don't like it - it's not my favourite but it's okay - but it's such a long way to travel for a few XP :)
The little I've done so far in Northrend makes me believe it will be good, but from here on I have no idea what to expect as it's all new to me!
XP has been good so far, better than if I'd stayed in Outlands so I'm pleased I decided to come here as soon as possible :)
Being so close to the 70th level I can see, not the end, but a milestone - light at the end of the tunnel :)
Once I do hit 70 I intend to take it a bit easier, explore more, raid and instance a little and generally enjoy the scenery :)
I haven't set any kind of time - not even a target - for 80 as I haven't the faintest idea how long that's likely to take. I also have no intention of setting a target as it would be a shame to ruin the content by rushing it :)

In dps news, it's certainly going up quickly over the past few levels, and I expect the green drops in Northrend to improve it further.

Level: 68
Location: Borean Tundra
/played: 7 days, 21 hours, 42 minutes
Theme: On The Hour, Series 1, Episode 4 - Chris Morris
dps/ap/crit/hit: 299/1007/12.34%/30

Friday, 30 January 2009

Everyone's a Jenkins

Another non-levelling post...
After grinding through most of my precious rested in Nagrand I got the opportunity to achieve the 'Jenkins' title. Apparently the trick is to only start the kill when you've gathered enough in one spot. Somehow it took us a while to manage it, but manage it we did :)
Somehow it seemed worth sacrificing a couple of hours for :) (Yes, I know everyone else got the title on day one of Wrath, but I don't have any at all :)

Thanks to Spárky, Sérénity and Eldurleo for the run.

btw, if you're confused by the perspective on the pic it may help to know I'd been levitated, as had Archie.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Keep On Moving

I spent the 2nd half of 65 in Terokkar killing the Shadow Council and doing a few quests in the Bone Wastes. I still haven't got around to Torgos! to get the trinket, and now I've moved on to Nagrand.
I quite enjoyed the quest to investigate the shadow council, it was kind of fun wandering around the enemy camp unmolested (at least until I stupidly tried to change my tracking so I could spot enemy hunters that can see through my disguise; apparently a tracking change breaks my disguise - well Weeks did say it was flimsy).
I never really liked the Bone Wastes and I don't like it much more this time around - there's too much threading your way through mobs in order to get to the quests and unless you're really careful (i.e. slow) you arrive with a Benny Hill style entourage - Not What You Want.

So I moved on to Nagrand and headed for Nesingwary's Safari. It was pleasant to do mindless grinding of 90+ mobs (damned wandering elementals) for a change but it completely burnt through my rested. Those are definitely a set of quests that are better for a skinner as well, I hate wasting all that leather :)
Of course I've still got another 90 harder mobs to do for the second set of quests and then the three elites. If I remember rightly I get some righteous weapon at the end :)

I like the scenery in Nagrand. I know it's boringly normal (aside from the floating islands and giant crystals, obviously) and most of it just looks like 'the real world', but it's nice to look at and pleasant to be there.

Regarding dps - it's way up this time almost entirely because I got a new bow that's 44 dps to replace the 34 dps I had. It made way more difference than I expected. I guess that's because it's the base dps and gets multiplied by anything I bring to it - I've never looked at the calculation and I'm not going to now. Perhaps tomorrow :)

Level: 66
/played: 7 days, 9 hours, 43 minutes
Location: Nagrand
Theme: R.E.M. - Drive
dps/ap/crit/hit: 245/928/10.6%/39

Tuesday, 27 January 2009


I've got my 54-quests-in-Zangar achievement and moved on to Terokkar. Progress is pretty good, I'm managing 5-6 hours per level at the moment - if I can keep that up I'll be 70 in under 9 days /played.

I've been enjoying the Arakkoa quests, which again I didn't like first time around. Perhaps I'm just getting the level to do it right :)
I managed to do one of those bone-headed quest time-wasting things - you know, the one where you kill umpteen mobs for one quest, go somewhere else for long enough for the mobs to respawn and then realise you've got to go back through them all again because you missed the local boss or a quest item in the middle of a camp. In this case it was collecting the 'eyes of ...' from the Arakkoa.

I've been playing with my macros, attempting to proc Rapid Fire and any trinkets I may have whenever they come up, just for the extra they give - however briefly. In the case of Rapid Fire a 5 minute cooldown means it doesn't proc much. Talented, between that, IAoH Quick Shots (or whatever it's called) and certain trinkets it's possible to get a lot of damage out quickly. Not having used the talents since before Wrath I don't know how these affect non-auto shots any more, if at all. That said, there're quite a few things that proc off auto-shot crits, so more in less time can only be a good thing, surely :)

One last thing. It looks like the boosted dps was due to the mobs I was fighting, as my dps is back down a lot since I moved away from Zangar to an area with higher level mobs.
*shrug* Interesting to know anyway.

And one other last thing... :)
Oto suggested I try some of the end-game content talentless, I think this might be an interesting experiment and will bear it in mind. That said, I may have to spec as soon as I hit 80 - just because I can - and unspec as and when for the experiment. For comparison I could run the same instance twice, spec'd and unspec'd.

Level: 65
Location: Terrokar
/played: 7 days, 5 hours, 18 minutes
Theme: Kirsty MacColl - In These Shoes?
dps/ap/crit/hit: 210/906/10.57%/39

Friday, 23 January 2009

(Not) What You Want

I think Archie's made his feelings clear regarding the taming of Blacksting :)
But look at the pretty colours! And it's got cool idle animations and everything!

Thursday, 22 January 2009

The Zangar You've Been Craving

I continue to be surprised that I'm actually enjoying Zangar - I expected that not being a skinner it would be worse than last time, and it was bad enough then!
Progress has definitely slowed, now around 6 hours per level. That said, 60-70 requires more XP to get through and the increase in quest/mob XP doesn't quite make up for it, so it's only to be expected.

I didn't expect to be able to do it, but I attempted Rajis Fyashe (63 elite) for 'Leader of the Bloodscale', I think I was 62 at the time. As she's ranged I thought she'd give me trouble, and to be fair it did take a long time and Archie died two seconds before Rajis. The one I thought would be easier (Leader of the Darkcrest) is melee, but he's really fast and hits way harder. I managed to kite in a circle for about 5 minutes and got him down to half before I was too low on mana to Concussion, Archie died and I had to FD.
Thanks to the level 70 hunter that helped me finish 'Leader of the Darkcrest' off later.
For those with a liking for numbers my Rajis fight was 119 dps over two and a half minutes.

I've got some good drops lately and even spent most of my gold on some gems for my legs (what's wrong with 'trousers'? :)
That's put my dps up a little to just under 200.
Looking through my gear I can see my trinkets could be doing more for me:
Strength of the High Chief - +50 AP
Shard of Afrasa - +5 mana/5 sec, +5 health/5 sec

I'd like active trinkets, the kind that give you a couple of hundred AP for 20 seconds every two minutes. Hm. Terokkar Tablet of Precision, 'Torgos!' quest reward? I know where I'm going soon... :)
That still leaves me with another to replace but it's a good start :)

I wrote all of the above, played a few more hours, ran Underbog, got some good drops, made level 64 and my DPS appears to have gone up to 241. To be fair, this does include the buffed Underbog values, but they were around 230. I'll reset it and see if it's really improved or I've just been fighting mobs that damage easily :)
Also, the 241 dps is mine and Archie's combined - it's split 205/56. I know - that's 261, but my dps timer doesn't start until Archie's got aggro, so the average is lower.

Level: 64
/played: 6 days, 22 hours, 47 minutes
Location: Telredor
Theme: Echo & The Bunnymen - Bring on the Dancing Horses

dps/ap/crit/hit: 241/888/10.10%/25

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Guildless in Zangar

I logged in and as usual checked to see who was about. Check friends tab, see the usual people on, check the guild tab... click on it again... wonder why it's grey... eh? Noone I know from the guild is on. Check guild site. No guild site. Someone from guild logs in, they're also not in a guild any more. Feeling a bit freaked by this point. It was fine last night, did someone accidentally delete it?
No. It turns out a couple of people left for another (presumably higher rated) guild and seemingly the guild was disbanded spur of the moment. I have to admit I was a bit miffed. No warning, no mail, nothing.
It's a shame, there were a lot of nice people there (including the guild leader), and the guild had gone to 34th on server in only 2 weeks of raiding - it had a lot of potential. I suppose the guild leader had their own reasons and I hadn't been there long enough to know what was going on.
*shrug* What can you do.
So now it's a couple of days later, I've been asked to join - and accepted - The Elunatics. Obviously I'm not raiding so my main requirement is 'friendly' - they're good so far :)

I've spent most of the last level in Zangar.
I used to hate Zangar, it was especially dull and I got out asap, but this time I'm actually quite enjoying it. I haven't worked out what's changed - perhaps I'm just a more approriate level than last time (I can't remember what I was, though I suspect it was the same).
I still don't like the naga, it tends to be very crowded and it's too easy to pick up adds during a fight, especially when it takes a long time per fight and you're fighting slavers. It's not resulted in death yet but it's still a pain.

I keep seeing wasps and being very tempted to tame them, especially Blacksting with its distinctive colouring. The only thing stopping me is that I can't bring myself to stable Archie :)

Progress is good, though I must have wasted an hour or two in total through being too guild-disband stunned to do much.

Thanks to Astrantia and Otoritakeo (and his cat Taru) for running me through Ramparts, and for huge amounts of moral support :)
I even got some decent equipment and got my crit over 8% for the first time!

I'm starting adding recount data to the summary and I'll probably start adding hit/crit etc. summaries too in future entries. Today I'll just provide crit.

Level: 62
dps/crit: ~192/8.07%
Location: Honor Hold
/played: 6 days, 12 hours, 36 minutes
Theme: Ricky Gervais - Podcasts Series 1

Wednesday, 14 January 2009


Some of the responses from the wowinsider article have got me thinking.
There're a couple of things:
  • Presumably hunters are weighted so the hunter+pet combination is approx equivalent to a character of another class. Do people really think hunters are 'easy mode' and if so, have they played them past level 20? I can't really say what the other classes are like to play but trying to coordinate the pet, traps, aggro, staying at range, healing the pet and also bringing the dps is pretty tricky, never mind getting out of melee when it goes wrong. Yeah you can probably get the pet to do most of the work but you'll never do very well you'll just kind of get by.
  • I'm proposing a period of petlessness, just to try it for a while, see how it goes. It'd slow levelling down like crazy as I'd be missing the extra dps but mainly because I'd have to kite absolutely everything. I'm not going to even try melee, I haven't the gear and I can't take the hits, kudos to Gweryc for doing so. Tonight, fighting the 61-elite Fen Strider in Zangar I lost my pet half way through - despite constant healing - and my traps were resisted every time so I had no choice but to run. But I don't like to waste a half-gone mob HP bar, so I took him with me. I was out of mana, always switching to AoV long enough to get some and then switch back to 'Ar'cane him. Of course I took him down, and it reminded me how much I love kiting. I'm now pining for Frost Trap combined with Lock and Load and Entrapment - that equals 3 Arcane/Explosive Shots in as many seconds for the price of one Shot, and a slow mob with a good chance of being immobilised for 4 or more seconds.
It's all made me recognise some of why I like to play hunter - I like the complexity of coordinating it all, and the art of the pull. There's something satisfying about executing a particularly tricky pull, I think it's knowing that you just made the kill add free.

I may have more on this later but right now I need sleep.

P.S. You know, I'm actually starting to miss my talents, though not because I'm feeling it's too hard - it's the procs I'm not getting and the skills I don't have.

Level: 61
/played: 6 days, 7 hours, 8 minutes
Location: Zangar Marsh
Theme: Frank Zappa - Trouble Every Day

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

The only way is up...

I'm definitely feeling the 60-70 slowdown, but after 3 hours for the first half level I managed to do the rest in around two. I think that's just choice of quest/mob. One that took quite a long time - for a "kill 10" type quest - was the longbeards ravager quest. The big green ravagers were slow to kill, also the skitterers kept running up and aggroing - those things reset their aggro table at random so half the time I couldn't get range on them and I can't take a pounding.

The other thing that helped with levelling time was *fan-fare* upgrading my mount! It's so nice to get places in finite time, and be able to evade pursuing bad guys. At the same time I visited a hunter trainer and got all the level 58+60 skills, which were many and do seem to have had a huge impact - especially combined with Archie hitting 60 and holding aggro like a limpet. Well okay, he's talentless too so that's an exaggeration, but I now don't have to wait anywhere near as long for him to get enough threat.

Sometimes the "kill x things" quests can be boring, sometimes they're satisfying. Usually I don't like the buzzards, but tonight I kind of enjoyed the wholesale slaughter of those feathered fiends.
I think I may move on from Hellfire, now I just have to work out where.

Level: 61
Location: Honor Hold
/played: 6 days, 3 hours, 55 minutes
Theme: Alisha's Attic - I am, I feel

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

That's no moon...

I don't remember it being that easy before, wow they practically give you XP when you go to Outlands. Oh yes - not only am I in Outlands but I've just hit 60 following two sub-2-hour levels, and a total of just under 6 days. I know 60-62 is likely to be hard going (it was very slow last time) but I'm still hopeful for 70 in under 9 days.
I like Hellfire Peninsula - it seems like it should be a lot like Silithus but for some reason it's much more fun. The thing I always remember about it most are the Fel Reavers - at least, when I think back to it; the reason I remember them is because I forget about them while I play and then I hear that metallic noise and the ground starts shaking, and I'm looking all around trying to work out if I'm in its path, and can I kill the mob before it gets there or am I going to have to try to pull it away or even just run for it because it's changed direction and it's already too late!
So it's really the noise and how you know that means it's coming. I think I'd have to give it my vote if there was a poll for "Best Theatrics in Warcraft". Now there's an idea, hmm...
To be fair I've not seen much of the end game content (BC or Wrath), but I don't know that there's anything else so simple but effective.
I'm looking forward to the rest of Outlands, I remember it being much more fun in general, Zangar Marsh excepted :)

P.S. - Those things don't pose for photos, marvel at my fearsome photography skills :)
P.P.S. - Feel free to suggest a caption :)

Level: 60 (!)
Location: Honor Hold
/played: 5 days, 22 hours 38 minutes
Theme: The Cardigans - My Favourite Game

Sunday, 4 January 2009

It's been a while...

It's been a while - with Christmas and life I decided to take a break.
Well I'm back, though I'm going to be taking it a bit easier from now on so updates will be farther between, but I still want to see this through to the end :)

During the break the guild I was in has been falling apart, everyone drifting off and generally becoming incredibly quiet. Guild chat's just not the same when you're the only one in it :)
So, when I was asked by an ex guild-mate who's been very supportive of this project to join their guild I jumped at the chance and so far I'm really pleased at having done so.

Anyway, back to the project...

Since last I wrote, I've gained 2 levels which puts me up to 57 and oh so nearly heading to Outlands. Most of those two levels have come from the Burning Steppes and Silithus. The Burning Steppes are okay, though the one thing I don't like about it is having to sneak/fight through to the quest givers.
Silithus is really grindy, so many 'kill 20 of this' or 'collect 3 of something or other by killing this' which then turns out to require killing like 20 of something anyway because it's not dropping. It's a lot like Tanaris and similarly would benefit from being a skinner.
It does have the advantage over Tanaris of the landscape having gone properly alien with towering silithid hives, though if you hate the silithid as much as I do you might think that has its disadvantages too :)

Level: 57
Location: Silithus
/played: 5 days, 15 hours, 6 minutes
Theme: Tori Amos - Cornflake Girl