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