Archive for April, 2009

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Weekend? What weekend?

Monday, April 20th, 2009

My apologies for being missing the last few days!  I completely didn’t bother with my posts for the weekend.  I’ve got a French exam this afternoon so I’ve been studying, and even though I didn’t leave my apartment all weekend, I’ve also managed to find myself ill once again.  Here’s hoping it’s just a cold!  Spent most of the afternoon sleeping yesterday, and I feel like quite the mess today.

But here’s what I’ve been up to:

paladinManaged to squeeze in some play time this weekend, and got my paladin up to level 45.  I’m happily going along feeling extremely overpowered, just like a good ret paladin should!  Judgement of the Wise?  Awesome.  Exorcism on every mob?  Sweet.  I’m having way too much fun getting 700 white damage crits with my Darkmoon Executioner with Crusader.

mage_iconAlso worked on Alouette.  She’s up to halfway through 71 already!  I’ve taken way more screenshots when leveling her than when I leveled through Northrend the first time… of course, I didn’t have the capability to have my graphics set to maximum my first time through, so I’m noticing a lot more pretty things.  I’ve decided I want to get her to 80 before working on Ferguson, so I have a second 80 to play around with when I’m bored.  Because like I mentioned before, BGs at level 70 are not fun!

Finally mastered the Grand Melee daily quest for the tournament, and picked up Lance a Lot.  The amount of rep these quests are giving is amazing!  I’ll be exalted with the Darkspear Trolls in no time!  After I do my dailies today, I’ll be moving up to the rank of Champion and be able to start earning real rewards.

After two nights battling the Loading Screen boss, Unemployed finally managed to get into Ulduar-25 on Thursday night.  It was so much fun!  I got to both drive and ride in a Salvaged Demolisher, partnered up with a good friend in the guild.  We had a few false starts in there, I think some people were just too excited – we started the whole event early, and accidentally pulled the boss a couple of times – but no one really cared because it was just so much fun riding around doing something different for a change!

One thing I didn’t like was trying to shoot down the blue power boost thingies during the boss fight.  You can only target the little propeller – and by the time I could get one targeted it would always end up outside my shooting range.  I’ll probably get the hang of it though!

Once we got that guy down, we decided to try Razorscale.  We didn’t really have much of a plan, since that night was more of an exploration night than anything else, but we still had some pretty good attempts.  We tried to develop different strategies as far as the adds went, and I got to practice using Silencing Shot.  We never managed to get him to phase 2, but I think we’ll get it pretty quickly next time.

And the Unemployed Top Chef Cooking Contest has ended!  I haven’t really written about it yet.. but later this week I’m going to post the recipes and rules up for anyone who is intested in it.  I got second place!  Woohoo!

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Getting a Feel for MM Shots and Specs

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

Well, so much for a free respec.

I ended up respecing again last night to test some things out.  I wanted to compare my DPS with two different rotations and specs.  Unfortunately I don’t have any solid numbers from my attempts… they ended up all being almost the same (all had attempts varying from 2400-2700), and I didn’t take my trinkets off first so that also didn’t help.  So instead of numbers, I’m going to talk about feel.  Because if I didn’t care how my play felt, I’d just spec Survival! ;)

The following combinations are all quite viable from what I can see, and it’s mostly just a matter of playstyle preference.

I tested a combination of 2 different priorities, 2 different specs and 2 different Glyph setups.

(I also switched one point from Imp Barrage to Silencing Shot between spec #1 and spec #2… but it doesn’t really change much for the following.)

Chimera/Aimed/Arcane/Steady with spec #1 (imp Arcane) and Aimed/Trueshot/Serpent glyphs.

This is what I was set up to run initially, and the rotation I’ve been using since I switched to Marks except with a shorter cooldown on Aimed Shot.  The problem with it is that Arcane does not proc Piercing Shots, so it’s not quite as useful, and I was wondering if maybe it was best left out so I could get more Steady Shot Piercing Shots.  So I decided to respec and leave Arcane out of the picture.

Chimera/Aimed/Steady with spec #2 (imp Steady) and Aimed/Trueshot/Serpent glyphs.

This ended up being a much simpler priority, with only 2 cooldowns to watch instead of 3.  But it just did not feel right.  Since I had the Aimed Glyph, my Chimera was on a 10 sec cooldown and my Aimed was on an 8 second cooldown.  Since I cast Chimera first, then 1.5 seconds later cast Aimed… they would always seem to come off of cooldown around the same time.  This cause me to push back my second Aimed by an extra second or so, reducing the usefulness of the glyph.

Chimera/Aimed/Steady with spec #2 (imp Steady) and Steady/Trueshot/Serpent glyphs.

So, I got rid of the Aimed glyph.  This actually felt pretty nice, because it basically became a shot rotation insteady of a shot priority, and I could see someone who misses the old shot rotations actually enjoying this.  My Chimera had a 10 sec cooldown and my Aimed had a 10 second cooldown, so with lag/reaction factored in, became pretty much Chimera>Aimed>Steadyx3 (repeat).  It was kind of neat to get back into a rotation… but it felt too easy, and it actually was doing a bit less DPS.  I’m used to watching for cooldowns and not hitting buttons in a particular order.  It’s just not for me.

Chimera/Aimed/Arcane/Steady with spec #2 (imp Steady) and Steady/Trueshot/Serpent glyphs.

This is where I’ve settled for now.  I get the extra damage from the Steady glyph and while improved Steady doesn’t proc as much because I use Steady a lot less with Arcane in the mix, I’m still doing more damage by having Arcane in there.  Additionally, I have more instant casts at my disposal, which is really important for mobile fights.  This is the priority and cooldowns I’m used to, which also helps as I will want to focus on learning new fights rather than learning a new spec.

As I gain more hit gear, I think I’ll move the points into Improved Arcane Shot so I can get the best of both worlds!

I also might pick up the Glyph of Chimera Shot to replace the Glyph of Steady Shot once when they are available, but I haven’t completely decided yet.  I do tend to shoot a lot more Steady Shots than Chimera Shots, but I’ll do some further tests on this later!

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Three-point-one: The Morning After

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

It was a long day yesterday, waiting for the servers to come up.  I didn’t mind it too much – Blizzard did a much better job of keeping the public informed, and that’s all I ask.  Even if they were just copying and pasting the same message and changing the time… at least we knew we could stop checking for another hour, instead of continually refreshing, letting the anticipationg get to us!

Hydraxis finally came up at about 9PM EST.  I got two achievements upon logging in – Fool for Love and Brew of the Month!  That was nice.

I did all the things on my to-do list, and then headed out to the Argent Tournament.  It took me forever to figure out where to find the people I had to get advice from for Master of Melee and it’s partner quests.  And those goblin quests?  Yeah, that’s not going to happen.  Do they give anything other than gold?  Because if they don’t, I’d much rather just do something that doesn’t involve me flying all over the map (such as my Hodir dailies!)

One of the dailies for the Argent Tournament was something about a sword.  I had to pick some flowers in Crystalsong and then go to a lake in Grizzly Hills.  I find it a bit annoying that you actually have to jump in the middle of the lake and then swim all the way back out – shoulda used a water-walking potion!  Had the same quest again this morning.  At least I only have 1 more day of these dailies to do!

I didn’t really test out my spec much, other than while I was grinding.  But generally, things seem to be dying faster.  Hopefully tonight I can spend some time with a target dummy.  I still need to pick up Glyph of Chimera Shot… anyone know where I can find it?  I’ve been told the recipe is a world drop.  That’s lame.  Maybe I’ll just get Aimed Shot while I wait for someone to find it.

It’s driving me crazy that WoWhead is broken.

We should be heading into Ulduar tonight – I’m excited!  I’ve been told by a few people that I should pick up Silencing Shot for the fights, and I believe them… but I don’t want to respec again already.  I’ll see how this week goes and then maybe change something around next week.

OH!  And is it just me, or was the Kill Shot being put on the GCD not in the patch notes?  I was so confused when my macros didn’t work.  Hrmph!  One more keybinding to add, I guess!

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My 3.1 To-do List!

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

1. Update UI.

Ithato on No Stock UI has posted a guide about how to handle the patch, including a list of popular updated addons.  Luckily most of mine are up there, and I hope the ones that aren’t will be still functional!

2. Respec.

Here’s the plan.  Yep, I’ve decided to stay MM for the time being.  I might test out BM soon and see how it’s improved, but right now I’m just really into Marksmanship!

I’ve moved some points around, gotten rid of Improved Revive Pet and Aspect Mastery so I could take advantage of the new bleed stuff and some additional regen.  Also put the 2 extra points from Ranged Weapon Specialization (it was reduced to 3 instead of 5) into Focused Aim so I can equip my Mirror of Truth and my Darkmoon Card: Greatness without feeling guilty!

3. Tame a Wolf.

Actually did this last night, and it cost me 75g because I had to spec to BM to release my Rhino and then back to MM.  They really need to add a way to release a pet without actually removing them from the stable – that’s silly!  I shoulda just stayed BM for the day, if only I knew the patch would be coming!

This is where his talents are going.  Valdyr is still only 78, but hopefully I’ll be able to get him to 80 before the raid tonight (assuming the patch goes well enough to let us raid!)

4. New Glyphs.

Glyph of Aimed Shot or Glyph of Chimera Shot, Glyph of Serpent Sting, Glyph of Trueshot Aura.

I’m really still debating between Glyph of Aimed Shot and Glyph of Chimera Shot.  Not sure if 1 second reduced cooldown will make much of a difference with Chimera.

5. New Bag Slot.

I’ve got to remember to get rid of my ammo bags!  I still have an extra 18 slot sitting in my bank from when I picked up a Dragon-Hide Bag, so that’ll do for now.  I really should invest in some 20-slot bags though… Hmm.

6. Acquire Flasks.

I need to get some of those nice new 1-hour Flasks of Endless Rage made up for Ulduar attempts.  I should have bought the mats before the patch… but I forgot.  That’s gonna cost me!

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DMC: Greatness and Some Holiday Heroics

Monday, April 13th, 2009

It was a busy weekend for me!  Even though I spent it out of town, I still got some major things accomplished.

On Wednesday or Thursday I decided to start buying Nobles cards.  I added up the cost of all the ones on the AH and it was only about 7600 (full decks were going for about 7800-7900).  I managed to pick up my first 5 cards for only 4056g… not bad!

Unfortunately by Saturday I started freaking out.  There had been no Threes on the AH all day Friday… what if I couldn’t get one?  What if Sunday night came around and I only had 7 cards?

So I ended up paying a little extra for my last 3 cards, for a grand total of 7753g.  Still, not too shabby.  Left me with just over 150g to my name, but it was totally worth it!

Unfortunately, I had to switch out my Mirror of Truth for my Darkmoon Card: Greatness, leaving it paired with Grim Toll for the time being.  Yeah, having 1000AP and 300 Agility procs at the same time would be amazing… but without Grim Toll I’m down to 189 hit.

Once 3.1 hits and I’ve got to respec, I’ll probably toss a few points into Focused Aim, since it’ll apply to pet hit.  But right now I don’t mind waiting it out with Grim Toll.

When I got back into town on Sunday night, I sat down to finish off my dailies before bed.  Now that I’m poor, I feel more motivated to do my dailies, so I suppose that’s a good thing!

After I finished up, someone piped in guild chat asking if anyone wanted to run some heroics.  Sure, I was a bit sleepy, but… what the heck!  I almost never run heroics.  A few people wanted to work on their alts, so we pulled a group together and I volunteered us for Heroic Gundrak because I’d never done Gundrak before.  Managed to pick up 4 achievements as well:

One thing I realized right away was that I’ve never done any regular instances or heroics since I respecced to Marksmanship.  It was different than raiding is.  mobs stay alive barely long enough for a Serpent Sting, but there aren’t really enough of them to justify Volley spam like I’m used to in Naxx.  It took a bit but I finally got back into the swing of things and had a really great time!

We also did Drak’tharon Keep afterward, which was kinda more of the same.  They’re quite similar instances and I am sure I’ll get them mixed up almost every time.

I should run more heroics.