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Ferguson Has Returned!

Monday, January 26th, 2009

Sorry about the lack of posts this weekend!  I was very busy slacking off.  Here’s a quick “This Week in Raiding” for last week:

Lots of lag.  Cut every raid early due to server issues.  Still managed to get new gear!

WoW Word of the Week is taking a short hiatus.

I had a very interesting weekend in the World of Warcraft.  Of course, the Lunar Festival has started, so I spent a bit of time working on traveling around for that.  Don’t have my title yet – that’s gonna take me a while.

Decided I’m going to take a break from raiding this week.  I’ve gotten behind in housework, studying and have lost a little bit of interest in my hunter since her DPS is slightly sad.

But the big news this weekend is:

I FINALLY started leveling Ferguson!

I’ve been meaning to for quite some time, but I’ve been stuck on his spec.  I was supposed to be leveling with my boyfriend’s warlock, but he’s taking to long and I need my healer.  So I decided to go solo.  The problem was, at heart he is a holy priest, a healer.  But I don’t want it to take forever to get to 80.  So my options were:

  1. Level holy, run lots of instances and take questing slow.  This is what I kind of did from 60-70.
  2. Level shadow, quest quickly, then switch to holy at 79 or 80.  The problem with this, is I would be afraid that I wouldn’t know how to heal at 80.  I’d be out of practice, get thrown straight into heroics, and fail.

So I specced Holy and gave those handy Training Dummies a visit.  Is holy viable for solo leveling?

With a 70 Training Dummy, I was doing between 500 and 600 DPS.  It’s not amazing, but I deemed it as enough.

So now Ferguson is now making his way through Howling Fjord, much more quickly than I expected.

And within 5 minutes of getting to Northrend, I already had a group for Utgarde Keep.

Most of us had just stepped off the boat to HF, but it still went pretty well, especially since it’s been 3 or 4 months since I really healed anything.  I was very happy when no one died on the first boss fight.  However, we just couldn’t get the last boss down.  I still am not sure how to heal through that fight.  My DBM tells me STOP CASTING!  So, I stop casting.  However, it fails to ever give me the green light.  How long do I have to wait til I can start casting again?

Anyway, I was still happy with my ability to heal, and I don’t think questing will be that hard.  Since I’ll hopefully be running lots of instances, and I don’t care about achievements on this character, I don’t mind skipping some of the harder or more annoying quests and jumping around to new areas.

Yay, Mend Pet is once again about a Hunter AND a Priest!

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This Week in Raiding… How Brajana Got Her Groove Back

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

As a quondam post of mine can attest to, it’s been a very busy, very messy week.  While the bus strike is still on, exams are over!  Which means I am stuck in my apartment with nothing to do but play World of Warcraft.

Friday, which was supposed to be a day full of heroics, didn’t end up being what I expected.  In the morning, I ran Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle, which of course (like everything else) I’d never been to before.  We made it through fine, but with no thanks to me.

I was a mess!  I don’t know what was wrong with me, but my DPS sucked, I kept face-pulling, and it’s probably a good thing they never asked me to trap.  Seriously, it was a mess.  By the end of the run, I was only about 4% ahead of THE TANK on the damage meters.  Ouch.

I felt like after they’d explained a boss fight to me, I’d immediately forget what they said.  I just was not focused.  I don’t think it helped that I’d never been there before and everyone else had, and I also had three cats vying for my attention, as well as my brother trying to have a conversation with me via text messages (I hate writing text messages!).

I picked up a pair of [Gilt-Edged Leather Gauntlets] in the end, but I actually felt guilty taking them – I didn’t contribute to the run, and didn’t feel like I deserved anything.

It’s probably good I didn’t end up running heroics all day with that group.  It probably would have just been more of the same!

After that, I continued to have more troubles with my computer, and wasn’t able to play most of the afternoon… but after I rebooted and let my video card take a nap, I managed to convince it to stay awake for a couple runs in the evening while  I helped Tigerfeet search for a new tanking staff.

We started in Heroic Black Morass Violet Hold.  It was lots of fun, and I love having Tiger as my tank, she’s a very good tank and more importantly, she is always very constructive and forgiving of silly little mistakes that we all make.  And for some reason, my complete lack of focus was gone!  Huzzah!  Misdirects for everyone!

We had a little trouble learning the second boss, which was Zuramat the Obliterator, the big Voidwalker type guy.  Apparently he is hailed as one of the most difficult heroic bosses around right now.  But after a couple of wipes and researching the exact mechanics, we had no problems… our Shaman healer got to purgin’ and we killed his little minions and all was well.

When we were done, while I walked away with [Twin-Headed Boots] but the staff didn’t drop, so we took our party to Heroic Utgarde Keep to have of either the staff or the crossbow dropping!

Finally, a heroic I’ve done before!  It went pretty smoothly, I can’t say we had any real troubles.  And congrats to Tigerfeet on her new [Enraged Feral Staff]!

I think I’m comfortable with running heroics now.  Which puts me a little more at ease about possibly jumping straight into 25-man raiding next week.  I’d rather get some practice in 10-mans first, but it seems the guild’s priority is to jump right past that.

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This Week in Raiding… Oculus and Naxxramas

Saturday, December 6th, 2008

So I finally hit 80!  Time to run some heroics and raids, right?

Nope.  Instead of skipping right to raiding and heroics, I took a trip to regular Oculus with a couple other newly 80 guildies, and a couple not so newly 80.  And it turns out running something on regular was a really good idea.  It turns out I haven’t run any instances since around 72-73… and other than those 4 times I ran instances then, I haven’t run a 5-man instance in many a month.  I was rusty, it was pretty clear.  I was running around all flummoxed, not used to it being more than just Hanno and me.

No sending my gorilla in and rounding things up, then volleying.  No, now I have to pay attention to which target I and my pet are on!  And I have to pay attention to when my cooldowns are up!  I admit I forgot to use kill shot about half the run… even though it gives me a little notice when I can use it, I’m so used to ignoring the notice that I just seemed to skip it.

But in the end, I started to get back into the swing of things.  I am glad I had guildies there to not think I was a total noob.

You shoulda seen me running around trying to find the entrance to the instance.  I’ve decided the minimap should be 3 dimensional.

If I’d PUG’d myself, I’d have kicked myself before the run even started!

Anyway, it was hunter night in Oculus apparently, and I could have picked up 3 upgrades.  I grabbed the [Wyrmclaw Battleaxe], the [Centrifuge Core Cloak] and passed on the [Spaulders of Skillful Maneuvers] since I’m going to be making new shoulders soon anyway (but I won the roll for the shard!)

All in all, it was nice to be back to running things and being part of a group.

While I didn’t get to go to Naxxramas, <Unemployed> had quite a successful week.  The got quite a few bosses down.  I just hope I get a chance to get in there before they clear it all!

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This week in raiding… Brajana hits up Northrend!

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

Time to discuss my first week of instances in the Wrath of the Lich King.  I had time to experience the first three instances, Utgarde Keep, The Nexus and Azjol-Nerub.

First of all, I’d like to say that most of the people in Unemployed, myself included, are trying to learn instance encounters on our own. We aren’t looking up boss strategies beforehand, we’re trying to develop our own.  I’m enjoying that a lot.  While it may lead to some avoidable wipes, it’s a lot of fun going in and not knowing what to expect, moving and changing how you play on the fly!

Since I started my adventures in Howling Fjord, it made sense to have Utgarde Keep as my first new instance.  And it was pretty fun.  To be honest, it wasn’t entirely memorable… I barely remember what it was like, and it’s only been a week since I was in there.  I also know that there was a point where I didn’t realize the mob we were fighting was a boss.

However, I do remember one point where the tank asked me to have my pet off-tank one of the mobs in the pull right before one of the bosses, which resulted in a quick wipe.  Why?  Well, if you’re a hunter, it’s likely you’ve noticed that on occasion, your pet likes to run off with the mob they are fighting.  Generally, I have time to recall my pet before he gets too far… but I was busy also trying to trap at the same time, and Ambrose and the mob he was supposed to be tanking decided to go have their fight right on top of the boss.  Boo.

The next instance I got to experience was The Nexus.  What a pretty instance!  I must say, if I’d had my gorilla in there, he’d do a great job of blending in.  Lots of blueish white icy goodness in there.  The tank this time seemed to know where he was going, and we almost rushed through the instance, so I didn’t get to make many observations.  Ormorok the Tree-Shaper felt like a combination of the Dragonhawk boss from Zul’Aman and Astromancer Solarian from The Eye.  He spawns these little ice thingies… and if you don’t get out of the way, they’ll shoot you up in the air.  Which is fun the first time (just like Solarian) but some people need to be a little more observant.

Grand Magus Telestra was a lot of fun.  I didn’t really know what the heck was going on most of the time, but I know there were several points when she used me as her own personal yo-yo.

The final boss… was one of those wipes that could have been avoided.  There’s a stacking debuff that she puts on everyone, which causes frost damage periodically, and causes more damage with more stacks.  I couldn’t figure out why I was dying so fast.  The SMART thing to do would have been to read the text in the debuff, the part that said “Movement will cancel this effect.”  Instead, I stood back and shot my arrows, which is my default strategy when I don’t know what’s going on.

I also had a chance to run through Azzjol-Nerub, or Azz-rub as our Guild Leader has coined it.  Neat place, but slightly unerving.  The moment I stepped on that web-like floor, I had the feeling I was going to fall through.  It was worrisome, and I was always afraid the next step would be my last!

Oh, and big spider boss?  Creepy.  *shudder*

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Hunter: Gearing for Karazhan (on a budget!)

Friday, August 29th, 2008

Disclaimer: This post was accurate as of patch 2.4.3.

On his post about a post about my apparently pugnacious post, Big Bear Butt Blogger happened to mention an unrelated point that he was looking for a good resource for hunters who are looking for badge/Kara/Heroic level gear.  While I really enjoy the Gearing for Karazhan guides that WoW Insider has provided, and of course BRK has written a nice guide there for Hunters… but it seems that the majority of the items there are BoE Auction House purchases.

I had a different stragegy.  When I hit 70, I didn’t run to the AH to buy myself some sweet gear.  Why not?  Well, first of all, I’m a bit of a penny pincher. I rarely buy things on the Auction House, I’d much rather grind mats and badges and instances to get drops or crafted items. Second of all, when I hit 70, I was automatically in “saving for my epic flyer” mode.  The first time I saw someone zoom past me on a Netherwing mount, I was determined to be just like them!  I don’t have a problem with people gearing up using the AH, I mean, that’s what it is there for.  But I thought I’d give a few additional pointers for other sources!

First of all, if you are a leatherworker it is time for you to start rounding up some mats for an [Netherscale Armor] set.  Between the Bracers, Belt and Breastplate, you’ll net yourself a nice +20 hit rating.  Your first goal as a newly 70 hunter is to achieve the hit cap, attack power, agility and crit will come along in time, but hit rating is really important to work at, and has a set maximum to get to.  These three pieces of BoP leatherworking pieces lasted me straight through until the later part of T5, and I’m still wearing the chest.

If you aren’t a leatherworker, then your best bet is to find one and have them craft up a [Felstalker Armor] set.  This set also the same +20 hit bonus, but the stats are a little less in areas like Stamina (which is pretty important for a new raider).

For a weapon, I can’t recommend the [Hellscream's Will] more.  Do a bit of rep grind for Mag’har and this beauty is yours, and you can even get a pretty mount at the same time!  I have grown to hate it, only because this electric guitar had been strapped to my back for a full year before I finally got a replacement.  The hit rating on this is godly (+42!), and will make it a tough one to get rid of.  If somehow hit rating isn’t an issue for you, two other great weapons are the [Sonic Spear], which drops from Murmur in regular Shadow Labyrinth (but refused to drop for me) and also the [Blackened Spear] (what I’m using now) from Thrallmar rep (Revered), which has more agility and less +hit.

For a ranged weapon, [Valanos' Longbow] is probably your best bet for a bow.  If you are of the Gun Lovin’ variety though, I’d have to say you may want to spend the time and/or money to grab a [Ornate Khorium Riffle].  But if you happen to pick up a [Recoilless Rocket Ripper X-54], from Steamvaults (you’ll probably be running this to rep up for your Glyph), it’s nothing to scoff at either.  In fact, this has got to be one of my favourite looking weapons in the game!  +10 points for aesthetic!

One trinket that I sure hope you held on to is the [Bladefist's Breadth].  A quest reward from a level 63 quest on a 70?  You bet!  This is a great AP boost trinket, and there aren’t many you can replace it with.  Another trinket that I might recommend as your very first badge purchase is the [Bloodlust Brooch] (41 Badges).  And be sure to use it whenever you can, it’s a handy boost that really will make a difference.

The best ring I can point you to is [Angelista's Revenge] – but it’s a bit pricey at 60 badges, so I’m sure you’ll want something to hold you over until then.  Some options are the [Ravenclaw Band] from Sethekk Halls, and the [Ring of Umbral Doom] from Botanica (both available on regular).

The boots I wore for the longest time, in fact I believe they were my last remaining greens – were the [Duro Footgear].  These are from a Netherstorm quest and they’re really decent.  Of course, if you happen to get [Boots of the Endless Hunt] to drop from Warp Splinter (Bot Heroic)… good for you, hope he also drops the neck piece [Jagged Bark Pendant] as well, so you can fill two slots with one kill! :)   But be prepared to stick with the green ones, as there isn’t a whole lot in between.

What am I missing… ah, head gear.  [Dream-Wing Helm].  This lasted me through til I got my scary-looking drop from Shade of Aran.  You can pick this one up off of Abmassador Hellmaw in Shadow Labyrinth! Edit: Rilgon Arcsinh was nice enough to point out that one of the best helms you can get is the [Surstrike Goggles 2.0], which only Engineers can use.  So if Engy’s your thing… get on it!

For gloves, your best bet is [Handguards of the Steady] from heroic Mech.

Oh and if you didn’t pick up Bloodlust Brooch as your first badge loot, you’ll want to grab [Blood Knight War Cloak] for your back, in fact I’m still using this… and also for your neck, [Choker of Vile Intent].  These are both great pieces, and at only 25 badges each, they’re a steal!  Grab ‘em up!

And if you are lucky on drops and such, the Desolation Armor (Dungeon 3 set) and the Beast Lord Armor set have some nice pieces, they are nothing to scoff at!

If you’re not lucky on drops… well, hit up the Auction House.  Or do some PvP, there’s lots of excellent BG and Arena gear that will get you where you ought to be!  I didn’t cover the PvP stuff because I haven’t paid a whole lot of attention to it, personally.  OR just try to get in on a few Karazhan runs and see what you can pick up from there.  even just Attumen drops a few nice Hunter pieces, and luckily the most important gear you need to be a successful hunter in Kara is SKILL!  So get some practise, read some guides, and I wish you happy hunting!