Sunday, January 24, 2010

Of the Lamest Update Post Evarrr! ...for now.

It's a common malady with me, I think. Every time I plan for something, inexplicably Murphy's Law will be in work. Take last week for example. I got Aelyra prepped and ready to go all out to get her fourth T9 piece... and ran headfirst into a wall. A lag wall, registering at OVER 9000... wait, it was only at 4.5k latency. Sigh...

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depends on your point of view) the lag stabilised around Sunday 5 p.m local time and I was able to complete all the dailies on Aenur, Aelyra, Aerhandor and Aerdread. Later that night I even managed to bring them all into random instances for their daily emblems. Too bad nothing substantial came out of it, though.

So, in lieu of toon by toon update, I'll just mention they got their dailies done, got their daily emblems, got some side activities done while waiting for the randoms to pop up, and end it there. Goshdarn it - Aelyra's at 33 Triumphs at log off yesterday, only needed about 4 more randoms for her T9 helm... sigh...

As for the lowbie alts, I tried leveling them but the lag totally messed up the rhythm - Aeyrin died at least 3 times, Aergor only once thanks to his pet defending him on several occasions... so they only got one level each (Aeyrin is now level 37 and Aergor is level 57). Projection for Aergor seems to be on track - I'm going all out on him this weekend and make sure he's in Outland by this weekend.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Good, The Bad... and teh darn Ugly

WoW-wise, there are days when you queue for randoms and got into a wonderful PuG, where everyone is nice and courteous and the run went smooth as silk, and by the end of the run everyone would be saying "Thanks for the awesome run" and "Excellent healing" or "Appreciate the run guys, see you later" and you'd be transported out with your loot, emblems and a warm feeling in your heart. Hell, maybe it's a commando run - silent, deadly, efficient, and you'd still leave with your sanity intact.

Then there are days when you seem to get the worst PuG. Tank or healer or someone bailed at instance start. Mismanagement of target priority and lost of aggro. The DPS who just wouldn't consider what he's doing when he jumps off the platform and dies, leaving the healer confused on how to rez him when we can't even see the body. And my personal favorite - "U dont noe wat ur doin!" from a scrub wearing blues and greens.

Yesterday however, I had the rare opportunity and misfortune to be in both a good PuG and an ugly PuG in one sitting.

Ugly PuG - I queued Aelyra up for a random heroic. It was her second or third random for the night after a successful previous run. As usual, right in the middle of her dailies the confirmation screen pops up, so she moved quickly to a safe location and hit Enter. Up came the loading screen for H HoS.

There was Aelyra the Hunter, a DK tank, a Mage and our healer (can't recall class, my bad). Then there's this Troll Rogue, let's call him Mr. D. So, after the initial hi and hello, DK tank asks if we're ready, then pulls when we've given him the green light. Trash packs went down nice and easy. Soon we were at the first boss, Krystallus. Now, in my experience I tend to die in about 75% of my encounters with him , due to his Shatter. So I was slightly apprehensive, but willing to give it a shot. We start, I pew-pewed, Krystallus roared, I pew-pe-KNOCKBACKSTUN SHATTER and I was dead besides our healer. Yeah, you heard me right - both me and healer was K.O-ed, leaving our DK tank, the Mage and Mr.D having a party with the boss man.

Amazingly, despite no heals (or maybe that's what I think) the DK tank continues to beat Krystallus down. Second Shatter, Mr. D bites the dust and I could only watch in growing horror at the unfolding carnage... wait, the DK is still at it!

Between him and the Mage, they managed to down Krystallus and saved the group from a complete disaster. By this time, the healer had run back and is starting to rez both me and Mr. D. (I hadn't released, yes I know it's bad, but I would've missed seeing our tank won the match). And immediately after being rezzed, Mr. D proclaimed, loudly and in caps - "STUPID DK USE UR DEATHSTRIKE U FAIL AT BEING TANK" or something very close to that. A moment of silence while Aelyra's recovering. Then Mr. D spoke up again - "Sry tat was my friend he thinks ur a fail tank and I do too".

Interesting - someone thinks the tank, who has successfully tanked the boss without the support of his healer and two of his DPS members, is being called a fail tank because of one DK skill? Then the DK spoke up: "I'm a Frost tank bub, I don't use Death Strike".

Mr. D apparently is not convinced. As the group moves towards the next trash pack he kept saying in party chat how the tank is a noob (actually he claimed his 'friend' is saying that, but he's concurring with every word the 'friend' says) and the tank kept defending himself. After hearing this going on for a few minutes, I spoke up, defending the tank and asking the now worked-up Mr. D to lay off. The argument actually escalated until we're right before the Maiden of Grief. Then the Mage DC'ed.

DK tank explains that he wants to wait a couple of minutes for the Mage, see if she's coming back or not. So to fill in the waiting gap, I typed a joking emote indicating Aelyra's charging like a mad Belf at the boss - and subsequently there was chaos as someone actually aggroed Maiden. The tank bailed during this period, we wiped... and Mr. D said to me, in perfect satisfaction - "Told u hes a fail tank". To be honest, I'm thinking my joke emote was wrongly interpreted by the tank as an actual attempt and being incensed by Mr. D's earlier picking on him, had decided this group is not worth it and bailed, leaving us to wipe. But seriously, I too had enough of Mr. D and dropped the group immediately - but not before saying to him: "He's a competent enough tank to live when some of us are eating the floor, matey."

Good PuG - It was quite late in the night, Aelyra had finished a few random heroics and by this time had enough Triumphs to buy her next T9 item. I was looking over the trade window, evaluating each gear and wondering which set piece I should prioritise when Rage (one of my guildie) asks in gchat if anyone is interested in running some heroics. I figured I may sign up for one so I can start stacking more emblems towards the next T9 item and said yes. Another guildie, Devastatior, also said yes. So there we are - two Hunters, a DPS DK, queued in Dungeon Finder.

Pretty soon (if you can call an average waiting period of 15 minutes 'soon') we were joined by a tank and healer, and got H DTK as our heroic. Initial buffing, a few short exchange, the Pally tank asks - the only time he's ever spoken in party chat, I found out later - "Rdy?". We said yes. So he starts the pull.

I was at first amused, then grew amazed, and finally was outright speechless when he pulls the first trash pack in that hallway, then move to the next (mind you, first pack is not yet dead) then the next, and the next... until we found that he's tanking the entire hallway's trash in one go. I had to resort to AoE-ing the whole group, then when he's done the same thing happened - chain-pulling the entire trash pack along the way and AoE-ing them down. Me and Rage were by this time full of amazement at this display of speed run. Managed to choke out a few strangled line in gchat too.

The only snag came during King Dred - I wasn't sure what happened, but Mr. Amazing Tank died during the fight and subsequently the group wiped. I think during the fear, he took serious beating and healer couldn't recover in time. It was at this time we discovered that he's only got 24k unbuffed health - only 2k more than Aenur. But again, he's shown that he can so tank - on the next try, King Dred goes down and the group continues the lightning run up to Tha'ronja. And win.

Mr. Amazing Tank leaves immediately after the boss dies, not even waiting for loot to be distributed. Since Rage wanted to do the Dra'kuru event, me and Devast waited until the end and had a quick discourse about that run. Rage was more contemplative than amazed, wondering if he could pull that stunt with his Druid tank.

Me? Well, I got the Triumphs out of this run - and not having any proper tank to work on, feel comfortable enough recording Mr. Amazing Tank (Poffa's was his name I think, can't recall his server) most memorable run with Aelyra.

Oh, and also - I got the T9 chest piece for Aelyra. Enchant it, gem it, and boom! Instant 100+ AP increase. I are happy nao =)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Of Loots and Stuffs

Finally... after a couple of weeks of packed RL schedule, last week's ample free time was a breath of fresh air. I managed to do a lot of things across all my adventurers, even managed to accomplish some of the goals I thought weren't even possible given the number of activities going on.

First off - I am extending my hours up to 2 a.m. to compensate for my erratic starting time (I usually starts at 8.30 p.m., but these days I need to cover baby duties while my wife does houseworks during the evening so I get to start up WoW at 9.00 - 9.30) which gives me an extra hour to adventure. So I'm bringing Aerdread back into active duty and probably do something worthwhile instead of gathering dusts on the bench.

Second - my initial plan of making Aerhandor run ToC for gear has failed miserably. RNG has not been merciful and I could not even get his hands on an off-spec drop... BECAUSE THEY NEVER DROP! For crying out loud - I've been running the place close to 12 times a week with 2 items in mind (plus some 3-4 off-spec items) and not ONE of them dropped. So I'm calling him off that place and instead queue him up for a random regular for his daily 2 Triumphs. It's going to take a while before he can amass enough emblems to buy his T9 though... although he is in essence skipping the heroic instances level this way.

Lastly - there is a shortage of posts here other than my regular weekly update. I meant to post a guide on how I do stuffs on my toons, but being largely inexperienced with Blogger and the way my pics in post turns out, I may experiment a bit before publishing it. I'm doing one this weekend and see how that turns out.

Aenur - Has completed her T9 gear with the purchase of Liadrin's Helm of Triumph. Also, in one of her random heroics, she managed to obtain The Lady's Promise from HoR to replace her last blue item. And before that, I took the effort (and the gold) to procure a Titanium Spikeguards for her. And even way before that, she managed to snag from ol' Keri in H Nexus a Flame-Bathed Steel Girdle (it's a cheap item in comparison to her other gears, but an improvement over her Savage Saronite Waistguard). Socketed and gemmed and enchanted, she is still however short of the 5k AP (buffed) benchmark I've set. I may need to tweak or upgrade the gear make-up a bit more.

As a result of running so much heroics, she has accumulated quite a number of Stone Keeper's Shard, which I never noticed until last Saturday. When I did, I took her to Wintergrasp immediately to purchase her very own Black War Mammoth.

And since she no longer has any pressing need for Triumphs, I'm diverting her to Dragonblight to correct a small tactical error - her neglected Kalu'ak rep (early Revered at the moment). She's doing the rep grind, the dailies for Champion's Seal, and one random heroic per day for her Emblem of Frost now. Sweet.

Aelyra - Has been pushed to the head of the queue, and will be grinding Triumphs for her remaining 3 T9 pieces. She has no noticeable drop these last few days though, but her collection of emblems is growing.

Aerhandor - Frustrated with the way ToC RNG treated him, I'm having him do one random regular every day in addition to the Tourney dailies he's currently running. No noticeable drops so far, but the main focus here is the 2 Emblem of Triumphs per day. I'm considering any useful drops that comes his way as bonuses.

Aerdread - Has made improvements in various aspects. With patience and hard work, he has finally managed to get to 400/450 JC and can now prospects the huge amount of Saronite ore currently stashed in my bank alt. And now he can start to do the JC dailies and hopefully soon will be able to provide gems for my other adventurers.

Also, gear-wise, I've been making him do ToC runs (albeit irregularly). In one of his early runs he managed to get Drape of the Undefeated. Then after several runs with no DPS plate drops, suddenly last Sunday he managed to win Breastplate of the Imperial Joust and Gauntlets of the Stouthearted Crusader in one run. Actually, Helm of the Violent Fray did drop from last boss, but I figured I'd pass since the other plate DPS (Ret Pally) wanted it. As an addition, he's crafted his own Charged Titanium Specs to replace his older, blue-level googles. My only grouse right now is the lack of rare-level gems to socket in his gear - I'm not using epic-level gem to socket into these gears just yet.

Aergor - Is now level 56. Will find out if I can squeeze another 2 levels out of him by the end of this month.

Aeyrin - Is now decked in all the Heirloom items she needs to seriously start leveling with the final addition of Swift Hand of Justice, courtesy of Aelyra. Now, if only I can slot the time to level her...

Now, the bad news - I find that I'm growing increasingly disillusioned with playing a Priest, despite not having logging into Aerdanil for the past couple of weeks. Maybe it's my instinctive dislike of caster class. Maybe I'm too accustomed to more resilient toons and is bad at playing a squishy one. Whatever the reason, I finally decided to delete the Side-Project and write off the experiment as "Requiring further analysis". The heirlooms he's sporting is now under my bank alt's custody - I may one day find the drive to play one, and I'm not letting the tools to do it be thrown away. So there - no more Priest. No more Side-Project.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Of Summary Updates

Again, apologies for the short and late updates - I've been busy IRL - my younger sister's getting married, my son is starting to roll, my wife has started working, office's been quite busy with a law case against a defaulting customer... you know the deal.

Aenur - Been in a lot of random heroics, got enough Triumphs to snag both the Mark of Supremacy and the Bloodshed Band. I'm saving enough for her final Triumph upgrade - the helm - before switching to the Hunter for gearing and will leave Aenur with dailies and her daily 2 Emblem of Frost. I'm still trying to get her a pair of ach in the process - the maxed Unarmed ach and the Master of Arms - but that final point in Unarmed is a b***h to get.

Aelyra - Has gotten her second T9 piece, the Windrunner's Handguards of Triumph. Now I'm making her do some sporadic randoms in order to get a running start in Triumph accumulation. I'm planning to get the chestpiece first, then the helm and leave the leggings for last. I'm also musing about replacing her main hand weapon with the Hunter's version of Quel'Delar - my chances of snagging one of those battered hilt is remote, but currently it's touted as one of the best stat-stick a Hunter can get. We'll see.

Aerhandor - Is sick and tired of ToC. An average of 2 runs per day for the past several days, and not even a decent off-spec leather drop. He managed to get Uruka's Band of Zeal, actually, but that doesn't count =( I've reconsidered doing ToC on him and instead switched to "do-a-regular-random-a-day-for-Triumph" routine beginning yesterday. I hate you, RNG.

Aerdread - Has done exactly what Aerhandor did previously - running ToC for gearing purposes. Almost got that same ring that Aerhandor did - but I left early before the loot could be distributed and lost it. I don't actually mind though - he's not doing anything other than counting dust specks on his shoulderplates and leveling his JC (which is 370/450 currently). If he gets geared, great! If not, well at least he'll bring home some disenchanted mats, a bit of gold and some loot when he comes home =D

One thing, though - I was fooling around last weekend and queued him up for a random regular. Guess what instance pops out? You may have guessed Oculus, but it's not - it's PoS. Managed to get through it without any wipes, deaths or taxes. Too bad nothing exciting dropped. Oh well.

Aeyrin - Pushed her to level herself and her professions hard - hit level 36 and got her Inscription and Alchemy up to Expert level (I think it's Expert... no?). The combination of double XP and Heirloom be praised!

So, until the next update, HDWT!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Of More Late Updates

It's a bit later than I like, but I finally found some time to write down the progress that my adventurers have managed to achieve during the final week of 2009 and the first few days of 2010. The list is quite long, and there are several hilarious events that I am keen to touch upon, but I fear it would take up too much of the post so I'll be better off mentioning only the highlights.


Aenur - Has finally managed to obtain her Argent Charger and Red Drake mount. Doesn't she look regal, galloping around the Tourney ground on her Paladin-y horse? Oh, and running randoms day in and day out she's managed to snag Liadrin's Legplates of Triumph, making it her fourth T9 piece and finally getting that sweet 4-piece tier set bonus. Aside from that, she's also got the Libram of Valiance and used her Stone Keeper Shards to purchase a Heirloom sword for Aeyrin.

Her highlight of the week? Running reg HoR with a random PuG... with herself as Ret (DPS), a Prot Pally tanking, and a Holy Pally as the healer. This group composition got laughed at by the Warrior and Mage in the group, too - with 3 paladins providing CC, Oh-Sh*t abilities, 3 kinds of Blessings and Judgements the entire run was a fun filled exercise for all of us. No wipes, no death... but unfortunately no Plate drop either. We must've jinxed it >.<

Aelyra - Has begun doing a random Heroic per day in addition to her dailies. I hope to be able to garner enough triumphs to purchase her second tier piece by the time Aenur is done so she can start her randoms in force.

Her highlight of the week - Shortly after handing in her last daily for the day, a guildie of mine, Kraenok, who was out on a reconn mission in Storm Peaks for the Time-Lost Proto-Drake, called in over gchat announcing that he's found Skoll, the rare wolf Spirit Beast. Aelyra was quick to answer the call, hopping onto her drake and speeding all the way there.

Did I get it? Yes! Do I love it? Hell yes! I are proud owner of Spirit Beast, rawr! (although my heart is still set for Loque) Too bad I forgot to get a proper SS for this week's update.

Aerhandor - Has started running reg ToC once every day in addition to his dailies. I would rather not start him on ToC when he's only exalted with his own faction and still need to grind rep with the rest, but I am pressured to take advantage of the Dungeon Finder tool while it's still popular. Unfortunately his luck with loot is abyssmal - he's got the Gloves of the Argent Fanatic, which is a nice upgrade... but the rest of the drops are not as good as his current gear (I got Shoulderpads of the Infamous Knave drop twice, not as good an upgrade as Aerhandor's current Trollwoven Spaulders). Here's to hoping the trinket and the cloak drop - as well as the boots.

Aeyrin - Has gotten both Heirloom weapons - the Battleworn Thrash Blade and the Balanced Heartseeker, both enchanted with the Crusader enchant and ready to rock. Those, coupled with the Heirloom chestpiece and shoulders are enough to greatly help me level her. However, with Aenur, Aelyra and Aerhandor being busy as they are, it might take me some time before I can actually dedicate some time to do that.


There are other events that I should be mentioning in details, too - running with some guildies for triumphs, tanking exercises and healing practises, some fail PuGs I have the misfortune to join... but sadly my memory retention is bad at recalling stuffs over two seconds old, and so I regret that I cannot post them here =P

Maybe next time I should SS these events to help me remember things better, no?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2010: Year of Achievements

First things first - A very (albeit belated) Happy New Year to everyone and may you have the opportunity and conviction to accomplish all that you wish for this year.

I should've post the new year greeting and well-wishing a couple of days back, but since the 'Net connection was so stable I just had to take advantage of it =D

Anyways, I will leave adventurers' update to a later post. Today, I'd like to muse over the thing almost everyone would be doing come a new year - New Year Resolution.

I know most people just love to make New Year Resolution - "I wanna lose weight!", "I wanna travel and see the world!" or "I wanna buy a BMW M3 GTR with blue background and silver stripes!". The thing is, I also make resolutions. I'm not going to hide the facts - sometimes I'm good at keeping 'em, at other times I just fail at it. But it's one way that I use to keep track of my progress throughout the year and at the end of it, judge myself whether the year has been a successful one for me or not.

In case of WoW, the weekly updates of my adventurers is my way of tracking their progress, or lack of it. At the end of every week, I can evaluate whether the week is very successful/profitable/enjoyable or vice versa. It's my way of actually seeing for myself whether my RM120 per 2 months is worth it or not.

So, 2010 is the start of a benchmarking process. I have a few targets that I need to achieve in this year, and only one or two are a tad on the impossible side. Nevertheless, here they are in no particular order:

1) Getting the Black Drake from OS +3 10-man
This would be the goal for Aenur. I've always been partial to dragon mounts and have gone to great efforts to try to procure Netherdrakes for all my level 70 toons pre-WotLK. And in WotLK, both my Pally and Hunter have either the Red or Bronze Drake as their primary flight mount. This year, I'm set on slipping Aenur inside one of the OS raids and winning that Black Drake. I've been wanting that drake color ever since they announce it O_O

2) T9 (at least) for everyone
At the moment I'm writing this, Aenur has 4/5 T9 and Aelyra has 1/5 T9 equipped. At my best estimates, Aenur should be fully tiered by the weekend and Aelyra will follow in about 2-3 weeks time. That leaves Aerhandor and Aerdread, and frankly speaking both of them still has a long way to go (Aerdread is not even close to Heroic standards!). I got Aerhandor started on some reg ToC 5-man to gear up, but I still need to prep a gear list requirement for him. I hope to be able to accomplish this goal by June/July, regardless whether Cataclysm hits or not.

3) Level Aergor and Aeyrin to 80
Aergor is at level 55 and Aeyrin the Rogue is at level 34. I've done a look-over on both of them and may decide to push Aeyrin first since she has the advantage of having Heirloom pieces with her. That, and the fact that I desperately need a high level Alchemist for transmutation purposes. I'm waiting until Aelyra can snag enough Champion's Seal to get the Heirloom haste trinket before starting to level her. As for Aergor, I'm doing him the old-fashioned way: Double XP and craftable gears... unless I change my mind =)

4) Make a Tauren Paladin and level him to 80
I have 3 Hunters on my active list and 2 Paladins. Taking out the bank alts, that would leave me with 2 Hunters vs one Paladin. And since I prefer playing a Paladin than a Hunter, the fact that I have more Hunter than Paladin leave me with no choice but to roll another Paladin alt (justifying altaholicism - I should write a book on this). But since my in-game character logistics are quite well-established, I'm planning to purchase a few Heirlooms in preparation as well as crafting items at certain levels for his use. By the time Cataclysm arrives I should have all the necessary resource to powerlevel him to 60 by year end. I'm still trying to decide on a name though... maybe Aeryastrasz? Aeradin? Aer-something?

Let see how much of these I can actually accomplish, ya? ^_^