Tuesday, September 28, 2010

With Great Brewfest Comes Great Latency

It's been one week since Brewfest began, and the lag I mentioned in my previous post has shown no signs of abating. I have been forced to run the Direbrew boss under 3k latency, do some of the easier dailies with 1.5k to 2.5k latency, and stare at the screen as the latency hits 5k at times. I wonder if the server's borked again...

I can only regret all those wasted Frosts from all those random heroics, weekly raid and VoA I've missed, and all those lost golds from dailies I can't reclaim.

On the other hand, I managed to complete the Brewmaster achievement on both Aenur and Aerhandor (with both of them obtaining the Swift Brewfest Ram from the daily keg) and net them the title. Also, after some debate I've relented and bought a couple of Primordial Saronite from the AH - Aenur used one to purchase Plans: Hellfrozen Bonegrinders. She still needs another 4 Primordial Saronite before she can craft one, though.

To while away the time until the lag goes away (I can't see that happening until Brewfest is over, though), I've re-rolled a few alts over on another server. Unlike a normal re-roll, I've created toons in the same order and looks as my main server - a Belf Paladin bank alt, a Belf Hunter and a Belf Paladin... with the same names too! Well, it's just for a temporary amusement I tell myself. I've levelled both the Hunter and Paladin up a bit, and tell myself if the situation with the main server isn't improving I might as well focus on these two until the end of the festivities. Also, whenever lag hits I can just switch to this alternative version of my toons.

And yes - no updates this time. Like I mentioned - bad laggy =(

Monday, September 20, 2010

Brewfest 2010

It's that time of the year again... the time when all hell breaks loose and you can see almost-nekkid orcs and dwarves scattered in front of Orgrimmar and Ironforge.

It's Brewfest - let the virtual beer flow!

So instead of half-heartedly approaching this annual event, I decided from day one to try and get the Brewmaster title for Aenur and Aerhandor, maybe even Aerdread. I could include Aelyra in this venture, but decided there's always next year for her - she only needed to get the wolpertinger pet and she'll be done.

To accomplish my goals, I had Aenur rush all the way from Dal to Org (heh, only one portal away lol) and set her up for the festivities. Bad news hits first, though - along with the celebration came a heavy wall of 5k latency, making Brewfest laggy as hell for her. Five disconnects and one hour later, she got the wolpertinger pet plus all the achieves necessary for the meta except two: snuffing Coren Direbrew, and The Brew of the Month membership that costs 200 Brewfest tokens. Shuddering to think how to do the ram racing (and getting the tokens) in this kind of lag, I decided to make Aenur do the latter. And it was a very fortuitous decision.

Aenur queued for the holiday boss via LFG, and almost immediately the dungeon confirmation window came up. She found herself teleported into the encounter, starts to help out, killed the nasty Coren... but wait, what's this? Another requeue window? Apparently she had the good fortune to be grouped with the determined few who plans to farm Coren Direbrew for all the dwarf's worth. It was fun, it was intense, it was rewarding - almost 15+ encounters later and she had Ancient Pickled Egg, Mithril Pocketwatch, Brawler's Souvenir and the very nice Coren's Chromium Coaster. She also got the two Brewmaiden charms, which will be useful as part of her Prot off-spec. No mount drop, though - but you can't have everything I guess =)

When it's Aerhandor's turn, he got a bit less lucky - he's got the chromium coaster, but nothing else. It was, however, hugely compensated when he opened the keg he got as the daily reward - BOOM! A Swift Brewfest Ram!

It looks to be the start of a very delightful festival, this Brewfest 2010. I wish you guys all the best of luck - as best as mine, if I may say so ^_^

Of Quick Updates

Normally I'd start with some short paragraphs trying to summarize the previous week's experiences, but I'm not feeling creative today and instead will just skip to the character updates. Sorry - I'll try and make it up... no promises though.

Aelyra - As expected, managed to finish the Quel'Delar questline and got herself the epic Quel'Delar, Cunning of the Shadows (plus achievement). It came with a bad experience though - the group that helped her get the HoR part down sadly did not manage to proceed past the final gauntlet and disbanded. But at least she's got the cool sword (with a +65 AP enchant slapped on it).

As an added salt to the wound, she also won a Barbed Ymirheim Choker during one of her random heroic runs... if you remembered, just last week I had upgraded her necklace to a Broach of the Wailing Night. The only logical response to this is a /facepalm.

Aenur - A weekly raid (which happened to be Flame Leviathan) earned her enough Frost to buy her third T10 piece, the Lightsworn Helmet. Put some gems into it, add a cool head enchant, and Boom! Now I'm really tempted to put all those T10 gear on and rush into ICC 10 mans. Oh, and I also upgraded her belt to the Belt of the Singing Blade (yes, more Triumph downgrades) from the previous Flame-Bathed Steel Girdle.

One worry though - with the upcoming expansion coming hard and fast, I fear that I won't be able to amass enough Frost to be able to purchase her next T10 gear. It's sad, since I really liked the look of the set and this is the furthest I've gone on my own to obtain a Paladin Tier set (since my very first Paladin, those many many years back).

Aerhandor - Short, sweet... but brutal update:- On Thursday, went to Dal and downgraded a few Triumphs to buy a Broach of the Wailing Night, following the footsteps of Aelyra. On Friday night, queued for a random, got heroic PoS... guess what dropped from the first boss and was won by Aerhandor? This - Barbed Ymirheim Choker. It was an epic "NOOO!!" moment.

Aerdread - Is now Exalted with the Sons of Hodir, courtesy of the bucketloads of Relic of Ulduar over on my bank alt. Bought the mammoth mount just for kicks, then moved him back to Dal - maybe do a few JC dailies before mustering enough determination to re-do the Aspirant/Valiant dailies @_@

Aergor - Has dinged 74, and almost finished with his Howling Fjord's tour of duty. But instead of moving him to Dragonblight for further questing, I may re-direct him to Borean Tundra and start some of the questlines there, especially the Kalu'ak and Wyrmrest Accord ones. I fancy some of the rep rewards from those walrus people and the drake mount from Wyrmrest for my upcoming Hunter.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Of Titles, Upgrades and Rediscovered Passion

Note: Last weekend in Malaysia we celebrated Aidilfitri, or Eid-ul Fitr, the day of celebration after Ramadhan, a month of fasting. I originally thought I wouldn't have the time to play since we're visiting a lot of relatives (and being visited by them too!) - but my wife had to work the day after Aidilfitri, so I was stuck home taking care of our dear baby Adam. So I managed to play after all =)

Last weekend I was finally able to accomplish a number of objectives, as well as re-discovering the passion for running randoms. It actually began last week, as I was mulling over what to do with my DK and Druid. As I mentioned previously, I'm thinking about upgrading their gear - it wasn't dismal, but it's not raid-worthy materiel either. So I pushed Aerhandor hard to nab his achievement then moved him to Icecrown for the usual treatment of "doing-dailies-while-queueing-for-randoms". As for Aerdread, I'm still doing the Sons of Hodir dailies with him, and queueing him for a random regular (2 Triumphs per day, since I'm not yet comfortable playing a DK at this time).

As I ran a few randoms, it began to dawn on me that I actually miss doing this - the teleporting into dungeons, buffing peeps and then shredding mobs. I actually didn't mind the few times I had to switch mode into tank/healer to bail the group during emergencies, and I found that I love the feeling I get after successfully completing the run. Apparently, the saying "You never missed something until it goes away" is true O_o

So maybe in the near future, I'll be running more randoms - both to gear up my two undergeared toons as well as for that extra WotLK kick.

Anyways, here's the regular update:-

Aelyra - There seems to be a lack of 1h weapon (especially swords) fitting for a Hunter - the few that caught my eyes have some undesirable stats (Expertise, anyone? Darn Rogues...) and the ones that bear proper stats are too hard for Aelyra to access. So, I turn to the last option I had - I bought a Battered Hilt from the AH and initiated the quest for it. The end objective is to get Quel'Delar, Cunning of the Shadows to replace her aging Fang of Truth. At this time, I'm about to do the 'running PoS' part of it and I'm fairly certain I should be able to finish the entire questline by the coming weekend.

Just as an aside - did you know you could zone into PoS and collect all those Infused Saronite lying around the tents in the place without aggroing anything? It certainly helps, since I now only need to down Garfrost, loot his hammer and re-forge the sword.

Other than that, Aelyra managed to get into a VoA 25-man run, and a VoA 10-man run immediately after, got the achieves for both, and managed to get enough emblems to purchase a Broach of the Wailing Night to replace her Pendant of the Outcast Hero (yes, I had to downgrade a few Triumphs).

Aenur - Missed an opportunity to join a guild ICC 10-man due to oversleeping (late by 20 minutes) and ran a few random heroics instead. Her Frost count is nearly enough to buy her next T10 piece - I'll most likely go for the helm - and aside from that... nothing much. She's skilling up nicely on Cooking and Fishing on those Dal dailies, though.

Aerhandor - After a few weeks of running the Steamvaults...

...he's finally become a respected member of the Druid community - congratulations Aerhandor, Guardian of Cenarius!

In other news, I'm making him run more random heroics now to fund his upgrades and trying to position him as an alternative for Aelyra if in case I need to run a lower tier raid later (Naxx or Ulduar). For the moment, I'm parking him in Icecrown where he's contributing by doing dailies and trying to get his squire an Argent Pony.

Aerdread - Has finally managed to collect enough Triumphs to be able to purchase his first T9 piece, the Koltira's Shoulderplates of Conquest. But even with this upgrade, I'm still hesistant about getting him into heroics - the major reason? I feel I suck at playing a DK. I'm not certain about my rotation (I always end up with every rune on CD and only auto-attacking at some point) and the lack of Hit dissuades me from doing a higher dungeon mode. I guess I'll just stick with the 2 Triumphs a day until I get enough confidence to finally step into a heroic with him.

Aergor - Almost to 74 now, and I've been playing him whenever I have the time - doing a couple of randoms, a few quests here and there to inch him slowly to level cap. I'm still looking for a decent gun somewhere within his range, but the closest I could find is in heroics. Ah well, maybe when he's 80...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Of Icecrown Raids, and Miscellaneous

Last Sunday, I logged in quite early in the morning - I was thinking about getting a few quests done on my lowbie Hunter before going off doing a number of chores that was planned yesterday. So imagine my surprise when Kragg was on Gchat trying to drum up some guildies for a ICC-25 man run with another friendly guild. At this time, my freshly awakened brain couldn't quite foresee the time investment needed for such a venture, so when Kragg asked me if I wanted to tag along all my brain could come up with is - "OK."

Aenur was there at Icecrown Citadel by the time the raid reached 19-strong. To pass the time, I ninja-AFK'ed and got some of the chores done... and after about half an hour, the raid went under way. I have to tell you, this is one of those sweet, sweet run - every boss up until Saurfang were one-shots and there was no wipe except for that one trash encounter at the Upper Spire (and I wasn't sure why we wiped though - all I see was a number of empty health bars suddenly cropping up before my own demise). However, just before Festergut, two of our raid members had to leave due to the time and the run was stalled. A number of attempts to seek out replacements failed, and the raid was called at that point. No phat lewt for Aenur though, but she did get a number of Frosts and earned enough rep to get her Ashen Band of Greater Might.

This run, coupled with the one I had the last few days, really peaked up my interest in doing the full ICC run. But like I mentioned previously, it's not "becoming a full raider" - just enough to run the place, get to feel the experince Blizzard has so painstakingly crafted for us and getting your money's worth. Something like what I did with the guild back in Kara =)

Anyways, here's the update on the rest of the posse:-

Aelyra - Still doing dailies (boy, don't you guys ever get tired of hearing that line over and over). However, with Aergor quickly coming up to 80, I'll need Aelyra to craft another Swiftarrow set for him... which means farming leather and some Eternals. I still have a number of Eternals stashed on the main bank alt, but there's no leather stock and it has got to be farmed. I may devote one or two afternoons farming in Sholazar this week and see if I can skin enough gorillas/sabretooth cats for use and storage.

Aerhandor - CE rep is now up to 16712/21000, and given enough time this week I may be able to make him hit Exalted. Too bad in the last run he barely found any Coilfang Armaments drop, otherwise he'd be sitting at around 17k rep by now. I've also decided that once his CE mission is done, he'll be back to Northrend doing some random heroics to improve his gear.

Aerdread - Is now Exalted with the Kalu'ak. Say hello to the penguin pet, Aerdread!

Now it's off to the Storm Peaks, where he'll be making friends with the Sons of Hodir by doing dailies after dailies and finally get his hands on that ginormous Mammoth of theirs. At the same time, I'm having a deep resentment with his current gear - maybe a few random heroics can lift my mood some?

Aergor - Ding 73! He's done a couple of random dungeons which has helped him a lot in leveling. And also, thanks to the enormous number of Infinite Dusts and Essences accumulated by Aenur, Aelyra, Aerhandor and Aerdread during their intensive random-dungeon-running, he's finally able to hit 381/450 in Enchanting. Pretty soon, I will have my own Enchanter that I can use to do some of those fancy enchants, muahahaha!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Of Distractions and... oooh, shiny!

Again, my master plan for the domination of Azeroth has been distracted - I've been busy trying to save the galaxy from being overrun by the nefarious Zerg and their sadistic queen Kerrigan. Yes, after almost a month of waiting I've finally got an original Starcraft 2 game (which is hard to come by, since the local market for PC games is saturated by pirated copies). I've finished the entire campaign in late August, and worked through some of the more easier achievements before being satisfied and coming back to WoW. So please forgive my absence >.<

Not much has changed in how I run my toons these days - it's still mostly dailies and an occasional quest or two. The only issue is random heroics, since the queue time has now reached such phenomenal level that I can queue for a random and finish every dailies before the dungeon confirmation ever pops up. Now, I normally skip random heroics and focus on the dailies unless any guildies has a random to run.

I've also re-arranged toon priorities - I'm putting Aeyrin the Rogue on ice until Cata, Aenur has been relegated to Cooking daily in Dalaran only and Aerdread is getting pushed in to fill the gap.

Aelyra - Like expected, she's managed to get the 150 Champion's Seal required for the Argent Pony Bridle for her squire, and... is back grinding for more Champion's Seal. Well, not exactly the seals - I'm making her do the Tourney dailies for the gold. 80-100 gold in 20 minutes per day is a steady way to build cash reserves methinks. And even if it's not, my bank alts sure could use some Heirloom lovin'.

Aenur - Has the luck to log in right when my guild is prepping to do a 10-man ICC. Well, not actually, she missed the call by about 5 seconds. But Thau, bless his good heart, offered to sit it out and gave me the opportunity to go instead. So it was that Aenur got into an ICC run straight up until the Blood Princes. At this point, we just couldn't push it further and decided to call it. She got a couple of achievements from the run, too.

Ramaladni's Blade of Culling dropped from Blahbringer Sourpants and the raid expected me to roll on it. However, I'm just not an axe person (and Aenur hasn't trained axes) so I passed. That got the raid a bit aghast, but I assured them I really don't want it anyway since I'm eccentric that way. So it went to Kragg, who still tries to make me take it anyway (that's okay mate, I'll wait for a mace upgrade from LK lol). All in all, a pretty good run - Marrowgar, Deathwhisper, Saurfang, Lootship, Rotface and Festergut one-shotted.

Aerdread - Moving in to fill the vacuum left by Aenur, I have him doing the two Kalu'ak dailies for the cool 1,000 rep and 10 gold in 10-12 minutes per day. He still needs about 5k more rep to hit Exalted, then it's off to Storm Peaks to open up the Sons of Hodir dailies. At this time, all I want him to do is to gather rep and build a separate cash reserve, and so far it's working fine. Later on, I may slot him for the Tourney dailies just to build more rep and gain access to better paying dailies.

Aerhandor - Running SV for CE rep. Currently, I'm only able to do one or two runs per week due to a limited play time, but he's getting there slowly. He's currently sitting at 10235/21000, and each successful SV run nets him an average of 1.8k rep (not including the Coilfang Armament drops, which may contribute up to an additional 750 rep for a total average of 2.5k rep). I estimate it'll take another 6 or 7 runs to max out CE rep for him. And after that? I don't really know... maybe book him into an inn until Cata? More dailies?

Aergor - Has dinged 72, is now Exalted with the Shattered Suns Offensive, has the cool tabard to show for it, is now wet from swimming all the way from Quel'Danas to Howling Fjord... and is now waiting as I mulled over which option to choose in leveling him - the regular questing way, the random dungeon way or the bloody BG way? Anyway, I still need to look up some proper gear upgrades for him first - it wouldn't do to stride into a BG or random Wrath dungeon with some outdated Outland gears.