Ice in Northrend

November 4, 2010

Another alt has made it through Outlands, and so arrives in Northrend, ready to kick some ass and take some names.

I think I spoke once about how everyone takes the obligatory going through the Dark Portal picture of their toons, but no one does a going to Northrend picture. Well, here ya go.

I'm on a boat!

Viva leveled through Borean Tundra with Totallytotem. Ice is going through Howling Fjord with Torq. We’re quite the odd couple. He’s a gnome, I’m a draenei. Why don’t I have any screenshots with him? Oh, that’s right. She’s too fabulous to include anyone else in her pictures, it would just mar her image.

Having landed at Valgarde with supplies.

I’ve been questing questing questing, because I’m kinda scared to tank yet. WTB replacements for my crappy starter DK gear. I figure I’ll wait until I hit 70 and then see whats on the AH. I’m finding that there are way too many quest rewards that are purely for Holy Paladins. What did Blizzard think, we’d end up with no Holy Pallies if they didn’t bombard them with gear?

Most fun quest in Howling Fjord so far?

Harpoon Surfing!




Blatantly Stealing Ideas from WoW Insider

October 30, 2010

Today’s Breakfast Topic on WoW Insider was “What prompted your class choice?”

I couldn’t resist posting about this, as it is a topic near and dear to my heart.

So, like many others my introduction to WoW was through a friend. I had played Baldur’s Gate and Neverwinter Nights prior. My friend got tired of hearing me complain about how bad Neverwinter Nights 2 was, and so referred me to WoW.

I putzed around, and as I had played a Paladin in NWN, I thought I’d give it a try. I leveled a dwarven paladin to about level 15 and then deleted her. For some reason it just didn’t click. So I asked my friend what he thought would be a good choice. He thought the best choice would be a warlock.

So Ashwynn was born. I toiled to get her to 58, even as the world was changing around me with the transition into The Burning Crusade. I struggled to learn this new game. My friend had to teach me how to make my voidwalker tank for me. I was slow to grasp how a warlock really worked. I kept pushing thinking that things would magically be awesome when I reached level cap. When I hit 58 and it was time for me to make the trek into Outlands I stopped.

The new reroll realm Cairne was being introduced, and it seemed like a perfect chance for me to learn to play with lots of other people leveling up also, everyone starting on a fresh clean slate. It was the perfect choice for me and the priest class was the perfect fit for me (a choice I made based on the suggestion of my now ex-husband). Amaranth was born!

Healing is the thing I like to do apparently. I struggle on any characters that can’t heal, although I am learning to grow away from that. I keep trying other roles because I feel like I need to branch out, but healing is really my favorite thing.

I have since gone back and attempted to play Ashwynn again and again. Her current status at level 70 as a destro lock is the most fun I have ever had on her, but I’m still not sure it really clicks.

With the changes to the priest class, I have made a conscious choice to switch mains to my druid, yet it still doesn’t sit perfectly right with me. In fact, it kind of breaks my heart a little. Ama is the heart and soul of my game experience in WoW, and it kind of hurts to think I may be shelving her.

Although my first character was not a priest, and even though my main may be changing, I still first and foremost consider myself a little night elf priest, traipsing through Teldrassil with her good friend at her side.

I miss you, MLJ. Come back and help me learn to love my priest again?

The Best Halls of Stone Ever

October 25, 2010

Over the weekend I ran quite a few heroics with guild mates, just for the heck of it. One such run consisted of me on Vivacious healing and 2 enhancement shaman guildies. Using the LFD tool we picked up a paladin tank and a mage.

As seems to be common on Viva, we got Halls of Stone. We plugged through the trash easily and when we came up to the intersection to choose which boss to go to the paladin went left to the Brann event.

At this point my guildies and myself questioned him, asking why we are skipping bosses.

The tank replied, “Most people run these dungeons for the points not for the gear.”

Confused, my guildies and I had a brief discussion in vent, basically went along the lines of, “The blues that drop off the side bosses? Is that what he’s talking about? None of us need blues. Does he know that every boss killed gives Justice Points?”

At which point one of us typed just that, “Every boss killed gives Justice Points, so it makes sense to do all of them.”

The tank seemingly conceded and seemed to agree that we’d kill all the bosses after the Brann event.

Skip forward and we have easily completed the event, despite the tank not even attempting to actually tank (my shaman guildies make great tanks!) and are heading back to that fateful intersection once more. I say in vent, “How much you wanna bet he has a change of heart and decides to skip the other bosses?”

No one wanted to bet with me.

The tank, just as I thought, headed down the right path ahead of all of us towards the end boss. Myself and all of the DPS stop at the intersection and have a brief conversation, at which point we determine that the shamans can tank the rest of the instance and tank be damned.

We head left towards the Maiden, easily trouncing through trash. As we get up to the boss the tank joins us and actually decides to do some tanking. I guess he has had another change of heart?

After the Maiden is dead he says, “Ooooo! 16 Justice Points. Pfffft.”

To which I responded, “If you don’t want to do the other bosses then leave.”

Several other snarky comments later and we ended up voting to kick him out.

My shamans tanked the rest of the dungeon quite easily. It was actually kind of exciting to heal. I only lost one of them once because they ran ahead of me out of range.

I guess the whole thing kind of confuses me. Why would he scoff at 16 Justice Points when the end boss gives 24. Doing two extra bosses nets you 32 points. Why would you skip that? I guess it makes sense for a tank though, since they get instant dungeons when they queue. For the rest of us who have to wait 5-20 minutes for a dungeon to pop, it makes no sense to skip bosses.

Lesson learned: Think outside the box when these kind of situations arise. Communicate with your fellow Puggers (admittedly much easier if some of them are your guildies). Don’t let one jerk spoil it for everyone. 🙂


Ice Ice Baby

October 22, 2010

Why yes, I am a Blood Knight

Introducing Icelica who, contrary to logic, is a Blood tank. Yes, that’s right, I’m trying tanking again, and contrary to past experience, I’m loving it. Maybe its because DK tanking is so freaking easy at this level, or maybe its because I got a pep talk from Spellpower on how not to let the douchebags get to you.

I bought her a beautiful roleplay outfit (seen above). Death Knights should have been the original Blood Knights, screw those Elven bastards. Yeah, she’ll make your Blood Boil alright. I think the simple beauty of this toon is making me love her despite everything else going against her (namely that she’s a tank).

Don’t get me wrong, I love tanking, I’m just one of those people who likes to take it slow. I like to look at the pull and make a decision on how to pull it, not just run through room to room, just barely holding onto aggro and things being extremely chaotic. Yeah I know, I’m in the wrong expansion pack. I’ve had my share of Gogogo douches. They’ve got nothing on the plethora of Death Knights running around being horribad at this level.

I’ve gotten into groups consisting of four Death Knights and one healer, and all of the other Death Knights thinking they can do a better job of tanking than I can. I’ve learned that if there is more than one other DK in the group that I should maybe just bail ahead of time and save myself some grief.

There’s something about these level 60ish DKs. They have this take on the world kind of attitude, like nothing can mar them. Their epeens are enormous. And I have to admit, I’m kind of the same way. But whenever I play a tank I end up kind of being a diva. Maybe it’s more in the nature of the role than in the nature of the class.

I mostly just sympathize with healers. I try my best to do damage control when I’m not tanking in these groups. Death gripping things off of the healer when the “tank” can’t be bothered to do it, and grumbling to myself because I know if I was tanking I would have been able to hold aggro over the healer.

All of this aside, Ice has a story to tell as well. She started whispering it in my ear as soon as I specced her Blood. I hope I can get it all out of my head and onto paper in a way that makes sense and is entertaining.

More to come.


Ashwynn’s Big Day Out: Take Two

October 20, 2010

Some of you may have noticed that Ashwynn is no longer level 69. That’s right ladies and gents, the prodigal warlock has been sent out on a mission, to gain a level.

The interesting thing about all of this is that I actually enjoyed leveling her for that one level. I specced her out in a sexy Destruction build, gave her some very Warlock-ish BOAs, and went out and started some fires.

Ashwynn in her Sexy BOAs

Now, before you start asking why I bothered doing any of this, well, its rather an embarrassing story… You see, Ashwynn is my tailor, and I thought it fitting if she had a flying carpet. So I got the mats together and at great expense she made herself a lovely little flying carpet… that she couldn’t use. The tooltip on the carpet told me that I needed to be level 70 to use this item. So, you see, this was my reasoning behind leveling Ashwynn to 70.

There was only one thing that I forgot. Ashwynn already has flying skill, and there is a lesser flying carpet that I should have made for her first. I had crafted the epic flying carpet instead of the regular one. No chance I am wasting 5,000 gold to give her epic flying. Maybe if some day I have gold to throw away, but that isn’t the case right now.

So I wound up gathering the less considerable mats for the lesser flying carpet, and celebrated with Spellpower at Krasus Landing.

Carpet Surfing with Spellpower

Afterwards, I took her out for a little spin with Spellpower to visit the Baron in Stratholme. Old Rivendare just isn’t what he used to be. Yet, he still refuses to give up that steed.

Hello Baron

All in all, a fun little adventure for Ashwynn, and a lesson for me. Perhaps Ashwynn will not be stuck in Ironforge forever.



Ama vs Viva (Disc Priest vs Resto Druid)

October 18, 2010

Having played around with both of my so-called main characters, I can firmly say at this time that provided things don’t change too much more before expansion, Vivacious will be my main.

She’s opened me up to a whole other world known as DPS. For some reason Shadow spec never rubbed me the right way. I just couldn’t get it down, even with decent gear and being hit capped, I was lucky to do 2k dps. Perhaps Boomkin is just an easier DPS class to play, or maybe I just like being a giant laser chicken more than having a shadowy aura.

I think this may be the best opportunity for me to break into druid healing. There are so many people who seem so dissatisfied with the loss of tree form, and the change to the appearance of the form that is incoming. Some of these people are flat out refusing to druid heal any longer.

Viva giving The Park in Stormwind some lovin'

I am absolutely adoring the new Efflorescence talent. This has to be the most fun AoE heal ever. Especially when it trips your tank up in Pit of Saron and he runs out of it thinking its poison. Hehe!

I’m trying to focus on the positive here, and that is my newfound joy in Druidic goodness. Quite frankly, I’m feeling a lot like Tam right now in regards to Discipline healing (see his posts here and here) , or perhaps even more so. I just can’t bring myself to really stick to the Smite Priest model. I commend Tam for his diligence in truly giving the spec a thorough shake down.

I ran a grand total of 3 heroics with it and immediately decided I can’t split myself that way. I’m a healer. It would be alright maybe if Smite was my go to dps spell in between healing spells, but, well, it just isn’t. Smite feels terribly weak when compared to our DoTs like Devouring Plague, Shadow Word: Pain, and of course Holy Fire. Mmmm… Sexy Holy Fire… ~drool~ Or even Mind Sear with its delicious AoE-ey-ness. Wait. What was I talking about? Oh yeah. Smite.

Maybe my dislike for Smite stems from leveling up through what felt like a billion levels with no damage spell of any real value but Smite, snatching up my mana like its going out of style and leaving me to wand my way through packs of mobs. Admittedly I leveled Holy during BC, so perhaps my viewpoint is a bit skewed.

The bottom line for me, is that using Smite in this way is feeling very forced and I just plain don’t like it. One of the things I’ve always loved about any healing class is that there is much more room for fluidity in rotation. This doesn’t feel fluid to me at all. As Tam said, “it’s far too easy to either get stuck in a smite-frenzy only to look round and discover everybody is dead, or to get so caught up in healing (it’s your job after all) that you forget you could also be smiting a bit on the side.”

As terrified as I am of it, I think I have to seriously give Holy a try. Yep, I’m hopping on that bandwagon. I feel horrible for it, but I just can’t do this. In the meantime I’m spreading some Druid love around Azeroth.

The Last Hurrah of the Tree Druid

October 12, 2010

With the change in talents imminent with today’s patch, last night Resto druids gathered at the sculpture in the Eventide area of Dalaran for an impromptu party.

Partying like its 1999

I have to admit the change isn’t really that traumatic for me personally, as I am rather new to druidic things. I find it a bit unnerving not looking like myself most of the time, so I rather welcome that tree form will be on a cooldown. Although, I am going to miss doing the twist, and the odd facial expressions particular to the tree. I was actually only just discovering how amusing tree animations could be. Oh, well. If I wasn’t aware of them, then I can’t very well miss them, can I?