Friday, January 25, 2008

Questing Rules All

I was right. Because of the ToW effect, I can easily down even elites that are many levels above my boys. So the magic turned out to be finding quests that were many levels above us. That wasn't hard. I did a few in Winterspring, but ended up spending most of my time in Western and Eastern Plaguelands.

Quests were completed before I even knew I had them. The "Cauldron" quest series was awesome. They took less than 10 mins each, including travel time, and payed out 14k+ xp. At one point, the boys were averaging over 80k xp per hour. It was great.

Eventually I found myself with the quest everyone tucks away, and never gets around to... Araj's Scarab. The reason this gets dropped, is because after doing a long series of level 55-57 quests in Andorhal, you're faced with taking down a level 61 Elite, (Araj the Summoner) who happens to be surrounded by an army of level 60s who pull in huge groups. So you skip it.

We didn't.

As you can see in the banner pic, we took Araj down without any health loss. The key to that of course, is the fact that Araj only attacks with spells, which means everything he throws at us, ends up in a Grounding Totem. :) Good lord I love Shaman. We were even able to take down all of the 60s around us, and we were all level 55 (well Thunduh was 56) at the time. It was great fun, and enormous amounts of xp.

I'm actually surprised to be enjoying questing so much. I fully expected to be in instances this whole time. Guess I was just spoiled by the carebear runs with Boom. But this is actually pretty fun. As a side bonus, questing lets you interact with other players too, which is incredibly fun! (on my server at least)

Before I knew it.. the boys were 58. Wait... FIFTY EIGHT! We all know what that means. It's time to hit the Portal.

But I'm not ready to just rush in and get to 70. I have a stop along the way. That stop is Alterac Valley. There are two AV brackets, 51-60 and 61-70. I plan to play in the first bracket, until I can afford two specific Honor Rewards. And I plan to do it in TBC gear, tweaked to the tune of 340+ spell damage. I'll show you how in my next post.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Blackrock Depths = Repair Bills

Ahh... those wacky, wacky Dark Iron Dwarves. Always running around in humongous groups, just waiting for over confident multiboxers to come along and start a fight. We'll I have a surprise for them! Watch me as I drop all Twenty Totems, channel the very powers of nature and burn these silly little men to a...

(thunduh dies)
(thundah dies)
(thnudah dies)
(thundoh dies)
(thundeh dies)

Hmmm... Ok. Something went wrong. Lets do that again. Luckily all 5 of my boys can self rez once and hour, giving me wipe immunity up to once every 12 minutes. So lets just rez Thunduh and..

(Thunduh dies)

Hmm... Ok. These fellas have a rather large agro radius. No worries. We'll just release and run back. Again. And again. And again. This is how it went on for almost 4 hours.

My pulling process from The Sunken Temple worked fine. The problem was the sheer number of mobs. Sometimes a single pull, with up to 7 mobs, was just a bit too much, but normally I wiped because of pathing groups. I learned, I slowed down, and I prevailed.

I ended up completing the Dark Iron Legacy quest to get the Shadow Forge Key. That will allow me to move around the instance much easier.

After doing my first Ring of the Law, I was pleasantly surprised to find the epic mail chest piece, the Savage Gladiator Chain! While it's stats had nothing to do with and Elemental Shaman, I was proud to wear it. I ended up getting the legs and boots as well.

I was able to eventually down every boss in the instance besides the last two. Before you get to the stone guardian who guards the Emperor, you come to an enormous room called The Lyceum. This room is famous for causing headaches, due to the 30 second respawn rate of the groups of 10 or so non-elite dwarves.

You have to pull a group, down them, and move to the next one very very quickly. I could do this, only with Magma Totems. The problem is, they cost 500 mana each, and I didn't have drinks with me. I just couldn't keep up. I tried several techniques, but there simply wasn't enough mana. So I called it a night.

I decided the boys earned a mug of Dark Iron Ale, so we headed to the Grim Guzzler to celebrate a hard days work. While we settled into a table and ordered a round, I noticed something. I had just about cleared the largest 5 man instance in the game, and my xp was pitiful. The problem was, I wasn't really overpowered in BRD. As an all DPS group, I played differently, but the pace was just about the same as any other normal group. It was obvious I wasn't twinking anymore.

I then thought about making many, many more runs through BRD, and it gave me a headache. Maybe instances won't be my grinding place as I finish my run to 70. Maybe they will be a single day of challenge, before I go back to questing where the real xp is. Time will tell. Till then, I think I should head to some high level questing areas, and see what kind of progress I can make.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

WoW Hits 10 Million Subscribers

Blizzard announced today that they recently hit a major milestone by reaching 10 Million subscribers. But lets be honest. Only 9,999,996 count, seeing as I have four extra accounts. ^.^

Playing in Un'Goro

After strolling through The Sunken Temple, I decided I would boost my boys a bit with quests. Being early in my 50s, I couldn't help but think of Un'Goro Crater. I always loved that place. If not for the closely cramped quests, then for the beautiful scenery.

I avoided "collect crap" quests, but found a pile of "go kill a pile of these" quests. Those go incredibly fast when you multibox. They all went fine, and the xp was piling up at a decent rate.

The ToW effect was evident again when I chose to do one of the "collect crap" quests, and ran into the Stegosaurus looking Diemetradons, who were surrounded by a giant Elite version called, the Plated Stegodon. I the past, you just avoided these guys, but with the ToW, they took just about the same damage as their non-elite brothers. The difference is, they have a bit more health, but they give nearly double the xp!

One of my fondest memories of Un'Goro has to be the sudden screams of "HOLY CRAP A GIANT T-REX IS KILLING US!". The Crater is patrolled by Tyrant Devilsaurs, which do look like giant T-Rexes. And they love to bite off the heads of players when they're not looking. They're 54-55 Elite mobs, so for most players in there, they mean instant death. In the past, my experience was no different.

But today was different. I was there with the Twenty Totems. Each time we got jumped, we easily dispatched the giant dino with a few volleys of lightning. It was quite satisfying to see them drop after killing me so often in the past.

Before I knew it, I was 54, and felt the itch to try out something more challenging. That's when I remembered Blackrock Depths. The problem is, 54 is a good level to go in there, with a tank and healer... I had neither. But of course, I had a pile of DPS. But I'll tell you about that tomorrow.

Side note: I want to apologize for promising a "Formations" entry, but two things happend. First, the ToW came up, and re-energized my efforts to grow, and I forgot about formations. Once I remembered, I decided it would make a much better video than a write-up. So I'm working on the video now. I'll be sure to post it here first when it's done.