Balance of Power

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I finally did it! I’ve been working on this quest chain for ages, ever since I was high enough ilevel to run a normal Emerald Nightmare group without embarrassing myself. This has been a long, slow slog through raiding, in part thanks to my gaming anxiety that seemed to pop up with a vengeance in random raid groups.

I don’t really have any fantastic tips for others attempting this quest chain, but in my experience a few things helped.

  1. Queue as a healer if possible. You don’t need to be outstanding – that’s why there’s multiple healers. Do your best and follow the encounter mechanics and generally no one looks closely at you.
  2. Be patient in the group finder. Avoid groups that list themselves as “big dick DPS” (I don’t know why that’s a thing and I wish it wasn’t), or who use profanity in their description, or say something like “know fights and be good or kick.” Groups like that are generally full of people with big egos and bad manners.
  3. Look for groups that list themselves as being chill or laid-back, or who specifically say they are working on the Balance of Power quest. Groups like that are more willing to be courteous and forgiving of mistakes.
  4. Run the raids on LFR a few times first if you’re super nervous about encounter mechanics. They are the same between LFR and normal modes, so you can learn in LFR and be more confident in normal.

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If you’re a nervous raider, like me, and you find yourself in a group full of assholes…leave. It’s not worth it. Raid groups for normal mode are a dime a dozen and you’ll find another one. Normal mode raids in Legion are on a loot lockout, not a boss lockout, so if you have to join another group you won’t be screwed. You can still kill the bosses again, you just won’t be able to loot them. That is, in my opinion, a better use of your time than slogging through with an awful group full of bullies and morons.

My experiences raiding normal mode Emerald Nightmare and Nighthold on Sylvestris weren’t actually that bad. Most of the groups blazed through with little to no issue, were generally respectful so long as you didn’t cause a wipe, and didn’t seem at all preoccupied with DPS meters. I had a good time overall, got some decent gear, and some awesome new artifact appearances.

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Mythic groups are a separate beast from normal mode raiding. Don’t get discouraged. The steps above apply as well: look for groups that are advertising themselves as chill or easy going, or groups that are working on the quest line. Don’t stress yourself out by joining mythic+ groups. Mythic zero is where you want to be.

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Good luck, friends.

Time for an Update?

Not a blog update. A graphics update. Maybe.

I’d like to see Blizzard go back through the older zones in Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms and bring them into this decade as far as graphics go. I just flew through Arathi Highlands and ugh, it’s showing it’s age especially when viewed from the air. It just looked so…barren.

If they could go through and bring the most recent textures and models to the older zones it would go a long way to breathing life into them again. Look at a tree from Goldshire versus a tree from Azsuna and the different is staggering. A slight redesign without sacrificing the nostalgic value of the zones would be nice.

I know it’s not a simple undertaking, and I know that time and effort is better spent on new content rather than old, but reviving the world we have loved for more than ten years and showing it a little TLC would be marvelous.

 

Trial By Fel Fire

Prior to patch 7.2 I had 249 mounts. I was working on number 250  for the achievement when 7.2 hit, and when I logged in I saw I suddenly had 248 mounts. I logged into my demon hunter (with the class mount) and my hunter (with a leather working mount) to see if that would shake things loose. Alas, I was stuck at 248 mounts, with no idea which one got lost in the shuffle.

Yesterday I finally completed Glory of the Draenor Hero, after letting it go for a long time. I got stuck doing the achievement in the Shadowmoon Burial Grounds where you have to step on the runes during the Saldana fight, and the achievement in Upper Blackrock Spire where you have to kill the Orebender without allowing him to cast a certain spell 4 times. Well, as a fresh 110 a few months back I did not have the required DPS to kill the Orebender, and I tried the other achievement several times without success. Fast forward to now, at a decent ilevel, and I was able to kill Orebender with help in a couple seconds flat, and finally got the Saldana achievement (turns out I was stepping on the wrong runes), and got the boar mount for my troubles. It should have been mount number 249.

Nope. My counter still read 248.

Last night I logged into my warlock, who is a tailor with several magic carpets, and boom!

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Took me long enough.

Demon Hunting

If I wasn’t so invested in my druid, I would switch my main to demon hunter ‘cuz this is the most fun I’ve had playing a melee character in a long time.

It has the crazy flashy blade thing I like, enough self healing that I don’t tend to die easily, and the movement is just something else. Double jump, dash forward, jump off ALL THE THINGS and glide safely down – it’s awesome. I tend to jump off any object event two inches off the ground and then glide unnecessarily six feet forward. It’s so. Much. Fun.

I ran every LFR wing yesterday on my demon hunter. My DPS was probably embarrassing but I uninstalled Recount a while ago and couldn’t care less.She’s now my second 110 character and geared enough to run Nighthold and I’m really enjoying the whole demon hunter thing.

Meanwhile, my druid has become a PvP fiend, healed his way through his first PUG’d Emerald Nightmare, and is close to getting 250 mounts. So it’s been a good run all around, I think. Hopefully after the reset on Tuesday I can get the last of my corrupted essences for the artifact appearance quest, finish getting the Lothien Prowler mount (which puts me at 249 mounts), purchase my 250th mount, and call it good.

Warbrave Oro’s voice.

Hnnnngg.

Yas.

Fun with Ji-Kun

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This dropped while my husband and I were running Throne of Thunder for transmog.

He is not amused.

Transmog Corner: Nightmare Druid

I haven’t posted about it in a long time, but transmog is one of my very favorite things in the game and one of my largest time-sinks. If I’m not doing current content, I’m probably running old dungeons and raids to collect armor appearances, pets, and mounts. A few months ago after the appearance collection tab was introduced, my husband and I ran every single dungeon and raid in the game up through Warlords heroic dungeons, amassing as many armor and weapon appearances as we could.

I have an enormous amount of transmog material to play with, especially under the leather armor category. So today I’m going to showcase a simple set I threw together for my druid, Sylvestris. It’s Nightmare themed and easy enough to collect for druids at level 110 who want something non-leafy, non-green to run around in. Especially if you want to roleplay as a Nightmare-infested druid!

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This is the Haunted Forest set from normal mode 10 and 25-man Throne of Thunder. The set drops as tier tokens for druids, but look-alike pieces also drop for other classes. The staff is a PvP staff from the Warlords expansion, and was the closest thing I could find to compliment the set.

Overall, the set is not difficult to collect. It is gated behind weekly raid lockouts and your own ability to solo a raid from two expansions ago. The staff, if you didn’t collect it during Warlords, might take a little bit of effort to earn now that PvP currency isn’t straight honor/conquest points, but there are other staves to substitute that fit the black and red theme. Staff of Natural Fury comes to mind as a good alternative, as it is simple, druidy, and black. I added a cosmetic weapon enchant to the staff to make it glow extra red and drippy, to give the effect of the evil, Nightmare corrupted trees.

Get The Look:

For Druids:
Tier tokens for the set drop in 10 man normal and 25 man normal Throne of Thunder.
Chest – Dark Animus
Gauntlets – Council of Elders
Helm – Twin Consorts
Legs – Ji-Kun (you do not technically need to collect the legs if you are going to wear the chest piece, as it covers them entirely.)
Shoulders – Iron Qon

Apart from the tier tokens, several additional pieces drop in the raid that will complete your look:
Girdle of Night and Day (belt) – Twin Consorts (Sylv is not wearing this as part of his set, as I have not yet seen it drop. I chose to hide the belt instead.)
Deeproot Treads (feet) – These are a zone drop from the raid. Good luck. If you don’t have them or don’t want to farm them, there are many alternatives, as only the bottom portion of the boot will show under the robes. Sylv’s boots are transmogged to Black Featherlight Boots, which are appropriately red and black.

Staff: 
Warmongering Combatant’s Battle Staff – this can be purchased in Stormshield or Warspear for 5 Mark of Honor. Marks of Honor are PvP currency, so if you aren’t interested in PvP you might want to substitute the Staff of Natural Fury instead. Gorian Staff and Skettis Staff, which are random drops and can be found on the Auction House, would also fit the theme. Braxxis’ Staff of Slumber, a rare drop in Outland dungeons, is also a match. If you prefer simple, understated weaponry, Bloodscalp Channeling Staff is a great alternative.

Other Weapons:
If you’re using daggers, Fang of the Pit drops from Mannoroth and is an excellent match for the set, while Ner’zhul’s Ritual Blade would be easier to get.

For Other Classes:
Shoulders – Spaulders of Dinomancy – Horridon
Chest – Robes of Treacherous Ground – Council of Elders
Hands – Anima-Ringed Fingers – Dark Animus
Legs – Leggings of the Malformed Sapling – Primordius; Worldbinder Leggings – Dark Animus

These pieces are not druid-specific and can be used to create the transmog look for any other leather wearing class. They can also be used to fill in the gaps for any druid who is having difficulty collecting the tier tokens.

Overall, I went for a Nightmare druid theme with lots of red, black, and purple natural elements to it to create a look that screamed corrupted nature.

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Soloing Throne of Thunder:

By and large, 10 man normal Throne of Thunder is an easy endeavor. As a level 110 Feral druid, I ripped it apart in half an hour. For the more experienced soloist, raising the difficulty to 25 man normal will yield more loot, and therefore higher probability of the drops you want. Otherwise you might want to take a trusted friend, however, because it can get dicey, especially if you aren’t well geared or well-versed on the boss fights.

Dark Animus
On 10 man, Dark Animus posed no threat at all to my druid. He was dead in about 10 seconds, and my health was at 100%. On 25, it’s a different story, and I recommend bringing a friend to make it much easier. The issue is in the adds that activate at the beginning of the fight: they do massive amounts of damage, and my druid died in seconds. When I brought my husband along on his monk, it took us several tries to figure it out. Our winning strategy was Sylv in Guardian spec and his monk in Windwalker spec. Start the fight, stack on the boss before he activates, blow all your cooldowns, and DPS the shit out of the adds until the boss wakes up, then burn him down. As a druid in bear form, I was able to survive the damage, and my husband could kill the boss. If you’re going solo on 25 man, try it as a bear.

Iron Qon:
Do not kill him until he mounts all three of his quilen. My husband and I learned this the hard way. If you kill him before you kill all three quilen, he bugs out, and you cannot loot him.

Lei-Shen
This fight is not hard to solo, but it can be hectic. Stay close to the center of the platform so you don’t get knocked off the edge. When he summons his adds, spam AoE and wait for him to rejoin the fight. Instant heals, potions, knockbacks and damage reducing cooldowns will get you through the metric fuckton of adds he summons if you’re having trouble.

The link to the full set in the Wowhead dressing room is here. Enjoy!

Diablo’s 20th Anniversary

**UPDATE: I just noticed that Diablo III and Reaper of Souls are indeed on sale in the Blizzard store, but the digital deluxe version (the one I want, because WoW pet) is not. Crap.**

 

I’m a huge fan of Diablo III. I got it for free back when Blizzard was offering it as incentive to sign up for a year of WoW, and I loved it the moment I started playing. Even so, it’s rare that I pick it up anymore, and I never actually did defeat the final boss. I don’t even own Reaper of Souls, but once in a long while I get the urge to slaughter massive amounts of demons, and there’s no better game for such a craving.

So I was excited to hear that Blizzard was doing a multi-game event to celebrate 20 years of Diablo. Twenty years of any video game franchise is a feat to be admired, honestly.

But I guess I was expecting a bit…more? This might be my own fault: though I own all Blizzard titles except Overwatch and StarCraft, I don’t really play anything but WoW except once in a blue moon. I love Diablo, Heroes of the Storm is a blast, and Hearthstone held my attention for a week or two, but my main squeeze is and always will be World of Warcraft. I think Blizzard intended the event to be cumulative across all titles, and since I don’t play all titles, I’m only seeing a small part of it.

The Diablo anniversary event in Warcraft feels lackluster to me. Kill a couple of treasure goblins, kill the Cow King, the end. For 20 years of a successful franchise, I expected a lot more. Demonic invasions (it fits in so well with the Legion theme!), Diablo himself, the angels popping up occasionally to help out, maybe a mount or a pet exclusive to the event.

Instead, I spent a few hours in the Underbelly of Dalaran, killed 5 or 6 treasure goblins to collect the scroll thingies to make the toy, killed the Cow King once, and…now I’m done. End of event. It’s a little bit of a let down.

I was also hoping to see Reaper of Souls go on sale to celebrate so I could justify buying it with my Christmas money. I don’t think it even went on sale for the holidays, so I was doubly disappointed when it did not get marked down for its own anniversary.

The only true saving grace is going to the secret cow level and hearing the cows yell MOO! in a very angry human voice.

Star Struck

I thought I’d head in to Pandaria tonight to get some transmog stuff from the raids. Part of me felt almost guilty for not farming Ulduar, ToC, and Icecrown for the four hundredth time for pets…it’s a waste to farm raids that don’t have pets, I told myself. What are you even doing out here? There’s no point in running the Pandaria stuff!

Yeah. About that.

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Not a waste of time at all.

Battle Pet Spotlight: Grumpy!

I think it’s only appropriate that I restart this feature with Grumpy, because my first time through Val’Sharah I completely missed him.

How could I have left that adorable little squished face behind? Look at him! Those jowls! The pointy little ears! What a cute little chunk!

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So who is Grumpy and where do you find him?

Grumpy is a beast-type battle pet located in the Broken Isles zone of Val’Sharah. You will need to be level 100 to access the Broken Isles. Once you arrive in Val’Sharah, make your way to Bradensbrook on the western coast. The quests in this area don’t send you to the little home where Grumpy is hiding, so he is very easy to miss.

The home where Grumpy can be found is located at 38, 65 if you have a coordinate add-on. If you don’t, it’s located directly below the “N” in Bradensbrook on your in-game map. Travel there and you’ll find a house that looks like this.

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Uh oh! Hurry inside and up the stairs and you’ll see Grumpy trapped at the second floor landing. Careful – that fire really does hurt. Grab Grumpy and get out!

Hooray! You now have your very own Gilnean mastiff pup. Even though he is slightly singed, you saved him from a far worse fate. What’s so special about Grumpy? Well, he’s the only battle pet that you obtain by saving his life from a burning building, so there’s that. And his attacks are all appropriately hound-themed. He’s the perfect companion for a worgen adventurer!

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