Scenario Impressions

18 Sep

Grettings!

Yesterday, Sept. 17, the Fall of Theramore scenario was unlocked just after 6pm eastern time. A number of us quickly formed 3 man groups and entered the queue. Only to wait..and wait..and wait…my guess is there was some sort of gatekeeper at the entrance to the instance servers letting in a certain number at a time to prevent horrid crashes. :D

I wanted to give my impressions of this scenario and what I think we can anticipate from Scenarios when Mists of Pandaria arrives next week.

I have not yet read Tides of War, but I know enough of the plot to understand what is going on when one enters the Fall of Theramore scenario. There are elements of the scenario that make more sense if one has read Tides of War, and I think a number of players felt that the scenario itself felt disjointed, as there were no “in-game” elements leading to what one saw in the scenario to have the whole thing make sense. Given that, since this is MoP content, there may be something in-game that leads to the scenario when level 90 is reached, like a quest chain.

I experienced a variety of reactions to Fall of Theramore. The reactions ranged from “cool” or “neat” to “this is the most god awful thing ever fuck you Blizz you are terribad at everything DIAF.” Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but perhaps in sharing mine, folks can look at this scenario in a different light.

I am an optimist. I am the “glass is half full” guy. It’s who I am. Sue me. I viewed the elements of this scenario from the point of view of what I liked, not what I didn’t like. Sure, there were things in it that I thought could have been done better, but my lens was set to see what was cool about this thing. Try pleasing 20 people all at once. Go ahead, I’ll wait…

Didn’t work did it? Now try pleasing millions of people all at once. I won’t wait this time because it cannot be done.

The only thing I didn’t like about Fall of Theramore was the common complaint about the lack of any story leading up to it, to have what you are doing there make sense outside of “kill the Horde!” or “kill the Alliance.” These are foundational elements of the game and go without saying :D  So, having said it anyway, I would hope that when this becomes a level 90 Scenario, there will be that story. Given the Alliance vs. Horde element to MoP, I think there will be.

On with impressions and “likes”:

The Fall of Theramore scenario is something new to the game. Greater than a quest…less than a 5 man instance. It falls between. Thus, the mobs were easy to defeat. There is no danger so bad here that a healer is required. I believe this may get a bit tougher as a level 90 scenario, but Blizzard has said that Scenarios are not designed to have a “role” requirement. The damage was pretty light, and when folks did need healing, I provided. If there was no healer in your group, there was enough downtime between mob packs to sit and eat.

The artwork was great. The detail of the ships was one artistic element that really caught my eye. The ruins of Theramore, in the Alliance side of the scenario, were well done and quite detailed. The crater where this Focusing Iris/Doomsday weapon of the Horde was a jarring sight.

I did play the scenario on the Horde side as well. It was a different story to say the least: different time of day as well as goals. I did take a screenie from the Horde side. Again, artwork was awesome.

Another thing about doing the scenario as Horde, there is a movie at the end showing the dropping of the bomb. Cool movie bro.

Item artwork was nice as well. I got a cloak and a sword from my 3 runs of the scenario. There were complaints about how “plain” the items looked. I disagree. The gear is not glittery and/or fancy, I’ll give you that. The detail in the “plain-ness” of them is quite good, however. I also thought about items vs. location. This is not ultra-cool, wacko-high-tech Ulduar. This is Theramore. A little outpost in a swamp. The definition of “plain.” I do not know what the devs thought about when designing this loot, but I’d wager that in a simple frontier outpost you will find “plain” things. To me, this makes sense.

All in all…a good job. Remember folks, this is a scenario, not a global, earth-shattering event. This is a taste of what a scenario is as we move forward into MoP. Haters gonna hate, lovers gonna love. I thought it was neat. Just that. Neat. A positive review from one little player. I look forward to what is yet to come…

What’s in a name?

13 Sep

Greetings fellow MoP-waiters!

In the past week-ish, my gaming sessions have included two really awesome accomplishments…

The first of which is completing the Feat of Strength: Herald of the Titans! I did this with a terrific Twitterland group. The six-ish weeks of work on getting my baby warrior ready for it was, at times, grueling…but so worth it. Here she is:

The other was…drumroll please…Savior of Azeroth!

I got to thinking…based on a discussion on the recent Episode 69 of Blessing of Frost..(which I was on!), are you going to sport certain titles on your alts? For example, would I put Savior of Azeroth on my Dwarf Hunter who is just now getting to LFR level? It’s a good question. It does tell others of your accomplishments no matter what character you may be on…On the other hand, is there a title so special to your main character that you will never display that title on any other character?

I have decided, for now, to do a bit of both :D   I will keep Savior of Azeroth solely on Amowrath…but, I’ll sport Herald of the Titans on him even though it was on Casseopia that I attained the title. I wasn’t able to get the title on Amowrath because it has to be done at level 80. I wasn’t raiding at level 80 and had no idea that such a title existed.

So, without further ado..here are some of my “Title” screenies:

ummm….o yeah…fun disguise thingys!

There.

Woot!

Feel free to comment on this post answering the question: Now that there are account-wide achievements and titles, what are your thoughts on which titles to display on which characters?

TTFN!

Heroic #1 Undying 25-man Madness Resolution

7 Sep

Yes! It’s a word jumble! I have that kind of a sense of humor.

This past Wednesday, Undying Resolution (Elune-US) downed Heroic Madness of Deathwing! This put UR at 8/8 Heroic DS and ding’d us the #1 spot for 25-man guild on the server!

The fight was, to say the least during our attempts during patch week, maddening (i crack myself up). I can empathize with our tanks and dps regarding the stress of mob and dps control required for this fight. The percentages of Deathwing’s health and add arrival are very tight margins to have to manage properly.

As for the healing corps, does the song lyric “how dry I am” give folks an idea of what healing this fight is like with the new mana kiddie-pools?

Of course, as you all have likely surmised from reading my previous raiding posts, we were up to the challenge. Over the two weeks, we only had to pull this fight 7 times. We got Madness down on the second attempt on Wednesday.

One of our guildies, the always-ready Leafy (find his blog at http://www.thetenmanbear.com/) , stepped up to bring his mage to our Madness of Deathwing attempts this week for the mage’s slowing utility. GG to him for being able to switch up characters in a pinch like that!

I, again, am proud of Undying Resolution and even prouder to be a member. The last 16 months have been my first period of time in WoW raiding in a raiding guild. I know that I have come a long way as a player as a result, and I am thankful that the leadership of Undying Resolution saw fit to add me as a member of their raid team. My previous raiding experience had been when Amowrath was Horde and our guild “raided” 2 tiers behind. That means we did ICC at level 85 and that was it. I tried and tried to get us into BWD, but to no avail. It took me an agonizing month to make a decision to leave for raid-ier pastures and when I did, Undying Resolution was there.

Our guild now occupies the #1 spot for 25-man guilds on Elune. See?

and…as I feel there are never enough of these types of graphics:

/happydance!

I know that once raiding begins in Mists of Pandaria the previous occupiers of the 25man throne are likely to bump us out of where we are now. That’s ok. Pushing or racing to a top guild spot on our realm is not a primary goal of UR. We are not a raiding guild that raids 6 billion hours a week. That’s not who we are. I know a number of 25man guilds, on server or wherever, stopped before reaching 8/8 Heroic due to summer absences, end-of-expansion torpor, jerkwad players, or whatever. My point is, and others may feel differently, that UR KEPT GOING. So what if other guilds stopped for whatever reasons they stopped for. We kept up progression. Pure and simple. Some say that slow and steady wins the race? For us, there was no race against anyone, but the slow and steady did get us to #1. How long will it last? Who knows? What I do know is that reaching this goal gives me a feeling of momentum to take into the next raid tier.

Congratulations to Undying Resolution!

If you are an exceptional raider and would like to check us out, visit www.undyingresolution.com

Holy Shock Batman!

5 Sep

Hello friends!

For the past few days, I have been doing dailies on Amowrath in his Holy spec, as it seemed to me that the “Shockadin” spec had returned for some more fun and laughs…The mobs were all going down so fast; I was excited! I normally did dailies in my Prot spec, but they took sooooo long…Not any longer…..At least for now, soloing dailies through Molten Front, Tol Barad, and Twilight Highlands was a most expeditious endeavor!

As I was running some Wrath Heroics with some Herald friends,  a Holy Paladin joined our random group…all spec’d out for some Shockadin fun in Halls of Omgthisdungeonagain…This paladin’s performance got me thinking, so I switched back over to Amowrath. I dropped the Prot spec and replaced it with a Holy one specced for damage.

Here’s what I’ve got at the moment…I’m sure I’ve not done it completely right, so sue me ;) Talents: Speed of Light, Repentence, Selfless Healer, Clemency, and Sanctified Wrath. Glyphs: Denounce, Harsh Words, and Holy Shock.

Thus specced, I queued up for Part I of LFR. (Best non-training-dummy testing ground as far as I’m concerned.)

With no aoe damage to deal, single target was the only choice. The numbers for single target were impressive. I sustained 32.5k dps on Zon’ozz. Other fights, where there was more moving around or switching targets, the numbers did dip quite a bit. Overall dps for all 4 bosses came to just over 20k. Not too bad for some rudimentary work I think. I did grab a screenie off Hagara:

pew pew pew!

Mind you, I performed this little experiment in my Heroic DS Healy gear…I’ve no idea at the moment if gemming or reforging gear would improve overall dps. I won’t go that far as I’m not looking to go this route other than for dailies, levelling when MoP hits, or just running instances for pew pew laughs.

Until next time!

Amo

Heroic Spinal Surgery

30 Aug

IRL, my mother is going in for some laparoscopic shoulder surgery Friday morning…which is why I thought to add that last word in the title ;)

Tonight, Undying Resolution, US-Elune, downed Heroic Spine of Deathwing on 25 man. It was a major victory for us (even with the buff….stupid drag0n!) as we had come thiiiiiiiiiiis close to downing that sucker before the patch. It was a major victory for us also in that even though there was another 5% buff to the thing, we all only had ONE night experience with all our new abilities. It was a major victory for us because, due to kiddie mana pools and all the healing, I think the ENTIRE healing corps was OOM!

Oh, and did I mention we borked The Destroyer’s Spine in ONE attempt?  :D

Heroic Spine Lootz Chest!

Big gratz to Undying Resolution for bagging our White Stag of this raid tier!

Undying Resolution is now 7/8 Heroic Mode 25 man Dragonsoul…and….#1 on Elune for this feat!!!

Bring on the Madness!!!!

Half the raid is still in Stormwind

30 Aug

“Old habits die hard,” piped up the Shadow Priest….

Last night, my guild took its first post-patch steps into the Dragonsoul Raid. Right off the bat, things were hilarious. Half the raid, with only minutes to go until the scheduled go-time, were relaxing comfortably in Stormwind, awaiting their routine Have Group Will Travel to take them to the instance.

After some quick flying by the “hoof-it crew,” we zoned into the instance. More hilarity ensued, as someone accidently (?) pulled the first trash pack and dragged it to the instance portal. “Hello friends,” said the Raid Leader as my screen was suddenly invaded by those elemental giant thingys. My thoughts: “SHIT! Buff the raid and throw heals!” We survived. We are quick responders it seems.

Finally, we had (most) of the raid all together. We continued down the Path of the Titans, only to be hit with a game bug: Master Looter Fail.

All this time, I was trying out ElvUI. I dumped the thing after Morchok. I have difficulty articulating why, so I’ll leave it at it just wasn’t “me.”

Continuing on, other issues popped up along the way. During the purple phase on Yor’shaj, the raid was hit by the too-many-stacks-now-you-all-die problem. We think all the healers were behaving, so we’re trying to see if any new dps abilities were the culprit. I was guilty of an Eternal Flame or two, but nothing seemed to happen as I sat there, cringing, waiting for a big explosion. That spell may be safe. We did see that any sort of Lightwell-ian thing is bad mmkay?

Ozzy went down pretty clean. +1 to us. Hagara as well. We did encounter a couple of hilarious things during Ultraxion though.

(said in best John Cleese voice)

For one, there were a few “pushing the button is hard” instances…but the main fun was with 2 of our poor rogues. One of them hit his Shadowstep button, and fell off the summit…twice in two pulls. “OK. NOW I TOOK IT OFF MY BARS!”

The other poor bloke seemed to die from a GameBug. Death record in Skada showed him…just dead. Sorry, but I couldn’t help but chuckle…

Downing Ultraxion was where we ended things for the evening. We could have gone onto Warmaster Shardship, but game bug delays and the D/C Boss put us too close to our end time. Tonight we’ll continue…

As for healing in a 25 man Heroic Raid as a Holy Paladin, it wasn’t too awful. I actually did pretty well according to the numbers. I did have some difficulty with raid frame setup. I have switched to VuhDo for a bit. It appears I did not have it set to monitor stacks of the purple-debuff-of-healing-death, so I had to quickly punch up the default raidframes to see who had how many of what. Problem there was, since I didn’t have Clique up and running, I had to watch one frame and heal on the other. >.<

I noticed an issue with using Cleanse during H. Ozzy..it worked, then it didn’t, then it did. I have no idea if it was the game or the addon…

I can tell you that since my mana pool is now a kiddie pool, I am loving the Divine Plea changes. Cast that sucker during a few second break in the action and you’re good to go. The other Holy Paladin in the raid and I are going to do some testing of other new things too.

Time will tell regarding issues with addons and game bugs. (We already had one set of rolling restarts yesterday; I’m sure others will follow.)

Perhaps I’ll post tomorrow with a more solid idea of how Holy Paladin-ing is going for me so far…

Ciao!

The Resolve Does Not Die

23 Aug

Heroic Spine of Deathwing – 25 man – Above The Frozen Sea – Azeroth

Tonight, Undying Resolution took its last stabs at Heroic Spine of Deathwing before the 5.0.4 patch lands in a computer near you next Tuesday.

We had, for our final composition, 3 tanks, 7 healers, and 15 dps. While everyone kicked some serious Spine this week, there were two among us that were relatively new to Undying Resolution.  One of the tanks, a Prot Warrior who recently joined our guild on a Druid main, rocked the oozes on the spine of The Destroyer! Gratz Pinkipie! We also had a new healer in our mix. Hestiah the Druid showed us her best Resto-Druiding! (and lovingly helped this poor betch Pali when the Dispels got a tad much <3)

It was great to experience the camaraderie of 25 people from all over North America (yes…even Canada) giving their all to beat this bugger of an encounter. Folks were tweeting between pulls that they had inspirational music on, hands falling asleep from tight grips on mice, bodies shaking, and hearts pounding.

In the end, we did not defeat the encounter…but…to quote our GM: ”We gave it a hell of a good go.”

I am proud of Undying Resolution. There are guilds on our server that went 6/8 Heroic and said: “that’s it..we’re done.” Not us though…

Undying Resolution were resolved to keep going as long as we could. Mind you, our guild is a 25 man Raiding Guild. There are few 25-man guilds raiding these days; most have either hung up their collective hats until Mists of Pandaria, switched to a 10-man roster, or folded.

In spite of not downing Spine of Deathwing before the patch, we’ll keep trying after the patch when we figure out how to play our classes again (in record time no doubt with this gang).  As our Evil-Genius-Warlock Ponerya tweeted after the fight: “”We’ll probably kill this asshole after 5.0 though.” That sentiment is the embodiment of the spirit of this guild. “Whole new class thing? New spells? Changes to how everything works?  No Problem.”

On a more personal note, when I joined Undying Resolution 15 months ago, I was a noob raider. My previous guild tried to put together raids for BWD, but just couldn’t get it together. There was not the dedication to this level of play as there is with UR. I am happy and proud to have encountered this group of players. Some may dislike me, others may just tolerate me, and some others actually like the Amowrath. Still, I love this group of sometimes-knuckleheads, all-the-time dedicated raiders who keep at it week after week.

Gratz! to Undying Resolution for going 25-man 6/8 Heroic Dragonsoul !!!

Hugs and kisses,

Amowrath

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