Weekly Roundup: Dwarf-style

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So I’ve brushed off my Paladin again this week, opting to go for the tanking path of WoW for the majority of my gaming this week. Still trying to get his legendary cloak, he’s been slowly getting 2 Titan Runestones per week, with the rest of the bosses in ToT and SoO proving fruitless other than the guaranteed drops. It’s certainly been interesting to note that every single time I’ve tanked LFR this week, I’ve been with a boosted-90 co-tank. Despite my initial fear of the runs being terrible because of them being boosted, I decided “why the hell not?” and continued with the runs.

Surprisingly enough, the runs went pretty smoothly, and wipes were minimal! Wipes that did occur were largely because of lack of DPS or lack of healing or whatever, but out of all the wipes, only one was due to a tank fail. Apparently, I’m a friendly guy and had about 6 people try to grab my real ID because of how friendly and informative I was to them in explaining the fights and what they needed to do as tanks… Conversations that largely went like this:

  • Co-tank: “Hi, what do I do on this fight?”
  • Me: “Do you have DBM or BigWigs installed?”
  • Co-tank: “Yes.”
  • Me: “Good. That’ll tell you when to taunt”
  • Co-tank: “Thanks!”

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Of course, there are other fights that require a little more explaining, but due to my Paladin’s gear (and bubble-hax in ToT), I ended up solo tanking what I could or generally taking the dogsbody tasks of going up towers on Galakras or picking up adds on Sha with running to the far prison unlock, and letting the other tank solo tank and moving slightly for the prisons. I’m beginning to think that LFR horror stories aren’t all that they’re cracked up to be… Or I just got lucky and actually had people that listened to what I told them.

I’m slowly building up his Ret spec so he’s actually got a DPS spec to play around with… The main problem being that because of so much gear sharing with Protection that I’ve run into the same problem that my Druid has of shared gear. The problem is magnified for the Paladin because of the fact he has less gear opportunities to choose from, and he’s too poor being stranded on a server away from my Druid, so he can’t afford enchant/gem switches each time. Nevertheless, he’s beginning to catch up to my Monk’s damage, so I might have a respectable alt on Alliance side for DPS purposes soon enough! I just need to practice a little more with Ret to get the flow working properly, alongside setting up WeakAuras to tell me how to play (maybe even pick up clcRet if it still works).

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Outside of the game, I’ve been enjoying another classic Dwarf pastime – the art of ale! I got my father a home brewing kit for his birthday, to follow up the Woodforde’s Wherry brew mix I got him for Christmas. So because of us both having a day off on the same day this Easter weekend, and with the weather appearing to begin to warm up, we started brewing our first brew! It was pretty fun as far as father-son bonding sessions go, and I’m certainly looking forward to reap our efforts in a few weeks time. Although having said that, for our first brew I’m pretty sure it’s going to go awful and we’ll end up having to pour 40 pints down the drain. If it works out though, yay for cheap beer! It’ll certainly be something I’d be interested in continuing at the very least, especially during the summer. Easter Sunday’s afternoon was also filled with us hosting for 10 in a family gathering – we all certainly had a great time, and as always it’s fantastic to see everyone!

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Da T’under King Be No More

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Two posts in one day? What is this?!

As we draw a close to the 15th raiding tier in WoW, I thought it would be a good time to post my thoughts and feelings of how I thought the tier went, as well as a few other things we’ve seen over the past few months.

Starting the tier, I had to finish off my uni work, so I promoted Búllrog to raid leader for <Ex Cineribus> while I raided as a standard player and didn’t have to focus on knowing what everyone had to do and just focused on my own role. He did a stellar job, and we got to 2/13hc before I took the reigns for a short time and took us to 4/13hc before the raid team disbanded and we moved over to our new home in <OMFG Kittens>. Once there, we finished the raid tier on extremely high spirits and ended on a nice 10/13hc with plenty of time to have downtime before Siege of Orgrimmar!

And I honestly can’t say I’ve been happier with my new home!

Raiding

Looking at the raid itself, and from my personal perspectives – Blizzard did a really, really good job with Throne of Thunder. It gave us the return of Jin’rokh and several important trolls in lore in Council of Elders. Of course, the final boss Lei Shen is also a recognisable character from the questing done in Pandaria. So while we had the majority of the raid of unknown/new faces, we can safely tick the box of having bosses in the raid of ones we actually know of before going in – a continuing trend in the next tier!

The storyline for the raid worked really well too. We’re taking the fight to Lei Shen (though I’d prefer to have some Shado-pan accompany us for the first 3 bosses, or pile in after we kill bosses) until we get to the bridge between Council and Iron Qon, where we ended up getting the pathway crumble underneath our feet, to get fed to the beasts below the Throne.

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After fighting our way through the forgotten creations and beasts below the Isle of Thunder (along with a secret from years past) we finally come up against the tyrant mogu warlord and his most prized acquaintances. It is a fantastic story, the aesthetics look amazing, the fights are tuned very well on both 10 and 25 – with 10s actually having the prestige of difficulty this time around! But is it the Ulduar 2.0 we were led on to believe?

Ulduar is still my favourite raid, though Throne of Thunder does come in at third on the list behind Karazhan – but the addition of LFR has somewhat deadened what would have been an awesome tier with being able to run the place multiple times (and getting angry at people for failing mechanics). Ulduar was great because it was so short a tier that you rarely ran more than once per week – you were left wanting more because ToC was released shortly after, that simply provided better gear. Ulduar was FILLED with Titan lore, again another item that leaves you wanting more. Ulduar also provided plenty of achievements that extended beyond hard mode, beyond the standard metas – it kept you coming back again for wanting more. Ulduar was a MASSIVE raid that had tons of potential, and no matter what it always gave people a reason to want to go back and experience it some more.

Does ToT provide the same experience? Thanks to being in a much better guild than where I was back in Ulduar, the completionist side of me has been viably sated for this tier. Similar to Ulduar, the heroic-only encounter provides something that leaves you wanting more information about the Titans, but this time he’s a relatively simple fight in comparison to how Algalon was in comparison to Yogg-Saron (or so I’m led to believe). Is it the fact that I can run the place multiple times on multiple characters, and I’m just getting burnout from the raid? It certainly feels like I’ve been inside the halls of the Thunder King for many more hours than I was inside Yogg-Saron’s jail.

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Non-Raiding

Both the dailies of 5.2 and the weekly of 5.3 have been bearable, the Battlefield: Barrens even continuing my interest on some occasions after I’ve gotten everything I need achievement- or gear-wise from there. I still maintain the best daily hub for this expansion has been the Operation: Shieldwall and Dominance Offensive, with a questline intermittent between dailies at certain thresholds. Although I haven’t been to Krasarang since getting both of my gryphons, it was still an incredible questing experience, as far as WoW goes.

While this hasn’t been a heavy PvP patch for me, it does need a slight mention. With the addition of Deepwind Gorge in 5.3, I have to say I’m surprised I have yet to be motivated enough to get that Gorgeous title. I haven’t really touched much arena since moving to Nagrand, though hopefully in 5.4 with cross-realm arenas, I’ll be able to team up with my old PvP buddies I left behind on Doomhammer.

Preparation for 5.4

Even though there are plenty of resources available on what to expect later on this week, here’s another source for you to reference to in case you get lost on the way to Orgrimmar:

  • Valor points are staying – make sure to cap this week! Though there’s no new gear for valor, upgrades will be available straight away, and the current valor rewards are either changing to Justice rewards, or in the case of the Shado-pan Assault, being reduced by 34% in cost.
  • Conquest points on the other hand will turn to Honor points. Extra honor over 4k will turn into gold.
  • Lesser Charms will be able to be turned into Warforged Seal for use on tier 16 bosses. Mogu Runes of Fate can be bought from the Timeless Isle for 2500 Timeless Coins
  • Once raiding Siege of Orgrimmar you will get ilvl 528 from LFR, 540 Flex, 553 Normal, 559 Warforged, 566 Heroic, and 572 Heroic Warforged. LFR requires iLvl 496 to enter, although the Timeless Isle brings us BoA 496 gear that will turn into an item suitable for that character’s loot spec. The raid unlock schedule can be found here.
  • Crafters will want to hold onto or stockpile Bolts of Windwool Cloth, Magnificent Hide, Trillium Bars and Ghost Iron Bars to create the new 476 PvP gear, or used with 5.4’s Haunting Spirits (Spirits of War) to create 553 iLvl PvE items. Scribes have new glyphs, and Engineers get a new mount, new pet, and more!

So what did you guys think of the last tier? Did it live up to your standards? Did Blizzard bitterly disappoint you again? Are you looking forward to punching Garrosh in the face? I’ll see you later on this week after 5.4 has hit live servers!