Monday, 30 July 2007

All the priests are shadow...

OK, that may not be quite true, but for some reason it certainly doesn't seem too hard to get a main healing spot these days as a resto shaman.

I've healed Shadow Labs once (while still level 69) and Steamvaults twice, and so far had no problem with mana or keeping people alive. This seems to be pretty promising for my intended route as a healer in the end game, especially as I still have 4 or 5 pieces of my "starting" healing gear to collect.

The runs may have been helped by decent groups (two PUGs and a guild group), so I may be being over optimistic, but the changes to the restoration tree with Burning Crusade (especially the addition of Earth Shield) certainly seem to have made resto shaman very viable. My main problem at the moment seems to be that the ranged DPS all tend to spread out, so Chain Heal can't really be used. I'd also really love an aggro dump, but lacking that the options seem to be to whip out my earth elemental really quickly (hoping that the 20 cooldown is up), or die (since I when I do get aggro, I seem to get 2 or 3 mobs at once).

In the process of these healing runs I've collected 2/3 of my Karazhan key, and reached Revered with Cenarion Expedition, so that's a couple of goals ticked off. I still need to get a heap of mp5, and a slightly larger mana pool, before I'm ready for Karazhan though.

Saturday, 28 July 2007

Ding - 70!

Finally reached level 70 today! But it was a real anti climax...

I'd been doing a few quests around Netherstorm and knew I was close, but the magic XP came from talking to Foreman Sundown when I wasn't really expecting it. My reaction was "oh" rather than "Yay!".

I did the usual level 70 things - buying my flying mount (fun, but Tukkillen my priest has one already), getting my final skills training and then.

Well, I've got a few quests to finish up for some nice healing rewards and to get the Arcatraz key quest started. But then I've a load of instance grinding to do before I can join my guild back in Karazhan, and suddenly the goal I've been working towards for the last month or so seems like a rest-stop rather than a destination.

It shouldn't be a surprise really, but it is a mild disappointment.

Tuesday, 24 July 2007


A reasonably complete list of goals. Except that by the time I've completed these I'll no doubt have another list...!

Pre-Kara healing list: 8/17
Complete Tidefury set (for the looks): 0/5

Tawny Windrider
Swift Brown Wolf (have the skill already, but don't want to spend the money until I can get to Arcatraz)
Netherdrake (to make the stepsons happy)

Revered with the Sha'tar (Alchemist's Stone recipe and key): Neutral
Revered with Lower City (Lower City Prayerbook and key): Neutral
Revered with the Scryers (Scryer's Bloodgem): Friendly
Revered with Thrallmar (Head enchant and key): Honoured
Revered with Cenarion Expedition (Transmute recipes and key): Honoured
Revered with Mag'har (Transmute recipe): Honoured
Revered with Sporeggar (Transmute recipe): Honoured
Revered with Keepers of Time (key): Friendly
Exalted with the Violet Eye (ring upgrades): Neutral

Normal Keys:
Shadow Labyrinth Key.
Shattered Halls Key.
The Arcatraz Key.

Heroic Keys:
Hellfire Citadel.
Coilfang Reservoir.
Tempest Keep.
Caverns of Time.

Raid Keys:
Karazhan key shards: 0/3
Complete Black Morass for Karazhan Key.

Get 355 Fishing skill (so I can catch Zangarian Sporefish).
Recipe: Elixir of Major Mageblood (so I can make all my own raid buffs).

One level to go...

And then the real work starts.

My healing gear is coming along nicely, with a good run main-healing Old Hillsbrad netting me my Tarren Mill Defender's Cinch and getting me very nearly to level 69. I also got lucky and picked a pair of Pauldrons of Surging Mana cheaply from the AH.

But there will still be plenty of instances to grind between hitting 70 and getting into Kara, especially as I want an Alchemist's Stone. It's a nice enough trinklet for anyone, but even more so for shamans with our poor mana efficiency. It's also probably the toughest item on my "must get" list to obtain, given where you need to go to get rep with The Sha'tar.

Between some nice rewards from group quests, PvP items (Veteran's Ringmail Bracers - niiice, although that resilience is basically wasted in PvE) and some rep rewards, you're a lot less reliant on drops in the Burning Crusade than you were at level 60. That doesn't make rep grinds any less painful though.

Monday, 23 July 2007

Character or avatar?

n: An image representing a user in a multi-user virtual reality

This blog is called Orc Shaman, however my titular shaman, Grulnak, hit level 68 2 nights ago whereas Tukkillen, my troll priest, is raiding Karazhan (just Nightbane to go for a full clear). So am I just confused, or what's going on?

When I started playing World of Warcraft I had various friends playing on the Horde side, so my choice of character race was easy - it had to be an orc. After being advised not to chose rogue or warrior (although I've since levelled an undead warrior to 60 and had some good times tanking with him) the choice of class was pretty easy too, and so I rolled a shaman as my first character.

There's loads of great things about shamans - the lore, the versatility, some of the unique spells (water walking anyone?), but at the time I hit 60 it was an overplayed class (due to the perceived power in PvP) and being a hybrid wasn't that much in demand for the end game. So while I'm in no way a hardcore raider I rolled a priest (a class that's both underplayed and in demand) to at least see the end game.

I chose a troll priest, partly because (at least when they stand up straight!) they're the tallest race in the game, and also because I liked the idea (and the exclusivity) of being a troll voodoo witchdoctor, instead of the ubiqutous undead priest. And he did very well for me, getting me into MC, Onyxia's Lair, BWL (very briefly), ZG and AQ20.

However, perhaps because he'd been created as a tool to do a job, perhaps because trolls look so damn stupid in their priestly robes, or perhaps because he wasn't my first character, I just don't have empathy for Tukkillen that I do for my shaman.

So, do I chose by character and get my shaman levelled up, attuned and geared, and then take my Chain Heal to Karazhan, or do I stick with my avatar and keep DPSing (and acting as a mana battery for my group) into the end game?

At the moment the choice is clear, so I'm levelling Grulnak up as fast as I can. But don't be surprised if I get an attack of altism, and this becomes a blog about a priest.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Rune-Inscribed Parchment

I blame Kinless. That may seem a little unfair, but it's his blog that got me posting.

I spend a fair amount of time playing WoW, and a fair amount more reading about it. I've thought about blogging about it in the past, and never really got my act together, but his recent posting made me realise how useful a blog could be as a history of my gaming. I can't really remember where I was in the game a year ago, but I think it'll be pretty interesting to look back a year from now and see what I was doing and thinking.

Assuming I stick with it, and this doesn't become another of those abandoned blogs...