Saturday, 28 February 2009


My guild did a "tourist raid" to Black Temple last night, which gave me a chance to see content I assumed I'd never see when watching the Burning Crusade intro movie.

As we'd hoped 17 level decently geared level 80s and a level 78 made short work of the place, although we were never quite confident of that. We wiped once on the Council as we were too spread out for the 3 healers to look after the raid, and didn't interrupt Lady Malande properly - in a way it was reassuring that the bosses still had some punch. The Illidan fight was over fairly quickly though with only 2 deaths.

I also netted a souvenir set of tier 6 shoulders which look rather cool, although very last year...

You don't really get a proper appreciation to for the place when you steamroller it rather than learning your way through a series of tough wipes, but I'm still very glad to have finally been there.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Some alt musings

Now that I've reached Grulnak's major goal of being Naxx ready, and the slow process of incremental upgrades continues, my thoughts naturally turn to my numerous alts. Although I'm very happy with my shaman - especially as Northrend gear looks so much better than the spaceship glows of much of Outland - and reputation grinds and achievements somewhat temper the desire to turn to a new character, I am going to need a few alts I think.

Posts from Kinless on his number of alts per expansion, and from drug with his views on the pros and drawbacks of alts have had me pondering this for a while. I came to the conclusion that from my various characters I want to have -

  • A casual raider - to see (hopefully) all the content in WotLK while it's still current.
  • A tank - I used to really love tanking, except for on the runs when I hated it
  • A scout - by which I mean someone who can go places they're not wanted and see things that are tricky to get at in some way. Noteably the high end raids and enemy faction cities (although I can always hope onto an alt for the latter!)
  • A hero - not necessarily a hero in the traditional sense, but just a character that's more identifiable from my pen-and-paper roleplaying background.

Grulnak's doing very nicely in the former role, although it remains to be seen how far my casual-ish guild can do in terms of the full scope of WotLK content, but we seem to be a good deal further up the curve than we were with Burning Crusade.

On the scout front a priest seems to be better in this role than a rogue, thanks to Mind Vision. It's tricky to find your way around an unfamiliar instance within the confines of the spell, but you do so at zero risk. A druid can potentially fulfill both the scout and tank roles, although druids (quite reasonably) really do miss some of the rogue skills such as Distract. I often feel when in an instance with a rogue that I'd love to be in their shoes, although in practical terms this may not match reality. As a healer you are generally the last to move, and the tank leads - for example in Karazhan I never saw Moroes' room while it was still populated, the tank would go ahead and bring targets back to us waiting on the stairs and we'd not move forward until the room was partly cleared. On the reality front though rogues rarely scout ahead, not least because the possibility of triggering some event such as a gauntlet means the group sticks fairly closely together.

For a hero I'd probably pick a human paladin, a (dwarf?) rogue or a night elf hunter (although in my mind a hunter wouldn't be a pet class), or perhaps a dwarf warrior. All proper fantasy archetypes, unlike most of my Horde characters.

Naxx ready

Between replacing a couple of haste pieces with mp5 pieces - a crafted Stormhide Belt and the Newt-Eye Ring from more Icecrown quests - and enchanting most of the rest of his gear Grulnak is now up to my guild's minimum Naxx requirements, plus somewhat over on crit.

While finishing off his gear upgrades he joined his second raid with the guild (following a somewhat straight forward VoA a few weeks ago) this weekend - Obsidian Sanctuary 25 with no drakes up. The no-drakes was in deference to the fact it was my first time there, but since we managed that on the first attempt without a single death that was probably erring on the side of caution.

I'm now wondering whether to spend some of my small store of Emblems of Heroism on a new neck or to replace my recently acquired belt, but I figure I'll wait until I see how drops pan out once I get into Naxx. Since most of the guild will be champing at the bit to get into Ulduar as soon as possible I still need to optimise my gear upgrades as much as possible so as to be in on a guild first kill one of these days! I also need to keep at it with the heroics, not least to help with the rep grind so I can access the better enchants.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

The tank shortage is back

Had my second or third experience of "LF1M - hc tank" last night, and the guild group eventually called it a night and broke up. I did my Sons of Hodir dailies, a few auctions, then called it a night myself.

Then this morning I cracked and bought two BoE crafted epics - a Wispcloak and some Revenant’s Treads - from the AH. Nearly 1000g poorer, and hence further away from my epic flying mount, but at least I'm now (barring enchants) up to my guild's Naxx gear requirements.

My trouble is at the moment I log in fairly late, once the baby's asleep, and hence I miss instancing prime time. Fine for doing a few dailies or whatever, not so good if you're trying to gear up.

I'm tempted to transfer Grulgok senior from his PvP server and start levelling him, but I'm going to wait until I see the effect of dual specs on the tanking situation. The trouble is that at the moment everyone who wants to tank has done got all their heroic drops (or at least I assume that's why the tank shortage has resurfaced now). The chances are that even once dual specs are available you'll get more DPSers who can't really tank but have a second "grouping" spec, rather than tanks who become more available once they can more easily switch out of their PvP or grinding spec. But time will tell.