Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Argent Tournament? Chicken riding?!

I went to check out the Argent Tournament, something I've been meaning to do for a while. Picked up a few minor quests, and then went to find out about the tournament itself. It turns out they want me to ride a chicken hawkstrider chicken into combat. So much for that.

I might do the goblin dailies, and it looks pretty cool when I'm riding my Wolf around Dalaran with the tournament lance equipped. But the tournament itself will remain a closed book, at least for this Orc.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Ulduar progress

I've now progressed pretty far in Ulduar with my guild, and we're hopefully not far off a full clear. Given we raid sort of casually, with only 2 days per week in the instance, I think we're doing pretty well.

This last week on night one we downed Flame Leviathan, Razorscale, XT-002, Kologarn, Auriaya, Thorim and the Assembly of Iron, one-shotting them all except for Thorim which took us 6 attempts.

Then last night we killed Freya (3rd attempt) and Hodir (5 attempts or so).

The bosses we're wiping on now, especially Thorim and Hodir, are problematic in that one serious mistake from one raider will cause a wipe. We're not carrying any fools though so before too long I'm sure we'll be one- or two-shotting them. Time will tell...

A bonus moment from last night was that, once the raid had been called for the night, I was able from Freya's room to chain Far Sight to peak at Mimiron. I forget sometimes when looking enviously at other classes all the cool tricks that shamans have.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Tank switching

It occured to me that Grulgok the orc (although suitably beefy compared to a Forsaken) doesn't really offer much (if anything) storywise that Grulnak doesn't already provide. So I've switched back to Shank as my tank. One downside being that he's 7 levels further back than the character he's trying to replace.

In the interests of Real Life I'll probably make him an enchanter / blacksmith and then drop Grulnika my rogue entirely. Levelling blacksmithing without mining will cost a fair bit, but I figure there's some saving from being able to sell my wares either as armour and weapons or as enchanting materials.

I'm back being happy tanking again, after awakening Grulgok from his retirement to tank Nexus for a guild group. We had a single death, a mage that was two-shotted just before we got to Grand Magus Telestra, and while there's definitely scope for improvement it did reassure me that it's not always the tank's fault when PUGs go bad...

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Alts update

A really bad Nexus PUG a week or so ago made me shelve Grulgok, and Grulnak's to-do list - which is mainly to grind cash - has been boring me a bit, so I've been alt hopping again.

Grumdril got a few levels, then got re-rolled on an RP-PVP server. The population of the starter zones seem a lot more pleasant on the RP server, which reinforces my long-term plan of transfering to one if my guild ever implodes.

Grazznak, my level 48 warlock, had a bit of a run-out. A brief flirtation with Destruction proved costly in bandages, it really doesn't seem like a levelling spec until perhaps level 64 when the Incinerate spell becomes available. So back to Affliction for him.

And then I got to thinking (again) what I'm really trying to achieve with my alts, apart from them taking up more of my Real Life time?

Grulnak is my achiever, my raider, and offers far more opportunities than a tank or melee DPS has access to.

I yearn to have a tank - in my 40s and 50s with Shank I was regarded as a good one, and when guildies or LFG calls out for one I want to help out. But realistically tanking heriocs would be my limit. Given my available time I'd be at least a tier behind with a tank where I could be with a healer, given that a tank's gear sets the limits for a raid in a way that a healer's gear simply doesn't.

I also want to be able to explore Alliance areas, plus I have the occasional "Dwarfs are cool" moments such as in the lead up to the Razorscale fight. However being on an Alliance character (or even another server) means I'm not in my guild chat.

Also, some recent reading of RP blogs has reinforced my basic decision to play Orcs (thanks Blogatelle!). Plus it's a fair bet that, with the grass-is-greener thing, if I was playing as a dwarf I'd have plenty of "Orcs are cool" moments.

So, this week's alt plan -
  • Grulnak - Orc shaman - herbalist / alchemist
  • Grulnika - Orc rogue - enchanter / scribe
  • Grulgok - Orc warrior - miner / blacksmith (slightly on the back burner)
Currently Grulnika's an enchanter / skinner, but being a scribe would not mean that I didn't have to grind Hodir rep again, but also Grulnak has the matching gathering skill.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Raiding update

It sometimes surprises me how much my approach to raiding has changed since my first ventures into Zul'Gurub and Molten Core. Some of this is due to raiding having opened up so that you really can raid semi-casually, and partly it's down to more experience and just general immersion on the raiding world.

I'm now at the stage where I'm really anaylsing my gear, spell use and glyphs, rather than just turning up and casting Chain Heal a lot.

After Drug highlighted a guide from Mek on the current LHW style I reglyphed accordingly and added Power Auras to keep track of my Riptide cooldown. This really helped me in Ulduar last night where things are really starting to get tricky. My group downed the Assembly of Iron (earning me the The Antechamber of Ulduar achievement) and then moved on to Thorim (sadly only to wipe several times). It's good to be on to properly hard content (to me at least - "proper" raiders would probably not agree), but the repair bills are starting to hurt.

Properly glyphed it's amazing how much you can do with Riptide and LHW, but more significantly the long cast time of Chain Heal is really starting to make it an occasional situational spell, rather than a mainstay, at least in Normal mode. Perhaps in 25s it'll reassert itself, with the greater number of people and hence closer grouping.