Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Week 1

So, a week has past since BC hit. The servers have had their ups and downs and I've been booted more times than I can count. All things considered though the launch was much less hectic than I anticipated.

I've got to that I've really enjoyed the new starting zones. My wife and I have both leveled our characters to 12 (she might be 13...). The Paladin/Shaman combination is really quite astounding. My paladin is focusing on tanking the mobs/staying alive while she just focuses on killing things. Pretty amazing what we can survive. I've also leveled a shaman to 12, but am keeping behind the duo so I can experience the new content with her.

The quest rewards are all pretty good, much better than what I remember getting from rewards in the other start zones. Not to mention that the new quests are much more fun and innovative. The quest chain starting with Learning the Language is hands down the best chain I've ever done.

Hellfire Ramparts
I've run this 4 times now. The first time we started too late and I had to leave after the first boss. Second time went off without a hitch and we downed all three bosses without a wipe. Third time we just couldn't kill the dragon before the fire damage wiped the party. 4th time (last night) we wiped once on the dragon, adjusted and took him down.

If this instance is indicative of the remainder of instances in BC, I'm impressed. Just enough trash and then a boss when you start to get bored. The loot is also amazing. On my second run I picked up the Garrote-String Necklace, which is very nice. On my fourth run (last night) I snagged the Shadowrend Longblade, which at 52.9 DPS is amazing.

Oddity with the drops, I've seen the Scale Leggings of the Skirmisher and the Kilt of Rolling Thunders drop twice. The leggings were okay as they were grabbed by hunters both times, but the kilt is Shaman only. We had a Paladin last night who, if he could have, would have grabbed them for his caster gear. As far as I know it's the only item in the instance that is class restricted. There is even a staff that is basically only useful to a Druid (+AP in forms), but it's not class restricted. Oddness...

Now that I feel pretty comfortable with the Ramparts, I'm looking forward to running the Furnace. From what I've heard the pulls are actually a lot easier to set up, which will be nice as there are some tricky ones in the Ramparts. I'll have to run the Ramparts at least one more time as we've never got Prunella (priest) finished with the quest "Weaken The Ramparts". So the Furnace will have to wait till this weekend at least.

So, as is obvious from my grabbing the afore mentioned sword, I'm no longer specced for mutilate. While I still love mutilate for PvP, I grew tired with it in PvE. I just did not like having to worry about positioning while questing and in the Ramparts. It's very burst damage intensive so it was easy to pull aggro, once I'd done that I was out of luck as my damage was gone, unless I was able to get behind the mob. So I specced back to combat, but since I wanted to try something new, I went combat fist and purchased a nice, green 48 DPS mainhand fist to go wit my Gargoyle Slashers that had been sitting in my bank from Strat (never even used). I played with that for all of one night before I discovered that combat rogue is pretty boring. Yes, it's nice not worrying about position and BF+AR+SnD=I win, but it was just...dull.

After much research yesterday I specced 11/0/41 for Shadowstep/Hemo. I've never before run a build with more than 17 points in subtlety (went 31/3/17 for a while, pre 2.0). Having done so, I've got to say that it's a lot of fun. I don't have to worry about positioning thanks to Hemo, I can burn cooldowns like they're going out of style. I always forget about Premeditation, but being able to Premed+CS->5 CP Eviscerate is just ridiculous. Of course I always forget that I have it... Shadowstep is just plain fun. It may not be effective in PvP, but it sure is fun in PvE. Last night I was able to Sap some very poorly placed mobs, just get near, Shadowstep->Sap and run. Loads of fun.. Sinister Calling and Deadliness put my AP through the roof (well, for me). I'm pretty sure that it net me 120 AP. I'm not sure if Deadliness increases the AP after my increased AGI goes in, but either way was nice. The 15% increase in AGI net me around 45 AGI, which is 45 AP, ~1.8 crit, etc.. I went from a bit over 800 AP to nearly 950 AP, and that was before the new sword :P. I'm sure for most raid equipped rogues that's nothing, but for me, who barely crested 700 AP pre-BC, it's night and day.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The morning after

So, as you all know The Burning Crusade launched yesterday. Before I dive into my thoughts on that I'd like to catch you with what I've been doing since my last post.

I've primarily focused on my hunter, Laic, I manage to get him up to 51. Ran an AV for the spear, dropped some coin at the AH for new gear etc. Laic is sitting on several Sunken Temple quests so I'm hoping that one run through would get him to 52.

Picked up my druid, Azariah, who I'd parked at 12 many months ago. Levelled him to 18 so that I could group with my wifes Warlock. I've been fortunate that I've been able to get her to play a lot more recently, so that pair has made it up level 23/24. I've got to say that I really do enjoy the druid in a group. I can already tell though that this is a much more difficult class to master than the rogue and hunter. Not that they were easy, but with the druid you have to balance each of their very distinct roles.

Sakuran was parked in front of the Dark Portal for several weeks waiting in anticipation.

So, back to the Burning Crusade.

Install went smoothly on all my machines. Stormrage was a fairly large queue (> 500 when I logged on), which isn't entirely surprising given that it was expansion day. First thing I did was roll my Dreanai. A male Paladin name Zydari and a female Shaman named Zodari. My wife also rolled a female Shaman named Zydaria (original FTW). So we spent much of the evening levelling my Paladin and her Shaman to 5. Yeah, that's right, 5. There were so many other Draenai there that we had to camp spawn points for the quests that required you to get so many drops due to the insane amount of competition for kills. I'm sure that in time it will ease out, but man, that was a long time to get those first 5 levels.

After my wife went to bed I logged on Sakuran and gathered quests in Honor Hold. Upgrade my Leatherworking, Skinning, and First Aid to the new cap (10g each!). Worked on three quests, kill 20 Fel Orcs, gather 1 tailsman for other orcs and light smoke signals at 4 towers. The lag in the Outland was nearly unbearable. For a class that depends on timing it made it very difficult. Sneaking up behind and enemy mob is one thing, but with the lag it was very easy to walk through the mob blowing your opening. Competition for kills was pretty intense here also. An Tauren Shaman with the Hand of Ragnaros and I ended up sharing one spawn point, he got the casters and I killed the melee. On a PvP server I'm sure it's a blood fest.

After not thuoughly enjoying the lag I decided to mount up and find Shattrah City. This gave me more of an opportunity to appreciate the upgraded graphics. Zangermarsh and Shattrah City are simply beautiful. Hellfire Pennisula has an amazing sky to look at, but the former zones are more environmentally appealing.

Interestingly, I didn't feel rushing through quests or grinding XP on Sakuran. Now that I'm able to level again, I intend to take my time. I really did rush a lot with her to get to 60, but I think I might focus more on enjoyment this time around. Do some quests, work on some professions, run some instances... You know enjoy the game.

This AM Stormrage was down so I rolled a Blood Elf Rogue (Chairi, Female) on Twisting Nether. I was curious to see how broken their racial ability is, and I"m here to say that it isn't. Yeah it's better than other races racials, but not by much. For a rogue you only get 10 energy per manatap, which is on a 30 second cooldown. That amounts to 3 seconds worth of extra energy every 90 seconds. I'm sure there will be a few PvP instances where it will be useful, but no more than the orc racial stun resist or the dwarf stone form. Mechanincs aside, the Blood Elves are pretty. The Draenai are certainly attractive in a alien way, but I do like the blood elves. And after reading all the QQ about the beefed up male Blood Elf, I certainly wouldn't have guessed it. They don't look like the male humans. They're still idealized, but not to the extreme that the other males are.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Heh, I've been tagged (for not posting enough)

So, Kinless was kind enough to tag me in the "5 things you didn't know about me" game (for lack of a better term.

  1. I work in a Juvenile Probation Office, which I think is a lot like moderating the official forums... But with urine collection and testing. My single day record is 17 samples collected, yes, it's as fun as it sounds.
  2. Prior to WoW, which is my first MMO, I was very engrossed in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Played all the games, was reading the books, etc. I still think I can lose time in those games faster than I can in WoW, which is really saying something.
  3. I teach Sunday School (poorly) for the teenagers at my church. I occasionally mention some in-game accomplishment and they just roll their eyes at me. Oh, and I got my Pastor into WoW.
  4. Aside from WoW I've played a lot of collectable games, favorites being Diskwars and, back in the day, Magic: The Gathering. My wife, though she claims not to know what she's doing, kicks my butt 75% of the time. And I'm pretty good...
  5. I started smoking cigarettes at the age of 19 (only person I know who started when it was legal) and quit cold-turkey a few years later after having an anxiety attack stemming from not being able to find my wallet to go buy more cigarettes. One of the better things I've done with my life, if I may say so myself.
Um... I'll go ahead and tag World of Rogue Theorycraft, Gahlok of Frostbolt, and Blessing of Kings.