A great deal has happened since the last time I posted, and for everything that happened I felt that inevitable (yet, in these cases, small) twinge to tell the world about them, but the impulse faded far, far quicker than I could hammer out a worthwhile post in each case. Now I’m stuck with the far more nagging feeling of obligation to post because I have not in several days. We took down Anub’arak and earned ourselves A Tribute to Mad Skill back on Tuesday. He went down in 2 wipes and we had a new member with us who was responsible for one of them because he didn’t properly get behind an ice patch. So, going from 50 wipes, lifetime on Anub, to 2 wipes (or maybe 1 and a half wipes) I’m extremely pleased with us and our potential to work towards Tribute to Insanity, or at the very least, farm the hell out of Mad Skill. We stumbled on Faction Champs and wiped twice before we got to Anub which was very disappointing and frustrating, but there is always going to be some element of randomness with that fight. We had the misfortune of mis-managing being cycloned by the rare Moonkin druid we ended up drawing causing our pally healer to be killed each time in fairly short order.
We cleared ToC25 again with relatively little difficulty and my beloved Juggernaut’s Vitality finally dropped. I finally have a non-brewfest stamina trinket. I am one of the cool kids now. Don’t get me wrong, those briefest trinkets have served me well, but there is definitely a stigma to using them even considering how much stamina the 2 of them combine for. You’re not a cool stamina-stacker tank until you have the 258 and 245 ToC stam trinkets. I’ll never see the 258 one, but at least I got the 245 one. 🙂 With ToC10H now down two weeks in a row my 10man group is ready to spend more time focusing on Ulduar and I’m starting to build my Herald of the Titans gearset. The set I have put together with a gut-reaction first-look type of quality can be found on Chardev. Any opinions or suggestions to help me maximize and optimize it are appreciated. I realize it is using both briefest trinkets, but the Heart of Iron has never dropped, if it does, I’ll pick it up, same with Royal Seal of King Llane. The Black Heart might be a better choice than one of those charms too if it comes right down to it. I have about half of the gear in that set already, so I’ll have to do a little Ulduar25 farming and pray for some lucky drops and hot dice. I’m definitely wishing I hadn’t sold my Mimiron’s Inferno Couplings and my crafted 226 belt and boots. But I also swim in badges, so reforging them shouldn’t be that big a deal. My wallet weeps for the titansteel prices on my server though. There is also the prospect of a great deal of fantastic 219 gear dropping from the three new Icecrown five-man dungeons which I’ve had the pleasure to run on the PTR. I know that there is a weapon and shield that drop in them that has block rating on each, so it should make my unhittable Anub’arak set even easier to budget around in the near future.
Speaking of those five-mans, I wasn’t able to steamroll my way through them with my random PTR pug which I was kind of disappointed about. I mean, I shouldn’t be, really. They are turned to people wearing 219+ gear, so people that find ToC5H hard are probably going to get their faces stomped a few times. They remind me lot of Old Kingdom really (which is a very bad thing because other than Oculus, it’s basically the least run dungeon) because of the glut of caster and debuff mobs that litter the place. Cleansing totems and paladins are gonna be prized as are interrupt classes who do their job. I was almost smoked a few times near the end of Pit of Saron where there were 4 guys casting fireball and one casting shadowbolt and no one was interrupting them and no one was hitting the same target as me. I guess that’s a PuG for you, maybe when my 10man splits up to speed through them on our way into the 10man the first day, we won’t have these kinds of problems. I don’t doubt though, that I will be spending a great deal of time in those 3 dungeons, both on regular and heroic mode. That’s another thing; I ran them on regular difficulty that time on the PTR since I had never been there before and I wasn’t so gung-ho that my first time in them with some pug of people on pre-made characters they may or may not have known how to play was going to be on heroic. So they’re only going to get harder. They weren’t “hard” and certainly wouldn’t be for a group that had run the dungeon once and knew what they were doing (at least on normal difficulty) but they were irritating because I’m used to 10- minute speed runs of Gundrak, clearing AN in 8 minutes, and ignoring basically all other heroics because they take between 15-30m and that’s just too long for how over-geared we all are when we go in. But I have a ret set, a holy set, and a furious set to build with freebie triumph badges after the patch, so I’m going to have to smash through heroics again. I already have over 3000 “dungeon and raid emblems” so I may very well end up killing myself.
Then, of course, is the hot news about Icecrown being artificially gated a-la ToC. In one respect this is really good. It means that my guild is not going to have to completely ignore further attempts at Tribute to Insanity (or at the least, Mad Skill farming) and our efforts towards our 10man Ulduar proto-drake and Starcaller and Herald of the Titans titles for the sake of break-neck server-first type progression into Icecrown because everyone is going to be hitting the same invisible wall we will. It’s likely that we will down the first four bosses with minimal difficulty the first day, snag some impressive 251 loot which will automatically upgrade any slot for any of us (I want my shield from the Gunship battle, oh yes I do…) and then go back and kill some time in older content. And, of course, on the other hand, it’s terrible because we’re forced to have to go back and kill time in older content because we finished it in one day. It does save us the pressure of having to ignore everything to the exclusion of spending Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday blasting all the way to the Lich King, attempting to clear him the first week so we can start on hardmodes in week 2. Obviously Blizzard knows things like that could happen so this is their way of stopping it, but it’s still kind of frustrating. It will give me more time to level and gear alts and offsets and do some achievements that have been far too-long delayed. I still want to get the Undying title just for the sheer “coolness” of it, even though it’s close to trivial now. Well, I suppose it would be trivial if I could count on people not to die on the safety dance before we even get to the potentially buggy Sapphiron and Kel encounters. Stupid ice blocks. Stupid clumped melee.
I’ve read several bloggers talking about the potential burn out they are feeling while waiting for icecrown because of how under-whelming ToC has been, yet because of the significant raise in gear level everyone wants to go do it, killing off Ulduar far too quickly. They all mention that it was because they seem to have lost sight of goals or have accomplished all of theirs. It made me think about what my goals are so I’m going to just list them here for my own sake (not in any kind of priority order):
– Kill Algalon and get the “Starcaller” title
– Kill Algalon in “progression appropriate” iLvl gear and get the “Herald of the Titans” title
– Complete all the hardmodes in Ulduar10 and earn my Rusted Proto-Drake
– Complete “A Tribute to Insanity” in ToGC10
– Assemble a passively unhittable gear set.
– Earn Exaulted reputation with the Frenzyheart, Kalu’ak, the Shatar, Shatari Skyguard, The Violet Eye, The Scale of the Sands, Keepers of Time, Sporregar, and Cenarion Expedition (bringing me to 30 exalted reps).
– Once exalted with the Kalu’ak, level fishing and cooking from 0-450
– Get my Venomhide Ravasaur mount (yay more dailies)
– Earn my 100-mount achievement (currently at 87)
– Get every Northrend Epic Gem cut (I have 63 of 74 currently)
– Complete “Outland Dungeon Hero” (Need Shadow Labyrinth, Auchenai Crypts, Arcatrz, and Opening the Dark Portal).
– Clear Blackwing Lair once
– Farm Blackwing Lair to complete my Judgement Armor set (2 of 8 currently)
some of those goals are obviously easier to achieve than others. Mostly it involves finding some poor saps interesting in farming old raids for rep and vanity gear with me 🙂
I do have one more goal. Earth, Wind, and Fire (10 player). In a wonderfully inept Vault of Archavon 25 PuG the other day, we had a warrior tank with Titanguard and the Wall of Terror who didn’t know his job. Partly my fault, Koralon has been out long enough I assume everyone has done the fight at least once on one of their characters, so I didn’t bother to tell him he should stack on me so I don’t get hit for 45k or so by Meteor Fists. Fortunately I was on vent with some plate-wearing DPS guildies who were kind enough to soak some damage for me. We then went to Emalon. I told the tank I would pull everything and head to the right side of the room, he would then taunt Emalon off of me and take him to the left of the room. I pull. Emalon is hitting me. I wait. Emalon is still hitting me. I wait. Emalon is killing the warlocks. I wait. Emalon has killed two warlocks and a hunter. I taunt. I say “screw it, time to see just how big my balls are, I’m single-tanking this.” Maybe it was my healers. Maybe it was my gear. But I single tanked Emalon and his 4 adds while the warrior tank ran around confused, doing some random white-damage DPS but at least running out of the lightning novas. We actually had enough DPS left alive to do it, but it became very hard to correctly target the adds for the dps and eventually one of them blew up wiping the raid. I lived and bubble-hearthed. I felt justified in my decision to not spend a repair bill for others’ incompetence. I ran back through the portal to WG as half the raid bailed because of tank incompetence but we retained enough to slap the warrior around make sure he knew his job and to watch him do it. We got through the encounter with 18 people on the next go-round but it was enough to give me the confidence to know I could single-tank Emalon in 10 and 25, leading me to start hungering for that strange achievement from VoA. Next week… I really hope we can get our people on to try it. We’re outnumbered 70:30 on my server and we don’t win WG regularly or often so it’s very difficult to get something like this done, but I hope we will try it.