Archive for mage

Patch 3.0.9 and Some Caverns of Time (That Kinda Rhymes)

Posted in WoW Observations with tags , , , , , , , on February 10, 2009 by Mark Pannell

Apparently, when the servers come back online today, we’ll be playing with patch 3.0.9. Not a whole lot to get excited about here. But something stood out to me:

Fixed an issue where players using nVidia 3D glasses were unable to see spell cooldowns.

As Gnomeaggedon pointed out last week in this post, we’re still without live instance maps four years after the game’s release. Yet the developer’s are devoting resources to correcting an issue being experienced by 1/100th of 1% of the game’s demographic? And a bunch of 3D glasses-wearing noobtards at that. Wow. Just… wow.

Aside from that, our Arcane brethren are about the only members of the Mage community to be affected by the patch. I’ll be interested to read Larisa’s thoughts in a few days. Oddly, Death Knights were completely untouched for the first time since the release of Wrath. Looks like Blizzard might be reaching a comfort zone with their controversial Hero Class.

As minor is it may seem, I’m pretty pumped about this one:

Fixed a player movement error in which other players were appearing to move erratically when traveling beside them.

Earlier this week, Drkdmon and I were running Torgath through Escape from Durnholde Keep. None of us had done it on those particular toons, so we needed to knock it out so we could run him through Opening the Dark Portal later that day. Once we freed Thrall and defeated Captain Skarloc, we galloped off to Tarren Mill. As we traveled, Drkdmon kept phasing in and out next to me. His glitchy movements were driving me nuts. Good bug fix, Blizz. You have my stamp of approval.

As an interesting sidenote, we had to run Durnholde two-and-a-half times. The first time, I forgot to accept the quest from Andormu. I talked with him. I opened the quest dialogue box. I even read it, which is a rarity for me. I just didn’t accept it. We figured this out as we attempted to enter the Dark Portal section of CoT and I just galloped in place as the other two entered the instance.

The second time in, we had a couple of setbacks. Drkdmon wiped us as we were setting the Incendiary Bombs in the Internment Lodges. I grabbed aggro from the first group of mobs and pulled them away from the others. I noticed that at some point, Torgath’s heals weren’t coming as frequently. Before I had a chance to figure out why, I had mobs attacking me from behind. I glanced at Torgath’s health as he slumped to the ground dead. It was at that point that I noticed Drkdmon battling the second group of mobs.

“How did you guys pull aggro from a whole different set of mobs?” I asked.

“Steve (Drkdmon) attacked a whole different set of mobs. He didn’t even go after the ones you did,” Torgath replied.

“Nice job, ass hat,” I said.

Corpse run. Second verse, not quite the same as the first. A little bit different, but a little bit worse. After destroying the five Lodges and defeating Lieutenant Drake, I told the guys to hold up in the basement of Durnholde Keep. I was the only one with the quest anyhow. I had a plumber coming over to the house to look at a clogged drain pipe. I knew that it was only going to take a few minutes with a power snake, so I knew the guys would be OK with it. As Torgath and I entered Durnholde Keep, Drkdmon went missing. His little blue party dot was right by us, but he was nowhere to be found. As we knocked out the last few mobs on the main floor, Thrall shot past us and down the hallway to the front door.

“What the f**k?” Torgath asked?

“Who the f**K let Thrall out of the prison?” I demanded.

“Steve,” Torgath answered.

“Jesus Christ! You’re killing me, Steve. I’m the only one with the quest… a quest that I can now no longer turn in,” I barked.

“Let him die,” Torgath offered.

“Steve or Thrall?” I asked.

“Both,” Torgath laughed.

And so we did. Our first run at the Dark Portal wasn’t much better. Torgath trained every Jaguar, Tarantula, and Crocolisk from the entrance to the instance to Medivh. We didn’t actually wipe. We just watched Medivh die as I fought every creature known to man in front of him. Drkdmon compunded the problem by attempting to knock out the Rift Lords and all of their adds by himself without heals. His rationale was that it would prevent the other Infinite-named mobs from spawning. Decent logic, but not exactly what you want to hear when you’ve got fifty spiders and kitty cats all up ons. Lesson learned: kill all of the trash on the way to Medivh. They have no tether point.

Okie-doke, kiddos. Servers should be back up now. I’m off to level Devv a bit.

Update: Maintenance extended by two hours. Why am I not surprised? Maybe they hadn’t worked out all of the kinks on that nVidia 3D glasses bug fix.

The Ups and Downs of Dinging Flagged or: How I Learned to Hate World PvP

Posted in WoW Observations with tags , , , , , , , , on January 31, 2009 by Mark Pannell

Last night, Devv finally dinged 74 in Grizzly Hills. This was no small feat. She spent most of the climb from 73 to 74 flagged for PvP. After completing one of the Venture Bay PvP dailies, her five minute grace period never started. I tried logging out, logging back in, manually flagging PvP, then manually un-flagging. No dice. Open Help Ticket, wait fifteen minutes, Edit Ticket to remove some of the unnecessary cuss words, rinse, repeat.

Along the way, I was ganked by three individuals, all higher level than me, all Tauren. The lesson learned here is that people who roll Tauren Horde toons are the biggest pricks in WoW.

There was a Tauren Druid who insisted upon ganking me whenever my health was low. I alleviated this problem by logging onto Predatore after my third ganking.

I chased my tormentor halfway across Grizzly Hills before unleashing my army of undead on him. Of course, I corpse camped him. Pansy waited the full five minutes to un-flag before he rezzed. No matter, I griefed him into flagging again. This time, he literally ran for the hills. It took his every effort just to get away before logging into a level 1 Draenei and talking smack. Well played, jackass. Well played.

Readjusting to the Mage playstyle has definitely been a challenge. Devv’s corpse runs in Grizzly Hills are exponentially higher in quantity than Predatore’s in the same zone. On the bright side, Frostweave is dropping like mad. Devv is 89 pieces shy of 410 Tailoring. Some people long to get their professions to 450. I’ll be deeply satisfied with 410. That’s when it gets fun and profitable for me again.

Speaking of professions, Predatore’s Inscription has been quite lucrative lately. To this day, I’ve still never sold a single glyph. Every piece of gold he’s ever made has been from Darkmoon Cards of the North. Whenever a Nobles card drops, I immediately list it on AH. I haven’t sold one for less than 1000G yet. When my efforts yield any card of Prisms, Chaos, or Undeath, I throw it in the bank, working to create all eight of each. They don’t sell quite as well as Nobles on their own, so I’m banking on making my profit from compiling full decks.

Oh! One last thing. Someone asked me about Devv’s other profession earlier this week. She’s a Miner, currently at level 420. A Miner, you say? All of Devv’s Mining efforts go straight to the Guild Bank. Darkdmon is a Jewelcrafter so all of my ores are prospected for gems. His main, Darkasm, is a high level Enchanter so all of my extra crafted Tailoring items are disenchanted into dusts and essences. I can then either use them for other Tailoring patterns or for my own enchants.

Well, so much for sporadic posting. As busy as I’ve been, I’ve been dropping a word or two pretty regularly lately. I hope you guys enjoy reading my thoughts. I have some more creative posts in the works. Lately, it seems like I’ve just been giving progress reports. That will all change soon. Thanks for reading, ya’ll.

Devv’s First Northrend Instance

Posted in WoW Observations with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2009 by Mark Pannell

Now that Predatore has dinged 80, most of my playtime with him has been about moneymaking and progressing his Inscription to 450. He made it to 448 last night and pulled in a cool 1600G from an Ace of Nobles. But aside from that, I’ve been focused on leveling Devv again.

With about a month’s worth of rested XP (yeah, yeah… I know you only get credit for ten days), I’ve got double XP coming on the old girl for quite some time. Two nights ago, I pulled her out of the inn and resumed questing in Howling Fjord. At about 10:00 pm, I was wrapping it up and getting ready for bed. As I was about to hearth, I noticed a “LF1M DPS for UK then G2G” message in Trade Chat.

So, I didn’t get as much sleep that night as I had anticipated. But it occurred to me that Devv had never set foot in an instance in Northrend. It was high time to change that. I took a quick glance at the other party members. Since I was the last one in and they were all readied up, I didn’t waste time checking out their specs or stats. All that I knew was that I was heading in with a Priest, a Warrior, a Hunter, and a Paladin.

We tore through the first section at a breakneck pace. Despite taking some mana conservation efforts, I was going OOM and unable to keep up with the group. I was burning Evocation every time it was on cooldown. After knocking out the first boss, we cruised on into the next section. It was at this point that I noticed how low I was on the Omen totem pole. I was rarely seeing High Threat and my DPS was looking pretty pathetic. My target was rarely the same as the tank’s. More often than not, I was playing off-tank to the Priest. I couldn’t figure out how he kept pulling aggro and over-healing. I finally figured it out when I noticed he was 80.

Needless to say, we cleared UK with zero deaths. I got a nice blue helm for my efforts and thoughtful advice from an experienced healer. Last night, my experience wasn’t as enjoyable. This time, a 77 Priest led a rag-tag PuG including Darkdmon and Devv into Nexus and we didn’t make it past the first boss. The first time, I tried to back myself out of AoE range and wound up backing right into the patrolling mobs in the hallway. We wiped and the Priest took the opportunity to give us a good tongue-lashing to ensure we all knew to go after the purple clone first when she splits.

Our second attempt at the ol’ Magus was just as much of a clusterhump as we heard, “Death becomes you” five consecutive times before making our next corpse run. As I re-entered the instance, the Priest made some random negative comment, then left the group. Darkdmon and I decided to work together to wrap up some of our quests in Borean Tundra before calling it a night. I still can’t figure out exactly what screwed us the second time around. I think the Hunter’s pet pulled aggro from Darkdmon, sending the purple clone roaming free. Once the Priest was down, the rest of us were dead in the water.

So, my first experiences in the Northrend instances ended with mixed results. One thing that I do know is that if I have the opportunity to have a patient level 80 healer in a low 70’s instance, I’ll do it in a heartbeat. That guy was a Godsend. I’m looking forward to heading back into Nexus, but this time I’ll be sure everyone involved knows the fights. It’s not an incredibly complex instance, but it’s not exactly Deadmines either. I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on your first experiences in the dungeons of Northrend. Leave me some comments on the subject if you have a moment. Take care, ya’ll!

Ding! 80!

Posted in WoW Observations with tags , , , , , , on January 23, 2009 by Mark Pannell

predatore-801

That’s right, suckas! Predatore dinged 80 this afternoon. When Devv dinged 70, I wanted to make sure she was in a zone that had some sort of significance to her. Given the amount of time she spent in Nagrand, it only seemed fitting to reach the pinnacle at the time by turning in the repeatable Halaa quest Oshu’gun Crystal Powder.

Predatore… well, he doesn’t really have a strong connection to any particular area. But given the fact that he’s a Death Knight, it seemed appropriate to reach 80 by turning in a quest that garnered rep with the Knights of the Ebon Blade. With that in mind, I wrapped up my journey to endgame by turning in the quest Death’s Gaze.

So, what now? Holy poop, man. I have no idea. Clearly I’d like to get geared up. My mixture of blues and greens won’t do me much good regardless of what path I take. So now I have to decide if I’d like to gear up by chasing down reputation rewards, buying crafted items, PvP’ing my way to some semi-welfare epics, or trying to PuG my path to the purples that I want the most: Tier 7.

One way or another, my professions are yet again taking center stage. I followed the advice of Pugnacious Priest and farmed Frostweave for Devv in the area that she mentioned in this post. Her Tailoring is now up to 400. Darkasm finally got his Enchanting up to 350, so he’s been disenchanting all of my Northrend green drops to Infinite Dust so I can get to work on Bolts of Imbued Frostweave. Ten more points and I’ll be kicking out 20-slot bags for my guildies like a Cambodian sweatshop worker.

Thanks for reading, ya’ll. My personal life has been taking a turn for the difficult, so it’s nice to have this escape. A special thanks to all of my fellow bloggers who inspire me. Take a peek to the right to see who I’m talking about. Rest asssured, I’m not going anywhere. My posts might just become a little sporadic for a while. But like some wicked cross between Frosty the Snowman, The Terminator, and General MacArthur, I shall be back again someday… soon.

Tuesday Downtime Update

Posted in WoW Observations with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 20, 2009 by Mark Pannell

So, I’ve barely been writing lately. Real life has a tendency of doing that. I’ve had ideas for posts running through my mind for the last couple weeks, but every time I sit down to write, something else takes precedence. I quickly realized that this bad boy ran the risk of disappearing into obscurity. Not gonna happen, people!

When the servers finally come back up sometime this month, Patch 3.0.8 will be live. My first official act as a 3.0.8 World of Warcrafter will be to buy Devv’s Mechanostriders, eeking closer to the Leading the Calvary achievement. That will take all of five minutes. Then, she’ll be nestled cozily in Ironforge yet again as her big brother Predatore continues his journey to 80. I’m not sure when the paradigm shift occurred, but somewhere along the way, I fell in love with playing a Death Knight.

Poor old Devv is still 72 as Predatore inches closer to endgame, sitting at 78 as of this writing. The levels really started dinging once all of my toons were successfully transferred to Garrosh. P.S. – all of the links on the Armory page are now updated to reflect my new realm. Anyhow, now that I’m on a lower population server, I’m able to accomplish a lot more in a couple hours than I used to. On Silvermoon, I could usually expect an hour+ queue time only to be thrown into a mosh pit of mob ninjas, hoping to miraculously tap one or six to complete a couple quests before calling it a night. Ahh, serenity.

Making the jump to Garrosh was a lot smoother in the company of friends. Although I never officially joined Creative Anarchy, I know a lot of the guys in real life. So when Darkasm, Horgath, and Lotusdark announced that they were making the jump, I knew the time was right. Initially named The D Bags, our newly-created guild apparently received a complaint about the name very early in our existence. So, we are currently without a name as we wait on Blizzard to approve one of five names that we had to submit to them for their approval. Yeah.

I went through a brief period when I really wasn’t enjoying the game anymore. But now that I’m in the company of talented players around the same level as my main, it’s getting fun again. Despite the fact that Predatore is sitting on 80’s doorstep, I’m sure it will be Devv who sees the most endgame content eventually. Last night, Deathfright and Devv ran Torgath through Hellfire Ramparts and Blood Furnace. Believe it or not, I actually died once. Anyhow, it was exhilarating to be back in an instance with the old girl, even if it was little more than a footrace. What surprised me is how quickly I forgot how to play my class. When my spells grayed out, it took me a moment to realize that I was out of mana. Mana?!? What’s that?

Another thing that’s adding enjoyment to the game for me is leveling professions. I always enjoyed it on my way to 70 and this time is no different. Predatore quickly leveled Herbalism to 450 and Inscription isn’t far behind at 443. Whenever he picks up Frostweave, it’s promptly mailed to Devv. Her Tailoring is only at 393 with Mining just beyond that at 401. But that’s not too bad considering she still hasn’t left the Northrend starting zones. I’m getting kinda pumped to make 20-slot bags and Flying Carpets, so I’ll probably head out and grind some humanoids with her before too long. Professions have always added another dimension to the game for me. Some people see it as a grind. For me, it adds more value for my money.

That’s all for now, kiddos. I’ll be back again soon. I promise. Well, sooner than last time. Maybe next time around, I’ll have a guild name to share. I have a feeling Blizzard will shoot down “First Name Banned” and “Offensive Guild Name,” deferring to one of our three less controversial offerings. We’ll see.

Shoryuken!

Posted in WoW Observations with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 1, 2009 by Mark Pannell

Let’s just be honest here. Anytime I pulled off that move in Street Fighter II, it was a complete frickin’ accident. I had no skill at that game whatsoever. While my buddies were effortlessly rattling off combos like they were going out of style, I mashed buttons. If I pulled off some kind of miracle once in a while, inadvertently nailing a combo, it only prolonged my inevitable defeat by about 1.5 seconds.

sf21

To a certain extent, Northrend makes me feel like a button-masher all over again. There are elements of confusion, frustration, and a complete lack of control. When I first hit the Borean Tundra, I was questing to beat the band. I just couldn’t wait to ding again. I was probably about 30% of the way to level 71 when it occurred to me that the last time I got repairs was in Stormwind before taking the boat to Northrend. My durability was down to 76%.  I even had to ask where to get repairs in Trade Chat. Ya know what? I’m not above rehashing old material to get a laugh, even if it is only from Vonya and Hannelore. It made me feel like a cow-punching noobtard. There! I said it.

By the time Wrath came out, I finally got a handle on all of the BC factions, their rewards, and how to increase reputation with them. Now, I’m back to being clueless. As Predatore cruises across Northrend, I’m constantly tabbing out to see what my reputation gain just went toward. I’ve spent more time reading WoW Insider than ever before. After reading the Lichborne column Reputation Rewards for Death Knights in Wrath of the Lich King, I decided to start grinding Kalu’ak rep so I’d have a Whalebone Carapace waiting for me at level 76. The item required Honored with The Kalu’ak, so I figured I’d just grind a little bit before moving into Dragonblight. Before researching what quests would make nice with the little tuskarr, I decided to log in to find out where I stood with them. Much to my surprise, I was already Honored. Oh snap!

I also find myself more dependant on Thottbot lately. I’ve never hidden the fact that I use QuestHelper. As I’ve acknowledged a number of times, I am, in fact, a noob. But even after reading the quest text and galloping off to QuestHelper’s little dummy marker, sometimes I still don’t know what’s expected of me. Again, I tab out and do a little reading. Like a complete moron, I frequently forget to relocate to a safe place before doing so. I’m usually welcomed by an ass-whuppin’ already in progress or a corpse run when I return to gameplay. Doh!

OK. So figure out how to complete the quest. Check. Figure out what the associated reputation does for me. Check. About half the time, there’s some type of reward other than gold and XP that comes with the turn-in. But what are these new stats and why have the ones that I’ve come to love  become so… random? Equipping the right combination of items is like hoping for a button-mashed Shoryuken. Well, it was at first. I quickly accepted the fact that Blizzard hates Mages. Why? Stamina + Spirit? You bet. Intellect + Spirit? Of course. But Stamina + Intellect? No way in Hell. Why, Blizz? Why?!? Predatore had slightly better luck with Strength and Stamina-rich plate items dropping like snow in Northrend. That’s probably the biggest reason I’ve chosen to level Predatore over Devv.

Every time I log in, I learn a little bit more about the subtle nuances of Northrend. It’s a good feeling to answer questions for fellow players going through the same growing pains that I experienced. But I’ve got a long way to go before I reach the comfort level I enjoyed in Outlands. When I finally ding 80 and enter my first endgame raid, I won’t be surprised if The Archlich Kel’Thuzad busts out a Sonic Boom!

Ambassador Devv

Posted in Screenshots with tags , , , on December 16, 2008 by Mark Pannell

Screenshot or it didn’t happen. Devv with her new title and her old friend in Ironforge.

Ambassador Devv and Kotasky in Ironforge