Archive for predatore

Movin’ On Up

Posted in Character Updates, WoW Observations with tags , , , , , on December 28, 2009 by Mark Pannell

I’m back, ya’ll! It’s been nearly ten months since my last post. If you kept up with my real life misadventures, you know I had a rollercoaster of a year. I took a five month sabbatical from WoW to focus on some family issues that I think are finally resolved. If you’re playing along at home, that means that I’ve been playing again for about five months without blogging about it. This probably cost me a few power gamer credibility points too. I actually let real life come before WoW. Craziness.

When I last checked in, I believe Devv was sitting somewhere in the neighborhood of 74 and Predatore had recently dinged 80. In the time that I was away from the game, twinking got bent over and dry-humped by Blizzard. Oh sure, you can still enjoy some twink on twink action… if you want to sit in queue for eleven days. So, Kaddisfly reluctantly made the symbolic gesture of dinging 20 in Warsong Gulch, kissing his crazy-expensive twink life goodbye. Dante… well, the little Rogue with a big heart hasn’t left Ironforge since 2008. And 2010 isn’t looking much better for him.

But 2009 wasn’t all bad. Ms. Devv hit level 80 in early August and hasn’t looked back since. I also welcomed a couple of new additions to the family this year. Frustrated by the time wasted in LFG waiting for a tank and healer (this was pre-3.3, mind you), I decided to take matters into my own hands. Tanking has never interested me. I’ve rolled three Paladins, leveled them to 10, then deleted them as I quickly lost interest in the class mechanics. Plus, tanking seems boring as Hell to me. But healing… well, that’s a horse of a different color. It seems challenging and fun, exciting and scary. With that in mind, I decided to roll me some healz! Continue reading

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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.

I’m So Focused Rig… Ooh! A Quarter!

Posted in WoW Observations with tags , , , , , , , on February 4, 2009 by Mark Pannell

I have A.D.D. I have no medical evidence to back this up. Nonetheless, I’m confident that it’s true. My RL friend Matt once told me that a shiny object could distract me from speaking to a supermodel.

I’ve had very clear goals for my top two WoW toons recently: make a ton of gold selling Darkmoon Cards of the North on Predatore and level Devv to 80. After dropping 5000G on Predatore’s Epic Flight, he’s back up to 2600G. Devv is halfway through level 74 and she’s done nearly all of the quests in Grizzly Hills. She just might move into Zul’Drak early. So far, so good, right? Wrong.

Yesterday, I took a quick peek at Predatore’s skills to see how high his First Aid was. I noticed that his cooking was at 4/75 and he had never even learned fishing. I think you can see where I’m going with this.

I played WoW for approximately four hours yesterday. Nearly all of that time was spent fishing, cooking, and traveling. At the end of the day, Predatore’s Fishing was at 176/225 and his Cooking was at 225/225. He has all of the items necessary to complete his Artisan Cooking quest. A quick journey to Tanaris will open things up to 300 when I get home tonight.

As if leveling Cooking and Fishing wasn’t enough proof of my A.D.D., I actually got distracted during my distraction. I decided to travel to Orgrimmar to try to get The Fishing Diplomat achievement. With no means of going invisible, I’d hoped to take out the guards, haul ass to my fishing spot, and hope for the best. I never made it past the front gates.

I spent about 35 minutes dueling Horde toons, flagging, un-flagging, making corpse runs, and watching duels. By the time I left Orgrimmar, I nearly forgot why I was there to begin with. I finally hearthed back to Dalaran and took a port to Ironforge so I could fly to my next fishin’ hole: Arathi Highlands.

When I got to Arathi, I was pretty focused on catching 40 to 60 Mithril Head Trout. I caught about 12 of them when I saw the yellow message “Refuge Point is under attack.” Oh, Hell no!

Needless to say, I high-tailed it to Refuge Point, killed the level 41 Tauren Druid, then corpse-camped him twice. I probably would have done it more, but after the second time, he had the good sense to wait five minutes to rez.

Defending Refuge Point reminded me of my time spent leveling Devv through Arathi Highlands. I had one quest left to turn in before I was done in the zone. When I got back to Refuge Point, some level 70 Horde toons had slaughtered all of the NPC’s. I had to sit and wait a few minutes before the questgiver came back. When he did, he was promptly killed again.

A combination of that memory and my three recent kills put the taste of blood in my mouth. That was all the motivation I needed to gallop off to Hammerfall and slaughter everyone. A level 40 Blood Elf Mage was approaching one of the NPC’s as I killed him. I can only assume that he was trying to turn in a quest. It must have really pissed him off because it prompted him to flag and attack me… a level 80 Death Knight. Bad choice. I killed the misguided Mage a total of four times.

My Fishing would probably be closer to 225, but it’s just so damn easy to get distracted. At least with Cooking, you stand in front of a fire and cook everything you have in your inventory. It’s quick, painless, and easy to level. Before logging, I got the Catch 250 Fish achievement. I don’t care what people say. Having the patience to watch the little bobber bounce 250 times in one day is an achievement. I’ll take a “gratz” for that one.

So, Predatore still has 2600G and Devv is still level 74. After an entire day off of gameplay, I’ve made no “real” progress. I think my best bet is to get both professions all the way to 450 right now so I don’t get tempted to step away from my goals again in the near future. I really want to get Devv to 80, then get both her and Predatore geared up. I’m confident that I can stay focu… hey, that guy looks like Newman from Seinfeld!

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.

Predatore’s First Epic

Posted in WoW Observations with tags , , , on January 30, 2009 by Mark Pannell

explorer-0012

Do ya see it? No? Sadly, Predatore’s first purple is a Tabard of the Explorer. That’s OK. I’m sure his first title will be “The Explorer” as well. Gotta love the gift of Epic Flight. Boo-yah!

Into The Wild Blue Yonder

Posted in WoW Observations with tags , , , , , , , on January 29, 2009 by Mark Pannell

Predatore finally scraped together enough nickels to get his training for Epic Flight. Fortunately, his Winged Steed of the Ebon Blade scaled with him, so I didn’t have to drop more gold on another mount.

The road to 5000G was a pretty short one. Last week, my DK was down to about 150G. But his bank was brimming full of Northrend Inks. I finally decided to pull the trigger and convert all of those inks to Darkmoon Cards of the North. Along the way, Predatore’s Inscription hit 450. Three different Nobles Cards (Ace, Seven, and Eight) and the Five of Chaos took me from 150G to over 5000G all on their own. A handful of Frost Lotus took me close to 5500G. With that kind of gold on hand, I knew it was time to do the deed.

A quick hearth to Dalaran and a short ride brought me to decision-making time. I chatted it over with guildies for about two minutes before exchanging my 5000G for the gift of speedy flight. Before work this morning, I cruised around Northrend and completed exploring every zone except Howling Fjord. I’ll wrap that up tonight for my Tabard of the Explorer and 25 Achievement Points.

So, what’s next? Devv is fully rested again, so I’ll pull her out and ding 74 sometime in the next couple days. When her rested XP begins to dwindle down again, I’ll pull Predatore back out to do dailies and farm Northrend herbs. I’d like to raise 6000G on him before Devv dings 77. I can’t imagine how much easier it would be to quest from 77 to 80 with both Epic Flying and Cold Weather Flying. If more Nobles Cards keep dropping, I’ll have that coin in no time flat.

Speaking of Devv, she’s about 75 pieces of Frostweave away from hitting 410 on Tailoring. When that happens, the ol’ girl will be knocking out 20-slot bags and a Flying Carpet. Boo-yah! This game is getting fun again!

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!