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World of Warcraft

Totenkindly

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Okay, so the new world Boss (which might be up weekly -- i guess we'll find out tomorrow) in the Maw, Mor'geth. yeah.

Mor'geth, Tormentor of the Damned surrounds himself in Stygian Fog that obscures the vision of players outside the zone created by the Soul Chains linking the four Soul Cages around him. These Soul Cages will march in toward Mor'geth, Tormentor of the Damned, causing the safe area to change in size. Damaging Activated Soul Cages causes them to release a Loose Soul and return to their home position.

That pretty much sums up the fight, and I appreciate it's more than a "dump all your shit on the WB" thing, there's actually a rotation, he currently takes about 2-3 times as long as a regular WB to bring down (at least until people get their gear levels up), and it's really easy to die. I see him as a cool idea that was poorly implemented in a number of ways.

1. He's in the northern tip of the beast warrens. This counts as the Maw. If you die in the Maw, you lose stygia. Sure, if you can pick it up again, you get it back... but if you die again first, then you lose that for good plus potentially what you dropped for dying THIS time. (and there's so much shit going on in the middle of the fight that you probably can't see your corpse until the fight ends.) So if you suck at this WB or you die a bunch, you can lose all your Stygia. Until you gear up, it seems best to not save stygia, which is still used as currency by Death's Advance. Spend it ALL.

2. There's no flight path. If you finished Code 6 or whatever it's called, you have a transport to the Beastwarrens, but that's it. You are forced to ride north, and you're ride through elite mobs (sometimes groups of 4-6 elites) who not only are higher level than you can handle but also can CHARGE long distances... you can think you are clear, and then 2-3 of them will charge after you, stunning or dismounting you long enough for the others to catch up. THEN.... there's not only the elite guards, but once you get into the outer part of the citadel around the raid area, there's a bunch of special elites there. yeah, thanks, Blizz. So even if you survive at half health or less and straggle in, you can't join a raid beacuse you're still in combat, and there is no safe space to run to in order to get out of combat, because it's all populated by elite undead and elite monsters. (And remember, every time you die, you drop stygia that you probably can't recover because you'll just die again if you try.)

3. NOW... The "box" mechanic is kind of cool, but it's poorly implemented again. Because if the raid starts or you were in the raid, the raid reads you as "outside the box" if you haven't even entered the arena, and you lose about 1/4 of your health every second until you get inside the damn box. You'd think this would only apply to being inside the arena, but no, I guess it's to punish folks who try to step outside the arena during the raid to escape the mechanic. (Really, they should just lock the entrance / make it one way, I haven't checked that yet.) Long story short, the first time I did this raid, I was dying just from standing outside the arena and not even knowing why I was just keeling over dead. The first night was blatantly a blood bath and people were dying left and right all over the place, because the mechanics are wonky + no one knew them + everyone was now low geared. (Oh, and did I say you lose stygia?)

4. There's a few mechanics to the boss. He always stays in the center. he does normal damage. he will cast a spell that throws random pancakes on the ground. (You get health drain if you stand in them.) He does the spinning thing periodically -- a black life-sucking beam that he slowly spins around so it goes through the rotation of a circle. You gotta stay ahead of it. And then it comes down to the soul cages.

5. The soul cages make a square around the boss. if you step out of the square, you will quickly die (a few seconds). periodically the boss will summon one of the soul cages and it starts marching towards the middle. DPS has to whittle it down, once it hits 1HP, it will turn and slowly go back. If it gets to the middle, I think a lost soul gets released that will do damage and knock nearby people away -- which could throw them out of the square. So basically you are forced into a smaller and smaller space (which the boss is doing his spinny death thing and throwing death puddles on the ground) unless you release these soul cages and they open up the grid again.

6. I think the boss is supposed to only max trigger two soul cages so their time overlaps, if you are too slow to DPS them. This makes your grid pretty small but it's still doable. However, when I ran it on my Havoc DH, I watched two opposing soul cages somehow get to the middle so that there was no longer any place to stand, except right on a line between the two distant soul cages. Somehow I did not die during this debacle, I was standing RIGHT ON THAT LINE (it felt like being squished between two walls) and just kept dumping everything I had to stay alive, and eventually the soul cages turned and marched off. But I was pretty sure I also saw soul Cages jump to the middle and was like WTF, is someone doing that on purpose? Halfway through in chat someone was yelling about how the stupid Blood DK was griefing the raid. Pretty sure he was... or he was being a complete idiot. (Tank Blood DK has a summon power, to aggro -- he can yank foes into him as part of the aggro.) The SOB was purposefully jerking the soul cages in (I'm pretty sure) just to be a jerk and make the space super-small, killing anyone outside the square.

The first night, also -- the fight was bugged. After this 5-8 minute battle where most people were dying multiple times either in the arena or from the bad mechanics out in courtyard, only half the group got credit. I did get an item but the WQ didn't register and I had to rerun that. Others didn't get credit or anything on the fight. It was a total mess and everyone was in a bad mood. And oh, then if you don't 'port out, you gotta run that dumbass gauntlet of elites again.

It would be better if there was a staging area outside of all the elites in the castle, and you could group there, and then everyone charge into the castle together, killing the adds along the way until you reach the boss. It honestly feels like the developers griefing the player base.

Other than that, I appreciate the box concept itself, and how high speed the entire fight is -- you have to stick with it for some minutes, and even the normal range folks have to be dodging things, and meanwhile trying to take out the soul cage targets when they try to squish the area. It's arduous and fast-paced and if you survive, you feel pretty good about that.
 

Totenkindly

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I like my new guild. It's got about 6-7 core members (so it's small) but there's been an influx of new peeps. We'll see if they last. I plan to hang around, esp since I'm on the advanced mythic team. Every weekend, we work on a new mythic dungeon. So now I know about 6 of the 8 dungeons plus we do torghast (trying to get to the secret levels and farm mats) and the new 226-233 dungeon. Our guild is too small and doesn't have enough time to do real raiding, but the leaders were looking for connections to other smaller guilds in case we can piggy back with them for raids if anyone is interested. Meanwhile we will focus on mythics and torghast.

It's weird because it's a new experience for me, between being absolutely alone (SP) vs totally naked/vulnerable/intimate (SX) with 1-2 other people. This is like, truly, an SO style group? Basically everyone is friendly, everyone is helpful, and we do stuff together and assist. There is some sharing of personal stuff but nothing super intense or intra/interpersonal, just more regular conversations that are generally open but not super-personally revealing. In other words, a social group. I like everyone. They're really good peeps. A few have shared pics on Discord and a bit of personal info, but again nothing super intimate.

And we all kind of geek out together, we all know a lot about WoW, various classes, the current releases, etc., and pool that knowledge to achieve goals together.

I am trying to not make it weird by saying too much, and I'm also trying to be more openly friendly since I can kind of get off by myself at times.

----

We dug up vids and a WowHead list yesterday on what you get bonus points for in Torghast, so we can try to break 200 and get access to more levels.

----

I hit 400 mounts a few days ago. And there's still about 6-8 mounts I know how to get, I just didn't finish the dallies yet.

----

My ret pally is at iLvl 218.5 now, and 9.1 PvE has gotten a lot easier. I did switch to more "Use" trinkets than "Equip" so the gameplay is a little more complicated. I am also working on honing my rotation to spend Holy power better and use the heavier abilities vs wasting time on Consecration and small hitters. Yes, I'm to THAT point now.... fine-tuning my power usage to increase DPS.

----

I finally broke down and got a cheap subscription to Raidbots so I can sim my characters much more quickly. The old queues were annoying me esp with everyone using them nowadays, I'd have to wait 5 minutes or more for a simple sim, with less ability to sim complicated things. Now my sims run immediately and I can sim a lot in a short time.
 

Totenkindly

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Well, I was avoiding bringing up this raging dumpster fire but, well, here it is...

Over 1,000 Activision Blizzard Employees Sign Letter Condemning Company's Response To Allegations
California sues Activision Blizzard over a culture of ‘constant sexual harassment’ - The Verge

There's lots of stuff out there, along with Asmongold raging on YouTube and so on.

As if the allegations (which seem to be supported by police and prosecutors and testimonials from current/past employees) weren't bad enough, then you have either exec official comments that offer nice-sounding prose but don't really address why these things are current and/or get into the direct allegations, or the complete dungheap of Townsend's comments that basically deny everything and blame the prosecutors for being lying/exaggerating and even violating the privacy of the family of the woman who committed suicide in what really seems to be directly tied to the abuse she received. [Honestly, after that letter, Townsend needs to go -- she's only been at the company for a few months but is in full-blow hostility and denial mode without knowing her front end from her back end, and she apparently was also part of the Bush administration defending waterboarding, so par for course... which I will have to look up later.] The suicide victim's story is particularly harrowing, esp the xmas party incident; do people not understand the emotional ramifications of such incidents on the abused?

It really sucks for the player base of any of their games as well, who just want to play and have communities (perhaps decent ones) online, yet now have to decide what to do. Some people also prepay accounts for up to six months, so not playing has no impact on Blizzard for an extended time. I feel like I finally found a REAL GUILD HOME in the last month, after years playing, and I'm happy... and now it's all tainted by this.
 

Totenkindly

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From the WoW employee base:

It was clear from our team conversations that we wanted to put forth a statement that was representative of the World of Warcraft team’s sentiments. We asked all members of our team to send us their suggestions and feedback on how best to address the community and this is the result.

The past days have been a time of reflection for the World of Warcraft team, spent in conversation and contemplation, full of sadness, pain, and anger, but also hope and resolve. As we heed the brave women who have come forward to share their experiences, we stand committed to taking the actions necessary to ensure we are providing an inclusive, welcoming, and safe environment both for our team and for our players in Azeroth. Those of us in leadership understand that it is not our place to judge when we have achieved our goals, but rather for our team and our community to let us know when we still have more to do.

While we turn to our team for guidance in our internal work to protect marginalized groups and hold accountable those who threaten them, we also want to take immediate action in Azeroth to remove references that are not appropriate for our world. This work has been underway, and you will be seeing several such changes to both Shadowlands and WoW Classic in the coming days.

We know that in order to rebuild trust, we must earn it with our actions in the weeks and months to come. But we go forward knowing that we share the same vision as our community about creating a place where people of all genders, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and backgrounds can thrive and proudly call home.

Which again is nice and pretty and all, but it's all typically so high-level and non-targeted that it's nothing more than a high-level exec statement with broad vision setting, not a rubber-meets-road way to resolve issues that have been plaguing the company for years. Low-level and mid-level managers can do some goal-setting but need higher exec support for their hands-on decision making if there are any problems.

The one concrete thing is apparently what the actual workers are capable of doing... even if they would like to do more. But basically it sounds like they're searching their text and code repositories/db's for people related to some of the more prominent repeat offenders and scrubbing anything in the game that might have memorialized these @$$h@t$. Still, it is scanning as a "statue removal" effort rather than substantial changes to the playing field; unfortunately it is all that the lowest ranked people in the company can do to effect any kind of change.

Blizzard is removing unspecified inappropriate references from World of Warcraft - The Verge
 

Totenkindly

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Blizzard president J. Allen Brack is out after sexual harassment suit, employee walkout - The Verge

Employees were informed of J. Allen Brack’s departure this morning, and an announcement from Activision Blizzard says that former Vicarious Visions leader Jen Oneal and former Xbox executive Mike Ybarra are now co-leaders of the developer. A note on Blizzard.com says the two “are deeply committed to all of our employees; to the work ahead to ensure Blizzard is the safest, most welcoming workplace possible for women, and people of any gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or background; to upholding and reinforcing our values; and to rebuilding your trust.”

Brack took over Blizzard in 2018, and prior to that, he led the development of World of Warcraft, where the team included the only other person specifically named in the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) lawsuit, Alex Afrasiabi. ...
 

Totenkindly

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While our guild is small and our M+ healer just went back to school (so I don't know when he's playing if at all), it's still been fun to do stuff with others.

This is the first expansion where I started to do some serious M+ running. Right now I've got a mythic rank of about 610 w/ two more dungeons yet to get a score in, so pretty sure I will easily get over an 800. My next goal after that is to increase to reach a 1000. Currently running my ret pally. Getting to 1000 is partly about improving gear (I'm at iLvl 227) and also knowledge of higher keys. I've hit a breakpoint where strategies need to change based on dungeon level -- stuff you can get away with at lower keys might get you wiped or damage your run at higher keys.

What makes the difference is just having people I know to run with. Even when we can't field a full team and have to pug a bit, it's helpful if we're creating our own team or if we sign up with multiple people for other teams. I've found some nice decent adults to play with, who are more about sharing the experience and what they know vs just being jerks when someone is still learning.

I don't know if I'll ever hit 1500. But at least I'm having fun. Finished Mists of Tirna Scithe 7 and Halls of Atonement 8 last night under time.
 

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While our guild is small and our M+ healer just went back to school (so I don't know when he's playing if at all), it's still been fun to do stuff with others.

This is the first expansion where I started to do some serious M+ running. Right now I've got a mythic rank of about 610 w/ two more dungeons yet to get a score in, so pretty sure I will easily get over an 800. My next goal after that is to increase to reach a 1000. Currently running my ret pally. Getting to 1000 is partly about improving gear (I'm at iLvl 227) and also knowledge of higher keys. I've hit a breakpoint where strategies need to change based on dungeon level -- stuff you can get away with at lower keys might get you wiped or damage your run at higher keys.

What makes the difference is just having people I know to run with. Even when we can't field a full team and have to pug a bit, it's helpful if we're creating our own team or if we sign up with multiple people for other teams. I've found some nice decent adults to play with, who are more about sharing the experience and what they know vs just being jerks when someone is still learning.

I don't know if I'll ever hit 1500. But at least I'm having fun. Finished Mists of Tirna Scithe 7 and Halls of Atonement 8 last night under time.

Congrats!

If I had a solid group of people that wanted to push keys, I'd probably play retail every now and again. It gets exponentially more challenging when you start getting up to double-digit keys and get more affixes/mob HP/mobs hit even harder. Last time I logged on retail I was doing like +9/10s and it was a legitimate challenge at times to keep people alive as a healer (I'm talking full on spamming abilities every pull, using cooldowns, ect, or else people would die) -- I can only imagine what it's like when you get +15 and beyond.

Retail is by far the more challenging game in comparison to classic, and I think the continual but gradual changes they made at adding difficulty to encounters to appease the more hardcore segments of the playerbase has had the effect of considerably raising the average player's skill in the game (plus information/resources being so much more accessible for the average player than ever before).

You see this effect in classic -- people are blowing through content and begging for more. I see people doing similar DPS in tier4 gear that I remember being respectable numbers in like tier 6 gear back in original TBC. Phase 2 hasn't come out yet (this is the phase where they unlock Serpentine Shrine Cavern and Tempest Keep], but I can't imagine it will be nearly the content blockaid now versus what it was back then (The ending bosses in both raids were so challenging at the time that it was essentially the end of the game for many of your mediocre/lower tier guilds, because you needed to kill Vash/Kael to finish your attunement to Hyjal/Black Temple).
 

Totenkindly

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Congrats! If I had a solid group of people that wanted to push keys, I'd probably play retail every now and again. It gets exponentially more challenging when you start getting up to double-digit keys and get more affixes/mob HP/mobs hit even harder. Last time I logged on retail I was doing like +9/10s and it was a legitimate challenge at times to keep people alive as a healer (I'm talking full on spamming abilities every pull, using cooldowns, ect, or else people would die) -- I can only imagine what it's like when you get +15 and beyond.

I honestly don't know how people do it, although I know they are geared better and that definitely helps. I am just listening to some Twitchers (who are doing a two-hour slot hosting a charity for Girls Who Code today) where they said there's a definite difference in feel between a 15 and a 20, let alone a 15 and a 17-18. The one girl describing her attempt at a 20 (they missed by two seconds) says she felt like she could get away with mistakes at 15 but at 20 you pretty half to nail everything correctly, including all the interrupts.

[This charity event today, they are giving away Heroic Sylvannas and M15 runs on -- I'm bummed, by the time they do NA I will be in our last RPG tabletop session for the summer, so I can't really do it. But I will sign up for the prize giveaways, I guess. WOuldn't it be cool if I won a Time-Lost Proto-Drake?]

Golden Guardians Hosting Charity Event for Girls Who Code on Friday, August 27th - Wowhead News

Our healer (DISC) was pretty decent. On last night's keys, the one healer sucked and the other was amazing. At least the sucky one was on Mists, but we almost lost the tank a few times right in the beginning and the healer also would die (I was rezzing the healer) and pretty much was taking care of myself and even throwing occasional heals out as a ret pally roflmao. That might be more common at higher keys for people to assist, I really have no idea. But the healer on Halls was really knowledgeable -- they were pointing out small differences between how to handle the dungeon at M8 versus M3-4 and I never felt like anyone was in danger. I would guess they had a lot more experience in the M10 range or maybe higher, and were just either building up a new character here or slumming to get Valor.

Retail is by far the more challenging game in comparison to classic, and I think the continual but gradual changes they made at adding difficulty to encounters to appease the more hardcore segments of the playerbase has had the effect of considerably raising the average player's skill in the game (plus information/resources being so much more accessible for the average player than ever before).

I agree, I do a lot of reading on IcyVeins on both my builds/gearing and play strategies for various encounters, and for raids I actually will watch YouTube videos to see the basic fight play out so I'm not surprised + know any mechanics that are unavoidable. And this seems to be more common. Even in PvE, I can tell who is just a PvE player and who probably plays keys because the keys players use more of the ability toolset, including interrupts. I get really annoyed in World now when I'm fighting a WB or another elite and I'm the only one throwing out CC's and interrupts, and if I miss one or run out, no one covers. But I used to not play with as much finesses. The harder content demands more skill utilization and also fine-turning with positioning, esp melee. I spend a lot of time dodging things, stepping out of things, positioning myself to have the best angle, and/or being aware of my environment so I don't get trapped in a mess somewhere, all while trying to crank out damage. It's a very fast game too and if you screw something up you can be dead within a few seconds without knowing what hit you.

This week Spiteful is up, so when you kill something, a demon spawns and fixates on someone. They don't attack other players, and they are not fast, but if they catch up with you, they will kill you in 3-4 hits max. So basically if you don't get the Eyes above you for a particular demon, you should kill it fast; everyone kills everyone else's demons. It's interesting but tedious. At level 10, there are now minibosses in the dungeon that you need to kill and you can pick up anima powers for doing it, otherwise the end boss is harder.

I really hate Plaguefall because I just don't like dealing with poison. Necrotic Wake, Halls of Ascension, and Mists seem the easiest to me. Sanguine depths has apparently been tuned, I didn't find the M5 run I did last week on it (first try) to be bad. But Trials of Pain is a pain in the ass, it's so long and has some tricky spots, Spires of Ascension is annoying due to the spear at the end game you need to repeatedly hit Devos with, and De Other Side is overall annoying -- I don't know the mechanics well yet.

You see this effect in classic -- people are blowing through content and begging for more. I see people doing similar DPS in tier4 gear that I remember being respectable numbers in like tier 6 gear back in original TBC. Phase 2 hasn't come out yet (this is the phase where they unlock Serpentine Shrine Cavern and Tempest Keep], but I can't imagine it will be nearly the content blockaid now versus what it was back then (The ending bosses in both raids were so challenging at the time that it was essentially the end of the game for many of your mediocre/lower tier guilds, because you needed to kill Vash/Kael to finish your attunement to Hyjal/Black Temple).

Yeah, I am not super familiar with TBC unlocks although I know the attunement existed, I just never did raid content at that point.
 

Totenkindly

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So I didn't get to sign up for any free mythic 15's or Heroic raids since I was busy until midnight with my weekly Pathfinder game, but I did sign up for prizes and won a free rare mount/title from one of the booster operations.

The disappointing part was that I couldn't select a handful of things, which were the things that I needed (like Time Lost Proto-Drake from WotLK and the Talon mount from WoD). Considering my options and things that were available, I ended up just settling for the Sundancer mount in Bastion (SL), since I might never getting around to doing it and the effort is free here. Also, since account sharing is against WoW's TOS, I have to participate, so that seemed like a reasonable mix -- they will schedule a time for me to help locate and take down the mount, to get the drop. So it's KINDA free? (Normally they charge 75K gold in-game for the assistance.)

Still, they are only charging 400K for assistance getting TLPD (most of which is looking around in multiple shards I assume) -- the spawn time is 2-8 hours, and there's a 60-75% chance for a different rare to appear on the same timer; and since SL basically forced people to buy their legendary base from other crafters for anywhere from 300-500K gp, this isn't really that much for one of the rarest mounts people will likely never get until they spend days actively looking for it.
 

Totenkindly

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ha I finally got a good getup for my demon hunter. it's hilarious to me to watch everyone run around wearing high-end fantasy armor and shit, and meanwhile here I am decked out like I'm at a grungy rock concert.

i wish I could have gotten an instrument drop or something at the Darkmoon Faire concert... then I could really look like a rock star.

Talethelia-Rockstar.jpg




EDIT: In other news, I decided to make a concerted effort to camp for Time-Lost Proto-Drake (TLPD) in the Storm Peaks of WotLK.

I've read a lot about the setup and the annoying bit is that Blizz's code has made a camp mandatory. Probably to save system resources, at some point they started despawning zones when no PC passes through them within 15 minutes. That means for low-traffic servers, everything despawns and will not respawn until a new PC enters the zone. This has a few practical outcomes. Although both TLPD and the rare that shares its timer will not despawn until killed, not only is it almost impossible for you to 'accidentally' run across a TLPD flying around (because the zone will despawn at 15 minutes), but the timer does not start until someone enters the zone. The timer is 2-8 hours. Which means if you are the first person to enter the zone, you have a 2-8 hour wait until one of the two (probably Vyragosa) spawns. This means typically nothing now is going to spawn unless you sit in the zone for hours.

i verified this today by loading an add-on called NPC Time, that will tell you in the mouseover tooltip when the add spawned. I've been working a few hours and then checked the tooltips, and all the spawns (both attackable and friendly NPCS) spawned when I entered the zone this morning.

Since I work from home, I can just park myself at the best location in the zone and let Silver Dragon notify me if something flies by. While some people are saying SD doesn't pick up until mouseover, this is utterly wrong -- I just tested last night in Korthia and I was picking up spawning rares way on the other side of the zone that i was nowhere in eyesight of and that would take me some time to reach, to the degree I was getting annoyed by all the messages. So I don't have a concern about that. Since I am just sitting here working at my desk anyway, I might as well by sitting in Storm Peaks in case something spawns.

I will mention too I have never seen the TLPD in character. I have seen Vyragosa three times -- I killed her once, years ago, before I knew what she was. Then I saw her die at the tail end of my last 6-hour camp attempt probably a year and a half ago. (she spawned near me, I missed it, someone else killed her shortly after.) At some point in the last year, I saw her corpse lying in the snow near K3.

EDIT2: After a 4:35 hour timer, Vyragosa spawned at daily reset (11am EST) @ Ulduar Ravine. Killed her (so much easier, with a DH who can glide at will) and skinned the corpse so no one knows when she spawned. One-shot kill, figured out the range of the cast now. There's been a level 50 DK showing up in Horde Who's, but I can't find them when flying around. Not sure if he is camping to or what is up.

Glad I flew up there from my camp point. Now I have a sense of how close I have to be to pick her up too. I could see her on the other side once I crossed past the edge of the ravine, the add-on picked her up a few seconds later. Pretty huge dragon.

Don't know whether the sync with daily reset was a coincidence. It is not supposed to be related to reset. I can test tomorrow.

EDIT3: Killed Vyra again, while competing with campers. Timer just hit 4 hours for the next appearance, but I'm getting sleepy. I was working on my laptop while sitting here. I think in the future I'm only gonna do this once, maybe 2x a day, until I get lucky. It's actually kind of tiring. Barely any campers but when they show up, they give me heartburn.
 
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Totenkindly

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So this is kind of amusing...

After a day and a half of camping, I noticed the booster I worked with for Sundancer (my free mount prize) had a special on some mounts and the price was reasonable. The retail legendaries (where you end up buying base items to enchant) also reset expectation for how much gold one will end up spending in game... so the price for this mount, especially with the end-of-summer sale ended up seeming pretty viable compared to the tedium of camping, especially when you are a solo camper, Vyragosa often spawned instead of the rare you want, and you are fighting for that rare with potential other campers and boosters. (it's a little better in a group, you have a fighting chance.)

The legitimate booster services do not use account sharing, but it also means you have to be on beck and call in case they contact you through discord to say you've got five minutes to login and tag the rare so you can get the mount while the mount hunter has it pinned down for you. The one I am using just takes WoW gold, no cash.

Well, after all that, I actually could see the guy assigned to mount-hunt for me when I did a Who of the zone but I would never see him in the flesh. There's also another lurker out there as well. I am assuming the mount hunter also is scouring other realms besides the one I happen to be on. And I noticed today that the zone had reset, which irked me unless he is sitting on some other zone more often even though his name is popping up in Who here. It has now been about 30 hours since I paid my gold. This can be a long mount camp, but other people have gotten theirs in as little as 5 hours.

[Another sad story -- the same guy, who I saw in the zone on Monday, happened to bag one for someone else 15 minutes after I logged out on Monday after a 6:30 hour camp and I was just like, "Yeah, I must have missed it." If that was in my zone and I just missed it by 10-15 minutes, I would scream... but I don't really want to know.]

So I've been popping in / letting one of my character sit in the zone so that it doesn't reset, to tacitly help out. Occasionally I will fly around and just look at what's there, although I'm not spending much time doing it.

This evening I ran across Vyragosa again. Three times in about 2.5 days. ROFL. Killed her. Skinned her. Body disappeared. So I know the TLPD won't spawn again until at least 8:15pm tonight at the very earliest. Also, it told me no one was around because I'm pretty sure based on where I got her that she was taking the red path (which starts in Ulduar Ravine), which means she was flying around for a damn long time in terms of this mount (probably 5-6 minutes) and I still got to her first. yellow path [I rechecked, she was definitely heading for the cave]... But that's still a 3 minute flight at least, and it also goes right past K3 (the landing spot for anyone flying in to the edge)... AND it's not in the typical marked direction.

I do feel like I am putting in my time and I don't even mind if I happen to bag the TLPD myself on a lark, even after having shelled out gold. If that happens, there wasn't really a discussion of what happens; I know the guy was camping for me, but he'll keep camping for another person I am sure and just give what he finds to them instead, no harm, no foul. Maybe I can get some of my gold back. I don't feel like a complete poser, I just feel like I paid someone to simply camp with me versus doing it for free, but it would be cool if I did end up bagging it myself regardless.

EDIT: Geez. Vyra spawned again on a 2-hour timer, at that point I was done for the night because the new spawn would be after midnight at the earliest. This is really ironic, I've now killed her four times in a few days after only ever seeing her three times in the past, typically dead. I don't think there is a set direction, she has been flying in opposite directions on the same circuit in my notes now.
 
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Totenkindly

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So I killed Vyra a final time today, then my paid hireling pulled through for me and the rare spawned on his side, so he yanked me over to his shard and I got it.

Talithelia-TLPD[1].jpg


After I went back to my own shard, I flew right in front of a guy camping one of the other spawn points just because I thought it would be amusing. mua ha ha!
 

Totenkindly

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So it's been about three weeks, a lot goes down.

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Aside from all the crazy stuff with WoW and Blizzard itself, now there has been a big push to "purge" the game of potentially sexist/vulgar influences. I'm totally cool on getting rid of people's names that immortalized within the game if they were discovered to be sleazebags. However, there's a lot of cosmetic tweaks going on (including renaming the Big Love Rocket to something a lot duller) that I think is just too much / stupid, and almost feels like the company compensating with superficial changes while we are still waiting to hear what they are doing on a big scale. Maybe some of these items were developer driven, but I find myself more in accord with a few tweets I saw from the playerbase (female players), saying to not confuse sexism with sexuality. Whitewashing sexuality in the game when the issue is sexism is not really cool either. I know it's a muddy line sometimes, but... again, I feel watching all this from the outside that it's more a response to appease stakeholders and somehow improve Blizz's image, rather than important changes to make to the game.

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I'm excited to see some of the Legion raids/dungeons being tweaked for solo play finally, although I've been running many already on my paladin. About 10-12 days ago I ran both Mythic Halls of Valor and Mythic Emerald Nightmare fairly easily, although the logistics in HoV was a bit annoying in the Hela battle. I completed them both fine. I have apparently iLvl'ed up enough that I can make the DPS checks for many bosses in Legion Raids. I also was going to check Mythic Nighthold end boss now as well, before any patch issues, to see if it will work.

I'm most pleased that they are looking at the mechanics that were broken for solo play. For example, I think they are making an Eonar fix because for solo players the encounter was near impossible unless you were in the right class. (Maybe they also want to fix hall of Kings in BFA too, for non-hunter specs.) It sounds like the dealbreaker encounters might finally be tweaked in Legion so they are now passable otherwise. This is a good change.

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Ah, mythic plus.

I was improving my mythic rank and had hit 880 or so a week or two back. I decided to talk to the boosting service just to try some high level runs since it's hard to get access to them otherwise. I was only going to run level 10's (and I had already completed two level 10's under time, so I knew I could do it) but I ended up getting three level 15's. Since you have to stay within the terms of service, no one else touches my account and I actually DO play the session -- which is what I wanted anyway. I ran DOS, Spires, and PlagueF based on what I wanted to pass 1000 so I could further gear.

As it was, while I only gave gold for the untimed prices, all three runs were beaten under time. I actually was complimented on the first run for doing almost as well as the people I was running with as far as survival. (The other two runs I saved for after the reset.) It was really kind of cool to get a feel for what level 15's required. I also do feel like a decent chunk of it is iLvl; I do need to tighten up on my my mechanics/precision play, but it was clear that most of my struggle came from being undergeared compared to them... pretty sure they were 240-245 iLvl if not higher. I was contributing, just mostly getting my ass kicked when going against hunters and rogues, etc.

Right after this, I ran Mists 12 with a group of people on my regular level and we just barely missed the timer. But I did that and felt decent about it. I also finally got a weapon drop (229 unfortunately since we missed the timer), but I can slowly upgrade it... it's the best weapon from mythic dungeons for ret pally.

So I'm at iLvl 235 now, with a mythic of 1380 based on other runs I made since. World content is feeling pretty easily, stuff I used to struggle with I am now blowing through like I did in BFA with heavy corruption powers. Once the next patch releases, I am considering switching from NF to Kyrian, which will improve DPS I think... although I love Soulshape so much.

I'm now pretty able to assist farming gear for other guild members in lower mythics. I have a 252 item (a ring), will get another next week hopefully unless it's a dud, and hope to keep pushing keys.

The guild also got bored, so we were running some PvP now on and off. I feel like I still suck, I think it's more of a strategy thing from the entire PUG group, but I'm building honor again and about to hit Level 48.

We might have enough people now to run 10-player raids, shortly.
 

Totenkindly

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So I have run a few 15's where I felt more carried. I felt pretty good about my Halls of Atonement run over the weekend (15) since I had the keystone for it, I felt pretty solid and like I was operating on that level of play decently. [I only had one stupid death -- the beams on the first boss are superpowerful and somehow I was too slow and/or I missed the reverse warning and I took a beam right in the face for a one-shot.]

But I wasn't really happy with my performance on Spires 15 at all, i am really only about on a 10-12 level there and need to review my mechanics and the dungeon. I also ran a Mists 15 (I have finished a Mists 12 before, although we barely missed time) and feel there are a few points of the run that I need to review as well.

I think a lot of this comes with experience and just running the dungeon so that (along with the obvious broad boss mechanics) you learn the odd details about what happens where + all the necessary interrupts not just for boss but for particular mobs. At that level, you can't really just burn down a mob before it does its dangerous stuff, so you actually need to work the mechanics.

As a DPS, I am finding too with more play that there are casts that are directly interrupt-able, casts that cannot at all be interrupted... but there are casts in between where your regular interrupt (silence, etc) doesn't work and the cast looks grey... but the boss is stunnable or somehow able to be hit with something that inadvertently works as an interrupt. The pally hammer stun for example will stop the Huntsman casts in HoA that enlarges his gorgons. i had also figured this out on my my rogue and hunter and monk (and probably DH for certain mobs) -- your hard cc's that you normally use to lock-down a mob like Blind or Freeze Trap can be used as a pseudo-interrupt, so even if they will get hit by something right after and it won't serve to lock them down for 40 seconds, it can be used in a pinch to interrupt a cast if your regular interrupt is not up or the regular interrupt would not work.

Also I've now done some low levels on DPS ranged, and it's interesting. Overall i find ranged DPS a bit easier, but they still have their issues. Basically, melee DPS you are (1) avoiding getting caught in any boss effect aimed at your tank, (2) CONSTANTLY dodging crap on the on the ground, and (3) being careful not accidentally get inside the damage radius of adds attacking your tank. you also need to help the tank with interrupts. And you have to leave the direct boss area for radius effects.

Ranged DPS, maybe you have a bit more breathing space. However, whereas melee's attacks are just fast hits in the mob in vicinity, ranged often has longer damage casts and the worst fights force you to constantly relocate so you can never get longer more damanging casts off. At least a few do have interrupts (my hunter has a great one, from a long range), but the cooldown is not nearly as fast as the melee interrupts. Also, some fights are specifically designed to target you if you are too far outside the fight and/or too far away and you start taking damage. Shadow Priest punishes your damage meter with the Shadows generated -- they don't do damage until they reach the target, so it takes longer to damage a mob if you are further away. My hunter only has one self-heal and it's a long cooldown, so everything has to be about mitigation / cc's and avoiding damage/aggro (versus my DH, monk, and pally, each with their own ways to heal quickly).

Anyway, it's the kind of stuff that only comes by running and rerunning things. Long story short, I've had the great experience of running some 15's now, but my skill level isn't quite there yet, so now that my score is anchored higher, I need to drop back a bit and run some lower-level stuff (10-12, I think) to get more experience. I will try to do a 15 a week to get my Vault drop, but need to get my mechanics down better.

---

I think I enjoy Halls of Atonement the most out of the high level runs. It seems to be the easiest to manage, it's mainly 2D and wide open aside from one major chokepoint that can be a bit tricky for melee if the team mismanages it (right after the second dungeon boss). It gets even trickier above level 10 due to the position of the mini-bosses. Sanguine Depths wouldn't be bad but it is all confined in narrow hallways and has some nasty stuff that can almost and/or totally one-shot you sometimes from non-bosses. I don't find Mists too bad (and I think it is given the least amount of time for a run, for all dungeons) ... however, the maze is annoying as is the 2nd boss fight, and then there's all the poison crap that can throw you off the edge in the push to the final boss. I don't particularly like DOS due to a few "don't screw it up or you die" environmental mechanics + the Ardenweald area.

Plaguefall is just annoying because everything is poison but otherwise is manageable once you know the dungeon. TOP has the same kind of issues; the worst is the platform section, there's simply nowhere to go, and tornados can pitch you off, and there's also a few disease/poison sections. Spires, the trash seems harder than expected -- I hate the trash more than the bosses. Necrotic Wake is another fairly easy run to me, aside from the third boss area which is tedious ending in the meathook sequence -- again it's how annoying the trash is, not even the boss itself.
 
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Tennessee Jed

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I returned to WoW to play a little bit after a long time away. I don't know how long I'll stick with it, but I want to do some tanking in PUGs. I figured I would start from scratch: Ragefire Chasm, and work my way up

So I just did my very first run through Ragefire Chasm as a Protection Warrior in many years. I was tanking fast and keeping the pace up, but every time I stopped to fight trash mobs, my healer kept running ahead and pulling additional trash mobs down to me. Not a problem. Whatever. I'll tank anything, as long as I get my heals.

Then she tried to pull a boss (Korenthal). But I was busy freeing a dude from the box nearby. So she got killed just about immediately, which resulted in a wipe for the group.

Cracked me up. She didn't do any more pulls after that. That's one way for a healer to learn not to do pulls.

That's why I like PUGs. Some weird stuff happens. Didn't expect to see a healer doing pulls on my very first dungeon, but I was really amused by it, waiting to see where it was going to lead.
 
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Totenkindly

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Got into the Adamant Vaults (level 11, Fractured Halls) unexpectedly last night, I wasn't even trying.

Hadn't run Torghast for weeks on my pally, after my ex-guild had tried various times to clear the 200pt/5 diamond barrier. I ran it just to see if it triggered the final quests I needed for an achievement on my mission table. The run went pretty well, but I was shocked to see myself get access with a 210-220 score and 1400 phantasma as well (through a misused anima sphere that provided 10x phantasma drop from skeletons, which I don't usually bother with). I should have probably thought to try again with iLvl 242 and a lot of anima powers, but it never crossed my mind.

So I got to solo Adamant on FH 11, finished that, and got to buy one of the golden backpieces (which cost 1000 phantasma), and got two achievements and buku Tower Knowledge. It was all kind of surprising and unplanned. I am pretty much just trying to get a few mounts and other items / clear off achievements in solo play at this point when I do play; I have been out doing other things later besides sitting in front of a computer. Some of my actual game time was spent fiddling with Hearthstone Mercenaries (solo), which has been kind of fun on the level of playing Solitaire.
 
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