Dec 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays all!

300 To Go

Checking my Achievements today, I noticed I have 754 of 1,054. So just 300 to go. 107 in PvP and 176 in Dungeons and Raids. Some of the PvP I can work on as I've been slacking in that area, but unfortunately, the Dungeons and Raids achievements will take much longer to complete. One of our guild 10 man raids recently completed Glory of the Ulduar Raider (10 player) which makes me really jealous! I'm so close with just Vezax and Yogg to go. Hopefully when the new year comes, our 10 man will be able to take those two down.

I'm also hopeful that before Cataclysm comes out I can get to 9,000 achievement points. I'm getting there and I think that PvP will be a big portion of any advancement towards 9,000 points. I still have a lot of achievements to go in almost all the battlegrounds, so I'm going to try and put in a couple of hours each weekend in PvP in the holiday battleground. As long as I focus on getting achievements, I should be able to knock off a few each weekend.

Ashen Verdict Rings

Last night, during our run of Icecrown Citadel, I was able to raise my reputation with the Ashen Verdict to friendly. I unfortunately haven't been on any rep runs in Icecrown, so I'll slowly make my way to exalted as we run the 10 mans over these holiday weeks and the 25 man come next year. But with my new friendly reputation, I was able to pick up the Ashen Band of Destruction. A very nice upgrade over the Band of the Invoker.

However, now I'm starting to run into a problem - too much hit. The new rep rings have an insane amount of hit, and prior to picking it up, I was able to get right to the hit cap through gemming. Now, all my gems have been optimized for the insane amount of hit on the T9.25 gear and this new ring - which puts me at almost 800 haste. And boy is it fun. When I get an Icy Veins + Heroism going, those arcane blasts are under 1.1 seconds and the arcane missiles complete in about the same amount of time. With both buffs, I can now put out 9500 to 10000 DPS for a short burst period, and man, it's awesome.

But back to the rings - I believe with the upgraded hit on the rings, as
HokieBeeJay pointed out in a recent comment, the next best item for me to aim for is the T9 Bloodmage Robe. I'm getting closer as I am getting the weekly raid quest in each week and I haven't missed a daily heroic. Unfortunately, ICC(10) bugged for us the first week, so I'm 8 behind there and we haven't run any 25 mans yet...but I'm getting closer to 95 Emblems of Frost. I then have to continue to aggressively farm for gold as I'll need to get the Sandals of Consecration next. 5 primordial saronite at 2000 - 2500g is way out of my league right now as I only have about 5000g. But I can get there with some more aggressive farming and doing a few more dailies each day (I do about 8-10 dailies a day when I have time). But I'll get there at some point, and hopefully prices on primordial saronite will come down to a more reasonable level.

Dec 23, 2009


Quite possibly the worst achievement name ever, at least it has (10 Player) or (25 Player) after it or we'd see [Boned] pop up in trade chat every day. That being said, we did a quick run of ICC last night after running Razorscale for the weekly raid quest (bah, twice in a row). We got Boned and had some issues on Saurfang. He kept targeting a healer with his first application of Mark of the Fallen Champion and for some reason that would always do us in. It probably was because we were 2-healing the raid instead of 3-healing it like we did last week when we cleared it. But our team performed well and I'm sure we'll get it down to a one-shot quite quickly.

In other news, I got my
Ironforge Ram yesterday (or maybe it was the day before). Either way, it brings me to 107 mounts. I think I just have one to go with the Argent Tournament tokens.

Dec 21, 2009

Making Use of Rawr's Item Cost

If you're like me, when 3.3 hit, you upgraded Rawr and started looking for ways to maximize your raid utility and at the same time, look for new and exciting gear upgrades. But now you can assign item costs to gear and easily see how to best use your shiny new Emblems of Frost you've been running all those PUGs for.

For this quick guide, I'll assume you know how to use Rawr and you already have it set up with your character imported, all gear setup, and all relevant buffs properly set. So the first thing you need to do is head over to Wowhead, search for Emblem of Frost, apply a filter, and then add a weight scale for your mage - see here. This shows you all the items you can buy with Emblems of Frost that are best suited for your mage. For some reason, this list doesn't currently have the Tier 10 items in there, so we will need to add those as well to our item costs - gloves & shoulders - 60 emblems; hood, robe & leggings - 95 emblems.

So now there's two ways to use the new item cost editor.

1) Put in all Emblem of Frost items with an "item cost" of 1.
2) Put in all Emblem of Frost items with an "item cost" of the number of emblems it takes.

The advantage of putting all item costs in at 1 is that you can see the single best upgrade with Emblems of Frost - regardless of cost. However, if you put in the item cost as the number of emblems each item costs, you can then optimize later for exactly how many emblems you actually have. I prefer the item cost of 1, so that's what I'll show in this guide.

So to edit the item costs, pull up the list of the gear slot you want to look at - in this example, shoulders. Go down to the item that you want to edit - for example, Bloodmage Shoulderpads. Right click on the item and select "Edit..."

On the bottom of the screen that pops up, right in the middle, you'll see "Cost" - put a 1 in here. (click the following picture to enlarge)

Now just rinse and repeat this for all the items you want to evaluate. So now that you've got all these item costs in, what can you do with them?

The easiest thing to do is just see which one item gives you the most bang for your buck (or badge). Go to Tools > Optimize and you'll see an option over on the left called "Additional Requirements." Click "Add" and select "Cost <= 1.00".

Now run the optimizer as usual and wait for the output. It should look something like this (click to make larger):

What the optimizer has done for me is, with just one item from Emblems of Frost, my best upgrade is the Meteor Chaser's Raiment. It shows my pants in this option because I need to change one +hit gem out for +haste for my otpimal gear setup.

So what happens if we have enough Emblems of Frost for two items? Basically, it's still telling me to take the Meteor Chaser's Raiment and now the Circle of Ossus. Now why is this? Wouldn't it be better to have two pieces of Tier 10? The short answer: No. Because we have to break 4 piece Tier 9, it doesn't make sense to get just two pieces of Tier 10. Not until we take up the "Item Cost" on the optimization to 4 does it return Tier 10 items (click to see larger):

This leaves us with a quandary. We know that four pieces of Tier 10 is absolutely amazing these days. So what do we do? The Meteor Chaser's Robe is absolutely amazing, but is it a big enough upgrade over Merlin's Robe? Similarly, right now the Belt of Omission/Circle of Ossus is the best in slot (depending on hit/haste options). So do I aim for that along with the Robe?

Short-term, the answer is yes. Those two upgrades will cost 155 Emblems of Frost. To get four pieces of Tier 10, you will need 345 emblems. With the length of time between unlock periods on Icecrown Citadel and gaining 14 emblems a week with the weekly raid/daily heroic quests, 345 really isn't unobtainable. So that's the way I'm going - saving for Tier 10.

One thing you must always remember - Rawr is strange when it comes to optimizations at time. Just always run it a few times - and if you have the time, run it with the max thoroughness. I've run it a few times, gotten different results a couple of times, but now with max thoroughness, it settles on four pieces of tier 10, so that's the way I'm going. So it shall be.

Dec 18, 2009

One Wing Down

Last night, our 10 man formed up again and went back into Icecrown Citadel. After having our asses handed to us - due to some unknown bug (we suspect Marrowgar was doing 25 man damage in our 10 man raid - there are some reports of this bug on the Warcraft forums) - we came back in this week and destroyed the first four bosses. We quickly one-shot Marrowgar and then two-shot the remaining three bosses. Not a bad outing for our team which had not seen any of the last three fights prior to last night. And to top it all off, a "hard-mode" achievement to boot.

Dec 15, 2009

A Note on how NOT to run ICC

Just a friendly note on how not to run the Icecrown Citadel raid with 10 people:
Don't set it to 25 man mode.

We went in last week with our normal 10 man team, and after wiping on trash, thought: this is fun! Finally an instance we can't just roll through. Tough trash, and then a hard boss.

After a night of attempts (3 hours), we failed to get Marrowgar down. It seems our healers and tanks could not keep up with the damage he was dealing out, but we kept adjusting our strategy and figured out how to handle him. On multiple attempts, we had him under 30%, but we just couldn't control the massive incoming damage being done to our tanks. We left ICC with a sense of accomplishment, having brought him down under 30% and with good progress made on the night.

But then our healer and tank took alts into a pick up ICC 10 man last night and completely destroyed Marrowgar. What was up? They knew this wasn't the same fight we had faced last week. And then it hit us. We had the dungeon set to 25 man mode. We ALMOST defeated Lord Marrowgar on 25 man difficulty with 10 people. What an amazing feat that would have been. In fact, I'm fairly certain we can do it, however, I don't think we'll have the chance to try any more. I doubt anyone in our group will be willing to attempt 25 man Marrowgar and 25 man trash again with just 10 people. But looking back, it certainly was fun trying.

It Came from the Pug

Welcome to 3.3 :) I know it's been a while since updating, but not much has happened in the past few weeks. Our 10 man continued a bit in ToC(H) and Ulduar working on Firefighter (I subbed in with another 10 man team for the Firefighter completion). Other than that, we were patiently waiting for 3.3 and Icecrown to arrive and now that it has, well...not much has changed.

I'm still logging on periodically to do my dailies, but mostly I'm logging on every day to complete the random heroic and get my two Emblems of Frost. I did the weekly raid last week as well and have done the daily heroic every day except patch day when servers were horribly unstable. I've also done a couple of the new 5 man instances - they don't interest me much since there's no gear in there - I just want the achievements from them.

On the achievements front, I passed 8,000 points, picking up some easy dungeon points, Looking for More, 1,000 Stone Keeper's Shards (finally - now to work on finishing the Wintergrasp meta), and on Saturday, Dylana and Gillen from my wonderful guild finally helped me finish The Burning Crusader by bringing my Lower City rep up to Exalted. I now sit at 36 exalted reps and a couple more should be coming soon. Hopefully I can hit 40 soon.

Other than that, I fished a bunch this weekend and still no turtle, bought two new pets from Breanni in Dalaran (working on the Pug), and no new mounts. Hopefully our forays into Icecrown this week will be fruitful and we can also go back and finish up the Ulduar hard modes and get a shot at the rusted proto-drake.

Nov 24, 2009


Battling server outages, we were able to gather for long enough to battle Mimiron for yet another attempt at Firefighter. We had been working on it for weeks now, and with 3 hours on Sunday of attempts, we gathered again and finally got him down. It took just a couple of minutes past one hour as my flask wore out during the last fight. So I now sit with just a couple of achievements left for the Iron-Bound Proto Drake. And our group is moving forward quite nicely and it's actually been great fun to work on these achievements and hard modes.

More screenshots here and here.

Nov 20, 2009

It's been a while...

2 weeks without a post. Well, I have a lame excuse, but the truth is, I haven't been playing much. I've gotten pretty burned out on WoW right now and I've been playing a lot of Torchlight and New Super Mario Bros. Wii. But, with the Harvest Festival coming up this Sunday and Blizzard's anniversary (with the new pet) coming soon, I'll probably be on a bit more in the coming weeks. However, even if I am on, it'll probably be to just do dailies to continue to work on buying the last few mounts I need from the Argent Tournament.

That being said, patch 3.3 started downloading yesterday for me, so Icecrown isn't too far away - though one blue post has slated it as still a month or more away - and with it we'll have some new achievements to work on, some new dungeons to crawl, and a new raid to wipe out. Personally, I think I won't really be interested in WoW on a daily basis again until Cataclysm. There's just too little to do these days.

Back in the old days, there were grinds that took ages, there were pets to shuffle around in your bank, mounts to keep in your bags, and gear upgrades were few and far between. With the dumbing down of the game, you don't really have to worry about bank space, you don't need to care about which mount you carry with you, and every time there's a patch - even minor ones - there's new gear that can be bought with emblems or easily farmed with little time or skill involved.

Sure, I'm still having fun raiding with my 10 and 25 man (well, last night was pretty frustrating as we put in over 20 attempts on the heroic Faction Champions (10 man)). Our 25 man group is making progress as well. We clear the Trial of the Champions in good time each Friday, and though we've been doing VoA and Ony, we'll be skipping those in the future to put in more time clearing the last two bosses in Ulduar or continuing our work on the Trial of the Grand Crusader.

So I apologize for the lack of updates, but recently, there really hasn't been that much to report since I'm usually just logging on for Thursday and Friday raids. And with next week's raids canceled because of Thanksgiving, I might not be on at all for a while after I finish my Harvest Festival achievements. I still love the game, I just miss some of what it used to be. They've taken the grinds out of the game and replaced them with easy reputation gains and easy gear upgrades. At least the heroic modes still challenge us from time to time.

Nov 6, 2009

2 Week Update

So, as you might have figured out, I'm one of the many suffering from WoW burnout. I log on every so often to check some auctions and maybe run some dailies, but for the most part, I've been logging on only on Thursdays and Fridays for raids and then spending the rest of my days playing different games like Civilization III (yeah, old school fun) or Torchlight (yay for Diablo clones).

So, with that being said, there has been very little progress on my character. Mount upgrades are not going to happen because I'm not running the Argent Tournament dailies. Pet upgrades are not going to happen because I'm not camping spawn points. Achievements are not going to happen because I'm not grinding anything or even online to attempt different achievements with guildmates.

However, logging on for Thursday nights has afforded me a great many new achievements. We've scrapped our Trial of the Champions runs on Thursdays and instead, we're focusing on Glory of the Ulduar Raider. In our last two weeks, we've made significant progress.

Last week, we started with a new raid ID, so we of course started on Flame Leviathan. It took us some time and some luck (just as to which vehicle he picked to target first) and we got him down with all four towers up. We then continued on to Razorscale and, though the fight was insanely long, we got Iron Dwarf, Medium Rare. We then continued on to the Assembly of Iron, and since we had done Steelbreaker the week before, we did Molegeim this week. And, luckily, I remembered to use my Iron Boot Flask for But I'm on Your Side.

Continuing on last week, we then skipped past Auriaya and went to Hodir who we absoultely destroyed. I think I did another 8 or 9k dps and we got Aravic his first sigil. We called it at that point and were ready to return this week.

To start this week's attempts last night, we went straight to Ignis for a couple of people who had not done the achievement the first time we did it. The first time we attempted Ignis, we got him down with just a couple of seconds to spare. This time, we got him down in under 3 minutes. We then moved on to Auriaya, quickly one-shot her with both her guardians up and then moved on to Thorim. We then moved to Freya.

We had never attempted Freya with any guardians up, so it was a new fight for all involved. We knew the basics - she'd have more powers, hit harder, the adds do more damage, etc. It took us a good hour to learn the fight, but we did it. She went down and gave us tons of flasks and other good gear. With just an hour left, we had Mimiron to go. After a few attempts at the hard mode, we gave up for the night and opted instead to go get Koralon and Onyxia.

And you'd think we'd one shot Koralon, but due to a healing mix-up, we wiped once and had to come back in to get him down. He dropped nothing of consequence, so we quickly headed over to Onyxia. On our first attempt (yes, it took us 2), we were absolutely destroying her. So much so that our healers and tanks weren't ready when she landed for phase 3. We burned her in Phase 2 so quickly that she didn't have a chance to deep breath at all. Unfortunately, she landed quickly, did a fear and we got some extra whelps, and the healers and tanks weren't ready to transition.

So, try 2 went much smoother, unfortunately, one person got hit in the one deep breath we had, so we didn't get the achievement, and we probably missed the 5 minute timer by just a few seconds (unfortunately, a DPS went down in phase 2). But a new cloak did drop for me -
Fluttering Sapphiron Drape which is a significant upgrade at the one slot I was still using an ilvl 219 piece.

So in the past few weeks, we've made great progress on our proto drakes. I expect us to get Mimiron down next week and hopefully Vezax. Yogg will be tough for us, as we've only gotten him down one time in the past. With one less keeper (probably Freya), we should be able to do it with our better gear, but it could still be a week or two until we can see Algalon. So that's it for Ulduar...

Pets! Two new pets were released at the Blizzard Store this week. I of course bought them both as soon as I could and I love my little Pandaren Monk and Lil' K.T.. That brings me to 124 of 131. I'm still looking for some cheap raptors on the auction house, but I haven't seen any recently. Maybe I'll camp out in Un'goro Crater this weekend looking for a new one.

On the subject of microtransactions, I have absolutely no problem with the way Blizzard is handling the matter. I don't mind paying $10 for a pet or $20 for a mount. In fact, I welcome these transactions over the trading card game. The cards from the trading card game are extremely rare and, if bought on eBay, cost much more than $10 or $20 or even a $50 mount that Blizzard might offer (though at some point, you've moved away from microtransactions).

As long as they steer clear of offering gear or other items that directly benefit your character for cash, I don't see how anyone can complain. Pets, mounts, and tabards are all purely cosmetic. Offering these items for cash is a logical extension of their business plan and perfectly acceptable within the way the game is played.

Even though I have been on a break of late, I did log in for Day of the Dead. It was easy to quickly power through the one achievement and get the Macabre Marionette (which still works today even though it isn't Day of the Dead any more). And with the Ulduar achievements and the Day of the Dead achievement, I've quickly made progress and I am now at 7,865 points.

Oct 27, 2009

Achievement Whoring

Last week/weekend was a pretty nice week for me and my obsessive compulsive achievement gathering. It started on Thurdsay with our 10 man Gold Team run. We cleared ToC in 45 minutes, then quickly cleared VoA and Ony. After that, we had plenty of time to take up our new venture: Ulduar hard modes.

We skipped Flame Leviathan hard mode and went straight to Ignis. After quickly getting through his hard mode (with about 5 seconds to spare - we could have done it quicker, but I tried helping out by frost nova'ing the adds for the off tank when I should have just focused on Ignis), we went on to XT. We were thinking about doing the hard mode, but for some reason, we just didn't have the DPS to get the heart in the first try so we skipped it for the night and went straight to the Iron Council. We wanted to get a data disc so we could work our way towards Algalon.

After a couple of wipes learning the fight, we managed to get Steelbreaker down and retrieve his data disc. Unfortunately, I completely forgot to use my Iron Boot Flask, so I missed out on But I'm on Your Side (which I have in 25 player mode oddly enough).

After that, we called it for the night and gave our Raid ID up to another run in our guild so they could work on Mim hard mode on Sunday night. Fast-foward to our 25 man run on Friday night which involved yet another quick clear of ToC (Hemnetcher was nice enough to pass the trophy on Anub to me, so I now sport 4 piece Tier 9), and then of course Ony and VoA before we headed back into Ulduar with our raid ID from the previous week. We had skipped Ignis, Razorscale, and the Iron Council as we attempted Thorim the week before, so this week, we went back to clear them out.

We started on Ignis, and even though I didn't think we had the raw DPS to do Stokin' the Furnace, we managed to pull it off in one shot. Go team! We then went on to the Iron Council looking to get a 25 man data disc for our intrepid raid leader, Aravic and after a couple of wipes on Steelbreaker, we decided to switch it up and kill Runemaster Molgeim last. He was a piece of cake and Aravic received his data disc. And with that, we called it a night.

The fun continued on Sunday as I was invited to a Black Temple run. I had previously run Black Temple a couple of times in the past with PUGs, but this was a group I had run Sunwell, Molten Core, and other early instances with, so I was fairly certain we would clear the place out. And despite quite a few deaths on my end (because I like to DPS and pull aggro on large pulls), we quickly cleared BT, I got 7,500 Ashtongue Deathsworn rep, and I finally completed Outland Raider:

Back to our 25 man group, as I stated earlier, I got another trophy, so I bought my second piece of tier 9.25. This goes with my two pieces of tier 9.0, so I now rock the 4 piece bonus: Mage Tier 9. It's pretty amazing to get an extra 5% crit and I can't wait to see how it works out in our next raid this week. Additionally, I have paired it with the new helm I received from our 10 man raid on Onyxia, the Netherwind Hood, and if I do say so myself, I'm looking pretty damn good these days!

Oct 19, 2009

10 Hard Modes

Last night I had the pleasure of filling in for another mage for a 10 man Ulduar hard mode run. As they had started earlier in the week, our focus was to be on Thorim and Hodir. I knew we could do Thorim, as back when the Gold Team was running Ulduar, we would occasionally start the hard mode without meaning to. So we went in, and after 3 attempts, we got Thorim down. And, wouldn't you know, a nice neck upgrade dropped for me - Pendant of the Shallow Grave

We then continued on to Hodir, and though we had gotten close one time on accident when running Gold Team raids, I didn't know how we would do to beat the three minute timer. So I put up my stopwatch and went for it. On our first attempt, we had some fails at the Flash Freeze, so we wiped it and tried again, and without any issue, we took him down. We got some fortuitous placements of light beams and fires, so that helped immensely, and when I could get the Storm Power, I did some amazing damage. So down went Hodir...

Speaking of achievements, back on Thursday, we went for a couple during our Gold Team run in 10 man coliseum. I had missed the week prior when most got Salt and Pepper so we did that again without an issue, but the new one we went for prior to that was on Jaraxxus. We attempted to get Three Sixty Pain Spike. And for us with our DPS, it wasn't really a problem. We almost had to slow down at the end of the kill to wait for another maiden to spawn to get the achievement. But we didn't slow down and we easily pulled off the achievement without a problem.

Isle of Conquest Sneakiness

I was bored yesterday and decided to hit up the Isle of Conquest to see if I could get my Isle of Conquest Victory. Of course, we didn't, but since it was my first "real" time in there (I tried once right when it came out and didn't last long), I decided to run around and do my own thing. First I helped capture the air base and I took a ride around on the airship once we took it.

After riding the airship, I didn't really know what to do. It seemed there were some people on defense, some over at the harbor, but generally, our team was clueless. So, I went sneaking around to all different parts of the map. I found an AFK siege vehicle, killed it, and then killed it's occupant, and then went and capped the oil refinery. While over at the refinery, I decided to see if there were any achievements I could do. And lo and behold, I just had to defend a base to get Isle of Conquest All Star. So since I was already at the refinery, I went up some steps and hid out in the control room, hoping that some other sneaky person would come and cap it, think there was no alliance around, and leave. And it worked like a charm.

A mage came over, capped the refinery, and 10 seconds later, I emerged from my hiding spot, defended the refinery, and got my achievement! I then went back into hiding hoping to lure the mage back. And again, it worked. He came back, I popped all my trinkets and though he almost killed me, I just barely got the last shot in on him. I then went looking to plant some bombs at the gates of the horde base, but before I could find the bombs, the horde had one, but I had my achievement.

It took me back to my days of being a rogue where you could just hide out anywhere you wanted without people seeing you. This time I had to use a control room to conceal my movements, but it was fun running all over the map without anyone impeding my progress. So while the All Star achievement wasn't really picked up in the most daring and dangerous way, it was accomplished and I might make some more forays back into the Isle. And maybe some day I'll figure out what's going on.

Oct 15, 2009

The Greatest Kitty

Tonight was our normal gold team run and after we annihilated the Trial of Champions along with Icehowl and Jaraxxus on heroic, we ran into a wall again on the Faction Champions. We did make progress, but didn't get them down. We of course got Ony down again, and after the Alliance took back Wintergrasp, we cleared the Vault of Archavon.

And...on Archavon...the mount dropped! And I rolled a 45. And Vetarra rolled a 95! And even though I whispered the raid leader and told him not to let her pass it to me, she did, and he forced the mount on me. So now I am the proud owner of the Reins of the Grand Black War Mammoth.

It was also a great day today as Breanni sent me a nice new penguin in the mail!
Mr. Chilly is my 122nd pet. And he goes quite nicely with my 104th mount.

Additionally, on our way through the Trial of the Crusader, we picked up Three Sixty Pain Spike (10 player) and Salt and Pepper (10 player). Hooray for achievements.

Oct 9, 2009

Achievement Summary

So, as I reach 7,600 achievement points, there are very few achievements left for me to do solo outside of PvP. So here's a quick overview of the ones I'm missing:

General: 53/54

God My Mind on my Money (25,000g) - I got my 10,000 gold achievement quite a while ago, so it's been a long grind to 25,000. I'm currently sitting at just over 20,000g collected, so 25,000 isn't too far away. I just need to do more questing and more grinding to get it.

Quests: 49/49 - Done!

Exploration: 68/70

I just have the last two exploration quests to kill the rare spawns in Outland and Northrend.

Bloody Rare - the Outland achievement where I currently have 2/20 done. I just have to go fly around Outland a few more times and hopefully I can find a few more. They're just tough to find and spawn so infrequently, it just takes time and patience.

Frostbitten - I currently have 4/23 done here. So I have a ways to go - and it just will involve a lot of time and effort to fly all over. Luckily, my new 310% speed flying mount will help.

Professions: 73/75

I don't really want to talk about the two fishing achievements I have left...

Old Ironjaw - I've fished countless times in Ironforge and never seen him. One day he will be mine though. Again, just takes time.

Turtles All the Way Down - Granted, I haven't spent that much time fishing in pools, but every once in a while I'll go around to the different zones fishing up parts needed for Fish Feasts. It's better for me to go to the zones and fish in pools rather than getting all the fish in Wintergrasp sice I can get the turtle from the pools. I just can't wait to get him...I've fished a bunch, but not enough to complain about not getting him yet.

Reputation: 36/44

Unfortunately, the reputations I need require a lot of support and I rarely see raids forming for the old instances. Currently, I need the following reputations:

Hydraxian Waterlords - Honored (6,644/12,000)
Brood of Nozdormu - Hated (26,951/36,000) - Working on this in my spare time on my own (need AQ40!)
Lower City - Revered (14,622/21,000)
Ashtongue Deathsworn - Friendly (994/6,000) - Need Black Temple urgently!
The Scale of the Sands - Revered (1,745/21,000)

And finally, I need the following two reputation-related achievements:

Skyshattered - I had planned on doing this once I had my 310% mount, however, when you go over to the ledge, you are transformed and use a nether drake which is back at 280%. I think to do this without a riding crop any more, I need a paladin in my party with crusader aura. Or I just need to get lucky after running it hundreds of times.

Grand Ice Mammoth - Anyone have 8,000g? ;)

World Events: 126/139

Just one "solo" achievement to go: Dead Man's Party - Coming up at the end of October I think.

Then there's the "larger" holiday achievements.

Pilgrim's Bounty will net me 10 of the 13 achievements left to go as I work towards Pilgrim.

And of course there's A Mask for All Occasions - it's pure luck to get this one, but during the last Hallow's End, I received 11 of the 20. So just 9 to go this year.

The last one I need is BB King - the new Winter's Veil achievement added this year.

So I should have 139/139 by the end of the year.

So what does that leave me with? Over 100 PvP related achievements. Some day I'll work harder on them. Maybe I'll spend a few hours this weekend PvP'ing and racking up honor points which I can buy some nice gems with. And of course working towards 100,000 honorable kills
(I have just over 5,000. :)

Glory of the Hero

Last week, when I wasn't expecting it, I got a text message that we were going to go try to get Zombiefest, so I quickly hopped on and got ready to go get it. After that, it would leave me with just one achievement to go. So we quickly few over to the Nexus and got Split Personality, and there it was, Glory of the Hero! I'm finally done with it and couldn't be happier. The Red Proto-Drake is awesome and brings me to 102 mounts (and over 7,600 achievement points). Huzzah!

Tonight we go back into 25 man Trial of the Crusader as we look for more upgrades in order to help us progress in the Trial of the Grand Crusader. We will also be returning to Ulduar for the first time in over a month to work on getting Mimiron down and again looking for gear to better our team. Unfortunately, due to the Angels game (go Angels!), I missed last night's 10 man Trial run where they got Salt and Pepper. Congrats to the Gold Team and I look forward to getting it next week.

With regards to the next patch, I'm definitely not looking forward to the new achievements. The achievements reward you for using the LFG channel and grouping with different players found through the system. You get an achievement at 10 different players, 50 (comes with a title of "The Patient" as well), and 100. So now I'm going to be forced to use LFG to PUG dungeons when I absolutely hate PUGs and when I can put together a competent team from within my guild at any time. What a joke.

Lastly, I used the
Crusader Orbs we have collected in the Trial of the Crusader to get a new pair of bracers - Bejeweled Wizard's Bracers. In exchange for the 36 hit rating I lose from my Felspark BindingS (I was way over the hit cap rating anyways), I get 7 int, 9 sta, 6 armor, 42 crit, 2 spell power and a socket (which equals 23 more spell power). So I can't wait to see how it performs tonight. Go go Gold Team!

Sep 30, 2009


While browsing my achievements, I saw that Less-Rabi was my 700th achievement. Just 286 more to go before Cataclysm!

Achievements and Harvest Festival?

Last night, I quickly logged in looking to do the Harvest Festival achievements, only to realize that the Harvest Festival has no achievements and the achievements that were classified as "Harvest Festival" have now been properly updated to read "Pilgrim's Bounty." So that was a let down. However, the one Harvest Festival quest, to honor Uther was pretty cool, I just don't know why it's a week-long event and why no achievement or feat of strength is associated with it. Similarly, why no feat of strength for acquiring the Green Brewfest Stein? I have one for my yellow and blue steins...

Last night, after a quick run of Halls of Stone for a couple of Triumph badges (which also got me to 36 emblems which in turn bought me a new ring - Band of the Invoker), we thought, let's give this damn Less-Rabi achievement another try. In the past, we had spent hours trying to get the interrupts down correctly, and after two tries last night, we finally got it. Basically, it just took a lot of DPS and a little luck.

For our team, we had our warrior tank interrupt the first transformation - but not right away! The first cast time of transformation takes about 3.5 seconds, so we had our tank wait until the last possible moment to interrupt him. By this time, he was already under 50% so we didn't have the usual 50% transformation. Also, right after the interrupt went off, he knocked us all down, stunning us for a second or two. Immediatly after the stun, we used our interrupts and we got lucky because at that very moment, he attempted to transform. He was at about 20% by this time, so we quickly burned him before another 3 or 4 seconds passed and he had no time to do another transformation. So just two interrupts got us what is probably the most difficult part of Glory of the Hero these days.

After that, Aenador had just one achievement left for her Red Drake, so we hit up Ahn'kahet really quick hoping to get Volazj's Quick Demise for her. When I originally got it, we had a perfectly reflected Mind Flay which helped us get him under 33% while he was casting his first insanity, so we only had one insanity to deal with and we killed him in about 1.5 minutes. This time, I'm not sure what exactly happened, or how exactly it happened, but we killed him in 21 seconds. We had some sick DPS, a nice heroism, and in the end, he didn't get any insanity casts off. It's always fun to put out 7,000 DPS in a 5-man. Congrats Aenador on the new mount!

So now all I have left is Split Personality and Zombiefest
. Both should be relatively easy to complete, but we just need to get a group together. Hopefully this weekend I'll finish them off and finally get my red proto drake.

As a follow up to yesterday's post, our 25 man cleared the Trial of the Crusader, then we quickly went and cleared VOA for some more T9 gear and then we went to Onyxia. To my surprise, we one shot her (after wiping earlier in the week in a 25 man PUG). We had just a couple people left up at the end, but she went down and we all rejoiced! So here's the most recent achievements:

I think next week, we'll try for Upper Back Pain or Three Sixty Pain Spike. Should be fun.

Sep 29, 2009

Progress Updates

The 10 and 25 man teams did exceptionally well last week, and then I left for a few days, so I didn't have time to post. But the 10 man once again cleared the Trial in about an hour which left us lots of time to work on Jaraxxus on Heroic. And we got him! Unfortunately, we didn't have time to work on the Faction Champions, but hopefully this week, we'll have Jaraxxus down to a one shot.

The 25 man team got down Anub last week. It was a great victory for the team, however, we were all humbled when we took on the Faction Champions on heroic. I think our DPS just isn't there yet, but the healers and tanks did a great job.

On an unrelated note, arcane rules and I'm doling out 6000+ sustained DPS. Woo!

Sep 20, 2009

7500, 100, Title, Pet

So, as everyone probably knows, today starts Brewfest! And, with Brewfest, comes achievements, violet proto-drakes, and pets! So this is probably the best day of the year for me. So I started with the two easiest achievements - eating and drinking!

I then continued on with another two easy achievements - since I already had three pieces of Brewfest Regalia from previous years, I just had to dance drunk in Dalaran, port to Shattrath and then jump off a bridge.

So I was left with just two achievements for my awesome Brewmaster title! First up, I defended the Brewfest grounds from the Dark Iron Dwarves and then we went to get even more revenge on them by entering into Blackrock Depths and defeating Coren Direbrew. And with that, What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been was complete!

And with that, I saw new mail, brought out my Argent Squire to get to my mailbox and retrieved what is probably the most beautiful mount in all of Azeroth, the Violet Proto-Drake. He's purple, flies at 310%, and is just downright amazing. Here he is in Netherstorm in all his beauty:

So with the proto-drake, I have now reached 100 mounts! And of course, with 100 mounts, comes a reward of a 101st mount! So I now sit at 101 mounts.

So there are my 100 mounts, however, before learning my 100th mount, I checked my achievement log, and there I sat, at 7500 points exactly. Such a beautiful number. But my 100th mount achievement takes me to 7510.

Of course, with Brewfest, comes an all new pet! My very own Pint-Sized Pink Elekk, my 121st pet. Just 7 elude me still. They will be mine!

Sep 17, 2009

97 Mounts

Got my Quel'dorei Steed last night. And yesterday I was wondering what would get me to 100 mounts. Well, I forgot about all this gold I've been hoarding. I can easily go buy a Grand Ice Mammoth, but I'd really like to save a bit more for the Traveler's Tundra Mammoth. But with Brewfest fast approaching, I won't have enough gold to buy the Mammoth and get 100 mounts on Sunday with the Violet Proto-Drake. I think I might hit up Vetarra or Aenador and see if I can dip into their cash reserves in exchange for a modest 10% return on their money. I only need 3,000g or so. And I could probably pay that back at about 1,000g a week (plus interest).

Either way, I just want to hit 100 mounts and get it over and done with. And then when the 100 pets achievement drops with 3.2.2 or 3.3, I'll already be there ready for that achievement.

Sep 16, 2009

99 Seals...

Two days ago I needed 23 seals for a new mount and since you get just 10 per day from the dailies, that meant 3 from the "bonus bags" would allow me to buy a mount. First day went well - I got my 10 seals from dailies and 2! of the four bags had seals in them. Unfortunately, yesterday, I got my 10 seals, but the bags held nothing for me. So the mount has been postponed until tonight. #97 incoming. I think I'm going to go with the Quel'dorei Steed. Then I can get back to work on the faction mounts.

Then this Sunday, Brewfest returns! The Violet Proto-Drake will be mine! #98.

I just have no idea what I'm going to get for #99. My egg hatches soon and maybe I'll get a Green Proto, or maybe I'll get lucky and figure out a way to get my Red Proto, but barring those two options, it'll just be another 10 days of dailies to get an Argent Tourney mount.

Either way, as you can probably tell from all my mount posts lately, I really want to get to 100!

Sep 14, 2009

Missing in Action

A couple things to quickly update.

1. The 10 Man Gold Team cleared Normal Trial in an hour last week. We then attempted the Northrend Beasts on heroic again. This time though, we killed them. We tried Jaraxxus a few times, but just didn't have the time or patience to kill him.

2. The 25 Man Gold Team took down the Faction Champions for the first time last week. I hear it was a one-shot. I was out of town. They then quickly took down the Twins, but didn't have time to get through Anub.

3. Just one week until Brewfest!! With it, a new mount. I'm currently at 96 mounts. I am still hoping to get my Red Proto Drake soon (97) then my Violet Proto Drake with Brewfest (98) and finally an Argent Tourney mount will be 99 in a couple days. Then, my special, super-secret mount will be revealed as #100.

4. We went into Naxx last night to get Undying. And, we did. It was not that hard and it took us just over 2 hours to clear all the way through. Not too shabby. Tiddlywinks the Undying sounds good. I do die quite infrequently (when not in raids - where my cloth armor does little to protect me).

5. I was roaming through Stratholme looking for another new mount. While in there, I found my new weapon to look pretty good. (click to enlarge)

Sep 5, 2009

95 and counting...

The morning started with a successful Wintergrasp battle with a 25 man Vault of Archavon group immediately afterwards. After 3 wipes on Koralon, we kicked two DPS that were unable to break 1300 DPS, replaced a healer that liked standing in fires, and we downed him. Though I ended up 4th on damage done due to a fire under my feet while he was spinning around doing his flame breath, but I was third on DPS done through the fight. A nice PvP piece dropped, but I lost the roll, however, getting my achievement was well worth the wipes.

After that, we quickly did Emalon and Archavon. On Emalon, my DPS was pretty amazing, putting out 1.42m damage and averaging 4909.1 DPS. On Archavon, not quite the same DPS, but still #1 atop the meters with 845k damage and 4695.1 DPS.

Later though, I found a bored guildie who had a level 80 horde priest and in exchange for a few gold, he let me kill him over and over again in Halaa. After I had enough Halaa Battle Tokens, I went off and farmed my last Halaa Research Token and then went back and was forced to bomb Halaa over and over again to take Halaa back for the Alliance. And with the battle and research tokens, Reins of the Dark Riding Talbuk and Reins of the Dark War Talbuk are mine, bringing my mount total to 95.

I expect to get the Red Proto Drake soon from the achievements, I'll get the Violet Proto Drake when Brewfest starts, and I'll be getting the Red Bearon soon as well. That brings me to 98 mounts. I also have 24 champion's seals right now so in 8 (or 7 days if I run the Trial of the Crusader a few times) days, I'll have another mount from the Argent Tournament. Then, 9-10 days later, my 100th mount. But I'm off to farm Rivendare's mount, so perhaps it will be sooner if I get lucky...

Sep 4, 2009

Normal Trial Clear

Last night, in an impressive outing, the 10 man Gold Team defeated Anub'Arak in record time. After quickly dispatching with the Northrend Beasts and Jaraxxus, the Gold Team miraculously one shot the Faction Champions! About half our team was new this week and had not seen the Twin Val'kyrs, so it took us two shots there and Anub'Arak took just three shots. And there it was...

I really enjoyed the Anub'Arak fight - it features many interesting fight mechanics and though the learning curve really isn't that high, the third phase is tons of fun.

On another note, I acquired the Leggings of the Demonic Messenger. I swapped them out with my last piece of tier 7.5. I then also had to take off my Shackles of the Odalisque for the Felspark Bindings I had been saving up. The switch of the two items nets me 22 stamina, 18 intellect, 37 spirit, 37 damage, and 20 crit at the cost of 7 hit, 17 haste, and 1 socket. Not a bad trade at all. Though I am now 5 hit rating short of the cap. But I should be ok nonetheless.

And of course, September 20th marks the start of Brewfest. And I...cannot...wait! With Brewfest, the achievement,
What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been will be mine! And with it...the Violet Proto-Drake - a 310% flight speed mount. But with September, even though it isn't Brewfest yet, I got a small taste of it early this year with my newest brew and...

I also managed to get 100 champion seals this past week and picked up a Gnomeregan Mechanostrider giving me 93 mounts. With the Violet Proto Drake and the Red Bearon that will be arriving soon, I'll be at 95. At some point I'll get off my butt and get the Halaa mounts and maybe PvP some more to get to 100. It's coming soon. And I can't wait!

Aug 29, 2009

What a Morning!

It started out boring enough...just out doing my dailies, working on my Champion's Seals for more mounts when a couple guildies decided they wanted to go to normal Trial of the Champion to try and obtain a trinket. So we formed up, but decided, rather than Trial first, we'd do the daily heroic and daily normal at the same time in the Oculus. So off we went. And when we formed up, it was decided we'd go for the 20 minute timer for Make it Count. After quickly downing the first boss, I started the stopwatch and I never had a doubt that we'd make it. We tried a new strategy which I had never tried before and it worked wonders. Here's a quick overview:
  • Make sure you know which drakes you want beforehand. We had 2 amber, 2 emerald, and a ruby. It doesn't really matter which you pick, but having 2 amber drakes makes it really easy switching back and forth on the channeled spell and high damage spells. Of course you want the ruby to keep aggro and the emeralds to heal.
  • Once you know what drakes you want, immediately go up to the center platform. Previously, I had always been in groups that want to clear the outer platforms first. But no! Go to the middle. By clearing the middle, it gives you an easy way to go from outer platform to outer platform.
  • Once you have the center platform clear, go back and then fly straight out to a platform with constructs. By flying straight out to it, you can then fly straight back after you have cleared the platform. Kill as few drakes as necessary to get to the edge of the platform, clear it by pulling the mobs to the edge, and then go back to the middle.
  • Repeat for the second platform. Once you're back in the middle, fly around to the second boss and fly straight out to him. Clear most of the drakes above his platform so he doesn't call on them to help during the fight. Quickly kill him and then immediately fly up to the next section.
  • Once you are on the next section, land directly on top of the image. He won't aggro until you hit him, so make sure everyone gets there, hit him, and clear the adds. Rince and repeat all around.
  • Once you're ready for the third boss, again, land right on top of him and when you're ready, hit him and start DPS. When he lays down his first frost bomb, kite him behind the pillar closest to you. Now, if he lays more frost bombs, ignore them. Heal through them. When he teleports, you're already behind the pillar - wait for him to return and kill him.
  • With the boss down, start killing the whelps. You need to get most of them down before engaging the boss as they can do stacking damage. Get ready to engage the boss and then go! You should have about 4-6 minutes left at this point. I think we had 5 minutes left and it took us 2.5 minutes to kill him. So down he went with 2.5 minutes to spare.
  • When you're working your way up to the boss, don't worry about loot. Just have someone need it all and then distribute at the end. Every second counts (kind of - you have some leeway, but not much).

So after we quickly rolled through the Oculus, we headed over to the Trial to try and get Eleazarjr a new trinket. Of course, it didn't drop, but we steamrolled that instance as well and then went outside to try it on heroic. One quick run later, I ended up getting both Needy and I've Had Worse. Needy was a long time coming as since the patch, I've been "needing" everything. Since we can now trade soulbound items for 2 hours, I just need everything and trade it or disenchant it. A couple hundred items later, Needy was mine.

As for "I've Had Worse", here's a couple hints - during phase 1, kill the add right away. He only has like 50 or 60k health - so he goes down quickly. Phase 2 is where you'll most likely lose this achievement. It was pretty easy with two mages and two pallies, but this strategy should work for most - right away, start AOE. That's the only way to take all the ghouls down before he can have one explode. Both pallies immediately had consecrate down and both of us mages popped mirror image, dropped a flamestrike on the Black Knight and then used a Blizzard. Once the tank had to move to get out of a death and decay, I switched to arcane explosion to give greater mobile AOE. So all the ghouls went down and it was ours!

So after that, I quickly finished up the dailies I had started, turned in my daily dungeon quests, and was done for a bit. A very good morning. Plus, I got this nice achievement last night (it's pretty easy):

To get The Faceroller, take Eadric down to about 30k health. Make sure there's no DOTs on him and then stop DPS when you get under 20k. The tank shouldn't even be hitting him. Now wait for him to target someone to throw the hammer at. Dispel/trinket out of/spell reflect/grounding totem when Eadric starts to channel and the player targeted will be able to catch the hammer. Your action bar will change and you just need to hit "1" to throw the hammer back at him. This should finish him off and "The Faceroller" is yours!

Aug 27, 2009

Bullet Point Updates

  • The Gold Team went into the Trial of the Crusade last night and after honing our strategy, finally took down the Faction Champions. They certainly are not a pushover. We had the boomkin, disc priest, healy shaman, warlock, rogue, and ret pally. Our original strategy was to take the shaman down first, but we found that bursting down the priest was easier. After him, we switched to the shaman and when he was down, the team was left without heals and could easily be killed. I think it took us about 7 or 8 attempts. Our first 2 resulted in no kills. We killed the priest on our 3rd try, and from there on, it was just a matter of learning the proper way to fear-bomb, CC, silence, and focus down the individual champions.
  • After the Faction Champions, we had the Val'kyr Twins. We were a little wary of the fight since we had heard they were easy, but they had just been hotfixed.
    The following bug fixes to Val'kyr Twins were just deployed, and they will increase the overall difficulty of the encounter.
    • Surge of Light and Surge of Darkness were not being cast properly on Normal difficulties.
    • Light Vortex was doing less damage than Dark Vortex.
    Along with those two major bug fixes, we also increased the rate with which the Concentrated Light and Concentrated Darkness spawns.
    But we went on and downed them on our third attempt - our first was used to just learn the encounter. Our second attempt featured a couple of deaths as we still learned the exact way to take them down, and our third was perfect. So next week, we await Anub'Rekan and look forward to then tackling the Trial in heroic mode.
  • I received Grunty from my Blizzcon goodie bag - unfortunately, due to a family vacation, I did not attend any of Blizzcon. However, Thursday night it was fun to meet up with many in-game friends at a local sandwich shop. Perhaps more on Blizzcon thoughts later.
  • I finally received Snarly's Bucket from Old Man Barlo. This now completes my crocolisk collection!
  • I spent countless hours on Monday camping Takk the Leaper. Then I realized my addon was misconfigured, so he probably spawned and I didn't even know it. I have it set up correctly now, so I should not miss a raptor spawn any time soon.
  • Achievements have been on hold for the most part - but we might get some tonight in Ulduar as we will most likely be attempting some 10 man hard modes.

Aug 15, 2009

Tonight's Gonna be a Good Night

Friday night - 25 man...Started at the Coliseum. And after 2 hours to master the Northrend Beasts last week, our 25 man went in and one shot them this week. An amazing improvement. Then we moved on to Jaraxxus. Again, most of the team hadn't seen the fight, so it took them one or two tries to see how it all worked, and on our third attempt of the night, he went down! I'm still convinced that no cloth items drop in there, but nonetheless, I got myself a Trophy of the Crusade. I currently have 28 emblems of Triumph, so when I get to 45, I know what I'm shoulders! Khadgar's Shoulderpads of Triumph. I can't wait!

We then moved over to Ulduar, and blew through Flame Leviathan, obtaining Unbroken (25 player). So it was a good night. I had to leave early, but the team continued on through Auriaya and we'll probably extend our raid lockout through next week so we can again work on the Coliseum and then go to work on Hodir, Thorim, and Freya.

On an unrelated note, after two weeks, my Phaelia's Vestments of the Sprouting Seed finally sold. I got a nice 3,500g out of them. So I'm once again above 10,000g. I am debating saving up for the Traveler's Tundra Mammoth or the Grand Ice Mammoth. I'll probably keep saving for the Tundra Mammoth so on my farmings of Strat or Wailing Caverns, I can easily get rid of my extra loot by breaking him out. Having access to a vendor at all times would be really nice. Just 5,000g to go.

And speaking of mounts, I've switched my mount collection over to My 91 mount collection can now be viewed here.

Aug 13, 2009

Not Mentioned

Not mentioned last night was our almost one-shot of Jaraxxus. After we quickly blew through the Northrend Loot-PiƱatas, Jaraxxus taunted us by killing the poor little warlock, Fizzlebang. So we had the DPS spread out and we prepared to take him on with that stupid Icehowl carcass right in the middle of everything. Unfortunately, one of our melee DPS got the fire-trailing debuff and didn't run away from all the other melee, so we quickly lost a lot of DPS and I alone couldn't handle the Mistress of Pain and the rock constructs. So we had one quick wipe. But we regrouped, got our strategy down - which involved one melee DPS helping me on the adds and we quickly burned Jaraxxus down. Maybe he should be called Jokeraxxus? He is pretty much a joke. And we wait another week for another boss. And at some point, we might be able to set it to heroic and actually have a challenge presented to us.

Aug 12, 2009

What's This?

What is this?

But how?

3 Drakes? Awesome. So?

Sweet, but did I win the roll? No. But Comador did, and passed them to me!

And is that it?

So how many points is that?

But how? Did I get more achievements tonight? Why yes!


Is that it?

And thus ends a great night.