Sep 21, 2010

A Slight Oversight

Yesterday was the first day of Brewfest - so I diligently logged in despite it not being a Thursday raid night, queued up for Direbrew, and headed over to Ironforge thanks to the breadcrumb quest I picked up in Dalaran. I saw a few quests offered to me, quickly took down Direbrew, came back, turned in the other quests and quickly reached 100 coins. With my 100 coins, I rode over to the vendor to buy my yearly stein and...what? The 2009 Green Brewfest Stein!

What a crock! They couldn't be bothered to put in a new stein like they had done in 2007, 2008, and 2009? They couldn't have taken the time to do some basic maintenance and give us something new this year? No, so now everyone who wasn't here last year can get 2009's achievement. Just really disappointing and quite frankly, lazy on Blizzard's part.

Sep 10, 2010

And...we're back! (aka 2 down, 1 to go)

The Gold Team is back. Two weeks ago, after taking two months off due to various scheduling issues, vacations, and general malaise, we reformed and continued on our quest to complete Glory of the Icecrown Raider. Many people had various smaller achievements they needed, but the main reason for raiding was to get down the two last heroic bosses - Sindragosa and Putricide.

After we all re-learned everything we had forgotten over the past two months, we finally took Sindragosa down in heroic mode (we had been working on her for a couple weeks prior to our vacation). The next week Putricide was our target - plus we needed some of the achievements from Rotface and Festergut for some raiders who were absent when we did them the first time. We got to him and gave him a good four attempts before we had to call it a night, ready to reconvene the next week (yesterday).

So we were ready. We all downloaded the Plagued addon which announces via /yell that you have the plague the Professor throws out and how many seconds are left before someone needs to come and get it. This was a huge help to us since that was pretty much the only part of the fight we were having issues with in our earlier attempts. We quickly took him down on our third attempt and made our way over to Valithria Dreamwalker to get the Portal Jockey achievement. It was almost too easy to get this achievement and heal Dreamwalker on easy mode, so we then pushed on to once again face Sindragosa and try and earn All You Can Eat.

For this achievement, it really takes a lot of raid coordination, and we had no problems getting to the second phase (or third phase depending on how you look at it) for the achievement. However, we kept having some poor luck with ice cube positioning and healers getting blocked, but we worked around it, figured out a strategy, and eventually we completed the achievement.

So that left us with just Been Waiting a Long Time For This
for our meta achievement. After reading up on a few strategies and figuring out positioning, on our last attempt of the night, we finally got the stack over 30, however, the tank went down at the last second due to the Lich King's stacking buff, and in the scramble to get him up, we lost another player and the chaos was just too much to recover from. Luckily, we'll have all the time in the world next week to work on it and I am certain we can get this fight down. What's tough about this achievement is that the achievement is done right at the start of the fight, so even if you manage to get the stacks to the required amount, you still have to defeat the Lich King (which our group has done only once). So it should be a good challenge for us next week.

While it's nice to be back and amongst friends, I'm still only logging in on our sole raid night. There's just nothing else to be done in the game and I am waiting patiently for Cataclysm to come along. Until then, I'll be content to raid one night a week with my friends and play other games while I wait.

Jul 21, 2010

It Is Done

It's been a long time coming, but thanks to some wonderful guildmates, a little bit of luck, and lots of perseverance, I have finally done it...9,000 achievement points.

I got that little push I needed a week ago when our 10 man was very short on players, so we decided to do a 5-man Naxx run. We ended up finding a few more than 5, but while we were there, we finally did And They Would All Go Down Together. Which finally...FINALLY completed my Glory of the Raider. Oh, and just for the hell of it, we did Spore Loser too.

But with the Glory of the Raider putting me so close, I had to seek out other achievements that I was close to completing - like Me and the Cappin' Makin' it Happen. I was at 46/50, so I just queued up for a few Arathi Basin fights, used my blink to beat everyone to the first flag every time, and even won a few games. This one really upset me though:

I didn't have the most damage, but you can clearly see I was atop the leaderboards - why? I didn't die. I had 44 honor kills and 19 killing blows (which I had no idea about until the end of the game). Otherwise I would have gone out and gotten Wrecking Ball. Oh well, them's the breaks.

So as you could see in my first picture, I got It's Over Nine Thousand! by completing Wintergrasp Ranger. I'd like to say I feel sorry about how I got it, but I don't. I could never get any hordies to come down and fight me fairly (I did try), so I had to wait for a mining node to spawn and then fight them when they tried to mine. So I easily killed this poor warlock once this way and he came back and then just flew around for 10 minutes, before finally thinking I wouldn't kill him again. But as he landed to collect some fire from a gas cloud, I once again blew him up. This time, he tried to put up a fight, but to no avail. So thank you Veroarth.

Jun 22, 2010

Ulduar Achievements

A couple of weeks ago, Ashielle decided to put together some 25 man Ulduar achievement runs. I missed out due to other engagements, but was able to make it this last Friday and Sunday.

So on Friday, we started with a fresh instance, and because they had done Orbituary the week before, we instead tried for Dwarfageddon and Shutout. I already had Shutout, but it was nice to get Dwarfageddon. We then went to Razorscale for one of the more tedious achievements, Iron Dwarf, Medium Rare. We got 18 dwarves on our first run through and quickly got the other 7 on our second try with the kill.

So we went on to XT-002 and got Must Deconstruct Faster, Nerf Gravity Bombs (already had), and Nerf Engineering (already had). We then went to Kologarn and after a few attempts, got With Open Arms. That was certainly interesting since you can't kill his hand, you can't break out more than 3 or 4 groups when he picks them up and it turns into a DPS race against those that die in the hand.

We then back-tracked a bit to the Iron Council and did the hardest of the three kill modes (and the only one I still needed): I Choose You, Steelbreaker. And with that awesome run done, we called it for the night.

We gathered up late Sunday after everyone had celebrated Father's Day and started on Auriaya. We quickly got Crazy Cat Lady after an accidental pull/wipe and then we went over to Hodir. After a few attempts with people learning the fight (yes, we've been doing this with people who have never seen Ulduar), we got I Could Say that This Cache Was Rare and I put out 18,000 DPS for the fight. Woo.

Last up for the night were some attempts at Thorim. On our first one, we got Siffed since that one is pretty easy to accomplish. Beating him with Sif down is another thing. But on our last attempt of the night, past our scheduled quit time, we got Lose Your Illusion. So another hard mode down. And not only that, we had our little mind controlled Dark Rune Warbringer, we all got Who Needs Bloodlust?

I'm looking forward to the 25 man run again this weekend as we'll get Orbituary (another 40 points as I have not done Flame Leviathan with any towers up) and hopefully the Ignis speed kill (skipped since they did it the week prior). Then we'll move on and hopefully get to Freya and maybe (gasp), the hardest of them all, Firefighter...

So I'm a happy gnome sitting on 8820 achievement points. I really need to get back into the BG's and get some more points there, but I've just been taking a break from Warcraft so no BG's for me as of now. Ashielle is also putting together a 10 man Ulduar group with people that have the drakes, so we'll be going for the other achievements that aren't part of the meta which makes me happy too.

Lastly, it's the Midsummer Fire Festival right now, so I'm working on getting another pet, the Frost Chip. Unfortunately, you only have one shot at him per day, so I will be really upset if he doesn't drop from the bag in the 14 attempts I have at him over the next two weeks. Yesterday, in my first bag though, I got the Frostscythe of Lord Ahune which is really cool, but ultimately, just takes up another spot in my bank.

Jun 3, 2010

ICC 10 Achievements

Tonight, after a little over an hour working on Sindragosa in 10 man hard mode, we lost one player for a while. So while he was gone, we decided to head over to attempt The Orb Whisperer for the couple of us that had missed it previously. We unfortunately kept having little mistakes crop up, but once our missing player returned, we easily got it. Then, on to Blood Queen to get Once Bitten, Twice Shy. It wasn't my turn this time to get it, so instead I got bitten and just did DPS for the run. But we got 2 more people in our 10 man the achievement and I should get it next week. With just 25 minutes left in our raid time, we almost called it, but then decided to go try the Rotface and Festergut achievements.

First up was Flu Shot Shortage on Festergut. Piece of cake. We actually got really lucky. The first two spores landed on each of the two mages, so we had nothing to do and could just run the rest of the fight as normal. So we quickly one-shot it and headed over to Rotface. We weren't quite sure of the correct strategy to use for Dances with Oozes. We originally were thinking we would use three tanks and just have two large oozes up at all times and just have the small oozes combine with them, but losing a DPS for a third tank just didn't make sense. So what we wound up doing is having our standard one tank on the large ooze but he would only combine that large ooze with another large ooze. When the large ooze combines with another large ooze, it only gains 1 stack of it's buff, so we could continually combine large oozes with the main large ooze until it had 4 stacks. At that point, we did have our boomkin shift to bear and taunt a large ooze while the small oozes just stayed on the individual players and didn't combine with anything until we burned him down.

So, all in all, it was a pretty great night. We still didn't get Sindragosa down in hard mode, but we got a bunch of achievements done and we're that much closer to the Icecrown meta achievement, Glory of the Icecrown Raider

May 27, 2010

Master Cook

It's been a while since my last update, but in the mean time, I've completed Glory of the Ulduar Raider (10), Gurubashi Arena Grand Master, and done a couple PvP achievements, but I finally did the 8 or so hours of grinding necessary to get my Brood of Nozdormu rep up to Neutral. Which means...Scepter of the Shifting Sands questlines.

Which also means...
Dirge's Kickin' Chimaerok Chops! I now know every recipe in the game for cooking (except the rogue-only Thistle Tea). So I'm a happy gnome.

Current stats:
Achievement Points: 8,615
Mounts: 117
Pets: 141/144

May 7, 2010

A Return to ICC 10 (Heroic)

Last night, the intrepid folks from Golden Aegis once again braved the horrors of Icecrown Citadel and defeated the abominations Festergut and Rotface in 10 man heroic.

It started out like any other night, cleared the first four with no problem, doing Lady Deathwhisper on heroic this week instead of going for the hard mode achievement like last week, which in turn rewarded me with Heroic: Storming the Citadel. We then were torn - Dreamwalker or the Plauge Quarter? We chose the Plague Quarter and 2-shot Festergut and 1-shot Rotface during our first time stepping into that quarter on heroic. We then attempted Putricide, made great progress, but decided to instead do Nausea, Heartburn, Indigestion so we could then go complete the Crimson Hall on heroic again.

Unfortunately nothing dropped for the mages last night, but the warrior and shaman in our group are now 4/4 sanctified after three more token drops for them. So congrats to Avielronis and Taalani. Next week, I'd like to work on Putricide more, but I think the healers want to try their hand at Dreamwalker. Either way, we're making great progress in 10 man heroics and I'm very proud of the whole team.

Apr 30, 2010

ICC Update

Last week, because I wanted to watch something on TV, I missed our usual Thursday night raid. Because of that, I wasn't around as the team worked through the first wing on heroic mode after our first downing of the Lich King. But they couldn't get Saurfang down, so we finished him up after our normal Sunday night 25 run. Well this week, I was ready to go kick some butt, and that we did.

It started with a very easy kill of Lord Marrowgar on heroic, netting me a very nice upgrade in the form of Frost Needle. We then continued on and opted not to do Deathwhisper on heroic, but instead go for her "hard mode," Full House. It took us two tries, but we got it. So on to the Gunship. For this one, we decided to challenge ourselves by doing I'm On a Boat in heroic mode. And it was eaaaaasy. And I got what I craved most of all...Muradin's Spyglass.

So we were three bosses in and I had three huge upgrades. We took two tries on Saurfang heroic mode (we love those tokens that drop) and then continued on to the Crimson Halls. We opted to do the Blood Council in heroic mode and after a couple of wipes using a mage as the Keleseth tank, once we switched to a paladin, we killed them. And wouldn't you know...they drop an upgrade for me too: Cerise Coiled Ring. It replaces my Runed Signet, so I lose my teleport to Dalaran, but I'll just use reagents now and not worry about it. After them, we went to Blood Queen. We wiped once as we learned about the massive damage she does in the new heroic mode and then we killed her (despite me dying with a bite...I got a battle res, continued doing normal damage and we killed her right at the enrage timer). She dropped a nice wand that would be an amazing upgrade from my ilvl 232 wands - Lana'thel's Bloody Nail, but our awesome priest wanted it as well so I passed to him after winning the roll since I had already gotten three huge upgrades.

So I not only finished off The Crimson Hall (because I missed the week that our 10 man downed her originally), but also got Heroic: The Crimson Hall and once we go back and do Deathwhisper on heroic, I'll get Heroic: Storming the Citadel. We also attempted Dreamwalker in heroic mode, but that is a tough fight, so we still have some work to do there. all in all though, it was an amazing night and we completely rocked it and I got some awesome gear.

Apr 15, 2010

Kingslayer and Starcaller?

Tonight, our third week attempting Lich King (10) and on our third attempt, he goes down! So here I sit, Tiddlywinks the Kingslayer!

So, with ICC clear, what to do? Go kill Algalon of course. So on our third attempt (3rd time is the charm), and Tiddlywinks the Starcaller!

A great night all around. Congrats to Golden Aegis for the #9 Lich King kill on the server.

Apr 14, 2010

Tukui and Updates

Obviously this poor little blog has been set on the backburner as I work on other projects and pursue new job opportunities, but Tiddlywinks is still going strong. Yesterday, Tukui was featured on both and and I was intrigued. It was functional, minimalist, and clean. So I backed up my Cache, WTF, and Interface folders and dove right in. After some tweaking, installing some addons of my own, and playing around with all the different features, I think I'm to a point that will work for me. I'm still missing my "DPS Bar" - the bar that held my All-in-One macro for DPS and showed the cooldowns for all my DPS boosters, but I will figure a way around it.

So for now, here's what we've got. It's the standard Tukui, tweaked a bit. I've added shading to the background of the chat box, installed both Recount and Omen and skinned them to integrate with Tukui, and I tweaked the code for Tukui to display my current spell hit % (which was working when I had last tried it, but it is not working now for some reason - hence the 0.00% spell hit under the map).

I also installed Cork, Decursive, MageNuggets (solely for spell steal info), MonkeyQuest, Overachiever, Power Auras (not yet set up), Scorchio2, and Sexy Cooldown. I had never used Sexy Cooldown in the past because I had my DPS bar, but now without it, I think Sexy Cooldown will do the job and allow me to use my cooldowns better. Since I can now time them to coincide with a Black Magic or Lightweave proc, I can hopefully get a little more DPS out of them.

Should you have any questions, just leave a comment.

Feb 10, 2010

Everything in One...

You'd think now that I've been playing a lot more, I'd be updating the blog a lot more, but there just hasn't been that much to write about.

Gear: Got four pieces of T10 today. Woot!

Pets: Got the one pet from the new Love is in the Air mini-boss. It was our fifth and final summon of my first day running the boss and I rolled a 100 to beat everyone else out for the pet.

Achievements: Got both Toravon achievements when he was released, finished up the final Love is in the Air achievement (Tough Love), and with Malygos being the weekly raid quest, today I got You Don't Have an Eternity (10) by 4 seconds.

Raids: Our 10 man has made progress on Putricide and have him to the 3rd phase on a regular basis. But we usually run out of time to attempt him more. So this week, we're clearing through Saurfang tonight so we can focus on the next wings on Thursday for our full raid. Our 25 man is also making progress. We have made good progress on the Blood Princes, but still do not have Festergut or Rotface down. But as each week goes by, our DPS and healing output goes up, so we'll get them down when the time is right.

Jan 26, 2010

The New-New UI

I haven't done a UI post since March, 2009 and when I run random heroics, I've been asked a couple of times how I track cooldowns and such to maximize my DPS. So here it goes. This is my current UI.

(click image to enlarge, click here for full size (warning: 775kb - 2560x1600))

So, let's start at the top. Across the top of the screen, I use ChocolateBar to display all my broker addons. Since FuBar is no longer the bar of choice as most plugins are using the broker display, it only made sense to switch. From left to right, we have:

  • BuffEnough - explained later
  • Cork - explained later
  • Decursive - to be explained later
  • Omen - explained later
  • Broker_BlizzEquipmentSet - an easy way to switch between my 3 defined equipment sets - PvP, PvE, and Naked
  • Broker_CPU Memory - your standard performance monitor
  • Broker_repair - a standard repair status
  • Broker_GemGuild - an easy way to see who is on in your guild
  • Broker_GemFriends - the easy way to see which friends are on
  • Broker_AltGuild - shows you who is on in a second guild of your choosing
  • Broker_Money - how much money you and your alts have
  • Broker_Portals - a one click stop for all portals, teleports, and other means of transportation (e.g. Dalaran ring, Argent Tourney Tabard, Hearthstone)
  • Broker_Wintergrasper - shows you who holds Wintergrasp, how long until the next battle, and best of all, can be configured to announce to yourself, or more (I have it announcing to the guild) when Wintergrasp starts (I announce at 15 and 5 minutes until the next battle)
  • HeadCount - I used to use this to track loot during our Gold Team 25 man runs, but I am no longer the loot master, but I still use it to track raids - a great tool
  • Prat - your standard chat modifier - I have found that it also handles alt names as well which has been awesome
  • Bartender4 - standard bar manager
  • Ora2 - raid manager (tanks, cooldowns, ready checks)
  • Grid - more on this later
  • GatherMate - tracks gathering nodes on your map
  • Chocolate Bar - your bar config

So now we can look at the left side of the screen. I keep it generally uncluttered. The less clutter on the screen, the better. Since our guild hasn't made the move to Ora3 yet, I'm still using Ora2 and it serves me well. I have my main tank frames and below that I can track cooldowns such as battle resses and other class-specific cooldowns. To the right of the cooldowns I have my Deadly Boss Mods timers. Towards the middle of the screen, you can see where they go when they are close to occurring, but we'll get to that later.

Over here on the right, we have a couple of important mods. First up is one I've been using for ages - Elkano's BuffBars. These buff bars are amazing and keep everything in an easy to see spot. I absolutely love them and have found nothing comparable. Next, there's this little box that shows my spellpower, cirt, haste and hit rating at that exact moment. This box is courtesy Mage Nuggets. Mage Nuggets has - as the name implies - many nuggets that are useful to a mage. I use this nugget and one other and have turned the rest off. It's pretty cool to be able to just glance over at any given point and see that my current SP, with all buffs from all raid members is 4,228. What's even more fun is watching my haste move up and down. Fully raid buffed, I'm sitting at about 41% haste. With Icy Veins, Pushing the Limit (2 piece T10 bonus), and Wrath of Air Totem, I'm at 99.98% - with Heroism, it's even better (I have another screenshot with heroism, but no Icy Veins which has me at 116.65% haste). And finally, we have Omen - it's THE threat meter to use. However, it seems like I only really need to use it in random heroics these days as the tanks in my guild rock.

(click image to enlarge)

Now, to the guts of the UI - the middle of my screen where all relevant information pops up and which commands my focus 99% of the raid time. At the very top, middle is me. I have everything spread out around me - it makes it easy to keep my situational awareness up since my eyes never have to stray far from the middle of the screen. Around me, I use Power Auras to give me information that I need the exact moment I need it. The ( 10 ) that you see shows how long I have left on my Icy Veins. Below it, in yellow will pop up a similar counter that shows how much time I have left on my Heroism. These two numbers are extremely important because if you are having mana issues and need an Evocate, if you trigger it with 1 second to go on either Icy Veins or Heroism, it benefits from the haste buff for the full duration of the channel. This obviously reduces your cast time and generates mana in the fastest way possible. The skull-like looking thing directly under my feet is my Missile Barrage alert. It tells me that I have Missile Barrage, and I need to use it ASAP. With 2 piece T10 giving that awesome haste bonus when a Missile Barrage is used, the current theorycrafting advises you use your Arcane Missiles with 2, 3, or 4 stacks of Arcane Blast - in essence, just use it as soon as you can to activate the hast bonus which will haste your missiles and two arcane blasts after the missiles.

Continuing down, we have Scorchio 2 to track my Arcane Blast stacks and other good information. It's always helpful to know exactly when your mirror images will fall off so you can start casting an Invisibility if you are above the tank's threat for some reason. Off to the left, I have my Grid setup so I can at a glance quickly determine who is still alive in the raid or who really needs some healing. It's always fun on a decimate to see everyone drop to no HP and then watch as some die while others are healed up. It's not necessary to really use this, but I just like to monitor the raid when I have time. And, if I can see 90% of the raid is dead, I can pop Invis and maybe stay alive rather than wipe. Directly to the right of that is a little green box. It seems to blend into Decursive, but it's not's BuffEnough. It turns green when you have all the buffs you need. Missing a well fed buff? It'll be red. No flask? Red. No Kings? Red. It's great and helps me if I've forgotten something during the buffing. So next to that, I've got Decursive. Just a quick click here and there to decurse when needed or to sheep that mind controlled target and I'm set. It's a great addon and one a mage might not think to have, but it just makes decursing so easy, there's no reason not to have it.

And now that green bar with all the cooldowns in the middle of it - what this is is a couple of things layered on top of each other. Underneath the green bar, we have a simple Bartender4 bar. This has all my most frequently used items. From left to right, we have: Evocation, Mana Gem, Escape Artist, Talisman of Resurgence, Icy Veins, Presence of Mind + Arcane Blast, Mirror Images, Arcane Power, and then the all-in-one button. The far right button is my macro that activates everything but POM+AB (since you can't use it at the same time as Arcane Power). So with just one click I can activate them all, or if two are off cooldown, I can activate those with one click. It allows me selective use of my cooldown abilities or use of them all at the same time. It's great. Overlaid on top of that is my Quartz cast bar. So as I'm casting, the cast bar shows up there, and I can easily see right under my cast bar which abilities are ready to be used. Why spread these items out when you can stack them and save room? The Quartz cast bar is amazing since it allows me to get a good idea of how my latency is affecting my cast timing which allows me to queue casts in a timely manner.

Lastly, at the bottom, we have your standard Pitbull unit frames. I have mine, the target's target, and my target as the ones that are shown all the time. Using my sheep focus macro, I'll have the focus target show up to the left of my target with my focus' target above the focus bar. To the right, my pet (if I'm controlling a pet or machine) shows up with my pet/machine's target above that. It all works out quite nicely.

Along the bottom, it's pretty standard - from left to right I have - my chat windows (all nicely formatted by Prat), my map (the awesome SexyMap), more Bartender buttons, a large blank space (which actually has more buttons that only show up on hover), and finally, Recount damage meters. Just used for my own personal tracking - because I hate nothing more than someone showing off because they just AOE'd the best on a trash pull - read here for a wonderful article on Why I Hate DPS Meters.

So that's pretty much it - however, there's some things missing. Right above my chat box, if I have to buff someone, Cork will alert me to that. It tells me to give Dalaran Intellect to someone (maybe just one person died on the fight), reminds me if my Molten Armor, and (though it doesn't work perfectly), reminds me to put Focus Magic on another mage.. It's a great little addon. I also use the Mage Nugget that pops up only when the target has a spell I can steal. It's lead to some great discoveries - like in Halls of Stone, a nice buff you can steal called Arcane Haste. I use it mostly for the Deathwhisper encounter, but it's fun to see what other spells are out there to steal. Other addons I use but which don't show up on the screen:

  • _NPCScan - alerts me when a rare mob is found
  • Ackis Recipe List - helps the compulsive collector side of me figure out which recipes I still need to obtain
  • Align - helps me get my screen all lined up perfectly
  • Auctioneer - if you don't know what it is, I can't help you...
  • Mapster - a great replacement for Cartographer which stopped working
  • Gather Mate - used with Mapster to track gathered nodes
  • Map Notes - as it sounds - notes for the map to be used with Mapster (or any other map addon)
  • Gymnast Tooltips - allows me to move the tooltip to the exact position I want it (lower-right just above Recount)
  • MonkeyQuest - the best way to track your quests (hidden in the upper-left corner while raiding)
  • OneBag and OneBank - all your bags and bank slots in one frame
  • Overachiever - THE way to easily browse achievements
  • Sunn Viewport Art - gives me the cool artwork around my top and bottom viewports
  • XLoot - the best way to track loot when used with XLootGroup, XLootMaster, and XLootMonitor. I love it.
And with that, my UI update is complete. Right now I'm extremely happy with my UI and don't plan on making any major changes in the days to come. Later today, when the maintenance boss is gone, I'll post the macros I use while raiding.

A Tribute To Skill

Last night, with our 25 man canceled (not sure why - lack of people on maybe?), we decided to form up a ToGC 10 man run. Previously I had run ToGC10 and we couldn't get past the faction champions, but last night, we tore through the place, reaching Anub'arak with 50 attempts remaining. We spent about 15 minutes explaining the fight, working out our strategy, making sure everything went as planned, and it all worked - almost. We got Anub to 2.0% when he wiped us. We were so close...yet still so far away. After having random fails on the next few attempts due to bad luck, people trying to kite too long, random spike damage on the tanks, we finally got him down with 41 attempts remaining. So no Tribute to Mad Skill when we were so close to a Tribute to Insanity. But we plan on going back in next week after our regular Monday night raid and take him down with 50 attempts left. It's definitely doable.

Jan 22, 2010

Slow Week

It's been a slow week on the side of Tiddlywinks. On the other hand, I just power leveled my rogue Tockett from 71-80 in about 2 days. It's almost too easy when you give him flight at level 71. But back to Tiddly, we went into ICC(10) again last night. We took down the 6 bosses we pretty much have on farm, but instead of going after Putricide, we wanted to see what the Blood Princes were like. That's a pretty crazy fight. I think we've got it down now, but we ran out of time without and they live to fight another day.

On the gear front though, I got some nice upgrades - I of course got my Bloodmage Hood right on time and last night found the Ether-Soaked Bracers. They are just the slightest upgrade over the Bejeweled Wizard Bracers, but they provide hit on them which I lost when I replaced my head piece. I now sit just 3 points below the hit cap, which I would rather have than being 7 points over. The other mages in my raid don't like how the Bloodmage Hood looks, but honestly, I think it's pretty damn imposing. And it looks awesome with the robe. Oh yeah, the two piece bonus is amazing as well.

On the achievement front, not much new. Got a couple in our 25 man run of ICC last week, but finally got Got My Mind on My Money (25,000)
(which now has me at 54/54 general achievements). Which is good...since I've been saving up lots of gold to buy Primordial Saronite. I almost was able to purchase 5 yesterday for 10.5k gold, but at the last second, the shifty druid decided to keep the saronite for his own boots...oh well. The prices were down to about 2,250 on the auction house earlier this week, but there are none on auction right now, so I expect prices to go back up. I only need 7 more to craft the most awesome leggings...

I've also been meaning to do an update to my UI posts since a lot has chanced since last march. I just keep forgetting to take screenshots while raiding, but I will try my hardest to remember this weekend when we do our 25 man raid. My UI is much cleaner than the previous post and works amazingly.

Jan 16, 2010

Gear Planning

I am having a lot of trouble these days planning my gear upgrades. I've been doing my dailies every day, so I can possibly get one crafted item with Primordial Saronite, however, by next Thursday I should be at (or close to) 95 Emblems of Frost, allowing me to get my 2nd piece of tier 10, the Bloodmage Hood (I believe this is the best possible upgrade at the current time. Using Rawr's Item Cost feature, it tells me the hood is the best next upgrade. So I switch out my head piece, do a quick optimization, and Rawr tells me to then swap out my Khadgar's Gauntlets of Triumph for Gloves of the Lifeless Touch (which have been sitting in my bag, ungemmed and unenchanted for ages). And also to swap my rods out (hit/haste swapping). So we'll go with that optimized setup for now...

Setting the optimizer to choose my next two emblem purchases, it quickly spits out that I should purchase the T10 Shoulders and Legs. However, it doesn't take into account that I should be able to purchase one crafted item with Primordial Saronite. If I optimize with the Leggings of Woven Death selected, it tells me to obviously get the Shoulders and Gloves. If I optimize with the Sandals of Consecration selected, it tells me to go with the T10 Shoulders and Legs. However, I don't think I can get both the crafted boots and legs, so if I have to pick one, which way do I go? I think it's the legs.

Optimized with legs, acquiring T10 Shoulders & Gloves = Rawr "Score" of 8949.536
Optimized with feet, acquiring T10 Shoulders & Legs = Rawr "Score" of 9014.053

So it's a 70 point gain I believe to get the legs crafted before the boots. However, the problem I run into is I can't accurately predict what other upgrades I might get along the way. What if I get the Plague Scientist's Boots this weekend from Festergut? Well then the Sandals are of no use. And if I get other upgrades as I work towards my 3rd piece of T10, then everything could change. I guess I'd just like to figure out what to shoot for next after acquiring the Bloodmage Hood. Rawr tells me my best next purchase is the Gloves of False Gestures, but that makes no sense with T10 gloves, so it then tells me to get the Circle of Ossus, which is a beautiful belt, but then it puts me in the position of waiting even longer for 4pcT10.

I'm still stuck, and here I thought I had it all figured out...

Jan 15, 2010

A New Title and More

I just added my latest title to my ever growing list of titles - Twilight Vanquisher Tiddlywinks. Last weekend, I saw someone looking for 5k+ DPS for a Sarth 3D 25 man attempt. I of course was intrigued, so decided I'd lend a hand. After multiple attempts, at the end of the hour (and on the last try I had before I was leaving for the night), we got him down. We did a classic zerg, but rather than having a druid kite the drake away, the tank held him, which, inevitably led to his demise. We had some people arguing about it, but in the end, we got him down - through a rogue evade tanking Sarth after the tank went down.

It was certainly a crazy fight and through the attempts, I was able to pull more than 8k DPS for the fight - of course, most of it was burst with the heroism at the start, so I was doing 9k+ for a good amount of time, which would then decline as the fight went on. Here's my log for his death (note: it will expire, sorry about that). I ended up doing a sustained 7.7k DPS for the fight.

And while, during the 6 attempts, I died once due to stupidity, there were many others there that I just could not understand how they could not grasp the fight. They'd get caught in flame walls repeatedly, get hit by a void zone, etc. I know it's easy to get caught up in your rotation and the fight does get pretty crazy at times, but there's only two mechanics you need to constantly look out for - flame walls and void zones - that's it! And yes, I died in a void zone once. I moved out of the way from a flame wall and got complacent in my positioning and was watching other things on the screen. But it only happened once...not each and every time like some others were failing on.

Lastly, I did not get the drake (or I would have posted much sooner!). A warlock who did weak DPS barely outrolled me for it. I was stoked when I got my 87, but I didn't think it'd hold up, and the lock ended up rolling a 95. But I got a couple new achievements and a new title, so I was happy.

Rotface Down

After a couple weeks of attempts, our 10 man team finally got Rotface down. A couple of quick observations:

- 2 heal it. We were always overwhelmed when we had three healers. The extra DPS is essential in this fight (especially in the last 30%) so you must find a way to 2-heal the fight if you can.

- Use Heroism within 35%. Again, even though it might be anecdotal evidence, every time we got under 35%, slimes started to spawn much quicker. Reading through all the posts around the net, people are still debating if the slimes get thrown out quicker by Rotface based on time elapsed or based on his HP. We believe it his HP that triggers faster slime generation. If this is the case, it is essential that heroism be saved until the end.

- Pally OTs - use Blessing of Freedom and cleanse the slime people. We had our pally tank who was on the large slime moving around the outer ring of the room - but whenever he would encounter a quadrant with ooze, he would detour close to the boss in the middle of the room. By using Blessing of Freedom, the ooze did not snare him and the damage it does in inconsequential. Similarly, since we were 2-healing the fight, the healers did not have time to cleanse the slimes off of people. The OT makes a perfect cleansing candidate. While he is kiting the large slime, he could easily cleanse us as we ran towards him. Alternatively, if you have a ret pally or shadow priest DPSing, they can cleanse too. Having the healers cleanse is a waste of a global cooldown that should be used for heals.

So there you have it...Festergut and Rotface down - Festergut is a push over once you figure out the extent of his damage once he has inhaled all the mist. Our healers now know what to expect and we one shot him this week. As for Professor Putricide, we still have a ways to go on him. We extended our scheduled raiding time last night to get 9 tries in on him and he's one tough SOB. We got him down to about 50% on our best try, but we lost the abomination at a critical time, so we are learning...and we might get lucky next week, but it'll probably be a couple weeks before we get the Professor down.

Jan 4, 2010

Weekend Round Up

What a fun weekend it was. Ok, maybe not. I already have abandoned my new year's plan of running a couple hours of PvP each weekend - but then again, I was exceptionally busy this weekend, so maybe next weekend. But, I did log on long enough on Saturday and Sunday to get my dailies done and do the random heroic. On Saturday, the day had finally come, after grouping with 4 random people, Looking For Multitudes was complete and the Perky Pug was mine! So there I was playing with my new Pug and I see a Cracked Egg sitting in my inventory. It had been there for a couple of days, just waiting to be opened, so, expecting some yolk, I opened it and...Reins of the Green Proto Drake is mine!

So now that I never have to buy a Cracked Egg again, maybe I should switch back to the Wolvar - at least it'd make me do more dailies each day to get back to exalted. Oh yeah, I knew there was something I forgot. I finally hit exalted with the Explorer's League. The Frostborn will be exalted soon and running Icecrown, hopefully I can get The Ashen Verdict up quickly, which will give me 39 exalted reputations and I'll struggle to get that 40th. I'm closest with The Scale of the Sands, but no one runs Hyjal any more so it'll probably be Ratchet rep that I'll grind out for #40 and then I'll work on finishing off the three other goblin reps.