Archive for the “General” Category

I’ve mentioned a few times but as a recap, I played a Destruction Warlock for raiding during most of Pandaria, and with the coming of Warlords I remain committed to being ready to raid on the character. Not sure where that’s going at the moment, seem to be a raider without a team, but I’m certainly ready to do LFR tonight if I can possibly stand it. I still have two iLevel 615 items that linger on like the smell of a dead woodchuck in a dryer vent, but I might replace both tonight with crafted items. I really like that Blizzard lets us pick what items we craft for ourselves, we’re just limited to having three equipped. Allows for a lot of flexibility.

For raiding, there is the Warlock. Cocked, locked and ready to rock. Or is that rocked, cocked and ready to ‘lock? Meh.

That’s the raiding, sure. The group stuff with people. Being part of a team.

When it comes to having fun playing with myself, it’s the Feral Druid.

It feels to me like something came full circle with Feral Druids in Warlords. Kitty Druids are, shit, I don’t know. It feels wrong to say they’re fun again, because I don’t think they ever stopped being fun.

I think what happened for me was that the division between Feral and Guardian split my love in two, and neither spec alone fulfilled the feral itch for me anymore.

That’s all changed, and my love has come back to me. No, that’s wrong. I’ve returned to the love I once abandoned, and it has welcomed me with open paws.

I’m feeling really good about playing as a Cat again. I’ve been having a good time solo leveling through Draenor.

I’m looking forward to writing about playing as a kitty in the future, something I haven’t done in a long time now, but for now, I’d like to break down some of the changes and comparisons that are firing my imagination and causing so much soloing love.

One of the big changes for me is a stark comparison in playstyles for the stealthy-minded sort.

After patch 6.0 came but before Warlords was fully released, I spent a lot of time on both my Rogue and my Feral Druid. I rapidly leveled my Rogue to 90, at the same time I prepared my Druid with new gear and achievement in advance of the expansion.

Side by side playing a Cat and a Rogue, I could clearly see two different approaches to being a stealthy leather-wearing melee DPS that use combo points.

Again, this is purely from a ‘damn this is fun to play solo and cat around Draenor’ point of view. It sure as HELL isn’t about maximizing DPS. It’s about fun for me.

The playstyle for Feral Druid feels… stripped down. Cut to the bone. No frills, no distractions. If you choose to, every combo point action you take can cause DPS, while still allowing for a lot of survivability.

Rogues spend combo points to set up their big DPS buff timer, and again later in place of a DPS finishing move to cast a HoT on themselves when they need healing. Rogues get plenty of defensive actions too, no question, lots and lots of tools in the box. But when it comes to buffing DPS and healing themselves regularly without blowing a cooldown, Rogues are spending combo points to do it, points that aren’t being used on DPS finishing moves.

For the Kitty things are much different.

For one thing, Savage Roar is our version of a combo point DPS buff on a timer… but there are two Glyphs you can choose from to remove the need to manage that buff or spend points on it. Glyph of Savagery puts Savage Roar up ALL the time but at 10% less power, and Glyph of Savage Roar puts it up for free any time you Rake or Shred while you were Prowling.

Two choices for removing the need to spend combo points on the buff. For raiding, you’re likely to want Glyph of Savage Roar.

But for soloing? Glyph of Savagery gives you the buff at a reduced level of effectiveness, and lets you focus all of those combo points on finishing moves.

Yes, you lose DPS by reducing the power of Savage Roar. I haven’t done tests yet because i’m not at 100 , but I imagine you’ll be losing a lot. See what I mean about not suited for raiding? But what you gain is not just one less buff timer to manage, you also gain those combo points to spend on direct damage or DoT uptime. It’s a DPS loss, but not as much of one as you might expect. You have to figure losing 10% DPS from Savage Roar against the increased frequency of DPS finishing moves, those same moves also being 10% less effective than they could have been.

For soloing, does it really matter?

The other thing is that Cat Druids don’t have to spend combo points to heal yourself. The talent Ysera’s Gift gives you tiny healing every 5 seconds, and when you pop any full five combo point finishing move you trigger a free instant cast of Healing Touch that doesn’t drop you out of forms.

Sounds good? Ah, but the catch is that you’re not a healer so your Healing Touch sucks. Ah! But there’s more. With Dream of Cenarius, your Healing Touch and Rejuvenation are 20% more effective. With the Glyph of Cat Form, all healing done to you is increased in effectiveness by another 20%.

And as you level, your Rejuvenation gets empowered so you can cast it in Cat Form. You can keep that going as well.

Incarnation King of the Jungle is an awesome talent that provides VERY powerful burst DPS and looks neat… but if you choose to take Soul of the Forest, you’ll be getting back more energy with your finishing moves, which lets you do more Shreds, which builds more points for finishing moves… all of which trigger more free Healing Touch spells.

It’s the opposite of a vicious circle… it’s a ring of delight, as doing more damage causes you more opportunity for healing in an endless chain.

I have been using Heart of the Wild myself in the early levels because I like to pop bear form and HotW, pretend I’m still a Feral Druid with effective Cat AND Bear forms all the time.

Last night I admit, I tried out a Dream of Cenarius build for a bit, and I never ended any fight with less than full health.

It’s almost like kitty heal tanking.

Almost.

For soloing and tearing up rares in Draenor, it’s been a blast.

So let me run this down for you. With Glyph of Cat Form, Glyph of Savagery, Ysera’s Gift, Soul of the Forest and Dream of Cenarius, your DPS rotation can be streamlined down to Rake, Shred to 5 combo points, Rip, free Healing Touch, Shred to 5 combo points refreshing Rake as needed, Ferocious Bite, free Healing Touch, and when the target is below 25% stop worrying about Rip, the Ferocious Bite automatically refreshes it.

Or, to be simpler; Rake, Shred(x?), Rip, Shred(x?), Bite. Heal if it feels good to you, one’ll be available ALL the damn time. Getting tight on health? Rejuvenate too!

This… this is not a complicated rotation, lol.

And this is without using the Glyph of Ferocious Bite, which adds even more self-healing for every Bite! I like my reduced cooldown on Dash while soloing. But I could almost convince myself to make do with Stampeding Roar, and sacrifice more frequent Dashes to really see how silly kitty heal tanking can get on rare mobs.

Now, I’m not max level yet. I’m leveling like a fiend, but I’ve been dead set on gearing my Warlock for raiding. I’ve been coming late to this.

But think on this. At level 100, you get new talents to choose from.

I’ll admit that I’m fascinated to try out Claws of Shirvallah. A new visual form that makes you a humanoid shaped kitty? Interesting to try, I can hardly wait to see it.

But I love true cat-form too much to expect to want to use it. Lunar Inspiration gives you kitty moonfire. Is that awesome or what?

Ah, but as neat as that is, what have we been talking about? Healing without sacrificing DPS. Kitty heal tanking.

And what could be better than flipping that around with Bloodtalons, the level 100 talent that makes your next two melee abilities after casting Healing Touch do 30% more damage.

Just… Ring of delight. Your attacks give you free heals that in turn increase your damage from attacks.

Oh, are you taking a lot of damage? Now we can honestly say the proper response is DEEPS HARDER. Yes!

For raiding, not so much. You don’t have to be totally self–sufficient in the healing department when you’re with a raid team.

But for soloing? For stealthy adventuring in the deepest dark corners of the map?

RAWR.

I’ll tell you… it plays even more fun than it sounds. So much fun.

Moonfire is so tempting, though. And I love Heart of the Wild and popping bear form. And so many fun movement choices, teleporting, always running fast, ugh. So many fun choices that matter in our talent tree!

This is a GOOD THING. So much fun, handle it!

Comments 4 Comments »

There are some great guides to Garrisons and Followers at Wowhead and Icy Veins, so much hard work went into them at both sites. I am very grateful to the writers and researchers at both websites, it’s helped me a lot.

I’m not here to write a guide, but over the last few weeks there have been a few things that I’ve found out from doing that I want to write down, kind of a long term reminder to myself about how a few things are working for me.

First, I love my Garrison but it’s the Follower and Mission sub-game that has drawn my focus the most. That is where I keep spending my idle time.

There are many missions you can send your Followers on. Having the Barracks at level 1 adds an extra mission type. They’re called Patrol missions, and you tell which ones they are on the mission list. They have a spyglass icon next to them instead of the crossed-swords of the normal missions.

Patrol missions count towards getting your level 3 Barracks; you need to complete 50 patrol missions (account-wide achievement!) to be able to buy the Barracks level 3 blueprint. That was the holy grail for my Garrison, because it let me have an extra 5 active Followers.

I didn’t really understand that the Spyglass identified the Patrol missions, so I wasn’t focused on doing those every time they popped up. Once I did, I leveled three alts to 91 and unlocked their tier 2 Garrisons, kept their barracks, and started looking for Patrol missions. There are a couple that pop up frequently at the 90 and 91 level ranges, so I got the 50 Patrol achieve a few days later. Lesson learned… almost too late.

The missions I get for Followers depends on the level range of the Followers I have active. I haven’t fully tested it yet, but it seems that Followers assigned to a building don’t count towards this, and the Followers that are not active DEFINITELY don’t count towards it.

This means that all you need is a single low level Follower active to keep those low level fast missions coming, with the gold and XP rewards. The level ranges seem to be 90-94, 95-98, then 99-100. Could be a little different either way, I’ve been trying to track it, but I always have Followers out so it’s hard to stop long enough to give a 24 hour span for my missions to reset.

I want as many missions as possible, especially of all level ranges. Lots of missions gives lots of opportunities for XP for Follower leveling, and most importantly for Salvage Crates.

Once a Follower is level 100, the gear grind can begin.

There are special gear quests available when your Followers reach higher iLevels. There are also tasty level 100 Patrol missions at iLevel 600 (base).

Once I had a reasonable amount of Followers at 100, I started getting the max level Patrol missions that had as a bonus 8000, 10000, 12000 and even 15000 XP.

Epic Followers have two abilities to satisfy win conditions, and Blue/Green Followers only have one ability. By focusing on leveling epic Followers first, it gave me a chance to have 2 Followers cover three or even four win conditions on their own, and let me use the third spot for leveling lower level or quality Followers. Lower level Followers only get a percentage of main and bonus XP, but even 10% of 15000 XP is a nice chunk for a level 92, and for Green level 100s it’s a sweet boost.

Then there are the normal missions, missions unlocked at different Follower iLevel ranges that can have dungeon or raid gear rewards.

The three iLevel break points for missions are 615, 630 and 645. Your Followers can currently have a max level of 655.

With 2 or more Followers at level 100, you start getting missions that award iLevel 615 gear.
With 2 or more Followers at iLevel 615, you start getting missions that award iLevel 630 gear.
With 2 or more Followers at ilevel 630, you start getting missions that award iLevel 645 gear.
With 2 or more Followers at iLevel 645, you start getting Highmaul raid missions that can bring you back iLevel 655 gear. Or is it 665? It might be 665. I haven’t gotten one of these yet, so I don’t know. It might be 655 from the Follower Missions, and 665 is possible from the Big Salvage Crates only.

Sound sweet? This is live, right now, and attainable. I have several guildies that are sharing links to their 655 loot from Follower missions, or sometimes from Salvage Crates directly. Whether you raid or not, this is a big prize dangling in front of you that you can do before ever seeing the inside of a raid. I have a team out there bringing me back iLevel 645 boots as we speak. They’re chugging along, making my money. Gotta love ‘em.

As far as I can tell, there are only three ways to increase your Follower item levels; items from Salvage Crates from the Salvage Yard small building, items from the 4 hour Work Orders using Garrison Resources at the Dwarven Bunker / War Mill, or as rewards from missions.

Salvage Crates are probably one of the coolest ways, since you can game it. Once you complete the Gnome area with the quest Flame On in Spires of Arak, Kimzee gives you the blueprint for the Salvage Yard. You want to get this as quick as you can, and then upgrade it to level 2. At level 2, every mission you send your Followers on regardless of difficulty level has a chance to give you a Salvage Crate.

You open your Salvage Crates IN the Salvage Yard, and they have a chance to have vendor trash, level 2 crates can have Follower upgrades, and level 3 crates can have damn near anything, including rare transmog gear, BoE ilevel 665 epics, you name it.

You can game this by making sure you have some low level Followers in your mix, so you spawn many, many low level short duration missions to send Followers on. The more missions, the more chances at Salvage Crates, the more shots at Follower upgrades to boost your main team.

I am torn about the difference between a level 2 or 3 Salvage Yard. This is purely hearsay, but I’ve heard that even with a boosted chance to drop Salvage Crates with a level 3 Salvage Yard, you get a net LOSS of Follower Upgrades because you’ve got a much larger potential loot list for the crates.

I’m all about the Followers, time enough to get drops for ME once my Followers are all pimped out. Your mileage may vary, and the chance at BoE iLevel 655 epics is a strong lure to upgrade sooner.

The Dwarven Bunker / War Mill is the other building that can give you Follower upgrades. I know it’s slow, because it’s only a CHANCE at an upgrade, and each Work Order takes 4 hours to deliver. Also, it eats Garrison Resources like candy. Still, I’ve gotten some pretty sweet Follower upgrades from mine over the last week, and they all add up. Also, the building once at level 3 will feed me a bonus loot rool each week, so it will have long term value as well, even after the Followers are leveled.

What I’ve done doesn’t seem to be the best way, but time will tell. I built a Lumber Mill, a Dwarven Bunker, a Salvage Yard and a couple profession buildings. I keep the Lumber Mill stocked up, I keep a few low level Followers active to feed me lots of missions for XP and Salvage Crates, and when I get Follower upgrades, I give them to my epic 100s first.

I spread the upgrades around until all my epics had 615 instead of maxing one out completely and moving on. I also kept sending my Green and Blue Followers on missions to try and get them to higher quality.

My thinking behind this is that the more overlapping coverage my Followers have as Epics, the higher the possibility that I can get 100% on those important gear missions, as well as carry lowbies. I might be wrong because this prevents me from seeing the highest tier of missions at all. A chance, however thin, is still a chance.

I have yet to get a mission for a Manual of Dance, but you can bet that when I do, I know exactly which Follower with useless traits I’m gonna make dance for me.

I’m sure everyone else out there is just as smitten with these Followers and missions as I am… and I’m sure you already know all this. But I somehow keep forgetting things like ilevel break points and stuff, so phooey, it’s useful to me to write it all down.

One last thing.

When a Follower reaches a new gear iLevel, the piece of displayed gear they are wearing or carrying changes too. I watched it happen.

When my Millhouse Manastorm went from 642 to 645 in weapon, the weapon he was carrying changed too. So keep an eye out, see what kind of iconic armor changes your Followers go through as you gear them up!

Have fun in Draenor!

Comments 3 Comments »

The world is a magical place.

Can I tell you about my very favortist thing? Can I? Huh? Can I?

Well, my very favoritist thing be the Garrison, sure. Sorry, that was misleading.

Oh, what part?

Just Garrison.

Wandering through the streets being greeted by the followers I’ve met, quested with, rescued and discovered in out of the way places.

Seeing my Cinder Kitten walk by… or a green puff of cloud from my Creepy Crate as it explores a suspicious looking corner. Or my Ruby Droplet I named Monstre wandering by, with the name I gave him right there, and my Crimson Whelpling Lil’ Alex flying on by, possibly to investigate reports of Black Rat sightings in the lower section of the mine.

Or… or just Garrison.

But my favoritist thing that HELPED my fledgling Garrison, the thing that lifted me out of deepest darkest grumpiness, THAT is what I want to talk about.

I’m talking about Treasure Maps.

Oh, so tasty. So lovely. So damn HELPFUL.

See, I focused early on about unlocking stuff… and it never occured to me that I might have to wait once I unlocked a recipe to be able to build up enough Garrison Resources to build all those wonderful structures.

In the beginning, Garrison Resources seemed to rain like manna from the sky, bountiful and sufficient unto the day. Missions for my followers? Dwarven Bunker work orders? Building upgrades? Spend the resources, for look how many we get from all these quests!

Certainly there will always be more. Right?

Right?

For my first Medium building, I did build a Lumber Mill, because I was warned early on by Icy Veins that Garrison Resources would be a concern later on… but I didn’t really believe it.

I’ll admit, it didn’t help that as soon as I could, I replaced my Barracks with a Dwarven Bunker, and I replaced my Storehouse with a Salvage Yard when I unlocked the recipe. Those builds and tear downs and rebuilds cost resources. Resources I’d want later on.

And of course, the Dwarven Bunker work orders eat resources like candy when you’re trying to upgrade your Followers. And the Followers use up resources for every mission, unless you’re lucky enough to get lots of Resource missions… or have a Follower that can Scavenge really well… which I didn’t.

I reached level 100 with a really nice Garrison… but I could see the draught of resources coming like a hard, bleak winter coming early on the crops.

I was even forced to cut back on my Follower missions, to carefully ration them out so as to save up for those Lumber Mill level 3 and Barracks level 2 upgrades. A mission here, a mission there, my poor Followers were left to wistfully ask me, ‘Will we be fighting the Horde TODAY, Commander?”

No, Qiana, no I’m afraid not. Druids that live in Bear form are just too expensive to keep fed. Why can’t you just, like, eat a talbuk or something while you’re out there, huh?

What, you’re a vegetarian? And on a gluten free diet, too? Sigh.

But then… then, just as I had hit 100 and was contemplating these Garrison Resource woes, I read through the brilliant Garrison Follower guide on Wowhead one more time, and my eye was struck by the mention of a treasure map.

Whatever could that be?

So I looked up the Shadowmoon Valley Treasure Map to find out more. I was intrigued. My whole experience with treasure chests before had led me to expect rare, out of the way chests hidden in caves. Maybe the map would show me where one or two chests were? Or maybe they would give me a quest to find a chest that had a bottle of rum and a shitty green BOE item.

That is, after all, how I’ve been trained in previous expansions.

Imagine my shock at finding that Grakis in Stormshield, Ashran sold maps to each of the zones the Alliance quested in, and would be happy to sell you one just as soon as you completed all of the storyline achieves for a zone. And those maps would add the treasures directly to your map! MANY treasures! MANY MANY!

This is where the magic starts for Alliance

This is where the magic starts for Alliance

Whaaaaat? You mean I actually get a benefit from obsessively doing every quest in every zone this expansion?

Aw Yeah

I had four of them unlocked (and still do, as you can see from the pic my Nagrand questing got derailed completely once I had treasure maps in my furry mitts).

Off I went to Shadowmoon Valley to see what they meant by treasure. I got one or two things while questing, how many more could there be?

UM.

Holy shit!

So. Many. Treasures.

OHMIGOD So many shinies!

Oh my.

Now, not every treasure gives you Garrison Resources. There are lots of cute items, greens, some pets, some consumables, all sorts of different things.

But there ARE treasures with Garrison Resources. And when you set out to collect them ALL in every zone, we’re talking gathering up a thousand or more resources, just within a zone or two.

Plus did I mention pets? Yeah, you know I like mah pets.

Yeah. So, my Garrison Resource woes were over before they began. And I got to see even more of every nook and corner of the zones. Gave me an opportunity to run across more Rares as well, which are little more than Garrison Resources on the hoof. And more cute items, of course.

If you haven’t gone to Ashran and scored some treasure maps, don’t overlook this wonderful thing. So much fun!

If you’re Alliance, you buy your maps from Grakis in Stormshield, and if you’re Horde you buy them from Srikka. They are the Archeology vendors in Ashran.

A few things I’ve learned along the way, at least as of this writing.

First, the treasures are showing up on my main map just fine, but usually not on my minimap until AFTER I do a /reload ui command. Once I run that in a zone, the minimap shows them along with tracking arrows pointing to the closest ones. I think it was related to flying into a zone and needing to refresh the map.

Second, when you think you’re standing on a treasure and you can’t find it, when in doubt, look for the cave or overhang. Most of the time they’re in caves you didn’t even know were beneath you, or way over your head on a cliff edge or a massive mushroom.

in those cases, I made extensive use of my Engineering Goblin Glider. Don’t forget, you can get your own Goblin Glider Kit from any friend with an Engineering building (I think from the follower you assign there. I have such a follower assigned to mine, I’ll check later). These Goblin Glider Kits are useable by anyone, you don’t need to be an Engineer. They are consumables, though, just like the ones from the Timeless Isles. They stack to 20, but aren’t they just so useful? EVERYONE CAN FLY for a teeny, tiny amount of time.

Okay, so it’s not flying… it’s falling with style.

The other thing I personally keep forgetting, is that if you chose the Lumber Yard in Gorgrond as your outpost, you got access to the Mechashredder 5000. This thing may be fun for chewing up mobs, but it also has built in rocket packs to let you fly! Like, fly around including straight up!

I can’t tell you how long I spent on one gentle step off an Ogre roof to try to get a dangling pack of treasure, only to go too far each time. I finally got it by walking off, and while standing there, THEN it occured to me I could have just flown the hell up! Grr.

So much fun in Draenor. So many things to do, just finding all the items to get Image of Archmage Vargoth as a follower took up an enjoyable evening of exploration and fun.

Now, a public service message.

I know people are already calling for more Garrisons in the next expansion.

What I’m hoping is that over the course of THIS expansion, we unlock new content and new patches, we get closer and closer to Sargeras unleashing the full blown burning crusade on our new world, and when they do, the next expansion focuses on building upon our existing Garrisons here on Draenor.

Instead of an expansion that moves the focus of the action to a brand new zone somewhere else where we will wonder how we start a new Garrison concept anew all over again, my fervent hope is that the link we have between Draenor out of time and the Azeroth of our temporal stream draws the full attention of Sargeras like a beacon in the heavens, and when it does Draenor will be transformed… and our Garrisons will still be relevant, and have more opportunities to grow.

No idea.

Oh, also, am I the only one that loves seeing the world change for the better after we quest through it thanks to zoning?

I went back to the beach village where the Alliance crashes ashore in Shadowmoon, and it’s no longer overrun by pale orcs and chaos and fires. It’s now a lovely, peaceful fishing village and a great place to kick back, drink a few and fish a few more.

All this time I’ve wished that, once I’d completed my quests to rescue a village or stop an invasion, that once I’d killed the mobs and put the fires out they’d stay saved the next time I came through.

And now they do! So nice, so so nice.

I hope everyone reading this has found something they are enjoying, something they are thankful to discover in the game, some reason to be positive. It’s a marvelous expansion, and if they continue building future expansions along these lines they’ve got absolutely nothing to worry about.

Comments 5 Comments »

It’s been a heck of a week, and no mistake.

I just wrote a page and a half about what heirloom weapons are and where they came from. Then I deleted it.

You’re welcome.

If you play the game, you already know. If you don’t, I doubt if you really care about the details.

Last Sunday before our scheduled Mythic raid we knocked off Garrosh on heroic mode from our previously saved run to get everyone who went the previous Wednesday an Heirloom.

Since then, we’ve killed Garrosh on heroic… oh, just a few more times.

Since time is getting short on doing this before the expansion is released, I wanted to make sure my friends knew about this and how it’s being done. I think Blizzard is specifically fine with it as well, based on one hotfix that went out that seemed to have no point other than making SURE this system worked the way I’m going to describe. I’m talking about the raid leader lockout hotfix.

Here you go. This is what my raid leader and other members of the Mythic team had heard of and worked out the details to, a method of allowing a raid team to perform chain runs killing Garrosh with the same characters.

The way this works right now is as follows.

One character, who I shall call the Keeper of the Key, raids and kills all the heroic (or normal) SoO bosses through Paragons of the Klaxxi. Then that character is put aside as the keeper of the raid ID keys.

When your raid team is ready to begin chain running Garrosh, the Keeper of the lockout Key is the one that begins the raid. They are the raid leader, they invite the other players into the raid team, they make absolutely certain the group is converted to a raid and set to the correct difficulty, and then and ONLY then the Keeper of the Key and ONLY that character enters the instance first and verifies that it is on his lockout and everything prior to the trash before Garrosh is already dead.

Once that is checked out and correct, everyone else in the raid can zone in.

Once other people are in the raid instance, the original Keeper of the Key can make everyone else assist so invites can continue to go out, and he can hearth out or take a portal, whatever so long as he leaves the instance. Then the Keeper of the Key must LOG OFF.

Still in the raid group, just outside and offline.

I want to say that again. The keeper of the key is still in the raid group, but is out of the instance and offline. That player can now switch to another character, get invited into the raid group and zone on in.

The raid instance is now full of people who can kill Garrosh without any of the earlier bosses, and the original Keeper of the Key character will NOT have a Garrosh kill recorded. He will still have a valid and usable raid lockout available.

The raid group kill the trash mobs, kills Garrosh, and gets their chance at loot. Use bonus rolls, etc.

Once Garrosh is dead, everyone must physically leave the raid instance. This is important, because it’s got to be reset.

The offline Keeper of the Key character logs back in, resets the instance, and it begins all over again.

Keeper of the Key walks into the reset instance, verifies that it’s right back at Garrosh trash again, the other members of the raid team walk back in, he hearths and logs off, and the cycle begins anew.

Yes. I’m telling you that you can currently chain kill Garrosh on heroic or normal difficulty over and over, as many times as your raid team can stand it, and as long as your Keeper of the Key works it just right each time.

Now, why the big deal about saving the lockout? Who cares? It’s only your first kill of Garrosh without having had an heirloom before that gives you that 100% drop chance.

It is true you only get one shot at normal Garrosh loot once a week, per character per kill.

HOWEVER.

The heirloom drops are proven by us to be on a separate loot roll from normal ‘once a week’ loot. Every single time you kill Garrosh in the same week, that extra roll for a bonus chance at an heirloom weapon happens. Trust me on this, in the last week of chain killing heroic Garrosh I have seen a LOT of people getting heirlooms.

Also, and this is nice if there is still loot you want from Garrosh (like the Tier tokens you can turn in to pick the specific Tier piece you want) you can still use a Warforged Seal bonus roll every kill.

I know that the plate Mannoroth Shoulders are an insanely rare drop from Garrosh, and our main tank Monstre has been trying to get them since the first kill, and bonus rolling every time. No shoulders have ever dropped for our raid group. They haven’t dropped once. I know we’re committed to running this damn thing until he’s got them, or we pass out.

So, reasons.

I am still unclear if you can get an Heirloom off of a bonus roll now. Some have said yes, some have said no, all I can say is I haven’t had one myself yet so I don’t know. I personally don’t think so, but with thousands lf Lesser Charms on my main, it doesn’t matter. I’m bonus rolling every kill anyway.

I do know for a fact from my own personal observation that characters that have already killed Garrosh two, three or even four times in one week can get a random Heirloom weapon drop.

That is why to save a Garrosh lockout and to have your raid team spend an evening chain killing the idjit. Every time you kill him, you have a chance to get a random heirloom weapon.

There is also one other reason to chain kill Garrosh.

If most of the raid team is on their mains hoping for an Heirloom drop, there is room for one or two of them to swap to a lesser geared alt. An alt that is guaranteed to get an heirloom weapon appropriate for their loot spec. If you really, really want that one heirloom before the expansion, if the team can accommodate you then you can go in once on that alt and be done with it, switch back to your main and give someone else a shot at the prize.

This event, wonderful as it is proves that I can screw anything up, even this.

Last Monday, the raid team was chain running Garrosh just as I’ve described. The raid leader let me bring in my warrior. My Fury Warrior.

I don’t really intend to play my Warrior that much. I don’t have a burning desire for Warrior weapons. My son, on the other hand, prefers to play his Unholy Death Knight over any other character. And Unholy Death Knights use two handed weapons.

So by the stunned and mostly dead body of Garrosh I was going to get him one.

Titan’s Grip Fury Warrior, uses two two-handed weapons, seems simple, right?

Tne one-handed sword Heirloom drops as my 100%.

I was specced Fury on my Warrior… and Fury can get EITHER a one handed OR a two handed weapon drop as that first 100%.

SHIT.

Now, if I had stopped for a moment, did some research and thought about it, I would have remembered that Arms is the only warrior spec that only uses two handed weapons.

There is no excuse for my forgetting you can set your loot spec different from your play spec. None. Just… totally spaced it. Panicked that I wouldn’t switch over to the warrior fast enough? I dunno.

I could have set my loot spec to Arms and gotten the two-handed axe. I just didn’t even think of it. Sweet.

So… basically, my Paladin has a tanking weapon good for leveling as a tank in Draenor? Or my own Frost Death Knight can use one as one of his single-hand weapons. If I played my Frost DK.

Whoops.

So, lesson learned and my warning to you… there are only a few more weeks before all this Garrosh heirloom stuff goes away. And if you do get in and get your kill with a character you’re not used to playing for a chance at a specific heirloom, please make sure you verify you’ve got your loot spec set for the weapon you want.

I consider myself damn lucky. Last night we did some more Garrosh kills, same character and lockout, and this time in the middle of the runs I brought in my son’s actual Death Knight in his actual Unholy spec. God bless my raid team, I don’t want to know what DPS I put out, or more accurately what DPS I didn’t put out.

Oh, and so that no good deed goes unpunished, since I’d been the one killing engineers last night on my main, we wiped because I was on a DK for that run and didn’t mention that someone else would have to take the engineer so IRON STARS LEFT SIDE HANDLE THEM.

We did kill Garrosh, though. My son will now have an Heirloom two-handed axe when he returns to playing his DK.

Until then…. Um.

I, well, I might have sent it to my Retribution Paladin? Just to try it out, you understand. I’m not gonna KEEP it. Oh, no. Just… borrowing it. In fact, if we chain run Garrosh kills again on Sunday, I might bring my Paladin in and with all upgraded gear and the Garrosh Heirloom, I might be decent DPS, so it’s really a help, right? RIGHT? I could get my own two-handed axe and give him back this one, just alittle blood stained and covered with purple goo.

Just because my first step was to transmog, gem and enchant the axe means nothing. I have to look cool, and gems and enchants on Heirlooms now carry over between characters, so it was really for him.

My Paladin will just be keeping it warm for him. Want to make sure it’s sharp, handles well. Wouldn’t want him to get a dodgy sword, now would I?

This post might come off as bragging because I was able to kill Garrosh, and if so I apologize. That’s not what this is about. I think with the way OpenRaid is available and so friendly and active, and the way things have been retuned and with our new gear and flex sized groups, most folks that have geared up from Celestials and LFR might now be able to find a normal Garrosh run and get their kill and an heirloom. And that is even if your normal guild raid team hasn’t managed it yet.

No, I’m certainly not bragging. The people I play with are so freaking good I always feel like I’m being carried no matter how hard I try to play my role properly. I don’t feel that I have anything to brag about, unless it’s how awesome the people I raid with are. Sure, I’ll brag about that. They’re freaking amazing.

What I really want to do was make sure that everyone I know sees the process clearly and has the chance to make use of it with their raid team while there are still a few weeks before the new expansion comes out.

Remember, this works with both Normal and Heroic SoO modes, so if you can try to take advantage of it.

Heirloom weapons are not ‘must have’ items. They’re a convenience. Once we reach level 100 they go away, in favor of real weapons just like the original heirlooms. But they’re still cool, and fun to trade among your lesser-played alts, and if you can get one, I really hope you do.

See? Bigcrankbutt is just keeping that heirloom shiny and warm. Totally just borrowing it.

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This last weekend…. I took advantage of having a lot of level 90s. Maybe just a little.

Every year I’ve watched other people cycle through all these characters on holiday events, but hell no, I wasn’t gonna do that. Not me.

This time, I’m the one abusing the system. Why? Four words.

Mounts are account wide.

From the moment the new All Hallows Eve event went live on Saturday, I dove in neck deep.

Have you been doing the new Horseman? Are you trying to jack his ride, or steal his blade?

Maybe you’d like to wear a green glowing bucket on your head.

Me, I’d like the mount. Cassie won it years ago, and every year when this event rolls around, there she is, casually dropping it into conversation.

“You know, I have that mount.”
“Yes dear, I know.”
“It’s very pretty, isn’t it?”
“Yes, dear.”
“Don’t ‘yes dear’ me.”
“Yes, dear.”
[whack!]

I didn’t realize just how many level 90s I had at this point, and bless Blizzard for the iLevel 496 Timeless gear. With that and just a little playing, and some BoA iLevel 450 or 470 weapons from killing rares, finding treasures in Pandaria or Archeology, everyone is at least viable in an LFR low level group.

Fortunately I’ve so far been spared any bugs. I know Cassie has encountered the ‘I zoned into Scarlet Monastery and it was the normal run without the Horseman.’ Bug.

She has also had the ‘zoned in, killed boss, DC’ed on loot window’ bug, right after winning the roll. Thankfully she was still there and the item was in her bags when she relogged.

Me, I’ve just been logging into a character, queueing for Horseman, and spending the time until it pops cleaning up my bags.

So much crap in my bags, so many toys to D-E-L-E-T-E that are already in the toy box, so many reagents scattered to the winds that can be consolidated across characters and stacked in big piles.

So many Spirits and Motes of Harmony to track down.

Now, I have a confession to make.

I queued first and figured out ability bars later.

I did not realize how extensively some of my characters had changed. In most cases, the first time I looked at a character and what abilities they had was when the Headless Horseman was landing and I was expected to attack it. Somehow.

Did you know Feral Druids lost Mangle? WTF, right?

I’m sitting there running up as a big happy purple kitty and WTF where’s Mangle? Shit pop cooldowns to remove positioning requirement and Shred.

Hmmm…. it appears that Shred no longer HAS a positioning requirement. So, that’s my new Mangle then? Also, I had Swipe on my bar, next thing I know, no Swipe. Swiper, no Swiping Swipe please and thank you. Drag that sucker back on the bar.

Fury Warriors… just what in the world. I don’t even. It’s the same, but sorta not the same?

Some classes seem to have Talents that you can take that really change how some abilities function, making it a ‘choose your own class’ adventure. Bloodthirst I’m looking at you. Others appear to be exactly the same, but how procs and timers work have them feeling way different.

I have one of everything at this point, none of them tanks or healers, not a single one. Funny how that worked out.

Of everything I’ve run through Headless Horseman, I want to say the most fun has been, shockingly, the Shadow Priest. There is something to how the abilities were blending, the combination of long casts and procs that just popped and said “Hey, shit this is fun!” to me.

Second would have to be my Hunters, and third would be the Warlock. I’m starting to adapt to my Warlock, but it’s taken a lot of practice against the Iron Horde elites around the Red Portal. I’m using them because they’ve got a reasonable level of power so I can get some rotations off against them, there are usually a mixed threesome in a group, and their mechanics are solid to work against. A charging knockback, a caster with an erratic fire splash, some grenades. It’s pretty useful to practice AoE stuns, interrupts, moving out of the fire while attacking, and getting a feel for the Warlock survivability. Also, there is always the possibility I could get a Bronze Whelpling to drop.

Not that I have to get one. My friend Sarlas took pity on me and gave me one of his. He has apparently mastered the art of Warlock farming of the Iron Horse. He owns that town in the hills.

On the subject of relearning to Warlock, a personal note; to whoever took my Ember Tap and nerfed that ability into the ground, fuck you and the pale horse you rode in on. I hate you. Why did you want to hurt me so baaaaaad?

Oh, and thank you for buffing my single target DPS, I appreciate that, thanks very much. I’m feeling much better in raid now.

P.S. I really mean it about the Ember Tap thing, you asshole. /cry /weepsaltytears

I know I just got my Rogue all kitted up in some nice gear, I ran a single Throne of Thunder LFR and it was enough to get Friendly with Shado Pan Assault to unlock all those iLevel 522 items for gold. A little over 2000g later and I’m doing better on my Rogue than on other 90s that I’ve had since the beginning of Pandaria. I should be all amazeballs about the Rogue, right?

Yeah, even with that, and as much fun as stealthing around playing the Assassin has been, I’m looking at my Shadow Priest and wondering if maybe I shouldn’t give her a chance. What would happen if I replaced those 496s with some 522 gear? If it was that fun with lower gear, what would an LFR feel like in bolder threads? I like the feel, it was like the first time I played an enhancement Shaman, and I got a Windfury proc off a Wirt’s Leg and it procced another bonus Windfury. That feeling, mmmmm so good. Like, face it tiger, you just hit the jackpot.

Would playing a Shadow Priest bring that feeling back? Enquiring minds want to know.

Early days yet. Two days, two complete runs with everyone through Horseman. No mount.

BUT!

There have been rings here and there, a plate helm on my Warrior that could actually use it (I think I won it on my Warrior last year as well, now that I think about it, and built a green set I’m not wearing anymore), lots of broomsticks and a crazy amount of Sinister Squashlings. I’m about to flood our guild bank with the things.

It’s really funny. If it weren’t for account shared mounts, then I wouldn’t be trying to run everyone through Horseman. If it wasn’t for running everyone in a combat scenario, I wouldn’t have had a reason to look everyone up on Icy Veins to understand their changed abilities and Talents.

And if it weren’t for that…. I wouldn’t have found out I am missing out on Shadow Priest fun.

It’s a vicious cycle. Just when I think It’s safe to take a break, the game drags me right back in.

Damn you Warcraft, stop being so darn fun! Don’t you know I’ve got four season of Castle to watch, two episodes of Agents of SHIELD to catch up on, and the entire first season of Arrow sitting on my shelf on DvD?

Gaaaaack!

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