Archive for the “General” Category

If information is a river, most days I’m not even dipping in my big toe. Big news keeps passing me by.

Take Heirlooms, for example.

I love Heirlooms. I have bought almost all of them over the years, some of them multiple times thanks to changing servers and leaving quite a few behind. When the Heirlooms are finally able to be mailed across servers, I’m going to have a plethora of riches.

I buy Heirlooms for classes and specs I have never leveled and never intend to level. Elemental Shaman Heirlooms? I have a full set. Moonkin? Same thing. I’m an Heirloom Junkie.

Recently I started leveling a Night Elf Warrior. Went full Fury just as soon as I got Titan’s Grip so I could transmog the Very Light Sabre and dual-wield them.

I only had one of the Heirloom Bloodied Arcanite Reapers on my current server, although I think I still have two on my old server. Both enchanted with Crusader, of course.

Is Crusader as a drop enchant even in the game anymore? I remember farming the mobs that could drop it during Vanilla for days and days, but with the revamp in Cataclysm I guess I never stopped to wonder where they moved the Crusader enchant drop to.

Anyway, I needed a new axe, and we can’t mail Heirlooms just yet, so I needed Justice Points. To get Justice Points, I needed to find the most time-friendly path.

Enter chain-running heroic 5 mans.

Fortunately, since you can mail your Heirlooms around, you can farm Justice on anyone you’d like. as long as they’re on the same server, of course.

Thus entered the first thing I learned this late in the expansion; there are a LOT more people running heroic 5 mans than when it was current content.

Average queue time for me as DPS to get in a heroic 5 man run, about 8 minutes. That was how it was a few months ago when I wanted to upgrade a Bind on Account blue weapon, that is how it was a few weeks ago to get this axe, and when I went farming for more JP that is how it was last night.

I have my own suspicions as to why more people are running dead content then ever before. I mean, it can’t be for armor or cloak drops, you get much better from the Timeless Isles. It has to be Valor, Justice and weapons. And maybe… practising your new Healing or Tank spec on content that your new 496 gear vastly overpowers?

Well, that and the fun of queueing with strangers.

I’m thinking people are just more willing to run the heroic 5 mans, even when they don’t need the gear drops, because they outgear the content even with a brand new spec and there is virtually no chance a run will be a hard, long slow wipefest. There is wiggle-room to figure out how to do this whole tanking or healing thing.

Plus, you know, quick Valors.

So. Heroic 5 man dungeons now have a fast queue time (at least on my Battlegroup), the players outgear content so they move fast, and when you blow shit up REEL GUD you even get people who want to chain with you and requeue immediately.

Every boss you kill in a Heroic 5 man dungeon gives you Justice Points. A LOT of Justice Points. 100 per kill, 120 JP if your guild has the reward For Great Justice (rank 2).

If the average dungeon has 4 bosses, that’s 480 JP PER RUN.

The second thing I have learned from this is you meet all kinds of tanks, and most of them, in fact the majority of them are able to hold aggro like a tick on a hound’s ear.

I have yet to see a single bad attitude from a tank. Not one. They seem to revel in their ability to charge in and have ALL the threat, and God bless them every one. Also, Blizzard, I thank you for Vengeance, and apparently all other tanks thank you as well.

Last night I reached level 80 on my Warrior and hopped on out to Mount Hyjal because FUCK Vashj’ir.

The third thing I learned was both of my Bloodied Arcanite Reapers, my Heirloom shoulders and the Heirloom chest and both Heirloom trinkets were only effective from 1 – 80 and at level 80 stayed at Wrath of the Lich King power levels.

The items purchased through the Guild Vendor with gold (thanks to easy guild rep) are effective up to level 85, but even they don’t spoke in power to Cataclysm gear levels until you reach level 81.

Once I reach 81, the Heirloom hat, cloak and leggings will be up to the gear level of other green drops, and good to go until the shores of Mists.

Having your main weapons at level 80 having HALF the dps of green quest rewards stings a bit. /cries.

The choice had to be made; Do I continue actually PLAYING the Warrior and having fun without those Heirlooms, or do I go spend a week farming Justice Points to upgrade them first?

I blew through the first 80 levels as if they were wet tissue paper. Is it really worth farming Justice for a week just to eke out 5 more levels of bonus XP and fun Heirlooms?

OF COURSE IT IS. TO THE RANDOM DUNGEON FINDER!

The fourth thing my Heirlooms have taught me is that when they reduced the prices needed to upgrade them, they REALLY reduced them.

The Bloodied Arcanite Reaper costs 3500 Justice Points to purchase. If you look at that as less than 35 boss kills in dungeons, that doesn’t seem bad for an item that lasts forever.

When they first gave us the chance to upgrade old Heirlooms to level 85, you had to have the item plus another 3500 JP, the full purchase price.

I thought that to upgrade my gear would cost that same amount. I’d forgotten they’d slashed prices, everything must go!

Now, to upgrade one of the two-handed weapons, you only need the original weapon and 1400 Justice Points. That’s twelve bosses, maybe three dungeon runs? Score! Two for one deals, gotta love it.

And to upgrade an item of armor only costs 870 Justice Points.

With prices this low and heroics that flow, everything must go!

In one night of runs last night, I earned enough Justice Points from heroic 5 mans to upgrade both axes, the shoulders and the chest. I’m still torn on the trinkets, I kind of want to start looking for and using new trinkets.

The fifth thing my Heirlooms taught me was that when you mail them to another character, they lose all enchants JUST like when you put an item into your Void Storage. I had shoulder glyphs, chest enchants and Windsong enchants on the axes for that blue glow. All wiped.

Also, all transmogs get wiped when you mail an item. You can’t transmog something and then mail it to somebody else to look all pretty. That seems fair, but the enchant thing also stings.

See, there was a time when you could put an actual enchant on an item and it would keep that enchant through the mail. I don’t know when this change went live, but as I said, my axes on the other server got shipped around all the time with Crusader on them. having super expensive enchants that could be applied to level 1 items made sense when they STAYED enchanted. Now, I lost the shoulder glyph and I can’t say as I feel like putting another one on.

And I did mention that transmogs get wiped in the mail, so that brings me to the sixth and final thing my Heirlooms have taught me.

I got my upgraded gear back on my Warrior last night, I went to the bank and grabbed the pieces I wanted to transmog into, and flew over to the Etherial in Stormwind to do the deed.

I opened the transmog interface, and something seemed different. I’d noticed it a week or so before, but hadn’t paid attention.

The new thing was, instead of clicking on an item in your bag to set your new transmog choice, there is a little arrow kind of button on the item box in the interface.

I know I’m not describing this well. But I looked at an axe in the transmog window, wondering how to get one sword to apply it’s appearance to both axes.

I noticed the little arrow thing (which looks like the arrow on the Warlock Pet Summons bar icon to open the demon choices. Or the arrow on a Totem bar to expans the totem choices).

I clicked the arrow, and the window opened to show me the sword… along with about seven other weapon choices.

WTF, over?

I tried it again with the shoulders, and the chest.

If you go to the transmog vendor, and you click that little arrow, it shows you every compatible item you own in your bags, in your bank and in the Void Storage. TYou don’t HAVE to have the shit present in your bags anymore!

Well, fuck me sideways with a poisoned chainsaw.

You know, I distinctly remember Blizzard announcing sometime back that you could now transmog stuff using the items in your Void Storage without having to pay to take those items out of storage first.

What I didn’t know was HOW.

I’ve even gone to my Void Storage since then, frequently, and puzzled over how to get shit out of there without paying for it. I always gave up, grabbed my gear, went and transmogged it and then put it back.

It just never registered on me that the transmog interface had changed. I keep my bags clean of unnecessary crap all the time, you’d think I’d have noticed before.

Just, holy crap. I’ve blown hundreds of gold on Void Storage I never had to, did the bank shuffle, and never had to do any of it. I can change mob appearance right in the window, browsing looks to my hearts content.

Yeah. So, there’s that.

What other awesome new features have I missed out on? What else is going on out there I just don’t know?

Next you’ll be telling me I don’t have to visit a class trainer anymore to learn new abilities, I mean geez.

CORRECTION: after talking to Psynister on Twitter, I realize it wasn’t mailing the Heirlooms that stripped the enchants off, it was upgrading them which removes the item you had and gives you a completely new one. Clearly, I’m an idiot. Thanks for the catch, Psyn!

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Good morning, my friends.

In the wake of all the BlizzCon craziness, can I just say the timing on the revamped Recruit a Friend program is hilarious?

“Now that’s you’re all abuzz over the awesome things coming in the next expansion, pimp the game to your friends! Get them to ditch their old abandoned accounts and make brand new ones! Reap those yummy rewards, you know you wanna catch ‘em all!”

Yes. Yes, damn you, I do.

Don’t know if you’ve heard, but if you are an active player and you Recruit a Friend someone that starts a brand new account, or has an active account less than 30 days old from like right now, and IF they pay for two months of game time, then you get your choice of one of eight awesome rewards, including four ultra rare pets and the Emerald Hippogryph.

You can’t use it to bring back players that have left the game, you do that with a Scroll of Resurrection, a completely different program that has NOT been revamped or had rewards expanded. So for all of you who might have been interested in coming back, I’d be happy to shoot you a Scroll of Resurrection, but you can’t be RAFed on your existing accounts.

“All those moments, lost. Like tears… in the rain.”

You CAN create a new World of Warcraft account on your existing Battle-net account. Did you know that? One battle-net login, multiple WoW accounts. My son actually has THREE, a free-to-play, a Recruit a Friend, and a third full account which is our only paid account on his battle-net. When he logs in, the screen prompts him to pick among WoW1, WoW2 and WoW3.

I talked to customer support about it once… if I wanted to, I could transfer characters from among the various accounts to consolidate them into one, then remove the unwanted ones. Just haven’t seen any reason to. You never know when they might change things so that there are new rewards to shooting a Scroll of Ressurection over to a long dead account, you know what I mean?

All that to say, you could both revive your original account and create a new one, then after enjoying the xp bonuses transfer characters and consolidate later.

Or keep playing Guild Wars 2.

Allow me to say this straight up – if you have any interest in creating a new account to play in advance of the new expansion, and would be willing to be my Recruit a Friend buddy, just let me know at thebigbearbutt@gmail.com. Be happy to friend up with you, I have warlock cookies.

As an avid pet collector, it really hurts to see those pets, the tigers especially, gated as Recruit a Friend rewards.

Would I buy them for $10 or $15 if they were on the Blizzard store? Yes, at least I would buy the tigers. The pigs, I long ago accepted I wasn’t going to get the pigs so I took my own Mr Wiggles, upgraded him to Rare quality and leveled him to 25. I’ve got my porker, and he’s a peach of a pet!

Am I going to buy another copy of the game for $20, then pay for two months of game time at $32 total, just for one pet? $52 for a pet. Really?

No. No, I’m not. It doesn’t sound like much until you spread it across 4 pets. The day I spend over $200 to collect four pets in a game where I already have over 500 pets is the day Cassie shoots me.

And as she stands there over my rapidly cooling body, the smoke wisping from the barrels of the shotgun, I won’t even ask why. I’ll utter with my dying breath, “Thank you for freeing me from the madness…”

Anyway.

For more details on the new Recruit a Friend system and the rewards, check out the official post with in depth videos and the process at http://blue.mmo-champion.com/topic/279639-recruit-a-friend-program-offers-new-rewards/

And again, if you’re looking to come back with a fresh account and would like to be my recruit a Friend buddy, send me an email!

Pimping done, over and out.

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Good morning, folks.

As we wait for the opening ceremony of Blizzcon to begin, I wanted to get my expansion predictions out there before the floodgates of actual data come roaring out.

I know there have been ‘spoilers’ and other things going up on places like MMO Champion, and I have not read them. I might be and probably will be 100% wrong in my predictions, but that’s part of the fun.

I know we’re seeing “Warlords of Draenor” as the probably titles of the next expansion. That’s not really a spoiler, it’s all over the place because of the licensing.

I’m basing my prediction mostly on what I feel the game would benefit from in actual play.

I predict the expansion will bring a focus back to Outlands, in two parts;

First, I think the existing Outlands zones will be revamped the way Cataclysm refreshed Azeroth, improving (or simply changing) the leveling experience from 60 – 70.

Second, I think that we will either see an entire world/continent of Old Draenor accessed from the Caverns of Time, OR we will see a series of seperate zone/dimensions accessed from multiple portals throughout Outlands.

Here is my thinking on the second part.

Draenor was torn apart by Ner’zhul when he tried to open multiple dimensional portals to new worlds for the Horde to conquer. It was when traveling through one of those portals that he was captured by the Burning Legion, and eventually transformed into the husk of psionic armor that was the original Lich King.

Those multiple dimensional portals were created, orcs fled through them (or charged into them as solid armies bent on conquest) as the world of Draenor was torn apart around them.

The Burning Legion was clearly out there through some of them, because they nabbed Ner’zhul.

It makes sense to me that armies of orcs may still be out there spread among multiple dimensional portals, some of whom are either waging their own ongoing wars of conquest OR are actively fighting for or against the Burning Legion on other planets.

All it would take to bring us back into this storyline would be for some of those far-off orcs to try and open a return portal back. Somehow, some way. The maguffin of how isn’t important.

What this would give us is potential portals opening in key areas of Outlands, and that would change what is going on there in those zones right now, bringing them all current with drama for us to take part in. Orc/Burning Legion invasions into Outlands through portals, the homelands of the orcs (Thrall’s gramma!) and draenei that we have to protect, etc.

Even orcs requesting we provide aid to them on some of those far-flung worlds defending against the Burning Legion.

The other part of that second idea is just me being kinda grumpy.

I’ve done the Empowering the Hourglass quests, and I feel like seeing our good buddy time traveler Nozdormu watching over Garrosh is ominous.

I wonder… what happens if Garrosh, still alive and awaiting his trial, is given the opportunity to go back in time to original Draenor and ‘redeem’ his father, prevent him from ever drinking the blood of Mannoroth in the first place?

Does anyone think that would end up well? A happily ever after tale?

What if Sargeras, once a presence within Medivh… is now a presence in Nozdormu instead, and that is the corrupting influence we’ve been seeing? And Sargeras is now guiding Nozdormu to get Garrosh back to Old Draenor and change the events that led to the downfall of the Burning Legion on Azeroth?

What if we have to pursue Garrosh into Old Draenor as a still-vibrant intact world, and face the Horde and Burning Legion all over again, a do over but with Sargeras revealed as being the spirit inhabiting and eventually freed from Nozdormu?

See what I did there? Two completely different ideas for the level 90+ content, both spun from pure BS.

The only thing I really believe is that the expansion reveals are going to be all about revamped Outlands and new Burning Crusade modern day Outlands stuff.

Okay, I’m only hoping.

I’ll be watching new news from Blizzcon as eagerly as anyone else!

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The watching Paragons seemed content to sit tight so long as we didn’t try to get past them. We could simply walk away. We didn’t have to do this.

In every cycle of war with the Pandaren, it had been the Mantid that were the aggressors, the Pandaren that defended their homeland. The Pandaren defended their homes, their families, their way of life.

Their future.

Now it was the Klaxxi Paragons that stood firm, showing no sign of starting shit, but determined to protect their family, their chance of a future with their father, their creator returned to them.

If we were going to get to Garrosh Hellscream, then we would be the ones to break the peace. We would have to choose our vision of a future over theirs.

We would have to be the ones to break faith with our friends.

Kind of heavy existentialist crap to deal with, when all I wanted to do when I woke up in the morning was tear some shit up. You know, blow up some Orcs, burn down some huts, maybe deep fat fry a goblin or two.

Guess we got the bonus plan.

You know what? Fuck it.

As much as I admire the commitment and honor of the Klaxxi, its not a Klaxxi overlord I’m here to stop, it’s the return of an Old God with the spiritual power of the Vale and the military might of the Horde behind it.

If the Paragons were standing between us and a new Empress, sure, no problem mates, you go on about your business, ain’t none of mine.

But nope, when that door opens it’s not going to be some punk kid needing a spanking, we’re going to be going ten rounds with an Old God. Every moment that passes, it gets to gather its strength, soak up those Vale energies. Leave shit like this to fester, and you get what we had in Ulduar, or that whole mess with C’thun out in Silithis.

Oh, hell no. I am NOT going to go around for 6 more months fishing up Red Snapper again. And bandages! Rolling those fucking bandages. Oh, kiss my ass, that thing is going down today. Like, right now.

Monstre and Pankration moved forward, drawing the attention of the Klaxxi soldiers waiting in the chamber. Within moments, the soldiers were cut off from their comrades, overwhelmed and destroyed.

Leaving Kovok still stomping around in the rear.

Monstre ran forward and smashed Kovok in the carapace. I felt like the blows were hitting my own flesh, but it had to be done, and if it were to be done at all, we’d best do it before Kaz’tik got involved.

With our combined might on Kovok, he died within seconds. Kaz’tik said nothing, only looked down upon us without expression.

This was serious. They weren’t screwing around. Even now, with the ultimate provocation to Kaz’tik of killing his most treasured weapon, they were waiting for us to actually attack. We couldn’t goad them into making the first move.

This blood would be entirely on our hands. It would be us that broke faith, and at the end of the day, win or lose we’d have to deal with that fact for as long as we had left to us.

So fucking be it. No more Old Gods. Just, no more.

Pankration smashed the harmonizing crystal in the center of the chamber, making the walls ring with the discordant sound, breaking the beacon that bound any other Klaxxi troops to the Paragons. It was just us, no reinforcements to hear their call.

No one gets out of here alive. No one comes riding to the rescue.

We moved to the attack, and the Paragons finally joined the battle.

Hisek the Swarmkeeper, Skeer the Bloodseeker and Rik’kal the Dissector all flew down from their vantage points to engage us on the ground, all while the rest of the Paragons watched, and waited.

Hisek landed lightly, saying ”Time for a little target practice…” and began rapidly firing multiple spines, most of them bouncing off of our armor. Rik’kal the Dissector called out “Yes, new test subjects!” and focused all of his attention on Monstre, who wisely drug him away from the rest of us. From the looks of things, Rik’kal was trying to get past Monstre’s defenses to inject him with something that looked truly foul. I didn’t know what it was, but I surely hoped Monstre could keep every bit of protection up he had.

Whatever Rik’kal was brewing, I doubted a shot of penicillin was going to make a dent. No, Rik’kal was nasty, and from the looks of the squirming crap in those vials he was trying to get into Monstre, he was shooting for a case of death by Candiru, and just no. “Hold on Monstre, just hold on! Don’t let him get that crap in you! And keep your pants on! For the love of Elune KEEP YOUR PANTS ON!”

In the rush to separate Rik’kal from the group, Skeer the Bloodseeker dropped in on us almost unnoticed. At least he did until he screamed out, “I will drink your blood!”, and summoned up two massive mounds of roiling blood from the sides of the room that rapidly advanced.

We all calmed down and settled in. We had made it this far using coordination, clear communication, and overwhelming firepower when we freaked the hell out.

Clearly, this situation called for the overwhelming firepower and the freaking out.

As Pankration got Skeer and Hisek under control, the rest of us switched to burning down the Bloods. They moved inexorably towards Skeer, intent on feeding their blood to him. We weren’t going to let that happen.

As soon as they went down, we returned our attention on Skeer to cut down on any more of those damn distractions. With our combined firepower, Skeer quickly died, and Hisek was looking pretty weak in the knees too.

As he fell, Skeer called out to the other Paragons waiting above, saying “Avenge me, brothers…” and in a bright burst of light, Ka’roz the Locust flew down to take his place.

It took a second for my eyes to adjust, but when they did I was finally scared. That flash of light when Skeer died had meant more than the fall of a Paragon. In that moment, the other two we had been fighting were fully healed of all their wounds.

We, on the other hand, weren’t so lucky.

Chron’s voice rose over the sounds of battle, calling out “Ignore the other two, we have to focus all of our efforts on bringing them down one at a time! They’re linked together, when one dies the rest are getting healed! Kill Ka’roz next!”

At that moment Hisek targeted me, and I got blasted, flying halfway across the room. I was frozen in place, the seconds slipping away as he focused in on me, preparing to unleash some kind of powerful blast of sonic force. Right before he fired, everyone nearby that could get there in time ran between us right into the line of fire, and somehow absorbed enough of the blow to enable me to survive. I staggered away, a little deafened but still in the fight. Whatever that was, getting in the way helped mute it, but it didn’t feel good at all.

With that kind of firepower, why the heck did Chron want us to take down Ka’roz next?

At least, that was what I was going to ask, when Ka’roz suddenly erupted in a flurry of attacks, darting all over the chamber to smack people down at random, and everyone he passed got caught up in a twisting, spinning vortex. Holy crap! Okay, kill him before the chaos gets to be too much.

Speaking of controlled chaos, Rik’kal turned from Monstre long enough to toss something at Summibs, and the next thing I see Mibs turns into a big Amber Scorpion. Oh shit, Summibs was one of our deadliest, if he starts to turn on us… oh, cool, he’s attacking Ka’roz too!

Um, what? Okay, so Rik’kal just turned Mibs into a scorpion, so instead of puking green fire all over the place, he’s ramming that stinger right up Ka’roz’s… hmm, I guess I don’t know what he’s ramming that into. On second thought, ew. Oh good, it’s worn off, he’s back to normal.

And there goes Ka’roz, down for the count. Ka’roz was so fast, so free, blazing around the room. Even lying there, battered from our attacks, his only thought was of the thrill of speed, the rush of the wind. As he fell, I heard his final words, “Curse this shell… I was not fast enough…”. He died wishing for just a touch more speed.

Another flash of light, Hisek and Rik’kal once more as fresh and ferocious as when the fight began, while we continued to tire.

And Korven the Prime jumped down, to land with a crash in the center of the chamber. “You now face the Prime. Bow down to your superior.”

Oh shit, this just got real. The Prime! Oh man, game over man, we are just well and truly fucked.

Korven slammed into Pankration, sending him reeling, but Chron rallied us, calling out “Everything you have on Korven! Blow heroes, blow cooldowns, blow whatever you have to but get him down!”

Rain of fire, rains of frogs, I even asked my pet Xu’fu to go bite him on his ankles. And it was working! His vicious assaults on Pankration were causing blood to splatter the walls, but Pumpken, Callaghan and Katilyn were keeping him alive and Korven had no support, nobody in his corner to feed him the gift of life. He was going down!

And then an Amber prism formed around him, and we all know what Amber means.

“That’s it! Burn the Amber down, don’t give him a chance to heal!”

We smashed through the Amber, shards flying anywhere, and Korven went down, the spikes of Arrakeen’s maces impaling his skull. He barely had time to whisper, “Return me to the amber…” before the death rattle shook his body.

A bright flash of light, and Iyyokuk the Lucid, Iyyokuk the freaking mentalist Mantid joined the fray.

I just…. I don’t even want to know what the hell he was going to do. Iyyokuk yelled out, “Chaos is order unrecognized by a lesser mind!” and blasted Katilyn with a powerful force that drove him to his knees, leaving him visibly diminished. Another blow like that, and he would be dead. We had to take him down!

And then these weird shapes, symbols and colors started appearing on our bodies.

“Um, guys?”

“Guys, I’m kind of freaking out here, what is he doing?!?”

The symbols aligned, and lines of light raced out, linking four of us together in burning fire. Everyone got the hell out-of-the-way of those bars of flame, while I shifted my attention to burning his bug ass down.

Chron yelled, “No! Not Iyyokuk, not yet, we can deal with that, just move out-of-the-way of the fire beams. Kill Hisek the hunter next, that sonic blast is causing too much damage, and it’s knocking us around!”

Fair enough. I mean, we all kept moving in closer, and every time Hisek aimed in on someone, they went flying and everyone but Monstre had to drop what they were doing and try to block the shot and soak that blast. It made a great deal of sense to go for him next… so long as Monstre still had secure pants.

It’s times like these that the case for emergency pants is clearly made.

Hisek went down, sighing “The hunter becomes the hunted,” and in the flash of light I strained to see who would join the battle next. There was one face I was dreading to see, but it was Xaril instead. Xaril of the Poisoned Mind.

Oh dear no, Xaril AND Iyyokuk? Geek squad up and ready for battle!

Xaril smiled at me, and said “Have you come to try my new concoctions, Wakener? I assure you, these are nothing like you’ve tasted before!”

Oh what fresh hell is this.

Xaril’s talons flew, and I felt the sting of a pinprick. I slapped at it at the same moment I saw several others doing the same. Oh shit, no, he got us!

I saw a blue haze rising from the pores of my skin, as others developed a red shimmer or a yellow tinge like graverot. Oh shit, oh shit, we’re all gonna die.

It looked like Pumpken was covered in a blood red haze, and then it flared, and fire actually leaped out from her engulfing the area around her with a 10 yard wide fireball. Oh shit!

As people scattered to get away from her and anyone else covered in a red haze, the people with yellow skin started farting, yellow clouds of gas blasting from their butts leaving a big, stationary cloud.

You know, its times like these that whirlwind or hurricane is contra-indicated. No high winds, please and thank you. A farting death cloud? Really? And why didn’t I think of that first. Just think of the fun at parties! “Holy crap, who died?” “Everyone standing behind Arrakeen.” “Don’t light a match!”

Chron called out, “We need Monstre free! Everyone, kill Rik’kal, quick, before the last layer of his pants fail.”

At this point, we were a well oiled machine. With Pankration and Monstre controlling each of the Paragons, the rest of us were free to focus all of our attacks on one target, and we didn’t have any distractions, any crazy chase scenes to worry about. It was all about getting some distance, and staying alive to kill.

And that was when I blew the hell up.

Blew? BLUE! The damn blue haze seeping from my pores, when it finally went off, it exploded with the force of a million slightly decaying suns. Well, maybe not that much.

I felt a second wind as I was brought back from the brink of death by Callaghan. “Next time, find someone covered in yellow to split the pain! A ‘splosion shared is a ‘splosion halved.”

Right, right. “Hey, I need a blow-up buddy!”

That didn’t come out sounding right, did it.

Rik’kal died, and I have to say he looked profoundly disappointed to have been unable to infect Monstre. I don’t know what those parasites he was trying to inject into him would have done, but I did NOT want to find out.

As Rik’kal died, Kaz’tik the Manipulator finally jumped down, and I learned a valuable lesson.

Kovok was not his only pet kunchong.

Kaz’tik raised his arms high overhead, and called “Come, little kunchongs! It’s feeding time!”

Little kunchongs came gliding out of the shadows from around the chamber, glowing in the light of their fully raised shields. Awww, they were so cute! Cute little kunchongs, I want to hug you and raise you to eat pandaren, oh yes I do! Who’s the cute little kunchong, oh yes you is!

And then one fixed it’s yellow gaze on me, and I found myself moving helplessly towards it. I heard, sort of, Kaz’tik call out, “Feed, my kunchong, feed!” but I didn’t let it bother me. He was so cute, I just had to hug him.

Everyone else on my team attacked the kunchong, and after weakening it a bit I felt the irresistible tug lessen, then fall away. Holy shit, I was going to be willing kunchong chow!

Can this day possibly get any better?

So of course, we killed Kaz’tik next, right?

No, of course not. No, Iyyokuk’s insane calculations and lines of blasting fire were causing us too many problems, and Chron called out for us to work on him next.

This was becoming quite simple, wasn’t it? And seriously, how many more Paragons can there be? This battle is all just a blur to me now, but surely we’ve got to be getting near the end.

Yes. Yes we were.

Iyyokuk fell, throat crushed by the steel grip of Pankration, and then HE flew down.

Kil’ruk.

Kil’ruk the Wind Reaver.

My one, true friend among the Klazzi.

“I will carry you one last time, Wakener… to your doom.”

Okay, I guess I’ve come this far. I’ll go down this road to the end.

But I’m not going to hurry the meeting.

Under Chron’s direction, we killed Xaril of the Poisoned Mind, and we all breathed a little easier as the colors faded from our skin, and the yellow clouds began to dissipate in the air.

This left us, for the first time in this horrible battle, with only two opponents left standing, Kaztik the Manipulator and Kil’ruk.

Kil’ruk leaped into the air, and how many times had I seen him make that same move against our enemies? We all scattered out-of-the-way, crying “Death from above!” as he plunged down, narrowly missing Trajar. Trajar didn’t even blink, he just calmly leaped backwards like a leaf on the wind, turned and unleashed a hail of rounds into Kaz’tiks chest, blowing his organs out the back in a fine pink mist.

The sudden massive trauma seemed to make Kaz’tik forget what he was doing. He forgot about Y’shaarj, about us, about everything going on in that horrible chamber. Instead, he turned toward the mound of menace that had been Kovok. He staggered towards the body of the fallen mighty kunchong, one step, then two, before dropping to his knees. He reached out with one trembling talon, his voice a thin reed. “Kovok… Come to me… I… need…”

Kaz’tik the Manipulator shuddered once more, fell forward, and was still.

This was it. We were still strong, united, and determined to win.

The only one left to stop us was Kil’ruk.

Our friend, and our greatest enemy.

“Well fought, Wakener. Well fought.”

I didn’t expect any mercy, and I certainly didn’t expect him to give up. He unleashed everything he had, flying high into the air of the chamber only to plunge down with a killing scream, but we all knew him and his tactics too well. We had fought by his side against the sha-controlled Mantid too many times, killed too many along the trails of the Dread Wastes to be fooled now. With caution and the utmost respect, we stood our ground, we rolled out-of-the-way of his deadly blades, and we overwhelmed him.

We gave him the only gift we had left to give. We ended it clean, and to his face.

With his last breath, he did not condemn us, or threaten or plead. Why we fought was of no matter. What was important was we had fought with everything we had, and the fight was finished with honor.

“Well fought, Wakener… We will… meet… again…”

For a long time, we stood there over the body of our friend. This price, this was just a little too much. But we paid it, in full.

Time to collect what we’ve paid for.

“Garrosh! We’ve come for you!”

Pankration turned to us and said, “Did you hear that? It sounds like Thrall, yelling at someone up ahead the other side of that door!”

In the stillness of the chamber, there in the shadow of the crate of the Old God’s heart, I thought I heard it too.

How the bloody hell did Thrall slip past all of this and get there first?

“If it turns out there was a service entrance up there for Garrosh to get his milk and cookies delivered, I’m going to just quit.”

Summibs looked at me and said, “What, you think Thrall wouldn’t know where the secret entrance was, if there was one? Come on, let’s hurry, we should be just in time to see Garrosh get his ass handed to him. The big green death machine is back, and it’s time for spankings!”

Yeah, somehow I don’t think Garrosh is going down that easily.

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Siege of Orgrimmar mount reward

So, this thing happened last night.

This thing where I raided in Siege of Ogrimmar normal 10 with Team Wanda of the Band of Misfits, and we defeated Garrosh.

There were cutscenes and everything, there were final quest completion scenes with Loremaster Cho and Wrathion. It’s very cool, and no I won’t spoil it.

I usually don’t talk about raiding very much. Some folks raid, some don’t. Some would like to and can’t find the team or the time, others do raid and are flaming asshats and, for the sake of everyone around them, shouldn’t.

Used to be I never raided, then I raided a bit but had some bad experiences, then I didn’t raid again. At the moment I’m raiding quite a lot. A lot more than I ever expected for a guy ostensibly warming a bench.

I’m going to talk about raiding now because I think killing Garrosh on normal, a major event in current tier content, should damn well rate a mention on my blog. It’s a big deal to me.

I have NEVER in the years that I have played World of Warcraft defeated a final tier boss when it was still current un-nerfed content.

At least I hadn’t until now.

This ain’t a world or server first, but it’s a first for me, and the thrill of being a part of it on Sunday night is something that will be a favorite game memory for a long time to come.

What this means for you in the short term is now I can finish my Klaxxi and Garrosh story chapters this week. :)

I feel torn about this victory.

On the one hand, I fought as hard as I could and it was an incredible feeling when Garrosh went down. Things went so well on that pull, it felt at the time like everything was dropping right into place as planned. For a fight as chaotic as that can be on phase three, that is certainly saying something.

On the other hand… I am by far the lowest DPS on our team. My gear is not a factor. I have outstanding gear, when I look at where I am against the rest of the team, there is simply no comparison.

I’ve seen a brilliant Warlock, and it ain’t me. Summibs is simply amazing. He was the same spec as I was on the Garrosh encounter, and there is no question the difference in performance ain’t gear, it’s skill, and mine is not at the same level as anyone else on the team.

That leaves me very proud of having been a part of a major raid progression and enjoying the rewards of success, a title, a cool wolfie mount, and at the same time feeling that if I am not performing at the same level as everyone else is, then I was just carried to victory.

It doesn’t matter how hard I worked for it, or how focused I was, or how much I prepared. It’s not about who tried hardest, effort doesn’t get an A. If I can’t actually perform at that level, then someone else has to perform even better for the team to win.

I look at where we have come with these fights, and I look back on what used to be considered difficult (or at least annoying) fights like Shade of Aran or Prince Malchezaar, and it’s astonishing how far we’ve come in complexity and duration.

Paragons of the Klaxxi compared to Shade of Aran? Really? Not even close.

Every fight in the current raid tier I feel I have had to stretch, to learn, to get better and I can see improvement fight to fight. BUT. I think the fights are getting harder faster than I am improving.

I saw it with Garrosh. I could visibly see improvement every fight in how fast I can move and respond, especially when pulled into the other realm or moving in response to Desecrated Weapon throws. It’s like we’ve talked about before, PvP instant fire and manuever skills are desperately needed for this level of raiding, nothing is a ‘Patchwerk’ fight anymore, and the fights are all the better for it.

I do wonder when I’ll hit the wall in improving. I know, not just worry but know that the team can find a replacement for me pretty easy, someone that would do much better DPS. I’m sure right now the only thing preventing it is they’re all very nice, and they haven’t been looking very hard… yet. We’ve got some hellaciously skilled people in this guild, and any one of them could perform better.

I thought I was doing very well on Garrosh Hellscream, moving and responding exactly as I should in sync with everyone. Then I saw my DPS, and realized that everyone else in the team is at a higher level. They are doing all the same things, but they’re also maintaining top line damage output, or handling multiple adds and complex mechanics instantly every time.

I feel like the writing is on the wall. Sometime in the future I will hit a heroic mode where I can’t adapt fast enough, where the challenge has risen higher than my skill to overcome.

Happens to all of us eventually, but I hope before it happens to Team Wanda they are able to find someone they like as a replacement that can be an asset, and not a lead chain on the ankle of the team, dragging them down.

I know I’m old, but I’ve never felt old playing the game until now.

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