Archive for the “Mists of Pandaria news” Category
Beartrap the Unbalanced: The adventure continues!
The Unbalanced should be a title. I’m not insane, just… unbalanced. Ever seen me try jumping or platforming puzzles? It’s true on so many levels!
I decided that I would do dailies nevermore. None for me. My Druid is exalted with Tillers, so I can plant Songbells or whatever food strikes my fancy, but even there, no dailies. None.
The feeling of freedom is incredible. No responsibilities, no daily toil or drudgery. Just log in and play, man, play.
And after I get that first hour of gametime out of the way where I harvest, plow, plant and do daily Scroll of Wisdom and Imperial Silk transmutes, I can get right on my Hunter and play! lol. In most games, that first hour would be considered playtime too, right?
Sounds good, doesn’t it? Freedom? Oh yes, I’m free to do anything I want to!
And what I want to do turns out to be dailies. I just want to do them for the sake of doing them, not for a ‘someday’ goal.
While Freedoms just another word for no Lesser Charms to use, I’m not doing dailies for some goal, I’m just enjoying going around doing stuffs.
Specifically, Klaxxi stuffs.
I chain-queued my Hunter last night, did a bunch of heroics, and even took part in killing the Sha of Anger for the second time.
That was great, the instances are very exciting and feel nicely bite-sized, but I kept resenting them pulling me away from Awakening Paragons and killing turtles for the honor of the Klaxxi.
Oh, and I hit Friendly with the Black Prince, so I calculated how many more mobs I would have to kill, exactly, to hit Honored and make the Black Prince happy with me.
500. That is what I would have to kill, five hundred. Sounds like a made for TV movie, doesn’t it? The Five Hundred. Dun dun dun.
Is it wrong of me that, after all my whining about gating gear behind rep and JP in a faction, I am seriously thinking about buckling down and going on a one-night rampage of blood-drenched slaughter just to please the Black Prince?
That was a rhetorical question, you don’t need to answer that.
It’s funny. Obviously, I don’t HAVE to have lesser Charms (turned in by the 90s for a Greater) to get extra chances at gear rolls, I can play just fine without them. At the same time, if you have any interest in getting geared up for your raids, don’t you almost HAVE to try and get them, at least in the short term?
Good thing I like the Klaxxi. And sooner or later I’m going to go do some Golden Dawn (er, I mean Lotus) dailies so I can get Satchels for a chance to learn the recipe for the little Jewelcrafting Kittycat pet. I got my recipes for two of the Cat mounts, that will do me for a long time.
Apparently, I will do dailies to get patterns to make vanity items, but I’ll turn my nose and sneer at upgrading my gear to improve actual performance. My Lesser Charms will be an incidental byproduct of my wastrel ways.
Hmmm. Where did my life go so horribly wrong?
A few words about the heroics.
Damn, they are FUN!
The first time you roll a barrel into a monkey just feels right.
At the same time, holy crap are some of the mechanics confusing. Remember how I said my son feels that you ought to be able to figure out what to do based on what you can observe?
Yeah, that works a lot of the time, but then there is Raigonn in the Gate of the Setting Sun.
For the record, so far I really like all the instances I’ve done. I like the pacing, the flair, the humor and the mechanics.
Can I just say though, that when you’re in a group that has, none of us, ever done Raigonn before, it was a confusing mess of chaos?
I had Deadly Boss Mods warning me to fire for the weak spot. I couldn’t find a weak spot to target specifically! Was I supposed to? In the heat of the moment, you can’t really flip over to Wowhead, y’on?
I was pounding away at the big bug for all I was worth, it’s health wasn’t going down. I saw that what looked like rocket launchers were sparkling at the sides of the big courtyard, so I ran over to one and used it, which showed me jumping in like I was about to be launched onto the bug’s back… only I fell through the launcher onto the floor. I didn’t get launched. I wasted a good 2 minutes of time trying to get the sparkly launchers to do something, with nothing apparently happening.
Next thing I know, he’s “fixating” on someone, and his health is going down when attacked, so I figure somehow we got onto a Flame Leviathan style phase, and began DPSing my little heart out, all the while trying to burn down adds and stay out of the bad.
I’m all for exciting mechanics, but honestly, I still have no clue exactly what I was supposed to do.
I know that many of you are very, very helpful types, but don’t worry about telling me what the mechanics are for my sake. I’m just gonna go look it up and research stuff myself anyway. If you’ve got your own tips on how to tank him, though, by all means share them! It looked like a huge pain for a tank new to that place having to figure out how to tank the big bug while also handling the adds.
I’m just making the example that, in these early days… there is perhaps more excitement to be found than we might expect once things become old hat? But we didn’t give up, or panic, we just tried like hell to work as a team, and while the Warlock died to save Elo (our healer), we all managed to win in the end without wiping. So, how bad could it have really been?
Certainly was very exciting. :)
How odd that it was the Warlock who sacrificed his life to save a Priest. Doesn’t that kind of thing get you kicked out of the big meanies green fire club?
As I’ve said before, there is far, far more available to do than I can do in a single day, even if I only played one character. That means that I have to absolutely have to get past the idea that I must do everything or even most things every day.
Thankfully, I’m a bit of an anti-establishment type, so doing the opposite of what I should comes easy to me. :)
Even though there are things of astounding benefit, like having a second farm, or grinding rep with all factions, or doing dailies to have an abundant supply of LesserCcharms to turn in. Those are all temptations, but they are not necessary to play the game.
All that is necessary is I filter out the grind, and only do the fun, and continue to do heroics for gear upgrades as part of the fun.
It was worrying me, being ready for raids, but then Tom, our guild leader and player in Team Wanda told me, so long as I just run some heroics to get geared, I’ll be just fine for us when we start raiding. No need to go insane getting all the VP gear.
I’m going to try to take that to heart, even if it does seem to go against all previous expectations.
If I get left behind, oh well.
Along with that, I really need to research more about everything that is out there so I can make the best use of my time in doing the fun stuff.
A shining golden example.
One thing in the back of my head was Stormstout Brewery. Specifically, pets.
I was queuing for random heroics, to get Valor and because I hadn’t seen any yet, so I had no preferences. But I knew that Stormstout Brewery held an achievement to get a cute pet. And it was an achievement you could do even after the instance was cleared and everyone else had gone home.
So, when I did get a Brewery instance, I bought 5 of the special Tea from Auntie Stormstout at the beginning, stuck them in my bags and then ran the instance with everyone in normal “tank has to go to the bathroom go go go” fashion. I didn’t hold anyone up, I did my best to kill lots of stuff. I balanced on the barrels and blew up the bozos. I admired dancing monkeys.
When the final boss was dead, and everyone else immediately dropped group, I stayed in. Then I drank my first 5 minute tea, and went hunting Golden Hoplings at a nice, leisurely pace. Cassie watched and saw just how easy it was to do, too, especially after I got the nameplates up and went back to find the few I missed the first time. I didn’t encounter any bugged Golden Hoplings under stairs as had been reported on Wowhead, I collected 30 Golden Hoplings, dinged the achievement and found I had mail waiting for me… with my new pet Hopling. :)
I’d done the Stormstout Brewery on normal with some guildies earlier in the week, but I hadn’t been reading up on the instances at that time. How simple it was to complete that achievement, once you knew it was there to be done.
And how cute the pet is, too.
Maybe my priorities are screwed up, but I am finding my motivation for doing things is more about having fun banging around and doing the cute stuff.
Once the new patch comes out, I can tell you for a hard, cold fact that while other people will be doing the new Alliance versus Horde war machine chain in Krasarang, I’ll be running with Cassie and Alex in Molten Core and other Vanilla raids, hunting those newly released raid pets.
Naxxramas will fall, and Mr. Bigglesworth WILL be free! Free to escape the cold, cruel embrace of Kel’thuzad, and free to no longer be killed by every moron that wants to piss off the cat lovers in a party. Free!
I guess freedom is also another word for a cat with no lives left to lose.
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I know I said I was going to level as Bear, but turns out, I lied.
I’ve been focusing my questing efforts playing my Druid, and from the moment I set foot in Pandaria I’ve been running as a Cat.
The single biggest reason is simple curiosity. I haven’t really played as a cat since, like, Burning Crusade.
In fact, I remember in BC doing a blog post just reminding people there was more to Cat DPS while questing than Mangle Mangle Mangle next. Was that my last time talking about Kitty DPS? Might have been.
Amazing how much things change, right?
I’ve been all about being a Bear for so long, I really didn’t even know how cats had been changed. Or what they had for synergy.
I just haven’t been paying attention, but that’s all changed in Mists. I’m being a Kitty and I like it. So many tools!
I’ve been playing the Feral Kitty now, and building my DPS rotation has felt a little like a build-your-own-sandwich buffet.
There are a lot of abilities to choose from, and they all taste good, but space is limited and some of them taste better together than others. And some clash.
Also, you can’t just throw everything together taking as much time as you’d like, because lunch time is short. One thing that irritates me is when you just get cooking on a good rotation, and the damn bad guy dies before you get to use your fun stuff on it. I love boss fights, it gives me time to use everything plus the kitchen sink.
Boss fights let me show that I can do so much more now than “mangle mangle mangle next”.
I know that there are a lot of people out there that have since long mastered the Cat DPS, and know all the ways it works.
Those folks, God bless them, will probably think the things I’m going to describe are so elementary that it’s funny, and it’s entirely true. But everyone has to start somewhere… and at least I do have something like 5 years experience eating faces off.
Past experience on the resume is great, but before I break out the beard and suspenders and talk about those halcyon days of face chewing youth, what faces have I chewed off lately?
I can’t help but notice the system I learned and mastered has been replaced. I’ll miss the Trash-80, but I guess it’s time to look into these fancy new Tablet thingies.
For those of you who, like me, are used to being more Bear than Cat, there are a few things I’ve come across that felt kind of surprising, and I wanted to share them with you.
And if it turns out I’m the last Druid in Pandaria to put this stuff together, well, it’ll give you a healthy laugh, right?
First thing I noticed is the Healing talent tier sounded good but was deceiving.
You’ve got Nature’s Swiftness on there, which hearkens back to the old days of Vanilla WoW, popping out of form for a quick NS+Healing Touch insta-heal then back to Bear bidness. Old school happy memories.
I strongly recommend you don’t take Natures’ Swiftness!
I took Renewal, the instant-cast 30% max health Heal spell instead.
The reason I suggest you avoid Natures Swiftness is that you already have it built into Cat Form.
It’s a passive effect called “Predatory Swiftness”, and what it does is give you a 20% chance per point in a Finishing Move of making your next spell, from a group including Healing Touch, instant cast, cast in all forms, and free. JUST like Nature’s Swiftness does.
So, you get Natures Swiftness already if you’re Feral. Why not take one of the other two choices instead?
Let me give you an example of how I’ve been working the Predatory Swiftness into my current soloing rotation against, say, an 86 elite.
Oh, and just as an FYI, I’ve soloed Urobi the Walker over 8 times now. Not a single leather pant or staff drop. Not one. Nor did I get a bag. Same with Salyin Warscout. Lesson learned, go have fun. Camping random rares is boring, even if they are on a 45 minute to 1 hour respawn timer.
So, sorry, how I’ve been doing rotations while soloing elites as Feral.
I hit Faerie Swarm to apply the Weakened Armor debuff.
I open with Mangle, get in a Rake, and then a few more Mangles to 5 points.
I do that because I have trained myself to hit Mangle first to apply a Bleed debuff before Raking… BUT MANGLE NO LONGER APPLIES BLEEDS, it just does the Infected Wounds that slows targets. I just can’t seem to break myself of that habit. I’m working on it.
Anyway, I run out of energy with this burst at about the same time I hit 5 points on the target, so I pop Savage Roar as my first Finishing Move, getting a 30% DPS boost for the next 48 seconds and then I pop a free Healing Touch for a big self heal.
Next I activate Tiger’s Fury, giving me another 15% DPS boost for 6 seconds, but more importantly I instantly get 60 more energy AND my Shred can be cast even though I’m facing the front of the target, for as long as Tiger’s Fury lasts.
So for 6 seconds after I hit Tiger’s Fury, I spam Shred, then switch back to Mangle, quickly building back to 5 points on the target and hit the Rip Finishing Move for a nice powerful DoT… and hit another instant free Healing Touch.
Now I can pop Berserk, giving myself an increased energy regen for 15 seconds. So, more Mangles, renew Rake, and build up to a Ferocious Bite or Maim, and get another free Healing Touch out of it.
I mean, one fight and I generally have two, maybe three different opportunities to cast a free instant 30k heal. And it doesn’t have to be cast on me, either, if I have a focus target set up like, oh, on my friend I’m questing with, and they’re wearing cloth. Or on the healer to help in AoE moments.
And that’s not even counting Renewal as a self-only instant cast Heal that gives you 30% of your max health RIGHT NOW.
The only times I’m having trouble is when I’m fighting swarms of little things that die so fast I can’t get 5 points built up on ‘em, and, well, Bear.
Speaking of AoE, I don’t work Thrash into my rotation. Not unless there are more than one target on me. it does damage and yes, it does add a DoT, and it also reduces the damage the bad guys do by 10%, but on single targets I go for fast DPS and multiple Healing Touches rather than worry about reducing damage by 10%.
I also love being an Herbalist. I’ve been getting Life Spirits everywhere from herbs, I’ve already got over 80 of the damn things, they’re like super-hot pots. I use them all the time.
Tiger’s Fury is on a short enough cooldown that, on long fights, by the time Berserk is over I can hit a second one for another surge of DPS.
One thing that I’ve had to work around is, when Predatory Swiftness activates, the Healing Touch icon does NOT light up like other procced abilities can. I suppose it’s because you’ve got choices to make, it’s not automatically assumed you’re going to use Healing Touch. Predatory Swiftness also makes your Rebirth instant cast IN FORMS.
Since the icon doesn’t light up, I’ve set up my Scrolling Battle Text to give me an announcement in my notification window saying it’s procced.
If you use Power Auras or Weak Auras, it’s probably already enabled, and you see it no problem. I don’t know, I haven’t been using them for a long time now. Maybe I should.
It’s important to have some way of knowing if it really went off, though, because in the heat of battle let me tell you, if you hit a Finishing Move and it didn’t go off because you missed, hitting Healing Touch immediately afterwards and popping into humanoid form? BAD THING.
I’ve still got alot to explore.
I have questions.
I haven’t messed around with training dummies, so I have nagging questions like, is there a better DPS boost in the short term hitting Rip on the first Finisher and getting Savage Roar on the second, or is it better the way I’ve been doing it, getting Savage Roar in early?
And Thrash, IS it a DPS boost to replace one of your early Mangles with a Thrash to get the DoT cooking and reduce incoming damage? The few times I’ve tried, the HUGE energy cost feels like it sucks the guts right out of my rotation.
And Ravage. If you have Incarnation, as I do, besides looking really cool with armor and stuff, it lets you instantly activate Prowl if you want, it lets you use your prowl-only abilities like getting off a Pounce stun, and use Ravage ignoring positioning requirement for the entire 30 seconds.
So, how much more of a DPS boost is getting 30 seconds of Ravages off? Am I supposed to use Incarnation as a PvP ability, Pouncing on opponents to stun them? For straight PvE fights, how does Ravage compare to Shred?
It’s an interesting question, and I look forward to doing some playing around with it.
I don’t PvP, and I’m a Night Elf anyway. When I want to vanish I don’t need Incarnation/Prowl, I just hit my Night Elf racial to vanish while stationary, and that drops aggro and let’s me enter Prowl. I do that all the time.
So, if the DPS boost from Ravage isn’t that high, maybe it might be more valuable in terms of DPS to go with Soul of the Forest, giving me an additional 20 energy every time I pop off one of my 5 point Finishing Moves. 20 extra energy goes straight to the DPS bottom line.
And Pounce, well, stuns are nice but I took Mighty Bash to supplement my Headbonk interrupt, and I like it.
So, yeah it’s a new experience. A lot that’s familiar from the times I did Kitty DPS in Dragon Soul, but other stuff that feels like it’s more streamlined, cut closer to the bone in terms of timing.
What do you think? Are you having fun with it? Are you feeling uber epic powerful like I am, or is it feeling squishy to you?
I can hardly wait to get into Heroics and Scenarios, and try out both Bear tanking AND Feral Cat as my two specs.
Now if only I didn’t need to reforge and re-enchant every damn time I wanted to switch.
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Have I told you lately that I love you? That I hold no one else above you?
I can’t gush too much because, hello, spoilers.
But I can say two quick things and then give you a screenshot of happiness.
First thing. Last night I started doing the starter area in Pandaria with my Druid, but before too long decided to follow my nose and sniff out herbs. I explored a lot without ever looking at a map, and found herbs, herbs and more herbs. I quickly got my Inscription to 600, made two Scrolls of Wisdom now (24 hour cooldown, but got the first in before midnight last night), and know two of the new minor Glyphs. So, if you are on Azuremyst and want your Warrior’s Charge to leave a flame trail, or you want your Priest to be looking like a Vyrkul when something or other spell goes off, I’m yer Drood.
The thing of it is, all that exploring left me very, very happy with the land of Pandaria, and I’ll tell you why.
You’ll likely see a lot said about the beauty, the architecture, the design. That’s all nice, I agree.
The big thing to me, the thing that feels RIGHT, is it feels like a land people actually LIVE in!
There are orchards with trees in bloom and peaceful farmers. No mobs, no flames, no distress… just people going about the business of daily life.
Yes a lot of the land, by necessity, is crammed with dangerous areas for questing.
But there are also areas that are there because, you know, people need food. Beer needs barley and hops. Flowers come from somewhere before being picked and placed in a bowl on a table.
There is life happening in Pandaria, and it’s something that I’ve often felt was missing in previous expansions, by necessity of cramming quests into a limited amount of space.
The space in Pandaria is generous… and even on the panda starting area, on the back of a giant sea turtle, this attention to detail of the life and loves and daily work of a people is given consideration… to the improvement of the game.
Okay, so the ecospace seems a bit tiny for the Virmin… who among us didn’t give out a laugh at what we saw deep underground in the Vermin-infested carrot patch? I know Alex drug me over to show me in delight.
So, my first thing is, thank you Blizzard for giving me a land that feels like a settled land with history that supports a people, rather than a coldly calculated quest zone.
My second thing is, whoever designed Pet Battles needs to be given a raise, and then somebody slap the shit out of ‘em. Not necessarily in that order.
Pet Battles are so good, so awesome, so perfect and so ADDICTING that if this shit isn’t the single greatest threat to raid teams, I don’t know what is.
The pets, the achievements, the sheer quantity of critters to seek out and capture, the swapping nature of the game, the tactics and brute force, the balancing act between winning by overpowering and having someone weak enough to give a wounding shot but leave the target alive for capture… wow.
Cassie had no interest in it. Cassie wasn’t in the slightest interested in it.
So who was it that spent most of last night capturing pets in Elwynn Forest and Westfall until she had a rare of every critter in both zones (except the cat in Elwynn, damn the slow spawn rate), and had used a Bunny as her main combat pet? Or, as she put it, ‘That’s one bad bunny!”
Who was it that told me, after her 40th tamed crab in Westfall, that she thought there WERE no rares out of respect for Ghostcrawler? But kept on trying until she finally got one?
She’s got achievements for capturing over 100 critters now, and I still don’t have a third pet past level 2. Mostly because I feel like I really should get my Druid to combat level before getting too deep into Pet Battles and lose it all.
There is going to be a twelve step program for Pet Battles. We’re going to see guild interventions. Mark my words. You will lose raiders over this. They would’ve been ready on time, but they were collecting critters in Kalimdor, and didn’t have time to farm for flasks or food.
I’m telling you. It’s coming.
And finally, this.
While I was exploring, I came across this gentle soul, taking his pet fish for a walk.
That’s all he’s doing… he’s taking the fish for a little walk.
It’s little moments of insane awesome like this, that are the reasons you need to stop and LOOK when you’re playing, or you might miss something that’ll gobsmack you.
Oh, and one last thing.
“An’ this one’s for Gizmo and Socks, you bastards!”
Best. Line. Ever.
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Whether you took some time and are making a marathon of it, or just logged in long enough to go, “Yep, that’s a panda all right”, I hope everyone has had a chance to dip their furry toes in Pandaria.
I spent just about an hour and a half in before work, myself.
So, the big question.
All bullshit aside, what did you really do for your first hour in Mists of Pandaria?
I’m really interested.
Maybe you had big plans or not, maybe you thought you had plans and when you logged in you changed your mind at the last minute and did something else.
What did you do?
How did you spend your first hour in Mists of Pandaria?
Did you rush to level a profession for a server first, or make a new alt, or quest, or try your hand at the new instances?
I thought I had sort of a plan. I was going to go to Pandaria on my Druid and explore a bit. I didn’t do any of the level 85 – 90 content in the beta, it would be truly new content.
Instead, when I logged in this morning I found myself turning my name placeholders into real characters. So, I now have a Panda Monk named Bouncybutt, and a Panda Warrior named Baconbutt. Warriors are supposed to tease the bad guys. If I could wear special threat-enhancing bacon-scented armor to cause more aggro, I would. Oh yes I would.
And really, isn’t it about time we were able to use our Cooking skill to make threat enhancing scents to apply to our armor or shield? The very best chefs could create mouth-watering aromas that drove the critters wild… literally!
After making my new alts, I did log into my Druid… and the thought uppermost in my mind was Pet Battles.
I found the trainer in Stormwind, and then had to go fight a critter. With a pet.
I had to choose a pet to battle with.
Aw… well, shit. I knew I forgot something.
I never picked a team. Quick, who do I choose?
I scrolled through my pet list, and the first thing I noticed was, none of them have any rarity indicator. Still. They just are what they are, no common or rare or anything.
What can I say? I’m a jarhead at heart. Out comes Grunty the Murloc Marine, and I went to pit his automatic weapon against… a bunny wabbit.
It was a tough battle, but I emerged victorious! Err, Grunty did. Yeah, that’s what I mean.
By the time I finished doing pet battles quests, I had a level 3 Grunty, I’d picked the Phoenix as my 2nd battle pet just to have something in the slot, and I could and did capture a poor quality bunny, a poor quality squirrel, and a common Stormwind Rat.
Fine, off to Pandaria!
I won’t spoil anything about the Pandaria experience for those that may still be at work or who have yet to buy the CE version in stores.
What I will say is, when I arrived in the skies above Pandaria, I saw far below the paw print icon of a capturable critter. An Emerald Turtle!
My first Pandaria pet!
When I landed in Pandaria, the very first thing I did was ignore any quest giver, run past all foes, weave and dodge, and got to that Emerald Turtle.
I engaged it in furious pet battle… and it destroyed my pet team in two shots.
Turns out, Pandaria Emerald Turtles are level 24. Oops.
I did a few quests there after that, and then switched to my Panda Monk and got to level 3 while the area was pretty empty.
All that was beside the point. For me, the thing I apaprently really wanted to do was pet battles, and if it weren’t for the desire to level at least one character to max, I’d have stayed with pet battles all morning.
I hope that you enjoyed your first steps into Mists of Pandaria. I hope you’ll tell me how it went for you!
Oh, and if anyone knows how I go about finding out what rarity my existing pets are, I’d appreciate it.
Take care, and happy hunting!
PS, if you haven’t done pet battles yet, when you train the profession, critters you can fight or capture in cagtesd appear on your mini-map as little green paw prints. It is SUPER awesome, and will help those of us who want to fly around in low levels areas expanding our critter stable. I was wondering how you went about fidning new critters, and now I know! And knowing is half the battle.
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‘Tis the day before Pandaland, and excitement is brewing and bubbling away.
Poor timing for this post? Perhaps. But in the rush of enthusiasm, as many are carried along, there will be at least one voice saying, “But momma, he’s not wearing any clothes.”
This is, yes,a bout the Fall of Theramore, but it could as easily be called “What I did last weekend.”
But this isn’t about the story qualities of the Fall of Theramore. I’ve got a completely different axe to grind. Or not.
I think Rades said everything that should be said about it, in the best possible way. At least, everything I hope can be said about it. I find myself nodding along and wishing that it was all intentional to build up the Raid of Orgrimmar, and not just, you know, fail character development of Garrosh.
When The Fall of Theramore scenario was first released, Alex, Cassie and I all hopped on our characters and ran it once. We had a good time learning about it, exploring, burning the ships, etc.
Alex, as could be expected, was a big fan of setting the ships in the harbor on fire, usually while Cassie and I were still fighting on the decks.
We ran the Fall scenario just once that first night, because when we went to re-queue, the option for Fall was greyed out.
The second night, we went in again, and did it a few times. It turned out that you could re-queue, as long as you dropped group and then regrouped. Fortunately, that bug has since been fixed, but at the time it looked like a given character could do it but once a day.
I think we only ran it twice that second night, and I went on my Death Knight, hoping to get a weapon upgrade.
Instead of gear, I got the Everlasting Alliance Fireworks in my loot bag. Alex saw me get that, and was excited at the possibility of getting it as well. I mean, fireworks, right?
I wasn’t sure how loot was designed for the scenario, because after three or four runs, none of us had seen any loot whatsoever, and I had thought there was supposed to be a pretty long loot table for it, so, is it even working? but clearly, there is loot, and it was in the spoils of Theramore box, so… okay?
We ran it again a few times over the week, and no, none of us ever got any epics or Everlasting Fireworks on anyone else.
The drop rate seemed pretty low for anything, and it’s now school time. I decided to just put it aside until we were level 90, and could do the scenario at our leisure to get the fireworks.
Time moves very fast. It was Saturday night when I saw that a Blue had commented that the loot you can get from the scenario of Theramore now will NOT be available in the level 90 Mists of Pandaria version. If you wanted any of the items, you’d better go get them now.
Well… shit. Really?
It was late, maybe 10:00 pm, but I decided to log into Alex’s account and queue up his Death Knight to try and get those fireworks for him. It was no big thing, but I like surprising him with things like that, and he loves the cute flavor items more than actual gear upgrades, you know?
I left Stormwind to fly up to Western Plaguelands to farm iron ore, and join what I expected to be the long queue time for Fall of Theramore, just to get him an everlasting firework.
My first surprise was that the queue time was instant. I’d heard there were huge wait times earlier in the week, but not on Saturday night. I had three runs in before my flight even landed in Western Plaguelands.
How long could it really take to get one simple firework? I could reason that the epics might have a lower drop rate, but a cute little flavor item with a short availability? Shouldn’t be a big problem.
After my third run, I mentioned in Guild Chat that it was going to be a long night of runs to get that firework if the drop rate was as low as it seemed. I mean, sure I didn’t get any loot, but neither did anyone else in any of the runs.
Call me suspicious, but three runs now, plus the runs from earlier in the week, and NOBODY got an epic yet? That suggests a fairly low drop rate. Not exactly raining epics.
One of my guildies, Baddmojo, offered to run it with me three or four times to speed the runs up a little.
Saying his presence would speed the runs up is not a boast. Well, it is, but it’s also damn true. He’s a member of the progression heroic raid team in the guild, and his Rogue is a pure badass. He mentioned in guild chat that he hit 88k DPS on one of the DS boss fights over the weekend, and all I can say is, really? Well, we could bring three of my Hunter, or one Baddmojo to a fight. Hmm… let me think about that for a second. So yeah, I could reasonably expect the runs to go a teensy bit faster with him on the squad.
We queued that baby up and ran the Fall of Theramore.
About four runs in, I realized I was getting Justice Points for every run. Alex had no points when we started, and had been wanting to get a Spellpower Heirloom Staff for our baby Warlocks, so hey, double bonus! We’ll be making progress towards two goals at once. Can it get any better than this?
We ran the Fall. And we ran it some more. Then, well, we might have run it again.
It might seem boring or like drudgery, but I was having a blast on every run.
See, I have a Death Knight that is now a baby 85, no raids, no runs, barely an instance or two. Still half in pvp 377s. But I was on Alex’s Death Knight, and seeing what a hotrod can do on the open road.
It was an eye opener. So many things to try, so much to do, shiny buttons and Talents, oh my!
Inevitably, we were trying to see how fast we could do it, and okay, so we were messing with each other pulling mobs. Since his DPS was so obscene, I would use Death Grip on his mobs when he was far way from me… especially when I’d see his Legendary Dagger wing effect pop. :)
I figured out I might have been going too far when I didn’t let the mobs spread out to engage the water elementals on the last phase, but rushed the group instead so I could Death and Decay and my diseases on everyone at once. Oops! Steamrolled!
Oh yeah, right. When you’re dead, you do zero DPS. Right. Forgot about that.
About, I dunno, 8 runs in we got a dedicated Priest healer, and holy CRAP did that change the nature of the game. The two of us dropped any pretense at strategy, and just started zerging the island.
We’d pile everyone up at the beginning, kill that damn kissing captain, and then he’d take the left ship, and me and the healer would head right. By the time we’d hacked our way through to the right ship’s captain, Baddmojo would have knocked off the left captain and caught up to us. Usually bypassing us to set the ship on fire.
After that, zerg the fountain, zerg the demolisher, and successfully zerg the final wave.
I wanted to hug that healer. Such fun! So fast! I wanted to keep him and hug him and name him George.
I asked him if he’d stay with us. Don’t leave us! Baby, it’s cold outside.
He was there farming cloth, he was delighted to run it again with us.
Over and over and over…. and over and over and over…
By 2:30 in the morning, I had about all I could do. Fortune favors the brave, and random is random, but it just wasn’t happening.
God bless Baddmojo, he stuck with me the whole way through. He may have said he’d run three or four with me, but we ran Fall of Theramore enough for me to earn enough Justice Points to buy that heirloom staff outright.
Lemme see here… 168 JP per run, and 3500 JP for a staff, equals… huh, about 21 runs in one sitting. Or maybe it’s 186 JP per run, and 19 runs. Shit, I don’t even know anymore.
What I do know is, we ran Fall of Theramore a lot.
Over the course of the evening, I saw a lot of cloth drop, a lot of trash grey items, and I got… one Black Circlet epic.
No Everlasting Alliance Firework, just a ton of the Alliance fireworks.
Baddmojo got three of the epic daggers to drop.
I never saw any of the other players we were with get any epics at all.
All night long, not a single one of us ever got the Everlasting Firework.
Here is the sad part. We didn’t get the loot that was supposed to drop, but we did get a world drop of a iLevel 359 epic. A necklace or something, Ju’tzes bell or one of those things.
It wasn’t a waste of an evening by any stretch. Like I said, I did earn enough JP for my son to get the heirloom staff all in one night. That’s pretty badass.
When we played our Warlocks the next day (we’re at 27!) he was so delighted. Now, as he pointed out, he only needs enough JP for the cloth heirloom shoulders. As it is, we’re twins in so much Heirloom gear, the mobs might as well bend over when they see us coming.
It wasn’t a waste in other ways, too. I had a freaking blast playing through that on Alex’s Death Knight.
I learned so much about performing AoE DPS on a Death Knight, on survivability cooldowns, on how Talents work, I can’t begin to tell you.
I know that I started out the night doing around 15k – 18k DPS, and by the end of the night I was doing 33k.
Of course, Baddmojo was doing about 20k more than that, but I felt a distinct sense of satisfaction at improving so much.
I had never really had a chance to play with AoE Death Knight mechanics, and let me tell you, the Blood Tap Talent is awesome for repeated applications of Blood Boil at carefully timed moments of maximum crowd density. Just, wow. Boom boom boom!
And then there was just having a blast messing around with someone doing things that aren’t for progression, just… having fun, you know?
What I’m just a little ticked off about is the miserliness of the drop rate for these items.
I don’t understand it.
Is it really intended that you should take one character and have to chain run it for a week to get one item you’re looking for? To invest four, five hours running the same 20 minute scenario in the hopes of getting an everlasting firework so you’ve got that cute memento?
Alex wasn’t down about not getting it… not with the multiple stacks of normal Alliance fireworks he got. He can burn those suckers off for the next two years. He’s cool. It’s not like we were dying for some specific transmog item, either. Aside from the Archmages Staff, they’re pretty ugly items.
But the drop rate…. I really am surprised. Ooh, here’s the point of the post. I’m a little worried, too.
What I’m worried about is that this isn’t intentional design, but instead a result of the new LFR loot system.
As far as I understand the new LFR loot system, the game decides if there was a chance that loot your class and spec could use would have dropped from the boss. If the answer of that random roll is yes, then a second roll is made to see if you would have been lucky enough to win it based on normal numbers of competitors all rolling for it.
So, although you’re not literally rolling against anyone else, the rarity of loot is supposed to be equivalent to your playing with a full group of people, and always having everyone who could roll for something useable by you competing with you.
Is what I saw in Fall of Theramore that system in action? Where I won a single epic helm after 18 (or 21) runs of the scenario, not including the runs from earlier in the week?
Or was the scenario not using LFR rules, and it was just… hell, the worst loot luck I ever heard of.
Not leaving me with warm fuzzies, here. What if it had been a pet drop? Something I would have wanted on my account, too?
All in all… the Fall of Theramore is leaving me with a bad Cataclysm aftertaste, and I am hoping, I am really hoping that it’s not a sign of what the live Mists of Pandaria will be like.
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