Archive for the “Warlock” Category

We’re still early days into the expansion, and I’ve learned a very valuable lesson.

I was lucky enough to be in the beta, and I spent most of my time on the Horde side, because I didn’t want to spoil the Alliance storyline.

This morning was hilarious. And frustrating!

On the Alliance side, I’ve been taking the completist approach. I’m poking my nose in all the nooks and crannies, looking for quests, rares, ore and timber for my Lumber Mill, neat caves, whatever I might find.

I know I need to get to max level so I can begin preparing for the first raid to be on track with my team. At the same time, this is my main, and I want to get ALL the things in the world. So many quest chains result in Followers that I really do have the perfect incentive to do everything there is to do. If there will be a mount, toy, pet or Follower at the end of it, I will be there, and grateful for the experience.

What is it about the Pets, Followers and Mounts that are so much different from normal quest rewards? Is it that those items are good and fun forever, regardless of your level or zone? Cloth shoulders may come and weapon upgrades may go, but having a cute whelpling follow you around can last a lifetime.

This weekend my family is celebrating Thanksgiving a few weeks earlier than usual, so today was going to be a short start. I had enough time to do what will certainly become our new game routine; log in, collect Work Order Shipments, set new work orders in action, collect missions and send my Followers out, collect ore from the mine, find those damn buried slippers, gather up the accumulated Garrison Resources from the crates, and then check my stock on materials. A little low on Timber? Time to head out on a mining, timber and rare run!

I wandered out of the Garrison and started riding around some of the areas I’ve found small Timber to be growing in the past, getting Timber stockpiled so I’m not always worried about it while questing in the world. You can have up to 250 so might as well stock up, right?

My travels running around enjoying the morning took me eventually to a place just to the southeast of the Burial Fields, over near the river.

There, I spotted a skull on my minimap meaning there was a rare I hadn’t yet killed.

Sounds like fun!

Now, this was within minutes of the servers coming back up, and they came up hours before the stated time, so gamer populations were scarce. Comparatively, anyway.

I had this guy all to myself.

His name?

Yggdrel, a big ass ancient tree dude.

Yggdrel

Looked pretty cool, had him all to myself, and it’s a lovely morning. Let’s get some Timber!

I ran in, and a few seconds later I was dead.

Wait, what the bloody heck was that what?

How the?

Okay, that was surprising. Oh, right, I bet I had no food, no buffs, no pet, I bet I even let the Grimoire of Sacrifice buff fall off, tooling around like I was invincible and stuff.

Well, see, that’s because I’ve felt just that. Throughout Shadowmoon Valley questing and rares, I’ve felt invincible. Unstoppable. What’s that? A wanted poster in the Draakorium, go kill some cute beastie, recommended three people or you get your ass stomped?

Lolright. I got this. No sweat.

I’m fully raid geared. This is my main, I’m iLevel 586 and I’m used to smoking those poor mounties that get in my way. Rawr Bear! Sure, ALL of my alts are gonna be having a challenging time of it when it’s their turn to come this way, but this is MY MAIN.

When you see me coming, just fall down and show your belly, boy. The Alpha is in town.

All right. So I died. It was just a fluke.

Summon my pet, kill him to enhance my calm (and boost those numbers, right?), eat some food, cast a buff. All right, let’s do this.

Wham, wham, there he wait, entangling what? WHAT? The FARM TENTACLES?!?! NOOOOOOO!!!!!!

Dead.

Okay, that’s just embarrassing.

Shit just got really real. Monstre hears about this, I’ll never live it down. Fucking tree takes my ass out? Like hell.

Resurrect, buff, tank pet OUT and upgraded, flasks, food, um… right.

Okay, let’s kick this pig.

Okay, pets in, looking good, tentacle cast and grabs me, send the pet at it and burn it down, good, taking a lot of damage but I can do this, I can do this, pop DPS cooldowns, pop 10 minute demonspawn, get in there and WTF HE CHAIN CASTS THE TENTACLE WTF OVER.

I fought my way through 3 tentacles before dying again.

Okay, this is getting silly. I’m better than this. Right? Hmmm.

I better be better than this, or I’m in trouble.

Hmm… Soulstones are a thing, right? Yeah. I coulda done soulstones.

Okay, this time I’m awake. All those other times I wasn’t really freaking AWAKE, you know? But this shit, this is going down. I am not just wandering off with a branch shoved up my ass crying that the big bad tree did mean things to me. Oh, HELL no.

We’re going all in.

Buff, food, flasks, the goddamn Soulstone, and you know what?

YOU KNOW WHAT?

I’m calling in close fire support. I’m breaking out the Alliance Garrison peeps that are supposed to give me a hand.

I haven’t ever used them before, but I made a Barracks and they gave me this nifty Alliance banner button and told me, when you get in a pinch, who you gonna call? GARRISON BUSTERS.

Fine, I’m gonna pop mah peeps on him, too. Who knows, maybe they will do that extra 5% damage I needed to kill this sucker.

That’s it, all out, going in, pet take that aggro and you hold it, you hear me you best be holding that aggro or I’m gonna summon you and kill you over and over until you think this is Edge of Tomorrow level shit.

All righty. Got it good and stuck in? Entangling Vine cast going out?

UNLEASH THE PUPPIES OF WAR!

And do you know, damned if that tentacle didn’t go after one of the Alliance guys instead of me?

Isn’t that just amazing? Using the Alliance garrison puppies in battle meant there were other targets to get grabbed.

Well, that felt like cheesing the damn fight. Tree fall down go boom.

I’ll tell you something, THAT kind of fight will sure enough wake you up in the morning, just holy crap.

Damn, was that fun! Was it?

HELL YES it was fun, that was just what I needed to cap my enjoyment of the entire zone before moving my thoughts on to taking on the new challenges of Gorgrond.

And as with all rares, there was a reward.

This one was extra cute, because it gave me a new Toy.

The Ancient’s Bloom!

AncientsBloomToy

Rawr look at me I’m a tree!

Now I can be a tree whenever I like… as long as I don’t want to walk around anywhere.

Whatever else anyone may have to say about the expansion or the release, it really all comes down to, will it be fun to play.

For me, the answer is a yes, it’s everything I could have wanted in an expansion.

Shadowmoon Valley is my kind of beautiful fantasy zone, and I’m delighted that my long term vacation home is right there in the middle of it.

I know the Vale was supposed to be the pretty ‘look at this place’ thing, but I’m not a creature of sun-drenched fields and sun-dappled hills.

I’m all about the purples and the greens, the shadows and the calm of twilight settling through the clouds. Shadowmoon is the place I want to be.

I know things with the game launch have been very difficult and frustrating for a lot of people, and that sucks. It’s the opposite of what a new game should be, a celebration of all that we love in WoW.

But please, remember, this too shall pass, and in less time than it would take to farm a new mount with 100 Champion’s Seals in the Argent Tournament, all this crazy will be behind us and fading from our memory as we dig deeper into a great new expansion.

Doesn’t help any when you’re the one pissed off, but it WILL get better. And once the technical issues fall away, the prize is well worth the effort.

I think you’re going to like it here.

Just… watch out for those fucking trees.

Comments 3 Comments »

Once upon a time in a magical, far off land there was a bear.

The bear liked to growl and dance, and talk, and eat heaping piles of bacon.

But above all else, the bear liked to bounce.

From dragons and dungeons to instances and invasions, his big brown butt could be seen happily bouncing to the beat of nations.

Times change, talents were added, tweaked, moved and were lost, but the bounce went on.

Damage was mitigated, reduced, dodged and avoided, but the bounce went on.

Finally there came a day when mitigation became active, and something had to give. The bear could either be bouncy or be beat on, but not both at once.

With sadness, the big brown bear realized that if he gave himself over to being the most active, properly defensive bear he should be, he would have nothing left over to bounce with.

The bear felt his world turning quite gray and cold. Bearing on the bounce was what prevented feeling old.

“A bear without bounce, that just will not do! Oh bother,” the bear thought, “bouncing has gotten too hard to do! Perhaps it’s time to leave tanking for the fast-fingered crew.”

The bear settled down and his days turned quite slow, for he had no more oomph and no particular place to go. He rested in his tree and ate bacon all day, and wondered through the hours what new games he should play.

“I loved being a bear and bouncing all day, and swiping my paws in the enemies’ face. I wonder what’s out there, what else I could do to bring the good times bouncing back with a good swipe or two.”

The bear looked around, and read through the lists, of character creation and leveling kits. Monks and Pandaren, Priests and Paladins too, so many options to choose from but none that ring true!

But wait, what am I thinking, the choice is quite clear! It’s a pandaren hunter that can bounce it’s butt near. I’ll grab a big gun and have a funky dance, and when it comes to bouncing just watch that groovy ass!

Off the bear went, and felt his soul on the mend as he hunted Isle mogu with his dinosaur friend. Growls and stomping, leaps and chomping and a fat feast of feathers flew, the feral spirit was returning with a bear bouncing through.

The hunter tried raiding while shaking his fluff, and bouncing around goofily soloing stuff. The Island of Thunder got smacked with a bow and a gun shoved quite rudely where no gun should go.

It just wasn’t the same, some essential something was missed. Did he make the wrong choice in the character class list? The bear felt himself sitting in front of the screen, wondering “Should I keep logging on in, or start shopping on Steam?”

He didn’t know what to do, was his time over in WoW? If there was no more joy, stick a fork in it now.

He finally decided to make no sudden rash moves. “My father procrastinated, I’m going to too! Why act right away to decide what to do? I’ll putter and potter and mutter and ramble, and mess with some alts while I chat and I scramble. In time I’ll find out if the magic’s all gone, or if theres still some fat spark lurking deep in the wand.”

The bear played with his Pally, his Warrior and Priest, but though they were okay none of them bounced like a beast. The paladin felt clunky, the warrior lacked range, and the priest looked all awesome but couldn’t move worth a damn.

Then he tried something new, something he’d always abhored; he rolled a slimy warlock (but at least it wasn’t a Horde).

The Warlock seemed crappy, it had pets without style, everyone summoned the same with random names from a file. If you’re going to have pets, at the very little least you could let us enslave them for a variety of treats!

Why isn’t this Warlock the same as the Hunter I know, but with red and green fire and a staff not a bow? I want it all different, but also the same, because I want it new but still different, yes I’m completely insane.

Why not give it a chance, why not try out the specs, see what demonology is like, I hear it’s a tank with a pet.

I tried all the specs out, and was flabbergasted to see that the more that I played it, the more it was ME!

The warlock could leap and could bounce and could hop, all while spitting red fire and sending pets out to chomp.

Demonology meant you could leap forward quite far, be tough as a tank and chew bad guys like sharks. You grew giant bat wings and great honking horns, and the ground at your feet swirled with purple arcane forms.

Affliction meant you were a poisonous beast, and it was everything I hated in my original priest. I didn’t want to drop DoTs on a bunch of bad guys, and sit watching as they took forever to die.

Then someone suggested I give destruction a try if I wanted to bounce and tear around on the fly. “You get to rain fire and dance all about, lords a leaping and chasing and shooting green dragons up the snout.”

I gave it a try, it all seemed pretty cool, but I’m a bear in my heart and this warlock felt crude. I’m not about evil cackles and eating your soul, a chomp on some bacon’s as far as I’ll go.

I know it’s all fun and I’m having a blast, but do I really want to play some evil asshole in a mask?

Turns out yes I do, I just pretend I’m not evil, the fire is quite nice and doesn’t REALLY burn people. I’m a sleek deadly warlock that destroys all evil in sight, I like long walks on the beach, provided there is a warbringer to fight.

Yes, I know it’s not proper that a bear turns to fire, but the DESTRUCTION LETS ME BOUNCE WHILE I SET THING ALIGHT!

I can fire and torch baddies from morning til noon, and all the while bounce like a big fricken loon.

The pet thing turned out to be fine in the end, there is something reassuring about a dedicated tank friend. When my blueberry is out I know right away that it’s tanking he’s doing, I don’t have to respec a thing. If I want to shoot fire I whip out the imp, and when it’s time to turn freaky I bring out the whip.

The more I wanted to hate it the more my love grew, this Warlock all bouncing and in sweet evil clothes.

Now I spend all my time in the game like I should, bouncing around having fun like a happy bear could.

I may be purple and green and throw red fire about, I have a blueberry for a pet and scare things when I shout, but I can solo warbringers and kill DeGei with a portal and I can bounce all I want while I rain fire upon you.

I know it’s not proper for a bouncing bear butt to say, but in the heart of a warlock I found a reason to stay.

Comments 12 Comments »

This ain’t one of those things.

I’ve mentioned briefly that my son loves his Worgen Warlock, Wooffie.

Perhaps I should say that he loves the appearance and the idea of Wooffie. Wooffie looks amazing. Big old evil Worgen Warlock.

I’ve been playing Wooffie a lot, lately.

What can I tell you? I loved my Warlock so much that once I’d taken her as far as I could possibly go, I wanted more Warlock goodness. So, I stole his and leveled and now I’m gearing.

The big shock to me is how much difference Haste makes to fun. Nothing says fun quite like massive loads of haste in your Incinerate casts. Flipping from my Warlock to my sons and back again in combat drives me to consider throwing all weighting models out the window in favor of stacking haste. Screw DPS results, I want to click buttons faster.

But I digress.

If someone ever writes the story of my life and where it went so laughably wrong, they should call it “But I Digress”.

Who am I kidding. It would be called Bearwall. And now that I consider it, that shall be the name of my next fantasy novel. Make it so.

So, Wooffie, Worgen and Warlocks.

He has two transmogs he loves, the Voidheart and the Corrupter Tier set from SSC. They mostly come out of SSC. Mostly.

I like that red set too, which is why I sport it exclusively on my own Warlock. But Wooffie has taken it a step beyond, and then some.

As I’ve been gearing, the Cub logs in to check it out, test things and see how he plays. One of his favorite things is to mount up and see what the red Fire and Brimstone effect does to various mounts.

The other thing he does is test what the items he’s getting look like un-transmogged.

Imagine my surprise when I log in and see that he has removed the transmog on a couple of pieces of new gear, leaving an appearance that blew me away.

My friends, I present to you the new Playable Race for World of Warcraft, the Sha-touched.

Livingthedream1

Livingthedream2

Livingthedream3

He removed the transmog from the Tier 14 Sha-Skin Regalia normal helm and LFR gloves, and left all the rest of his set alone. With the beastly Worgen stance, he looks like some Sha-touched creature dressed like a Warlock, as if some spell into the nether went horribly wrong.

God, I love this look. I don’t even know if swapping for the normal gloves or the LFR helm would improve it, somehow the reddish helm with the blue gloves just work, even though they’re from different difficulty sets.

I don’t know if you’ve seen this helm, but it has living effects, the jaws open and close, breath comes out, twitches. It’s just like having a different head on your body.

This is the kind of thing that makes me finally look at transmog as something other than a way to have your character wear a full set as Blizzard intended.

I have to ask, what kinds of mixed sets do you have that you love? Is there a special blend of mountain-grown Warlock stuffs that you just adore? Is there something that works better for your race than anything else?

Oh, and by the way… here are a few pics of his favorite Fire and Brimstone mounts.

First, the Heart of the Aspects.

FNBheartoftheaspects

And then, because Alex wanted to make sure you knew that if you were riding the Heart of the Aspects underwater it turned into a sea serpent;

FNBheartoftheaspects-swimming

Then the Sandstone Drake… or, as Alex put it, the Bloodstone Drake;

FNBsandstonedrake

And finally…. the one Alex was most adamant I take a screenshot of. The Abyssal Seahorse. Blood in the Water? Yikes!

FNBabyssalseahorse

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I’m back from vacation with a burning desire to do ALL the things, and there just aren’t enough hours in the day!

This latest patch had so much awesome in it for Hunters and Warlocks, it’s hard to pick who to do what with.

Yeah, you know me. I’m trying to do it all with both. Ain’t gonna happen.

My Hunter Beartrap is a very happy Dinolord, running around with his buddy Barry. Such a joy to play. I really want to just hug him and squeeze him and kill things with him all night long.

Then there is my Warlock, who… well, I have a limerick to describe where my Warlock is at.

There once was a Warlock called Buttflame
whose gases were the source of his name.
Chilis that made him perspire
let him cut loose with red fire.
The thought of GREEN made him fear insane pain!

I think anything worth saying is worth turning into horrible doggerel.

I bought a jar of special jalapeno salsa in honor of my Warlock and the quest for green fire. Every day that passes that my Warlock doesn’t get the Sealed Tome, I have to eat some chips and green salsa.

This better not take too long or there’s gonna be more than one Buttflame running around here.

In other news, the Sealed Tome can only be looted by Warlocks from the rares on the Isle of Thunder… but they’re not BoP. A Warlock who already has one can loot another, and then give it to a friend… or put it up on the Auction House.  There were two up on my servers’ Alliance AH last night for 40k buyouts each. If I had mad money, I woulda bought one.

Remember the true formula of worth is money = time. You can always spend time to farm something yourself, but at some point you’ll find that your time is worth a certain amount of gold… and you’d rather spend the gold than spend the time.

I ain’t there yet.

If I had to get the tag on a rare, it would be a different story.

The rares on the Isle of Thunder are awesome. You don’t have to be grouped with someone who tagged it, you don’t have to be the same faction as the person that tagged it. As long as you join in and go for it trying to kill the boss, when it dies you can loot it.

Now, I know this still isn’t perfect. Every additional person that tags a rare causes it to increase it’s total health pool by 50%. So, some griefing is still going on with people running up, hitting a rare once to make it increase health, and then standing back and /popcorning. Dicks.

But it does mean that if you run up and you really want to kill it and loot it, by God it doesn’t matter what the composition of forces or if it’s Horde or Alliance, just wade in and fight.

And try to watch for more people who are flagging PvP so AoEs flag you and make you a target. Again, dicks.

I’ve killed a lot of rares on my Warlock this last weekend, at least 15 kills, and it’s been fun. I’m not even sad that I didn’t get a Sealed Tome drop, I’m probably not skilled enough to finish the warlock chain if I got one anyway, lol. It was fun just to run up and let loose on the Haywire Construct or Mumta. Mum-Ra? Whatever. And each rare kill, every single one, gives you a Tome drop that is worth an instant 15 valor points. Tasty. :)

Anyway, circling back around, there are just an amazing list of things that can be done this patch, and I want to do them all, on two characters. No way. Uh uh, not happening.

What I’ve decided I can do is to run the Throne of Thunder LFR on both characters each week. Then I can run Terrace on my Warlock. And I can try to do dailies on both each day.

Yeah, that’s about it. That’s probably too much, really. I know that I alternated doing dailies this last weekend, one day for my Warlock, the other for my hunter. It’s not that there are LOTS of dailies, it’s just that I’m having fun instead of blitzing ‘em.

Oh yeah, and I was fortunate enough to get one of those Loot Run Scenario keys on both characters. First run, disaster. I watched a few videos, but I underestimated the power of the trash mobs in the second room.

The second run I did, I focused on scouring the perimeter of the first room from the ledge, and looking into all the nooks and crannies and walked away with four big boxes, two keys and 14 Elder Charms. Since my Warlock didn’t have any Elder Charms to start, that was very welcome for the Terrace run that followed.

So I know what I’ll be doing, but what won’t I be doing that I’d like to?

I’d love to kill Oondasta on my server. I helped a friend kill him on another server, and it was a white carpet skeleton ride. It would be great to do it for real, where I could get loot. Why won’t it happen? Well, I have too much stuff to do to park on Isle of Giants and hope to be there when it spawns. I’ve got stuff to do in the playtime I have, I can’t just sit there.

I’d love to go look for the new rares in Pandaria that can drop a dino mount, but I don’t really NEED a dino mount, and other people really want them, so I don’t want to compete with them and steal their potential kills. It’s enough for me to know I will get a Golden Dino for sure once I’m exalted with my Kirin Tor Offense faction.

Hell, I’d love to just spend more time exploring the Isle of Giants, but with all the action being on the Isle of Thunder, I can’t find the time to get out there. Definitely something I’ll be trying to get to, once the Thunder dailies are all maxed and the stages are complete.

It’s amazing, even daunting to think how much stuff there is to do right now, and then consider that we haven’t even unlocked all of the Throne of Thunder on LFR, or all of the stages of the island. There are still world bosses we have yet to see.

Simply amazing.

I know I feel overwhelmed, but I’ve got my goals down to a bite-sized piece of Pandaria, so it’s not too bad. I just have to hope something else new and shiny doesn’t get released before I’m caught up with the core fun stuff, right?

Oh, and lets not talk about the new Legendary pet battles. Time, time… ask me for anything but time!

So, now that I’m back, please tell me… what have you been enjoying the most since the patch hit? What are your priorities?

Comments 12 Comments »

The big news this week is that I managed to qualify for and run all of heart of Fear and Terrace LFR on Monday, before the reset, thereby getting a bonus chance.

How that happened? Ah, therein lies a tale.

When my Warlock reached level 90, it didn’t take long to get iLevel 460, which grants access to the first range of LFR; Mogushan Vaults.

That was great, and I even got a belt upgrade on my first full run, but it’s a long road from there to 470, the threshold for Heart of Fear and Terrace of the Endless Spring… you know, where the GOOD shit is.

I spent much of my play time for the week running heroics and doing Operation: Shieldwall dailies, but when Monday night rolled around I was still a few iLevels shy of that blessed 470.

A bunch of great guildies were willing to do some Heart of Fear LFR with me that night, if I could just get over the hump… so I pulled the trigger and bought an iLevel 489 Valor Point cloak.

That did the trick, and off we went.

So, what do you think dropped during the run through Heart of Fear?

That’s right, of course… a cloak. An iLevel 483 cloak, and good lord, what are the odds. Right? Well, there went some good Valor Points, used at full face value instead of after the half-priced sale, pissed right down the drain. Should have bought a ring instead. Oh damn, I could have bought an Operation: Shieldwall 496 ring, the Shieldwall stuff didn’t show up on the universal Valor point vendor list at the Ox Temple so it didn’t even occur to me. Ugh, what a dumbass!

But wait… is it possible?

Maybe, just maybe, I has me an idea.

When you buy items from the Valor Point vendors, the items come with a built in timer, telling you that if you were to sell back the item to a vendor within 2 hours of the time of purchase, you’ll get yourself a full refund.

That run was about an hour long… but I used it hard in that raid. You don’t think…

I approached the vendor, and I imagine the conversation went something like this.

“Hey, how’s it going? Remember me?”

“Yes, I do. You were the one with the large purple horns and glowing circle under your feet reminiscent of the most foul of sha energies. How could I possibly forget.”

“Um, yeah, right… right. Hey, you remember that cloak you sold me? The one you said I could return within two hours if I wasn’t completely satisfied? Yeah, I’d like to return that.”

“I see. Do you mind if I ask what was wrong with the cloak? Was the fit a tad off? Were the spells not up to snuff?”

“Oh, no… no. Nothing like that. Perfectly fine cloak, nice thread count, good stuff. I just found something I liked a little better, that’s all, more in line with, um. You know, my budget sort of thing.”

“Ah. Of course, I understand. Looking at your current attire, I should have known. Let me just take that off your… wait. What is that? Is that a stain?”

“What?!? Oh no, it couldn’t be…”

“It is, isn’t it! And that’s blood! And those are black sha energies dripping from the fabric, do you have any idea how hard those are to get out? You have to Martinize. You fought Empress Shek’zeer wearing this cloak, didn’t you?”

“No, of course not. I’d never wear something once and then return it, not me!”

“Uf course, of course. And what do you call this, then?” [holds up a corner of the cloak, from which dangles a broken off mandible, piercing the hem and dripping green gore].

Accessories. Haven’t you heard of swatches? It’s foreign. Ups the value, very trendy. Straight edge all the way.”

“Sigh. Very well. Take your Valor Points and go, and don’t let your shade darken my door anytime soon.”

“Hey, thanks, you’re swell!”

“See you next patch!”

[shudders]

Comments 10 Comments »

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