We were a grim crew as we filed through the open arch. The Blackfuse Company and a mighty dinosaur. All of that just to guard a door? What else are we going to find up ahead, corrupted Celestials led by a sha-infested Sargeras?
I was past caring. I felt numb. All I wanted to do was get past all of these misguided fools that believed in Garrosh, get this thing done. If the Kor’kron stood and died or were smart enough to run screaming before us, no difference to me.
Throw them all at us, Garrosh. Send us your fine Orc warriors, your true believers in your vision of what a Horde should be. So many good men and women lost for nothing while you cower in your hole. Explain to their mothers and fathers, explain how all this will bring about the bright future of your True Horde.
Or better still, don’t bother trying to explain. They will find the answers for themselves when they see your head at the tip of our spear.
The battle against Thok must have beaten me down more than I thought, because I didn’t get that we were under attack until the hum of an edge whipped past my head.
I ducked, startled out of my thoughts and quickly tossed up a rain of fire to get some breathing room.
Shit, I knew that buzzing sound.
The passage before us was thick with mantid warriors, their razor-edged limbs flashing as they attacked, wings buzzing as some leaped to try and flank us from the left.
Why the bloody hell would the mantid be here? Empress Shek’zeer was dead and gone and the mantid were under the guidance of the Klaxxi while they awaited the birth of a new Empress.
The Klaxxi… yes. Even in the dim light, I could make out some of the markings on the carapaces of the mantid pushing against each other in their eagerness to get at us. These were Klaxxi, untouched by the taint of the sha.
The Klaxxi warriors we fought showed no sign of wanting to talk it over. They were intent on getting to us and tearing us to pieces. It seemed they had been set to guard the way, and now that we had penetrated past the doors they would kill us or fall. Absolutely fearless and dedicated to fulfilling the will of the Klaxxi’va and their duty, as a true Klaxxi should be.
As we forced our way deeper into the passage, mandibles and armor pieces flying past, I thought I knew what was going on, and it felt like I’d been punched in the gut. Had it really only been a short few hours since I’d jokingly wondered if we would have to fight our family next?
And for my sins, here we are.
I remembered clearly the last time I saw Kil’ruk, my first and best friend among the Klaxxi, the first of the champions I had labored to free from his amber prison.
He had taken me aside to where the great sealed door faced the resonating crystals of the Klaxxi. I had always assumed behind it lay the entombed remains of great Klaxxi warriors of the past, perhaps even the Empresses of previous dynasties. Or maybe that was where they stored the fluids of their champions for genetic manipulators like Rik’kal to work with, always trying to improve the race.
What I learned from my swarm brother was a far different tale.
Kil’ruk had opened the way for me, and led me deep beneath the Klaxxi mound to a carefully guarded chamber. There were decorous carvings on the walls showing scenes from the mantid past. Scenes of the origin of the mantid… and who they truly served.
Kil’ruk said to me, “Wakener, your deeds have earned you the trust of the Klaxxi. You are to be rewarded.”
“The mantid are an elder race. The pandaren you associate with – they are but children. They have their role to play.”
“Each cycle, our young swarm their walls. The pandaren slay the weak. The strong return. With each generation, we grow ever stronger.”
“Before your history began, our empire was vast. We shared this world with our sister kingdoms, Ahn’Qiraj and Azjol-Nerub. Our Gods were many, and powerful.”
“We mantid worshipped the seven heads of Y’shaarj. Great was the Old One, and terrible was His wrath. He consumed hope and begat despair; He inhaled courage and breathed fear.”
“When the usurpers came – the ones you call ‘Titans’ – Y’shaarj was destroyed.”
“His last terrible breath has haunted this land ever since, but the shadows he left behind are mere whispers of his former glory.”
“I tell you now, because you have earned this warning. Your gods are not our gods, outsider. If the Old Ones ever return, we mantid will once again stand by their side. The wisest among you will do the same.”
I had stood in that chamber for some time afterwards, coming to grips with what he meant.
From the moment I had freed Kil’ruk from the amber, I had done my best to be a true friend to the Klaxxi. Together we had been successful in freeing the mantid from their slavery to the Sha of Fear, and regaining their freedom.
The truth was, the Klaxxi were the people I felt most comfortable with. The Horde and the Alliance were full of themselves and their petty fears, their prejudices and their hatreds. They brought their crap everywhere they went, and if they looked to build something for others it was just to consolidate their strength or build alliances so they could have greater resources or more allies for the next time they wanted to fuck something up.
The Klaxxi didn’t play any of those games. They had duty, commitment, a sense of purpose. They followed orders, and put the good of the many before the needs of themselves. They looked for and recognized excellence; what mattered was what you did, not what you said you intended to do. You couldn’t bullshit the Klaxxi, you performed and were rewarded or failed and were tossed on the shit pile.
Everything was aimed towards building a stronger society, a more powerful people that could face any challenge and survive into the future. They didn’t waste time proclaiming how fucking great they were or how perfect and awesome the current rulers were. No statues were built, no fawning tributes, none of that crap. The Klaxxi didn’t pretend the world had achieved perfection when a royal child was born. They looked to the future, always to the future.
Fuck Varian, and fuck the statue he built to himself at the entrance to his castle. How about the masses starving at the walls of Sentinel Hill? The history of Westfall was written by the blood of those cast aside. But a statue to the greatness that is Varian Wrynn? Oh yes, by all means, open the treasury and bring up the construction teams.
The Klaxxi are my people, I am the Wakener and their swarm brother.
That is what made the secrets he entrusted to me so hard to bear. For all their logic and order, for their goal of a stronger tomorrow, they were still trapped by their beginnings.
Even as they grew stronger, smarter, as they began to think for themselves and act independently, in their hearts they thought it was all in service to some old dead god they worshipped in a musty old chamber.
I had left that chamber grateful that Y’shaarj was dead and gone.
As strong as the Klaxxi were already, it seemed to me every generation that got farther from the days of Y’shaarj would grow more independent. Their efforts to improve the race were bearing unexpected fruit. Given enough time, I bet they’d become a people free of the influence of Y’shaarj and look for a way past the cycle of war with the pandaren on their own. They probably didn’t even realize they were doing it.
I snapped back from my memories in horror, as I realized what this meant.
The heart of Y’shaarj reborn. How could I have been so stupid as to miss what that would mean to the Klaxxi? For all their selfless attention to duty, they still looked for someone, the right someone to take charge and tell them what to do. With their Empress dead they would be even more desperate for a leader to follow. A leader that tradition supported.
Who better than someone consumed by the Heart of Y’shaarj itself? To the Klaxxi, it wouldn’t be Garrosh using the dark power of the heart, it would be the Heart of their One True God speaking to them at last, through a warm-blooded faceless puppet.
Shit. Shit, shit, shit!
My teammates killed the last of the Klaxxi warriors, leaving the rest of the tunnel clear.
We pushed on and stepped into a vast chamber, with, yep, another big fucking locked door on the other side.
The room was very large with a high domed ceiling and raised terraces to left and right. Plenty of room for all manner of flying, leaping and crawling critters to come swarming down on us. Joy.
The room was full of Klaxxi, but the very first thing that drew my eye was an empty wooden crate cast off and abandoned in the far corner of the room.
There lay the chest that had held the Heart of Y’shaarj, still glowing with the lingering purple essence of a dead god come back to life. Proof if I needed any that a remnant of Y’shaarj was returned, surrounded by a swarm of Klaxxi eager to defend the way against any who came.
The room was filled with those I had come to call my friends.
My heart was lifted for a moment to see massive Kovok stomping around impatiently behind the Klaxxi warriors like a particularly impatient dog that had forgotten where he had buried a bone. Ah, the good times he and I had had!
But enough. The Klaxxi had their duty, but so did I. There was a reason we got along so well.
Arrayed about the high terraces, the nine surviving Klaxxi Paragons looked down upon us.
I had stood beside each and every one of these powerful champions in battle, and I had cause to respect their will. They had never known defeat, and were so committed to duty they had permitted themselves to be entombed in amber, possibly for all time, just to be ready against the day their might was needed in defense of their people. And in the hopes of a good bloodbath, too.
As I’d expected, the first to recognize me was Kil’ruk, the Wind-Reaver. The angel of death, he who had laid waste to countless pandaren and mogu. He called to the others around him, saying “Look, brothers! The Wakener is here!”
My heart sunk even further. I already knew there would be no talking around this. You don’t convince the Klaxxi, you don’t debate or plead. They make a decision, and then carry it out. You could point out an advantage they overlooked and hope the Klaxxi elders would see your point, but if not, tough shit.
Rik’kal the Dissector turned his head to stare at Kil’ruk in disbelief. “They made it this far? I TOLD you the others needed some microsonic genetic alterations!”
I had to chuckle at that. Ah, Rik’kal, always letting his desire to investigate come before the matter at hand. I still had to laugh at the way Kaz’tik shut him down when Rik’kal wanted to… investigate the source of Kovok’s great strength. At least he did before Kaz’tik pointed out his vulnerability to sonics and how fascinating he might find his own spleen.
Iyyokuk the Lucid was clearly irritated, as if the solution to a clearly foreseen problem hadn’t worked out after all. “How illogical… Did they not take your warning, Kil’ruk?”
Kil’ruk shrugged his winged shoulders as Xaril the Poisoned Mind reminded him, “We Mantid serve a power far greater than they or their gods.”
Kaz’tik finished the brief exchange between them, and in that moment I realized that my chance to speak was lost. I had just watched them discuss how far being the Wakener would carry us, and as Kaz’tik said, the answer was “It matters not. The Old One will not suffer their intrusion.”
The nine Paragons all turned to look at us, and Korven the Prime addressed us directly for the first time.
“We have endured the Usurpers, their children, the loss of the Old One, and soon… you.”
Ka’roz the Locust joined in, speaking as if continuing the same thought. As though all the Paragons were of one mind.
“We will slay you all as easily as we slew the pandaren of old!”
Skeer the Bloodseeker picked up the thread, saying “And then the Old One will remake this world, for the Mantid.”
Hisek the Swarmkeeper fluffed his wings, saying what we knew would surely follow.
“Come, children of the Titans… You face the Paragons.”
6 Comments »
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.
19 Comments »
I was fortunate enough to get a Hearthstone Beta key earlier this week. A completely new experience for the Bear household!
I’ve never played a collectible card game before, and neither has my son. We’ve both seen Pokemon cartoons though, so we know what they’re ALL about, amiright?
So, enter Hearthstone, our first ever foray into the world of collectible card games, and without even needing physical cards.
This is my first report on our experiences.
I installed the game on my computer and account, and started it up. Nice opening cinematic.
I started the tutorial, played the first two battles, and then noticed I had a quest progression bar at the bottom of the screen, and realized that I was ‘unlocking’ new cards each time I had a victory on the starter character, the Mage Jaina.
From the beginning, I had expected Hearthstone to be something the Cub would enjoy doing more than me. I had only intended to mess around for a bit and get a feel for what it was before letting him have at it… and you kinda need a tutorial to learn the rules of a brand new game system.
I checked it out, I dithered for a few days. It turns out that no, you cannot ever replay the opening tutorial sequence. It introduces you to each concept, and then you can learn it more in depth when playing the Practise game to unlock all the character decks.
But I get ahead of myself.
I played the first two tutorial card battles, and I couldn’t go back. Those missions unlock new cards, and those cards go into your deck. There is currently no option to replay the tutorial missions, with pacing and explanation, over again.
I would like to see that added some day in the future. Include an option to replay tutorial battle sequence with the XP gain and card unlocks removed. It would be a great way to introduce the game to a friend of yours over for a visit. Let them sit down at your computer, and have them play the tutorial missions with your unlocked cards turned off, so it was clean as the first time.
We don’t have that option, so I could either continue to play through, then teach Alex directly. Or I could do what Cassie suggested, and find a Youtube or Twitch channel where someone filmed/recorded the entire sequence.
I decided to play the rest of the tutorial and then sit down with Alex and coach him on it afterwards.
I played through the Mage quests, and then took on two or three battles in the Practise section to try and unlock other character decks.
I also spent $10 in the store on the 7 expert deck combo, to lock in my own Beta bonus legendary card, Gelbin Mekkatorque.
In the practise room, you can play with either their basic decks or your own custom decks. I stuck with basics for my three fights… and I got my butt handed to me. So, I learned how to play by the tutorial, but I clearly didn’t really know what I was doing yet.
Good enough to bring Alex into it? Sure, why not. Can’t do worse than I was already, and as long as I didn’t try to teach him my mistakes or shoddy thinking we’d be good.Llet him develop his own understanding of the mechanics and I t should be fine.
Last night I interrupted his Minecraft Youtube video watching marathon to ask if he’d like to try Blizzard’s brand new digital card game. He didn’t seem all that excited about it, but I had it up on my computer already, so he could just plop his butt down and play.
I made it too convenient to blow off in favor of videos. Heh, this is a big deal! He doesn’t really play WoW anymore, he’s too busy playing Minecraft for a half hour, then watches Minecraft videos for a half hour, then asks for a mod or map he saw and plays Minecraft again.
Side note, the Minecraft 1.6.2 mod “The Aether II” is incredibly awesome. So is Galacticraft. If you like Minecraft, check them out, true winners.
He wanted to watch me play it through, see what it was like.
I went into a Practise battle with the Mage, who remained the only deck I unlocked, and I narrated what was going on while I did it and let him make decisions for me and asked his opinion.
Imagine his shock when I got my butt handed to me, and he learned that yes, in fact, that was normal for me and that I had yet to win a single real Practise battle.
Would he like to try? Why yes, yes he would in fact like to give it a go, thank you very much. He had found excitement in leading the way, so he could then teach me.
I sat with him while he did some battles. First one was against Garrosh, and he got his butt handed to him. Health and attack power were concepts easily picked up, it was the Mana Crystal and card cost concepts that had the learning curve.
He kept getting so excited at what HE was going to do next he forgot that once his Crystals were gone his turn was done. Understandable, right?
His next battle was against the Rogue. That was an excellent introduction to strategy.
Against the Rogue, he got the joy of having a big minion card in his deck, one of those big Mana Crystal cost minions with 6 attack power AND 6 health kind of thing. Wow, this is going to rock!
And as soon as he plays it, the Rogue casts Assassinate and insta-gibs it.
It happened again later in the match, fielded a super powerful minion expecting it to distract long enough to do something else, and on the next turn it was instantly Assassinated.
I explained that you could only have two of any card in your hand. In that battle, he at least now knew that the Rogue couldn’t do it to him again. And if he had another big card like a Legendary, he could’ve fielded it without worrying about Assassination because he’d already scared them both out of the Rogues hand.
I saw the wheels turning.
I showed him the collection tab, where you can browse through all of your cards. I showed him how each character deck had special ‘class only’ cards, and then there was a minions tab that could be drawn on by everyone.
And I showed him how, when I purchased my $10 batch o’ cards, I’d been lucky enough to get a Legendary, Ysera. So we had two Legendary minions in our deck.
Immediately he wanted to know how you make your own decks. I hadn’t done that, but I’d seen where the option was so I showed him, and showed him how you could build your own Mage deck by picking up to 30 cards.
Then I left him to it and walked away to talk with Cassie about how much fun he was having.
I came back about a half hour later, to find Alex had built his own Mage deck, making absolutely sure to include both legendaries in his deck.
Here was the shocker.
He used a lot of 1 Mana Crystal cards, at least six or seven. He made sure to include like 5 taunt/tank cards after the way he got crushed by the enemy using taunts. And he had almost no 2 or 3 point cards. Lots of 1s, a couple fours and a ton of 5s and up.
And he’d already defeated the Rogue and the Warlock.
As I watched, he finished kicking holy hell out of Anduin.
Mind you, this was before he’d reached level 7 and unlocked more basic mage deck cards. Yes, he had the cards we got from my $10 purchase to draw on (knyuck, knyuck) but still.
Um, yeah. Okay. So, time for me to get my son to teach me how to play.
He ended the night jubilant and wanting to keep at it forever.
My ending thoughts on this.
First, the beta key is tied to my account. For the Cub to play, he will have to log in through Battle.net on the computer using my account.
I have found out, YES, you can have two computers both logged into the same Battle.net account at the same time as long as the GAMES you eventually log into are two different games. This might be why you can’t transmit chat from within the Battle.net interface, only from within a game. We had Battle.net on with my login on two computers. He logged into Hearthstone on his computer, I logged into World of Warcraft.
When he took a break before bed to change to Starcraft II, he closed Hearthstone, started Battle.net and logged into Starcraft II, all on my account, and all while I was in WoW. No problems.
The flip side to this is, until we get another beta key or the game goes live, he and I will not be able to play against each other, and all of his efforts are, yes, going into building decks on MY account. Heh.
So, when the game goes live he’ll get the wonderful opportunity to play through that tutorial he missed the first time…
And then when he’s ready to play, I’ll get to CRUSH him with the decks he built! Woot!
The Cub had the day off from school today, one of those whatever things schools do to make sure working parents who DARE not to stay home all day to play happy homemaker get screwed.
I was very helpful. I left the login name and password, and my authenticator, right there on his computer so if, oh, he felt like playing Hearthstone, he could do so with ease.
it’s okay. It’s safe. He won’t delete my characters, and he’s got more gold than I do, so it’s not like he can loot me blind.
What’s the worse that can happen?
6 Comments »
Enough time has now passed that I think it’s appropriate to release my own list of pets I use for the Celestial Tournament without unduly influencing anyone through exposure.
Granted, nobody wants me to expose myself, but it’s my blog and I can oh hell no I ain’t quoting that.
I’m going to do this quick and dirty. For once, I’ll spare you my rambling bullshit. If you’re reading this, you want an idea of what pets I use that I find consistently successful, and you’ll probably spin off of that for your own teams based on what pets you have access to.
I warn you up front, the pets I use against most of the Celestials aren’t going to help you much, unless you were as bored as I was and farmed based off my Val’kyr Tom Tom route post.
Anyway, let’s get to it.
All of my pets are upgraded to Rare and are level 25. If you’re fighting the Tournament, you don’t need me telling you what the enemy pets are. And I am going to respect you enough to assume you don’t need me teaching you things like the proper use of Decoy, Call Darkness with Blindness or Burrow.
Opposing Forces One; Sully, Dr Ion and Loremaster Cho.
Effervescent Glowfly (H/B) (1,1,1)
Direhorn Runt (P/B) (1,1,1)
Gilnean Raven (B/B) (1,2,1)
Celestial Dragon (H/H) (1,1,1)
Lil’ XT (H/P) (1,1,1)
Ghostly Skull (H/P) (2,1,1)
Lesser Voidcaller (H/H) (2,2,2)
Mechanical Pandaren Dragonling (S/S) (1,1,2)
Anubisath Idol (H/H) (1,2,1)
Opposing Forces Two; Wrathion, Chen Stormstout, Taran Zhu
Grasslands Cottontail (S/S) (1,2,1)
Flayer Youngling (S/S) (1,1,1)
Anubisath Idol (H/H) (1,2,1)
Darkmoon Zeppelin (H/B) (1,2,2)
Curious Wolvar Pup (P/P) (2,1,2)
Gnarly (H/P) (1,1,2)
Mr. Grubbs (H/P) (2,2,2) – Sticky Goo is critical to root that sucka and keep him from swapping out. Pin him and slam him!
Nether Ray Fry (P/P) (2,1,1)
Creepy Crate (H/H) (2,1,2)
Opposing Forces Three; Wise Mari, Blingtron 4000, Shademaster Kiryn
Gilnean Raven (B/B) (2,2,1)
Onyxian Whelpling (P/B) (2,1,2)
Emperor Crab (P/P) (2,2,2)
Eternal Strider (P/S) (1,2,2)
Cinder Kitten (B/B) (1,2,1)
Pandaren Fire Spirit (P/S) (1,1,2)
Stitched Pup (H/P) (1,2,2)
Terrible Turnip (P/S) (2,1,1)
Son of Animus (P/P) (1,2,2)
Now, I know that this list isn’t going to be universally helpful. This is what I have used so far and had consistent success, and it’s drawn from what I have at level 25 and rare. So no, I am not saying you have to own a Son of Animus to defeat Shademaster Kiryn, or a Creepy Crate for Taran Zhu. I am simply showing what I use, and hoping that if you are looking for inspiration for a counter against a specific pet within a tamer’s team, this might help.
Each week, I take the team I used the week before, and root around looking for something a little different to try, see if I can’t get it even cleaner. So far working very well, though.
Now, some pets that you might think would be brilliant don’t show up here, right? I mean, I’m using an Emperor Crab against Wise Mari, when clearly a Pandaren Water Spirit would be more effective, what with having the two very powerful timed explosions.
Well, there is a reason I can’t use a Pandaren Water Spirit or a Chrominius for any of the tamer fights.
I don’t have one to spare.
Bonkers-A (P/P) (1,2,2)
Bonkers-B (P/P) (1,2,2)
Pandaren Monk (P/S) (1,2,1)
Yes, I have two Bonkers. Actually, I have three. The third ain’t a P/P breed, so I haven’t leveled him yet. Bonkers is freaking AMAZING, and I didn’t have anything better to do with those 30,000 coins than open chests. Getting through Yu’las Emerald Dream takes powa.
All three of the other Celestials = three teams of;
Unborn Val’kyr (1,2,2) Curse of Doom, Unholy Ascension, die and switch to Water Spirit.
Pandaren Water Spirit (1,2,2) Geyser, Whisrlpool switch to Chrominius.
Chrominius (1,1,2) Howl, Bite, Surge of Power. Enemy dead.
Yep. That’s right. I have THREE TEAMS of the Unborn Val’kyr, Water Spirit and Chrominius. I was bored, and I had spent all that time making the Tom Tom route for the Unborn Val’kyr, and I got one for Alex, and well… I was weak, and I wasn’t raiding, so I kept rolling on the route and ended up with three of them trying for different breeds.
At that point, I mean I’m defeating the Tamers each day, and I’m clearing Blackwing Lair… there didn’t seem any reason NOT to have three of the Water Spirits or Chrominius. I figured while doing the Beasts of Fable dailies I could just rotate through my three teams so I didn’t have to waste Bandages, I could just wait the 8 minutes for my cooldown and still have a team or two ready for the next fight.
When the Celestial Tournament went live, well…. I looked at the four Celestials, picked one to build a ‘real’ team for, and figured I’d try the team designed by Phraide for the Beasts of Fable on the other three, see how they did.
It turned out that the team consistently crushes all of the other Celestial pets, even though they added the “can’t do more than 30% damage on a single attack” limitation.
No, I can’t defend it.
On the one hand, they are pets I have, and there would seem to be no reason to intentionally prevent myself from using every tool I have available to win. What, it’s okay to use Call Darkness and Nocturnal Strike as a way to bypass insane dodge abilities, but not to use Geyser and Howl?
My real problem with using three teams like this is it’s not my strategy. I learned about it from Phraide on the Warcraftpets.com forums. Actually I learned about it from Josh Augustine on his WoW Pet Battle Crew podcast, he mentioned it in passing so I went and looked up what he was talking about on Warcraftpets. I tried it against the Beasts of Fable, and sure enough it was very effective in clearing them quickly every single day.
I figured there was no reason why it wouldn’t work on a Celestial since they’re single pet fights, and sure as heck it does.
Now, for the purpose of accuracy, you don’t have to have three Unborn Val’kyrs. The Ghostly Skull also has the Unholy Ascension ability, and can stay in to do some damage before popping it, ending up withe the same overall effect. And there are many more pets than Chrominius that have Howl, such as the new Moon Moon, Lil’ Bad Wolf, Tito, Core Hound Pup, a lot of Foxes, etc.
Those Pandaren Water Spirits? Those are pretty pro.
There you go. I have no secrets from you! Go forth my friends and conquer.
And by all means, share with me the teams you prefer for some of these tamers. I know that whatever you use will likely be different. That’s why I like pet battling so much!
I’m always leveling new pets and hoping to try them out in the roster, so if you’ve got a mix you particularly like, let me know and I’ll give it a whirl.
19 Comments »
So! We left behind us the piped-in sounds of a deconstructed Blackfuse Company death dealer in search of the second and final part of the key we would need.
I’m normally the last person to be accused of having too much sense. Again, I chose to sell my soul for a minion to fetch me beer because I was too lazy to get off the couch. Long range planning and thinking about tomorrow aren’t high on my ‘to do’ list.
Despite that, I can’t help but wonder. If I wanted to seal a door so nobody could get to me, I might give one part of the key to the Blackfuse Company, and force a giant bloodthirsty dinosaur to eat the other.
But that’s because I’m an idiot, and it would only occur to me later when I ordered pizza to wonder how the hell I was going to open the door to get the delivery. You can’t be telling me Garrosh was so short-sighted that he locked his ass deep inside an impenetrable vault, and never gave a moments thought to the consequences of feeding one half of the key to a dinosaur.
On the other hand, that would explain so much.
What kind of lunatic declares war on the entire world, right? I mean, come on, it wasn’t enough to attack his traditional enemies, it wasn’t even enough to seek out a whole new continent to declare war on, oh no, he had to declare war on his own side… and then promptly crawl into the deepest hole he could find, lock the door, and feed the key to his pet dinosaur.
Yeah, that’s forward thinking and a strategic genius of galactic proportions.
Or, you know, a bloody loony.
Musing over the shortcomings of our enemy doesn’t get the job done. And if we wait too long, we’ll be digging through piles of dinosaur poop looking for the other half of the key before the day is done.
Not that I’m a stranger to rooting through piles of poop for loot, in fact at this point I consider myself a poop processing professional, a true poop loot scooper, but I’d rather deal with the front end of the critter if at all possible.
Back across the bridge through the spoils storeroom we ran!
Down the rough corridor we trotted, descending deeper into Garroshland with the growing scent of animal musk rising all around us. The screams and cries of caged beasts assaulted our ears, and we could sense that feeling of vibration you get in the air when you are near a lot of pissed off critters in very small cages.
We stopped just short of the lighted cavern and watched as Thok fought against a mass of Kor’kron tamers trying to force him back into his blown out cage.
Yup. That there is one big ass dinosaur, that there sure is.
It seemed fully preoccupied with the fun of trying to eat it’s handlers, but I have to tell you, I didn’t like the gleam I saw in it’s eye.
It looked like there was more to it than simply animal cunning.
It looked, well.
What it looked like was a 200 ton appetite with tooth and claw bits tacked on, a spiked tail, thoughtfully applied metal accessories that all the fashionable dinosaurs are wearing this season, powered by a 20 ton brain keen enough to know that quantity has a quality all it’s own.
There was a bountiful bonanza of tooth and claw with a bodacious booty on board. I guess Kor’kron tamers like big butts, but the veracity of their statements cannot be verified at this time. Since, you know. He ate ‘em.
As the last Kor’kron tamer disappeared down Thok’s gullet, we all gave a little cheer. I found myself rooting for the dinosaur.
Is that wrong?
Pumpken spoke up with what I was thinking, saying “I don’t want to do this.”
Tom rejoined with, “But think of the loot!”
Pumpken was firm. “I don’t want to kill him. It’s not his fault. Can’t we go around?”
I had to stop and think about that one. I mean, we could find another way in, couldn’t we? Don’t we have, like, gnome tanks and shit? In fact, and this is just me, but I could swear we just left behind a room simply crawling with bombs and other illicit weapons of silly destruction.
Hell, I’m an engineer, Mibs is an engineer, it feels like half of our team are engineers because, hello, rocket belts and Jeeves, so I don’t see why we couldn’t just, um, appropriate a few of those portable tracking lasers. Maybe an electromagnet to rip the doors apart in some big hinge-warping time space thingie.
There is this term, maybe you’ve heard of it. Repurpose? I’d like to repurpose a tracking laser right through the locked door.
While I was lost in thought, Pumpken was fighting the good fight on behalf of dinosaur decency. I didn’t say anything, but secretly, my heart was with her.
After this, what will we have to do next? Kill our very bestest friends, all just to bring justice to one immature griefing orc with daddy issues?
But no, no, there is a way things must be done, and our feelings of regret must be pushed aside if we are to proceed further on our journey. We killed General Nazgrim rather than take the time to find the service elevators, so chances are good we’re not going to give a dino a pass.
There is a perverse part of me that can’t WAIT to see what he has to offer in the way of upgrades.No, not because I lust for power. Well, maybe just a little.
No, I’m curious to see what we find, where it’s at, and to settle a private bet I have.
I bet everything we find is Kor’kron-sized.
So into the jaws of certain death strode the ten. No, not the ten thousand. TEN.
Well, not into the jaws. In front of the jaws? Beside the jaws, but a little to the rear, near the leg closest to the center of the room, maybe.
Ten people without siege engines or war machines, strolling into a big room lined with cages full of cranky people, all to kill a ten story tall dinosaur.
I’d like to say that we had learned from all that we had endured up to this point.
I’d LIKE to say that we approached cautiously, analyzed the situation, and proceeded with a clear goal in mind. Short term tactical objectives, fire and manuever to use terrain and line of sight to our advantage, creative use of improvised materials found at hand.
But no. All that came later.
What we did at first was to charge in wands a’blazing to see what would happen.
What happened was, Pankration the Megamonk got out in front of it, waving his arms over his head to draw it’s attention, and the rest of us, and I do mean ALL the rest of us charged in to stand right in it’s blind spot behind it’s left foreleg and started pounding it in it’s side as hard as we could.
Right away, we had problems. It kept shouting, and shouting, and every single damn time it shouted the shock of it broke our concentration, interrupting whatever we were trying to do. Anything, anything that couldn’t be done in an instant would just get knocked right out of our heads. I found myself carefully synchronizing my spells, timing it so immediately after a shout I would cast a few times, then pause for a shout, then cast again, fitting in either a Chaos Bolt or a couple of Incinerates depending on how fast those shouts went off.
Thok kept speeding up, shouting faster and faster until it was all we could do to stand there and not cower in terror. About the only people who could do shit were Arrakeen and her axe, Monstre and Pankration. Trajar the hunter got in some good hits too, but for most of us this was not fun.
Every time that shout came out, it seemed the concussion was knocking us around or something too, because we all started bleeding out the ears, and the scent of it sent Thok into a rage.
It wasn’t long before we were all bloody appetizers, the healers couldn’t keep up anymore, and Thok went all Jurassic Park on us.
As soon as he roared and went nuts, we ran for it.
Most of us had something else to occupy our time. When Thok went wild, some kind of half-assed dino tamer came running into the room to try and regain control. Yeah, good luck with that.
Our more close-in fighters went after the tamer, while the rest of us chased after Thok, running like hell back and forth across the chamber.
Oh, did I forget to mention why we had to run around chasing after Thok?
One poor soul, it seemed, had a special destiny in store; dino chow.
As soon as Thok went bloodthirsty, he fixated on someone and just went barreling tail over talons after them.
The first time this happened, sadly enough, it was Pumpken, who paid for her attempts to spare Thok’s life by having to run like hell.
She quickly changed into a wolf and went blazing down the hall for dear life, 200 tons of angry dino hot on her paws. Tom followed to try healing her on the run, and we all shouted encouragement as we realized that in his bloodthirsty haze, Thok was slavering and chomping and looked ready to rend and shred anything in his path.
We soon found out how true that was.
When the tamer died, we rummaged in his pockets (yes, in the middle of a fight, what part of loot and scoot don’t you get yet?) and found a key to the full cages around us. We looked around and saw a group of Waterspeakers in a cage off to the side. We realized maybe we could free them, and they could help us in this fight!
We ran over to the Waterspeaker cage just about the same time as Thok was growing tired of chasing Pumpken all the way down that long, long hallway, and for whatever dino-brained reason he fixated on Chron, who was back in the big chamber. With us. Like, standing right next to us where we were opening the cage.
Thok came running like hell after Chron. The speed that dino made on flat ground was terrifying. No, really, the more he chased people around the faster he got. It was insane how fast he was getting, clearly every time he fixated on someone he got faster. We had to do something and like RIGHT NOW or there would be no way to stay ahead of him.
Chron saw a wall of dino bearing down on him, made a move towards the left, saw that Thok was about to cut him off, so he swerved to the right instead.
Running, coincidentally enough, through the rest of us.
We had just about enough time to scream “Oh Chron no!”, but it was too late. Buford T Dinosaur ate four of us before the rest had time to scatter, and, well… let’s just say that even if we could have recovered, the survivors were so shocked at this turn of events that we could barely get our hands up in time to scream in horror before becoming a mid-afternoon snack.
Thok ate us, ate us one and all.
That might seem disconcerting to hear, since, you know. I’m sitting here telling you the story of how it happened, but what can I say? We got better. Our dry cleaning bills are freaking EPIC.
This is a protip, but when you see 200 tons of dinosaur bearing down on you, get the hell out of the way, because if you get between him and a meal you will get eaten, right then and there, no waiting, no secret sauce, no sesame seed bun.
A corollary to the protip, if the lunch Thok is fixated on happens to be you, do not, ahem, DO NOT run Thok through the group of your friends.
And if your friends are like my friends, make sure you owe them all lots of money. You want your friends to have a vested interest in your remaining alive and earning wages.
We had plenty of time to face Thok again, this time better prepared to run. Also, we looked forward to opening the cage and releasing the Waterspeaker to help us.
As soon as we opened the cage, Thok took one whiff of fresh fish and forgot all about his fixated lunch. CHOMP CHOMP CHOMP. Who knew Thok was British? Fresh fish and chips sent him around the bend.
While Thok was temporarily sated by his dinner, we piled up on his flank and went back to work. He started yelling and screaming, just like before, but there was something new added to the mix. Ice!
Plumes of icy blood began to spurt from Thok’s wounds, and he started spraying Monstre with an icy breath that threatened to entomb him in a solid block.
Seriously? He gains the powers of whatever he eats? You can’t tell right now, because I look all fierce, but I’m crying on the inside. Fierce crying!
That’s kind of the way it went, though. If he ate one of us he just kept going, but if we unlocked a cage, he would eat whatever was inside and it would calm him right back down.
But whatever he ate, he became. Or some such portentous crap.
After letting the Waterspeakers out (sorry, Gorai!) we tried to look for assholes to release. After all, if you’re just looking for saurian supper, why feed him friends?
Fish should be friends, not food.
We let a bunch of skumblades led by Akolik out next, and sure as heck as soon as he was done munching them, it was acid acid everywhere. Blech.
Towards the end, we could tell we were getting to him. Thok was weakening, but he was still an incredibly fearsome foe. We dared not lessen our efforts. We had one cage key left, and we released Warmaster Montreal Fire Festival into the park.
Bonus. Our weapons caught on fire! All extra burny and stuff. But after Thok ate them, um… his blood caught on fire.
He started breathing flame like a dragon, his blood burst into flames, we all caught fire and puddles of burning blood pooled under our feet.
I know, right?
When I woke up this morning, I never thought the day would find me saying to anyone, “So there we were, fighting this giant fire-breathing dinosaur covered in flaming blood, and then we….”
On second thought, I seem to have those kinds of days a lot lately. I might need to upgrade my life insurance policy.
And borrow more money from all my friends.
Arrakeen spun into the air, twirling her two massive maces like drumsticks and played a Lars Ulrich-sized solo upside his scaly head. BAM! Down he goes!
Wait, when the hell did she get that mace? I thought she had axes. Good lord, the thing is the size of Thok’s leg!
Great, so now instead of filleted, the bosses be getting tenderized.
Once Thok had fallen, nothing stood between us and Garrosh. FINALLY!
We staggered to the massive door, broken, burnt and bleeding and missing several important bits.
We unlocked the door and kicked it painfully to the side.
We strode forward, determined to put an end to this fight and ensure the continued safety of Azeroth.
For my part, I was no longer fighting for king, country or revenge of the Vale.
I was fighting for one thing, and one thing only.
Time off to have an all day spa.
Mud bath, manicure, pedicure, and oh lord hot stone therapy. Massage.
I will fucking KILL for a massage.
Aromatherapy? I have smelled, RIGHT UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL, the halitosis of a building-sized dinosaur. I want some fucking aromatherapy.
Yeah, I’ve found something worth fighting for.
Why do we fight?
You really want to know why we fight, Lorewalker Cho?
I’ll tell you.
An herb-infused heated wrap around my face, hot stones on my back, and a steam tub for later.
With rose petals. And maybe a nice biscotti with tea.
4 Comments »