Glamour Shots?

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fujiwuji

Fujikomine. Rogue extraordinaire. Her biggest weakness is a cold breeze, but I suppose that’s not really happening here unless she ambles into the mountains.

frosty

Huomofa is on her way to Stormheim too. She’s a bit more covered up, considering she’s a Frost Mage and doesn’t like being too cold.

psw

Poundshopwig probably wonders why his mother even called him that.

lunlun

Lunchi has a big stick and isn’t afraid to hit you with it.

yopaat

Yopaat will tell you a different story about how he lost his eye every time you ask him.

He hasn’t actually lost it at all. He just thinks an eyepatch makes him look badass.

muirisc

Well Muirisc COULD go out and save the world, but she’d much rather stay indoors.

shokei

Shokei, seriously, you’ll catch your death of cold.

Let’s Get Beautiful

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Still adamant that the best things in WoW right now are the talkative artifact weapons, and the transmog wardrobe. Thal’kiel’s a veritable stunner.

beauty

Normally at this stage of an expansion, I’ve levelled at least 6-7 characters, maxed professions on my main, and am soloing old raids for mounts. Let’s see how that’s going shall we?

maxedno

Well those sure as shit aren’t maxed out. My issue with profession levelling is that the recipes seem to go green very quickly. I’ve been stuck at 790 for weeks now, making Imbued Silkweave Bracers whenever I can and just not getting skill ups. Similarly, I’m struggling to level Enchanting because while I’m swimming in Chaos Crystals and Arkhana thanks to being able to disenchant unwanted greens from questing and epics from raiding/mythics, I’m rarely if ever getting anything blue drop so I have hardly any Leylight Shards.

In previous expansions there were recipes to shatter your purple crystals into the blue ones, and blue into green, and while there’s a recipe to shatter Leylight Shards into Arkhana, there’s nothing to shatter Chaos Crystals into Leylight Shards, at least that I have seen. I could go and run dungeons for a small chance at a blue, but no thanks. The Blood of Sargeras vendor alleviates this somewhat, but then I run into a shortage of Bloods, which means I can’t craft other stuff.

Endless.

altisch

As for levelling other things, well. The artifact system effectively puts me off wanting to. I mean, the weapons are awesome (particularly the talkative ones, as mentioned) but while my Warlock has a high-levelled Demonology weapon and two other semi-levelled ones, the other classes will endlessly be playing catch-up. I like to feel my characters are powerful in their own right, but right now all I can think of is “they’re OKAY but my Warlock is practically a god compared to the rest.”

neglect

Then there’s the neglected 4. The non-maxed and the ignored Demon Hunter that hasn’t even been to New Dalaran yet. I do enjoy Holy healing on the Priest, mind.

I know it sounds like I’m being negative, but it’s important to look at this sort of thing. I love this expansion, it’s not up at Mists level (and never will be because PANDAS) but I am having a ruddy good time, but I think it’s good to look at how some things can be frustrating too.

Some high points as a counterbalance?

  • Raid encounters are fantastic. Il’gynoth and Odyn are my highlights so far.
  • THE STORY, oh my goodness. THE CINEMATICS!
  • Thal’kiel. Aluneth. Xal’atath. That Thal’kiel has conversations with your demons is even more awesome. The Succubus is a particular highlight. Voidwalkers just hate everything.
  • I actually like World Quests.
  • Demonology in general. Fuck Metamorphosis, those demon rejects can have it. NOW I HAVE AN ARMY.
  • Pirate Rogue spec. Or Outlaw, whatever. Grappling Hook is great for ascending mountains!
  • That floating Khadgar head pet. I wish it could battle though, I’d send it out to die constantly bring me victory or something.

fuji

Yarr.

Stuff I Does Be Playings

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Legion is in full swing, 7.1 is out ALREADY, there’s a new raid coming next week, and all is looking rosy.

But there are other games in the world, other things to play and other worlds to experience, so let’s have a look at those!

Street Fighter V

I’m not playing online much with this game yet, instead I’m primarily playing against the boyfriend and his plethora of favourites. He favours Laura, Karin and Nash, relatively fragile but speedy and strong characters, whereas I am currently favouring Rainbow Mika, Urien and Cammy. Mika is all about getting you in the corner and making you guess her next move. Guess wrong and she’s gonna murder you. Urien’s all about those heavy hits and Aegis Reflector setups, as well as being fabulous in a thong. Cammy is more like the bf’s characters in that she’s fast and packs a hefty punch, but can’t take too many hits due to her low health.

urien2

99% of the reason I play as Urien is because if you hold 3 specific buttons as the fight loads, he starts the match by BURNING ALL HIS CLOTHES OFF. Why would you NOT play as him?!

King of Fighters XIV

Another fighting game, this time by SNK, KoF14 features considerably more playable characters than SFV and thus it was initially difficult to choose a favourite.

But then I played as Hein.

hein
hein2

The fabulous German butler of Geese Howard (yes, he’s alive again somehow) who seemingly has the power to create hugely powerful gravitational fields, and is prone to a bit of posing, and we all know Panda Steve loves posing.

The combo system is a lot more complex in KoF14 (though simpler than previous games in the series) and a lot of characters have rather daunting commands (I struggle particularly with double half-circles so much), but at least they removed Geese Howard’s infamous “pretzel” command for his Raging Storm.

raging

He’s also delightfully Engrishy and loves to counterattack every damn move you ever do, same as he’s always been. PREDICTABO!

predictabo

Civilization 6

In the two weeks it has been out, I’ve sunk 32 hours into this game, and do bear in mind I’ve not only raided Emerald Nightmare a few times, but I was on holiday in Newquay for about a week, so that cut my potential playtime down a bit.

Put short, this game is FANTASTIC. I’ve not worked out all the little quirks yet with districts and whatnot but I’m slowly getting used to them, and the wanton aggressiveness and flip-floppy nature of the AI is still entertaining to me (though to be fair it always has been, it makes shit INTERESTING!). You’ll be pleased to know Gandhi is still an absolute wanknoodle who shouldn’t be trusted as far as you can SPIT him, let alone throw him.

I’ve enjoyed playing as Japan and China. I’ve always tended to gravitate towards the Asian civs in these games (Korea, Arabia and China in V for instance) for some reason, but we can probably add Rome to the “Steve Likes Playing As” table too, if only because it means I’m not up against him.

Rome is terrifying.

But you know who isn’t?

Panda Steve’s Quick & Dirty LFR Guide: RIFT OF ALN

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Well fancy that, Xavius gets his own wing of LFR all to himself. Good for him.

Guides for the first wing and second wing found here and here.

XAVIUS

wowscrnshot_101916_231902

Horny tentacle goat.

  • 3 phase fight. You have a Corruption bar that adds mechanics to the fight the more full it is. At 33%, avoid giant circles on the ground. At 66%, avoid small ones too. At 100% you deal 150% more damage/healing for 20 seconds, then you become mind controlled.
  • When Xavius hits 95% health, Ysera puts half the raid to sleep. At 60%, the other half sleep. When asleep, you are affected with¬†Dream Simulacrum. When this debuff is removed (either after 3 minutes, on death, or when mind controlled) your Corruption is reduced to 0 and you awaken from the dream to continue the fight as normal, with all your cooldowns reset.
  • There is a tank swap mechanic. At three stacks of¬†Darkening Soul or¬†Blackening Soul, you need to tankswap and move out of the raid. Healers then dispel you.
  • Phase one: Two players will be affected by¬†Nightmare Blades which run in a straight line between them. Move yourselves so that it doesn’t hit anyone else. Kill the huge¬†Corruption Horror add asap. If fixated by a¬†Lurking Terror, run away from it if not dreaming. If you ARE dreaming, make sure you touch it before anyone else.
  • Phase two: Stack for¬†Corruption Meteor so the damage and Corruption gain is split. A number of¬†Inconceivable Horrors spawn at the side of the room. Kill them before they reach Xavius, and dreaming people soak the pools they leave.
  • Phase 3,¬†Nightmare Blades and¬†Corruption Meteor are still a thing. Tentacles spawn when he casts¬†Writhing Deep; frankly you can ignore these and just focus on Xavius. Hero/lust here to end this as fast as possible.

Panda Steve’s Quick & Dirty LFR Guide: TORMENTED GUARDIANS

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Another wing of LFR came out apparently, I was expecting it to release in this coming reset, so better late than never here’s a quick guide to killing everything here!

Part one, Darkbough, is located here.

URSOC

ursoc

I can BEARly believe it.

  • Split into two groups. One group stands to his side, the other group stands in front of him.
  • If you get targeted by Focused Gaze, move behind the group that is in front of him. He will charge to that player and do a¬†Barreling Impact which deals a large amount of damage, but this damage is reduced based on how many players he runs through to get to his target.
  • The soaking players get a debuff called¬†Momentum on them. They’re knocked back and take 300% increased damage if they soak another charge, so when he’s finished charging, the two groups need to swap places.
  • Tanks swap immediately after every cast of¬†Overwhelm and¬†Rend Flesh. At 30% health Ursoc will enrage (Blood Frenzy), dealing more damage and attacking faster. Heroism/Bloodust here.
  • No, that’s it. Really.

DRAGONS OF NIGHTMARE

ysondre

Dragons dragons everywhere and not a drop to… drink?

  • 4 dragons, shared health pool, but you only ever face two at a time. One is always Ysondre.
  • Split the raid into two groups again, and each goes to one side of the room. The dragons will radiate an aura that smacks a DoT (Mark of Ysondre/Emeriss/Taerar/Lethon)¬†on everyone within 45 yards of it that deals increasing shadow damage and puts you to sleep when it reaches 10 stacks. It applies a stack every 10 seconds, and takes 35 seconds to drop off.
  • The idea is, the tanks swap dragons when they reach about 7 stacks of the Mark, and drag the new dragon over their end of the room. DPS DO NOT FOLLOW THEM or you’ll keep taking stacks and be CC’d for a long time.
  • If you’re ranged and feeling fancy, you can try and plonk yourself in the middle in range of one dragon, and duck in and out of range of the other dragon every so often to multidot. Be wary when doing this though.
  • Tanks, don’t point Corrupted Breath at people. Everyone else, this is a typical Dragon fight so stand to the side of it.
  • Ysondre periodically fires¬†Nightmare Blast at a player’s location. This deals damage to players standing in the mark, knocks them back, and spawns a flower. STAND IN THE FLOWER, otherwise it spawns adds every 3 seconds. Only one person soaks the flower.
  • Healers, dispel the player affected by¬†Defiled Vines. DPS, when dispelled, run out of the¬†Call Defiled Spirit void zone.
  • Taerar summons copies of himself and spawns¬†Seeping Fog that float around and put players to sleep. Avoid fog, kill dragons.
  • Lethon summons adds that spawn out of players near Ysondre. They will float toward Lethon, and if they reach him, they heal BOTH DRAGONS. This is annoying as they share a health pool but get healed twice. Kill these adds and avoid¬†Gloom void zones.
  • Emeriss summons two adds that need to be killed very quickly. Interrupt their¬†Corruption casts. They can also be stunned. If affected by¬†Volatile Infection, move away from other players.

CENARIUS

cenarius

The hills are alive with the sound of moose-ic.

  • When he casts¬†Forces of Nightmare adds will spawn. You can purify one of these adds by standing next to them as Cenarius channels. Generally, you want to purify Wisps. If none are present, go for the Nightmare Ancient.
  • When Malfurion cleanses the add, he also summons a large patch of¬†Cleansed Ground which cleanses a debuff that is constantly stacking throughout the fight. Don’t linger too long in this patch of ground as it shrinks when used. Try to cleanse your stacks when they hit around 30. Purifying the Wisps will spawn more small patches to aid you in stack cleansing. If you always purify the Wisps, you won’t have to deal with their annoying mechanic too.
  • Adds always take priority. Interrupt the Twisted Sisters’ cast of¬†Twisted Touch of Life, or dispel it immediately if they actually get a cast off, as this will heal Cenarius quite a large amount. Move away from people if you have Scorned Touch on you.
  • Rotten Drakes are the next priority, and need to be pointed away from people as they have a breath attack. When they reach 50% health they pulse a powerful AoE, so KILL IT QUICK.
  • Nightmare Ancients periodically do a stomp attack that needs to be soaked by several players. If nobody is in range, then the attack hits the WHOLE RAID.
  • These adds must be tanked far away from Cenarius (at least 20 yards apart) or they start reflecting 50% of damage dealt to them.
  • If you are fixated on by¬†Nightmare Brambles (and you need to pay attention to this as it seems to be untrackable by bossmods) then kite them away from people and to the edges of the room. Rogues and Hunters can run through the bramble patches with Cloak of Shadows/Aspect of the Turtle active to clear them.
  • When Cenarius hits 30% health, he stops summoning adds and the raid should DPS him hard. Pop Hero/Lust here, and feel free to ignore Malfurion if he gets trapped.¬†Nightmare Brambles are still active, so whoever is fixated needs to be mindful, and don’t forget to reset your stacks if they are too high.
  • Tanks swap after every cast of¬†Spear of Nightmares. The more damage this ability does, the larger the void zone it spawns, so pop defensive cooldowns before he casts it. Healers may need to step in with their own damage-reducing cooldowns if the tanks run out. ¬†The idea is to kill Cenarius before you run out of space and die.

Just one boss to go and he gets his own wing for some reason. Xavius comes… and he’s actually easier than Cenarius, fnar.

Panda Steve’s Quick & Dirty LFR Guide: DARKBOUGH

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LFR is delightfully simple compared to Heroic, or even Normal, but there are still occasions where knowing tactics will help you in a fight. To this end, I have decided to give you a brief primer on the first three bosses. Very brief.

NYTHENDRA

nythendra

Dragon made of bugs. Has bad breath.

  • When affected by Rot, move to the edge of the room and drop the debuff. Try to leave a quarter of the room empty, though. Tanks have a version of this called Volatile Rot. Again, to the edge.
  • Don’t stand in Rot, don’t stand next to people with Rot.
  • She’ll whirl around to a random raid member and breathe Infested Breath all over them in a frontal cone. Move out of it. This also spawns Rot pools.
  • After 2 breaths, she falls to the ground and draws all the pools of Rot into her. This is why you keep an area clear of pools, they damage you as they move in to her.
  • Bugs spawn. If one near you grows in size, MOVE AWAY. It pulses AoE.
  • Rinse, repeat.

IL’GYNOTH, HEART OF CORRUPTION

ilgy

Evil tree. Tentacles. The new Elegon?

  • Two phases, each occurs twice.
  • Phase 1! Adds spawn, and they have a priority.¬†Deathglare Tentacles¬†are highest. Interrupt Mind Flay and kill them quick.
  • Corruptor Tentacles are next. Avoid their Spew Corruption. If you get hit, you drop little pools. Drop them on the edge of the room.
  • Dominator Tentacles are third. Kill kill.
  • Nightmare Horrors are fourth. Tanks, face them away from people. DPS, stand behind it.
  • When these adds die they spawn¬†Nightmare Ichor that fixate on a random player.¬†Move these to the big red eye then DPS them down. They will do an AoE on death that damages the eye for 5% of its health.
  • When the eye dies, phase 2 begins. Kill any remaining adds, then run into the heart room and burn the fucker down.
  • Any Ichors still up that enter the heart room explode.
  • When you get Cursed Blood, move to the edge of the room. Don’t hit people with it.
  • You have 50 SECONDS in here, then you absolutely MUST LEAVE or you will die instantly. Leave before it finishes casting Dark Reconstitution.
  • Phase 1 repeats a second time, then phase 2. This is where you do or die. You now have 90 seconds to kill the eye before it casts Final Torpor, or you will wipe.

ELERETHE RENFERAL

ellie

Spiderbird. Spiderbird. Does whatever a druid… heard?

  • Boss has two forms, spider and birdy. She starts in Spider.
  • When connected to someone through¬†Web of Pain, move close to them.
  • Afflicted with¬†Necrotic Venom? Move away from everybody. You pulse damage to people and drop puddles, bit like Nythendra.
  • Once per spider phase, she climbs into the web for¬†Feeding Time then does Vile Ambush, so avoid the HUGE green circle.
  • She summons adds. Tanks pick them up, everyone DPS them down. They leave a pool when they die, so kill them at the edges, near the other puddles.
  • BIRD TIME! She uses¬†Gathering Clouds, which deals damage and pushes everyone back. When completed, she leaves behind feathers which you can use to quickly move to another platform.
  • She channels Dark Storm which ends when a player gets close to her. Feather users fly over to her, everyone else walk across the web bridges. Avoid the eggs and tornadoes, please.
  • Feather users can slam to the ground to kill Spiderlings that also spawn during this phase.
  • She periodically debuffs people with¬†Twisting Shadows. People affected can run over venomous puddles to clear them, and after 10 seconds they leave a tornado. Move these to the edges, as per usual.
  • Razor Wing is a frontal cone AoE. Don’t stand in front of it.¬†Raking Talons is your tank swap mechanic.
  • After a while she’ll turn back into a spider.

Things I’ve Learned in Legion So Far

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HERE BE SPOILERS PROBABLY
PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK, MOTHERFUCKER

shoryukengif

Okay so we’ve had Legion in our greedy little mitts for over a week now, but what have we learned so far? Well let me tell you.

Gul’dan is a bit gullible

So every spec in the game gets its own unique artifact weapon, and for Destruction Warlocks, that weapon is the Scepter of Sargeras. Problem? It’s in the possession of Gul’dan. Oh dear.

It’s up to YOU to infiltrate his forces, sabotage them, nab the fancy stick and make off with it. AND IT WORKS. Eventually you come face-to-face with Gul’dan, and rather than turn you to dust on the spot (you’ve been a thorn in his side for a while now, of course, he KNOWS you and how you’ve foiled all his nefarious schemes), he does this:

book

book2

He basically does the typical villain thing of “I INSTANTLY BELIEVE YOU!” and tells you and the Nightfallen next to you to fight over who gets to use the scepter while he buggers off to Argus through the portal behind him. He even tells you he might’ve helped that Nightfallen kill you but decided against it.

Yes, he regretted it, as you open a massive amount of portals, decimate his small army, steal his fancy stick and leave him shaking his fist in the wind. Silly Gul’dan.

Khadgar has been perfecting his ways to annoy you

badgar

Khadgar pls. Khadgar no why are you here, you CAN’T SIT WITH US.

There’s a crapton to do!

Once you hit level 110 and get Friendly rep with everybody, you unlock your World Quests and BOY OH BOY is there a lot to do! If you’ve been ignoring profession quests too (why?) then you have even more stuff, and honestly this looks like they’ve addressed the whole “there’s nothing to do at level 100!” perception of Warlords. There’s a TON to do! Go do it!

It’s not even “kill 10 badbads” quests either. There are fishing WQ’s, pet battle WQ’s, kill a superpowered boss WQ, even “craft this item then give it to someone” WQ’s! So much to do! So little time. Grind that rep! Grind that artifact power!

I do enjoy grinding, so to speak.

Vanessa VanCleef ain’t dead, yo!

hotvanc

As a lot of people thought/hoped, it turns out you never actually killed her in the Deadmines, or potentially ever even fought her, as you were afflicted with mind-altering poisons at the time! Hallucinations!

She pops up in the Rogue order hall, tries to kill you, fails, and ends up working for you. Happy days! Vanessa is a pretty damn awesome character and I’m glad she makes her triumphant return!

Hunters are even worse now

Barrage seems to be pulling everything ever. Through walls, probably through instance portals or something. It’s maddening, and a poorly-timed/positioned Barrage can end up causing you a lot of trouble. Have fun with that.

SuRrEnDeR tO mAdNeSs!

Priests are dying all the bloody time, and it’s because of this talent. It’s hugely powerful provided you have enough haste to sustain it, and the trouble is, at this stage of the expansion? Nah, that horrible death the tooltip advertises comes a lot sooner than you’d like.

YOUR SUFFERING FEEDS THE OLD GODS!

Guards are annoying

suramar

Flimsiest disguise ever.