Warlords of Draenor

THE LEGION IS HERE

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Invasions invasions invasions. That’s pretty much all I’ve done since they came out, and man am I having a good time! Best experienced in groups with your guild chatting shit on Discord, or at least in my experience, invasions are at the moment the tip-top way to level a character! But what have the invasions taught us? Say hello to Muirisc, the mighty warrior I’ve been spamming these invasions on:

muirisc

(Muirisc, Muireasc, or Muireasg was a legendary but possibly historical woman who ruled over a territory called Mag Muirisce, because most of my character names MEAN SOMETHING)

Everything has a limit

Or more specifically, Nethershards cap at 2000.

boxes

No limit on the amount of treasure chests though, it seems! It’s best to save these as even if you get them at a low level, the items inside scale to the level you opened the box at. I’m gonna get a lot of level 100 shiz, yo.

Hell is other people

I’m “fortunate” enough to be based on Sylvanas EU, which is one of the PvP servers. I know I know, complaining about PvP on a PvP server? How COMMON. But we’re meant to be fighting the Legion here together, stop specifically targeting me and my friends because we’re low level, you level 100 dickheads.

The accidental, passive AoE is less annoying because it’s built into the rotation I guess, but point your Fel Rush elsewhere, and is Barrage really necessary?

(Says the Warrior deliberately Whirlwinding in melee because if you make me suffer, I’m making you suffer too)

UNITED WE STAND!

It’s really an impressive site when phase 3 begins. We defeat the Demon Lieutenant in Sentinel Hill or Kharanos or wherever, then EVERYBODY mounts up and flies to the bosses and works together, even if they’re not grouped together, to defeat the common foes!

…But that Fel Reaver’s a right bastard, maybe let’s skip that one.

*fel reaver noise*
*fel reaver noise*

The amount of times I’ve been killed deliberately by a Horde as well, and a fellow Alliance person has seen it and obliterated them for me has warmed my heart too. Thanks for killing on my behalf! ❤

Eleventh Hour Superpower

levelling

In terms of Warlords of Draenor’s relevance clock, it’s 11:50, the curtains are being drawn and we’re putting it to bed, but that doesn’t mean we can’t use the tools the game gave us to make us extra prepared for Legion. Invasion gear is item level 700, the weapons go up to 725, the experience gain if below max level is roughly INSANE, Kazzak drops some hefty good shiz, as do the Broken Shore and after quests. Use this time to get your mains and alts prepared for the new expansion. Sure, you’ll probably replace half this gear at level 104 or something (and those weapons 5 minutes in!) but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the first 3 levels a breeze.

Bear in mind that total time played in the picture above is SLIGHTLY skewed by being on a Panda (meaning being locked into the Wandering Isle, awesome as it is) and a fair amount of AFKing. I have absolutely no doubt someone can do 15-95 (so far) way faster than me.

In conclusion? YOU ARE GOING TO BE PREPARED or something suitably Illidan-themed.

Disco Inferno

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What’s the best way to breathe new life into a game that’s going a bit stagnant at the moment? Why, do exactly the same thing as you’re doing now on a SHINY NEW CHARACTER!

Say hello to Huomofa the Fire Mage!

huomofa

know, a MAGE, fancy that. I’m playing a class some loser once described as the second worst in World of Warcraft. Thing is, I had never played as Fire before. Frost and Arcane bored the junk out of me, and I could never be bothered to respec to Fire to try it out, so my other Mage sits at level 90 on my old server.

Fire as a spec is often compared to the Warlock spec Destruction, probably because on the face of it “they both throw fire around so it must be the same right?” which is kinda like saying “Frost Mages and Frost Death Knights are the same because brr cold?” really. There are superficial similarities. They both like Crit and Mastery, albeit for different reasons and in a different order. They both indeed throw fire around. They’re both incredibly fun.

But while Destruction is all about building up resources then spending them all when you get powerful buffs, Fire is about fishing for critical hits so you can power up and insta-cast your nuke. While Destruction has a trivial DoT in Immolate, Fire has SEVERAL important ones in Pyroblast (which procs from Pyroblast, believe it or not), Ignite (which procs from most fire damage you deal), Combustion (which is based on how high your Ignite is when you cast it) and potentially Living Bomb (a talent). Destruction has a major DPS cooldown and an execute, Fire has… neither (unless you take Mirror Images I suppose?).

huomofa2

I picked Fire to play as because I figured it’d be similar to Destruction, my main’s main spec. I continue playing it because, le gasp, I was wrong and I’m so glad of that. I leveled her to 60, then I boosted her because a) I got paid and this is a way of treating myself, and b) PROFESSION BOOSTS YEAH.

You know it’s really difficult to play Fire in low level dungeons? Not because it’s a tough spec, or because of the low crit levels, but because by the time I’ve got a Fireball cast off, everything’s dead. Boss damage I excelled at, but trash? Might as well let everyone else deal with it. They also have that ol’ turret issue that Destruction faces, but this is mitigated slightly by the Ice Floes talent. Not that I took it. I like Evanesce. It makes me purple.

Does render me unable to turn myself into an ice cube though.
Does render me unable to turn myself into a confused ice cube though.

Playing a Mage makes you play a bit clever too. Sure, Fire is capable of melting some serious face if the RNG favours you, but when the crits stop flowing and there’s enemies beating you in the face, you don’t have plate armour or a pet to take the heat off of you, so you need to react accordingly. Prepare for a fight by Polymorphing extra enemies, or laying down a Ring of Frost. Make sure your Frost Nova and Blink spells are in easy reach. Dragon’s Breath acts as a nice pseudo-interrupt as it has a 4 second disorient effect, and your Counterspell locks enemies for 6 seconds with a successful interrupt! Evanesce allows you to avoid everything for 3 seconds, and when the shit REALLY hits the fan, Greater Invisibility will drop all threat, make enemies unable to target you, reset everything and allow you to retreat, heal up and try again.

All in all, I am really enjoying this character! She’s really thrown my Legion plans into disarray though. I had originally intended to focus on just 3 characters, one for each role (Destro Warlock, Brewmaster Monk, Holy Paladin), but now I wanna throw Huomofa as a fourth in there too. I have zero interest in Frost or Arcane, so I don’t have to worry about the offspec blues either, whereas I know with my Warlock and Monk, I want to play Demonology and Windwalker alongside their main specs.

Legion’s gonna be a busy time. Better go prepare, I guess?

*insert Illidan joke here*

Panda Steve’s Least Favourite Warlords Bosses!

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Oh look, filler blog content Okay so you know I like lists? Well, here’s a list of the bosses in this wonderous expansion I like the least, because everyone likes opinions.

These are in no particular order, sweeties. Also I’m just getting the images from Google Image Search, they’re like the first ones or something. Like hell do I care enough about these AWFUL BOSSES to make custom sexy images.

Hellfire Assault

martak

Okay so I googled Hellfire Assault and the above image came from… my own blog? OKAY THEN.

Can you even CALL this a boss? I mean, there’s Siegemaster Mar’tak at the start of the fight, but she runs away at 50% health and nowadays that takes, what, 5 seconds? Then follows trash wave after trash wave. It’s like Galakras in Siege of Orgrimmar, except not as cool because there’s no fucking DRAGONS.

I swear it’s the longest boss in the bloody instance, bar Mannoroth or something.

Hans’gar and Franzok

hans

Okay so we have Hans Gruber and Franziska von Karma or whatever they’re called from Blackrock Foundry. They have amusing soundbites, sure, and comedy German accents because why not? I dislike them though because of the conveyors and stampers and the having to move ALL THE TIME and seriously this is not a fight for Destruction Warlocks WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO ME BLIZZARD?!

*casts Chaos Bolt*
*has to move*
*interrupts cast*

times a MILLION.

The Blast Furnace

Blast-Furnace

Like, I’ve not done this on Normal+ but the LFR version of this fight is a goddamn nightmare because nobody seems to know what they’re doing. I assume an organised group can knock it out the park with 0 effort, but the random nature of LFR means this fight just becomes a 10 minute slog as everyone ignores the enemies at the side, or the dudes making shields, or just plain stands in fire.

THIS IS FINE
THIS IS FINE

Tectus

tectus

RISE, MOUNTAINS
RISE, MOUNTAINS
RISE, MOUNTAINS
RISE, MOUNTAINS
RISE, MOUNTAINS

oh come on you knew that was coming.

Hellfire High Council

hellfire-council

Ostensibly this is an easy fight. We’ve never had an issue with it as a guild, and even in LFR it goes down like a sack of spuds, so why list it here?

BECAUSE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHY WILL YOU NOT DROP THE HEROIC DESECRATED SHADOWMOON INSIGNIA I’VE BEEN WANTING FOR MONTHS?!

That’s right, people. Selfish reasons!

mememe

So this expansion has been largely successful raid-wise, as there’s only a handful of encounters that are mechanically troubling for me, as opposed to Mists of Pandaria, where I could shout endless obscenities at Elegon, Un’sok, Garalon, Lei Shi, Durumu et al. Which bosses have been in YOUR nightmares in Warlords? Do let me know!

Tanaan Terrors: Who’s Got It Easy?

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I’ve been messing around in Tanaan Jungle a lot recently on various characters, and I decided I’d make a throwaway ranking of which class has it easiest in there. I’m not factoring in Druids or Mages because I don’t have those classes at 100 yet.

Also Mages suck.

TOP FIVE LET’S GO

5: Warrior (Prot/Glad)

Tanaan Jungle is a scary place. Thankfully Warriors can take on the place with relative ease. By playing as Protection, you have access to a wide array of defensive cooldowns and generally high armor rating. By taking Gladiator’s Resolve, you reduce damage in Defensive Stance by a further 5% which is pretty tasty, and have access to a competitive DPS spec in the form of Gladiator Stance. A 15% heal every 30 seconds (with that cooldown reset when you kill something!) through Impending Victory is not to be sniffed at, and through resolve, that healing is further increased!

lillofab

Also Plate-wearing classes get access to awesome-looking armor, and looking awesome makes things easier somehow.

4: Paladin (Prot)

Like Warriors but with better healing  and slightly worse DPS. The better healing is what bumps them above Warrior, so sorry ’bout that. I like being able to last a while. Protection/Retribution Paladins have a fairly shallow mana pool though, so chain-spamming Flash of Light isn’t exactly viable.

disgleirio

My Paladin’s a Draenei, of course I was going to have her /flex.

3: Warlock (Destro)

You can tell I’m not biased because I don’t put my main at #1. This is how legit I am.

Destruction is naturally the way to go. Though it has no Health Funnel, the passive pet healing/shielding provided through Soul Link and Soul Leech will prove invaluable. Soul Leech in Affliction is practically non-existant. With Demonology it sees some benefit as it procs from Soul Fire hits, but the fact that Destruction’s Soul Leech procs off Chaos Bolt damage is mighty good, and with Charred Remains you’ll be firing a LOT of Chaos Bolts.

Warlocks also have the advantage of them not being the ones taking most of the damage, but a Voidlord. It’s easier to survive if you’re not the one being hit.

raenah

No I don’t know why a Warlock’s wearing Fel-Proof Goggles either. It’s best not to ask, you’ll only make her mad.

2: Death Knight (Blood)

The former undisputed kings (and queens) of soloing! Blood Death Knights may not hit terribly hard, but they last fuckin’ forever. Just when the enemy thinks they’re about to kill you, DEATH STRIKE/DEATH PACT, BITCHES. Being a sturdy plate-wearer doesn’t hurt either, nor does the array of defensives, like Vampiric Blood, Icebound Fortitude, Remorseless Winter, Bone Shield, practically everything else in their ability list.

gestherya

Goddamn if she’s not careful she’ll put her eye out with those shoulder spikes.

1: Hunter (BM)

Hunters, the current undisputed monarchs of Tanaan! They themselves might not be terribly durable, but like Warlocks, they have their own portable tanks. Unlike Warlocks, they’re somewhat competent at keeping the damn thing alive. By using a Misdirect-to-pet macro, you can ensure that things don’t aggro on you for very long, and if you glyph it, it doesn’t go on cooldown if you use it on your pet! Glyph of Mending makes Mend Pet extremely potent, and the Spirit Bond talent adds a constantly-active, passive heal. Your level 100 talent Adaptation will allow you to keep your pet in Ferocity spec (for best DPS!) while retaining the Tenacity cooldowns (for best survival!).

Basically you can steam around the place and just NEVER DIE. Your pet is killed somehow, even through all those heals? Disengage, Revive Pet, Misdirect macro, Feign Death.

Beast Mastery Hunters also have access to Spirit Beasts, which have a healing ability you can cast on yourself using this macro:

/cast [@player] spirit mend

One thing I’d recommend doing though is macroing together Misdirect-to-pet and Barrage. You’ll thank me later.

lixiubowjob

I’m legit surprised that this is only the second Pandaren picture of this blog post.

Anyway, what classes do YOU have it easy with? Are Shamans superlative? Priests perfect? Mages matchless (Ahahahahaha no)? Let me know!

Looking For RUBBISH

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LFR has been the hot little topic the past couple days, and while the furore has died down, I figured I’d throw my two pennies into the pile, because dammit this is ostensibly a WoW blog so this is a prime topic for me.

LFR can be awful. Half your group AFK’s and auto-attacks. People are either abusive to one-another (the amount of horrific slurs I’ve seen thrown at people is disgusting) or silent, which pretty much defeats the object of a game that’s supposed to have a social element to it. I mean, you’re in a group with up to 24 other people and NOBODY is talking? That’s not healthy.

People feel obligated to run it. Maybe someone’s raid group is extending the lockout from the previous week, meaning they’re skipping x amount of bosses. Raiders who want to maximise their legendary quest item gain will end up having to queue for LFR for a shot at the earlier bosses. Maybe you’re only raiding normal, which is a step above LFR, but there’s equipment slots with items lower than LFR item levels. Raiders who want to fish for interim upgrades will again probably end up queuing for LFR and resenting having to do so.

It’s not even real raiding, if we’re 100% honest. The mechanics are (for the most part) so watered down from even Normal mode that they might as well be non-existent, and that ends up teaching bad habits. “Oh I can stand in this fire in LFR and I’m fine,” people think when they get into a Normal PuG group, then end up wiping the raid and getting kicked when they die repeatedly, or trigger some instawipe mechanic. Someone I have a lot of respect for on Twitter said this a couple days ago:

And frankly I agree. When you’re so used to something not being dangerous, it’s tough to change your mentality when it suddenly becomes a massive threat. Having a fresh head to teach is a lot easier than getting someone to change their bad habits.

lixiu

HOWEVER

For some people, LFR IS their endgame. Perhaps they don’t have a schedule that allows them to join an organised raid team, or the “mentality” of a raider, whatever that might be. Perhaps people just wanna see the bosses once or twice because it rounds off the story in their heads,  and they can then concentrate on other things in-game that are more important. It even gives people transmog options; I know a number of people that ran LFR week-in, week-out, because they liked the colour of the gear way more than the colours of other difficulties, and more choice is NEVER a bad thing when it comes to looking good.

It simply gives people another option, another thing to do at max level besides sit around on sparkledragons in capital cities and troll trade.

(seriously you people with Elegon’s mount annoy me so much because I WANT IT SO BADLY)

I’m strongly, strongly against the removal of options for things to do at 100 for any reason, whether it’s toxicity of people (which is not a fault of LFR, but of the arseholes running it), raider obligation (unless you’re chasing world first or like top 50 or whatever, you’re not as hardcore as you think so settle the fuck down), or just plain “I hate it, because it sucks.”

I firmly believe that LFR should have an element of difficulty to it. I think you should have to work for your pretty pretty purples, not just show up and win without trying. People saying “Archimonde is too hard waah LFR is bad get rid of it” make bile rise into my throat. It’s MEANT to be a tough fight; it’s the final fight of the expansion! Were you expecting a Patchwerk fight here or something?

Similarly, I get that you have to cater for the fact that you have 25 random people, some of which may well be deliberate wankers who will AFK the whole fight, so if it’s TOO difficult, bosses will never die. The wipes I’ve experienced in LFR, however, throughout the ENTIRE expansion (and the last one!) were due to people not doing mechanics properly. They’d attack Nazgrim in defensive stance, they’d fall in Elegon’s pit, they stepped under Garalon, they’d ignore turrets and not move from mines on the Iron Maidens or get hit by Thogar’s trains.

Do the fights correctly, and you’ll win them. 99% of the time, you kill the damn adds THEN hit the boss.

“KILL THE ADDS” should be one of the messages you see when you’re on a loading screen.

In other news:

I’m working on getting the Predator title on my hunter, and apparently that means I need to grind rep on her.

Such fun.

Also, when I get paid I’m transferring my Warlock to Sylvanas, to raid with a pretty awesome bunch of people I know from Twitter, so isn’t that cool?

Why not join us?

Preparing for Legion

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With a large gulf between now and the Legion prepatch, whenever that may be, it may be a good time to start making some preparations for your Legion experience!

kady

Khadgar has been, after all.

GOLD

An important topic. While you can go into the next expansion with minimal gold, there’s obvious advantages to saving up now. If you’re a raider, you can buy BoE items from the auction house to boost your item level before the first raid tier opens. If you’re a collector, there’s bound to be mounts, pets and cosmetic items that will cost a solid wedge of your gold supply. With this in mind, let’s look at what to do:

Cash Out

People are still buying profession materials, so why not take advantage of this and sell your stockpiles? Provided you don’t need them to level your own professions, this can be a good way to make some quick gold before their prices drop like a stone. It’s important to remember that it’s not fully important to max out your professions now (unless you want the achievement for maxing them all), as Legion will probably keep the expansion catch-up mechanics introduced in Warlords.

Working Followers to the Bone

The more missions you send your followers on, the more gold (and resources, oil, items etc) you will end up accumulating. Have as many Treasure Hunter followers for bonus gold! The garrison is probably your major, most consistent source of gold this expansion, so use it!

Solo Old Raids

A good way of making a lot of lovely gold is by taking your level 100 characters and throwing them at old raids. Most classes will find 25hc Cataclysm raids rather easy (especially if you have gear/abilities with Leech! Massive healing boosts), and a lot of Mists of Pandaria bosses are soloable too. Bosses can drop a cool 100+ gold each, and that’s not even mentioning the gold from vendoring all the crap they got. You may even get lucky and snap up a transmog piece or 2 to use/sell.

Let’s not forget the mount drops, either. Go for it.

STORAGE

"so many items, not enough space!"
“so many items, not enough space!”

While cashing out will clear a bit of space for you, and the transmogrification revamp we’re promised will hopefully deal with a lot more bag clutter, having more bag/bank slots is never a bad thing. Alternative Chat wrote a lovely guide on all the bags you can get for free, and if you have a character with Tailoring, you can make 30 slot Hexweave bags. Cash in all those Primal Spirits for Hexweave Cloth, use up all those Tailoring work order rushing items you’ve no doubt collected, and use the resulting cloth to make lovely bags.

And if you’re feeling even fancier, you can sell those bags to other people too!

For those without Tailoring, or for whom free bags just won’t cut it, you’ll have to visit the auction house. Just… be prepared to spend, my loves.

CHOICES

Which character(s) will you be taking into Legion? Are you taking a main and a load of profession mules? Are you taking a character for each dungeon/raid role? Do you plan to level everyone? I’d take the time to have a think about what you might want to play in Legion, and make a decision, because you can use the time to prepare them! Get them a legendary ring maybe, get them geared so early Legion levelling is a breeze.

Me? I’m going the tank/healer/DPS route. Protection Warrior (except she will spend more time as Gladiator, so she’ll be the “oh shit emergency” tank), Shaman Healer, Destruction Warlock!

thechosenfew

Of course, you COULD be waiting for Demon Hunters to come out, in which case… I suppose you’ll have a lot of free time to make gold!

COLLECT

Whether it’s achievements, mounts, pets, transmog items or even a natty title (like PREDATOR!), there’s something out there you want, why not take this opportunity to go out and get it? There’s no better time than in a content lull after all!

It might not explicitly be preparing for Legion itself, but it DOES ensure you don’t necessarily have to come back and farm it all later, when the appeal might well have worn off completely.

So GOLD In Here

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Current favourite thing in WoW: Going transmog hunting on the Warrior, and taking pretty screenshots of her while doing so.
WoWScrnShot_080115_140427

What’s even more fun is getting lots of gold for doing 25 HC Cataclysm raids! Each boss drops around 125G, as well as lots of lovely transmogs and vendor items. Some DS trinkets and weapons vendor for 40+ gold each! And with each boss on 25 man dropping LOTS of items, the gold quickly mounts up.

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Blackwing Descent is a wonderfully easy little jaunt, the only slight issue may be Maloriak, but as long as you smash him before all his aberrations reach you, you’ll be fine.

Nefarian has bugged a bit once, where the lava phase is meant to start and just DOESN’T. That was annoying.

Chimaeron you can probably kill shortly after the first Massacre. Heal a little bit after he casts it.

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Bastion of Twilight is also easy, though Halfus and Sinestra do occasionally have hairy moments. The former due to a MASSIVE healing debuff, and the latter can just be generally hurty. Smack them until they die, before they kill you!

Sinestra requires you to kill eggs either side of her before you can damage her properly. Don’t forget that.

Theralion and Valiona also have a hurty part, but there’s a large gap between uses of that ability (Blackout) which allows you time to either heal up or just smack the dragons down.

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Firelands is so, so easy. Shannox is the only worry, and that’s due to his stupid dog Rageface, but wonderful news! So long as you engage him in a tank spec, he won’t rage on your face! This means going in with Defensive Stance instead of Gladiator.

Majordomo Staghelm stands out not as being difficult, but being BORING because of his ridiculously large healthpool. Bring a book, maybe.

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As usual with Dragon Soul, the only difficult encounter is Spine of Deathwing, and that requires you to be patient and concentrating on the matter at hand. Thankfully somebody wrote a guide to soloing that boss (it was me, I wrote that).

Hagara is not difficult, but again potentially boring because you need to kill her before she does her special thing. She USUALLY does the Lightning Storm one first (at least she does for me), and as you can’t do that solo (unless you have a pet you can use to make the chain) you have to sit and wait for like FOREVER.

Ultraxion is a DPS race. Bring Drums of Fury, they work as a slightly less powerful version of Heroism/Bloodlust.

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Throne of 4 Winds is actually surprisingly easy to do solo on 25 HC. I thought Conclave would be my stumbling point and I’d have to knock it down to Normal, but apparently not. Just hop to each platform and smack each boss until it dies. Move quickly!

Cataclysm Bosses That Apparently Drop Mounts

Yeah right, they don’t exi… wait, they do?

  • Ultraxion (Dragon Soul N/H): Experiment 12-B
  • Madness of Deathwing (Dragon Soul N): Reins of the Blazing Drake
  • Madness of Deathwing (Dragon Soul N/H): Life-Binder’s Handmaiden
  • Alysrazor (Firelands N/H): Flametalon of Alysrazor
  • Ragnaros (Firelands N/H): Smoldering Egg of Millagazor
  • Al’Akir: (Throne of the Four Winds N/H): Reins of the Drake of the South Wind