This past week I was thinking what to do about this blog of mine. I often find my mind filled to bursting with thoughts on gaming, blogging and other such things, but often no time to express those thoughts. I tried whipping me into blogging more often by coming up with pompous new year’s resolutions that I failed already after a month. As spam comments on this blog are always on the rise, this leaves me with two options: 1. don’t renew the domain and close shop or 2. actually start writing again.
Belghast of Tales of the Aggronaut has recently returned to blogging, writing something every day, taking his time to do that, and the thought appealed to me. Just write something every day, to get back into the habit. A couple days later Jaedia asked me on Twitter if I would return to my blog, and that decided it for me. I don’t know yet what exactly I’ll write about every day this week, but I have a week off work, and I am going to use it!
Six months ago I made the decision to quit my US WoW-account. I re-rolled from scratch on my EU account, horde-side on Argent Dawn and have not really looked back at all. This isn’t news because I have posted about it before, but six months later, I am still equally happy. My guild is full of nice, generous and relaxed people and I am having tons of fun hanging out with them. So much in fact that I am going to fly to the UK in June for a pubmeet of the guild. I never felt like an outsider or newcomer, and am looking forward to meeting all those great folks I am raiding with, including finally meeting Spinks, always my blogging heroine.
Yatalai remains my main character, a dual-wielding frost Death Knight. I have settled happily in a DPS role which is both very relaxing after years of main tanking and at the same time quite challenging because I always try to improve my performance. I think great DPS is equally as important as great healing and tanking. High DPS output throughout a fight will make everything easier for everyone in the raid. To challenge myself, I have a friendly DPS rivalry with our raid leader Savitr, a kickass Windwalker monk who plays at a very high level. He’s leaving me a bit in the dust gear-wise at the moment, but on cleave-heavy fights, like Horridon, I can beat him. We also have an excellent mage, so I feel in very good company trying to perform well.
We raid twice a week in our progression group, but we’re not super-pros. Our stumbling stone in T14 after I joined was Wind Lord in Heart of Fear, and so we didn’t finish the tier until patch 5.2 had dropped. I still find T14 oddly tuned. Mogu’shan Vaults had the tough Stone Guards with lots of personal responsibility, then a fairly easy middle part, the fantastic and challenging Elegon encounter, and Will of the Emperor which was…not a fitting final boss for this raid. Elegon deserves that crown much more. Heart of Fear in general seemed quite tough, and I did not actually finish it, as I wasn’t along for the Empress kill. After weeks of wiping we entered Terrace, and pretty much rolled through it easily. I don’t think any of the bosses took more than two pulls, including Sha of Fear.
T15 is again oddly tuned. I hear that people are saying the latter parts up to Lei Shen are quite easy. I don’t know really know, because we’ve been stuck in the first part for two months now. Jin’rokh is a good DPS check, but he’s followed by Horridon, which is this massive brick wall we smacked into. Our last kill, number 3, a oneshot, was the first time that I actually thought ‘I think we finally got this fight’. Kill number 2 was almost as much work as the first kill. Council I found a little bit easier, but not much, and we only got this last week. We started on Tortos last week, and on a certain level I find this fight again easier than Horridon, but we’re not close to killing him just yet. 3/12 after two months. I think I am inclined to agree with Zellviren, and think Blizzard has made normals too punishing for the casual raider. Casual raiding does not mean being satisfied with LFR. LFR is a means to an end for me: to get enough gear to improve performance in normal raids. I am only missing one piece of gear from ToT LFR, shoulders, and that’s the only reason I am doing LFR. I did not do parts 1 and 3, because it’s not fun enough for me to play like that.
Alts and other activities
I have a second level 90, Yagara, the Mistweaver Monk. I was quite intrigued with monks when they were released, but am not sure Blizzard hit the mark with them. I did not find the Windwalker melee anywhere as enjoyable as say, frost DKs or even warriors. Part of it for me is that the combat doesn’t provide me with the sound feedback that I like. The ‘swoosh’ of a Blackout Kick is not as awesome as the sound of an Obliterate or Bloodthirst. Mistweaving also did not quite do it for me. Again, mostly me. As far as healing goes, I like reactive healing or proactive healing like disc. I don’t like HoTs which is why resto druids are usually a short-lived experiment for me. Enter the Mistweaver, a healer with a channeled heal, two different kinds of HoTs, and one emergency reactive heal. Oh, and fistweaving. Which was sort of nerfed to the ground with 5.2 and does not even come close to Atonement. Not even close! So here I am, having a healer of the style I enjoy the least, and who doesn’t really seem to fill any niche. I don’t think I’d be decent at tank healing. Raid healing seems quite strong, but my experience is mostly LFR, which is a giant snoozefest full of healers eager to boost their numbers through copious amounts of overhealing. I usually cast Renewing Mist and Chi Wave on cooldown, and then if there’s any sort of raid damage, I start Uplifting. If there’s a lot of raid damage, I use Revival. If I get really bored and there are a lot of people clustered, I use Spinning Crane Kick, Spin To Win! I get bored just reading about it. I took her to the first 3 parts of ToT LFR and then decided that maybe Mistweaving is not for me. At least I tried. I healed one 10-man raid on alt night, Heart of Fear, and that was a million times more fun than LFR. We’ll see. She’s there, and I can still play her when I feel like it, but currently, I am more driven by my latest alt project: Yamaline the disc priest.
You know disc is the flavor of the month when you have multiple disc priests in 5-mans. Atonement in 5-mans is just awesome, even though the 5-mans get worse and more abusive, the higher you level. I went from 1 to 49 in full heirlooms just through dungeons and herbing, and decided that I was done with that after yet another fail Zul’Farrak group where DPS pulled willy-nilly with the statement ‘Hurry the fuck up, I don’t have forever’. Why queue for 5-mans if you are in such a freaking hurry in the first place?
Disc is so much fun that once I start questing, I will likely not even get a shadow spec for now. While herbing I easily defeated multiple mobs at the same time, which were 3-4 levels above me. 5 stacks of Evangelism + Atonement=hax! Seriously, so much fun. I am itching to play her some more. I started playing a lock as well, but she’s on the back burner for now. My fuzzy-wuzzy panda is more fun.
Chercolis the Fabulous Banker
One of the concerns I had when I started over was that I would have to adjust to a life of being poor again. On US-Bronzebeard, I had over 200k gold and an army of alt crafters. On Argent Dawn I had nothing. Needless to say, my worries were for nothing. As my GM might say, most of my worries are always for nothing.
I started quite small when I arrived on the server, selling limited supplies recipes that I bought off vendors. I still sell those regularly, they’re a nice, steady income. Yatalai is a blacksmith, and with MoP something has happened that I never thought would happen: blacksmithing is a profitable profession. Now that crafted PvP blues are also excellent pieces for PvE for fresh 90s, I made a lot of gold with them. The Covenant set sold quite nicely, and the Crafted Dreadplate stuff was extremely profitable for a couple weeks. Income from that is finally slowing down as just about every blacksmith has learned all the plans and the market is now flooded with pieces way below my threshold. I tried to get into the transmog market for a while but I don’t have the patience for it. It takes forever for some pieces to sell, and I like immediate rewards. I recently switched to buying underpriced Cata and MoP greens. I buy everything with a decent suffix (avoid Tiger, Beast and Whale at any cost) that is priced below 75 gold, and flip them. Works fantastically well. A disappointment so far is JC. Everyone on Argent Dawn seems to be a JCer, which means that most cuts sell for less gold than the uncut gems cost. Even Primal Diamonds are not worth it.
As you can see in the screenshot above, I use TradeskillMaster for auctions. It’s insanely powerful. It cuts down on the time spent at the auction house and can do so many things. My crafting routine is very simple. I log on my banker, collect the gold, leave him by the auction house and log on Yata. Open TSM_Crafting, click on Restock Queue, and it will queue all the items I need to restock the AH with. Log back onto the back, click on Crafting Mats, with a couple clicks have him buy the mats for Yata’s crafting. Head to the mailbox, click on Auto-Mail, and the ghost iron and living steel bars automatically head Yata’s way. Log her on, open mail, find an anvil, click on Craft Next til the queue is empty, find a mailbox, click on Auto-Mail and all that I have crafted heads to the banker. Also, all the cloth that’s in her bags heads to my tailor. Etc. This whole process takes less than 5 minutes. The only TSM plugin I don’t like is TSM_Destroying. I like using Panda for that instead. The rest is all wonderful. The screenshot above is TSM_Accounting, btw. Combined with the addon in-game I use the TSM app. Instead of running an auction scan in game, the app downloads the latest auction info via Blizzard’s API once an hour. Additionally, it can access any Dealfinding list you have created in-game in TSM and alert you on your desktop when a new deal is up in the auction house. When I am not in-game, I go to the WoW website to purchase it on the auction house, or if I am actually playing, it’s a sign that my banker needs to come out and play. The TSM app also gets the latest files from WoWUction, which is another fantastic gold resource.
Pet Battles and Mounts
I never actually saw this coming, but pet battles are strangely addictive. It’s not actually the battles that are the most fun for me, but the completionist aspect. I like collecting pets. I’ve been slowly going through all the zones trying to collect the uniques, at least as long as they’re in a level range that my team can actually beat. My highest level pet is a level 16 rare maggot. I never thought I’d say this, but maggots are kind of awesome. The way it Leaps at its foes, so awesome. Don’t judge me.
I wish I was as good at collecting mounts. I am now sitting at 97, when all I want is that nice dragonhawk. I find myself struggling with the TBC rep mounts, because I usually don’t feel like grinding. I am halfway through Revered with the Mag’har, and have a lot further to go with the Sha’tari Skyguard. Only friendly with the Cenarion Expedition. Haven’t even started Netherwing yet. The drop mounts are eluding me on this account. No mount of the Ravenlord, no Ashes, no blue proto. I did get both Malygos drakes, and am just four achievements short of the red proto. I started the Argent Tournament, so in just a couple weeks, I will have my Dragonhawk. If I remember to do those Tournament dailies. Ugh.
I have been so absorbed by WoW, to my SO’s great regret, I feel, that I have not had the time to play other games. None of my Steam collection, despite my grand plans. I think this week I’ll change that up a bit. I recently dipped my toes into Neverwinter, to create Yata the halfling trickster rogue. All I can say is that I had more fun playing Neverwinter than I ever had with Guild Wars 2. And it’s free! At the same time, it was not captivating enough to make me play all the time. I did enjoy the Forgotten Realms setting that I have such wonderful memories of. I GMd an FR campaign a lifetime ago, and some of my best computer game memories are the old SSI gold box games set in Forgotten Realms. Curse of the Azure Bonds, aw yeah. Plus Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter Nights, etc. Good times.
That’s it for now. More shenanigans tomorrow. Thanks for reading.