Sunday, January 25, 2009

Heroic... What? Heroic Heroics?

Thirteen days after the thirteenth, I find myself at a spot I knew I would be in soon nearly a week earlier. Currently, I have nothing to do with my life -- it's a transition stage for me, so I've found myself hopping onto WoW a lot more than normal. I mentioned that I hit 80 on my druid on the thirteenth last time, and every day of that week to the following Tuesday I ground heroics.

Three to four heroics a day is my definition of grinding, with a top off of seven one night [remind me to never do that again. Seven is quite excessive, even if two of them *are* Violet Hold and our daily dragon run to Culling of Stratholme].

I went from being in mostly BC epics -- ranging from a few leftover pieces of Kara I just couldn't get rid of no matter *what* I did to BT/Hyjal gear -- to pretty much half epic'ced out in raid and heroic gear with a few reject pieces. Another week passed, and I'm -- minus a hat and a trinket -- fully epec'ced out. Two weeks!

It's incredible, thinking back upon the previous two times when my characters have been at max level, and looking at my characters' progression this time.

At the end of Vanilla WoW, I had been sitting at sixty for so long at Losse and had run so many runs of Baron Stratholme and Scholomance that I ended up halfway through revered with Argent Dawn on Losse, then, when I started my mage and got her up to sixty, Mel as well. My hunter, although being made before Mel, got to level thirty-two.

At the end of BC, I had been raiding T5 for two months at the very most, and had seen the T6 raids only very briefly. Losse, Mel, and Cir had reached seventy, all having been to Kara and ZA at the very least, and Kanta was sixty-four.

And now, three weeks into hitting eighty, I'm seeing twenty-five man raids, very nearly fully geared in epics on Losse, Mel being seventy-three, Cir still at seventy, and my shaman making a stand at seventy-seven.

Healing heroics went from being a struggle to keep everyone alive, to being just as boring as they were in BC. Sure, there are still some pulls in some instances that end up messily, but I'm sure that happens with any healer. Not only that, but most of my tanking and kitty gear from BC have been replaced as well, so that, when the chance comes, I may bring Losse as either feral or resto.

I've moved on and started to level up the shaman, trying to make sure I do my jewelcrafting dailies every day, at the very least, and get another part of a level on her.

It's been a good few months of playing [maybe playing a bit too much though] and of leveling. There's still so much to do, and so much more I can improve.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

To Infinity, and Beyond!

It was the morning of the thirteenth. Very early morning -- somewhere between one-thirty and three -- and it was then that I finally, after a whole lot of questing and instancing for the past two days, hit eighty. Seven or so hours of questing will make one who already disliked questing utterly hate it. But ah well.

I immediately went to bed afterwords, and not too long after waking up and talking to Pet Tree about WoW and he offered to get me into his raid tonight, hopped into WoW.

... And immediately got dragged into a Heroic Gundrak with Zee. Being feral and no where near geared enough for a heroic -- at least, tanking wise, as DPS really didn't matter as long as I didn't pull aggro -- I told her I wanted to DPS. So DPS I did... and quite awful DPS, but I was with a group of people who were Naxx10 and 25 geared, so there had never been any real competition from the moment I glanced at their gear.

Near the end of it, Pet Tree asks if I really do want to join his Naxx25 -- they were short on healers.

Decisions, decisions!

Now, mind you, last two expansions I didn't get into raiding until late -- usually, the summer before the next expansion came out, and it was just the beginning stuff [Zul'Gurub, AQ20, Karazhan, then ZA] -- or finally reaching T5 and beyond raids with only six weeks to the expansion to go. So the idea of joining a Heroic Naxx raid within... [lets say I hit eighty at three, just for the math] fourteen hours of hitting eighty was quite exciting.

I had been speeding to eighty on Losse for Zee's Naxx10, that was to be occurring over the weekend, but Naxx25! Seemed a bit scary, really. Fresh eighty, being chucked into a higher level raid. Oh, and with healing gear mostly left over from BC. The other thing was, I had wanted to spend at least *some* of eighty feral, and now, it seems that I am plunged right back into being a tree...

I did take the opportunity though, being unable to resist.

It was rather an amusing thing I did. And a good thing. On top of saving Sash of the Parlor from being sharded [replaced a ZA piece], I seem to have... gained more in my "cult", as people have called it.

Yeah, cult. Apparently, there's some quality in my voice that people like. I don't understand it, but I'm finally being brought around to accept it [three some odd years of being told about it really helps]...

Well. I hopped on Vent as required, and spoke.

It had been very chatty up until that point, and when I spoke, there was silence. Then, a few moments later:

"Officer chat just exploded with comments about your voice."
Me: "...Okaaay..."
"They think it's sexy."
Me: "All riiiiight..."

And continued on to trying to figure out how to spec resto now that I had ten points I never had before. It was mostly figured out when they summoned me into Naxx...

"Hey, guys? I don't have any resto glyphs..."

And a few people jumped to offer me their inscription, and asked what I wanted. Pet Tree told them as I didn't remember, and I had three glyphs pop up, and some gold to cover respec's... But, having come directly from Heroic Gundrak and still carrying lots of feral gear, I had no bag room.

Upon informing them, a mailbox and a scrapbot were dropped.

Then the gold and the glyphs appeared again, which, after some protest, I accepted.

"Er... I kind of need a book for these to be useful..."

Portal to Stormwind came up.

I have to admit, I was impressed. I would have been even more impressed if they actually pulled out a Lexicon of Power... And it didn't change too much from there. Something about how, if I stayed, I can have lots of loot [jokingly, but still, amusing], and when I had to restart to try to get more than a framerate of three [yeah, it was awful], I got a "whatever you like". And cat-calls somewhere in the mix of the raid too.

It was entertaining... and I also apparently impressed them by being able to keep up with their healers [Naxx10 and above geared, mostly] on the healing meters, and got invited back. [The voice didn't hurt, either, so I was told.] I accepted... which is why I really ought to be instancing for better gear right now, for the raid in four hours.

Oh, and afterwords, I learned I couldn't heal Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle. Zee wanted me to. I struggled. A lot.

So now I'm resto with both a ten and a twenty-five Naxx raid nearly right after hitting eighty, playing with a framerate of five and still impressing people.

My last revelation last night: my macro for Regrowth that I used on my tree bar was outdated. Apparently, it was using Regrowth(Rank 10) instead of Regrowth(Rank 12). Oops! Healing will probably be a fair bit easier now...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Holidays, New Years, and WoW

And everything in between, it would seem!

So, in one quick breath, I hope everyone had a happy holiday and New Years [and didn't get too drunk, I hope!]. And maybe productivity in WoW.

As for myself? I had a lovely New Years -- it was spent with three friends from WoW, and we played cards most of the evening. And a few days afterwords, we went horse riding with them [the third was different though], and that evening, there ended up to be eight of us -- seven us of guildies but we all played -- out for dinner. It was a blast. [Want crazy fun people? Apparently, that guild [and Melbourne in particular] are just filled with them!].

I do find myself apologizing, though. With me in Australia and living with the Aussie [we're still trying to figure out if we want to make it permanent], I haven't really had much time to devote to the blog. I know that real life is first, but it's a blog, something I started because I enjoyed writing about my experiences from WoW, and, if I were to judge by how much I've written, I must not have played at all in the past few months.

But I have.

I've been leveling. Slowly, yes, but doing so anyway. Seventy-seven, seventy-five, and seventy-three for Losse, Kanta, and Mel, respectively, as they are the only three I am somewhat actively working on. Recently, though, I've been making a push on the druid -- Getting pressure from one of the Melbourne people, my old raid leader, to get Losse to eighty and geared enough to off-tank Naxxramas. Kind of looking forward to that, raiding again, but, at the same time, the gearing up and then getting stuck in a schedule of living around the raids isn't appealing. Still though, it ought to be fun. For once, I have a raid awaiting me and I won't be doing instances/heroics forever until I get really lucky... For Burning Crusade, I only managed to get into the raiding life five months before Wrath came out. It should be interesting and a nice change. Losse is feral again, as well, which makes levelling easier. She's been back to tanking/DPSing for quite a few levels now [since 72 or so] and it's been lovely. I've converted Kanta to healing, so I have a tank and a healer about the same level.

Shaman healing is... different. It took a while for me to actually settle into shaman healing, remembering my shields and forgetting the fact that I don't really have HoTs, so I have to pay more attention to healing... but now that I'm used to it, it's not really that bad. A bit more interactive than druid healing, a bit more reactive, but good in its own way. It makes me almost interested in trying a priest and a paladin healer, just to see how healing differs from character to character... But naw. I have one squishy character already [being the mage] and I don't need another... and paladins? I could never really get into them. I think it's the lack of real ranged abilities that turn me off from them. Also, though, I realized recently that I have five characters to get to eighty, gear up, and raid with eventually, and I hardly need another.

Oh, and I'll point out that being able to fly again is wonderful. I really missed it.

Somewhat back to the shaman: I'm dreading leveling her to 77. I'm currently broke [it's the leveling professions thing that I'll mention again here shortly], and the Kanta doesn't have a flying mount of any sort, nor the training [having been 63 when Wrath arrived, she went straight from Outlands to Northrend and didn't stop to buy a flier as she didn't need it]. Having all three of my high level characters -- back in Burning Crusade -- with epic fliers, I know that I'm going to want to get Kanta her epic flier as soon as I can... which means that I may just have to start doing a lot of quests. Which I hate.

It ought to be a fun experience... unless I can find friends... -ponders that one-

Anyway! I think I found one of the more useless minor glyphs out there: Glyph of Pick Lock -- although, reading up on it in Wowhead, it tells me that I would save... 1308.75 seconds in training from 1-350. Joy. Well, if you need it, my Dae can make it for you... Until then, I'll laugh at the glyph. Unless one of you guys can convince me of its usefulness?

As to professions in general?
I will say that leveling Leatherworking, Jewelcrafting, Enchanting, and Tailoring at the same time is awful. Sure, one gets greens/blues from two of them to dust, but there just doesn't seem to be enough dust to go around [even after one has wheedled greens from their friends]. It's slow going, all of them, and highly irksome.

I'm excited about the patch though, and its changes to Enchanting:
Many high level enchantment recipes have had the amount of Infinite Dust and Greater Cosmic Essence requirements significantly reduced, but with Dream Shards being added to them.
Meaning, from now until the patch, I hoard all of my mats. If people want enchants, they can use their mats. It's a fantastic change [after all that I've got as donations from people] and I'm rather excited about it.

That's an update, and a few odd notes here and there... and with that, I'm off to bed. [One-oh-four in the morning!]