Archive for the ‘Abilities’ Category

The Return

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The time of darkness is coming to an end. Light will shine on this world once more, as we enter a new age.

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Gavelier is back. Alazar lives again.

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So, what have I been up to? Well… dying mostly. Or coming darn close. While Thinning the Brood on Tol Barad Peninsula  I was routinely set upon by multiple Darkwood Lurkers and occasionally drew the attention of a Darkwood Broodmother. Fun. I didn’t die here though, thanks to desperate key banging and the help of a Draenei shaman once. I tried to clean up a nearby neighborhood and saw a hunter under siege by a number of mobs so I tried to help, but they quickly died, leaving the three angry mobs to be my problem alone.  I dove off a nearby ledge to a lower area and only one of the mobs followed. I killed that one as the other two finally made their way down. I killed them too, so again I didn’t die. So why did I say I’ve been dying allot? I’ve lived through every danger so far.

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This is why. The Isle of Conquest, my first battleground since restarting my subscription and I got my head handed to me over and over. Every encounter I got in ended with my death. I stayed alive for awhile occasionally, being a tough kill, but a kill I was. I had one killing blow (a lucky shot on a group kill) to 5 deaths. Five deaths may seem too few for the complaining I’m doing, but the Horde overran the game in short order, so it wasn’t a very long match. Dammit.

I also spent time getting my spell rotation down on one of the standard lvl 85 training dummies, doing 5k DPS. It’s a starting point, so we’ll see where I go from here. Off we go!

Ding 85

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I was first to 81 in my guild. You all saw that. Unfortunately, I was third to 82, 83 and 84. Dammit. I came on on Saturday morning and was one of three or four level 84s. I was only about 12% through, so I opted to go to Hyjal, since I’d not been there and level my mining skill to 500. I ultimately got Coming Down the Mountain in the process and was over 70% of the way to 85. During all this I’d accumulated over 4k gold so I picked up Master Riding on my way to back to the Twilight Highlands. Finally I got there and picked up where I’d left off (after the beach quests with a certain dwarf who I’ll write about later). I quested like crazy and finally, at last, ding.

I had hit 85 first of all of my guild mates! I was so happy, and my guild master complimented me on it. So I got a completionist achievement in Hyjal, a Masters Flyers License, and I hit 85 first in my guild.

I’m all happy now.

Post 4.0.1 Adventures

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I’m back finally. I’ve been playing allot but not taking many pictures so that’s partially why I’ve been slow to post. Anyway, here’s what Gav’s been up to since patch 4.0.1 hit.

I hit up Wintergrasp as soon as I could and had a ball. I died once, but that was it as we blitzed the Horde in an offensive siege. Word of Glory is a God send sometimes in PvP. I also really dig Blizzard’s new raid frames. They worked wonders in Wintergrasp and eliminated my need for the plugin Grid.

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Today I joined my first post-4.0.1 random heroic and it was obvious that I was rusty. It’s been almost a month since my last heroic dungeon, but that’s no excuse for forgetting to take down Crusader Aura for Retribution. I also wasn’t thinking and tried to cast Blessing of Kings on everybody (like I used to have to) when a single cast now covers the entire group. I actually needed to cast Might instead because our druid was already covering out stat buff. It was uneventful until our healer died during a bad pull. Fortunately for us our tank was a blood-specced death knight and all of the DPS could self-heal so we survived. Our druid even battle-rezzed our healer. Go team! I nabbed the Lodi Dodi and King’s Bane achievements on this run as well. It was a good night.

Alazar’s Party Starter–Looking Back and Leveling

I got thinking this morning about the early-level changes to the classes in patch 4.0.1 and how they would have effected me while I was starting out. I was wondering what I would have done differently, and what would have stayed the same, primarily with my first two toons, Lug and Gavelier.

Thanks to the little icons on the talent trees specifying them as either tank, DPS or healer trees, Gav likely would have chosen retribution or protection for his tree rather then leveling into his early 30s as holy. I thought that I needed all the healing buffs I could get to survive and didn’t understand that increased durability or sound damage-dealing can also help keep my ass  ambulatory. I truly didn’t know what the ret or prot trees did, just that they didn’t give me healing improvements.

The addition of Crusader Strike as a baseline pally power would have sped my leveling up dramatically, and getting Templars Verdict or Hammer of Righteousness at level 10 would have made it even easier. Leveling with auto attacks and the occasional judgment was slow going.

The change for Tauren hunters to start the game with a tallstrider pet wouldn’t have changed Lug’s experience much since his first pet was a tallstrider named Stridy. It may have made the early game a little faster since I would have a pet’s DPS as well as my own, but the big change would have of course been the removal of ammo. Countless times early on I’d be out in the field fighting only to run out of ammunition, at which point I often died. The change to focus wouldn’t have made a big difference then either because well, Lug was my first character and the concepts of rage, energy and mana kinda blended together in my head. It was only after playing rogues and warriors (and later Death Knights) that I would have understood the difference.

It’s going to be interesting to un-mothball some of my low-level toons like Goldfox my lvl 12 gnome rogue,  Priset my lvl. 11 undead shadow priest or Slew my lvl. 14 Draenei Shaman to see if I can re-spark my interest in them. When Cataclysm hits, I’m sure they’ll get some burn.

After Gav hits level 85 that is.

The Patch 3.x Days are Over

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For whatever reason I opted to ride WoW down to the server shutdown tonight, enjoying my last action in the Wrath of the Lich King, patch 3.x era. I have amazing memories from this series of patches. I went hit levels 60, 70 and 80 during these patches. One of my very first posts here covered the changes in the original Wrath content patch. I ran my first dungeon, heroic dungeon and raid during these patches. I fought my first battlegrounds during the 3.x run, and of course, I fought relentlessly in Lake Wintergrasp.

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Actually, that’s one of the things I did while riding the Wrath patches to their end. The Alliance again successfully repelled the Horde, even though they had a tenacity of 10x (and health in the 100k range). I went as prot again and had fun. Once that was over, though, I opted to go to Ironforge to wait to train.

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While waiting for the server to shut down, I fished for Old Ironjaw. No luck, as you would imagine.

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There Gav now sits, waiting for the servers to go live with patch 4.0.1 so he can train his new skills. What will he do with them first? Maybe Wintergrasp again, maybe a random heroic. Only time will tell – and the time will come tomorrow.

Wake Up, Pig! Boars Rest in 4.0.1

The latest PTR patch includes a rest ability for boars and bears. This ability increases your pet’s happiness some, but also makes them inactive for 15 seconds. I was aware that bears had this power, but when I took Lug out on the new PTR and Pig refused to attack – opting to take naps instead – I researched the ability to find out that boars share it as well. Why? I know not. It was also set to auto cast, which was what brought on Pig’s sleepy demeanor.

So hunters, take note. Boars and bears are lazy, and you need to tell them they can’t take naps mid-battle. Lesson learned.

Paladin DPS on PTR 4.0.1

I finally got a DPS meter onto the PTR to check Gav’s damage dealing capabilities, and the results were surprising. I had the exact same gear on both Gavs, and both had their main damage seals up (Seal of Command on live, Seal of Righteousness on the PTR) and Blessing of Kings on.  One difference is that on live BoK gives 10% stat boosts, but on PTR it’s 8%. Slight difference. The testing procedure was simply rampaging around the Cult of the Damned camp above the Argent Tournament grounds. Here’s what I found out.

It seems that the downtime on PTR spent waiting for holy power to gather so you can cast Templar’s Verdict or Divine Storm does hurt your DPS. You need to wait for Crusader’s Strike’s cooldown to end twice before you can get to your bread-and-butter attacks. Sure, you judge as well (which is helpful for ret pallys to close gaps), and ret pallys can occasionally mix in an exorcism but it still takes a while to gather full holy power, all the while the mob is pounding on you. You also need to judge when to use said holy power to heal. It’s an interesting dynamic, but it does hurt your DPS – but by how much?

Personally, in the above scenario, it hurt me to the tune of 8%. Eight percent less damage per second on the PTR. That hurts allot. I don’t know if other classes are suffering the same fate, but if they aren’t paladins are going to fall by the wayside as viable DPS.

I do want to point out that Blessing of Kings was buffing my strength and agility by 2% less the usual, so that accounts for some of it. Also, Seal of Righteousness just feels weaker then Seal of Command to me. It may just be me, but I’m worried. Despite any excuses, paladin DPS is down, and I don’t see an immediate cure.

Druids Hate Me

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This was supposed to be a post where I discussed the changes to druids in patch 4.0.1. I was supposed to discuss the changes to balance and the addition of the new solar/lunar power bar. I was going to talk about how I liked the change of bear form to cat at level 10. But it’s not going to be. Old grudges have resurfaced, and old wounds reopened. I’m going to vent instead.

I hate druids. I always have. Now, I even hate my own druid, Wrain. Wrain is my level 16 night elf balance druid who I popped onto the PTR to test low-level druidic play. I specced him balance and came to enjoy the spell that came with it, Starsurge. I didn’t really understand the solar/lunar power bar, and I still don’t. It’s not explained to a low-level druid what the changes do, so I kinda ignored it. I also played with cat form, and found it to be a better aid at my level then bear form.

Here’s where it all went to hell. After an hour or so rampaging through Darkshore I wanted to hearthstone home. But what’s this? No hearthstone?! WTF?? I checked everything in my little bags, and no hearthstone. Now that doesn’t make sense. Oh well, I thought; I’ll teleport to Moonglade and fly home. I was grumpy to find that the druid flight point wasn’t working (or missing, one of the two – I’m not sure where it’s supposed to be but there wasn’t one anywhere to be seen) so I had to hike it to the Alliance flight point just like Gav did back years ago. Once there I found that I didn’t have the money to fly home. Dammit! It’s just one thing after another!! Grumbling all the way back to town about having to run around for nothing, I played with my graphics settings, resetting my interface in the process. I don’t know whether it happened from that or during the loading screen, but I saw that my hearthstone had returned once I got to town and tried to sell things. What the hell?! Now thoroughly irritated, I hearthed back to Auberdine and logged off.

What is it with me and druids? Why do I always run into trouble with them and their stupid Moonglade?

I think druids hate me.

Budman Tries out Mage Changes on 4.0.1 PTR

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I popped Budman onto the PTR today, and you can see the results above. Budman specced as a Frost mage upon arriving, earning a Water Elemental in the process. They no longer have a time limit to them, and seem to have monster range on their Water Bolt. I started having RandomPetName (my Water Elemental’s actual name, and no I didn’t name him) pull while I moved and stood some 30 yards from him.  That allowed me space to work when I would eventually pull the mob off of him. It was an odd mechanic, but it worked.

Arcane Missiles were a fun and dynamic mechanic whereupon I would get the above eye catch to let me know I could cast the spell. When it proc’d I could then work the spell into my rotation.

Two changes I wasn’t so fond of were the increased level requirement for summoning refreshments. Level 38?! I never carried food or drinks with Budman and I was out in the field when it occurred to me that I didn’t have my food conjuring spells, leaving me with nothing to easily return my health. The second thing I wasn’t as happy with, also pertaining to increased level requirements, were the teleport spells. I was unable to teleport back to town because the spells – as I found out – required level 24 (and Budman’s level 22).  Dammit.

So the Mage changes are looking good, for leveling frost mages at least. I  can’t say for end-game or fire or arcane mages, so I’ll leave that to the dedicated mage blogs – I don’t want to step on any squishy toes with my heavy plate-wearing paladin’s boots.

Klug and Krayne hit the PTR

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Here’s ‘Klug,’ Lug’s PTR alter-ego. I found that I love the new Focus mechanic over mana for Lug. I also picked him up a decent bow to replace his gun now that weapon skills are gone, meaning that I didn’t have to train Lug’s bow skill. Pig was in rare form and we killed random mobs even easier then we do on live, but Stridy was MIA. I had a button that said, ‘Call Stridy,’ but it didn’t work. Stridy’s button under the new ‘Summon Pet’ button didn’t work. I’ll have to submit a ticket on that.

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Here’s ‘Krayne,’ Crane’s doppelganger.  He trained up as a demonology warlock and promptly got a Doomguard. Wow. Kirashak is powerful, and the new tricks (like the new soul stone/soul burn mechanic) were cool, but what amazed me was my ability to nearly ignore my mana bar.  Normally Crane has to watch his mana bar closely because I’m almost always short but here I just cast away with impunity.

To this point, I really like the patch’s changes, and I can’t find serious a fault so far.

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Hi, I’m Alphasim . I’ve been playing World of WarCraft for four years now and my main is a level 85 human paladin named Gavelier. Gav features prominently here at Alazar so you'll get to know him and his guild.

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