The 5.0.4 Experience

As you guys well know, the pre-patch for Mists rolled out on Tuesday. This brought in the new talent/glyph system and all the class changes. Needless to say, if you – like me – weren’t playing in the Beta, this was a little bit of a “wait, what do I do now?” kind of situation.

Beyond the actual changes from Blizzard, this also meant a fair bit of UI tweaking for a lot of people. Quite a few addons were well prepared for 5.0.4, and had updates rolled out instantly, which was very welcome. Some of the less popular ones are still broken, others are working differently, etc. In my case, this gave me the nudge I needed to finally download and figure out WeakAuras, as well as ditch some addons that I didn’t really “need” but had just become accustomed to at this point.

Weakauras had me scratching my head at first, but now I have both Mina and Avi set up with trackers/timers that actually are working very well:

Mina’s auras have bars to track Flame Shock on the target, as well as a shield tracker. I’ll probably add CD buttons for other totems/abilities, but I haven’t really had a chance to play her as much yet to see what I want readily available under my feet as opposed to just on the buttons.

Avi is set up much like she was (nearly identical, really) with Power Auras. She has all of her CD trackers right in the middle, and mini buttons tracking mana CDs above her unit frame. They’re set to desaturate and count down when not available. It’s quite pretty!

I also gave my priest a shadow off-spec, that I’m bound and determined to actually learn. I don’t particularly feel like smiting my way to 90 like I did all the way to 85. 😉 I managed to figure out how to set up a group aura to track her dots – it counts down with the “will need to be cast first” dot closest to her cast bar. I *will* figure out Shadow – especially since that spec got a little bit spoiled in raid this week. heh

 

Things have been going fairly smoothly, really. I’m feeling a little awkward with Elemental, but I’ve always loved the class – I’m sure I’ll come around soon enough! Disc healing has been amazing still. Healing Dragon Soul last night felt better than it ever had. Spirit Shell to deal with every impale? Yes please!! The only issue I had was with a mouseover. I had dispel magic set up on my bar. Imagine my surprise when, in an Hour of Twilight heroic, it didn’t work! I checked the macro – yep, it’s fine. I was stumped until I realized that PURIFY was my new way to cleanse a magic effect, and Dispel Magic was for an enemy target. Eesh. Way to read through your spell book ahead of time, Avi!

Seems like some great changes overall. My Death Knight is kinda neat, and I’m hoping to get more of a chance to play her this weekend, as well as get some work in on the Druid and levelling my newbie Pally!

How is the patch treating you guys so far?

Rollin’ With Mah Horderlies

Last night, Mina got the awesome chance to get her little Goblin butt in to Dragon Soul with the guild. What a fun time!

I think she managed to pull her weight just fine, thanks to the lucky drops in LFR last week. Her rings and such still leave something to be desired, but hopefully it went well enough to get her an invite back in to their raids again!

She even healed on Spine. Which was – interesting, and somewhat terrifying. I’ve only ever healed that fight in LFR, and that wasn’t even on this particular toon. The numbers weren’t all that impressive for her there, but she managed to help keep people alive even without healing gear, so we’ll call it a win overall. 😉

Came out of there with a few new pieces of gear, which is very exciting. So a special hug going out to all the folks in the Horderlies that I was lucky enough to raid with. It was an absolute blast -you guys are a great group. 🙂

Goblin Fashion – So Cute!

It was Loot Day for Mina today! LFR paid dividends, and the trinket dropped in Well of Eternity. Starting to rock along pretty well now, that’s for sure. 🙂

And strangely enough, I actually *like* the shaman tier shoulders for her! I have never worn this current tier and not taken every opportunity to transmog. Her bank is completely full of transmog items – literally – and I’m not even going to touch the shoulders. I think they’re adorable!

 

I’m going to need to do something about the belt, and either hide my cloak or pick one for transmog… but overall, this is just way too cute at the moment to change.

I’m having a ton of fun with this little girl. Looking forward to getting the opportunity to hop in to a real raid and not just LFR at some point!

Max Horde Toon – Complete

On June 1st, I started a new alt so that I could have a max level Horde toon to play with lovely twitter folks who aren’t Alliance.

Last night, or I suppose this morning if we’re being technical, Minalyrith hit 85. I had reached 80 on Friday, and knew that I could push through the weekend to finish off the levelling. So last night I did!

Today, thanks to Rob’s amazing generousity, I had enough gear to hop in to Hour of Twilight heroics. A little bit more gear and a lovely surprise of a 397 belt, and it was off to do LFR.

Unfortunately, my luck in getting gear to drop — or win a roll if it does — seems to be as bad as ever. Even with other people to roll on my tokens, or weapons, I still came out of all 8 bosses with only a tier head piece. Although, I suppose that’s better than I normally do. One is more than zero! 😉

I’m looking forward to getting rid of my low ilvl blue trinkets. Hopefully that will come soon. Just need the reset on Tuesday, and then it’s back to LFR to try again.

Onward!

The Wee Goblin

My journey in to Horde is progressing well. Yesterday I was able to transfer a toon from Lightbringer and sent over a set of heirlooms. It’s all cloth, because I can use that both for my shaman and for the priest that I transferred and will level once I finally get Mina to 85. But experience boosts are experience boosts, right? 🙂

I’m mainly running dungeons at this point. I’ve tried questing, but I’m feeling extremely lost not being on Alliance. It seems painfully slow to be questing when I’m not sure how to get where I’m supposed to go! haha So once I got to level 30, I dual specced Mina in to Resto so that I could get faster queues and I can just level mostly via dungeons. I have never played a resto shaman at such a low level, and let me tell you – it’s kind of odd to only have healing wave. No HoT, no AoE… Thank goodness for Earth Shield!

So I’m up to level 36 with Mina now. That’s 11 levels since yesterday, so we’re moving along nicely. 🙂 Time to queue again and keep this moving!

Maeve’s Big Day!

Last night was a milestone of sorts for Maeve. I had been lucky enough to have her tag along for Spine/Madness on our guild clear Saturday night, netting her the achievement for killing Deathwing on something other than LFR, and a new belt and staff.

With all that, she finally had *just* enough gear that someone might give her a second look when they were trying to find a DPS for their run through Normal Dragon Soul. So I was eagerly awaiting Tuesday reset, and finally had the chance last night to put up that advertisement in trade chat.

No sooner had I typed out “390 Ele Shaman LF fresh DS” when I had a whisper come through, and off we went!

At this point, the Maeve who previously hadn’t had much of a care in the world, finally had a bit of nerves hit. We had joined basically a guild run, and they wanted to do Heroic Morchok. Looking at her gear, blushing at the 378’s and LFR gear still lingering around, the thought of being in on a Heroic kill was suddenly overwhelming. I know my stomach flipped a little.

But we forged ahead. They were aware of the lacking gear and wanted us to go anyway. So okay! Let’s get this party started.

And sure enough, Maeve received her first achievement for a Heroic kill in Dragon Soul. And a heroic belt. The night was off to a fairly pleasing start. 🙂

After that, things became less daunting as we turned back to regular difficulty to continue on. It was much more comfortable, both as far as the fights went, and with the raid group. I finally piped something up in vent, after listening to the casual banter and sharing some whispers of my DS experience with the raid leader.

Maeve picked up a grand total of FOUR new pieces of gear from that run last night. It was astounding. And actually rather amusing for everyone by the time the third one dropped – this was a guild run, after all. 😉 Just so happened that there were things she could use that nobody else could – ie: the mail caster belt. She only actually rolled on one thing, which was the Insignia trinket when it dropped, and the shadow priest won the roll. The things she actually got were rather default.

I am absolutely grateful to them for letting Maeve join their run. I even said I would join them on their Firelands run that they will be doing for staff items if they were short a DPS, just as a way to really say thank you.

And now I suppose I’m off to take care of Maeve’s gear… She sure does take advantage of my wallet sometimes. 🙂

 

On LFR, Raids, and Life

Well, it’s been kind of an “all over the place” sort of week for me. Where to begin! I guess we’ll take it one step at a time.

Looking for raid. I’ve had a little bit of a love-hate relationship with this lately. I have been trying to take Maeve through it, in the hopes of upping some of her lower items so that she might be able to get in to the pug Dragon Soul raids offered in trade chat. At ilvl 387, she’s not exactly a prime candidate for people to choose – which is unfortunate, because given that she is the same spec as my main, I *know* what I’m doing in these exact same encounters for this exact toon. I don’t say this in any sort of a boasting manner, because I’m well aware that there are folks who are much better than myself, but for her gear level I’m sure she can outperform many who are playing alts that may have a higher item level but are not as familiar with that alternate class. I know Maeve like the back of my hand, because she’s a direct mirror of Avi. Just lesser gear. I’m really hoping that I can get her moving soon, but after 3 weeks of full LFR clears and not a *single* piece of loot to help move her score in the right direction, it is getting a little frustrating.

I haven’t done much LFR for Avi until recently, because there’s just no gear that I need out of there. But when I decided to try healing, it was a great place to jump in to. It has been a learning experience, and also gave me a new trinket yesterday. So there’s a bonus, I suppose! But it sure would be nice if any of those Rathraks that drop when I’m in there would ever drop for Maeve. 😉

Friday night also meant raid time for me. I had been looking forward to doing this all week – nothing like some good dead bosses to really kick things up a notch! I was a little concerned when I logged in that we weren’t going to have enough people online to actually go ahead with raid. But, luckily, things came together just in time. We had one or two “backups” who lack experience or similar gear level, but that’s okay! And it really, really was. We still managed to knock out another Heroic Zon’ozz kill, which was astounding to me. That boss is definitely an example of “it’s either right, or it’s WRONG”, in my experience. There is absolutely no room for error there, unlike some other fights. We can wipe early and painfully on Zon’ozz for enough attempts that we start wondering if we should just skip it – and then on our next (“last?”) attempt, he dies. It’s baffling, really. I won’t complain, he is still dead, after all. 🙂 But it’s just strange. Made for a good raid night, though. Being able to get through our 5/8 Heroic bosses, even with people in raid who had never seen fights like Zon’ozz or Ultraxion on heroic difficulty, felt amazing.

And finally, just a little personal thing that is one of the reasons I haven’t posted in a few days… The other day, I finally received a letter from my Wolfe who is away at Basic. I knew he had sent it, because he had managed a few moments to email me a little while back, and I’ve even had a lucky 5 minutes on the phone with him once since he’s been gone – a very long 5 and a half weeks so far. The notebook I’ve been writing “to him” in daily is getting filled quite quickly, so knowing how precious his time is, I sat down immediately and wrote a simple one-page letter back. I tucked in a few things that I’d printed off from Tumblr that I thought he would find amusing, and rushed to the post office to get it sent out right away. He can read my daily ‘notes’ to him when he’s done and has more free time. What’s important is that I finally got to write back to him. He wasn’t given the address before he left, so I’d been waiting all this time to be able to do that.

I’m looking forward to a weekend with possibly some more D3, and hopefully more raiding. I got my feet wet in D3’s Nightmare mode today – not very far, but I thought I might as well give it a shot. I haven’t played since I finished Normal, figuring that it would probably be difficult for me to get much further. But hey, I have the game, I might as well try! The inspiration from knowing that the Team Squishy crew was making progress in Inferno mode was a big part of this decision. I wish them the best of luck, and maybe one day I’ll get to that level! :p WoW raid schedule for tomorrow has us facing off against Heroic Warmaster, and I have my fingers crossed that we get the attendance to actually put some work in on him. If not, I’m sure some of the casuals/backups will enjoy a shot at a few normal boss kills and the loot they might be able to use from that. 🙂

Totemic Wrath and being needed

You know, it’s an odd thing to provide a “unique” buff in the context of a 25m raid.

We haven’t had a steady warlock in Tranquility in a long time — and I can’t even think of when any (at least semi-reliable) warlock actually played Demo.

Since our other Ele shaman took a step back from WoW shortly after DS launched, I’ve been left as the ONLY person in raid that can provide the 10% buff. It brings me back to the days of Wrath when I was not only raiding with Dark Legacy in the 25m group, but also in the off-day 10m group because I was competent AND an ele shaman with Totem of Wrath.

It just feels odd to have that same expectation in a 25m raid. Out of ALL the raiders in this guild, I am the ONLY person who can give them that boost.

I’m not complaining or anything, don’t get me wrong. I love raiding, I know that I’m not being taken ONLY because of my buff – but rather because I’m actually damn good (or damn decent, at least, since I’m far from being a world-ranking ele shaman) at what I do. But at the same time, it’s a fair bit of responsibility.

I know that despite being more than willing to offer to sit when we have extra raiders on a particular night, if it’s not a straight up farm boss, I’m going to be in for that fight anyway. I know that people are counting on me to not have any sort of scheduling conflict with ANY raid, because that buff is a rather significant thing to lose when you’re looking to make a progression kill. And while I’m ALWAYS there for my guild, I dread the day where a migraine makes me unable to look at my computer screen because I don’t want to let my friends down.

Seems to be a thing you just don’t see very often in the days of similar buffs from different classes – at least not in a 25m group. But I’m honored to be able to be the one to provide it, and the personal dps, regardless. 🙂