With the Dragonflight pre-patch event in full swing and the expansion release in just a few days, I thought I’d talk about how Shadowlands season 4 went. I already blogged about Heroic: Fates of the Shadowlands Raids. Now let’s look at m+ and RBGs
I mainly played Sotiros, my resto shaman again. We didn’t go for Keystone Hero this season, so it was an easier season. I had a 2229 rating, which is mostly the +16 to +18 range.
I barely played Devee, my holy priest. Maybe I’ll play him more in Dragonflight! He had a 1481 rating and was missing a lot of scores.
Mooglegem and I earned the Vicious Warstalker mount this season in rated battlegrounds. The win rate was fairly even, and I earned an extra Vicious Saddle too.
Happy Halloween, and to New World players, Happy Nightveil Hallow! The event had a short quest (some dialogue and then defeating the world boss), which is great because the fun is all about battling Baalphazu, shown above! Baalphazu summons three type of minions, including pumpklins – pumpkins he has animated to fight for him. We can use them against him by slaying them and then picking up the pumpklins and throwing them at him!
Do you know what’s more interesting than fighting Baalphazu? Fighting three Baalphazus at the same time! Somehow three were spawned together, which definitely got hectic. You can see the three health bars in the above screenshot.
This clip embedded above is only a minute, and I think it’s pretty cool to give an idea of what fighting three was like, although there was some lag so it was more showing the three than showing me doing much damage back to them.
While I fought the world boss a number of times, I recorded my first battle with Baalphazu in full. It actually took 18 minutes, so I don’t honestly recommend you watch the clip. I do think it’s fun to have it recorded sometimes, so it might be neat to skip through it and see what the boss is like.
The quest tasks you with throwing Baalphazu’s Ichor into the Nightveil Cauldron. It didn’t tell us to get in the cauldron, but we couldn’t resist.
There’s a nice explosion and a magical, floating jack-o-lantern when you throw in the ichor.
Here’s a second show with gem included in which the jack-o-lantern is more visible. Pretty cool! There was an official news article about the event on the New World with more information about the design that you can read here.
The ghost ship appeared for me a couple times last month while I was fishing for the Summer Medleyfaire in New World!
This is just outside First Light, where I like to fish. It’s not super common, but if you just park yourself here and get fishing, you’ll see it eventually. It makes a noise when it appears that’s pretty noticeable, but you probably only have about 10 seconds before it fades away again.
This was the exact moment it appeared for the first time for me. Unsurprisingly, I was fishing!
I really like this type of event. It’s infrequent and doesn’t have a gameplay purpose, so it just adds to the mystery and world in the game. I wish there were more things like this!
New World’s Summer Medleyfaire event ended about a month ago, and I wanted to talk about it briefly. I liked this event because it added some flair without too much of a required timesink or difficulty.
The best part was the music. This is just amazing, and the team really outdid themselves (even if I am biased). I didn’t record it myself, but this video I found is great thanks to LunoLarks on YouTube. Seriously, check it out. I’m leaving the video open in the background while I make this post.
During the quests, you’re given some instruments and taught how to perform. Then you’re tasked with locating maudlinbugs on the map and playing the Maudlinbug Haze, which allowed you to acquire the maudlinbugs. You could play instruments in a party; this shows me and gem.
And here I was alone with the maudlinbugs!
Here’s a little video of me playing the song and then collecting the maudlinbugs.
The maudlinbugs could be used as bait to catch Aeternum Sturgeon. You could “open” the fish to get filets, scales, and bones, and you could also fish up some other special resources during the event.
You could purchase a variety of rewards, including a mounted version of each fish in the game to be used to decorate your house. I bought everything besides the fish – all the other furniture, armor, tools, etc. And then I spent the remainder of my free time fishing and crafting as many mounted fish as I could, although I didn’t display all the fish. Here you can see the orange and blue spotlights, a mounted fish on my table, and most important – a rabbit in a Medleyfaire costume on the right!
Here’s another look at my house!
When you threw the special fish bone resource on the fire, there’s an explosion like this.
Briefly it would glow blue with, I’m assuming, azoth, and you got some event tokens.
There was a short quest series in which you got people to come to the summer Medleyfaire and dance. In one quest, the florist would only come if we helped her with her flowers. I know the screenshot is dark, but you can see the flowers we helped her grow. And speaking of dancing, you could dance at the Medleyfaire for a reputation bonus.
Now it’s just time to wait for the next seasonal event!
Back in mid-August I earned Fates of the Shadowlands Raids, and a couple weeks ago I earned the heroic variant. Once we earned our Jigglesworth Sr. slime cat mounts, we promptly jumped off Oribos!
While most people reading this likely understand the fated system, for those of you don’t, this was the first time Blizzard used something like this for a raid season. Rather than using new raids or even just updating an old raid (like Naxxramas and Onyxia’s Lair level 80 versions), this season involved scaled up versions of all three Shadowlands raids. Each week, one raid would be “fated,” scaled to current ilvls and with additional affixes to change things up a bit. Most of these affixes boiled down to being buffs, but some did cause issues on fights that were positionally difficult. The affix on each boss rotates each time the raid is fated as well.
Each boss could have one affix when the season started and later it was changed to two out of a possible four.
Chaotic Essence: Someone must interact with it to make it hostile. When it’s hostile, it keeps summoning little adds. Every little add that’s killed grants a stack of a damage, healing, and absorbs buff. The adds do damage, but it never felt like it mattered.
Protoform Barrier: This appears as a buff on the boss. When dispelled, it creates an add that’s attackable and shares a big absorb shield with other enemies. When it’s killed, it mirrors the damage done to it to the boss and gives a damage bonus to players. (There’s also a second add that healers can heal to reduce the absorb shield.) This was usually not a problem, but if the group is near a wipe, the boss is almost dead, and then a Protoform Barrier appears, it can cause a wipe.
Reconfiguration Emitter: An add casts raid-wide damage and gets a stacking damage buff over time. Once it casts or is interrupted, it’s attackable. When it dies, it increases player stats based on its power level. This never felt like an issue.
Creation Spark: Players get debuffs that will create circles on the ground when dispelled or expired. Standing in one gives players a mini lust. Every circle that doesn’t have a player standing in it will explode with raid-wide damage. This can be deadly on heavy movement fights.
Here’s Delillidan (Elias), me, and Mooglegem (gem) on our mounts!
This fated system certainly seems designed to extend the life of the content without heavy development. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, and I enjoyed the season. However, the fated rotation adds difficulties. During the first three weeks of the season, my raid group spent the first raid night of the week doing normal and the second doing heroic. On the third week, I had to miss the second raid night. While I earned my normal achievement and the mount, it means I missed heroic fated Sepulcher. In the following weeks, my raid group decided to raid just once per week and stick to heroic. Three weeks after the previously missed Sepulcher, I had to miss raid night once again – which means I once again missed heroic fated Sepulcher. Yes, it’s on me for missing raids. But bad timing with a schedule plus the fated rotation can really hurt things.
I did manage to do some pugging to get my heroic fated Sepulcher of the First ones done. Now I’m Sotiros, Hero of Fate!
gem recently hit 60 in New World recently! Not the most exciting screenshot, but I’m glad to see the 60 next to her name. As soon as Jonathan gains a couple more levels, we’ll have four of us at max level. I thought I’d share a few other random screenshots too.
Looking out over the ravine.
I thought it was pretty here.
I love the lighting.
gem still hasn’t bought a house but said she’d like this to be her home.
See this bathtub? gem wanted to know why they’d put the bathtub upstairs when there isn’t plumbing and you’d have to carry water to the tub. It’s a good question given that the house is mostly empty anyways and there’s plenty of room downstairs.
I earned Shadowlands Keystone Master: Season Four about three weeks ago and earned this purple beauty – the Restoration Deathwalker! (And I’m glad they recolored it, because this one is much better.) I enjoyed mixing in the old dungeons to keep things fresh, and I think it was a good test run of how mythic+ dungeon pools will work in Dragonflight. It’ll be a little weird not to be experiencing all the new dungeons in the first Dragonflight season, but I do think it’ll help keep the second season feeling new and exciting. From left to right in the screenshot is Delillidan (Elias), Carmela (Marc), Sotiros (me), Mushkin (Matt), and Mooglegem (gem)!
Last month I descended into the Depths, the third expedition in New World, with three other members of my company. We had a 60 healer, a 51 tank, a 45 caster, and me – a 60 melee. It’s a level 45 expedition, so we figured we’d be good with just four people.
Before venturing inside, gem and I decided to put on a little concert.
Musical instruments had been introduced since the last time Collin and Jonathan had played, so we wanted to show them the new feature.
Here are three of us using our Azoth staves to proceed. Most of the expedition was easy enough, so we weren’t too worried about only being four people.
Here we are before challenging Thorpe. We did wipe on this boss, proving that things weren’t too easy.
But we also defeated him and completed the expedition. It was getting a couple friends back into the game, and I’m excited to try Dynasty Shipyard next!
Now that we’re a couple days into Shadowlands season 4, I thought I’d talk about how the last season ended. I successfully reached my three goals – 3k m+ rating, Ahead of the Curve, and the Vicious PVP mount.
I definitely spent more time on mythic+ than anything else in Shadowlands season 3. I ended the season at 3017 rating on my shaman.
Here’s the breakdown from raider.io. As we were unlocking portals, I had timed a couple +20 fortified keys but no tyrannical, so I really thought tyrannical was going to be the harder one. Somehow I ended up with a lot more rating from tyrannical than fortified, which I didn’t realize until working on this blog post.
Not the most exciting screenshot, but this is when Shadowlands Keystone Hero: Season Three popped! Like last season two, I main’d restoration shaman. I also earned the rest of the dungeon portals this season that I didn’t get last season, and we made sure everyone in our m+ group got all the portals.
I also played holy priest a little. My goal was just 2500 rating, and I got that done without much stress!
I finished Sepulcher of the First Ones heroic on my resto shaman, although the Jailer did give me some trouble. We ended up splitting the raid team into multiple small groups after determining that the fight was easier with smaller groups. I didn’t end up getting my kill until week 19 of the season – 56 days after defeating the previous boss, Rygelon!
This is Carcinized Zerethsteed, the Ahead of the Curve mount! It’s pretty cool.
The Shimmering Aurelid mount was the reward for Glory of the Sepulcher Raider; it’s another awesome mount!
My goal in PVP was to get the Vicious War Croaker, which is the cool frog mount that you can see I earned above. I love the frog animation in which the frog shoots its tongue out to eat the glowing fly! I PVP’d on my priest in discipline.
I ended the season at Challenger II – 1691 RBG rating (also my best) with 45 games won out of 95 played. We also tried 2v2 arena a little, although I like battlegrounds significantly more. In 2s, I ended Challenger I with a rating of 1481 and best rating of 1490 with 20 wins out of 37 matches. Mooglegem and I were expecting to do much worse to be honest, so we were happy with how we did. However, you get much less credit toward the mount while doing 2s, and it caused way more stress. We mostly did RBGs, but it was nice trying 2s.
It was a good season! Now it’s time for season four, which will definitely feel a little different for PVE. I hope everyone has a great season!
Good news for some of us, and bad news for the Exarch – we killed High Exarch Turalyon in Stormwind recently! I completed the For the Horde achievement years ago, which tasks you with defeating the various city leaders. Since then, the Storming Stormwind achievement was changed from Varian to Anduin and then moved to Legacy when Executing the Exarch was added in Shadowlands.
We had to pose on the throne of course.
This wasn’t really our original plan. We only had 8 people and were in Stormwind to screw around and fight NPCs and any Alliance who wanted to stop us. None engaged us, so we decided to try Turalyon. Afterwards we went back to clear out the bank and auction house, then eventually found where all the Alliance players were – there was a raid group outside Goldshire. We saw a few people in the inn there, and then suddenly the raid group phased into existence. We had a nice battle and then hearthed home!
Recently I went back to get my DK class mount from Legion. I had finished the order hall campaign and figured it couldn’t be too much work to get the mount. At one time you had to finish the Legionfall campaign, but it seems that’s no longer the case. I doubt it took me longer than an hour or two to get the mount. Spoilers for the quest series follow.
The quests involve finding the remains for a powerful red dragon and raising it in undeath. One quest has you enter the Ruby Sanctum. Originally, there was a feat of strength you could earn for slaying all the red dragons in the sanctum, but Blizzard removed it because they decided it wasn’t fair to give a reward like that for something you could miss. Since it was removed by the time I tried to do the quest, I took the opposite approach; I got in and out without killing anything.
Here’s a video I edited together of the lore parts of the quest series. Starting at 9:26 you can see the three forms of the mount. I mostly play unholy, but I think it’s the worst variation. I like the frost one!
New World introduced a new holiday event recently – Rabbit’s Revenge. Corruption has been spreading to rabbits apparently, and Corrupted Rabbits are spawning all over! They’re larger than normal rabbits and have corruption visual effects, but they die in one hit. They drop up to 3 diamond gypsum per day, 5 Defiled Rabbit’s Foot (luck consumable) per day, and 1 Defiled Storage Chest of the Hare total per player. That chest is the main thing – it’s a very rare drop and adds 1050 storage. Some people got it right away, but it seems like most people had to defeat hundreds of Corrupted Rabbits. Of course, it took some people thousands.
I did finally get my chest! Each Corrupted Rabbit skinned gives 1 game meat, so you can use that to estimate how many you killed. I had 957 game meat. During that time, I got 19 Defiled Rabbit’s Foot, 31 Rabbit’s Foot, and 37 Sumptuous Rabbit. But now I get more storage space plus that cool, corrupted chest visual for my house! I placed it on my balcony with the rabbit from the Winter Convergence on top!
Last week I earned Keystone Master, and this week the last of my 5-man group earned it too! (He would have had it earlier but he fills multiple roles and splits his time between multiple characters.) As is tradition, we took this screenshot on our mounts on the edge of Oribos. From left to right, we are Mushkin (Matt), Delarm (Elias), Sotiros (me, Peter), Todesfall (Marc), Max (Todesfall’s pet), and Mooglegem (gem).
On 3/26 we defeated the Jailer in Sepulcher of the First Ones normal! I guess I got behind on updating the blog. It’s a fun fight, but Anduin feels like better fight and something closer to a final boss. Maybe that’ll feel different on higher difficulties.
We’ve moved on to heroic progression and are currently 3/11. Hopefully we push further this week!
We’re in the 7th week of the Shadowlands Season 3, but I never discussed how mythic+ season 2 ended for me.
I ended with a 2294.1 rating, almost entirely healing. According to raider.io, globally I was in the top 6% of all characters, 4.9% of healers, 7.2% of shamans, and 7.5% of restoration shamans. I was the 65th best Horde shaman on Kil’jaeden and 48th best resto shaman on Kil’jaeden.
My top key ratings worked out like this (with asterisks indicating key level increase like raider.io’s UI):
De Other Side
Halls of Atonement
Mists of Tirna Scithe
Spires of Ascension
The Necrotic Wake
Theater of Pain
I earned Keystone Hero for Theater of Pain, Spires of Ascension, and Mists of Tirna Scithe for completing them on +20 or higher (in this case, +20, haha). While they were far from easy for me, I think others were within reach had I pushed to do them earlier. I didn’t try until the last couple weeks of the season, and our group had to split up to earn them.
Korthia and the covenant assaults in the Maw brought a lot of new mounts to hung back in 9.1. With 9.2 here, I’ve been looking back at my 9.1 goals. I got most of the 9.1 Korthia/Maw mounts except the Hand of Nilganihmaht (putting the rings together), the Fierce Razorwing (Death’s Advance paragon reward), Tamed Mauler (Archivists’ Codex paragon), and Hand of Salaranga (Breaking the Chains, Korthia meta achievement).
This is my favorite mount from the patch and one of my favorite all time mounts – the Fallen Charger! The gold looks awesome!
The Rampaging Mauler from Konthrogz the Obliterator is also pretty.
I don’t use the Mastercraft Gravewing from Stygian Stonecrusher a ton because it’s so big, but I do think it’s really cool.
The Forsworn Aquilon from Wild Worldcracker is really cool. I know Kyrians already had other tints of this, but I like this one!
While not from this expansion at all, my group has been occasionally going back to Mechagon to get Aerial Unit R-21/X from the hard mode. Only one party member can get it per run, and I came in last! But I did get it last patch. Sweet!
With the release of 9.2, I wanted to look at the transmog I’ve been collecting this expansion. Here’s what I earned, with more details and screenshots below:
Kyrian, cloth – campaign and renown
Venthyr, plate – campaign, renown, and Ember Court
Night fae, leather – campaign, renown, Queen’s Conservatory, and Winterborn
Necrolord, mail – campaign, renown, Abominable Stitching, and Unity
Kyrian 9.1 – all four
Venthyr 9.1 – five of the eight
Night fae 9.1 – all four
Necrolord 9.1 – all four
Castle Nathria – all four LFR sets
Sanctum of Domination – cloth, leather, and plate LFR sets
PVP Season 1 – cloth aspirant and gladiator
PVP season 2 – cloth aspirant, gladiator, and elite
First, these are my completed Sanctum of Domination sets. I got the LFR sets for leather, plate, and cloth. I actually like the cloth raid finder tint (the last one above), but the other raid finder ones are rather boring. I didn’t try for mail raid finder because I was pushing heroic on my mail character, but I didn’t finish the set. Funny thing is, I don’t think I’d use the cloth LFR tint despite initially liking it because I like the PVP variant much more.
These are the Shadowlands Season 2 PVP sets I collected – all three cloth sets. The aspirant is the same as last season’s aspirant. The gladiator variant is really cool although the elite set has the extra flair.
These are the raid sets I collected from the first tier – all four LFR tints. These are actually all pretty cool in their own way. In order above, those are the mail, plate, cloth, and leather sets. I used the mail set on my shaman for a while.
In season 1 of PVP, I only managed to get the aspirant and gladiator variants. As I mentioned above, the aspirant is the same set in both season 1 and 2. While I prefer my priest in a robe over pants, I think the gladiator tint doesn’t look as nice as the LFR tint.
I got all four of the Aspirant’s Regalia tints, the Kyrian sets from 9.1. I think they fit Kyrian pretty well.
I collected the four Night fae tints from 9.1. They’re cool, but I think I like the 9.0 leather sets better.
I can’t really imagine using any of these even though I did collect all four Necromantic Vestments tints for Necrolords in 9.1.
I’m not sure why, but Venthyr had two different sets each with four tints in 9.1. This is the set with pants, Court Attire. I collected three of the four variants.
And I collected two of the four Inquisitor’s Vestments tints.
My first character this expansion was my Kyrian priest, and I collected two of the cloth Kyrian tints. I didn’t progress much in Path of Ascension so was unable to collect the other tints.
After my Kyrian priest, I played by Venthyr DK. I got three of the plate tints, with the campaign version being the coolest.
I played my Night fae druid third and got all four of the leather tints. I like the one with purple leaves best!
I played a Necrlord shaman last and collected all four mail tints despite not liking any of them. Why did I spend my time doing that?
I’m not sure how many of the ones I missed I plan on getting. I’ll continue pooling my anima to get the missing 9.1 Venthyr tints. I dobut I’m going back to old raids. Doing Path of Ascension for the missing Kyrian cloth tints or the mirrors for the missing Venthyr plate tint isn’t high on my priorities. I like a lot of the Kyrian armor actually, but I absolutely do not want to grind more Grateful Offerings!
While my druid normally uses one of the Night fae ones, my other three toons use different transmog. While not related to collecting Shadowlands sets, let’s finish the post by talking about them.
I love my priest in T10 from Icecrown Citadel, including a weapon from ICC. There is a touch of Shadowlands there – the back piece is Kyrian.
When we started doing rated battlegrounds, Moogle and I were aiming to get the Vicious War Gorm. As you can see, we got our wish.
Here’s a closer look because I think it’s so cool!
I also wanted to collect the gladiator set, which I thought looked great. I know I usually like my priest in blues and whites, but this just looked awesome, at least for PVP, and appropriate for the expansion.
I wasn’t expecting to collect the elite set! We pushed hard the final week of the season. On 2/10, I was at 32.5% and Moogle was at 25% progress toward our seasonal mounts. We had to win at least 30 games over a week and a half, and luckily we made it. However, I wish we pushed earlier so that we could have pushed higher. We both hit 1954 rating without really hitting a wall. If we had more time, I’d love to see how high we could go!
I hit 60 in New World in early January and spent some time experiencing the endgame.
One thing I wanted to do was jump into Outpost Rush, the instanced PVP mode. I found that I died really quickly and couldn’t really kill anyone. OPR uses a scoreboard, and you have to score enough points to get a reward at the end. At first, I was struggling to get enough points. Sometimes I could meet that minimum score, but it was a struggle. Later I bought a bunch of a gear at a higher gear score, and that helped in OPR tremendously. You can also defeat PVE enemies, which contributes to your score. The best way to guarantee rewards if you’re not great at PVP is to defeat some PVE enemies until you get enough points. Now I’ll team fight at the start of the match, and if the match is looking good, I don’t need to focus on PVE. If I’m doing terribly, I’ll go get my points from PVE and then go back to PVP once I guarantee a reward.
Enjoy the video above of the summoned bear who is supposed to help defend us. His butt was too big and he clogged up the doorway!
I was also super excited to try an invasion. Invasions are PVE instanced content in which players defend an outpost from waves of corrupted enemies. It was pretty fun, including the 8 minutes or so we spent crawling in a line around the outpost before it began!
This video shows some my usual obsidian and topaz gypsum routes.
I should take a moment to discuss the gear score and expertise system. In short, gear score is the number that represents the relative power of a particular item. Expertise is max level progression for gear. Max level gear will drop around your expertise, and you need to raise your expertise to get better gear. It’s complicated, so I’ve marked off the section so you can skip it.
This is a summary and simplification. Gear score is per item and is like ilvl in WoW. Expertise is per slot or weapon type. When you get a drop or random reward, the max gear score it can be is slightly over your current expertise in that slot, but if you do get a drop above your current expertise, your expertise is set to that gear score. So if your helm is gear score 510 and your helm slot’s expertise is 500, helms will drop around gear score 500. Traded or bought items don’t increase your expertise, so you have to grind it out. If you want to get gear score 600 helms to drop, there’s no “jumping”. You’ll have to incrementally increase that expertise. There was a recent patch that made it so purchased gear would become the average of their gear score and your expertise, but anything bought before that patch would be the listed gear score. That’s why I bought a bunch of gear before the patch. It might not raise my expertise, but at least I’d have some decent gear.
Gypsum is a system to raise your expertise without just grinding drops (although it still involves grinding). Different types of activities give different types of gypsum. When you get enough gypsum of a particular type (the amount depends on the type), you can craft them into a gypsum orb. The ones I focus on are ruby gypsum from Outpost Rush (2 per orb), topaz from level 55+ enemies while under the effects of an attunement potion (10 per orb), and obsidian from 60+ named enemies (3 per orb). Once you craft an orb, you can use the orb to craft a gypsum cast for a particular armor slot or weapon type, and it gives you a box with a random item of that type that will raise your expertise.
What’s confusing is the timers. Once per day you can craft the topaz attunement potion. There is a 20 hour cooldown on that, and the potion’s buff lasts an hour. Gypsum themselves have an 18 hour CD (or was it 20?) on dropping. Then you craft the gypsum into a gypsum orb – there was a 22 hour CD per gypsum type, but this has been removed. And then you use the gypsum orb on a gypsum cast to raise the expertise of that slot or weapon type, again with a 22 hour CD.
Consider topaz gypsum.
You collect materials for the attunement potion, either farmed yourself or from the trading post.
You craft the attunement potion. There’s a 20 hour CD, tracked by the UI luckily.
You head off to where you will be farming and use the potion. You now have the buff for 1 hour.
Now you hope you collect the 10 topaz gypsum you need from 55+ enemies. You can collect a total of 10 that day and then would have to wait 18 hours from the first drop to get more. But again, for topaz, you don’t have all day – you have as long as you have the attunement buff. Note that if you have multiple potions, you could use another, but you’d have to stockpile them since they have a CD on crafting and are bound on pickup.
Have your 10 topaz gypsum? Great, now you craft them into gypsum orb.
Now if I want to raise my helm expertise, I craft the helm cast to get a box with a new helm that is guaranteed to raise my expertise.
It’s interesting because it lets you control what slot to increase and lets you play in multiple ways. But it can certainly seem complicated at first!
Back from that tangent? Anyways, grinding gypsum was a lot of what I did at level 60. Ruby was easy enough to understand and earn, especially once I bought better gear. When I first went after obsidian from level 60+ named enemies, I asked someone near me who appeared to be working on the same thing if I was in the right place. He explained some things to me and asked if I knew how topaz worked. I said that I thought I did, but I hadn’t farmed mats for the potion yet because I was new to max level and focusing on one thing at a time. He gave me all the mats for my first topaz attunement potion so I could start working on that too! Shout out to Benemyjosh for the help!
Next up, more expeditions when the rest of my group is ready!
Happy Lost Ark launch day! Lost Ark is a MMO action RPG originally developed and published by Smilegate in South Korea. Today, it was launched in the West by Amazon Games. I didn’t contribute directly to the game, but I did playtest and give minor, ancillary support
The game is free-to-play and opens fully on the 11th, but people who bought or were gifted the Founder’s Pack get “head start” access starting this morning.
I’ve played a few different classes in tests and decided to go with the deadeye first, an advanced class of the gunner. Full disclosure, it might remind me of Dante from Devil May Cry! This video shows a little gameplay, but it was only about 5 minutes into the game and I was hitting buttons haphazardly. I’m looking forward to playing more!
The Winter Convergence event was active for most of December and January in New World. It was a total blast! The event includes three main activities – a quest series involving helping the Winter Wanderer and fighting the Winter Warrior, collecting presents found on the ground or floating in the air, and looting Trees of Light in cities as well as completing town project board missions to upgrade them. There are free armor appearances for everyone, weapons and armor you can buy from the event, armor appearances you can earn, and armor appearances you can purchase with real money.
In the screenshot above, I’m wearing some Winter Convergence clothes and standing with gem outside one of the four Winter Villages, which is where you pick up and turn in quests as well as spend the event currency.
Here you can see how some of the cities are decorated!
The Winter Village had this little rabbit with a winding key on its back. The flavor text on one you can purchase points out that it’s a real rabbit wearing a sweater with a winding key to make it look like a wind-up toy. I especially love this considering our company name is Automaton House and a wind-up toy is also known as an automaton toy.
Just look how cute and pettable it is!
Here we are with the Winter Wanderer! He’s a friendly yeti!
Here’s a pile of gifts that you can find along with the northern lights behind me! The collected presents can be turned in at Winter Villages for currency to purchase items. I bought a pet rabbit with the winding key for my house, a gift-giving emote, a back appearance, multiple max level weapons, a full set of max level armor, and a ton of furniture.
You can also find floating gifts that can be shot down. These are worth a lot more than the gifts on the ground.
Speaking of gifts, here’s the /gift emote in action!
The coolest part of the event is gleamite! In the video above, you can watch us as we hear a gleamite meteor. It’s hard to tell where it is, so I spin the camera around looking for it. At this point, I had heard them previously but never managed to see one. It shoots across the sky as a meteorite, then shatters into pieces that fall to Earth. If there are trees around, the trees will be flattened. The video shows a few gleamite meteorites: the first in the recording is the first one I saw (unfortunately it didn’t flatten trees), the second is one I caught very clearly as it went across the sky, the third flattened trees, and the final one was during the last couple hours of the event!
If you didn’t watch the video, here’s one streaking across the sky.
And here’s a meteorite just before it explodes, but I really recommend watching the video!
This is a gleamite chunk on the ground.
Restless Shore settlement even decorates the pirate ship!
This is a Tree of Light in one of the cities. gem is standing in front of the tree.
Here gem is checking my new rabbit friend before I fully redecorated for Winter Convergence. (Because I spent the duration of the event farming the currency to buy the rest of the furniture, it wasn’t decorated until the end.)
Aw, she’s petting the rabbit!
This is my house decorated for the Winter Convergence Festival! I have ice themed furniture and ice sculptures of a stag, boar, and rabbit. You can also see my pets – two dogs and a rabbit! You’ll notice the rabbit changes spots; I couldn’t get the petting animation to work with his original location when I started recording.
Lastly, this video shows the final quest in the Winter Convergence quest series. The quest tasks you with killing two yeti enemies for items used to summon the final yeti, the Winter Warrior. The recording includes picking up the quest and then jumps to us going after the final yeti. We weren’t max level yet, and getting through max level areas was really tough. I included a bit in the recording of us “leapfrogging” camps. A camp is a respawn point, but you have to be bound to it, can only be bound to one at a time, have to unbind before making a new one, and can only respawn if you’re close to it. If you unbind from your previous camp and die trying to make the new one, you’re out of luck. The only way for us to run through the high level zones was for one person to hold aggro while the other put down a camp, ensuring that the person who had aggro could respawn if killed.
This took hours. The final yeti could kill us in one hit. We died many times. We lost our camp and accidentally respawned far away, forcing us to do the whole trek again. We survived fights against the yeti thanks to others being there only to realize we didn’t do enough damage for the kill to count. Eventually we asked if we could group with someone, explaining the issue. MissDemeanor invited us to her group and saved the day! I told her I would sing tales of her greatness, so I had to at least mention her here! She’s also talked with me after this and helped me out more.
I loved snowy areas, fighting yetis, the friendly Winter Wanderer, the ice furniture, and especially the gleamite meteors. I can’t overstate how exciting it is to see it in game when you’re not expecting it! The event was also great because if you didn’t care about collecting things, you didn’t really need to do any grinding. As for me, I did a ton of grinding and had a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to future events!
On the last night of Winter Veil, four members of Carpe Flux Capacitor decided to go on a Winter Veil sleigh ride through Orgrimmar together! From left to right, that’s Syravia (Marc), me, Mooglegem (gem), and Mushkin (Matt).
I look especially silly in this one I think, but I’m also blocking Mooglegem unfortunately.
We’re gonna hit the camera!
I also recorded our little ride too.
As an added bonus, can I just say that cutscenes are way more fun when I’m in my Winter Veil transmog?
When am I ever going to see a ranking like that again? I ran some Legion timewalking mythic+ and realized that I had a shot at topping the rankings without too much effort. I managed to become the #1 shaman on US Kil’jaeden for Legion timewalking! I expect to fall as more people play, but it was fun to get here for now.
Happy 17 years to World of Warcraft! It’s crazy that the game is still going and I’m still playing! Here’s my current main, Sotiros, with the anniversary event world boss, Doomwalker. I’m also using the Akama’s Edge weapon transmog that was introduced for the event!
I took a screenshot of my first character, Petros, for this post. He’s level 14 now after the Shadowlands level squish but was 32 previously. I don’t think I broke level 20 with him before I switched mains. In this screenshot, my warrior is wearing mail boots (because I didn’t have anything else), no helm, and no belt!
This is the earliest screenshot I can find of Petros, night elf warrior and my first main, on 11/25/2004. This is only two days after the game was released.
By 12/12/2004, I had switched to Dimitri, a tauren hunter.
At some point soon after that, I made a hunter on a different server. I wanted to switch from a PVE to a PVP server. This is Petros, orc hunter, on 5/15/2005.
I can tell by my screenshots that on 3/18/2007, I hit 20 on Petros, my warrior. I’m not sure if he was back to being my main or if I was bouncing between a few.
By 10/16/2007, I was playing Sotiros, my shaman, as my main. He was level 24 in this screenshot. Crazy that he’s back to being my main today! He’s the same character shown in the screenshot at the top.
When gem started playing, I switched to a priest to help her level until she caught up with my main. I loved playing him so much that I decided to keep him as my main. Here’s the earliest screenshot I can easily find of Devee from 3/25/2008. gem’s character, Mooglegem, is in the background. Devee was my main until the most recent major patch, 9.1, on 6/29/2021. He was my main for over 13 years!
Here’s a good screenshot of Devee with Mooglegem. It’s one of the earliest I can find of the two of us where you can see us both clearly. This is from 4/4/2008!
As an added bonus, here’s a screenshot of Mooglegem with Sylvanas on 4/11/2008. This is during Sylvanas singing Lament of the Highborne upon turn-in of the quest Journey to Undercity. Things sure have changed!
Turkulon, Feathered Avenger of Death is upon us! This level 66 giant turkey boss has started spawning in the last couple days.
According to reddit, it seems that it has a 2-3 hour respawn timer and can spawn in multiple locations. But I also heard that multiple can be up near each other. So is one always up? Is it rare? I’m not sure, but I wanted to be sure to kill one.
gem and I were running corruption breaches when someone in global asked for help with Turkulon. We immediately ran to a fast travel point, teleported near him, and ran over there.
Turkulon lays eggs that explode and leave a patch of fire behind!
When we pulled, there were four of us, but by the end, there were nine of us total – levels 60×4, 49, 47, 44, 39, and 28.
Remember to watch out for the giant lasers; turkeys are known to shoot lasers!
Down after about 12.5 minutes!
And I got a legendary-quality cooking ingredient, Monstrous Turkey Leg!
This was super fun, and I’m glad gem and I got to it in time. There’s still something fun and unexpected about this type of thing in New World. Check out the video above of our kill. Now I want to eat turkey!
We met Ragnar Volarus in New World! gem noticed him first and got very excited. It took me a few seconds to even process what was happening!
Ragnar is the name of a major character in the Red Rising book series, an excellent science-fiction adventure that explores class, racism, politics, and warfare by examining a solar system-spanning society with genetically-engineered “tiers” of humans, soldier-against-soldier combat, ship-to-ship combat, and iron rains (troops dropping to the surface from orbit).
I never even took a good screenshot of his character! This was the best that I took.
Recently gem and I decided to spend the evening running corruption breaches. It’s a good source of XP, especially if you can find a lot in one place. Plus, it allowed us to watch Death Note at the same time!
We were a little surprised to find that we were approaching 100 corruption breaches that night, so we ran a few more to hit that nice goal! And to be honest, I didn’t open those 100 chests for a couple days!
On Wednesday, Automaton House ran New World’s second expedition, Starstone Barrows beneath the Shattered Obelisk. This one had some really neat mechanics, forcing players to avoid deadly beams and using shields to protect the group. We also struggled on the last boss at first until we figured out the strategy.
Here’s our kill video! There’s nothing particularly crazy happening in it, but it might be fun to look back on in the future.
And here’s a video showing the struggles to get a good screenshot.
Today is my dad’s birthday, so I thought I’d share this screenshot. Ever since I was a kid, I primarily used “Petros” as a character name for melee characters and “Sotiros” for casters. This started long before WoW existed. My current main is named Sotiros, a tauren shaman. “Sotiros” is Greek for “Steven,” which is my dad’s name, and I’m Greek-American. In World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, there is a zone called Bastion that’s heavily influenced by Greek mythology. Bastion has a summonable boss named Eliminator Sotiros. To celebrate my dad’s birthday, I wanted to share this screenshot of my Sotiros with Eliminator Sotiros. I took this so I could show him when I take him out to dinner!
I bought a house in Windsward overlooking the skill areas! I struggled to decide what to do – save up for a bigger first house to take advantage of the discount or buy right away? I decided to buy a tier 1 house because the property taxes would be cheaper, and I wanted to take advantage of the fast travel quickly. The fast travel is such a huge bonus!
Here gem and I are enjoying a conversation at the table. My two dogs are in the corners!
You can look out and see people running through the city below.
After a long day of adventuring, sometimes I want to rest in bed. Too bad there’s a woman standing over me, watching… always watching…
Saturday night we ventured into the Amrine Excavation to investigate the archaeologist Simon Grey and his team! gem tanked, Collin healed, and Duncan, Jonathan, and I DPS’d. We had a pretty good spread because I was melee, Jonathan was a caster, and Duncan was non-magical ranged.
The expedition itself was really fun and a good introduction to how they work I think. I think we learned a lot about group dynamics – how to properly pull, keep aggro, stay healed, kite, etc. Our first run had a few more boo-boos, but we got in the swing of things. We ran it a few times before moving on to corruption breaches for the night. I’m really looking forward to the next expedition!
The screenshot at the top shows, from left to right, NlL (Collin), Ali Wong (gem), Peter (me), Jonald Clam (Duncan), and Radwin (Jonathan)!
This week we got our second Sylvanas kill, which got most of our group Ahead of the Curve, including Moogle! And this time, unlike my first kill, we actually got a group screenshot!
We also did mythic Tarragrue, Eye of the Jailer, and the Nine. These mythic bosses are so much easier than heroic Sylvanas. Is it always like that? I doubt we’re going to push mythic much more, but it was fun to get a little mythic progress. Now that I have tier of shaman healing under my belt, I can say that I definitely enjoy it. I plan on sticking with resto shaman over disc priest next tier as well.
gem and I closed our first corruption breach yesterday, and it was super exciting! I had done a couple by running into groups that were doing it, but I had never been there from the beginning and really contributed significantly. I was 25 and gem was about 19, so we had to do a lot of kiting and eating. I had a blast! It was especially satisfying to use ranged attacks to intercept enemies that were chasing gem!
Here’s gem closing the breach! Now we just need to do about a million more for achievements!
On top of New World launching this week, I also earned Ahead of the Curve: Sylvanas Windrunner. Heroic Sylvanas seemed tuned pretty difficult compared to the previous bosses, and we’ve been struggling for a couple weeks. This week we used a smaller raid group, and it so much easier. The fight is very positional, and it’s much better with a small group. Over the next few weeks, we’ll get AOTC for the whole raid group.
Somehow I forgot to take a screenshot – not that there’s much to screenshot. But I had this clip saved!
New World launched yesterday! It’s so exciting and relieving to see the game finally live, and I’m thrilled to be keeping my progression.
Here’s a screenshot of my crew! From left to right, there’s Ali Wong (gem), Peter (me), Jonald Clam (Duncan), and NlL (Collin). I progressed with Duncan for a while, and then when Collin got on we found him fishing, of course, so we joined him. We didn’t get to play with gem too much, but we met up with her too!
Duncan and I tried talking to someone we ran into named buffpants, but buffpants was having none of it. But when we met Charizard – yes, Charizard – Duncan proclaimed, “THE Charizard?!” After typing for 10 seconds, Charizard himself responded with a “lul.”
Here’s a good screenshot of Jonald and me doing some fishing!
By the end of the night I reached level 10 and had a blast!
We recently got Keystone Master for another guildmate! Congratulations to Mike! This screenshot shows from left to right, Elias, gem, me, Mike, and Matt. He was missing a fortified Necrotic Wake for a couple weeks now, but now that’s behind him!
Tuesday night was achievement night for my raid group. This was my last Tuesday raid for a while because the group is moving on to mythic, and I’m not on their server. We still have a couple Saturday raid nights left though, which is good because I wasn’t there for the Sylvanas kill to get Ahead of the Curve.
The Glory of the Dominant Raider meta achievement was easier than I expected. I didn’t really think they were easy enough to finish in one night, but my raid group didn’t question it so maybe they always do it like this. Some achievements made me nervous; Tormentor’s Tango requires you to /taunt Garrosh, which gives you a slow debuff, and then not get hit by any Torments. And if anyone messes it up in the raid, no one gets the achievement. I thought for sure it would be hard, but we did it in one attempt.
The Kel’thuzad fight has one of the cutest achievements – Together Forever. As a reminder, Kel’thuzad had a pet cat back in Naxxramas, Mr. Bigglesworth. If you killed it, he would yell and curse you. I think it’s cute that he had a pet he loved even as a lich. Well, it turns out Mr. Bigglesworth also ended up in the Shadowlands. For this achievement, someone in the raid has to find and pet Mr. Bigglesworth, now a slime-ghost-cat, near the Tarragrue’s platform and then again near Painsmith. This will cause him to spawn in Kel’thuzad,s room, where a player can click him once more. Mr. Bigglesworth will hop on that player’s head. During the Kel’thuzad fight, that player must enter Kel’thuzad’s phylactery and deliver the cat, thawing Kel’thuzad’s head (and causing him to take increased damage). How cute is that?
Here I had some nice tea with Keridwen and Mooglegem while we waited for others to find Mr. Bigglesworth. It was our Finer Things Club.
Look, there he is riding on someone’s head!
I Used to Bullseye Deeprun Rats Back Home was an interesting achievement. There’s a vertical hoop on a stick next to Remnant of Ner’zhul’s platform (like a quidditch goal) with a second hoop swinging. Three “goals” must be scored by throwing the bomb off the platform and through the hoops. None of us had ever noticed the goal posts before.
Whack-A-Soul seemed like one of the most appropriate achievements. On top of everything else Painsmith throws at you, there are Burning Gibbets that appear on the sides. More continue to spawn throughout the fight, and they case a raid-wide four second fear. Basically, you just have to keep killing and interrupting them. This would have likely been very hard earlier when we were less geared.
This World is a Prism, on Sylvanas, was another neat achievement. One prism from each covenant spawns in phase two. Four players must each pick up a prism. In the last phase, each platform has a sigil corresponding to a covenant. The players with the prisms must stand on the sigils to channel on to Anduin. Lore-wise that does… something? But every good WoW fight needs to beams or magic lasers.
And after a little over two hours of raiding, we finished Glory of the Dominant Raider. Now we can all ride our Hand of Hrestimorak mounts! I’m not in love with the hand recolor, but it is a cool model. I have the Hand of Bahmethra from Tormentors of Torghast already. I still need the Hand of Salaranga from Breaking the Chains as well as Hand of Nilganihmaht, the gold hand and one I want the most!
I ran a Plaguefall 14 on tyrannical back on 8/23 expecting to improve my score; it ended up giving me Keystone Master! Because some people switched characters during our runs, it took another week or so for all five of our main m+ group to get KSM. I wanted to wait to post about it until I had a screenshot of the five of us on our mounts (the Soultwisted Deathwalker) but then forgot about posting until now.
I believe the five characters in the screenshot (it’s hard to identify alts) are Delarm (Elias), Kanora (Marc), me, Mooglegem (gem), and Kuuna (Matt).
Season two certainly went quicker. It was the first time I ran m+ in two consecutive seasons within a single expansion, so maybe it’s always like this. I liked the seasonal affix, but it seemed much easier than Prideful; whether that’s good or bad is up for debate I suppose. Now let’s see how high we can push!
We got our revenge on Tazasvesh, and I was so excited that I rocked out in Myza’s Oasis on the drums!
We first tried Tazavesh the week it was released, but we hit a wall on the last boss. This week, we returned to the megadungeon and tried it on hard mode.
This guy looked shady, but we made a deal with him anyways.
At our gear level now, there were some mechanics we didn’t even see because we killed the target so quickly. It was not a big deal.
I really enjoyed it, and I think megadungeons are a cool concept that Blizzard could use a bit more. It’s definitely a different style of gameplay. I think the biggest issue, if they were done more frequently, would be balancing rewards. Right now, it’s mostly just about having fun. The gear reward barely mattered since we decided to gear through m+ and come back to wreck it later.
Not that I expect it, but maybe we can get another megadungeon in 9.2!
Look at that glorious Mimiron’s Head! My mage, Mooglepete, was the character that finally got the mount to drop. Coincidentally, he was also the one that got Mollie, the alpaca, to drop! I guess he has good luck at mount farming. Bulleto, gem’s hunter, has been holding an Ulduar lockout cleared up to Yogg-Saron for months now. I think he’s happy to end his post in the icy wastes of Northrend.
I wasn’t sure what I was seeing was real for a second. I started nervously laughing when I noticed what dropped. I know I ran this a few times over the years, but likely only 10 or so maybe before I started farming it regularly. Since I started farming, I’ve run it 282 times. At first, I was running it with all 12 of my characters that were over level 50, but it became annoying to move characters I’m actively playing to Ulduar. For the past couple months, I’ve been running it 8 times per week; those 8 characters have just stayed parked in front of Ulduar. It’s nice to be finished!
We decided to clear normal Sanctum of Domination before heading into heroic. We defeated normal Sylvanas on our fourth raid night, which was in the second week of the raid. In heroic, we’re now three bosses into the raid with The Nine falling this week. As mentioned in the title, there will be some spoilers in this post.
I got the Sanctum Gloomcharger’s Reins on my second defeat of The Nine, which was actually in LFR. I’m not sure of the drop rate, but it doesn’t seem too high. It’s a pretty cool mount!
We’re struggling against Soulrender Dormazain in heroic for now, but at least we’re making progress and getting better. This is a pretty cool fight, and I really enjoy seeing Garrosh again.
Here’s the cutscene at the end of the fight courtesy of wowhead. I think this is a pretty good end to Garrosh’s arc. No redemption. He is who he is, and he does feel remorse for his actions. He goes out fighting and even screaming “for the Horde!”
And then I guess he becomes a pile of ash. Oh well.
And this is how I feel after wiping repeatedly to Soulrender Dormazain in heroic! Okay, actually things have been going well, but I thought I’d end the post there. Happy raiding!
Mythic+ season 2 is off to a fun start! This is the first time I’ve done two seasons back-to-back in a single expansion, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. To be honest, I just assumed that we’d be starting with +3 or +4 keys, but that wasn’t the case.
For now, our main goal is to get the best loot from the weekly vault rather than time lower keys. To that end, we’ve been mostly doing +15s over time, which ensures we get 252 loot each week. Soon we’ll need to start timing keys!
I’ve been enjoying the Servants of the Jailer, the minibosses from the new affix. I enjoy the flexibility they give – yeah, I know that they’re in set locations while Manifestations of Pride could pop up wherever you want, it also meant than in season one, a mistake with trash can drastically change the whole run. Plus, these minibosses seem much easier to me.
Devee, my discipline priest, has been my main since BC. In fact, 8.3 was the first time I played max-level alts. This patch, I’ve swapped to Sotiros, my ele/resto shaman as my main. Most likely I’ll be elemental in our main runs, but I’m healing dungeons too and raid as resto. It’s weird but fun to be playing a different toon as my main. Discipline feels like significantly more work and burns mana extremely fast. When things are hectic and player health is low, I feel like I had to lean away from atonement, which tore through my mana. Shaman doesn’t have that issue, but I’ll admit I certainly miss Pain Suppression, and Desperate Prayer. I miss some other CDs too, but those are the two big ones that I find myself wishing I had the most. However, the shaman has a lot of other strengths.
My elemental DPS has come a long way, but it’s still hurting in single target fights, and I’d be replacing the position held last patch by an unholy DK that could really bring the DPS. Hopefully I can get it to keep climbing and I can learn to be better on ST fights. If so, that unholy player will be healing on his holy paladin. This is my first patch ever DPSing in my main role rather than healing. Although so far, I think I’ve healed more than I’ve DPS’d across all my toons this patch. It helps that three of my four characters have healing specs!
I hope everyone has been enjoying Chains of Domination!