Last night we earned Dragonflight Keystone Master: Season One! It’s just in time for the catalyst tomorrow. It feels weird that we can get KSM while still waiting for the Inspiration Catalyst. Right now, only one of us has four piece. That’ll change soon!
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.
- Rank: Challenger II
- Highest rating: 1604
- End rating: 1587
- Games played: 121
- Games won: 59
- Win rate: 49%
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)!
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!
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).
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||17*||20|
|Halls of Atonement||16*||19|
|Mists of Tirna Scithe||20*||19*|
|Spires of Ascension||19||20*|
|The Necrotic Wake||17**||18*|
|Theater of Pain||21||20*|
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
We earned our Glory of the Shadowlands Hero achievement this weekend! It’s been a long time since I’ve gone for a Glory achievement to be honest. This was pretty fun and not very fun honestly, although you definitely wouldn’t stumble into all of them without trying. For example, there’s Kaal-ed Shot, requiring you to pick up a Filled Anima Container in Sanguine Depths to get the Shadow Ball buff, carry it through the gauntlet, get knocked off the boss platform toward a lantern, click the lantern to dunk the ball, and then kill General Kaal. What a weird achievement.
The Voracious Gorger is a pretty cool mount. I like the devourers and the little bit of lore about them originating from the in-between. This isn’t one of my favorite mounts necessarily, but I like it. In the screenshot above from left to right is Mooglegem, Delillidan, me, Mushkin, and Kanora – with two of them naked because that’s how they earned the final achievement!
The last achievement we earned for the meta was I Can See My House From Here – another that you’d be unlikely to do without really going for it. The biggest things we learned are 1) perspective can mess with you and 2) trust your friends and don’t tell them what to do haha. We kept correcting each other, which just caused more problems.
Fun all around!
Last week I got Shadowlands Keystone Master: Season One! Here’s the five of us on our Sintouched Deathwalkers in Oribos. From left to right: gem (Mooglegem), me (Devee), Matt (Mushkin), Marc (Kanora) and his minions, and Elias (Delillidan). Was the other character in the screenshot the guy who made fun of us? Possibly.
This season felt a lot faster to me. We have one dungeon left, Mists of Tirna Scithe, for a sixth guildmate!
Two zones down now that I finished the story quests in Maldraxxus! Spoilers in this post by the way. (I posted previously about Bastion.)
I was expecting just Naxxramas as a zone and a lot of evil and undead… and I guess it kind of was, but at the same time, it was more than that. It had such a cool, desert wasteland vibe to it. The houses were not all pure evil even if they were quite brutal.
The area around the House of Plagues was a bit different even if still distinctly necromantic. Here I am with Mooglegem and our slimes! My transmog is quite different than what it normally is. During Death Rising, I changed to heroic sanctified tier 10 since it felt proper to be back in ICC gear. It matched Bastion so well that I decided to put something on that fit Maldraxxus.
There were some cool characters in the zone. We knew Draka would be here from the video, but I especially enjoyed meeting her and her declaring that she was once part of the Frostwolf clan. It contrasted well with the Kyrians in Bastion being forced to forget who they were. It did feel weird that we didn’t have a conversation with Draka about the mortal world. “Hey, you know that baby you had, Go’el? Well he became Warchief of the Horde and leads the orcs. And by the way, he might be stuck in the Maw.”
Lady Baroness Vashj was also neat. I didn’t actually kill her in Serpentshrine Cavern until Wrath and didn’t play WC3, so there wasn’t much nostalgia for me in that sense. However, I still enjoyed her being present.
Ooo my runeblade!
Finding that the missing Baron was Alexandros Mograine was definitely awesome. His story regarding life, death, and family is pretty interesting. In addition, I think he has a cool role in the history of the game thanks to the Corrupted Ashbringer and the various retcons. I’m looking forward to his interactions with Darion in the future.
The dungeon, Plaguefall, was challenging to heal. It might be a real “fun” time for mythic+. I had to drink quite a bit, and it’s hard to keep up with dispels. We had a couple wipes.
I didn’t think I’d like the Necrolords of Maldraxxus much at all, but I could see a few of my characters fitting here – at least RP-wise. I’ll figure out who goes here later. For now, it’s off to Ardenweald!
I wrote previously about earning Battle for Azeroth Keystone Master: Season Four for doing all +15s, but I wanted to recap a little more about m+ this season. I ran a few m+ in season 3 but didn’t seriously start until this last season. I know I was late to the party, but I think mythic+ is a fantastic addition to the game. It’s great getting challenging content that can be done in small chunks of time as well as with smaller groups of people than raids.
I mainly played disc priest, but I also used shadow a little. As for other classes, I did m+ on demo lock, holy and ret pali, resto and ele shaman, and a little bit of guardian druid and frost mage. This was my first expansion playing multiple classes as end game, and I had such a blast. Yes, it was stressful dealing with a weekly chest, assaults, and horrific visions on a bunch of toons, but actually playing them was so much fun.
I’m not sure which one to even talk about. The lock was by secondary most of the expansion, but I really enjoyed learning to heal dungeons on shaman and paladin. Holy paladin felt quite different since it’s played in melee. The most challenging past of holy paladin was hunting for glimmer on Azerite pieces. I think resto shaman was awesome, and I enjoyed using elemental when doing solo content. I really enjoyed the feeling of saying “you know, I think I’d prefer to heal this on my resto shaman rather than disc priest.” I had never tanked end game before, so trying my hand at guardian druid was exciting and nerve-racking. I couldn’t have done it with guildmates guiding me, but I might try tanking more in Shadowlands. I think if I do it from the beginning, I’d actually learn routes myself. Setting the pace and routes seems like the biggest hurdle to tanking. While my mage never got super geared, it was fun really learning frost. Even at low gear levels, it became so apparent how powerful Glacial Spike was. Mages can certainly bring the DPS, but they’re also definitely glass cannons!
In the end, here’s the raider.io scores I reached:
- Priest: 2017.3 (bestkeystone.com put me above 90% of m+ players that season)
- Warlock: 1329.7
- Paladin: 1199.4
- Shaman: 937.7
- Druid: 491.3
- Mage: 250.8
You can see how I tapered off. The priest was strongly my main, and then I played the next three for most of the patch. The final two classes were late additions.
Now if only I could figure out which ones I want to play in Shadowlands!
Hertz Locker is a Feat of Strength achievement that can be earned by completing Mechagon with all hard modes and without anyone dying.
We only tried three different nights and ended up earning it last night – the last night before it became unobtainable when the Shadowlands pre-patch hit. We had a few hiccups because for some reason, despite being able to do 15s no problem, we still learned of new mechanics that would cause a death – on trash! I’m looking at you shrink ability that can cause someone to get trampled by their friends.
I’m glad we got it in the nick of time!
Last week my mythic+ group finished our last +15. This was for the Battle for Azeroth Keystone Master: Season Four achievement, which awards the Awakened Mindborer mount.
Here’s our mythic group! It makes me feel gross! Matt had already finished the achievement before the rest of us but was still helping the group push. It seemed like last week was our best shot because the affixes got harder this week, and we were running out of time.
The hardest part was getting the key we needed. Our final key was Siege of Boralus. We actually had a 16 of it. Besides little issues here and there with our run, our tank disconnected for a bit. We were fairly confident though, because even if we fail on +16, we’d be able to try again on +15. We were just about done with the boss, and the timer was close. We pushed hard and accidentally went just a couple seconds over – and that’s when we realized that by finishing it overtime, our key would change. We meant to walk out and reset. There goes our SoB key.
From that point, our group split up into PUGs. Sometimes a few of us went together, but usually we were pugging alone. Matt continued to try to run his own keys in an attempt to generate the SoB key, which was unlikely. It took forever trying to get into good PUGs, but eventually we all did it! While the end was stressful, m+ was a blast and felt very rewarding!
I was too amused by my hopping to actually contribute to combat.
Warlords of Draenor has been out for a few weeks. I’ve been waiting to make a proper post about it in general until I got some time with it. I think there’s been enough time. This isn’t meant to be comprehensive on every aspect of the expansion, but it does cover my general thoughts.
Questing and Story
Loved it. I know a lot of people were confused by the alternate timeline, but it didn’t seem confusing to me. Then again, I’ve also read WoW books that contained multiple timelines. This isn’t anything new to WoW. The quests feel really immersive and important. Not everything is incredible, but I didn’t feel like the quests were a grind like they were in the past. It seems like Blizzard just keeps getting better and better at this.
The introduction through Tanaan Jungle is exciting and sets the stage for the expansion. Frostfire Ridge was simply amazing; maybe my eyes watered at the end. Maybe. Although to be fair, that tends to happen something seems really awesome to me, so all three zone cinematics did that to me. Looking back on Gorgrond, it doesn’t stand out in my mind, but I enjoyed it while I was questing through it. Talador dragged a little, but it was still fun, and I enjoyed the cinematic a bunch. Yrel makes me want not only to play Alliance but also to play as a dranei specifically. Spires of Arak definitely takes a detour from the Iron Horde story, but I found it extremely fascinating to learn about the gods of the arakkoa. The culmination in Nagrand was terrific. The mood of the last cutscene… wow.
Garrisons were engaging right from the start, but they also took the most researching I think. It was a brand new mechanic with a lot of choices. Luckily wowhead had some great guides. The missions are a fun bit of minigame, but more importantly, the garrison system as a whole makes me feel powerful and important. I still have a couple buildings that aren’t level 3 yet, but they should be done very soon.
Professions and General Ease of Use
Choosing the right profession is less important than it was previously, and I like that. There’s still something to gain by choosing a specific profession, but none feels like a requirement. I’m an enchanter and miner, and I chose the Enchanter’s Study and Engineering Works as my profession buildings. I like being able to dabble in the other professions. Being able to level everything in Draenor seems like a cool change, although I wasn’t behind in professions, so I don’t know how well it worked. I’ve also enjoying fishing with the baits, three different sizes, and garrison daily.
Dungeons and Heroics
Dungeons were fairly interesting, and I haven’t learned to hate any of them yet. Healing them was a little challenging at first but no where near the difficulty of Cataclysm.
Auchindoun – Not particularly memorable, which is a little sad considering it was a cool place in BC.
Bloodmaul Slag Mines – Interesting place. I like the aesthetic.
The Everbloom – I don’t know. Sometimes I found it a tad annoying because it felt like it was spread out, but it’s not bothering me much now. Come to think of it, maybe now that groups always skip trash makes it better!
Skyreach – I’ve probably done this least of all the dungeons. I feel like groups struggle with it more often.
Upper Blackrock Spire – This one was one of the more challenging dungeons at first – especially Zaela. Now that it’s fine, remembering how challenging it was makes me like it more.
Shadowmoon Burial Grounds – This is a gorgeous dungeon, and it makes me want to see the Alliance story in Shadowmoon Valley.
Iron Docks – This dungeon sounded super cool, and I was excited to see it. I like that kind of rough technology in the setting, so I was expecting to find it amazing. It’s a fine dungeon, but it’s disappointing in that you’re not really interacting with the ships much.
Grimrail Depot – This is another one that I thought was going to be amazing because of the technology. And yes, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The second boss was really difficult for a while, but groups seem to have it now.
I think the most important thing about heroics is that they don’t seem as vital. All of my gear is now the ilvl of heroic dungeons or better, and you don’t need to do a daily heroic for valor when there isn’t valor. They’re not getting over-used, so I haven’t grown to hate them.
I’ve done the first wing of LFR and the first two bosses of normal Highmaul. Somehow they’ve made LFR even easier. I suppose I like that. I know LFR was easy before, but that just made it all the more frustrating when groups couldn’t do it. If you did know what you were doing, it didn’t help others. I’m all for LFR being a cakewalk.
Normal, on the other hand, was surprising. I expected to get through a lot more than two bosses the first week, but maybe my expectations were just off. Thinking back to flex, there’s no way I would get only two bosses done in Siege of Orgrimmar, but we were also coming from the previous raid tier rather than gearing as new max-level characters. I didn’t think normal gear would be important, but it is. I’ll be curious to see how the next tier is done. I’m hoping that if you’re heroic geared, you can just step into Blackrock Foundry heroic without needing normal.
Max-level questing content came as a pleasant surprise. I’m actually enjoying the apexis dailies. In addition, the Garrison Campaign quests are very interesting. Staggering them out weekly is a superb idea too, because it ensures there’s more content spaced longer. I love it. On that subject, garrison invasions are pretty cool too and give additional content!
I’ll probably talk about PVP more in a different post, but I haven’t enjoyed PVP this much in a long time. I don’t understand every little bit of Ashran, but I have great time in there. The Gladiator’s Sanctum is a superb source of honor, conquest, and PVP gear, and the Nemesis quests that reward you with a title for each race of which you kill 500 is awesome. The Highmaul Coliseum is really awesome too. Now that battlegrounds drop lockboxes, it actually pushes groups to try to do well even when they’re going to lose. Having a set of PVP gear lower than honor gear that can be obtained randomly makes entry even easier. In addition, it’s more fun; who doesn’t like upgrades?
All said, I’m incredibly happy with Warlords of Draenor. It’s my favorite expansion yet.
Patch 6.0.2, The Iron Tide, brought a number of changes and a bit of new content.
Iron Horde Invasion
The Dark Portal turns red, and the Iron Horde begins to attack. The Horde and Alliance settlements in the Blasted Lands fall, and we’re tasked with cleaning up. It was interesting, but it seemed to lack zest. It was just a bit anti-climatic. I never really got the feeling that we were in much danger. The questline did more to introduce mechanic changes than anything else. For example, quest objectives are clearly marked on the map and are outlined differently in the world. This includes locations that are targets for items; instead of going to where you think you need to plant a flag and clicking it, you right-click the outline of a flag. I like it. Still, I would have liked the event to feel more important. I think what I liked most was Thrall’s new model. He’s finally integrating the aspects of being a shaman and a warrior. Awesome.
Updated character models
I didn’t care previously, and I still don’t think this is a big deal. I’m looking at numbers. I’m watching health and mana, looking at buffs and debuffs, and tracking adds. I’m not looking at my cloak. At first, I certainly did. My troll runs stupidly. Honestly it seems normal now though.
Upper Blackrock Spire
It’s much more straight-forward, but it didn’t seem like it was anything special either. I suppose that could make sense because it’s only the first half, but why show us the first half if the first half isn’t awesome?
Flexible raids are great. Losing Renew and Void Shift sucks. Having to choose between Spirit Shell and Power Infusion sucks. Losing Heal wasn’t a big deal.
Now we’re even more OP in earlier content. That’s cool.
Void Storage and Toy Box
Oh, goodness. This was awesome. With a whole new Void Storage tab and the nifty Toy Box, I actually have free bag space again, allowing me to go do past raids for transmog. It’s wonderful. I don’t understand why they didn’t try to patch this in a couple months ago so we could actually do something in WoW. I can’t say enough good about this, although I know I’m going to fill it up soon. Mmmm old tier sets.
What have I done in the patch? I did the questline and UBRS of course. Besides that, I’ve mainly been going after old tier sets. That’s what I was doing months and months ago before I filled up all my bags, so it’s nice to be able to continue it again. I also got my heroic Siege of Orgrimmar heirloom – the staff. Unfortunately, I was hoping for the mace or offhand. The mace is shaped like a Horde symbol, and the offhand is a book with the Horde symbol on the cover. Maybe I’ll get one of them in normal mode!
A few weeks ago, Zaghar, my guildmate, suggested we run Challenge Mode dungeons to get silvers for the mount before the first season of CMs ended with the completion of Mists of Pandaria. I’d been wanting to do CMs mostly for the, well, challenge of it. We’ve been running them when we had the chance. I wish we had started earlier because they’re a lot of fun.
Is that a second Devee in the picture? No, it’s just Mooglegem.
I really enjoy how Challenge Mode dungeons greatly reduce the role of gear and tests group skill. In Warlords of Draenor, I think I’d like to try Challenge Mode dungeons earlier so I could aim for golds. However, I have to be honest that I’m not sure how much time I can truly devote to the game. I doubt I can seriously focus on CMs and raiding.
gem and I both chose Violet Pandaren Phoenixes as our rewards! Of course, soon we’ll have all of them when the patch lands.
It’s been a while since I posted, but what kind of WoW blogger would I be if I didn’t talk about this cinematic? Like most of Blizzard’s lore-rich trailers, this really got me excited. I enjoyed the fact that in both the original timeline and the Warlords of Draenor timeline, Grom gets to kill Mannoroth. I also particularly like Garrosh saving him. And Grom’s last lines? “We will never be slaves. But we will be conquerors.” That’s a terrific line, especially the pause between sentences.
Not all of the dungeons jumped out at me, but two really did – the Iron Docks and Grimrail Depot. I guess I like industrialism, but how could you not like Grimrail Depot? Part of it is actually on a train. Now I realize that when it comes to gameplay, it’ll all likely feel the same. Similarly, the idea of fighting on Deathwing’s back was really cool, but when it comes time to do it, I’m so focused on mechanics and numbers that it feels the same. Still, I really like this.
Image courtesy of the @Warcraft Twitter account.
The 10th anniversary event sounds cool too. Tarren Mill vs Southshore is a great PVP throwback, and I’m super interested to see a deathmatch-style battleground. All I really want to do when I PVP is fight, so why has it taken so long to get a deathmatch battleground? Temple of Kotmogu is close. I’ll be curious to see what this is like.
Molten Core is also a pretty iconic raid to reinvigorate also. It’s a 40-man LFR, so everyone at endgame should be able to see it easily. And a Molten Corgi? Adorable.
My only issue is that it’s for max level characters. Warlords of Draenor drops 11/13/14, and the anniversary event starts within a week and a half or so. Does that mean we’ll need to rush to level 100?
@Celestalon Hey celestalon when warlords hit are we going to be in a rush to get to lvl 100 for the anniversary? because it seems like it
— carl christopher hal (@yeulx) August 15, 2014
@yeulx Nope. You will have plenty of time. Stay tuned for more precise dates.
— Celestalon (@Celestalon) August 15, 2014
We’ll have more details on raid release timing, 10th Anniversary event duration, etc., soon. But don’t worry, we don’t want to rush you.
— Watcher (@WatcherDev) August 14, 2014
They claim we won’t. I hope they’re right!
Last week, I finished Duskwood on Sleepypaw. I like dark, creepy aesthetic to the zone, but I really disliked the trees. They looked nice, but I got tired of having my camera go past the trees. Blizzard might not realize it, but I like seeing my character and the enemies around me, not leaves. Why don’t the leaves go transparent if they’re between the camera and the player’s character?
Duskwood was a very Worgen-filled zone, and I enjoyed learning about the various characters – a war hero who comes home to devastation, a brother with a secret, and a who struggles to hold onto his mind.
Friday night was our dungeon night. First we did Uldaman, which went rather smoothly. Next up we did Scholomance. I like that dungeon quite a bit, but I realized that it’s unfortunately Lilian Voss doesn’t mean much to players who haven’t seen the Forsaken starting area. She’s a fantastic character. Finally, we ventured into Dire Maul. We started with the Warpwood Quarter, which went decently even if it’s a bit of a sprawling mess.
We ended the night with the Gordok Commons. This is a wonderful dungeon because it actually gives choices that effect the way the dungeon is completed. In this way, it’s probably the closest bit of WoW to Dungeons & Dragons. We killed Guard Mol’dar without really thinking about it. Whoops. Stomper Kreeg hung out drunk in the corner, and we didn’t bother him. One out of two so far. Guard Fengus got pulled by accident, so we killed him. One out of three. Guard Slip’kik went similarly. One out of four. I’m happy to report that we weren’t too dumb for the Gordok Ogre Suit, so we did manage to get past Captain Kromcrush. Two out of five. We left Cho’Rush the Observer alive while we killed King Gordok. Three out of six. I guess it could have been worse. I’d be interested in trying again with the group next week if we’re still in the same level range.
Sleepypaw, my Tushui pandaren monk, joined my friends’ guild, Olio de Oliva. Friday we ran some dungeons, and I had a lot of fun. This is the same group with whom I sometimes play World of Tanks (and blog about at Polygons and Pixels) and Dungeons & Dragons (and blog about at WebPageless). They’re a much more casual guild than Carpe Flux Capacitor, so it was fun to experience the game a bit differently and more like I did when I first started playing.
On my main, I ran each dungeon in Mists of Pandaria once for the story. At max level, I ran them for gear, and the goal was to get through them as fast as possible. With Olio de Oliva, we were just having fun running dungeons. It was nice to enjoy things at a slower pace. I do hope I wasn’t annoying though. I couldn’t help but chime in with additional information or instruction. Some of the players have been playing for a while, but some were quite new.
We ran Scarlet Halls, Scarlet Monastery, Razorfen Kraul, and Maraudon (my least favorite dungeon – ugh). Because we had more than five people online, we rotated. That was also really nice. Don’t get me wrong – I love raiding – but being bale to take a 20-30 minute break in the middle of group play is pretty nice. As we tried to make the groups work for different player rotations, we realized it’d be easier if I could tank as well. I tanked a little as a blood DK back in Wrath of the Lich King and Cataclysm, but it had definitely been a while. Sleepypaw was 30, so he just gained the ability to dual spec, so I picked up brewmaster. I spent a few minutes reading tooltips and arranging abilities, and then we bounded into a dungeon – Scarlet Monastery. It was confusing, and I was really unsure of myself. I kept asking if I was doing alright, but I seemed to be holding aggro. I had trouble with a couple abilities too. I kept not being at minimum range or not having enough chi. Eventually I think I understood when to use my different abilities.
Doing dungeons with a group of friends made me feel really nostalgic. It was an aspect of the game that I had been missing for a while. It was also pretty exciting tanking. Brewmaster seems like a fun spec. I’m also still enjoying seeing the Alliance side of the game!
After a terrible LFR run last night, I wanted to do something new. Having never tried Proving Grounds, that sounded like an interesting thing to try. The bronze and silver healing challenges were very easy, but I couldn’t quite get gold. I felt a little better later when I read that it scaled gear. At first I thought I was failing even though I was so over-geared. I’ll have to take a look at how the scaling works later. If everything scales equally, then I definitely want more spirit. In my normal gear I cap my spirit pretty low compared to what I could have. We’ll see.
I also tried the DPS Proving Grounds as disc. Bronze was ridiculously easy, but I was about a second or two short on silver. I’m pretty confident I can do it though! Of course, I could switch to shadow too, but I want the achievement for doing it in the wrong spec.
I forgot how much I enjoyed this dungeon until I ran it the other day. It’s fairly straight forward but has amazing atmosphere. Bronjahm, the Godfather of Souls, is an awesome boss, but even more awesome is his music.
Okay, his sounds are pretty entertaining too.
I ran it last week just for the achievements – Soul Power and Three Faced. I feel like I spend most of my time in WoW running things for progression, but I think I want to go do this again, and I just ran it a few days ago. It’s just too good.
I’ve been branching out in WoW a bit lately, finishing some things besides just doing my LFR or flex. First, I finished the dungeon achievements for the ICC heroic dungeons. Next, I got the mount from a OS 3D 25-man run, the Twilight Drake! I know it’s old content, but I do like the mount.
I also finished the last two achievements I needed for Glory of the Hero. First, there was Dehydration. This is for killing Ichoron in Violet Hold without allowing any of the globules to merge. It was fairly simple. My final one was Respect Your Elders. It’s funny, because I remember that requiring strategy. You have to defeat Elder Nadox in the Old Kingdom without killing his adds. The adds make him immune to damage when they’re near him, so you’d have to tank the adds away from him. Back in Wrath, I suppose that would mean two people need to be able to survive a lot of damage. Now it means you just start DPSing the boss, and a second later he dies. And then you get a Red Proto-Drake if it’s your last Glory of the Hero achievement!
On the same night I earned that, I did some achievements in the Lost City of the Tol’vir with the same friend who was helping me do these other things. She earned Headed South on Siamat, which gave her Glory of the Cataclysm Hero and the Volcanic Stone Drake! We’re on our new mounts in the above screenshot.
It’s funny how little I know about a lot of these instances. I have a couple alts (no alts are max), but I don’t really play them. I only saw most dungeons as I did them for gear while leveling and then never touched them again. I feel so lost in some instances and barely remember them. I must have coasted through Cataclysm on auto-pilot. I remember Wrath fairly well, but that was the expansion during which I first hit a level cap. In addition, I was out of school and didn’t have a job, so I spent a lot of time in game. Doing Wrath of the Lich King dungeons felt very nostalgic. Thanks for being a good expansion, Wrath.
This past weekend I decided to finish old content that I never ran. I started with Dire Maul. For whatever reason, I never completed Dire Maul. At some point I ran one wing but never the rest. It was actually an interesting instance. After completing it, I earned Classic Dungeonmaster, which was nice. I don’t know why I never got it earlier.
Next I moved into Burning Crusade raids. I completed Gruul’s Lair first, which was nice and short, then I did Serpentshrine Cavern. I really enjoyed Serpentshrine Cavern. Those two raids gave me Outland Raider. Why stop there? I ran Shattered Halls, The Mechanar, The Botanica, and The Arcatraz after that. I particularly liked Shattered Halls. The three Tempest Keep dungeons kind of blended together in my mind already, but they were fun too. I know running the same dungeons over and over can get old, but I think it says something about the quality that I can go back to do a dungeon from two expansions ago and have fun. No, I don’t want to run them over and over, but even being over-powered for them, they’re still entertaining. The layout, art assets, and bits of story all make for good entertainment. These dungeons allowed me to earn Outland Dungeonmaster.
With this, I’ve now seen all dungeons, scenarios, and raids in the game. Yes, I have some heroics to do, but it’s nice to have seen everything.
Patch 5.3 Escalation brought four new scenarios with it, two of which are required to progress into the Darkspear Rebellion quests. None of them involves the actual player characters; they’re stories told about others on Azeroth through Lorewalker Cho and his dream brew. This is a very cool way of telling stories about other characters while still allowing all players to see them.
Please note that this post will contain spoilers!
The first scenario, Blood in the Snow, is about the Alliance. The Zandalari have instigated the Frostmane trolls in Dun Morogh to lead an attack on Ironforge. When Varian asks the dwarves to send troops to help him fight off the trolls, the Bronzebeard and Wildhammer both refuse. The two clans are scared to turn their backs on the Dark Iron. Meanwhile Moira Thaurissan, Queen-Regent of the Dark Iron clan, shows that she’s willing to contribute to the Alliance and defend Ironforge by leading her troops into battle alongside Varian Wrynn. (Why does Varian have to lead the effort? Why aren’t the dwarves taking the initiative to defend their own city?)
Mechanically there was nothing special about Blood in the Snow. However, I really enjoyed it. In fact, I think it might have been my favorite scenario. Now, do consider that I only played each scenario once. It’s fairly likely that I won’t play any of them again for a long time. While some of the other scenarios had awesome things happen, it’s not every day that I get to see character progression of Alliance faction leaders. Moira’s a cool character, and it’s exciting to see her step up. I hope they three clans don’t unite any time soon. I’d like to see Moira turn into the more honorable one while the other two bicker.
The Dark Heart of Pandaria puts you in the shoes of goblin engineers excavating the Vale of Eternal Blossoms under orders of Garrosh Hellscream who hopes to find an ancient power. The goblins find a large chest, but when they open it, Norushen, a Titan construct of a Mogu yells, “Containment failure. Active defense matrix enabled.” A goblin is transformed by sha energy into the Echo of Y’Shaarj, and the other goblins defeat him.
Grizzle Gearslip, Malkorok, and Kor’kron enter the room, claiming this is exactly what they wanted to find. Malkorok pays Grizzle Gearslip, but Grizzle Gearslip replies that it wasn’t the full amount. Malkorok says that Grizzle Gearslip is only paid for the workers present, not the ones who died. He grabs him by the neck and proceeds with a racist tirade about the weakness of the lesser races before leaving.
This is another very fascinating scenario. Of course, we get some nice progression about the Old God Y’Shaarj. Not only did we discover this presence, but we find that Garrosh not only knew of it but also wanted it. I think everyone on Azeroth who isn’t part of Garrosh’s ideal Horde thinks harnessing the power of an Old God is a bad idea. Lastly, this scenario seems to act as a tipping point for the goblins. It’s obvious what the orcs think of the goblins as well.
I actually ran through Battle on the High Seas last, but as it was my least favorite scenario of the four, I didn’t want to end this post with it. Horde and Alliance ships meet in the ocean en route to Pandaria and open fire on each other. You’re tasked with boarding the other ships both by swinging over with ropes and by shooting yourself with a cannon. Besides killing enemy sailors, you also place explosives to destroy the ships.
I thought this scenario was rather boring although it did have its moments. Swinging from the ropes and using the cannons was fun, but the instructions weren’t always clear. The third person in my group at one point jumped overboard and swam to the other ship, not realizing we needed to do something on the previous ship before being able to swing to the next. We also got caught on an enemy ship when the explosives went off, killing us. It told us to get off the ship, but we weren’t sure exactly what we were supposed to do.
The biggest problem with the scenario is that it doesn’t progress the story. Yes, yes, I realize the Horde and Alliance are at war. I guess they just wanted some scenario, any scenario, to show that conflict. What we get here is some random sailors dying. Was there anyone important on either side? No. Did we learn anything new (like we do in all three of the other scenarios)? No! I’m sure Blizzard could have reinforced the Horde-Alliance conflict while actually using some characters that mattered.
Lastly we have the Secrets of Ragefire. Citizens in Durotar have been disappearing, and the Gob Squad believes it has something to do with Ragefire Chasm. You’re placed in the roles of the Gob Squad, who previously had adventures in Azshara and the Twilight Highlands, to learn what’s happening. The Gob Squad works to create a bomb to blow open a door. The Dark Shaman Xorenth tries to stop them, but the Gob Squad defeats them. They find a large number of proto-drake eggs as well as Kor’kron supply crates, making them think Garrosh plans an invasion, including orcs mounted on proto-drakes. They also find discarded Pandaria artifacts. These are likely discarded because they’re not the source of power of Y’shaarj for which Garrosh was searching. The Gob Squad creates another bomb to blow open the next door.
Yes, that’s the bomb in the upper-left of that picture. Why yes, that is a pool pony, and no, we don’t know why it’s needed. The bomb detonates early, hurting some members of the Gob Squad. Soon after, Overseer Elaglo enters, claiming “The true horde, the pure horde, cannot be stopped!” While Grit sets up a teleporter, the other goblins defend him and defeat the racist Overseer Elaglo before escaping through the teleporter.
This is another great scenario. It’s a ton of fun to explore an area that Horde players explored for the first time so long ago. In true goblin fashion, the Gob Squad is a bit silly but still manage to kick butt! The scenario shows the pride and arrogance of Garrosh Hellscream’s Horde. I love the line about the true Horde. I also like the usage of Dark Shaman. An expansion ago, I hadn’t heard of the idea of Dark Shaman. I believe the first I heard of them was in Tides of War. With the release of Mists of Pandaria, Ragefire Chasm was updated. Gone was the concept of warlocks; in its place were the Dark Shaman, and the Secrets of Ragefire brings the problem to a head. It’s time we do something about the Old God harnessing, shamanic arts-abusing, “true Horde” led by Garrosh Hellscream! Maybe it’s time for a rebellion, and maybe I’ll be posting about the Darkspear Rebellion next time!
After collecting my Secrets of the Empire and trillium bars, I finally got to proceed with the legendary quests. I headed to the Thunderforge for my solo scenario, which was actually a bit more challenging than usual. As a healer, I got through it, but Mooglegem struggled a bit as DPS. Afterward, Wrathion was nice enough to give us our legendary meta gems! The Courageous Primal Diamond is sure sweet; I hope I actually get to use it soon! I don’t want to put it in my helm when I’m likely to upgrade it soon.
There are two more quests in the 5.2 chain before completing chapter three. Why put the legendary reward in the middle of the chain? That seems very odd to me, but I guess it didn’t really matter because people will continue into chapter four regardless.
During the interaction to receive the reward, Anduin Wrynn sits on the wall. Mooglegem decided to sit with him and have a nice chat. He’s a great character. I wonder if the Alliance get to see much more of him than we Horde do.
If you haven’t done the scenario and are curious, you can see it here!
I managed to find a Key to the Palace of Lei Shen recently, which allowed me to access the Troves of the Thunder King. I like Blizzard’s use of the scenario mechanic here. Going forward, I think it’ll be a cool system.
The idea behind the Troves of the Thunder King is a good one. You have a limited amount of time to open as many chests as possible. It’s a simple enough concept. You’ll see in my video that I had a bit of a problem. Since 5.2, when I receive currency my game locks up for a few seconds. This wouldn’t be a huge problem, but the Troves of the Thunder King is timed. I lost a significant amount of time due to this bug. I need to do some troubleshooting to learn what’s causing this.
Despite that problem, I’d consider my plundering successfully. I got a decent handful of Elder Charms of Good Fortune, which were what I was really after. I plan on running Terrace of Endless Spring LFR repeatedly using my charms on Lei Shi and Sha of Fear so I can finish my tier set. I might need to do the same on Will of the Emperor in Mogu’shan Vaults LFR for my trinket. Additionally, it’d be nice to be able to use a charm on every 5.0 raid boss kill that has poor I need. I’ll be happy when I don’t need to worry about any of this old gear!