My Thoughts on 3.3.

Icecrown Citadel, home of the Lich King

3.3 has brought about a lot of changes in the World of Warcraft, most notably (in the case of my PvE gearing-up)- the random dongeon finder.  I haven’t had a chance to hop in game quite yet and test it out, but from what I’ve heard it seems to be a pretty awesome thing.  Because of this new feature, instead of gearing up largely through running a whole bunch of ToC and ToC heroic 5 mans, I’m going to simply hopping in game, and finding a random dongeon.

So what does this mean, exactly, for us brand new 80s looking to nag some gear?  Simply that gearing up just got a whole lot simpler.  Finding a heroic group (at least for me, in my past experience) can take upwards of 20 minutes to a half hour, by the time you’ve found everyone and flown out to the instance.  Now you’ll be simply ported into the dongeon, across realms, and paired up with a group.  I’d say it’s pretty much guaranteed that at any given time, 4 people somewhere out there also want to run a random dongeon, so in theory you should be able to just keep on jumping in.

Also there’s no cap on the number of times you can go into a random dongeon, so if you don’t mind the odd Occulus (a nortoriously bad instance, for those of you not in the know), clicking random again and again until you’re little bloodthirsty heart is satisfied seems to be a viable option.  On top of the emblems you’ll get from simply running the instances, you’re going to get rewards for running a random instance.  From what I gather, the first random dongeon of the day will award you two Emblems of Frost (the current high-tier emblem, again, more on this soon).  That’s pretty nice, considering you’re only running a quick, simple, entry-level heroic.   The alternative manner to amass Emblems of Frost is by stepping foot in Icecrown Citadel (the hardest raid currently in the game), so that’s a pretty nice reward.

A friend of mine, who’s pretty PvE savvy, claims (and mind you, I can’t confirm the theory yet), that in two or three days of heroics (say a weekend or two) you can be all decked out in reasonably viable raiding gear, and be all but ready to start clearing new content.  And, after all, that is sort of the point.  As fun as running heroics can be.  Now, like I said, there’s no guarantee that’s actually how long it takes.  And also, I’m certainly not suggesting that in order to gear up you must dedicate a weekend of your lives to the cause and play nothing but WoW.  If you feel so inclined, be my guest, but I don’t expect anyone reading this to play all day long, as I certainly have no intention of doing so.

Another big change in 3.3?  Icecrown Citadel.  Unless you’ve been living under a rock in the World of Wacraft for the past couple months, you know this is the latest raid Blizzard has released for our pwning pleasures.  I (obviously) haven’t been in there (since I’m still worried about running heroics) I have to say it looks pretty awesome.  And there’s really nothing cooler than the concept that shortly, we all may be in a possition to finaly kill the Lich King.  And taking him down is going to pretty epic, I’m sure.

So yes, all in all 3.3 is looking pretty epic.  And I can’t wait to get my feet wet.

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Published in: on February 18, 2010 at 3:56 am  Leave a Comment  
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A Look at Gear.

Mal'Ganis, the final boss of the Culling of Stratholme instance.

So, before we begin, I’d like to just quickly go over my gear.  You’ll notice, that there’s a disturbingly large number of blues there.  But rest assured, phase one of my plan to get rid of them.  Now, while I am going with the theory that this guide is for completely fresh 80s, no this isn’t quest gear.  I’ve run a few heroics, and half of Naxx 10 once to get this.  Trust me though, I’ve put barely any work into my PvE gear, and the epics I do have would have been considered passable in patch 3.0, but not anymore.

So, in the head slot I’m currently packing: Gaze of the Somber Keeper.  This is a leather head piece that drops from ToC normal 5 man.  Back in 3.2 when I got this gear, ToC was mostly the way to go for gearing up.  But the point here is that it was a major upgrade from the blues I had.  It’s got okay stats, but nothing really great.

Neck = Evoker’s Charm.  This is probably my best piece of gear in terms of item level.  I bought it for Emblems of Conquest (more on that later) which I saved up while I got my other gear.  It has some solid stats and a thrilling item level (again, more on that later) of 226.  This will be one of the last things I replace since it’s already a tier above my other gear.

Shoulders = Purehorn Spaulders.  A blue leatherworking piece of gear.  I believe it requires a leatherworking of 420 to make, but I got mine off the AH.  This is pretty bad gear, and I only have it for lack of better caster shoulders.  It’s at the top of my replace list, along with the other blues.

Back = Cloak of the Gushing Wound.  A cape that drops in Heroic Violet Hold.  Don’t even get me started.  This is a piece of feral gear that I actually used in PvP when I first dinged 80 (remember I PvP feral).  It’s not caster gear at all, and it’s only there because I don’t have a caster cape.  Obviously, it needs to go.

Chest = Tunic of the Unduly Victorious.  Another blue piece of caster gear that actually is quest gear, picked up somewhere along the line in the Icecrown quests while I was leveling.

Wrists = Plague-Infected Bracers.  These drop off the last boss in Heroic Culling of Stratholme.  They’re not bad, but again, only very entry level epic.

My weapon is the Jailer’s Baton.  Another piece of feral gear that I need to replace.  My Idol is Harold’s Rejuvenating Broach, which I picked up while healing some instances while I was leveling (in Outland, I think).  It’s totally useless for dps, so it needs to go too.  Gloves are Awakened Handguards, which are caster gear at least, but still not very good.

And from there I’ve got Binding of the Tranquil Glade, Leggings of the Winged Serpent, and Boots of the Follower, which are all entry level epics.  The belt and the legs came from ToC and the boots are from Naxx 10, but they’re all item level 200 gear.

I’ve also got some rings and trinkets I picked up from Brewfest and Hallow’s End, which I’m not going to go into, since they’re both long gone for another year, and since Cataclysm will likely be out by the next time they roll around, you’ll probably not have a chance to pick them up.  Use whatever trinkets and rings you’ve got for now and replace them with better gear when you get a chance.

So why am I giving a list of all my gear?  The point is that my gear is pretty awful, but I’m still going to make it work, until I can improve it.  Now if you’re an honest to God fresh 80, and are in quest greens and blues, that’s fine too.  The entry level heroic dungeons are meant to be doable for brand-new 80s.  I ran a handful of heroic dungeons, half of Naxxramas 10 man normal (the lowest level raid in this expansion) and  spent a couple hundred gold on the AH to get the gear I’ve got now.  But you don’t have to spend anything, just hop right into some heroics and get to work.  The gear will come.

So, now that I’ve established just how little good gear I have, the next step is… getting good gear!  So on with the show!

Published in: on February 17, 2010 at 4:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Looking Ahead.

Invincible, Arthas' faithful steed... for now.

Before I jump right into the dungeons, it’s probably worthwhile to take a look at where I’m planning on ending  up.  When am I going to draw the line?  Well, right now I honestly can’t say for sure where I’m going to end up.  But, my eventual goal, if ever I had one, is no less than Invincible.  For those of you not familiar with it, you can see this beauty of a mount in the image above.  I’m not sure whether it’s the amazing audio track blizzard released along with the mount for the anniversary (go check it out, it sounds amazing), or just the mount itself, but that thing seems to me like the most epic mount blizzard has made so far.

Now, I realize that it only drops from the Lich King, the final boss in this expansion.  And yes, only on the 25 man heroic mode.  Yes, I realize that is the hardest boss on the hardest difficulty.  I’m aware.  It’s also entirely possible that I’ll never make it that far.  But, I’m shooting high.  And I’m seriously determined to give getting there a shot.  You know what they say.  Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you’ll land among the stars.

Sound corny?  It is.  Extremely.  But I’m cool with that.  So, although short-term, my goal is to get into some kind of moderately okay raiding gear, my long-term goal is nothing short of invincible’s reigns.  Sound like a plan?  Good.  Now stick with me, and we’ll see if I get there.

Published in: on February 16, 2010 at 7:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Begining.

A bolt-throwing 'Boomkin' (AKA turkey of doom) in action.

Allow me to paint for you all a familiar picture.  My name is Flairn, and I’ve been out of things in the World of Warcraft for a long time.  I haven’t played since well before patch 3.3 dropped.  In fact, I’ve been without WoW since late November ’09.  And I dinged the big level 80 in mid October.

Now that seems like plenty of time to get acquainted with the end-game, but I played things a little differently.  My guild, is almost entirely PvP.  And I love PvP, big time.  It’s by far my favourite part of the game.  But I decided recently that I wanted to try out PvE.  So in the sense of raiding and boss-killing, I’m essentially a fresh 80.

Now, in my quest to learn more about PvE, I’ve been looking at blogs and all the ressources out there for WoW players.  But  I haven’t really found anyone who can take you from the very begining.  And even if there are some out there, those players are few and far between.  Most players have been at this for so long now, that they’ll simply tell fresh 80s “Go farm heroics.  You’ll get gear.  Then go raid.”

Well, I’m sorry but that really isn’t enough for me.  I realize that raiding requires gear.  That’s a big shocker.  But what do all those extra stats mean?  Haste?  Armor penetration?  Some things are obvious like, crit.  But what exactly does armor pen do?  Do I need that as a caster (I PvE a boomkin, although I PvP feral)?  After all, I’m still shooting spells at people with armor.

So my goal with this is  to take all of you good people of the internet through the entire process from step one.  I’ll explain spellpower, and haste, and why you don’t need that stamina gem, since you aren’t a tank.  Some people assume all these things go without saying.  But I’m not going to do that.

Now, I will assume that if you’re reading this blog you probably already play WoW.  You may (or may not) already have a level 80 character.  Keep in mind this blog is meant to explain the game from the point of reaching level 80.  If you want a leveling guide, or a complete walkthrough, look elsewhere.

So, the way this blog is going to work is simple.  If you’re reading this sometime in February 2010, then I’ve just started.  You can follow me through as I make my way through the world of PvE.  If it is later in the year, then I’ve been going for a while.  Check out the categories for the complete guide.  Every category will be a phase in my playing, from ‘Fresh 80’ all the way to ‘Elite Raider’.  Everything may not be completely jam packed with new info, it is, after all, a blog, but it’s worth reading, or at least skimming the category you feel you yourself are at, and then from there on.  I don’t have them all named yet.  You’ll just have to work it out for yourself.

At any rate, I’m going to cut things off there.  That’s it from me for now.  This is the official begining of Flairn’s Great and Epic PvE Adventure!  And I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be a  pretty wild ride.

~Flairn (druid extraordinaire).

Published in: on February 16, 2010 at 6:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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