Father-Son Cross-Realm Goodness

I made use of the new RealID cross-realm grouping to run a few dungeons with my son last night, who is a different server than I am. He wanted to do some leveling, and had some toons around 60-ish, so I dusted off my old Night Elf warrior, Tempus, and tanked a few.  I had to re-do all my talents and buy some glyphs, but our tank/healer combo got us instant queues, and we burned through everything at a very fast pace.


Is that boss planking?

The Ice Stone has Melted.

Most of my time in the game lately has been spent leveling professions, and it’s really changed the way I play.  Instead of running heroics and getting yelled at, I’m the guy who supplies the people who do that now, and it’s much more relaxing.  On my home server of Steamwheedle Cartel US, I have maxxed out tailoring, enchanting, inscription, jewelcrafting, alchemy and blacksmithing.  They’re working very well together, and I’m able to produce a few items every day that make very good gold.

Inferno rubies are big seller, and being able to transmute carnelians has given me a good supply.  Truegold has also been profitable.  I can’t make some of the better smithing patterns, because my toon is only level 82 and can’t get chaos orbs from heroics, so I just sell the bars.  I went with transmute spec, and the extra procs are fun.  I made 5 bars of Truegold in one hit yesterday.

The high end enchants move slowly, but it’s a good payday when they finally move.  The gem market is very competitive.  Supplies have dwindled, and I think they recently banned a bunch of mining bots.  I used to be able to get elementium ore for 21 – 35 gold a stack, and now it’s 40 – 80.  I may have to go farm some myself.  I haven’t done much with inscription.  Tailoring is another slow mover, with the limit to how much dreamcloth I can make a week.

Patch 4.2 has given me a bump in business, and prices are going up!

I’m doing the Frostlord every day on my tank.  The DPS toons just take too long in the queue.  The incentives for tanks have not really made the wait times any less.  I still don’t want to do heroics.

Doing old Instances Solo

I’ve been working the auction house a lot lately, selling a good number of gems with Carrara, and I maxed out tailoring and enchanting on Skulfrak.  The high level enchants aren’t selling though.  I think most guilds have enchanters who supply these to raiders, and a lot of other people just don’t have the gold to spend more than 5k on a weapon enchant.  I ended up taking down the Windwalk I had for sale, and put it on Carrara’s Gurubashi Punisher.

I’m still not ready to tank Cataclysm heroics for PuGs yet, so I’ve just been soloing some old content, which is fun with a protection paladin.  I just round up half the instance, and most of them kill themselves against the retribution aura and consecration.  I’m getting some achievements, and some of the loot sells pretty well on the auction house.  I did Magister’s Terrace, and Kael dropped the Phoenix Hatchling.  I followed it up with a heroic run, and that was almost as easy as normal mode.

Tanked

With the recent changes in the game environment, I dusted off my paladin tank, Carrara on Steamwheedle Cartel US, and got her to level 85 last night. A quick trip to the auction house, and I have gear good enough to get me into heroics, but I’m going to get a little more practice first.

I also used the new guild finder tool to put in applications with six different guilds, so maybe tonight I’ll get some responses and see which one I end up in.  I’d like a regular group to run instances with.  I love playing my warlocks, but they just aren’t that valued when compared to the tanking role.  Also, my pally is a jewel-crafter, and there’s a lot more to do with that profession than with tailoring.  This one just gives me so many more options.

I’d love to see my wife come back to the game, as I really miss running though some of the older content with just the two of us. 🙂

Had it with Heroics

So, my main warlock, Skulfrak, is 85 and is geared for heroic dungeons.  So far, he’s only completed two successful runs out of the handful he’s managed to get into.  Most end in repeated wipes and party members quitting.

I read Ghostcrawler’s post about how they want heroics to be tougher, and make success not a certainty, but the current state is kind of absurd.  I loved the dungeon finder because dungeons were fun, and I could get through one in half an hour, instead of the all-night runs we had back in vanilla.  Yes, in Wrath, they were *too* easy, but they nerfed most of them shortly after the dungeon finder was released.

The rate of collecting badges for epic gear is just too slow as it currently is.  Waiting 40 minutes for a dungeon to pop, and then not finish it with anything but a repair bill is not how I want to spend my time.  I have a few tanks I could level, but the pressure of knowing what to pull in these new dungeons, marking targets, CC’ing, is just too intimidating for me right now.  They’re not doing anything to encourage more people to tank.

So, I’m leveling some alts while I wait to see if they tone it down a bit.  Regular dungeon runs are fine, but the drops don’t help much.  We’ll see how it goes!

I did get Skulfrak’s archeology skill to 525, for what it’s worth.  He has access to the items in the dungeons that give the group buffs, but the piece needed sells for over 100 gold on the auction house, so I don’t use them.  It seems like another thing that Blizzard needs to make a little more available.

Tanking Shortage

Expanding a little bit about what I was talking about yesterday, I’m wondering why there is a shortage of tanks in the game.  There are probably a few factors that contribute to the overall problem.

  • People are too impatient, and make the job harder than it has to be. I have tanked almost every instance from Ragefire Chasm all the way up to Forge of Souls, and I can’t count how many times I’ve had other players “assist me” by pulling.  They do it with no regard to when I’m low on health/mana, or my taunts and abilities are on cooldown.  It’s always my fault if I don’t grab everything they bring me, all the while relentlessly doing damage and preventing me from gaining aggro.  Especially in leveling instances where some of the mobs may be higher level than me, and I get a miss or resist with an aggro causing shot.  And if someone’s below 30% mana, and I pause for them to drink, I get, “Gogogogogo”.  Then, they post the damage meters, so they can brag about how much they’ve done.  Every class has some form of threat management, and it’s each person’s responsibility to do the most damage they can, but back off when they start drawing attention.  Being a good DPSer is knowing when to back off and let the tank re-establish threat.  It’s all these little things that make me prefer playing my warlock, following along in the back and throwing shadow bolts.
  • People do not help new tanks gear up.  Each of my tanking capable toons that hit 80 has faced a major problem.  I can not start doing heroics as a tank right away, because there’s no way I can hold aggro against someone who has ICC25 gear when I’m in crappy blues.  If I even try, I’m booted from the group.  If you want more people to tank, be more supportive of newer tanks getting better gear so they can better tank in heroics.  This is also a discouraging point, so I feel like I have to run and gear as a DPS spec first, and then start building a tanking set, which is what I’ve done on my paladin.  If you’re a plate-wearer in the DPS slot, don’t roll on defense plate when the tank needs it.
  • People are ass-hats.  I’ve been in PuGs where I’ve been met with the must vulgar, rude and insulting party members you can imagine.  I don’t put up with it anymore.  If anyone doesn’t like they way I tank, or the pace I set, they go on ignore, I leave, and 10 seconds later I’m in a fresh instance while they’re waiting for another 20 minutes for a replacement tank.  If I’m on cooldown, I hop on one of my other tanks, and I’ll still be in a run before them.  I just refuse to group anymore with people who are disrespectful and mean-spirited.  You would think they’d be more appreciative and nicer after having to wait so long.

I think the bottom line is that tanking can be a lot of fun, and very rewarding, but every group has the opportunity for someone to make it a negative experience, and that’s why more people aren’t doing the job.

Tanks for Tards

I kid of ran out of steam last night.

I finished up all my tournament dailies on Skulfrak, and stood in Dalaran watching trade chat. I was hoping to get into a Malygos (Eye of Eternity) weekly, or maybe ICC. The chat was so elitist though, gear checks, scores, link achievements, etc. PuGs are not places for those who haven’t done it many times before. If my guild was doing it, I wouldn’t need a PuG! The one I’m in has stuff scheduled Friday and Saturday night, so that doesn’t really work for me. Trish works a few evenings, but not the ones they’ve scheduled.

I just didn’t feel like running heroics again, and it was getting late. I cycled through a bunch of my other toons, and I didn’t want to get into one of those massive vanilla instances, so I ended up logging off and watching a movie.

I recognize that guilds will have advantages coming up, but I just can’t get into things where I have to depend on other people for something.

Another trend I’ve seen the past week is tanks selling heroic runs, and DPS offering to pay tanks to group with them. You know there’s a problem when one mechanic is so out of balance that others will view them as a commodity. Hell, maybe I should dust Carrara off and make some money! I really like the warlock class the best, but there just isn’t any demand for them, no matter how awesome he is. He kicks much butt in PvP, where my pally has problems. Maybe if my paladin had better gear with some resilience, I’d do better. I don’t even see healers in this kind of demand. Are there really so few tanks, or are there just no good, well-geared ones? Maybe nobody wants the job of leading the group, as DPS just get to follow along and blast stuff.

There’s definitely a problem here that they need to address. Maybe if they let warlock and hunter pets have a tanking tree in the talents, it would open things up a bit more, or certain pets who could be used as tanks.

I logged into my human paladin Vez on Skywall this morning, and she only had 4 silver. She’s level 46 and I spent all the money she had made on a dual-spec and 2-hander.  I only had a few minutes, so I thought maybe I’d take her over to Howling Fjord to do some more fishing for cash. Then, I saw it: “Looking for guild charter signatures. Paying 25 gold. Don’t have to stay.” “ME!!!!” I now have 25 gold, 4 silver on her. 🙂 That’s a little better.

So, I’m thinking it’s time to play one of my paladins some more.

The Gearing Up

Yesterday, my tauren warrior I rolled in March, Squood of Steamwheedle Cartel US, dinged 80 in Icecrown.  He was at the top of the PvP and non-heroic dungeon finder brackets, and suddenly he’s at the absolute bottom of the level 80 crowd.  He got wtfpwned in Wintergrasp and battlegrounds, and ended up face down on the dungeon floor in a few instances, running as fury spec.  Humbling after playing my well-geared warlock in ICC25.

He did get a few nice upgrades and made some progress, but the gap between him and toons who have been 80 for a long time is huge, and gear makes all the difference in the world.  It’s going to take a whole lot of patience being at the bottom of the damage meters and getting called out for it for a few weeks to get him to a respectable level.  I’m not even going to try and tank in heroics for a while.

Luckily, the horde owns Wintergrasp much of the time on SWC, so I’ve already got 18 WG marks toward a nice pair of shoulders.  All those gems and enchants are expensive, though, and he doesn’t even have epic flying yet.  He’s also lacking any professions, having leveled almost entirely through the dungeon finder and battlegrounds.

I’m not entirely susre what I’ll do with him for the moment.  The guild my other toons was in imploded and disappeared overnight, so they’re all out in the breeze at the moment.  I just haven’t been able to find a good, stable community guild in a long time.

As much fun as leveling the warrior has been, and getting instant queues, I’ve been feeling the itch to get back on my warlock again.  It’s still the coolest class in the game by far to me.

Squood enters the Tournament

I got my tauren warrior Squood to 77 last night, which means this morning he started on his Argent Tournament dailies in Icecrown.  I also cleaned out the Shadow Vault and started him on the Knights of the Ebon Blade rep grind.  He’s getting so close to the top! 🙂

Skill up, stupid!

This morning, I didn’t have a great deal of time, so I did a bit of minor questing on my level 76 warrior Squood in Northrend.  I switched to Fury spec, and got my 2-handers out with Titan’s Grip, only to discover that I’ve been severely lacking in skill with those weapons.  I haven’t used them in quite some time, and apparently all the PvP I did last weekend was done under an extreme handicap.  I guess you don’t gain skill against other players as opposed to NPC mobs.  I wondered why I wasn’t putting more of a hurting on the alliance in Strand of the Ancients.

I’ve fixed that problem now, and this weekend I’ll be doing Isle of Conquest and Wintergrasp under a little more optimal conditions.

The dual-specs have been great, but while leveling, it’s a sizable deal of work to keep my hotbars and weapon skills up to date!

I also just dropped a thousand gold on my new human paladin, Vez, on Skywall to buy her the retribution spec for PvPing.  That took her down to 4 gold, which I spent on a 2-hander, so I’d say it’s time for her to start fishing again!