What a nice evil looking Bat! The new store purchasable mount is god damned evil looking, and a pleasure to behold. Blizzard store link for those who can’t wait and have $25 they can spend without regard for charity or child support.
I want this mount.
Having a few tank characters payed off today as I was able to grind MgT for the Swift White Hawkstrider Mount, this time it dropped. Booyah!
It was my Pally Tank who killed Kael’thas to “find” the mount, but Mortigen the Death Knight who has the Orb of the Sindorei – which makes him look the part.
Or look really silly as a huge toon on a white chicken.
Patch 5.0.4 brought us some changes, and its taking some players like me a while to understand and absorb them. I’m damned if I can fit 9 classes worth of changes in my head at once, so I’ve kept to just a few. My Death Knight main and a few of the toons that I tank with: DK, Warrior, and Paladin. I’ll get around to adding the Guardian Druid into that soon, and then also spec’ing the non-tanks like my Warlock and Hunter. I wonder if Hunters and Warlocks can pet tank / solo now.
One thing about the new Tanking model is that multi-mob tanking is much more viable, as long as the tank does not get stunned or overwhelmed. When either occur you are in deep trouble very quickly. DKs, Pally, and War all hurt when faces with 10+ mobs, and the old days of doing an instance in a single pull. Now if the mobs cannot hit your character for enough damage per second to chew through the shield, then your character will never get hurt at all. Generally that will never happen at level, and even (Level -10) needs to be considered. At (level-25) or less I think its the same old run and giggle mode, which is good. At level on normal mode all Tanks should be able to solo bosses like Slabhide with reasonable gear and use of cool-downs.
As a quick summary:
- Death Knights – feel essentially the same as previous Blood spec did, and play very much like a dps character. Good solid fun.
- Paladins – slow and steady damage, unkillable due to great cooldowns, highly controllable self heal. The cockroach is back.
- Warriors – fast paced leaps, charges, and thunderclaps. High damage, lower survival. Best fun to be had by far.
Death Knight – overall nothing greatly changed, and everything did. The Blood style plays the same, and it is the other tanks who now are moved to an absorption/healing based actions (aka Active Mitigation). Essentially our world changed because we have moved from having a somewhat unique ability, to having just one of the best implementations of the soak/damage model. I liked it a a DK and like it on the others too. As dps the talents feel narrow.
I’m not sold on the concept of switching talent choices per fight, except to say that if a player can do that well they are a much greater asset to their raid than a player who specs once and never changes.
Paladin – I was newbie tanking in Outland back in the day, and loved the fact that mana was returned by getting hurt. Likewise now we get all sorts of resources back from being hurt. I’ve run a few old heroic 70 and 80 dungeons in solo mode to test the performance of the Tankadin, and while I think their overall damage is too low, the survivability is very strong.Cooldowns are needed for heavy damage spike fights and too many mobs can rip through the bubble very quickly.
Paladin’s strength is the control of when they can apply their heal, and the advantage of doing either a powerful shield strike or heal as a 3x holy power combo move. I found on bosses or big trash pulls that sometimes all I did was self heal, and the slow attrition of concentration and the AoE effects whittled down the creatures. The Paladin was never in trouble, but also never was near the DPS that the Warrior did.
Warrior – A Protection Warrior at the moment is crazy fun. They do as much damage as some lowbie dps and can head smash their way through mobs darn quickly. Having additional uses of charge via talents means that for now I grind quests as Prot. Never dying has many advantages. They are still a very agile tank, being able to move across the battle exceedingly quickly. Solo’ing was almost as easy as the others, but at times my health was dropping and it took special attention to snap it back up. Thankfully the cooldowns provide for some interesting power-ups, and I was also using Herbalism’s small heal and spare potions.
If I could somehow get a huge gear jump I think the Warrior would benefit strongly from a powerful set of items and correct re-forging. Parry and mitigation re-forging appear to make a large difference in the form discussions out there, and my Warrior feels like she wants to smash heads harder, but cannot just yet. The potential is certainly there.
But why have 3-4x tank characters?
Heroic Utguard Pinnacle (h-UP), Heroic Magister’s Terrace (h-MgT), and Normal Stonecore are all easily solo-able for all three classes, which means grinding for those elusive mounts is now easier as a character can be parked out the front of each to do each one each day with no travel time. Till the new world events this is what I’ll be spending free time on. I’m pondering adding the Druid to be parked in front of Molten Core, purely because the rare mats and drops from there still sell well.
In terms of comparison neither the Paladin or the Warrior can hold a torch to a Death Knight for solo’ing and damage. Some of that might be due to much better gear (ilevel 333 vs 378) and my familiarity with the DK class, but it seems the DK is slightly ahead for now. Warrior is probably a close second, but their healing is still not as exceptional or as controllable as the Death Knight. Things will be interesting at level 90 where we are meant to be playing, as I can see a Warrior becoming once again the powerhouse of Tanking. Having the only AoE taunt will be an exceptional ability, and as gear improves their block/soak mechanics will get stronger and stronger. A Paladin too might also be powerful again for the ancient reason they were awesome in the past, that they have so many cooldowns which increase survival. By comparison the DK cooldowns are just trivial. This is also good as I think there needs to be some separation between the tank styles and perhaps this is enough. Not sure as yet.
I’m looking forward to adding a Monk to the lineup too; 5x Tanks will be excellent.
- Mists of Pandaria Beta: Rage tanks get angrier (wow.joystiq.com)
- Initial thoughts on WoW patch 5 (typhoonandrew.wordpress.com)
- For WoW Tanks, It’s Time To Take Our Pants Off Again (mmomeltingpot.com)
- What do I know about other classes and specs? (typhoonandrew.wordpress.com)
It takes roughly 2 minutes and 29 seconds to kill Slabhide. The mount has a 1% drop rate. I killed him approx 8 times (so my mod tells me), but I know I’ve done it more than that while leveling on Normal mode. Ta-da Reins of the Vitreous Stone Drake.
My wow’ing has increased recently, and as I’m playing more I find that my memory is flawed in some aspects of the game, and an optimal approach is somewhat harder than it used to be. I’m becoming a silly wow’er. As a positive I am enjoying wow a lot again, just in time for the expansion.
I remembered too late that Normal mode dungeons can be run many times each day, as they do not have a 24 lockout. This means that I could run the Stonecore normal many times a day for the rare mount, rather than once as I was. Doh.
As running normal for mounts is easy I was also doing Heroic UP in Northrend for the Blue Protodrake that drops there too. Imagine my joy in finding that I did not change the difficult after running Stonecore on Normal, when the mount only drops in Heroic mode. Doh, back to the entrance I go. It did seem a little easy.
The weeks activity was not all silly though, as I’ve started alt’ing around again. This time I am concurrently leveling a Mage (51), Warlock (83), Shaman (46), Rogue (50), and Priest (80). My suss is that I can cycle through these characters using the rested experience boost and then switch toons. So far with so many characters I am always playing in rested. Its great.
The reason that I chose these classes is because all my other class characters are already 85. I do get slightly disinterested with some content when you have to play it three times. Often though doing the same content with three perspectives give me an idea for the differences in the class. The squishy factor of a Priest and Warlock are concerning when compared with how tough and mean all the plate wearing classes are (yup, all my plate wearers are max’ed out, not a surprise really).
During the leveling I can sometimes (if the family don’t need help) queue up for a instance and smash monsters in a team. The times when I do this with guildies I get a very quick reminder that I’m a scrub when it comes to playing multiple classes. However when I play in randoms I find that I smash the charts and perform well. That might mean my guildies are very powerful (true), and also might mean that even a total scrub who stays out of the fire is valuable.
It’s a nice reminder of the golden rule: you do zero dps when you’re dead. Happy killing, alt’ing, and noobing.
As a very casual World of Warcraft player something that I can do in the wee small hours is grind for the strange and rare items. One of those is the very rare mount from the dragon Slabhide in Stonecore – called the Reins of the Vitreous Stone Drake. It is another 1% ish drop, but this is farmable by a small team on Normal mode, or can be solo’ed by Death Knights (as well as some other classes I’m sure).
So far I’ve tried this once, and it’s now one of the silly things I’ll be grinding when I need something to do and the Darkmoon Fair is not in town. I’ll probably never see it, but its good to have goals.
MoP will bring players a huge range of mounts, and while that is somewhat expected (being that an expansion should add a ton of new mounts, pets, monster models, etc) – when wowhead gathered them into a single area to preview it really makes an impression. Two favourites – the tiger and the disc mounts. The disc means the toons can fly around like they are those irritating mobs in the Eye of Eternity.
- Mists of Pandaria Beta: New collector’s edition pet and mount uncovered (wow.joystiq.com)
Ok, this is a quick bragging post. The Tank rewards gave me the Green Proto-Drake mount. I’m stoked. This means that I’ll never grind out that bloody Oracle daily quest rep, or feel compelled to thump my head against those eggs that all my mount-hunting mates seem to loathe.
Happy dance. Continue reading
One of the few things I like in game which is not strictly an advantage or with a great purpose is having some of the groovy mounts. I’m not a mount collector by any means, but there are a few I have that I really like.
The Drake of the West Wind is a nice looking dragon – and well worth the time and grind. I may even continue to do the daily quests.