Al’akir defeat completes normal mode content

Sunday night the guild went back into the windy Throne, and decided to continue the fight against Al’akir. The team not only defeated Al’akir, but also did it on first shot for the evening. A one-shot is a darn good way to start a raid night, and the guys must have been really on their game.

This means that Insidious (my guild on Nagrand-US) have now defeated all the current normal mode raid content; scraping through before the patch 4.2 is released in the near future. I’m very pleased that the team were able to do it, and that the regular folks now have those sexy mounts. Congrats folks, well earned. We’re now jumping to hard modes for the early bosses.

The guild will now do what we did at the end of Lich King, and have two runs going – a progression raid where the guild proves that these kills were not just luck and determination, and a second set of raids which are to gear-up the folks coming through. This makes the “can I bring my alt” question a lot more prevalent, but the officers and raid lead have a really solid understanding of balance and when to switch folks, so we have the opportunity to get the kills and complete the achievement for some of the players who might have missed it. When in doubt, the mains have priority, and the main runs are always the most important. That said, some of the raiders have toons that are equally as competitive as their mains, so we have flexibility – which is a great way to start patch 4.2 Firelands content.

Personally I’ve seen some of the really tough fights, but missed some of the easier ones; like I have the Nef kill, but never completed the Omnitron system, and wiped on Al’akir but never seen the fight before it. My plan is to get these together before 4.1 hits, so I too can nab the mount and say I was one of the cool kids who did it when it was hard.

Happy gaming, may the great raids roll.

Mort’s new Drake of the West Wind

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

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.

Farming for a Legendary or two

With the chatter about the new caster staff in Patch 4.2, I’ve realised that getting Legendary item must be one of my priorities that I am god awful at.

Thus far I am in the middle of three paths:

  • The Hand of Rag – which has been in progress for a very long time. The Eye of Rag is the only item I need, and I’ve not seen one in many years.
  • Shadowmourne – I’m up to the serious stage where you start collecting souls, but I have the bloods already.
  • Thunderfury – just got the Garr binding last night, and now adding BWL and all the additional farming to my already long list of junk to do.

I can’t imagine getting even one of these complete. It also makes me think that a Warrior wielding a Legendary weapon in each hand would be overly cool, and make me very envious.

It also makes me think that I may as well add the other legendaries to the list. I’m sure there are players out there with 3+ items – got to have goals afterall. In for a penny

Happy farming, see you in Molten Core.

Nefarian is dead

I am very pleased to brag that the fine folks of Insidious have finally killed Nefarian. It took over 60 attempts to kill him, over many nights of switching, burning, and altogether just flying back in to the instance for one more attempt.

Easiest part of the fight: the jump in at the start is great, just don’t miss that first platform. Actually maybe the lift on the way back in, that killed a few folks.

Hardest part of the fight: the interrupts in the dragonite spawns have to be done within 1.5 seconds, which makes Australian latency somewhat a limiting factor. Sometimes I’d be fine, others it would wipe the raid to miss one. This is bloody frustrating, and changing that cast time to 2 seconds would make a world of difference.

Getting into the Pillars, whilst also interrupting the dragonite thing – sheesh. Honestly the “pillar” boss was the thing that I screwed up overand over. Remembering to kite the adds in a small area which is also not on Ony’s flank is tricksy too.


Fee to play with ReadID mates? No thank you.

I just read that Blizzard are working to add Instance grouping with RealID friends to World of Warcraft. This is a obvious feature that I support adding to the game. In fact its a great feature that mmorpgs should have, and is probably a corner feature of most games going forward. City of Heroes (or some supers game) already had a cut down version of this, and it was a really valuable thing.

What I find totally screwed up is that Blizzard are planning to charge an additional fee for the pleasure of playing with your friends. What is the point of a system like RealID if all you do is chat?

Blizzard Post: With the continued popularity of the Dungeon Finder, many players have been asking for a way to group up with real-life friends who play on other realms to take on instances together. Today, we wanted to give you a heads up about a new feature currently in development that will allow players to invite Real ID friends of the same faction to a party regardless of the realm they play on, and then queue up for a 5-player regular or Heroic dungeon.

As this is a fairly complex service to develop, we don’t have a release date to share quite yet. It’s important to note that as with some of the other convenience- and connectivity-oriented features we offer, certain elements of the cross-realm Real ID party system will be premium-based, though only the player sending the invitations will need to have access to the premium service. We’ll have more details to share with you as development progresses — in the meantime, you may begin to see elements of the feature appear on the World of Warcraft PTR.

This stinks of being “nickel and dimed“, and rather than being an incentive for players to continue to play the game, this will be (imho) a disincentive and a reason why they leave the game. I can play farmwille and all the other IOS games and get micro-charged for game features; I don’t need that from Warcraft.

WoW Insider: Blizzard says that only the person doing the invites and creating the cross-server party will need to have access to the premium feature for the system to work.

RealID without this feature offers almost no value to my gameplay. Most of the players that I wish to stay in contact with are folks where either I know where they are and on what servers, or I have real email addresses for, and also know personally in real life. So RealID is worth almost nothing at the moment. 

The idea that I’d pay extra just feels wrong, and there is no reason apart from the development cost. The development cost is something that I pay when I buy the box for the core game, but also what I pay each month, and getting charged extra for this seems to say that the monthly fee is not for the content or features, its just a server fee. What do Blizzard expect the monthly fee pays for?

I can see an argument that less people will server transfer as they will be able to group up together. So perhaps the idea is that you become a premium wow subscriber and you get this feature. In effect saying that the fee is there to offset the loss of revenue from the server transfers. What a great ideal for the shareholders, and totally wrong for us.

I can’t say I’d never pay extra for this, but I can say that this is a definitive line that has been crossed in the move from a single all-featured subscription, toward a game where you pay micro-transactions for everything.

Player responses have been similar to mine, and its frigg’n cheecky for them to say, “oh please don’t scream till we price it”, as that misses the point. This is the thin edge of the wedge for wow’s subscription fees.

WowInsider Comment by: DarkWalker May 17th 2011 5:52PM

For me the price does not matter. It could be $0,01 for all I care; I will not pay for extra services inside WoW, at least not while they also charge a subscription

If this goes in then Blizzard should just open the gates and let players buy gold, character levels, boss grade gear, and every other part of the game. I bet they’d even try to keep the monthly fee too, but hey – by then the 5th expansion will be ready and we’ll all drop $80 for the “Rise of the Merchant Prince”.

Happy paying.

ps. How much for the dance studio, or 3 specs, …

Kudos: Cenarion Hatchling for Japan Earthquake Relief

Blizzard deserve some serious kudos for offering 100% of the revenue to the relief fund. Outstanding. I think the offer is not permanent, so if you’re going to buy this pet you might as well spread your addiction cash between Blizzard and their chosen good cause. Honestly I’m impressed.


Introducing the latest World of Warcraft companion up for adoption in the online Pet Store: the wild and noble Cenarion Hatchling! This little critter is the twin of the rare Hippogryph Hatchling pet players could randomly encounter in the first World of Warcraft Trading Card Game set, Heroes of Azeroth — and he’s emerged from the forests of Azeroth to lend a helping talon to some friends in need. For every Cenarion Hatchling purchased between now and July 31, 100% of the $10 USD adoption fee will be donated to the American Red Cross’s Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami relief efforts. This support will enable the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, emotional support, and other assistance to victims of this disaster.

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Frost DK update for 4.1

The patch updates from 4.1 for the Death Knight class has changed Frost dps significantly. A Frost DK should review the new EJ notes which seem accurate to my quick testing (repeat wiping on Neferian) in last night’s raid.

Important updates:

  • Blood Strike is now removed from the rotation / priority, as Blood of the North gives Frost Death Knights all their Blood runes as Death runes. I love this, it feels so much better to be managing one less resource, and instead trying to balance the use of those extra runes for Obliterate strikes.
  • Unholy presence is now the default presence. This changes all the previous information for DPS as Frost, and is probably the biggest change in the update. It may also not stay that way, depending on what the percieved issues are with the Frost presence being almost redundant. I also really like this as it gives a great movement boost, which so many raids need. It is however still a huge debate in progress, being based upon all sorts of parses of combat logs. It may be that in a stand and spank fight the Frost presence might pull ahead, rather than Unholy presence which is excellent for movement fights. My bias is based upon doing kiting and high movement fights. I’d expect that eventually an optimal will be found.
  • Check your Glyphs, especially the Hungering Cold glyph. I’m finding that as Frost DK my job is often to kite something, so this glyph is very powerful as you can ignore the normal resources needed to trigger it. I’ve changed from the standard build to have better CC options for our raid, and hopefully the increased control will be a suitable compensation for a reduction in dps.

Still to test is which of the off-spec talents are actually better, give the balance of diseases increased duration vs the persistent dps increase from other talents.

New look and theme, comments…

While WordPress is the best app I’ve experienced for blogging, I’ve had a reoccuring problem for a long time where people cannot post comments. Kind of frustrating as I love to know that things are useful, and the bloggosphere is driven by interaction and feedback between soapbox ranters. The theme is also a very clean and straight forward blog, with some advanced stuff that I’ll play with during the slow days.

So I’ve selected a new theme (thanks to the Automatic guys), reset all the comment options in the WP admin area, and will hopefully see less issues for the readers. If you happen to be one of the frustrated readers who would like to comment, but it previously didn’t work – please give it a try and let me know.

Gear list from Patch 4.1

Here is a simple sorted list of the gear that has been added in Patch 4.1. Or a list of only the items that drop from ZA and ZG without all the other items.

As you’ll see there are some great rewards from the new ZG and ZA instances, some ok stuff added for Archaeology, and some nice Bind to Account gear for Tanks. Be warned too that wowhead’s search also allows some fnucky items to be found so doublecheck before ranting about the upgrade.