Not-So-Confusing Pre-Patch

The pre-patch finally arrived. I was curious about all of the changes and had a decent mental check list for when I logged in.

I am using WowUp now for an addon manager. Twitch is going away or something like that, so my 45 addons are being updated a bunch.

Picking up three spells for my BM hunter; Tranq, Kill and Arcane shot means finding space on my action bars which are pretty full. We have been through this before, Blizzard, hunters end up using over ten spells on a typical fight. A bit much.

My Resto-Druid who runs as Balance when questing (I skipped all the hyphens, you are welcome) will be missing Typhoon. Typhoon was an AoE Knockback spell and was great for an interrupt. Instead we have a 5-minute cooldown spell called Heart of the Wild which uses our affinity spells – I mean, it looks great on paper, like a gift even, but that is a narrow skinny corridor of use.

The best part of the evening was the Barbershop. And that is because I was joined by three other druids on Discord and, boy howdy, did we have a lot to say. Why they could choose fire kitty with out earning the toy feels a little unfair given the volume of Firelands runs on two druids; but it is all good.

The mount, toy and pet tabs have pre-loaded the stuff that we can get from Shadowlands and we all oooohed and aaaaahed at the pets and mounts that we want to get. The Adventurer’s Guide is not updated with our future raids and dungeons so no peeking at the gear yet.

We all practiced using the pins on the map and posting our pin links in chat. It might be possible to lose Tom Tom now and that would be a very good thing, Blizzard’s solution is legit.

Everything feels smoother. My druid flight form feels smooth and easy to navigate and more responsive.

I had spent a bunch of prismatic pearls to gear-to-vendor for 72 gold before the patch but there is no price change. The Paragon Cache still gives the same amount of gold. I do think that gold making will drop though.

My to-do list still includes a run through the new beginner’s zone, Exile’s Something. I read today about the long lines to kill a quest boss, so I’ll wait until the interest wanes a bit.

But, in all, so far: so good!

Shadowlands: Pre-Patch Notes

The notes are all over the place and I can’t seem to make a link to it in this cheese block of a WordPress Blog. So, go find them.

Now, this is what patch notes are supposed to look like! Extensive and detailed, it is a huge list of changes coming in the pre-patch. I spent some time looking for professions but, doh, the professions will come with the actual expansion. And, I assume, we’ll get a whole new set of patch notes then too.

Have they ever listed the mounts possible to find in the Black Market Auction House? Or break down the changes in pet battles? Seriously impressive notes if you ask me.

I feel like a newcomer, I don’t understand “Area target spells can now be cast at the player’s position using self-cast modifier keys.” I mean, I know what the words mean but it is gamer-speak, I think.

“Water now regenerates mana slower in the first seconds you begin drinking, increasing to a rapid return as you drink continuously.” This is a nerf intended to slow … you … down. Healers will hate this, in fact I already do.

“Reduced the amount of value that Critical Strike, Haste, Mastery, and Versatility secondary stats provide when reaching high thresholds.” Stacking stats won’t have the same payoff and I think that it will flatten our experience, all of those wonderful crit spikes that we’d cheer about in chat will be a memory of the past.

Do I count FIFTEEN changes to the UI? This is wonderful! Real improvements like a countdown timer and pins on the mini-map. I used the suggestion box to ask that the ! color for quests be different for campaign and side quests but they solved it a better way, “Campaign quests now have separate headers in the Quest Tracker.”.

Go find the pre-patch notes and spend about an hour sifting through them. Shadow Priest has a massive list of changes and so does Enhancement Shamans. I am book marking it so when the patch arrives and I look for and check out the changes, especially the UI.

Peace!

Blizzard Steps Back

Well then, the date of the expansion drop has been moved back and Blizz is offering refunds. The sky is falling!

Of course it isn’t. For me, I find that it is good news to see the company step up and admit that it is not ready for play. The World of Warcraft can not survive a bad patch launch especially if it is the mechanics of the new system. So, fix it!

My guess is that the vast majority of subscribers are very long time subscribers and if we can be trained to camp a rare with nothing to do but wait, we can chill easily for a few more months. If we can be trained to sit for forty-five minutes waiting on the LFR to queue us in, we can wait a few more months for new content.

Golly, I’m still logging in every day. I am too darn cheap to buy another game, I can be amused at leveling another allied race or try (again and again) for the Mimron’s Head mount.

What I have not done is heal. That is my most funnestish thing to do in this game. I’ve not switched to heal spec in months and I miss it. I don’t remember the date of the pre-patch but it’s been posted somewhere. I’ll heal then, it’s cool. I’ve been trained to wait.

What is a “Block”?

I don’t know what a block is but it is blocking me from writing this blog. Where are the images I uploaded?

It is confusing, I’ll guess I’ll be back when I’ve figured all this out.

I was doing fine before, I really was. WordPress looks like it upgraded itself to a pro version when I am certainly not that!

Shadowlands Launch Date and More

“Premiering a new opera is probably one of the hardest things in the world to do, and opening nights of any opera are always pretty stressful.”
Rufus Wainwright


Shadowlands Launch Date and More

Well, well, well. The launch date has been announced, October 26th in my neighborhood. And, I believe, the new raiding/m+/pvp season will start on November 10th. With no announcement of when the pre-patch drops, we are still in a holding pattern and circling around and around.

I am excited to get to the Shadowlands. The start of the journey will be the pre-patch and I have all kinds of questions.

Like, do I keep water walking on my mount? I think we all chose this because we knew that the water strider would no longer do the job and it was popular as a mount. But, how much water will there be? My impression is that each covenant will be it’s own zone and maybe even instanced. So, we’d not water walk to the next zone but need a portal or boat or something.

Will the water walking pet for my hunter still do the job? I could easily macro the pet spell to my mount and have water walking and then use the non-stun unit instead. We know that the goblin gliders from WoD will work for two (or three?) minute gliding. So, what is the best choice?

What about Relics from the Past? This will be turned on for the pre-patch. And I have a lot of cloth. A lot. Like over 2000 bolts of linen cloth. I could do the very tedious process of upgrading old cheap goods and then vendoring them for 50 gold. Do it 100 times for 5000 gold, is it worth the “time spent” even in the pre-patch? Maybe someone will make a script to use.


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Are my Alts ready? This one worries me because, like everyone else in the entire World of Warcraft, I want to bring over many Alts. Since I am a bit of a mercenary, they will be herb pickers and alchemists and inscriptionists and miners and engineers and so on.

I think that we’ll have a pre-patch event. Maybe quests or invasions or cutscenes to build excitement and explain a little about what we need to look forwards to. Hopefully this stuff will reward gear and that will be the marker for how highly geared we need to be to be entry-level successful.

If it is a one-month long pre-patch era, then it will be around September 26ish. That will be the clear signal to me to start tossing all the BfA junk in my bank and what a relief that will be! I’ve been cooking and flasking and potioning for two years now and I am stocked up and ready to dump that junk.

I worry that I’ll have to re-design my action bars for the new spells that we’ll get in the pre-patch but also for the spells that we get in the covenants later on. My action bars were never really “by design” they sort of evolved over time by the needs of the moment.

Alright, is everyone as excited as I am?


George Bernard Shaw: “Am reserving two tickets for you for my premiere. Come and bring a friend – if you have one.”

Telegram inviting Winston Churchill to opening night of Pygmalion.

Churchill wired back: “Impossible to be present for the first performance. Will attend the second – if there is one.”

A Tally, A Peeve, The Achieve

“I am not young enough to know everything.”
Oscar Wilde


A Tally, A Peeve, The Achieve

It is mid-August and nearing the end of this expansion. Let’s look at the numbers:

Total mounts: 423


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Mounts that I can ride:


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Frustrating, no?

Toys: 488


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Though it is really one more since I picked up the:

Coifcurl’s Close Shave Kit
Item Level 120
Binds when picked up
Toy
Use: Place Coifcurl’s Close Shave Kit on the ground at your feet for you and others to peruse. WARNING: Shave kit may be under dark influence. Satisfaction is not guaranteed! (1 Hour Cooldown)
Requires Level 10

Treasure: Coifcurl’s Close Shave Kit
Zone: Vision of Orgrimmar

It makes me bald!

Total unique pets: 1065


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I skipped the Slimy Pets in Nazjatar.

And I got this one yesterday:

Stinky Sack
Item Level 120
Binds when picked up
Use: Teaches you how to summon Rotbreath.
Dropped by: Lord Aj’qirai
Drop Chance: 2.35%

This is a screencap of my cat mount on the water near Light’s Hope Chapel:


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I was bothered that there was no splash animation and changed over to my water strider who has great water animation:


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No splash animations when walking on water.

I feel a bit ripped off and I hope that they fix it for Shadowlands. Some of the original charm to this game was watching the footprints left in the snow and sand. The water strider splashiness was surface-tension terrific.

Achievement points up to 24910 which, to me, is pretty good since I don’t PvP have that whole range of achieves are missing in my tally book.


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Finally, camping rares in Uldum is really camping! Just look at this screenshot.


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Good Morning, WoW!

If I had to live my life again, I’d make the same mistakes, only sooner.
Tallulah Bankhead


Good Morning, WoW!

At a comfy two million gold, I feel like I am ready for Shadowlands. While avoiding a lot of the datamining stuff, I am very curious why there is a castle! I read that they are doing raid testing in a castle and am wondering how and why a castle would exist in Shadowlands.


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And, for me, no more herbing. The flask market has tanked. I have six cauldrons for our raid team. We kill N’zoth on Heroic on the first day now. So: much to my satisfaction, we are doing achievement runs.


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Uldir was a walk in the park. I think we wiped once on the Dazar’alor raid on Jaina, we had to learn how to build a “Frosty Snowmon” for Snow Fun Allowed. And we did the first few on the Eternal Palace with some really silly achievements like on one boss you have to run around and around and around! Much laughter and groans.


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All of this free time in WoW has lead to the pet achievements. They are designed to be a bit tedious, I think. While I use Xu Fu as a guide, I know that there are other sources when you face something and you don’t have the pet for their recipe.


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New Title, Minion of Mayhem!


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New toy which lets you channel and see through your battle pet’s eyes and you can run about for a small while. Good stuff.


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And I have a new character to level, a Vulpera! A huge dose of cuteness and welcome here in early August.

One Fun Week in WoW

“We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.”
Bill Watterson


One Fun Week in WoW

This has been a good week in WoW. Our raid team blazed through bosses and we got our second Heroic N’zoth kill on Wednesday. Which means (I hope, I hope) an achievement run!

I’m still fiddling with my new Heartsbane toy:


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This is my little level one night elf in Darnassus.


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The poor thing is corrupted already! Or witched maybe? She is an elf, after all, and gets green glowy fairies around her feet. I’m not quite happy with the macro build but this is a start.


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The Arachnoid Harvester is a rare in Mechagon who can rarely drop a mount. I spent plenty of time camping this boss on my main and three Alts. With about a half-an-hour spawn time, you can show up about ten minutes before and then time the next kills so you don’t spent all of your time camping.

But, there is time to kill. I learned that Mr. Smite writes over your druid forms. So: why not go tree form and stand in a camp fire and burn Mr. Smite?


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Yep, easily amused here in the wild World of Warcraft. Also, if you are a little shy to dance in the Brazier of Dancing Flames, you can use the Doomsayer’s toys to cover your naughty bits and still join in the party.


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The big bronto mount deserves some flavor, especially camping for a rare mob with other players. Everyone is showing off and making train noises. Here is my current macro. Central to this build is the Mr. Smite’s Compass which makes the Bronto mount massive and it dwarves the other players.


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Sometimes you can be rewarded and surprised.


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Yep, it is time for my alts to hearth out of Mechagon. Here is my hunter strutting and clanking around Boralus.


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I bitterly and utterly failed at the pet dungeon in Blackrock Depths yesterday. Those fights can be complicated and demand a very wide range of pets. I’ll probably get it done today though and get the toy that gives you “eyes of the beast” on your battle pet and run around some. I have already read that the toy wipes out your magical biscuit and Narcissa’s Mirror toy and I’m slowly, with Hallmark tissues, getting over it before I’ve even earned it.

In all, a fun week in WoW.

Adventuring and Treasuring the World of Warcraft

“Take your army to the Haunted Forest and bring me that girl and her dog. Do what you want with the others, but I want her alive and unharmed. They’ll give you no trouble, I promise you that.”
The Wicked Witch of the West


Adventuring and Treasuring the World of Warcraft

No matter how great those words are in the title, the reality is that it is a list of achievements under the Exploration tab for this expansion. Look up Treasures of Vol’dun, for example, and then track it and look each one up on Wowhead!

I’m not kidding, these caches, crates, boxes and chests are well hidden or need a code or candles lit, so Wowhead is the way to go. It is kind of fun and satisfying. And, Elune have mercy, there are a bunch of ’em.


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The Adventurer ones were the easiest because I’d already stumbled upon many of them in all of the zones, fill in the final few and ding the achieve. The Treasures ones were harder and better hidden, often in caves or on some boat way over there or … right in the capital of the Horde. It is good to go looking around the game.

It is a bag filler, opening all of those chests over and over. You’ll collect some toys and gizmos that might come in handy. I am very pleased with the Heartsbane Grimoire. It is from one of the treasures in Drustvar.


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Use: Places the user under the spell of the Heartsbane Coven.
“Filled with the forbidden charms and cantrips of the Heartsbane Coven.”


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I think it looks cool. It has all this witch animated stuff floating around you. It is up for one hour with a one hour cooldown, so; why not all of the time? Adding another toy like the locket looks cool and not quite as dark as my regular night elf.


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The spell is channeled, so it can’t be macro’d with a hearthstone or mount. But, I might try a stand-alone macro. It looks cool!


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AOTC: N’Zoth

“Constant use had not worn ragged the fabric of their friendship.”
Dorothy Parker


AOTC: N’Zoth

I had a neighbor who moved away a few months ago. She was a die-hard Trump fan from Texas. Passionate, angry, defensive; she was furious that she was losing friends and she was fighting back by deleting people on her friends list on Facebook. Like I said, she moved away and I’m sure she never thinks of me, a neighbor who chatted in passing.

I think about her now and then.

Do you ever wonder if there are people out there who think about you while they are long gone from your own mind? What are they remembering?


Last night we downed N’Zoth! Attendance was high because this would be the night of “the kill”. We had our Vantus runes and did runs and wipes learning the fight and our roles and duties.


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It is one of the better designed fights in my opinion. Once you enter the final stage, you are almost sure of the kill. No very nasty mechanic in the twelfth minute of the fight. For this fight, you know that you are failing early (enough) on and players can jump off the edge and suicide to save the repair bill. And once you enter the final stage, you stack and focus and get the goods.

There is nothing very hard in this fight except for two things. One is the Paranoid phase where you have to race to your buddy and stand by him or her. The second is that the raid has to split. Dividing the raid team on two different realms puts the onus on each individual player to perform.


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For a cynical and tired raid team, we celebrated! We all collected our new mounts and went down to the Goldshire Inn to park on the roof and show off our new mounts. That was pretty fun with much laughter.


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Then, just outside Stormwind, we made a circle of our new mounts so everyone could get a screen shot of our victorious moment.

I’m glad that it is over. And we are sure to return for more of the same, probably with Alts. There is hope for an Achievement Run on Normal at some point. But we are sure to lose some players now that “the kill” has been successful, for them there are other games to play and activities to do in this game.


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The achievement goes on the Feats of Strength list. The glaring and bitter missing one is the Eternal Palace – that is when everyone was leaving WoW and raid teams were falling apart and we called it quits until the next patch came out.

So, my friends, done and done!