PvP Pet Battles: Again

It feels like there is a bit of a lull in content right now. So I’ve picked up doing the PvP Pet Battles again. I’ve not played this stuff since at least the drop of this expansion. I run hot and cold. And, while I enjoy it, I’ll admit that I am really terrible at them!

Here is why I suck at pet battling:

  1. I don’t use addons. There are addons that will tell you your opponent’s spell choices and I don’t like the idea. It feels a little like cheating though it would more likely even the playing field.
  2. I loathe stock comps. There are plenty of websites that offer up some very powerful teams. I see them all of the time and if you feel like you need them to win, then I want you to. Running stock comps over and over to win a pet battle must fill some deep hole of insecurity and if you need a boost, so I am glad for you to have it.
  3. I have more fun making teams and trying them out than my need to win. I like trying the new pets of this expansion like (I think it’s called) the Death Seeker from Torghast. I like trying three Squirkys. It is silly and fun and different.
  4. I suck because I am impatient. The wait times can be up to five minutes for a single battle and even if I am herbing, holding my team’s moves in my head while waiting drives me nuts. So, I will quit and reset if it goes over two minutes.

So I am at it again. I am currently around 670 wins with level 25 pets. The goal is 1000 for the title and achievement. I think maybe by this time next year I’ll reach it.

Shame No More!

After my gear debacle over the past few months, I am back in the saddle again!

As expected I topped the meters (rolled it up and smoked it) on the Hungering Devourer. Having most of the raid team stacked on my mushroom, along with spring blossoms, is powerful and felt good.

Oddly, I was at the top on the Artificer too, though I can’t tell you why. I can only guess that as I Druid, I can move easily and still get some spells off.

Baby, it feels good to be doing it right again.

I’m So Embarrassed!

If you happen, by chance, to come across anyone in my guild or raid team; don’t tell them! As Inigo Montoya promised, “humiliations galore”.

Here’s what happened.

On Wednesday I finally got a weapon drop off of the Heroic Huntsman. This is a big deal. It was our eighth kill so it has been two months on the heroic version of the raid without a drop. We have something like twelve kills on the Huntsman on normal in which as some point I won the ilevel 200 version of the weapon. Months ago.

I have not really been stoked about my healing numbers. On our raid team I’ve been in the middle which is fine on one level. That we have a druid, a shaman, a priest and a monk as healers means that we compliment each other. But, I feel that I should be competing for the top shot on the farm bosses with low movement fights; specifically the Hungering Devourer. Shriekwing and the Artificer has people running all about with no time to camp in my mushroom with it’s spring blossoms. So, that is that.

Wednesday night, after the raid, I was tired but excited to turn in my weapon token. I was clicking on the choices, trying to figure out this new system and I chose one with good stats for me and the “are you sure?” box shows up with feral/guardian marked. Nope, I tried again and chose Restoration. Now newly enchanted, I equipped it and was content.

The next day, I decided to compare the two weapons and see how big of an upgrade it was. I opened my character pane and my bags and looked back and forth, nice uptick in stamina, merely okay on crit, mastery vs versatility, what can you do?

What about intellect.

I was shocked and my eyes got big. My old 200 weapon had zero intellect on it! Months ago I had chosen the feral/guardian version and never noticed! All of this time my big stat stick was lacking. Oh Em Gee! Thank Elune no one noticed while inspecting my gear (which we all do all of the time)! Being called out on that would have been a disaster! I can hear them laughing and even telling the story a year from now — but I was not caught! Whew! Don’t tell anyone.

Now, the good part of the story is that tomorrow I’ll show up with the proper weapon which means a huge +320 intellect stat that I did not have before. A massive upgrade over my mistake and, you can bet your bottom dollar that I’m looking forward to seeing an improvement in my HPS numbers!

Shhhhh. We’ll keep this little mistake to ourselves, okay?

Renown Cap: Shadowlands

It feels strange to me in this part of the expansion. Typically we hit a lull with a nice slow-down in game-play when we collectively finish a campaign quest-line or something like that. And then we (or maybe just me) begin to swap to Alts and taking advantage of the catch-up mechanics built into the game.

But, with Renown having a cap, most of my Alts are already there! They sort of followed the leader. There doesn’t seem to be much of a hurry to get all of the covenant systems in place, the anima demand is finite and, in time, we’ll have an over-flow of anima to spend on all of the wonderful cosmetic items. So, getting that Anima Collector cooking soonish will deliver a stock-pile of the blessed gifts needed for those cosmetic purchases.

My fourth Alt is at 57 and destined for Revendreth. The plan was to see all four of the covenants in action and I am on my way. This guy is a life-time engineer and has all of the recipes and I don’t want to let them go. He is also a miner. My main is an engineer too (raid repairs) and an herbalist. My mini-main (who is raiding too) is alchemy and inscription. Finally my worgen is a skinner (for the leather stamina chest enchants for progression raiding) and a new enchanter. At-a-glance you can see that I use my Alts to feed my main.

Gold making is fun when it works. If a Calling gives an average of 1,900 gold a day and I do them on all four of my characters eventually, that’d be over 200,000 gold a month! Of course, I’d pick and choose so don’t count on that. My AH sales are fish and herbs and tomes of change-talent and from reading other’s blogs, I see many are reaching heroic Sire; so Vantus Runes will start to go up today. Thank Elune that we don’t have ranks!

The two raid teams that I’m involved with (one team I see once a week, the other I see twice; I’m a healer in one and a dps hunter in the other), they are both set on shriek, hunter, devourer, artificer and are sometimes-maybe on the sun king and the Lady. I am hoping that my team-mates who love mythic plus will start to strut in their 226 gear and push us beyond. In this, I am personally in no hurry, the next patch and raid are not even up on the PTR. Let’s keep playing.

But, it feels like we’ll be in this quasi-end game and waiting for the next content patch for a long time. Some achievements like the treasures will wait until flying but it might be time for the pet safari now. Many in my guild are doing the dungeon achievement runs now expecting the new patch to bring a big buff to the mobs in the dungeons. So, Alt leveling and profession leveling it is for now. Kind of ho-hum, really.

Unchain My Heart

Unchain my heart (unchain my heart)
Baby let me be (unchain my heart)
Unchain my heart (unchain my heart)
‘Cause you don’t care about me (unchain my heart)

Heh, I hope I got that song stuck in your head. It’s a good one. Ray Charles.

This new patch offered a new gizmo that you can buy which will make your Torghast run easier. It puts a portal at the beginning and at the end of the long chains that you run up and down to get buffs. You now skip the chain part and land into a bunch of waiting mobs (and that is okay).

This is a welcome change. I guess I am not the only one who has fallen off a chain or oh-so-plenty more. Any speed/movement buff will likely doom you. And, it would appear that Blizzard is paying attention and, we’d guess, that way too many deaths have come from the chains alone! So, they fixed it.

And if they are paying attention, then why not fix other things? There have to be world quests that no one will do twice. When we had the “do three WQs in Bastion” I looked at the map and said, “no, not that one. or that one. egads, never again on that one” until I found three that I was willing to do. And I know I could simply spread it over three days and do pet battles only; each zone always has a pet battle and they change every day.

I’ve stopped doing the Maw. I worry about that. Can’t they fix it and do they even know what sucks about it; maybe what I hate, they love? Where do they get their information? I’ve been to the forums and you’d have to pay me to read those posts; horrible title baits and foolish whining and empty threats, it is terrible. And, this worries me too, what if they did fix the Maw and I didn’t know it and those first impressions will keep me away?

But the real question is: why didn’t they fix the chains?

It could have been an escalator or a slide or have hand rails or a floaty parasol. But they didn’t fix the problem really. They added something to go around the problem. Maybe it was the easy low-cost way to go, adding some portals. But, I’m kind of offended by them.

Wormhole Generator: Shadowlands

Maybe a tip or a reminder or a passing thought, leveling up in Shadowlands becomes very easy if you have Engineering or drop a gathering profession and pick up Engineering for the leveling tour. Learning Engineering gives you one point in Shadowlands Engineering and that is all you need to use the toy.

The toy is made by Engineers and sold on the Auction House so you don’t have to do the grind, just buy the toy. Once learned on one character, the toy can be used on any character while raising that army of alts to save (or conquer) the world. It is very handy and dandy.

It has a fifteen minute cooldown and can take you to all four zones plus Oribos and the Maw. Jumping from Ardenweld to Bastion in seconds is extremely satisfying and might make you think to keep the profession after you have dinged 60. Honestly, the travel time designed into Shadowlands is making me fat; every time I take flight, I go get a cookie.

With the Hasty Hearth perk from being in a guild, this gives you two ways to travel on the same timer: fifteen minutes. Once you ding 60, you will likely set your hearth in your home zone but while leveling it probably will be set in Oribos, the main hub of Shadowlands. Flying is coming to Shadowlands and it will be awesome to go treasure hunting in zones; but, you’ll still have to do the long “in between” rides – so, that Wormhole Generator will still be handy and dandy.

Digging My Spriggan

This week I finished the achievement called Family Exorcist. You pet battle a list of tamers with a full class of fighters. So, all Aquatic or all Flyers. There are twelve listed but you only need to beat ten for each group which means 100 successful pet battles under those conditions.

People have figured out strategies so if you get frustrated, you can easily look it up. Our old friends Ikky, the Nexus Whelpling and Chrominius are well used. The best choice is to pick a tamer and stay right there and flip through each class but, as per me, I often was all over the place. But, you learn which tamers are especially nasty like Rotgut.

On a pizza roll, I also finished Abhorrent Adversaries of the Afterlife. This is besting ten pet battles that are not the WQ tamers and must be found in caves or far off the beaten path. These battles are unique as you’ll only ever do them once and that is good since “far off the beaten path” can be really far off!

Both of these achievements reward a battle pet: the spriggan! Warcraft Pets doesn’t mention it but you can /dance with them. They have awesome little dances. And, Warcraft Pets does say “vocalization on click” or some such. Normally you hear a chirp or a bleat but these spriggan are grumpy! It might say, “What!” or “What do YOU want?” or “Hurry up!”. They are funny as grumpy pets and a welcome addition to my list of favorites and I am glad that some designer at Blizzard took a little extra time to make these guys special.

Torghast: Soul Forges

This might be the most difficult wing to run in Torghast. There is a non-stop fire DoT on you as you run. On my balance Druid, this is no problem at all, things like Ysera’s Gift make it simply a blur. However, on my hunter this is the real deal and you need a plan.

Yesterday I ran it at eight, the highest, because I needed the Soul Ash to make a different legendary. I hated my “best” legendary so much that I wasn’t using it. So: time to change.

The challenge was the first two floors. If I could make it to the third floor with the vendor, I could purchase the anima cell that you toss at a Flamecaster on the fourth floor and that mob will give you a cell that negates the fire DoT (I think it is 65%, but enough).

I used Embalmer’s Oil on my weapon to give me some heals while I was fighting mobs.

I ate the 1000 health back every five seconds food.

I brought cheap food to get my health up after fights without writing over the health-back-buff.

And, most important, I brought a spirit beast that has a heal every thirty seconds that I can force on myself off of cooldown.

With Exhilaration, by the time I was finishing the second floor I was no longer feeling the heat. Some of the anima cells that I picked up were to health. The final floors were a breeze.

The “toss the cell on a mob” anima cell seems to work specifically for each wing. I know that I can negate the black splotches that hurt and spread after you kill a mob and turn them into healing zones. The wing with the skeletons, when celled, will give you a bunch more phantasma. I’m not sure about the other wings specifically but it is probably always a good thing to do.

That Soul Forges wing can be really hard but with some fore-thought and patience, it can be done.

Fun Guss and More Pets

In this new simplified version of WoW, Shadowlands offers quite a bit of things to do; many of which I’d normally say “wait until flying”. I have been spending time on the Family Exotic achievements. With these, you battle a tamer with a family of pets. You can choose to run the string on a family or stick on one tamer and flip through magic, flying, undead and so on.

Fun Guss is my current favorite pet. As I recall, it is a rep pet from the Night Fae. It looks like a goofy plant with eyes. And it has TWO specials! If you stand still for a while, you’ll notice that in the chat line it will say something like “Fun Guss spreads his leaves to call for the celestial rain of Ardenweald.” and then you will some drops of rain come down for a few seconds. Quite refreshing to see in those very dry zones. And, this is nicely weird, every now and then a “curious squirrel” will show up to look at your Fun Guss. How odd. How delightful! If you /hug Fun Guss, a blue butterfly will circle you for a few seconds.

I am looking forward to the increased loot drops from raids. Last night we dithered about on the final bosses of Normal. And then downed Shriekwing and the Huntsman on heroic. No loot. I think a clear of Normal will give you about 1000 anima and ho-hum about that. We could use some loot upgrades from the early bosses on Heroic while we are learning the progression.

For me, a clear indicator of a good raid and expansion (with the qualifier that I know that it is the first raid and it is supposed to be a bit more simple than the later raids and I hope that they can sustain challenging encounters without using stacks of mechanics as the answer to challenging) is the attendance which sees 20 players with an interest in group play. And, second, so many people have done their professions! “I have the cauldron tonight” and “Let me put down the feast” or “Open trade with me, I have stacks of oils”. I have been the only one with feasts and cauldrons in past expansions and currently it is wonderful to see others put out the goods. People are playing.

Oh, I got the Love Rocket back in 2012. Good luck!

Twisted Corridor: Layer Three

It took me about three hours. At the vendor I got up and to walk around some. And, I had a great time.

Layer three was easier than layer two or one because I’m starting to understand it better. In a nutshell, expect to blow through layers 1 to 10, go a little slower 10 to 14, take your time and focus on 14 to 17 with 18 being the final boss.

Choose how you want to play. This is great. This time, instead of pouring my points into mastery or crit or power choices, I chose many of the more flavorful choices. It could be I got lucky on the floors, just a few irritating dive bombers but no fire or spreading ick on the floor, but it worked out fine.

I like it because it has all the challenges you might find in a raid or dungeon but I can do it solo and at my own old-man pace. I’ll keep soloing the layers until I hit a wall and then go hit the group finder and sign up as a healer.

I get my group fix in with our raid team. I like WoW both ways, solo and team-work. Torghast gives me something to do that is isolated and fun.

Our raid team is on the heroic version. Mostly, so far, it seems that they add one mechanic and it is not a new one or stupid. For an opening-the-expansion raid, this one is about right; no real reason to quit out of frustration.

A lot of people in my circle bought the package that is tied in with Blizzcon. They wanted the white bear that poops snow balls. I can’t blame them! But, not me, not this year.

Coming up is Lunar Festival and Love is in the Air and lets hope for some designer investment in the holidays and we can earn some new toys, mounts or pets!