Shadowlands: Flatten the Curve

“War is a series of catastrophes which result in victory.”
Albert Pike


Shadowlands: Flatten the Curve

I’m a sensitive guy.

If someone is looking at anything of mine and says, “I’m impressed”, well, I get a little offended. It sounds condescending to me. I want to ask if they even know what they are looking at.

My football coach once said, “Go in, son. Make me proud.” Ack! There is so much wrong with that. I am not your son nor do I play to make you happy or proud. That kind of stuff trips me up, it really does.

Ion the Game Designer guy said, in an interview about Shadowlands, “There is no Warforging, Titanforging, or Corruption in Shadowlands. Let loot be loot.” Triggered again, I step back. Is this supposed to be a manly rally cry? What IS this? Stubborn pride?

He said a few other things that didn’t bother me but were interesting:
“The team is going to reduce the amount of loot that drops in Shadowlands raids.”
“Your performance from pull to pull should vary based on your gameplay and less on proc chance.”
And so on.

Going from Draenor into Legion, the developers said that they wanted to get away from the “pre-pot pull hero” type of game play. I totally agree with them. In WoD, we’d often have the strategy of blowing all of our cooldowns on the pull and jump from phase one to phase three, skipping a ton of mechanics by our power.

They also said that they had to fix how our secondary stats act in the game. As an expansion went on, some classes would get extra-super-strong. In other words, they had to flatten the curve.

In BfA, they’ve been successful. There are still some mechanics that we can ignore, but for the most part we see everything as designed. We have to honor the mechanic. Heh, I added the bold to sound like Ion. It feels tough and righteous, right?

Now that we’ve experienced BfA and are going to go into the Shadowlands, I wonder about that flatten the curve experience and wonder if it will be simply flat. This is because I have done Hivemind a lot on Normal. It is not a fun fight really, it is a survival fight. There are quite a few survival fights in this current raid.

The times of the pre-pot hero pull were really fun. We frantically mashed our buttons as fast as we could (this is before the GCD changes). There were times when we’d save our potions and hero for a specific time in the raid fight and line everything up and unload to clear a hard mechanic; it was tense and fun and we would strut when successful. Some would post their damage charts.

Surviving fights isn’t really that fun. N’zoth is a survival fight, you can’t do much to push it along. Sure, they are bringing back some iconic spells that were pruned but that won’t bring a major impact; they kept the strong needed spells when they pruned.

I can only hope that the flattened game is fun. I hope that the designs are more than survival fights. The “bring the class, not the player” is a failure if you ask me. Needing a specific class to be successful is stupid. Instead it should be if you have a certain class, they can do amazing things that make it fun. So much fun that you can skip a mechanic. Whoa!

N’Zoth the Corruptor Down

“Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.”
Mark Twain


N’Zoth The Corruptor Down

I don’t know if we could do it again. It was on the fifth pull of the evening. Everything worked perfect on that final pull. Stage three saw the entire raid team alive and uncorrupted.


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Because it is the week of the Darkmoon Faire, many of our raiders were wearing fish heads! Gotta enjoy my fun group of raiders.


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I won the coveted trinket. It is easy to use as a casting healer, the best “on use” is away from people.


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Everyone was respectfully quiet during the cut scene. I’m glad I saved the kill by not doing it in the LFR so that I could enjoy it as part of a group.

We had time enough to down three bosses on heroic!

So, the boss on the box is dead, so to speak. We finished the task given for this expansion!


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Speed Run

“Everything is changing. People are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke.”
Will Rogers (1879 – 1935)


Speed Run

This is a post where I talk about stuff that everyone knows already. But: I’m still figuring it out.


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Here is my hunter with the silithid pet. This pet has Pathfinding.


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Now, let’s take the Talent called Trailblazer.


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Sadly I only have one azerite piece with the Longstrider effect.


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Movement speed is now 151%! And it sometimes seems to jack up higher now and then, I think. One does really feel like one is smoking it down the road.


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Add Aspect of the Cheetah off of cooldown and you are ready for a Speed Run through any old raid.

Betcha some other classes have stackable speed things. I like my hunter.

Technically a Lull

“On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”
H.L. Mencken (1880 – 1856)


Technically a Lull

While I have not seen Gnomecore declare it an official lull in the game, it is beginning to feel like we are closing in on the end of content. My big one is still N’zoth and Sunday our raid team will have the full evening to dedicate to the task.

Earning the We Have The Technology achievement this week led to the tmog backpack! This means that my console talent tree for the legendary cloak is complete. I can dial my activities in Uldum and the Vale way back now.


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The backpack is cool, mostly because it is new to me! On Night Elves it kinda swings back and forth on the back when running like the straps are loose. On the tiny Gnome it is much tighter and, of course, looks adorable. It looks like my hunter’s big gun is supposed to ride on the back and behind the backpack and I so see a little clipping, which is a shame.


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On a very strange note, I must have a wonky addon. This screen shot shows me as a level 60 character and I have equipped an old gun with some stacks of thorium bullets! Very strange indeed.


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So, it is not an official lull. There are plenty of things to do and finish up. But, you can feel tasks winding up.

Happy Hunting. And may all your hits, be crits!

A Solid Lock Out

“Henceforth I ask not good fortune. I myself am good fortune.”
Walt Whitman


A Solid Lock Out

Our raid team has not killed N’zoth yet on normal. It is coming soon enough. The truth is that, in part, we have not had many chances at it. So, this week, our raid leader built a weekly lock-out so that we are sure to get some hits on the final boss.


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The above is what we’ll go into tonight and, Elune have mercy, we’ll down this guy and move to heroic. We are surely sick and tired of this raid on normal, we blow through it. But, even so, it takes hours of trash and boss and travel to get through it all. So, a lock-out is the way to go.

It is two wing final bosses who drop loot that raiders need and then the final wing.


Now that we don’t have war- and titan-forged items, we are needing corrupted gear to get stronger. My problem is that I do not have the pieces that I want!

Looking at the math, if I do get a piece of gear at all; then I want it to be corrupted. Then there are eighteen different corruption spells, then there are three possible ranks and then there are eight possible slots. The odds of me ever getting close to what I want are astronomical.

I’m guessing that the odds are 1 in 18 x 3 x 8 (432). Titan-forging was a better bet, by far.


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When you are running corruption pieces, you have to do the math on how high that you are willing to go: the risk vs reward. This means that you keep back-ups of all your gear and all of the corruption pieces in case you do get a piece that you want and have to shift everything around. It is a juggling act!


Honestly, I don’t always know what is going on. With trinkets, azerite and corruption pieces popping off at random times; there is no way that I can follow it when I’m playing.


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That is a screen shot of my buff bar at about medium proc. I don’t know what half of them are. But, better corruption pieces will make me stronger, I need that.

Now ask me if I’m having fun. You bet I am!

Vexed in the LFR

“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”
Theodore Roosevelt


Vexed in the LFR

I blame Ronald Reagan, of course.

Here I am obsessing on the news of the destructive spread of Covid-19 and I can’t get a straight answer. President Reagan dissolved the Fairness Doctrine. He said that the news isn’t a service to the world; it should be a business, an entertainment. Why he didn’t get impeached and go to jail for the Iran/Contra affair is beyond me.

So, everyone on television has been hired first for their political leaning and then for their ability to look nice and deliver a speech. And the news that is being delivered is not straight and honest. Terrifying, right? I’ve been following the John Hopkins map but that is only that which has been reported, my imagination says that India must be hit hard and they are not reporting.

But, I am isolating. Human interaction is at a minimum; grocery store and pharmacy, once every two weeks with luck. I took a drive today in my car to make sure the battery gets charged. I have no idea what is needed to do that, so I drove for half an hour and came home.

My state is the fifth largest in these here United of States. It is 49th in education, 47th in economy, 47th in stability and 49th in crime. So, I’m not sure where the hope is but it must be in there somewhere. The view is great.

Which brings us always back to WoW. The big 100% xp buff is up and everyone is leveling. I am told that it is great fun. I asked my raid team (we raided last night!) why one would level up and they told me that I didn’t get it. That is okay.

But, where would you go with these alts? Blizzard says “get your cloak, go kill N’zoth”. My experience is not great in the LFR. This week I queued the first and third wing and got the last boss when I entered. The second wing ….


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After a 45 minute wait in the queue, we killed the first boss and then went to Vexiona. We wiped with the tanks pulling the dragon up and down the street, I have no idea why. Then they quit. We waited for about 20 minutes and got another set of tanks, one who quit during the fight. And then, I kid you not, we waited a full hour for another tank to join us.

An hour sitting in a raid is a long time. We were down to four players. I didn’t want to leave and sit through another forty-five minute raid spawn but felt that this must happen at any second, we must be some kind of priority to the algorithm.

I asked the raiders, while waiting, if it is too hard to tank or are the bosses too hard to handle for a tank. They said a kitten could tank this fight. So, where are the tanks? This is a big problem and a major time problem and I can’t imagine leveling up an alt to go through this experience. Is this acceptable game play?

As ever, I’m going my own way. I’m still after the 100 exalted rep achievement. I don’t think that the 100% XP buff includes reputation gains. I dunno, its a long month, maybe I’ll try a something. Maybe a shaman, they have totems!

Alt Exalted

“Never measure the height of a mountain until you have reached the top. Then you will see how low it was.”
Dag Hammarskjold


Alt Exalted

It is not quite a lull but WoW life is in a routine. So, I am taking a look at advancing my hunter to at least be prepared for the next expansion.

As you can see, this character is 92/100 on exalted reputations.


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So, just the regular stuff will get me there to 100 and the big achievement. Mostly I am only doing the daily emissary. And a little bit of the Uldum and Vale but not too heavy.


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So, it is funny to me to get Kul Tiran Fishing and Cooking this late in the game. Leveling up Engineering is a total drag! With revered in Nazjatar, I think I’ll learn some of the newer recipes beyond the basics first provided at the top of the expansion.


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I am not sick, yet, but I am isolating like the rest of America. Everyone is trying to take a few weeks off and let the curve flatten out. So, a little extra WoW time!

Happy Hunting!