Back to the Garrison

“You can’t buy a good reputation; you must earn it.”
Harvey Mackay

Back to the Garrison

Candidly, I’ve never left my WoD Garrison. I have three tailors who do the missions for the resources to buy the materials to make the hexweave bags. It is mindless and I have been doing this for years now.

Selling some sure-sold bags on the AH or throwing five into our guild vault for those in need is satisfying.

Lately, I’ve been dropping my Alts down to the garrison and then back to the Snug Harbor Inn for two things: the rep medallion and the tmog gear.

For the rep medallion, it gives 1000 rep to all WoD factions. I’m stacking them in our prize tab for some poor soul who has to do pathfinder to fly in Dreanor. They do sell okay but my motive is more for gifting and to help a hurdle in the game that should be long gone.


The tmog gear, I’ve just started looking at. I ran those dungeons, back in the day, on LFR, Normal and Heroic on my mail and leather characters. Now I have cloth toons and plate toons who can visit the mission board.

The deal with the mission board is that it knows what you have done. So, my plate wearer has never entered any WoD dungeon and gets Normal gear. My mail and leather toons are offered mythic level gear.


I really don’t know if this is smart or stupid. I’ll check it out for a while. You can get a neck piece which is not a tmog thing but it still sells for 20g. The “time spent” is almost nothing with hearthstones right to the mission board.

Quick Poll: Am I nuts? Should I just go run the darn dungeons?


Shooting Craps with the Mythic Cache

“Any one who considers arithmetical methods of producing random digits is, of course, in a state of sin.”
John von Neumann

Shooting Craps with the Mythic Cache

On Saturday nights our guild runs what we call Happy Fun Time. It is optional for our raid team but we can get two teams going and run some keys. As ever, I watch as people strut their way to pushing a hard key.

We want to do a 10. The 10 key has a buff offered if you fail the timer. Something like a 20% buff to health and damage, I think. It is good encouragement to not give up when you had a 35 minute timer and you are looking at 50 deaths and 58 minutes.

You get a chest at the end and a new key if you used it. It can be a bitter experience because Blizzard is overtly pushing King’s Rest, the Temple of Snakes and the Under Rot: three of the least popular dungeons.

On a Saturday night, of our ten players there will be eight with those three keys. Seriously, we’d swoon over a Waycrest Manor key. We’d probably get into arguments to be on a team with a Freehold key. But, I’ve not seen one of those in a long time.

The deal is: you will get a chest to open on Reset Day that represents your best effort of the week. If you did a 10, you should get a 410 piece. And you anticipate opening that chest like it was Christmas.

It is total RNG. It is a roll of the dice whether you will be happy or disappointed. Me? This week? I got a one-handed mace. With no comparable off-hand, I won’t equip it. Every single other slot could use a 410 piece.

It is a crap shoot and I insist on enjoying the fun of running with my friends and trying stuff that is too hard. That Reset cache has betrayed me too many times, I now open it with a resigned feeling of failure more than hope.

We should be kicking ass and cocky with our heroic-geared characters but the dungeons are brutal and more so because we only run a couple a week and never learn the nuance of the trash mobs. The affixes, we get that but (I’m serious) we start by saying that we won’t press for the timer because it is too heart-breaking to fail the challenge. That is not to say that we don’t beat timers, but the Under Rot sucks and we don’t like being in there!

Roll the dice, right? It is supposed to be fun.

Oh, many a shaft at random sent
Finds mark the archer little meant!
And many a word at random spoken
May soothe, or wound, a heart that’s broken!

Sir Walter Scott

DMF Balloon Pets: Win!

“The best toys are 90 per cent kid, 10 per cent toy, with play fueled largely by the child’s imagination.”
Josh Golin

DMF Balloon Pets: Win!

I used Altoholic to see which of my alts were sitting on a bunch of Magical Pet Biscuits. I then used Katy Stampwhistle to mail them to my two raider mains.

Last night, in raid, I had my horse balloon out with a biscuit on it. Players were saying, “we have a piƱata!” and “what is that, where can I get one?”.

How satisfying!

I didn’t die until the first pull on Heroic Opulence, so I had the balloon up for the first three raid bosses. After that, I let it go; everything is inside and dark.

They are cute and fun and best served with a magical pet biscuit.

Here I am farming Meaty Haunch. Just look at that thing, it is like a beacon!


BfA: Balloon Pets

“I used to get a shiver if I thought about holding balloons, because I was scared of floating away.”
Fiona Apple

BfA: Balloon Pets

Good morning!

Because the patch dropped in mid-month, we’ve not been to the Dark Moon Faire to see and get the new things.

The roller coaster is fun, at least for one ride. It costs a ticket and gives the WHEEE! buff.

The three new non-combat pets are balloons! A horse, murloc and wolf; fun and cheap at only 90 tickets each. The vendor is the guy pushing the cart up and down the road (Carl), I had to look around for him but you won’t have to guess.

Using Narcissa’s Mirror will ground your balloon, sadly. I had hoped for a giant ME to be floating along over my head. The pet biscuit does work to make it huge. I added one of them to my favorites list so the /rfp will call it out now and then.

Side Note: If you do want a giant you floating along; I’d suggest a fish pet with the bubble, Narcissa’s Mirror and a magical pet biscuit. It is so huge, it is ridiculous.


BfA: Climb Every Mountain

“Art is one thing that can go on mattering once it has stopped hurting.”
Elizabeth Bowen

BfA: Climb Every Mountain

No, this is not about getting to the top and jumping off, something I love to do.

Like Misdirections, our raid team gets smaller and smaller. We see the same behavior that we tolerate like long breaks or no enchants, it would never do to ruffle feathers!

And we try.

We are going to try it, even if it is all up hill.

Think about Heroic Opulence with only seven dps. I solo heal the left hallway with our three ranged and because the raid can not flex, everyone gets both of the things all of the time. You can get the orb to carry to the corner and also have the fire to drag across the back. You can get the “don’t move” hex and the fire or orb, I forget.

This week, as if by magic, we had seventeen raiders. I laughed because I didn’t get any of the things; no orb, fire, hex was on me.

As you know, one of my favorite things to do while herbing is to use the Suggestion Box. I often say that I was a theater designer for forty years and that I know how hard it is to get out from under a bad design. But, you can’t simply live with it. You have to do whatever it takes to fix it; this is what a professional does.

I plead with them every couple of days to either reduce the amount of materials needed for consumables or increase the power of consumables. I give them solutions. It makes me sad to farm for an hour or two for potions only to see them wasted on a bad pull.

My frustration is that I don’t think that they’ll fix a bad design. It is unprofessional to ignore it.

And, after all of the above, I’m still having fun playing. I might feel that it sucks to farm meaty haunch but it is also fun to do on my boomkin with AoE starfall. I like doing the emissary every day. I love raiding. I even like our dismal attempts at mythic plus and wasting buff scrolls.

It is a good game with some bad design elements. It is a lie to call it flex raiding, a profound outright lie: because it doesn’t flex, it only dials down the power of the boss. Professions are a failure, especially consumables. Gold gathering is down but the ten thousand gold mounts are plentiful — is anyone talking to the guy in the next cubicle?

I’ll still be here. I might shake my fist at Blizzard sometimes but I recognize that I’m happy on my flying carpet (that doesn’t fly yet) with a random pet beside me, racing down the road to do something. It’s a lovely day in Azeroth.


The Thinking Warlock

“Do not fear mistakes. There are none.”
Miles Davis

The Thinking Warlock

Three months into the class and I’m learning that the best warlocks think ahead. And, I feel a little sad for those who don’t but that is another story. There are some smart uses to our utility spells that are best used in preparation and I like that.

I’ll beat myself up when I forget to Soulstone myself when venturing in the open world. My surprise was that it is also a battle rez. Druid, DK and Warlock are the only one’s with a battle rez.

Demonic Circle
When you cast Demonic Circle, when you return to your spot it will be the facing from when you cast it; so anticipate facing the boss for example. It can jump you through walls and ceilings and floors.

I use it on the boat at the Stormwall boss. If I get mind-controlled by the siren, I can pop back to the boat after released to drown. Not me.

Here is my Demonic Circle at the bank in Boralus.

Here I am up top facing the mail box. This spot is the distance limit to the mail box so I do have to step forward to get or send mail. But a few steps back and “bam!”, I’m at my bank again. This will stay in place a very long time.

Sure, a mage can blink 20 yards but a warlock can gate the entire raid 40 yards. No wonder they got the intellect buff.

In dungeons, the demonic gateway can be used to skip mobs. With planning (that word again), a warlock can set up the raid for success.

First raid boss in BoD: Make a gate past the wall back to the dock. This is an escape in case the raid falls apart. Save you some repair bills. Demonic Circle will take you back to the main boss and avoid waves on the ground.

Second Boss: Skip the maze almost entirely. Here is the placement of the gateway. Just past the doorway.

Here it is in action. You can see that I could have moved the gateway just a little more forward but I wanted to be safe.

Third Boss: I placed my gateway and circle so that I can zip around to get the adds or re-face the boss. Of course, the raid can enjoy too.


Fourth Boss: Only on LFR do I do this. When the final wall in the hallway goes down starting stage two of Opulence, I cast a gateway to give my side a 40 yard head start.

I have no real habits for Coven and King. For Mekkatorque, I have a gateway in the middle-ish to back behind the rocks for the run-and-hide mechanic.

Stormwall, when you leave the boats you will land on the dock. That is the perfect place to set up your gateway for dropping the Elemental at the back of the raid.

The fun part is that you play. Playing a Warlock means finding all the good uses for your wide range of utility. Who else has three interrupts? We can interrupt, cast a fear and have a three second stun; unless a mob is immune!

The more you play, the more you think like a Warlock. The puzzles now have different solutions. Demonic Circle is only a two second cast.

AND, these gates all go away if you die. The healers have to keep you alive!

Between you and me, I’ve not opened up my full spell book yet. I think that I can banish demons! Ah-hahahahahaha!

WoW: Thinking about April

“Long stormy spring-time, wet contentious April, winter chilling the lap of very May; but at length the season of summer does come.”
Thomas Carlyle

WoW: Thinking about April

A new month is upon us and thankfully April Fools is a day away. I’ve done some hijinks in my time but today the best I have is: “your shoe is untied” and then saying “April Fools!” before you look down.

Sunday will bring us the Dark Moon Faire. I’ll want to try the new roller coaster and pick up the non-combat balloon pets. These will be balloons in animal shapes and I think a magical pet biscuit might be pretty great.

My raiding characters are at 397 and 402, out-gearing the Darkshore event. Even with running mythic keys, that cache has been no friend of mine! Upgrades will be in bits and pieces, looking for the war- or titan-forged pieces. Most bosses on heroic BoD require some dps push at very clear points:

  1. The first boss can be zerged, kinda. We use three tanks and pop hero on the pull. We do shift to the adds and then back, but never return to the adds but finish the boss off.
  2. The second boss needs mucho focus on the Monk. After the barrier comes down at the end, we pop hero to kill the Monk before we get the Multi-strike mechanic. It feels to me like a do or die situation, surviving that mechanic is hard!
  3. The third boss, the big monkey needs to be downed before the fifth, I think?, Death Knell. The healers work overtime on this fight.
  4. The four boss is tricky. There is a strategy that we don’t do where the entire raid goes right down the hallways very fast and then zergs and deals with the aftermath of the other hallway boss. We don’t do that, we do both hallways and simply survive and then balance the kill for both sides. Then, on Opulence, we pop hero on the first adds; again, we can’t survive if we dink around too long on the kill.

I’m thinking that four more weeks of Artifact Knowledge and the other shorty raid will gear us up enough to face the demands of the next bosses on heroic. The Conclave is a big hurdle and some raid teams are defined by clearing that boss.

This is not quite a lull, really. But I’m leveling a horde toon now to see the other side of the story. This guy is poor, so I’m doing some herbing to sell on the AH. I do want to buy all the toys and pets that are on the horde side and that will be spendy. Yep, it is a burn to be reminded that the AH Bronto does not change with factions.

For me, this is also the time to start targeting specific toys by looking at the unlearned in the toy box and researching where to go and how to find.

All of the above should keep me busy and enjoying playtime through the month of April!