Raiding progress (or lack thereof)

There’s been little progress since my last update. No further raids have happened so far, though there is one scheduled for tonight though only with two people signed up. I’ve made decent progress on the Talon Queen title, needing only ~3000 more reputation & I’ll be getting around 2000 from tomorrow’s Heroic Skyreach. As the dungeon event is ending, I’ll probably end up grinding the rest of the reputation out in the world as I haven’t bothered putting together a group for the Mythic variant of Skyreach yet and probably won’t end up doing that before the event is over.

I would be interested in starting to do some Mythic dungeons though and did attempt Skyreach once with a guild group after one of the failed raid attempts. It seemed like they could be a lot of fun, as there seems to be a bit of challenge left especially as we went in with the bare minimum of item level recommended. Sadly, we did not seem to have sufficient DPS at the time and the group disbanded after a few wipes on the first boss, though the trash went rather well. It seems it would be preferrable to find DPS in the 20,000+ range, which somehow doesn’t seem overly common as observed in guild runs & LFG Heroics. Obviously anecdotal, but still.

I have had a tad of time to think about what I want from raiding though and it seems to be simply to get to raid “properly”, i.e. not in LFR & not PUG. I’ve noticed I don’t really care for the gearing aspect all that much, as it seems much of the prestige at least I associate with it is gone. So simply getting to experience the raids (hopefully starting with Highmaul as I haven’t raided at all this expansion) would be awesome. This is probably also why I’ve been so lukewarm on many of the more recent expansions, the simple matter that I haven’t really been raiding in them. Sure, I disagee with some of the changes Blizzard has made in them as well, but not participating in the content that gives me most enjoyment in the game is more probably the root cause.

This, however makes my situation somewhat awkward. As I’m not overly eager at finding new guilds & the attempts at getting raids together in my current guild fail, seeing what way to proceed becomes somewhat difficult. I’m hoping I can simply stay with the current guild as it does seem to have some rather nice people in it, though if raiding doesn’t start happening I sadly won’t be able to. Finding a new guild might be hard because I’d actually like to go back and clear the “old” raids, though that might happen in some sort of alt run. Finding a guild at this stage of the expansion when you’re not overly geared however isn’t all that simple. Most guilds seem to be expecting HFC experience & gear, neither of which I have. Joining a newly founded guild might simply leave me in the same situation I’m now, waiting for there to be sufficient raiders.

So matters are not as simple as they might seem, sadly.

World of Warcraft

Leveling complete! Gearing & Raid attempts

The last couple of weeks have gone by rather quickly, it seems. Much of that time seems to have gone with WoW, which for the time being seems to have captured my interest again which has been rather fun. As noted previously, I had started leveling a druid and managed to get to 100 almost a week ago now, last Friday morning. Leveling was one hell of a ride, I chose to do it primarily through dungeons though that stopped once I reached WoD levels, partially due to the item level restrictions for entering dungeons and partially due to long queue times. This lead to the final ten levels being somewhat tedious as I strongly prefer group content and had experienced the zones twice previously.

The dungeon leveling prior to that was a blast, however. I ended up especially enjoying the Cataclysm dungeons as they seemed to have retained some of the danger Blizzard had introduced in them. So while this did lead to some wipes as a consequence of people not knowing mechanics at times, the feeling of actually having to do something or risk wiping did add to the enjoyment of the run. Revisiting the old TBC dungeons was a good time as well as it meant getting to run my favorite dungeon, Caverns of Time: Escape from Durnholde (also know as Old Hillsbrad Foothills). This gave me an opportunity to reflect ony why I enjoy the dungeon so much and I think I came to a conclusion. It’s probably because I enjoy the pace the dungeon sets, while still allowing for more variation than dungeons like The Black Morass or Violet Hold which are more of running from portal to portal in the same small space. Incidentally, I also quite enjoy the Culling of Stratholme, which also fits into this paced dungeon theme. Though naturally the damage output of the group still has some effect on how quickly the dungeon goes.

But in the end, level 100 was hit and gearing started. I decided to do something somewhat silly and gear through PvP even though I’m primarily a PvE player myself, as there was a Battleground bonus even running conveniently after I had reached max level. This allowed me to gear in time for the scheduled raid time on Sunday, which was rather nice. The gearing path isn’t as bad as one might think, as PvP gear no longer has any PvP specific stats (like resilience) on it and the itemisation was decent in most respects. It also allowed for a rather big leap in item level, which seems to be the primary measure of gears usefulness these days (though properly itemised lower item level pieces might still be better than their higher item level counterparts, which didn’t end up being relevant for me as the gap in item level was so great).

Sadly the raid did not end up occurring, however we did manage an improptu run on on Monday instead. This ended up being normal Highmaul, which was fun as I hadn’t had the chance to properly experience the instance. We ended up taking down the couple first bosses and sadly had to call it at Brackenspore after a couple of wipes as some members of the raid had to leave and we were unable to find replacements. Sadly the continuation raid yesterday did not happen either, but there’s a raid scheduled for tonight that hopefully ends up happening. It seems it’ll either be Highmaul or Blackrock Foundry, both of which would be interesting to experience and finish at some point even if the gear doesn’t seem overly necessary after my PvP gearing. Highmaul in particular seems to have no gear of interest, but it’s fun doing some raiding nontheless!

All in all it’s been a fun experience so far, though I am starting to notice I’m slightly running out of steam. I don’t really feel I have overly many interesting goals outside of raiding now that I’ve geared up somewhat and don’t need to level anymore. Sure, I’m working on a couple of mounts (specifically the Flametalon of Alysrazor & Reins of the Raven Lord) however those are once a week/day engagements even if I do the attempts on several characters. I’m also trying to get my Arakkoa Outcasts reputation to exalted for the title Talon Queen, however that as well is somewhat rate limited now that the dungeon event for reputation is on as there is only one heroic per day I can do that gives reputation with them. I’ll probably end up either continuing farming the mobs that grant the reptutation (though I’d rather just do more dungeons) or running the dungeon on Mythic 2-3 times for the remaining reputation. Still, none of these things end up being tasks one can dedicate oneself to, excepting the reputation farm though I’m opting for the more fun albeit slower route of doing it through dungeons (slower not in a time spent but time lapsed sense).

Maybe I’ll have to end up leveling yet another character? Though I do fear I’d only end up in the same situation once again! Another alternative may end up being seeking a more raiding focused guild, though that may be a somewhat difficult task as I fear I might have somewhat particular preferences. I suppose time will tell how I end up continuing!

World of Warcraft

Wild Growth

I started leveling a Druid, and so far it’s been progressing quite well. I’ve managed to get all the way to 64, been doing dungeoning since I hit 15 and unlocked the dungeon finder. It’s been a blast so far, somehow managing to capture quite a lot of what I used to like about healing, though I’ve been able to completly ignore mana management as mana seems to be rather limitless at lower levels. I’m starting to notice at least some lowering of my current mana in certain pulls now though!

I’m kind of hoping that mana remains somewhat of a non-issue though, not completly but being more dependant on your casting style rather than a reliance on managing cooldowns which just seems utterly uninteresting. Based on what I’ve seen, Druids don’t seem to get a mana regeneration cooldown though, so that’s a good sign things will continue in a interesting manner!

It’s also been great revisiting the old dungeons, even with their changes in Cataclysm. I hadn’t even had the opportunity to do all of them since the changes, so seeing what’s happened has been interesting. The changes have been for the better for the most part I’d say, though part of the charm (and simultaneosly frustration) of the old designs may have been lost. Though the new layouts & helper objectives certainly make for a much smoother PUG experience, which is rather nice while trying to level through them.

Another fun part of the leveling has been meeting a bunch of people, though often only in solemn silence. It’s still been nice to see how well players often are able to understand each other while playing through the dungeons and repeated runs with the same group are nice because one has a better feel for both how quickly things die as well as the damage patterns of the tank which makes healing much smoother. Still, there were a few memorable personas, most strongly the group I ended up doing a spontaneous Emperor run with. We’d all been thrown into Detention Block of BRD together and after completing that part of the dungeon we still had a bonus objective left so we took a roundabout route and cleared that out. Afterwards, the tank just continued clearing and most of the group (45) decided to stick around and we ended up clearing the whole dungeon. It was one of those nice moments of “let’s just do this” where no words ended up being needed everyone just went with the flow. Was also really nice seeing that was possible and not blocked of by Blizzard for some obscure reason, such as is the case with the two different parts of Stratholme.

A second memorable encounter ended up being with a gnome warrior I came across who came to fill in for our tank who had to leave (incidentally, also a gnome warrior). I ended up doing a couple other runs with her and while most of our communication consisted of /cheering at each other at the end of runs once we’d queued up again, doing dungeons with her was a pleasure as she had the most well measured pulls of any tank I can remember through this leveling experience. She also had a good measure of the mobs in the encounter as a consequence, meaning random damage to other group members was minimised which makes for a nicer healing experience and a smoother run in general (DPS can have more confidence in their job when not worried about dying).

All in all, it’s been a good experience so far and I hope this holds up even once I get to the Draenor dungeons. More interesting to see is how raid healing feels, as that’s where the core of the game is for me. Hopefully all ends well and this character actually gets far enough to see that content!

World of Warcraft

Returning to World of Warcraft

So, I ended up playing World of Warcraft again after taking a break (again) about a month or two into the current expansion (Warlords of Draenor). I had decided to take the break because I didn’t have anything to do that interested me at the time and ended up returning because I got the inspiration to start leveling some more classes to see if I could find something that I could see myself playing a bit more.

The first (and only so far) class I’ve started leveling up so far is a mage and it’s been quite fun so far. I’ve ended up getting to level 92, however with the leveling motivation & speed slowing significantly since hitting Warlord’s content. I find this quite interesting, as before I had rated Warlord’s as probably the best leveling experience so far, being so focused on story. This may however be its downfall, as I’ve already played two characters through the story, doing so another time with the very rigid quest layout isn’t overly motivating at this time.

Still, I would like to get the mage to 100 before I decied what class to level next, though I’m having some difficulty deciding what that class should be. I have some interest in leveling another pure DPS class, probably a warlock, however I’m already struggling to handle the instance queue times on the mage when I do decide to do them, so I don’t think I could handle it again. I might end up leveling another tank, though that runs into the problem of difficulties with getting back into raiding which is my main interest with the game, despite my current obsession with leveling.

The final option would be to level another healer, which is where I’m leaning currently, though I’m having a hard time choosing which class. I’ve grown somewhat disillusioned with my current main, a Holy priest, primarily because the healing style has changed so much from the one I enjoyed. I might just end up trying Disc, though having been a Holy player for so long & it being what made my truly enjoy the game back in the day, I’m having a somewhat hard time “betraying” “my” spec. The other alternatives are probably either a shaman or a monk, both with some drawbacks however (can’t be a Night Elf shaman, not sure I like the extra resource in Chi with the monk).

Still though with the healers, I’m not sure how well I would like the modern very spammy feeling healing style, though that was certainly applicable to the classes I’m considering at the time I most enjoyed priest healing (though admittedly monks didn’t exist yet). So all in all, I’m still in search for what would be my current best fit within the game, if there even is one that’s good enough for me to continue playing once I start reaching raiding again. Though then the challenge of finding a guild I would like to raid with begins, which might prove somewhat difficult.

World of Warcraft