Magery Improve!

As I sit here waiting for my car to receive its Christmas present I decided that I’d make the most of the down time and update everyone on the continuing adventures of de-stinkifying my mage’s DPS.

It’s amazing just how quickly the gear portion of the problem can be changed. So much so that my mage is now virtually broke after gemming, enchanting and reforging the deluge of upgrades received in just a few hours of running the HoT 5 mans and one lucky LFR run. As of right now my mage only has 2 pieces of PVP gear to replace and is sporting two pieces of ilvl 384 raid finder tier pieces. Each upgrade has been met with excitement and animosity with the amount of juggling I’ve had to do with reforging to stay as close to 17% hit as possible.

Reforging is a boon and a bane.

Anyhoo, needless to say gear is no longer drastically holding my mage back. Nope. Now it’s just my inexperience which is doing that. Sure my DEEPS is substantially better now and there’s still some pieces holding me back (trinkets come to mind) but there’s still something that I’m doing wrong.

I’ve fully embraced fire as my main DPS spec and have done some scouring of the forums to have a better grasp of how to play as a fire mage. Knowing how to is still not the same as doing and as I learn the fights from a ranged perspective I’m sure my DEEPS will get higher.

Movement is the main thing that I’m struggling with since, as a rogue, I’m not used to the necessity of being stationary to cast. One thing that I do love about fire is that I can cast scorch on the run, but the mere act of movement usually causes me to let living bomb fall off and forget to reapply it.

As I get more comfortable with movement as a mage things will get better, especially if I can work blink into the equation more. I just need to subdue my perfectionist’s tendacies so that I don’t get down on myself for not being where I feel like a should be in terms of performance. I’ll get there … eventually. I just need to keep telling myself that.

Sadly, however, there’s been a side-effect of gearing as a fire mage that I can’t do much about: my frost DPS is now really, really lacking. Fire favors haste and crit, not mastery. Whereas frost loves mastery so unless I want to spend tons of gold juggling secondary stats I’ll just have to cope.

Anyhoo, I think I’ve droned on long enough, and my car is ready, so I will leave it at that. Ciao!

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Inadequate Performance

I’m a rogue through and through. When it comes to group play I just feel a lot more comfortable with being in the thick of things. To be fair that probably has more to do with my inexperience with being ranged DPS, but needless to say when I hopped into an Hour of Twilight 5man my mage stunk up the place. And by stunk, I mean barely pulling 11k dps on average.

Again, my mage isn’t quite as geared for PvE as my rogue is but the difference in performance is downright embarrassing. I have had an arcane build, but I’m not a fan even though it was barely edging out my frost dps build. Considering my distaste of arcane I decided to give fire another go for PvE but that hasn’t been met with the results that I was hoping for.

It can’t just be my gear alone that is causing me to stink. It isn’t terrible despite being under the hit-cap (something which is probably hurting me greatly) yet there’s something about mage DPS that I’m not getting. Perhaps I haven’t set up my UI to communicate everything I need to know to maximize my performance, but it can’t be that. Sure I”ve jerry-rigged an add-on designed for rogues while I probably should be using something more like MageNuggets for timers and cool-downs but my stink goes beyond that.

Maybe there’s just something about ranged-dps that I just haven’t figured out. Or maybe it’s the priority system. Or maybe that most of my damaging abilities all have cast times, something that is somewhat foreign to a rogue. Needless to say I’m going to have to spend some time thumbing through the Elitist Jerks and MMO Champion mage forums. Hopefully I can glean something that will clue me into what I’m doing backwards.

Oh well, back to the HoT 5mans and to hope that I always get groups willing to put up with my low DEEPS ;_;

I am the Sky Shatterer

It’s been a long time since I last decided to face down Captain Skyshatter over on the Netherwing Shelf, but today I was determined to get my third useless Skybreaker Whip. It definitely wasn’t as easy as the first two times I accomplished this considering that each of the previous two times I had some sort of mounted speed boost: used a riding crop with my rogue back in TBC, and On a Pale Horse with my death knight. I didn’t even have the level three Mount Up! guild perk to help me out!

You are a crazy, crazy man aren’t you?

No, no I’m not. Well, okay … just a little. I did want to punch my monitor or something when failing over and over until I finally learned his route well enough to take “short-cuts.” Without any kind of speed boost you’re at a HUGE disadvantage against Captain Skyshatter since he moves at 310% and he can very very quickly fly out of range causing you to fail. At least my mage was able to get hit by his meteors and not get knocked off her mount, so there’s that.

So, yah … the whip is worthless. Why did you go after it?

For the CHEEVOS! And for the prestige and self-satisfaction of doing something that can still be hard. I’m sure had my mage been able to make use of the mount speed guild perk besting Captain Sucks-His-Thumbs would have been infinitely easier, but that wouldn’t be quite as impressive. Right? Oh, and turning in the quest yields 1000 Netherwing rep, that’s the main reason why I bothered.

Captain Flys-Like-A-Grandma!

I’m also still holding on to the slim hope that someday Blizzard will make good on their word at the end of TBC and find someway of making riding crops usable again. I know it will never happen, especially with being able to buy 310% speed, but who knows? Maybe they could make the whip a usable item that transforms your mount into the armored netherdrake that Captain Sore-Loser rides or teaches you a non-combat pet version of his mount, or him on his mount … that would be awesome.

Anyhoo, that’s all I have for tonight. SUCK IT CAPTAIN CHEATER!

It’s What I Do

It’s been awhile since I’ve had the motivation to post up two blog entries within 24 hours of each other, but I suppose that’s what happens when stricken with a mild-case of insomnia. Sucks for me, but it’s great for you. At the very least I do get to share my continuing derailment of my rogue leveling project caused by my draenei frost mage.

Solo'ng content intended for 3 people is addictive.

Tonight I discovered a new nuance that has made putting the mage down harder than ever, solo’ng elites for group quests. It’s not at all hard to pull off either with the incredible amount of control a frost mage has. Sure it may not be the most efficient method of gaining xp, but I’ve expressed numerous times before how addicting it is to feel like a demi-god. And with my mage having obtained invisibility even if things take a turn for the worse, I can play my get out of jail card.

What’s not to love?

My mage is having an absolute blast romping through Outlands, at least when she’s not gimped against frost resistant mobs. I’m contemplating spending more time on the broken planet of Draenor to experience more of the Alliance quests that I missed out on when leveling my human death knight. I’m wanting to finish up Blade’s Edge Mountains and then questing through the Netherstorm or Shadowmoon Valley before heading out to Northrend.

But why? Why would you delay the awesomeness of Northrend?

Sure the overall questing experience is better and the rewards far better in Northrend, but I’m encountering a lot of interesting quests in Outland. I’ve only truly leveled my main troll rogue through TBC content despite having three toons currently in WotLK content. By the time I bothered focusing on my priest, WotLK was already on the horizon and you could power through to 68 by only hitting Hellfire, Zangarmarsh and Nagrand.

That gun is as big as she is!

Needless to say, there’s still a lot of fresh content in Outland that I can experience especially from the Alliance perspective. I’m also enjoying the quests that break up the monotony where I get to control a fel cannon as a pet to destroy summoning gates or get to disguise myself to intercept enemy transmissions. I’m in no hurry to get to Northrend as I’ve actually experienced much of it with my human death knight prior to the faction/server change. So I don’t see anything wrong with a small delay while I enjoy myself in Outland.

Until next time, FOR THE ALLIANCE?!?

Overdue

No matter how much I intend to update this journal, I always seem to allow laspes … of the large kind. So let’s see if I can’t get everyone caught up with my going-ons …

Seems Blizzard will be releasing WotLK November 13th despite indications from the beta that it won’t be completely ready. But what ever is? When I worked at Namco games would routinely ship with bugs in them; sometimes even game-crashing bugs. Then when you think about the constantly evolving nature of a MMO, it only makes sense that they’d push it out sooner than polish it to a spit-shine.

Unfortunately 11/13 falls smack dab in the middle of this school term which will limit my game time. If I were not taking vacation time (Nov. 13,14,17-21) I’d barely be able to spend time in Northrend. Taking some time off from work will allow me to split my focus between school and WotLK while maintaining a happy household.

Being a month out from the expansion has led to changes in plans, mainly that I’ll be getting my rogue to 80 pretty much before anything else. With the changes that have come to the combat tree, I may just return to a combat build for leveling, (and maybe even for PVP given the mobility nerf to lolstep). I’ll toy with a mutilate build once 3.0.2 hits next week, but I’ll have to toss mongoose on the daggers I have: [Direbrew’s Shanker] & [Retainer’s Blade].

Part of the reason for the decision to focus solely on my rogue come expansion time is to get in on the ground floor of level 80 arena. My current 3v3 partners and I will be reforming a 3v3 team for season 5 and we’re determined to not allow gear dictate our ratings as much.

Last week we went a disappointing 4-6 dropping us to the low 1400s which killed our morale and drive. Yet we gathered again and went 7-3 this week pushing our ratings back to scratching at that ellusive 1500+ rating … le sigh. At this point in the game we keep running into teams with s3 weapons and/or s4 gear, even in the sub-1500 bracket.

Granted there isn’t a /huge/ difference between our s2/3 gear and s3/4 gear we’ve been facing, but folks that have acquired said s3/4 gear are far more experienced in the arena scene and have strategic advantages. Fortunately the arena scene will be almost completely different in the 80s and we’ll be learning along with the rest of the scene. So we’re confident that we’ll fare much much better in WotLK.

As for other WotLK plans, my mage on Whisperwind is easily going to be level 55 by the launch (she’s currently @ lv52)and I’ll probably put more focus on my DK on Whisperwind than I will on Cenarius (my main server). I don’t really need another alt on Cenarius to neglect, but having a DK on Whisperwind will give me more reason to spend time over there. Besides, I’m sure the alliance in the Rampage battlegroup could use a good/decent PVPer.

While my DK on Whisperwind will likely become my main, I’m determined to get my mage to 80 to PVP with her. Well, her and my DK of course. Seems that I live for PVP in WoW despite how inherently flawed it is. *smirk*

And now for some random screenshots …



Water elementals + Frost Spec = Paaaaaiiiiin


Brewfest Concert Event in BRD


Thunder Bluff is so beautiful

And now for some random thoughts …

  • I feel completely lost watching season 3 of Heroes (haven’t seen seasons 1 & 2)
  • I really like the new Filter album that was ninja released back in March (just discovered it last week)
  • My front yard is a complete loss; completely infested with crab grass
  • My sister picked out a stuffed Cactaur for her birthday present
  • I really need an iPhone 3G so I can listen to the Woody Show while not in Live 105’s broadcast area
  • When will the Niners get a good QB again? J.T O’Sullivan is NOT the future of the Niners
  • It’s October already?!
  • I’m sick of politicians and wish someone decent would actually run for office (hate both Obama and McCain)

Avoidance

So my once beloved draenei mage on my sister’s server had been collecting inches of dust. Between the explosion of the old Spaceballs guild and the oft-MIA sister logging into my mage was lonely. Toss in the growing inadequacy of DPS scaling in relation to mob health post-40 and she just wasn’t fun to play anymore. I desperately wanted to achieve level 55 so I might create a deathknight on Whisperwind, but my motivation to do so just wasn’t there.

So I sought the advice and help of one of my arena team-mates that has 2 level 70 mages. A few talent alterations and 12 painful WSG marks later (I left my mage at level 43) I finally achieved over +100 in frost damage and dinged to 44 yielding a new rank of frostbolt.

She’s now sitting two-thirds of the way to 46 and now boasts a healthy +136 frost damage bonus. More importantly she is pretty fun to play as again and grinding mobs/quests is no longer quite as excrutiating as it once was. Moreover I found a guild to join that is small, social, and family-oriented. So once again, my mage is seeing playtime and should hit 55 before the expansion hits.