I can’t help but laugh that 2 months have come to pass since I last updated this blog. Not a whole lot has changed in my personal realm, IADT has proven to not be all that great as a school (5 week classes are far too accelerated) and everything else is pretty much normal. Still work for Iron Mountain and with the “economy” in the “condition” that it is “currently in,” I more than likely will not risk a profession change until things “rebound” and I can feel secure in an industry without the same security in my current field.
But considering the lack of personal life updates to blog about, let’s get to the meat of this post. Holy crap has Wrath of the Lich King proven to be incredible, mind-blowing, immersive, and sometimes annoying. I took 7 days off from work with the intention of getting my rogue to 80 and getting a substantial “head-start” on obtaining pvp equipment.
Iron Dwarf Nevik, lol.
I figured a couple of focused days of hardcore questing and I’d be done leveling. That was until I discovered that 70 to 71 would require 1.4 mil xp, and each level thereafter would slowly increase that. So the original plan of getting my rogue to 80 and working on my death knight and mage on my sis’ server only occured when Cenarius was experiencing 1.5-2 hour queues.
Phasing at its best: Battle for Undercity
It took 8 days to get my rogue to 80 and I ended up being either the 5th or 6th level 80 in Awry. Some of you may think that pushing like that would diminish my enjoyment of the process, but I mightily enjoyed the grind to 80, (but definitely not looking to do it on my alts until the xp reqs are nerfed =). I was able to experience just about every new instance before hitting 80 and had a blast with some of the quests.
Culmination of the Drakuru questline.
I really have to give Blizzard credit as they finally woke up and realized that they needed to treat our toons as actual participants in the lore and not as spectators. Prior to WotLK there were few lore-immersing quests in WoW, and those that did exist, were mainly reserved for the elite eschelon of raiders. The new phasing technology employed in WotLK is absolutely brilliant allowing us to feel like we are actually affecting the world around us. From the battle of Undercity to the reclaiming of regions in Icecrowne, phasing technology is incredible.
The defeat of *cough*asshole*cough* Loken on heroic difficulty.
Another kudo Blizz deserves is their new implimentation of heroic dungeons. Eliminating the rep-grind and keys to unlock the heroics makes gearing up alts (should you choose to do so) a lot less painful. While the hardcore may feel that the new end-game content is far too easy, there are plenty of challenges awaiting them from the heroic achievements. I also applaud the related decision to expand the exposure of content to a larger community. I could care less about the elitist raiders that abhor this decision, especially since the harder content is on the way. You shouldn’t have to treat WoW as a 2nd job to fully experience it.
Anub’Rehkan down, Naxxramas(10)
With that being said, I made a monumental step last night with my first progression raid experience with Naxxramas (10). Awry was able to field 2 10-man raids with less than diserable class balance, but the 10-man I was apart of was able to clear the Arachnid quarter (2-shotting most of the bosses) but then proceeded to wipe at Heigan numerous times and then on Patchwork when we decided an hour of failing at Heigan wasn’t fun anymore.
Our issues with Heigan were mainly from not being able identify the safe zones accurately enough. Either our tank would stand far too close to the edge and half the melee would get hit, or people would run too far into zones 1 & 4 and not make back to zones 2 & 3 during phase 2. At one point one of our shamans noticed a safe spot with slime splashing up all around him without getting hit. We tried stacking the raid on the spot, but it appears to have a very small spot to stand on; some got hit, some didn’t.
Our last few attempts were really promising, but again phase 2 proved to be our raid killer. Lag really ramps up the issues with this encounter, but that should be easily overcome by everyone being able to remember exactly how large and where those safe zones are and not rely on anyone else. I appeared to get phase 2 down on our last few attempts, but without the tank staying up, I can’t tank Heigan as a rogue, lol.
After an hour of wiping on Heigan, we decided to try out Patchwork. We employed a strategy that in hindsight seems to have undone what we were trying to accomplish, but I think we also had issues with gearing on our OT for the encounter (ie. not enough HP). To ensure that the OT would always be soaking the hateful strikes, we had our melee dps dip themselves in the slime to keep our HP down. Unfortunately this also halves all stats, so our DPS took a HUGE hit and we were rapidly falling behind on the required DPS to bring Patchwork down before our healers went OOM.
I knew that tactic seemed a little weird as I’ve read that Patchwork is a benchmark DPS encounter; ie. no threat to worry aboutso DPS gets to stay 100% on Patchwork. Dipping in the slime was never mentioned, so obviously we were doing it wrong. Instead we need to make sure that the 2 highest HP members have enough HP so that a hateful strike can be healed through and not temporarily make a melee DPS the soaker.
All in all it was a great experience and I’m looking forward to more progression raids with my guild. (Are my PVP days over?!)