Archive for November, 2009

Hero of Shattrath

In one of my previous posts I mentioned I was working on a new Feat of Strength and it would take about 2 weeks. 10 days later I finished off Hero of Shattrath. This feat requires that you become exalted with The Aldor and The Scryers (but not at the same time naturally). For those achievement whores out there I’d definitely recommend doing this one as it’s a neat one to have with only a little bit of effort, farming and patience. That being said, lets take a look and see how this works.

Getting Exalted

Firstly, naturally you have to get exalted with one of these factions and it doesn’t really matter which one you pick first. Hopefully you played back in TBC and you’re already exalted with one which should cut down on your time significantly.If you haven’t picked a faction yet and are starting from scratch you’ll want to take a look at the faction summaries here from Wowwiki (Scryers, Aldor). To gain rep with either faction you’ll need to obtain reputation items that drop from different areas in the Outlands.

Aldor

Scryers

Note that the first item for each faction only provides rep till Honored. All 3 items provide rep until honored but only the last 2 items provide rep until Exalted. You will need a total of 42,999 reputation to become 999/1000 exalted (3000+6000+12000+21000+999).  There are different ways to combine the items to hit exalted, for example you could use 360 Firewing Signet ( 9000 rep) + 98 Arcane Tome (43,300 rep) or another way could be 1720 Sunfury Signet (43,000 rep). As you can see there are many different ways depending on what you have available to you.

Preparing to Switch

Personally I was exalted with The Aldor so all I had to do was get exalted with The Scryers. For the purpose of this discussion I’m going to be discussing switching to Scryers (although the process is exactly the same to switch to Aldor). The first step is to get out of Hated and back to Neutral, once you are Neutral. To do this there is a quest called Voren’thal’s Visions. This quest requires you to obtain 8 Dampscale Basilisk Eye which will grant you +250 reputation with the Scryers. To go from Hated back to Neutral you will need a total of 1344 Dampscale Basilisk Eye. These are dropped by Basilisk in Terrokar Forest in the Outlands. I was able to farm about ~100 in an hour so for a total of 1344 it took about 14 hours of farming.

The river is where the Basilisk spawn, by the time you clear the whole river it should have respawned.

Total materials to get to exalted with Scryers

While you could farm all the materials, you can also watch the auction hall for available materials. Auchindoun is a small population server but there were still a lot of available materials that could be purchased at reasonable prices. I took my time waiting for really cheap auctions to go up. I would definitely recommend that you do this to buy the Firewing Signet, Sunfury Signet and Arcane Tome. The Dampscale Basilisk Eye were not readily available on my server so I had to farm all 1344 of them unfortunately. Once you get to exalted (with each faction), remember that there are patterns and recipes available from each faction. Buy them all because regardless of what faction you switch you, you get to keep the recipes. To all those who are going to give it a try, good luck on the auction hall and happy farming!

Before

After

5 Years of World of Warcraft

5 years ago today, World of Warcraft was released. Prior to this game I would consider myself to be a casual gamer at best, never playing any video game longer than a month or two. However, proud or ashamed for 5 years now I have been playing WOW and essentially have loved every minute of it. I’d love to hear some of your thoughts and reflections on the past 5 years and what people’s favorite moments/things/events are. Here are some starter ones:

  • Favorite Instance: Karazhan
  • Favorite Boss(es): Four Horsemen (lv 60 version), C’thun, Mimiron (Firefighter Only!).
  • Favorite Tier Level: T3, best set ever!
  • How many legendaries have you seen drop: 3 bindings, 2 eyes, 2 glaives, and a lot of unfinished Atiesh shards/Val’anyr fragments!
  • Favorite World Event: Ahn’Qiraj, till this day I have never seen so many people in the same place at one time.
  • Longest queue to get into WOW: 3000+ (Thank You Warsong)
  • Average amount of time spend per year. (Take your /played  and divide by 5): 272/5 = 54.4 days per year (sadface?)

Feel free to answer mine or make up your own, I’d love to see a long list of memories from everyone. :)

*Edit*: Found some official Blizz 5 year celebratory info: http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/wowanniversary/

The Evolution of Raid Progression

The Blizzard Downloader has just started a few days ago and with that means that the patch and Icecrown Citadel is most likely less than a month away. A lot of new information has been released in the past week so expect another 3.3 Kitty Summary update shortly. For now, I wanted to reflect and do a trip down memory lane and see how raid attunements and progression have changed throughout the history of WOW and how they have affected the raiding culture of WOW.

Vanilla WOW (Lv 60 Raiding)

The most important factor to raiding at 60 was time, you had to devote all of your time and effort within WOW into raiding. All aspects of the game inevitably led towards improving your preparation for raiding. Probably the prime example would be PVP, where ultimately a large popualtion of people did PVP to obtain gear which supported raiding since PVP rewards were some of the best gear available (pre or post raiding). Attunements, gear, resistance gear were all necessary requirements to participate in raids.  Here is a sample of what needed to be done to raid in Molten Core.

Molten Core: Anyone who wished to enter MC was required to complete the relatively simple Attunement to the Core questline which required you to obtain a Core Fragment from the raid entrance within Blackrock Depths. Simple enough right? Wrong! Once you enter MC, to progress through the instance there was a requirement to douse Quintessence flames (8 total) which could only be done through Aqual Quintessences. This could only be obtained through a quest chain that required killing trash, bosses and rep grinding Hydraxian Waterlords faction to honored. Once you’ve done all this and you finally do make it all the way through MC to Ragnaros, there was essentially another attunement in the sense that you had to obtain a fire resistance set which could only be obtained through farming the instance itself for materials to make the gear. Oh and if you want an Aqual Quintessence, you need to go to Ashzara every week to get a new one.

The Burning Crusade (Lv 70 Raiding)

With the release of The Burning Crusade, attunements played an even larger role than they did in vanilla WOW. The result was an extremely complex requirement that essentially required you to complete every dungeon on normal and heroic (which required a certain reputation to access). They were so difficult (bad) that Blizzard decided to remove them after only 6 months and they were made into a Feat of Strength (Hand of A’dal, Champion of the Naaru) for those who actually managed to complete it. I feel it can only be best described through a chart which actually does a pretty good job of comparing lv 60 vs lv 70 attunements (left vs right). All the quests associated with this massive questline can be found here.

By the end of The Burning Crusade, we began to see a shift away from attunements. It was very evident that only the most dedicated people were actually getting to see content which really didn’t make sense from a business perspective. Why spend money developing great elaborate content that only a small subset of your population would see. Their answer? Staggered releases. With Sunwell we began seeing locks on content so that more people had additional time to catch up and progress at the same speed as your top end guilds.

Warth of the Lich King (Lv 80 Raiding)

Wrath of the Lich King came with a huge overhaul in the way raids were constructed and designed. The game itself had been changed from a singular focus to a multi faceted game where a player could enjoy PVE, PVP, grinding, achievements and other different aspects.  With raiding being such a small subset of the game, greater focus was introduced to ensure that all players could participate in raiding through a tiered level of content (easy and hard modes).  As a result attunements had become a thing of the past as all instances are instantly accessible by anyone.

In 3.3, Blizzard is trying to change the face of raid access again with a concept in which I would call “Quality over Quantity”. The complete post is quite long so I won’t copy/paste it here but you can read the post in it’s entirety here. Here are the few important exerpts:

The Ashen Verdict provides reinforcements and material for players to assault Icecrown Citadel, but this support is not endless. Raids will have a limited number of attempts total each week to defeat the four most difficult encounters in Icecrown Citadel: Professor Putricide, Blood-Queen Lana’thel, Sindragosa, and the Lich King. As these boss encounters are unlocked, the number of attempts available per week will increase. The initial number of attempts provided for defeating Professor Putricide is only five. When Blood-Queen Lana’thel unlocks, the amount of total attempts remaining will increase to 10. Then when Sindragosa and the Lich King unlock, 15 total attempts will be available to defeat all four bosses. After a raid has exhausted their attempts for the week, the Ashen Verdict must withdraw their support and the four most difficult bosses all despawn and become unavailable for the week. The limited attempt system is a feature of both Normal and Heroic difficulty

This essentially means that as we reach the tail end of ICC, there will be limited number of attempts to progress to through the last section of ICC and Arthas. The quality of your attempts must be very high as the quantity of attempts is very low. This change is a good change as I feel that instead of seeing the guilds who have the most available time on their hands hitting world firsts, we’ll truly see which guild has the most skill with limited time. It should be a true testiment to skill and preparation.

In the weeks and months after all twelve encounters are unlocked, additional attempts against the final four boss encounters become available. This represents the Ashen Verdict growing more powerful and gaining a stronger foothold in Icecrown Citadel. To further help raids, Varian Wrynn and Garrosh Hellscream will begin to provide assistance by inspiring the armies attacking Icecrown Citadel. This is represented as an additional zone wide spell effect applied to all players that will increase their hit points, damage dealt, and healing done. This effect will also increase in effectiveness over time. Players may opt out of the spell’s effect if they so wish.

This I think is the best change of all which will help a lot of middle of the pack and casual players. Blizzard overall theme to raiding is they want all players to see content and they don’t want to make it something acessible by only the elite. By adding this feature which essentially makes content easier over time, it should make it so that much more people will see the content and also help those middle of the pack guilds clear content that they are stuck on. Who there out there remembers getting stuck in Naxx 60 and Sunwell? (I do!)

There are probably those people out there with an elitist attitude that feel it’s wattering down content but it is important to note that they do have an “off” switch to the assistance so that if a guild so chooses to complete content without that assistance it is still available. As well, it would be my assumption that the assistance will be triggered depending on how fast/slow content is being cleared globally.

In the past 5 years, raiding within WOW has evolved significantly and I think generally for the best. Everyone has to remember that WOW itself is a 5 year old game and while the good ol days were fun, it really was a thing of the past and doesn’t really work in today’s WOW world. I’ve heard a lot of complaints from friends, trade, blogs and so forth about content being too easy and boring but the way I like to see it is, that is the design of the content. Blizzard has purposely designed a multi tier system to ensure more people can experience this content. If they didn’t do that and they had maintained the same strategy as lv 60 raiding, most likely those complainers wouldn’t have been raiding anyways. The new changes should greater enhance the raiding experience while at the same time, creating greater definition between good guilds and the best guilds. I for one am looking forward to see who truly does have the most skilled group of raiders.

Six Digit Bank Account

For those who have been following my blog they’ve probably figured out that I’m somewhat of an achievement whore. What you might not know is that I also collect.. well gold. I’ve been saving up for quite a while now and today I finally reached 6 digits… 100,000g! You might be wondering, how long it took so I took the liberty of taking a /played screenshot. If you break it down by total gold earned per day played it actually works out to 367g per day which is pretty interesting as I def don’t make that much gold a day. (It’s also somewhat embarrassing how many hours I’ve invested into this game).

A logical next question could be, what is the maximum amount of gold that you can have on a character? Well someone’s actually reached it and the answer is 214,748 gold, 36 silver, 48 copper. The article that proves this can be found here on wow.com, quite the large sum and I’m not sure if I’ll ever manage to reach that cap (or if I’d try to) but for now I’m taking a break and buying some useless achievements that are a pure gold sink! There wasn’t anything special about how I made all my gold, I didn’t play the auction hall, it was more just saving over time, being frugal and not spending unless I had to. I always try and do dailies everyday which usually take me about 30 mins of my time but yields greater than 200g a day.

Finally, if I did decide to try and hit the cap, using the rate at which I earn gold (367g per day) it would take… *drumroll* another 312 days played… Probably not a good idea :)

 

Herald of Titans

Since 3.1 information began leaking out (way back when), one of the most appealing challenges (and title rewards) was the Herald of Titans achievement. It was something specifically for 10 man groups and it was designed only for 10 man groups. Being as I am a huge fan of 10 man vs 25 man, I was drooling all over this. The text on this achievement state:

Defeat Algalon the Observer in 10-player mode without anyone in the raid wearing any equipment with an item level higher than is available in 10-player Ulduar.

Unfortunately is very poor is pretty vague as it leaves a lot of open loopholes and a lot of doubt as to what qualifies. The last thing you want to do is kill Algalon and then realize that a specific peice of gear didn’t qualify and you don’t get the achievement. Bornakk later on did provide some further insight on this and added this additional information:

Quote: Bornakk (Source)

To try and clear up any confusion, the planned item level for the achievement in Ulduar 10 is item level 226. This level gear drops from both hard mode Ulduar 10 and regular boss kills in Ulduar 25. So yes, while players who clear Ulduar 25 will get more 226 gear at a faster pace and possibly get this achievement first, it’s an achievement anybody can do, so when a guild that only runs normal Ulduar 10 progresses through the instance and gets the hard modes done, they will be ready to take on this achievement.

Reward: Herald of the Titans (title)

If you primarily run 25 player instances and want to get this achievement/title, just hang on to your Kel’thuzad weapons and regular Ulduar 25 boss kills and you should be good to go.

Still somewhat vague if you ask me, we did our best to try and interpret the text based on that and on any other information we could find. In the end we managed to get the kill and based on our experience I think I can provide a more clearcut answer as to what qualifies.

  1. Any items from Ulduar 10 easy or hard mode are eligible (gear or weapons)
  2. Any items from Ulduar 25 easy are eligible (gear or weapons & hard mode items are not eligible)
  3. Any post 3.1 content gear (Trial of the Champion, Onyxia, Trial of the Crusader etc) is not eligible
  4. Any gear of ilv 226 or weapon of ilv 232 or lower are eligible if they meet criteria 3
  5. Any PVP gear that meets criteria 4 are eligible
  6. Badge gear that meets criteria 4 is eligible

The neat thing about this achievement is, this is still a challenging fight. Doing this in 3.2 gear does trivialize it but seeing as this fight has yet to be nerfed and you are using gear from 3.1 it is essentially like you are doing it back in 3.1 days. For those who are interested in trying to accomplish this achievement, hopefully you (and your group) have saved a lot of your gear from pre 3.2. If you haven’t there are ways to fill those gaps:

  • Run Ulduar 10/25 and pickup gear! (duh)
  • If your guild no longer runs Uld, if you have achievement whores try and run an uld 10 achievement run and fill your slots
  • Look at crafted gear/badge gear, the huge bonus here is after you are done using it you can return it! (within a 2 hr window)
  • Check the AH and look for some blue items (I’m not joking, our priest picked up a blue wand)
  • Heirloom items? Unfortunately I didn’t get to test this but I would assume it would work? (Can anyone confirm?)

It was actually a little tough to find 10 suitable people to make a composition that would work for us. However we did manage to get a pretty solid group but I was forced to (get ready for this…) heal as resto for the fight (*cry*). We couldn’t find a 3rd healer and I almost had a full resto set so I brushed off my resto skills and gave it a whirl. I will say this, the fight is much harder as resto than as a kitty kat. A nice change of pace but not something I would want to do on a regular basis :)

At first we wiped a few times as it took a little bit of time in terms of getting used to the dmg taken by the tanks. The rate of dmg is significantly different in 3.1 gear vs 3.2 gear, as well stars took a bit of timing adjustment as well as the rate at which they went down was slower than they do with 3.2 gear. We ran into situations where they would die to dots slower than expected and a star would blow up just as a cosmic smash went off which resulted in a few bad wipes. In the end it took us about 5 tries and we got our fancy new titles.

As a suggestion to Blizzard (wonder if anyone from Blizzard reads this blog…) going forward, it would be awesome if you could put some sort of check in the achievement. For example if you click on the achievement it gives you a “OK YOU QUALIFY!” type answer or if you don’t qualify it will tell you “GO FIX YOUR SET!”. That way at least you know ahead of time whether your gearset works and you don’t have to suffer through running through the whole fight (or instance if you’re going for dedicated insanity) and realize that 1 peice of gear didn’t qualify. I think that would make it a lot easier for players that are going for these type of achievements.

If anyone has any questions about gear restrictions feel free to drop me a comment and I’ll try and help.

heraldoftitans

Blog Update: I’m working on a pretty neat feat of strength right now which I will share once I obtain it, hopefully within the next 2 weeks or so. Can anyone guess what it might be? :) Stay tuned!

Plug! Coldbear’s Guide: How to Feral DPS

Real life’s been sucking up a lot of time this past week, doing a bit of renovation around the house. I need to find some time to make some updates to 3.3 Kitty Summary and 3.3 Achievement Summary which will hopefully happen before the end of this week.

In the interim, here’s a short post to hold you folks over. Coldbear from US-Ravencrest has made a video that tries to explain and overview the complexities of playing a kitty kat. First I need to apologize to Coldbear for never responding to his request to review his script. I read through half of it made comments and then forgot to go back to it. So sorry for that and glad to see it came out the way it did. I will admit that I have yet to finish watching the whole video but when I do I’ll add some feedback/comments to this post.

Finally, if you were wondering….

3.3 Achievement Summary

As promised, here is my achievement summary as it pertains to 3.3. Remember, for a summary on kitty kats, check 3.3 Kitty Summary for current and all future updates. Up next on my blogging adventures will be a summary of all of Blizzard’s paid services, there are so many it’s starting to get confusing so I’m going to summarize it all for you (and for my own personal reference).

Glory to the Ulduar Raider

Quote by Blizzard (Source)
The same post we made on this a couple months back still applies to the situation. http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=18704852935&sid=1

“Currently we have no plans to remove them in the foreseeable future. However, we will continue to evaluate the situation and if a decision is made to remove these rewards at any point in the future, we’ll provide a one month warning so players will have time to make some final attempts. ”

Well I guess this is a good news and bad news story as I’m somewhat mixed on this. I’ve a big fan of the proto drake system and rewarding of players who push themselves to complete content in unique ways and not just to get purple items. The rewards may only be aesthetic but you also improve your gameplay by doing encounters in different ways which inevitably help you and your guild in the long run as you encounter new content.

Now, personally I have obtained my Rusted Proto-Drake but I Am still working on the Ironbound Proto-Drake. Why? Well quite frankly there’s no rush, with Blizzard making this sort of announcement we’re more focused on working on Anub in TOGC 25. I’m sure once Blizzard gives the 1 month announcement we will rush back to Ulduar to finish it off but at this time there really is no desire to go do that right now.

My beef with the whole thing is, should these protos have been already removed by now? I understand Blizzard is trying to make content and rewards accessible by all but the problem here is you have folks going back into Ulduar with 3.2 gear to steamroll 3.1 content which is significantly easier than if you were to do this with Ulduar only gear. I would qualify as one of these people going back to do somewhat trivialized content and that kind negates the accomplishments of those who did it with much less gear when it was a lot more challenging.

Glory to the Icecrown Raider

As you can see (if you click the links) they show the Ulduar achievements as a placeholder, but this confirms that there will once again be new drakes to obtain come 3.3.

New Titles/Achievements

A bunch of new titles and Realm First! feat of strengths, it looks like they’re not finalized completely finalized yet but this is what is available so far.

  • Bane of the Fallen King – Defeat the Lich King in Icecrown Citadel in 10-player heroic mode. Title Reward: Bane of the Fallen King
  • The Light of Dawn – Defeat the Lich King in Icecrown Citadel in 25-player heroic mode. Title: the Light of Dawn
  • The Frozen Throne (25 player) – Defeat the Lich King in Icecrown Citadel in 25-player mode. Title: The Kingslayer
  • %s the Frost Ender – Reward of The Frost Ender (10-Man)
  • The Ashen Verdict – Earn exalted status with the Ashen Verdict. Title Reward: Of the Ashen Verdict

And of course the best new achievement/feat of strength coming in 3.3

Feat of Strength

It’s Over Nine Thousand!
Earn more than 9000 achievement points.

Kalu’ak Fishing Derby

Quote from: Slorkuz (Source)

Coming in patch 3.3.0, the esteemed tuskarr of the Kalu’ak are proud to introduce to Northrend the Kalu’ak Fishing Derby, a test of fishing skill with a healthy dash of luck! Every Wednesday beginning at 8 PM players can try to catch the elusive Blacktip Shark. Elder Clearwater sits in Dalaran for one hour awaiting the return of the quickest, most experienced fisher to bring him the first catch of the night. This champion fisher will be rewarded in-kind for his or her fishing expertise. Those who aren’t able to return with the first catch will still receive just reward for getting the Blacktip Shark to Elder Clearwater before he takes his leave.

It is said that these sharks’ favorite meal are the bite-sized Pygmy Suckerfish. Perhaps a hook in their waters will do the trick. Because of the increased concentration of fish, you have an increased chance to catch a shark from fishing pools. Don’t forget, in patch 3.3.0 you never catch trash from fishing pools, regardless of skill.

The derby winner will receive a substantial chunk of experience (or money at maximum level) and gain 5000 reputation with the Kalu’ak. In addition, the champion will be given a choice between two unique rewards:

Dread Pirate Ring
Binds on Account
Unique-Equipped
Finger
+34 Stamina
Requires level 1 to 80 (80)
Equip: Improves critical strike rating by 53.
Equip: Improves hit rating by 29.
Equip: Experience gained from killing monsters and completing quests increased by 5%.

Boots of the Bay
Binds When Picked Up
Feet
Requires Fishing (200)
Equip: Increased Fishing +15.
Use: Whisks you away to the finest drinking establishment in Booty Bay. (1 Day Cooldown)

To keep it interesting, the Achievement “Master Angler of Stranglethorn” has been changed to “Master Angler of Azeroth.” This can be earned by winning either the Kalu’ak Fishing Derby or the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza.

Please bear in mind this feature will be undergoing testing on our Public Test Realms and is subject to change prior to the release of patch 3.3.0

Ok so what is up with having this at 8pm on Wednesday? A lot of people participate in raiding and 8pm on a Wednesday is clearly a prime time to do so. Why would Blizzard schedule this at a time that makes it impossible for raiders to go after this? Would make a lot more sense if it was set at say.. 6pm on a weekday? or perhaps on Saturday at 2 so that fishing is done during the day during the weekends? Both rewards are fantastic though, the Boots of the Bay will fit nicely with my Argent Cursader’s Tabard, Blessed Medallion of Karabor and Teleport: Moonglade completing my portal set to access Northrend, Outland, Kalimdor AND Eastern Kingdoms :)

Cross Server LFG Achievements (Updated 11/5/09)

  • Looking for More – Use the Dungeon tool to finish random heroic dungeons until you have grouped with 10 random players total.
  • Looking for Many – Use the Dungeon tool to finish random heroic dungeons until you have grouped with 50 random players total. Title Reward – the Patient.
  • Looking for Multitudes – Use the Dungeon tool to finish random heroic dungeons until you have grouped with 100 random players total.

Not only do you get a title for doing random heroics, you also get a new pet by the name of Perky the Pug. Not sure which achievement the pet will be tied to but considering that the title is tied to 50 random dungeons, I would assume that the pet would be tied to 100 random dungeons. I won’t lie, the thought of having to do random heroics with people I don’t know is scary.


I’m Retired!

As of 04/04/2011, I have officially retired from WOW. This blog will remain as a archived resource for those who know that CAT DRUID IS 4 FITE!

About Me

A blog for the ramblings and thoughts of Vallen, a full time raiding cat druid from Auchindoun-US with a passion for raiding & achievements. An avid wow player since 2004.

For any questions or concerns contact me via comments or e-mail

Achievement Points
12250
Flying Mount
Mimiron's Head
Mount
Amani War Bear
Shirt
Master Builder's Shirt
Title
Commander
Tabard
Tabard of the Lightbringer

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