It has been a very long time coming (thanks my slow-ass levelling skills) but this weekend I finally finished collecting all of the class mounts. I’m officially finished! All up there are 32 class mounts, with some classes having only 1, and others having 4. So whilst I was able to unlock the main mount for a bunch of classes, it meant getting the artifact and getting Power Ascended on it in order to unlock other colour variants. Not overly difficult, just a little time consuming.

All class mounts

Gotta say, even though there were some class mount quests that I didn’t like at all, the whole concept of getting a unique class mount has been AWESOME and I’m so glad Blizzard implemented it. Even though the levelling took a little while, I still enjoyed it all.

As for favourites? I’d say Death Knight, Shaman, Priest and Mage had some of my favourite mount quest lines, for sure. Oh, Hunter was quite good, too. Least favourite was easily Warrior. Just felt really boring to me (but that could be because I think Odyn is a giant penis and I don’t like having to do things for him!).

So this is the end result! Feeling pretty chuffed to have gotten through it all with plenty of time to spare. That’s another thing ticked off my bucket list – woo hoo!! Now I’m working on collecting the missing pets, which are from the pet dungeon and the Argus pet battle achievement (thankfully have managed to get all the other).

Death Knight

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Demon Hunter

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Druid

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Hunter

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Mage

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Monk

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Paladin

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Priest

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Rogue

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Shaman

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Warlock

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Warrior

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What a big weekend! Achievements and mounts and pets – it all happened!

~*~*~*~Note there are some class campaign and class mount story spoilers in this post for Death Knight and Rogue.~*~*~*~

This weekend I managed to tick of a lot of things from my bucket list, and even a few that weren’t there.

First up, my little warrior dinged 110.

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She’s still got a long way to go to get through her campaign, but at least for now the “hard” part is done. This just leaves my demon hunter to get to 110, then all classes will be at max level!

After completing the Death Knight campaign last weekend, it was time to get the class mount. I have to agree with the general cohort here and say that the Death Knight campaign is definitely one of the best, if not the best campaigns of all the classes. They nailed the class fantasy with this story. I felt down right evil throughout most of it, and was squirming in my seat when I was being asked to do some pretty wretched things. It was brilliant.

Then yesterday I went off to do the class mount story, and that was also brilliant. I really enjoyed it! It’s down right creepy having the Lich King constantly pushing me to do evil things in my ear… but do them, I must. For the mounts, of course!

I really enjoyed the scenario for this quest, as it took us to a place that we’ve not really been to before (whereas most other mount stories just take us to old world places. Which is great! But this was a nice change). The cinematic at the end was absolutely BRILLIANT. I got some amazing screen shots of my DK in that! The Death Knight stuff really is excellent, so if you’re even a little bit curious about it, level one up and go for it!

 

Today (Sunday) it was my rogue’s turn to complete her mount quest. The Rogue class campaign was ok… the trouble is that I just really don’t like rogues as a class, so the overall experience was tainted for me. Levelling her was so painful because I died a lot, and I just didn’t find it fun. Don’t get me wrong, it was still interesting, but let me put it this way- I didn’t take any screenshots of the campaign at all. That’s how uch fun I didn’t have doing it.

I did, however, take some screenshots of the mount campaign because that was quite good. Although truth be told, felt a little rushed. The basic premise is that we go do a favour for Ravenholdt, and he gives us a mount in return. The quest line really has nothing to do with the mount (whereas most of the other campaigns make the acquisition of the mount a big deal). Still, the quest line had me sneaking in to Horde cities to kill random targets. Which was tough because I don’t pvp, and these were not instances of the capital cities- it was live. So not only did I have to sneak past guards and what not, I had to dodge other players, too. I did alright, though, and got through it relatively well. Which is great, because truth be told, the rogue class mount is right up there on my list of favourites. I absolutely LOVE the raven models. And the fact that there’s four of them makes it even better!

 

It was after getting the first rogue mount that I started looking at my mount count, and adding up how many I had left. With the first raven, it brought me to 294, and the second raven (for having concordance on my outlaw spec) brought me to 295. Only 5 mounts needed to get to 300 for Lord of the Reins achievement and mount. Ok, I can do this! I quickly did a world quest for some Artifact Power to get my Assassination artifact concordance as well. Done – 296. The fourth was subtlety, which I didn’t even have the artifact for. So off I went to unlock the artifact, then went an killed the world boss for enough AP in one go to get concordance rank 2! And that made mount 297.

So then I had a think about which other classes had mounts for specs that I didn’t play. First one that came to mind was paladin – I didn’t have the tank artifact or mount. So off I went to get that artifact. Killed the world boss again and bamn! Concordance and mount for ret paladin done- 298. (I also discovered there are glyphs that allow me to change my Divine Steed ability to use one of the class mounts instead of the racial mount. This was an AWESOME discovery as I really hate the giant elek I run around on mid-fight!)

My next thought was my warlock. The mounts were a little different for this one- the first mount you just get for completing the campaign. The second you can buy with order hall resources, and I’d already done that too. The last mount, however, was a drop from a rare on the Broken Shore. I’d been stopping by each day waiting for him to spawn without any luck. Figured I’d see how I go again today… wouldn’t you know- there was the rare! I killed him and BAMN! Mount 299 acquired! ONE TO GO!

I was thinking and thinking and then I remembered my hunter! I still hadn’t unlocked the Survival artifact, nor its mount. So I went to unlock survival. I did it as BM as much as I could before swapping over. Was a little tricky in some parts, but got it done. Again, went and killed the world boss for 5 mil AP and there it was- mount 300!! Except for some reason it didn’t ding on my hunter. It happened when I swapped over to my paladin instead. Lord of the Reins is finally complete! I really didn’t think I’d get this done for a bit longer yet. But I’m very pleased that I have. 🙂

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LORD OF THE REINS!

Because I was on a roll with everything, I went and unlocked all the artifacts I hadn’t done yet that awarded a toy or pet from Power Ascended. The best one was the Death Knight, as there was an adorable whelping for each spec that I picked up!

All in all it was a very busy but productive weekend. I only have the warrior class campaign and mount campaign to do, as well as finishing off levelling my Demon Hunter to 110 and doing all her campaign and mount quest line. I’m almost there! 😀

By the way, if you’re wanting to find out which classes have bonus pets or toys or have more than one class mount, check out the Class Mounts guide on wowhead.

One of the more recent secrets discovered by the amazing Secret Finding Discord is a story line involving a pet from Argus named Uuna. Instead of giving a mount or a pet or achievement, this quest line is simply story. Utterly gut wrenching, heart breaking story. It’s beautiful and tragic and hopeful and perfect.

Here’s my adventure.

~*~*~This post contains spoilers. If you want to discover the Uuna storyline on your own, please do not proceed~*~*~

The whole process, outlining all of the steps to complete this story line is on wowhead right here.

Uuna is a companion pet that drops from a rare mob on the Antoran Wastes on Argus, called The Many-Face Devourer. Unlike most other rares, the Many-faced Devourer is spawned with a ritual that you perform by combining a bunch of bones found around Antoran Wastes. (see the guide) She’s not a guaranteed drop so you might need to try this multiple times (thankfully you only need to get the bones once! Each other time you just perform the ritual).

Once you do get lucky enough for Uuna to drop, the story begins. The quest line starts when Uuna starts talking to you. And it’s heartbreaking immediately…

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Mama? Mama! Why is it so dark? It’s scary here…
Can anybody hear me?
C-c-cold…

After a few emotes are performed with Uuna, she says the following…

Are you sad too? Are you lost like me?
At least we’re together now. We just… don’t know where we are.
But you’re my friend, and I know it’s gonna be okay.
I wish I could see better. It’s always so dark here!

I mean twist my heart much??

So we are off to take her somewhere there is light. First attempt is to visit A’dal in Shattrath City, but A’dal is a little too bright…

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We instead find a better place in Ashenvale…

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Off we go to find Nuu. This one took me a few times, because we had to goblin glide to two islands in the air off the edge of Mac’ree. I died a lot hehe. But I got there in the end, and Uuna got her sweet little bear, Nuu.

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Next we went to Bloodmyst Isle to get Uuna a magical wand, because “Bad guys really hate that.” Too cute!! ❤

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And then lastly it’s a flower crown, because that’s essential for fighting the dark. WoWScrnShot_033118_212809.jpg

I mean, look how freakin’ adorable she is!! ❤ ❤ ❤

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But then things started getting pretty dark. Literally. Void tendrils come and take her away.

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After Uuna is taken away, she can’t be summoned again. We have to find her. To do so, we go have a chat to the spirit healer who gives us the ability to see into the spirit realm. (I got confused here- there is no actual buff, and nothing looks like the spirit realm. This step just needs to be followed in order to do the next one).

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We now go to Dragonblight, where a Shard is in the eye socket of a dragon skull in Dragonblight. Upon clicking this, we are taken to a scary spirit realm that is extremely dark and ominous. In the distance I can see Uuna, though, so at least I know where she is!

We learn that this happens to Uuna a fair bit. No matter how hard she tries to get away, the darkness keeps taking her, over and over again. She’s completely alone.

Until now. I have never been so protective of a bunch of pixels in my life, and I am determined to save her! Out of nowhere, the fire goes out, and Uuna becomes terrified… the darkness is coming for her. I have to protect her.

Guys, this part was genuinely terrifying. Look at what is hunting her down!! 😥

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These hideous beasts are circling around, getting closer and closer to Uuna. I’m running as fast as I can to keep them back… poor Uuna is getting more and more terrified, but is bravely fighting them back with her sparkle wand. But they just keep coming…

But poor Uuna just gets so scared (and holy crap so am I, these things are terrifying!!!)

Friend? Are you still there? I’m scared!
I–I can’t do it! I just wanna go home!
Uuna wraps her arms around herself and begins to cry.

It’s at this point that I stop everything, run to Uuna and /hug her. It’s knowing that she’s not alone that gives Uuna the courage she needed to kick some serious butt…

She obliterates them all!!! And I’m so proud of her.

And then this happens…

This is the full dialogue of what she says:

F-friend, you’re here! You didn’t leave me!
Mama told me the Light would always find me. That’s you, friend. You’re my light!
And as long as my light is with me, there’s no way the darkness can win!
My light is super strong!
I’M NOT GONNA BE AFRAID ANYMORE!
I am ready. Let us begin the ritual.
The darkness is gone! I can see!
Oh, friend! We did it! We beat them!
What… what’s happening?
The light… it’s telling me to follow it…
Mama! Papa! They’re waiting for me!
Wait a sec…
There’s so much I never got to do. So many places I never got to see…
Is it okay if I stay with my friend? For just a little while longer?
Friend! The Light says I can stay! Woo-hoo!
Tell Mama and Papa I miss them, and… and I’ll see them soon!
Okay, friend, let’s get outta here! We have so many places to go!
Uuna hugs you.

Right in the damn heart.

But the story doesn’t end there.

Uuna chose to stay behind so that she could see the world. So of course we needed to make that a reality for her. And so begins a world tour of Azeroth (and beyond) with our new best friend. Who is just the sweetest darling. ❤

At the end, Uuna is so grateful for the time we have spent together. She’s so happy, that she gives me a hug. And this is the reward. Now, when Uuna is out, if I /hug her, she will hug me back. And it’s beautiful.

The whole storyline is amazing to do, even if you’ve read all of the text of the story line, it’s still worth doing. It will pull your heart to pieces. Just beautiful, and very well done by Blizzard.

xo

 

For the past few weeks/months a few people in guild have been trying to get a group together to work on getting The Chosen achievement. For this achievement, you need to complete the Trial of Valor on mythic difficulty without dying. That is, defeating Odyn, Guarm and Helya on mythic, and still being alive at the end of it to tell the tale.

We decided to try this when we outgeared it a fair bit, to give us a better chance of succeeding. Which brings us to today. Tonight was the 3rd night we had tried to complete (my second night, as I missed the first one). Most of the time people died to silly mechanics like orbs on Helya which, even with loads of gear, can one-shot people if they’re not careful.

Tonight, we lost one person to Guarm (I believe they just got a bit too close to the boss and got one-shot), and we lost another to Helya (got hit by an orb that hurt for a bucket load). 18/20 isn’t too bad, though!

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From this achievement, we received the title “… the Chosen” and a transmog set. I’m not the biggest fan of the transmog set, to be honest. But you know me and transmog- got to have them all!

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For me, it was more about getting that title. I’ve wanted it since I heard it, and am awfully glad to have gotten it. There will be more runs in the future for alts to get the transmog sets on other armour types… I’ve just got to decide which one I want next! 🙂

 

Content from cindersays.net.

~*This post contains pictures and information relating to the Battle for Azeroth Alpha. If you don’t want to know or see anything relating to Alpha, please turn away now~*

EDIT: MArch 16 – a new build went up last night with a couple of changes that will hopefully address some points below, so expect a follow up post in the future! Also, had a lovely reader remind me of the existence of Frost Shock, so I need to look at how I’m incorporating that into the rotation, as that might help with somethings, too.

Battle for Azeroth Alpha has been out for a little while now. I’ve been super lucky to get an invitation to the Alpha, so have been spending the past few weekends slowly making my way through the content, giving feedback and comments and reporting bugs and what not, to try and find all the little things that might need fixing before the game goes live. I’ve been streaming my adventures (you can check out some of the videos over on my twitch channel twitch.tv/cinder_streams). All I can say is BfA is going to kick BUTT. It’s flippin’ STUNNING.

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THERE’S A RAINBOW!!!!! ❤

Anyways….

So, of course I’ve been doing all of this initial levelling as a pandaren shaman on the Alliance side. I’ve been trying out elemental and a little of restoration. I wanted to write a little bit about the elemental side of things first, because that’s what I’ve been doing most of all.

NOTE: I am absolutely not a theorycrafter. I don’t sim anything, I go by gut, and am not at all an expert on elemental shamans in any way, shape or form. And obviously as this is Alpha, everything I write here today may be completely different tomorrow. 

For the most part, elemental shamans haven’t changed an awful lot. A lot of the same spells and talents are there, just shifted around a bit. (You can see all the spell/talent changes on wowhead here.) There are some spells we have back (welcome back Tremor Totem and Earth Shield!!!), but the overall approach is the same:

Cast spells to generate maelstrom

Cast spells to spend maelstrom

But whilst the approach is the same, getting there is a little different, and it’s lead to a very different, much slower elemental shaman, with very little variance and choice in game play.

Flame Shock

Firstly, Flame Shock is back to having a cooldown of 6 seconds, and is a baseline of 15 seconds on the target with no maelstrom cost. (i.e. It no longer increases duration based on maelstrom spent, as Flame Shock no longer costs maelstrom to cast. It’s worth noting that wowhead currently says that it does change the duration of the dot based on maelstrom, however in game this is not the case.). On the plus side you can cast Flame Shock on the pull (though you could do this in Legion too). The down side is that you can’t multi-dot more than 2 targets anymore. Unfortunately this has sometimes meant that Lava Surge procs have gone to waste on a non-Flame Shocked target, as the target with Flame Shock on them has died before the cooldown on the spell came up again to cast it on a new target, followed by the proc. This might not sound like a big deal, but Lava Burst does almost the same amount of damage as Lightning Bolt does without a crit and only generates 2 more maelstrom for its trouble, so you really want it to crit to make it worth your while.

Essentially this just means that we need to more careful about which targets get Flame Shock on them, making sure they’re going to stay alive for the duration of the spell so that we have a debuffed target to push Lave Surge procs into. The cooldown on Flame Shock also means that we’re getting fewer Lava Surge procs overall, which means getting those crit-buffed hits even more important.

So far, I miss being able to multi-dot adds for the multiple procs of Lava Surge… which is probably the reason they took that ability away. It’s just something I’m going to have to adjust to. I will say, though, that I do miss the ability to control the length of the dot on a target by choosing to spend extra maelstrom on a longer dot. It made me feel like I had some control over my spell choices.

Earth Shock

Earth Shock has also been reverted to an earlier version of itself, with the scaled damage based on maelstrom spent affect no longer in place. Instead, Earth Shock costs 60 maelstrom, and does a flat rate of damage. This has been the hardest adjustment for me. Two things that bother me with this reversion.

Firstly, a personal preference – when a mob is about to die, I would rather cast an instant 10 maelstrom cost earth shock than spend almost 2 seconds casting Lightning Bolt. Lightning Bolt is overkill at that point, and feels like a waste of time. So for me it makes killing mobs slower (especially if they manage to interrupt your cast.)

Secondly, tying in to the set maelstrom cost, sometimes it feels like it takes a REALLY long time to get enough maelstrom generated to use Earth Shock. And what’s worse- it’s extremely underwhelming. When you’re standing there not getting Lava Surge procs and just casting Lightning Bolt for ages, it’s a real slap in the face when you finally get that moment to cast Earth Shock and it hits like a wet noodle. Damage aside, it doesn’t have a satisfying animation or anything associated with it. (This animation has been true for Legion, but at least on live Earth Shock can hit like a truck, so it still feels satisfying).

Overall, Earth Shock is my biggest gripe for the class at the moment, and where I would really like to see some changes made, if possible.

Maelstrom generation

As I mentioned in the Earth Shock section, it can take a long time to generate maelstrom. I find the vast majority of my time is spent casting Lightning Bolt (in between Healing Surges to keep myself alive!) which, to be honest, just gets a bit boring. Part of the issue with lack of Flame Shocks giving Lava Surge procs is that it contributes to this slower maelstrom generation… it’s a vicious cycle. And again, once you spent all this time and effort building your maelstrom, to have the “finisher” be underwhelming just doesn’t make it feel worth it.

The talent Aftershock helps with this – Your spells refund 30% of all Maelstrom spent on them – but it does come at the cost of being in place of Storm Elemental and Liquid Magma Totem, and if we were in a single target fight, we’d be choosing Storm Elemental, because building up to a weak Earth Shock isn’t going to be as strong (though of course this would need to be simmed- getting out a few more Earth Shocks may end up being a damage increase over the damage

Another new talent that has come in, Molten Fury (Lava Surge now also causes Lava Burst to generate 50% more Maelstrom) may also be a nice help, though it would rely on being able to get lots of Lava Surge procs to be useful. Going against this talent most of all, though, is that it’s on the same line now as Elemental Blast, which is so embedded in elemental shaman gameplay it should just be baseline now.  (side note: Elemental Blast is still very satisfying, and at the moment does some nice damage. If this is reduced, however, this talent line will need some thought).

Lastly there is High Voltage, which is most likely the best choice to help generate more maelstrom – Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning can now cause a second Elemental Overload. The downside to this talent is that it’s not consistent, it’s RNG based, so the proc rate will determine how effective this will be (Elemental Overload helping to generate additional maelstrom through the extra hit it does).

It comes down to this: there are now only 2 spells for the spec that cost maelstrom – Earth Shock and Earthquake – there is no variance in their strength based on the maelstrom spent, and it takes a long time to be able to cast them at all, so they really need to be worth it.

AoE

Chain Lightning is everyone’s favourite spell in game (right?), and it’s still beautiful in BfA. But the damage reduction done to it is striking. Currently on live Chain Lightning hits for just a little less than Lightning Bolt. On Alpha, it hits for half the damage of Lightning Bolt, and generates less maelstrom per target hit. What I’ve noticed so far is that if you’ve got 5 mobs or more, this is fine. However anything less and you wonder why you’re there at all, and start cursing your fat panda butt for pulling those extra mobs. (Also, you’re probably dead because you’re so damn squishy).

Then there’s earthquake. Earthquake has had its cost increased to 75 maelstrom, making it pretty expensive to cast. Thankfully (at the moment) it seems to be worth it. But again, because of the high cost, you’re going to want a decent number of mobs (assuming Earth Shock gets some better damage going on).

For the most part, I found it difficult to AoE effectively during levelling unless there were about 5 “normal” health mobs. Chain Lightning + Earthquake was usually enough to get them down reasonably well. However anything from 2-4 mobs, or if there was an elite thrown in there at all, it was actually quite difficult to deal with, and would generally kill me. The maelstrom would take too long to generate so earthquake would take longer to get down, by which time I was pretty damaged myself. (Tell you what, I’ve never used my stun totem so much before!!!). Liquid Magma Totem is still available as a talent, which is nice. Again, though, it’s going to be better with large mob sizes rather than small. So we fine ourselves in this weird place with mobs of 2-4.

Movement

I’ve griped a lot in the past about how much movement really impacts being an elemental shaman. In fights with movement in them, our dps is punished pretty badly. In the past Blizz have done things to help deal with this: we’ve been able to cast Lightning Bolt on the move, or, as in the case of Legion, our Shocks not having cooldowns or maelstrom cost limitations; it wasn’t always ideal to reapply a flame shock dot on a target if it were a lower maelstrom, but it still felt like you were able to do something as you were moving from point A to point B so that was nice.

In Alpha, we have nothing that can be cast on the move unless Earth Shock has been charged up or Flame Shock is off cooldown. Relying on Lava Surge procs is also down given how much harder it is to multi-dot mobs. And to rub salt into the wound, Gust of Wind has been removed as a talent (zomg not my fart talent!!), so we can’t even quickly dash to get to Point B so we can start casting again. For me personally, I can deal with one or two of these things being in place, but it does feel quite punishing having all of these things combined.

There are talents that can help with this a bit, but it does lock us in to them if there’s a big chunk of movement. You could take Spirit Wolf (While transformed into a Ghost Wolf, you gain 5% increased movement speed and 5% damage reduction every 1 sec, stacking up to 4 times). There’s also Stormkeeper, which is the watered down Elemental Shaman artifact replacement talent – Charge yourself with lightning, causing your next 2 Lightning Bolts or Chain Lightnings to be instant cast and trigger an Elemental Overload on every target. If you know damage is coming, Stormkeeper can be pre-cast to assist with this. And whilst this does sound very good and reasonable, the kicker is that it’s on the same talent line as Ascendance, so you loose a big CD to gain essentially 2 casts on the run.

Something has to give here, though. Having to choose movement talents over CDs is a bit of a blow, really.

On being squishy

Oh my goodness the squishiness! To be fair, this is usually an issue when levelling as elemental shamans at the best of times. Except at the moment, because damage is underwhelming, it feels worse because things have the time to actually kill you. It’s extremely frustrating. It does feel like I spend more of my time healing myself than damaging enemies, which makes for very depressing game play. It doesn’t feel satisfying when you defeat a boss; you just feel bloody relieved that it didn’t kill you first. Like I mentioned above, having stun totems are very helpful, for sure, and having Earth Shield is nice, too! But I still die a lot.

Overall thoughts

At the moment, I’m not thrilled. The changes (minor as they may seem) when added together have made the spec feel extremely slow, and very punishing if we need to move. The slow maelstrom generation, and the lack of ability to just ping off the last bit of health on a mob makes the overall gameplay quite stilted- I’m spending far too much of my time casting Lightning Bolt before I’m able to do anything else. And that just gets boring.

When it boils down to it, the changes have made it so that the class no longer has choices to make when playing. I don’t get to choose between, for example, putting a longer dot on a target or doing a big Earth Shock; I don’t get to choose if I’m going to earthquake these 3 mobs or dot them up with Flame Shocks first to try and force some Lava Surge procs; I don’t get to choose if I’m going to drop a little Flame Shock on my target as I move- I’m either going to do nothing at all while we move, or I’m going to stand still and piss my healers off by finishing a cast before moving at all.

What I would to see is some flexibility put back into the spec. I want to think a bit about what I’m doing while I’m playing. I don’t want to feel like I’m spamming ‘1’ all the time for Lightning Bolt. I want to feel strong; I want to feel like my spell choices matter.

Don’t get me wrong, none of this is the end of the world… but it does have me looking at other dps classes kinda seriously for the first time since becoming a shaman, and I really don’t like that.

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So darn beautiful

 

So those are my thoughts at the moment on Elemental Shamans. What do you think of the changes? Do they suit you? Or would you like to see some different changes made?

 

I’m not very good at saving money in real life, but I’m a little better at it in WoW (mostly because we don’t have to pay rent or anything in game hehe). I’m not the greatest at making gold at all; I don’t have the time or the patience. But I do make enough to support my raiding requirements, and every now and again am able to keep some extra aside.

There’s a world quest on the Broken Shore that Khadgar gives us, to find some Kirin Tor Coins that he’s managed to drop on the ground. When we find one, we get a very short buff that leaves a sparkling rainbow trail behind us when we walk. It’s the most beautiful effect, and have wished for a toy that would give that same buff. Turns out there is one.

The Mad Merchant is a rare NPC spawn in Dalaran, and oh boy does this guy clean out your bank. He only sells 4 items, the cheapest of which is 250,000 gold (yes, a quarter of a million). Thankfully, that cheapest item is the Prismatic Bauble, and it gives that same buff from the world quest, only this time it lasts a little bit longer, and can be used every 2 minutes.

I LOVE IT.

I took my little Void Elf Warlock out for a run in the snow with it- isn’t is beautiful?!

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So now I’m broke again… but I think it’s worth it 😀

xo

I have been working on this darn post for weeks now and haven’t gotten around to finishing it. I should have added “write my bucket list post” to my bucket list. Lame.

So 2018 is a big year for many reasons. The most obvious being that World of Warcraft’s next expansion, Battle for Azeroth will be coming out. awww yeah!

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BfA’s release this year actually makes a bucket list a little tricky to do, because the release date will impact just how much I can get through. For the purposes of this bucket list, I’m going to assume that BfA will release on September 21st (which is the latest it can release, according to the pre-order). Obviously if BfA comes out a lot earlier, I’m not going to be able to achieve everything I want to… but we’ll see how I go. So, on with the list!

Make a list of every pet and mount available in Legion and get any that are missing (That are not RNG dependent).

To be fair, I think I’m most of the way through this, though there are obvious mounts that I am missing. Namely the pvp prestige mounts. There is at least 1 that I absolutely definitely have to get, and maybe even a 2nd if there is time. With the pets, I need to get Uuna and do her little quest line. I also need to get the new Mailemental pet, and need to finish the meta pet battle achievement on Argus (which thankfully is a lot easier than Family Familiar, but will still take a decent amount of time).

Finish getting all of the class mounts

At the time of writing this I have warlock, warrior, rogue, demon hunter and death knight left to go. The warlock is at 110, she’s just very slowly making her way through the rest of the order hall campaign, and will then move on to the class mount quests. The Rogue is at 108, so not too far off dinging (slow as she is) but my warrior, demon hunter and death knight I’ve not even started. And given how busy I’ve been lately, this is actually going to be a bit of a challenge to get done. But I will!

Get more Mage Tower appearances

When Battle for Azeroth launches, most of the artifact skins will remain. That is except for the Mage Tower challenge appearances, and the 15+ mythic keystone skin. Which means I have some work ahead of me! Below is a list of all the challenge appearances I want, in order of preference. The enhancement shaman one I’ve just been lazy about. Disc priest I’m just crap at… the rest I haven’t even bothered trying yet. But I do love their appearances so would really like to be able to get them done before they go away. The 15+ skin I’m less concerned about- that one would just be nice to have. 🙂

  • Enhancement shaman
  • Discipline priest
  • Holy paladin
  • Frost Mage
  • Arcane Mage
  • Retribution paladin
  • Restoration druid
  • Protection paladin (though I honestly don’t see this one happening at all)
  • maaaaybe affliction warlock

The one thing I am very glad about is that the Balance of Power appearances don’t appear to be going away, so I’ve decided that I won’t focus on doing those on any toons yet. That will be a future Cinder problem.

Stream more

I’m cheating a little with this one, because technically I’ve already “achieved” this, but I do want to stream more. I also want to be putting together more videos (though I would also like either some decent video editing software for my PC, or a better place to put my Mac so that I can do my editing work more easily!). I’m enjoying streaming, even though it kinda goes against all of my personality traits. But it’s nice having people around when we kill bosses 🙂

So that’s my list. I looks short, but each of those things is pretty time consuming. I’m genuinely concerned about my ability to get through all of these, given that March is hot on our heels, and let’s face it, Battle for Azeroth is more than likely going to come out earlier than September 21. But we will see how I go!

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How is it that a month has passed since I wrote in here? Usually this happens when I’ve spent a lot of time out of the game and have just been busy with work, but that’s not the case this time (although the being busy with work is definitely true!).

Anyways, it’s been awhile, so I thought I’d best do a catch-up post to let you know what I’ve been up to and what I have planned.

Alpha

So first up, probably the biggest reason I’ve been writing less in here is that I have been streaming quite a bit. It initially started to stream our raid nights, which was fun and all. But then this happened:

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For reals! This was me at work when I got the email. Followed shortly after by tears.

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I’ve been spending a bit of time in the Alpha running around and seeing how things are, reporting bugs and typos in quests and what not. And I’ve been streaming it, which has been quite fun. I don’t have a lot of viewers on raid nights because it’s a silly time in the US, but when I stream on weekends there are more people around, and it’s really enjoyable. I’m not a great streamer; I don’t show my face (because no-one needs to see that!) and I ramble a lot and get distracted, but hopefully it’s a little entertaining to people.

The other weekend I had a great time hanging out in alpha with some lovely friends in chat. We go to experience a terrifying quest line that just freaked me out so badly. It was scary and hilarious. I made a video about it, which was fun! It’s over here on YouTube if you’re interested. (WARNING: contains Alpha spoilers).

Streaming

Between streaming all the raids and now the Alpha as well, I’ve been clocking up a decent amount of streaming time. And somehow have managed to get a reasonable number of followers and viewers… enough that this ended up happening the other day:

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This basically means I’m able to have subscribers and stuff, which is kinda cool! I don’t actually expect this to go anywhere, but it is kinda fun 🙂 I celebrated by setting up a new overlay for my stream and making some new panels to match. I’m trying to get better at streaming, but I know I’ll never be anything interesting. I’m just doing it for the fun 🙂 If you want to stop by I’m over at twitch.tv/cinder_streams. (note: I will always say if I’m streaming Alpha so that if you’re not wanting spoilers, you can avoid them).

Podcasting

I KNOW! This was completely random, but we’ve started up Battletagged again. This time it’s going to be a lot more casual, with episodes being recorded when we have something to say (rather than trying to stick to a strict schedule). It’s just me and Neuro at the moment. We talk about it a bit more in our first episode back. We’ve got a new website address – Battletagged.com.au – but everything else should be the same. We’re back up on Stitcher and iTunes. Have a listen! And if there’s anything you’d like us to talk about on the show, let us know. 🙂

Raiding

Raiding has been going ok. We had a rough time with Kin’garoth as well… for awhile we just weren’t really using a strat that worked for us (one of the challenges of there being so many different strats available for a boss!) In the end we got there though, with a strat that seems weird, but it’s what works for us, so that’s good!

After that it was Varimathras which we managed to get down really quickly actually.  (I still need to make a kill video for it- oops!!) This week we went back to do a re-clear which took us awhile, but we do have a whole night to work on Coven tonight, which is going to drive us up the wall, but should be do-able either this week or next week.

Work

So real-life stuff. Well, I got a promotion- huzzah! That was nice. But I has also meant that my workload has increased quite substantially. At the moment I don’t mind tooooo much.. it’s been really great the past week actually because part of my work requires us to do public consultation to get feedback on what we’re doing, and then check in again with everyone at the end to make sure we did what people wanted. I’m at that end part now, with checking in, and I’ve been getting some really lovely messages back, saying how impressed they are with our work etc. It makes all the extra hours worth it, you know? (That and I do honestly feel like the work I do has the ability to do some good in a small way, so that’s great too). Anyway, all of this has meant super busy days at work, which some people have noticed because I’ve also been neglecting twitter!

Anyways, that’s where things are at at the moment. I have to finish off my bucket list blog post (which is part way written… but might be December by the time I finish writing it! lol) I also want to do some posts about the alpha and the class changes and things like that… I just keep running out of time to do all the things I want to do. Gah! Why is sleep a thing, eh? Or maybe I could just be younger so I could deal with having less sleep. I hope everyone reading is doing well. I promise to keep trying to write more often!

xo

~*~*~ Warning: this post contains spoilers about early Legion storyline, and end of expansion story line. If you have not defeated Argus yet and don’t want to be spoiled, please do not read any further.~*~*~ 

I have to preface this post by saying that prior to Legion, I hadn’t really given Malfurion and Tyrande much thought other than Tyrande’s dress is super pretty, and Malfurion sleeps an awful lot. I always found their relationship a little odd (possessive? super co-dependant?), but that was about it. Come Legion though… well, I think they’re just some of the most selfish characters in Warcraft and really don’t want to be helping them with anything else in future.

I know, unpopular opinion much?

Here’s the thing- I find both of them immensely hypocritical, self-involved twits. The pair are so far up themselves that they don’t see there’s a whole world of existence outside of their tree and the Emerald Dream. I pretty much blame Malfurion for what happened to Ysera in Val’Sharah, Tyrande spends most of her time pining for, or trying to find, Malfurion, and both of them have done catastrophic things that have changed the fate of hundreds of thousands of beings.

Which is what it is (which is in the past), but you’re probably asking me what tipped me over the edge. Well, I’ll tell you- it was their complete and utter disinterest in Illidan’s departure that really got to me. Oh and boy did it get to me.

~*~*~*~

We spend a fair bit of time with these two in early Legion. Malfurion continues to marvel at how amazing the world around him is (oh and did you know Cenarius is a demigod and his mentor? I mean he’s just so freakin’ humble about it /sarcasm). Well it turns out Cenarius has gross corruption coming out of him, and Malfurion doesn’t know what to do (how does he not recognise this, btw?!), so let’s get Ysera here to sort stuff out. And that’s ok,  things aren’t looking good, we should probably get some help.

So we do a bunch of stuff to then summon Ysera who tells us we need to get the Tears of Elune (which is what we were here for anyway). Anyway we go get the Tears but surprise surprise, Xavius beat us to it.

And then Cenarius disappears. And this is the point where Malfurion is an epic hypocrite, and I get mad. Instead of turning to the grove that is literally full of some of the most powerful people available to him in the moment, including the being responsible for the Emerald Dream itself, he runs off. He literally gets up, and runs in a random direction where he thinks he can find Xavius. Good one, mate. Don’t bother to consult with anyone about what might need to be done. No, off he goes, testosterone flailing all over the place. It is this action, right here, that sealed Ysera’s fate. I mean, Malfurion and Tyrande have been in this exact situation before and they did the same damn thing. And this time, Ysera paid the price.

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Perfect summary of how stupid Malfurion is

This is but one (more recent) example of their self-important behaviour. But what does that have to do with Illidan?

Everything.

Illidan spent his entire life finding a way to defeat the Burning Legion. Every. damn. second. And some (many) of his actions were questionable (at best). But his motivation and goal never, ever wavered. Defeat the Burning Legion.

Malfurion was a terrible brother to Illidan. His high and mighty attitude belittled Illidan to no end. And instead of telling Malfurion to shove it, Illidan just wanted to impress him (and Tyrande, of course) even more. It’s for this reason that I hold Malfurion and Tyrande a little responsible for everything Illidan did. You don’t have to be blind to see that all Illidan wanted was to be accepted and loved by them. Well, maybe not blind… maybe just too far up themselves to see.

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Don’t get me wrong, Illidan really made it difficult for those around him. In many ways he was just as stubborn and pig-headed as Malfurion in his bid to rid the world of the Burning Legion. It required absolute blind faith and trust in Illidan to see his actions being for the greater good. And I don’t blame people for questioning Illidan’s actions- they were not always what one would consider “good”. But for Malrfurion and Tyrande to say they are not as culpable is outrageous.

Apparently it’s ok for Malfurion to take it upon himself to render night elves mortal by destroying the Well of Eternity. Guys, it’s like, totally ok for him to literally rip the world to shreds in the great sundering because he, like, did it for the good of all Azerothian kind, ok? Sometimes we have to think outside of the box.
Oh but wait, no Illidan- well Illidan he apparently went about things the wrong way. He said he was gaining power to defeat the Legion, but you know, we don’t like how he’s going about it. See, Malfurion screwed the world over the “right” way. Illidan is a danger to us all and should be locked away forever.

COME ON.

Even Tyrande, for one shining moment, takes a tiny peek outside of her own little bubble to release Illidan from his prison because, believe it or not, maybe there’s more than one way to annihilate a universe-destroying horde of demons. But then Malfurion got mad at her, so she took it all back. (Thank goodness someone else figured out he was needed to get this done.)

Despite all this; despite everything that happened between these three characters, one truth remains: Illidan is the only one of them to follow through on his actions.

At the end of the Antorus raid, after Argus is defeated, Sargeras is finally revealed, and captured. And Illidan was there every step of the way. He did everything he promised he would do- he fought with us and stopped the Burning Legion. But no only that, oh no- Illidan went one step further. He knowingly sacrificed the rest of his life to watch over Sargeras to make sure he never comes to power again. He gave his damn life, and any remaining shred of possibility that Illidan did everything he did purely for selfish power was obliterated in that moment.

For all his faults, Illidan did it. It was touching, and a worthy ending (and yes, I cried my damn eyes out).

It felt like everything Illidan had done had been worth it. It made me feel, as a person (not my character) that even if I’m trying to do what is right, I may not always get it right, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. Illidan’s actions gave me hope for the underdogs, that we can do it.

So you can imagine my utter disgust at what followed next.

The first time we defeat Argus, a short quest line is started – Moments of Reflection. Here we have a crystal with parting messages from Illidan to Malfurion and Tyrande. (You can read/listen to all of the messages on wowhead here.)

To Malfurion first. And here Illidan speaks of the different choices they made in their lives, but for the common goal they shared- to keep the world safe. Illidan acknowledges he wasn’t easy to trust, but hopes his actions show the truth of his words. It’s very moving.

And you know what Malfurion says?

My brother made selfish choices, brought pain to so many. His transgressions are difficult to forgive.

This coming from the guy who literally tore Azeroth a new one?!?!!?!? Holy hell dude. Illidan hurt people, yes! He made mistakes, yes! But you know what he did? He kept on fighting to defeat the Burning Legion, because that’s what he said he’d do. What did you do? You went and had a bloody nap!

*deep breaths*

Alright, there’s still another message to go. Tyrande once saw the potential in Illidan. Surely she will understand.

NUP!

Contrite words, yet I must wonder whether he truly meant them….

Seems he has a duty to fulfill…

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW?! Illidan is literally not on this planet anymore after having saved it (and the rest of the universe). And instead of coming home to revel in the celebration he deserves for saving us all, he stays in who-knows-where for the rest of eternity to make sure that Sargeras never comes back. And she thinks he’s lying? That says a lot about who she is and what she thinks of people. Where was she while we were fighting the Legion? NOWHERE. (To be fair, she did come to Suramar, which is a darn lot more than Malfurion did. Probably too busy licking his wounds. But for the rest of it, where were they?) Illidan was there every step of the way, and they abandoned us.

Even in his final moments, this very last goodbye, Illidan wanted nothing more to love and be loved by Malfurion and Tyrande. And they shrugged him off. Absolutely jerks.

I am glad there was a third message in the crystal for us champions. I will gladly defend Azeroth in Illidan’s place. Malfurion and Tyrande can go take a nap, because it’s quite clear they truly don’t care about anyone else. And I certainly do not care about them.

 

I mentioned in my 2017 wrap up post that raiding had gone a bit weird for awhile with yet another guild disruption and shifting and all that. I’m not going to dwell on it- the past is in the past. And since Antorus opened, I’ve been trying to keep a positive attitude towards everything, because I just want to have a good bunch of people to play this awesome game with.

So far, things are going really well.

As of tonight, we are 6/11 mythic bosses down. Tonight especially was amazing. We have been working on Mythic Imonar, and were kinda in a slump. People were feeling a bit crap, and were getting tired so making silly mistakes. It wasn’t looking great. But somehow, on the last pull of the night, magic happened. Somehow, everything came together, and not only did we get further than we had gone before, we completely winged it for the whole last section and killed the guy. It was amazing. And even better- I was streaming when we got the kill.

Hey by the way, I stream now hehe I decided with Antorus opening and the new guild happening that I would start streaming. I have a good computer that can handle it, decent internet connection- why the hell not? So I stream our raid nights. I don’t really have many viewers because most of the time it’s stupid o’clock in the US, and Aussies are usually raiding themselves. But I do have some lovely people who come along now and then who I am extremely grateful for. And when people sit mythic fights, they sometimes pop in to watch how we’re going and how we’re doing a fight in case they get called in to do it. So it’s not always too quiet.

So anyway tonight, I somehow managed to have about 5 people in my stream cheering us on while we got the kill. It was really great. 😀 I can understand how people get addicted to the streaming thing. It’s a great feeling having an audience to cheer you on while you do these things. Really helps with the whole buzz.

Anyways, I just wanted to say that I’m really loving my guild. We seem to have a really good bunch of people who can all be really stupid together (like, really bloody stupid) but still get along really well and pull our shit together when it comes to raiding. And we can be cross with each other for awhile without it resulting in people leaving or getting too fed up. It’s hard to stay cross in this team when you’ve people being Pokemon’s and what not (thanks Advo!)

All of our kill shots are up on my raiding gallery (and below for now). And if you happen to want to come along one night while I’m streaming, I’m usually on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday nights, 8pm-11pm AEDT (so Melbourne time) over at twitch.tv/cinder_streams.

 

 

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