It’s been 2 lockouts since Realm disbanded. It’s been weird not raiding. I played a whooole lot less. The break was nice in a way, but to be honest one of the main reasons I wasn’t playing as much because there just wasn’t anyone else around. It got very lonely very quickly, and it was seriously bumming me out.

On Thursday (with some help from the lovely Lemon) I changed my status on Wowprogress to “looking for guild” to see what would happen.

I had some decisions already set in stone:

  1. I was staying Alliance. I just dislike the Horde aesthetic so much that I don’t want to go back to it. Also, almost all of my toons are Alliance, and I just don’t want to have to faction change them all just to raid.
  2. I was probably going to have to move to Frostmourne in order to find a team. It’s a very Alliance heavy server with a high population, so lots of Alliance raiding guilds. And all the other servers are far too quiet, so if things didn’t work out I’d be stuck on a server with few options.
  3. I was staying shaman. I’m too attached to my shaman ways.
  4. No increase to raid time – 3 days max of prog raiding. Ideally, 2, but that’s pretty hard to find.
  5. No downgrades – I wanted to find a team within 1 boss prog of myself.
  6. The guild I end up in has to be a good fit people-wise. That’s what made raiding with Realm so amazing – the people. I want to be able to dick around with people and have fun and joke around with each other. And kill bosses.

I got a btag friend request the next morning, and well long story short, I’ve moved servers to Frostmourne and have a trial in a guild. AS ELEMENTAL. Yep, this shaman’s shooting lightning for awhile.

This was a big decision for me. I’ve been a healer for as long as I’ve raided (minus 2 weeks where I tried to be dps back in WoD), so raiding as a full time dps will definitely be a change. But I think it’s going to be a good one. I’ll still always have my healer spec there if I’m ever needed to heal, so that’s not going to go away. There are some changes coming in 8.1 for elemental shamans that I’m hoping will help make the spec a bit better to play… but we can only wait and see.

The thing that really attracted me to this guild was the recruitment person was really lovely, answering all my stupid questions. They also apparently watched some of my streams, which made me feel better because firstly, they know I’m a girl, and secondly, they have seen me play, so they know what they’re in for. They don’t mind me streaming raids, either, which is great. And lastly, something that will either be fantastic, or terrible, their raid times start and finish earlier. I’m a little nervous at the start time being 6:30, as sometimes I haven’t even left work until that time. But if I can get to work earlier and leave earlier, it will be fine. Which means slightly earlier nights, which I think will be good for my tired old self.

I’m obviously terrified. I’m always terrified of putting myself out there, especially knowing people will be watching and scrutinising. I’ve said that they just need to let me know if I’m not cutting it – I’d rather know sooner than dragging it out, because I don’t like letting a team down. But I just have to try my best. It’s all I *can* do. If things don’t work out, at least I gave it a go.

So! Please keep your fingers and toes crossed for me that I can actually pull this elemental thing off, and that these guys are a good fit! 🙂

xo

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How has it been a month since Battle for Azeroth launched? Holy moly time passes quickly. I suppose a bit part of that is about how completely flat out I’ve been in game. Which leads me in to the topic of this post, and the last Blog Challenge topic (I know I’m late!!) How do you level in Battle for Azeroth?

After raiding, levelling is one of my favourite things to do in game. Seeing new worlds, new NPCs, new secrets and adventures really tickles the explorer in me (and the screenshot nerd!) I love taking my time to follow random paths, hunting down treasures, killing rares, seeing new things and helping out a whole new bunch of people. And this is where we start facing some issues – the time I take to level is not conducive to being raid ready.

Being in a raid team (especially a team that wants to work on mythic bosses) means there are certain expectations. Characters are required to meet a number of requirements in time for going in to raid to make sure we are able to beat dps checks and heal all the damage going out. For our raid team, we expected everyone to have an ilvl of 340 and Azerite neck at 18 before stepping in to Uldir for the first time. (Keep in mind, 340 is the ilvl that drops from mythic 0 dungeons).

I am all for making sure that I’m raid ready. But I’m also not going to sacrifice what I think is important to me about the game. I’m in WoW to have a good time, and new expansions are a really special time for me. So I had to find a happy medium. This is what I did.

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1. I levelled alone. Our guild had a few groups of people who were levelling together to help speed up the process. They were also generally in War Mode, which meant they could all help each other stay alive in pvp situations. I didn’t do this for a few reasons, the most important being that I hate feeling beholden to a group. I want to go *my* way, and read all the quest text and stay for all the dialogue and take a million screen shots and visit all the new NPCs in the cities. I want to be able to travel down those random paths and explore every corner of the caves. I also don’t want to hold up a group by doing all those things. I don’t expect anyone else to want to do this (and to be brutally honest, I prefer doing these things on my own).

So solo it was. Levelling solo takes longer, simply because there’s only one of you to kill all the mobs and collect all the things. But I accepted this and knew it would be the case. Which is one of the reasons I took a week of work for the launch. It meant that, even though I would take a lot longer to level up, I’d still have plenty of time to do all the things I needed to make sure I could step in to raid in a strong position.

WoWScrnShot_081518_230829.jpg2. I started in War Mode… but turned it off when I got killed the first time. (For those who don’t know – War Mode turns on world pvp, meaning people can come along and kill you out in the world. It’s not able to be turned on or off no matter what server you’re on, which is pretty awesome!!) The experience gains were too good to ignore, so I tolerated it for awhile. I ended up getting killed in Boralus, though, which made me super mad because that was my home turf! So turned it off shortly after. I managed to make it to about 118 before I turned War Mode off.  Regular readers will know that I am terrible pvp, so it’s no surprise I did this.

3. I picked a zone and stayed until I was done… mostly. I started in Drustvar, and stayed until I finished it. The main reason for starting in Drustvar is that it was suggested as a good place to start if you have mining. Which turned out to be true. My mining got maxed out very quickly indeed, which was great.

WoWScrnShot_090218_131850.jpgAnother reason I stuck around in the zone was because of how dungeons were baked in to Legion – once you finished a zone, there was a dungeon to help wrap that zone up. It helped make the story feel more complete, and gave a much better context for the dungeons overall. This turned out to be the case for Battle for Azeroth as well, with Waycrest Manor being the dungeon at the end of the zone. Knowing the story that took me there really helps me appreciate the dungeon so much more.

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The second zone I went to was Tiragarde Sound. By the time I got here a whole bunch of guildies were already at 120, which started getting me a bit nervous, but I continued on my merry way (though I did miss a couple of side quests in this zone.)

beemountI had about a level and a half left to get to 120, and the pressure was on. Stepping in to Stormsong Valley I made the decision to just do the main storyline so the dungeon would make sense. I dinged before I finished the zone, however kept going so that I could unlock world quests.

Also, all the zones are STUNNING, so of course I wanted to stay as long as I could!!!

Post-levelling

After all that, I think it did alright with my levelling journey. I had a wonderful time levelling, I truly did. I am absolutely adoring the expansion, and being able to take my time with it all, to read all the quests and understand what’s going made the whole experience so much better.

Now, my focus is on raiding. So I’m running dungeons and doing island expeditions and allllll the world quests to get my reputation up and collect azerite for my neck.WoWScrnShot_091318_195635.jpg

I’m honestly having a fabulous time in Battle for Azeroth. I know there are a lot of people out there who are not having the best time, and are unhappy with all the bugs… I’m trying to keep my head down. I don’t want to get weighed down with the negativity. For me, things are great! And the bugs don’t ruin my enjoyment of the game. I’m hoping with a bit of time, peoples’ frustrations will die down.


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Last night, the first raid of Battle for Azeroth opened. Uldir is here! It’s a great looking raid. But more on that in a moment.

Before we headed off, I wanted to get a team picture of our starting team for the expansion (and thankfully my GM entertains my annoying screenshot-taking habits!). So we all got together for our first pre-raid pic. 🙂

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You might notice that’s a lot of people. Well, you’d be right. One of the biggest challenges that we have as an officer team at the moment is reducing the team numbers down to a more manageable level. Mythic only needs 20, and normal and heroic cap at 30. We have almost 40 people. Thankfully I don’t have a lot to do with really choosing who makes it to mythic and who doesn’t (other than personal observations).

But on to the raid itself!!

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Uldir is in Nazmir, on the Horde island of Zandalar. According to Blizz, it was an old Titan facility, where they were experimenting with the void energies that bound the Old Gods. Things did not go well, so they literally shut the door on the place and hoped no-one would notice. Genius!

I tried to get pics of all the bosses, but wasn’t always successful (darn rogues stealthing in front of the bosses!!), but here are some of them.

The overall aesthetic of the place is pretty cool. It has the titan feel that you would want and expect from something that the titans were involved with. It feels massive, but it’s designed in such a way that it doesn’t take a super long time to get from boss A to boss B.

Interestingly, the exit of the Underrot raid is apparently the entrance to this raid, so many of the Underrot aesthics are there, too. Lots of blood and decay. It really looks amazing.

So for our first night, our goal was to at least clear normal with as many people as we could. We managed to do this relatively easily, with the only real challenge being G’huun. That is a chaotic fight that did a bucket load of damage, even on normal. But it was a lot of fun, with some interesting mechanics.

Tonight we go back in to do it all again on heroic. Our goal is to clear out the whole raid on heroic to get Ahead of the Curve by the end of the lock out. I should be do-able… but we’ll see 🙂

Hope those of you stepping in to Uldir this week have a fantastic time. Let me know how you go!

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?

 

We did it! After all the dramas we have gone through as a team over the past couple of months; after losing so many players and recruiting and trialling others, we are finally at a point where, not only have we defeated all the mythic bosses we had killed before, but we have now got down a new boss! Mistress Sassz’ine is DOWN!

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Mythic Sassypants (Sassz’ine)

This fight is of the most RNG-heavy, mechanics-intensive fights I think I’ve ever done. It is one of those fights that, even after having done it hundreds of times, you still kinda feel like you don’t really know what’s going on. It is absolute CHAOS. And I freaking loved it!

For our team, we went with 5 healers, but as a result, were told that we also needed to dps as much as possible in order to beat the enrage timer. Because of this, and the fact that this fight has SO much movement in it, I swapped my gear and talents around a little to what I would normally do.

For my legendaries I used Uncertain Reminder. Aside from having some really juicy stats on it, it extends the duration of hero by 75%. That extra time of hero, combined with our restoration artifact trait Sense of Urgency, AND the fact that hero is popped at a time when there is bucket loads of damage going out, means that it’s a really useful legendary to have. So this one was a no brainer.

The second legendary I had been thinking a fair bit about. In the end, once it was confirmed that we needed to be pushing out more dps, the decision was easy. I went with Soul of the Farseer. Again, it has some great stats on it. But the reason I went with this legendary was the fact that it let me run Echo of the Elements AND Cloudburst at the same time, meaning I could cast a lot more on the move (extra Riptides and Healing Stream Totems) and be able to cast more Lava Bursts. I was glad I went with it in the end, because towards the end when I wasn’t dpsing so much, I was able to drop out some more instant heals as I was fleeing for my life from some hungry octopus thing.

For talents, I had Torrent, Graceful Spirit (this is a no brainer – being able to cast on the move more often is essential in this fight), Lightning Surge Totem (which I didn’t use at all), Ancestral Guidance (to beef up my Cloudburst Totems), Ancestral Vigor, Cloudburst Totem AND Echo of the Elements, and lastly Wellspring.

Wellspring was a last minute change. Normally on this line I’ll take High Tide, but swapped over to Wellspring because it just felt stronger here. It was great for topping up loads of people after each Hydra shot. And it looks cool. 😀

My heals overall were pretty crap, but a lot of that is just due to pushing out damage wherever we could, and the sheer amount of movement there is in this fight. The movement also meant that I couldn’t drop healing rain very often at all, and that usually heals for a pretty decent amount.

None the less, we did it. Mythic Mistress Sassypants is sassy no more. Next up… Maiden of Vigilance.

I’ve spent a bit of time this weekend attempting the mage tower artifact challenge yet again. I put in about an hour or 2 each time the tower is up in an attempt to get the artifact appearance that I have been wanting since I first saw it on beta.

This weekend I got the closest I’ve ever been to getting it done – up to the very last boss – before I failed miserably. I’m progressing a little more each time. Truth be told, I was sure I’d get it this weekend. I was able to get through the first stage easily each time I tried yesterday, and everything that I had read and watched for Resto shamans indicated that the first phase was the hardest for us. So I felt really good being able to push through that multiple times.

But such is the way when you’re unwell, I had to stop and rest when I was on a roll yesterday. I figured it would be ok, I’d be able to pick things up again today, (Sunday) and get it done. I felt even more confident about it because I had managed to get my 52nd trait last night, which unlocked the final new Concordance trait (woot!). I also managed to pick up a few great pieces during our heroic farm clear last night, including a tier helm that managed to titanforge AND have a socket! This was really great news because the only gem slots I had in my gear were on a couple of legendaries, meaning I was locked in to having one or 2 set legendaries so I could have the 200+stat gem. But now, I can have that in my tier helm, and can swap through whatever legendaries I like. Huzzah!!

Anyway, given all of that, I had another crack at the challenge this afternoon and I *sucked*. Like, terribly. I don’t know what was going on, but I just couldn’t push through that first phase again. So I’m sitting here sulking and feeling sorry for myself. I only gave it half an hour because I just wasn’t doing any better. I’m just marvelling at how one day I can be doing brilliantly, and the next, sucking super hard. Here’s hoping after dinner I pull my shit together, because we’re onto Mythic Gul’dan progression now! SO exciting!!

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Anyways, this was just a bit of a ramble really. Just reflecting a bit on how much my performance can change based on how I’m feeling.

Truth be told, I’ve been feeling pretty lost in WoW lately. No, it’s not from lack of things to do, or not enjoying the game (because there is plenty to do, and I still completely love the game!). Once again it’s how I’m performing in raids. And it’s at the point where I’m seriously at a loss as to what to do, and wondering if I should even bother.

I just don’t know what I’m doing wrong anymore. Previously there would be all manner of excuses as to why my performance as a healer sucked – I didn’t have the right legendaries, group composition really makes a difference, I’m not using the right stats, I just need more gear blah blah blah. But whilst I don’t have all of the legendaries that I want to be using on my resto shaman, I do have some very good legendaries that should do just fine. And I have plenty of gear with the right stats on it (not that stats are supposed to matter all that much any more). I’m working my way to my 51st trait, which isn’t as high as others, but it’s still pretty high overall.

I’ve looked at logs and seen what talents people are using. I do know one big problem is that I don’t use Cloudburst Totem as a talent. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just that it makes my framerate drop to 3 (and given my UI settings are already set to 3 in raids, I can’t drop it any lower – I have difficulty seeing some abilities as it is). So I can’t use it without it causing some issues. (I’m really hoping I’ll be able to buy a new PC in the near future!!) Might just have to try again.

I look at logs and I suppose a consolation is that Druids just seem to be kicking ass at the moment. And it also doesn’t help (me) that the other healers are just fucking awesome. I guess my problem is that I don’t know if it’s just me doing the wrong thing, or if it’s my class being lacklustre. It just feel like my heals don’t do a lot unless everyone stays low for an extended period of time. But they all get topped up so quickly, so my mastery doesn’t get a chance to kick in. This expansion was supposed to be about bringing back triage healing, but instead it seems the fights are just unforgiving – if people fuck up they get one shot, rather than just getting really low, allowing us to heal them back up again. It’s just back that old ping pong healer bars again, and as a shaman I just feel useless. I’m back to being a walking CD.

And I’m not writing this to get anyone to “fix” things for me or say things to make me feel better, I just need to get it out of my head. I can’t figure out if it’s going to get any better for me. And if it’s not, what does that mean? Do I just stop healing and go hit things instead? Or do I heal on a different class? What? I really am just feeling awfully lost. I found myself going back to this post where I was hypothetically thinking about what class I’d play if I couldn’t play my main and I landed on druid or mage. But what if it’s not the class? What if it’s just that I’m shit? Do I just stop raiding? I keep coming back to moments like this, and Bume is really lovely and helps me out, but I don’t feel like I’m getting any better. Instead I just feel like a burden.

It makes my brain hurt. And in the meantime I just feel really blah. So instead I’m bumming around levelling up an Alliance priest because their spells are pretty and it makes me feel better.

 

I’ve said quite a few times how wonderful the WoW community can be. From organising fundraisers, to helping each other out, to just being super awesome people. This week I was lucky enough to be the recipient of some generosity from the WoW community.

Coolidge approached me, asking if I’d like him to draw a picture of my character, Cinderstorm. Of course I said yes, please! He was very patient with me, asking what I wanted and if I had any special requests or anything. I just said I wanted FIRE! And boy did he deliver. Check out my cutie!!!!!

Cinderstorm artwork by Coolidge

Cinderstorm artwork by Coolidge

Look at her little fire elemental!!! And her wee little totem! And her transmog! AND ALL HER FIRE!! ❤

I love her so much. She’s absolutely adorable. I am so, so grateful!

THANK YOU a million times over to Coolidge for my gorgeous girl. Go check out more of his amazing artwork at DeviantArt, or go visit his twitter and let him know how awesome he is. 🙂

About 2 weeks ago I managed to pick up a casual job thanks to an old boss and some awesome friends. Getting back to work has been really great – knowing I’ve got money coming in again to pay bills is a big load off my mind! But it does come with the downside of a lot less game time. Even less than last time because I actually care about this job, so I’m not being cheeky writing blog posts and what not during work hours! But even with less time in game, I’ve still had a really successful couple of weeks.

Mythics

We’re doing pretty well with our progression, getting 1 new mythic boss down per week. Since getting Krosus down a couple of weeks ago, we’ve successfully managed to continue getting him down each week, which gives us 4 mythic bosses on farm. From next week we’re stoping the heroic runs altogether and starting mythic from scratch so that we have more time to spend on progression bosses when we get to them, which is great.

We got Spellblade down the week after Krosus, and then last weekend it was Tichondrius’ turn to go down.

We should have had Botanist down tonight as well, but thanks to Easter and WoW server crashes being the attendance boss from hell, our raid night didn’t end up happening at all. Hopefully we’ll get him down on Wednesday so we can start the long slog on Star Augur.

Team wise we’re doing really well. We’ve got the numbers which is awesome, and we’re all really gelling together quite well. There’s tense time of course, but that’s part and parcel of mythic raiding, I think. It’s just about making sure that at the end of the night we’re all still mates. We’ve got a great little healing team as always, though really need a strong swing healer to fill gaps for us when someone is away. But otherwise, things are going really well.

Riding around

I’ve been pretty lucky with some new mounts lately. Firstly, I finally got my fox mount! I do love it so much, though I think my pandaren shaman is a little too big for him, so I think I’ll use him on my night elf toons instead. 🙂

Then after raid last week I was so lucky!! Thor was flying over Azuna and asked me “what’s an Ephemeral Crystal?” I spun around and asked if he’d seen one. I immediately flew to where he saw one, and off I went. (Thor wasn’t really interested in the mount, and he knew how much I wanted it, so I hunted with his blessing!). It only took me about half an hour to find all 5 crystals needed to get this beautiful mount!

Then of course there was a Mind-Riddler’s Worm, which the WoW secrets discord group had been hunting for since Jeremy Feasel sent out a series of cryptic tweets. It was really fun to watch the whole thing unfold. I had joined the server just to follow along – people are amazing!!! I knew they’d figured it out when my notifications for the server started going bonkers. It was such great work on their part! There’s a great guide on how to get this mount for yourself – shouldn’t take too much time, especially if you have some friends with you to help make the old raids part faster. It’s such a funny looking mount, but I had to get it! I loved that when I got the final piece that rewarded me a mount, there were loads of people just hanging around on them, floating on these strange worm things in solidarity. So much fun.

And then lastly there was of course the unlocking of flying on the Broken Isles. And so now I have a whole other level of exploring to do from up in the air! 😀

March of the tadpoles

Another micro-holiday came along. This was one I was really looking forward to – March of the tadpoles! Seriously, is there anything more adorable than baby murlocs?!?! No, I didn’t think so. 🙂

So for this micro-holiday, we were able to go see a whole bunch of the more adorable little baby murlocs running around. And best of all, we got to befriend one for the day! Every single baby murloc that was there had a different name, and it’s very own little personality. I had such an awfully hard time choosing which murloc to adopt – I wanted them all! I didn’t want any of them to feel left out! There were some running around really fast like hooligans, having so much fun; there were others there were just hanging out chatting; there was even one little guy that just kept “fainting”! He was hilarious, and I nearly chose him… but then I thought a lot of people would choose him, so I didn’t. I wanted to choose one that no-one else would. (I blame this song that my Mum used to sing to me as a kid for this whole feeling sorry for the “runt” of the litter thing I have!)

In the end I found a little guy hiding in a corner under water. His name was Bloop, and I loved him straight away! He seemed like me – too shy to hang out with everyone else, but still kind wanting to be a part of things… at least from a safe distance.

We went on some adventures together, and in the end he gave me a little present – a Wet Rock. I’ve kept it in my bank for safe keeping. ❤ It was a wonderful little holiday!

Questing all over the world

The rest of my time has been spent on the Broken Shore and around the Broken Isles in general doing World Quests. I want to do a whole separate post about the Broken Shore world quests, but in the meantime I’ll just say that I love them, and I’ve been having so much fun with them!

As well as the World Quests, I’ve been banging my head against the wall that is the healer’s solo artifact challenge. I’m so determined to get it!!! But no luck so far. In time, in time.

 

So that’s my big catch up post! What have you been up to?

Tonight was a really great raid night. As usual we started off with our normal heroic clear which went quite well (although completely pathetic heroic Krosus kill with most people dead). We got that all done in an hour, so then it was onto mythic.

We were down one of our strongest healers tonight which made things a little tough, but we did just fine and managed to clear 4 mythic bosses tonight, too! We did a few pulls on mythic Spellblade (which we got down for the first time last week) but we really needed the 5th healer to get us through it so we called an early night. So overall it was a really productive night!

But the best thing of all tonight, was that I got the mythic tier chest from Krosus! Between being extremely lucky with other tier pieces and the transmog pieces being available in mythic Emerald Nightmare, I now have the full shaman mythic tier set appearance! When I first saw this set I was in love, and knew I just had to get it.

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And because I have the Balance of Power elemental artifact appearance, I can re-live this awesome wallpaper I won from Skog last year (back when this set was just a dream!)

Cinderwallpaper by Skog Designs

Tomorrow night we should get Spellblade down, and then it’s on to prog on Tichondrius. Yay!!

A shameless plug – we’re always on the lookout for more dps, especially a dps with a strong healing off spec (except paladin). If you’re interested in joining, check out our recruitment post on the forums for all the people to talk to. 🙂

 

Like so many other people, I have been running around taking screenshots using the Inky Black Potion. What a wonderful addition to the game that little potion is!! For those of you who haven’t had a chance to try it out yet, it’s a potion you can buy from a vendor at the Darkmoon Faire that will give you a buff for 2hr that makes the world around you SUPER dark. It.is.incredible. So of course after raid last night I went around seeing what the world looked like in the middle of the night.

One of my favourite things about this potion is that it quite literally is making me see Azeroth in a whole new light. Some places really came alive in the darkness. Others just became down right terrifying. Some became so dark you could barely see in front of you. It really was incredible. It also helps me see why Blizzard don’t make night as dark as this. Yes, it’s awesome, but it has a lot of gameplay issues in that some things you quite literally can’t see. Anyone who is even slightly vision impaired would have a really hard time playing at all. So I’m really glad that it’s something we have the ability to try out and toggle on and off as we please. 🙂

I want to go to every continent and raid zone to try it out. In the meantime, here are some of my favourite pics so far:

I also played around with water walking and headed out in the middle of the ocean to use my spells in the dark.

 

 

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