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Hudson's Hideout

Ramblings of a MMO player and Miniature wargamer http://1angrygamer.blogspot.com

Author: pvthudson01

Aftermath hits up some 10 mans, weekend update

Posted by pvthudson01 Tuesday February 17 2009 at 9:52AM
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Orignally posted on

http://hudshideout.com/blog/?p=1848

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Hope everyone had a good Valentines weekend!

In World of Warcraft (ok all you WoW haters you can get glassy eyed now) I managed to get more accomplished on my rogue than I thought I was going to. With the Heroic Emblems I had saved up I got the third best in slot purple neck piece for rogues. Then on back to back heroic runs got new chest and glove pieces. All blue, not a purple has dropped for me yet but still nice upgrades.

The other big news is that Aftermath finally went into some 10 man territory, as in went in there with the goal of clearing something. ANYTHING. Our 80’s were getting restless, so it was time to throw some loot their way. We picked the 10 mans we knew we could crush before trying Naxx again next Sunday. So we went into 10 man Obsidian Sanctum and then ran the PVP Wintergrasp raid boss 10 man Archavon.

We cleared both instances with no issues and got those achievements and gear was handed out. We had to PUG two spots since we had some people that could not make it, but our guild picked up the slack to make up for the terrible resto druid healer we had and we pulled everyone along. No wipes, all DPS and much killing. We were in and out in about 1 hour and a half. I’m sure your average Warhammer keep taking or whatever that is takes longer. “OH NOES WOW RAIDING IS HARD!” It is rough being a tourist and a lemming sometimes, but we do what we have to do in our game of enslavement.

After the WSS logs were posted (WSS= WoW Web Stats, a website that tracks and lets you upload raid stats to analyze) I ended up in 4th place with a pretty respectable DPS output. Since then I have gotten even better gear and enchants so I think next raid I will be even better. My DPS was 1520 overall, but on the final boss in OS ( a large dragon named Sartharion) I hit 1624 DPS (Damage Per Second). I was pretty excited about that especially since by last weekend I had only run a few Heroics and nothing was dropping for me.

I cleared some other achievements also, like the Heroic: The Culling of Stratholme, Safe Deposit (I had to break down and buy all my bank slots at last), I became a leather worker 275 and above, and I looted my 25th Emblem of Heroism. As you can see, busy weekend. You add all that and the dailies I do I have been quite busy despite all the people that claim the game ends at 80. My rogue finally topped the 1000 achievement point level and is working up his factions slowly but surely by wearing the tabards in every instance I run. The Culling of Stratholme instance was pretty neat as you get to go back in time to when Arthas showed up and killed everyone in that town because they were infected. So you get some nice action going on with him arguing with Jaina Proudmoore and Uther before the instance and get to fight alongside him. Screenshot below.

Now in other news, remember my old raiding paladin? He was a level 80 holy pally that used to heal Kara back two years ago (if not read here). I have taken him out and dusted him off and started leveling him up as a RetNoob to get to 80. A long time ago I retired him to raid with my current rogue. I decided that if I ever wanted to tank again, it would not be on the gimped warrior class. I miss my old pally tanks so every night now when my rogue has run his dailies, done his heroic and is tapped out, I am going to put time in on this paladin. My warrior sits in mothballs until they decide to improve their AOE tanking. However I do mining on my paladin to feed my warrior’s armorsmithing so he can make him tanking gear later. I would like to mention that ret pallies are seriously OP’d. Paladins have a taunt now also, are you kidding me? And with that taunt I can pull from range and do damage. Which means I can tap mobs with it. Hey Blizzard please provide lube before you totally dick over my warrior. Thanks.

Other than that, I didn’t do anything else in any other games. WoW’s value as an MMO has not lessened for me yet, and with dual spec ability coming up I am fairly sure that will bring back the gusto for many people that weren’t playing mains in off hours due to spec issues.

A long WoW night: Heroic Oculus explored by Aftermath

Posted by pvthudson01 Wednesday February 11 2009 at 10:45AM
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Oringally posted on:  http://hudshideout.com/blog/

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Aftermath guild (armory here) tries to do these scheduled weekly instance runs via sign ups on our boards, and for the most part they go off without a hitch and there is much rejoicing. For the first time I could sign up as a fresh level 80 for some Tuesday night heroics and cut my teeth on all the new fangled content I had not seen. Unfortunately for my stalwart guild mates and I, the Oculus was the daily heroic dungeon of the day.

The Oculus, or “5 man Preposterous” as I like to call it, is an instance that sits above the Nexus in the Coldara section of Boredom Tundra. Sorry Borean Tundra. This instance is designed for level 80 players (you can enter at 75) and true to my luck the daily heroic (you can run the daily heroic for extra gold and emblems to buy gear) was located in this zone.

The lore for the Oculus and why we are going in there is simple:

“Malygos uses the Arcanomicon to locate and tap into the ley lines, diverting the magical powers that course beneath the earth to his home base in Northrend, the Nexus. Once harnessed, the energies are focused through the Nexus’ ascending rings and blasted into the Twisting Nether. Malygos’ redirection of the ley lines has carried disastrous consequences, however – splintering the world’s crust and opening unstable rifts: tears in the very fabric of the magical dimension.”

Yeah I am a lore nerd. So it was that we ventured in with a druid healer, a dwarf hunter, a ret paladin, a night elf warrior and myself bringing up the rear as a rogue. None of us had ever actually run the Oculus except for our hunter extraordinaire Siloson. He was going off memory (because no one likes to run this instance more than once if they don’t have to) so we were really winging it. Fine introduction for only my second heroic.

I am not one to complain about the fact that life in WoW starts at 80. Like many MMO’s once you level cap it opens a world of gearing up, gaining facton, PVP’ing, raiding or decorating things. What I was not prepared for was the sudden jump from a regular dungeon back into doing heroics, which I had not touched since 2006 or so. The Oculus is also one of the hardest heroics to do, and I would get a grand initiation.

We had so much DPS in this group that we really just crushed this guy quickly. Even though I was new to the 80 “game” and totally outclassed by our hunter and ret pally, I still managed to top for most the night 1100-1200+ DPS on single target level 81+ elites. I was quite satisfied with my numbers and the new rogue patch tweaks seemed to help. I still have to get a rotation down for NON boss mobs and learn to maximize my DPS on trash pulls. Overall on the recount meter I of course finished last but I still contributed a ton of damage. Still, I died a lot and the boss mobs in Lich King are fond of AOE damage, which means that a leather wearing melee player is going to take a lot of dirt naps. I was forced to use feint not to dump agro, but to gain the 50% reduction in AOE damage quite a bit, and this took precious combo points off my DPS rotation.

The first boss, Drakos the Interrogator, was a simple tank and spank encounter.

The second boss, Varos Cloudstrider, was our first hurdle for the night. This boss runs around on a platform and covers ¾’s of it in a nasty lightening field. We finally figured out how to identify where the area was to be covered and then we found out finally how to stand in the right spots and avoid the section that would basically insta kill you. We prefer to resort to WoW Wiki or WoW Head only as a last resort. The only tip we took is that to really do this encounter, you need to pan your camera over your character so that you can see straight down on you. At this point, it made the encounter super easy and when the one section was open I could adjust my DPS hits and get in that area to keep landing blows. Not a fun encounter but we did it and got past it.

Stay in formation...


The next boss was Mage-Lord Urom and my God what a pain in the ass. Hey look, it’s more AOE and more movement which further reduces my DPS and puts stress on the healers. Ever wonder why ranged DPS is so loved? This guy starts on a platform, then as you approach he teleports away and you have to fight summoned minions. Then you have to mount up, go find him and land again and attack him. Guess what! He teleports away again and goes to another platform. Repeat this until you are about to punch your monitor then you get the meat of the encounter. Here you can finally attack him but it is not over yet. First he has a nasty AOE frost aura on the ground he gives off, so the tank has to walk him around the ring backwards and the DPS has to keep pace with the tank and stay out of the cold. Much like most instances these days, Blizzard copies their own mechanics and gimmicks and then makes him to the middle of the ring where…you guessed it…he sets off a large explosion that you have to duck behind a pillar to avoid. Sound familiar? Yeah, like Burning Crusade familiar. Been there done that. We finally got this guy down after a couple of attempts where we had some bad luck. The fight was long, annoying and just plain stupid.

 

 

Finally we go to the last boss, and here we got to fly on dragon mounts. This boss, Ley-Guardian Eregos, is a drake that you have to fight mounted. You pick your mount by choosing a color: green for a healing mount, red for a tank mount, and amber for a DPS mount. Our first strategy of only one green mount (the healer) did not work so well and we kept wiping when the healer would get dismounted or just flat out die. So we went back and tried it again with me as the DPS mount, 2 healer mounts and a red tank mount. This way we had a healer that could group heal and one healer that simply would heal the tank mount. This left it up to me to do all the DPS that was possible and use a special time stop feature to stop the Eregos from enraging. The fight was close, but after a long protracted battle we got the bastard and the instance was complete.


 


At the start of the night I really hated this place, and going in blind made it HARD let me tell you. In this day and age of cheating using tactics and being carried by others, it was refreshing to be challenged and to do it alongside my excellent guildies. When we got that last boss I was actually shouting again and I had not done that since early Kara days. To top it off I got the leather helm off him (the Mask of the Watcher) which ranks as the top rated blue helm rogues can get before raiding. It has a meta gem socket and a blue socket and was a huge upgrade. However, the helm looks disgustingly stupid so I have to turn the graphic off.

 


After that I honestly thought I had had it for the night. That entire instance was like a freaking mini raid and I had to ask myself if I still had the stomach for end game WoW seeing as how impatient I was in my MMO’s now. Then I sat back and said to myself:


“Self, you just took down probably one of the hardest heroics in the game and didn’t read about it, study it or go in that well geared and you did well.”


I then realized it was a rather gratifying moment. After this I ran two more heroics, and got some achievements for doing some neat stuff like “On the Rocks” in heroic Utgarde for not breaking any ice blocks when we killed Prince Kelesith. I also ran Heroic Drak’Tharon keep and got an achievement for not having any adds reach the bottom of the stairs when we fought Novos the Summoner. That achievement was called “Oh Novos!” I got a trinket in there that was a nice upgrade of 148 attack power so overall I have to say I had fun. The last two heroics were swift and fun, unlike the Oculus.


I realize though that there are some parts to this game, to new players or people that just hit 80, that are still a little hard. It restores my faith that I can still be challenged and it also confirmed I had the stomach to stick it out in this day and age of instant gratification in World of Warcraft.

Alternate universe rogue: Runes of Magic

Posted by pvthudson01 Wednesday February 11 2009 at 9:06AM
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As I posted over on my blog here, I hit level 80 in WoW with my rogue, of all the classes.

My rogue leads a life in another universe called Taborea. Yes, in Runes of Magic I play a rogue also and he is currently level 6 and climbing. At level 10 I can pick a secondary class, and I think I may go scout to make him a Aragorn rip off. A rogue that can shoot bows and do some ranged DPS may be quite deadly.

I will admit that I used to laugh at this game but now the more I play it the more I am getting used to it. I think that if I wasn't playing WoW, I would be playing the next closest thing to WoW and that is this game. Also, I know damn well I would use real money to buy things like stoves, horses, potions and other stuff that would pretty much add up to me paying a monthly fee for it. The game is THAT addictive. I wanted to try out the RMT in the game so I went to the main website and "charged up my diamonds" which are the in game currency. For $4.99 I wanted to see what I could get for 100 of them.

The game is still in beta but due to launch March 19th 2009. I logged in my rogue Monday night to finish up the dailies he had in his quest log, and it was smooth sailing and he hit level 6. I have spent any of his skill points yet as I wanted to see what would become available once he got a few more levels.

The daily quests in the game are randomized on a bulletin board in the town, and you can start them as soon as level 1. They provide tokens you can turn in to faction people and some cash on the side. This method offers a fun way to take a break from questing and gets the player base mingling as everyone is hovering around the board to see what the daily quests are.

One of my first quest rewards was a brown horse that lasted 24 hours. I was mounted and running around at level 2 getting things done quickly. Unfortunately when they say "24 hours" they sure as hell mean it. I was logged out and came back in and my horse had trotted off for greener pastures. Not like WoW where 24 hours is usually IN GAME time. No sir they want you online and getting the crack injection. If not, you are gonna use real money to get that horse back. That is to be expected, but I was sad to see my little buddy ride away.

 

My daily quest consisted of clearing some cave of crabs (should see a doctor about that) and as a result I got some pants that were socketed, or in this game can take "runes". Straight out of most games Runes of Magic has socketable gear. The interface is fast and straight forward. Right click rune, click socketable item, get generic spell bar, done.

I also got a ton of bags that you open for random gifts, a lot of armor I could not use that I sold for cold hard cash, and some other things I need to look up to see what they are. Runes called "link" and some other odd items that I don't quite grasp yet.

I am not sure what I want to do with my 100 diamonds, but I didn't want to spend too much money on a game I play on the side, however I did want to test the in game RMT store system. As far as I know the ONLY way to respec in this game is to spend cold hard money. How that will go over with the gamers I have no idea but City of Heroes has implemented that lately also. They have recently added a cool warhorse that costs the following:

7 day variant for 40 Diamonds
30 day variant for 100 Diamonds
permanent Warhorse for 395 Diamonds


I could ride around on that bad boy for 30 days I guess, but I want to buy several little vanity items I think like weird pets or some sort of tradeskill item.

It should also be noted that Runes of Magic supports add ons and mods, just like WoW. In fact the company is holding a contest for the best mod authors. This link at Curse has more information. For now I can post the rewards:

Prizes:

Top 2 Authors will receive: 1000 Diamonds and a 2 story house
Top 5 Authors will receive: 1000 Diamonds
Every Author will receive 500 Diamonds


I didn't have much time to dabble in looking around outside the starting area yet, but so far as an escape I am having fun just exploring and not taking the game TOO seriously. If only we could all catch that sense of virgin newness in the MMO's we play, our lives as players might be much happier these days. I for one will never get that EQ1 feeling back, but it is good to pretend every now and then. I just find it a shame that we have to use other games as an escape from our "main" game.