Sunday, 19 April 2009

As Busy As A Dog With Fleas

Between the sudden need to level Kringle and Pringle (Kringle due to cooking dailies requiring lvl80, and Pringle due to cooking dailies and jewelcrafting dailies requiring lvl80), the travel-intensive Tournament (and frequently, fishing) dailies, and the on-going guild exploratory mission into 10-man Ulduar, I’m finding myself with no shortage of things to do in-game.

Turtle in a whole shell?

The addition of a level requirement to the jewelcrafting feels like Blizzard is just keeping it up with the cooking daily change, but it’s pretty effective motivation to keep leveling.

I took Kringle and his shiny new turtletank out for a spin, and was invited to participate in a guild Drak’Tharon Keep alt run – apart from when I accidentally pulled the first group of mobs with my pet (can’t beat a start like that) it went surprisingly smoothly, and Kringle picked up his first gear upgrade, the Helmet of Living Flesh, to replace his T4 helm.  I really need to get used to switching in and out of Aspect of the Viper, though – I’m finding an embarrassing tendency to switch into Viper and forget to switch back.  (Note to self: have a look on WoWInterface)

Both Mingle and Dingle have reached the rank of Valiant in the Tournament, and Ringle completed the first day.  The quests themselves aren’t that bad, but the travel time is a bit annoying and adds up pretty quickly if you have multiple characters trying to work through the dailies.  (Additional travel for the fishing daily doesn’t help)

Mingle also went back into Ulduar for the guild 10-man run, after missing out last night.  When I joined, they had managed to down both Razorscale and the XT-002 Deconstructor.  By the time we called it a night, we’d taken down Kologarn, the Assembly of Iron, Auriaya, Hodir, Thorim and Freya.  Only Ignis (who’s apparently still bugged), General Vezax and Yogg-Saron remain.

The best way to sum it my experience is that you have to plan the trash, and the bosses aren’t friendly towards errors in execution.  Personally, I think Auriaya was the hardest, due to the tricky nature of the pull when you engage her.  Freya and her adds of doom were pretty unpleasant as well (and I failed miserably, dying from pulling aggro on one of the adds, leaving the group to successfully 9-man her down, ressing me as a ghoul a little before she died).

Nobody nose the troubles I've seen...

Kologarn was kind of fun, provided you were able to run out from the eye-beams without dying or kiting it over someone else.  The Assembly of Iron was entertaining – stand on the blue stuff on the ground unless it’s covered by green stuff on the ground and watch for when you have to run away.  We also picked up the I Choose You, Stormcaller Brundir achievement – two more to go, for having each of the other bosses killed last.

The trash before Auriaya was pretty brutal – they come in pairs which you have to keep to tank separately, and occasionally one will fire a slow-moving spark to the other which has to be killed before it reaches the other mob to prevent it from giving the mob a tank-killing buff.  Then, after one is dead, the other receives a powerful buff which means you’d better kill it before it flattens the tank.

Auriaya herself isn’t that hard, but her cat adds are rather unpleasant – when they’re together they gain something like 100% extra damage.  They didn’t one-shot the tank, but the tank didn’t last more than a second.  After several mishaps, we sorted out the pull and managed to get her down, gaining The Antechamber of Ulduar.

Next up were the four keepers (who I guess are now the one keeper, Mimiron being the only one remaining).  Thorim was first, and turned out to be a two-group fight.  The first group of players remains in the arena below Thorim (which is where I was), and fights waves of adds until the second group is able to fight through to Thorim and engage him.  Once engaged, he leaped down into the arena (followed by the second group) and it became a simple tank-and-spank.  Simple, but quite satisfying.  I’ll Take You All On was picked up upon completion.

Hodir was next, and was a tricky combination of Keristrasza from The Nexus and Sapphiron from Naxxramas.  You have to keep moving (or finding safe areas to stand) to prevent yourself from being frozen to the floor, and patches on the floor where icicles fall from the ceiling, and find safe places to stand when he casts Flash Freeze.  I failed on this one frequently and comprehensively, but the rest of the group managed to do pretty well.  (I accidentally picked up Staying Buffed All Winter during one attempt, while we were at it)

Even the memory makes my poor, bruised spleen hurt.

Freya was the last of the night, and it was pretty rough.  We cleared the trash from the area (which was especially exciting with the groups of lashers), then took down the three elders (the hard mode is where you leave one or more elder up for when you engage Freya, much like Sartharion).

When you start, Freya has 150 stacks of a healing buff which can only be removed by killed the various waves of adds she summons.  The adds I really hated (and frequently were killed by) were the trio of the Storm Lasher, Ancient Water Elemental and Snaplasher; these three have to be killed at about the same time, otherwise they resurrect and pwnage ensues.

We had a quick look at the trash before Mimiron, but decided to call it after we were mercilessly crushed by it.  And that was about 9 hours of raiding completed.  I didn’t pick up any loot, just a bunch of fairly useless Emblems of Valor – the few caster items that dropped weren’t upgrades for my majority of best-in-slot 25-man items.

I’ve got some fishing to do today, as I’m down from 87 to 20 fish feasts from all these attempts.  Hopefully I’ll get an invite to the raid this afternoon, but if not we’re back to the 25-man version tonight (and again tomorrow night).  I’m thinking of respeccing as well, and dropping the points I used to pick up Silence for the Razorscale trash; Shadow Affinity might keep me alive a little bit longer…  (I’m thinking of something like this)

But on the subject of things to do, these dailies won’t wait forever!