Monday, November 30, 2015

Unfamiliar thoughts on raiding (yes, I'm still alive)

Together with most of my guild I stopped playing WoW for a while, back in June. We had done one raid in Hellfire Citadel I think, in which we cleared 5 bosses. People were going away for the summer holiday, and we had all started to feel incredibly "meh!" about both WoW and raiding, so we kind of avoided making plans as to when we would start up the raids again. My partner and I got a puppy during the summer, and we stepped up our previous hiking habits by about 1000 %. The puppy, the four cats, TV shows and other video games (especially Life Is Strange and Dreamfall Chapters) ensured that I didn't miss WoW at all really. I did log on one or two times per week for followers and follower missions though.

About one month ago I decided to finally go ahead and tame Gara for Lae, and name her Ronja, after my real-life puppy. :) Lae was still 96, Kinlai was my only level 100, and I decided that I would level her. And after that I found out that I should keep progressing with her, now for gear. I started having a blast again! With Tanaan Jungle, legendary quest-line, heroic dungeons and raid finder. As I was getting close to as well-geared as I could get without raiding, Valor made a re-appearance, so I kept doing dungeons, and actually started doing the easier raid finder wings over again to accumulate points.

Eventually I started thinking
"I miss raiding... I mean, I don't miss organizing them, or the damned struggle with keeping enough people in the raid team. And I don't miss having set evenings of the week occupied by raids. But I miss playing with my friends; working together against the evil on Azeroth/ Outland/ Draenor!"
And then there was the moose-announcement...
"Defeat Archimonde on heroic or mythic to get this awsome moose-mount!"
I need that moose! I really need it. Norway is like the land of moose! I need it.

Last night I was invited by Class to join her guild's alt run in heroic Hellfire Citadel. We killed the first six bosses without any problems, and I got a shiny new trinket. :) My DPS wasn't awsome (I'm a stubborn Beast Master at item level 703, and I refuse to take Barrage too), but it wasn't terrible either, so that was good. And I didn't do any really bad mistakes either. (Ok, I got caught in Blitz one time (Deterrence!), and I triggered a Hand on trash before Kormrok, but it wasn't too bad.)
After 2 hours I was completely exhausted, and had to step out. And I was thinking; "wow, these fights last for SO long!", and "imagine doing the same bosses one or two times per week, every week, since June...", and now I'm not sure what to think of my future "career" in raiding.

Perhaps organized raiding isn't for me anymore? Could I be happy and satisfied without it? Could progress in dungeons and raid finder be enough for me? Would I be happy about getting that moose through a free or paid boost? Or should I write it off? Why does it bother me so much that I'm not a Raider? And what does these standards I set for myself really mean?

Another thing I think about these days: "Who is my main now? And who will my main be?"

Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Ata'mal Crystals

I'm considering commissioning a picture showing the Ata'mal Crystals. For now, I made this overview for myself.

The crystal was given to the eredar people by the naaru so long ago, that noone remembered it even 25 000 years ago. When the naaru saved the eredar from the Burning Legion, it shattered into seven crystals, one for each colour in the rainbow.

The crystals, especially Leafshadow, Heart of Fury and Spirit's Song, played a big role in Rise of the Horde, and also in some of the questlines in Outland in Burning Crusade (which I plan to do over again sometime soonish). Most of them seem to be lost in our timeline, but a recent questline for Harrison Jones got me thinking about them again. I wonder where they are in the alternate timeline?


Monday, April 27, 2015

One - The Crash

Year 26 - Entry 1

What happened? Everything hurts.

She opens her eyes and looks up at an unfamiliar starry sky, framed by a broken ceiling. Carefully, she tries to move her limbs, to check if she’s alright. Fingers, arms… The motion whirls up dust and makes her cough. She gasps, tears bursting from her eyes. Her ribs hurts terribly! She breathes shallowy, convincing her lungs that there is no need to cough. She tries adjusting her legs. Waves of pain shoot from her right knee, and she presses her eyelids shut, drums the pavement with her palm, and tries to not pass out again. The pain diminishes a little, and she becomes aware of a familiar sound. There’s water running very close; probably a small stream. Her left leg, although sore, seems fine. She turns her head gently from side to side. She feels dizzy, and her head is pounding.

She slowly rolls over so that she’s resting on the left side of her body, and takes a look at her surroundings. The entrance of the room, with the arched doorway, is intact, but the door is missing. Most of the rest of the walls are missing, with only pillars left. Some of the room is located in a small shallow pond, and beyond that she can see the top of a small waterfall. Beyond the waterfall there are rocks and tall green trees strecthing towards the skies. Still in this position, she slowly crawls towards the pond. When she is within reach, she places her hand in the water. It feels cool. She uses her hand as a cup, and lifts a small amount of water to her face. The water has no smell at all, so she carefully take a small sip. It tastes like normal water, and she continues to drink until her thirst is slated.

They had finally been able to flee the shattered remains of Draenor, Outland. Velen had led the few remaining draenei in a raid on the Exodar, which was one of four naaru vessels located in Netherstorm. Or Farahlon, as some still called it. They had to reclaim it from the blood elves, and there had been a fierce battle. She had tried to help as best as she could, but her elder sister had led her into an empty room and told her to hide. Kneeling behind some boxes, she had felt that they had started to move, but she could still hear combat sounds outside of the room. After a while, the noises seemed to move away from where she was, and eventually she couldn’t hear it at all. She had just decided to come out of hiding, when suddenly the entire ship had started shaking. The exodar seemed to be dropping, then it was hurled forwards, before it started to spin out of control. She had tried her best to find something to hold on to, the fear grasping a hold of her, clenching her heart, slowing her thoughts, and tightening her muscles. She heard terrified screams, and then loud noices, as the ship had grazed something. She had no idea how long she had been holding on to the nearest object, it could be 5 minutes or 5 hours, before the big final crash that had destroyed this room completely. She was knocked into the oposite wall by the violent movement, and had passed out. How on argus was she still alive?

She pushes the thoughts and the fear away, but can’t stop the tears. She falls to sleep, completely worn out.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

An attempt to make a draenei timeline

I've been reading Rise of the Horde again. It's a very sad and infuriating book. And at the end, when I think there is no more that can shock me, there's a small scene that happens when the orcs open the Dark Portal that just breaks my heart. I also feel sad for the orcs in a way. Not for the bloodthirsty warmongering brutal idiots, but for the proud and caring people, that lived in harmony with nature. The first chapters show how good life could have been for them, and then they just fuck it all up.

My reasoning for reading Rise of the Horde over again, was that I wanted to get a better grasp on the hard facts. When did this and that happen, how many were they, and so on.

For example:

  • Less than 1 000 draenei escaped from Argus. 
  • About 25 000 years later they crash on Draenor, and they were then about an even number with the orcs, or slightly less. Without it really stating how many orcs there were on Draenor either. Velen states in Rise of the Horde that since the draenei are very long-lived, they don't have children very often. So I really don't know how much they've increased their numbers in those 25 000 years. Neither do I know how limiting Genedar/Oshu'gun was on space. 1000+X=Y draenei.
  • The orcs killed more than 80 % of them. 20 % of Y=Z.
  • About 70 years after the orc-attacks started, the draenei crash on Azeroth, with unknown losses.
  • With WoD's time-/planet-/reality-jump, we're back only 35 years in time, and by that time in our history the draenei had already suffered major losses. However, alternate timeline Draenor seems to be holding up much better. So the combined number of draenei between the two realities seems to be approximately Y+Z.
  • However, if we leave beautiful Draenor, and close the portal behind us, we're again down to Z

I've seen people argue for this being the case; we go there, we save the day, we go home again, we close the door. Well, I hope this isn't how it will turn out. My characters have undoubtedly had a hard time going back, but after spending a year or two on a Draenor that is whole again, see their culture, temples and cities "restored", meeting people they have lost in our timeline, and perhaps even getting new friends... I can't really tell them that this is something they will have to leave behind.

Here's the timeline I made, with a lot of help from Wowpedia.


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Kinlai - Becoming a Monk

"Perhaps you could pick up a trade instead? Artificing or mining? You're strong, I'm sure you could do very well." Kore, the relatively patient warrior trainer, tried to provide Kinlai with some advice regarding her future.
Kinlai, wearing a sad but decisive expression, would have nothing of it. "I'm a fighter! It's the only thing I'm good at. I'm not interested in anything else. It's where I belong." Kinlai pleaded with him. "If I could just get one more chance, I'll..."
"NO!" Kore stopped himself from shouting. "Kinlai... You're strong and you're quick. Yes, you are a good fighter. But if you want to train with my warriors, you need to follow my rules. And as this is the third time we are having this conversation, I can't give you any more chances. It's not happening." He tried to ignore the devastated look on her face, and continued: "It's not that I think you are breaking rules on purpose of course. Perhaps your instincts take you over when you are in combat? All I know is that you're not following the fight style that I've taught you, and none of my other students want to train with you anymore. You are literally kicking the elekk turd out of them!" He paused. "Perhaps Keilnei will let you train with the hunters again?" But Keilnei would never allow that to happen, and they both knew it.

Kinlai left, sighing heavily and dragging her hooves after her. Initially heading for her own quarters, she suddenly changed her mind and started moving towards the training room instead. She picked up a training sword from the rack and swiftly attacked one of the training dummies. Left swing, right swing, overhead, stab, stab. She felt the adrenaline rush through her, and finished the training dummy off with a deadly side kick. The dummy's head broke off, flew through the air, and smashed hard in the wall on the other side of the room. Surprised she stood there and looked at it for several seconds. She then threw the sword after it in anger, before running off.

Upset as she was, she never noticed the creature that had been watching her with interest from the hall. The draenei people had seen much on their long travels through the universe, but this creature, some kind of bear woman, still caused some curiousity and more or less well hidden stares from those nearby.

What's your story?


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Kinlai and the Celestials - Art by SleepingFox

I've been following the artist SleepingFox for a couple of years. She's done art for Matty, Navimie, Puffs, and several more of the people I follow, read and interact with. A few weeks ago, she announced on Twitter and DeviantArt that she was opening for commissions. I immediately sat down and composed a looong mail, describing my wishes for Kinlai.

My monk Kinlai, in fighting stance, surrounded by the Celestials.
Niuzao, the Black Ox, representing the fortitude of the Brewmaster.
Xuen, the White Tiger, representing the strength of the Windwalker.
Yu'lon, the Jade Serpent, and Chi-Ji, the Red Crane, representing the wisdom and hope of the Mistweaver.

Kinlai is wearing the Mists of Pandaria challenge mode gear, with some modifications. I wanted to use a recolour that was previewed on MMO Champion which was never available to players. (But should have been!) I wanted to use the The Ultimate Monk Staff. And finally, I wanted to use the type of belt that we receive when we go through our belt graduation at Peak of Serenity. My first visit there was what made me fall completely in love with this class.

The artwork is done, and it's completely gorgeous.

Kinlai, surrounded by Xuen, Chi-Ji, Yu'lon and Niuzao

Please visit SleepingFox's DeviantArt for more of her art. She has more chibis, but also other stunning art.


Friday, February 20, 2015

Next week

Patch 6.1 is due to arrive in five days. Apparently it "contains nothing". If vaccuum could be shaped into a patch this would be it. ;) Despite this, I found some things I'm gonna do when it launches, and decided to make it into a list, because that's what people like me like to do.

Additions that will provide me with additional stuff to do beyond "managing" are highlighted.

Heirloom Tab: Not much to do here, just gonna log through my alts and make sure everything gets added.

New daily Garrison visitors which offers one of these:
  • Dungeon-quest
  • Raid-quest
  • Bounty-quest
  • Relic-quest (Completing a relic mission unlocks it as a potential mission for your followers. Completing all 6 relic missions will unlock Harrison Jones as a follower!)
  • Profession-hand-in

    Dwarven Bunker: Daily follower-upgrade token for Iron Scraps.

    Traveling Pet Battle visitors!

    Garrison world bosses

    Garrison Music Box: I already have an addon that lets me play the music I want in my garrison, but I'm gonna be collecting stuff for the Music Box anyway. Because it seems like fun.

    Garrison Followers: I'm gonna start upgrading my followers to 675. And the absolute best part: I'm gonna recruit Vindicator Onaala and Apprentice Artificer Andren as my followers, even though I chose Rangari Chel when I did Friend of the Exarchs. :-D

    Prepared for new item level

    Darkmoon Faire: Gonna head over and check out the new stuff!

    Raiding with Leashes III: I will be chasing battle pets in Black Temple, Hyjal Summit, and Sunwell Plateau until I get my little K'ute. I am slighly annoyed that it can't battle, but I still want it. I still have several characters that need transmog gear from those places, so that fits nicely. In addition I will use the free "insta-level 25"-stone on one of my level 1 battle pets. And I might help my partner finally opening up his menagerie.

    S.E.L.F.I.E Camera: I don't get selfies. I think it's stupid, vain and show-offy. I don't plan to integrate twitter in-game either. BUT I'm gonna get myself this camera and the filters, and I'm gonna chase down the Field Phothographer-achievement. Because I think it will be fun. ;)

    Apexis Crystal-dailies: I might jump on the option of doing other Apexis Crystal-dailies instead of those that are offered. Either for the currency (pets and mounts), achievements or reputation.

    What A Strange, Interdimensional Trip It's Been: I like achievements, so I will try to remember to bring Pepe with me when I go on my weekly slaughter.

    Alchemy: Start transmuting Savage Blood.
    Inscription: Learn the five "new" glyph recipes. (Glyph of Cleanse, Glyph of Flying Fists, Glyph of Purification, Glyph of Purify Spirit and Glyph of the Solstice)
    Cooking: Recipes for 125 stats.

    Add Piccolo of the Flaming Fire and Ruther's Harness to my Toybox.

    (Need to do on alt rogue sometime in the future: Griftah dingy coins-grind.)

      I'm not sure it's actually lighter than all other patches that we've had before. But I'd still like some daily quests for reputations, more Garrison Campaign (returing in 6.2) or repeatable 3people scenarios. The amount of time my poor character is AFK in my lovely garrison...


      Tuesday, February 3, 2015

      [Weak Aura] Windwalker Priority Rotation

      Update 5-FEB-2015: Placed Rising Sun Kick much higher in priority, as it should be used on cooldown. Also blocked Blackout Kick if Fists of Fury is off cooldown.

      As a Windwalker, I started this expansion doing quite good DPS. But after some nerfs the last couple of months, I've started feeling powerless. This is not a happy place to be, so in addition to complaining about it, I figured I'd better improve my rotation. After all, I never was overpowered when we were supposed to be just that, and if there's one place I hate to be, it's at the bottom.

      I know I've been slacking with Fists of Fury, I've been using Rising Sun Kick a bit more than we're supposed to (last expansion we used it on cooldown, but things have changed), I Jab when I shouldn't, etc. There's much movement in fights now, and knowing the rotation by heart would definitely have been best, but I'm kind of stuck in my old MOP-ways still. So I decided to make a Windwalker Priority Rotation-aura, to get some practice in. I set it up using Icy Veins Windwalker Guide and Calligraphy's Windwalker Monk Guide on Wowhead.


      This Weak Aura is for single-target fights. The aura doesn't know if the boss is about to use an ability where she ports away, knocks us back or shields herself, or if there are nuke phases that cooldowns should be saved for. Good understanding and knowing of the fights and the rotation will without a doubt beat this aura any day. I'm working on setting up an additional aura with an overview over procs and expected procs, but I have so far not figured out how to handle the two stacks of Mark of the Frostwolf (since I have it on both weapons).

      The aura does not include:

      • AOE-rotation (Storm, Earth, and Fire, Spinning Crane Kick, Rushing Jade Wind)
      • DPS-potions. I prepot, and then use a potion together with Tigereye Brew later in the fight.
      • Hurricane Strike
      • Zen Sphere
      • Chi Burst

      The Aura

      The priority order is gathered in a Dynamic Group, with unusable abilities hidden.

      1. Touch of Death, if it's off cooldown and available.
      2. Tiger Palm to keep Tiger Power-buff up.
      3. Rising Sun Kick to keep debuff up.
      4. Tigereye Brew if more than 10 stacks and if at least one proc is up (Mark of the Frostwolf, Tiger Strikes, legendary ring-proc, Heroism, my trinket proc.) Add own procs under Trigger-Trigger 3. There's definitely room for improvement here, for example make sure to wait until there's at least two or three procs active, time it with heroism, etc.
      5. Xuen, if Tigereye Brew is active.
      6. Energizing Brew, if Serenity isn't active and if energy is below 50.
      7. Tiger Palm, if Tiger Power is less than 6 seconds.
      8. Fists of Fury, if Serenity and Energizing Brew is not active.
      9. Rising Sun Kick
      10. Combo Breakers; Chi Explosion, Blackout Kick, Tiger Palm.
      11. Serenity, if Energizing Brew is not active, if chi is 3 or more, and if energy is below 50.
      12. Expel Harm, if off cooldown, if player is below 95 % health, if chi is 2 or less and if there's enough energy to use it.
      13. Chi Brew, if 2 stacks, if energy is below 90, and if chi is 2 or less.
      14. Chi Brew, if usable, if energy is below 50, and if chi is 2 or less.
      15. Jab, if enough energy, and if chi is 2 or less.
      16. Chi Explosion, if 3 or more chi.
      17. Chi Wave, unless Serenity or Energizing Brew is active.
      18. Blackout Kick, if usable.
      19. Jab. At this point we will be energy-starved and have no chi whatsoever. The Jab-icon will tease and taunt us, and we will keep spamming Jab with desperacy, until we finally get enough energy back to get one off.

      Aura Strings

      Energy Bar (this is Sunnier's weak aura, I just moved it and changed the colour)

      Windwalker Chi Bar (this is also built on Sunnier's aura, I just added one extra chi for us windwalkers)

      Additional Free Tip

      I also want to recommend an addon called Angry Boss Reminders. It allows for manually saving which talents and glyphs we want to have active for each and every boss; when we enter the boss room, a reminder pops up on the screen if we have wrong talents active.


      Saturday, January 17, 2015

      Character model tweaks

      Feedback has been given on the new character models, and the first tweaks have appeared on the PTR. I think it's evident that art team has taken steps to make the new models more "true to the original soul of the characters", which I'm happy about. The eyes are finally back to white! And she seems to have fallen face first into the makeup pouch... :p I'm not going to say more now, just leaving this comparison here.