Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pre-raid Warlock Gear

Everyone likes gear. No one wanders through this game, sees an item drop for them and says "Eww, an upgrade! I don't want that crap!" Whether you're the most casual of the casual or the hardest of the hardcore, you probably still like the idea of your character being more powerful. Personally, I love gearing up. I like making the shopping lists and gathering mats, comparing which items are available to me and going after them. Even on my fifth or sixth character to reach level cap, if I'm even remotely interested in doing organized play with them, I still get excited about picking out weapons or trinkets. So, naturally, I've been looking at loot tables and reputation factions in order to get an idea of where to go and what to do at 90.
I've picked out some options for each slot that you may want to track down for your own use. I've focused mostly on gear that is relevant to level 90 characters getting ready to raid, so I'm not looking at drops from normal mode Temple of the Jade Serpent, for instance. Know that some are locked beind rep grinds or will be ludicrously expensive for several months, so plan accordingly. I'm also including Brewfest drops since it will be active as most of us are still leveling and gearing. I should note that this isn't a complete list since a lot of items on Wowhead's database have little to no information about how to go about getting them.
Yup, it's a boring gear list. If you're trying to gear up and raid on the first week, just grab what you come across rather than trying to focus on building a "best in slot" set. Knowing what is "best" is helpful, but with the RNG of drop rates and the fact that rep grinds will always take a certain amount of time, it's unrealistic to expect that you'll be able to get all (or even most) of it in the short time you have. Go for what's in front of you and try for the better stuff when you have time.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

How's your bucket list going?

Mists of Pandaria launches in a few short days. Many people take the last few weeks of an expansion to get their affairs in order, gather mats, clean up their bank space or finish off those last few pesky achievements and I'm no different. A few weeks ago I posted my own bucket list and have been making better progress than I'd hoped, but I still have a lot to do.
  • Heroic Madness - Done. I've only actually downed it once due to a variety of obstacles and I didn't get the Lifebinder's Handmaiden, but I'm running around Orgrimmar with "Savior of Azeroth" over my alt's head and that's all I really wanted. I'm done with content before it's replaced for the first time in my WoW career. I'm pretty happy about that. 
  • Heroic Ragnaros - Done. Oddly enough, I actually had to buy this one. Pugs and OpenRaid groups only wanted people who had killed it before so getting in there was proving to be a challenge. I wanted to get it done before the drop rate on the Pureblood Firehawk was nerfed and I didn't want to risk a losing roll, so when a guild on my server started selling kills at a pretty reasonable price (a fraction of what we'll see later this week) I jumped on it.
  • Glory of the Firelands Raider - Almost done. The only thing that stands between me and a Corrupted Firehawk is a group that can dodge tornadoes on Alysrazor.
  • Level Alchemy on two more characters - Never even started and probably won't in the next few days. 
  • Tabard of the Scarlet Crusade - Done. Even went out there on my bank alt Paladin and got one for her. 
  • Cap Honor/JP on my main - Mostly done. She's capped on Honor, but I still need about 2,000 more Justice Points before Tuesday. Since my 5.0.4 lag issues seem to have finally cleared up it shouldn't take me more than a couple hours grinding dungeons. 
  • Decide which character I'm going to level after my Warlock - Done, I guess. I like playing my Hunter and there's no time that is more profitable for gathering professions than the first few weeks of an expansion, so her Herbalism is going to be very nice to have early on. But the same can be said of my Shaman and Skinning. So, while I haven't really decided yet, I've at least narrowed it down to two instead of 8.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

5.0 Intro to Demo

I’ve been playing around with Demo pretty heavily the last couple days in order to get a feel for the spec and make sure that I wasn’t going to be pulling random stuff out of thin air when I sat down to write this. I’m happy to report that this spec is crazy fun now.

In Cataclysm, Demonology always felt like it was working against itself. The RNG of Molten Core procs (which, in turn, fed the RNG of Impending Doom) could make a significant impact on your DPS and whether or not it wanted to play nice could make or break the attempt for you. I played Demonology exclusively during H-Ragnaros progression and I would often swing from the bottom of the meters to the top depending on procs and RNG. Sometimes I wouldn’t see a single proc until phase 2, other times my Incinerate button would be lighting up faster than I could press it. Sometimes I had to sit through a full three minute cooldown on Metamorphosis, other times it would be available again mere seconds after the last one expired, essentially giving me back-to-back usage. I’ve never been a huge fan of the spec and generally only relied on it for the group buff or situations when it’s too useful to pass up so I’m sure that someone more comfortable with it would have had better results, but the whole experience was infuriating beyond belief. Add in obnoxious (if unintended) mechanics like pet-twisting around the Moonwell Chalice and I soon hated the spec with the fury of a thousand angry deities. By the time we were progressing Heroic DS, I had sworn that I would never touch the spec again . . . until we got to Heroic Spine and I realized that Destro and Affliction didn’t have the appropriate burst required.

Thankfully, all of the RNG of the spec is gone. Molten Core procs are still fairly unreliable, but stack instead of overwriting themselves so it’s not a huge deal if you can’t or don’t get to it right away. Touch of Chaos and Hand of Gul’dan no longer have a cast time which makes Demonology (formerly the spec most hindered by movement) incredibly mobile. Most importantly, you have all the control over Metamorphosis and how often you’re in it.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sulfuras #3

I'm fairly certain that not too many people have a legendary weapon on their bank alt. That's how I roll.
Current tally:
Dragonwrath: 1
Thori'dal: 1
Warglaives: 1-1/2 sets
Thunderfury: 2
Sulfuras: 3
My hunter has both bindings, so she'll have her Thunderfury as soon as I find someone to smelt my Enchanted Elementium bars.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

5.0 Intro to Destro

I wasn't sure about doing one of these, but part of the process of getting any sort of guide together (if I want it to be at all useful for anyone) is research . . . a lot of research. As a progression oriented raider, I need to be able to switch seamlessly between specs from tier to tier or even from fight to fight in order to maximize my DPS and take on the hardest content in the game. Being able to do that also requires research, so forcing myself to sit down and write out a guide to each spec that everyone can use not only helps the three or four people who will read it, but it also helps me to be a better Warlock. Win-win.

The introduction of Pyroclasm and Pandemic as well as level 90 scaling will change this up a bit in a few weeks, so I'll try to make a point of making any needed changes to this when we get there.

Destruction: Thematically
Chaos Bolt
Destruction is, to put it as simply as possible, all about blowing crap up. Fire, explosions, chaotic energies that threaten to rip you apart if not harnessed. While it has ranged from a one-button "spam Shadowbolt" spec in BC to one of the hardest specs in the game in Cataclysm, it has never lost it's essence. Nukes and explosions. Shadow and flame. Making ugly things go "boom".

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Addon Fun: TradeForwarder

I haven’t done one of these in a while. With so little happening in the game until September 25th, now seems as good a time as any to talk about another cool little addon.

One of the design goals for Mists of Pandaria is to get people away from major cities and back out into the world. Profession trainers are scattered around the continent, world bosses are back, the daily cap is gone and there are tons of new ones for us to do in addition to Pet Battles, farms, etc. However, the problem with being out in the world is that nagging feeling that you’re missing an Ulduar or Onyxia run that you’ve been waiting for. Since the Raid Finder doesn’t support old content (and no one uses the raid browser window), the only way to quickly connect with other players for these types of runs is through Trade chat which, in turn, leads to a lot of sitting around in Orgrimmar or Stormwind.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get Trade chat anywhere? Well, now you can!