Finally something other than a guide. I like the guides because they are helpful and they attract people to the blog, but they require a lot of research and can be very draining when you do a really long one like the gear guide. Plus, A lot has happened over the past few weeks and I feel like I haven't gotten a chance to talk about it yet. And I'll be honest. One of the reasons I started this blog was to talk about my self and my game play. So let the self centeredness begin.
I'll start with the alts since they are easy. As you can probably guess not much has happened with them. When log into Graypal he gives me a nasty look and says I only call when I need something DEed,Grayfel is giving me the silent treatment in the fuming warlocky sort of way, Grayvik sent me a mail the other day asking me not to forget the little people. I have played Grayfel a little bit that I was really looking for mining nodes to hopefully get some free gems. I really want to level him fairly soon, because I think his professions are particularly useful. However, I don't see him getting any serious attention until January. Graypal and Grayvik are just going to have to wait. The good news for Grayvik though is that by the time I level him again I will have a ton of Emblems and he will get some nice BoA gear.
LoE is having their first "official" raid tonight but we were have done informal 25 man raids for the past week and started 10man raids a couple of weeks before that. Our progress has been good.
On the 10man level we have cleared Naxx and Sartharion with one drake up, and have put some solid attempts in on Malagos. Sartharion is simple with no drakes, but got a little tougher with a drake up. My view on naxx may be a little misleading. When I cleared Naxx10, I had already cleared 3 wings of Naxx25. Most of my group had cleared Naxx on the 10man level, and some of them had experience with it on the 40man level preBC. So this wasn't a group that walked in fresh. Naxx10 may be tougher for people with less raiding experience, but from my perspective it was fairly easy. We cleared all 4 wings of Naxx10 and killed Sapphiron with out a single person dying during a boss fight. We were very close to getting the Undying achievement, but ended up 3 shotting Kel'thuzad. Really, I think even fairly casual guilds could master this instance fairly quickly if they had a good consistent group that had decent raid experience.
The really fun part of my 10man raiding experience is Malagos. He is much tougher then Naxx, but still very doable. None of the phases none of the phases are really hard, but we haven't mastered them yet because we are running up on the enrage timer. With a little tweeking of our strategy I think we can get him down fairly soon
On the 25 man level we have cleared Naxx, but have yet to attempt Sartharion or Malagos. Naxx25 was better tuned then Naxx10 in my opinion. A lot of the fights are fairly easy, but there are some that test your skill or are tuned just right for a beginning group.
The best example of this is Thaddius. His fight mechanics aren't hard but are a little unforgiving to errors. For those of you that don't know he is a lot like the first boss in Mech. He will randomly put Positive and Negative charges on people periodically through out the fight. If people with opposite charges are near each other they damage each other. If all of the like charges are grouped up together then you get a 10% damage buff for each person with your charge. On top of that he has a very short enrage timer so these buffs are very important. Also, the way you get to the boss is to jump from one platform to another. If you miss the platform then you fall in the water and have to run back around. By the time you get a chance to jump again the charges will have been applied, and you will have to wait until your charge matches your side's charge. You will lose at least a minute of DPS time doing this. So this is a personal accountability fight and a DPS race. If several people don't make the jump then the raid wipes. If you don't pay attention to your charge you will kill your self and probably several of your raid members.
On our kill we had about 15 - 30 seconds to spare but only one death during the fight. So, the fight is a little tight. Given that we had fairly entry level gear I think this is perfect. I'm sure we could kill him with just 20 people a month or two from now after everyone has fully geared, but I like how he is tuned for now.
I do want to make a comment about raid difficulty. Much has been said about how Ensidia (the former Nihilum and SK Gaming super guild) cleared all raid content in under 48 hours after release. I personally don't think that this means that the game is to easy. Most of the people that are beating the game now are fairly serious raiders that have a lot of experience and are a little better trained to react to the unexpected. Many of them raided during the beta and/or raided Naxx back during Vanilla WoW. So it is no wonder that these people are going to have a leg up and be able to clear the content quickly. That doesn't mean that your more average player isn't going to find this content challenging, and his is the entry level content. Its not meant to be a Sunwell type difficulty, and all of the QQing ignores the achievements. Has anyone cleared Naxx 25 without anyone dying? Has anyone killed the 4 horsemen with in 15 seconds of each other? There are several achievements that you can go for to make the fights harder and I doubt that many people have completed them yet.
I have done all the heroics except Halls of Lightning and Drak'tharon Keep. In fact I haven't cleared Drak'tharon Keep on Normal either. I hope to get those over the weekend so that when I kill Malagos I can get the champion of the frozen wastes title. Overall I like the heroics, but think they are a little uneven. Some are very tough or have very tough fights. I would consider the HoS event and the last boss in Old Kingdom very tough. Then there are other instances like the Nexus, UK, CoT: Stratholme that I would consider fairly easy.
I don't really have a favorite yet, but there are some that I think are a lot of fun. Utgarde Pinnacle had a lot of nice variation to its bosses that I liked. The Oculus was interesting because of its unique design and the Drake fight was fun. Violet Hold is like the new mech in that it seems to be the one that everyone farms, but at the same time it has some nice variations since you never know what the first two bosses will be.
Even though I am level 80 I am still questing. The Zygor guide worked out great for me. It had a few bugs here and there, but for the most part it made leveling fairly simple however, it stopped about a quarter of the way into Storm Peaks and with no progress in Icecrown. This isn't horrible but it left me a little flustered at the start. I feel that it is important for me to complete the quests in these zone's to prepare for the future patches. They have a lot of heavy phasing that I may miss things that I will need for future raiding. On top of that these are going to be heavy farming areas for Herbs, Eternals and other things, so I need to know the area. As of now I have completed the Storm Peaks but haven't started Icecrown yet. I don't have a lot of time to quest in between raiding and heroics.
One last thing, I'm not really happy with how we have to level Alchemy. I've been stuck at 410 to 415 for a while now and there isn't a good way to get it higher. The problem is the availability of recipes. Once you get to about 410 the recipes you get from the trainer don't level you much anymore. The only recipes that allow you to level up to about 430 or so are discoveries you can make from Northrend Research. The problem with this is that Northrend research has a 7 day cooldown, and you have no control over what you discover. So far I have discovered [Elixir of Mighty Mageblood], [Elixir of Mighty Defense], and [Potion of Wild Magic]. These items aren't bad but none of them are anything I would use right now, and I am not much of a craft to sell type of alchemist, but I need to use these three to get to 430. Once there I will have to start transmuting Diamonds daily to get the next 5 points, which won't be cheap. Once I get to 435 it will be smooth sailing, because I will be able to craft [Flask of the Frost Wyrm] all the way to 450. Really there is no reason to push for 450 now. There aren't any recipes that require that amount of skill currently in game. I'm sure they will introduce something in the future but by that point I will have probably crafted enough flasks to be max skill.