zaterdag 11 maart 2017

I need more talent books, a night in Nighthold.

This is a story about changing talents..a lot, and gear, and legendaries, and Tier sets..and..well...

Going through the Emerald Nightmare, Boomkins had it easy, you had some variety in talents, but those mostly came down to either choosing Guardian or Resto Affinity. The DPS-talents where set in stone, no reason to spec differently. This was because most fights where Single Target, or their Single target-phase (hello Iilgynyoth) where that important, that you didn't spec for AoE. But then Trials of Valor came out.

...and again we went in with ST-talents. Now there where adds on Odyn, but they didn't last for long, and where rather spread out, so out of reach of Starfall. Guarm was completely ST, but then Helya Happened, and for the first time I respecced...and since then, respeccing is something I do for every boss.

But it is not just respeccing, I am also juggling around Trinkets, Legendaries and Tier-Pieces, the latter, because Tier-bonus for Balance is purely Single- Target Starsurge-based, so equipping Higher Ilvl bon-tier sets is a better option if you hardly use Starsurge during a boss fight.


MeMe build, full AoE, I try to go for high Ilvl over Tier here, you hardly use Starsurge. Trinkets are my Stargate and Twisting Winds. This is the only fight where I find Twisting Winds usable, a static main-target with lots of adds around. I am also using my Sephuz here with Entangling Roots, mini-heroism every 30 seconds.

Chronomatic Anomaly

All around build here, which is basically taking Stellar Drift over Nature's Balance. Most of this fight is single target, but the adds live long enough to make using Stellar Drift a good option. Sephuz also works nicely here, you can Solar Beam the big adds, and root the small ones. Tiersets and ST-trinkets here, although a on-use AoE-trinket would also work, but I don't have that.

All around build

Full ST build here, no adds, just eating cakes, which makes Feral Affinity a thing here. Tier and ST-trinkets, but no Sephuz needed, luckily I have a third Legendary, free Lay on Hands every 2 minutes.

Single Target build

Spellblade Aluriel

This is an interesting boss. Your talent choice will mostly depend on what the rest of the raid is doing. The first time I was here with Innovation, I went in with the same build as on Anomaly, but I noticed that the adds weren't dying fast enough. So I changed it to MeMe, but the boss wasn't dying fast enough. 

After several things to do, I am now using a Starlord-AoE-build, with  ST-gear. So Tier, ST-trinkets and no Sephuz, only fire adds are interrupt-able, and I prefer the big Regrowth here, so much damage going around.

Starlord-AoE build

Hippy (High Botanist Tel'arn)

Same strategy as on Skorpyron, Full AoE-build. After 50% you will not be using Starsurge anymore, so definitely don't take Starlord. I am bringing both a ST-trinket and a AoE-trinket here, and I might go 2T19 here over stats, because of 50% mostly ST.

Sephuz is very usable here, the little adds can be rooted...BUT.. we found out there was a little hiccup here. Rooted mobs will attack in melee-range even when fixating another target. And because our raid is melee-heavy, some of them are assigned to kill plants when not fixated, which makes using entangling roots a problem.... wtb more ranged for Innovation. At the moment I am not using Sephuz here, and using Typhoon.


DuH! Single Target all the way. There shouldn't be adds... and if they spawn they die so quick it is now worth casting MF or SF on them.

So, as you can see, I am basically respeccing/gearing/trinketting every boss. This is how far we got so far in Heroic, and this post is getting long, so the other bosses will be for next post. But here are some quick things as remarks. Level 30, 45 and 60 talents are purely situational. I normally run Displacer Beast (hurray, a blink), Guardian Affinity and Mass Entanglement to proc Sephuz.

The reason I am taking Guardian Affinity is for those moments a tank dies, and there is a short cool-down left on a battle-rez.  I know the guides say go Resto, but there will come a day again, Mardah-bear will safe da day....

maandag 6 maart 2017

All that stuff to do, and no time to blog...

So last week I just posted my wowversery blog, after a loooong period of not blogging. Bascically since Legion launched I did not published a blog, I wrote some unfinished ones, but they never saw the light of day.

The simple reason for not publishing blogs is the amount of stuff I am doing in Azeroth itself. The moment Legion launched, all my allocated WoW-time basically went to playing. Writing a good blog takes a while, even the simple fast pulled together blog of last week took 45 minutes between me starting to write, and me hitting the publish-button. Not to mention the thought that went into it before I even started.

But it now seems to be slowing down, actually since patch 7.1.5 it has been slowing I finally got some serious alting done. Before that I did bring some alts to 110, but every time I played them, I had the feeling I was actually not progressing Mardah. That feeling went away after I got the 5% more damage on my Scythe.
Gwaednerth dueling it out with an old Wolf

The addition of AP20-tomes also helped, and at this moment I am making sure to keep my Shaman and my Hunter up to date with World Quests. There are also a Paladin and a Mage at max level, but that just takes to much time. Except for the monk, all my alliance alts have their artifact, and my Horde Paladin and Demon Hunter are also in that group.

I haven't seen a new Legendary in a while though. The last ones I got where around Patch 7.1.5, where basically all my alts at 110 got a Legendary within two days. On Mardah I have three at the moment,  but not the big ones...

Raiding with Innovation so far has been constant, about one new boss-kill a week. We got all the Heroic End bosses in time for the achievements, and are now progressing through Heroic Nighthold, Skorpyon, Anomaly, Trilliax and Alluriel have been on farm a little while, although Alluriel gave us some trouble this week. We downed the Hippy last week after 20 wipes, and last night Krosus went down after 7 wipes. But I plan to have a night in Nighthold as Boomkin-post soon, so more about that later...which reminds me to make sure I have some screenshots for that.

Krosus Heroic..and yes, I am experimenting with colors and shades.

vrijdag 24 februari 2017

Ten Years

I had no idea what to do. I started working on a school at the beginning of Januar, and now it was happening, school holiday, a week of being forced not to work, because the school was closed.

That saturday-morning I came to the conlusion that I didn't know what the F. to do for a week. Yes, I had to referee a Korfball-match that midday, but the next match was 7 days on. It was to cold to work in the garden, and I would be basically alone during the workdays ahead, so what to do....

That afternoon, I downloaded a game, I activated the free trial account, and Mendak, Dwarf Hunter was created.

That was the 24th of Februar, 2007

Within a week, after Mendak was kicked of the boat to Azuremyst Isle, I bought the full version, and started a Blood Elf Tankadin called Gowron. which within two years brought me face to face with a Demon Hunter called Illidan....  the more things change... the more things stay the same.

Look at that UI, so this was after patch 3 I guess.

maandag 29 augustus 2016

Bye Bye Draenor

At this moment, it is 5 hours and 15 minutes before midnight. At midnight, Dalaran will teleport from Karazhan to the Broken Isles, starting the new Expansion. There seems to be a lot riding on this, let's not be it a failure like Warlords of Draenor was, most people think.

To be honest, that seems the general feeling at the end of almost every expansion, but even I have some problems with Warlords of Draenor. But there where some positive points too.

Warlords of Draenor...Warlords?  I only remember one fight with a warlord that took some time, Blackhand. He was an endboss, he was difficult, and he gave that 'we did it'-feeling. I know there were some more warlords running around, but they where dealt with in dungeons, or early in raids, not even as wing-end-bosses.

The idea of course was nice, but after two years walking around on old Draenor, the hype is gone. I still think we should have had a third raid-tier. Two is not enough, not for a two-year patch. But this is because Blizzard aparrantly decided to stop working on Draenor, and start working on Legion.

But let's not dwell on the Warlords, we had our garrison....   /facepalm.

Mardah's Garrison

Well... at least I now have enough gold to last me till patch 10. The garrison was a nice idea, but way to much was put into it. Everyone had enough reagents for everything, gear was being carried in by your followers, and the gold..all the gold. And don't let me start about the shipyard, which was basically the same, but now with more ships.

But...  My garrison has an auctioneer and a bank. I will probably be returning there a lot. All the stuff close together. And it is MY Garrison  :)

I did like the levelling though. The stories where good, there were nice intermissions, and the flow was good. Even on my 15th alt, I wasn't really bored with the quests. Kudos for that. And there where some nice bosses along the way, although my price for best Boss this expansion goes to the trains. Not that Orc that was walking there, I do mean the Trains.

But the biggest thing that will always be in your memory of any expansion, is the amount of time you spend in the last Raid...  which again was way to long. And I am also not looking back fondly at the whole Hellfire Citadel. 

In contrast to Siege of Orgrimmar, Innovation didn't do any Mythics in HFC, There are a lot of reasons for that. we didn't had enough raiders to field a 20-man team is one. There was a high turnover this last year, and in my opinion, that is mostly due to four different raid tiers. We did normal, we did heroic, a lot of us did LFR. Even I felt burnout at the end.

I do not really have a solution, so I am not going to linger on it to long. But, in the end, this was again a two-year expansion, with one raid-tier short, and a lot of cool dreams that could have happened, but where never there.

Mardah in her non-transmogrified gear before Helffire Citadel
Bring us the Legion, let us sacrifice our heroes.

4 hours and 35 minutes to go....

dinsdag 21 juni 2016

Legion: A look ahead

I haven't played that much Beta last week. There are two reasons for that. The first is protection. Protection against playing burnout. As mentioned before, I did level to 100, and after that did a lot of artifact-quests for other specs. I even re-did the Moonkin-Artifact quest, and it seems to be fixed now. But I just didn't want o put that much time in the so-called End-Game. I just don't have the time for that.

The other reason is alt-raids. Innovation was on a little break, and some alt-raids where scheduled. Both my Hunter Forak, and my Paladin Timicin used that. And it is fun to make a character really raid-ready. The break stops this week, but thursday will probably stay an alt-day.

In the coming weeks, people will be able to bring new characters to the raid to test out, if their intention is to raid with that character in Legion. And the pre-patch is coming soon I guess...which makes me not happy. As mentioned before, balance without the Moon-spell is not fun. 

Beta-testing, wait..a Postbox in the Druid Class Hall???
Now I am lucky, during the pre-patch, I am not abe to play that much. A Wedding, a guild-meet, and general vacation...  I am lucky to not play Moonkin... that just sounds strange. Luckily, the moment I got the Artifact everything will be ok... can we just take a moment to look at the date.

Legion will be released August 30th, which is the most idiotic date to release a game for me. I work in Education, this is the beginning of a new School Year, I don't have time for that... and it is also not a good idea for all the students to play at that time...  you don't need to many distractions at the start of a new schoolyear.

And then there is this: Cyous response on raid-testing

Cyous is a player who is very clear on things that happens to Balance Druids. He is active on both the official forum, as on fan-forums like MMO-Champion. As far as I know, he knows his stuff, and he keeps his cool..until the post I linked...  if this keeps up..  maybe Balance is not that good an idea for Legion.

Although, I am a master at playing specs that aren't possible according to the masses..  maintankadin-memories float into my mind....

zondag 12 juni 2016

Spotlight: Eight Years in Azeroth

The story has ended. There will be an epiologue this week (or next week), but the story of Descendants of Draenor as written down on Eight Years in Azeroth is finished. This is the story written down by the Guildleader, from the moment the formed at the very start, till the end.

Their ending was in a time I know was a time where Innovation also almost folded, but we got lucky I guess. It is a very good story, go read it, if you haven't heard of the blog yet.

Thanks Shawn.

The first post on Eight Years in Azeroth

maandag 30 mei 2016

Legion Beta: Cheesing Mechanics

Disclaimer; This blog-post contains spoilers for Legion. Although I actively try not to actually spoil stories, sometimes a tidbit of information may leak through. Mechanics will be written about.

My first level 110 is a Troll Balance Druid named Morshando. For the first time, I actually levelled up completely on a Beta. I have been in all Beta's since Wrath, but this is the first time I actually had enough time to play it properly.

Morshando Dings near a strange questgiver
This has nothing to do with my own time though, more with the fact that on Live, I have hardly anything to do. I have enough Gold to probably be settled until we go back to Draenor to fight Yrel the Corrupted or something.

A couple of months ago I wrote that I really liked to have Beta-access, so I can actually test the new Balance. I have horrid memories of the Wrath-Cata transition with my Tankadin, and how I did level him first, but really couldn't like the Holy Combo Point system. After which I levelled Balance. Changing game-plays can be real frustrating, especially if you find out to late.

Luckily, there is the pre-patch, where you can figure stuff out.. a little bit. The problem this time around is your Artifact. That weapon everyone is going to get very soon, and has to upgrade all through Legion. After a little discussion last night in Innovation, I actually looked at all the Artifacts, and there is something fishy.

As far as I can tell, almost all Artifacts have a 45+ cooldown as their starting position. Something that you can use once in a while, maybe does huge things for your spec, but is not really altering how your spec works. Now comes the Balance starting Artifact-trait...which is in a whole different ballpark.

The Moon-Spell, not only has this spell the highest DPS of all your spells, it is also the best Astral Power generator. Both are more than twice as good as empowered Solar Wrath/Lunar Strike. And because they regenerate quite quickly, 3 charges/15 sec CD, the Moon-Spell is the Heart of your Balance-spell casting.

While other specs will be missing one cooldown during the pre-patch-phase, Balance-Druids will miss their core-ability. I had a little time to test it, in the Artifact Quest-line, which you have to do without Moon.

It was awful.

Because your are missing the big Astral Power-builder, you first hit the mobs with a piece of wet cheese (un-empowered Lunar Strike/Solar Wrath). When you finally have enough Astral Power, you cast Starsurge, and two Empowered spells..before using the cheese again. There are some talents (Astral Communion especially) which help with that, but that is a 1.33 min CD.

The only reason I could get through one piece of the quest-line, was by cheesing the mechanics, and go to flight-form (see, no lore-spoilers here). I just didn't have the power to subdue that part with the tools I had. The moment you get your moon-spell, it is a lot better. I am even starting to like be honest, letting a moon crash on your opponents is fun.

I also did all the other artifact-quests for druids, and for Retribution-Paladin/Combat Rogue, and those where nowhere near as difficult as the one for Balance..  fighting the trial against Deathwing all over again.

Morshando showing the new animation for Archaeology
For levelling as Balance, I really advice people to take Treants and Astral Communion. Having some more cooldowns can save you. Also... be carefull with casters, you can take several melee at once...but casters will wreck you. There is also the path to choose while upgrading your artifact, which deserves a seperate post. Resto-Affinity is also a must, your healing Touch is useless, so you really need some better healing options.

The questing is quite good. Although it did take me 2 days and 44 minutes to reach 110. But I was dalying around a lot, or doing Archaeology. Be warned though, if you have Professions..those quest will take up a lot of time, and most importantly, not reward reputation with faction, or huge Artifact Power boosts at the end of story-lines.

After doing nothing more than profession/druid-quests and Archaeology for the first few levels, I finally did a Zone, where I found out, that you get some nice Artifact Power boosts through questing, and there are a lot of rares and treasures around for more Power and Garr..rr..Order Hall Resources.

When Legion is live, I will probably just do the four starter zones, before looking at the profession-quests. More Artifact Powerrrrr... and you need a lot.