Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Group Specific Talent Builds Follow-up (And More!)

So... sorry I didn't get back to the comparison like I said I was going to. I had a lot to do at work, and that segued nicely into my mini-vacation surrounding PAX which involved very little playing World of Warcraft, and more hanging out with people and other stuff.

Although, I did end up going back and respeccing my Starrlia to follow a more standard protection build, to see if a couple of my choices (Improved Devotion Aura for one) were missed too terribly much. Verdict thus far? Very little difference between my playing, although our Retadin takes hits a bit more, and I proc Reckoning a bit more.

I'll try and give a write-up of some PAX-related stuff too, but I'll give the short of it now:
- Jonathan Coulton was excellent to see in concert.
- Halo 3 is very shiny and I wants it.
- DS is super-best convention gear.
- The WoW TCG is fun.
- Proper hydration is important.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Group-Specific Talent Builds

So, my best friend was checking out our paladins in the armory, and he brought up some questions about our builds which led to a few thoughts I'd like to share.

First up, he didn't have any questions about my wife's Holy Paladin build, but he wondered about some of the choices myself and our other friend had for our Protection (me!) and Retribution (friend!) builds, and the honest answer was a combination of "we built without a distinct plan", and "we built our builds only to play with each other - not for soloing or general group play".

Now, my thoughts I'd like to mull over are: Is it better to have a proven build for each of us, and are our builds as they are effective for ourselves and each other?

1) Is it better to have a proven build for each of us?
There are a few reasons why I prefer our current builds - we all share the same drops (so having us pigeonholed makes it much easier to decide who gets what, itemization-wise), we never solo* so we can each sacrifice things we don't need in favor of maximizing our specializations, so it seems like the things those proven builds are for don't entirely apply.

(except when the other two are off gathering materials, which is why I lag a little behind in the experience)

2) Are our builds as they are effective for ourselves and each other?
This will probably involve some comparison, and since I'm just waiting for a build to finish, I'll come back and tackle this later.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Character Updates

At some point I should really say stuff other than what's going down with our characters, but that point isn't here yet. So, on to it!

Strael has done much in the aid of Desolace, and is now seeking to tame the wilds of Stranglethorn Vale, though his services have also been requested in the Arathi Highlands. Level 35. His goal beyond aiding those who ask it of him is to get himself a pretty pony.

Starrlia, Starrlea, and Starrlya were joined by their unholy compatriot Violate recently, and managed to get through most of Zul'farrak without any other aid. All but Gahz'rilla and Sergeant Bly done.

Sonnik continues to advance on her inexorable path to 70. Level 53. Also, she picked up a kitty cat who was once called a king, and he now serves as her Backup.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Status: Azeroth

Laheth has gone and grabbed his new pet, a pretty kitty now dubbed Daybreak that he snuck into ZG by his lonesome for (although he needed to form a raid of 2 to be able to enter). I've got pictures to share of all the others he tamed to learn skills for the new pet, but I'd rather do that in it's own post.

Vandren got some playtime recently as well when a group of us decide that our Blood Elves (and one undead - the healer, humorously enough) needed to run Shadowfang Keep. We tore through it, wiping only once at the beginning when we hadn't gotten into our stride, and then falling to Arugal when he noticed us before we were ready. It was a blast. I think everybody levelled at least once. Even Sutcha the boar did.

The Paladin Triplets (Starrlya/Starrlia/Starrlea) ran around the Hinterlands last night, and a few were spotted in Tanaris and Feralas the night before that... they're prepping themselves for a Zul'furrak run in the (hopefully) near future.

And the rest in brief - Strael (Belf pally) is now retribution, and needs better gear. Sonnik (Wife's Belf hunter) is nearing the end of Un'goro Crater, and will shortly need to find more suitable hunting grounds. And I think all the others have been cooling their heels.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Petopia (and Mania) to the Rescue!

So, after pondering what I would do at 70, I stopped pondering, thanks in no small part to Mania (of Petopia fame).

See, here's what happened: I'm at work, doing work-stuff (Non-Disclosure Agreements prevent me from saying anything beyond that I work on video games) and reading Mania's Ongoing Saga of Kaet, and I realize that what I want to do with Laheth is improve his pets.
So, I'm going to go grab a creepy boar from the Eastern Plaguelands to grab Charge Rank 6 and Gore Rank 8 for Tusk, and then I'm going to go grab a Rip-Blade Ravager for Gore Rank 9, and then I think he's pretty much set.

Then it's on to either upgrading my level 50-something kitty Nocturne, or maybe grabbing a new shiny kitty of a higher level and whoever else I need to get the mad kitty skillz.

Thanks Mania, for speaking about your wee dwarven lass!

From Zangarmarsh to Nagrand

Coperiana and Laheth are questing together in Nagrand... they've both hit 67, and we're excited by the prospect of flying around (although Coperiana will get to fly sooner, being a druid).

But talking to Goldfire this morning got me thinking... what am I looking forward to when Laheth hits 70? I don't raid, and I don't do pick-up groups very much. Battlegrounds are something I might play around with, but I'm more likely to start playing an alt than that (especially since I really liked Warsong Gulch, but only pre-mounts). I could grind rep and farm mats, but I've been warned that those are not so much fun when you're not also gaining experience, and I can believe it.

I think I'm looking forward to having a max level character (until the expansion comes out), but I think that once I hit there I'll start looking around for something else, since that's what I did in City of Heroes.

What is there for a casual to do at 70, other than play around?

Saturday, August 4, 2007


Ran Gnomeregan with our Draenei tonight... just finished (it's a little after 4 AM). We only had 4 people (the 3 draenei and our friend who was running a 37 Warrior and then swapped to a 44 Pally for the final boss). Until we got to the final guy, we hadn't wiped, although we weren't going super-fast or anything.

But man... once we got there? Everything fell apart. So, we had one person hop out and fix their equipment, and we died a few times rushing out to summon them (bad idea - sleepy, impatient, and unwary), and we had our friend swap to the paladin then as well.
Once we had the paladin, it went pretty well, but the bombs still knocked us out. What a pain in the ass encounter to get to when you're in the 27-30 range... which can easily take out the rest of the place.

Now I'm just rambling... so I'll wrap this up: Djellin is 29 (and a healthy half!), she's got new shoulderpads, new pants, new gloves, a new sword, and a new shield that she'll use in a few levels once she's able.

And a final note? Playing WoW with a party of 4 in the same room is great fun.


Friday, August 3, 2007

Wrath of the Lich King Announced: Productivity Down

Yup. It's official.

There's lots of information at various places (I've been checking out the live blogs at WoW Insider), and that's hitting my productivity a little bit today.

Although having ReMaze running in the background with it's massive cycle eating effects doesn't help either.

And now, Pipe Dreams:
  • Possibly changing Laheth's hair color from wonderful green-that-doesn't-go-with-anything.
  • Possibly changing Djellin's hair color from similar.
  • Arthas related content.
  • Death Knights... of any race (I'd be tempted by making a human male, if only I could stand their old-style faces and texturing... they've learned so much since then).
  • Pre-ordering instead of waiting in line. That was a silly mistake I don't plan on making again.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Good Times: Pick-up Group Instancing

Last night, Coperiana and Laheth (and Tusk!) were invited to run with a couple warriors (both 64) and a mage (61) through the Underbog. Having not done that branch and having some quests there, we went along. Didn't finish it, but had a lot of fun while we were there.

And I gotta say, it felt really good to be #2 in damage meters and to be complimented on trapping. Hooray for the BRK School of Research and Implementation.

We might run it again tonight with the same group and try and finish it off. We started too late last night (and the Salsa Carpet Explosion was a bit distracting in the middle of it).

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

WoW Happenings

In brief:
  • Lilindra and Vandren both hit 21 and finished off the last of the Ghostlands quests.
  • Laheth hit 65 and has too many dang quests I want to do... all the stuff in Zangarmarsh, finishing off Terrokar Forest things, Hellfire Citadel, Coilfang Reserve, and now the Nagrand and Blades Edge stuff. Good times!
  • Also: Caught a performance of Level 70 Elite Tauren Chieftain last night outside of Shattrath. Very entertaining, especially when a PVP-riot broke out at the end of the concert (we play on a PVE server, so it doesn't happen that often)... only problem? The stupid Tauren I was fighting got the Peacekeepers involved. Splat. You'd think he would have been able to take a 65 when he's at 70 with what looked like decent gear. Bah.
  • And on the other side of things, my beautiful and talented wife hit 50 with Sonnik... she's averaging a level or so a day right now. Craziness.
Alright! Time to clean up breakfast and head off to work.