Friday, March 26, 2010

ICC First Looks

The last few days I have gotten included in a guild 10-man raid to ICC.  On Wednesday night we set out to take care of the first wing, up to and including Saurfang.  Speaking for myself, I had never been to ICC before other than some rep runs, and one horribly failed attack on Marrowgar.  The stars must have been aligned as we could do no wrong that night, at least after we got started, we had trouble finding our second tank, but after we found one things went well.  We never wiped through the whole run, sure we had a death here and there, and the ship battle we just squeaked it out (we had like 5% to go on our own ship.)  Every battle was done just as it should, no one stood in any fires, Blood Beasts were dropped with the quickness.  All in all it reminded me why I still enjoy this game, even after playing it since release.  It does help to have a solid guild so that I can actually see the end game raids, and even more so that the guildies are very competent, so that said raids go smoothly. 

I came away from the run with both the Bracers of Dark Blessings and the Icecrown Spire Sandals.  So I can't complain too much, got another 100 SP after the gems and enchants were all done with the new gear, so that is not a bad jump.  I will keep everyone posted on the raiding, as well as do some guide write up after I know more.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Dungeons of Northrend: A Guide for Mages

Welcome to the beginning of my Dungeon Guide for Mages.  In this one we are going to look at the dungeons of Northrend, both regular and heroic.  These are in order of difficulty for the regular ones, so as you level up you can go right down the list.  Each instance review will look at two things; the instance as a whole, namely anything you should know in things like how to proceed, anything to look out for as you do, and anything about the mobs that is of particular interest to a mage, and then each boss encounter.  For each boss I will discuss anything a mage should keep in mind during the battle and any loot they can drop which you should be hoping for.  I tried to keep it pretty spoiler free, but there will be some references to story arcs and whatnot, so you have been warned.

This guide will not discuss any achievements in particular, although you may get them by accident following the guide.  If you are to the point you are going into these instances looking to top off your achievement list, then you are already probably geared above what you can get in these places and so the guide won't be as useful to you.

Also, if you are doing these places on heroic, don't forget your Emblems of Triumph you will be raking in.  Getting your Tier 9 (Horde/Alliance) set as quickly as possible along with the trinket and ring if you need them, too.  So, with no further ado:

Monday, March 15, 2010

Dungeon and Dragons 4Ed and the New Dragon Age Pen and Paper RPG

After changing our weekly tabletop rp group time to a random weekend day, so we can play for longer at a time and make it easier to get together, we had our first extended session yesterday.  I also recently swapped my Changeling paladin of the Raven Queen to my half-elf storm sorcerer, and needless to say this went much better.  I missed throwing thunder and lightning at people as opposed to dealing with swords and shields and needing to be all close to baddies and all.  So yeah, good times had by all.  We saved a haunted town, killed the bad guys which had taken it over, and exorcised the lands, so now our group of adventures have their own staging point that is known by the locals to be haunted, so we really don't have to worry about people being all up in our business.

On a related note, I made a character for the new Dragon Age tabletop, and it was pretty easy.  It uses the same classes and all as the video game, but with a little bit different math to adapt to the dice system (a 3d6 system, by the by) better.  Haven't actually played it yet, so I can't say how it feels yet, but looking at the character sheet and knowing a bit about probability seems like it should be a nice and cinematic game.  Oh, and if there was any doubt, I rolled an elven apostate mage that recently left the alienage to try to find/learn from the Dalish elves which may or may not exist in the area, so hell yeah, explosions and goodness.

Random Dungeon Guide

What started as one giant blog, I now split up into two parts, so the next post will be the guide to the dungeons of Northrend.  If that goes well, I may go further back, but truthfully, not many people will stay at the level where the loot from the dungeons is all that important, since it will be replaced right quick.  This guide will look at the finder as a whole, and what you can do as a mage (and some points will benefit all classes) to help make your time as enjoyable and profitable as is possible.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Wait is Done, and it is Glorious

Just a quick heads up, for those that it matters too.  I finally got my computer fixed all up last night, and got to jump on wow for a nice 3 hours last night, about 2 hours more than I was planning, but so it goes (especially when netherweave was so cheap last night and I have some tailoring to grind on the mage now that I dropped mining).  This doesn't matter to much for the blog other than I should be able to start uploading pictures from raids and whatnot, so hopefully that makes things here at least more bright and pretty...or something anyway.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Cataclysm Item Revamp

I know this is a bit premature, but as I understand it now, I am pretty excited for the gear changes coming up for the Cataclysm expansion.  For the most part, itemization is going to be simplified across the board; all classes, all specs, all gear slots.  It reminds me a bit more of how Diablo 2 did gear, where your core stats are key, mastery is similar to D2's +skill stat, and there is no spellpower nor armor penetration.  (Edit: the minute I wrote this sentence, I looked back at old D2 weapons and armor, and apparently I remembered it somewhat wrong.  There was attack rating and mana regen bonuses, but still, it seemed to more simple at the time, so I am sticking with my original feelings on this.)

As a mage I am excited to pay attention to intellect again, it just feels right.  In the same breath I am crazy excited to be able to ignore spirit again, as well, spirit is just a poor excuse for more crit right now, and that's about it.  Likewise, I think the mastery system will be a nice way to give us our bonuses to damage, crit, haste, etc that we always strive for without needing to place them as three or five point talents in each tree that give the illusion of having more choices than there really are.  'Oh you mean I can either get 6% more frost damage or...not have it?  Well, in that case then, I spose I will have the more damage, thanks?' 

Now my main point for these changes; I am guessing there will be a 4.0 patch that comes out just prior to Cataclysm itself, similar to the 3.0 patch were inscription was added prior to Wrath, that will change the item stats on what we are already wearing.  This won't be an issue for the mage only stuff you have equipped, like your tier items and whatnot, but that does mean that any item you have that is technically a priest item, even if it was better than the more dps slanted item you had prior, may no longer be that little bit better after the change.  All that I am getting at with this is that it might be in your best interest to throw that dps item in the bank, just to see how it compares after the new patch.  You do have some time though, so don't worry too much about it yet, but probably after summer time you might want to be more cautious with dumping some things.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Mageling Pointers

Upon finding Khi's call for some Elders' insight, I thought it would be a good chance to get something with sustenance on my fledgling blog. In the next few hundred or thousand words I will take a look at all of the things (in my humble opinion) mages should keep in mind whilst learning the ropes to being the spell-slinging master they are destined to be:

False Alarm

I have bad news. I finally got my new mb and processor installed, yet it seems that wasn't the cause of all of my misery, half of my ram sticks were fried as well, and so, those are now also being sent to me from Jersey, if I recall correctly, so perhaps this time next week I can finally take part in ICC with my guildies. I spose, if nothing else, this means I can jump in after they went through the growing pains of the fights, and all will be well in the world, but that is probably asking a bit much...