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And after a long day of “studying for exams”…

December 4, 2008

level80

Brajana – Level 80 Troll Hunter

  • Skinning: 450
  • Leatherworking: 424
  • First Aid: 450
  • Fishing: 392
  • Cooking: 400
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10 + 10 = 25?

December 3, 2008

<Unemployed> had their first ‘official’ Naxxramas raid last night.  I obviously didn’t go, since I’m not near 80 yet and I was out seeing Quantum of Solace, so I missed the action and how it went.  But seeing the roster of who had signed up to raid on Tuesday and who actually went has brought up some concerns I’ve had.

There were about 16-17 level 80 characters signed up with hopes of raiding with the guild last night.  This is understandable, since just a couple of months ago, we were having 25+ people sign up for raiding regularly, and we’ve gotten several new recruits since our BC raiding days.

But Naxx is only a 10 man raid.  Which means once our 25 raiders get to 80, only 10 of them will be getting to raid each night.  We could possibly build a second group if we have proper class balance, but even then, that means at least 5 people are being left out each raid night.  And I think there is a limit to how often people would like to be told to go run heroics instead, since eventually that’s not what they’ll be wanting to sign up for.

One of the things I have been most excited about is getting into the new raids and being present for some more guild first, feeling like I’m part of a team who works together 3 days a week.  Although I’m not a raid leader and I don’t really get to hear about the decisions the leaders make about who gets to go, these are the only possibilities I can see coming to pass:

  1. We run 2 groups, 1 of the ‘top geared heavy hitters’ and 1 of the people who took too long to get to 80.
  2. We swap around groups, alternating which people are in which group, thus causing problems coordinating people and strategies since there are no solid teams, and leaving people disappointed for being benched at the last minute.
  3. Raid nights get split up, and we have two groups running different days, so those with multiple 80s can get in on the action every day of the week, and people don’t have to deal with being benched when they are sitting there waiting for invites at raid time.

I can’t really say which option I think is the best.  They all have pretty big downsides, and I do not look forward to any drama to come.

I understand that the guild wants to do what’s best for the guild as a whole, and that a lot of people are focused on progressing as quickly as possible.  Which means, since it is taking me a couple more weeks than everyone else to get to 80, I may not get much chance of raiding with the people I want to, or with the frequency I’d like.  It’s likely I’ll be the 5th hunter in <Unemployed> to reach level 80, which makes my prospects of getting into a 10 man raid pretty grim.  But my concern is not just for myself, I don’t want any of our raiders feeling left out.

I’d like to say, I do not regret my decision to take things slow in Wrath.  I’m really enjoying each level and the experiences I’m gaining through them.  I’m glad I focused on school when it was necessary, and spending my weekends with my dear Dwarf Hunter are much more important than rushing to 80.  I just hope my decision doesn’t cost me in the end.

I can’t be the only person who is flummoxed by the math here.  I’m sure there are other guilds who had 25 raiders who are returning and looking for more of the same intense progression and action.  It’s a tough decision, and I do not envy any raid leaders who have to make it.  How do you take 25+ people and stick them into a raid that only fits 10 (or possibly 20)?

Brajana – Level 78 Troll Hunter

  • Skinning: 450
  • Leatherworking: 424
  • First Aid: 418
  • Fishing: 392
  • Cooking: 400
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Lots of Leather! :)

December 2, 2008

Since I’ve hit 77 and I can fly again, I decided that it is time to get my leatherworking on.  Coincidentally, last night Tharaks (on his 78 mage, Trimk) proposed we do some AoE grinding.

Boy was it fun!  We headed out to the Basin and we’d get on our mounts, we’d each head in a different direction, meet in the middle and AoE down 6 or 7 mobs at once.  Even got him some herbs from the flower mob thingies!

I picked up about 120 [Borean Leather], which isn’t that much when you make it heavy, but with the leather I’d already picked up from questing in Sholazar, it was enough to get me from 413 to 421!  I made a couple [Bag of Endless Pockets] for Raks and another guildy, and went and picked up a couple new patterns.

I put my giant list to use and figured out what upgrades I wanted to have ready for when I hit 78.

I spent another hour farming [Icy Dragonscales].  They drop more than I was expecting, and I had 40 pretty quickly.  I decided to make [Dragonstompers] now, since they only require level 77, and then once the servers are back up after today’s extended maintenance I’ll farm some more so I can craft up my [Eaglebane Bracers].

Oh, and I need to figure out where to farm [Eternal Fire] for my [Virulent Spaulders], no way I’m paying 120 gold for 2 of ’em!  I was a little flummoxed about whether the upgrade was worth it, because new shoulders will break my T5 healy pet bonus, which I love to bits and pieces… but I figure I can always keep my [Rift Stalker Mantle] on hand for when my pet might be taking serious damage.

Brajana – Level 77 Troll Hunter

  • Skinning: 450
  • Leatherworking: 422
  • First Aid: 413
  • Fishing: 392
  • Cooking: 400
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Upgrades for Anti-social Hunters

December 1, 2008

Like pretty much everyone else, I have been looking in to upgrades.  For me, I like to focus mostly on reputation based or leatherworking upgrades, since those are not dependent on luck.  I also don’t seem to ever get to run dungeons, it just never fits in to my schedule, and I HATE PUGS, so I usually don’t run anything unless it’s all guildies (most of which are way ahead of me in level now).

Conveniently, I’ve had my work done for me when it comes to researching dungeon and heroic drops.  Let me point you in the right direction:

  • The Hunter’s Mark – Lassirra has written a giant post with lots of great info on where to get what and why.  Check it out for sure, even if you just look at the lists of gear (but you should read it all!)
  • Stabilized Effort Scope – Rilgon has listed his plans for upgrades, and included gems as well.  While this isn’t so much a guide of where to get all the gear in the game, it’s good to take a look at how some other people are planning to gear.
  • BigRedKitty – A list of some heroic gear to watch out for, very short and to the point.

Now, it’s my turn.  These are upgrades you can get if you don’t get to run a lot of heroics, or if you’re trying to catch up to the rest of your group.  Sure, your T5 and T6 gear will be fine in heroics and probably Naxx too, but if you didn’t get a chance to get any of that, you might want to take some time to pick up some of these level 78-80 upgrades.

I haven’t done any serious number crunching on these comparisons, they are just to give you an idea and help you (and me) figure out where to focus efforts.

Note:  The 200-level crafted upgrades require Frozen Orbs, which are obtained from Heroics.  However, they are BoE, so they could potential be purchased before you set foot in a heroic.

Ranged

  • [Nesingwary 4000] Engineering 450
    This is an amazing weapon.  You should probably pick it up as soon as you can.  And it’s pretty too.
  • [Zombie Sweeper Shotgun] Argent Crusade – Revered
    While it is dwarfed by the DPS and AP of the Nesingwary gun, this might be easier to pick up, and it does have some hit rating.
  • [Sin’dorei Recursive Bow] or [Sawed-Off Hand Cannon] Horde Expedition or Alliance Vanguard – Revered
    This is decent enough.  If you happen to be revered with your respective faction when you hit 78, you may want to pick it up.  No agility, but it has some hit, and a marginal DPS increase from the Relentless Strikes crossbow.
  • [Hemet’s Trophy Gun] Quest – Sholazar Basin
    If you didn’t already have something like the Crossbow of Relentless Strikes or higher, this is a free upgrade.  Otherwise, it just doesn’t quite do the trick.

Weapon

  • [Savage Cobalt Slicer] Blacksmithing (395)
    Rilgon has pointed out the beauty of equipping a pair of these.  Hit rating is just as important as anything for hunters, and with 29 Hit on each of these… you’re well on your way to the cap.
  • [Whale-Stick Harpoon] Kalu’ak – Revered
    You can easily get to Revered with Kalu’ak just by doing their quests.  This may not be the Slicers, but it’s got a good amount of agility, but also has some much needed hit.
  • [Runeblade of Demonstratable Power] Ebon Hold – Revered
    This sword has really nice overall stats, lots of Agi, AP, Crit and even some nice Haste… but what it is missing is hit.  If you aren’t too concerned about hit, or you’ve made up for it somewhere else, you can’t really go wrong with one of these strapped to your back!
  • [Icier Barbed Spear] Quest – Champion of Anguish
    Again, no hit, but otherwise quite pretty.  AND FREE!  Quest rewards are free!  So if you are looking to upgrade temporarily, and don’t want to worry about the cost… why not pick it up?

Head

  • [Truesight Ice Blinders] Engineering 430
    If you are an engineer, you need not look further.  These also only require level 72, so if you get your engineering up fast enough, it’s a very early upgrade.
  • [Helmet of Just Retribution] Quest – Utgarde Pinnacle
    The next three helms are quite equivalent, with just minor differences.  This one has it’s strong points in Stamina and Armour Pen, but it has low Intellect and no Crit.
  • [Swiftarrow Helm] Leatherworking 420
    High points are Resilience and Crit, otherwise it’s about average between the three.
  • [Toothslice Helm] The Oracles – Revered
    This has some pretty crazy high AP.  Otherwise, it’s pretty on par with the other two helms of this level.
  • [Headguard of Retaliation] Quest – Utgarde Pinnacle
    This is actually the leather version from the same Utgarde Pinnacle quest, but it’s got a LOT of AP and Agility.  The downside, of course, is that there is no Intellect.

Neck

  • [Titanium Impact Choker] Jewelcrafting 440
    Superior to everything else by far, except it has no crit.  Do what you can to grab one if you’re doing alright on crit.
  • [The Severed Noose of Westwind] Quest – Icecrown
    Pretty nice quest reward from a group quest.  Stats are all slightly less than the Jewelcrafting necklace, but it has crit rating instead of armour pen.

Shoulders

Back

  • [Ice Striker’s Cloak] Leatherworking 440
    Slightly low on the agility, but it makes up for it with the haste and AP.
  • [Cloak of Holy Extermination] Argent Crusade – Honoured
    Nice agility and some armour pen, but only has about half the AP of the Ice Striker’s Cloak.
  • [Bloodbane Cloak] Quest – Icecrown
    Meeh.  It’s got average stats all around.  Nothing to turn your nose up at if you haven’t picked up the other two yet.

Chest

  • [Polished Regimental Hauberk] Argent Crusade – Exalted
    Okay, you probably won’t be able to get this right away.  It’ll take some time to get to exalted.  But I couldn’t leave this beauty out of my list, since it may or may not affect the order you go for your factions.
  • [Gilded Ringmail Hauberk] Quest – Utgarde Pinnacle
    Comparing it to the next two chests in the list, this has Armour Pen but no Crit or Hit.  Otherwise almost even.
  • [Razorstrike Breastplate] Leatherworking 425
    Crit, but no Armour Pen or Hit.
  • [Assault Hauberk] Quest – Coldarra
    Hit, but no Armour Pen or Crit.

Wrist

  • [Giantmaim Bracers] Leatherworking 440
    Actually not that much better than the Eaglebane Bracers.  More agility, and a little more of a few other stats, as well as some nice armour pen.
  • [Eaglebane Bracers] Leatherworking 420
    If you are needing in hit, this is actually possibly better to wear than the Giantmaim.  But if you can make up the hit rating elsewhere, this just isn’t as good.
  • [Swiftarrow Bracers] Leatherworking 420
    Resilience & Crit.  That’s all.

Hands

  • [Grips of Chronological Events] Quest – Stratholme
    Nothing very exciting for gloves at these levels.  These ones have slightly low Agility but it makes up for it with Armour Pen and AP.
  • [Swiftarrow Gauntlets] Leatherworking 425
    Like the rest of the Swiftarrow set, this has resilience and crit going for it.

Waist

  • [Giant Ring Belt] Sons of Hodir – Honoured or [Waistband of the Thuzadin] Quest – Stratholme
    These are identical.  So you might want to save your gold and do the Strat quest.  Really high AP.
  • [Swiftarrow Belt] Leatherworking 425
    Do I really need to describe it again?  Crit and Resilence, obviously.
  • [Ranger’s Belt of the Fallen Empire] Quest – Gundrak
    Added this in because of it’s hit and agi.  This is the only belt here with any hit, and it also has 8 more agi than any of the others.

Legs

  • [Giantmaim Legguards] Leatherworking 440
    Look at all that Agi and AP!  These pants will make you hurt people.  Not much that’s bad about them at all.
  • [Swiftarrow Leggings] Leatherworking 425
    I’m not going to say it again.
  • [Jormungar Hide Legguards] Quest – Storm Peaks
    These actually aren’t too bad.  No intellect, but more crit than the Swiftarrow.

Feet

  • [Boots of Twinkling Stars] Kirin Tor – Exalted
    Takes a lot of rep, but these are nice if you don’t get another upgrade before you make it to exalted.
  • [Swiftarrow Boots] Leatherworking 425
    Blah blah Crit Resilience blah blah.
  • [Dragonstompers] Leatherworking 400
    The hit rating and AP on these boots makes them very appealing to me.

Finger

  • [Band of the Kirin Tor] 7500G
    If you’ve got the money, why not?  It’s so shiny!
  • [Titanium Impact Band] Jewelcrafting 430
    If you aren’t swimming in gold, this is a nice alternative.  Or a nice compliment, if you need a second ring.
  • [Ring of Scarlet Shadows] Jewelcrafting 420
    Really nice hit bonus for a ring.
  • [Ring of Foul Mojo] Quest – Gundrak
    It’s decent enough.  Only if you need a second ring to pair up with another one though, probably.

Trinket

  • I’m not going to cover trinkets.  They’re pretty complex, and I get a little flummoxed when trying to compare them.  Once there is more info and data on them, I might do a post just for them.
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WoW Word of the Week: flummox

December 1, 2008

flummox

\FLUM-uhks\, transitive verb
To confuse; to perplex.

Example: Are you flummoxed by seeing this WoW Word of the Week post on a Monday, rather than Sunday?  Sorry ’bout that. 🙂

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This Week in Raiding… Brought to you by Brajana’s Gorilla Delivery!

November 29, 2008

So, I didn’t do any instances or raids this week.  Not much I can say about that.  But what I can do is share this screenshot I took this morning on my journey out to Sholazar Basin!

gorilla_delivery

Brajana's Gorilla Delivery: If we can't deliver your gorilla with aplomb, no one can!

I also finally picked up [Manual: Heavy Frostweave Bandage], so all that Frostweave I’ve saved up can be used to get me to 450 FIrst Aid!

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[Veteran of the Wrathgate]

November 28, 2008

They were all right, it IS cool.

The chain is long, and a bit interesting along the way, but when you get to the end and the post-quests, wow.  Pretty neat.

Anyway, as yesterday was my final day of classes, I took the afternoon and evening to start getting caught up on some play time, since I haven’t been on much in the last couple of weeks.  And it was great.  I got almost a level and a half yesterday!  Like I mentioned, I finished off the Wrathgate line, as well as almost all of Dragonblight.  Next stop?  Sholazar Basin!  I can’t wait.  There is not a whole lot of skinning to be had in Dragonblight, and the blood on my [Skinning Knife] is beginning to dry up.  Not cool.

I’ve got my leatherworking up a bit more though, and when I hit 77 I will likely start some leather and elemental farming so I can make some of that pretty Swiftarrow set when I hit 78.  I spent a good couple hours on Wednesday planning out my 78 upgrades, because I realized I didn’t know anything about which factions I needed to focus on or which recipes I needed to buy, but now I can approach my next couple of dings with aplomb.  I make a point to only plan my upgrades on stuff I’m sure I can get, so quest rewards, crafted items or reputation rewards, because I don’t like to depend on drops.  And it looks like Ebon Hold is my first target, with all their shinies at Revered!

Brajana – Level 76 Troll Hunter

  • Skinning: 450
  • Leatherworking: 413
  • First Aid: 400
  • Fishing: 381
  • Cooking: 400