What’s on your pre-WoD Bucket List?

Anexxia getting her black wings of legendary doom from the Black Prince (a.k.a. legendary cloak quest line complete).

Now that we have the Warlords of Draenor expansion’s release date in hand (it’s November 13, 2014 if you hadn’t heard), it’s time to make that last pass at a bucket list for the Mist of Pandaria expansion.

At the top of the page, those black wings you see are my beloved Forsaken shadow priest getting her black wings of doom from the Black Prince, in exchange for finally finishing off the legendary cloak questline. I’d stalled out and not done the PvP portion of the chain after it taking forever to get my tokens in LFRs. So there’s one item checked off my list.

A shadowy Xu-Fu battle pet with Anexxia

I’ve been doing a serious amount of pet collecting as well, with the 4 Celestials pets at the top of my want list. I’ve gotten my first one, Xu-Fu, seen here in shadowform with me, and am on my way to the other 3, and should have them in hand before WoD drops.

I’m also working on getting my first-ever paladin to 90 (she’s at 77), and got my first level 90 hunter Alliance side a couple of months back. Which means of course I had to go and start a horde hunter this weekend…

But that’s the easy part– the what I’ll be able to accomplish. It’s what won’t be done that always weighs heaviest. For me, it’s the Challenge Mode dungeons. I had high hopes of getting a regular group together to run these, but it never seemed to happen. So I’m actually going to end the expansion without having done even one. Which is a bummer.

So how about you? What’s on your bucket list for the next 3 months?

The Joys of the Newbs!

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Lookie! I’m a quest giver, on my new Belf paladin. I’ve never gotten a Paladin past level 21 before until now. And I hadn’t leveled a Forsaken or Blood Elf post Cataclysm, so I hadn’t done all the quests out that way either. Tho this one I’d done on my Forsaken shadow priest. Johnny Awesome never fails to crack me up!

Oddly enough, this is not the only baby alt I’m working on at the moment. I’ve rolled a Panda hunter on a new to me server, to check out a possible place to play some of my neglected Alliance characters. Although my heart belongs primarily with my Forsaken ladies, I do enjoy some gnome shenanigans from time-to-time. Which means I need to find a new place for that, given how many of my D’tan peeps have faded away over the past two years.

I’ve levelled so many baby alts over the years, and have 6 or 7 90s spread across 5 servers. I love that now, in addition to questing and LFG, I can pet battle my heart out to get that much needed XP, if I’m not feeling a particular questing zone. Mostly, that restlessness with questing sets in when I get to the Cataclysm content. I’ve pushed about a dozen characters through it in total, and really and truly over it. (see all those level 85s gathering dust after that push).

Honestly tho, I love all the newbie little quests. And revisiting my favorite quest areas. So much has changed post Cataclysm, but some of my favorite places and NPCs are still there to make me smile.

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In other amazing alt news, I finally leveled up my Forsaken mage to 90! That’s right, my wee lass who sat out the Cataclysm zoomed up from 80 to 90, primarily through doing my pet battling bidding in the greater Mount Hyjal area. I was pleasantly surprised how quickly she was able to gear up and be ready for SoO LFR, thanks to the island loot pinata. Good stuff.

What’s keeping you busy in game?

Live blogging Blizzcon 2013: Day One

Elite Tauren Chieftain Hearthstone card

Elite Tauren Chieftain Hearthstone card now available for Blizzcon attendees/streamers

NOTE: To see my live blogging as it happens, follow @anexxia on twitter.

It was a seriously action-packed Blizzcon opening session this morning, and the behind-the-scenes coverage between panels has been juicy as well.

Tons of information about Heroes of the Storm (the Blizzard MOBA), Hearthstone, and World of Warcraft. I’ll keep adding to the below w/more details and clarification as the day goes on.

Continue reading “Live blogging Blizzcon 2013: Day One”

What to Wear: A Shadow Priest’s Guide to the Siege of Orgrimmar

Maximize your loot rolls and token spend with this handy matrix of shadow priest gear options in the Siege of Orgrimmar raid.

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Now that I’ve been making some headway into the Siege of Orgrimmar raid, both in 10 regular and flex, I figured it was time to put together one of my perennial What to Wear Guides. But once I got started with it, I saw my usual simple guide format of days gone by just wasn’t going to cut it with this many bosses and so many gear options per slot. Thus, instead, I put together a handy matrix in Excel:
Siege-of-Orgrimmar-Shadow-Priest-Gear-Matrix
Download a printable PDF, or save a copy of the matrix in spreadsheet form from google drive.

Know your priorities

Per Icy Veins, stat priority changed up a little bit with Patch 5.4:

  1. Intellect
  2. 15% Hit Rating or Spirit
  3. Haste Rating (until reaching the soft cap)
  4. Critical Strike Rating and Mastery Rating (NOTE if you do not have the 2-pc tier 16 bonus, crit still better than mastery)
  5. Haste Rating (past the soft cap)

Gem Appropriately

If you do not have both a max raid buffed spellpower of 30k and ilvl 505, use these gems:

Once you have both a max raid buffed spellpower of 30k and ilvl 505, use these gems:

Maximize Your Enchants

It can be difficult to keep up with maximizing all the changes in stats as you gain new gear. I highly recommend using the Reforge Lite add-on or maximizing your gear via Ask Mr Robot.

Pug Like a Pirate Day

Puggles all dressed up in her pirate outfit. Arrrrrrr

I hope you didn’t miss out on Pirate Day festivities in WoW. But my guildie @glyneth perhaps more fittingly dubbed it Pug Like a Pirate day after encountering me and my beloved pug battle pet, Puggles, above.

I took the Pirate Day festivities a wee step further, thanks to the Dread Pirate costume I bought Puggles on the Isle yesterday afternoon. You see, this gentleman named Whizzig, Merchant of Time, turned up on his giant snail and had them available for a few timeless coins. And I simply could not resist.

Enjoy!

P.S. Even the Dark Lady thought she was adorable:

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The Raid Boss Doesn’t Care if You’re Not a Raiding Guild

Standing victorious where the Council of Elders previously held court

“But we’re not a raiding guild.”

That little phrase has been the spark for numerous arguments in the various guilds I’ve been a part of in my eight years of playing WoW.

Inevitably, it’s uttered on the heels of a night of working on a progression boss. A night that has ended up in repair bills. Or even one with a boss kill on the last attempt of the night. It is tossed about with mentions of how raiding used to be fun. And people are taking things too seriously. And how could you have shushed me in the middle of that attempt when I was telling that funny story about what I did over the weekend?

But here’s the cold hard truth: the raid boss doesn’t care that you’re “not a raiding guild.” If you and your team want to be taking down new content, at level, while it’s still the top-of-the-line tier of instance, you are going to have to take it seriously.

You WILL do better if you have a static team instead of switching players in and out each raid night. Players WILL have to use consumables and ensure they keep themselves gemmed and enchanted to the best items available to them. And your raid leader WILL need to decide upon and coach the team through a winning strategy.

Otherwise, you’ll keep hitting your head against the same boss over and over without making progress.

If you want to faceroll content while doing tequila shots, set up a retro raiding night and hit up content from expansions past. Retro raids are a great opportunity to casually play while getting to know guildies and garnering a last few sought after achievements. But it’s unrealistic to expect to have a voice chat free-for-all chat fest while taking down new to you content. It takes time and dedication to make progress. And that’s not a bad thing.

And that’s my 2 copper.

Iron Circle: A New Home for my Forsaken Shadow Priest

Can't we all just get along? This means YOU, Lady Jaina Proudmore.

I am happy to report that as of a few days ago, my Forsaken shadow priest has officially found a new home, on LLane, in Iron Circle. Huzzah!

As those of you who follow me on twitter know, it’s been a real challenge for me Horde guild-wise since mid-Cataclysm. When our friend-led raiding guild server transferred off Bronzebeard in the dark of night, leaving us guildless, I mostly stopped playing this lady, despite her being my all time favorite character.

When Wrenz and I returned from our time away from WoW (a.k.a. our flirtation w/SWTOR), I had hoped to find that things had livened up on Bronzebeard, but I really didn’t ID a guild that would be a good fit for my interests and raiding timeframes (I’m PST and can not get online prior to 6 PT weeknights.)

I had been a little stubborn about considering other realms, in large part because almost all of my playtime on Anexxia had been on Bronzebeard. But at a certain point, you have to know when to let go of the past and move on.

For me, the turning pointwas my getting restless with not raiding. Even tho my gnomey shadow priest was quickly geared up via LFR, I was not able to find her a raiding team. And although I love doing the retro raids with friends, the inability to form a cross-realm raid group meant she was pretty much stuck with LFR as her only raiding outlet. Now don’t get me wrong– that is better than not raiding at all. But in my heart, it’s the comraderie and sense of achievement from raiding that keeps me most interested in the game.

And thus, I shipped off this lady, and a passel of alts, to app to Iron Circle last month, at the urging of a number of twitter WoW peeps, with @glyneth being the prime inspiration/instigator for my application.

I’ve been thrilled to get to do a few of the recent tier raids in the team 2 10man group, and the weekly current tier raid LFR with almost a full guild raid. I’ve got my WoW mojo flowing again. I am filled with the urge to compile best-in-slot gear lists. And write posts on optimizing your raid DPS. i.e. things are back to normal again.

Now, I can’t promise to be better about posting in the blog mind you as I am still super busy with the new job. But I can promise that when I do, it will be back to the raiding shadow priest topics of yore.

And just in time to get prepared to put that jerk Hellscream in his place…

Wish me luck!

P.S. Vol’jin for Warchief!

Throne of Thunder Raid Finder: Shadow Priest’s Guide to Last Stand of the Zandalari LFR

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Last night, I spent a couple of hours in LFR, working through the first offering from the Throne of Thunder Raid.Normally, you’d see an awesome purpley screenshot up there. But given the concentrating on doing a new raid, and discussing tactics with the other raiders, I somehow didn’t manage to take even one screenshot last night.  CRAZY! I know. But I digress.

The great thing about doing an instance and having a wipe or two on each boss is it gives you some time to figure out your strategy for maximum DPS and utility. And before it all leaves my mind, I thought I’d share it with you.

Jin’rokh the Breaker

What is it about the first boss being the hardest? In many ways he was the most difficult for all the newbies to adapt to (I think we had 3 wipes on him, and a number of people dropping in and out). Your key to do’s here:

  • Watch for pools of water to be set down on the ground; when you see one, run for it ASAP and stand in it. You will see a serious DPS increase (40% is what I recall from last night)
  • Don’t get too comfy in that pool of water — when he casts lightning storm, you need to GTFO out of that pool as it is going to become electrified, and kill you. Run and stack with the group near the boss
  • As you are running out from the lightning storm cast, pop your Vampiric Embrace up on the boss. This will very likely save a life or two, perhaps even your own. Coordinate w/any other friendly shadow priests in raid to trade off on casting it.
  • If you are the focus of targeted lightning, make sure to run away from the group and DO NOT STAND IN OR RUN THROUGH THE WATER, lest you electrocute everyone.

TL&DR: Stand in the pools of water; run out of water in lightning storm; do not electrify the pools.

Horridon

This fight is somewhat akin to being at the 6 a.m. opening of a superstore on Black Friday. Angry mobs everywhere! Total chaos! Whch is why it is important to stay focused:

  • As the tank moves Horridon around the circle of the room, from door to door, avoid his head and tail.
  • Keep DoTs up on the boss but focus on the adds.
  • DoT all the ads then focus fire the add with the least health, unless there is a Dinomancer up in which case he’s your priority.
  • Don’t stand in bad.
  • If you happen to be close to it, click the Orb of Command when it appears.
  • After Horridon is done smacking his head against the wall, focus DPS on War-God Jalek,keeping your DoTs up on Horridon as well.
  • You are most likely to die by aggro’ing too many of the adds in Phase 1, so try not to be the first to DPS all out on them.

TL&DR: Focus on adds; prioritize DinoMancers. Kill War-God Jalek then finish off Horridon.

Council of Elders

Unlike other council fights, killing off one at a time doesn’t seem to make the team more powerful. So try to get folks to pop Heroism/Bloodlust when Sul is empowered; getting rid of his quicksand will be a big help. Here’s your to do’s:

  • Prioritize the Loa Spirits and Living Sands adds.
  • When adds are dead, DPS the empowered boss a.k.a. the huge shadow priest.
  • Keep an eye on the ground — quicksand and barrel rolling trolls can do some serious damage to you.

We had folks try to start in on the usual “you are all so fail” trash talking, but happily it was shot down quickly. Look folks: this is new content just now available to Raid Finder. Most everyone is learning the ropes. So chill out already! Let folks who haven’t read the strats know the basics of what to do. Then everyone wins and we all go home happy and understanding how the fight works for next time.   MMMM’kkkk?

Speaking of going home happy, I took home a pretty new dress so that totally made my day.

I hope your first trip into this new LFR is rewarding!

We Saved Bolvar Fordragon!

shadow priest on Bloodbathed Frostbrood Vanquisher mount

Last week, the awesome peeps in Friend or Foe on Madoran put together an ICC achievements run in ICC. At the end of the night, all achievements completed, everyone got a mount. Well, except for (@Psynister, @Fynralyl who didn’t already have it half completed) me.

You see, I did the half of my Once Bitten Twice Shy achievement I didn’t have (the not getting bitten part) to complement the half I’d completed previously, horde-side. But unlike other such achievements, it didn’t magically meld together. And thus, I came up one achievement half short of a mount. Psyn and Fyn got their first half of the achievement and would also need to go back again.

And so, this week, we went back to complete it. And thanks to a few FoF peeps who were on, and my #WoW twitter, Battletag and LJ buddies, I got the other half done tonight! And thus, as you can see above, I am the proud handler of a Bloodbathed Frostbrood Vanquisher mount.

Serious big thank yous go out to @psynister @wowcynwise @justdbear @fordarkness and @the_wrenz.

And yes, as always, I watched the cinematic all the way through at the end, and teared up over Bolvar’s sacrifice. He is, as always, my hero.

It was a nice way to cap off a week in World of Warcraft that also included slaying my old nemesis Staghelm, a.k.a. the druid formerly known as Archdruid McCrankipants.

Ah yeah, staggypants! We meet again...

Just another awesome week in Azeroth…

I have been MIA in the blog for a bit, but not due to a lack of playing. Mostly due to IRL being exceptionally busy due to having been interviewing for and then onboarding at an awesome new job. No time for any serious raiding or theory crafting, but I am still around these parts. So be sure to stop by and say hi here, on twitter or in game.

Cheers!

P.S. I am sure Wrenz and I could have duo’d the place, but that would have taken the nostalgia out of it for me. Because this raid was one of my all time favorite team effort experiences. It’s just not the same without at least 9 other raiders dancing and DPSing alongside… 🙂

 

Is that a Sha in Your Pocket…?

Are you TALKING TO ME!?!? Gnome shadow priest with scary Sha helm

…My gnomey shadow priest’s looking more than a little Sha-touched these days. Between her strangely frightening visage, as you can see above, and the Shafiend that keeps following her around, even on her farm (see below), she’s gotten a little bit more evil as the season has worn on.

I completely blame/credit LFR. While it certainly can never take the place of the feeling of exhileration that comes from being part of a successful collaborative raid team that’s kicking booty, it has been a great way to keep a toe in raiding on my favorite class, despite not having a schedule that could accommodate regular raiding with a guild.

I’m crossing my fingers, however, that we’ll be able to do some 10-mans with Friend or Foe soon. I had the pleasure of finally completing Terrace of Endless Spring last night, thanks to two FoF tanks (/waves at Manglehaft), and can tell it would be a great experience to casually raid with those folks.

I haven’t made much progress on the alts, other than getting the shaman to 90 a few weeks ago. I mean to be leveling my boomkin, but I mostly want to play my shadow priest. No, my Alliance shadow priest. Not, you-know-who. She’s still hoveringaround at 85, trying to figure out if there’s anyone left to play with on Bronzebeard…

me and my Shafiend