Friday, January 15, 2010

Life in the Daily/Heroic Grind

So, for my first post actually about WoW, I figure I'll talk about what I did last night. It wasn't really a very interesting night, but I guess it's a good place to begin. I logged on and began working my way through my the daily quests in the Argent tournament. I am working on trying to get through the third of the 5 factions that show up for the Alliance.

Essentially there are 4 daily quests I do on a regular basis there.

The first is to go right outside the tent where the quest giver is and joust NPCs, and beat them. Each time you win, you get a valiant token. Your goal is to get three. OK, now I know a lot of people complain about this and any other quest that requires you to use a "vehicle", saying that they didn't level up X character to 80 so that they could be a horse, or a siege engine or whatever. To all of them, I say Boo on you! I love the idea of doing these kind of different quests, they are a nice change from the typical button rotation that most people master.

I have at this point gotten pattern down for jousting, so it is merely a situation of talk to the guy, hit the 3 key when he runs away, chase him until he stops, mash the 1 key until he runs away, hit the 3 key, chase, mash 1, repeat until victorious (Usually takes about 3 minutes per NPC).

The second quest is to go out into the ice of Northrend and kill 10 "converted heroes". For the lore buffs out there, I think these guys are supposed to be people that Arthas turned to his side when he burned his own ships stranding his army in Northrend. For more info about the lore read "Arthas: Rise of the Lich King" by Christie Golden; Good book. For a fully geared level 80 Death Knight this is really a lesson in how many of these guys can I pull at once more than a challenge. Some days when I'm in a good mood I'll find some random rogue or clothie doing this quest, group them and see if I can take on all 10 at once. As long as I'm not stupid, I can usually pull all 10 and kill all of them without even bringing out my ghoul.

The third quest is similar to the first, except that I have to fly to the base of some gate and kill a bunch of dead things on a horse. This one is the challenge for me because there is a mixture of a lot of different bad things all grouped up here, and I don't really have a good pattern on how to do this one yet. Usually I just flail around randomly until I either a. finish it, usually dying at least a few times in the process. b. get completely frustrated at the multiple deaths, and impending repair bill and dump the quest for the day.

The last quest isn't really a daily, it is one of a cycle of quests that seems to randomize every day. Yesterday it was go to a place, pick some flowers, go to another place, "use" them. That makes essentially the WoW version of the maiden of the lake appear and give you a sword called the fiery brand that you bring back to the quest giver. Easy quest when you know where to go, nothing to kill no one to bother you as long as you don't happen to be tagged as PvP.

After that I did what I enjoy most right now. Joining the Random Dungeon finder. As I waited for the requisite 10 to 15 minutes as a DPS, I pretended to figure out how to continue my inscription leveling beyond where it is stalled. My problem there? I have no idea where to get the ink. At some point, I'll break down and look it up on one of the walkthroughs on the net. Until then, I'll just wander aimlessly in hopes that I find what I'm supposed to do next.

Finally I got my invite into the dungeon. Either Utgarde Keep or Utgarde Pinnacle (I always forget which is which). It was the one with the forge at the beginning, and the battle at the end where the guy is raised so you get to kill him all over again. When we first hopped into the instance, while everyone was going through their pre-run ritual buffing and asking Kings or Wisdom, etc I did my pre-run ritual of mousing over every person's portrait to see what they were playing as a class, what buffs they have, and most interestingly to me their Gear Score.

OK, for the non-WoW initiated, GS is an add on that someone wrote that has caused all kinds of hoopla among players on the forums of just about every WoW site I read. There is a huge battle of whether a person's ability can be boiled down to a single number. I happen to agree with the nay-sayers when they say you can't. What I disagree with though is the idea that it doesn't have some value. Instead of deciding if a player is good because of their GS, I can tell usually tell if they are going to want any of the gear, and also get a bit of a gauge of how fast the instance run is going to be, because usually higher GS = more damage output = faster instance run.

Now this isn't a law or anything, because there are lots of crappy players with high GS (though for the life of me I have no idea how they get past about 4500 GS since to do that you need to be in 10 and 25 man raids typically). There are also lots of great players with low GS, as they are gearing up or whatever.

Anyway, I digressed there for a bit. Looking at the group I was in last night, I was lowest on the list with a 4494 GS, while everyone else was in the 4800+ range. I'm immediately thinking OK, this will likely be a fast run cake walk. Right?

Well yeah, mostly. We didn't start off too well, I think the healer forgot they were healing on the first pull because when the tank engaged the first set of baddies, he didn't do anything. With 4-5 monsters attacking him, he stood his ground as long as he could before succumbing to the pain and dying. Seeing the things scatter and begin attacking the rest of the party (which was a lock, a priest, and a Shammy) I decided I'd better take on the tanking role for at least this battle. I hadn't yet realized that the healer (Shammy) didn't feel the need to heal yet. So I Dark Commanded (taunted, a threat builder), dropped death and decay (AOE damage and threat builder) and POOF! They were all on me. I beat them down along with the priest and warlock, finally knocking down the last one with less than 3k HP left. This was when the Shammy seemed to realize that he was supposed to do something and began healing me. I think his hint was when the tank (a Warrior) said in party chat "Dude, who's healing this instance? The DK cause if so he sucks". For the record, I'm the DK and I have no healing ability.

Anyway, after I was full up again, the warrior was raised, and we all rebuffed, we ran through the rest of the instance without ever stopping, the entire thing took less than 20 minutes even including the time where we had to fight one man down and the raising, buffing, etc. So, other than starting out rocky it worked out.

Moral of this long winded heroic story? To all you players out there who drop party the second anything goes wrong, Don't. you never know what good may come.

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