Cata Delayed?

  We have all seen the “news” on MMO Champion about how Cata has been delayed until December – according to “inside sources”. It’s not official because we never had an official release date to begin with. MMO Champs is hardly ever wrong so I was a bit disappointed to see this “update”. My BFF told me about it while I was in Forge of Souls after that damnable Armpen trinket.

I was a bit taken aback by it. I had thrown my lot in with MMO Champ’s and had taken the first of November off to wait in the “nerd herd” outside of Gamestop. I had a day I needed to take or loose it so I went with their prediction. Now I have a free day off and no new content to keep me entertained. 

So I headed dejectedly (and unable to sleep) over to the new PTR to check out the actual Pre-Cata event. I still had not finished all the quests in SW from the previous PTR so I ran up to where the King is supposed to be – only he was not there. There was a yellow “?” where he was supposed to be but no smexy king in sight. 

This is when I noticed the scrawl at the top of my screen saying we need 6 more sandbags. Um, ok then. I ran myself out of the Keep and noticed a very small pile of sandbags. Being a good citizen of SW, I valiantly picked one up and ran back to the Keep entrance but I could not rid myself of the sandbag – now awkwardly attached to my back. I ran all around the “dams” of sandbags around the city but I could not get rid of it for the life of me. 

All across the city were level 80 elite water elementals just pwning the shit out of people. One very nearly killed me – it ate right through my seemly unbreakable bubbles. There were guards running around everywhere. I talked to an Earthen Ring guy and he gave me a totem that wasn’t useful at all. I just decided to run around killing the elementals like everyone else. Apparently these elementals trap the citizens and we have to free them and kill the elementals in order to secure that district of the city. Once all the districts are secure the event ends and it goes back to normal. I am not sure what kind of timer this is on but I was there for an hour after it ended and it hadn’t started back up again yet. 

Now that King Varian was back in his allotted spot I could turn in my quest. I turned it in and he called me a hero for exposing the Cultists… Blah blah blah… Then nothing. No follow up quest from the King. I had the bread crumbs quest for IF so off I went on the Tram. (I was riding with a Nelf Hunter and buffed her with my Fort but it wouldn’t let me buff her pet – odd to be sure.) 

I exited the Tram to see IF just like it is on the live servers. It looks like the gnome king is still handing out his quests because there were gnomish citizens around Tinker Town. I head in the direction of the Explorer’s section to turn in that other quest and there’s something a bit off about the ride over there. I found my quest turning in person and attempt to turn it in. I can’t. I can click on the NPC but it doesn’t recognize my quest or do anything at all. Ok then. I run over to the bank area where the other quest person, Mylra, is. All I see is a floating gryphon called Stormbeak. That is it. Every now and again he flies away and comes back. 

Suddenly, Mylra spawns and I get a good look at her. She’s a freaking Dwarf Shaman! She is so damn cool! I can’t wait to have a Dwarf Shaman! Anyways… the event has already started in IF from the looks of it. She’s telling me to do the same thing I was just doing in SW. Difference with this one is that there is nothing around – there’s no mailbox or bank people. There’s no NPCs in all of IF except her and a random gryphon. I run back to Tinker Town – no gnomes. Nobody in the Explorer’s area, either. There’s no flight master, either. 

By now I figure I must be lagging out so I stand in front of Mylra and wait for me to “catch up” to what is happening. But I never do. There are other players running around trying to find something, anything at all. We start talking to each other in /s. There’s no NPC around for anyone. There’s a Pally that wanted to see a trainer so we tell him to hop back on the Tram since there are no NPCs to speak of. He goes to the Tram portal and he cannot get out of IF. We are all trapped in IF and can’t even get out of the front gates. I just logged out. Nothing else to do. 

I logged into my pre-made Belf Priest and sat about the task of trying to find my way around Undercity. I found the quest to go to Org but I got on the wrong damn zeppelin (I talked to the goblin to make sure but he is apparently bugged, too) – ending up in Howling Fjord. I made my way halfway to Dalaran when I got fed up and logged back into my actual Priest. 

I logged into a fully functional IF, complete with NPCs! All the Brewfest stuff was up and Mylra had a quest for me to turn in! Yay! I turned it in and I got the one to cleanse little elementals around IF. That was pretty fun. I got to see the Dwarf totems up close and personal. I gotta say that I really like the design of them. So I cleansed my 20 elementals and then nothing – no follow up quest. I turned in my other quest and nothing. 

The only other quest was one to go out to Nagrand. So off I went to Outlands. My Violet Proto-Drake bugged out and is only going 280% speed. >< I land in the Throne of Elementals to find another Dwarf Shaman and Thrall! Holy shit, I love Thrall! (I wish Jaina and him would hook up. She totally needs a man not bent on world domination and/or destruction.) I turn that quest in. There’s nothing left! No other quests! WTF?!?!?! Shouldn’t I get something along the lines of “save x number of citizens” or “pile x number of sandbags” or “defeat this certain event boss in some shitty old world dungeon” quest? 

I go back to SW and look around. There’s a guard in front of the AH with a yellow “!” over his head. I pick it up and I need to go check out the people trying to get into SW for refuge. I ride out to the gates and there’s a crowd of people there trying to get into the city but can’t get past the guards. I click on the people to check them out. Some of them say “I don’t have anything to hide” and I let them pass. Other’s are found with Cultist medallions and the guards escort them away. I have to do this 5 times and read King Varian’s little speech. I love this quest. It speaks volumes about our society today and the fear mongering that goes on. 

I had in my immigration quest and get another to arrest Cultist Infiltrators. I need to arrest 5 of them and take them to The Stockades. Ok, easy enough. There are a ton of them around. I find one and “arrest” him with the hand cuffs in my bag. He disappears. He’s completely gone. I don’t get credit for arresting him and there’s no way I can “escort” him to The Stocks because he’s gone without a trace. He doesn’t try to retaliate or say anything – he just disappears into thin air. I logged out and back on hoping that would fix it. I came back and the same thing happened. I opened a bug report so hopefully it will be fixed when I get home tonight. 

So, now that I’ve seen the disarray on the PTR – I am glad Cata has been allegedly delayed. They still have a shit ton of work to do if just the PTR is any indication. It has been nearly a year since we had any new tier of raid content and since the official Cata expansion was announced at Blizz Con. They have had more than enough time to get shit straight. I can understand Cata not being all the way done due to huge size and scope of it but it is just unbelievable that the Pre-Cata event is in such a state.

Hunter is 80! … and Priest got a Ram!

 The LFG dungeon tool thingie sure has a sense of humor.

 Both my Druid and Paladin hit level 80 in Culling of Stratholme. I love COS to bits. I love the Lore behind it and I do side with Arthas on that one. (Even though, yes, I have done the Benediction quest line and see the other side of the story. He wasn’t necessarily right but what else could he really do?)

 Anyways… I did a lot of questing on my Hunter due to shit PvP and long random Qs. I got most of the Sons of Hodir quests done before I said screw it. I am not doing this crap for a fourth time. I did get a whole level from them so I can’t really complain. It was hard on a hunter to have no pet on some of the vehicle quests. The one with leaping proto drakes to get to Thorim was an absolute nightmare. I had to open my spell book and click on raptor strike and mongoose bite – it took me ages to kill anything with just those two.

 I was questing with the Argent guys in Icecrown at the very end of level 79. I was worried I would ding from some stupid quest like I had on my Priest. It would take about 25-30 minutes to get into a random so it’s not very efficient to just stand around. I would farm or look for rare kitties to tame in my down time. Then I did a lot of quests in Zul’Drak and Stormpeaks – getting used to the pacing of questing and randoms in between.

 I stayed with a tank farming UP for a few of runs and got to about 90% before resigning myself to questing. I hopped in the Q just in case. I am so glad I did! About 5 minutes later I am talking to Chromie in COS. My Hunter’s human form is really quite nice. I looked like Jaina had become a Hunter instead of a Mage – with some badass goggles.

 We had gotten all the way through it and I could see my little bar inching ever so slowly to 100%. We pulled the last bit of the alley to Mal’Ganis and I dinged 80. I threw on all of my level 80 gear and kicked Ma’Ganis’s butt.

 Once again, I have dinged 80 in COS.

Hurray!

 Makes me wonder where my girls will ding level 85 in the coming months. Will it be the beauty of Throne of Tides or the majesty of the Vortex Pinnacle? I can’t wait! Cataclysm, please come soon! /beg

Random pet shot…

Damn it, Little Corey, stop chasing cars!

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 And my Priest got the Brewfest Ram!!! OMFG, yes!!! I didn’t see any drop last year and I waited just for this year for another opportunity at him. He was in my goodie bag a few days ago. I got the remote the next day, too. Now all I need is the Kodo on my Priest.

Finally! /cheer

 I wonder if the drop rate on the Headless Horseman’s mount will be increased like the Brewfest mounts this year. I surely hope so. I have 76 mounts now. The more the merrier!

I got a Kodo!

But on the wrong toon! NOOOOO!!!!! QQ /cry

My Pally looks pretty sweet on the Kodo but… damn… Nothing but Frosts for my Priest again… Boo…

I saw someone get the Mace in their goodie bag today for the first time. Bright got Frosts, too. No mount for him, either. 😦

I got a good look at Coren Direbrew today and he’s only got 300K health. No wonder we ROFLstomp him. We could probably all solo him at this late in the expansion.

Brewfest!!!!!

Brewfest started early this morning and I am thrilled! It is my second favorite holiday and I am excited to get my baby hunter a decent damn trinket for level 80. I couldn’t Q with her last night for Coren, though. I am level 77 and I think I need to get to 78 to do it. I am about halfway through 77 so hopefully tomorrow I can kill the holiday boss and get some Frost badges going.

I was so shocked when I did the boss on my Priest this morning. Last year was utter chaos. The day started out by asking everyone on your friend’s list if they were able to do the daily quest to summon the boss. Then you had to spam trade for people to fill in the rest. There would be some people who had already done it for the day who tried to scam people into using their summons to farm for the mount, mace or trinkets. Once you were sure you had trustworthy people you would all have to fly out to the boonies and run the maze that is BRD to try to find the damn bar. Sometimes you would get lucky and someone would have the remote but more often than not, you were stuck riding the gryphon.

Once you found your way to the bar you had to insult the boss so that he fights you. My Priest was damn near one shotted last year doing this. I am positive my yelling EEEEEKKKK!!! must have been heard several counties over. I barely survived the summoning and then the adds came. The adds came from seemingly all directions – from the right and left… Even from the floor! So many adds! So many of them munching on my little Priestie self! Oh, the humanity! It took ages to kill that damn boss – that is if everyone was still alive and you didn’t wipe to it. I remember using those caster trinkets. I still have the egg in my bags… Just in case… >.>

Anyways… It was an absolute trial to get it done. Then everyone else would use their summons and then everyone would bring their high level alts. This was before they fixed the summon stones so we would have to wait for them to come back and then do it all over again. It was just a mess and took an hour to do – on a good day.

But, now we have the dungeon finder to do all the dirty work for us. We don’t even need to farm the boss on multiple toons, hoping the get a mount drop. Now, you either get it in your bag or you don’t get it all. No more loot drama over the mounts, either. No more people saying they don’t care about the mount only for them to win the roll on it.

I Q’d for the boss right after Brewfest started and was immediately whisked away to BRD where the tank was already pulling the boss. I had enough time to buff everyone with Fort and Spirit before the boss was dead. Yes, it was that quick. It took all of 3 seconds to down the holiday boss. I was left looking around in bewilderment. What just happened? Where were the adds? Where were the drill things that come up from the floor? Where was the tank taking massive damage from that first hit? WTF had just happened?

Just as soon as we were done with the boss, everyone dropped group. I was left standing in BRD wondering what in the fuck had just happened. This was nothing like last year at all. It took all of 1 minute from start to finish. It took one minute to Q, enter the dungeon and kill the boss.

I opened my goodie bag to Frost badges and nothing else. At least Alune made you work for your badges. It literally took me one minute to get the end game currency – simply astounding. I understand Bliz wants to make the game accessible to everyone and I know it’s at the end of the expansion. But this just feels wrong somehow. I feel like I should have put up with a crappy tank or mouthy DPS at the very least to get some Frost badges. I didn’t have to do anything but be a warm body in the room.

It’s rare these days that something in this game challenges me and I was looking forward to some chaos like it was last year. I am disappointed. I was really hoping for something… more… Not to say I won’t take the Frost badges because I did. Those Frost badges will go towards my Cataclysm gear.

I did think about what gear I had this time last year. I turned 80 on 12 September 2009. I am pretty sure I was in all quest rewards or maybe still even in my Hat of Wintry Doom. (I was so proud of that damn hat that I made for myself.) We weren’t handed pre-made groups with free badges then. It was fairly hard to get a group together for the Daily Heroic quest, especially if it was a dungeon no one liked – Halls of Lightening and Oculus were the worst. I couldn’t even get into a group to do Heroic Trial of the Champion because my gear was so terrible – long before I could even dream of seeing the inside of a raid. Even if I did get into a group for HToC – there was no way I could keep up a tank with under 35K health. It was an absolute struggle to get stuff done. Now… not so much…

Maybe I would have been happier with the holiday boss if they would have updated him a bit. Maybe given him some more health or a new ability. Now, a year later in our 251-264+ gear levels, we just ROFLstomp him. He’s nothing more than a one second barrier to some free badges we don’t even really need anymore – badges that will be carried over in some form to Cataclysm.

I get that Bliz is working on Cataclysm 24/7 but this year’s Brewfest is damn lazy on their part. There’s nothing new. We don’t even get a different colored beer stein or a different achievement. Would it have been so hard to make a different color? Now, we get a Feat of Strength for getting last year’s green stein this year.

Just amazing… I am… Disappointed.

I’ll just take the free badges and console myself knowing I have a tiny bit of a head start on Cataclysm. Hopefully, the loot gods will smile on me and give me a mount. I don’t even care which one it is at this point.

Priesting on the PTR

I managed to get a random done on the PTR today before the server went down for whatever reason. I was a little leery of it since I would be without my beloved Vuhdo and Decursive. I can heal just fine with out them but it’s more efficient for me to use them. I would just have to suffer with being a little slow. My need to try out the Power Word: Barrier overrode my fears and into the random Q I went.

While I waited, I ran over to the training dummies in SW. Bad idea. Half the PTR population was there. Every class you can imagine was there on those damn dummies. I stayed long enough to make sure I could get my Evangelism to stack to 3 and I could pop the Archangel successfully – which I could with no problem. I really like the little white wings it gives you. It is about damn time we get some Priest wings!

I am marveling at my old, slow mounts are now going at 100% speed. I love my Black Stallion the most and now I don’t look like an idiot ridding him around. I rode around SW as I waited for my Q to pop – just looking around the harbor and the Park. I am going to miss the Park. I think it’s so pretty.

My Q popped and thankfully it was for The Nexus. I can totally heal The Nexus with no add-ons. I see my group mates and they are all Kingslayers in ICC 25 gear. This should be pretty awesome and off we went down the first hallway. Good thing the tank was well geared because I still have not downloaded the whole PTR and I ran right into a wall as the tank kept pulling. It was all good by the time I caught her but the Mage was half dead. I healed everyone up and we downed all the bosses no problem.

I have now got to use the new talents and gear itemization in a heroic and here’s my take:

The Good:

I don’t need to haul around candles for my group buffs anymore. I usually had anywhere from 80-100 candles on me at all times. More bag space, ahoy! There’s no difference in way I buff myself and the way I buff my group.

I am down to two group buffs – no more spirit buff at all.  

The Talent trees have trimmed out the bloat. The old Disc tree was garbage until about the 4th tier and then you got the really good stuff. I am so glad all those old “Improved” whatnot talents are gone. They always felt like filler to get the more useful stuff.

Renew ticks now crit. I was seeing 4-5K crits. It doesn’t seem like there is a limit on how much they can crit. I was having a few in a row.

Archangel is pretty bad ass when you can squeeze one in. I am seeing now that Disc is going to stack more Haste to make it really worth it.

Power Word: Barrier is the greatest thing ever. I am totally going to try it in PvP later. I want more hands on time with the new raid frames so it will be worth it to go. I cast it on the last boss and everyone just hopped in the golden goodness. We didn’t even need to jump because it absorbed everything and was still standing after the boss went down. I am very excited to see this in a raid.

No mana problems as of yet. Then again, I was only in The Nexus with a very OP group. My mana pool went from a touch over 41K to very nearly 49K with just the PTR changes.

I swear I ran and cast Penance at the same time. It was glorious.

The Odd:

I was constantly scrolling my mouse wheel down in an effort to see all the talents but they were all there right in front of me the whole time. When I was a newb, I never know the lowest talents existed and I now I must be afraid that I will miss them. I don’t know. It’s just odd to see all the talents in all three trees at one time.

I am still getting used to only seeing the Inner Fire and Fort buff by my mini map. It will take some time, for sure.

The new spell book is super useful. It needed to be all combined but I still hit “C” to try to find my mounts and pets. Another muscle memory that will fade in time, I’m sure.

All my +INT gems that were yellow are now all red. I didn’t even notice until Bright said something about it. A minor change but still a little odd for now. Also, no MP5 on gear. I have a crap ton of Spirit now.

The Bad:

We got hit with the nerf bat.

Renew crits don’t seem to proc Divine Aegis. I am sure we would be horribly OP if this were to occur. ><

My crit rating went down from 43% to 34%.

Borrowed time went from 25% haste to 15% on our next cast. I am going to have a lot more haste now. I had too much haste before and now it feels like I don’t have enough. Time to gear the Priest like the Pally and stack haste, haste and more haste.

Also, it was hard to keep up my Evangelism stacks between healing, shielding everyone and just running from mob to mob. I just didn’t even try on the trash mobs anymore. They died way too quickly for me to get more than one Smite off. I was thinking that it might be like a Pally’s Judgments and I was way off. I am sure it would be more helpful in a raid with other healers and a boss with more than 500K health.

All in all – I really like the direction they are going. I was so afraid I wouldn’t know what to do because the changes seemed so drastic but it was pretty painless. I cannot wait for Cataclysm! Please get here soon!

Dear BG healers,

  I love you guys. Thank you for healing my little Hunter ass today. Every heal I got was a gift from the gods. I only saw two of you today in the space of 5 AVs but I am glad you were there, Mr Disc Priest and Mr Tree Druid. My little heart filled with hope and joy when I saw a Penance aimed in my direction and the nice little green animation of a Rejuvenation.

 You two will never know that my main was just like you guys once – a scarce healer in a raid full of brainless DPS. I went through hell those first few BGs and then I learned to love the chaos. I love saving someone just as they are about to die. I can just imagine some guy yelling “no no no!” at this screen and then blinking a few times to make sure they are seeing things right and they really didn’t die. I love that feeling. I hope some new BG healers emerge soon and I hope they love it as much as I do.

Dear Alliance,

  I love you guys. I really do. I love my Priest with her OP human racial. I love my Pally and Hunter with their hypnotizing Draenei butt wiggle. I love my Druid and her goofy Nelf bounce. I love everything about Alliance – except the PVP. I am completely devoted to the Alliance but the PVP makes me want to turn coat and run screaming to the Horde.

This whole AV weekend has just been a trial. My Hunter is in the 71-79 bracket now at level 71. I can do a nice bit of damage but when faced with a 79 Warrior with 22K health, there’s really not much I can do at that point but give up. I get that. That is the risk I take by going in at the lowest level. We all die in PVP – that’s kind of the whole point of it and all. 

But, for the life of me, I cannot figure out how we get backed into one graveyard and then get camped. There is never a time when we aren’t in the graveyard – either waiting to be rez’d or waiting to be killed. I just don’t get it. How does this happen? Where does all the Alliance go? We were in a nice, big pack at the start and then they just disappear. What is this? I don’t even… 

I am so frustrated right now. I don’t remember this frustration as I leveled any of my other 80’s but they all leveled as healers. Is this frustration because I am now DPS or that this battle group has no fucking clue what to do? 

I’m looking at all the new PVP stuff coming in Cataclysm. I really, really want one of those PVP titles for rated BGs. I don’t want to run around as a “Private”. I want something more, something like Knight. I am so scared this won’t happen, regardless of how much I work at it because the teamwork and/or the knowledge just aren’t there. 

I am but one person. I can’t change a whole battle group or a server. My only hope is there will be like minded people when Cataclysm comes out and we can all get together and PVP. I am hoping to see some LFM for rated BGs. I really don’t know if my guild will be into that seeing as they are “raid” focused. But, we shall see once it comes out. 

Also, Fellow Alliance people, please don’t do any of the following again: 

1) DKs: stop death gripping Horde people right on top of me. I cannot shoot them in melee range, you idiots. Have some damn situational awareness for once. 

2) Why did we loose after we had a 200 point lead? Because you all thought it was going to be fun to summon the tree thing in the Field of Strife instead of holding shit. Horde retook everything and then summoned their big bad frost thing that killed us all. Good job, idiots. 

3) Where are all the healers at? Seriously? Horde are able to pwn us constantly because they have healers. We can rez from that same graveyard all goddamn day and attempt to kill them but we won’t because they have fucking healers.